Thursday, September 30, 2010

for the love of watermelon

As I stood in the fruit section of the supermarket half an hour ago, contemplating the rock hard nectarines and the incredibly overpriced honeydews, I want to take a moment or two to celebrate my favorite fruit.


This was the summer of watermelon. Actually, just about every summer is watermelon saturated, but this summer, aside from the one when I was pregnant with Iz, was above and beyond. In fact, I'm relatively certain that Iz's great love of this sweet, crunchy, thirst-questing fruit is directly related to the fact that by the end of my pregnancy, during a claustrophobic heat wave, I was eating watermelon every day. I'd waddle slowly across the street to the supermarket, spend as much time as possible in the highly air conditioned produce aisle, and then make my way back home, half a melon balanced on top of my belly. That would last for a day or two and then I'd be back for more. In fact, when I surprising found myself giving birth 4 weeks before my due date, Jon ran home to pack a hospital bag and brought half a watermelon back with him.

He knew.

And so Iz and I share a love that goes beyond love. It's a craving. A need. And a thrill to find watermelon that's perfectly sweet, perfectly ripe, perfectly crisp.


Those days, at least for now are gone.

But during the summer we discovered that buying a whole watermelon, hard as it was to carry home, was our solution. We'd pick out one that felt right, shlepp it home, and I'd cut away. We'd polish off half before we'd even thrown the rind away, saving the rest for the next day.

After a couple of weeks of this, the cashiers in the supermarket were laughing at us.

I don't blame them.

But we were in watermelon love.

Another sigh.

We never really got to say a proper goodbye. The last watermelon we had was past season. It was pale, slightly mealy, no sweet edge to sink our teeth into.

So now it's apples. Pears. Bananas here and there. Not that there's anything wrong with them.

But I'm already dreaming of my first wet, red crunch next summer.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

it's only hair deep

Yesterday I got my hair cut. That's generally not a big deal. I've had countless hair cuts in my life, and for the most part they've been non-eventful.

Not this one though.

I've been going to the same person for a few years, but the last couple of cuts had issues. As in my bob had become asymmetrical when it shouldn't have been. And so, it was time for a change. But where should I go?  

I was completely stumped. Stuck. Incapable of making a decision. I put it up to my lovely friends on facebook and got quite the enthusiastic responses with a wide variety of options.

The decision wasn't getting any easier. By that point even my 9 year old son looked me square in the eye and told me I needed help.

And then, the humidity. 

Two days of rain and fog and poofing and waving in unexpected places. 

One salon took email requests. I shot off a panicked message late Monday night and got a response back early yesterday that they had time at 2:30. I was that desperate. I needed help immediately. I couldn't spend another day, another hour, battling rogue flips with my hair iron.

The place is called Crown. Loved the name. The logo. Their website. Clean, clear, simple, bold. When unable to make up my mind, those things factor in a big way. Alexis sat me down and asked what I wanted. 

I had nothing to offer. I wanted my hair but better. Sleeker. Tighter. Flatter. No suburbia (that's how I've been feeling lately). I wanted clarity, line, shape. 

She got it and started chopping. I learned more about my hair in that hour than I had in my entire life. Things like my hair is actually thin but there's so much of it that it feels unmanageably thick. That without thinning it out (or texturizing which sounds way better) I'll always struggle with puffiness. That when my hair is one blunt length, my summer bleached out color looks like the remnants of a single color process—I learned what that was too.

I also learned that I have no real grey. Those few strands that pop up now and again are just about it. Loved that one.

And so, Alexis cut. And cut. And chopped. And shredded (my word). 

I don't look like me anymore. 

And here's the challenge. I've had basically the same hair for 12 years. After having it super short (as in buzzed at Astor Place), pregnant me realized I looked like a pin head so I spent my first pregnancy growing my hair out and it's been a bob ever since. And the thing is, I have good hair. I actually have great hair. It's thick and heavy, wants to be blonder. It holds shape really well and if even if everything else about me is a mess, my hair makes me feel put together. 

Turns out I've been hiding behind my hair. And now that I don't have it, I feel exposed. 


For a person who puts themselves out into the world in the most insane colors and patterns and vintage craziness, it's amazing how an unexpectedly short hair cut can feel like I'm baring my soul. 

Or at least my cheekbones.

Monday, September 27, 2010

letting go of (fill in the blank)

My wise and talented twitter friend Amy bared her soul in a recent post about accepting where she is in the world. Where she is in her life. About letting go of where she thinks, other people think, the world thinks she should be and being where, and who, she is.


Just being.

Not that being has to be empty. Not that being has to be boring or stagnant or stifling. Being can be fruitful, engaging, fulfilling. Being, truly being is what is.

Ok, that was a bit too deep even for me. I'm not a be-er. I'm a do-er. A do-er to the point of psychotic at times. I juggle. I work. I spin. I balance the impossible. My to-do list is endless. And no matter what I'm doing, saying, handling, I never feel like it's enough.

I'm not efficient enough. Successful enough. Popular enough. Thin enough. Organized enough. Enough of a communicator. Enough of a leader. Enough of a presence. A parent. A partner. A friend. I should read more. Clean more. Write more. Create more. Volunteer more. Inspire more.

I'd be where I should be if only . . .

Ah. If only what is the question.

And here's where things have been changing for me. Perhaps it's having lived through the past year of my dream book being published and the subsequent roller coaster ride. Maybe it's living with the cutest puppy on the planet who's happiest when she's lying next to me getting her belly rubbed. Could be it's being 46 and moving into a new part of life.

I'm learning how to be. And be happy here. In fact, I just took a puppy break, scratching Gracie as we laid on the couch watching the steady rain fall against the white brick building across the street.

After months of not a creative thought in my head, it's starting to flood back, flow through me, ideas appearing every day. I've working on a movie, just started my first fiction project, have a potential documentary in the works, and a follow up to FLOW to work on. The glimmer of a children's book hit me this morning. I've got a promo film to finish. A song idea to flesh out. Websites to updates. Pieces to write. Fans to find. An audience to entertain. A persona to build.

If I do all of that, some of that, any of that, great.

If not, I'm not failing.

I'm being.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An open letter to anonymous

I've been slammed, twice, in the past week by an anonymous poster who claimed I spend too much time on my blog complaining. I'm all for voicing opinions and open dialog but I'm taking a moment or two to share some thoughts about this little corner of cyberspace.

This blog is not required reading.

There is no prize for making it to the end of one of my posts.

My feelings are not hurt if you don't finish.

In fact, if you don't like what you're reading, I encourage you to stop.

Even better, don't start.

Please note - this is not a complaint against my complaining reader. These are just perhaps some potentially helpful hints.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

(trying to) look at the bright side

Today in yoga my teacher talked about how important it is to let go of those negative thoughts that so easily take over and concentrate on positive ones. And how hard it is to do that. Almost impossible at times. I had to laugh—negativity is often lurking at my edges, waiting to drown me and how very often, it does. It was particularly topical because I shouldn't have been there. My body's not ready. Nothing like an injury to spiral one down to a place of despair and utter frustration.

So, there I was, in the back of the room, knowing there was no way in hell I would be able to turn my limitations and pain into something good to write home about.

As soon as my hand hit the floor pain shot through my palm and up to my elbow. It was worse than Monday's misguided attempt to take class. That left me unable to do down dogs, planks, updogs, arm balances . . . the entire beginning of class was a wash. Not to mention that my left leg doesn't bend all the way and I have bruising from my knee well into my shin, along with scabs and scrapes at surface level. That took out any crescent moons, hero poses, child's pose which is generally the most innocuous position you can be in. But not for me. I tried doing poses on my closed fist instead but that was too much too. Sun salutations were a no go.

The spin had me. Would I ever recover? Would I be able to practice comfortably again? Would I gain weight now that I'm so limited? Did everyone else in the room think I was so awful at yoga I couldn't do anything.

Somewhere on the edges of that I felt the crisp, cool breeze from the overhead fans.

We got to some poses I could do. Triangles. Half moons. Rotations.

My spine reveled in the movement. I was aware of how my arms moved through space, about extension, about length, about line.

I noticed the cool tones of the room, purple, green, blue, sun streaming in through the edges of silk curtains.

The all blues soundtrack lulling me into mellowness.

By the time I was lying in goddess pose, blocks under my knees when people turned themselves up side down I was nothing but delighted to be there. And shavasana - corpse pose - lying flat on my back, music washing over me, letting go of everything but that moment?


I walked out of class content. Satisfied. Happy. In spite of how limited I was.

I could have dwelled on all I couldn't do. But somehow was able to let go and appreciate what I could.

Thank you Joanne.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Healing part 2

This morning I'm going to have my hand x-rayed. I'm pretty sure nothing's going on that needs more attention but there's a pain in my palm that's not getting better. In fact, after going to yoga way sooner than I should have I ended my day with pain shooting up to my elbow, radiating into my fingers.

My leg still aches. Amazingly more bruises are appearing, more swelling is occurring, I still wince when I crouch down and heat sears my knee.

Yes I'm still grateful. Grateful it wasn't worse. Grateful I didn't face plant. Grateful I was able to ride home in one piece. But the longer it takes to heal the more nervous I am about riding again.

Deep sigh.

I'm afraid to go fast. To let go. To fly. To zip up the river and forget everything but the wind and the sun and the light glinting off the water. I'm scared I'll fall, that someone will clip me, that I'll hit a rock, a crack, something will slip me up.

After not being scared it hurts more to be back here. I'd let go of the fear that gripped me, held me hostage for most of my life, kept me from exploring, trying, stretching.

I don't want to be back here.

But I'm not sure I can't get out again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

light and dark love

Love isn't equal opportunity. It's not all rainbows and bubbles and light. It's not all happy.

It's not all good.

In fact, as the song so succinctly mentions, sometimes love stinks.

It's black and bleak. You sink to the bottom of yourself, lower than you even knew was there, pain more brutal than you've ever felt, for love. In the name of love. Lost love. Love that betrays, that's taken away, that you believed in and it turned out to be a lie.

Love is bliss. Love is sustenance. Love is everything delicious, wonderful, nurturing. Love is light.

But love is dark.

What happens when you can't balance the two anymore? When the bad outweighs the good? When the hurt is constant, almost like a cut that won't heal? When you know you shouldn't be believe anymore but can't let go?

Monday, September 20, 2010

knee deep appreciation

It's been almost a week since I fell off my bike. To be more accurate I suppose I could say since I flew over my handles bars and skidded across cobblestones and concrete on the bike path along the west side highway, screeching to a halt on my knees and palms, my face an inch from the pavement. It's been 6 days of massive bruises ranging from a vibrant purple bordering on black to a yellow tinged with what almost looks magenta at times. Hematomas and contusions. Swelling that moves day to day, almost hour to hour. A knee and wrist that wouldn't bend. Pain shooting down my leg and up my arm when I brushed past something or tried to move in way my body wasn't ready for. I've iced like mad, lived on advil, and actually even took it easy at times, which is something I rarely do.

And through all that, I'm grateful. Grateful in a way that's hard to explain. Grateful that it wasn't worse. And grateful for my body. For healing. For the miracle that I could be banged up like this and 6 days later I'm contemplating going back to yoga. Stupidly. I'm not ready yet. But, I will be soon. My body, at 46, is handling this. I will walk up stairs and hoist bags of laundry over my sore shoulder and twist my body into ridiculous positions. Soon.

I will get back on my bike and fly down the west side again.

And I will appreciate it all the more knowing how easily I could have lost that ability.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

out of my control

At this moment, at this very moment, RIGHT NOW, my blood is boiling and I don't know why. The person in my life who must not be named has decided on an alternate spelling of their nickname.

It's infuriating. Frustrating. PISSING ME OFF.

And I don't know why.

It's not my name. Not my nickname. Not my decision.

And yet, I'm stuck in concrete on this one and can't let go of me being right. To the point where I'm being mean about it and that's a horrible thing to do.

Maybe it's because someone is growing up fast, too fast it seems, and what I think/say/feel is becoming less and less important. Maybe that scares me. Maybe that's making me sad. Maybe it's breaking my heart more than a little bit.

I gave in.

I said I was wrong and that TOWMNBN (I have to find a better way of abbreviating) could do anything they wanted to. Their decision, not mine.

In the end, the spelling stayed the same. But I learned a lesson, one that I'm hoping I remember in those moments I need to.

I have to let go if I want to stay.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Falling through the cracks

I'm sitting in waiting room, hoping it won't be too much longer until I see someone about my knee. I spoke to him at 7:15 this morning. Sent text messages with pictures of my knee over the past few days. Got info and updates from him on facebook. Now that's not typical and I'm blown away by the ease of access at a time when I'm scared and in pain.

I am grateful. Not just for that but because I knew who to call. I have insurance to pay for it. I have a family to walk the dog, get me ice, hold me when I cry, to worry about me an take care of me. I have friends who pushed me to see someone, who are there for whatever I need.

I am grateful. Blessed. Appreciative. Lucky.

Not everyone is.

I know people falling through the cracks. No insurance. No job. No family to fall back on. I can't begin to imagine holding it together, and I hold a lot together, without the knowledge that I'm not alone.

Thank you all. To the wonderful people in my life. You fill my heart.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


My brother's into his third week of dialysis. My sister was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Lifelong things they will always be grappling with.

I fell off my bike. Not in the same league. Not in the least bit comparable. I'm thinking it'll take some time but I should totally heal. And yet, I'm unnerved. Thrown off. Facing, in a very small way, my body not handling things all that well. I can't climb down stairs. I can't bend my left leg. I can't put any pressure on my palm. I'm sporting vibrant purple bruises that mirror pieces of my bike. I ache.

All over.

And not just my body.

My mind is shaken up. How does one cope with, handle, accept, live with a body that isn't living up to what you think it should? The jolts of pain are constant reminders that all is not right, that my muscles, my joints, my bones are in distress.

That my body, my home, is fragile. Can be broken in a moment. That no matter what my intellectual self thinks, my physical self is beyond my control in many ways.

I'm both grateful for my health and frozen with fear at how quickly things can change.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

emotional vs physical pain

Today I was all set to write about pain. The emotional pain I've been going through. And about how suffering through that seems to have gotten my creativity jump-started. It's been longer than I can remember since I've felt the need/urge/drive to make something happen but here I am. After a hellish week of frustration and disappointment, rejection (real or imagined), opening my eyes and taking a realistic view of reality, I want to write. I'm exploring ideas. I'm moving in directions I haven't tackled yet. Fiction. Movies. Producing. Who knows if any of them will become an actuality, but at least thoughts are springing into my imagination, looking for ways out.

That was what I was going to explore. How sometimes, for me anyway, the road to creativity is pain.

And then I got bitten by something small and sharp and very painful. Standing in front of Jack's school today, I felt a sting on the side of my left hand and saw something that looked like a mini burr off a cactus. I quickly yanked it out but the pain stayed. And grew. The heel of my hand started to swell, turning puffy white, then red. The spot I'd pulled the sharp bit from was tender to the whisper of a touch.

Panicking as I'm sometimes prone to do, I wondered if I'd have a severe allergic reaction, and I waited for my throat to close off or my arm to go numb. Of course I then started slightly coughing and couldn't feel the tips of some fingers but I think that was just a touch of power suggestive thinking. I went home, popped some Benadryl, and went out for a long bike ride.

We took it slow today, riding only to 125th Street and stopping for awhile to chat. And then, on the way home, passing the monstrous cruise ships docked in the 50s, I fell.


Really hard.

I remember losing control of my front wheel, it skidding a bit to one side. I was on bricks and then must have caught a rock or a crack. I remember seeing my hands grip the handlebars tightly as I flew over them. My glasses flying, in slow motion, off my face. My left knee hitting the pavement with all my weight behind it and then both hands smashing down as my face was no more than an inch from the ground. I remember someone running over to see if I was ok, if my face was ok.

I remember thinking what if I needed an ambulance. What if something was broken. How would I get home. I remember thinking physical pain is almost easier than psychological pain for me. At least it was finite, it wouldn't last forever, my hands and leg would heel and I'd move on.

But, I was ok. Shaky. Shaken. Nothing broken. No real bleeding. I stoically got ready to hop back on my bike and promptly got so dizzy I had to sit by the side of the path. And then we rode slowly home.

My left wrist is aching. My knee is swollen and throbbing. The moment I put an ice pack on it, tears flowed at the pain. I can't quite straighten my leg yet. Gravel is imbedded in my palm.

It could have been worse.

And I'm noticing physical pain isn't stirring creativity. It just makes me want to curl up and take a nap.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How we heal ourselves

Yesterday, after a heartfelt blog post during an angst filled day, someone here called me out. Anonymously, although I'm pretty sure I know who the writer was. You can read the full slam - it was my first comment yesterday, but I can easilysum it up as they said I should stop blogging about my struggles and invest time and money in a good therapist.


Many came to my defense. And now its time to come to my defense.

Writing is my therapy. It is time spent exploring, pondering, thinking, analyzing. Wondering. Challenging myself to figure out what's going on inside. Sometimes I have flashes of insight that change my trajectory. Sometimes I'm lost and can do nothing but whine.

I keep showing up though. I keep stretching. I know I have stuff, Listen, I know my stuff well. My stuff and I have co-existed for as long as I can remember. Self-doubt, insecurity, anxiety. I don't want to call them friends but they're always with me. Putting myself in situations I can only get hurt in? Old hat. Establishing and sticking with relationships that only cause me pain? It's what I do. But, Im getting better at counter-balancing. At putting myself in situations that are gratifying. That help other people.

That take me out of my head.

When I'm flowing, working, helping, communicating, I'm good. Great. Who I can be.

Who I am when I'm not in self-destructive mood.

Now it's my job to be there more and more, and how to figure out ways to let go of negative tendencies that run deep. There's comfort in that familiar pain. Awareness is my first step. Writing about it helps it become more concrete.

If only anonymous was reading this (they mentioned they'd never read my blog again), perhaps they'd learn something.

Writing is powerful therapy. Insight is a way in.

Exploration is growth. Most of the time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a crack in the illusion

Periodically I find myself in new friend bliss. I connect with another person and boom—a beautiful relationship is born. There's that initial excitement, thrill, appreciation, discovery. I excel at creating bubbles around these burgeoning friendships, both to protect them from fraying as well as having that shiny sheen keep reality at bay.

But, that's impossible.

Cracks always appear in the illusion. And there I am with duct tape, band aids, super glue, desperately patching things, trying as hard as I can to keep it all together. To keep that fantasy alive.

To not acknowledge what's really going on right in front of me.

I tend to be drawn to people who've suffered greatly, people I'm sure that I can help, fix, rehabilitate, save. There was the contractor who spent the thousands of dollars I'd paid over months to build cabinets in my living room on crack. That explained the frequent disappearances, sleeping on my floor in the middle of the afternoon, the manic energy and desperate crashes. The trainer I'd gotten legal help for who blew his entire settlement on who knows what but but never bothered paying back all the people, including me, who'd helped him through a nasty car accident and difficult recovery. The media guru who only wanted to help me grow to the next level and then disappeared, quickly, when I didn't end up famous. The music teacher I designed countless logos and flyers for, recommended to friends, found song writing gigs for, whose self-destructive tendencies were insurmountable. The well renowned illustrator I listened to, supporting enthusiastically, for hours (and hours and hours), who permanently blew me off when I got a Barnes and Noble book signing and he hadn't had one yet.

And yet, I don't give up.

I can't give up.

I'm compelled, driven, obsessed about making these relationship work.

Because, if I stand back and see what's really going on I'd have to face who these people really are. And who I really am.

Why can't I revel in the love and security I have in my life? I am blessed, truly. I've been married for 22 years to an amazing man I'm still happy to see every day. We have two remarkable kids who've saved me from my self-destructive tendencies, who challenge me and keep me grounded in the here and now. A puppy who is karmic joy. A perfectly lovely apartment in the west village. My parents are alive and I know that they're there for me no matter what. The same goes for my brother and sister. I have friends who are smart, funny, talented, creative. A yoga practice that is my home away from home. I just discovered how much I love to fly down the highway on my bike.

I get to write books. I've had experiences I'd never dreamed of. I've learned, and stretched, and discovered and I'm on the verge of new things I've never done before.

And still, I seek out these destructive situations that break my heart. Cause such pain.

Make me feel like such a loser.

I let these people color who I am. Turn my life from very full to arid empty. I search endlessly for that last drop of water that gives me hope all will be ok in the end but it never is.

Then I lie on my bathroom floor and sob. Distraught that I couldn't make things better. That someone's life is still spiraling out of control and there's nothing I can do.

One day I'm hoping I can know, from the deepest parts of who I am, that I can't fix anyone else. And perhaps, instead of sending all that energy outward, I could nurture myself with it.

I can't begin to imagine what I could accomplish if I could channel this destructive energy in a different way. I suppose though, even being able to see this much might keep me from finding myself here again.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Someone in my house hates bagels. HATES. Just the suggestion of a bagel, which I find a remarkably innocuous myself, sends someone into a disgusted frenzy.

Nothing in the bagel shop is edible. Not cinnamon raisin, not salt, not sesame seed. Not even worth walking through the door as just the idea of a bagel can be so repellent.

And then 2 days ago this person discovered that bagels aren't poisonous. In fact, they're not so bad. In more fact this child of mine's consumed 4 plain buttered bagels since yesterday. Delightedly I must add.

Sometimes I think we hold onto to things, to likes, to dislikes, to relationships, to pain for far longer than we actually need to.

I ran into an old friend on the street today who turns up at the most random, unexpected times. No one else I know pops up this way. And this person, boom, is suddenly standing in front of me, out of the blue. Today I realized he showed up to remind me I'm holding on to something that I should've let go of a long time ago. Something I don't need anymore. Something I've outgrown only I hadn't realized it yet. It's like the mystery person at my house discovered the long standing bagel hate was a thing of the past.

I need to let go too.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Inevitable change

Yes I know change is inevitable. Yes I know that relationships shift, people grow apart, that nothing lasts forever.

I "know" that.

But I hate that.

I hate that what's so important to me now, what means so much, what fills me up and gives me hope, won't always. That relationships so profound, so deep, so meaningful, important, formative, ones that way down deep in my soul I knew were forever, aren't.

I'm losing one now. There's nothing I can do as this person moves on, not needing me anymore.

I could easily never speak to them again. We could have had our last conversation, last cup of coffee, last hello. To be honest, they moved on months ago and I couldn't. Wouldn't. Refused to acknowledge what was in front of me.

I ignored the truth. I made up alternate realities to explain what was going on. I wanted to believe that things didn't have to change.

That I wouldn't have to let go.

That I wouldn't ache like this. Hurt like this. Feel rejected, unimportant, not necessary anymore.

I want to believe in forever. I thought we both did.

But it was only me. You're already gone.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I'm not talking the swanky gift bags celebs get at events. I'd be happy with one of those. I'm talking that waddle, that flap, that droop of extra flesh that appears under your chin as you get older.

My greatest fear.

Ok, not really my greatest fear. That would be either cancer or mental illness. Or something tragic happening to one of my kids. Or another violent attack on NYC. Or divorce. I could go on and on here. But of cosmetic changes that come with aging, chin swag is at the top of my list.

My grandmother had a swag that was so pronounced it was literally another feature on her face. It moved independently, flapping back and forth when she talked oroved her head. I'd gently stroke the top of my neck to make sure I wasn't developing one.

(pausing to check right now)

I'm still clear. I've got wrinkles in my elbows, grey eyebrow hair, I'm breaking out, have slight sprouting on my toe knuckles - all pusical manifestations of aging I was in the dark about. But, for now, I'm swag free.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

grappling with the unexpected

I was expecting today to be unsettled. First day of school for two kids in two different schools. Two different neighborhoods. Two different start times. First time to pull it all together with a puppy. My parents arriving. Big family new year's dinner here tomorrow.

I was expecting unexpected craziness. The missing bracelet. The forgotten sunglasses. The yoyo sticker gone missing. The last minute teacher switch many were made aware of—I wasn't one of them. I'm sure there will be endless crumbs in the pull out couch I haven't dealt with yet. First day fallout.

I can handle all that. With a clenched jaw and slightly racing heart, I'm usually ok.

But today I got thrown a curveball that smacked me so hard I haven't regained my balance. Suffice it to say, someone I love is suffering, badly, and I can't help. I wish I could. I want to. But I can't.

And then, to top it all off, I got my period. A week early. Totally unexpectedly. Hard and angry. Full force from the get go. It explains why I was craving chocolate last night and why I've been bloated for no apparent reason. It was apparent to my body.



I went to yoga and my shoulder still hurts.

I have cramps that aren't mind-numbing but are uncomfortable enough to make me queasy.

In 20 minutes I'll have to slap a smile on my face and chit chat away with people I haven't seen all summer while dealing with a child who I'm sure had a miserable day. And then relatives will be here. Lots of cleaning. Organizing. More chatting and entertaining.

Another sigh.

I just want crawl in a hole and hide.

But instead, here I go.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

my day so far

It's 2:30 and I feel like this day so far has been a week.

I was in a yoga class at 7:30 this morning.

Stopped off at home and rode my bike up to Iz's school—my first day as PTA president—to drop off some fliers. It was the first time I rode my bike through monster traffic, purely as a means of transportation.

I gave an impromptu speech to the entire teaching staff and afterwards, caught up with the principal and many others.

Then it was time to find out Jack's teacher assignment. To field phone calls and messages from various people I know who are going through hard times at the moment.

There's cleaning my entire apartment so when my parents get here tomorrow it's not a train wreck.

Loads of laundry to do.

Nervous children to reassure about the coming year.

And the dog just pooped on my bed.

Excedrin—where the fuck are you?!

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's all in where you sit

My apartment is a relatively spacious 2-bedroom in NYC. For example: at the moment we have 3 bikes in the apartment which feels annoying and a bit cluttered but they don't make functioning impossible. I can host 17 people for a sit down dinner but that involves moving lots of furniture and borrowing folding tables and chairs.

My entirely not private lair is the corner of my living room where my computer resides. This is where I work, write, design, escape. It's the first place I go when I wake up in the morning, the last place I sit before I go to bed. In the middle of the usual chaos of my day I disappear there, smack in the middle of everything. My 27 inch iMac is my portal to anywhere but current reality. A laptop works too. Anything with a screen I can dive into.

But, while we were away, I didn't open my laptop once. That's unheard of for me. I found I didn't miss it. I have my phone and can be connected all the time, just in a smaller way.

I decided, when I got home, not to get sucked into corner as much. Even if I'm connected to the outside world, I'm sitting on my couch (like now), a puppy on my lap, far more in the middle of things than usual.

So far I've knit a bunch of the scarf I was supposed to be living in this summer. I watched Planet of the Apes (hated it), was far more involved with everyone than I used to be.

I'm sticking with this. My small screen and my couch. And when people complain I'm always typing away I'll remind them that I'm here, not way over there.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Anxiety Rising

That could actually be a good name for a book. Or a neurotic thriller. Meanwhile, it's the story of my day and I hate it. HATE it.

I'd tried to forget this jaw clenching feeling, being on edge, feeling like I'm watching myself and waiting for me to fall apart or at least fray at the edges.

Now that I know what it's like to not be this way I don't want to go back.

But, here I am.

Could be the transition from 2 lazy weeks at the beach filled with space and quiet, empty stretches of no people, no obligations, no expectations to the insanity of the west village overwhelmed with throngs of visitors making sidewalks impassable was too extreme.

Could be that back to school rush. Two kids in two different schools plus my first year as PTA president. I don't know what I'm doing. We're starting from scratch. Turns out I'm the speaker for what we want to do and I don't want to screw up.

Could be that my parents are coming this week and sleeping on my couch because we're hosting the holidays. I have to cook for everyone, do monstrous cleaning, all during the first week of school.

Could be medical stuff people I know are struggling with. Life stuff I know people are struggling with. Apartment stuff. Job stuff. Relationship stuff. And while I desperately wish I could help, I can't.


I'm petrified I'm going to fall over the edge again. I'm terrified the meds aren't working anymore. I'm afraid I'll plunge back into that lost place where I was afraid to move to feel to think.

I hate this part of me. I don't care if it's where creativity or drive comes from. Nothing's worth feeling this way.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Way to End a Summer

For the past 10 years we've been spending a week in Ocean City, down on the Jersey shore. It's a slice of retro - Hoy's 5&10 across the street, Dot's Pastry with monkey bread and cheese pie and pretzel donuts a block in the other direction, family owned stores
and restaurants, after dinner ice cream walks.

Every summer is different. As the kids get older interests change but the staples never do: beach and boardwalk. This was the summer of boogie boarding, of waiting for that perfect wave, of riding from far out until sand and shells scratched my belly as I steered through observers more towards shore. Of the joy in watching as Iz or Jack hit that right moment and sped across the ocean. Of spending hours in the morning or waiting for later in the day. And the luxury of walking in the sand with the rising sum reflected on the water or a glowing sunset turning the sky vibrant shades of purple and orange behind the illuminated ferris wheel.

This was the summer of go karts. Of Iz's face gleeful as she careened around curves. Of yoyos, which Jack discovered at Air Circus that led to hours and days of practicing, with countless bandaids applied. Of Mack & Manco's pizza, Jilly's french fries, cotton candy, fudge and salt water taffy and a Kohr's Brothers custard cone here and there - I suspended my sugar free status twice for a chocolate peanut twist dipped in more chocolate. This summer was mini golf and motocross at the arcade, skee ball and guitar hero. One carousel turn and a go at bumper cars was it for rides.

This was also the summer of biking. I rode almost every day, the air cool with a crisp edge, other days so humid I was dripping with sweat before I got to the end of the block, still others so windy my legs burned trying to get home. I rode along ocean front houses gleaming white in the sun, glimpses of sand and dunes as I passed every corner. Or I rode along the boardwalk, wheels clicking against the wooden slats, the ocean steps away. I rode over bridges and causeways, over endless marshes glistening in the sun. I rode before an impending hurricane, the sky dull and dark grey, scattered raindrops falling most of the trip.

It was the summer of perfect corn, of tomatoes so juicy they must have just been picked, of delicious salads. Of Uncle Bill's Pancake House and Randazzo's and more pizza than one would think possible.

This was the first summer we spent 2 weeks here. Every year, as we left, we'd wish we had more time.

This year we had time.

It was the summer of beading and knitting. Reading. Napping. Wandering around town. Not minding rainy days because we knew we didn't have to rush home soon. Of playing with the puppy, who love love loved digging in the sand. Of all of us lounging on my bed, scratching Gracie's belly in lovefest moments.

It was the summer of sitting.

Of quietly reveling in being with my family.

It was the summer of comfort. Of gratitude.

Of being.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The end of mellow

It's amazing how the impending end of a vacation looms over the final days. Last trip to town. Last boardwalk. Last boogie board ride. And all the things somehow we didn't get to in spite of being away for an extra week.

Endings are hard.

It's hard to let go.

Hard not to miss, not to have regrets, not to wish things ha been different, better, easier. No matter how wonderful something's been, as it ends, it's hard not to wonder what if.

What if.

I'm trying not to go there this time.