an unraveling

Midlife is not a crisis. Midlife is an unraveling.

Midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close and whispers in your ear: it’s time. All of the pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armour could you secure all the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. The time has come to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.

~ Brene Brown

Not my words, yet these are literally thoughts that spin in my mind as I get up in the morning and try to stretch limbs that ache and protest just a little in a way that they have never before. They are words I hear within my inner dialogue as I wash my face and appraise lines that are named after years of stress, worry, smiles, laughter and so much living. This is midlife I tell myself…this is my midlife I say out loud as I see my reflection smiling back at me in the morning light.

No makeup, dirty hair, morning light filter and I am just fine. This is midlife.

as September ends

Since June, one of my favorite photographers and writers, Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks, has been sharing at the end of the month her five favorite photographs.

My sweet photographer friends Xanthe & Andrea both share their five favourite photographs they take every month — isn’t that a great habit? Not just because it inspires fans like me from a technical photography perspective (and really, they’re just so talented), but I imagine that the practice of going through their archives to look at their images more critically to pick their favourites helps them get better as well.

And so, of course, I’m copying them.

I was inspired but never got around to it (or a round tuit – nod to my late father in law) until now as September ends.

Is it just me or does September always seem a little endless? It does. At least it does here under The Big Top and, of course, I have this on a loop in my ear pretty much all month long…thanks Green Day!

Sorry. Off topic.

Me when I sit dow to write lately.

Like our friend, Shaun, here I am tripping down memory lane staring at baby pictures…babies with incredibly big hair.

Think what you may about Greek life ladies, but these ones are fierce, driven and super smart…watch out world!

Whatever will Dr. D. do when the last Scarborough living under The Big Top is straight outta braces?

And while the rest of the world seems to be overwrought over a recent news story about a 13th Zodiac sign, it really isn’t news after all. Regardless of the news, I remain Pisces forever!

who tells your story

Hey, remember Judy?

Yes, of course, I remember her. She retired four years ago, right?

Yes. She died.

Oh my goodness!

She died three years ago.



She did retire four years ago. She was given a wonderful sendoff with all the love and good wishes and promises of let’s keep in touch. But life…work…Cerner at work…family…life…you know.

No one, I guess, really kept in touch because life and all that. But sometimes late at night at work with a little downtime we talk, we laugh, we remember…and a name is dropped and we wonder, how is Judy these days? No one knows. Life, work, family and stuff, you know. Her name is searched on Facebook…even if she was never on Facebook and then she is Googled and, well…

Judy died October, 2013. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother. She worked as a Registered Nurse for forty years and found her calling in pediatric nursing. Judith was an artist in varied mediums and also enjoyed collecting and reading. Judith’s intensity in her interests was extended in her caring for those who were close to her.

Literally people, you have know control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.

And for a moment, I do reflect a little on the fact that there is no control once you are gone who tells your story.

Kind of hard for a girl like me who, in her adult life, almost demands a little control over who will tell my story when I’m gone. True, I write much of it down for all the reasons the arm chair therapists might imagine and for my children; but ultimately I have no control what parts are remembered, what parts will be re-told and what parts will be forgotten…even if I did write so much of it down.

Well, at least I know what shall be played at my memorial. Thank you Zoë!

Literally everyone should want Jesse L. Martin to sing  I’ll Cover You  at their memorial.

Rest in peace Judy.




the sweet and the bitter

My social media timeline today reminds me that it is a big day in the life of many people I know because,

yes, Back to School season continues. This time today with these two.

You heard me!

These TWO!

BOTH of these girls.


I look at this 8 year old before she enters into her third grade classroom thinking how can she possibly look so much more mature than an 8 year old…I mean I certainly did not look this confident and self assured and all I choose to remember of my own 3rd graders was how they were all elbows and knees with a smudge of dirt or breakfast on their chin that somehow missed my inspection on the first day of school. How could Hollie and Ben possibly allow this little girl to grow up so fast?

And then,

You guys!

The only positive thing I can say might be hurray for a November birthday and the state law of 5 years old by September 1st because, you guys!!!

Time is passing faster and faster y’all. I can’t make it stop. I’m just going to hold on as tight as I can while I can.

Happy school year my darling grand girls! Mima loves you with all her hearts!

The most beautiful moments always seemed to accelerate and slip beyond one’s grasp just when you want to hold onto them for as long as possible.

E. A. Bucchianeri

upheaval benefits

Anyone who has followed life under The Big Top of late knows much has happened in a very short time:

  • my darling husband turned 53 and got really, REALLY, REALLY lucky in a car versus motorcycle accident so that he could enjoy celebrating turning 53.
  • Fallon now enjoys making direct eye contact with Mima’s camera and is literally counting down the days before she begins pre-Kindergarten…it’s coming y’all in DAYS!!!
  • Daniel is back to school in 8th grade and we are all pretty certain that I will be that mom as this is the last time ever for me to have an 8th grader who will be graduating 8th grade nine months from now. I’m already teary y’all.
  • And in one weekend, Abby and Jodie both moved out. Jodie moved back for another year at Arizona State which means that she won’t be home for dinner tomorrow or the next day or even the days after that. Abby ran away from the circus to her own apartment shared with her best of friends. She is not far but she is definitely off doing adult things like grocery shopping and hanging pictures and dealing with apartment maintenance trouble shooting a leaky dishwasher.

One would imagine that I am here just wanting to settle back into a quiet, calm, easy, normal routine.

Are you kidding?

It’s quiet around here…it’s even quieter than I might have ever imagined when all these kids of mine were home and noisy and loud and everywhere and underfoot and standing on my last nerve. This is too calm, y’all.

And so I decide to challenge myself with a little change or two or more.

Why not?

Yes, I know that I am late to the Whole30 party…but I am not the only one. Truthfully, I might have never given it a second or third thought were it not for the inspiration of two people I am acquainted with, two very busy moms of four. I watched them both take on the Whole30, making all the changes in their kitchens, their routines, their diets…and they did not go bat-shit crazy trying to balance Whole30 into everything else that busy moms of four kids under 12 must do. On the outside, they both looked better reporting inches and pounds lost, better sleep, better skin, hair and nails…and for one, who has dealt with a number of health issues after a major medical crisis a few years ago, dramatic improvements in her overall health.


Why not look into this. I am a woman of a certain age now…menopausal with all the fun and games that comes with that bull-shittery. Sleep well? I am a a nurse who works 12 hour night shifts…please. But positive health changes and inches and pounds lost aside, it’s too quiet around the Big Top and I need a challenge,,,soo…

Of course it takes time, planning, patience and support from people around you. It might seem hard but as Melissa Hartwig phrases it: Quitting heroin is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Childbirth is hard. Drinking your coffee black is not hard. I’ve birthed more than my fair share of babies…which doesn’t come close to beating heroin or cancer but I get it. This is a challenge but it is a do-able challenge.

The initial pantry-stocking shopping list will likely hurt but you got to start somewhere. The dreaded first week might have been hard except I had a killer summer cold to distract me from feeling miserable without sugar and pasta and bread. Let’s just say they both made me miserable. But I did survive Bill’s birthday cake by letting his children serve it up.

Ultimately, it wasn’t as hard as I imagined it to be. The circus that remains under the Big Top has literally never eaten better. I didn’t miss Bill’s birthday cake or bowtie pasta with pesto sauce or even the big bowl of Jelly Bellies in the break room at work. I enjoyed feeling full between meals, improved sleep and energy levels. My skin literally has never, ever looked better.

The Whole30 is not really a diet but more of a dietary reset. Eliminating excess sugars, dairy, grains and over-processed foods resets your gut allowing it to heal and then work the way that it is designed work. Still people think of Whole30 as a diet and, of course, want to know what are the results? How much weight did you lose??

Well, 30 days later I am happy to report that along with all the other positives I have lost a little over 9 pounds and 8 inches and yes, that is pretty cool too. And now, 30 days later, where do I go from here? Whole60? 90? Whole30 forever? How about Whole30ish. I’m liking the overall changes in my health and physical condition and I imagine that I, like other mere mortals, will need more than 30 days to see far dramatic results…like the end to these ridiculous soaking hot flashes because menopause happened more than five years ago….so I will continue to maintain following Whole30 guidelines with the exception of treat like when a coworker brings in a Nothing Bundt Cake to share or wine or a Moscow Mule or an ice-cold glass of chocolate milk after a 5 mile run because, literally, there is nothing better than that!