Category Archives: The College Years

Ten Things on Thursday: 10/21/2021

  1. Things are good. I haven’t been overly busy this week. I had lunch with a pal today, a boozy lunch, the best kind. I’m glad for a slow week; last week was a doozy.
  2. I even cooked this week. I’ve struggled to get back into meal planning and cooking on the weekends since I got back from Mexico. I’ve cooked a little something but I’ve not been on my game. Until yesterday I whipped up some smothered pork chops, mac and cheese androasted zucchini. It was delish. I’m going to get back on my game this weekend.
  3. So, I know this is random, but trust me, I’m going somehwere with this. I’ve thought long and hard since my vacation. I’ve thought about where I want to go next since the world is beginning to reopen. I might go to another resort after the holidays; I think that might be a good vacay for Hope. I’ve not taken her to one before; I probably should wait until she’s 21. It seems kind a cruel to take her just a couple of shy of her 21st, doesn’t it? Now there probably was a time when I might’ve been petty enough, but it genuinely seems like an awful and I love Hope more than anything.
  4. But I digress…
  5. I have decided that I may never wear a one piece bathing suit ever again. Which I do have feelings about because I have some super cute suits. But when you’re on vacation, your belly is filled, so is your tumber with a humongous daquiri, and totally vibing, the last thing you want to do is go to the bathroom. And then it dawns on you that you have to get nekkid to relieve yourself. It was exhausting. The stalls were small. I was unstable because that tumbler I mentioned was not the first tumbler of the day. One time my straps got tangled and I lost my balance and my obit flashed before my eyes.
  6. “Middle Aged African American Woman Dies Due to a Broken Neck Caused by a Fall. ABM was found dead alone in a bathroom stall, tangled in the straps of her one piece swim suit. She likely lost her balance due to severe inebriation.” The horror. Then I started thinking about why I wear one pieces–“because it hides things that I believe/know other people find unattractive.” It is literally deadly clothing chosen out of shame to a body that done its best by my. So, if you run into me on the beach in my bikini–I’m fully committing here! None of that tank-ini ish, because, I would be catering to the eyes of others–so, yeah bikini, letting it all hang out: Mind the business that pays you! I’m happy and safe, and if I die in a resort bathroom I’ll at least be half dressed.
  7. In other news, Hope had to get a second root canal today; same tooth as before. Seems the young miss has super long roots, and so they didn’t get it all the first time. She started having pain last week. I’m noting that while she might not be complaining about the dental work, her body does not like it. This is the 3rd appointment and she’s got one more. She crashes after every appointment. She’s been asleep since early afternoon. I made her get off the couch and get in her bed. She never turned her lights on. She just climbed into bed clothes and all.
  8. This weekend, I’m going to start doing some purging in her room. We’re looking at wallpaper and furniture. It’s past time to update her room and de-cluttering is overwhelming for her. I’m excited about this project and learning how Hope’s style has evolved.
  9. I’ve also really been reflecting on what have been silver linings during the pandemic. Hands down it has been getting to know Hope and Yappy with a few more years of maturity and wisdom for all of us. This last year has been so hard for Hope; so much of it had me scared for her. I know there were months where she was at her lowest, just could not get out of bed. And she fought her way back from the edge and is on the brink of thriving again. She is an amazing human. I am humbled that I get to walk with her and guide her. I’m so proud of her. And Yappy? My love for this critter is so pure and soulful. I can decipher all his expressions now, and I watched him step into the gravity of his full stubbornness. I learned that he can truly get board, so now we have multiply play times during the day and I got some puzzles for him. I learned that he hates the weight management food I had to put him on; he pretty much said he only eats it because it’s wet food, which by definition is a step above dry food. He eats both, but definitely has a preference. We have full on conversations with our eyes. I love this little boy beast.
  10. So, yeah, things are good this week.


Ten Things on Thursday: 10/7/2021

  1. Well, I got home safe and sound. Gawd Mexico was just what I needed. I am promising myself to take the time off I really need. That time was restorative. I am still overwhelmed, but I’m not exhausted, so I have gas in the tank to keep going.
  2. Hope did well holding down the fort. The house wasn’t quite as tidy as I asked for it to be, but Yappy was alive and the building was still standing. We’re good.
  3. I’m realizing that Hope seems to be in a bit of a developmental growth spurt. It’s cool watching her put concepts and ideas together that echo back to things I have tried to teach her over the years. So very cool watching her have a “click” moment.
  4. The parenting lesson is that the stuff sticks even when you think it didn’t. So, give yourself some grace. You’re planting grass seed.
  5. So Hope had to get a root canal this week. Earlier this week she got the cost estimate–north of $500. She was horrified, and actually was like, maybe I don’t need to do this right now. I told her to have the dental work done and that I’m mom and I got this.
  6. Then I explained how dental insurance is some bullshit.
  7. After the bill was paid and we were chatting, and she commented that if she had to pay for that it would take up almost all of her check. That led to a discussion about minimum wage vs. living wage, working poor, affluence, and decision-making. My inner mom was doing cartwheels. We even revisited why I call certain expensive dinners “that cost 4 Swiss dinners.” When we were in Switzerland a few years ago, I took Hope and Grammy to a bistro for dinner and that bill was outrageous even though we did not eat extravagantly at all.
  8. I am also seeing her learn about herself, create boundaries and just evolve. She’s thinking about leaving Target where she works customer service. She’s realizing how her some of her personality traits and core values maybe make customer service not quite the right fit for her. But then she’s pulling back into the finance questions because it pays well and she’s going back to school soon and will have a car note to boot. She’s gonna realize that one of her next big decisions will be whether she can adapt and conform to the needs of the job or move on to something she’s better suited for.
  9. I will be popping popcorn watching her navigate that question cause it’s coming soon.
  10. Yappy turned 7 last weekend. He is just the sweetest. I love my doggy so much.
May be an image of 1 person and dog

Ten Things on Friday: 9/24/2021

  1. I’m feeling the joy of knowing in a few hours I will be leave for more than a week. I seriously cannot wait to get on that plane, land and head to the beach.
  2. Hope will hold down the fort for about 5 days. I know she can do it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t also say that I fret. I’m guessing that’s just a mom thing.
  3. I’m also fretting about Yappy. He’s so attached to me and this will be the longest I’ve been away from him since the beginning of the pandemic. I know he will be a bit sad as a result, and well, that also makes me sad.
  4. I’m still going to the beach tho.
  5. I actually do not plan to do much big “thinking” on this trip. I’m tired of thinking. Work-think and Home-think have just been exhausting for the last year and a half. I do have some life decisions coming up to ponder, but I have no interest in pondering them next week. My brain needs rest, and I genuinely intend to meet its need.
  6. It feels like so much has changed in the last year, and somehow also that nothing has changed. It’s a really kind of confusing reality. The monotony of life continued, though it looks different now. You watch the news and it’s almost overwhelming how much is going on, but then again, didn’t I think that in the “before” times? Especially when that dude who was in office couldn’t stop tweeting? Anyway, I have some decisions to make about parenting, about my personal and professional futures, about home stuff, extended family stuff. Some things I need to move on, others can wait, and yet somehow everything always seems urgent.
  7. It’s not and I plan to rest. I’m nearly giddy.
  8. Today is the last day that Hope and I will be able to have dinner together before I leave so we planning to get takeout. It’s looking like we’ll be getting Indian food. Naan…..YUMMMM.
  9. I’m thinking about opening a small Etsy store for some crochet items this fall/winter. I’m thinking of selling custom dog/cat sweaters. I’ll be sketching out a few projects over the next few weeks. I enjoy it and Lord knows I’ve given away tons of stuff in the last 2 years. I think I’ll still have giveaway projects, but I think I’d like to hustle a little. We’ll see!
  10. Today I’m setting out all the self-care items I plan to take with me. I’ve got a short list, but I think I’m going to put them all out and make final decisions. I seriously can’t wait to get out of town.

Ten Things on Wednesday: 9/1/2021

  1. There are 26 days until my vacation. I need to go ahead and get all my papers together. I can’t wait until I’m heading to the airport.
  2. Last week was a doozy. Of course there was Hope’s fender bender. Then there was that time I just know someone had smoked in my car, but someone denies it. Then Hope got really sick; she couldn’t keep food down for a few days and then the head/chest congestion showed up. Oh, and did I mention she had a tooth with an abscess? By week’s end we were both locked down in the house waiting for COVID tests. Thankfully they were both negative.
  3. She’s better now, and back at work. As for me, it was another Wednesday on PTO. I read articles. I took a nap. I worked out. I crocheted. I watched a few episode of a new show I’m watching. I’m about to do a face mask.
  4. I am taking an extra long weekend for Labor Day. Going to a winery with my sister and some friends. And going to just putz around.
  5. I’m reading a book. I mention it because just sitting to read for pleasure is so cognitively laborious since the TBI that I take in most things audibly. I limit my eyeball reading to work stuff that is nearly impossible to get audibly. Anyway, I sat on the patio during quarantine this weekend and read for a couple of hours. It felt wonderful. Maybe I’ll be able to get lost in a book on my vacation.
  6. I think I will try to start planning a March 2022 vacation for me and Hope. Hopefully things will have improved by then. Of course that would require a lot of folks making decisions that will protect all of us instead of whatever the heck they are doing and thinking right now.
  7. I’m thinking Iceland. It just seems so beautiful and rugged. I hear it’s lovely. Cold, but lovely.
  8. Can you believe it’s September? That we are in the second year of living through a whole ass pandemic? It’s hard to process, really. It’s almost hard to really imagine what the post-pandemic world will look like. I sometimes think about how will talk about this chapter of my life with people 20 or 30 years from now. It’s just weird.
  9. Anyone else exhausted by the news right now? Afghanistan, fires, floods, earthquakes….It’s a lot.
  10. A friend resurrected a group chat with women who for more than a decade been my closest friends. It’s hard to admit what a dark place I’ve been in lately. It’s been hella dark. Having an ongoing chat with them like our early years is …let’s just say it’s affirming.

Ten Things on Wednesday: 8/11/2021

  1. Work is just non-stop as usual. I’m tired. Yesterday I put on my pjs at 5:55pm. I was in my bed by 6:30. I’m going to need to take sometime off soon.
  2. Hope is learning some adulting lessons. She overslept one day and called out and then the next day, putzed around and was late again. I know time tracking is hard for her, and we all have days when we’re just off. I struggle with how much to intervene; on the second day I popped my head in and was like, “sooooo, you going to work?” She was oblivious about the time. I know that this job is key to keeping her stable, but I also believe in natural consequences. I end up feeling very anxious about whether or not she’ll make it in on time. I wish I could turn that off, but as of yet, I can’t. It creeps in, even as I’m absorbed in my own work.
  3. She’s also learning about banking. I’m a co-signatory on her bank account…at least until tomorrow. She’s overdrawn her account twice in the last month. It’s not like she doesn’t have money; she just uses an app as banking her checking as…I dunno, but she doesn’t keep enough in it for whatever it is she’s using. I told her the first time to work on managing it since overdrafts cost money. It’s been an exercise in teaching her that poverty costs. She has the money to cover it; I’m also here to bail her out if necessary. I’ve encouraged her to think about what if neither of us could cover it? Yep, that 18 cents ended up costing $30. Nope, it’s not fair, but it is reality. First time it was an accident; this time it was irresponsibility. I told her I have pristine credit and I love her, but I’m coming off that account. Will still be here to help if needed but I need to step back and let those natural consequences to work a bit more.
  4. My efforts at eating better have been…let’s just say unfocused for about two weeks now. The exercise is still hitting hard, but my eating isn’t consistent. I’ll get there. My clothes are fitting better tho, so I’ll take it.
  5. Earlier this week Hope, Sister K and I went to see the Van Gogh Immersive Experience. If you have a chance to see it in your town, do it! I’m a fan of impressionists (yeah, I know, he’s post-impressionist). The exhibit is amazing! The lighting, the music, the color, the stories, it was all just wonderful. Check it out!
  6. There is apparently a version for the Sistine Chapel coming here in January. I’m on a wait list to get those tickets. I’m totally doing that. Even though I got to see it on a vacation a couple of years ago, I just know that an immersive experience will be amazing.
  7. Yappy is coming along using his buttons. Even though he doesn’t use them consistently, he does use them. I added a “Love you” button this past weekend. He seems to love it. He also likes to tap his outside button when we go outside. It really is kinda cool. He’s no chatterbox, but I know a time will come when he will probably use them independently. That’s cool.
  8. I bought a 2 piece bathing suit recently. Years ago, I bought a couple of tankinis, but I’ve never been confident enough to really rock a bikini. I decided, well, let me just buy it, try it on and see. I actually like it. I might buy another for my trip to Cancun. I’m telling being almost 50 can be life affirming if you let it be.
  9. I got to meet a few of Hope’s co-worker/friends earlier this week. I’m amused that she always seems to find the ragtag group of slightly awkward young people. It’s her scene. The kids were lovely, polite and nice…and yeah, a little weird. But the most amazing part? Hope is the stunner of the group. Yes, I know I’m a bit biased; she’s gorgeous. But OMG, she’s a bombshell. Her hair has grown out, and she’s figured out how to really do her hair. This week it just hit that magical stage where the Afro is just…amazing. She strutted, and I loved every minute of it.
  10. I’m going to go put my pjs on now. My bed is calling!

Another Parenting Transition

This month marks 2 years since Hope started college. It’s almost 1 year since she took a leave of absence from school. I’ve told her she has one more semester and then I would like for her to start taking classes again to ease back into the swing of things.

So much of parenting is adapting; this is only more intense for adoptive families. You’re adapting to different ages and stages, different needs and desires, and different behaviors. I knew going into this family thing that I would need to change a lot in order to make it work. I figured at some point, as Hope neared adulthood, that we would find some level of stasis, stability, a time that didn’t require so much adaptability from either of us.

I got a glimpse of that when Hope went to boarding school and then on to college. Of course then the pandemic hit and both Hope and I had the rugs pulled from under us. My transition was a bit smoother, but things were very difficult for my daughter this last year. Pulling her from the darkness was really hard, taxing, emotionally draining at times, but we did it. She’s stable and doing so much better.

In fact she’s doing so much better that she’s acting like a young, college aged person: testing limits, trying on decisions, behaviors, trying to figure out adulting.

Y’all, it’s driving me nuts. Historically, there were things I was strict about and things I let go. When Hope went away to college, there were a few things I asked her to hold back on, but I also acknowledged that I wasn’t going to be there looking over her shoulder and that I hope she would make good decisions. For the most part she did, and she did other age appropriate dumb ish. Ish I shouldn’t know about, but that Hope provided regular updates on. A few weeks in, I told my daughter that college was like Vegas–some of her extracurriculars should just stay there and I probably shouldn’t know about them.

She still told me. I suppose that’s a testament to how close we are or how much trust she has in me. All I know is that it drove me nuts. When she moved back home in March 2020, I told her that home was not Vegas. That lasted for about 3 months and then things went south. Since then it’s been a constant struggle of basic rule enforcement (and we don’t even have that many rules), common courtesies (I ain’t asking to use my own damn car) and nagging about chore management. UGH.

I tried to think back and get some sense of how did my parents handle this phase of life while I was in college. Yeah, I was away the whole 4 years except for like 2 summers. The most memorable incident involved me wearing an embarrassingly short pair of shorts (I was so happy that this thighs fit in them!) and my dad saying he didn’t think they were appropriate. I replied, ok, I will no longer wear them at your house or around you. And then I went back to school. It was a declaration of independence and autonomy. I never heard any more about it or really heard my parents exert any real control after that.

Developmentally, Hope is not quite where I was at the same age, so I feel like I still need to hover a bit, but it’s always a mystery about how much to hover and how much to enforce. There are a few non-negotiables and I’ve had to exert some real consequences on occasion for those breeches. Day to day parenting is a little rough for me right now. I’m constantly asking how much rope do I give, should I intervene because even Stevie Wonder could see what was on the horizon. Often times, I desperately try to redirect my energies, but the reality is that I still need her to follow the house rules and mind a few Ps and Qs.

I swear I feel like I’m constantly failing. I know I’m not, but it often feels like I am. I feel parenting stress today as Hope is 20 as when she was 14. I didn’t really anticipate that. I know that the pandemic threw us all a major curve ball. I’m grateful to have had this time to grow together; I’m grateful when she hit such a low point that she was here with me and I could immediately spring into action. I’m grateful both of us have survived.

All that said, I’m hopeful that this awful group project that we’re stuck in, aka The Pandemic, ends soon. I want her to resume her collegiate life and do some of this adulting practice at school where she’s not subjected to my watchful eyes. I want her to have some of that freedom. I know that I could simply drop more of the rules here, but I know I’m not going to do that–I’ve got some basic things that just have to or cannot happen here. #nonnegotiables

It’s just challenging in ways I didn’t imagine, in part because my own parents didn’t have the window into the college years that I do with Hope. If she gets to go back to school, I promise to listen to her tell me wayyyy too much information about her shenanigans; I just want her to be physically in a space where she has an opportunity to flex if she wants to. I know it’s going to be ok, but it just feels really challenging right now.


Ten Things on Thursday: 7/29/2021

  1. Hope is coming along with the work thing. I stopped her a couple of nights ago to just tell her I loved her and was proud of her. Still doing silly baby adulting things, but she’s progressing. She regularly picks up groceries!
  2. I’ve lost 6 lbs! I’m not really doing anything special; just logging what I eat gets me in line. I’ve picked up my exercise a little, but really it’s just so I can eat what I want in better moderation. I have no desire to be chisled or buff; I just want to be kinda healthy.
  3. I realized something this weekend; I’m fortunate to be parenting in an era when so much more information and resources are available. I know I still make countless mistakes, but there is so much more to learn from and it’s at my fingertips. That’s got to be good right? I hope that all APs work hard to fill in our knowledge gaps.
  4. Because parenting is hella hard.
  5. I booked my vacation last week. Cancun for a week in 2 months. I can’t wait. I’m going alone so I can just really rest without having to entertain anyone else. I am so excited. Hope is excited to work and stack her coins.
  6. She is really committed to saving for a car. I am enjoying her chase a goal; it’s been a while.
  7. The internet was out in our home most of the day. It was like living in 1985. Of course Hope missed the tech blackout because she was sleeping. Lucky her. The episode sent me into a tailspin of anxiety. I was able to work most of the day using my phone as a hotpsot, and I was productive. But I was still super anxious about not being able to fix it myself.
  8. I’ve got some major electrical work to do in this house; hoping that the estimate isn’t too crazy. The breaker box needs to be moved and replaced. Oy vey.
  9. I’m also thinking about spring vacations with Hope. I’m hoping and wishig that folks would take this varient seriously. I need to get back to real travel. Folks not willing to take appropriate precautions to prevent spreading COVID are making it terrible for everyone. This pandemic is the worst group project ever.
  10. I had a lot more to say, but I’m really distracted; so I’ll just wrap this up. ❤

Owning Recovery

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. As mom to Hope, my mental health has definitely wavered in ways I didn’t anticipate; I don’t mean that to sound bad, but parenting is hella hard.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and my mental health and emotional wellbeing during these years as well. I’ve been consciously working on being better and stronger and figuring myself out. At 48, I’m still working on that.

Hope will be 20 in about two months, and I don’t expect her to be where I am. I don’t expect her to be as self-reflective or as clear about life. But as we head into a year and a half at home and almost a year since the down-slide started; I find myself wanting Hope to take more ownership of her recovery.

I know she wants to get better, but there’s really not a lot of activity behind it. I know it’s got to be hard cooped up here, without school, friends, or a job. We are now past the stage of devastating depression that left me terrified; she’s improving. I’m relieved. But that’s it.

I’m still shouldering Hope’s recovery; I”m not sure if she’ll ever take the lead. At the smallest suggestion of *doing* anything, a litany of excuses come tumbling forth, sometimes before I can even complete my sentence. I hate that and really never respond well. Just this evening I had to take a deep breath, remain calm, go deep into the communication skills tool box and explain how it makes me feel when she makes excuses.

There are times when I really wonder when and how long Hope will need my intense involvement in her mental health care. I know that my feelings about it are colored by my own journey, how my intense need for achievement as a proxy for worthiness is so different than Hope’s. I know that comparing our journeys is stupid, a fools’ errand, and yet there are quiet moments where I ramble off how I took on getting myself help almost as soon as I entered college and how I’m still managing appointment schedules for a young adult who is literally doing nothing all day but surfing YouTube and TikTok.

And then I feel guilty about even remotely comparing us, and then I start the crazy thought process all over again. It’s so ridiculous.

But I do wonder…does Hope want to own her life in a way that looks…kind of normal? I don’t know if she’s healthy enough to really consider it. I don’t know if her trauma’s of the last year, that involved some really bad adult flexes, have just made her regress in ways that push off adulting for a long time. I don’t know. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t either.

I’m trying to be patient; I’m trying to follow her lead 70% of the time and push/pull her 30% of the time. Once I post this, I’ll be sending her places to apply for a job. I know that getting out and working will help her. I aspire to bickering over the car and finally deciding to buy a second car because her life will have grown to such a need. But that’s probably a long way off.

For now, I am shouldering and powering the return to the fragile health status we had before. It’s rough when you desperately want to return to a more normal version of not normal, but here we are.


My Valentines

Long weekends are super precious. Despite having no commute, I’m exhausted on Friday afternoons. Saturdays and Sundays seem to go buy in the blink of an eye, and then it just starts again.

This year, of course, Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day fell back to back; hallelujah.

I worked on a couple of crochet projects. Enjoyed my long, luxurious afternoon bath. Hope and I finished the final season of True Blood. Yappy got lots of snuggles ,and I made him a new sweater. I cooked chicken and waffles for Valentine’s dinner. I spent the evening with my own significant someone, who might actually get a blog name after all. Things haven’t felt so…psuedo-normal in a while.

Hope has been having repetitive nightmares for weeks now. She sometimes wakes up sobbing and terrified. It’s been a challenge. For whatever reason, she enjoyed a brief respite of no bad dreams. (Lots of potential reasons for the dreams; we’re working through it with the mental health folks.) The dreams are so damn persistent; I’m hoping this short break foretells that things are about to get back to normal. In any case I’m glad she got a break. My big girl Valentine.

Yappy turned 6 last fall, and promptly assumed the personality of a grouchy old man. He wants to dictate the direction and length of every walk. If he senses water dripping from anywhere above him, the situation is untenable. He’s very demanding about how I place the blanket on him and even how I lift the covers to let him snuggle with me in bed. He’s been working on training me to get it right for years now. This weekend Yappy allowed me to repeatedly try on his sweater as I was making it and after his first walk in his new sweater, we came in, I unhooked his leash and he bee lined it to Hope’s room. He’s been so good about making sure Hope gets lots of his attention. He switches back and forth between us when couch cuddling now. One of my favorite things is to see the two of them playing or snuggled up asleep together. It’s really just the cutest, purest thing. A girl and her dog. (He still chooses me at night if I’m not at my someone’s house). My fuzzy Valentine.

And yeah, I’ve got a special someone. At first I didn’t really see it going anywhere. Now I see some possibilities. He shared something about himself this weekend that really made me go, “Ohhhhh, ok, now a lot of things make sense. Ok, I see what I’m working with here.” I also realized how much it must’ve taken to share with me. I don’t take it lightly. So, while we exchanged small gifts for Valentine’s Day. The sharing was really the thing. My low-key Valentine.

Oh, and I discovered a cold brew tap in a box that I can order online. You just open the tap, sit it in the fridge and get your sip on. The way I love cold brew? Looking forward to coffee for tomorrow.

Also, folks who recommended progesterone cream….good looking out. Finally onboard and hoping to level out a bit soon!

Hope everyone had a marvelous weekend.


2020 Reflections

Each year I do a vision board. I have it blown up and I keep it framed in my bedroom so that I see it daily and am reminded that there are things to do.

My 2020 board included things like evolving my parenting now that Hope is in college, chasing some adventure, self acceptance, health and as always love.

How does the meme go?

How it started…It was to be a year of great promise.

How it ended…It was a year of survival.

COVID-19 pretty much took a wrecking ball to the year.

Hope is currently not enrolled in school, and I’m back to daily, active parenting. Just when she was becoming more social and connected, everything was cut off. It all made her really vulnerable, and just like that trouble found her. It’s been really hard dealing with the fallout of the summer’s drama. The pandemic made it just that much worse—there are so few outlets for having any sort of social connection.

Adventure? Well, going to the grocery store became an adventure. Going anywhere became an adventure. I feel like my world just closed in this year. In January I was counting down days to a trip to Israel in March, but instability in the region made my travel buddy want to cancel. We rebooked and planned a trip to Costa Rica, but then COVID hit and our trip got postponed to November. November came, along with a surge in cases, and Costa Rica was cancelled. In July Hope and I took a day trip to see my parents. That was a highlight for the year.

My vision board has hiking and relearning how to swim on it, meanwhile the pool never even opened. Adventure finally came about two months ago when I decided that we would start visiting local farms in the area. It was fun, and I have a lot of jam in my pantry now. It was wonderful having fresh pressed cider and fresh picked collard greens. I will likely sign up for a CSA in 2021 so that I can be sure to keep the goodness coming.

While I’m grateful that I found small ways of creating adventure, I’m sad that my world shrank in so many ways.

I have had a lot of time to think about what I like and dislike about myself. I’ve also had a lot of time to remember that Hope watches and learns from me. I have been able to make a lot of progress on self-acceptance. Listen, I’m not saying I’m “there,” but I’ve at least switched my thinking from focusing on my looks and size, to focus on what my body can do and what I need to do to make sure it is able to keep doing those things. I lost about 20lbs this year, most of it in January-March, but have largely kept it off. I walk every day. I’ve managed to increase my daily steps substantially. I cook more.

But I also still make a cake every 4-5 days; I still eat too much sugar, I still haven’t mastered hydration and my coping mechanism when it comes to consumption is still…an issue. 😊

I’ve been fortunate that I didn’t take a financial hit this year. I’m grateful for that. It’s meant that I’ve been able to keep debt low and afford some things that have made quarantining more comfortable—more streaming subscriptions, a new electronic standing desk, and some other odds and ends. I’m now contemplating some updates to the kitchen and my bathroom. I mean, if I’m going to be hold up here indefinitely, I probably should make it pretty and comfortable.

The flip side is that this has been one of the most challenging years of my career. The emotional toll is heavy. Dealing with rampant White supremacy in the midst of a pandemic is draining. The murder of George Floyd will be with me for a long time. The fall out has changed the way I think about the work I do, the pleasantries that I’m sometimes forced to engage in, the patience that I’m nearly always in short supply of. And watching some folks just fade back into racial oblivion is…toxic, yet to be expected during the best of times.

It’s been hard.

And love? One of the great loves of my life passed away in January, Elihu. I miss him every day. I wonder what I could’ve done to change the course of our relationship, even though I know my ending it was the right thing to do at the time. The loss of E came on the heels of losing another one of my great loves just the year before. Dating this year was trash. I am seeing someone, but I know it’s not a great fit for me, so I also know it has an expiration date. What can I say pandemics…#shrug. I’m hopeful that maybe I’ll make a meaningful connection in 2021—not meaningful like the Match commercial with Satan and 2020, but meaningful nonetheless.

But I suppose there are some bright spots.

  • I survived my own bout with COVID early in the year.
  • Hope had two jobs for a while and was really good at them.
  • Yappy is much more affectionate with Hope, even if he is primarily still very attached to me.
  • I managed it all without completely falling apart.
  • I deepened some of my friendships.
  • I did a lot of writing and creating, though not in this space.
  • I found another level to my voice regarding diversity at work.

I’m also super conscious of the fact that lots of folks would trade places with me in a minute during this crapshoot of a year. Hope and I are fine. I would give my left foot to hug my mom and dad, see my sisters and snuggle my niece and nephews, but I guess I’ll settle for waving on camera. In the grand scheme of things Hope and I are very fortunate to be comfortable. Our families have not suffered any losses. We are able to afford what we need and largely what we want. We have each other and Yappy.

We’re ok.

I have no idea what my vision board will look like for 2021; right now I just want a giant picture of OUTSIDE, but I’m guessing I should be more specific.


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