25 *Real* Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years of Marriage {and the One That’s More Important than All the Others}

Greg and I have been married 25 years as of yesterday which, as we say every year, is a long time not to smother someone with a pillow. A long, LONG time. And, in that time, we’ve learned a few surprising things, 25 of which I’ll share with you here. 

25 *Real* Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years of Marriage

(1) Any amount of time is a long time not to smother someone with a pillow. Listen, I do not care if you’re married 1 year or 100 years, (2) LIVING WITH ANOTHER HUMAN IS HARD. No matter how precious and wonderful and thoughtful and well intentioned that human is, that human also makes horrific, wet, gagging/choking sounds — above 80 decibels which has the ability to cause permanent hearing damage — when clearing his throat in public. Or that human, no matter how many times you tell him over 25 years, will never — NOT EVER — take some butter and pass the dish before meticulously and painstakingly buttering his own roll so that others at the table might have a go at the butter before he’s finished. It’s TERRIBLE but true. So BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, we all deserve ALL the credit in the world for never — not once — sitting on a pillow on their face. WELL DONE, MARRIED FRIENDS. High fives all around. ...  read more

Church and I Are on a Break. But Here Are 10 Reasons I’m Back for Advent.

I’m back at church this month because it’s Advent, and of all the seasons in the liturgical calendar, Advent is my favorite. Also, church is a tough place for me at the moment, so this is a very Both/And time for me. It’s both light and heavy to make space for church. Both a relief and a burden. Both a joy and a sorrow. I suspect that’s true for a kaleidoscope of reasons, so I keep twisting the glass ‘round and ‘round, looking at it from all the angles I can find, watching pieces slip into place only to move and rearrange themselves as soon as I shift the perspective.  ...  read more

Why It’s Important to Eat Together as a Family: A Story About Anal Beads

Just popping in to say hello.

HELLO.

And to ask whether you’re hanging in there since it’s the HOLIDAYS and holidays are, traditionally speaking, traumatic and terrible. And occasionally magical. But mostly fraught with Big Feelings and also Expectations which Anne Lamott says are resentments waiting to happen. 

 ARE YOU HANGING IN THERE?

I am. 

I’ve lowered my expectations which has helped IMMEASURABLY. ...  read more

What Do I Plan to Do with My One Wild and Precious Life? Well, Mary, I Plan to Take a Nap.

Listen; I love Mary Oliver. I do. The wild geese. The exhortation to Pay Attention. But I have a new plan for my one wild and precious life, Mary, and it’s to take a nap. A LONG one. 

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary wrote, and it’s a poignant and powerful question. THIS IS IT, after all. Our ONE SHOT. One go-around. One lifetime, for however long it lasts. So the reminder to use it well is apt, yes? To correctly value it as priceless and use it accordingly. To remember we’re creatures of the wild, born to be freely and fully ourselves because we’re the only one of us there is. And I am ON BOARD. I am here for it. I get it, and I’m all in. ...  read more

It’s November! Why My Christmas Season Starts NOW (and Why You Should Let It)

I’m about to take a stand on a CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE, friends. Because I, apparently, have no sense of self-preservation. That coupled with Big Opinions means we’re doing this.

We’re talking about the fact that it is the very dawn of November, but Christmas starts NOW, and why that’s actually a good thing and you should let us do it.

Confession: Holidays have, in the past, stressed me out. Which is not much of a confession since it’s most people’s experience. It’s like saying CONFESSION: I sneak Oreos when my children aren’t looking. Tell you something you don’t know, right? Holidays have, in the past, stressed me out. NO SURPRISE. Except, of course, there’s an expectation that holidays are JOYFUL, dammit. OUR CULTURE DEMANDS IT. And it especially demands that mothers Make It So. Culture demands we make it so, AND we’re overjoyed by it ourselves. We are, in other words, supposed to be the Opposite Of Stressed Out by the holidays — we’re supposed to be CELEBRATORY and SERENE — or we’re somehow doing it wrong.  ...  read more

My Therapist Said to Try a Consistent Activity Level, and I Don’t Know How

OMG, friends. Bless my darling heart. I went to see my therapist yesterday, she said to try something called a “Consistent Activity Level,” and I don’t know how.

Yesterday, it made sense.

I’m at the part of mental health recovery where the medication is probably working again. So, WOOHOO! But also, CAUTION.

BEWARE. ACHTUNG. Because I am starting to feel better. I have a working brain on occasion. I can complete WHOLE THOUGHTS and remember why I went to the kitchen, like, 50% of the time. It only took me three trips to remember to bring my tea back to my desk this afternoon, and that’s WAY less than infinite trips which is the number I was making while the meds were withholding their love. And all of this is wonderful — it really is — except for the fact I fall so easily and quickly into the NOW I AM BETTER, I MUST DO ALL THE THINGS trap.  ...  read more