Right now I am trying to be in a place of calm, a place where I can chill out and then handle the chaos of life better. You don’t just get it overnight; you have to work at it. It’s a daily struggle.

Jackee Harry

I have so much on my mind these days. I often think, “I need to start meditating again,” and I laugh. I am the opposite of being present. I am anxious, I am worried, I am tired. My mind is occupied with a ten-year-old son with high-functioning autism who pushes the envelope at every turn (“Can I watch one more episode of Adventure Time?” when I tell him to go to bed – “I’m still hungry; can I get another snack?”), who in addition to normal ten-year-old boy challenges has meltdowns when his piano lessons get frustrating.

My mind is on my dog who recently started having seizures, and although she appears to be improving with medication, she is still having seizures more often than the vet feels is within the “acceptable” range.” Yet tests aren’t telling us anything we need to know, and so I’m left to wonder how long it will be until her next episode, and whether she feels scared when it happens.

My mind is on my job and continual changes that are outside of my control. I feel lost and directionless; I don’t know if I contribute or where I should go next.

Finances are an eternal stressor, along with housework that’s never complete. I should be eating better, I should be exercising, I should be sleeping more.

Constant worry, anxiety, fear that I don’t measure up to my own high standards. Solitude, no one I can rely on to help me get the job done.

I’m searching for something to quiet this constant thunderstorm rumbling through my head.


One Thing We Have in Common

I left for work this morning, late as usual. I got five minutes down the road and realized I was out of wiper fluid. “Oh well,” I thought, “I’m sure I can make it work.” 

A few miles along the tollway, though, I realized it could get dangerous if I didn’t stop to buy more wiper fluid. All the gunk in the road from recent snows was getting kicked up on my windshield, not enough water in it to clear the view. 

I was just a mile from the oasis! I got into the right lane and made it to the gas station. As I got out of my car, I saw a man filling up the wiper fluid in his car. Inside, people were lining up to by wiper fluid. I bought a container, and as I walked to my car, I saw a woman filling up the wiper fluid in her car. We all smiled at each other, knowing we’re in the same boat. This is Chicago in the winter.