Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Photo Journal: Summer Project

Friday, June 27, 2014

[Heart] Bluer than Blue Skies

There are afternoons in the summer when the sky is so blue it is almost purple. If the sun is at my back I can stare at it and get lost in it, all the while wishing I could describe it (is it periwinkle? or is that indigo?), bottle it, remember it when I'm feeling anything less than happy. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Photo Journal: A Little Lift

Found this on my white board yesterday, written between restriction enzyme sequences. My spirit really needed it. Thanks, girls.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


This time last year, I was probably already a fixture by the pool, well on my way to summer bronze, pink only around my strap lines. Two weeks into this pool season, I have yet to stop by the pool for my pool pass. I haven't even brought my chair up from the basement, although I did repack my pool bag for a day at the beach (that we spent bundled up in the back yard--having fun nevertheless).

It was not until the third weekend in May when I finally felt the way I typically do in mid-March. Two days in a row of sunshine and seasonable temperatures, one of them spent walking around Boston, and I finally began to feel winter thaw from my bones and my spirits lift a notch above major clinical depression. 

Two weeks later, on a day forecast today to be "top ten," I did not gear up and hit the pool today.

No, I didn't have a skin cancer scare. And I'm not getting more insecure as I age. (But don't worry. I'm also not giving up on myself and ordering muumuus on line.) I definitely still have an aversion to other people's Ill-behaved children near 5 feet of water surrounded by cement (nothing relaxing about that), but that's not it either. This year I have a new life plan, which at present seems to be diverting me from some of those old, unproductive habits. 

In a few years I hope that my life no longer cycles as it has for the last several : 42 weeks of misery followed by 10 weeks of bliss and avoidance.

Unless aliens have abducted Joanne and I am just pretending to be her, I will eventually, definitely, get my tan on. But today, instead of getting by the pool hoping for peace and quiet, with ear buds on the ready just in case, I went to the bookstore and bought a book on floral design and took myself out to an al fresco brunch. While I created my own peace,  I stirred new life into my spirit. 

I am hopeful. I am inspired. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Breaking Bad Habits

Last week, while I was gearing up to write a post that in some way explained, if not excused, my three or four month absence/negligence/less than stellar effort to write, I came across a few things dated 2010 and 2011. That I could find a list of things to do or reread an email from four years ago and feel like it was yesterday was a little disconcerting. I felt nothing akin to how I did when graduating from college I remembered Moving In Day, so proud of the confident woman I'd become as I thought back to how unsure and timid I was just four years earlier. Nostalgia was absent.

Looking back on the four years that had passed I longed only for people I have lost. Yet I also felt a profound sense of disappointment and discontent with myself, having done nothing since they passed away that would make them proud or that I would want to tell them about. If I could be granted a special wish for Middle Aged Women Trying to Figure Things Out and sit by my pool with Donna this weekend as we had on Memorial Day weekends past, I would still be complaining about teaching, how education is not what it used to be, and how I don't believe in what I am being asked to do anymore.

And that is absolutely not the conversation I want to have with her when I get to have one again. 


I understand now how people stay in unproductive and unhappy habits and relationships for longer than they should because I see myself as one of them. 

So I am left to the task of forgiving myself for getting stuck, and then I move on to find joy. I forge a plan and brace myself for an adventure, willing to take risks for my new normal to be a happy one. 

I'll keep you posted. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Dear Neighbor,

Go, girl! Gettin' some on weekends! And your boyfriend is an early riser! (Pardon the pun.) Saturday morning, 6 am. Like clockwork. 

You must know I know... Right? 

Yeah, well that headboard bump, bump, bumping into the wall? That's my wall too. So when the bumping and banging (oops, sorry, another pun just slipped in...and again) gets faster and louder? It wakes me. My white noise machine (brilliant invention, by the way) generally blocks most of your conversation and music, but the headboard banging against my wall and those final three moans? I hear it all.

Awkward? Well, I guess we're all adults. But it definitely falls into the Too Much Information category. And really? Come on, now (last one, I promise)! It may be a little disingenuous, too. You must be in your twenties. (Definitely younger than 34, as my friend EPK would say.)

But I digress. 

Even if we can agree to move past the awkwardness, I'd really rather not hear it. I like to sleep late on weekends. Six a.m. is a bit too ambitious for me. So if you wouldn't mind moving your bed to another wall, I could sleep right through all the theatrics. And what happens in your bedroom has a better chance of staying there.  

Sweet dreams! 
Joanne from across the hall. 
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