For those who commented on the last post: I really, really enjoyed hearing from you and getting a tiny peek into your life. Thank you for that. Thank you, also, for the things you shared that made me stop and think, or nod in recognition, or want to cheer on your behalf.

I hope you don’t mind if I re-share just a few:

I’m learning that I need to stop comparing myself to everyone else and just focus on what I need to do for me and mine and what makes ME happy. It’s really helped me to be more focused and lifted a huge burden off my shoulders.

I kind of feel like this is a critical key to happiness and I wish it wasn’t such a massive eternal struggle for me. I try to work on not being so insanely worried about what other people think of me or how I stack up in comparison, but it’s a bit like willing myself to morph into a person who isn’t afraid of heights or spiders — this irrational way of thinking feels fundamentally hardwired into who I am. This person’s comment reminds me, though, that we are all capable of change, and good things are worth pursuing.

Sometimes I am sad and overwhelmed and then feel guilty for feeling that way because, come on, I have a home and clean water and love and I’m safe, so what reason do I have to be sad?

Right? Gosh, there’s nothing like feeling overwhelmed and having a hard time, then beating yourself up for having a hard time because somewhere someone is having a harder time. Or being unhappy about something you don’t like about yourself then beating yourself up because we’re supposed to treat ourselves with kindness and not liking certain things is giving in to toxic societal pressures. (See also: every thought cycle in my head re: weight, body image, diet, etc.)

It seems like there’s a delicate mental line to navigate between acknowledging and honoring struggles in a non-self-hatred-based way vs undermining or devaluing your own feelings which in turn makes everything feel even worse. WHY ALL THIS SHIT SO COMPLICATED.

My greatest wish is to, one day, hit a season of life where I can just sit down for a single hot minute and read something that doesn’t discuss parenting theories.

This is from a mom with two littles and a newborn, and it swept me right back to that early-years stage of being completely immersed in parenthood, and Helpful Articles would be like “Don’t forget to make time for Mom!” and I’d think, ARE YOU KIDDING I’M IN THE DEEP SECTION HERE AND I CAN’T EVEN FIND THE POOL LADDER.

I know you know this is temporary, friend, and when you get a second to breathe I recommend Samantha Irby’s book of essays, Meaty, which is 1) pretty much on the opposite side of the scale from parenting books, and 2) even more outrageous and hysterical and crass and searingly honest than her book We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, and that’s saying something.

I’m trying to find a way to be informed, but not lose my mind with the horrifying state of things in this country.

God, yes. I unplugged from certain things that were consistently making me crazy: I stopped watching national news, I do not do the Twitters, I pared down my Facebook feed (which in some cases meant unfollowing people I care about but found their particular flavor of activism too exhausting/alienating), I try to find some sort of bias-balance in my media consumption. But it is a huge challenge. YUGE, even.

If I don’t stop moving, unless it is to sleep, I am doing ok. I’m exhausted.

I am positive I am not as busy as this commenter but I feel this feel. It’s like the tiredness comes from within sometimes, and it’s not always about anything physical. It’s easier to keep moving, keep doing stuff, than sit down and have it wash over you.

Aging is hard at times and it seems like the older you get, the more frantic the search for meaning gets.

This is the first time I have seen someone articulate this specific feeling I have had about getting older, usually I see upbeat platitudes about how age brings wisdom and you find all this great perspective and Everything Just Makes Sense Now. I feel like being middle-aged is like having spent all these years thinking of what’s next, and suddenly you’re like … “Wait, is this it?”

After 15 grueling years (living in a bad marriage, my beloved job morphing into a nightmare, battling a life-threatening illness against all odds – and winning!, losing many, many loved ones to death) I am living my dream. I am so very thankful I managed to live long enough to experience this kind of happiness! It was never even on the periphery in my younger years.

I. LOVE. THIS. Reinvention, in all its forms, has become something I admire and aspire to every day.

Some days I feel talked over, undermined, unimportant; other days I feel lucky to have such a fun, beautiful, dynamic, modern family right here in front of me.  Same exact life, just a different perspective.

Comments

14 Responses to “Smart things you said”

  1. Donna Plumley Brubach on March 12th, 2018 12:29 pm

    Dang. I didn’t say anything as profound as any of these. But I feel or have felt all of these. Aging…jeeze. The only thing I know about anything is that I don’t know anything about anything. Still just as lost sometimes as I was at 20. Then 30-40-50. But worrying about what people think of me? I really dgaf. I think it comes from traveling alone. When you realize how goofy you must look as a 60 yr old woman waving a wand around or riding the rides in the Harry Potter world at universal studios and then think wth, I don’t know any of these people, and I’m having a blast and you SMILE at people that smile back? It’s wonderfully freeing. My whole world opened up when I realized it didn’t matter what any one else thought of me.
    And I just got the job offer for the job I wanted!! I’m pretty stoked.

  2. Lori on March 12th, 2018 1:20 pm

    I didn’t know I was supposed to be profound.

  3. Kim on March 12th, 2018 1:44 pm

    Goddamn am I angry I didn’t take a few minutes to comment. I enjoyed reading all of these very much though – thank you for sharing (everyone!).

  4. Mary on March 12th, 2018 6:00 pm

    Cutting back on FB and deleting the Twitter app has been HUGE for me. I was trying to pay attention to EVERYTHING, but it was more than I could handle. I do feel so much better now.

  5. anon on March 12th, 2018 7:40 pm

    Loved all of these! Wish I’d taken more time on my comment!

    To the exhausted mother of two littles and a newborn, I recommend Linda’s parenting poetry! I still laugh thinking about some of the things she wrote. :)

  6. Deb on March 12th, 2018 8:57 pm

    Well, shit. I didn’t realize I was supposed be all deep & crap.

  7. mcconk on March 13th, 2018 6:00 am

    I also didn’t comment; instead I emailed Linda directly for Seattle travel advice! I can only add, speaking as a 53 year old mother – it DOES get easier with the kids, you DO age freaking overnight it seems, but things can be wonderful in middle age!

  8. Nikki on March 13th, 2018 7:28 am

    Aging is hard at times and it seems like the older you get, the more frantic the search for meaning gets.
    This is the first time I have seen someone articulate this specific feeling I have had about getting older, usually I see upbeat platitudes about how age brings wisdom and you find all this great perspective and Everything Just Makes Sense Now. I feel like being middle-aged is like having spent all these years thinking of what’s next, and suddenly you’re like … “Wait, is this it?”
    THISSSS!!! ALLLL OF THIS!!!

  9. honeybecke on March 13th, 2018 9:32 am

    I love this real life real shit talk. It allows us to move through our days with an understanding and compassion for each other. We’re all struggling, we’re hopeful. Thanks everyone, and thanks Linda for being a space for us! <3

  10. Michelle on March 13th, 2018 5:10 pm

    I STILL compare myself to others, but I realize the switch doesn’t have to be in the “ON” position all the times! It leaves me feeling dejected and distracted. My position and situation isn’t the same as everyone else’s. Everyone is different unique, and I realized it was futile to try to follow someone else’s steps. I came to this painful realization when I realized I was never going to “grow up and catch up” and be SUPER successful and satisfied. It is what it is, and I need to focus on the the things I need to be grateful for and make those areas flourish. I’ve found that I have MUCH to be grateful for, and watering my own damn garden feels so much better than being thirsty and trying to find MOAR WATER and MY flowers are dying in the meanwhile. It stopped making sense, and I’ve tried my best to tamp down this destructive urge. I’ve also tried to use it to fuel me, because FUCK! THESE BITCHES AIN’T BETTER THAN ME!!! We’re all struggling, and NO ONE is more perfect. They just take better pictures….. 😏💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽😎😉

  11. Michelle on March 13th, 2018 5:17 pm

    My god! The typos!!! Y’all know what I mean!

    -sent from my iPhone🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😎

  12. T on March 13th, 2018 8:50 pm

    I’d like to thank punk rock and the grunge movement for allowing me to develop a “IDGAF what you think” attitude a long time ago. I’d like to also say “screw you” to my brain for making me overly self aware & socially anxious. Some days I feel like I’m smart, awesome, funny, cool- and other days I feel like I’m not good enough, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for my arrogance to blow up in my face and reveal me to be the fool I really am. It’s hard sometimes. But it helps to know there are others out there that are struggling with their own things.

  13. Sarah on March 15th, 2018 10:04 pm

    “Gosh, there’s nothing like feeling overwhelmed and having a hard time, then beating yourself up for having a hard time because somewhere someone is having a harder time.“

    YES THIS SO MUCH. Is it Amalah who talks about not having to win the Pain Olympics? Because that has been so helpful for me. What I have going on now is HARD, and it’s OKAY that it’s hard, even though what other people have going on seems way harder in comparison. But my “hard” is in comparison to what I have personally experienced, not what (to use an example that my brain always goes to) a starving mother in Africa has experienced. And again, that’s okay. The severity of others’ pain does not invalidate my own.

    Now if I could just believe all that…

  14. Mary Clare on March 16th, 2018 9:40 am

    This was great, Linda. I did not mention it in my comment on the previous post, but I’ll say it now. I always come back for your funny anecdotes and introspective writing about the Heavy Stuff. The combination of both with a big dose of real life makes you such an enjoyable, relatable writer. Thanks for putting yourself out there.

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