Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

my riches

Last week, I wrote about coming to understand how:

my siblings
and i are rich in ways 
others probably wish
they were, or
would if they
such riches
are even

Our riches aren’t in cash. Poverty started us in a money-pit, so that the three of us will be paying student debt for another couple of decades for the privilege of climbing halfway out of that pit.

No, our riches ran deeper than that. I just couldn’t figure out how, or begin to imagine explaining it.

And then … I found a book.

Near its entrance, my neighborhood library has a little table of books for sale. It’s been there since I started visiting this library, but I never bothered looking at it. I figured it had too few offerings for any to be up my alley. Read more…


Bullshit/not bullshit

I like to keep swearing to a minimum here, but there are times it’s warranted. Like now.

It’s come to my attention I take certain insignificant things and invest way too much energy in them. Realizing this, I’ve decided that I’m going to start playing a little game I’ll call “Bullshit/not bullshit” with myself. It’s like “He loves me/he loves me not,” but for adults. And more cathartic.

If it falls in the “bullshit” category, it gets none of my energy. None. Zero. Nada. It doesn’t mean I accept it. It means I’d rather invest my energy in thinking about House of Cards or watching Scrubs.

SAMPLE BULLSHIT: Stoplights that take twelve minutes to turn green. The existence of clowns. Telecom companies. Being cussed at.

That’s about enough of that. The list could go on, but I’d rather it not. ‘Cause every second I spend on that list is one I could have spent laughing and loving. Not-bullshit is where it’s at!

SAMPLE NOT-BULLSHIT: Baby laughter. The smell of coffee. Conversation with good friends. Scrubs. My husband’s happily finishing his first day assistant directing. My brother-in-law starting medical school the same day. Unicorn, who truly is as magical as her nickname would have you think. My sisters, including Darth. Sunshine. Visiting family. Knowing I am loved. Singing songs I used to sing with my mom.

The list could go on and on, and will in my mind, but I have two little ones I yearn to hug after a long day away.

So I’ll leave you with a final item, the one that gave me the perspective I needed today:

The memory of my mom finding comfort in my baby son


What not-bullshit lifts you from grim moods?

Birthday buddies: My mom and me

I was my mom’s best birthday present ever. She told me this every October 30th before I turned 13.

Even when we argued, which we were wont to do after I turned 13, she made it clear I was still a great birthday present–one of the very best, in fact. Her eyes gleamed whenever she said this, as if she was barely repressing a wink.

I loved sharing a birthday with her straight through 2009. That year, I faced the likelihood that we would never again celebrate another birthday together.

That likelihood became truth when my mom died on March 4, 2010.

I spent my first birthday without Mom in the company of my dear friend Dana, who hugged me when I cried at the improbable, totally unexpected joy of seeing one of my mom’s favorite singers live.

I tried to find the silver lining on our birthday both of the following years, but it was an effort. There were so many I gifts I wanted to go back in time and give her:

Less abuse
More tender embraces
Less poverty
More freedom
Less judgment from acquaintances and passersby, who were often openly hostile to her in front of her children
More words of support
Less suffering
More resources to deal with incessant strife
Less “Why did you take so long to leave?”
More “How strong you were to leave against the odds!”
Less illness, mental and physical
More peace
Less loss
More life

Read more…

I’m not ignoring you.

I probably haven’t left comments on your blog recently.

Or replied to your last email, or seven.

Or tweeted you.

This doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you, or wondering what you’re up to. It just means my only internet is phone-based at the moment. If I’m posting online, it’s because I have something I really, really want to say before I forget. Or, like now, because it’s 4:30 a.m. and I’ve already streamed my quota of The Mindy Project on Hulu.

I’ve missed being online, a little, but I’ve savored it, too. Instead of constantly wondering what I am missing online, I have been immersed in savoring the offline. Instead of arising and running straight to the computer, I’ve laid in bed and listened to the trio of snores filling the air around me.


I’ve washed the dishes, made my rice, read my daily chapter of Just One Thing, and sat on the living room floor savoring a sense of home greater than the one I felt at my last place. There, two friends anxiously began a journey of seeing if they could build a family from friendship. So much was uncertain then, and is certain now. Read more…

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