sweating it out

Y’all, my house is HOT. hot. Last week, we had an unseasonably cool, wear sweatshirts in the middle of the day and long sleeved pjs to bed kind of week. This week? It is 90 and humid. Our AC broke at the beginning of August, at the end of a 4 day heat wave, which is mostly the only kind we have here in southwest MI, and we decided to wait it out–it’s a 25 year old air conditioner, we don’t have the cash saved to pay for it, we don’t really NEED it, and you know, we can wait. So, we’re waiting. And, y’all, it’s warm. At work yesterday, a colleague said, “this is your kind of weather, isn’t it?” I replied that I’ve lived above the Maxon Dixon for 10 years now, but that maybe it bothers me less than some? But is 90 anyone’s chosen weather? I ask you.

So, I’m drinking my cold brew ice coffee, waiting for my sleeping children to awaken as school has not yet started, trying to figure out what time to head to the air conditioned library today for maximum cooling benefits. Even as I complain, though, I’m remembering that Michigan summers really are the most wonderful.

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I prevailed!

I did not even one time think, “I might die,” not once, no times, on that whole triathlon. I mean, it was really hard, don’t get me wrong. But, I was prepared. We saw some friends at the beginning who, as a family, were doing it as a relay (their team name was “Not Daughter’s Name’s Idea” ha), and the dad has done it many times. He owns a bike store in town, and knows that I’m not really a biker, and asked how I was feeling. I’d told him that I spent most of my time training for the really steep hills (oh! elevation pic!) Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 3.30.51 PM

than anything else. At the end, he said that he didn’t want to tell me how tough the 10K run course was. “I’ve lost my religion on that run before.” It was hard. I did spend some of my training time doing hill repeats on my bike on a super steep hill–the Maple Street Hill that anyone who hangs in the residential part of Kalamazoo might know about–and I have often used that as a place to do running hill repeats. There were some times on the run where I thought to myself, “clearly, some more of my hill repeats should have been on my feet instead of my tires.” Alas.

But, the lake. Oh my. I loved it. The weather for the whole thing was perfect for one–I suppose overcast would have been nice, but it wasn’t too hot, so the sun didn’t really bother me on the bike and run, but the lake was 77. I don’t own a wetsuit, so didn’t have one to wear, and I think I’d kind of been pissed had I put out the money. I mean, most people still wore them (they make you float, so your swim is easier–I heard someone say, “I will cheat in any legal way possible!” nice.)–this tri allows them up to 79 degrees. Anyway, I think I would have been too hot.

I’ve written lots here about my time at summer camp as a kid. One of the things I learned about myself there–and I’m sure I would have learned it elsewhere, but it came into sharp relief for me there–is that I’m a serious goal setter. One of the goals I always wanted to reach while there was a thing called Shark. To do this, one had to swim 50 miles (in the lake–no pool at camp) over the course of the summer (I went for 6 weeks), and achieve time goals for 15, 25, and 35 mile clubs before the final times in various strokes and distances for Shark. The times were secret, and remember as a counselor being so amazed to learn them and that I’d actually done them (twice! For re-shark, you only had to swim 25 miles, though.). ANYway, to get all those miles in, you had to be in the lake a whole freaking lot. And, you weren’t allowed to be out of the cabins before the 7:00 wake up bell (anyone splashing in the lake would have awakened people–sound carried up from the lake into the cabin area, plus there were cabins right next to the lake for the oldest campers). So, I would slip up to the bathroom (far from the cabins) at 6:50, get into my bathing suit, brush my teeth, and meet a counselor or older camper with lifeguard training down at the docks right at 7:01. She would get in the row boat, and I would dive into the lake, breaking the still scum off the top upon entry. Swimming to junior camp and back was half a mile, which is really all there was time for before breakfast. I’d often swim to the dam and back (a mile) after rest hour (before afternoon classes), and another half mile about 20 minutes after dinner, but before evening entertainment. I smelled like the lake all the time. On Saturdays, free days (we had classes M, T, Th, and F, and Free Day on Wed., with planned activities and space for free time), I mostly swam. And, I loved it. As a counselor, I spent a lot of time rowing for other girls who were swimming for Shark, and to this day, we have a sort of bond. It’s a lovely memory.

ANYway. Yesterday morning, as I waited for the Olympic distance women’s wave to start, knee deep, and sort of on the outside so that I wouldn’t get kicked, I had some nerves. But, once I started swimming, it just felt so good. I didn’t really do any open water swim workouts–just lap after lap in the pool at the Y–mostly because I don’t have a lifeguard and a rowboat handy (although, I do have a kayak. still no personal lifeguard.), so I wasn’t sure how I would feel with no flip turns, or opportunity to stop if I needed to, or change to hand paddles or fins or whatever.

Turns out, I felt good. I had to remind myself to keep it in check because I knew I was facing a hard 25 mile bike, and a 6 mile run of some kind, but that was the smoothest mile in the water I can ever remember. The hardest part was that, on the way out, the sun was in my eyes, so I couldn’t see the buoys, and just had to look for the splashing of the wave in front of mine to make sure I was swimming in the right direction. It smelled like the summers of ’91 and ’92–the Shark Summers. It felt strong. I loved it. Someone recently told me about a 10K swimming race, and I said “who does that?” Maybe I do. Who knows?

Turns out, I did OK, too! I won my age group (there were only two of us, let’s be honest), but I had a legit time in comparison to age groups younger, so I’ll take it! And, I’m pretty pleased that I was just under 3 hours. I’m seriously thinking about the next one.


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I keep starting posts about turning 40. Turns out, I did. I don’t heart it–milestone birthdays seem a challenge for me. But, you know. Jess threw me and two of my fabulous just turned 50 friends the really best 140! party you ever went to, so I suppose I shall survive. AND, if those ladies seem, like, 32 or something, to me, 40 is not the rushing toward death that I feared it would be when my mom got my dad black balloons and over the hill cards way back when, right? (seriously, though–pies and cupcakes and music and dancing and food and a pretty tent and perfect weather and wonderful friends, oh my!)



Then, Arden turned 11. ELEVEN. This feels … more than 10 (math: not my area of expertise. But, I do know that this is, in fact, true.). I think because, every time we see someone whom we haven’t seen all summer, they tell me how much he’s grown. And, it’s true. He’s been a string bean his whole life, and all of a sudden, he’s … not. He’s taller, yes, but he’s not a scrawny little dude anymore. He’s growing up. I don’t know. I was so surprised the other morning when he barreled into me in a hug at the not little kidness of him. Plus, in a little more than 2 weeks, he will be a middle schooler. Shit, man. I have a middle schooler. And I am 40. AND Trudy is starting Kindergarten. All of it is making me feel ancient.

IMG_1627(Kids with my mom in July)

It’s a year of milestones. A few months ago (did I write about it? maybe.) I hit the 5 years post cancer diagnosis milestone. To honor that, to mark 40, because I’m insane, all those things, I’m doing an olympic distance triathlon tomorrow. A hard one. A really not easy one. My friend John who used to race mountain bikes and do biking tours in Colorado kept saying (and I quote), “shit, Jill” upon seeing the hills on the bike portion. I’ve been training all summer, but people like me? We always feel like, in all parts of our lives, we could be doing more–more writing, more planning, more baking, more cooking, more more more more. I told someone yesterday that I’m either totally over trained or completely undertrained. One or the other. In any case, I’m nervous. Full of nerves. If I don’t die, I’ll come back and report on how it goes.

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a whole lotta a lot going on

It’s been kind of a big week.

I’m on the record all over the place with my thoughts about marriage equality–I don’t think it’s the most important, or even 5th most important fight for the LGBT movement. I think that queer youth will still get beat up/bullied/get kicked out of their homes. I think that trans* folks, and particularly transwomen of color, are still in danger everyday. Just living. Forget access to jobs and healthcare and housing and and and. I think that aging LGBT folks will still face discrimination. Do I think this was achieved mostly because of white cis male money? I do. (do you see what I did there?) Am I also really glad it happened? I am. I have never ever been asked about my relationship to Trudy by someone who could use that against us. Ever. (probably because I have a ton of racial and class and educational privilege) But, am I glad that, once all the dust settles, I’ll likely be able to sign a bunch of legal papers that list me as her legal parent? I am. I am relieved that, should something happen to me or to Jess, we will be legally connected so that, while I’m grieving or she is, we don’t have a bunch of legal shit to figure out. I’m also hopeful that, maybe,  surely, we can start making housing rights, employment rights, trans* rights for all members of the LGBT community a priority.

Jess was in Atl when the ruling came on Friday. I was teaching a 3 hour class. My students needed a break, so I surfed over to facebook, and WOAH. Trudy and I joined, literally, hundreds of people in downtown Kzoo to celebrate, witness a wedding, witness renewals of vows, hug, cry, rejoice, dance, color with chalk, all of it. It was an amazing moment. I joked on the phone with Jess that if she were here, we could have signed some papers. Too fast! she joked back.

It’s interesting–I know I was swept up in the emotion of the moment, but even as people asked me, “when are you and Jess going to get married?” I had to look at them askance. I’m already married. I’ve been married for 15 years. Having a second wedding (and lots of queer folks have done this–get married in a state where it wasn’t legal, and then went to a state where it was and got married again) seems (and always has) ridiculous to me. It validates the idea that the marriage wasn’t real until the state said it was. It validates the whole argument that we should vote on people’s civil rights. We don’t need another ceremony. We don’t need another spiritual leader/minister to perform–we’ve done that. What we need is some legal paper work. So, we’re figuring that out. In the mean time, it feels a little amazing.

And, of course, there has been the on our soil terrorism in Charleston. The hero Bree Newsome climbing the flagpole and teaching the world about courage and inclusiveness and power and freedom along the way. Obama and his graceful eulogy. In my own classroom last Thursday, my students and I listened, stunned, to another student spew hate speech as the text of a final presentation in our class on diversity in education. How all of these moments intersected for them has been interesting to process, and I’m still figuring it all out. In the mean time, I feel like if any time, now is not the time for complacency.

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Jess has gone to Carolina (by way of the ATL to visit some friends) to get Buddy from camp. Trudes and Daria and I are holding down the home front–she full of dirt and happiness from day camp in the nature preserve that we can cut through from our neighborhood to her school, I kind of tired from everyday teaching this last week and a half of summer teaching–too much grading and too little time (makes sense to blog right now, no?), and Daria just waiting for the next game of tug of war. Jess gets him on Saturday, and Trudy and I are planning a Welcome Home Cake for when they walk in the door on Sunday afternoon.

I took him two weeks ago. We stayed a few days with my sister and brother-in-law who serendipitously last year moved to the small town a top a mountain that his camp is on. We hiked, ate good food, relaxed in that gorgeous part of the country. I do think that my body feels most at home in western North Carolina. I’ve never lived there, but visited frequently in college and after, and now each summer to take or pick Arden, and eventually Trudy, up from camp. The mountains just make me feel peaceful.

IMG_1060But, it’s not just the gorgeous place and region of the world that makes me happy that Arden loves it so much there, but it’s camp. Camp is magic. I went to what Jess and I jokingly call “rich white girl” camp for six weeks in Tennessee for 8 summers of my childhood, and I returned twice to be a counselor, and oh my gosh, I loved it. Sure, I’m an athletic type, and there was swimming and canoeing and sailing and tennis and horseback riding and also arts and crafts and singing, but that’s not the reason that I dreamed about going all year long and wept as I left every August.

There’s something about the on your own, but really not, the figure it out with peers without parents to run to, the live without most of the usual comforts (y’all no AC in Tennessee in June, July, and August is not a joke), the friendships that are mediated by you and who you are and what you believe and how you feel, away from the usual pressures of school. Sure, kids bring some of that stuff, but the “we’re in the woods”-ness of it all doesn’t give a shit if you’re the most popular at home (I never was, so it truly felt like an escape.). I remember my at home peers (very few of whom I’m still in touch with) wondering aloud to me why my parents would “send you away” for so long. I just smiled and knew that all of the friends (so many of whom I’m still in regular touch with) would be waiting to pick up where we’d left off. And, just last summer, a relation belittled our choice to send Arden to camp. And an acquaintance in town over heard Jess joking that we couldn’t have another kid because, well, kids are expensive what with camp and guitar and soccer (that’s true, and it’s also only the very surface reason that we aren’t having a third child), and used that moment to elevate her own parenthood–couldn’t we think of SOME way to be with our kids that doesn’t involve money? (spoiler alert: we can)

Certainly, it is a huge — huge — privilege to be able to send a child to sleep away camp for any amount of time, much less for two weeks in a state that is 12 hours away by car. But, I’ll tell you what, while we were at my sister’s, I kept catching Arden just grinning. When we finished making his lower bunk (he prefers the lower bunk next to the window he told me), he sat on his bed and looked at me. “I just love Mountain Camp. Every thing is always so great here.” We see the pictures of him on the camp’s website, and he’s just full of joy. He’s in his element. I recognized that happiness. I knew it as a child. And, yep, I miss him like crazy. And, yep, I wish he’d write me just one freaking letter. But, I know that his lack of writing is a sign of his joy. Of his elation at life. Of his growing independence.

IMG_1079If I’m honest, I’m kind of jealous. To be 10 and at summer camp where you wish the world would freeze and you could hold your wonder at it all in the palm of your hand. Camp, y’all.

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come for tea?

My baby is not a baby any more. She’s 5 today, which seems damn near impossible. This morning she kept singing, “I’m 5! I’m 5! I’m 5!” And, she’s been “I can do it myself”-ing me more than usual. I’m “working” from home today, and I’m actually able to get more done than I imagined because of said independence, and a sweet older brother who is playing Legos and Pokemon and, hopefully, about to go outside with her. He leaves for 2 weeks of sleep away camp on Thursday, and she’s been telling him how much she loves him and will miss him, and I think he’s taking her so seriously, and his level of patience is amazing. I mean, she’s a sweetie, but 6 years is a big age gap.

Anyway, we celebrated her all weekend, and she told us–a lot–how much she loved everything. I’m telling you–I was one of those people who rolled her eyes at the whole american doll girl thing, and did an especially hard eye roll when a grandparent gave her one for her first Christmas (she was 6 months old. Ridic.), but the joy she had at watching that doll’s hair get done? Roll your eyes at our parenting on this one (I might even join you), but she was thrilled and said a million thank yous and it was worth it.

AND, because we did such a big deal thing for her on Saturday (the family drove to Chicago for the event), we had only a few friends over for, mostly, a glorified playdate and cake. Trudy had asked for a “watermelon” party, so there was pin the seed on the watermelon and watermelon bowling (seriously. check it out:) IMG_0963

But, I really loved that our 2 and 4 little buddies sat around the table, drinking tea and eating snacks and cake together. When I was little, tea parties with great grandparents, grandparents, parents was a thing. We, my sisters and I, loved it. Sometimes, we’d dress up in fancy clothes, sometimes not. Jess started doing them with our kids a while ago, and my parents are always down for a tea party whenever they visit. Yesterday, Jess and I were contemplating what to serve the tea in, because, really, what?

We went with the good china. IMG_0943

As I was pouring water over the (raspberry) tea, I kept grinning to myself. Jess and I joked that we’d kick any kid out who broke one of the cups (we wouldn’t) (they didn’t) (thank goodness), but I was remembering that I was tiny, too, when I first used these teacups. A few months before Jess and I got illegally married back in 2000, an old family friend gave us her china. As children, we sat next to Mrs. Stoutz in church, and, as we lived 33 miles (yep) from church, we’d often go to her house for lunch after. She served us peanut butter and jelly on the fancy plates, and she never seemed to worry, at least to my young self, that we would break anything. Mrs. Stoutz never had children of her own, and called my sisters and I her adopted grandchildren. As our grandparents lived on either coast (and we in the middle, in TX), nothing about her seemed like a secondary grandparent. We spent the night at her house without our folks, tried on the lipsticks in the fancy tubes in the bathroom, placing them carefully back on the mirrored trays where they lived, and sat outside smelling the magnolias that were all over her yard.

Her sister, Jane, came to visit often, and Jane’s daughter was the first out lesbian that I knew–or knew about. Mrs. Stoutz was too frail to come to our wedding, and Jane had long passed, but every time we use her china–not often, really–I think about those sweet lunches, those kind, feminist sisters, that niece who was a lesbian activist in the 80s of all times, and I feel proud and lucky that we are able to raise our kids in a time where definitions of family expand, where little girls can choose to play doll dress up if they want, knowing that they can also choose messy things and career things and math things and science things, and where growing up boys equally like the gentleness it takes to help his little sister and the idea of being on his own for 2 weeks at sleep away camp.

I know it is a little cheesy, a little idealistic, and that there is a long way to go in this world, but sometimes, the simplicity of passed down china tea cups can make one really grateful for one’s past, and so hopeful for one’s future.

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So bloggy am I

I feel like a writing machine. Really. Teri and I are staying at the home of a friend who is out of town, and I’ve got no shame in bragging on our productivity. I’m right now listening to her read our presentation (that will happen in 3 hours) aloud in the other room to time it. We totally finished that last night, but she is a tweaker, so she has spent the last hour tweaking. I made fun of her and told her I’d read whatever she wanted me to in our presentation, as she’s first author, but I was going to stick to the writing project we’d committed to working on. She rolled her eyes at me and kept tweaking.

I have been feeling really lucky in my collaborations lately. I have two for work–Teri and Caitlin. Teri and I went to grad school together, and have an easy familiarity that comes from being trained by the same people in the same place and from long histories of knowing each other and the growing pains of the other’s family, and the growing pains of the tenure track at very different universities. Caitlin and I met my last semester in grad school, and her first (at another university), and we are more age peers than Teri and I, and have an equally comfortable and familiar friendship that flows into our work relationship seamlessly. We all live in different places, but I meet with each of them via skype regularly, and it always feels like I’m out for coffee with a friend, even if we are in our offices or on our couches in different homes in different states. I was recently promoted to Professor (one is hired onto the tenure track as Assistant Professor, tenure makes you Associate Professor which you can remain, at least at my university, for life, and after meeting more milestones, one can apply for promotion to Professor. It’s the last promotion I’ll ever get here. And, yay.), and it is in large part (along with the support of my partner, my own teaching, etc.) because of my work with them. Certainly, they have been professionally fruitful relationships, but I also just love both of them so much. It’s super lucky.

And, then, it’s not. I mean, sustained friendships over time and space don’t just happen. They are give and take, listening–really listening–and advising, and being wrong and not being an asshole (I mean, honestly). So, effortfully lucky, I suppose.

When I called home yesterday and today, each child let me talk to the dog. I feel like those parents whose children appear on the internet to be the storybook kind, filled only with wonder, and not with the real stuff that is childhood when I say this, but my dog is amazing (my children are, too. They are also real children. My dog, I’ve been told, is so cute that it’s hard to believe she’s not a stuffed animal. See? Storybook.). I say that she’s amazing because she is 11 weeks old and she didn’t chew the phone. She sniffed. A victory. For now.

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My own personal mind police

I am clearly a world class procrastinator. I did finish my paper, but I intended to go for a run. I usually work out at the terrible hour of before anyone in the world should be awake, and so I thought, “I can sleep a little later!” I did. But, then I had coffee. And breakfast. And called my kids. And chatted with my partner. And wrote some on a different paper. And, now, my collaborator will be arriving within the hour, so I took a shower.

I mean, it’s fine. There is no Work Out Police Force (Trudy asked me last week, “what happens to vegetarians if they eat meat?” I think she was worried about the Vegetarian Police. I told her that she might get a stomach ache, and that usually vegetarians are that way because of some personal beliefs, so if her personal beliefs matched why she was a vegetarian, she’d be fine.). ANYway. No Work Out Police. Except the one in my head, and that dude is an asshole. I’m currently training for an olympic length triathlon to celebrate both my 5 year survivor anniversary and my 40th birthday (both happen this summer. I = olde) which is … crazy? … something in itself, but the one that fits my schedule is at the end of August, and is, apparently, the most hilly one in the region. So, go me for my schedule.

The only part I’m super nervous about is the bike leg–it’s 40K (or about 25 miles), and hilly. The swim? No problem at about a mile (but, I do need to get into some open water because that’ll be really different than the pool. Also, I need someone to wave their feet in my face in open water, because that’ll be different, too. ANYway. I go to a lot of spinning classes, but I know that is super different than riding on the open road. And, I really have no idea how to ride in hills. Of course, I’ve been reading articles about it, but I have yet to do it. I was given a very very old (between 15 and 20 years old) road bike that I just had fitted, so I’m ready–but nervous–to go out and try it.

Obviously, biking is not running, and I started this writing with my procrastination of running. This town is super flat, and I should have taken the opportunity to get some serious (8? 9?) miles in on flat roads, even though the 10K at the end of the tri will be super hilly. I did not. I’m kind of beating myself up about it, but I need to let it go. That’ll be totally easy.

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My occasional drop by blog post

I am an intermittent blogger. I can own this. I can also own that, despite a full plate of other writing to do, I’m blogging as procrastination. It’s true. Procrastination is one of my favorite–if most ineffective–ways to use time. I mean, I’m in Urbana for my very favorite qualitative research conference, where whacky ways of thinking about research are actually the norm, so I am thinking about data and time and analysis, and perhaps procrastination is merely a way through data. In fact, while I won’t make claims of being sure about most things, I’m pretty sure of that. Justification for action: it’s what’s for dinner.

Ha. It is. Somewhere here, I wrote that we would never again be a family with a dog. Just kidding. 3 weeks ago we adopted a puppy. She’s really the cutest, and it could not be helped: IMG_0437Really. In other news: we are a dog family. The kids are over the moon. We feel like extraordinarily accomplished humans because she seems easier to potty train than our children. And, hey, I love her. I was wrong. We have another dog.

Anyhow, I was perhaps drawn back to this blogging space by the physical space of being at this conference-or this town. It is here that my friend and I first wrote about and theorized cancer in an academic way, and I’m approaching the 5 year anniversary of my diagnosis. I truly feel like this place and the kind of thinking it has inspired in my work here with Teri,  has helped me realize so much about myself, and the kind of work, and in response, way of thinking outside of work, that I want to do. It is here that I first felt allowed to think in new ways about qualitative research and about the kind of qualitative researcher I am, here that Teri pushed me to write fiction with her, here that the research about writing fiction makes the most sense. It’s exciting to me.

Anyway, I feel like I might come back here over the next few days–Teri and I are presenting some work, and going to some sessions, but mostly, we are writing. Our face-to-face time is so rare that it is precious, and we are so productive when we are together instead of states apart. And, we have written two full drafts of now published papers in this town. Seems we should get something good done. So, processing through some of that might be nice in this space. Or not. We’ll see.

In the meantime: children who love dogs. The most perfect thing:

IMG_0206 IMG_0211

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been awhile

It’s funny how time happens, isn’t it? I was just thinking that I haven’t written here in a good long while, but then I looked at the date, and it is the EIGHTEENTH anniversary of Jessica’s and my first date. Sure, months pass with no blog post, but years get lost in the stuff of life.

I was just telling my friend who is also my colleague that I feel like I’m in a continual state of rage at work. The canning of a dean has been in the local paper and in the national (very niche) news about happenings in higher ed. He’s, of course, one of the good ones who uses his privilege to help others, be it underpaid female employees at all levels of the university, or to raise money for queer organizations away from his work time, and all kinds of less public things. The person who canned him has a history (in public documents and in private conversations) of sexism, and so there has been much discussion of his place at the university, particularly by the faculty. I always think that people who think for a living believe in equality and such things, but have twice been burned with colleagues (one whom I don’t really know, and one whom I know well) who remind me that I should not make those assumptions (“Oh, come on. There are more important issues than the sexism issue.” OK then.).

There have been amazing students (thank goodness), par for the course students (the stuff of teaching), and one or two students that take up all of the time. All of it. I think that, finally, at long last, my fall semester with one of these students if about to end. I look forward to that.

In all the meantime, with the teaching and writing and family-ing (the most fun. I mean, my kids are funny. Jessica is also funny, and she puts up with my constant rage, often talking me down), life continues. I’m excited that I’ll be on sabbatical next spring–my plan is to write/finish 2 books, but maybe I’ll just take a semester long nap. What I won’t do is go to endless meetings, and grade paper upon paper.

But, that is not what brought me back to this space. My 4 years done with cancer treatment day came and went without me really thinking about it or noticing, but there’s been talk about the coming 5 year anniversary of my diagnosis date, and how, for me, this feels huge. Almost really in the clear. While this time passes for me, a local good friend was diagnosed with a rare and serious and awful cancer and is now in treatment. I am worried and trying to stay positive and feel guilty, even as I know it isn’t about me (don’t you hate it when people make other people’s crisis about them? It’s another rage inducing thing for me). In the same week, a long ago friend from summer camp sent me a message on facebook–she has stage 4 colon cancer, and is currently in the exact same treatment that I was in. Of course, she had a million questions that aren’t the questions your doctors can answer (how, really, does the cold sensitivity affect you?), and I realized how far time had taken me from the immediacy of those feelings. I went back to all the writing that I did while I was in treatment in order to share some of them with her, and reentry into those words? I don’t know. I was and am the same and totally different. I feel lucky and grateful certainly for my health, but also for those words and their reminders. The stuff of life then, the intensity of each day, the preciousness are no less true now. But, wow, so so different.

Anyway, life marches on with weeks of less important rages, hard to believe milestones, and hope that my friends will get to the other side of these days.

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