Taj Mahal

science says, silly goose

An emperor of some sub-state of India back in the day built the Taj Mahal as the tomb site for and in honor of his favorite wife named someone-or-other Mahal.

I learned that on Jeopardy.

My garish lack of detail and the flippant use of favorite brings me to the following:

One-Jeopardy moves really fast, but 1/6th of the time I totally nail it.

Two-I’ve always had a curiosity about having sister wives, except with lots of stipulations about their cooking abilities and that they generally looked like an Oompa Loompa.

Three-It’s been years since I binged all of Big Love, back then I used to put myself in the shoes of the young beautiful wife who had the most gorgeous of the babies and drove Bill wild with a simple glance. As my years tick by, and these wildly hypothetical situations arise, I see myself more as the original, oldest wife. She was composed, rooted in her love for her husband, above petty jealousy. Okay, so maybe I’m elevated these days in most areas save matters of the heart. But hey, I’d burn every ounce of that young beautiful woman and every other potential young beautiful woman to the ground and then rub the ashes across my face like war paint, I mean… if I were Barb.

Four-Really what Barb, Mrs.Mahal and every other wise women in all of history and modernity know is that it’s never the other women. (Save all the implications of vastly different cultures and social norms, that’s not the kinda thing that I’m writing here, this time around).

Five- Once Stacey said to me, that she had found the fallacy of long-term committed romantic relationship. It’s simply that we put too much pressure on our significant other to be everything that we need. When really what we need is a community. She’s right.

Still, I keep a ledger of all the ways that we’re keeping pace for favorite, or not. Hard to shake what you grew up on.


Goodbye moon

Ever Sophia, Love, pretty things, therapy

I spent my whole childhood imagining what it would be like to be a mother. I would have three kids, all named after early 90’s sitcom characters: Blossom, Clarissa, and Tapanga, respectively. At least one would be a boy.

I was to be happily married, but also an ultra bad ass working mom, like an astronaut working mom. I’d tend to the children between missions to Saturn and stuff. I also magically was going to be there everyday when the kids got home from school. I’d bake pies for snack time, be the room mom and be the biddy basketball coach.

My babies were going to be five times as smart and a light year better at making good decision than me, but also have blonde hair and blue eyes because did you see me as a child? (Okay not those unfortunate ones where I was a morbidly obese infant the other ones).

Let me count the ways that I fabricated what I was sure would be reality: family vacations, family dinners, family meetings, family game night, family sized packs of fruit snacks, pretty much the word family before any noun makes it bigger and better, and who doesn’t like bigger and better things???

I now know that the word family not only makes you look like less of a glutton in the check out isle but it also allows you to share the burden. It creates a home. Relief on the hard days and witnesses for the great ones.

Absolutely none of those things happened. Happily married evaded me the more I chased it. Three artfully named children turned into one artfully named girl. Being an astronaut turned into being a therapist, though I’m pretty sure that I’ve had an alien or two as clients. I can’t even remember a single time that I wasn’t rushing around in traffic at five o’clock trying to pick Ev up before her after school care closed. Last but not least I have no time to coach anything, other than the rousing peptalks that I give both of us to crawl out of bed and even still our morning routine makes it into double overtime pretty consistently.

The moments of feeling like I’ve balanced single parenthood, work, school, romantic partnership, dog ownership (my eulogy to who I thought I would be as a dog parent is next), has been far from eloquent. I’m inclined to say it’s the hardest thing that I have ever done, but also that it’s never once felt impossible.

I haven’t yet gotten to be the mom I dreamed to be. But I did get to be Ever’s mom over and over and over again. Couldn’t have chosen a more majestic little creature to negotiate this family thing with until the day I die, and then some.

There’s a whole other part to this but I’m keeping highly classified information about the most beautiful thing that happened today, so I’ll wait on until the photo deal goes through with People magazine and the gag order is lifted (I’m impatient, you know this).

precipitating events

Love, pretty things, soulfood

Trying to stay present. Soak in all of the glorious sensations of new love. Let go of my instinct to recoil when a man sings my praises. Silence the voices in my head ringing the warning bells of, that’s what they all say.

Somewhere deep down I’m confused as to why the beginnings are filled with eloquent soliloquies about how I’m an angel and so much of everything that they’ve ever wanted. The ends come riddled with stone cold projections about things that I have never been. We both know the truth, and it’s not their version of the story most of the time. But, I let go these days. Remember.

Today, the place that I live now.

Today, I dig claws into my reservoir of optimism, syphoned and over tapped some time ago. Just a woman naked under the full moon of lust. Dancing for heavy rains of abundant care. Prayers that this time, he really means it.

Tempering my heart with intentional inner dialogue: even if it doesn’t work out, I will be a better person for loving.

Just here, now, balanced on the edge of fear, attempting to translate this visceral feeling that somewhere between our mutual words of adulation is an incredibly viable promise of lasting love, and still, me, searching for words.

Living in incredible awe of you, of me, and the phenomenon of falling in love. Kissing good night my attempts to rationalize magic. I am so sorry for doing that to you.

How to manage disappointment


Life just happens as it’s going to happen and sometimes I get in the way and get emotional about it.

Tomorrow is my birthday. An impending birthday always puts me on edge, always. With good reason. There was that one time in the 3rd grade when no one remembered it was my birthday. There was that dreadful party where the guy I was ‘talking’ to, slept with another girl at MY birthday party. And there was the time that I was just sure that my boyfriend was going to propose to me but instead was surprising me with a trip to a (crappy) THRIFT store.
To be fair scattered between those unfortunate birthdays  were perfectly lovely days full of confections and bliss, but those don’t stand out as much, to have a human brain.

Step 1: Know thy self. (I’m fancy.) 
But honestly, you don’t need a Ph.D. to acquaint yourself with how your mind works, how all minds work. Getting to know yourself objectively is such a gift. One of my guided meditations imparts, “To see yourself without judgement is the highest form of human intelligence.” Agreed.

Earlier this week I read this article  that was making the social media rounds about your Myers-Briggs personality type and what stresses you out. I’m a through and through ENTJ, even after a bunch of years have passed and I was just sure that I’d softened around the edges. Hi my name is Reagon, I have control issues, well actually we’re going to have control issues, I’ve got this…

What stresses me out: surprise- uncertainty.
-Being in an environment that lacks vision or ideas for the future.
-Being surrounded by (or guilty of) incompetence.
-Poorly managed change.
-Having to be a follower instead of a leader.
-Not being able to make their goals come to fruition.

How to help me HELP me!
-Space, time, nature, reminding them that it is perfectly fine to feel the way they do and that you won’t judge them. Thank you Nitcher for being my ace in the it’s okay to be upset hole every damn time for a jillion years and counting.

Step 2: Sleep it off. 
Man alive. The plunge of a sinking expectations is physical. Julius asked me earlier this week what I wanted for my birthday. I replied, “A nap.” And how. I literally slept more than I was awake this weekend. The first 12 hours were to make up for lost time. The next 12 hours were because I just couldn’t. All I wanted to do was to crawl into the fetal position and cry. So I did and quickly drifted away to [stress] dream land.
Is this the healthiest thing in the world. No. In my case the window of sleep opportunity is rather narrow, so I don’t have to worry about it spilling over into necessary productivity. If it becomes that for you, then skip step 2, straight to 3.

Step 3: Move your ass. 
I know the secret to happiness: healthy food, sunlight, exercise, social interaction. Sometimes I’m in a better place with these things than others. My 4+ days a week at the gym have gotten the schools starting/moving/everything is chaos axe lately. Which is literally the worst thing to do when I’m stressed out. I NEED yoga. Like me body rebels and my mind is super fucked with out it, I NEEDyoga.
Every Sunday I say, well if I wake up by 7:30 I’ll go to yoga, and if not it wasn’t meant to be. And like clock-work the universe sends my 7 year old in to wake me up about watching a movie or eating cake for breakfast by at least 7:35. So I go. And I leave every time feeling like a million bucks while simultaneously walking through water. It makes me physically well. 100% success rate every time. Get some.

Step 4: Receive advise.
This looks like a lot of things for me:
-A hail Mary call to my best friend.
-A good book. I’m super into Ajahn Brahm’s Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung this summer. It’s just little super short stories that put every single thing in perspective. It is so easy to lose sight of your itty-bitty place in this universe when disappointment comes knocking on your door. This book is guaranteed to take the edge off of your why me-s.
-I am also -surprise- a pinterest junkie. I have boards specifically loaded with inspirational quotes, relationship advice, beautiful men, cute animals and straight up therapy angles.
-I believe in the reciprocal universe. Over the past month I have been willing a lot of change (and how) into my life. I have faithfully been practicing my affirmations but for very specific things. Today I was reminded that I need to continue to invite abundance in all of it’s forms into my life. I also have to reinvest in the my mantra- I am enough. Ya’ hear me, I AM ENOUGH.

These are all free and readily accessible but of course seek out professionals. Find a good therapist and put in the work with them. You won’t regret it.

Step 5: Go outside. 
I know this about myself. I have to be outside. Preferably in a natural setting but any kind of open sky will do. I need sunshine- why New Mexico and I are a match made in Vitamin D heaven. I also need beauty. I need to feel grounded which naturally requires some ground.

Step 6: Let go. 
What does this even mean?? Everyone says this like their some kind of guru. But it’s really simple, it sounds like STOP. Stop ruminating. Stop over analyzing. Stop perpetuating your misery. JUST STOP. Enjoy step 2-5 and count your mo’ fo’ blessings. It’s hard for me to maintain melancholy for too long when honestly my life is rather beautiful. That’s the truth. That’s what is at the heart of all of my toil and despair. Is that really at the end of the day my heart is full.

Repeat all steps as needed. And over and over. Until the sun peaks out and you catch your breath.

Here’s to another day, another year.

Step 7:

Just kidding!!!  I drank a reasonable amount of wine. Just after I packed up all of our dishes. I do not recommend drinking while upset, that typically leads to regrettable decisions.

on your break up


*this is a vintage post, still happily relationshiped…  but I’ve noticed a lot of friends cyber and real have been going though tough breakups during the holidays, that’s just shitty, maybe this will make you feel better*

This is me being nice: 

Sometimes you have to be really honest with yourself. Not all at once. But enough that you can be rational when things get sticky. And by things I mean: it’s dark out side, that song sounds like our love, your birthday, a smell, a road you drive past every few days. Those little things and sometimes bigger things. When you quiver a little. It’s hard always being the tough guy. Sometimes you, I, just want to break down. Pick up the phone and beg for them to take me back.

But I don’t.

I’d defiantly lose all of my cool points if I pulled some shiz like that.

Here’s what I do. I think about the last time that we were actively in love. I think about those last few days. They were bittersweet. He held me, we didn’t say much. It was the end and we knew. We broke down. We cried together. We said good bye. And he said to me that he just wanted me to be happy, and that he wanted me to find someone that deserved me. And whatever I did don’t be with him, you. That might have been the biggest thing that anyone has ever said to me.

And because I’m an asshole I didn’t listen. That worked out well.

Somewhere though the paces of pleasantries and the ruins of a great love he completely stopped talking to me. It’s amazing to be on this end of the stick. Someone really has that much reason to make you disappear from their life. And I can’t blame him (entirely).

I could be the gross girl blowin him up until he changed his number. Which he might have I don’t know. But I don’t. I haven’t. I respected that that’s what he needed and it’s the one thing that I can allow after I threw it all away. I don’t completely buy that he likes the silence but he knows it’s what’s best for him. And because it’s 6 8 years later (and when it was 2,3 and 4 years too) I had the hindsight to stop being the jerk. But it still breaks my heart.

Because I really do still care I send him a message on his birthday every year. Maybe I’ll get to the place in my life when I don’t even realize that day is important anymore. (That has happened now, 2 years in a row, victory? Not really. A sign that I’m in a better place, definitely.) Maybe my messages will detail the good things of my life. Maybe not. It’s probably the worst part of his day. But maybe he likes that I still care and likes having the upper hand so that he doesn’t let on like he heard. And that’s ok. And I’m still presumptuous.

Love is really powerful. Try not to dwell in the pain and find the good. I have to remind myself of that most days. I really think that one day it won’t be hard anymore.