Time seems to be moving along at a VERY fast clip lately. Riley (18!) has just returned from a solo trip to check out a potential college in central Washington, and Dylan (16!) not only just turned 16(!) but also nailed his driving test. Who are these tall-ass fully licensed adult-shaped humans ambling around my house leaving trails of Eggo crumbs?!

(Because waffles will always be a snack.)

While I’m complaining about the passing of time, let me expand that to include the ravages happening to the body as one creeps up on 50. I can’t believe I ever used to think that wrinkles were the biggest visible change when it comes to facial aging, when in fact it’s all the mysterious goings-on under the skin that make the real impact. I vaguely picture that all over my body there’s this layer of — what, collagen? Peanut butter? Fleshy goo? — that is actively degrading into what I once saw Anne Lammott refer to as “grandma pudding.”

A major topography change appears to be underway everywhere: my once-smooth cheeks have incipient sagging jowls now, I have crabby-looking marionette lines, my under-eye circles are both gloomy and cavernous, my chin just droops into my neck, and I recently noticed that the left side of my face is looking rounder/fuller than the right and I suspect it’s because I routinely sleep on my right side.

Tough stuff, to be honest. I know we’ve all got a whole plethora of shit to be dismayed about these days, but have you ever tried combining pure vanity about your appearance with multiple layers of existential despair? *kisses fingers, makes smacking sounds* Fucking nom nom IRRESISTABLE.

I do have a little trick for working through these feelings. Whenever I find myself getting too spun up about my aging face — as in going down the mental rabbithole of surgical/invasive treatments — I think of the horse I ride, Little Joe.

Little Joe is 18 years old, which makes him an older middle-aged/senior guy. One of the signs of aging with horses is that they lose fat and muscle tone around the eyes and experience bone resorption just like we do.

I think of his dear face and then I imagine the idea of his face not being good enough. I imagine needles of filler going into his eyesockets, or a surgical procedure that pulls his skin tight. Then I try to just let the batshit insanity of that feeling wash over to my side of the fence.

Perfection as is.

That might hold me over until my next Zoom call, anyway. They say aging isn’t for the weak, but the truth is it doesn’t matter if you’re graceful about it or a big old fat crybaby: it comes either way — assuming you’re one of the lucky ones.

I’ve ordered our family holiday cards, a process that always seems like one of the Seasonal Big Bosses. Every year I toy with the idea of choosing self-love and skipping the MF card but I always talk myself into it; this year I had the thought that this would be our LAST card with Riley at home so obviously it needed to happen. I’ve been going with a collage option the last several years because we never have one terrific group shot, we did get this picture at Thanksgiving but aside from my prominent forehead vein (obvs feeling super relaxed and breezy!!!) the fact that the kids TOWER over us now is just kinda comical. It’s giving Bidens/Carters in the Oval Office.


One of my prior workplaces (where I did not feel very recognized for my contributions) is quite clearly writing every blog post via ChatGPT now, which vaguely pleases me. Marketing writers, who needs ‘em? Your brand does, bucko, because all-LLM copy is LLAMESAUCE.


Update on my toxic morning routine: I stopped taking magnesium glycinate at night and I think it is helping a bit. My theory is that part of the stressy feelings have to do with Imminent Poop Feelings. I also bought a SAD lamp (specifically a “Verilux® HappyLight® Lumi Plus Light Therapy Lamp with 10,000 Lux of UV-Free, LED, full-spectrum light”) and so my oh-dark-thirty coffee-and-phone-scrolling habit now includes being visually assaulted with a very bright rectangle. No noticeable effects so far, although I do feel more alert/awake right afterward.


This is random but if you personally have been on the fence about an Apple Watch, I heartily endorse it. I’ve had mine for 18+ months or so and I can honestly say it changed my relationship with fitness. Getting in my workouts each day feels non-negotiable to me now, which partially has to do with my studio — having a place to myself has been a game-changer when it comes to exercise at home — but is also the result of habit-building through the watch. I feel like the ability to call something a workout and then observe your own heart rate throughout is incredibly freeing: truly, anything can be a workout. You don’t need a video or a class or even a single piece of equipment to build strength and cardio endurance.


I have entered my Birding Era. And by “birding” I don’t mean “going around with binoculars and a notebook and maybe a pith helmet” because that sounds like a real hobby, and what I’m into is more like, “dumping entire bags of peanuts on my studio deck and watching the absolute fucking CHAOS that ensues.” It all started with a crow fascination (yes from TikTok) and has expanded to other semi-obnoxious birds, specifically Steller’s Jays and Scrub Jays. They’re braver than the crows and will come to my deck any time as long as I’m putting out the feed, and I love them so much. The Steller’s jays are the boldest (also they imitate a hawk’s cry which is amazing), but the Scrub jays are my favorite – their sleek smart heads remind me of tiny velociraptors. I get a lot of squirrels, too, which are always wildly cute and cheery to observe as long as you don’t overly focus on their hella-creepy toes.

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