I’ve had the best earworm for the last couple days.
I miss this space (she said, echoing a bunch of other lapsed bloggers figuring out how to log back into their dashboards and start writing in their own spaces again like Facebook never was a thing). I notice that I’m frequently drafting blog posts in my brain while I’m doing dishes or driving or showering. Sometimes I am even kind of funny? Then I get here and [cartoon car brakes screeching to a halt, smell of burnt rubber, quiet] start to type and my very-well-fed inner critic suggests that I am, at best, pret-ty bor-ing, at worst, a self-absorbed whiner so shut up shut up, nooobody caaarrrressss.
I’m a little more than halfway through my third 20-week course of DBT. I would love to attend weekly for the rest of my life. One of the many useful things we practice in DBT is non-judgement. I’ve noticed, ahem, that I am getting pretty good at not judging others (judgement! lol), and that the more I practice that, the more slack I tend to cut myself. (Right now, though, feeling SUPER JUDGY toward myself.) I think I know the why of it, at least for me: Rejection is torture, so if I can just beat everyone else to the punch and put myself in my place before anyone else has a chance, that is far better than being taken down a notch when I’m struttin around feeling like I’ve got a pretty solid B- at life.
When I started blogging in 2002, I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and no one that I knew, knew. Not all of the old blog is still around, and there are huge chunks of things I wrote that make me cringe. Rightfully — I was an oblivious jerk sometimes. Also in there are stories that I completely forgot until I reread them years later. Life=stories, and that’s a fantastic gift to myself that I’d like to start giving again. I am a-ok with being boring or dumb or accidentally self-absorbed much of the time in exchange for capturing things.
So, then, maybe a quickish catchup? Youngest to eldest:
Ace: Ace is 9 now, and we’ve been loving on him for 5+ years. We got him from Golden Gate Lab Rescue on my Poppa’s birthday, December 15th, in 2013, about six months after we bought our house. Last spring he had pretty major surgery to remove a sharp bone growth (like a scythe that stabbed him every time he straightened his leg, the orthopedic surgeon vet said SAD FACE EMOJI) in his back left tarsal joint (his dog knee, basically) which also has an apricot-sized lump of calcium/ bone material stuff (?) from arthritis and maybe an injury before he came to us, AND also to stabilize his lower lumbar spine, which was messed up (from him walking off kilter due to his leg stuff) and giving him a lot of pain that would have turned to paralysis and incontinence later. I made that a huge run-on sentence intentionally, because it was stressful and it FELT like living in a run-on sentence. My poor pup. So, you know, spring for the dog insurance. We love Healthy Paws (not #sponsored).
Now, though, he’s doing great! I paid a crazy amount of money to get him some fugly plastic and carpeted stairs that lead up to our bed, and I think car stairs are probably in his near future, but he’s doing two or three short walks a day and he’s dropped a few pounds (vet’s orders, to reduce stress on his joints) and he’s happy and we feed him like a king. He also gets a lot of car rides and beach time and sleeps 18 hours a day. Usually on my pillow. Not that I’m jelus.
Willow: You guys. Willow will be SIXTEEN next month. She’s taking guitar lessons and has a wonderful singing voice. She’s got a fantastic sense of humor, the kind where she is not always cracking jokes, she waits for the right moment to line up and then, BOOM! She’s a great writer. She’s empathetic and sensitive and beautiful and curious. She makes A+ grilled cheese sandwiches and I never leave the house when she’s here without her telling me she loves me, even if I’m just popping out to get the mail. I don’t have a recent photo of her on my phone (teenagers) so I stole from her Instagram (fake nose ring, btw):
Sophie: Sophie will graduate and turn 18 in the first few days of June of this year. Her nose ring (a stud in this photo) is real, a 17th birthday present from me last summer after several years of her petitioning me, including writing persuasive essays on the subject for school projects. (Yes, plural. Persistent and determined redefined, that kid.) She’s working at the coolest of the local coffee shops and kicking some serious ass at school this year. She’s thinking about a career in social justice, which would be such a great use of her compassion and fight. Here’s where I need to say that she, too, is a beautiful young woman, because a) it’s the truth, and b) I said it about her sister and don’t wanna hear about it if she ever reads this. Love you, Soph. xo
Nate: Nate just turned 20. He’s been working at the same job for almost three years (I think?) and is in school, still living with us. He’s in a serious relationship with his BMW, his cameras (the analog are his favorites), crypto, and the perfect omelettes he makes for breakfast. I love that I still work from home and am often in the kitchen at the same time as him (me making lunch, him, breakfast). We recommend songs to each other, and movies. Talk about film (photos, not fancy movies) and driving, what he’s been doing to his car, his professors. I don’t feel like I can take credit, exactly, but I feel like he’s nearly grown and I did an alright job with him. His insta is all of his car, mostly, but I stole this from someone else’s. Shhhhhhhh.
Alex (Lex / Lexy): It’s been nearly two years since he moved out. I’m thankful he’s local and wish that I saw him more often. (Edited to add: He randomly stopped by after I wrote this but before I finished. Wish granted!) I feel like he’s a pretty private person, so I’ll only say that he’s 22, working (with Nate), in school, an excellent human, and brilliant. I miss seeing his face every day. Here’s hoping our plans for Sunday afternoon solidify. I’ll ask him if I can share a recent photo. I may be just imagining his reluctance here.
Me: I’m 48, IN THEORY. My body thinks it’s 88. [Redacted paragraph about my ailments. I’m fine, and also a little bit worn out.]
I have a happy brain, though! Well, happy mixed with some permanent sad and tired bits that will always need to be worked around, just like everyone else. I still go to pottery every week, and my knitting has improved. I made a sweater that is not terrible. In the kitchen, I’m Team Instant Pot, cook a lot of foodie and vegan stuff lately, and am trying to wear out the cold press juicer I got a couple months ago. I started a new job in August that I’m not going to blog about. It’s with an awesome company that supports women, and I work with several of my former coworkers from the BlogHer days, which I love. Life is good.
John (Scuba / SG): John is pretty private, too. Like, he looks at Facebook to see how the diving is in Monterey Bay if he’s thinking about going over there, but dude does not generally post about what he’s up to. In the spirit of that sane and smart way of being in the world, I’ll keep it brief: We had our tenth anniversary in September, and I’m still crazy about him and I think that most days he’d probably still choose me, too. He’s happiest in the water, or maybe when he’s with Ace. Not that there needs to be a clear favorite.
The other day we were walking Ace along the creek trail near our house and walked past a man and a woman, maybe in their 30s, I dunno, but definitely not teenagers, who were staging an Instagram photo. He had the phone, and she was smashing/holding a big ball of dead leaves between her hands, and was giving him direction on EXACTLY WHEN he needed to take the photo of her throwing the leaves up into the air. There was a lot of complicated directing. She clearly did not want to recollect and rethrow her leaves. We got about 50 yards down the trail, and looked at each other and cracked up. I think I said something like, OMG that poor Instagram Boyfriend. So – short story long, I’m glad he’s got healthier sharing boundaries than I do, because I don’t really want to be that leaf lady, bless her filtered heart. I do want to save some of the things I pay attention to so I can read them later. I miss telling stories here.