15 Things We Should Consider Not Posting On Facebook Anymore

1. How many centimeters dilated you are. Although it’s been fun following every day of your pregnancy, this is something we never need to know. Ever. EVER. Hang on I just started my period I’ll be right back.

2. You’re moving out so you’re giving away free shit. It’s nice and everything, but most likely  no one will want your shit stained area rug or couch, even if it is free.

We're giving this couch away for free yall!

3. Picture of your baby in front of raisins. Picture of your baby picking up the raisins. Picture of your baby putting the raisins in his mouth. Picture of your baby chewing the raisins. Picture of your baby in front of a plate that used to have all the raisins he ate on it.

4. How much studying you have to do and how busy you are. You sure? Cause you’ve been commenting on my albums from 3 years ago for like, a few hours now.

5. Extensive details about your workout and the 10K you’re prepping for. I can play that game too! Walked to the bathroom. Walked to the living room. Pressed power button on computer. Typed on keys quickly without taking any breaks. I’m up to 75 words per minute baby!

6. A picture of the flowers your boyfriend gave you. Why are you thanking us? We didn’t give you the flowers.

Sorry ladies, he's taken.

7. Checking in at a place and tagging all of the people you’re with. Why don’t you just…talk to the people you’re with? Or play an actual game of tag?

8.Telling everyone how drunk you are or are going to get tonight. Don’t worry, we’ll be able to tell by the pictures you post tomorrow.

9. Stop having public Facebook birthdays. It makes stalking you sooo much less interesting.

10. Your weird urban-infused engagement photos. Although I’m totally addicted to looking at them, I don’t know when or why it became trendy to dress really nice and take photos in gutters.

"Love the background in this one! So artsy!!!"

11. A picture of yourself, taken by you, liked by you, and commented on by you. That’s so narcissistic. Facebook is supposed to be about…wait never mind that’s totally appropriate.

12. Another post shit-talking the Kardashians. You watch ‘em? You love ‘em.

13. Status updates about how sick you are. No one cares about your stupid chronic illness!

Ugh, my fibromyalgia is acting up.

14.  Pictures of inanimate objects with your hipstamatic photo app. Yeah we get it, even a picture of a lamp will look cool under that filter. But it’s still just a lamp bro!

Congrats on getting stoned and deciding you're a photographer now.

15. Any variation of this phrase: “Today is the day that I marry my best friend.” Shouldn’t you be like, preparing to lose your V card?!

 

Health, Happiness, and Glorious Glorious Facebook.

 

 

Photocredits:

Weird Urban Engagement Photos: greenweddingshoes.com

Shit Stained Couch: uglyhousephotos.com

 

Benefits With Friends.

Let me begin by saying that the title of this post has very little to do with the content of this post, but the name came to me last night before sleep and I thought ‘What an awesome title!’ What I will really use the name for, one day, is a benefit I will have in honor of sick people and underfunded, under-researched diseases that hopefully I will be capable of donating millions of dollars to. Then we’ll take those fancy photos that show up in the “Out and About” part of the newspaper with sparkly dresses and older men with younger women and really, really, white teeth. Maybe next year.

I am sitting in the office at my moms. Correction, laying. Sitting up is difficult at this point because I am in the middle of a full blown crash. Not sure if I overdid it in New York or what happened exactly but my body is angry at me. It’s like, giving me the silent treatment by not giving me strength to walk or shower and making all my muscles hurt; under my fingertips too. It’s a particular but non-specific pain when my body gets like this. Just a general “bone-aching” but I always know when it’s happening because underneath my fingertips hurt. Very weird. Anyway, I am lucky, because I am home and under the care of Doctor Mom and not having to worry about calling into work, fashioning an excuse that will translate to a boss who never took a sick day.

This morning I sludged from my room to the office, my wrists quivering at the weight of my computer and my eyes not quite in focus yet. I took my first set of pills and waited for the pain to ease and my brain to start functioning. Take pills and wait. If there were an instructional guide on How to be Mary Gelpi, those two steps would be peppered throughout. My mom is sharing with me the symbolism of boats and chocolate and pies because I told her about my dream last night, which involved the family and me getting in a boat accident, where no one died and the whole thing was surprisingly peaceful- and the night before where I dreamed that Nick, my mom and I were at a lake house and my mom and I were gathering golden apples to make pie and Nick was fishing, as usual. It was a nice departure from my typical high-anxiety dreams where either I’m dying or watching someone else, like Monty, die. These last few were calm, so she is helping me process them. One of the perks of living at home: Coffee ready when I wake up, and a personalized dream-interpreter on staff. Score.

I’ve had a to-do list for days now that I can’t wait to get started on, yet I’m just unable to begin. Yesterday I spent the entire day in bed. Every few hours I’d wake up drenched in sweat, in pain, re-dose the meds, and go back to sleep. It’s a funny way to spend your day like that. Because by the time I “woke up” it was dark outside and Monty came in from a day spent frolicking in our yard and playing soccer by himself. Poor thing. I owe him a few games when I perk up. But I barely saw the sun, which is depressing. But that’s how crash days go, and I remind myself that it won’t last. In a few days, after successfully doing nothing, I’ll start to feel better. The nice part is,  the sun will be waiting for me when I’m ready. Monty and the sun– they hold nothing against me. For that I am lucky!

I think the biggest teacher of this illness has been learning how to exist in the “chaos.” I’m often eager to jump into things…even boring things, like laundry. But I’ve had to learn how to let my toenail polish stayed chipped until I have energy to fix it. Let my laundry pile up until I have energy to do it. Let my phone ring without me answering it until I have energy to talk. There is something uncomfortable about letting things “go” that you want to tackle head on. For instance right now, I’d love to unpack my suitcase and do laundry. I’d also love to call my sister and catch up, write a few thank you notes and send them, clean my car, and oh yeah, SHOWER, but all of that will have to wait. And truthfully, many of the things we think can’t wait, can. No-one ever died from going one more day without showering. Well not that I know of. It’s a lesson I continually learn and relearn, but it’s valuable to see that, while I’d love to dive into these things, I cannot. They will simply have to wait. And I need to learn how to maintain in the grey of things–life between the trapeze swings. Just as the sun will be waiting for me, so will everything on the to-do list. Anyway, the computer needs to re-charge and so do I. I’m tired and weak and am going back to the underworld. I’ll see you when I re-emerge.

Health, Happiness, and Undone To-Do Lists

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It’s Snowing In New York.

It’s quiet because of the snow

Clear because of the quiet

And it snows because it’s empty.

There is room for it here,

In the box with all the questions.

*

The window across the street

Is reflecting the window next to me,

So I can see the neighbor kids

On tip toes, checking

When I see movement,

I check too.

As of yet it’s still a black sky turned orange

We wait, we’re patient.

*

I didn’t have it enough as a child

Never had to shovel it before school

So there’s no headache about it getting dirty

No bitterness of what it turns to

No worry of what it ruins

It’s a novelty to me

It’s what airplanes used to be.

*

I sit at a window, waiting

Most the days of my life.

I hold a box, open

That carries every question

I’ll ever have.

Tonight while I wait,

I thumb through curiosities

Laugh at old questions

And try not to let future uncertainties

Weigh the box down too much.

*

It’s a soft pink, satin ribbon

That holds the thing shut,

And when the snow starts

To fall tonight

I’ll open it

At the neighbor kids looking

At the clarity of it falling

At the quiet of it sticking

The couple laughing

The street lights changing

The flag that’s snapping

At the snow that’s falling

And I’ll catch all the little truths

That come with snow

And watch God fall

And then I’ll know.

Let’s Talk About Dancing.

I arrived in Miami on Friday to spend a few days here. This is partially the reason I’ve been so crashed. I never do exceptionally well when I travel, and this time was no exception. But it’s nice to be sick in a beautiful place. I mean if you’re gonna be a human waste-land, might as well be a human waste-land on a beautiful beach. My brother and sister-in-law had a baby shower this Saturday (she’s due in March)and we decided to make a Gelpi Power Hour weekend out of it. I am staying at a hotel on South Beach and I dreamt all night of heavy base techno music. Wait, that was not a dream. I was actually up all night listening to heavy base techno music ricocheting off the walls. At around 2 am I kid you not, Club Mango played that song “What is love? Baby don’thurt me…” and it was like a real-life Night at the Roxbury!

Mm hmm.

Truthfully it wasn’t the music keeping me up, though it didn’t help. My legs were on fire, cramped up and emitting heat like they do. So I read more of my book as the base and noise of drunk people bounced around below. At first I was agitated but then I grew to like the sounds. It added to the authenticity of my Miami stay. It reminded me of what the noise of being alive is like. Also they played a lot of Rihanna so, you know. That was cool.

Every now and then they’d play a song I liked and out of the corner of my eye I’d find my foot tapping to the beat of the song without knowing I was doing it. The interesting part of it was that as I noticed this, I started reading a chapter in Marc Nepo’s book called Questions Put to the Sick: When was the last time you danced? I think this is what Carl Jung would refer to as Synchronicity. But that’s another story.

Allow me to say some things about dancing. 1. I love to do it. 2. I’m kind of terrible at it. 3. I don’t care. 4. OK I kind of care. 5. After a few beers I don’t care anymore. And I’ve been told my skills have improved. Anyway, I love dancing. I actually crave dancing. If there is a span of time where I don’t dance, I get the dancing itch, and the only cure is to rock out somewhere with loud music and move my body in any deformed way it feels that communicates physically the fun I’m having in my brain. It can be alone in my car, or at a bar, in the shower, or a wedding. Ooooh weddings. Those are the best. I think that’s why Dane Cook’s standup about girls saying “I just need to dance,” rings so hilariously true to so many people. Sometimes I’ll feel ansy and I know it’s because I need to just dance it out. I swear I’ll wake up the next morning after dancing and feel better, as though it was a bug I had to get out of my system. I’d argue it’s just as important as your dentist appointment or annual colonoscopy. You just have to do it. You’ll feel better once you do.

I may or may not have been compared to Elaine in the past.

Or you’ll feel worse. Wah Wah. (Debbie Downer tone) Being sick and constantly walking a fine line between functioning and non-functioning, there’s always the possibility of over-doing it and paying a price. Like last year in March, I danced the Dougie way too hard one night and I was crashed the next day. All because of the Dougie. But I need to say this:  it was worth it. Sometimes you pay a price, and sometimes it’s worth your while. “What happened to Mary?” “She Dougie’d too hard last night.” “Poor thing. I’ll make us some sandwiches.”

Here’s what Nepo writes about dancing:

The ongoing effort to dance, to give gesture to what we feel and experience, is ultimately healing because, as riverbeds are continually shaped by the water that moves through them, living beings are continually shaped by the feelings and experiences that move through them. If there is no water moving through, the riverbed dries up and crumbles. Likewise, if there is no feeling moving through the body, the being at the center of that body will crumble.

More often though, there is too much to give gesture to, and we fail to move these feelings through our bodies. In truth, much of our inner sickness comes from the buildup and pressure of all that is kept in. The ongoing act of releasing that inner buildup is what spiritual practices call embodiment.  …Once unblocked, giving gesture to our inwardness not only frees us from becoming pressurized, but the gestures, once allowed out, teach us how to dance further into our own lives.”

Pretty cool right? I know some people think it’s just psycho-babel and the idea of someone shaking their ass in the club to Lil Wayne and calling it spiritual embodiment is just a joke. Understandable. But pay attention to the music you hear and the subconscious urge you feel to move. It’s not a calculated choice we make. Even babies and toddlers begin to dance (sometimes better than me) when music is played for them. Sometimes, we should be still, but sometimes we should MOVE BABY. And don’t let your thoughts get the best of you. Don’t try to analyze it or over think it. The best kind of dancing is unrestrained, uninhibited, belting at the top of your lungs-holding a pretend microphone-singing to a pretend audience, unrepressed, uncontrolled dancing. It doesn’t matter if you’re bad. If you’re having that much fun, you’re far from bad. You’re the best!

So the next time you’re out, or in, and you feel the hunger, satisfy it. It is actually good for you, for your body and your soul. If someone asks you why you’re dancing alone in the kitchen, tell them you’re moving your life experiences through your body so you can dance further into your existence. They’ll like that. Here’s one last anecdote about dancing. After my step-dad died in 2006 the house was oddly empty and the family was pretty down. My mom told me later she would turn on Ellen in the afternoons and dance along with her, by herself in the living room. Sometimes it was the only thing she achieved that day. But guess what? It made a difference. It changed the energy of the room. It changed her energy–Made her smile, even for 30 seconds. And in times like that, you’ll grab hold of anything to get you past the moment of pain. So I love that part of Ellen’s job is to get up every day and dance, and to get other people to dance along with her. I love that my mom got up and did it, even when she felt devastated and lost. These are small, small things that in the end can shape large parts of our lives. I haven’t danced in a while, so maybe I’ll give the Dougie another go tomorrow and just cut myself off a little earlier. For now, my legs are cramped and I’ll do some research on fatigue-friendly dance. Perhaps I’ll head down to the nursing home and see if there are any classes there. They’ll be more on my pace. Maybe I’ll even meet somebody special.

Health, Happiness, and DANCE!

An Experiment.

*Contrary to feeling like death right now, I’m going to try an experiment. Here goes. 

I woke up this morning and I felt great!! I had so much energy, I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I began by taking a six-mile run and watching the sun come up. It was beautiful! The birds were chirping and the sun coming up over the horizon allowed me to see the true beauty of nature in the world. By the sixth mile, even Monty could barely keep up with me! He’s so lazy sometimes. I need to get him into shape. I felt like I could’ve run forever.

When I got home I cooked up a great breakfast. Cage free scrambled eggs with soy milk, a fresh fruit salad, and a protein shake. It’s my favorite breakfast. I read the paper and shook my head at the state of the world. We really need to get our shit together. By the end of breakfast it was already 7:30! The day was really flying by. Monty took a nap and I told him he better shape up or ship out! No more doggie treats for him. He’s gained weight!

Next I organized three closets in my house. Boy did they need it! I color coded and alphabetized all the things I was giving to good will, and even sorted the things within the boxes into subcategories (kitchen appliances, tools, decorative things, shitty Christmas presents still in their packages, etc.) By the end of all that closet organizing, I found myself sneezing a lot. Ugh, so annoying. Allergies are the worst! But, I didn’t take ANY pills! You know what I did? Vacuumed my entire house. Then I went to the Sharper Image and bought one of those air purifiers. Since it was only 9 am the mall was virtually empty, so I did a little shopping for myself. A girl CAN’T have too many shoes, right? Girls out there, you know what I’m sayin’!

When I came home I took a wet rag and wiped down all the surfaces in my house, including furniture surfaces, baseboards, fan-tops, and counter tops. Then I made some herbal tea my best friend Sally gave me a while ago, which is supposed to help prevent cancer and is known to be good for allergies. By now it was 10:30.

Next I went outside and tended to my garden. I’m growing a bunch of root vegetables as well as tomatoes, squash, lettuce, and South African JuJu beans. I did some weed-eating and general maintenance. I even hand painted a sign out of some old wood in our shed that said “Mary’s Garden.” It looks great. Sometimes I think I should have been a painter. Next I went inside, hand-washed all the vegetables that were ripe from the garden, and made an incredible home-grown salad. But you know what’s even better than home-grown salads? Home-grown salads with friends!

DON'T worry. It's organic.

So I called up my besties, Sally, Cindy, SueSue and Peggy. Well, I know that’s only four, but I didn’t have enough veggies for ALL of my friends (too many to count) so I only invited those four. I love my friends. I have so many of them. And they all love home-grown salads! We talked about Chloe Kardashians new hair color (ew) and the crappy state of the world and how somebody really needs to do something about that. Sally and Cindy then had to go to their Jazzercise class but SueSue and Peggy were free so we all went to my favorite salon, got mani-pedis, and drank bubble tea! I’ve been feeling edgy lately so I painted my toenails dark purple. I’m so crazy sometimes!!!

By the afternoon I rode my bike to the farmers market to pick up fresh gluten-free bread and some other things that I can’t grow on my own. (One day!) I also bought some beautiful tulips that were being sold there. I decided they were too beautiful for any old vase, so I biked to a glass-blowing studio down the street to create my very own one-of-a-kind vase for them. Sorry, but none of the other vases would do! They’re sitting on my table now, and may I just say..DAMN. Pardon my french. Next it was time to make an appearance at an engagement party for one of my other besties and I wore my new 4 inch heels with my new dress. I also had the perfect set of hand-made earrings (made by yours truly) which couldn’t have matched any better. Not to toot my own horn, but, BEEP BEEP I was looking good! We drank wine, ate wonderful food, and it felt really good to stand around and talk to people about what they’re doing with their lives, tell them about mine, and then make tentative plans to get coffee and stay in better touch. It’s gonna be a busy social season guys, get ready!

Finally by 10:30 I was ready to leave.  Call me a dork, but I love to get in my jammies and watch reruns of the West Wing before bed! (Rob Lowe, so hot. Don’t get me started.) Anyway I finally made it home, saw the tulips on the table, and remembered how precious life is. I have a great life. But boy am I sleepy! Tomorrow I have Hot Yoga at 4 am, so I better get some rest. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!!

HEALTH, ENERGY, AND BUBBLE TEA!

Mare

**Just to reiterate, this was all made up. I’ve been crashed the last few days.  This was just an imaginative experiment in pretending. If I tried to go on an actual six-mile run I would vomit then die.

A Snails Pace

I’ve been as productive as a sloth the last few days. Not sure why, but my pain has been worse than normal and energy has been low. Way low. Like non-existent low. Thus I’ve turned into a slow-moving snail, crawling from room to room wrapped in a blanket and moaning a lot. I’m sure I’m a real treat to be around. It may be recovery from the Holidays or the weather or the moon or it may just be that, hey, this illness doesn’t need a reason for you to feel bad. Even when you’re doing everything right, you’ll have poopy fart days. Luckily, I am jobless, so I let those days come and pass and rest until recovered. I still wonder what it would be like if I had my old job, and had to work an 8 hour day through feeling this way. I remember those days all too well. Then I get really nauseous at the thought and watch another episode of Frasier.

(For those of you out there still working with this illness, hang tough. I know what those days feel like. We’ll get there)

On days like yesterday, I have no desire to see or talk to anyone. My phone rings and I just can’t bring myself to answer. The feeling is rough because I am a social animal after all and love my friends and family a lot. But there are some things you just can’t fake. And when I’m feeling that way, there’s no faking enthusiasm. I’ve tried it and failed enough times that now I just don’t answer. The person on the other end would have a better conversation with Monty than me. Maybe I’ll pass the phone to him next time. I realize that this makes me, at times, a shitty friend, sister, grand-daughter, aunt. But I know how the conversation would go.

Hello? Hey Mary!! Hey. How are you!? Awesome. You don’t sound awesome. You got me. What’s wrong? Feel like death.What’s bothering you? Just really tired? Yeah, just really tired. Did you try those South African JuJu Beans I sent you? They’re supposed to be good for energy! No, too tired to stir the mixture. Bye.

South African JuJu Beans. P.S. I made this up.

See? Worthless conversation. And explaining my symptoms to people over the phone doesn’t help either, not to mention it makes me the Debbie Downer of the Century. I’d rather just hibernate until I don’t feel so lifeless. Whoever’s still around when I emerge from the cave are the people I call friends. Anyway yesterday was the National Championship and I was supposed to go to a party to watch it but since I was half dead I didn’t show up. Coincidentally the Tigers didn’t show up either. (BURN!) I watched it in PJ’s on the couch with Monty while icing my legs because they’ve been cramped for days. Then I scoured Facebook and laughed at the angriest statuses I’ve ever seen. “Completely Embarrassed.” “Time to FIRE LES MILES!” “Worst LSU game EVER!!!” “If we run the option again I’m going to MURDER MYSELF!!!” I don’t know why angry statuses humor me. They just do. Don’t hurt me.

Anyway, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails lately from people who are seeking help in getting diagnosed or who think they may be mis-diagnosed. I wish I were more an expert on CFIDS so I could offer real help but in the end I’m just a sick kid with two anatomy classes under my belt. (My mom on the other hand has a medical background and has suffered with the illness for over 20 years. I’ll get to that later) The most important thing I can tell you is there seems to be a key difference between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia regarding exercise. It’s complicated since there is not one diagnostic test for either, but a main difference is that exercise seems to be helpful/relieve pain for many people with fibromyalgia. On the other hand, exercise can be extremely detrimental to those with CFS. An easy way to tell is just to pay attention to how you feel the day after you exercise. Having sore muscles is a normal reaction. If you are completely crashed, as in, feel like you’ve been hit by a truck and have trouble getting out of bed, you most likely have CFS, or the component which causes “Post-Exertional Malaise.” Trying to push through this ‘crash’ will only set you back and make you worse. It basically comes down to this. Do you feel like this the day after exercise?

Then Stop.

Or do you feel like this after you exercise?

Then continue!

There is so much misinformation out there that I truly am surprised I was effectively diagnosed and treated. But this took years and didn’t happen until my mom found a specialist: Dr. Nancy Klimas. There’s also a lot of people trying to sell things that won’t help you. So be wise. Currently, there is no cure for CFIDS/Fibro. So be wary if someone offers you the cure-all. I’m going to attach some helpful links for those interested in reading further on the illnesses for now. BUT, I am ALSO going to collaborate with my mom on one of my next posts and try to clear the air about some things regarding ME/CFIDS/ and Fibro. I am also going to try to get my doctor in on the conversation because I know she holds a lot of vital information that is scarce and hard to find but would help a lot of people out. So stay tuned.

I’ve also received some emails that read “Hey, I’m tired all the time. Do you think I have CFS? How do I get diagnosed?” This question is kind of like the equivalent of asking “Hey, I gained some weight in my midsection. Do you think I’m pregnant?” For one thing, calling it ‘tired’ is like calling the atomic bomb a fire cracker. It’s hard to give it a word or name people can understand, but tired definitely falls short. Think more along the lines of bones-crushing fatigue. Anyway, while feeling like you could sleep for days and being extremely exhausted are key symptoms, they are far from the only symptoms. CFIDS is an autoimmune disorder, meaning every autonomic process in your body is basically haywire. Thus, you feel like death. And chances are you look like it too! Anyway, the links are below. But I promise to devote space in the future dedicated to debunking some myths and trying to spread accurate awareness about these illnesses. In the meantime, guess what? I’m tired.

Health, Happiness, and Hang In There.

http://phoenixrising.me/

http://www.cfids.org/about-cfids/do-i-have-cfids.asp

http://www.pandoranet.info/

AboutMECFS.org

Brothers and Sisters.

I am the youngest of four siblings. Doug and Nick are barely a year apart, followed by Amelie, then me. Sometimes I watch the four of us around the dinner table and wonder how we were each born from the same two parents. And then in rarer times, quieter times, I see the subtle thread that ties us; the binding, intangible something in our hearts that seeks greatness and loves easy. On many nights, like tonight, I wonder who I’d be without my siblings. And if I’m feeling extra philosophical, I wonder what the world would be like without them. I find them that important! There’s a strong energy about the four of us. We do OK on our own, but there’s this tangible vibrancy when we’re together. And this unintended dynamic of reverse reciprocals has formed among us. Where one is slow the other is fast. Where one is hard the other is soft. Where one yells the other soothes. Where one forgets the other remembers.

What has occurred to me recently is that each one of us carries a different piece of our dad around. And this is why I think there is such powerful and positive energy when the four of us are together; we’re putting together four pieces to revive a beautiful whole. Since each of our relationships with our dad was different, and we were all different ages when he died, we all carry something different. My brother Doug carries his Peace and Patience. Nick carries his thoughtfulness and social graces. Amelie carries his joyful “Burst of Sunshine” characteristic. And I carry his attentiveness to the voiceless. We ALL carry his sense of humor, his fearlessness in being weird, his desire to play meaningless pranks, and his simple talent of just being fun. At least, we all try.

Dad reading to the kids, Christmas '84 (click to enlarge)

Having the three of them in my life has been a true gift. And maybe while I’m prancing around in LaLa Land I should clear up that we are NOT The Brady Bunch over here. We  have plenty of dysfunctional to pass around. We yell at each other, make fun of each other, grow insanely impatient with one another, and sometimes we even wrestle. It isn’t uncommon for my brother to call me a turd sandwich or my sister to call Nick an asshole at least once every few days. When it happens, usually I’m acting like a turd sandwich and Nick is in fact acting like an asshole. Sometimes he calls Amelie a pain in the ass, which she can be. And we all yell at Doug for being the slowest human being on the planet. BUT. But, but, but. Behind any name-calling, shouting, mental or physical abuse, there is a deep and unbreakable love. It’s always been there. Even in my loneliest of times, there has been a quiet assurance in the back of my mind that I am not actually alone. I know in the that before I’m out under a bridge somewhere, I have three doors to knock on first, and each I know would open.

Whether in the form of a helping hand, money, food, shelter, an ear, a reality check, a pat on the back, or a cheering-up, we’ve all lent to one another different things at different times. And it’s a real treasure that we’re able to do that. You’ll have to excuse my notalgic sulking, I’m a little down in the dumps now that the house is quiet and there isn’t a cacophony of sibling rivalry bouncing off our walls. I always get sad after we make the last trip to the airport to bid the last family member adieu. Today we said good-bye to Nick, and all is finally quiet here. I’ve always loved the chaos of having them home. Ever since I was in 7th grade and Doug was first to go off to college, I always became exceedingly anxious around late November, because it meant everyone was coming home again. We’d finally all be together. Now I’m 27, and still the anxious kid around November, and sulky in early January, after everybody leaves. Anyway, I need to stop boo-hooing. Just thought I’d let Doug, Nick, and Amelie know, I love you. A lot. Even though you’re all turd sandwiches. Can’t wait till next year.

Health, Happiness, And A Quiet House Again.