I’m certainly not one of those people who always has a goal-oriented plan, but my competitive side (really more like three-quarters of myself than a “side…”) likes to blow things out of the water. Two recent accomplishments come to mind:

  1. Back in April or March I brainstormed our special summer campaign here at work, setting a goal to raise $27,500 between Memorial Day and Labor Day. To date, $29,511 has been raised. If you include the golf outing sponsorships I worked to bring in, we’re at $38,611.
  2. In February or March I walked-ran around Lake Estes and came in around 48 minutes for the 3.75 mile loop. Yesterday I ran with just three one-minute walk breaks and came in at 43 minutes.

A Product of Lies

Everyday, I wonder if we cross your minds at all.
Sometimes I think everything’s okay, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I read into things, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I think it’s your problem, and sometimes I don’t.
Trying to guess what’s going on gets me nowhere.
Reactions – physiological reactions – include high blood pressure, flushing and a constant scowl.
A wise man once sang, “There are hills and mountains between us/always something to get over.” I think that sums it up pretty well, if only we could all try getting over it.
Nostalgia tricks me into thinking we were friends. I remember the good times when we all got along, but then just as quickly I remember the bad times and get frustrated again.
Going for subtlety here, but have you found the pattern yet?
Existing in a state of limbo isn’t doing me any favors. I want to fall off the cliff or climb back up it. I’m sick of suspension.
Dishonesty has really torn these relationships apart.

Absentee Aunt

Being an aunt from 2,000 miles away is tough.

Through the magic of Facebook and text messaging, I feel like I know this child and could pick her out of a crowd. I’m peripherally aware of what she likes, how ding-dong* much she suddenly looks like a kid instead of a baby and even some of the milestones she’s conquered.

The problem lies in reciprocity. I am a stranger to her, someone who sends cards and gifts. I had some aunts and uncles like this as I was growing up. I knew them as family, but it was more in the way you regurgitate something you’re taught: “Two times two is four, two times three is six, and I have an aunt who lives in Indiana.” Gifts and cards were appreciated, but perhaps were not as meaningful as they were to the people who sent them.

I understand the odd relationship from both sides of the fence. As an adult, I don’t mind spending time with the aunts and uncles I know from a distance. It has been ingrained in me that I can trust them because they’re family, so I don’t feel scared to see them or talk to them. As a matter of fact, I crave getting to know them because I missed out on “growing up” with them.

As the aunt, I’ll probably never understand why my niece presumably won’t confide in me. Worse, I may offer to take her in for a week or two when she gets older and be consistently denied because she’s not comfortable coming to visit someone she doesn’t really know, on a plane, with no escape in sight. That’s a feeling I can relate to.

Sometimes the only way I can take comfort in this situation is to hope I’ll be able to have my own child someday. The fear of infertility makes me panic, but like everyone else, I won’t know until we try. As the days click by, peeling my youth away, I feel more and more certain I’ll only ever be an Absentee Aunt.

The fear of infertility is uncomfortable for me to talk about, so I’m not sure how to end this post… the end.

*Side note: Ding-dong has become what I say when I want to say a curse word. I have no idea how this happened. I blame living west of the Mississippi.

The Widow

Grief emanates from the church like the lonely wail of an ambulance. I put my arm around my husband’s shoulders as he cries, wiping my own eyes with the sleeve of his H&M sweater as it lay curled around my bare legs. To escape the pain of a 30-year-old widow’s slideshow of wedding photos, I study anything I can find: the ceiling beams, the pen holder attached to the back of the pew, the mountains outside.

It was the excitement in their faces that got us. It was that look we both know so well, the look that says our lives are just beginning and we are an unstoppable force.

It was that look, because what bride thinks she’ll be widowed at 30?


Your Very Own Birthday Party

29 has sort of been the year of nonexistence for me. Don’t get me wrong: it’s been a great, laidback year so far. By nonexistence, I simply mean that once I turned 29 I immediately began planning my 30th birthday party.

There’s a whole school of people who think that planning your own birthday party is tacky and rude, but I disagree, and here’s why:

  1. I LOVE planning parties, but haven’t had too many occasions to plan them. I would put the same level of effort and excitement into someone else’s party if I had the chance!
  2. “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” I want to have a 30th birthday party. What am I supposed to do, let everyone know that I want a party and hope one of them plans it? Ask someone to host it while I’m doing all the work anyway?
  3. 30 is a milestone and I have a lot to celebrate.
  4. Most of us who plan our own birthdays are not doing it for a “gift grab.” We’re doing it because we want to gather all the people we love together and have a good time.
  5. I’ll be flying back East that week. Rather than stress out about seeing everyone I want to see in a limited time, why not invite them all over for an evening? Then I can take off for Cape Cod with my mom and feel A-OK with it.
  6. I saw some REALLY cute invitations on a blog and I want to make them! I love making invitations. Those three-layer wedding invitations I made? Totally a labor of love.
  7. I’m not really ready to leave my twenties behind, but since I have no choice I’d prefer to ring in 30 with a bang and make it memorable.

So to anyone thinking of planning their own party, I say plan it and enjoy the fruits (which are presumably and preferably sitting in the bottom of a punch bowl) of your labor!


Black or White

If you’re not my friend, you’re my enemy.
If you don’t love me, you must hate me.
If that girl’s pretty, I’m ugly.
If she’s thin, I must be fat.

Either or, neither nor, no shades of grey.

If you’re not with me, you’re against me.
And why are we treated the exact same way when I give so much more?
All or nothing.
Never a maybe.
Do or do not.
There is no try.
Dead or alive.
Wanted… dead or alive.

Just a small frightened child
inside the shell of an adult.

Blood From A Stone

I squeeze and squeeze and squeeze until my skin is raw, but the stone remains untouched, infallible, uninterested. Uninterested in being my friend. Uninterested in being my family. I throw the stone to the ground.

I hate the stone. How dare it reject me? How dare it mock me? It sits there with its cold, rough surface, incapable of feeling. The stone holds its emotions inside, keeps secrets from the world and retains a pleasant countenance for all to see. If it had shoulders, it would shrug and say, “I’m just a stone. What have I ever done to you?”

I want its blood. I want it to feel, I want it to share, I want to get close to it. The stone doesn’t care. It simply erodes in the rain, snow, sleet and wind until it’s nothing more than a grain of sand.

I cast the stone out from my carefully collected inner circle. I throw the stone away, reminding myself constantly that it doesn’t care about me. Even if the stone rolls near to me again, it won’t matter: it’s a stone, incapable of penetration. No matter how much I yell, ignore, cry, try to be a friend, nothing will disturb the stone enough.

Goodbye, stone. A 2,000-mile distance will help to keep our relationship as broken as it’s become. I won’t try to bleed you again.