It’s always a sign I’m struggling…

…when I’m not writing.

When I’m overwhelmed with stress, it’s hard to even sit down and write anything for anyone, even for myself.

I decided with last night’s full moon that I was ready to release the stress, that I would do my damndest not to let the stress overflow into my personal life.  I’m letting it go.  I don’t want it.  It’s not mine.  Not my shitshow.  Putting it down.

Beyond the shitshow, things are actually going exceptionally well in Katland.  Stay tuned.

—-and on May 22, I realized that this article never posted! It got stuck in the “drafts” folder.  oops.

A weird month

It’s been about a month since I’ve posted. It’s been a weird month.

Some things have surprised me, like the delightful ease of spending a Sunday in the kitchen in excellent company, listening to music and making recipes from the Seitanic Spellbook. Some things have pissed me off, like still being treated like someone’s dirty secret all these years later. I was disappointed, too, by someone completely obliterating my feelings and not even offering an apology of any kind. I was heartened by friends rallying around me when I’ve needed them.

I broke a finger. I buried my oldest dog. I made vegetarian chili. I cried in front of coworkers. I was both bold and incredibly vulnerable in private. I made plans for the future, and I trashed some other plans.    I forgave some bullshit. I was embarrassed by what some people remember me by after more than a decade. I decided not to be embarrassed by what people will think of me for forthcoming choices.

I made some jewelry. I stood by old friends and new. I believed in possibilities, and I took some chances. I let someone else drive more than once. I threw myself in a mosh pit.  I spoke some truthy truths, and I also held my tongue when it wasn’t useful to speak up.

I told some bummer stories. I laughed so hard I peed. I channeled some spirits, and I shut down some energy I didn’t want. I wished a friend happy birthday as I’ve done for the last 20 years without a peep of a response from him.

I gave a lot of fucks. Sometimes I gave no fucks at all. I felt a lot rage, and I meditated my way into peace. Sometimes I meditated myself right to sleep.

I remembered some things I’d forgotten. I absolutely gave up on some people, and I absolutely gave myself over to others.

So much in one month. It’s been a weird month, but it’s been a month well-lived. I have reveled in every day. I have read poetry in the bathtub and sent it to others.

Today’s a new moon, and it’s a day to plant the seeds for the month ahead. I plant the intentions of steadfast commitment, joyous love, satisfying work, and an abundance of laughter. I have gratitude for all that has transpired and all that will unfold.

Job Change Panic

As the job change draws closer, I am FREAKING THE HELL OUT!

I am not a job hopper, so the change makes me nervous.

What if I don’t like it?

What if they don’t like me?

My back is out right now, has been in spasms for days…some of that can be attributed to flying in cheap seats, unable to move, for business meetings last week.  Some of it can also be attributed to fear of the unknown.  I’m trying to be present and roll with it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or afraid.  I totally am.  I am a bit of a wreck right now.

What’s so weird to me is that I’m telling people I’m a wreck, a total hot mess, and I’m getting “lol” type of responses.  Seriously? Like I’m hanging on by my fingernails and that merits “lol?”

This will pass, sure, as all awkward times do, but the ride is a rough one for me.

Valentine’s Eve

It’s Valentine’s Eve: the night before the world is covered in floral deliveries and chocolates.  I’ll be working from home, possibly my last work at home Valentine’s for the foreseeable future, so I will be spared some of the smarm.  It will still be all over Facebook, though, and it’s hard to stomach all the smoochiness.  I can be happy for others and still notice what’s missing for myself.

Maybe I have something good in the works.  I don’t want to jinx it.  It seems like I have something really, really, reallllllly good in the works…it has every sign of being something good…but I’ve been fooled before, y’know? But it seems awesome…chock full of laughter and kindness and sprinkled with a hefty dose of sarcasm.  Fun is had and my sass is met with counter sass.  Yep. #winning

My Valentine’s “date” is one of my besties, also single, because we’re too fantastic to sit at home and weep to Adele songs.  We shall go in search of rock n roll, and we will have a marvelous time.  “Gal”entine’s Day where besties laugh and raise a little hell.

Here’s a totally explicit Marilyn Manson video…over the top nasty to rid my mind of all those fluffy teddy bears and bouquets.  It’s raunchy; don’t click if you’re timid.

Job Change

If I’m not writing often, it usually means I’m stuck in my head, turning over the tiniest details of something over and over.

I got offered a job.  They came looking for me; I didn’t apply there.  The opportunity seems like a good one.

I’ve been so torn over it, because I love what I do for a living now…alas, I earn about what I made 10 years ago, and we all know the economy around us has changed in the last decade.  I wish I could say that money doesn’t matter, and I could stay with the job I love.  I have worried and fretted over this decision.

But…thanks to a really direct and candid late night conversation while watching The Blues Brothers (the original, not the remake), I saw clearly that it doesn’t make sense to stay on where I am.  It was pointed out that in a better financial position, I can donate money or time or both, so I can still be involved in what I love…that I don’t have to choose between the two.  Oh.  Duh.  Seriously, I was feeling like it was an all or nothing scenario, and I needed the proverbial grab by the shoulders.  Grateful that folks care enough to be straight with me.

At the end of February, I will start a new job.  I hope I meet their expectations, and then I hope I exceed them.  I hope to find the happiness under the hood, behind the scenes, at this new gig.  The position is a little isolated, one where I won’t really have a peer, but I think it’s going to be okay.

The biggest downside is I will have to put on pants and go into the world, and I have so loved working from home.  There are times when I don’t leave the house for days other than to walk the dogs, and I love it.  It’s been so good for me to have a 40 hour job with no commute after years of driving all over NC, working crazy hours.

So.  Change is coming.  Change is good.  Change is uncomfortable, but really, nothing exciting ever happens within our comfort zones, right?!

Quiet lately on here…

…but noisy in my head, I assure you!

Post inauguration, I want you to know I pretty much give zero fucks who you voted for because that can’t be changed at this point.  What can be changed is willful ignorance.  Planned Parenthood, for example, is no more an abortion clinic than your local hospital is a place to terminate your old relatives, and your tax dollars haven’t paid for an abortion  since the ’70s; stop posting your nonsense all over social media without looking up the law.  Look. Up. The. Law.  Additionally on that same note, I want to throw out there that being pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion; I want everyone woman to be able to choose what is right for her…I don’t need to decide for her.  Being pro-choice doesn’t mean we don’t take the concept of abortion and the decisions around it with great seriousness.  We are not advocating for McDonald’s to add abortions as an option on the dollar menu; it’s a big damn deal, and I want women to have choices based on their individual circumstances.

Don’t wanna march for something? Then don’t, but stfu about others marching and how wrong it was.  The beauty of the country in which we live is our freedom to dissent in a march or a protest or a sit in.  We can march.  We can wave signs.  You can wave signs back at those protesting, and protest their protest if you want.  That’s how it works here, but they can march for their beliefs if they want, and so can you.

That act you so wanted killed off? I’m not sure you understood it.  I’m not sure you understand the potential repercussions.  Maybe you do, and maybe you and yours have no pre-existing conditions or have no concerns about hitting lifetime insurance caps.

Anyway.  Largely, I’ve kept my mouth shut about it, focusing on things I can do rather than argue, but even I have my limits to how much I can take.  This week has been like, “yuck.”

I was out walking my dogs at lunch today, just an ordinary woman in yoga pants and a sweatshirt walking dogs in my own neighborhood.  A man rolled down his window at me, and screamed, “Yeahhhh, Trump!” at me.  WTF?  Dude, my dogs bite, and frankly, so do I.  This level of weirdo lunatic behavior is ridiculous.

I have other things going on as well that might be worth reporting on later, but right now, I’m concerned at how badly people are behaving in general.   You don’t have to agree with me, but pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease educate yourselves.  Read the laws.  Read the acts.  Read.  Think.  Think some more.

Some words between Xmas and NYE

The December holidays felt a little (lottle) craptacular this year.  I was the brokest (yeah, it’s a word) I’ve been in years and years, and I quite frankly couldn’t buy gifts for people.  It was just not possible, especially following some unplanned expenses.  We all talk about how this time of year, regardless of religion or lack thereof, is about family and friendship and making memories, but it’s painfully awkward when you can’t participate in the exchange of gifts.  Yes, I take care of others with gifts or meals or whatever at other times in the year whenever I can, but it was still a downer, really.  It made the whole month feel yucky.

I did what I could for my kiddo for her bday and her xmas, and then that was the end of that. It sucked.  I like giving gifts.  I like wrapping presents (or “gift bagging presents” is more accurate) and letting someone know I thought of them enough to go a little out of my way just for them.  Gift giving is nice, so it hurt my heart a little to be unable to participate.


Maybe there’s some change on the blustery winds today.  It feels like it—like something amazing might be blowing my way at last.  I would welcome a heap of good stuff, and I wish you the same.

I also wanted to type out a few words about 2016.  People say it’s a terrible year, killing off celebrities, and then others are like, well, don’t all the cops and firefighters that died matter?!?  Oy.  It makes me not even want to open Facebook because I’ll either find out someone famous died OR I’ll be swamped with posts by someone pissed that we’re not giving attention to someone else not famous who passed.  Uggg.  Ok, y’all…everyone matters.  Everyone’s death leaves a hole somewhere.  I think, though, if you get the hell off your damned high horse, you’d understand that a lot of people feel impacted when a celebrity dies because in a sense, we all felt like we “knew” a piece of this person.  When Prince died, for example, I was bummed that there would be no more new music from him; I enjoyed his talent.  That said, Prince was no more important than a cop, a fire fighter, a teacher, a garbage man, a McDonald’s employee, or anyone else.

2016 wasn’t hard for me because of celebrity deaths.  2016 was hard for me because it was hard on my wallet.  It was hard on my heart to have people I allowed to be close to me behave badly.  It was hard on my motivation and determination to run into wall after wall in my personal life and my professional life.  It was hard to see my nation/family/friends divided over a heated election, and the division is still there, still felt, long after the polls have closed.  2016 was a hard year, but not because of someone famous.  2016 was hard in all the boring ways that mean we’re human.


Some perspective

This morning, one of the folks on my team at work called me to ask what the bereavement policy is.  I said I’d be happy to look it up and send it over asap…and was there anything I could do?
My colleague choked on tears, telling me his son died in the night.

How or why doesn’t matter, does it? Yesterday his son was alive; today his son is gone.

That’s some heavy weight to start the day. Wow.

I share this because it gave me a little perspective on some things I’d been perceiving as “problems.”  Pfffft.  What problems? My loved ones are alive and well today, so what problems, really?  By comparison, everything on my plate can be overcome or endured or fixed.

I forget sometimes that my “troubles” are often really a blessing of sorts: I’m alive to complain about other people who are alive, and while they may not be doing what I envisioned of them, they are alive…alive to try again, do over, grow.  Yeah.  Deep breath in and a deep breath outttttttt.

Would you accept the invitation?

I have been having a rough time lately…the usual kinds of challenges that we all face personally and professionally, but the challenges feel amplified by the holidays. I asked the Universe to give me a break, to cut me some slack please pleeeeeease.

I received an invitation out of the blue…an invitation to dance. I don’t dance! I am a mosh pit brawler, but I am not a dancer. I am clumsy. I felt embarrassed just reading the invitation, and I was thissssclose to sending my regrets that I couldn’t attend.

I paused, thinking this was such an unusual invitation. Had I ever in my life been invited to a dance outside of high school? I couldn’t remember ever receiving such an invitation. Maybe the Universe was trying to give me an opportunity to feel differently this holiday season by doing something different?

I deleted my regrets, and replied that I didn’t know how to do the dances, but that I would be willing to give it a go. I hit send before I could chicken out.

The venue was a stone manor built in the 1920’s. It looks like a castle. Inside there are large stone fireplaces, high ceilings, chandeliers, and a ballroom. I found myself standing in that ballroom, a Cinderella with two left feet, and I considered excusing myself under the guise of a restroom visit to run away before the festivities started. I talked myself into staying.

The waltz. I stepped on my partner’s feet. I laughed. I stepped on his feet some more and laughed a lot, some of it nervous and some of the laughter the glee of a kid with a new toy…and then for a few gorgeous minutes, I got it. I was waltzing, waltzing until I was dizzy!

The English country dances. I didn’t know any of the lingo when we started, but I soon caught on well enough to follow along for most of the dances. I wasn’t graceful or elegant, but I was delighted. I had a different partner for every dance, and every partner taught me something I didn’t know, every partner gracious and forgiving of my newbie status.

The hours passed in a flash. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time, and I haven’t been so challenged by trying some completely foreign in a long time.

Later in bed, I realized in all those hours under the chandeliers, I hadn’t given my troubles a single thought. My previously tight, tense shoulders were relaxed. The Universe had given me a break and cut me some slack, granting me a fabulous day that I would long remember.

Would you have accepted the invitation to the dance, or the equivalent, that popped up out of nowhere? I am glad I did.

Coffee Nirvana

I had this pumpkin spice coffee lurking around my cabinets.
I had this salted caramel creamer lurking around the fridge.
There’s a lot of lurking happening in my kitchen on any given day.
I put the two together.
I think about all the years I’ve wasted not putting these two together, all the empty space where I was just drinking plain ol’ coffee.
But now I know, and I can’t un-know, the amazingness.
This is, perhaps, a bigger revelation than dumping the Bailey’s Chocolate Cherry in my iced coffee last week.
You’re welcome.