2016 started out GREAT.  It started out like a big, sexy, brand new jet and I was the pilot and we had the world by the freaking TAIL!  I had the victorious pose hair gently tousled by the wind.    I had my word for the year.  I was doing this and doing that.  I was on fire baby.  I took trips.  I worked out.  I DID things.  

Then, sometime around July or August the jet got repo'ed and I limped into the end of the year wearing an old dirty aviator's hat and clinging onto the wings of a crop duster.  I had to cancel several trips.  I had to deal with some issues that I did not want to deal with.   I stopped working out. I had to walk away from facebook a bit because of all of the negativity.  I still have not regained my FB mojo.   I got some massive hot flashes. I still have not gotten a word for 2017.

side note:  If I am ever on a jury and the defense to murder is that she went crazy in the middle of a hot flash...I am so finding her not guilty.

In November, everything imploded.

I am still not for sure exactly what happened.  Could have been stress.  Could have been menopause.  Could have been the tamoxifen.  Could have been some stuff at work.  Could have been I just went a little bat shit crazy.  Could have been a big culmination of a whole bunch of things that results in a perfect storm.   I just knew that my life got away from me and I was having a hard time getting it back.

November also saw me on a road trip to Austin to the Texas Women's Conference.  The trip, the talking, the themes of the conference all pointed to one thing.....I had to start taking care of myself and regaining my peace and passion.  When I recognized what the Universe was trying to tell me, I began to calm down and I made a decision to retire from probation. 
I have been at peace with my decision since I have made it. Being at peace does not mean that I have not run the gauntlet of emotions. (Run...HA!  I used run to describe something about me.)  I have been scared about my decision.  Even though I am satisfied with living alone, you have to admit that there is a bonus in having a partner as a safety net when you make this kind of decision. To having someone to talk to in the middle of the night when you decide that you will be sitting outside of Wal Mart with a cardboard sign.   This one is all on me.  There has even been one major panic attack at 2:00am on a Sunday morning.  Now just let me tell you that THAT was certainly fun.

 People keep asking me if I am excited about retiring.  I keep telling them that it does not seem real at all to me yet.  I was doing dishes the other night and looked down to see this cup trapped under a glass lid.  I laughed because that dog looks just like I feel.  THAT picture sums up my brain right now.
 My logical brain and my illogical brain have had LOTS of conversations.  Because of those conversations, I have made some good financial decisions, talked way too much,  made lots of plans and (Rachel, you have to stop reading here) stock piled lots of detergent and toilet tissue.  My plans include doula certification, substitute teaching, traveling and a good part time job on down the road. 

 Last week, I kept my office door open and listened to everything going on around me.  I listened to them work and talk to one another.  I listened to them laugh and joke around.  I have also listened to them be upset about some of the decisions that they have seen people make because they truly wanted better for them. I have watched their hearts in action.   In listening, watching and blending into the background, I came to realize two things.

The first is that they are going to be just fine without me. I am so glad.  They are good people.   They have amazing tools and skills to help people.  These people have a heart for helping.  That will just get bigger and better with every person that they touch.  I have no qualms walking away knowing that I am leaving everything and everyone in good hands.

The second is, sadly, they are going to be just fine without me. I know that it totally selfish of me but it has weighed heavy on me these last few days.  Kind of like I am cranky that I am no longer sitting at the cool kid's table in the cafeteria even though I am the one that got up to go put away my tray.

 I was so lucky to have been a part of such a good thing for so long. It is like when you stumble upon a book that no one has told you about.  You start it and it is a little hard to get into but then, you are hooked.  You can't put it down.  It is so hard coming to the end of that book  when your life has come intertwined with all of the characters.  You don't want it to end but the pages are numbered.   You cry when you read that last page and you close it gently and lay it down. Even though the book is closed, you suspect that the characters are still going on but you are not a part of that anymore.   You never forget about it because it has become a part of you.  You quote things out of that book all of the time.  You tell everyone who will listen to you about that wonderful book and how it changed your life.  Because it did.  

When I walk into my office tomorrow, I know that there will be 5 more pages left in the book.  


  1. The end of one book ,I always get kind of excited cause I get to choose another. I think you are very fortunate to get to be retiring and closing the end of that book, many don't have that choice. And starting a new chapter is exciting. New beginnings lead to many adventurous things. I know you will miss things of your of old employment (helping others, court, night field visits, ect....) But who knows what exciting things will come out of the things you have lined up. And you will have support on the next edition from family, tribe, friends and me. Can't wait to see what it holds for you. Luv U....

    1. I think you might have had a point when you said that I don't know what my cause will be. That is running around in my head a lot.

    2. You will have one when you close that chapter and begin a new book.

  2. Oh wow.

    So, I didn't stop reading with the crazy-ass toilet paper stockpile paragraph. That was only because I felt a little guilty since I'm pretty sure I was the cause of that 2:00 a.m. panic. Heh. But I'm SO glad I kept reading. Damn, girl, that was beautiful. Really. I'm glad to know the next generation of us will do good work. And I totally understand feeling discomfited that the don't need you to do that work.

    I am thrilled about your new book. Can't wait to read it and see what you are capable of when you are unfettered. You will fly!

  3. I read a really good book years ago that talked about how every new thing also means loss. So, I'm loving you and hugging you with my brain through the excitement and the nervousness AND the inevitable grief.

  4. Anonymous9:45 AM

    Now there are only 2 1/2 pages left before closing this book. So many changes this year. I can't wait to hear all about the new book. You will soar at whatever you do. ct

  5. I love your book metaphor. Relish the final pages!


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