A thought on the inevitable melancholy

“Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while,
so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.” – Alex Tan

I think sometimes melancholy gets such a bad name. The same thing with the weepies. They come. There is no fighting them. Mine come often at stories that have to do with soldiers, resilience, injustice or Sunday nights during Extreme Home Makeover. Those are the kind that come and go. Sometimes though they settle in a little longer, and then i wonder what to do with them.

Honestly I have realized lately a couple of things. One is that I am so thankful to have a partner in life, who sits patiently with me during tears that come from Ty Pennington or tears that come from some melancholic place. I am also less threatened by moments of sad than ever before. They pass. Even if they stay for a while… Like all things, they come in seasons and cycles. Though I have to admit, they are less painful now that I am not alone. And I would never have said that single because it seemed unfair, but now I just walk around wishing everyone someone to live life with. A wonderful companion to hold them in the lonely, or dark, or murky.

So this holiday season, if it starts getting dark in your heart, hold on little tomato you’ll ripen on the vine. And for those of us with someone to hold our hand, let us consider holding those around us who need an arm. And like my AM says, if it’s a hard day, let yourself have the day, cry, be sad, eat chocolate and then get up the next morning and start the day new. It is after all a new day.

Alive in Boston

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with AL&UM and the cousins and the cousins kids. I did not cry though I did miss AM&UK… They were at the Texas game and ignoring our texts, so we don’t think they really missed us, but we think they might not have minded if they had missed some of that game. Tough.

Things over here at casa de Boo & CC have both gotten a bit more stable and also not really anything has changed. I am knee deep in school work, trying to keep up with the house, make major decisions about my future and also figure out how to make money in light of the fact that my steady job took a two month break, right at Christmas time. Bummer. The tears have stopped for the most part. For now it’s just a steady stream of stress, anxiety and panic about the unknown. Thankfully I have a standing appointment with my psychiatrist and it’s advent.

I love Advent. Advent moves my heart in the same way that the “I Believe” stuff all over everything at the The Christmas Tree Store does. Well, maybe more. Advent feels like the re-set of my spiritual year. Like the time where for forty days, you can read these simple psalms and foretelling of things hoped for, waited for… Even if you are not a specifically religious person, it’s such a great time for a quieting down and moments of awe. We are all spiritual people, and we all need periodical re-sets. We all know about hopeful anticipation. Or more cynically stated, waiting and wondering.

Life feels a lot like that for us right now. Waiting, wondering. Trying to keep our hearts hopeful, expectant, but also happy and content. What a difficult tension. Do any of you know what I mean? I don’t want to look so much to the horizon that I miss the blooming lilies at my feet, and somehow I want to hope for the coming sun. Believe the new day is coming. Not harden my heart with cynicism and protection from disappointment. So. I am revisiting Advent. The ultimate moment of hoping and waiting met with what was beyond anyone’s expectations. It should be a good reminder for my heart and my spirit.

Happy Advent all. I wish you great peace and joy this holiday season. More than that I wish you hope and expectancy in this adventure of life. I have a feeling it all dwells in simplicity. I’m on the journey too…

Joe Purdy, Lazzzzzer Tag and Pumpkins

Winter has been gentle so far. I am so thankful. No less, I am feeling wintery already. I am not totally sure what that means, except to say that I am listening to a lot of Joe Purdy and drinking pumkpin flavored things to an extreme. Mary May & Bobby is the song on repeat these days. I had this moment the other day, standing in the kitchen where I thought, “Joe Purdy makes me aware of how much Boo is everything I never even knew I needed…” It has been a needed thought this week. Remebering the depth of our thankfulness. Remembering the undeservedness of what we have. Remebering what matters. People. Love. Life. Health. Punkin’ flavored beverages… I kid. Ish.

My cousin-in-law KT turned 30 last week. I am technichally older than her, but she is more mature than me, so it doesn’t totally count. I feel like I need to qualify this by saying that she is more mature than me in like 97.9% of life. Except fun. She is FUN. This does not totally surprise me, she is married to my cousin Stace who has a gift of making most things exponentially more light hearted and enjoyable. I believe this is what makes them a great couple and really, really fun to be around. So, they invited us to join them with a couple of other couples for drinks and Lazer Tag (which I think should always be combined.) There may or may not have been 4Loco in the form of jello-shots involved. Again, when with Stace do as Stace… I have never played LAZERTAG due to my non-competitive nature. However, I had so much fun, and it took me two games to realize that I was actually wearing a gun that was not recording points. This would never have happened to Boo who could not stop himself from telling you that he was the high scorer. Well whoopty do. What does that even mean? I mean half the people we were playing were less than 4 feet tall… Anyway, we had a great time with my cousins and their friends and I am thankful for their friendship.

In addition to my ambiguity about the outlawed 4Loco I would like to ambiguously say that Boo and I may or may not have had a driving incident that involved one of us storming out of the car in the middle of the dark on the side of the road while lost between the cape and KT’s birthday party. I need an intervention. I’m enlisting LadyA in some aggressive accountability.

Following up on last week’s post. I’m still working hard to try to get my bearing from last week’s unexpected news and change in plans. For some reason I feel a real need for things to be very stable right now and the slightest tremors bring a lot of uncertainty. Certainly we have solved none of the problem, but Boo says that we can’t worry and we need to just keep moving forward and I need to focus on school. So I am.

I am also cooking appetizers and a dessert for Thanksgiving. So that gives me something to put all my nervous energy on. I should also be putting some energy into running outside, but hey, it’s cold out there.

Texas, Tears and Wax Disasters

Sorry I’ve been missing. I went to Texas looking for a place to buy some Foxes & Coyote Faces for $5.99. No, no I didn’t. We ran to Texas for a wedding. We got in Saturday, drove to Waco for the wedding festivities. Left the wedding early Sunday so Boo could see the fam for a minute before he left. We had an entire morning free in Austin, our first and only, then we celebrated my Mom’s 60th Birthday at Lambert’s. Boo took the 4:00 flight out and I met some friends from high school for dinner… chips and salsa. 20 years of friendship is something I am valuing highly these days. I have to admit I felt a little guilty for bailing on my fam my first night in town, but it was so good to see these girls. I love them.

Isn’t this what you think of when you think of Texas???? I took these in between appointments to renew my license and change my name on every official document known to man. This sucked hours of my time and days. It was not fun, and I am so glad it is done. I hated it. However. Before Meyers left for Africa she was nice enough to meet me at Guerro’s on Tuesday (it was my only chance, I had to go, it gave me strength for DPS) where we saw Lyle Lovett. That night, as I was getting ready to go to bed (at like 9) my fam came in and told me that the BIG SURPRISE (they told me NO PLANS ON WEDNESDAY) was that we were going to see LYLE AT THE PARAMOUNT. I def met my mom for lunch at The Dart Bowl in between bureaucratic appointments Wednesday, it was the perfect lunch in between government buildings. Also glad I saw my mom twice. I know that was a good thing. We had dinner at our special place and then walked over to the concert, where it was an almost perfect night. I cried when he played If I Had a Boat and I sat in between AM&UK and my heart felt so full. I was wishing for Boo to be there, but he went to Sufjan the next night for Architect A’s birthday without me and re-payed me in full.

I got really lucky that Thursday was Veteran’s Day and I got an ENTIRE DAY WITH KENNY!!!!!!!! I think I was in my twenties the last time we got to do this. We finished the day off at one of their favorite spots with their favorite bartenders, which as many of you know is A THURSDAY NIGHT RITUAL TRADITION. I love being there with them. They are like Rock Stars. Hotchkiss in a huge act of generosity came to me at the bar LATE and we had drinks and queso which gave us food poisoning and I still can’t really say queso or the name of that restaurant without feeling ick.

Needless to say Friday was rough. Saturday we managed to fit in a 9 mile hill run before the airport where I cried. ALL. THE. WAY. HOME. Hard to leave and know I am not coming back for the holidays and that I don’t know when I get to say hello again. So thankful to have a husband to come back to, his love eases some of the ache.

This is A&A’s daughter. EV. I love her. I needed LA & EV yesterday. It’s been a rough start back. The last few days have been worry and tear filled for various reasons. Boo and I have been doing a lot of talking and figuring, I know that it’s all going to be OK, but when the plans change sometimes it just takes a little time to cope.

I am not coping well – for example: Last night some wax was spilled on the grossest ugliest rug ever in our kitchen and I felt like someone ripped the ground out from under my feet. All I could think was, there is no money to replace that… WITH WHAT???? Something uglier?

Needless to say, until I can get a little better bearing and perspective I will probably not be doing much blogging from the heart. But I will post a couple of great recipes and keep you updated on the details, like this. Hopefully some more nights of good sleep and continued good weather will help me conquer this little hill. Until then, thanks for reading.

Heather Armstrong/Liz Lambert, It Gets EVEN Better and Breast Cancer

Kendall Gayle is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. Her blog is my second favorite blog of all time (dooce.com wins #1) You can find a link to Kendall’s blog here. I need to warn you that reading it today, the two year anniversary of when she lost her mom, might make you cry. Normally her blogs make you laugh, but this, this loss has been her most difficult journey. One can understand why. Once Kendall featured me on her “People I Love” section. Today as I think and pray for her in this terrible loss of her mom, I remember that love never dies. People die, but love doesn’t and that’s the hard part. When from the beginning of your life you have been fashioned to love someone and then they are gone, then it’s kind of like having unrequited love, which we all know is the very worst kind. This week, reminded of Kendall’s mom Sweet, my cousin Missy who is fighting stage 3 breast cancer and my dear friend Maggie’s mom, SherBear who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, I feel sad that we haven’t solved the problem of this killer. But I know that love is sometimes painful, and that sometimes love isn’t enough to heal pain, but today I send love to my dear friends and pray for strength, comfort, hope and good girlfriends to take them out for drinks.

Heather Armstrong (Click Here) and Liz Lambert (Click Here) are my current heroes. I follow them on Twitter and promote them relentlessly, Heather aka Dooce for more obvious reasons, 1)She’s funny 2)She’s honest 3)She is in the stage of life all of my friends are in 4)She swears in her blogs, which I respect 5)She’s really pretty and makes me laugh out loud. But do not underestimate the power of Liz Lambert . She’s dating Amy Cook, and they both exude the kind of cool born of “I don’t give a *&#% what you think” security. Liz was an attorney in New York (of course I think she’s cool) but she left and bought a flea bag motel called The Hotel San Jose which through hard work, grit and allowing prostitutes and pimps to maintain residence and pay rent she turned into the hip place where JF organized a 25th birthday party (just 8 short years ago) and we gawked at Bob Schneider who was patronizing the bar… It quickly became THE place in Austin. She promoted all sorts of incredible live music and realized that the area needed some life so she opened this little place that we all know, love and have pictures at. Where do you go from pioneering revitalization of the SoCo region of Austin? Oh… How about Marfa? Boutique trailers and UFO spotting? Perfect. It’s like Texas’ little form of Sedona. Well it wasn’t enough. There was an old B&B on Academy back in SoCo. She bought it and turned it into a RocknRoll hotel, no really, unbelievable Rock n Roll posters in every room. This video was filmed there, oh… And this picture was taken there

This one too:

So was this one…

(incredible photography by normally exclusively Rock n Roll photographer MCM)
Needless to say, Hotel St. Cecilia played a significant roll in a big day in my life… But I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s breathtaking, you’ve never had this kind of service, or quality. Ever. And I’ve stayed some nice places. It just gets better, recently Liz opened up a hotel in San Antonio that’s getting rave reviews. Basically, I am looking for the perfect letter pressed stationary to send LL a handwritten letter begging her to let me work for her for free for my back to school internship – surely she’d want a 33.5 year old who is starting all over mid-prime? I mean, if I were her, I wouldn’t look past “free.” We’ll see. Maybe I’ll drop the letter off at Bunkhouse when I’m home next week, considering the fact that she ignores my Tweets (it’s not like I tried to her to tell Patty Griffin hi when she, LL and AC were in Paris last week, but I should have) I am keeping my expectations low.

HOWEVER – I did write HA an email this morning and ask her to write a letter for my It Gets Better series. This is what I realize, LGBT are on to something. Life is hard, making it is hard, we all need people who have done it to tell us how and that we can make it. Joel Burns is a freaking hero, but I consider these two women pretty incredible as well. They are ballsy, successful, creative and HAPPY. Both are in committed relationships, somehow balancing success and private life, and both continue to invest in the community and raise awareness on a broad level. We would be fools to not beg them to share their wisdom with us. So I did. I don’t have a lot of hope that Dooce will write a letter to her younger self or that either one of them will take me as an unpaid intern, but they should. I think we’d all learn a lot in the process.

That being said, one thing that I have learned in life that I want to pass on. ASK. If you see someone successful that you admire (male or female – I just happen to love these two ladies style and panache) gather your guts and think of a couple quick and concise questions that you can ask them about the things that you admire. We are here to learn. In my opinion all of us should have leveled relationships – people who mentor, peers and people that we are investing in. I have some great mentors, some incredible peers and currently I am mentoring Troll through daily hugs, the Gucci girls through Blog mockery and the little girl I nanny by playing her really good music that she otherwise would not know about. I mean how else would a 4 month old hear about Patty G and Lucius? Some MOPS group? Unlikely. She’ll thank me later when she’s cooler than all of her friends.

In other news, I ran 11 miles the other day. I started at the park and then I ran to the salt and pepper bridge, I listened to Bill Simmons 2nd to last podcast which was something with “Cousin Sal” it was an hour of picking the lines in NFL – shoot me. I thought it couldn’t get any worse until I turned around and ran 5.5 miles into the wind the entire way home. I did listen to two 30 for 30 podcasts, which were more helpful, except that I wanted to die and have literally been STARVING for the last two days. Seriously. Don’t get near me I may eat you.

That’s todays update. No recipes. If you’re hungry you can check out Liz’s brother’s restaurant Lamberts Apparently, much like myself, being awesome is in the Lambert family.

Laptop Rebellion, Restoring Sanity and Thoughts on My Younger Self

For some reason my laptop has stopped charging, occasionally. And by occasionally I mean, like every 2 or 20 minutes it just stops charging and gives me the “warning” screen that I have .064 seconds until end times shutdown. Geez. I don’t know how to tell the laptop this, but if he dies we’re not going to be buying any new laptops, so he’s going to need to go ahead and hold on, because, well, it’s the only option.

Ummm, did anyone see this? WordPress is rejecting posting it, but you can follow the link. It’s John Stewart at his best. You can skip the first few minutes of niceties. The rest is an intelligent response to the horror that has become the current political environment. Watch and be comforted.

Have I mentioned how cold I am? It’s currently 36 but feels like 29 – I am pretty sure it’s 19 in my house where for some reason my husband refuses to turn on the heat NO MATTER HOW COLD I AM OR HOW FROZEN MY FEET ARE. I am sitting under a wool blanket frozen. The weather is promising 47 degrees today, I think I’ll wait until we peak there to run.

So JL’s mom Cindy sent this in response to Penny’s letter:
Penny, I’m close to sixty also. How beautifully you articulated those truths. It’s so strange to have never had a conversation with any one older or younger about what life looks like at this stage. Thanks Stephanie for challenging us to think about it, even to write it down. I plan to write more. Penny said it well to enjoy Jesus and let Him enjoy you as you would one of your children. I heard Graham Cooke say our mistakes are like a child trying to walk and falling. The Lord picks us up and kisses our tummy and sets us back to try again. I agonized over trying to get it “right” with marriage & child-rearing. The Twelve Steps have helped with some perspective on turning my life over to God one day at a time. Offer your life to Him in the morning for His service and then thank Him at night for all of those blessings. Life is made up of moments. Mary did the better thing by sitting at Jesus’ feet. You’ll have to fight for it. The world has totally different values.
Jesus talks a lot about the poor. I wish I would have spent more time up until this point serving.
Blessings and love to the thirty year olds and sixty year olds and those in between.

Now, I know these letters have a very Jesus theme. But I want to encourage you that I think spirituality is a really important part of peace. Whether it’s taking time to get quite and reflect, journal and be still. Reading Gandhi or Mother Teresa, or pursuing the presence of God. It’s important for the deeper parts of us to come in contact with reality, life away from little worries and burdens and the peace that passes understanding. I look forward to letters from more women with wisdom on life, from all different perspectives and directions.

As for me. I was thinking about what advice I would offer. Obviously, none on marriage. Since here, 5 short months in I feel like we know less than we’ve ever known about love and are just learning what thinking past this moment into “lifetime.” I still contend that marriage counseling should talk less about the inevitable “sex and finance” conflict and more about the CONSTANT “driving and little shit” conflict. However if I could go back and tell my mid-twenties self anything (we all know there is no point, you can’t tell someone in their mid-twenties anything) these are some of the things I would say

1 – Worry less about your weight and more about your health. Get healthy and stay healthy. This is the easiest time in your life to get on it, it’s not that easy later.
2 – Life really is your oyster, travel, play, work at a cafe in Italy. There won’t be time or luxury to do it later. And in this day and age, it won’t affect the kind of job you get later. Promise.
3 – Don’t minimize your need for something to believe in and something to fight for. My faith is not a crutch, my faith is a part of me, and the decisions I have made to work internationally have been partially as an outpouring of my faith and partially because I needed to do it for me. To remind myself that life was bigger than my overdrawn bank account, and latest failed crush.
4 – Stop worrying about who and if you’re going to get married, and working so hard to make it happen. When you find yourself dressed in white, you’ll know, it was Goodness that led you there, not games, worrying, over-analyzing and drama. Sit tight and enjoy life, it’ll be gone before you know it.
5 – A long time ago while running in Central Park I asked my most trusted mentor, AM some questions that I had spent a long time thinking about: The first was, Is this where she thought her life would be at 50? She VERY honestly said that her husband and her BELOVED (emphasis added by author) CC were fantastic, but truthfully, she looked up and 30 years had passed, and at that point, had just kind of happened (I don’t find this to be totally accurate, but I understand what she meant.) She encouraged me to not let life happen to me, but to make decisions and take action. She reminded me that you can’t make a decision, just make a decision and if it’s not the right one, make another one.
She also told me that the healthiest relationships are ones that have an outward focus. They didn’t get me until I was 16, but they had only been married 5 years at that point. However, she realized even then that if you live a life totally focused on you – it implodes, and a relationship cannot bear the weight of so much self-focus. I am almost 100% sure that she’s right.
It’s some of the best advice I ever got. So two things you can take from that – Be brave enough to ask your heroes questions, they know things. Also, listen to them. They know things.
6 – My last piece of advice is similar – It always gets better, and it can also get worse. Be thankful and hopeful. Like AM says, “People love to be around a positive person.” And hear me, she is no BS optimist. She is real, sincere and funny, but she is always on the sunny side of the street and it’s because she has the wherewithal to cross over to it. We should do the same.

Now to watch the temperature so I can fit this run in at the high temp of the day. Maybe I’ll have a little piece of half-birthday cake while I wait. THANKS LADY A!!!!!

It Gets Better, Letters to Their Younger Selves

So a couple of weeks ago I felt like a lot of my friends were having bad days. I think it was universal, on my blog feed I ran across this blog and realized it’s not just us. The bottom line is that it was breaking my heart. From a dear friend who lost her one month old, a cousin diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, a favorite friend who gave her breasts up a year after losing her mother to breast cancer because she, not her sister, showed genetic tendencies toward the same kind of cancer, friends waiting on babies all kinds of ways – patiently, barren, multiple miscarriages, tentatively, and in hospital rooms with high blood pressure, friends battling their own self-loathing and deprecating thoughts. Suddenly, I had this realization – my grown up “friends” weren’t dealing with this. They were fine. They weren’t sweating all the little “$%&*.” I’m just saying. The things that were killing my friends and I, whether horrific loss or seemingly mundane daily stress – they had overcome. So I asked them for a little perspective. Here are the first two letters to “younger selves” that I received. One in the form of a letter and one in the form of a blog post.

This one if from Penny. Mother of two incredible, and vastly different children, grandmother, mentor, incredibly educated, politically aware, Godly powerhouse in Waco, TX. One of the women I respect the most in the world. Even if you’re not a Christian, the slow down and abide principles abide.

To Me,
I was 30 years old 30 years ago. My, how times have changed. A black man is president and women are vying for the privilege. My parents have died, I have borne children and rejoiced at the birth of a grandchild. I and those I love have experienced life-threatening illnesses, financial roller coasters and friendship changes. Enough of looking in the rear view mirror. On to the task at hand. If I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with the 30 year old Penny, I would say these things.

Life is so very short. It does not seem so right now, in the midst of potty training, temper tantrums, and having dinner on the table every night, but it is true. Breathe. Relax. Let go of the idea that everything you set your hand to needs to be perfect.
Read more books, and not just the ones that “improve and help” you.
Stick to that exercise plan. It will pay off.
Take your dream vacation as soon as you can. Don’t wait until you have time and can really afford it.
Stay the course with Jesus. Nothing will last but your relationship with Him. He is bigger and so much more than you realize right now. Be open to where He leads you, to what He wants to teach you. He is passionate in His love for you! Run to Him. Abide. Stop working so hard to please Him and just be with Him.

– Penny A

And the second is an old roommate of mine. We shared some space back in the early nineties, during that time that I lived with my youth leaders. Currently, and a couple decades later, I find her to be one of the more honest, refreshing and enjoyable women that I know. Here’s her letter and a link to her fantastic blog.

Ten Years Down the Road

Recently I received a note from a very big-hearted friend of mine asking some of us who are a bit, umm, I’m going to say “seasoned,” to pass on some advice to those a bit behind us on the trail.

Here is my letter to these ladies. If you know the chronology of my life, then you know all this was more than ten years ago, but let’s not sweat the details. Ten years sounds better.

Ten years ago, I felt guilty because I thought I was a terrible wife. I felt guilty because of how I felt towards my husband. I felt guilty because I wasn’t at all sure I was equipped to be a mother. I felt guilty because there were days I really didn’t even like being a mother. I felt guilty that I had not done more with my career after my parents had paid my way through school. I felt guilty I didn’t spend more time with my friends.

Today, I know I was not a terrible wife. A marriage is a two-way street. I accept my half of responsibility for the failure of my marriage, but only my half. And I don’t feel guilty about divorcing my husband even though I made a vow in front of God and entirely too many guests. God and I, we had a lot of conversations back then, and ultimately? I was pretty sure God didn’t want me to live like that.

Today I know I am more than equipped to be not only a mother, but a good mother. Certainly not a perfect mother. And snuggling up to the idea that I am not a perfect mother has made me an almost perfect mother, if that makes sense. When I start to worry, and yes, I do still worry, that I am somehow failing my daughter in some way, I take a couple of steps back and repeat to myself:
My daughter is well-loved and well-cared for and she knows that.
And I know now, ten years later, that that is all that matters.

Today I have a career that I am proud of, although along the way there has been plenty of guilt associated with missing parts of my daughter’s life because of a busy career. And when I went back to work when Sarah was seven months old, I felt guilty about leaving her, and my darkest secret was that I wanted to leave her. I needed the break that an office provided. All that said, I know now, ten years later? That my career does not matter at all, except that I need to earn an income to be able to provide for myself and my daughter. Long hours spent at the office? No one cares when I die. Promotions, applause, awards at work? Not what matters. I no longer want to be the Golden Girl at work. I want to do a good job and be compensated for it, so I can enjoy what actually matters in this life. And I want to enjoy my job, because I spend a lot of time doing it.

If I had to do it all over again? The fact that I secretly wanted to go back to work would not be a secret. It’s who I am. The stay-at-home mom thing was not for me and that’s okay. The fact that I wanted to work didn’t mean I didn’t love my daughter as much as moms who want to stay home do. Ten years later, I truly don’t care what other people think about how I feel about things and the decisions I make in my life.

Ten years later, I can take a big deep breath, and the fact of the matter is that I could have done that ten years ago.

One of my favorite things about growing older is how my perspective changes…and I’m convinced that having the proper perspective is the key to a peaceful and happy life. I can always, every day, find something to be grateful for, and I focus on the positive. I have let go of so so much, and I wish I had done that earlier in my life, although now is good enough.

Make your own choices confidently and honestly, and to hell with everyone else. Put yourself first. Oh I know, how can I say that, as a mother?! Ladies, no one else is going to put you first, even the best-intentioned husbands, and the best thing you can do for you and those you love is to be a happy and whole person. I’m giving you permission to miss the first day of school because you are off having fun with your friends. (I did that, and the world did not stop spinning.) You are You before you are a mom, a wife, an employee, or anything else, and taking care of You doesn’t make you selfish. Stop trying to please everyone else. Please yourself. Do what’s right, and don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t worry about anyone or anything else.

And for the moms? Look, your kids are going to be in therapy for something down the road no matter how hard you work to make their childhoods perfect, so stop being so Type A about parenting. What do you want for your kids? Do you want them to sacrifice everything to be a good parent when they grow up? That’s not what I want for my daughter. I want her to live a full, rich, happy life. I want that life to include kids of her own if that’s what she wants, but I want her to know she doesn’t have to lose herself when she becomes a wife, or a mom.

Take a big deep breath, at least once a day. In through the nose, out through the mouth. You’re doing great.

-Clare Y

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