Remember the kite eating tree from Peanuts? Every spring, Charlie Brown would launch a new kite into the air and every year, that damn tree would eat it.

Sometimes I feel like that tree, only instead of kites flown forever-optimistically by ol' Chuck, it's words that get snatched up. Words that have been flung my way via other eternally optimistic people (aka, my friends/coworkers/readers). Yeah, I may look kind of tree-like while they're talking. Just standing there, or more realistically, sitting there, while they speak. I'm not known for being overly animated in person OR online and it's always been a little frustrating for me. I want people to know that I'm feeling things, whether it's gratitude or seething resentment or simple receptiveness to whatever they're dishing out.

Instead I feel like what they're seeing is Tree Jenny. With a smile on my face and instead of the tail of a kite hanging out of my mouth, it's the tail end of a sentence.

BUT I AM LISTENING. I swear. The words go in one ear and then they stay there, steeping until I have time to really savor them. To pull them out and inspect them. To devour them.

That's one of the blessed curses of ADD. We process things differently. We also don't miss much despite having the appearance of someone who misses e v e r y t h i n g 😉 Ask me what I wore yesterday and I will struggle, ask me what a child on the playground once remarked as she touched my arm and I can repeat it not only verbatim but by god I can still hear her saying it just as clear as the day it happened sometime back in 2006: ooh Miss Jenny your arm feels just like my grandma's Okay so maybe the more traumatic, the more memorable but I digress.

Recently a few people have talked to/at me and I'm not sure they know how much of what they said sunk in. I want them, and therefore you, to know that all of the words made it through and I have been mulling them over.

First up, my bestie told me that I'm stuck. She was referring to my housing situation and also an unfortunate dude situation. I'll be purposely vague about both because 1: the housing thing will be a blog post soon and B: the dude situation is gross and embarrassing. And even though you all know gross and embarrassing is basically what I should have tattooed on my lower back, this one is not worth writing about.

My dear homie, I heard you. And you're right: I am stuck. Apparently when one has been flailing just above water for ages, when it's okay to stop flailing you simply float. And that's kind of where I'm at, and have been, for the past couple of years. Enjoying the scenery and enjoying not fighting to survive.

Being Minnesotan, when the word stuck comes up, the image that pops into my head is that of a car up to its bumper in snow. Funnily enough, when I do get stuck in the snow the first panicky thought I have is ALWAYS this: I'm just going to leave it here until spring.

And that's kind of where I've been.

So I need to unstuck myself. Time to start digging out, time to get moving. Maybe literally? Which provides such a slick segue into the second part of my listening prose...

A few weeks back, there was a party to attend. One of my regulars and I were going to be each other's date, and then, another friend asked if she could tag along. Of course! The more the merrier. We stopped for a cocktail en route to the bash and while we were sipping, this other friend regaled us with story after story about how she had used her voice and told the universe exactly what it was she was seeking. Like, she says it OUT LOUD to the universe, not in her head. She showed us exactly how she did it, using hand gestures and everything and then she proudly proclaimed how it had worked. She'd told the universe what kind of house she and her girls needed, and the house showed up.

"I'm telling you," she said, in a very confident tone, "this shit works."

Well. I'm certainly not one to scoff at shit that works. So, in my own tortoisey way, I've been trying to emulate her universe-speak. It's hard for a quiet introvert (shush, I am too one of those, I swear!) to do something so...verbal. And yet, I'm doing it. I listened to my friend, and now I'm hoping the universe is listening to me.

I walk the dog at an obscenely early hour in the summertime. Work, for me, starts at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday so the alarm goes off shortly before 4:00. I chug a cup of coffee, get the running shoes laced up and then Walter leads me on a dark, peaceful tour of our fair city. It's hands down my favorite time of the day (a close second is the splendid cool slide into bed at night) and one that is almost reverent with the silence and nothing but the clicks of the sweet old boy's nails and the soft scuff of my shoes on the sidewalks.

This morning, I talked. I gabbed with the universe. My words sounded foreign at first, echoing off of darkened houses and bouncing on the small pools of light beneath the street lamps. I'll tell you a little of what I told the universe. Not all of it, because maybe this is like that birthday wish you make while blowing out the candles.

"Universe!" I wanted to get its attention, you know. "Universe! Here's what I am looking for." And then I began my small but immense wish list.

I told the universe that more than anything I want a home. I want a place with a yard and with a cute kitchen and with at least two windows in my bedroom so I can get a sweet cool breeze on spring and fall nights. I want room for whichever kid needs a soft place to land and I want a backyard for Walter or whichever good boy comes next. And a porch, universe. Oh man. I want a porch.

And I'll be really honest with you...I figured as long as I had the ear of the entire universe, it was time to go big or go home.

I told the universe that I love our house right now. And that if it (the universe) was in a giving sort of mood, maybe some magic planet realignment could make my wildest dreams come true and make that my forever home.

Yep. Told ya I went big. I went implausible and let's face it, most likely impossible, but what the hell. How often do you get to walk around a city before dawn, barking out wishes like a lunatic carny?

I don't know if the universe heard me, but I do know for sure that the guy enjoying a cigarette out in his driveway at 5:01 on a Tuesday morning sure did. Let's see if he has any pull.

Oh and there was one more time I listened recently: when one of you sent me a message. Actually, many of you have reached out over the past couple of years, since I've gone radio silent here on the old blog. Some of you have been subtle, gently inquiring, wondering if there will ever be fresh words here again. But one of you sweet humans were way more direct. Via instagram, a private message that read, in part:

where are your posts and blogs about the hell that is divorce and life afterwards? I need/miss them.

This one was loud and it was clear as crystal.

I'm listening.

And I'm back.


Mad About You?

"Why don't you write on the blog anymore?"

It comes up now and then. The emails used to show up almost daily, now it's one or two a week.

"Hey, where'd you go? I miss reading your stuff."

*sigh* I miss writing my stuff. I know, I know...every few months there's a blip of activity on this old site and the few of you still out there, the few of you still reading blogs, get to hear my tired excuses for not maintaining this space. No time! No energy! No fresh ideas!

I was talking to a friend this past weekend and she mentioned the blog. Actually, she mentioned writing in general and how I was going to do big things with the words and how she missed perusing the daily/weekly rants and ramblings I used to proffer right here in this very spot. The excuse I gave her was a surprise, even to me:

"I'm not mad anymore."

HUH? How's that, Jenny? You're not mad anymore?

I elaborated. Told her that back in the day, when instead of mentally blogging I actually, you know, BLOGGED, I was pissed.

Heartbreak and shock still lived and breathed in me but the anger, oh shiiiiiit, the anger was my skeleton, it was the blood and the veins and the nerves. It snapped and crackled like a well-tended fire in a roasting hot hearth and it fueled every aspect of my life. Literally, every.single.aspect.

The rage woke me up, it tugged the covers and yanked at my feet and shoved me into the shower and it pushed the gas pedal of whatever hooptie I was driving. It parented my kids and steered shopping carts and walked the damn dog. It poured wine and vodka and bummed smokes and chose disastrous mates and stabbed forks and spoons into soft warm bowls and plates of carby comfort foods.

And it guided my fingers over various keyboards, each one pressing a single letter which would form a word which would build a sentence which would become a paragraph which would forge

this blog.

The writing came fast and furious, for a long time it felt like a bottomless pit of woe and wrath. I was so mad at my ex-husband and what his dumbass choices meant for me and our children. It was my own personal Olympic flame, blazing endlessly.

Until it went out.

Did it go out all in one fell swoop? Nah. In fact, if you poke at me and hit just the right spot, I'll still take a swipe at ya. There's anger but it's either buried so deep or worn so thin that it couldn't fuel a hamster wheel, let alone a middle aged lady. Now it comes out as indignant protests over long waits at traffic lights or eye-rolling annoyance at the person who's taking too long on the equipment at the gym.

The anger subsided. And so did the words.

That sucks. Because I enjoy writing. I enjoy entertaining people, I enjoy helping others. I like doing this. And while I love to pull out a good Hulk reference and say "that's my secret, Cap, I'm always angry" (because who doesn't enjoy a Marvel reference) I am most definitely not always angry. Not anymore.

(cue Carrie Bradshaw voice) And it makes me wonder...can I write without being mad?

I mean, let's get real. There is SO MUCH to be mad about, right? Politics and the bigoted sexist politicians who politic, mosquitoes, calories, bodies falling apart, dogs getting old, the high price of feta crumbles (FOR REAL THOUGH!!), people who run over baby geese and turtles and possums, people in general. Hell I could be mad all the live long day, now that I think about it.

But I don't want to. I do, however, want to write. I want to write and make people laugh and think and cry. I want to write and help women who are where I was all those years ago. I want to write and let someone out there know they aren't alone.

Also, I'm trapped in a quiet office for 8 hours a day this summer and I can't afford to shop online so, yeah. I could write.

I'm going to hit publish on this one, right now, before I start the second-guess dance and self doubt sets in.

Stay tuned for more. Unless I get mad. LOL.
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