On Becoming

When my daughter was born, a new person was born inside of me.  One that thought a lot more about what it meant to be other, outside, and different.  I had lived my whole life inside the comfortable confines of being a middle class white person.  Sure, my parents struggled and lived on the fringes of consumerism.  We had enough, but only just.  My dad worked hard, my mom worked hard, and we got by with enough.  I never spent a whole lot of time considering what not enough looks like.  I had what I needed, I never went hungry, and my parents provided toys and movies and other entertainments that are the hallmark of what we might consider American life. But, when my daughter came to us with a complicated background, this new person inside me started to wonder.  Why were circumstances for others so different from my own?  How would her life be different with another family? What if her birth mother had decided a different path?   These questions, and lots of others, were pushed and enlarg

Forty three

 My sister told me I should blog again.  A lot has happened since I did this thing - I'm a little rusty.  In the last few years, I've sort of relinquished the dream of being a writer - like, a real writer, not a hobby writer - and so the act of writing became...less.  Less important, less often, less satisfying.  It's an instrument out of tune. Why relinquish the dream? Life got busy.  A lot has changed.  In the 5 years since I blogged regularly: My son graduated high school and went on a two year mission for our church. My daughter turned 12, 13, 14, and 15.  Fifteen!   We moved a couple of times. Trump became president.  I got a job and started teaching, then principal-ing and now director-ing.  I'm buried in it right now. My brothers both moved away. A pandemic. My parents moved away (just last week, after a long time planning). And lots of other small and big moments, mashed together in a blur. Now here I am, still trying to figure me out.   I used to think that whe

These are the days of

I'm hoping these are the days of I still can be It's not too late It isn't over until it's over. Because I still want to. My life is so consumed right now with other things.  Important things, but other.  Other overwhelming things that taste like fear and feel like failure. They scare me. Maybe I'm just not being deliberate enough.  I've been using that word at work a lot.  But I seem to leave it in the doorway and never bring it home. The cliche is that I'm standing at a crossroads. It's much more accurate to say that I am standing in the center of a compass and the needle is spinning.  It's probably true that the direction won't matter, the way it's pointing won't matter.  It will only matter that it IS pointing and I am following that path. That scares me too.  I am a person who likes direction.  I want to see the outcome and figure out my way to it.  Right now, I can't see anything. I suppose, though, that

Odds and ends

I watched from the corner of my eye as my daughter leaned forward toward the screen.  The screen was Black Panther , the newest Marvel superhero movie.  We like superhero movies, generally speaking, and have been looking forward to this particular movie.  It did not disappoint. But, even more important than that, I watched my daughter watching the movie and felt full.  Full of love for her, full of appreciation for a movie that honors her heritage, full of admiration for how well she has accepted herself - even though others have not always.  The beautiful costumes and hair, the STRONG and intelligent females, the ease of the language and unspoken respect for each other - all of these sub-messages in a superhero movie were not lost on me.  And, as she leaned closer and closer to the screen, engrossed, I knew they were not lost on my girl, either. --- For the first time since joining my profession, I legitimately do not feel safe.  Friday we spent the morning in active shooter tra

It feels like...

Having an (almost) teenage daughter can be...quite an experience.  "I hope you have a kid just like you," so the saying goes.  Usually, you only hear this if you're a rough kid.  I was a rough kid - in some ways.  I gave my mom a pretty hard time.  And, if she wished for a kid that was 'just like me' to come along as payback - the parent gods smiled on that wish. Today (after a pretty tragical and frustrating encounter) Carly said: I just needed to get mad at somebody.  I don't know why. Well, if that doesn't sum up teenage angst, I don't know what does. It also kind of applies to adult angst.  Some days I just want to be mad at somebody and walk around stomping my feet.  Today I felt like that.  In between good things, though, so at least there's balance. And balance is tricky this days, too. It feels like the house is a wreck (it mostly isn't, but sort of is). It feels like I'm swimming in work and can't catch up (this o

I write nonsense

Have you ever felt like there is something waiting there, just out of reach?  A thread that's unwinding faster than you can grab on to the end?  Like there is something just out of sight and if you turn your head at just the right time, you might finally see it? That's writing for me these days. Reviving ye old blog is an attempt to revive ye old writer, the one who lives somewhere deep down inside.  The writer in me ticks like a clock.  Most of the time I don't notice the sound.  It just IS. Tick tock. But, every now and then, the sound gets loud.  Almost deafening, almost drowning out everything else until I have to pay attention to the time. TICK TOCK. It's at that point that I get out the pencils or keyboards or notebooks and begin.  I read old stuff and marvel at the problems that riddle my lines.  I jot down notes or delete stuff that never came to fruition.  I try writing.  First blips, then sentences, then paragraphs, or outlines, or pages.  But,


My husband and I decided we need to make a plan.  Actually, 4 plans.  And, actually - if I'm being honest - it was really my idea and he's just coming along for the ride because that's how it usually goes.  And I'm not sure that sounds quite like what I mean.  But, I digress. We need 4 plans.  We don't have 4 plans and we're not sure what's going to be in those 4 plans.  But, right now we're thinking 4 plans.  Plan 1: Budget/money/spending.  We have struggled with this for all 20 years of our marriage.  We've been bailed out, scooped up, helped out ... and still, we struggle.  So, this plan is at the top of the list of plans. Plan 2: Shoot - I already forgot plan 2.  Plan 3: To move or not to move, that is the question.  To move where and how and when?  We're leaning a particular direction, but...big decisions are hard.  Also, do we store our stuff or get rid of it or move it? Plan 4: Double shoot - I forgot this one too.  I think it ha