Tag Archives: mom

numb


numb, adjective, deprived of the power of sensation

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Well I looked my demons in the eyes

Lay bare my chest

Said do your best

To destroy me

See I’ve been to hell and back

So many times

I must admit

You kinda bore me

-Empty, Ray Lamontagne

I remember when I first started writing this blog. It all started with inspiration from the Oxford English Dictionary at a time in my life when I was trying to get back to my English Major roots…and the creative writer that I was once was in college. I was a new mom with an infant desperate to find a way to fill the gap that staying home and not working had created. This blog took me on quite a journey – from gaining the attention of thousands of readers to landing me a great job at an amazing company.

Now – almost 9 years later – I am sitting back down to this very space in a similar position. Although the circumstances of why I am again in that gap between work and non-work is far less as positive and hopeful as a newborn baby – but similarly as difficult and challenging if not much more so.

Today, I’m bringing this blog up to date and to where I am currently, recently laid off at 41. In the same way that I chose a word a day (or every other day) that struck my mood or fancy, I am going at it again – only this time in light of a much different and less straight forward journey to the next professional and personal manifestation of myself.

So today, the word is numb.

I woke up slightly hungover from too much prosecco which I began drinking at 11:30 am – precisely 15 minutes after I arrived home from being shit canned. I would have chosen shit canned as the word since I’ve quite happily adopted saying it to whomever wants to discuss the details of the recent experience. But I’d rather focus on where I’m going and not where I’ve been – although I really like saying shit canned, loudly and often – especially after too much prosecco.

This morning, I quickly assessed that I needed a lot of de puffing eye cream due to my prevalent ugly crying which occurred throughout yesterday, threw on a sweatshirt, made some eggs, talked to a few people who were recently made aware of my current state and decided that I felt pretty good – and made a plan of attack for what I needed to do today to get moving on with the rest of my life – starting with a Peloton ride.

I didn’t realize until the second to last song of the 30 Minute Low Impact Ride with Jess King that what I was feeling was not pretty good, hanging in there, hopeful – any of those things. What I realized as I started weeping – while still full on pedaling and, to my complete credit, finishing the workout – that I was entirely numb all morning. And even after I finished the work out, showered, went out and bought a laptop, went food shopping, had lunch with my husband – I am still lacking the true sensation physically and emotionally of what has occurred.

I am numb as I see the blank page before me. A completely open road that I am standing at the beginning of – again. I can fill this page with words but filling what comes next in my life is a more difficult task – one I didn’t choose to take on, but have been thrust into, nonetheless.

Everything happens for a reason is everyone’s favorite sage advice to give in a time like this. I know that the saying is true. I’ve said it to others many times before. The problem with digesting it today in my own situation is I don’t know the reason just yet – and it’s going to be awhile before I do – most likely a long while – and I know I am going to stumble, take wrong turns, make mistakes, and screw up before I know the all important reason why this all happened.

So today, I am not focusing on the reason, the emotion or the why. I am not trying to see the road ahead just yet and I am not making any promises to myself or making any hard plans for how I am going to approach what this is. I am staying numb today and focusing on the doing – the writing, the bike riding, the making, the reading, the packing up of my belongings from my old office like a criminal, with security, after hours. It is the doing – not the feeling – that is going to get me through today and onto wherever I am headed next.

As Jess King said during the song that I wept and rode my bike to, we are at our best when we have to pick ourselves up. Today I picked myself up and got through it.

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petrichor


petrichor n. the smell of rain on dry ground

feet

It’s a rainy day. The sky is gray and the clouds are all smushed together, blocking the sun. The city air is embalmed with petrichor. As a lover of perfumes and scents, I’ve always noticed that “rain scented” perfumes don’t smell like petrichor at all – at least to me. It is true that they capture an essence of it, but I always feel that the imitation version smells much too nice. Petrichor seems to smell a little bit more like soil than the man – made versions do.  I think the world tends to glamourize petrichor with the high language of music and poetry, but quite honestly, there are some days where the rain on the pavement kicks up the scent of feral cat piss more than it makes me wax poetic about the odor in my nostrils. NYC  petrichor can smell like China petrichor to me – mildew and dirty. Suburban petrichor is a mix of cat piss, cedar chips and fertilizer most of the time. I would guess the petrichor of the forest is probably the best there is, the one closest to the imitated version, but couldn’t it be confused with mountain air or just the scent of the woods? In general, smell is an odd and wondrous thing not easily described or pinned down.

The other day my son and I were playing “pee-yew” feet,” which is mostly just me taking his nasty socks off after a long day at daycare and pretending to smell his genuinely stinky feet. He thinks it’s pretty funny for me to say “pee-yew feet” and repeatedly stick his feet in my face. We both crack up laughing over and over again. On our way to the kitchen to have the 3rd yogurt of the day, I started thinking about whether he understood the meaning of “pee-yew” or even smell at all. To my knowledge, he’s never complained of a smell to me. I wonder if he knows about smell. I know he can taste, so I am assuming he can smell as well. But how can I describe it to him? It’s not like sight or sound or even taste. Those senses seem so much more tangible. Smell is like the umami of senses. You just know, I guess, but it is frustrating to not have the words to describe since it’s actually quite an important part of life.

I remember the way school smelled on the first day of school. It was a mix of chalk dust, the teacher’s perfume and fresh paper. I loved that smell.  The smell I hate the most from my life are the medical smells – hospital cleaning solutions and iodine. I remember the pungent odor of chemo and alcohol swabs. I dread those smells the most and almost enter into a panic attack just thinking about them. When we were house hunting not too long ago, I always noticed that the houses smelled similar, as if there was a prescribed “clean” scent that they all achieved. It must have been some sort of Glade air freshener that was popular or possibly a mix of lemon Pledge and bleach. That smell means “clean house” to me now that I own my own house. The treasured chlorine reek of an indoor pool makes me warm and happy just thinking about it. I used to love swimming in that smell and then satisfyingly showering it off after as a reward for my efforts. But the smell of art supplies – paint, conte crayon, rollerball ink – these are among the most intoxicating for me. They signify freedom, relaxation and excitement for what I am about to create.

One day my son will understand what smell is and he will have his own opinion on petrichor. I will just give him time. For now he can enjoy our scentless game of “pee-yew” feet for everything but the smell.  I hope someday the memory of stinky toddler feet reminds him of me and our silly “pee-yew” game.

Smell

by William Carlos Williams

Oh strong-ridged and deeply hollowed 
nose of mine! what will you not be smelling? 
What tactless asses we are, you and I, boney nose, 
always indiscriminate, always unashamed, 
and now it is the souring flowers of the bedreggled 
poplars: a festering pulp on the wet earth 
beneath them. With what deep thirst 
we quicken our desires 
to that rank odor of a passing springtime! 
Can you not be decent? Can you not reserve your ardors 
for something less unlovely? What girl will care 
for us, do you think, if we continue in these ways? 
Must you taste everything? Must you know everything? 
Must you have a part in everything? 

 

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