The Space Between

It took two minutes for the pediatric oncologist to shatter our high. The large tumor found in my daughter was benign and we’d just begun to process our relief and decompress from many nights in the hospital. He stopped us cold. The tumor has a 50/50 chance of recurring, of showing up in other organs, and has a chance of metastisizing as malignant. She had to go through more diagnostic testing. And here I sit, mere hours away from this doctor telling us the results of the latest PET scan. The space… Read More

Cold Open

Hello, Internet. I am an average person who writes about average things. I write about head colds and depression and failed writing attempts. Sometimes I dig deep and write about parenting or the military or I really reach and write about how much I hate social media (yes, Alanis, that is irony). I hear Charlton Heston in my head yelling Internet is people!, but I’ve been disconnected of late, so rather removed from the humanity that apparently resides in my computer. I’m also old-ish, so I can only make obsolete references to… Read More

What’s Keeping Me Awake

Of late I’ve had an uncomfortable medical issue related to repeated heartburn. It’s gotten much worse and I have to go to the doctor. But not, of course, until I’ve googled myself into a full anxiety attack. It’s after midnight and I’m tossing and turning and just a little terrified – because so many roads lead to cancer and I’m 51 and I still have a teenager at home and I don’t want to die. Several years ago, I had an irregular mammogram and I had to go back for another test…. Read More

On the Verge of a Wild Irrational Gallop

Time, when it is left to itself and no definite demands are made on it, cannot be trusted to move at any recognized pace. Usually it loiters; but just when one has come to count upon its slowness, it may suddenly break into a wild irrational gallop. – Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905) We’d made the trip to a mall, because my daughter, who wants to upgrade her wardrobe for high school, wanted to visit Old Navy. This is a store I’ve never shopped at, nor had any particular desire… Read More

Anxiety Raccoons

I’ve been eating a lot of anxiety lately. Family members are in hospice. A friend is having some troubles. My child is getting ready for a big audition. The news says that the people in charge would like me to sit down and shut up and do what I’m told, and that compassion and empathy are character flaws in weak, elitist snowflakes like me. Anxiety, like guilt, is one of those garbage emotions if not quickly followed by action. Sometimes that action is a mental one, like carrying your fears to the… Read More

That Oxygen Mask: Self-Care When You Feel Like You’re Drowning

For some people, self-care is reflexive – a function of healthy esteem and respect. I am not one of those people. On a sinking ship, I’d lower the lifeboat and wait for everyone else to get in. It’s not altruism. It is that I tend to put myself low on the list of priorities. Everything and everyone else comes first. There are scenarios where this is lovely and heroic, but in most cases, it just means at some point I’m going to be drowning and I won’t understand how I got there…. Read More

The Marauder’s Map

It‘s 2am and I’m wide awake, as I have been many mornings in the last week. There is no end in sight to the destruction of the country I thought I knew. Moves are being taken in every quarter to quash protests, disenfranchise voters, eliminate safety nets, knock the legs out from under air and water safety, gift power to the already empowered. The baby, the bath water and any ethics are right out the window. The Doomsday Clock will likely click one minute closer to midnight. I keep thinking about history…. Read More

Shaken, but Stirred

I’m the overly cautious driver who slowly backs out in a parking lot. Most commercial parking lots have the functionality of a demolition derby – narrow spaces despite the ginormous size of some vehicles, blind spots, limited turning space, cart racks askew. Add to that the tank-driving, texting mentality of some license owners (you’ll move, right?) and yesterday happened for me. Backing carefully out, looking both ways, I nearly get rear-ended by a minivan rounding the corner at 30 mph. She honks loudly at me as I slam on the brakes and… Read More

We All Die and Other Lighthearted Things I Thought about While on Break

While on a digital break, I let my mind become an unwieldy toddler, waddling from one idea to another, occasionally drooling on myself.  I have a high level of anxiety these days, for no obvious reason except that I’m not ready to die. I know, I know – who among us is? Death anxiety is not a product of my middle age. Many nights throughout my life, I’ve lain in bed, unable to sleep, thinking about the randomness of some kinds of death and how I’ve lived such a tiny, conservative life…. Read More