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.

14 Comments 

I don’t really leave comments on blogs any more. Most of the stuff I read is via RSS and if I am on an actual site, well, I guess I’ve gotten used to the threaded discussion features of social media platforms and writing something in a comment section feels a bit like throwing a bottle out to sea. But as a person who continues, for some ill-advised reason, to keep her own ancient blog on life support, I still love comments. Even the spambots get me briefly excited, especially the weirdly poetic ones (actual excerpt: You can see wells in many fairy tales where you make a wish, push people into them,Womens Paul Hornung Jersey, and consume it for bathing or drinking purposes.)

Anyway, if you’re out there, stop and say hi, will you? Just because … why not. Tell me where you’re spending your online time these days (me: Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, whatever’s still trickling into my Feedly, Google News, a game called Subnautica). Tell me how old your kids are (10 and 12). Tell me what job you’re doing now and whether you enjoy it (freelance writing still, marketing articles, and yes — but I really miss working with people and I keep looking for a good volunteer/part-time-something that will offer more in that department). Tell me about the last book you could not put down (Behind Closed Doors; it wasn’t the best writing in the world but it sure kept me interested). Tell me, are you doing okay? (Yes. I mean: mostly? Mostly yes. Ugh, mostly looks like MOISTLY. I am MOISTLY doing okay, MOIST of the time.)

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