Pine Needles

Every night
The cat asks to be let in
So annoying

Our Christmas trees
Dry out
The cat drinks the tree water

My knees are scarred
Both knees
The cat gets in the way
On the stairs
When packages hide my view

The new couch
Is shredded in one spot
The cat refuses to use a post

My niece has a scar
On her left thigh
The cat didn’t want her
In his room

I pray every night
To hear his incessant begging meows
For brown tree needles
For more stair trips
To see sofa foam
To give him that room

I miss my cat and wish he’d come home

If I could go back to me a week ago
I’d whisper in my ear
This is the sweetness of life
These little annoyances

The Last Time is a Beautiful Thing

I read an article that introduced me to a deliberate practice that has helped me be more present.

Is this the Last Time you get to do this?

This question isn’t meant to scare or put one into scarcity. It is a precious reminder that this moment is, well, precious.

My son has long hair. It is hard to brush. I help him in the morning and sometimes it is just hard.

I am blessed to be with him on the mornings I brush his hair. Now, if it is a struggle, I lovingly run my hands over his silken (gnarled underneath) tresses. I slow it all down and LOVE how delicious it is to be a mom who has a son.

I told my son about it and he sort of laughed. Yet, weeks later he did something he hasn’t done since he was four. He used to stand at the top of the stairs and call for me in the SWEETEST voice MOMMA!

(I taught him to do this as a toddler when he woke up in the morning… I’d come get him in such a fun way.)

It was beautiful to get a Last Time Do Over. I felt so very grateful.

I’m learning to be super present by slowing moments down as if they were the last time. Thank you author of the article below. 🙂

Say Yes to Everything

Say Yes to Everything

For a week.
Of course, put some boundaries around it.
(My boundaries were: no travel required, no going with strangers in dark allies & no messing with my son’s schedule)
Say YES to every request or ask.
Of course, do not tell anyone you are doing this.
Just do it.
There are so many articles out there about saying NO, so I wondered how it would feel to embrace the chaos of YES.
One week.
It was total chaos and bliss.
It took me to places I value.
I threw me off of my ‘to do’ list and into the present moment.
YES is the new NO. or is it KNOW.

Emotion IS

“Get over it.”
“Buck up.”
“Carry on.”
“Calm down.”

“Whatever you do, please, do not have an emotion I do not feel like having right now.”

I find this curious. About humans. What most of us yearn for is real moments with people we care about. Yet, we often shun, distance and turn people away at the moments that are perfect for deeper connection.

Grief. Anger. Bitterness. Imperfection. All those yucky feelings we all have.

One of the cruelest things we can do to another person is shun them. We do this in a fashion when we distance ourselves from people when they are in a feeling.

I watch my son be told (by people who love him) not to cry if something hurts. “Toughen up champ.”

I watch CEOs, who desperately need to confront reality sooner in their business, push the truth away because of the emotional package it is coming in.

I wonder sometimes if teenagers stop talking to their parents because their parents have taught them for years that when they are having an emotion they will be calmed down, repositioned and not listened to.

Perhaps if humans physiologically understood that emotions are temporary and they are often part of a process that gets people closer to their genius. When we disallow emotions we shortcut the beauty of being human. The best of us is often on the other side of some intense feelings.

The next time a kid, a co-worker, a spouse, a sibling, a friend is having an emotion you do not feel like having in the moment – sit in it with them. Be curious without trying to solve the issue. Get them talking more and feeling more.

I believe empathy shows love and personal strength. Empathy is simply the ability to feel the feelings of another person without becoming it. To be with someone. To allow imperfection so we move closer to perfection. (although perfect isn’t and doesn’t actually exist)

If what we really want is for someone to stop feeling bad, sometimes the fastest path is through it rather than around it.

It is longer than I think

And old draft from 2012.

So. I did this thing.

13.1 miles


My plan: to run the whole way and not stop until the finish line.

My treat: seeing my little boy seeing his old mom doing something she didn’t think was possible.

So. We go.

Crazy flight. 11 hours. Lots of training. I could run SIX MINUTES without stopping when I started.

Wanting to finish in 3 hours.

So. We lose a tooth. Sebastian does. Over dinner the first night. He says, “If this is any indication of the days ahead…”  Yes. He did say that. Because the kid parrots all the silly ways I talk about red lights, drunken window tappers in the Tenderloin or spilled milk on his favorite shirt at breakfast.

So. We try to relax. I get hives. Quarter size. I lost count at 13. Not because I can’t count but I sort of lost interest. I realized I was about to be one big giant postule of yuck. Luckily we had a nurse nearby. Gave me Benadryl. I poodled most of the night worrying about my race. Fret fret fret.

I shifted my focus to the moment I crossed the finish line. My son talking about it and telling me he just couldn’t wait to see me finish. It is what kept me going in training: knowing that I was going to have this moment with my son. I wanted him to see that discipline is a good thing…that all the training was worth it.

I hired a sitter to be with Sebastian while I ran. I let her know that the most important thing for me is that he was at the finish line. I gave her the possible times. I could have asked friends to be with him. Yet my desire to never tread on another trumped good sense. I hired a gal.

I ran. 3 laps. 13 ish miles. Dear friends cheering me as I struggled to keep running. I did. When I crossed that finish line I wanted to be able to tell my son “I DID IT”- that thing I didn’t think possible.

The last mile I broke down. Almost gave up. Luckily a stranger Scott, limping on the side of the path, told me to keep going and not give up. He ran with me the last mile… talking all the way. He was magic.

I see the finish line…and… not my son.

Not my son.

It seems the sitter had lost track of time. He wasn’t there. Other friends were. So many of them. Two gave me flowers. And that moment was so sad for me.

I saw him in the distance and he ran to me. He was so angry that I had crossed the finish line without him. The sitter apologizing for losing track of time. Then, she admitted that she just didn’t believe that I could finish my first half in 2.5 hours. She sort of apologized but not really.

Life is like this sometimes. We have these expectations that can make us sad.

What did I learn from this? That maybe I need to learn to ask those close to me to help.

Or maybe

The lesson is that Sebastian, it is the small moments that matter most. The times you were on the bike next to me while I learned how to run. The finish line, feh. That is only for us if we think FINISHING and the MEDAL is what makes a life.

I don’t. You?