Thursday, January 21, 2016

I'm Well, and You?

[Insert obligatory apology / explanation / self-flagellation re: shocking length of time since last update here]

I write this in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, sitting in a sunny café. In a while I will go to pick up HB from school, but for now my time is 100% my own, and that feels delicious.

I left my job some eight months ago, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. It took about four months to decompress, which goes to show you how very very compressed I was. In retrospect I see I was responsible for a jaw-dropping amount of stuff; while in the midst of it I sometimes wondered if I was just wimpy. I know, I know!

One of the first things I did was reschedule my trip to Guatemala. I didn't even re-research it - I had the credit for the trip I'd canceled a year before so I just picked a date and went. I spent the whole time firmly planted in a small semi-remote town, practicing Spanish half the day (outside, next to the lake, one on one) and wandering, taking pictures, and barflying the rest of the time. It was glorious beyond words. The view from my room:

Aside from that, I've been hanging with my kid, really wandering the streets of my city for the first time ever, slowly rehabbing / running, reading, surfing the web, catching up with friends, fixing All The Things in the house, saying goodbye to one sweet old cat and introducing a sassy new one, barflying, sewing, and many many many therapy appointments (mine and HB's). I've done a little work filling in for people I used to work with (but not in my old location and not a lot). My students approached me to do homeless outreach with them, which is pretty cool. (This week a homeless guy's tent had fallen down and I had some duct tape so I helped put it back together. What merit badge is that?) My students also asked me to lead a creative writing workshop, which was a blast.

We budgeted for me not working and that's going ok, so I'm waiting to see what possibilities come along. I truly adore teaching and will do that one way or another. HB asked me not to work full-time again, and whatever I end up doing I'll respect that.

HB has come SO far. Day to day it can sometimes be hard to see the improvement but when you zoom out, well. First off he's not suicidal (!). Second, he no longer worries about the future in the extreme - and extremely specific - way he did. Third, he spends much less time angry and is even often chatty and polite to people. Fourth, he mostly likes school. You'd think that he'd love it every single day since there are ZERO REQUIREMENTS, but there is a pretty firm social contract and he pushes against that regularly, resulting in "sentences" (e.g. no using the computer room, extra cleaning, etc.). He mostly gets in trouble because he wants the older boys (15-17 year olds) to respect him so he does macho crap (which doesn't work).  But on vacation he wishes he were at school, and when I pick him up he's playing with a gaggle of kids.

I've come far in my therapy too, but I think I'll leave that topic for another time.

I will say that I have had to repeat my own Maggot Instructions to myself many, many times over the past couple years. That shit is good advice!


Unknown said...

Hi diddly ho there! So happy to have you pop up in my feed reader and SUPER glad you are doing well.

jenG said...

Oh, I hope you can hear my sigh of relief and joy to hear that you and your family are doing well. I know--stranger on the internet. And we all are.

Welcome back!

DoctorMama said...

Do you KNOW how many former "strangers from the internet" are now my good friends? (A lot, that's exactly how many.)

Alice said...

I'm so glad that you are your family are doing well! You have no idea how happy you made me feel knowing that you guys are doing so much better now. :)

Hope to hear from you more often! Take care!

Forever Maggot.

AmyElle said...

Love seeing a post from you! Very glad that things are smoothing out for you all.

Bethiferous said...

So glad to hear from you! I came for your running posts a few years ago, and stayed for your writing. Glad to hear you're doing well.

Ewan said...


Cory said...

Your post was such a delight to see in Feedly. Welcome back and best to you and yours.

MJ said...

Welcome back! Like others, I was happy to see your post pop up in my Feedly. I'm so glad that things are improving for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Missed your writing, glad you're back and ok!

anne nahm said...

*dances around in tight circle of excitement, on tiptoes* Glad you are back and WHOA, absurdly excited to hear more about this gutsy grab-life-by-the-nads-and-tug life change. Welcome back!

Mommy Attorney said...

I'm so glad to see you back. Could you post more about HB's school? Sounds wonderful.

Natasha said...

So happy for you!

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear from you and soooo happy you and your family are doing better!! Please keep us all in the loop of your life. You sound so much more balanced these days!!

Anonymous said...

Yes! This is such wonderful news. I'm glad that you and your family are in a healthier place, and may you find the time to write to the Maggots more often.
I've missed you!

Anon/Sharron-still running

Melissa said...

I've never commented here but I've read everything you've written about running. I'm happy to call myself a Maggot - been running every other day since Thanksgiving & it's making me SO HAPPY & I really wanted to thank you for it. I expected to come & just leave my comment in the ether & hope that maybe someday you'd get it & think about a random internet person who wishes you well - and here is your post! Glad you're alive & thank you so much for the running advice.

Anonymous said...

Splendid, thank you for asking! Wonderful to have you back blogging. Perhaps a future in travel journalism?


Quinr said...

Absolutely thrilled to see this - another maggot from halfway across the globe delighted that you're all doing better. An inspiration as always.

Kylie said...

Can you please write again DM? About whatever you feel like - running, not working, working, HB, life revelations... I always get a buzz out of reading whatever you write and would hate to think it will be another year+ before we hear your voice again. Kylie

Jennifer Elmore said...

Your blog is really excellent and I found some useful information for my research project. Thanks for the lovely blog.

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Anonymous said...

Checked you on a whim today and so happy to see this post. Glad you're well. This maggot is still with the program! -Anne

Charles said...

Welcome back. I have stopped smoking and jog three times a week. I quit work last year and it has taken 12 months at least to make sense of my life. All the things that you thought were vital are now irrelevant, it is quite glorious but a little scary. We moved to the country and my old life seems remote, even though I have to stay in touch as I am a trustee for the pension fund. Your blog gave me a lot of help in some dark times so enjoy yourself now. Happy feet!

OMDG said...

I wanted to tell you that I really miss your blog. I hope you're enjoying your new part-time life and that HB and your mental health is coming along. I'm seeking motivation to make myself exercise (in residency, with a kid, it can be damn near impossible to find time, but more importantly, the motivation and energy to do it). Your blog was often a source of motivation for me!

RachelKath said...

I hope you're doing well. I've enjoyed reading your blog.

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Courtney said...

Miss you

Unknown said...

Thinking of you and your sage advice today. I miss your space here, I hope you, HB and your family are well, and enjoying life through whatever adventures it takes you! Sinéad

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Jon said...

Nice post

Heather said...

A million years ago you taught me to run. Once I even did a marathon. I'm at the beginning again. You crossed my mind. I hope you and yours are well. You changed my life with Listen Up, Maggots. Thank you.

Dr. A B Siddique said...

i am very proud after reading your blog. i hope you will continue

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