Personal Ponderings

DSCN4806.jpgI’ve gone through so many changes the past few years, when I look at the contents of my various blogs and websites, it just feels like it’s not representative of me anymore.No more kids at home. Can’t remember the last time I baked a pie. I cook for the freezer a little bit, but it’s not my go-to form of cooking anymore. Still living frugally, but not because I’m trying to find ways to feed and clothe five people on a single income. Just because I’m broke.¬† ūüėȬ† Everything has changed or is up in the air.¬† In many ways, I feel like I’m rebuilding my life from the bottom up.

I feel like it’s time to make some changes in my online activities, writing projects, and websites/blogs. No definite plans yet, but just sort of thinking out loud here.¬† I know I’ve mentioned on here that changes are coming, and I’ve several times thought I would implement those changes.¬† But I just keep feeling torn about which direction to take.

I finished my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Poetics three years ago, so I’m planning some projects inspired by things I learned in the MFA program. I did finish an experimental book of erasure poetry, Bad Things Happen,¬†that was published two years ago, but readers seemed uninterested in reading it. Evidently my more esoteric creative projects need to be done for love, and not for readership.¬†

We’ve suffered some major relationship upheavals in our family, too. Long story very short, I’ve been estranged from my kids for three years (I will not share details, please don’t ask). It’s the most gut-wrenching, soul-crushing thing I’ve ever experienced. I was suicidal in the beginning, but have come a long way since then.¬† With the help of counselors and support groups, I’ve learned to cope with, and accept, the unacceptable and unimaginable.

This¬†blog used to be called “Life: The Journey” and documented our family’s experience with my husband’s degenerative brain disorder. Many readers found it helpful and I was told it was inspiring to others going through difficult, senseless experiences.

Sometimes, I feel like I’d like to share the things I’ve learned over¬†the past three years as I’ve traversed this latest journey. Grief, heartache, rejection, depression, suicidality, hopelessness, hopefulness, mental health issues, physical health, hospitalizations, etc.

Currently I’m going through a class on DBT (Dialectic Behavior Therapy). Each week, I find I learn at least one — often more than one — thing that I find so helpful. I’ve been¬†wanting to share some of those ideas and practices with others. Simple ideas that can help people cope through difficult and challenging times.¬†And even just the mildly annoying times we all face, even in the best of times.¬† ¬†I’m tossing around the idea of sharing each week something learned from the DBT class.¬† I asked folks on my Facebook page yesterday,¬†and several people expressed interest in that topic.

Anyway, I thought I’d just think out loud here and see if any of this resonates with anyone.




I’m baaaaaaaaaaack ‚Ķ

I’ve decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo this July, working on the first draft/outline of an ambitious project I’ve been procrastinating about. I thought maybe if I post updates here now and then throughout the month, it may keep me motivated. Or it may not. We’ll see, shall we?

The project I’ve been working on is a combination of family history, personal memoir, creative nonfiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, poetry, and visual art. I think of it as a collage of words and art and ephemera that tells a story based on the flow of history. My family’s story. My story. And I’d even go so far as to say our country’s story.

I’m been researching this project on-and-off for about five years. I decided it’s finally time to sit my behind down in a chair (or on¬†the couch) and actually work up the first draft. Or as Ann Lamott would say, “the sh***y” first draft.

Speaking of Ann Lamott and her fabulous¬†book, Bird by Bird, she says if you have a large overwhelming project (such as a huge catalog of birds), just get started and tackle the project bird-by-bird.¬† So, I’m following her advice and dividing this work into smaller, generational bites. Taking it generation-by-generation.¬† Beginning with Puritans arriving in Plymouth and Scituate in the late 1600s.

This is a sixteen generation story I’m attempting to tell. Seventeen generations if I include my children, but I don’t think I’m going to write them into the story because their stories are still being told as they live their lives. They can write their own stories someday. Or their descendants can.¬† Actually, I may not include any generations still living which would include my dad and myself.

I don’t anticipate getting the entire first draft done this month, but I know I can make a substantial dent in the project if I keep with it.

So, on we go …

Shall we begin again?

The last time I updated this blog was back in July.¬† I’ve been thinking about what to blog about here¬†quite often throughout December, and have decided today, as we head into¬†the new year, I’m just going to start sharing things and see where it all goes.

There are things that have happened in my life over the past two years that have shaken me to the very core of who I am.¬† I know I’m not ready to openly share about what’s gone on (and actually may never be ready).¬† But I’ve learned a lot through it all and will probably share the occasional snippet of wisdom now and then.¬† Probably not actual wisdom per se, but at least things I’ve learned that apply to this time in my life.¬† Other people’s mileage may vary.

I guess that’s one big thing that’s been hammered home¬†for me is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution that fits everyone in all circumstances.¬† I think we often get ourselves into a bit of a mess when we try to apply our personal¬†solutions or personal answers¬†to other’s lives.¬† We’re all a¬†mix-and-matched¬†collage¬†of individual problems, individual people, individual questions, individual circumstances.¬† So of course we would need individual answers.

Well, that’s it for January 1st, 2018.¬† I would say I’m going to try to post something every day this year, but life happens and I may not even post something new tomorrow.¬† I think what I’ll try to do in the coming weeks is sit down and post things as I’m inspired.¬† Maybe once a week.¬† Maybe three times a day.¬† Who knows?

I also plan on sharing my fortunes from fortune cookies throughout the year.¬† Just because.¬† ūüôā

Happy New Year!


“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.¬† All life is an experiment.” – Fortune cookie