Looking for some writing inspiration this morning I picked up Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear. Right there in the first pages she states the thing I need to hear – “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear”.

I realize I have been living much of the time in fear mode lately. About what? Everything. Mostly my teenager. And this has distracted me from pouring myself into writing, from living in peace and joy. And most importantly, it has impacted how I’ve been relating to the teenager. It hasn’t been good.

I’ve had a few aha moments about this relationship over the past few days and why it’s so tricky. What it comes down to is I need to be more curious, less judgey, less full of my own expectations. Someone once said your kids will change from the happy, bouncy puppy of their pre-pubescent years into a skittering cat who doesn’t want to be pet or garnered with attention unless he chooses it.

We are in the muck of it now and people tell me this won’t last, it won’t be forever. Eventually the puppy will be back and the relationship will shift and heal. It’s hard to look that far into the future and so holding my gaze steadily on the present, I must look for more ways to be curious. I need to remind myself that everything is coming into my life for a reason, to teach me something, to help me grow.

And so I need to get back to writing, to myself, with courage and hope and love.



Change will bring you closer to love

My body is tight with frustration, disappointment, worry. I stretch out from from fingers to toes, wiggling them away. They have to leave so joy and love and peace can fill their place, I am so tired of having this stuck inside me. What’s causing it is not the problem because I know that I only have sway over one person. Me.

There is a path out, I know, but cannot see it because it as though I have gone blind over time and just now realized it. I’m closing my eyes now, emptying my mind of thoughts, this is so hard to do. Quiet. Silence. Hope, where are you? I will stumble along, find purchase with each small step. Forward. Onward.



Here I am

Last week I wavered powerfully on my writing project. It’s too hard. It feels too far in the past. Why would anyone want to read what I have to say? Who do I think I am? It would be easier to quit writing altogether! I can enjoy life more if only I didn’t put so much pressure on doing this thing. Short of wiping my hands clean of the whole project, I decided to shelve it while on vacation. Too much was competing for my attention, especially the warm sunshine of Florida which I wasn’t going to have for a while if I didn’t soak it up then and there.

I am now home in my empty house looking at a dreary, gray sky from the writing space in my loft I haven’t been able to visit for weeks due to a broken leg. It is so quiet and nice. Is it wrong I missed this so much? I am also a day away from having my walking boot removed and I’m hoping I’ll be cleared to drive. I am two weeks post my second Covid vaccine and life is blooming with possibility along with the daffodils in our front garden. I feel like I am once again coming alive.

We are in the 30 minute space of my Monday writing class where we work on free writing. The questions posed this morning to get us going were all about honoring this call to write. The one I latched onto was how to use a physical object to represent your project this week. Looking around, my eyes settled on a small marble bowl of rocks brought home from various journeys. Chief among them, the start of this collection, came from climbing Croach Patrick, a rocky mountain that towers above the villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey in County Mayo, Ireland.

It was late August 2012 and we went to Ireland for a Notre Dame football game in Dublin later that week. On my husband’s bucket list was to climb this mountain and I said I’d be honored to do it with him, not realizing how tough of a climb it would be for me, how the drizzling rain would make it much harder than usual, especially the last bit which is pure loose rock. At the bottom of the mountain, just as we were starting the climb, an American went into cardiac arrest and we found out later in the hike he had died there at the foot of the St. Patrick statue. This strengthened my resolve to continue the climb, that I could do this no matter how hard the climb became. One step at a time.

It took over 4 hours to get to the top and we were greeted by cloud cover, unable to see the view but there was a feeling of great accomplishment in doing something I didn’t think I could do. Remembering some of the worst things I have gotten through over the many years of my life so far are inspiration to keep me moving forward even when I want to quit. Croagh Patrick is the biggest physical challege of my life while surving my brother’s suicide is the mental counterpart of that. I know that with time and patience I will do this too. One word at a time.