Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

On Appreciation, Reflection, and Moving Forward


Hello, hello! It feels like ages since I had a chance to check in and catch up with you and today, after watching Jackson’s Hispanic Heritage performance at school this morning (his class danced the meringue–so cute!) and then volunteering at kindergarten lunch and recess, I have a little time while Joanie naps in which I can squeeze in some DW-ing and eat some lunch.

We were away for most of the last week, visiting my parents in Missouri and celebrating Jackson’s fifth birthday, for which some of my extended family in St. Louis and Jackson’s best friend, who recently moved to Kansas City, were all able to come be part of, too, which was really special and sweet. But it was a whirlwind week, as any trip involving lots of people and moving parts and accommodating different scheduling needs is, and I was happy to get home. Except, while we were away, the cats (who had been in the care of a cat-sitter), both got sick all over the apartment and we arrived home to quite a welcome. I’ll spare you the disgusting details, but I’ll just say: All our rugs had to be professionally shampoo’d, and I spent over an hour mopping the floor and scrubbing down surfaces before unpacking anything. All after a commute that began at 5 AM. We also arrived home to discover that our gas had been inexplicably turned off while we were away, which meant no hot water and no stove or oven — so no cooking or bathing until we were able to get the gas turned on the next morning. As I said: quite a welcome home after a whirlwind week away.

We’ve had a string of bad luck lately — all three of our bikes (mine, Drew’s, and Jackson’s) were stolen right out of our (gated) building parking lot a few weeks ago (rental insurance should cover some of the loss, but still… totally aggravating and sad). We lost one of my parents’ car keys last week, which was several hundred bucks to replace. And we’ve had a variety of other grievances that range from basic nuisances to … well, not-so-basic issues. But I’m hoping we’re on the other side of the more basic annoyances and can gather the strength and support to deal with the other stuff.

Yesterday I bought a new bike. And I went for a run and I did my arms and shoulders class in the evening and I got a full night sleep for the second night in a row, so I’m feeling pretty good today. And I snapped that picture up above, after Drew got back from Yom Kippur services and the kids were home from playing outside and everyone was in a good mood and feelin’ it. I’m not Jewish myself, but I do love some of the traditions, and I like that the new year begins in the fall, usually not long after school has started and the weather cools down, and the energy feels fresh and invigorating. And I like that a period of reflection and repentance follows.

One of the things I have been reflecting on is how lucky I am to have this life, in all its imperfections and even occasional strings of lousy luck (awful homecomings and all). I want to do better at appreciating the good and not getting so worked up over the rest of it. I’m flawed, though, and this doesn’t always come easy to me. I’m working on it. I hope you, in the freshness of a new season, and a new year if you observe it, feel inspired to do some self-work, too, and self-care (which can be the same), and to appreciate the life you have as well, in all its imperfections. And Trump appearances in your newsfeeds… (26 more days ’til the election, y’all — we’re almost there!).

10 comments… add one
  • Elin October 13, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Omg what happened with the cats?! Cat sitter negligence or just a bug/bad luck? What a nightmare to come home to.

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    • jamie5015 October 13, 2016, 1:22 pm

      My mom’s cats often get sick when she’s away (and I’m pet sitting). I think they get nervous and anxious and also overgroom – so they end up throwing up. She has a pretty big house so I don’t always see where/if they’ve gotten sick. It’s a pain, but they are usually not actually ill.

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      • blink14 October 13, 2016, 1:56 pm

        Same thing happens with my cat if I’m out of town, it can definitely be an anxiety thing.

  • Lianne October 13, 2016, 1:34 pm

    Ugh. So sorry about the string of bad luck. And coming home to a mess is no fun, on top of the no hot water!! Did you have (or even need) heat? We were away for my brother’s wedding this weekend, but only gone two nights so didn’t have anyone come feed our cats and just put out extra bowls of food (we always have dry food out for them so no risk of them eating it all in one sitting)…they had no food left when we got home after a three hour delay Sunday! We felt terrible. They were starting to get stress and Atticus has a bald spot on his head, poor thing. Luckily no messes though…

    This is my first week back to work. It’s going pretty well, even if I do miss my baby boy so so much. But! I was able to take 4.5 months off with him at almost 100% paid. I feel very fortunate and lucky considering most women have to go back at 12 weeks. And not usually paid. But now I am back at work and my boy is in daycare (which we call school, because it’s a big center that is essentially a school with a curriculum and school pics, etc – even for the little babies!) and it’s just so weird to not be with him all day! But it’s also so good for me and him. I just need to get used to it. So, in light of this post, I am reflecting on the great time I spent with him this summer and early fall and how fortunate we were to have that time together. And also celebrating that we will both be growing in our new environments away from each other.

    Thanks for letting me get that out 🙂

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  • Howdywiley October 13, 2016, 1:57 pm

    How are the cats??!

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    • Dear Wendy October 13, 2016, 5:21 pm

      They seem totally fine! The catsitter thinks they were just anxious. But I’ve had simone for 17 years and miles for 11 and they’ve never acted this way when I’ve left them before. I don’t think eh catsitter was negligent. I threw out the food they were eating in case it was a bad batch.

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  • Cara October 13, 2016, 3:39 pm

    I hope you meant merengue – meringue is eggwhites with sugar!

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    • Dear Wendy October 13, 2016, 5:20 pm


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  • Nookie October 14, 2016, 4:38 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your run of bad luck, hopefully it runs out with the new bike!
    Classes have started again and this year, I’m actually feeling really proactive and positive about it. I’m taking a globalisation class that I wasn’t that into (the course I wanted was cancelled) but I’m actually really enjoying it.
    I’m also starting to make a move to finding a new job. I’ve been here for 7 years and it’s a scary thing to move on but considering the financial situation here, it might be best to get out before it’s too late. I met with a friend the other night that does non-profit recruitment and while it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, it sounds like I have to drastically change my CV to match expectations and hopefully in 2017 I’ll be onto more fulfilling things. Fingers crossed!

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  • OrcaOrca October 14, 2016, 2:56 pm

    You know, I’ve decided these down periods come in waves and you just have to gut through them. They are especially noticeable now that my daughter is away from home. ie. the most recent was that she had a cold, she’d lost her cell phone, her laptop wasn’t charging right, and she hadn’t done as well on a physics test as she had hoped. Having her communications cut off really was the salt in the wound! Of course, its raining in the bay area right now too, but the sun will come out soon and this wave of downer stuff will pass.

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