Jen and I went down to visit my family over Labor Day weekend, and this ∧ is their new habit. Whenever something good or sortof good or not-that-terrible happens, one of them will say “Blessed,” and raise one hand, and then the other two will follow suit. It’s sort of a sarcastic “oh how lucky we are to not be eaten by wolves,” gesture, with only one praise hand to back it up. For example, say my mother is walking through the living room and she steps in dog vomit with her bare foot. “Grooo-oooosss,” she’ll holler, and then foot-heel to the bathroom to stick her foot in the tub. Then, on her way to go get a paper towel, someone will note that at least the vomit is on the hardwood, and not the rug. Mom will say, “blessed,” and raise one hand while the other is scooping up the vomit, and then my siblings, Will (16) and Layla (8), will both say “blessed,” and quickly raise and lower a hand in commiseration. Given that they live in a falling-down house with five dogs and a lot of chaos at all times (movie buffs can imagine some hybrid of Grey Gardens and Running With Scissors), “blessed” is a frequent curse. Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s old, and then it’s funny again.
Anyhoo, things have changed around here since my last post. In February, I got a new job in a better field. Now, instead of winning war contracts, I work to help the region toward a more sustainable future. It’s important work, and I’m so honored to be a part of it. While I’ve made some personal sacrifices in changing jobs (oh working from home, I miss you!), I do not take for granted that the sentences I now write are about improving health outcomes and transitioning away from fossil fuels and not about cybersecurity or defeating the enemy. Blessed!
Jen and I both had ladypart surgeries this summer to cure different maladies, hers more extensive, and mine, somehow, more expensive. I’ll be paying it off for the next five years, and I didn’t even get a baby out of it. (O, why didn’t I get it done when I still had group health insurance!?) The surgeries took up a lot of our summer, both financially and physically. We didn’t really get started on having a summer until August, when we went on vacation in Mexico. In Mexico, we got to swim with whale sharks and snorkel and explore cenotes and just basically be mermaids for nine days. It was ah-mazing, despite the fact that my debit card was somehow scanned and scammed, and both of my bank accounts were emptied. At least I didn’t realize it had happened until I was back in Asheville, so it didn’t ruin the vacation. Blessed.
This spring we re-built our rickety, rotting back deck (well, a very nice contractor did), and now we feel certain we aren’t going to fall off the back of our house in a crashing, splintered heap. We let the deck rest for a few months, and then in September we stained and sealed it, and only this last weekend did we finally move the grill and birdfeeder back into place. Home improvement projects are hard.
Finally, I’m seeing some movement in some other areas of my life that have been stalled for years. I’m doing a lot of self-work with my therapist, a close friend, an online course, and several books. I’m working pretty actively to un-stick myself, let go of fears I’ve been carrying around all my life, and make decisions that will move me forward. One negative side effect of doing all this work is that I’m all over the place. I’ve got bookmarked books all over the house, multiple open tabs on my computer that never close, and almost no money in my bank account. Another side effect is that I feel totally crazy. But I think the net effect is good. The crazy feeling is a type of mania that is propelling me forward in many areas of my life. I feel like I’m hitting a mindset similar to the one that started this blog in its original state in 2012–a kind of “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” mentality.
So expect to see a bit more frequent posting here, as one of my goals is to get over my fear of “putting myself out there.” I’m re-adopting the year-of-yessing mentality, working on finding my voice, and just generally trying to take myself less seriously. I’m excited to see where this goes!