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Used To Be

Opinions, Entitlement, and the Value of Your Voice

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Raising Fair Fiona, The Good Mother, Used To Be | 0 comments

Opinions, Entitlement, and the Value of Your Voice

Opinions are like noses, we all have them. But are we entitled and allowed to have them? If I find it hard to find a voice to express them, I may not feel I’m allowed to have an opinion in the first place. As a woman, it can prove tough not to judge myself for what I have to say as necessary or valid as I’m considering actually saying it. Then I may choose to keep quiet. I have my own internal bouncer at the thought door checking the validity, wittiness, or profundity of my outgoing thoughts and opinions. And often, they’re...

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The Hurry and The Hush

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Used To Be | 4 comments

The Hurry and The Hush

I am a recovering Energizer Bunny. I’ve been called that, yes. My therapist referred to this “life coping technique” as Industrious Over-focused. I’m getting it all done, covering all my bases in a hurry just in case I need to prove why I’m worthy of keeping around I suppose. The Perfect Holiday is an easy trap to fall into for people who have my affliction. Do it all and you WIN. But unless you have a talent for military maneuvering and a team of Martha Stewarts, plus a degree in time management, it’s a big jolly...

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The Election Hangover

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Used To Be | 3 comments

The Election Hangover

I was pregnant with Eamon and had opened a little gift shop when the 2004 election re-elected George W. Bush as president for another term. My husband and I were grief-stricken.  And we talked of what was to be done and would we consider moving. And then we had our baby. What I remember from that experience is that eventually, after the drama died down, my life didn’t change all that much. I still woke up, had my cup of coffee with cream and sugar, and knew I could hop in my car and go to any drive through for the fast food of...

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Flashes of Home : My Past and Future are Now

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Housewifery, Used To Be | 2 comments

Flashes of Home : My Past and Future are Now

I keep getting flashes of my home as a child. They’re not infused with any specific memory but they feel significant. Like they’re guideposts to a thing that I’m doing now. I think my heart and brain are building a bridge to a place called Home. And that place is inside me. From the fabulous movie Garden State: Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of...

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The Book I Tried Not to Want to Write

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Used To Be | 4 comments

The Book I Tried Not to Want to Write

Back when I was young and ambitious, I used to want to write a book. I was sure that every thought that I had was precious and precocious. I knew my woeful tale was worth telling. Then I grew up. And knew my tale wasn’t so different from many tales. Messed up childhood, abusive marriage, addictions, blah blah blah. So many good books well written on these same subjects, I was glad, relieved even, when I felt I had put it all away where it needed to stay. Until recently, when that concept reared its know-it-all knowing head and said, “Oh...

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On Turning 50 and Becoming Myself

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Used To Be | 8 comments

On Turning 50 and Becoming Myself

Today is my birthday. Funny thing about turning 50. There’s a lot of mental hoopla. And then you arrive at 50 and you just keep living. You’ve made it. You survived yourself and all your bad choices. And the prize for that is to keep living and squeezing all the wonderful joyous moments you can get from the rest of your life. Highlights along the path to my momentous occasion are finding my husband after a whole miserable lifetime of another marriage, and having two kids, one at age 38 and another at age 46. This miraculous feat...

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I Was a Teenage Doormat

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Used To Be | 0 comments

I Was a Teenage Doormat

There was just an understanding growing up. What you did was of no value unless someone else approved of it. Parents and adults approval was mandatory and was proof that you mattered. Good grades, teacher’s pet, and Daddy’s favorite. This also meant that you could never be enough. And so I became a teenage doormat. I was invisible to myself. Credit for anything I ever did disappeared down a hole.  Unless someone else was handing it to me, I dared not attempt to bestow it on myself. I never had a chance to trust in my own...

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I’m Breaking Up With Parts of Me

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Used To Be | 4 comments

I’m Breaking Up With Parts of Me

I tossed a look up at the top shelf of the closet where the skinny butt pants get parked. Those are the ones that don’t quite fit yet; perhaps may never fit again.  And I caught sight of the several pairs of truly nice high heels I own. And it struck me: I’m never going to be the person who teeters about on those heels and hurts herself. And I’ve decided I’m giving her walking papers and some shoes to walk out the door with. I’m breaking up with the parts of me that never were. Yes, I am letting go of those...

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Why Our 2016 Summer Vacation Didn’t Suck

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Friendship, Gathering My Lessons, Used To Be | 4 comments

Why Our 2016 Summer Vacation Didn’t Suck

For a long time, I resented you and your family vacation. I didn’t really have a quintessential family growing up, think broken home and raised by wolves, and there were no vacations to be remembered. Your pictures of yearly fun at the seashore and by the lake house were just a reminder of my lack of a life like yours. But then I created a chance for a Mulligan, a history do-over. One where I had my own family and my own kids. I knew that ever elusive family Summer vacation was one of those must-haves for my children as well as for me...

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I’m a Former Chaos Junkie

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Ahas, Daily Shalagh, Gathering My Lessons, Used To Be | 2 comments

I’m a Former Chaos Junkie

I can not remember ever not being whacked out about my life, my month, my week, or my day. I have lived in perpetual chaos, stressed out about whatever events are coming up or jobs or deadlines or responsibilities I had. And it always felt like each outcome would decide whether I was a legitimate person or just a poser in my life. I’d have days of feeling the anticipation of an upcoming deadline and my stomach would hurt, I’d chew the inside of my cheek to shreds, and generally feel like crap mentally. As in “feeling like I...

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