For over a week, I have worked on the same piece of writing, trying without success to tie it up and have it come together and finish strong, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. A few days ago, I decided to let it lie. I decided it wasn’t working out for a reason, and I figured out that the reason is this:

I’m so swept up in politics that I’m just having a hard time looking away. And, looking at anything else. Even everyday details. Even my kids’ cherubic faces. Even things that are working.

So, I woke up today and decided it is important that I turn my attention, ever so intentionally and briefly, toward the things that are ALRIGHT. That are okay. That are right now. That are rising up. That are progress in the present. It is time for gratitude.

Whenever life is heavy or hard or dark or bleak, I find it is most important to take stock of all things that are light or uncomplicated or bright or possible. It doesn’t take away the work to be done or the pain to be felt or the length of the night, but it certainly is a gateway to RELIEF. An open door onto a solid, steady place to stand and sit or lie down and EXHALE. Gratitude is the pause I need when the pace becomes hectic. It is the space between where we’re headed and where we’ve been. It is a straight shot of RIGHT NOW IS ENOUGH. And, I could go for some of that right about now. You? Here goes…

Oh, Universe. Thank you. Thank you for:

  • My healthy children. They are okay. Eliot fell down our stairs the other night (more like heavy rolled, but SHIT), and I about had a heart attack. She was and is fine, and I thank you for that. These little people are my entire heart, and they just go walking around on this earth, outside of my body, doing all kinds of things and growing up and turning into people that they were meant to be and it’s all a little intense sometimes (INHALE). So, I thank you for at least keeping them safe and healthy and well for one more day. God, I love them deep and wide and hard and strong and forever.
  • My body. My sweet body has really given me more than I ever could have asked for in this life, including my children, good health and a safe place to house my spirit and my voice and my own little piece of God inside. Even when I tried to beat it up with anorexia and bulimia, it forgave. It said, I love you, let me care for you, please do care for me. Even when I over-exercised and pushed it past its edge for years, it never got angry, it kept on going and kept on giving. Even after babies and hip surgeries and so much healing, it just keeps showing up and working hard to do what is necessary. Nowadays, I only want to give this body everything it deserves, including respect, love, appreciation, clean water, fresh plants, delicious food, all the sunshine, good coffee, big hugs and a nice glass of wine. I would not trade this body for the world. I love this vessel, and to this vessel I say: THANK YOU.
  • My good fortune. Even in tough times, I have had good luck. I am able to spend time with my small kids who won’t be small forever. I am able to do work that I enjoy. I am able to buy nutritious food and live in my comfortable house and drive in my comfortable car. We aren’t wealthy. We do not have all the things. But, we have ENOUGH. Especially in these frightening times, when so many have NOTHING, I can never complain about my own lot. We are fortunate, and I won’t take it for granted. Thank you.
  • My sisters. I have been thinking a lot about women these last few weeks. You’ve probably heard at least one woman tell you in her life that she doesn’t trust other women, that girls can be hard, that women can be mean. We have a long way to go to overcome internalized patriarchy and our feelings of scarcity. But, while we’re working on it, I am just so glad that we’re us. That we’re wired the way we are. That we’re all so different. That we’re more than our bodies. That we’re more than our empathy. That we’re more than our biology. That we’re more than mothers. That we’re MORE. In my darkest, hardest times, the people who have understood me and loved me and been with me have been women. My aunts, my best girlfriends, my social media sisters, my co-workers, my kids’ teachers, even the incredibly supportive female security guard at Harris Teeter who never stops telling me how proud of me she is when I come hobbling in with the crutch. What a pack of wholehearted human beings. What a bunch of warriors. What a bunch of big, brave, big, brave, BIG people. I’m so grateful us. Thank you, for my sisters.
  • My husband. Our marriage has never been easy. We got married and pregnant at the same time, and then got pregnant again. We have had 5 years of crash courses in major life choices. We have both had to work very, very hard. We don’t agree on politics at least half of the time, we have entirely different temperaments and we were raised in almost completely different ways. We really do kind of have to anchor everything on our mutual respect and love for one another, and that can be hard to do from time to time. He keeps doing it. I do, too. And, that’s really all it takes, you know? Thank you.
  • Myself. After years of pregnancy, having babies, being consumed with babies and just trying to find my way through motherhood, I finally, actually came up for air this year. I remembered myself. I spotted my hand coming up out of the earth, and I grabbed it and I pulled myself up and through and into the LIGHT. I don’t feel sure of all of the things in the world. I do feel sure that I can do hard things. That I am powerful. That I am enough. That I am exactly the one I have been waiting for. I’m so proud of myself. I worked long and hard to get here. I took every kind of loopty-loo, and I backtracked and had to reroute and then take the same road, over and over and over and over again. I unpacked and repacked and unpacked and repacked and unpacked. And, you know, I still have a lot of unpacking to do, but I just don’t feel nervous about that. I just don’t feel like that’s some big problem. I am just the girl to do the work that I am precisely meant to do. I am ENOUGH. Oh, self, thank you.

It is a wooly world, and we have all got to keep our eyes open and our hearts open and our minds open. This requires so much focus, and it begs for breath. For a break. For a pause. For quiet knowing that the way may be hard, but we’ve got the tools to make it.

Thank you for helping me know that.