Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Packed, anxietied, ready to fly!

Isn’t this dress sooo cool?

It’s made of Crimplene, which was a space-age fabric in the 50s. Crimplene, if you don’t know, is basically very thick polyester. 

It’s amazing for structured clothing like this dress. Apparently not so great for anything humans needed to wear when it was at all hot out. 

Not a current concern. 

Even when I have days and days to pack, I’m frantically packing down to the last minute. 

I think the problem is I somehow can’t get dressed until I’m packed because what if I pack something I decide I would rather wear?

Sometimes I add last-minute laundry to my tasks because I guess I like to complicate everything. 

And then I inevitably run around the house in my underwear all WHERE IS MY BLACK TEE SHIRT?

I make lists. I make piles. I even list what I’m planning on wearing on the plane.

But still I run around the house like a lunatic.

Thus it has always been, and despite my best intentions, this it likely shall always be. 

My entire carry-on is only my dress, boots, shawl, purse.

Nick is checking his tuxedo, which is a bold (ahem foolish) move, in my opinion.

We have 52 minutes to change planes in NY. This amount of time gives me hives.

Nicole is in charge. Will the kids be delighted with a break from us?

I don’t know. It was really hard for me to say goodbye. 

The only time Nick and I have left them was for a memorial service when India was one and Jordan was four. We left them with Nana Betty.

I’ve been ridiculously excited about this trip. And equally excited about getting all dressed up.

We board in a few minutes. 

On our flight to NY we’re apart, same row but window seats. I hate window seats. 

In true adhd fashion, I like to be able to get up 500 times if I want to.

Also, you know, what if you get sucked out the window?

New item on flight fear list. 

Anyway, with any luck, we alight in the land of Percy Pigs tomorrow morning London time.

Seriously. That’s what both kids have requested. 

Hugs and more hugs!

Saturday, January 27, 2024

I have of late—but wherefore I know...

Oh, let's be honest, Rosencrantz. I know wherefore one million percent.

It's January 853rd. 

I didn't even make that up. It's a known fact, at least in the Northern hemisphere: January lasts approximately 3-500 times longer than any other month.

This January has been going on for about eight years.

I don't care how the math adds up.

Which is why I did so poorly in Mr. Gupta's class in high school. (But it was Nicole's math that broke him.)

We went away for Christmas, as you know, and it was absolutely the right thing to do.

But we went the direction of MORE winter. Shorter, grey days. Less light. More darkness.

I'm not built for this.

I just read about this woman who spent 500 days in a cave 70 meters underground. On purpose. Voluntarily. 

This, like the dark void of outer space, is a nightmare scenario for me. It's not just math and engineering abilities that kept me from NASA or spelunking.

And I don't know if you're like this, but having been depressed before, I'm always wondering: am I depressed, or just sad?

Am I depressed, or is this grief?

I think I'm sad and grieving.

Not every minute of every day. But I cry a lot. But not, I think, an unreasonable amount.

Whatever that means.

January for me has been a month of self-care. And by that I don't mean scented baths and candles.

I mean self-protection.

One of the things that last year did for me that was positive was to impose limits on what I do.

Normally, I'd just pile things on, one after the other. Things I felt obligated to do, or things that sounded fun, or tasks that needed doing, but not critically this minute.

One after the other.

I meet the needs of a bunch of people. One fewer, now, but still.

You need me? OK. I'll do it. 

And now, when I can't, I just don't.

Whereas before, I'd push so I could, and I didn't recognize the cost.

Now I feel the cost. So I stop.

Since surgery, I can do one big thing, and then I'm tired. It could be a big physical thing, or a big emotional thing like an event.

We went to two Christmas parties, both of which I was happy to attend. I was so excited to see people I hadn't seen in actual years.

And then that was my limit. Maybe I'll go to three next year.

Anyway, in some cases, I can do the big thing, something that used to be totally normal for me, and for now it's too much.

I learned this returning to yoga. Ooh, I was so excited to be back to really challenging Saturday yoga.

No, I couldn't do all I could before. But I posted photos of getting back to side crow! Handstand! It felt so good. So good.

Cancer hadn't taken me down! Look where I was already!

And then, hand to god, I was incapacitated for five days. I didn't even go to regular yoga classes. I was too wiped out.

So now I have to be deliberate about where I put my energies and efforts. 

Physical and emotional.

Jordan has needed a lot of academic support, with this start to 9th grade. This translates to time and energy.

India hasn't needed support in the same way. But she's still raw about my mom.

On Christmas Day, I forced my family to walk from our Airbnb through Hyde Park to get to Westminster Abbey, where I wanted to attend evensong.

Nick had bought a Christmas cake, but honestly, that was it. Nobody wanted to go to a Christmas service, which I understood, because we don't have any kind of church tradition.

But this, this I really wanted to do. Even though initially my people were like, no than you. So I was going to go alone.

How many opportunities does one have to attend evensong at Westminster Abbey?

And then Nick said he wanted to go. So it became a family event, which is what I'd wanted from the get-go, but hadn't had the energy to fight for.

So we were walking through the park, nearing a duck pond. 

And I was getting sadder and sadder, because we used to always stop in London on our way home from whatever country we lived in. I have concrete memories of wearing hoodies in English summer, because we'd just come from Bangladesh and we were freezing in English summer, feeding the ducks in Hyde Park.

My dad loved London. We'd always go to shows. We'd shop. I was excited to take India to Topshop, which turns out to have closed! 

On a side bar, one summer of high school, my friend Claudia and I met up in New York (our dads took us, and we met at the airport), and flew to London together.

Our dads had organized for us to spend a week with friends of Claudia's family in London, on our way back to Delhi. I was 15 and she was 17, and this was insanely exciting.

Look how grown up and responsible we were!

We went to a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. We ran into high school friends who were no longer living in Delhi, because that was the kind of thing we just took for granted. "Oh! You're here, too?" We went to Madame Tussaud's.

And we bought music tapes unavailable in India (Nik Kershaw, whose song "Wouldn't It Be Good" I love to this day.)

And we bought trendy, trendy clothing at Topshop. My gosh, I loved Topshop. And I know India would've as well.

So our last day, without enough cash to buy more clothing, we spent our last pounds on chocolate. Like down to the final pence.

All of it.

Her family friends had to give us money to take the bus to Heathrow.


So anyway.

I have a lot of excellent London memories. It was just normal. It was on the way home.

"Home" ha. I didn't have home. But my parents did, and they referred to the US as home for us. So "home" one direction and home the other. Or maybe they should both be in quotes.

Anyway, right around the duck pond, India started to cry. This was an awful Christmas. She didn't want to be there.

She wanted to be home (because my kids do have a concrete sense of home as a physical place), having real Christmas, eating sticky buns and opening presents with Nana.

At which point all those tears I'd been sucking in came pouring out. I started to sob. Because really, that was what I wanted as well. 

So we stood there, hugging and crying in the thin winter light of London, surrounded by greenery.

And then we continued along, and got in a long line, and did get into Westminster Abbey, and it was glorious.

It was absolutely pouring the day we left England. "Bucketing down" is the phrase Fiona uses.

She'll exaggerate the Northern pronunciation for us, too. Like, booketing down. 

I love this.

Not to dwell on the weather, because it's the boringest small talk topic, but I'm kind of obsessed with it.

Our January has been relentlessly grim.

Cold, like actual coldcold, and dementor grey. 

I don't enjoy the cold, but it's the grey that sucks the joy and motivation out of me. I've got that freckly Irish skin that burns and wrinkles, but my gosh, I love the sun.

I mean, now I wear a hat and sunglasses and SPF and long sleeves. But I love the feel of sunshine. I love the quality of light. I love the heat.

I love getting into a hot car. Truly. That intense, confined heat, like a sauna, except in DC it's more like a steam room, which I don't enjoy as much but I'd take over being cold any day.

Except that I decided this year I'm going to try ice baths.

Nicole (who is back, thank goodness for like 8 million reasons) insists what I want is cryotherapy, because it's only three minutes.

I was worried about my silicone boobs but she said I could add a sports bra if I was worried. You have to cover your hands and feet to protect them. And men  have to cover their dangly bits, apparently. 

So I looked it up and this is accurate.

I was worried after my favorite NP told me that I couldn't ever use a heating pad on my torso, because I could super-heat my boobs but not know it, and severely burn myself inside.

But in the same way that it's different from a sauna, because I'd feel my whole body overheating, a whole body cooling is fine.

Also, the freezing point of silicone is much, much lower than the freezing point of my body, so I guess I'd be a block of ice before they froze?

Now I'm picturing my chest filled with two very large ice cubes. Which would be...awkward?

A friend told me that she really likes my stream-of-consciousness writing, and I feel lucky about that because, well, ha. Look where we are now.

I've had periods of my life where I was sad every minute of every day. Where I would sit at my desk at work and drip huge tears onto my keyboard, and sneak off to the bathroom to really cry.

Where I would go for runs in the evening because I couldn't cry while I was running, and I needed the fucking break from sitting on my floor sobbing.

And it's not like that. 

I have a lot of theories that have to do with nutrition and emotional regulation and I think these are accurate.

And I have joy here, and joy on the horizon. Yesterday I chopped salad vegetables for nearly two hours, and Nicole and I laughed the entire time.

It was an elaborate salad. I made ginger lime garlic dressing.

I won't bore you with the details because look how long this post is already, and I could totally be a food blogger because I like to tell my life stories, but I couldn't be a food blogger because I'm a fairly lame, indifferent cook.

But this was a great salad.

But Nicole is back because...

Next week Nick and I return to the UK because we've been invited to this fancy party, which was not only an honor but also an incredible opportunity to do something fun just the two of us.

Nicole will be the adult in charge while we're gone, which India has been excited about every day for the month we've had this plan.

And I've got this vintage Pierre Cardin dress, which I found on Marketplace and which my dear friend altered for me, because it fit but she wanted the line to be more flattering.

As soon as I get it back from the cleaners, I'll post about it, because it's truly fabulous.

This whole thing is made more exciting by the fact that while I could talk about clothes all day, and if I were wealthy, I'd dress almost exclusively in vintage Pucci, the fact is that I wear yoga clothes or sweats almost every day.

Yesterday I wore jeans, and I got compliments. My hair was also pretty clean, so that helped.

I think it's the whole contrast thing. 

January is always a hard month for me, and this one has weighed significantly more than prior Januaries. 

We fly the last day of the month, which turns out to be the 31st and not the 927th, and that will bring this January to an exciting close.

I've been waffling—new British word—so thanks for sticking with me. 

And I guess that's all I really have to say about that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The FP

When I was a little kid in Dhaka, I had a friend named Sharon who lived down the road. 

She was British. She spent a lot of time at our house. 

We visited them in London the summer after they moved back to the UK. Sharon's mom told us Sharon got teased by classmates for using American words.

For example, instead of saying biscuits, she said cookies.

We always had cookies at our house. So many cookies.

We must've visited their family on a Sunday, because everyone was home. It was the first time I'd seen a dumbwaiter. We kids took turns hauling each other up and down in their walls.

British school went later into the summer than our school in Dhaka, and her parents wouldn't let her take the Monday off for us to hang out. I remember sobbing, absolutely sobbing, and it was clear her parents thought my manners were appalling.

Now, as an adult and a mom, looking back at this shameful memory, I think I was seven, maybe eight years old. I imagine we were still jet lagged and us kids were overtired and probably had been eating tons of sugar, and it's hardly surprising I melted down.

This is nice to write out, so I can let go of  that cringey memory.

Anyway, by the time I met Fiona last summer, I knew of some important differences beyond biscuit and cookie in our varieties of English.


One of India's friends gave her a fanny pack for her birthday a couple years ago.

Prior to this, I was unaware of the Return of the Fanny Pack. They've come back with a vengeance.

India's is pale pink, from Lululemon, and honestly, it's kind of perfect. 

I started using it on errands, and last summer India very generously said I could take it on my travels. It was amazing from the start, holding my passport and my boarding pass, phone, lip balm, phone charger, and hydration packets or a little snack.

I'm telling you.

I wore it throughout my time in Bali.

I became a fanny pack enthusiast. Or re-became. Or re-enthusiast, perhaps, since I'd embraced them wholeheartedly in the 90s.

I'd forgotten how incredibly useful they are. I asked for one for my birthday last year, knowing India wanted hers back.

Much like my love of all things neon in the 80s, I had multiple fanny packs in the 90s. I even had a textile one and a leather one that my mom bought me in Ecuador.


So in my mid-20s I spent six months traveling in India and Nepal. I had two backpacks (one parked at the house of friends) and my fanny pack.

What I didn't know then was that "fanny" in British English has a very different meaning than "fanny" in American English.

Growing up, we used the word butt or bottom, but my grandmother used to use the word fanny. 

(She also used the words homely and davenport.)

So I'd been backpacking for months, meeting a variety of fellow travelers, many of whom were from the UK. Sometimes we'd be in the same hostel overnight, or sometimes our agendas coincided and we'd travel together for days or weeks.

My new American friends and I wound up walking most of the Everest trek with two British guys.

We sometimes had private rooms, but were most often sleeping in dormitories, and as such, I kept important stuff in my very convenient fanny pack. I didn't always wear it, but it was always handy.

I imagine I mentioned my fanny pack at least a couple of times over my travels, with nobody saying anything. 

Until one day I think one of the guys asked me to hold somethinga document or passport or some suchand I said something along the lines of, "SureI'll just stick it in my fanny pack."

Which was met with stunned silence.

Because fanny! Fanny in British English is slang for vulva.

I'm not sure how vulgar it is. Like, I don't think it's tantamount to saying c*nt.

I think it's more like lady bits? But stronger?

So maybe "fanny pack" is more like "beaver bag" or "cooter pouch"?

In any case, surprising, if you're telling someone you're just going to pop their trekking permit into your VAGINAL CONTAINER for safekeeping.


Was I mortified?


But not enough to not find it hilarious.

Anyway, when I met Fiona and she complimented my fanny packalthough not by that nameI told her that I was well aware that we called this particular container of convenience by different names in our respective countries.

I knew, I said, that Brits call it a "bum bag" rather than a (and here I whispered, like I might be talking about prison) "fanny pack".

I explained how I learned this.

Since I hadn't thought about the bag or the term in years, I hadn't shifted my nomenclature. Fanny pack it was.

Except that now it sounded kind of naughty.

Even better.

And then Fiona went home and she asked for one for her birthday. Because they are ridiculously convenient.

Much like Sharon and the cookies, but with the awareness that comes with adulthood, Fiona calls hers an FP. So now I call mine an FP.

I got an ad for a fleecy one before Christmas, and I sent her the link. Maybe she needed a furry FP to keep her warm in the cold English winter? 

She's got a regular one. We discovered when we met that we have practically the same bag. Turns out our respective daughters were incredibly excited to buy them for us.

Lululemon, however, avoids the fraught term. They call it an "everywhere belt bag"—which seems a safe approach to me. You don't have the dorky visual baggage of the 90s and you avoid shocking a swath of the English-speaking globe.

Whereas me, I'm not trying to sell anything. And I'm fine with 90s dorkiness and with horrifying the occasional human.

Sometimes, Sharon, that's just the way the biscuit crumbles.

Monday, January 08, 2024

Goodbye to you

I don't, as a practice and a superstition, wish time away. I never cross a day off the calendar before it is over.

But I was happy to see the back end of 2023.

I was going to write an end of year post on January 1, but we all returned from travel with consumption or some non-Covid crud.

And so I lay around limply, not so much feeling like writing.

But I forced myself to exercise and bathe.

Start as you mean to go on, and all that.

I'd like to eat black-eyed peas for luck, but I just don't like them. Or maybe I never like how they're seasoned. Anyway, we would have that as a tradition, but we don't.

Kind of like how growing up, we had oyster stew for Christmas dinner every year because that's what my mom was raised with. And then one year we all voiced how none of us cared for oyster stew, and apparently my mom had disliked it since childhood.

So then we never had it again.

Anyway, as the end of 2023 approached, the song that kept playing in my head was Goodbye to You.

In the immortal words of Scandal, "And my heart can't stand the strain/And my love, and my love, and my love/Goodbye to you..."

I didn't make a 2023 photo book. I didn't make a calendar. I simply couldn't handle looking back at photos from January–May.

Our only nod to Christmas at home were door wreaths and a poinsettia, and honestly, we only got those because Jordan was on the hook for selling a quantity of them for a sports team fundraiser and did nothing about selling. Nick and I sold a few. 

Though we'd signed an agreement at the start of the school year agreeing to participate up to this amount, we were caught off guard. And honestly, after the year we'd had, I didn't have the wherewithal. So we bought a bunch of wreaths and poinsettias.

Next year, which turns out to now be this year, will be better.

That's what I kept saying last year. Next year will be better. 

I didn't want to tempt fate and say, "How could it be worse?" Because I think a worse year than last year would actually break me.

That said. I was kind of surprised to realize that on the whole, despite so many years of depression and its accompanying negativity, I might actually be a glass half full person rather than a glass half emptier.

Because yes, 2023 was my absolute worst, most heart-wrenchingly painful, devastating, brutal, scary year of my entire life. 

I always knew that losing Betty would absolutely wreck me. But it's one thing to intellectually know. And it's quite another to feel like your entire body, inside and out, has been abraded by grief.

To wake up every single day freshly scraped down to your core. 

And then, you know, to get cancer on top of it. That super sucked.

But oddly enough, on the whole, I feel like a very lucky person. 

Which maybe makes no sense. Because on the outside, I cannot imagine anyone else would be like, "Ooh, I'd love to have Lisa's luck!"

I get that. I do.

We started the new year with wretched chest colds. There's some kind of crud circling the globe, and we returned from the UK worn down and feeling low. As soon as we got home, Nick and I were felled by it.

It caught me off guard, because I hadn't been really sick since having Covid the first year of the pandemic.

I said this to Nick. I said, "I'd forgotten how it feels to be so sick. Because I've been so healthy for so long!"

And then I was like, "I mean, except for the cancer!" Ha.

Which I know is kind of all, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

But can I stick to a point?

Unclear. Because I think the ADHD meds I was so grateful for were exacerbating the effects of anastrozole. And since cutting my cancer recurrence risk is currently more important than quieting my brain, well, you get what you get.

But let me tell you how I'm lucky. You don't have to believe me. It's OK.

What 2023 showed me was how much love and kindness I have in my life. What extraordinary humans I have who love me.

My friends showed up, and they showed up huge for me. For me, for my family, for my mama.

You know I had my dear Nicole here for two weeks after my surgery taking care of me and making sure my family was OK. What kind of priceless gift is that?

On a side bar: I had to look up priceless, because I was like, un-pay-backable? Not enough money for? 

Becuase whether is is grief brain—which is a thing—or menopause, which I'm super duper in with the anastrozole working hard to make sure my body has no estrogen available, I keep lacking words.

Seriously. Yesterday I actually said, "You know, the wrists on your legs."

Ankles, my friends. The word for leg wrists is ANKLES.

But back to love. 

I had, I guess, three big traumatic events last year. My mom fell, spent 12 days and then passed away in GW Hospital, a place I will hate forever and absolutely refused to consider for my own treatment. Then we had her memorial service in September. And then, 10 days later, I had my surgery.

I haven't really talked or written at about my mom's memorial service. It was September 17.

That was the date I had to get past before I could start focusing on my future and how to be a yoga teacher. 

Until, of course, that all got derailed.

So maybe one day I'll write about that. But for now I'll say that my Leigh, who I asked to provide the floral arrangements (because she owns a wedding and florals company and has exquisite taste), created and installed the Betty-est flowers I could ever have hoped for. She made a beautiful chapel so much more so.

My mom would've loved them. Absolutely loved.

And through them, I had friends holding my hands. Physically, in some cases, and long-distance emotionally in others.

Maude and my high school friends came and stayed and rallied around me and cried with me and made me laugh and just offered their whole soulful selves in solidarity.

And I got flowers and gifts from friends I adore, but who I have barely spent time with in person because we live far apart. 

They're deep in my heart, and as it turns out, I am in theirs.

I cannot risk listing people, because I will leave some out. Grief/menopause brain. And then I would feel terrible. But my gosh, there are so many people.

I still owe a tremendous number of thank yous.

After my surgery, my community of moms here kept my whole family fed. Overfed, honestly.

My friend Andrea (sometimes lives near, sometimes far) set up a Meal Train, and we had so much food. People were incredibly generous.

Nicole had to cancel some lovely offers, as we were in the lucky position of having too much, and the freezer was full, and we couldn't bear to see good food go to waste.

One mom friend signed up multiple times before my surgery. I messaged her ahead and said please not to trouble herself like that.

And you know what she said?

She said we didn't know each other that well, and she was grateful to have a way to do something for me.

She was grateful for the opportunity.

This made me cry.

She's since messaged and said she was making a dish I particularly liked, and would I like a pan of it? Yes, oh yes, thank you.

A Cuban friend made me Cuban soup, the name of which I cannot remember. She told me to tell my surgeon, who is also Cuban. 

My Russian friend made me various soups, dropping one off every single week.

She started doing this after my diagnosis. She comes from a culture of food as medicine, and I needed the fortification.

Another mom friend, whose meal got canceled, asked if she could leave spiced tea made by her Kenyan husband and treats. (Ohhh, yes!!!) So her daughter picked out the cutest travel mug, and I had special tea and donuts.

I don't know if it sounds bad, listing all I received.

But I will tell you that my inclination—really, the way I was raised and trained—is always to tell people not to trouble themselves.

I love asking for advice and recommendations. I love knowing what books people are reading, or what kinds of skin care products they use.

I am always open to suggestions, and seriously love hearing. 

When I have to make choices, I get overwhelmed. So then I ask friends. It narrows things down and helps me a lot.

But those are things that cost people relatively little in terms of time and effort.

Prior to last year, it would've been unimaginable to me to ask someone outside of my family or absolute closest friends to make me a meal.

But the advice I got from a friend with cancer—which was just like the advice I got when traveling to Spain, but fortunately didn't result in eating fried pig earswas say YES to everything.

Let people do things for you. Allow people to help you. Say yes to the kindness.

So I said yes. Yes, please. Yes, thank you.

I had so much soup. I love soup. I am a terrible soup maker, sadly, and I love soup.

You'd think it would be simple. But good soup is not simple. Anyway, not for me.

So at one point Nick was all, "WHY do we have so much soup?"

(Spoken like a non-soup lover.)

And I said, "It's for me. I love soup."

Also, I am not a quid pro quo person. I'm really not. I do things for people I care about because I want to. 

Kindnesses bring me joy.

And I pour a lot into people I care about. 

And it turns out there are lots and lots of people I love.

What I've learned is that there are lots of people far and wide who love me back.

When I was young, I'd get jealous if a good friend added another bestie. Because I thought of love as finite. But as I've aged, I realize it's infinite.

Time and energy, yes, finite. Love, so vast. I do think the more you feel, the more you give, the more you have available. Our hearts are immense.

So in the horribleness of the worst year of my life, I had so much love.

And love and kindness came from unexpected places.

The first time I cried in class in Bali, I was lying on my stomach on my yoga mat in an anatomy class. We had no chairs. We could sit, lie down, stand, squat, use bolsters. But no chairs.

So we were on our mats pretty much all the time.

And the anatomy teacher was talking about diaphragmatic breathing.

And all I could picture was how shallowly my mom breathed. And how, if I'd known what I was starting to learn, I could have helped her.

If she'd breathed properly, would she have been strong enough to survive?

So I was lying on my mat in class with huge tears rolling down my face.

I felt a hand on my shoulder, and a voice quietly asking me if I'd like to go outside.

Jessie, this extraordinarily beautiful young woman, had been on her mat a row ahead of me. I wasn't making any noise, but she somehow knew, and came over to offer kindness.

I came to learn she was so tuned in to the emotional world around her. She could feel the room.

We went out in the rice paddy, and I cried and cried. I apologized for taking her out of class and she waved a hand and said, "I just graduated pre-med. I already know what she's talking about."

She's so young, so smart, so beautiful. Like, so pretty she could be shallow or not that bright, or unkind and just go through the world on her looks and people would do things for her. But she's deep and thoughtful and funny. 

I'd be delighted if my girl grew up to be like her.

And you already know about Fiona, my Bali yoga bestie who has turned into a lifelong bestie. 

I just got to see her two weeks ago. It was amazing but too brief. An evening and a morning, where we hugged goodbye at the train station, smiling for a selfie, and then I walked away in tears.

While we were there, the whole of England was being barraged by a storm called Gareth or something equally English, and trains were canceled and roads were flooded. Roofs had been blown off houses. Crazy stuff like that.

Fiona was coming down from the north, and had two trains canceled, and then was on a standing-room only train so packed that people fainted and one kid threw up.

But she came down to Oxford for the night, and we had a glorious time!

This is a whole nother post, or series of posts, because I have vocabulary, new treats, and travel stories to share.

Which I will do soon.

I wasn't writing for a while because I was just so relentlessly sad. Not depressed. Just sad. 

And I figured that it was probably tedious for readers to face another slog through grief kind of post.

But then my friend Sarah called, and out of the blue she said, "I love your blog! My mom loved your blog!"

I told her my fear of the ponderous griefy sadness and she said no. Keep writing. Post.

So I am.

I got through my first birthday, Betty's birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and New Year's without my mom. I feel...relieved?

Goodbye to you, 2023. Hello to you, 2024.

Exercise, bathe. Eat a fucking vegetable. Feel lucky to be alive.

These are for me. I'm not telling you what to do, though you're welcome to join me. 

Oh! I also want to start sitting in cold plunges, and grinding my own grain. And learn to knit, crochet, quilt...But those are also for another day.

Start as you mean to go on.