Putting it all together when things fall apart.

I used to think I wanted to write myself into a happy ending. I know, finally, that the ending isn't the point. It really is so much about how you just do stuff everyday. How you get up and start over again or how you get quiet in the middle of a tense moment and re-group. It is saying over and over as many times as possible in as many ways as possible that you can do this or that and you choose to do it with all of who you are. It is staying inside of every moment rather than floating away. It is not questioning other people's motives, but rather examining your own. What do I want, need, desire from this particular minute? If you care about this at all, it takes constant vigilance. Paying attention is work. I think that is why I have avoided certain things- because I know they will force me to pay constant attention to something I do not want to pay attention to. One is the collection of essays I am working on....it's hard to go to certain places because getting inside those places is just like having it happen again.

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People who exercise on a regular basis are tapping into a very intimate connection between their mind and body. Many people aren't connected to their bodies. Sometimes I am one of them. I can look down and see what I might be doing without really feeling what is going on.

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The internet can take us away from ourselves. For many, it has taken the place of a book. This scares me though  I am just as guilty as the next person for using too much time reading something I had not intended and here I again, I have to say, "I do not choose this."

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In the journey with my daughter learning how to feed herself, we have had to go back to some basics. What does hunger feel like?  Are you hungry? Here is some food. After you eat it, how does it make you feel? She can answer these things, but she can't yet ask for the food. We are still working on that part.

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It's been a twisted sort of gift, unemployment and health concerns, fear of moving, loss of innocence. All of it has forced us to be in every moment sometimes quite raw, quite overwhelming in all of it's FEELING. So many times, I wanted to sink myself.  The depression I knock away most days really wanted to settle in and I had to pay attention to my mind, my body, my spirit and feed it only good stuff. Friends and family who comforted and listened and encouraged, food that fueled and walks that energized and words that released. I failed many times. Over and over again, I failed and then got up and tried again.

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You might say blchhh when I share that I am more in love and loving toward Big Man than I have ever been. It's not popular to sing about your own love story. If you are happy with your mate, it seems you keep it to yourself.  He regrets so much, but I keep telling him about the gifts we received. The renewed sense of this one life of our own making. The sharper focus on our tiny little family of four who love each other without question. The way that we turned toward each other rather than away. The way he accepted my help and admitted he needed me. The way we each fought different battles and held each other up. UP! Neither of us are rock star gorgeous or particularly unique, but together we are something I can't find in any book and it's just hard not to put that down in print.

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My head spins at times. Lately I have been struggling to take in the beauty, the striking orange leaves all over the valley I live in. Often, my eyes settle on that one leaf still stubbornly green. I feel that way sometimes. Not willing to change or let go and yet it is inevitable. I am changing. I have changed, but I am me.

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Big Man and I don't always agree on what I write. He holds his cards close. Part of me figuring out life is putting words on the page. Part of what I get out of my writing is learning that through reading about my questions, people relate to me. They appreciate my honesty. What, it seems, people are drawn to, is my willingness to question parts of my own life. It feels a constant dance to honor those in my life who are part of my journey without overstepping. Kids add another layer. I have listened to this very conversation in a room full of published writers whom I greatly admire. They have the same concerns as I do.  What I have settled on is that as long the perspective remains mine I feel good.

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I had to re-read this piece ten times. I posted it. I took it down and now I am posting it again. It is true and it will stay. 

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All people have doubts, even when we speak from our truest place. I think this is good because it means we care. In the end, though, our truth must speak loud enough not just for others to hear, but to affirm to ourselves that we matter. And that is the real truth. 

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