Happy New Year!

Hi all! I hope you had a wonderful New Years Celebration and are looking forward to much growth in 2019! This week feels like it’s been three, and I’m so looking forward to getting back to my regular schedule on Monday. This past week, I went hiking at Castlewood State park with my best friend and her boys. It was chilly, but a gorgeous day and the company was fantastic. Olive kept walking out to the edge of the bluffs and exclaiming “Dad…! It’s beeeeautiful!” hahaha. 

New Years was good. I spent the evening with my Best friend Sally and her boyfriend. Both of my best friends tend to mother me (and honestly, I do need it sometimes) and its a funny mix of indulgence and exasperation. Sally worries about my sugar intake and cut me off after I ate about fifteen mini Three Musketeers while we watched Nirvana Unplugged on YouTube. I made a resolution this year to ask for help when I need it, and accept help when it’s offered. Little helps add up to big helps eventually and maybe I’ll not feel so overwhelmed.

I skated for the first time since I broke my leg in July. We had pretty much the whole rink to ourselves. I was supposed to take it easy and make sure to rest a lot. While I didn’t do anything crazy, I also didn’t rest. I skated the whole hour and a half, and it was amazing to be back in my happy place.

I did all but two of this month’s Photo-A-Day challenge posts. I’m so glad to have gotten back to it and feel like the quality of my narrative and my photos benefitted from it!

 28/31 Fave Animal
I met my best friend, Sally years ago at a craft festival. Her work had  me at “hello”, we talked for a moment, long enough for me to learn that  she was from Bloomington, Indiana, studied printmaking in college, and  loved animals. I bought one of her shadow boxes and began following her  on Instagram. 

She  was back at the festival the next year. When I’m following people  online, I try to be careful to let them know that I follow them on  Instagram or their blog…that I realize that I have them at a  disadvantage because I know a lot more about them than they know about  me. We chatted for a bit, I bought another shadow box. 

My  sense of time gets skewed sometimes…and it feels like I’ve known  Sally forever. So it seems like a short while after that, that I got a  message out of the blue that she was moving to Saint Louis and did I  have any advice on where to look for a place. I didn’t, but knew who to  ask so I passed her request along to other members of the local craft  community. It always seems bonkers to me that out of all the people she  could have reached out to, it was me that she did.

Also  it’s bonkers that it was still months yet before we really met and  talked, beginning to fill in the gaps that are left by social media. And  now I really can’t imagine a world without her. 

29/31 Made Me Smile
I haven’t skated since I broke my leg in July. My skates have been in  storage since sometime in September. It was so hard hearing that I  wouldn’t be able to skate again any time soon. 

Even  at my least healthy, I’d always felt nearly indestructible. Able to do  anything that I wanted or needed to by myself. Needing to stop, to slow  down and ask for help more often was difficult. And lonely, because I  knew if someone I loved was hurt I have it in me to be an obnoxious  caretaker and wanted that, even though I was terrible at accepting it. 

Today  I got my skates out of storage. I’m putting them on and skating this  week with my kids and with my best friend. To say I’m excited and  terrified is maybe not putting enough emphasis on it. The thought of  being connected to my body and the earth and the air again through my  skates though…definitely makes me smile. 

30/31 Self Portrait
Every day literally starts with a self portrait. 

I see you

You see me. 

We are us. 

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

I’ve been struggling with how to tell some of the stories that I want to tell right now. Lucy Bellwood did an wonderful series for InkTober 2017 called Demon Dialogs about that voice in our head who tells that we’re not good enough. The series was really relateable but not quite the way my interior dialog works. 

I  realized several years ago, that the way I talk to myself is through  stories. Sometimes the stories are people from my past. Sometimes  they’re people from my present. And sometimes they’re my kids in the  future, introducing me to their future boyfriends. Always though it’s  people introducing me. That one like that sums up a new acquaintance. 

I’m thankful for how often these stories are positive. And laugh at how often they’re kind of weird.  What are the stories you tell yourself? How do you talk about yourself inside your head? 

1 – This is my dad, and he likes to draw
A  couple of years ago, Olive made a narrated video tour of my living room  using my phone. She had something to say about each thing in the room.  As she passed by me she said “This is my dad, he likes to draw.” It was  so casual and matter of fact. And loving in the way that kind of  statement can only be from a kid. Maybe because it’s my job and so much  of my life is wrapped up in it. What would she have said if I had a  different job that wasn’t a kind of all-consuming hobby?

I hope it would still be that I like to draw.

2 – This is my best friend, and he’s always there.
Ask me for help and I’m there for you. No questions asked.

Also, I tend to go to bed after most of my friends, and I get up before them.  I’m available to my people pretty much all day, unless I’m skating. So they get worried if I don’t respond right away. Or if messenger says I haven’t been active in several hours. Then I start getting messages asking if I’m okay. 

My friends see me. I appreciate that they reach out, and that they care.

3 – This is my dad. He stays up late and gets up early to spend time with us.
People have asked me before if I ever sleep.

I do.

But I’d rather be with you.

I hope you all had a great week! I’m going to watch some roller derby tomorrow, and made some progress on my goal list for the week that I’m looking forward to sharing on Monday! I appreciate you all and am so glad you’re here with me!

Until next week, take care and be good!
Your friend,

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