My thoughts are with the people of Baltimore. I'm reading and thinking a lot, and I just want to let you know that I care. May we always be humble and willing to search ourselves for hidden bias, to analyze a problem honestly, to read and listen to develop empathy, and to reform systems in our country that are working in unconstitutional ways.
Hot Yellow Cake with Crackle Icing and a Blueberry Pile
Confession: I haven't been to the dentist since 2009.
I KNOWWW. I know. I'm embarrassed to admit it. I've been insured and otherwise able to go to the dentist, so I have no good excuse. To tell the truth, I'm just terrified.
Quick Lemon-Iced Yellow Cake
I've shared a lot here, but not quite everything. I've hinted
at some darker
times a few years ago, but that story has to unfold in a more complete way than it can here -- when the time is right. The short version is that I was on a tightrope over a bottomless pit for months at a time; God led me, walking backwards with His hands on either side of my face, saying, "Just keep your eyes on me. Don't look down. Don't stop walking. Just keep your eyes on me." I've never felt closer to Him or further from everyone else.
Some people think of the struggle with suicidal thoughts as weakness or immaturity instead of a legitimate impasse where your pain has exceeded your coping resources
. In a moment of crisis, you need one thing: a resource (someone you can call, something you can read/watch, something you can do) that will distract you and comfort you for just
long enough to deescalate, to get to a point where you are able to put one foot in front of the other on your tightrope again. The resource doesn't have to solve any problems. It just has to carry you to the point where you are able to wait for time to change your circumstances, like it always, always does.
So right now, I want to provide a list of things that make me feel like living. I'm not a medical professional and I can't know what's best for you, but I hope it will help you pass those crucial moments to read through this list. If one doesn't apply to you, don't let it take you down a sad road -- just move on to the next one. And please add to the list in the comments below. What are things you wouldn't want to miss out on? Things that sustain you in the darkest times? Every one of these things should be hopeful, positive, and affirming. Let's get started!
Coconut Cream Gooey Butter Cake
A definite perk of being a teacher is that you never stop getting excited for school breaks. Spring break is usually glorious, since it ushers in the best time of the year. Everything is weaving thoughtfully and productively toward the luxurious summer.
It's usually glorious. But this past week was my spring break, and I was sick for over half of it. Like, someone's-stabbing-my-tonsils-repeatedly sort of sick.
I shouldn't complain. I had a fantastic winter break and winter breaks are notoriously awful for teachers -- right smack in the middle of the most depressing point in the school year when no one is quite sure that anything will work out, everyone has the flu, and pocketbooks and patience are stretched thin.
Lemon Blueberry Gooey Butter Cake
Wow, anyone else feel that? That 180-degree instant shift in mood? Kristen's post about February blues resonated with me. February is so hard, but I also have the more generalized winter blues. I can feel the doom set in as soon as the blue skies change to gray and the rain, wind, and ice roll in. I can hardly enjoy fall anymore just because I know winter is on its way, and with it depression and lack of motivation. Ugh.
But this morning!!
Hot Blueberry Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
I take hundreds of photos. I don't think a day passes when I don't take one or two. This weekend I've snapped pictures of my favorite shrimp tacos, my pretty Chipotle salad, Mike's eyes looking particularly blue, Byrd sleeping with her favorite toy. The other night I was lying in bed thinking about what creates this urge in me and I settled on this: I think we take pictures because we're afraid of dying.
We don't think of it like that while we're standing in front of Cinderella's castle and squishing a little tighter shoulder to shoulder to fit in the frame. We don't think, "I'm terrified. Let's take a few more snaps." It's more of a current running through our subconscious: I have to capture this moment. I have to stop the clock for a second. I have to preserve this feeling, this memory. I have to hold on to it somehow.