Currently, Don’t Be Afraid to Catch Feels

Blogging is a funny beast sometimes, isn’t it?

I mean, I came here to do one thing – which was to write – but I found so many strange and wonderful connections instead. I found myself. I was super lost, but we’re always lost and found, lost and found, throughout life. I always think that as long as I can come here once or twice a week to say “hi” simply as myself, it’s all ok. And what can I say? I’m super muddled. I feel like I’ve been that way for a long time. Maybe this is just my life now. Maybe this is just me now. Muddled, occasionally haggard, sometimes glowing, always busy, and able to boomerang back. Sometimes the words come and sometimes it’s pulling teeth and if we’re being honest, I didn’t think there was a chance in heck I’d come here and have anything to say.

Yet, here I am – barely stringing words together. Sometimes it’s fun to see where this goes.

Now, it’s Currently Time! Feel free to write your own sometime!

Currently, I’m..

Reading: Seriously, nothing. I had an overdue library book for about two months that wound up being packed up in a box before our renovations started. I have so many books to read. You know how with some things in life, you have to hear a click to be sure? Like a seatbelt. That’s how my brain works. If there’s a click, I’m full speed ahead. If there’s no click, and maybe just some halfway one, I’m pretty much useless. I can’t do the simplest thing – like go into the basement and find a book to read. My brain is my biggest opponent. Ridiculous. The click metaphor works for all aspects of my life. LAME.

Planning: Ooh, pick me! Planning! I’m sort of terrible at it, but maybe the seatbelt clicked for this one. We’re planning our annual Disney World trip in January! Before that, we are surprising the kids with a Polar Express train ride in upstate NY (I mean.. the North Pole). There might be a hotel stay or two in all of that. I’m also co-planning.. you know.. our entire HOUSE as it gets ripped apart and put back together. Remember when the renovations start/stopped? Now they’re full speed ahead.

Stressing: Stressing? Me? Ok, you got me there. I’m always in a weird whirlwind of sweating the small stuff, and then not sweating the small stuff, but it always comes back around because I’m hard-wired in the DNA to stress the small stuff. I actually think it’s the big stuff, but don’t tell anyone. Currently, I’m more busy with work than I’ve ever been. Remember last year and earlier this year, when I was doing photography, blogging, and big boxes of data entry surveys? Yeah, that was child’s play. I’m so busy right now with blogging, photography, and my new Visual Content Management job (QA) that I actually can’t breathe sometimes. It’s a wonder I’m writing this because I have seven photo shoots to edit. Also, I stress about the apocalypse and marriage and parenting and my mid-section, but who has time to write and read that one? Not it.

Wishing: I make wishes and prayers when I’m panicked and it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, WHAM. Let’s talk about wishes, though. They’re usually made from a mid-level and sent to above. You follow me here? Prayers are made from down below – just to get to mid level. Does that make sense? I wish for things to make sense. And world peace. Health.

Feeling: Like I shouldn’t be afraid to catch feels. And in my strange inability to feel things sometimes, I wonder if there’s a way not to force the feels, but to coax them out. Last year I couldn’t feel the holiday spirit, except maybe in glimpses. I wasn’t in the waterfall of the feels, if you know what I mean. And if you don’t..let’s go right to the next one and you will:

Listening: To this little number:

Eating: Nothing at the moment but I stole a Hickory Farms Salted Caramel Chocolate (from myself) a few minutes ago. And I have my eye on the Cookie Butter OREOs upstairs (finally found them!) and having Cassidy make stovetop popcorn. YES.

Wearing: A super cool Star Wars shirt and burgundy pants.

Loving: That I was there on the last day my favorite seasonal ice cream stand was open for 2017. And when I mentioned that Scarlet was away, they gave me a free quart of cotton candy ice cream to give to my kid! Ah! I’m also loving the feel of the warmth from the pellet stove, the smell of coffee, paychecks, and all the possibilities I’ve been discovering about myself and my capabilities. I hope it’s upward mobility.. forever. That’s a reasonable request that I haven’t chosen to ignore!

Name that reference (above)!

Hoping: Just insert a bunch of political and weather and health things right here. That about does it for today.

Pick one of these verbs and tell me what you’re doing currently.

You See, I Am the Butterfly

Our first four butterflies hatched beautifully within the first few days of having them.

I waited until Scarlet came home from camp and invited her best friend/best friend’s mom to join us. We had been waiting for a sunny, warm day. I hadn’t expected the rush I got watching that first one take off from Ella’s (Scarlet’s best friend) outstretched hand, and then swirl into a gold and black vision against the trees. The other three followed suit – and one from my own hand. I sort of wanted to cry, but I didn’t. It’s amazing how often that happens. And when I cry, I CRY.

I don’t think I’m a pretty crier either, although I’ve been told I am. I never will be because I can’t breathe when I cry.

And that’s the reason I’m afraid of most things. What if I can’t breathe if it happens? What if I can’t breathe at the dentist? Or on a roller coaster? With a stomach virus? During a speech? In a deep kiss? Actually, that’s the best kind of not-breathing.

Then there’s the worst.

The thing is, I had to euthanize a butterfly today, and it takes my breath away in the worst way.

The fifth butterfly hatched, probably around the fifth day. It was the smallest chrysalis, but probably the prettiest. Scarlet was here when it started, and she hadn’t seen the other four hatch in her own butterfly garden. This butterfly struggled. I helped, as gently as I could, by pulling off pieces of chrysalis that seemed to be suffocating the butterfly and keeping it down. I was trying hard not to touch her and I think I succeeded, but her “birth” (rebirth?) seemed to take forever. She was born late in the day – and didn’t get the luxury of drying her wings against the sun. When we woke up today, I thought she was dead. Then she moved and tried to open her wings. They’re withered and small, but they’re wings. They’re her wings.

I wanted to see what she could do. I read up about what to do, and everyone had the same wisdom – don’t let her suffer for hours or days. Put her to “sleep” in a low temp, and she’ll pass away gently in her sleep. Gentle wings, gentle soul.

I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry. I would have given you every fighting chance.

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I didn’t expect to have my breath taken away by the first butterflies in flight, and I didn’t expect to have it sucked back in the worst way with this last, weaker butterfly. Kristi from “Finish the Sentence Friday” is asking us to talk about the August things right now. The topic this week is “It’s August, and I can’t believe..” and here’s a post I wrote four years ago:

Don’t make me say goodbye to summer just yet.

A year ago this week, I had a crippling nightmare. I dreamed it was December. Christmas time. It was dark at 4:45 pm and I had the trace of a winter sniffle – Desmond’s cheeks were red and raw. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like a school bus was on my chest. And in typical dream form, a school bus was actually on my chest! Don’t you love dreams?

And then I woke up, and I looked out the window and it was August. And you know what I’m talking about – August has a particular look, a particular sound, a particular smell and a particular feel. There’s probably even a taste in there somewhere. I was afraid of the cold and darkness. I thought they would go through my skin to my heart. I thought winter would make me cold and dark. It’s not what happened. It’s been a wonderful year. In many ways. These kids. These friends.

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For the most part, I truly believe my default setting is of joy. That doesn’t mean the chill doesn’t get in and stay anywhere from two minutes to two years. I started writing this last week when I had a dark few days. And now that I’m continuing these August thoughts, I don’t feel the darkness as much, if at all. This year was filled with just as much, if not more, of the pitfalls of living and loving – sickness, financial trouble, deaths, frustrations, excruciatingly low self-esteem.

There is no such thing as immunity. Not if you love, and you love so much.

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I used to get crazy butterflies when nervous as a kid. I can feel short of breath or very nauseous when nervous as an adult.

I shudder to think that the stress reactions could get worse and worse, but I do believe we can fight it by adding more items to our toolbelts. I do believe I can get stronger and more able to effectively manage the hard times. I do believe that just as the depths of sadness can exist, so can the heights of ecstasy. There is always a lower, sure. And there is always a higher.

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Last week when the fall air came in at night and people went back-to-school crazy, I felt it – that hint of doubt in my strength. The fear of December, which by the way, I do always enjoy while it’s happening in all of its festive frenzy. I think I just started mourning the loss of summer before it really ended. I feel steady ground more often these days – and that’s no metaphor. I mean my anxiety used to make me feel a little off-balance. I feel sturdier right now. I feel full right now. I feel in motion. I feel connected. Just a step backwards and I fear the worst. I fear I’ll lose it all. I fear I’ll disappear again.

Little by little. There’s just too much good in here. It’s almost too much to handle.

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These are my August things. I fear the chill always, but I feel my inner core has warmed to withstand it more.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday or #FTSF. This week’s topic is “It’s August, and I can’t believe.” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

What can’t you believe this August?