I had a half day of vacation from last year that I needed to use or lose by the end of the week. In a previous life (okay, more like six years ago) I would have bitten my nails and worried about what people would think of me just taking four hours of vacation with no agenda or real thing to get done. In that past life, my imagined judgements of others would have convinced me to lose it.
Saturday morning I had an appointment and my husband was working, so our neighbor girl was scheduled to come babysit at 9:00 a.m. The kids and I had a good morning together playing games and playdoh. I was gathering up a couple of items in preparation for my departure when Bigs said, “It is 8:45. Where is Stephanie?” I explained she wasn’t coming until 9:00, but was excited he was excited.
As I edge ever closer to forty, I’m doing it with ease. Totally different from my approach to thirty, which I thought would be life ending (not literally.) I clearly remember nearing my twenty-fifth birthday and thinking the only good thing about it was lower car rental rates and the best years of my life were behind me. My twenties were spent measuring, comparing, earning approval, wanting, and yearning. It was exhausting. No wonder I didn’t want to have a number that started with a 3. Continue reading
Lately I’ve been cranky at work. You know how it goes where everything rubs the wrong way and rankles you, no? Luckily, I spend most of my day isolated in a very tall cubicle. However, I caught myself today being snippy with my associate. It caught me off guard and I thought, “OMFG, what the hell is going on with me?” To be clear, my associate is incredibly smart, hard-working, diligent, and makes me laugh at just the right times. She wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was doing something wrong!
My best friend at work says I’m like an onion. She might secretly mean that I make her cry, which I sometimes do, but usually only because we are laughing so hard about something inappropriate/ridiculous/outrageous. What she says is that the longer she knows me the more layers she finds to peel back. There was a column this summer in The Guardian posing the question of whether one is a peach or coconut. I think I might just be an onion, taking periods of time to unsurface the next layer. Although maybe it makes me a coconut.
What makes me an onion is that I recognize one has to be vulnerable to form connections, but I’ve been burned enough to know that being totally vulnerable is reckless. Continue reading