Into the light

Dear friends,

I’m about to fall in love for the second time in five months, and it’s with a baby girl. My brother’s first daughter was born two weeks ago. A photo of her is pinned up in my cubicle; her eyes are gazing upon her daddy while her mouth forms a serious little O. I look at her and try to see the different generations of my family. The shape of her features will become more apparent as she gets older, but right now, I could swear that the nose definitely comes from her daddy, and from my dad and grandfather. I can’t wait to hold her and make her smile. In two days, I’ll be in California to get my turn.

Fred is coming with me to even the score in our relationship—I’ve already met every member of his immediate family, while he’s only met my brother and sister-in-law via Skype. Fortunately for me, my brother’s family lives in the same town as our parents, and I have aunts and cousins the area too. As the word spreads, I imagine lots of people “just stopping by” my parents’ house to see my male caller. It’s been almost eleven years since I have brought a boy home. Fred is already being treated like part of the family from afar, so I know how warmly he’ll be welcomed in person.

Spring is on its way in. The mental exhaust is clearing from the anxiety generator that is my brain. I can see where my happiness lies. I’ve always known, of course, but that knowledge gets obscured as regularly as a lighthouse beam flashes on and off.

I will start moving my body more regularly, not only for the mental health gains but also to prevent a repeat of the acute back spasms that sent me to the hospital two weeks ago. Since that was a surprise, and not the result of any heavy lifting or unusual movements, the ER doctor said it was probably caused by built-up stress from daily repetitive motions. I will try to take seriously the recurring “Stretch break” appointment I’ve put on my office calendar, and use it for more than just stretching my typing-addled fingers. I will not abuse the leftover pills I got from the hospital, although it sounds like a bit of fun.

I will wait a few months before starting yet another repeat viewing of “Gilmore Girls”. I will go jogging again. I will do a multi-day bike tour. I will go to the coast with Fred and run across the beach with his dog. I will reduce my belly fat so I can be proud of the way I look in summer dresses. I will keep my apartment clean, including the inside of the fridge. I will relax the Inner Critic. I will breathe, in and out, deliberately.


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