In March of 2010 I took an online Mondo Beyondo class. Their website does a much better job than I can at describing what it’s all about, but I found it deeply rewarding, and I’m not really the woo-woo let’s-explore-our-feelings type. I’m more into burying feelings under a comforting layer of junk food, you know? For the purpose of emotional blunting, I find that Ben & Jerry’s Blueberry Vanilla Graham frozen Greek yogurt really does a bang-up job.

Anyway. One of the assignments involved putting a message out into the world. I chose the section of a grocery store where I hoped it would be discovered by a frazzled new mom who might appreciate a random note from the universe:

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My favorite assignment, though, was to ‘create a clearing.’ This was described in the class as:

A clearing is a wide open empty space in your life that is ready for something new or amazing to emerge. A clearing can be a cleaned-out closet or a regularly unscheduled Saturday. A clearing can be dissolving an unproductive business partnership or going to bed early two days in a row. A clearing can be saying no to a pesky friend or saying yes to a forbidden treat. A clearing can be as simple as taking out the trash or as serious as leaving a job or ending a not-so healthy relationship. A clearing can be recycling that piece of furniture you never really liked, not for one second.

However you choose to create your clearing, the point is that you let go of something in your life that has no purpose anymore, drains your energy, or draws your attention in a direction that leaves you feeling more burdened than free.

Man, that one really spoke to me. I was still at Workplace then, frustrated and unhappy and feeling trapped in a bad situation I couldn’t seem to improve. So my interpretation of the assignment was to clear the living shit out of my office. I cleaned all the clutter and junk—every drawer, every shelf. I recycled things I no longer needed. I dusted. I took home every knick-knack and keepsake. I removed every single photo, everything about the room that made it mine, because I wanted all my energy to be focused on me leaving that place.

Coworkers jokingly asked me if I was quitting, and I laughed and said of course not.

Six months later, I did.

I think about that assignment a lot. I mean, I’m not saying the simple act of tidying up my office made a difference … but who knows. Maybe it did. Maybe that was the start of a brand new path, one that eventually led us to the place we are now. If I was still tied to that job, there’s no way we’d be moving to Oregon.

Dreams never die. A-fucking-men.

We had the strangest bout of kid illness this weekend. First JB and I emerged from Cabin in the Woods (my second viewing, it’s that good) on Friday night to retrieve a bunch of text messages from our babysitter describing a dramatically sudden barf attack from Dylan. “But don’t worry!” she wrote, because she’s a sweetheart. Yo babysitter I’m really happy you told me not to worry but a Barf Text is the biggest date night buzzkill of all time!

Apparently Dylan had complained of a headache, then sat up in bed and BLOOORP. Also, I’m sorry to report he’d eaten hotdogs beforehand, and I don’t know what it is about hotdogs, but they never dissolve. NEVER. Barfed hotdogs look exactly like chewed hotdogs, and even the barfdog-pieces will remain in the bottom of the washing machine, wholly untouched by the laundering process, until you call on your last mental reserve and wipe them out with a paper towel.

(I complained about the hotdog disaster on Twitter and several people were like “EWWW” and “THANKS FOR THE MENTAL IMAGE!” and I was like, oh, am I supposed to feel bad about grossing you out? Because I’m pretty sure sharing the burden of my personal trauma and disgust is exactly what Twitter’s for.)

We’d planned a short trip east to Cle Elum for the next day and when Dylan seemed perfectly fine in the morning, off we went to explore some cool graveyards and marvel at the presence of an actual push-button telephone in the hotel room. Fast forward to 8 PM that night—exactly 24 hours after Dylan’s pukeplosion—and Riley suddenly complained of a headache. Dun dun dunnnnnn.

After Riley’s equally dramatic but thankfully bathroom-contained eruption, he too fell asleep and was perfectly fine the next morning. Have you ever heard of a virus like that? Sudden onset headache, Puke Attack, then back to normal the next day? I don’t know what the hell that was all about, but I guess I’m glad it was short-lived.

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PS: The front of Dylan’s collarbone brace got barfed on so we had to wash it and then it shrunk and kept coming undone so we drove to the weekend clinic and begged for a new one and they gave us one in a larger size and it doesn’t fit very well either and oh god, he’s going to look like Quasimodo for-fucking-ever, isn’t he?

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