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Boy do I love what it looks like. Or, better yet, do I have attachment to what it looks like. I want my life to be defined in a way that other people understand it, in 25 words or less. My elevator speech. If you asked me 25 years ago, however, what I was “doing these days” (having baby number 2) I think quite possibly, I would have had the same answer. And it would still have zero to do with what I had vested in my 401K. “Some 10 things that are stuck in my filter right now, and a few of them make me money.”

And yet, life just keeps happening nonetheless. I’m sitting here in house number 7 and the furnace is turning on for the season. It’s cookie season.

In the next nine weeks, I will bake 3000 gingerbread people. For good measure, I will also bake 300 madeleines and some number like that of french almond macarons for you non-gluters in the crowd. Somewhere in there I will turn 53. Singer/songwriter Patti Griffin and I are the same age, and I learned recently that she and Robert Plant were lovers. Now that is cool and gives me a weird sense of hope. Not for a new lover, but for the vibrancy of life in the croning: you know, Life After Periods.

Yesterday my dad turned 85. He moved in with us, he and Mom, 5 months ago, after a life spent within the same 50 mile radius. Talk about BIG leaps of faith. That is so holy to me, and so holy shit. What a sacred trust I hold that I want to weep. It’s not like they visited much. Like ever. One time for two weeks last summer to test drive me. That sounds like something I would do, for Pete’s sake.

My sisters handled the dismantling of their house. I just read an article about Swedish Death Cleaning, and this seems like the harder job. Although both my sisters seem to be dislodged from the past as a result. Making huge leaps of independence, adventure, and self-care. Now there’s something.

I had lunch yesterday with a friend who asked what I’m up to, which prompted this whole post. I told her I’m having lunch with crying women on a pretty regular basis. Leaders in the community whom I respect and admire, whose chronic stress matched my own a few years ago, before the Great Departure. She offered to help pilot a leadership course. What an amazing possibility; I’m choosing my students right now in my head, while I simultaneously doubt my own upper limit of having anything at all of value to share. Sheesh. Women. Me.

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