Sometimes It Just Is

Sweary even more than usual
Foul mood …for no specific reason
Neck pain
Back pain
Dreading people
Why why why
Smoke alarms of mind and body
Where is the fire
…Maybe there isn’t one
Maybe it’s just everything (‘everywhere all at once’)
Work stress
Shorter, darker days
Capitalist materialist holidays
Poor sleep
Homesick for the mountains
Impatient for social progress
Shootings everywhere …world going to hell
So …don’t miss a workout
Make healthier food choices whenever possible
Uphold boundaries
Breathe deep …and again
Stay connected
Stop over analyzing
Let it go …or at least loosen the grip …ease the pursuit
Take care of self anyway …all the better and more
Do what you know to do
It will balance out
What you need to know will emerge eventually


Taking Up More Space

Dillon Reservoir, Dillon, Colorado

Here in the last week of 30 daily posts, some themes have emerged. Liberated was initially intended as a description of growing more irreverent with age, and ‘the value of your opinion to me…’ was all I had to say about that. As I thought (and wrote) about what I really feel liberated to do and say at this age, it really did circle back to bolder bids for connection, especially at work, with patients.

Smooth With Edges also started out with more of a defiant, rebellious feeling. The meme about Hecate came across my FB feed and vibrated immediately with deep resonance–of holding divergent, soft and hard, smooth and edgy parts of myself together in harmony. I like that I’m playful, curious, lighthearted, and nerdy. I also see myself as strong, taller in personality than physical height, and a force to be reckoned with when needed. It was too much yet to try to express in prose, so I chose stanzas instead. It spilled out in seconds, and by the end was no longer about me, but about Daughter and every girl or woman who holds back any part of herself in any way, about my urgent desire for us all to shed our constraints and own our power in full.

One kid has cleared the launchpad; the other now readies in the hangar. For almost twenty years they have been the two foci of my elliptical life orbit. I have done nothing in all this time without considering and accommodating them first–waking hours, meal plans, social activities, vacation dates/locations, professional meetings and engagements. Mom liberation occurs in stages: from nursing, from carseats, from dependent cook, obligatory chauffeur. While both kids lived at home, simultaneous attunement and attachment to both was 24/7, the default. The center of my logistical world was always our house. I felt most secure when my two life hubs were home, my universe a tight sphere. Now one nucleus is flung 1700 miles away, and my heart space has expanded exponentially, in a familial big bang of sorts–and I celebrate it.

As the kids’ independence grows, I find myself with bandwidth reserves now available for other pursuits–my own. It’s not that I subsumed all of my own needs and priorities to the family, and some constraints were still very real. Sometimes now I feel like my lung capacity is bigger, my breaths deeper, my armspan longer. How fascinating.

Last year my 30 November posts were a consolidation, a legacy capsule series to reference when the primary source is deceased. This year, like Sven the sourdough starter, I rise. I expand, multiply, propagate–ideas, connections, reach. I get to play, noodle, experiment, riff–make more. How exciting!

Liberated, indeed.

What Books Next?

Books on my work surface this week

Friends! What’s on your bookshelf/nightstand/desk to read these days?

I am a creature of serial obsessions. I nurtured Sven to one year of life; the sourdough starter microbes are now well established and able to survive unattended for prolonged periods in the fridge. Bread baking/experimenting was great therapy, and now I’m ready to move on.

Similarly, I feel my romance novel binge tapering soon. I’ve devoured 56 audiobooks in 2 months, which is quite remarkable, no? What a fun diversion! Now I’m ready to stimulate my book brain in the usual way again. The library has grown exponentially and I’m undecided in what order to consume my volumes. Maybe you can help?

Have you read any of the books in the photo? Below I’ll share some articles I’ve read lately, and a list of books I’m considering over the winter break. If you’re familiar and/or have any comments/recommendations about these or anything that comes to mind, please share generously! Thank you in advance!


Indra’s Net — Recommended in the comments of a past post by friend Diane. A densely concise and intriguing validation of the interconnectedness of the universe, referencing The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot and Hua-Yen Buddhism by Francis H. Cook.

Translating the Untranslatable, NPR — found while researching for the Grief Bacon post, which references In Other Words by linguist Christopher J Moore. Also check out this article, 23 Untranslatable Words to Help You Work Smarter. The words are mostly Scandanavian and Japanese, and I like almost all of them.

How I Learned the Art of Seduction — NYT essay by author and writing teacher Melissa Febos–hightly recommend! She describes first hand experience with sexism, misogyny, and capitalism through work in restaurants and as a professional dominatrix.

One Foot in the Present, One Foot in the Past: Understanding EMDR — NYT; an introduction to a relatively new therapy modality that has already helped many vetarans with PTSD. This, along with re-emerging evidence for the benefits of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (psilocybin, MDMA), makes me so hopeful that the people whose trauma has as yet exceeded the power of conventional therapies may soon have reliable access to effective remedies to ease their suffering. I have already binged Michael Pollan‘s How to Change Your Mind and This Is Your Mind On Plants, and watched the 4-part Netflix series at least twice.

What Unites Buddhism and Psychotherapy? — NYT book review of The Zen of Therapy by Mark Epstein, due out in January, 2023. “He seeks to uncover the fundamental wisdom both worldviews share, and to show, as a practical matter, how it might help us wriggle free from the places we get stuck on the road to fulfillment.”

Mental Health Should Be Available For All, Not a LuxuryScientific American. An excellent treatise on the crisis and models of effective care.


Yes, And… Daily Meditations, Richard Rohr

Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise, Justin Zom

Chaos: Making a New Science, James Gleick

The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics, John Hickenlooper

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson

How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, Lisa Feldman Barrett

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, Dan Heath

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, Randall Munroe

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, Michelle Obama