Approach. Appear.

I didn’t know what the rest of my day would look like earlier when I wrote. I felt on top of everything, but in that way where you are until you suddenly aren’t.

I finished my paper clutter pile from yesterday and tried to occupy L because Chris has the flu, as well as detox from another round of medicine that didn’t get here in time. I know he feels like shit physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically. I take great comfort in the fact that I am not the woman who contributes to that. That I don’t try to find (false) validation in making him feel worse. That I don’t have the means to feel better at someone else’s expense. Especially someone I love so much.

So I spent my day focused on me and my growth and my worth and betterment and evolution. And I was feeling so connected to me that I found connection with R and S and L too.

I taught S about time management. I empowered him with management of his own time, while giving him confines and boundaries to work within. I told him I was like the boss. “You gotta get this, this, and this accomplished by x time, but you manage the rest. You run your own show.” And he practiced in kind. Sometimes fast and sometimes slow. But it was his and I let him own it and he took pride in it.

I taught the same to R. “Do what you want with your last day of winter break, but any food trash needs to be cleaned by 5.” She argued she might not get it done by then and I countered reasonably and objectively, “You’ve got four and a half hours to do this one thing. Choose how you want to do it. You can wait til 4:55 and then haul ass picking up trash. Or you can do it all right now. Or you can do some now and some later. It’s your show. But ya got til 5, and if at 5 it’s not finished, your phone goes on the island until it is.”

No shame. No guilt. No tough love. No bringing up past anything. Just right here right now, reasonable objectivity. Might as well have told her the sun was gonna set by 5pm. Just a fact.

And she responded with the same respectful objectivity and it was barely even reluctant when she said, “okay”.

And L and I worked on puzzles together today. And I let it be his show and we made a game of it, but I never rushed him or did it for him. I let him lead.

I gave them the opportunity and then I stepped aside and let each of them shine today.

What a blessing and a joy to take me and my feelings and my thoughts out of the equation and just talk to them.

I was afraid I’d break today. I was hoping I’d be able to withstand the bend. Turns out I stood tall all day.


I will shelter you.


Chris has a friend out visiting today. Said friend is bogged with anxiety and intelligence. It’s always difficult to navigate being around him because I am so sensitive to his energy. I never feel calm or chill. That bumps up my anxiety.

On top of that it triggers me when someone constantly–without rest or reprieve–talks like he knows everything, including my life, like he has better firsthand knowledge than I do. It’s not a comfort to me to tell me about my dog or my children. Furthermore, it’s aggravating that if you know allllll about child development, but then laugh in my 3 year old’s face as he’s processing a learning moment, well, fuck, man. That’s lame.

But here’s the thing. That’s his zoo. I have my own zoo. I can’t do anything about his super annoying to me need to comment on all the things all the time. There’s no need to convince or sway or…anything. I can walk away.

Let me be the first to say that this is *not* the easy route. It’s a super sucky route. But it’s the right route. It’s the path that saves me from a further downward cycle of anxiety and rage. And it’s just one moment amid thousands.

If I fight this battle, I’m going to lose the war. My family deserves better. I deserve better. And only I can dictate my choices.

So I’m going to keep telling myself that over and over instead of engaging in any conversation.

This is my safe place.