the world owes me nothing…

the world owes me nothing … we owe each other the world.

Ani Difranco, “joyful girl

Almost one year ago today I began writing a post about gratitude. It’s so important to talk about and I’m sorry that it took me this long to revisit the draft. But I kept getting a nudge to finally get my thoughts on this phenomenon out there, and I’m happy to be seeing it through now.

Let’s get things rolling with a quick reader poll…

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an empath parent… (the teen years)

Ever since Jillie crossed over into teendom, I’m either shocked, dismayed, angry, sad, impressed, proud, confused, “seriously?” or “wait, what?” For me, this has absolutely been one of the most challenging periods of parenthood thus far.

The mood swings, the attitude, the back talk, the disrespectful language, the terrible decisions, the doing dumb stuff…

And Elliott is only four months shy of entering this stage of life. But I guess this is growing up. (Cue Blink-182)

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an empath parent… (the early years)

My older kids have always been described as “sensitive.” This word has been used both as an insult and a compliment at various points in their lives. Having grown up self-conscious of my own quick-to-cry nature, I always thought it was one of my flaws.

It took me a long time to realize that this part of me was actually a superpower. In fact, it wasn’t until long after I had my first two children that I discovered I was an empath.

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catch me flying in the sun…

As I’m sitting up in my bed listening to Mazzy Star’s Seasons of Your Day, I suddenly feel a wave of contentment wash over me.

Maybe it’s the music; maybe it’s because the kids are asleep and it’s only 10:12 p.m. (this is actually early for our household… don’t get me started); maybe it’s because my littlest love just became one year old; or maybe this is just supposed to be my opportunity to breathe.

A moment from my past comes to mind… I was young (probably under 10 years old) and was spending the afternoon with my sister. I only recall a few details about this particular day, but I’d still consider it a “core memory.”

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circle the drain… (pt. three)

I realized that I was so deeply unhappy with myself that I couldn’t even look in the mirror. If I did happen to catch a glimpse of my reflection, I didn’t recognize the person staring back. I pretended not to care about my appearance after awhile, citing “#thatquarantinelife” and “#workingfromhomewithababyatoddlerapreteenandateenlife.” Though these are legitimate stressors, they are also excuses. BS excuses.

Sure, times are hard and you don’t have to be perfect, but when you start to feel disgusting in your own skin (and there’s something you can do about it, but you just don’t), there is something wrong. In my particular case, there was no one to blame but myself.

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circle the drain… (pt. two)

Since March, it’s been hard to express joy. It seems like everyone around us is facing hardship, whether it’s illness (COVID-19 and beyond), financial loss, unemployment, racial inequality, LGBTQ+ discrimination, depression, or something else.

Because we haven’t wanted to make a big deal out of it given the current social climate, not many people know that we bought a house this year. But truthfully, it’s a BIG EFFING DEAL. We still can’t believe it. Coming from Southern California, we never expected to own a home. At best, it was a far off goal.

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circle the drain… (pt. one)

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that friends and family have picked up some new hobbies or learned new skills while in quarantine. Activities have included solving puzzles, gardening, sewing, and refurbishing furniture.

I never thought I’d be one of those people. Cases in point: the two dusty guitars hanging on our walls and the shrink-wrapped ball of macrame cord sitting at the bottom of my drawer.

That said, I have been known to go a bit overboard when I set my mind on something. And sometimes, I get a bit obsessive or completely consumed. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I’ve got addictive tendencies.

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