Of course

Of course, the week we planned to move into our new place I get hit with the worst case of flu in recent memory and can hardly move my body from one room to another let alone move myself, my stuff and my family to another house. But isn’t that just how it goes?

Of course the kid gets sick on your day off, of course it rains the night you leave the windows rolled down, of course the store carries every size shoe in the one you want except the size you wear. Sometimes, we run the risk of averting the very things we most want by wanting them so hard…

The other day I was recounting to Simeon a story of the Bank Account, which got me thinking about these “of course” times. While we were living in Vermont, I started my life coaching business and in order to track my new business expenses I opened a separate checking account. Now that we’ve relocated and the bank isn’t local, I don’t want to have the account open. So, naturally I tried to close it.

I’ve literally been trying to close the account for months. But, no matter what actions I take, the account never seems to get much closer to closing. Of course…

I call the company, I’m put on hold, I call back, they tell me to send in the forms, I send in the forms. They lose the forms. I send them again. I have to go to a local bank and get a cash advance, they don’t tell me I need specific ID. I go back with the ID. They don’t tell me I need to know the exact amount. I return another day with the exact amount. They can’t do Mastercard, another bank can. I go back to another bank another day with the right ID and the exact amount – to a bank that specifically uses Mastercard, and they’ve just closed for the day. I go back again but now the card is void. I call the bank. They say its fine. I tell them then close the account and by now on the brink of tears I tell her, please help me help you help me. I just want to close this account!

So finally, finally, the woman helps. She says she’s sending the money left in the account via check. Which is not received at our new house because I am laying out sick at the old house. The certified mail is left at the main USPS station. As soon as I’m well I hurry over and hand in the crumpled pink slip eagerly awaiting the retrieval of this piece of mail that has been months coming. And do you know what?

They can’t find it. The tracking says it should be there. But they can’t find it anywhere.

Of course.

By now I am laughing. Of course they can’t find it! Before they can find it I need to get right with the bank and the account and the lost funds. I need to be ok with it not being ok. Before it will get righted I need to right myself about the whole situation. And isn’t that just it? The change starts with me. The world will not right itself while I swirl. I must first right myself.

My energy can create miracles and my energy can create quagmires. This is what creating our own reality is all about. It means that how I show up affects what I get.

So today, I’m enjoying the silly mess and reveling in my power to create. Because even when things go wrong, there is something that went right – your work is to find it, lift it up out of the darkness and celebrate it until it grows and grows and grows and you can’t see anything else.

My way of celebrating today is to share the silliness with you, in the hopes that you will laugh in related recognition and enjoy the frivolity of things that went wrong turning around and going right again. May it be so, for us all.

 

We’re Moving to Pittsfield!

Beginnings

I’m learning to be bold. To claim my space–physical space, mental space. Space has become so important to me. I need space… 

I started writing this post back in July of last year. I guess this blog post also needed some space of its own…

Spaciousness was a word that kept falling onto the contours of my mind last summer, echoing as I encountered the many micro-ways I kept my self small. Kept my life small. And not in obvious ways, no. My life had been expanding both in size and scope for a few years at least. A ross-country move, multiple new jobs, life partner, marriage, pregnancy, new baby, more moves, more jobs. Just life. And despite being in the wide open spaciousness of rural Vermont country life at the time, the idea of more space occupied my mind. I wanted a space a could expand into, fully unfurled and expressed. What would a bolder me accomplish? What could that woman do? Her potentiality strained me as I navigated a life lived too small. Like a plant, not yet repotted.

Today, in March of 2017, I think I have stepped into the bolder me I earlier craved. At least a little bit. I took a huge, bold, risk and moved my family south to Massachusetts–less on whim and more on prayer.

This week, after five months of this bold journey, my little family of three says farewell to our home-away-from-home, which we’ve been sharing with my wonderful in-laws, and moves into a home of our own. A space of my own.

We are moving into a 3-bedroom duplex apartment with a front and back porch, a bathtub (!), and a large backyard that leads into a multi-hundred acre park full of wild trails and daffodils and lilacs come spring. It’s a dreamy home with glossy, creaky wooden floors, bright white walls, and a landlady who carefully tends to the building like a mama bear to her cub. It is the perfect next home from which to expand, judiciously, as we start yet another season. And how perfect to find home in spring? We begin anew, again.

And as I think about it, what boldness there is in the planting! The unknowingness of the enterprise: the wild nature of the elements of earth, and sky, and rain, could throw off even the most experienced gardener. What will come of our planting here in the Berkshires this year? I hope a most fruitful harvest. And so far, all signs point to the greatest bounty yet. With room to grow.

 

Happy New Year!

It’s 2017!

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A handmade sign at the Four Freedoms march in Pittsfield, MA

The start of this new year is not filled with as much joyful expectancy as I’d normally expect to feel. It’s hard for me to feel well while watching the calendar flip every closer to Trump’s inauguration. I can’t help but feel mostly mournful over the future. When I try to muster courage for what’s to come I retreat into my personal world to find some bit of joy.

Thankfully, a few ordinary things have added positive drops to my happiness well this week and I was reminded that only I can truly determine my state of mind this year. I will not wallow. I will act. I will not stay down. I will rise up and speak out. I will not ignore my blessings. I will amplify them.

Thank you to my old friend who didn’t realize what a powerful impact his random email had on my relatively normal workday afternoon. Thank you to the 1300+ people of Pittsfield who marched on Saturday for the heart of our democracy and the cornerstone Four Freedoms. Thank you to my family-of-friends who gathered–as is our yearly tradition–to share in the blessing of our long-lasting friendship among lots of good eats and good drinks. Thank you to my extended family-from-marriage whose love and conviviality always brightens my heart.

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Mama Bittman, Baby Bittman, Dada Bittman!

This year, no matter what, I will hold my little family close, relish the pure love and joy that enlivens my son, and send meditations of well being across this country. 2017, bring it on.

I am weary

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health winter timeI am so weary from the news of the day and my spirit aches for renewal and assurances of a lasting peace. And all the while, Earth has been steadily spinning so that night will come and the moon will rise and tomorrow will bring another dawn.

I posted this to Facebook this afternoon. With more new articles coming every hour with updates about President-Elect Trump’s deeply troubling business debts and conflicts of interest, allegations of Russian interference in our election, the Syrian crisis, and how I’m going to afford day-care, I want to weep and weep and weep and weep.

This is not who we are. This is not the Universe I know and trust. And yet, isn’t it? The web of life connects, contains, and corrupts. Decay is a part of the essence of birth and of life. These aren’t platitudes–it’s the core of our existence. So I try. I try to stay with the feelings as they come: shame for not being more actively involved in the fight for justice, fear for how my life and my son’s life will change in the years to come, despair that so much good may be undone, and grief over what could have been. My silent tears seep through my skin and I try to absorb the truth. This is what I feel. This is what is real. This is the truth today.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

playing in the snowHappy Thanksgiving, from our family to yours.

I feel so lucky to have my family with me in these interesting times. Though there is a lot to feel disheartened about these days, right now I am reveling in my beautiful, healthy, happy family. And for them, I am very, very thankful.

May this season remind all of us what is at the heart of all our efforts during the rest of the year: those people who make up our circles of family, friends, and loved ones and the incredibly diverse humanity of which we are a part.

xo

Currently

IMG_4529IMG_4557Celebrating the launch of my best friend’s food truck! North Folk mobile bakery and custom catering is now in business!

Finishing my thesis paper and getting started on my final presentation. 1+ more weeks to go!

Enjoying watching Eli become more confident walking on two legs. He’s so fast!!

Rearranging a closet in the house as an office space. Can’t wait to share the pictures of the transformation soon!

Swapping old clothes for new-to-me-old-clothes. Some friends and I recently got together over the weekend for a girls brunch and clothes swap. Good cheap fun!

Listening to music just so I can watch Eli bounce along in rhythm. He’s got a good ear, for sure. Also, listening to James Taylor in concert at Tanglewood! A favorite way to celebrate 4th of July weekend in the Berkshires (20,000 other folks thought so too, apparently).

Looking forward to late August when my most pressing responsibilities outside of homelife will be wrapped up.

Savoring my evenings now that Eli is falling asleep in his crib on his own.

Rewatching the Great British Baking Show and eagerly awaiting the release of the next episodes of season 3. I always feel good after watching that show – I love it so much!

Feeling really good and healthy on the Whole30 diet and considering extending it somewhat past the 30 day mark…we’ll see.

Walking a lot with Eli and his little buddy Sam when I have them together on Wednesday afternoons, and…

Trying to exercise more now that I feel like I have a little bit more energy and strength from eating so clean.

Needing to go to sleep earlier but seriously failing. Now that evenings are somewhat free again, I can’t seem get enough of them!

And on that note, I better sign off and say goodnight (or good morning!). 😉

xo

 

Summer Bucket List

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Summer is well under way but by no means is it too late for a Bucket List!

There is so much to see and do here in Vermont and the surrounding areas in the summer. I hope we can cross off quite a few of these activities–especially now that Eli is at an age where he can truly appreciate some of them.

Arts & Entertainment

  • Antiques & Uniques
  • Bread & Puppet
  • Circus Smirkus
  • Tanglewood

Farmer’s Markets

  • Craftsbury Farmer’s Market
  • Burlington Farmer’s Market
  • Montpelier Farmer’s Market
  • Portland, Maine Farmer’s Market ?

Places to Go

  • Family hike
  • Picnic at the lake
  • Visit Cape Cod
  • Caledonia Spirits Tasting & Tour
  • Shelbourne Farms
  • Blueberry picking
  • Strawberry picking