Category: Motherhood

Journey Motherhood

What We Put Out Is Destined to Return

I remember living like that many times throughout my life. Worries and fears stood tall and proud at forefront of my mind and tongue. Chronic anxiety resulted, evidence of the illness was seen in my entire physical and emotional state that I allowed to be hijacked by worry that was born out of fear. Xanax helped quell it, but it didn’t stop it.

Journey Motherhood

Grateful for Kale Stems & Dog Farts? You bet!

Every day Bridget and make at least one comment about the stench or frequency of their farts. I imagine an intestinal version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory churning away emitting poisonous gases. Speaking of it now, I think that the Department of Defense should jar their farts and use them in combat.  If you could intensify the odor, you’d likely knock down a whole country.

Ruby Craven, seven weeks old, by Karen Craven
Career Journey Motherhood

“So Bitchy I Can’t Stand Myself” Kind of Day

Melancholy. Numb. Ambivalent. Nothing good in those words. On most days I can flip those words inside out and find a bright side or silver lining, but today it’s just not there. Last Tuesday my friend had a bad day. She woke up angry. She could not put her finger on it. She thought maybe she was letting too many people manager her time. She went to read her usual pick me ups. She tried to journal. Nothing worked. I told her she was having an “I’m so bitchy I can’t stand myself” kind of day. 

Equality Family Journey Motherhood

Two Marches, One Daughter, One Blue Haired Young Lady, and Not One Shrinking Violet

I told her I don’t want her to live in a world where her vagina is a liability. How can a person who is essential to bringing life into the world be treated so poorly? This is a country where her gender means she makes 28-cents less than her male equivalent. A country where “equality” is a hollow word filled with adjectives like homophobic, racist, misogynistic, supremacist, narcissistic, ugly, evil, and wrong.

Lake Michigan, north of Milwaukee
Health Improv Journey Mortality Motherhood

No Expectations = No Resentments

Just like in Improv, it’s not always easy to roll with the line, though. But it’s better than killing the scene. In life, when we accept what’s put in front of us, the outcome, at least in my experience is healthier. Acceptance sure works better than Pepcid, TUMS, and Zantac. It’s cheaper, too. Denial had me drinking alongside the alcoholic, ignoring the problems, and in a constant state of resentment. It sucks to be perpetually disappointed. Saying goodbye to denial is a great relief to the mind and liver, too. 

Bridget atop the Chicago Tribune Tower
Family Favorite things Journey Motherhood

Keep looking ahead

On this last day of the year, I could focus on the worst parts of 2017, but that’s foolhardy. Who wants to look at life half empty, when it is so full of promise? Not I. For that reason, I’m going to say goodbye to this year with love and admiration for the friends and family who brought me so much joy, so that I could return it. As I look ahead to 2018, I know in my heart and mind there is nowhere to go but up. 

Mom's Christmas note to Karen
Career Family Favorite things Motherhood

Dance cards, Pentagon papers, and history keepers

I’ve always wondered without journalism where we would be? What if no one photographed Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, or September 11, no one documented the Civil Rights Movement or Women’s March, nothing to intricately connect our shared experiences like fine Irish lace? Outside of our those shared experiences, each family needs its own history keeper. Each family should know its own truths. Who knew that when my mother gave me a Christmas ornament 24-years ago that its meaning was not so much about the trajectory of my career, but more about my role in this family, its history keeper?

Palmer House Hilton Chicago
Family Least Favorite Things Motherhood

Trash can or regift: A short Christmas tale

I picked out a nicely wrapped gift. Once unwrapped my eyes welled up with tears as I discovered the contents. The gift made no sense to me. Just like Bridget and the cream cheese, I didn’t understand why someone would give a second grader an ADULT nail clipper set. Really? A nail clipper set? It’s been nearly four decades and I’m still befuddled and bewildered at the thought of that gift. 

Donald J. Trump and Billy Bush transcript, available on the New York Times website
Equality Least Favorite Things Motherhood

#metoo is the road to Make America Great Again

“The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed. But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great.” 

USA Today Editorial, Will Trump’s lows ever hit rock bottom?, December 12, 2017

Women's March Chicago, photo by Karen Craven
Equality Faith Family Friendships Journey Motherhood Yoga

Looking back at 1/2 of 2017

My mother nor I had finished reading the collection. That afternoon we read poetry aloud to one another. It was intoxicating. Short of her sharing in my daughter’s birth, that afternoon will stand as one of the best, most intimate, loveliest moments with my mom. Later that evening, she did it again, reading the poetry to a group of women, who were strangers not an hour before. I was reminded of the first time she took the pulpit and read from the Old Testament at St. Thomas More. Her grace, presence, and ability to project every nuance of those readings had me wanting to tell the whole church. “Hey, that’s my mom.” I felt the same way that night. And like many experiences this past year, I believed that book, and every poem bathed in Gluck’s own pain derived from her own divorce, was meant for me to read and to listen to.