Sunday, November 22, 2020


 "You can't see the picture if you're inside the frame."

The above was said by a junior boy in my AP US History class, or as Hannah and her friends now call it, "A-PUSH." I'm sure Erik would be shocked that I remember it, as I'm sure he doesn't. I can't remember the context, but we had the best discussions in that class, and it could have been about anything. But that football player with the twinkling eyes said it, and I wrote it down, and remember and think of it often.

Because how often are we too close to the problem to be able to see it clearly? 

I work with three different organizations outside of my full-time job and parenting responsibilities. I have high-ranking positions in each, and I'm proud of the work I do to support them. But it is volunteer work, and is often outside of what I'm professionally experienced in doing. I have to leave my comfort zones to give input and support, and the time I have is often limited, but I do the best I can. Sometimes, that doesn't live up to what others expectations may be, and that's tough to hear and accept. But sometimes, I may be too close to the issues at hand, and getting feedback from someone more on the outside can be really helpful. It's hard not to be defensive and even overprotective of the group, and to take the comments in. That balance can be a difficult one to strike, but it's worth it. 

Deep breaths. Listen and absorb before responding. Dive in again. 

Friday, November 20, 2020


 I've been noting on Facebook lately that I've been doing so. much. adulting.

Maybe it's because life has, frankly, not been so enjoyable with this virus raging and not much to look forward to doing. It feels like life is an endless list of responsibilities and very little pay off right now. I'm not saying that to be depressing, just honest. By focusing on the things I'm getting done, especially those little things without much of a reward for having done them, seems like a way to still feel accomplished and like life is moving forward. 

So this week started with paying to have two dead trees removed before they became threats, and it ended with me ordering a new lightbulb for the refrigerator. I also changed the batteries in our door lock, ordered more compost bags, and refilled the JetDry in the dishwasher. I picked up groceries for our local pantry donation, and the supplies for Max's at home science experiment next week. I registered Hannah for an online event that required an absurd amount of forms. I made incremental progress on details for Max's bar mitzvah. I held my office hours at work and checked in on my teammates. 

The other day I was driving Max to Hebrew school, one of his only in-person activities, and he admitted that if I hadn't told him it was time to go, he wouldn't have had any idea he was missing it. We talked about how people can use tools to help them stay organized, or they can try to design a life where there are few time-sensitive tasks. Or maybe you rent an apartment instead of owning a house, so you don't have to coordinate tree trimming services. But no one can really get out of growing up. 

And sometimes, when you're a grown up, you get to decide that you're just having candy. Because candy is good. So there are some perks. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Okay with Okay

It's November, and in the past for me, that's meant "NaBloPoMo," or National Blog Post Month, where people attempted to blog every day for the month. I've done it a few times, and each time, I found it to be a fulfilling experience. I liked the challenge of making time to show up for myself each day. And it really was a challenge to figure out something worth saying EVERYDAY, or even a picture worth posting. I never continued to post daily after it ended, as the end always seemed to come through with a limp at Thanksgiving and such. I managed to do it from 2014 to 2016, and again in 2019.

This year, my blogging friend Melisa astutely recognized the challenge that is 2020 all on its own, without things like manufactured blogging challenges to keep us on our toes. But she offered to aggregate links and send them out to people, and so I signed up again for this exercise, and told myself that I'd aim for once a week. If I hit publish today, that will be two for two. 

But dear lord I am dragging today, and showing up is hard. And The Bachelorette used the phrase "show up" so much in the last few weeks that it's basically lost all meaning for me. 

I made it to another Friday. Hannah had her wisdom teeth out this week and while it wasn't fun, she's made it through the worst of it. Max is going back to some in person school on Monday and enjoyed some extra time off this week. We're all okay.

For now, that's really all I've got. A lot of telling myself that we're all okay, that I'm okay. I'm learning to be okay with okay.

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Land of Overwhelm

 Today is the first day in a while where I haven't felt completely overwhelmed. 

I know a lot of that is self-imposed. But keeping all of the plates spinning these last few months has taken so much effort, and we all know that I'm already a so much effort kind of person. And it's funny, because it's the day before Election Day, and I can see the spinning out of so many others as their worry crescendos in a palpable way. I've had to shut out so much of that for myself, because as much as I'd like to have been right there with them, I just can't. Kids, dog, job, home, board work (times three), planning a bar mitzvah, and trying to figure out a separation and divorce. I toggle from email to video meetings to reminders to voicemails to lists and notes. I write emails to a friend that include the phrase "and and and and and" often. Basically daily. 

I am okay, and I'm really not complaining. It is a lot, but I am better than I was, and I know that. I am zoning out in my favorite way, watching TV (which is a totally legit form of self care, thank you very much), and I am going to be fine. 

There are going to be more days like this one ahead, when the work is manageable and the kids are quiet and the dog is napping and the house is clean and the dinner is made. It's good to know those days are still ahead, even if their frequency is limited right now. And someday, I'll probably look back on my time in the Land of Overwhelm and know that I'd give anything to be back there again. So I should probably try a little harder to be grateful for all of it right now.