There ain’t no easy way out
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down”
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night. Neither anxiety nor sadness nor gloom of pandemics and politics and pregnancy. Not tension or stress or feeling like I might burst. Not NICU stays, breastfeeding pains, nor little kid and big kid problems. I have blogged through natural disasters, personal disasters, and while my kids loudly and miserably attended Zoom school in our makeshift “classrooms” next to me. The way they walk in and out, in and out, about 17 times since I started writing this. Still, I blog. Still, I smile. I’m not even bursting these days. I don’t yell much, not at an 8-year-old or 11-year-old, and certainly not at a four-month-old. Maybe the in-between years are the yell-y years, and maybe I sometimes prefer them, explosive as they may be. These days it’s the in-between days. So up, so down, and so meh, when you factor in the slow progress of vaccines and humanity and intelligence and the way the clouds certainly take their time moving across the sky and unblocking the sun. Still I smile; maybe nod. Still, I blog.
These in-between days are the “I’m good, but..” days. When someone asks me how I am, I don’t just say, “Good” or even “Bad.” I say, “I’m good, but..” I’m good, but I have a headache. I’m good, but I have dizziness from anxiety. The weather sucks. I miss people, even in crowds, where you can see eyes up close, and smiles, and smiles that reach their eyes up close. I miss that you can actually smell people, but it’s subtle, and not overwhelming. People are mini worlds, with their own smells and delights, and things that make them expand or contract. Implode or explode.
I miss traveling and ordinary days too. I miss not thinking many people are colossal idiots, but surely I thought so before I saw how they wear their masks, or contest their masks; defend their freedoms that were never taken from them. Or argue on Facebook without reading the articles or thinking about why something might have been canceled or most likely, not even canceled – just maybe held accountable. I miss not being exhausted and weary. And I miss not wearing the weight on my own shoulders, but I also miss when I cared more about carrying others’ weight.
- I won’t back down on blogging, because heck if I haven’t yet, I surely never will. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night. Neither anxiety nor sadness nor gloom of pandemics and politics and pregnancy. Not tension or stress or feeling like I might burst.
- I won’t back down on my grief for everyone I’ve lost – even when it seems like an ancient loss – and for my childhood best friend, Sean, who passed away a year ago this week.
- This may be the hardest one to find delicate and respectful words for, but I won’t back down on my family. I always like to joke with my friend Kari about how scary I am when I’m angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry. Trust me. There’s nothing I’m not capable of doing for my kids. And I won’t lose. I won’t back back down on my marriage, which has suffered so, but every time I learn new ways of looking at it, choosing love and kindness, and trusting in myself to help it grow, well, that’s as cumulative as the rough stuff too.
- I won’t back down on this fight against COVID, not even for a measly Sunday brunch, and I won’t back down on helping loved ones get the vaccine, because you know what? It’s that I believe that everyone who wants it deserves access, Facebook Armchair Scientists aside.
- And I won’t back down on my politics, and I never have. Luckily, my family, my spouse, and my spouse’s family are all on the same page as I am, which is super important these days.
- I won’t back down on spreading love with photos and videos, even when I’m feeling down, like I have nothing to add to the conversation. I can always add something like this:
- And, I won’t back down from dreaming about the future, which seems tenuous at best these days. I still believe in the best of us, and finding better ways to survive and thrive.
Consider this my vow renewal for my 11 year anniversary to this great, great love of mine. This blog, and what it symbolizes – growth, accountability, and a whole lot of hard work. Consider these my wedding vows, and this post the signing of the Ketubah; the marriage contract. The world burns and scars and heals. It turns itself over, bathing in the light and the promise, before turning over into darkness again. Through in-between days, and the highest highs and the lowest lows. The worlds turns and reveals fresh new wounds and fresh new days. It burns and scars and heals, and, I do too. Through these darkest nights, and always these brightest dawns.
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground”