Crone: Now in my 50’s, I embrace this term.

My ex-husband called me this once. I was probably in my late 30’s. He said it to be mean. He knew I was struggling with getting older — a bit of an almost 40 mid-life crisis. And I was offended. Seriously offended. Also really hurt. He frequently made comments about women’s bodies and so him classifying me this way stung. I caught a glimpse of myself in a car window not long after and the reflection plus the shadows and the tinted glass let me really see what I knew to be my old face. I could see where the […]

Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (with Kids) in America

From Publisher’s Weekly: “You’d think it’d take a while to go from “given-every-opportunity, spoiled-in-every-way… middle-class housewife… to homeless single mother,” but Kennedy did it in less than a year. Just some “bad judgment calls and wrong decisions,” and a smart young former Senate page and promising college student found herself, at 25, living in a station wagon with her three young children, making pots of ramen noodles at campgrounds and showering at truck stops. Oddly enough, once readers learn the details, the story of Kennedy’s downfall goes from being unlikely to horribly plausible. Her parents couldn’t cover her tuition, but […]

I am tired of feeling fat.

I am brutal to myself. I shame myself constantly for not being successful enough, patient enough, thin enough. I am tired of shaming myself. So much so that I’ve adopted a new mantra. Eat when I’m hungry. Stretch. Move. Work hard. Go outside. Read. Clean. Do the hard things, but also the easy ones. And I am good at so much of this except I’m not. Because at the end of the day, when I look at myself, all I can think is: “I’m tired of feeling fat.” Even when I’m on the thinner side, I still feel fat. I […]

8 Things to Remember if You Don’t Know What to Do with the Rest of Your Life

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves at a dead end, or a crossroads, or on a path that seems to go nowhere and say “I don’t know what to do with my life…” No matter what stage you are at in life, if you are unhappy with it, or unsure as to how to proceed, then you need to reevaluate. When I was in high school, I remember thinking that I had to pick a career at which I would be happy for the next 50 or so years of my life. What a daunting task. How do you know […]

Mothers who sell

Previously published at: “Hello?” A tentative voice answers the phone. “Good morning, Ma’am,” I say. “This is Michelle from M— and I’m calling to find out why you decided to give up your executive credit card.” “Well, uh,” the voice stammers, “you charged me late fees when I was only late once in 10 years and you were rude to me on the phone.” “Did we do that?” my voice sounds shocked, although I am not in the slightest. Taking on a hint of Southern belle, I proceed to clean up the damage. “Oh my goodness. The computer says […]

The Drawer

The manly smell of my father’s things wafted out of the drawer as I slid it open. As a small child, I loved to look at my father’s box. It was a place where he kept strange little things I didn’t yet understand. A medal from the National Guard. A picture of my mom long before I knew her. Small pins that represented things I didn’t know about. A picture of himself in what I assumed was his favorite car. A ticket. A matchbook or two. I would hold these things in my fingers, tracing their edges, and wonder what […]

My Homemade Miscarriage Almost Left Me Dead

Too scared to seek help, I tried to do it myself. I woke up sweating. Overly hot. Like panicked hot, desperately trying to take the blankets off me but tangling myself back in them until I sat up and got mad and threw them off. It was only then that I realized I was bleeding. A lot. I was miscarrying and I knew it. I knew it because I needed it to happen, had indeed caused it to happen, and was terrified of what was going to happen next. I jumped out of my bed and landed practically in the […]

Mothering is Often Disappointing, but it’s Not Because of the Kids

Lessons learned from mothering many… Being a mother is often a disappointing endeavor. I don’t mean that the kids are disappointing — definitely not. They amaze me all the time. But the job of mother itself can be fairly disappointing overall. I think, it’s in part, due to the expectations we have as mothers and the expectations other people have both from mothers in general — societally speaking — but also the expectations that spouses, children, and friends have of the mothers in their lives. I learned early not to have a lot of expectations of my children. Of course, […]

5 Lessons I Learned from Living in My Car with My Kids

Previously published in Elephant Journal (2014) The street light over my car is keeping me awake. I toss and turn, trying to comfortably wrap myself around the gear shift in the front seat of my car while the kids sleep peacefully in the back of the station wagon. I sit up in the driver’s seat. I would sit in the passenger seat but I have a bunch of our clothes and blankets piled there. I try to recline the driver’s seat but remember that the back seat is folded down and it’s in the way. I look at my watch. […]

It’s the little things…

This morning I cried while buttering my bagel. And while yes, I believe butter on a bagel is that beautiful, that’s not why I cried. I cried because I felt lucky to have the bagel. I felt, believe it or not, proud to have this bagel — and the five or six other bags of bagels that I know are on top of my fridge and in my freezer. And yes I’m crying while I write this. Again. Dear reader, please keep some tissues around. I cry a lot, unwillingly. There was a time in my world when walking through […]