No wonder I feel like I’m being pulled in many directions

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. . .”
   ~ Anais Nin

We are, in any given moment, a culmination of what was; what is, is; what will be will be. (Doris Day anyone?)

The past happened, and brings fond memories, or recriminations; the future will be, and we can think about and plan for it, but godforbid we hope for it because all that does is make us wish time could move faster, and we only have so much, so that doesn’t seem very wise, does it.

And yet we are all past, present, future. I watch Only Daughter wrestle with wanting to act 16 and then catch her in her room with a friend playing Littlest Pet Shops. I hear toddlers screaming in stores and think that that’s actually much like I’m feeling right at that moment but too well socialized (at last!) to show it. I save for retirement, wonder if what I’m doing for a living is what I should do for a living until I retire, and wish I were in my 20s with everything still before me, and braver, but so glad I’m not, and wonder if I’ll ever have any grandchildren, and then shudder.

The past, present, and future mingle, and pull us backward, forward. . .



the kinfolk table

A former student left this beautiful book in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago, wrapped in beautiful paper which she had hand-calligraphied.


She knows I love to cook, and to have good friends sit around a table and talk. . . and this triggers two reactions in me.

Firstly, how amazingly thoughtful and wonderful it was for her to buy this and leave it for me; something she did as she headed off on a 6-month-long travel adventure demonstrating way more bravery at her young young age (just barely older then First Son) than I think I’ve demonstrated in my lifetime.

Secondly, how sad I am that I wasn’t braver when I was younger. I’m sure it’s not just me, wishing I could go back and do it again, and do SO many things differently.

And this voice in my head shouts “AND I WOULD” but then I realize how many wonderful things I have that I wouldn’t have if I had, so now I’m just lost, wondering how to feel.

I would, I wouldn’t, I wish I could, I’m glad I can’t.

At the end of yoga class tonight, the yoga teacher, a beautiful spirit herself, was recounting a conversation around a table after the funeral of a dear friend of hers (she’s Husband’s age, which leads me to believe her dear friend were likewise, I shudder with fear and gratitude). The gist of the conversation was: “What would you want your eulogy to say? Go live it.”

I wonder if my eulogy would say what I wanted it to. I know I would want it to say I valued meaningful work and my relationships (and how I cultivated them)  were the most important things to me, but it’s been a long, long time since I made dinner for anyone but my family, a long, long time since I’ve spoken with some of my Best Friends Ever; it’s too many nights that I work too late and Only Daughter is only a few years away from being off on her own somewhere and wheredoesthetimegogoddamit.

We are having some friends over on Friday. I’m planning the menu. I’m looking forward to it. I’m wanting to do more of it. I’m wanting my life to be such that I can.

I’m thinking I’m going to have to make some choices, and some maybe sooner than I was thinking I was ready for.


all on the same timeline

An interesting concept was introduced to me a week or so ago.

Some languages are what one would refer to as “tense” languages; not meaning that they convey stress particularly well (haha), but that they make adjustments grammatically when referring to past, present, or future.

Other languages make no changes grammatically, but add a word indicating past, present or future.

So: It rained yesterday, it is raining today, it will rain tomorrow; vs. It rain yesterday, it rain today, it rain tomorrow. (Actually, it’s snowing right now, which is absolutely ridiculous even if it is Michigan in April, but that’s beside the point.)

The people in the countries with languages with no grammatical differences between past, present, and future are substantially better at planning for such things as retirement. The theory is that, as there is no differentiation between now and then, the residents are better able to recognize that their actions today will impact their lives tomorrow and beyond.

I found this to be incredibly fascinating, and important.

Because really, there is nothing, no thing, that exists only in the past, the present, or the future. Every single thing that has happened to us affects who we are; every single thing that we do today will affect, in one way or another, what happens tomorrow and next week and next month and next year.

(I suppose, if you really look at it closely, whether we had a peanut butter and jelly or salami sandwich on September 5th in 4th grade is irrelevant, but I’m sure you know what I mean.)

It’s funny, though, because all this really does is convince me of how important it is to pay attention.

"Be mindful, young Padewan."

“Be mindful, young Padewan.”

This sunny day, this full moon, this moment on the couch with Husband, this great book to read or knitting project or fabulous glass of wine with a really good dinner. Fifteen minutes in the hot tub. Digging in the dirt to plant flowers and vegetables (if it ever stops snowing). A good night’s sleep. Balancing buying the Perfect Pair of Shoes



with saving for retirement.

That sort of thing.


This train of thought always reminds me of