Another Amazing Divorce Essay, Not Mine

Today, I’m struggling through my first cold in over a year. It’s actually somewhat of a relief. I questioned whether my immune system was in overdrive this past year, never letting me get the colds that passed through the other family members in my household. I am the only one with this cold today; I am the beginning (and hopefully the end) point.

Instead of working on my book or tinkering away at essays today, I spent most of the day holed up in bed, with a box of tissue and a glass of water, trying to keep my nasty germs confined. I read and slept; read and slept; read and slept. Then I went to do the school pickup route and after-school activity runs. Now, I’m back in bed.

I’ve been seeing lots of blue jays lately. The other day, I read this phenomenal essay by Kerry Neville. This essay is about blue jays and divorce and the need for hope in our lives. Sometimes, divorce is necessary; sometimes it is the kindest thing we can do for our children and other family members. Don’t stay in the box if the box is killing you.

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A photo of me taken the summer I turned 30; Getting a nose ring did not free me from my box.

Posted in Breaking a cycle, depression, Divorce, Divorce essay, Endings, Recommended essay | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Do Not Have Dreadlocks, or Do I?

I wrote the poem, “I Do Not Have Dreadlocks,” just before turning 40, when my youngest was still a baby. My youngest turned eight years old yesterday and I have dreadlocks now, at least sort of, kind of, maybe. Never say never.

 

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I had two wool dreadlocks woven into my hair. Shall I get more?

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Photo featuring my favorite necklace: Mjolnir (Thor’s Hammer) , a gift from my husband.

Posted in Beginnings, Dreadlocks, Dreams, Never Say Never, poem, Poetry, Woolen Dreadlocks | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Brilliant Essay (not mine) on Parenting Post-Divorce

I’ve been rather busy this month. I think I’m back at my writing desk now, for the school year.

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I have nothing to share quite yet, but will provide a link to Penny Guisinger’s brilliant essay, which captures the experience of co-parenting post divorce. Thank you Hippocampus Magazine for publishing such fine essays!

 

Posted in Co-parenting post-Divorce, Divorce, Essays, Writing with Empathy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cabin Culture

Do you have a place to go when you need to reconnect with yourself or your past self?

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Do you have a place to go when you need emotional grounding or your soul needs tethering?

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Photo credit: Scott Fettig

Do you have a place to spend your days unplugged and tuned into your family, in the present moment?

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A place to hear waves lapping against the shore and sunlight reflecting off a rippling lake?

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I had such a place, once, and this is my story about that place, which published on Topology Magazine this week.

Posted in Cabinology, Cabins, Clean Water, Endings, Grief, Lake Cabin, Lake Life, Minnesota, Nature photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Manifesting One’s Dreams

Just over 15 years ago, I got divorced. At the time, I was a perfectionist (and still in recovery today). Divorce didn’t fit into my story about perfection. To complicate matters, in high school, I’d been voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” I’d taken that silly vote as a directive: You must succeed. Plus, I held a very narrow definition of success back then (case in point: I went to law school when I wanted to get my Masters in English, focusing on creative writing). A divorce certainly didn’t sound anything like “success;” instead it reeked of failure. After the divorce, this straight-A student (although law school cured me of my straight A streak), felt like I was walking around with a huge red “F” on my shirt.

But life goes on. You eventually move on. You become kinder with yourself (and hopefully with others) and you give yourself more grace. You develop new goals, like becoming a certified yoga instructor and going back to school and getting your MFA. You begin making lists of venues where you’d like to see your work. One of those lists (written in your journal, where you are known to create many different kinds of lists) included getting published on Jennifer Pastiloff’s The Manifest-Station. (Jen happens to be both a writer hero of mine and a yogi hero!)

Woo hoo! Woo hoo!

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Profile of my daughter watching Polica at Eaux Claires Fest 2015

 

Posted in Beginnings, Bon Iver, Breastfeeding, Daughters, Divorce, Dreams, Endings, fathers, millennials, Parenting, Parenting Adult Children, Perfectionism, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dreaming of a Vintage-Postcard Fourth

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In recent years, I’ve learned there is nothing more sweetly satisfying for a mom of adult children than to have all of your kids sleeping under one roof. While my young one, my seven-year old little man, will occupy my nest for years to come, I still feel I am a partial empty-nester. My oldest–Hannah–lives in LA and is rarely home. My second oldest, Ethan, just graduated from college and lives out of the house much of the time as a house/dog sitter. Ethan’s also in training as a postal worker. His artwork doesn’t support him (yet). Ethan will be returning home early on Monday, after an 11 day dog-sitting gig, and Hannah flies in later on Monday, stopping off here en route from a trip to NYC (she managed to score a ticket for Dear Evan Hansen–I’m so jealous) to LA. It seems that this 4th of July, we’ll all be together. I have some romantic notions of croquet games (with my vintage set) on the lawn and fresh-squeezed lemonade. I’m not sure this will quite be our reality, but I’m sure there will be at least one game of Apples to Apples and my kids will be sleeping under one roof. I plan on savoring the sweetness.

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The boys playing croquet in our backyard just a few weeks back.

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It was still snowy when Hannah was last home.

Posted in Child Leaving, Daughters, Empty nest, July Fourth, millennials, Parenting Adult Children, remarriage after divorce | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Remarriage After Divorce: Wait for a Good Dad

Posted in Divorce, fathers, remarriage after divorce, step-fathers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment