A Surprising Moment of Maturity – From ME

Two years ago this month, I woke up to see a “For Rent” sign in the front of my building – for my apartment. I’d been out of a job for 8 months – you know the story: single mom barely making ends meet. It’s unfortunately quite common.

Needless to say, I was a little stressed.

I made it through that without having to move, with the loving, encouraging – and financial – support of my family and friends. (I do know how fortunate I am.)

I was still reeling from the loss of someone very special to me within that year, and within the next four months suffered two more devastating losses, the second of which – in a bizarre, morbid, unusual turn of events – led me to a new job. Knowing Mark’s sense of humor, his bequeathal to me of that job was, I’m sure, quite tongue-in-cheek.  He knew that I would be asked often how I got into that line of work. Thank you, Mark. J

For the first time in my life, I was doing what I wanted: I was being paid to write. I can still feel the rush of energy I felt when I got the call from the dear friend, offering me the job. It had a significant impact on everything: my financial situation, my quality of life, my enthusiasm, my confidence, and my mental outlook, despite the sad circumstance that led me to it.

My life changed. I was in a position to begin supporting myself – by myself. I began to be able to do a little more, including making a good dent in paying backwards. My schedule became more flexible. I started taking myself more seriously, taking more time to commit to and write my own projects. And I began to get really excited about my future. There were so many new opportunities this job opened up for me. I talked often about how grateful and happy I was to have it.

There have been other significant events that have happened this past year and 8 months since I began this job. Apparently, I am still enjoying quite a roller-coaster ride.

Last night, that dear friend who offered me the job called to tell me that the position was being terminated in two weeks.

(Judy, I’m so sorry you had to be in that position.)

In two weeks, I’m out of a job. The job that made the biggest difference to me and my life in so many ways.

I have to say, I was surprised at myself by how well I took the news. I waited to write about it to see if I was just in shock and would wake up depressed. I didn’t; and I realized why:

I still feel the gratitude I felt when I got the job. With the new experience (and training) I got from it, I have more confidence in my abilities. I’m in a better position to get this same type of job than I was two years ago. I was able to do so much more this past year, for myself and for my kids. Nothing can take any of that away. I can still drive a school bus, so I’m not totally busted.

It’s not the end of the world. I still have so much to be thankful for. My future is once again uncertain, but right now I feel like the new high school graduate; everything is open to me.

Judy, I still can’t thank you enough. The job … your guidance … the things you’ve said to me.

You, too, Mark. You chucklehead. ❤

Do you know what else I have?

Proof that I have grown. 

I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING: My last day of work is my birthday. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, I shall take this as a sign, and accept it as A GIFT.

“Mom, What’s a Terrorist?” A conversation with my daughter

On the evening of September 10, I talked with my daughter about 9/11. She is 10. She wasn’t here to know what life was like before that day. Things that are different for us are normal to her.

When she came home from school the next day, the 11th, she told me that her teacher had mentioned it in class, and that the majority of her classmates did not know what the significance of that day was. No, we will never forget that day, but we are so very lucky that the atmosphere since then has not taken total innocence away from those born after it. We can tell them, so they know, and we can be honest about all of it, but we can also tell them in a way that does not promote the anger and fear that we experienced. This way, when the time comes for them to make decisions, to vote, to fight, to take charge, they will be able to make them with clearer heads.

“Last night, my 10-year-old daughter Brynn and I were on the computer together, and we started to see tribute posts about 9/11. I made a comment about how many years it had been since that day. She looked up at me in question, and I realized she knew nothing about it.

The first thing I said was that it was a terrorist attack.

“What’s a terrorist?”

That question threw me for a moment, because so many emotions hit me at once. I think part of me was surprised that she wasn’t familiar with it – but part of me was also happy that she didn’t, because it is a definite testament to how fortunate we are.

Surprise, pleasure, pride.

I was troubled, too; because by telling her I would be sticking a pin in that bubble of innocence, the one that is part of the carefree childhood we all look back fondly on, those days we realize we can never get back. I debated not telling her just yet.

Then, I considered how she might find out from someone else. Would that person speak in anger or in fear? Would another’s telling her color her perceptions? Make her afraid?

I decided to talk to her about it. I wanted it coming from me.

Sadness, resolve.

My ‘story’ about that day is a little difficult, but not nearly as bad as so many others’.  I’d already written about it a couple of times. The last time I wrote about it was in 2013, because I found myself on a plane that September 11th . Coincidentally, that was only a few months after the Marathon Bombing and this blog that I started a week later, writing about that day…”

Read More: Mom, What’s a Terrorist?

Today I Will Enjoy My Rights

Today, I will enjoy the right to sit on my porch with my coffee.
Today, I will enjoy the right to waste more time with a second cup.

Today, I will also enjoy my right
to spend some time alone
to spend time with friends
to listen to music
to love.

Today, I might enjoy my right
to work
to be overwhelmed by how much I need to do
to worry about money
to miss someone.

Today, I could even enjoy my right
to be the jerk who cuts someone off in traffic
to whine about what I don’t have
to be envious of what someone else has
to be petty.



I might even realize
that just by waking up this morning
I was granted the Choice
to decide what I will, might, or could do
and be
— to be nice or mean
to accept or resist
to love or hate
to enjoy or resent —
understanding that it is Choice
that makes all of this a privilege

and then enjoy the ability to see
how privileged I really am.