Friends, how are you? How are you in the midst of a global pandemic? How are you in the loneliness of social distancing? How are you in the time of canceled plans, seasons, games, and long-anticipated vacations? How are you in the uncertainty of…everything? How are you in the fear for your own life, or the lives of those you love? How are you?

I would like to talk specifically to those of you like me. Those of you for whom the phrase “don’t panic” rolls off your back like water on a duck. It doesn’t sink in, because panic is the water you’re swimming in. It’s your norm.

I have an anxiety disorder. It is, according to Mayo Clinic, “a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to …

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Super, Special Day

Last week, I was repeatedly catching puke in a large plastic bowl and comforting my distraught, panicked daughter while simultaneously trying to stifle my own nausea after having just recovered from the same stomach plague. It wasn’t pretty. With three kids ages 7, 5 and 2, I’m in the trenches of parenting. It gets straight up cray-cray down here, but at this point in my career, I’m able to roll with the punches pretty damn well. But as I’ve grown and matured into motherhood, I’ve had to make sacrifices along the way. Like dignity. Cause after every med student this side of the Flint Hills has seen your hoohoo during childbirth, you’re just less inclined to care about putting it all out there. And let’s not forget cervical checks. Like a damn cow I tell …

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Growing up, I didn’t see many faces unlike mine. I lived in a small, rural town, and I was related to probably half the population. I literally looked a lot like most everyone I saw on a daily basis. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely place to grow up, but exposure to skin tones of a darker shade than my pale hue, and ways of living other than my own just didn’t happen very often. While my parents were very open minded and we traveled frequently, nothing can replace proximity when it comes to appreciating diversity.

Diversity. That oft-used buzz word that we use but don’t often truly consider. We praise its ideals, but don’t often enough intentionally practice its principles. Or, we misunderstand its intentions, and refuse to embrace it at all. …

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Love, Labor

The contractions hit harder and faster than I imagined. This couldn’t be the real deal, though. While I’d been dilated and effaced for weeks, with an induction scheduled the next morning, I didn’t let myself believe this was actual labor. After all, I’d had two false alarms before, and I knew they’d just send me back home if I wasn’t officially 39 weeks. I SO wanted it to be go time though. I wasn’t quite miserable yet, but I’d always dreamed of that quintessential “honey it’s time” labor sequence you see in the movies. I’d grip my belly and grab his hand while we raced to the hospital. My other two were scheduled inductions, and I always felt like all the fun was taken out, even though I enjoyed the predictability.

I took this pic …

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The Gift of Citrus

Amid the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, I remember turning to my husband in the kitchen and saying, “You know, I remember when kids would just be thrilled to get an orange and a peppermint stick for Christmas.”

He gave me “the look.” The one with the raised eyebrow that means, “What in the HECK are you talking about?”

I clarified. “Well, I guess *I* don’t remember it personally. It’s something I remember reading about in the Little House on the Prairie books. So I guess it was a long time ago. And not really my own memory.”

He let it pass. After all, I’ve been saying some rather strange things lately during this pregnancy. But the citrus thing stuck with me. When did we become so discontent with the gift of fresh fruit? Or have we?

Several …

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If I’m in the sandwich generation, these are the pieces of bread that hold me together.

This is therapy. This is me just spilling it all out, like the contents in an oft-used yet rarely cleaned purse. I’m going through some heavy stuff at the moment, and I need to get it all out there before trying to put it back neatly in place. I remember my mom doing just this with her sensible leather purses. Always the same style. Long strap, multiple pockets, some neutral shade like black, taupe or navy blue. Every so often, she’d pull all the contents out onto our long dining room table, and I’d watch with fascination as she sorted things into piles. The lipstick, nail file, loose change, wadded up tissues, checkbook, and other items of her daily …

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