Monday, October 15, 2012


"Things have been a bit rocky lately."  

That's what we say when times are tough.  

It's been harder to get through the day.  Like a path that's difficult to walk on. 

Simply recognizing that the road is rocky means you've seen smoother times.

Rocky.  A rough road.  But not impassable.

Harder to walk through.  But possible to walk through.

Not something you'd want to have to do all the time.  But doable.

A road always leads somewhere.


Sunday, October 14, 2012


To focus.  This was the job for this week.  To get caught up on the late posts, think about the current post and plan for the coming weeks.  To focus.  Good plan.

But then it was Saturday and college football was on and I was lured away from the computer by the blow of a referee's whistle.  I got distracted.  But when I went to the TV and tried to focus on the game, I was distracted again.  By the fact that one team was outfitted entirely in pink sneakers.  And the other team was sporting pink gloves.  And the refs were all wearing pink hats.  And the coaching staffs, of both teams had on pink visors.  And I could no longer focus on the game.  Or the blog posting.  I was distracted.  Again.

The pink hose down of October brings up an annual rant for me, and for this I do not apologize.  This year, instead of my classic rant about month 10 of every year being coated in pink, I am going to pick a new fight.

Ahhh Facebook.  Either you love it or you hate it, but if you are a user, then be ready...the suggestions to post a status are coming.  I guarantee it.  It's October and the world seems to think we need a particular focus this month.  The posting suggestions will come in the form of a silly game asking you to reveal your bra color in your status or to look up your birth month and your favorite candy bar or to disclose where you hang your purse when you walk in the door.  All in the name of shocking people or making them laugh to raise breast cancer awareness.

Pay attention.  Bring to the forefront.  Heighten awareness.

Have you played these games in the past?  Because that's what they cancer is not a game.  If you feel the sting of my words just a bit...that's just fine with me...I meant that.

Here's my question...

If you played the game, how exactly was your awareness of breast cancer raised?  Did you post about your favorite candy craving and then go donate a dollar to your favorite breast cancer charity?  Did you wink wink about getting dirty in the foyer and then call your gynecologist to schedule a mammogram?  Did the color of your bra make you more aware?  Did it focus your attention?  At all?

A stop sign raises awareness too.  It proclaims boldly, in red, that you'd better pay attention Sweetie.  There's something coming at you from any given direction that can kill you if you don't stop here and focus a bit on your situation.

You wouldn't blow through a stop sign with a smug nod and a joke about a fake pregnancy.  You don't creep into a busy intersection displaying your bra color or talking about hooking your bag on the banister.  You stop.  You focus.

Do you realize how ineffective it is for me to tell you about my brassiere?  Does the fact that its blue today make you stop in your tracks and look in every direction because there is this thing called breast cancer and it may very well be coming at you from any direction and it can kill you so you should stop and focus.  Be aware.  My brassiere doesn't make you aware.

Well here's the stop sign ladies.

Go ahead and play the game.

But make sure you focus on the point.

Once you see what is possible, what could happen, even if only for an instant, you can't not see it anymore.  Ever.  It is sharply in focus.  It doesn't have to stay your focus.  But you can never not know.  My acidity with regard to this subject is not necessarily shared by my sister and co-contributor of this blog.  But that's what last week's post was about.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


My sister always takes tilted pictures.  Frankly, I don't know if she even can take a straight on shot.  No, I'm sure she can, but I'm also sure she is very conscious of it when it's happening.  Almost as if she is forcing herself to view something in a way that is not natural.

How much do I love the tilt?  More than a lot.  Is this a behavior that needs to be fixed?  No.  Please.

She has a clear pattern of tilt.  She is consistent.  She photographs someone else's ordinary, on a slant, and it comes out looking extraordinary because of the way she sees it.  She has embraced the tilt.  She is sure footed and very stable in her perspective.  Even when what she sees is different from what I see.

Go ahead,  Look back at these Words Between Us.  Her part has a definite slant to it.

But then does mine.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Behind every race is a story.   But I'm not going to fill up this space today with the whole story of my race.  I'm going to give you the short version.

The short version of the story is Yes.

Yes I will sign up.
Yes I will show up.
Yes I will line up.
Yes I will start.
Yes I will keep going, even when it feels like I can't go anymore.
Yes I will cross the finish line.
Yes I will not let that be the end.

Yes is the short version of my race story.

Yes is the short version of many great stories.

It's not about winning.  It's about finishing.  There were 237 women who crossed the finish line before I did.  There were more than a thousand women who followed me across the finish line.  There are countless women who never said Yes.

Monday, October 1, 2012


My middle child, Mona, as we affectionately call her, went to half day kindergarten all but two days last year.  Long story short, that's over 175 days of public education...and she never once used the bathroom at school.  Not once.  She was scared to death of the flusher.  Some careful strategy on her part and a school day that lasted just over 3 hours allowed her to come home everyday and use her own potty before lunch. 

She headed off to first grade 4 weeks ago with a big backpack and a big problem.  From the time she headed out to the bus each morning to the time she returned home she would be gone for nearly 8 hours.  And she was bound to have to use the loo.  For several days, we asked about it and she avoided the question.  End of discussion.  I wrote a note to the teacher to have her make sure Mona knew where the bathroom was.  She did.  I suggested to the big sister that she escort the middle bit to the bathroom when they got off the bus first thing in the morning.  Refused.  So we waited.  And didn't make a big deal out of it, because that is the best way to push this kid over the edge.  But I secretly packed a pair of extra leggings in the bottom of her very big backpack...just in case.

Then at the end of the second week of school, she came in the door looking rather smug.  Something was up.  She unpacked her bag, brought me her folder and casually tossed out the comment, "By the way Mom, I used the bathroom at school today.  Just so you know."

Everyone stopped in their tracks.  She beamed.  This was a very big deal.   

When you rise to the IS an occasion.  And in this house, that gets you candles.  In your after school snack.  And a strange wonderful family that sings together, "Happy Bathroom to You!  Happy Bathroom to You!"

It is what it is?

Actually, if you know my mind at all, you know I don't believe that.  You know I believe things are what you make them, not what their name or date or circumstance says they're supposed to be.  And when, after nearly 200 days at school, you finally work up the courage to use the bathroom, that's a special occasion.

We all need more tiny candles and silly songs to mark the occasion.  Go buy yourself a wee pack and just see how you'll start looking for a reason to light one.  To mark an occasion.  Start seeing things for what you make them.