Archive for the ‘Rarely have we seen…’ Category

Losing heart: don’t do it, don’t you dare!

June 24, 2021

I was so taken aback, my jaw dropped. Just me? Has any of you ever found this kind of fortune in your Chinese take-out?

losing heart

Losing heart. What the hell?! Who gets a fortune like that? First of all, that’s not even a complete sentence. Secondly, …okay, I’m sorry, I’m back to what the hell?! again. It hits a little close to home.

I’m trying to remember that no matter how many times I have to climb the mountain in front of me, it’s going to stand there until I get past it. It’s my mountain, and it’s just my luck. Some people have their houses burn down. Some people lose their children, or lose parents at an impossibly early age. There are so many different kinds of trauma or hardship.

My mountain is my mountain. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it isn’t.

Don’t lose heart, Katie-girl. You can do this.

The girl went over the mountain…

June 14, 2021

It’s rainy together. Rainy and miserable. And to be honest: it’s kind of put me in a funk.

To be more honest, I started out having a bit of a Jonah day. I have some custody stuff that bubbled up over the weekend, and…. I keep making hard decisions and tough choices and wondering when the terrible, awful, no-good, very bad hurdles will stop showing up. I’m doing my best to build myself back up, but at some point… Man.

So! Because I’m having a bit of a moment, a bit of a day, I decided to post something that I did this week. Another thing that made me feel deep happiness: I reached the top of Mount Wachusett.

There are a ton of hiking trails, all of which I want to crawl into, and explore, and see wildlife. They’re the kind of trails that make me want to sing Girl Scout songs at the top of my voice. (But that would scare the wildlife and the hikers.) So I haven’t. Yet.

The pictures don’t do it justice; the views are phenomenal, even in all the haze. There are helpful signs at the top of the firepost-climby-tower thing. They show you which mountains are which, and where they’re located. Did you know that you can see Mt. Snow in Vermont? Or mountains and ridges in New Hampshire? Obviously you can see Mt. Manadnock. That bit that’s circled red in the picture? You can’t make it out as well as in person, but that’s the Boston skyline! It’s stunning!

I can make it over the mountain. I know, sometimes, that it seems like asking for help and getting things in order creates more of a problem that never seems to end. But this is the life I’m meant to be living, and if there’s a mountain in my way? Well, then there’s a mountain in my way. It only holds the power that you give it and allow it to have.

So I’m going to be sad if I need to be sad. But I’m also going to remember that I can go back to that mountain top at any time and remember that I can do it.

I can do it.

….the girl went over the mountain, because that’s what was next.

When Bee-Girl got her room back.

June 13, 2019

You guys remember How Stella Got her Groove Back? That movie was a Moment for me. I was in junior high and seeing women empowered like that, encouraged to feel their feelings and act on them, to be who they really were and get other people to really see them – that was formulative. Discovering Terry McMillan right after that further fueled those feelings, and that Moment that my girlfriends and I had then turned into a Movement. It changed how we saw and interacted with the world.

Now I want you to tuck that bit of insight away, but not too far away.

Bee-girl is having a moment. She’s moving on up from Bee-Tween to a marvelous, majestic, empowered teen. [One who seems to be resisting a nickname, but that’s another story.] You know how she is.

She’s been planning and scheming her room renovation for more than two years. It was a fun distraction at first – measuring the room, picking out what kind of furniture she’d want, blackout curtains, colors, and whatnot.

Then her room became something more. Gracie got a room “renovation” a few years ago because she moved out of the girls’ shared room and we needed to actually build her a room in the former guest/craft room. [Great googly-moogly – I love our set-up now, but gawd I miss that space!] Two Christmases ago, two pivotal things happened that twisted Bee into knots. One: the new bed. Auntie Kim bought a new bed for that room because she visited a lot and that was her bed when she was here. (Gracie got bumped into the spare bed in Bee’s room.) Auntie Kim paid for the bed frame, which Gracie picked out with only a few vetoes; I paid for the super-awesome memory foam mattress that I kind of wanted to steal. Heh. The bed was one thing; the other was the new paint. Gracie had been begging to paint her room a different color, now that the room was hers. So Auntie Kim gave her a gallon of paint for Christmas. The accent wall is now peacock blue, and it’s lovely!

But it was also super-problematic.

Those two purchases made it seem like Gracie got a second room renovation. Bee hated her room – she felt it didn’t represent her style, her personality, everything was hand-me-down. She felt less-than. Two renovations less-than, in fact. And because sometimes life is difficult, and sometimes those twists and turns happen at the worst possible time, Bee didn’t get her promised room renovation for quite a while. I promised her $500 for her budget – the problem was finding time when we could afford that bit of luxury.

Finally, about a month ago, I finally saved enough to turn all of Bee’s schemes and Pinterest pins and mad-hattery ideas into motion. The sparkle on her face when I said Yes was one of Those Moments that you stockpile as a parent. A moment you’ll call up in the hard times to shore up your spirits. A moment when you and your daughter sincerely understand each other’s point-of-view. God bless therapy. And patience.

And, of course, IKEA.

I have so many pictures and stories to show you! The desk. The mirror. A rug. Curtains. A new drill and drywall patching kit to make curtains possible! Heh. An interesting wardrobe solution. More allen wrenches than this world really needs. And the bed. Oh heavens and stars, Bee has been searching the world over for the loft bed she had created in her mind. Thank you jeebus she found it! I just had to make it fit in her tiny, tiny room of dreams.

It’s glorious!

But this part is really my favorite part. This story about why Bee’s new bedroom was so meaningful. How she had transferred a lot of feelings into this idea, but then how she used her power to communicate that to me, and worked with me to make it happen. I’m really proud of Bee for doing that! Almost-13-year-olds rock pretty ducking hard, I’ll tell you what.

Bee-tween got her groove back. Just wait til you see!

Bee-tween

A night out at the symphony.

March 4, 2019

No grumbling or groaning from this girl because today is a Monday. Nope! I had a lovely weekend! This Saturday night I got to play grown-up and go out for a night on the town at the Meyerson Symphony Center. It was so…breathtakingly beautiful that there may not be words.

Naturally, it took a village to get Katie ready for this thing. Seriously, dear readers – you very nearly got a poll-post asking which dress YOU thought I should wear! Gracie and her bestie convinced me to put on a fashion show with my dresses, Bee-girl rolled her eyes, and several other parties with varying levels of interest all weighed in. In the end, we arrived at the long-sleeve deep-purple dress with broach. This is not the best picture, but you’ll see what I mean:

Dress2

So that’s what we had to work with, Katie-land! I had gold peekaboo-toe strappy heels from StitchFix that would work, which meant I needed to run over to Charming Charlies to find a gold handback to match my shoes (how did I not own one?!!) and dangley gold earrings that were fancy enough. I had some earrings that were work-fancy, but not symphony-fancy!

Oh, my gosh – Saturday night! SATURDAY NIGHT! Readers, I can’t EVEN with how nervous I was! I spent two hours trying to get my make-up just right (all the while cursing the fact that I never paid attention when my friends were learning how to do that girly shiiiii…stuff).  I drowned myself in enough YouTube tutorials to get some purple eye shadow on, fought with my curls (at least I know what I’m doing in that cage match), and shimmied into my dress.

All of the work, though, mmm let’s just say it was definitely worth it! My date was hotttt(!!) – seriously, it was like on tv when the backstory is you’ve been best friends forever and then there’s this event and the moment you see each other dressed up for the first time, and both of your hearts kind of skip a beat, and, well… I’m putting a lot of thought bubbles in someone else’s mind. I just know I lost the power to speak when I saw my date step out his front door…

Ahem.

So! Moving right along! When we walked into the Meyerson Symphony Center, everything was lit up gorgeously along the marble and glass. The space felt so opulent. In fact, my date and I turned to each other at the same time and laughed about how we felt like frauds almost, like we were playing at being “grown-ups” again, as we settle back into…real life? But is something as sparkly and fantastical as the Meyerson really everyday life?

If it is, I’m all in! We walked the space slowly, enjoying it. A couple offered to take our picture. The buffet was lavish. Staff were everywhere, so helpful and friendly, tripping over themselves to be deferential. The serving staff never once rushed us away from our table, even though we sat there by the window talking about so many different things. It was beyond perfect.

The gongs sounded to find our seats while I was freshening my lipstick and a chorus of: “That sounds straight up from Cinderella!” poured out of everyone’s mouths, making us all laugh as we scattered to find our seats.

We had wonderful seats! And yes, I stole some quick snaps while everyone was sitting down.

And then they orchestra began to play, and my words were stolen. Conductor Carlos Kalmar was animated genius, and watching him dance with his orchestra was a privilege.

The crown of perfection is reserved for the guest soloist, Karen Gomyo. It was if the stars themselves poured out of her violin! I am not very knowledgeable about classical music – I’ve picked up things here and there, but most of what I know comes from having watched Mozart in the Jungle – but even being the classical music simpleton that I am, I still felt that as long as Ms. Gomyo was playing, every single thing in this world was going to be okay. It just was.

It was an enchanting evening. I am beyond lucky to have been part of it!

Ravi

How do you perceive yourself?

February 18, 2019

That was the question my therapist asked me last week. How do I think others perceive me, and how do I perceive myself.

It’s harder to answer than you think.

Then she gave me some homework: Create a collage to illustrate how you perceive yourself.  Me being me, I changed the assignment to include things that I identify with, or make me happy, or just created a strong feeling.

I think it came out okay:

Collage

I even included a hidden message that makes me happy! Because of course it does.

So, Faithful Readers, how do you think YOU perceive yourself?

Stop – breathe.

February 13, 2019

Two (not-so) littles down with the flu in 8 days – it’s easy to get caught up in rushing around to doctor’s appointments, pharmacy runs, and Target runs upon Target runs for Gatorade, the good tissues, Nyquil, and more Gatorade.

Even though you’re calling in for work, you still have to wake up to bring the healthy kiddo off to school. You might not change out of your pajamas, but you’re still constantly up-and-down for temp checks, pushing Gatorade, making jello, prepping breathing treatments.

I woke up this morning with my stomach in knots, anxiety making my brain race in not-good ways. I need to stop and breathe. I was glad when a friend sent a daily reflection, and wouldn’t you know that it was all about living in the present?

Life is found in the present. We’re not sure we can go a lifetime without feeling self-pity, but we can give it up for the day. By living one day at a time, we become more sure of our strength. We have the power to change things only in the present. The present holds much for us if we get a hold on it.

I needed to hear that. I don’t need to panic about how I’m going to fix everything because I can’t fix it all at once; I don’t need to focus on how I can make it all better because I can only change right now, today.

So! I’m passing on the challenge: focus on the here and now. Be good to yourself. Indulge. Enjoy a little self-care!

Starbs