I woke up this morning with a headache.

I had a headache because I didn’t drink enough water yesterday, and I didn’t drink enough water yesterday because first, I forgot to bring my water bottle with me when I was chaperoning Micah’s class on a field trip, and then, because I was too tired to remember.

I was so tired when I woke up.

All I wanted to do was roll over and sleep for the whole day. I felt tired down to my blood cells. But it was a school day, so I rolled over and got up. And remembered that I also had forgotten to buy milk yesterday, and that means no cereal for breakfast for the kids. Which means…. hmmmm…. leftovers, which should be okay because they liked dinner last night.

Moxie wasn’t happy about it though, and she whined and moaned her way through breakfast, setting my headache off. I struggled to get everyone ready, get all the school backpacks packed, the water bottles filled, trying to update the grocery list as I  remembered things (milk! milk! MILK!) and tried to get everyone loaded up in the car to get to school on time.

Moxie was pissed. She wanted to check the mail again, and cried the whole way to school, because I was so mean. I didn’t let her check the mail.

Most days, that kind of thing doesn’t get to me, but sometimes, when I’m low or tired or bummed out, it does. It’s just, nothing is ever enough. There is always so much to do. I am always sloughing through mile-long to-do lists that feel so endless.

I try to focus and keep worry at bay, never an easy thing.

I remind myself that worry is just thinking about things that haven’t happened, it’s all so senseless, such a waste of energy. Most of the time, that works, and I can focus on the positive and move forward. Sometimes though – like a morning in which I wake up with a headache because I didn’t drink enough water because I just didn’t remember to – it feels like a looping spiral of worry and doubt.

Doubt and worry.


I keep going and try and figure out work stuff – how on earth can I even work with all the breaks the kids have and my lack of care for them? Summer vacation is starting soon, and I”m looking at 3 months with only a few half-day camps for Micah in sight (nothing for the other two).


I haven’t heard back from respite services and it’s been… 2 months since we applied? I need respite and how long does this take, anyway?


The kids are fighting again right now and Mack is yelling that Moxie hit him on the neck and I sigh, wondering how much of an awful parent I am that they never seem to stop fighting


I was late for the trash pick up and missed it – now I need to figure out how to get this trash to do the dump. And the tires are low and I don’t know how to put air in car tires (yes, really – I can set up a database now but I can’t put air in a car tire), and I need an oil change but you have to make an appointment to do that here and I keep forgetting.

I don’t know how other people do this, man


A sliver of a thought comes through my mind that most other people have a few more resources than I do – some help through family or friends – but I clamp down on those thoughts because, really, what good are they? And I’d rather be alone and have no help than to have the help that I did have, with a temperamental husband that didn’t love me.

That thought always cheers me up.

I’d much rather be alone now, where and how I am, than to be either back on the Lost Coast or back in Blue Lake living with my mom.

A-ha!  That cheered me up.

I am definitely happier in the here and now, and while I have the worry and doubt and I’m trying to figure it all out, I can at least look around me and feel a measure of relief that I’ve taken us this far.

My friend Sarah said that sometimes she just needs to move away from her “to-do” list and look at her “done” list, and I think that’s such a smart idea.

If I do that, if I just take a minute and look at my “done” list, where I have taken the kids and myself in only 4 months, I feel a whole lot more optimistic about my capacity for taking us where I want us to go. I have a great track record. I get shit done.

So it’s better.

And I feel better.

And I love this gecko on my printer.

And my headache went away.

And the day is looking so much better and brighter.






Nomadic photo-junkie, cat-lover, peasant-handed mom of 3. Life is never dull.


  1. I just read such a great tweet :
    what is a to-do-list with all items done?
    A ta-da-list (trumpets, bells, triumph)
    I wish you the best, strength and humor galore and always a full water bottle at hand.

  2. Doesn’t Moxie get summer services through her IEP? In MA most kids with disabilities have 4-6 weeks of summer school/camp through their town.

    • No, it’s not an automatic here in Hawaii. They assess how much she regressed during the spring break, and determine it from there.

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