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Everything is just fine. WEIRD.

School started up again today, and this morning was pretty much a study in the different personality types in our household.

I ran around at a frenetic pace, packing lunches and asking the same questions over and over (“Do you have…” “Did you remember…” “But what if you…”) until Chickadee told me to “stop freaking out.” (I did not, in fact, stop freaking out. I just tried to be a little less obvious.)

Monkey bounced his way through the morning, communing with the dogs acting like today was no big deal at all, like he wasn’t just heading off to high school for the first time or anything.

Chickadee dawdled and kept assuring me “I’ve got this” and responded to my four “WHY AREN’T YOU IN THE SHOWER YET??” queries with, “Why aren’t YOU in the shower?” (Answer: Because I already showered. Also, STOPPIT.)

Otto ate his cereal and read the news and observed his family spinning around him as if it’s still somewhat confusing to him, how he ended up surrounded by all of us.

In other words, it was a perfectly normal morning except then both kids went to school and Monkey was amazing and I am kind of a mess (a hopeful mess, you understand) so we are not going to talk about that. (more…)

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BRB, getting my woo-woo on

Happy New Year’s Eve day! We are planning a schedule of complete debauchery today, as you might expect from party animals such as ourselves. Why, we’re going to unload the dishwasher AND reload it! Later on tonight there might be popcorn! It’s a veritable bacchanalia at Casa Mir.

I’m not terribly sad to see 2013 go. 2012 was flat-out awful, so 2013 was definitely an improvement, don’t get me wrong. But let’s just say I hope 2014 brings further improvements. Or at least more sleep. Either way.

Today at Alpha Mom I’m sharing why I do what I do to ring in the new year. No fancy resolutions or bucket lists for me, just a few hours of letting my subconscious do some arts and crafts. It seems to work.

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Not about being able to touch your toes

Today feels bittersweet—I’ve written my last post for Feel More Better, and I can’t believe it’s been two years.

I’m a different person now than I was when I started writing there. But I still believe in their mission and think this idea of “finding your happy” may sound silly/light/fluffy, but is actually the key to everything. I’m so honored I got to be a part of it, and I know they’ll keep on spreading love, challenging stereotypes, and calling bullshit where appropriate.

As for me, I’ll keep on working on myself, but I’m grateful for the lessons I’m learning, however slowly (I am a slow learner when it comes to this growing-as-a-person thing). The key, I think, is flexibility. Come on over and tell me what you’ve learned, one last time?

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Shut up, hindsight

One of the interesting side effects of having cut waaaaaaaay back on working and marketing myself last year is that I am no longer a Hot Internet Commodity. Bloggers are a dime a dozen, after all, and the thing is, I always had really mixed feelings about that whole Hot Internet Commodity thing, anyway. So now I’m doing all of this Restructuring and Goal-Setting and Planning For The Future and blah blah blah (wake up! I’m getting to a point here!) and trying to decide whether I even WANT to “raise my visibility” to where it used to be.

Even writing that out makes me want to punch myself in the face. I never did any of this because I wanted to Be Someone. I think a lot of people do it to gain some sort of fame/notoriety, but I also think more people than you might guess are more like me—there’s a love of storytelling, an impulse to write, and an oft-whispered wish that mostly, you are just normal, and therefore, forgettable.

So next week I’m going to do an Interview Thing, and I don’t do a lot in the way of actual on-camera stuff, EVER, and I told myself I should do this thing because it’s good practice for me and will give me another recent something to add to the resume as I ramp back up, work-wise, but over the last two days I realized that’s not why I want to do it. I want to do it because I feel like I need to do some penance. (more…)

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Good riddance, 2012

I feel like I could make with OH SO MANY WORDS about the suckage of 2012, but frankly I am sick of it and have no desire to rehash. If you were here, you already know. If you weren’t, well, I guess we could do an in-a-nutshell retrospective as a sidebar if I could do one for real.

[I can’t do a real sidebar, so here’s a fake one. Sidebar: 2012 sucked hairy donkey balls. Chickadee spent half the year in the hospital and I spent months fighting for Medicaid coverage for her while fighting for decent treatment, and then she decided to go live with her dad. (Single bright spot during that: You all helped me do an amazing thing for the hospital and I love you for it.) Otto’s car imploded in Atlanta one day and then we had to rush Monkey to the ER with suspected appendicitis and my mother-in-law passed away. For further hilarity, I then broke my hand on an apple and became bionic. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, we capped it all off with it seeming like Licorice might be deathly ill (though, fortunately, that one turned out okay). It was kind of A Year, is all I’m saying.]

Was there ever a year I was so happy to see end? I can’t think of one. Though we all know that the human brain is a miraculous thing; if there HAS been a year similarly awful, I have clearly repressed it. Lalalalala! I can’t heeeeeear you! I look forward to this year’s razor-sharp edges dulling in my mind, as well. The sooner the better.

Naturally, there was nothing left to do but get my woo-woo on. (more…)

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Meanwhile, out in the garden

So I’m trying to keep busy while the world continues caving in, because I hear that helps to pass the time and make things seem less dire. HAHAHA. It’s not working, yet, but hope—and MIIIIIIIIINT!—springs eternal.

This means, of course, that I am turning all of my energy to my gardening efforts. Because school never calls to tell me that my tomatoes are poorly behaved! Basil never screams that it hates me! And although I’m no fan of the slugs, they are entirely predictable and survival-oriented in their quest to ravage my harvest, whereas the Mother’s Day discovery that a certain surly someone managed to send $40 worth of texts IN A SINGLE DAY maybe shouldn’t have surprised or infuriated me, but did, on both counts. (P.S. I know we will look back and laugh someday, but someday feels a very long way off, today, and may as well have been Pluto, yesterday.)

I shall find salvation in my garden. It’s a little reassurance from Mother Earth that not everything I touch turns to despair. I’ll even take credit for the mint, which as we all know hardly needs my permission or coddling to flourish. I know. I’m still taking credit, so shut up. (more…)

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Not actually about chocolate

So. I told you that I went ahead and made a vision board this year, and I am simultaneously eager to share and feeling weirdly shy about it all, like maybe I will try to explain why it was so awesome and you’ll be all, “And? You… made a collage. Welcome to the arts and crafts shack, Mir, and next week we might let you churn your own ice cream.”

There are people who insist I must be a creative person because I’m a writer, and those people make me laugh, because when I think of creative I think of people who are WAY LESS TYPE-A than I am. Creative people go with the flow! They are in tune with the universe! They do not shriek at their children to PICK UP THIS MESS and hyperventilate when the week’s dinner plan is somehow thrown off course. Creative people are ZEN. Or so I tend to believe, anyway.

I am not Zen. I am most often the polar opposite of Zen. I am the person bitching at Zen, asking why it’s always LATE and why can’t it just HANG UP ITS COAT and why can’t it just CALL if plans change? Yeah.

In short, I believed that making vision boards is an activity for people who already know what they want and how to pursue it. But desperate times and all of that; I knew that I was sorely in need of at least an ATTEMPT to have a little chat with myself about, well, me. (more…)

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Loving as best I can

I don’t have the words to tell you all how much it means to me when the Internet proves, once again, to be a place filled with kind and thoughtful and just plain NICE people. Yesterday I needed to let it all out, and I did; then my finger hovered over the “Publish” button as I wondered what backlash might be sent my way as a result. I published it anyway, and then wept grateful tears for most of the day as my inbox filled with lovely, compassionate comments. By the afternoon, I felt better. Lighter. Ready to keep going and keep knowing it will still be okay.

Thank you. I know it sounds corny, and I know we’re all more comfortable when I’m just calling you pretty and promising to send everyone a pony that poops glitter, but you are a gift, each and every one of you who takes the time to read and reach out. It means the world to me.

Yesterday afternoon, the doorbell rang. Now, I get various envelopes and packages almost every day, and yesterday I was 1) puffy-faced from crying and 2) still in my pajamas when the bell chimed and Licorice skittered across the entranceway barking like a lunatic. I decided I would just wait for the delivery guy to leave whatever it was, because I sure as heck wasn’t opening the door looking like that. (more…)

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Love is enough

As Otto and I lay in bed last night, I poured out my frustration while he held my hand and listened. Because I have a nice life. Actually, no; I have a pretty wonderful life. And yet I struggle, daily, against my will and my common sense, with the ability to just be happy.

I still believe that—as I said once before—there is a certain arrogance in being unhappy when leading a good and blessed and lucky life. And to be clear, I’m not UNhappy. But I am not as happy as I could and should be, much of the time. Somewhere on my permanent medical chart I am officially diagnosed as being dysthymic, which I suppose gives me license to abdicate responsibility because hey, man, my brain chemistry is wonky, so, you know, not my fault.

But. I want more. More from myself, more from my life, more of my best self for my loved ones. What I have, already, is more than enough; what I need is to take that enough and appreciate it more. (more…)

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Love crosses its fingers

I know that every year I get a little loopy about my garden; in much the same way I can barely believe I’m an adult (with a driver’s license and kids and everything), it still amazes me that I can grow things that turn into delicious food. I must’ve slept my way through botany in high school, because it still blows my mind. Soil and seeds and water make FOOD? It’s like some kind of wonderful black magic.

Of course, it’s also a pretty nearly-instantly gratifying kind of thing, too. Plant, water, wait a month or two, enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of your labors. For a devotee of Short Attention Span Theater such as myself, that’s a pretty rewarding payoff in a not very long period of time.

Of course, there are demons to slay along the way: Two years ago I focused on vanquishing the slugs, and last year I dueled the tomato horn worms in the Battle of Squick. This garden thing is not without its trials, is what I’m saying. (more…)

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