still here

These garden photos are old, and so am I. Please forgive my silence here. I’m still alive. Thanks for that email asking me about that. I made myself busy in other things while the girls were gone for a few weeks this summer, and once they returned we settled back into a routine of sorts, one that didn’t involve sitting in front of a computer in the evenings.

I also had a brief encounter with a drunk driver a couple of weeks ago. I was at a complete stop at a light, and he plowed into my car from behind, pushing me forward to the car in front of me. I’m feeling quite lucky that he wasn’t going any faster, and grateful that my car absorbed the bump quite well, considering it is old and not worth a lot, and any substantial damage would have totaled it for sure. I’m regretting the decision I made, while sitting at the light, to lean over to the passenger’s seat and take my library books out of my bag so that I would remember to drop them off in the return box on the way home. So I was turned sideways and in an awkward position that really rang my bell. I get that phrase now – the ringing in my ears started immediately, and was completely distracting and disconcerting. It took me a bit to get it back together, but I (mostly) took it easy for the next week and tried to practice good post-concussion resting skills.

It was a Friday afternoon when it happened, and I was rushing out of the office to get home. My parents had arrived, my in-laws had brought the girls home again after another week away, and my sister’s family was coming in as well. We had a whole weekend of celebrating planned for F’s 9th birthday, and I was just a few minutes, and one library book drop-off, away from starting the fun. After a thorough examination, I was released to go home and rest, but we had a party to throw. I delegated some, but in my typical style, I just kept going. So now I’m pretty tired and trying to be reasonable about my own expectations and to-do lists.

What else is new? My children are getting so old. I did some deep cleaning while they were away, and spent a lot of time in their quiet, empty rooms. E will be a sophomore this fall. I understand how time is moving now, and I’m thinking of those things that I still want to do with her at home, things to tell her, stuff she still has to learn. It’s a lot. F will be in fourth grade, and her friends’ parents bring up middle school but I’m just not ready to go there yet in my head. It’s fast. I’m not saying anything new, just saying it. It’s fast.

I wasn’t supposed to exercise or lift things for at least a week, so I waited 6 days until I caved and needed to move and stretch. I’m terribly impatient with myself and stillness. That’s not entirely accurate – I find stillness in movement, so that’s really what I was seeking. Stillness in my brain, which is what I needed to heal anyway. At least that’s what I tell myself.

On my first run after the accident I really slowed myself waaaaay down, but when I was done I looked at my tracker and I had run one of my fastest times this year. My perspective is skewed – maybe I don’t know what slow is. Maybe my perception of it also got knocked silly. The days feel slower because the light lasts longer, but I’m filling up the spaces with the same efficiency that I’ve always brought. I never learn.

I have a stack of magazines that I’m determined to get through and recycle. They’ve accumulated to the point that I can’t imagine actually reading through them all, but I’m going to try. I think I’ve successfully cancelled the subscriptions, but they will still arrive until the end of the subscription year. I started with a Travel + Leisure, and it’s left me feeling like there is so much of this world that I will never ever see. Am I okay with that? I walk the same paths over and over again, and what am I missing in that ritual?

Maybe nothing. Maybe it’s enough to read about these places, even if I never see them in person. I run and think about a trip I’d like to take with E and M before she leaves for college. Where would we go? What would we squeeze into a trip like that? Would it feel like the end? Like our last opportunity? Or would she become the inviter – come join me here? and here? and here?

I have so much on my mind. Nothing new. I’m still here. Still me. Barely bruised.

5 Responses to still here

  1. Glad you are okay. I figured this space was empty as you let yourself recover. I can’t believe how the time is flying. It’s so cliche, but so true. I didn’t love the little years, but now I would go back. My younger is 13 and headed to 8th grade. He has become this tall, gangly thing that needs to shave once a week. He still hugs me, but only when no friends are present. My older will be 15 in a month, with Autism, he’s still so young, but I keep trying to picture what his adulthood is going to look like…
    Glad you are back,
    L

  2. 😢
    Welcome back. Please be good to yourself, worry less, breathe deeply, enjoy some ice cream with your darlings, keep sharing your world with us.

  3. I keenly felt your observation of: “I understand how time is moving now, and I’m thinking of those things that I still want to do with her at home, things to tell her, stuff she still has to learn. It’s a lot.”
    This is exactly where I am with my girl heading into 9th grade. It’s all slipping by too quickly… and there is still so much I want to impart. Also, I’ve got about 10 years on you, and so at my age, I think the feeling is even more urgent. So, we’ve just returned from our second mother-daughter trip abroad. The first was five years ago, and that was an “accidental” mother-daughter trip because my husband injured his back and at the last minute couldn’t travel. But on that trip I discovered the incredible benefit of “1 parent-1 child” travel. It’s a tremendous and illuminating gift to both… and something much deeper than a “vacation.” When the desire for a “whole family abroad for a month” overwhelms, you might consider a “1 parent-1 child-1 week trip” to one special place you want her to see… or to one place where the language she is studying is spoken… or to one place she chooses from a short list you create. I’ve heard of lots of ways to do this (e.g., some families let the child choose the location as well as which parent to travel with). Thank you, as always, for your lovely blog and amazing photos.

    • Oh my goodness – this very thing has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about each of doing this at different times. We are so lucky to have a great relationships with her – they are different, but that’s a good thing. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge