The Alpha Blonde


This article was written on 10 Dec 2014, and is filled under Check In, self image.


Last year (2013) was a year of feeling a significant lack of control over the things happening in my world. My grandmother’s funeral was the first week of January and the feeling of being too small in the grand universal scheme to make a difference settled deep into my bones. It wrapped itself around the recesses of the dark places I would find myself in; snaring, snarling vines waiting for immobility to grab hold of an ankle or wrist. Things moved too fast all year, and though there were significantly more beautiful moments than difficult, it was hard to claim them as my own victories. After all, the world was just happening to me, what influence did I have over it?

Panic, tension and then listless laziness all set in at intervals that were unpredictable and they left me open and exposed, ready to absorb negative radiation from everything that fell into my lap and leaching any positive thought to be used immediately.  I could never store it, there wasn’t a guaranteed happy bank.

However, a big fat vault of soul swallowing self pity glittering with gems I had grabbed onto but hadn’t been able to let go of.  I’d saved everything, especially sour comments left on newspaper articles. Things were leaving me feeling ill at ease and I catalogued them, held onto for a later time when I could make sense of why “People of Wal Mart” made me sad or why “What not to wear” columns hollowed me out.

Molly Fisk, a poet whom I feel like I mention too often but in all reality has made such an impact on my thought process that maybe I don’t mention her enough,  posed a challenge to her Facebook friends.  Rather than choosing a New Year’s Resolution, choose your word for the year.  Or let it choose you.  I liked that approach.  In past years I’ve had the motivation to lay out a list of intentions and check in frequently throughout the year to see what track I was on but this winter instead of jumping at them hungrily, ready to make changes, it just felt like work to make a list of any sort.  The idea of letting a word be my guide through the year was much more enticing.

So for 2014 I chose “Movement.” A word that summed up what I needed most, physically and more importantly, in all of those stupid dark places my dirtbag brain likes to linger.

I started getting a feel for it by hitting the pavement in January, walking and jogging. Moving. It would pop into my head at my desk and remind me I really had been sitting too long.

In February it took a different shape when the pregnancy test turned up positive, finally. Movement meant shifting our lives to accommodate a new family member.

As the pregnancy progressed and I found out about my gestational diabetes (on April Fools day, of all cruel tricks!) Movement was to be sure I was keeping my blood sugar down by walking. Movement was allowing myself forgiveness and flexibility when my diet had to change to help keep my numbers in line.

Then summer came. Out of nowhere our household was flipped sideways when Chuck had his stroke. Movement was the self-steadying walk down the hospital parking garage stairs, my daily ritual of parking at the top and making myself move and inhale and exhale before checking in to see how his night had been. Movement meant not falling prey to the worst case scenario thoughts that come with inactivity.

In fall we gave birth to our beautiful daughter and again my word of the year came back to me as I realized that these baby sounds and tiny sighs and big tearful cries are the finale. I won’t experience the all-encompassing newborn baby thing again. Movement meant a new chapter was beginning, as tired as that phrase sounds. (It can’t be as tired as a new parent, however.)

As the year wraps up, I’m glad the word chose me. It went with me through some of the toughest experiences and tested the full range of its dictionary definition. It even helped move the feelings of negativity and sadness along somewhere in this bizarrely emotional year. The search for a new word starts now and I can’t wait to see where that one takes me.

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