Relax, Don’t Do It

Why do I sometimes need M to save me from myself? It’s a tough question, one I’ve asked myself dozens upon dozens of times. Many times I feel so silly after I think it through.

I don’t always know the why. And sometimes, I know what I’m doing isn’t good for me, but I can’t stop. It’s as if all my logic has been stomped down deep. I avoid using it, and this mess of thoughts I’m left with has left the train station, the momentum only gaining in strength. My thoughts continuously justify themselves until I’m exhausted and can’t do anything but avoid eye contact, because I KNOW what I am doing or what I did makes no freaking sense. But I also don’t know the why. I don’t know why I continue, not in the moment, at least.

Here’s a recent example:

M had a surgery a few weeks ago. He’s healing beautifully, and that makes my heart so happy. He is so very thankful for the care I’ve been providing for he and the girls while he’s healing, on crutches, and cannot drive. Last Sunday, he had spoken with the girls and they were going to show their appreciation by doing the Sunday chores for me, giving me some free time. It was so sweet and kind.

Except, I didn’t use the time to relax. I didn’t read or write or take a bath. I mowed the lawn. I did laundry, cleaned other stuff, and did other chores that just seemed to be looming over my head, making it difficult for me to relax. They didn’t need to be done on Sunday. They could have been done any day of the week, in fact. But, I could not relax while they worked, even though I was completely exhausted. I even completed a task he specifically told me NOT to do, but in my head, I was convinced he’d be proud of me. Usually now I can accept when he helps with the cooking or does a load of dishes or folds some clothes, but this I struggled with. By the end of the day, I was an exhausted mess.

Here’s the most twisted part of it all for me: We truly see what we each do for one another and the family. Our appreciation overflows. The fact that he does such things for me touches me so deeply; it’s the most affirming feeling in the world. Here he is, truly understanding, saying and doing things I always daydreamed of, and yet…..I cannot accept it. I want it, I’ve always wanted this sort of eye opening transparency that allows us to so deeply see and appreciate one another. And here he is trying to communicate it to me…..and sometimes I can’t receive it. 

By the end of the day, after I was sufficiently reset (with the cane) and pliable, it was staring me in the face. I mean, I was staring ME in the face, and I was brought to tears. It’s me. It’s me who ends up using negative self talk to tell myself all the things that will still be looming and unfinished, and not putting myself on that list anywhere. I do it all the time. I even know I’m doing it. Ultimately, I end up directing my frustration with myself at him, even if only in my head. In this case, it was because I needed him to say, in no uncertain terms, that I needed to go relax. That I was ALLOWED to turn off my radar and allow my brain and body to relax, that it was okay that they did the work and that I did something else that wasn’t work. In fact, that’s what I always need, for him to say so. I often have trouble even asking for time for me, even though I know I desperately need it.

And that’s ultimately what feels silly to me, that I cannot do that for myself, that I need him to do it for me. That maybe I don’t feel like I deserve it, I don’t know, but I know that when I explain it to him, it feels shameful. I feel like I’m asking him for something I should be able to do for myself, and I can’t decide if I feel that way because ‘that’s the way it should be’, meaning I have this notion in my head that I’m not living up to some standard a strong woman should be able to live up to, or because it’s so raw and small and vulnerable admitting to him I need that from him sometimes. I don’t know. Likely, it’s some of both.

And the biggest question of all is….should the goal be to help me learn to do that for myself? Is that what I’m asking for?

Next time, he said he’s going to make me leave the house. I wonder how that will go?

Just Breathe

Emily was kind enough to play Just Breathe by Pearl Jam, at my request! My all time favorite song by them, and this is a spectacular rendition, made more beautiful by her lovely talents! Please check her out!

Thank you, again, Emily. 💜 And it’s lovely to meet you, Cotton.

Poet Girl Em

You would think a Seattle girl would know all songs by Pearl Jam, but even I am still discovering their music.

Ms. Kay of Diary of a Married Woman is another Pearl Jam fan and when I posted Nothingman, she chimed in with a great request for a song of theirs I haven’t heard called Just Breathe.  It’s beautiful. And so here is my version on the harmonium!

Thanks, Kay! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂  And you get to meet my cat Cotton about 1:10 minutes in.



Just Breathe ~ Pearl Jam

Yes I understand
That every life must end, uh huh
As we sit alone
I know someday we must go, uh huh

Oh I’m a lucky man
To count on both hands
The ones I love
Some folks just have one
Yeah others they got none, uh huh

Stay with me
Let’s just breathe

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Unexpected Guest

M and I met 26 years ago. We were in college, it was 1990, and we were 18 and 19, respectively.

Our paths first crossed because we both played soccer. We ended up having friends in common and we’d often be at the same parties, bars, or local hang outs, but we never really clicked or became friends until the beginning of our senior year. It was 1993. 

It must have been some special gravitational pull at just the right time, our coming together. We had both experienced some big life challenges, felt a little lost, and were trying to find (forge!) direction when we collided. He had suffered a life-altering injury and was just recovering enough to see a light at the end of the tunnel. My dad had just suffered his first heart attack and my mom had just married for the sixth time (without telling me). We both felt real life looming, with graduation rapidly approaching. I wasn’t looking for anyone or anything and neither was he. But, it happened anyway.

My roommate and I lived in the large dorm room at the end of the hall. It was a gathering place and we’d often end up with a room full of people hanging with us. Such was the case one evening when my roommate invited this guy she liked to come hang out. He brought a small group of friends along. M was among the small crowd. 

Instantly, we hit it off, talking and laughing for most of the night. Several times after, they came over to hang out again, and each time he and I would eventually find a spot to talk alone, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. There was no awkward silence, our humor was eerily similar, and we just clicked. He talked to me unlike any other guy I had ever hung out with. It was fluid and open and comfortable. He was funny and witty and compassionate. I couldn’t stop thinking about him.

Unbeknownst to me, one evening my roommate had invited the same group to come over to play cards, drink beer and just chill, but I had an exam the next morning. I could party with the best of them, but I took my classes very seriously. My classes and grades came first, so I hung out for a little while and talked to M, then retreated to a not-so-cozy laundry room to hide and study like a nerd. I was there until 3am studying, then packed up my stuff and headed back to my room.

When I got there, my roommate was passed out, but my room had been tidied, and M was in my bed. Until that point, we hadn’t even kissed, yet I didn’t find it odd at all that he was there. As I walked over to the bed, he pulled back the covers so I could slide in with him. He told me he knew I’d be tired, so he picked up a little and wanted to help me fall asleep so I’d be well rested for my exam. I couldn’t possibly do justice in words describing what I felt in that moment. 

I never doubted his intentions, I would never have thought him to be the kind of guy that only wanted sex. But, here was this guy who truly talked and shared himself with me, listened to me, heard me, and was so unbelievably and sincerely thoughtful. He was genuine. Along with all of that, he wasn’t using any of it as a tool to get into my pants. He’d stayed sober and cleaned up my room. He’d waited up for me. He honestly wanted to snuggle me to sleep. 

It shook me, in the best of ways. It was so unexpected. We kissed for a long while. Slow, passionate, getting to know you kisses, the ones that make you hope. I breathed him in. He pulled me close and we fit, I felt it and I knew he did too. 

I fell asleep as soon as I closed my eyes. And, I got the best 4 hours of sleep I’d had in years.

*I figured I’d share some backstory for those of you who are newer followers. I did a series of ‘firsts’ posts not long after I began blogging about 3 years ago. I pulled this from the archives and cleaned it up a bit to share as per the daily prompt. This is how it all began. 

It’s not all been sunshine and rainbows – we’ve encountered many obstacles, stumbled, and face planted repeatedly, and it’s been hard work. But it’s been worth every ounce.


-image credit



silken legs straddle paisley ottoman
hungry eyes searing
wiggle grin wiggle grin

cuban stockings delicately clipped 
nimble fingers roaming
rock press rock press 

lacey black garter hugging hips
tickling tongue trailing
gasp moan gasp moan

frayed Levi’s unzipping
uninhibited words directing 
lip biting lip biting

taut muscles bend and lower
throbbing stiffness penetrating 
breath catching breath catching 

arching spine
throwing head back
lean squeeze lean squeeze

coiling hips
rocking rhythmic
oh god oh god

hand circling throat
bodies furiously grinding
slap flap slap flap

three words coaxing crescendo
“come with me,” commanding
ripple quiver ripple quiver

“good girl”

-image credit Tumblr


Contentment used to scare the shit out of me. I thought it might mean stagnancy, boring sameness. Blah.

And then I began to challenge what I thought I knew. To look my fears in the face, size myself up.

I’ve got a lot more of that to do in this lifetime. And I know I’ll always push at the boundaries of contentment, running head first into it, stretching it. Stepping outside the lines and reconfiguring it.

I used to wonder if that meant I’d never be happy.

Now, I get excited to see where else happy might take me.

Contentment is feeling safe to explore. To move and stretch and grow. Be.

Contentment is highly underrated.

-image found via Google