Something of a crossroads

When we last spoke (I know, I know; we don’t really speak so much as I type and sometimes you comment, but “when we last spoke” feels more mellifluous than “the last time I bothered to post something”), nearly a week ago, I was a few days in to the latest Germfest, which continued to permeate every corner of our family and house at an alarming rate. Yesterday I still felt like my death might be imminent, but I dragged myself around the house Cleaning Everything (again!) and washing sheets and opening doors (it was a beautiful day, not that it matters when you’re busy trying not to die) and praying for a general restoration of health here at Casa Mir.

At the same time I was having myself a jolly little existential crisis about work and life and my children and my marriage—when I have a crisis, I like to do it up, after all—and thus have I arrived at this particular Monday morning: tired, still sick, about five pounds lighter than I was last week, and panicked about… pretty much everything.

Here let us pause while I assure you that everything is fine. Mostly. Kind of. As my father loves to remind me, my life is never boring. And our challenges often feel unsurmountable, sure, but in the grand scheme of what is truly bearable in a life, I should not complain. I know this.

When I first started writing here, almost 10 years ago, I had little kids and no job and, at least it felt at the time, tons of stories to tell. Although I knew from the outset that I was bound to shield my children in various ways—no real names, no pictures—that whole my story vs. their stories thing was a lot easier back then. It’s gotten trickier through the years, and I don’t know if I’ve always gotten it right, though I try my best. Everyone’s lives overlap, y’know? I neither buy the Privacy Police’s scolding that as writers we can never discuss other people nor the “MY STORY IS UP TO ME” chest-beating of those who disregard everyone else in their personal orbits. For me, there’s a truth somewhere in the middle, but I feel like lately I’m having trouble finding it.

So I’ve been writing less, and I’m unhappy about writing less, in large part because I’m unsure if I’m doing “the right thing” or “copping out.” Maybe it’s a little of both.

I’ve also been writing less because I’ve had less time for it overall, and while as a general rule I want to punch myself in the face any time I’m tempted to say I’m ZOMG SO BUSY (because, honestly, who isn’t? busy is hardly a unique affliction), a lot has changed for my family in the last couple of years in general and in the last few months in particular. The end result is that more and more of my time is occupied, and I’m coming to a place where I need to be more intentional about how I allocate myself, and I’m struggling with that.

In the plus column: Part of the busy busy busy is an unexpected boon of freelance work, which is good because WORK = $$$ and also because WORK = GOOD FEELS at a time when I have put a lot of career stuff on the back burner to tend to other life things for a long time. I do not feel one iota of regret over shelving work to take care of those other things, mind you, but as someone who derives a fair amount of self-image, self-esteem, whatever, from being a productive member of society through doing worky-stuffs, I have come to realize that working is important to me in a lot of ways beyond just receiving a paycheck. (Yeah, most people knew that about themselves already, but I am a slow learner.)

In the question mark column: One of my newest gigs is something that could actually become a full-time regular-person job, and as someone who has happily pieced together a freelance life for 8+ years, I am both tempted and terrified by the prospect of returning to that life. I love freelancing. I love knowing that when one job reaches its natural conclusion or a client runs out of money that I still have work. I love the flexibility. I love that I always get to do new things. On the other hand, I love this new gig and this client and there’s plenty of things I’ve given up by not having a “regular” job, and I am so, so tempted. So I’m wrestling with whether this is something I want, and if it is, if it’s something that can even work within the current demands on my time.

In the… let’s not call it minus, but let’s call it “continuing challenge” column: Regardless of their relative anonymity, the same things that make my children’s lives more difficult to discuss these days are the very same things that end up occupying an inordinate proportion of my available time, and make for greater silence here AND less time to devote to whatever work I need to be doing. The reality of this life is that I have two teenagers I love and adore beyond all reason, and they both just happen to have a passel of special needs, and as such, they have a lot more appointments and other time-taking requirements than “regular” kids their ages. I could be upset about that, I guess. Sometimes I am—there are those moments when I’m scrolling through Facebook or whatever, and my friends with kids the same ages are joking about being taxi services or not having seen their kids for days and I feel a stab of jealousy or sadness (or both, because I can multitask like that) because the bottom line is that this is not the life I pictured, for any of us. Some days it is really hard and feels like a thankless slog and I am frustrated and sad and find myself wishing for five minutes to myself or to have a single night’s sleep that isn’t postponed or interrupted by relentless worry about what the future may hold.

And yes, at the same time, I know we are relatively lucky, which makes the hard stuff even harder, in a weird way. Invisible disabilities bring their own special set of challenges to the table, but (at least for me) the hardest part is this pervasive dismissal by others of what cannot easily be seen. It can be very isolating. That’s part of why I’ve written about it over the years, because it’s helped me find other folks who understand, and maybe even helped those who aren’t experiencing similar things develop a bit of empathy.

But at a certain point, I hesitate to say “hey, something awful happened to Monkey at school.” Part of it is because I fought tooth and nail to put him in the school situation he’s now in, and I feel guilty, even though what happened is not my fault (not directly, anyway). Part of it is because I don’t want the school to feel like I’m trashing them publicly, even though I’m unhappy with how it was handled and again, relative anonymity, blah blah blah. And I want us to move on and I don’t want to dwell on it and I am just profoundly saddened that as a parent I have to figure out how to balance my child’s social-emotional and educational needs against his safety and try to make a judgment call about what is acceptable risk. I don’t know that I’ll ever wrap my brain around it, fully.

And at a certain point, I came to realize (if not accept) that what we’d been treating for years as “a series of crises” when it came Chickadee’s needs is just… the way it’s going to be for a while. The nature of her issues is cyclical. There is no point at which we all get to dust off our hands and say, “Well, that’s sorted.” Everyone involved (including her) hopefully reaches a point where life is more manageable and the cycles are more predictable and less severe, but for the foreseeable future, this is our life. Or, to be accurate, this is her life and we have to support her as best we can without letting it take over the lives of everyone else in our household. That can feel really hopeless and depressing, if I let it, or it can feel like a small price to pay to share this planet with an amazing person who just happens to have a bigger and spikier load of baggage than feels even remotely fair. I aim for the latter attitude, of course, but that’s a hard thing to talk about, too. (P.S. FUN FACT: In a situation such as this, realizing that you have just over two years left to situate such a human for independent living OR, alternatively, that the “accepted schedule” of life needs a big adjustment is a giant WHAP in the face, every day, to all involved. Trust me on this one.)

In the midst of all of that, Otto and I pay lip service to giving our marriage the time and attention it deserves. We are fine—he remains, ranking even higher than the dogs (whether he believes it or not), one of my tenuous anchors to sanity—but our relationship deserves a lot more nurturing than life seems to allow right now. There are never enough hours in the day, never a time when “romantic” seems to take precedence over “practical,” and that can’t go on forever, either. We both know it, we’re both committed to carving out that mystical Time For Us, and yet… it’s just hard. Life gets in the way, when the US part of things should be more of an integral part of that life.

So (1600 words later) in summary:
* Life is hard (duh).
* I have some work decisions to make.
* My life feels out of balance and I’m struggling to fix that.
* Writing about it often feels difficult.
* Not writing about it often feels difficult.

This space suffers, because of all of the above.

I’m not quite ready to ride off into the sunset, or anything, but this is my attempt at the blog equivalent of a GONE FISHIN’ sign, I guess. Except that my sign says GONE OVERWHELMED, the overall message is the same: I’m away for a bit, trying to reset and figure some stuff out. Not that this hasn’t been obvious for the last however long, anyway, but I guess I figured it was time to say so.

By way of apology, I offer you this picture of my ridiculous dogs adopting their traditional positions here in my office.

Licorice likes to hide underneath in her “cave,” there, and Duncan prefers to curl up on the futon, itself. Instant doggie bunk!


  1. AlisonC

    Love and best wishes to you all. I hope that you do find time to write again at some stage but either way I hope things get more manageable for you.

  2. Mandy

    Damn, I’m the first. I was hoping someone far more eloquent than I would scoop here with words of wisdom and support, and I could be all, “Oh I agree with Brilliant!” But no.

    So, this post makes me feel all the sads. I hope for nothing but the best for you and your family, and I will be waiting patiently for you to return.

    Hugs from Polar-Vortex-Ville.

    • Mir

      Oh, you know, I’ll still write… I’m not sure I know how not to, at this point… but I’ve felt like I’ve been writing less and less and it just deserved some explanation. And who knows, maybe everything will resolve neatly and I’ll get back to daily blogging! (HAHAHA! Little joke, there.)

  3. HG

    Love to you and your family, Mir. It all sounds totally overwhelming yet potentially awesome (I’m a fan of office after freelance). I think that your “Gone Fishing” sign is perfect. I’ll be here when you get back.

  4. JennyA

    Internet-hugs from one of the (relatively) silent army of well-wishers out here in Mir’s Blog Comments Land.

    (Also, much yes to this: “…the hardest part is this pervasive dismissal by others of what cannot easily be seen. It can be very isolating.” Yet again, you have articulated a feeling that’s been bubbling around in my head for a while this winter. I’ve been battling conflicting urges of “SEE ME AND UNDERSTAND” vs. “LEAVE ME ALONE, HIBERNATING” and… let’s just say I’m ready for spring.)

  5. Stacy

    I really don’t know what to say. I’ve been reading your for nine (?) years, and even though that means I feel like I know you, I don’t. So I will be pulling for you and praying for you and sending happy thoughts your way. I will still check here everyday, hoping that you have updated, but understanding when you don’t. I hope that things become clear, but I know that life isn’t usually that easy. From what I’ve read, you’re a great mom with wonderful, unique kids. And you’re pretty and sparkly.

    • Anne

      What Stacy said, ditto.

  6. Niki

    Love to you guys, and especially to you – as moms we take it all on and hurt for everyone! i understand all too well the invisible, cyclical issues, and sent my youngest with all of her baggage (and then some) off to college 6 hours away this year. It has been really hard, but good for both of us, but it’s really hard not having that day-to-day contact that can sometimes stave off a situation before it melts down. Know that you’re not the only one, and that you can only do what you can only do – the idea that we as moms can have it all (perfect kids, rewarding career, marriage, sparkling home – you get the drift) is cruel in my mind. Sure, we can have a lot, but we will work oh so hard for what we get, and in the end, it’s often not perfect or even what we wanted.

    All that to say (throwing in a quote from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel): Everything will be all right in the end. And if it’s not all right, it’s not yet the end. Hugs!

  7. RuthWells

    You take the space you need. We are all here for you, whenever you need us. {{{{Mir}}}}

  8. Rachel

    Hugs to you, that is all.

  9. Angela Stone

    I agree with the two ladies before me. Love and best wishes. I get bits of the crazy and do my own form of denial and avoidance. Good luck getting things balanced and manageable. We’re rooting for you.

  10. Sharon

    I am glad you feel you can write about this here because I, one among many I’m sure, care about how you and yours are making your way through life. On the other hand, there’s always that isn’t there, I was afraid that this is what was happening. I want things to be okay for you, and for me too, but I don’t know how to make any of that happen. I woke up this morning with a song in my head: You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime you might find you get what you need. I wish for you safety and health and a feeling of ease as decisions are made and life carries on ~

  11. Nelson's Mama

    Sending love, good karma, positive vibes and best wishes to you, my friend. :)

  12. The Other Leanne

    How long ago was it that Woulda was Yahoo’s Pick of the Day? That’s how long I’ve been coming here, day in, day out. Your children were little, now they are not. You were unemployed/underemployed, unmarried. Life changes, go with it. “It’s complicated” describes relationships, life, work, most everything if you are a thinking, feeling human being. Many, many times I’ve been touch by your stories here; occasionally I’ve rolled my eyes. Once in awhile you’ve been so kind as to respond to my comments or questions by email. You’ve let me give you advice. There have been times when you’ve taken a break and I’ve missed you. I will miss you again. Do what you’ve got to do, and do it the best you can.
    Keep in touch, Mir.

  13. MomQueenBee

    You know that thing you’re doing with your family, where you’re trying to meet their needs and still hold your head above water? Well, as part of your family, it’s our turn to hold you up and let you tread water for just a bit. And the way we do that is by thinking good thoughts and praying for you, NOT by demanding you write every day. Good thoughts and prayers from here.

  14. Jean

    First, I love you. I know that sounds very stalker-ish but I admire you and think you are an amazing writer, person, mother etc. You write the feelings I have every day but lack the eloquence to say. At some point, the right decision will come to you about the job situation, it just will. Whether you see it or not, you have the right grip on Chickadee, the right perspective, even though it is lonely and scary. As a parent to a child with “invisible disabilities” (I love that and will use it from now on) I get the constant worry, the constant stress about it. My husband is my rock as well, and I don’t devote enough time to him and our relationship either, but I will figure it out.

    My only comment, and maybe I just honed in on the one thing, is to me, you can never do too much to ensure your child’s safety. If his safety is at risk, raise every type of hell you can at the school, take it to whatever level it needs to go to, but do not be afraid to rattle cages. So whatever you did or are going to do, never ever question it.

    You are amazing, please never stop writing here. You give me hope and strength each day. I gain much knowledge here, as I feel like sometimes parts of what you are managing are my life 2-3 years from now.

    • Mir

      I agree with you, of course, and we’re doing what we feel is right. It’s unfortunately a complicated issue as our high school contains a very diverse student body and the combination of “kid who doesn’t read social cues well” with “kids who have nothing to lose” is not ideal. Sigh.

  15. Franny

    Much love to you all, I am sad to see that ya’ll are still having a rough go around and keep hoping that THIS will be your year. In the mean time: (Just Keep Swimming)

  16. abbeyviolet

    I’m one of those “doesn’t comment much” types, but want you to know that I’m here listening, loving, and supporting even without much notion of what you’re going through. I admire you, your family, and your writing. I’m pulling for you and praying for you and just hoping, I guess. (I also ramble a lot). Meanwhile, Know we’ll still be here waiting and wanting to help if we can. Even if it is just to say. It is OK. We love you and you’re pretty.

  17. Carrie

    No Mir, this space is not “suffering”. You give it what you can, and what it is is a wonderful, thoughtful, funny blog and I’ll take whatever and whenever you add. As I tell myself, just keep swimming….. Thank you for putting yourself out there, it makes me feel so much less alone.

  18. Eliza Beth

    Totally understand and agree with your decision, and will miss you until you decide to come back.
    You’re going through A LOT, and IT’S HARD, and anybody would feel overwhelmed and torn in different directions with all the accompanying stressors.

    Empathy, ((hugs)) and ((more hugs)).

  19. Wellwisher

    I’m so sorry that things are hard Mir – keep your chin up and somehow, it will all pass.

  20. Andrea

    It DOES feel like a really hard and thankless slog, sometimes. I hope that your slog gets a little less hard and little more rewarding soon. Thanks for being honest and making me feel like I’m not the only one with an amazing kid whose future fills me with terror. Hoping & praying for the best for you all.

  21. Lily

    I hope everything gets better for you and your family soon. This past weekend, I participated in a 5K run to support autism awareness and research. I decided to participate due to your blog. I don’t know anyone personally that is affected by autism but your blog has opened my eyes to the struggles of autism and has allowed me to empathize and help whenever I can.

  22. erma

    Many many hugs to you. Don’t worry about not writing. We’re here for you regardless.

  23. Mel

    Your family comes first. You get one shot at mothering since they tend to grow up, one way or the other. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, and we are all rooting for you.

  24. el-e-e

    We’ll miss you for a while but we’ll survive. Take all the time you and your incredible family need.

  25. Jabberwocky

    You are very pretty and I am sending you lots of hugs (and wine!)

  26. Aimee

    As someone who’s blogged once or twice in the past two months and not offered ANY explanation, I appreciate the explanation and am now thinking of putting one of my own up.;) Life has its way with us, doesn’t it? I’m grateful for any of your writing that I get to read, and I love you whether you blog or not. xo

  27. Angela

    Ah. Sorry to hear about all that. I went to public school in a low-income neighborhood in Houston and I’m all too familiar with that particular combination, as more than half of the students probably had nothing to lose. I’ve seen several on the news in orange jumpsuits since then. Being a female may change the dynamics some, but as a whole I’d say that looking back, my parents should have removed me from that school ASAP. Instead I went through 3 years of dealing with crap (or rather, crappy people and an administration who WOULD NOT do anything about it). ANYhoo….if you end up having time and want to write about something, we love the doggies!! Always write about the doggies, and post pics! :-)

  28. Brigitte

    I figured the break was due to various crises, and just hoped y’all were still alive (you are!). I feel that your first responsibility is to yourself and your family. Yes, I miss it when you don’t write, but it’s not your job to keep us invisible e-people entertained. I’ll just treasure the rarer posts all the more. And maybe just post a doggie picture every few weeks, we’ll know you’re still surviving. :-)

  29. Otto

    For a moment I was afraid I’d missed an important conversation and that my lovely wife was shutting this down. She can’t – how am I supposed to know what’s happening in my life if I can’t read about it on the internet?

    Thankfully, she’s not, so I know our life will go on … and be properly documented.


    • Mir

      Sheesh. It’s a good thing you’re cute. :P

      • Arleen

        You guys are awesome!

  30. Stephanie

    Lots of big hugs, Mir.

  31. Grace

    As I sometimes do with books, I skipped to the end about midway through to make sure you’d still be here and weren’t shutting down completely. Whew. Take the time you need for you and your lovely family. We are all here, checking in (maybe two or three times a day!) so when you’re able to post we will read and comment.

    You are an inspiration to me. Thanks.

  32. Rocky Mountain Woman

    Feel better sweetie and do whatever you need to get to a better place.

    You’ll know you’re there when you get there, trust me.

    We’ll be waiting with you tucked in our readers to let us know when we can help or when you have something you need to say…



  33. karen

    I have always admired your ability to write about the highs and lows of life, the bare truth of it all, while also managing to protect your family’s privacy. You have been an inspiration to those of us out there who can relate on some level ….I am mostly deaf and my daughter has a traumatic brain injury. Invisible disabilities.. and so difficult for anyone on the outside of it to understand or find the patience to deal with. I get it, it’s not their cross, but it’s ours and sometimes that current of overwhelmingness (that’s a word from now on) can pull you under.

    By sharing your experiences, good and bad, you throw a preserver to those of us who need to know we’re not alone and it’s normal to not be normal. Thank you for the time you have given it over the years. I look forward to hearing from you now and again, when time and sanity permit. :-)

  34. Rasselas

    Continually reading about Monkey’s problems and challenges has helped me view Asperger’s syndrome and other borderline autistic problems as more valid. I had a boyfriend who was a self-diagnosed Aspie, and it often seemed like he was trying to use it as an excuse to be a jerk. Now I know that it was probably a combination of things, but without your writing, the scales would’ve tipped otherwise.

    I realize that it can’t be easy to write about your child. I glance through blogs of people who put up photos of their children’s faces, and such. Sometimes it seems like the online equivalent of that album with naked baby photos that your mother takes out to embarrass you. It must be really tough to find a balance. I’ve personally sometimes wondered whether you’ve shared too much, though entirely without judgement. I wondered how Chickie felt about her troubles being shared with so many.

    My reaction to such sharing is always respect. If someone shares something that makes them open and vulnerable, I feel that it’s my responsibility not to bring any sort of hurt or harm to that. Especially online, where I know a lot of people don’t share this attitude.

    I miss your writing, when there’s a break. At the same time, I don’t expect any kind of continual updating, it’s more of a hoped-for gem when a post happens. I’ll be looking forward to any posts you might share with us in the future.

    Be well, Mir. Be well, Otto, Monkey, Chickadee. :)

  35. Pam F.

    Jim and I are escaping to Virginia for a long weekend in April. You should meet us there. Really.

  36. c

    you are my first blog… and i’ve loved your writing for years and will miss you. let’s hope it all gets to a new, better normal, :P

  37. My Kids Mom

    We, your Loyal Readers, solemnly vow to wait for you to return, however long it takes.

  38. Headless Mom

    Life happens, whether we blog about it or not. I know that you all will get to where you’re supposed to be going. And knowing you, Otto, Chickie and Monkey you will do it with grace, style and laughter. Take the time you need. The words will return when it’s time.

  39. js

    Ah, this sucks. On so many levels. I remember finding this blog, after you made an appearance on the Today show and thinking I should check it out. So I did and much like everyone else commenting, I was caught. You put it all out there and that was so refreshing. There was so much love for your kids, it leaped off the page. I suffered with you and cried with you, though we’ve never met. That’s how good your writing is, that’s how much your stories resonate with people. You made me feel better, helped me take time out of my own sad stories and think about someone else. Your comments and emails to me were very much taken to heart. I’m glad your not riding off into the sunset, but wouldn’t expect anything less of you than to focus on your marriage, family, etc. So I just wanna say thank you, for sometimes making my day a little brighter. For helping so many internet strangers with just a little glimpse into your life. Good luck to you and your loved ones. I’ll still be checking in, waiting to see what happens next ;-)

  40. Jennifer Joyner

    Well, I’m not going to pretend I haven’t missed you—-I have, and do. But those who have read you for years know that you’re going to do what you need to do, and we fully support that–it’s what makes your story so compelling. So I’ll be here waiting patiently to read whatever you want to tell, whenever you have the time to tell it. And I’ll be rooting for you and you family the whole way.

  41. Kristen

    Just a note of appreciation for all you have done to shed light on the invisible struggles that so many of us share. I think of it as your super-power: shining a bright, healing, empathetic light. But perhaps becoming temporarily invisible, when necessary, is also a good super-power to have. Love to your family. – Kristen-in-WI

  42. Brooke

    Fill the empty days with doggie pictures. :)

  43. Jan in Norman OK

    Sweetie, you don’t owe us diddly-squat. Take care of yourself first. (You know how the flight attendant always tells to you adjust your own oxygen mask before you help your kids? There’s a reason for that. Or, to put it another way, if Mama ain’t healthy; ain’t nobody healthy.)

  44. TC

    First, smooches to you. You’re awesome, and you know it, and you’ll write when you’re ready to, and even though we all are DYING to hear ALL THE DETAILS because we care and we empathize and we learn from you (OK, I do. It’s all about me and my needs!), we will survive until and unless you’re ready to share, in whatever form that takes.

    Second, don’t take a full-time job. It’s not right for you. (Says the woman with the full-time job. Who loves her job and loves working in an office, but would definitely not do this if not doing this was even a vague option. And since I clearly identify so much with you, if I don’t think taking a job would be right for you, it must not be right for you. What? Why are you looking at me with that scared face? Why do you have a restraining order in your hand…? ;-) )

  45. KarenNM

    I want to second all the wonderful things others have said, because I probably can’t be that eloquent myself. Your writing has helped me in so many ways through the years, and I look forward to whatever this continues to be! I came to a similar realization recently – after 20+ months of thinking “I just need to get through this crazy patch,” I finally had the light come on – maybe this is what my new normal looks like! Some of it is good, lots of it is hard, but it’s what I have to push through. I love those that quote Dory “just keep swimming,” though I often go to Tim Gunn “make it work!” Love and hugs and good thoughts to your family from ours!

  46. Jessica (the celt)

    I’m glad Otto did a double-take in the middle and had a “wait, no!” moment, too. ;) I’ve been reading your blog almost as long as I’ve known my husband. You were one of the first five blogs I ever started reading regularly, and I KNOW you’re one of the only ones from way back then that I still read. (I read a lot of blogs via my feeds, but you’re the only one I’m willing to click over out of the reader to read regularly. I also hack the down the amount in my feed by culling blogs pretty often, just so I don’t go crazy trying to keep up with things.) All of that said, you have a life to live, and we all understand when that life can’t feed the blog and instead needs to be lived offline. You taking care of you and you taking care of your family are more important than making sure we get a daily bit of your life. Heck, I know many of us wouldn’t care if you posted a weekly photo of the dogs! Or a monthly one! Or a quarterly one! We’ll still be here when things calm down and you’re ready and able to focus on other external things that aren’t as important.

    We all know what’s most important in life, and that’s why we come here to read your blog: you do, too.

  47. kapgaf

    In reply to your GONE OVERWHELMED notice, I say MISSED UNDERSTOOD.
    You do not “owe” your readers anything except your usual honesty so don’t add feeling guilty to all the stuff you’re already dealing with! Positive thoughts are winging their way over the ocean (probably with a whiff of smelly French cheese and garlic sausage attached, sorry ’bout that).

  48. parodie

    I was a bit worried as posting slowed down, since in the past few years that’s meant Serious Problems, so I’m glad to hear it’s nothing like that. Good luck finding a rhythm that works for all of you. I bet this is the kind of intense period where you feel like maybe you ought to be able to do more, and then when you look back on it you’re impressed that you managed everything you did. Go Mir.

  49. Lara

    I rather wondered if that’s why you weren’t writing so much. So tricky to balance. While I would love to hear more details as your blog posts have been helpful on our journey to find our eldest’s true diagnosis (and give me hope for the future), I totally respect your kids need for privacy at this age. Keep doing what feels right for you and your family. And we will be here to read whatever scraps get sent our way ;) Good luck with all those tough decisions. Remember, rarely in life is there one right answer or decision! Hoping life settles soon for your teens into the typical ups and downs of those turbulent teen years!

  50. Mary K. in Rockport

    Yup – as parents, you long to dust off your hands, and say, “This child is finally grown up and settled” – and for a while it seems that way, and then she’s not. But before I sound too discouraging, in this go-round of “not settled” she is handling things much better and is miles more mature. So there is positive forward movement in these cyclical episodes, thank God.

  51. Sheila

    You’re pretty. (Everyone else here pretty much said everything I wanted to, and far more eloquently than I could have.)

  52. Chris

    I am so sorry for all your challenges but agree that you need to do the right thing for you (which may be writing some of the stories down just to get it off your chest but NOT posting them). With many things, I try to triage as much as possible – for example put off deciding on the full time job or see if they would consider 80% (leave room for life, extra appts etc). If not you know and it might not be right thing for now. If they say yes, then you have to decide but there is no one right answer.

    I have no interest in dogs but will also take dog antics/photos in the meantime if that is all you are up for. :) (Also still love shoe photos and random text exchanges but that is just me)

    No worries for your internets – real life come first. (And you are pretty!)

  53. Jeanie

    I wish you the very best and hope all turns out well. I love your writing and look forward to seeing a post (and pictures of the pups!) whenever you feel like blogging. Many, many good lucks to you.

  54. MM

    Oh, Mir. You’ll be missed! Keep on truckin. We’ll be here when you get back.

  55. Arnebya

    Thinking of you. And hoping you return that pilfered plastic US guhment bin before the man finds out.

  56. not supergirl

    I’m sorry you’re feeling overwhelmed. I know that I feel that way every March, no matter what, just because the season is changing. When you throw in some complications (2011, anyone? – at least for my family), it sometimes feels like a hole I’ll never escape. I think it’s great that you’re able to decide what can stay and what can go. Maybe you’ll write more for yourself instead of the blog or maybe you’ll use the time you would’ve blogged to hang with Otto or breathe or admire your pretty hair. In any case, you don’t owe us a thing. I know I’ll keep checking in, and I’m clearly not alone. I wish all the best for your family.

  57. Daisy

    Wishing you good luck and smoother roads ahead, at least for a while. I hear you, loud and clear. If we lived closer, I’d hug you. But for now, know that one of your strengths is the ability to take care of yourself when you must.

  58. Springsteen Fan

    The beauty of your blog is that there is give and take–let your readers give you the space you need as one of them so eloquently said above. Let us give you hope, support, strength and positive thoughts for this bumpy ride you’re having. Goodness knows, you, Otto and the kids have ridden out many storms, and you always end up sailing merrily along eventually. This is your journey, do it on your terms, and know that we’re rooting for you all, no matter how much or little you post and no matter what boundaries you set on what you share. Remind yourself how far you’ve come, and that, in past posts, no matter how deep the fear and despair, you all arise, stronger and more resilient, and just as good-humored as ever. Eckhardt Tolle’s The New Earth is greatly comforting to me for those times I feel I need a helping hand to get through the slog of bad stuff. Well, Eckhardt Tolle, and a big ole glass of an adult beverage.

  59. Heather

    Love you, Mir, and feel blessed to have been part of your life over the years through this here blog. You’ve enriched my life and have been a part of my education regarding mental health.
    As always, sending prayers to you and yours. If your writing decreases, temporarily or permanently, here or wherever, I’ll certainly miss it, but I also get the whole, “Do what you gotta do” thing, and support you (in my wee internetty way) in doing what’s best for you and yours. xoxo

  60. Jen

    For the last year or so I’ve been struggling with this myself, and I always came back to “somehow Mir has figured out that tenuous balance of writing about complex invisible-needs kids and privacy, so it’s possible…I think.” I know that feeling of being overwhelmed, and waiting for the other shoe to drop, and wondering how the hell you’re going to get through another day with things mostly intact. I hope you do return, and are rejuvenated when you do, because I’ve loved reading about your family and seeing how you cope with it all, with just the right amount of gallows humor.

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