Being More Grateful

Three weeks ago, I was looping the pickup/baggage claim area at the MSP airport, looking for my daughter’s face in the crowd. We hadn’t seen each other since last Christmas and the daily mini-chats online and random three-hour phone calls were just not cutting it anymore. We needed time together and her extended vacation stretched out before us like a long expanse of warm water.

It only took moments for that sense of calm to be shattered once she was loaded into the car. The barrage of words began before we were even on back on the freeway. Mom! I missed you! Veronica! Did you have a good flight? Are you hungry? I missed you too! There’s pizza at home! Tomorrow I need to call the office! It’s so cold and dark here! Aaron wants to know what movie we want to see! I got beer, too. The words themselves really meant nothing. Just our way of reassuring ourselves we were together again.

Then she said the words I love to hear from my daughter: “I’ve got an idea I want to talk to you about.” Continue reading

Do You Have Family in the Area?

That’s what the lead pastor at my new job asked me at the staff pot luck. I was hired while he was on sabbatical, and now he was back and reconnecting – and in my case connecting – with the staff.

Do you have any family in the area?

It’s a simple question. Standard getting to know you stuff. But for me it touches on the death of my parents, the geographic distance between my daughter and me, the miles between my boyfriend and me. The painful and glorious journey from overburdened caretaker to free and easy single woman to learning at 50 how to be in an adult romantic relationship.

All those feelings – the losses, the gains, the hurt, the joy – well up in me when I am asked a question like that. To manage the seemingly unmanageable mess of emotions I am tempted to swing into sheer intellectual exercise. It depends. What do you mean by “family?” How do you define “the area?” Continue reading

Brought to This Moment

I am a just under a week back from the second weekend of my enneagram training. It took me a while to catch up on sleep, on housework and work-work. And, once again, it has taken me a while to process what I learned, or more accurately what I experienced. There is so much I want to write about, and what I want to write is such a combination of personal insight and new information and gut responses, that I am having trouble knowing where to start. It seems I am so overwhelmed that when people ask me about the training all I can do is tell them about what we ate.

So let me start by telling you about a meal. Continue reading

It’s OK. It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK

Sunday night I finished the the second long weekend of my enneagram training. There is so much to process I can barely get my mind around it, even with the 12-hour trip home from Detroit. I will be writing about it soon; it’s one of the next steps I have promised myself I will take. Besides, I have promised too many people to back down now. But I want to get this one post written before it leaves me. The title comes from a fellow participant this weekend. She was so emphatic when she said it — it struck such chord with me — that I began writing this on the spot. Maybe we all need to hear this.

It’s OK.

It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK. Continue reading