Adventures in Imperfection

Duck, Duck – Cat?

 Ducks and rows
and herding cats

Lists and notes
 and panic attacks

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This week started similar to the couple before  – country music, tears, and a 5:00 a.m. trek to the airport. I was tired of the job, sick of being away from home, and worried that I had fatally wounded a friendship. Throw in a chainsaw accident (Scott) and a black eye (me) – you have duck soup and pastures full of unherded cats.

Over the weekend, I hid in the cave that was my home, turned off the phone, and binged on Season 2 of Game of Thrones.

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Back OFF, y’all. She’s not in the mood for company.

When I wrote this first draft on the airplane, it started with an “I’m sorry” and ended with a dramatic deletion of MamaMick. I’d already semi-boycotted Facebook, why not WordPress? I was sick of myself! In the original post, I wrote a cheesy poem (excerpt above) and sang a Swan Song so long that reeked of self-centeredness and immaturity.

Then, some amazing things happened over the next few days:

God tapped several of us on the shoulder, showed His grace, and reminded us that life can change in a second.

The friend I thought I’d lost reached out, and we shared sixty precious minutes of apologies and honesty. Thank you, A.

Then, I went for a run in the Tennessee Woods

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After that, I took a stay-cation day – then two more!

I spent an entire morning with my college girl. We transplanted tomatoes and seeded several flats of snapdragons, petunias, and daisies. Side-by-side smiles accented by the glorious sound of her laughter.

I baked cookies with my son.  He’s grown two more inches in the ten or so days that I’ve been gone…

I found a heavy bag and a yoga mat – for boxing, breathing, and letting go.

I peeked into the kitchens of  The Barefoot Contessa and The Pioneer Woman. I can see tulips from the windows, and I’ve had a pretty apron on all day – just because!

And finally, I bonded with the hubs after he talked me into removing his stitches. Nothing says, “I trust you” like suture removal without anesthesia.

Now, I want to give you the same gift Somebody gave me. On the way to the airport and during the trip home two days later, I heard the song Hello World by Lady Antebellum – I got teary-eyed both times. The first time was with a heavy heart and the second was with gratitude – for counted blessings of old friends and happy memories.

I don’t believe in coincidences – things happen and we cross paths for a reason. Put down the lists, toss the whip aside – ducks and cats can always wait.

****

Hello World by Lady A.

Traffic crawls, cell phone calls
Talk radio screams at me through my tinted window I see
A little girl, rust red minivan, she’s got chocolate on her face
Got little hands and she waves at me
Yeah, she smiles at me
Well, hello world
How you been
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel cold as steel
Broken like I’m never gonna heal
And I see a light, a little hope in a little girl
Hello world
Every day I drive by a little white church
It’s got these little white crosses
Like angels in the yard
Maybe I should stop on in, say a prayer
Maybe talk to God like he is there
Oh, I know he’s there
Yeah, I know he’s there

****

Programming note: You might notice a quieter presence for a while. The book I wrote won’t edit itself, and that’s going to be my focus. I’ll be sure to stop in from time to time and write/share photos here whenever I feel like it.

I’d also encourage you to visit Mark Bialczak over at his site – he was scheduled to be my featured blogger today. After I had my mini-meltdown this week, he graciously wrote the post planned for FreeStyle Friday and incorporated it into his regular feature: Free Advice Friday. I hope you’ll stop over and see him – this guy has heart and grace in spades.

59 thoughts on “Duck, Duck – Cat?

    1. Ah, thank you Charissa.
      You were the first to read and comment and now, the last that I’m responding to. You always know my heart and for that, I’m forever thankful.
      I hope that you can see rays of hope outside your window this morning. Sending you love and blessings right back.
      lil mama

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You do realise Michelle that the last bell of the Grand Cross occurred on Tuesday (they’ve been happening since 2012)…meaning if you hadn’t made an effort to shift into the changes in your life, step through a fear or two, then the universe/God (for your own good), proceeds to step the pushing up to shoving.
    And just to polish it all off, a beautiful lunar eclipse happened today to mark that lovely new cycle of life that you are now entering, to show you that you are a very beautiful person, you have what it takes to become the loving and wonderful soul that you know is inside you, so that you will now step out from within that beautiful heart that is there to help and guide you to be that truth.
    By the sound of what has been happening I think your new cycle is flying along at a great rate of knots. I think it will slowly calm down a little from here on in 🙂 Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello friend!
      Interestingly enough, I referenced all of the celestial happenings in my first draft and decided that I just needed to own the pity party without blaming the hangover on the moon. That said, I know that stuff makes me a little nutty – the Ides of March freak me out a little, too!!
      I spent a day yesterday moving my office downstairs to the sunroom and now, have a new space to work in that’s full of sunlight and flowers right outside my window. It seemed like the right thing to do – reading your assessment further clarifies that I was spot on.
      Thank you for always providing such a wonderful perspective. I hope you are doing well, my friend!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see your gliding along on your new wings nicely Michelle 😀
        Newness all around you, even with the lovely spring weather about to descend and warm the heart of your household.
        It’s my turn to slowly go into Autumn for its own special beauty and understand what I have created within after the growing time of summer. Mind you, I could have done without an ear infection that I had for 6 months along with damage to my neck. But, that made me look within and reassess where I was at, remove a few bits that were no longer working and bring forward a new journey.
        Enjoy the butterflies, gardens and sunshine my friend, may it bring a spring to your step. Mark

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  2. I just want to give you a big hug so if you’re ribs are feeling crushed right now it’s just me. There’s nothing like a little down time to put life into perspective. Thank you for these gifts today. I need some time to myself and while I don’t think I’m going to get it anytime soon, this inspires me to try. xxoo

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    1. Love the crush, my friend! Thank you!
      It’s amazing what a vacation day did for my spirit. I have to leave a day early (tomorrow) for a work appointment early on Monday. I KNOW I would have made everyone miserable tomorrow if I hadn’t been off yesterday. DO try to find yourself some time, Karen. You and I are like sisters in our quest for balance – find those little moments for yourself. It’ll make the big moments with everyone else even better.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You continue on your way in your beautiful life, Michelle. The bumps are just that. Little things put in our way to remind us how great it is on the other side. Thanks for the opportunity to share in the glow of gratitude and realization, my friend. Onward we go.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They always want you to take out the stitches.
    Nothing like outdoors, smiling people around, and planting to realign body and soul. (and there is a lot going on in the celestial skies right now: 3 major rare events and spring equinox – what a performance)

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    1. Hi Karen!
      Oh yes – the celestial skies. I referenced that in my first draft, too. Throw in the Ides of March and what’s a girl to do but hang on by the knuckles!
      I hope you are doing well and thank you so much for stopping by!
      Michelle

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, I’m glad the weekend turned out to be a therapeutic one. As for the stitches, ouch!! Looks painful but probably worth it to spare a doctor trip. I read Mark’s blog every day. Can’t wait to head over and find out what he has in store!

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    1. Hello Marissa!
      You popped into my head when I wrote the first draft that included the cheesy poetry. I remember thinking, “Marissa could totally rock ducks and cats!”
      I hope you are doing well, my friend. As for the stitches…he bumped his knee yesterday and opened the wound a little. I think they could have used another day!!

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    1. Ahhh…my voice of reason and blogger bestie.
      I had a whole paragraph dedicated to my word for the year. It involved profanity and a kick out the door – the video was a prettier expression of my frustration, so I deleted the f-bombs and left Lady A.
      Thank you, my friend. Thank you for everything. xoxo

      PS: Happy Poetry Day
      “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life” Mary Oliver

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Didn’t know it was Poetry Day today. First full day of Spring, four years for Mish, four years of another sort for me, AND poetry day. Wow.

        Here’s a Mary bit for you:

        Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
        even in the leafless winter,
        even in the ashy city.
        I am thinking now
        of grief, and of getting past it;

        I feel my boots
        trying to leave the ground,
        I feel my heart
        pumping hard. I want

        to think again of dangerous and noble things.
        I want to be light and frolicsome.
        I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
        as though I had wings.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. One of the best things you’ve ever done for me was revealing Mary Oliver. I love reading poetry that punches me in the stomach without making my head hurt. Have a glorious first Spring day! I’m sitting down in my new office listening to the birds and soaking in the sun.
        PS: Happy 4th something to you. I have your April playlist all ready – 30 songs – I’ll send it soon. xo

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  6. **HUGS** Keep the faith Mama. Thanks so much for the post and video. Lady Antebellum is one of my favorite bands and that video is a tear jerker. So glad you got to spend time with your kids and unwind some. It takes getting back to roots to recharge. This has always been my belief about balance – that it comes in fits and spurts , sort of like the do, be, do theory. Keep up the good work Mama – we’ll keep an eye out for ya.

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    1. I do remember what you said about balance when we first spoke about it. It doesn’t appear that balance is all that attainable sometimes, so perhaps, I’ll borrow your word and seek harmony instead.
      I hope you’ve had a good week, are feeling good, and keeping your nurses on their toes!!

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  7. This post, that video, and your beautiful faith just buoyed me up today and reminded me what is most important. Thanks for sharing. You truly have a gift of lifting others, and I’m so glad to count you as one of my friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Char.
      As you’ve probably noticed, I’m pretty private when it comes to spiritual matters – but, it’s a huge part of who I am these days. Why hide it, right?
      In fact, the way you write and communicate is much of what gives me the courage to do the same. I’m so glad to count you as one of my friends, too. xoxox

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      1. You are a sweetheart! The spiritual is what matters to me most too, but it’s so special and sacred that it’s easy to keep private…because there is nothing worse than someone bashing that most crucial part of who you are–your beliefs. It’s scary to share that part of you with others, yet I love how you did. Thanks.

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  8. “God tapped several of us on the shoulder, showed His grace, and reminded us that life can change in a second.”

    He does that, doesn’t He, sweetie?!?!

    Holding you, dear friend, in heart, in prayer, and in friendship.

    Under the same sky,
    Dani

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    1. I love the notion of “being under the same sky” – I often think of my faraway friends and family exactly like that you.
      As always, thanks for your friendship – loved talking to you yesterday! And yes, I’m typing away from the space in my new little happy place – tons of sunlight and birds!
      Have a great weekend, my friend! xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Big hugs, and big love coming at you, Michelle. Edit away. It sounds like what you need right now.

    And, oh, my goodness that song and video made me weep. Every day is such a blessing, even when we don’t know it is.

    xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That song…that song! I don’t hear it very often, so to hear it twice and invoke the emotion it did…I just had to write something about it.
      I hope that your writing is going well, too and that the magic of your writer’s retreat carries you through your own books and edits. You know I’d line up to read anything you write!
      Thank you, Mary xo

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  10. oh i could just eat you up sometimes!
    thank god there was no dissolution of mamamick…
    edit your book, take your mental health days…
    none of us are going anywhere!
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! Well, if you ate me up – I’d taste suspiciously like chocolate chip cookies. Hey! That dozen is not gonna eat themselves!
      Thanks for always being such a kind and gracious cheerleader – you always give me great perspective.
      That said, I’m holding you personally responsible for my new yoga obsession – guess who is going to an inversion class later this morning?!?!?

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  11. Oh, I so know that feeling of “being tired of yourself” and can completely appreciate wanting to get away from it. Let me say that the best point was to run in the woods. I remember running through some woods in TN before and they were beautiful.

    I love it when we get those grace taps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh goodness! You understand that part about wanting to get away from yourself. I hate that feeling, but it certainly serves its purpose. When I’m sick of myself and find ways focus more on others, I’m a happy, happy camper.
      As for the TN woods – would love to run them right alongside you and channel our inner Biancas 😉
      You are so good to me, Katie. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. xo

      Like

  12. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time MMT. I now aspire to be a cat herder, just so you know, that looks like my nitch.

    Have you heard The Head and the Heart’s Just for a moment. If not, it is worth a listen.

    You can get lost in the music for hours, honey,
    You can get lost in a room.
    We can play music for hours and hours
    But the sun’ll still be coming up soon

    The world’s just spinning
    A little too fast
    If things don’t slow down soon we might not last.
    So just for the moment, let’s be still.

    The world’s not forgiving
    Of everyone’s fears.
    The days turn into months, the months turn into years.
    So just for the moment, let’s be still

    Their tearing down
    So we can rebuild
    And all this time
    Is just circles in my mind
    So just for a moment,
    Just one moment,
    Just for a moment let’s be still
    .

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    1. Hello!
      Thank you for sharing the Head and the Hearts. I especially love the last three lines – to be still…sigh, that’s a goal of mine.
      How about you work on the cats and I’ll work on the still 🙂
      Thank you for taking the time to stop, read and comment. Do you write somewhere?

      Like

      1. Thank you for sharing!
        “I don’t believe in coincidences – things happen and we cross paths for a reason” –Agreed. A reason for all of it.
        I find myself drawn to “the world is spinning, a little too fast” and “the days turn into months, the months turn into years” It’s so true. Just be still. Just for a moment-or a couple moments, just stay sill.
        I write mostly in comment sections 🙂 I have come to be known as “Julie No Blog” and regularly dodge the nudging to start a blog. I also did a guest post (after much nudging) for Trent Lewin here’s an amusing link to find it: https://gibberjabberin.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/when-no-really-when/ (I hope it works…)

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  13. Sounds verrrrry familiar. I want to get away from myself more often than not. sigh. HUGS. I hope things are going better and you’re getting some editing done. I’m trying to finish a first draft so I can move into the editing phase. Instead I’m self-distracting on WP. Oh the life. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leigh!
      I love hearing from you – you inspire and motivate me in so many ways. In fact, you’re on my list of people to read this week. The more I read, the better I edit. Thank you for being a kind (and accidental) mentor! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my goodness, that’s intimidating – and possibly dangerous! HA! I find the more I read, the better I write and edit. I enjoy reading your blog, and am sorry I don’t get there more often :-(. Will try to keep better in touch!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I am not sure what had me laughing more—- the herding cats or the way you wrote about the injuries and trust involved with stitch-removal (lmao)
    but this said it all to me:

    “God tapped several of us on the shoulder, showed His grace, and reminded us that life can change in a second.”

    such a beautiful, personal post .
    ❤ ❤ TTYS

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  15. Hey, that second stanza about panic caught my eye. That’s me over here. This is a beautiful post but I’m worried about that deep cut and your black eye. Wish I’d caught this sooner but are you interested in info on remedies or are the injuries on their way now?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind to worry about me 🙂
      In both cases, the injuries made for great stories. My eye is just about healed up (I banged it on a car door) and Scott’s leg is, well, it’s gnarly looking but on the mend. I don’t know how we’ve both made it into our 40s given our accident prone ways.
      Psst: I read your post and am trying to form coherent/opinions/suggestions AND, I didn’t hit “like” even though I really wanted to!

      Like

  16. I’m sad. I hate that I am so far behind that I couldn’t squeak by here and leave you words of love and encouragement. My own life has been a whirlwind of complete crap of late and I’ve been AWOL a bit myself. I’m so glad you’re in a better place now, had what sounds some wonderful and fulfilling time with your family (you removed stitches??????) and reconnected with your friend. Sometimes we must, must, must stop and take a breath. Thank you for sharing the song. I haven’t listened yet but I love Lady Antebellum and am sure it’s magnificent! Take care of you and get to work on that book. I’m saving a spot on my shelf just for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, dear Sandy!
      You know, I have thought about you often in the last few weeks and how we fight different battles in similar ways. I remember when you stopped your other blog and started Honest Sinner – I know that feeling!
      I’m so sorry you have had your own obstacles – seems that so many of my close friends are having challenges right now.
      I don’t know how you do it, but your rays of light shine through all of the muck! Keep swimming, Sandy – perhaps we can find a peaceful beach on the other side. Xoxoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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