It’s been a day

This morning started with a run followed by delicious coffee and rice cakes smeared with peanut butter as I began working on revisions. Everything was clicking and life was good.

Looking back on it, I wish I’d bottled how I felt then because the day quickly took a number of turns for the worse and now I’m kinda worn out from it all. I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t conjure up those good feelings. Damn you, life’s curves and slick surfaces!

Ah well, tomorrow means a fresh start.

Bunny Monday

I was at my front window doing quad stretches this morning when I realized I wasn’t alone. One of the many neighborhood bunnies was hunkered down in the vinca, showing an utter lack of concern for my presence.

Goal for today: no matter what arises I’ll try to maintain a chill bunny vibe.

Thankful Thursday: WeRateDogs™

Twitter can be a scary and depressing place to hang out and I don’t spend much time there these days. Too much bad news and bad humanity on display. However, there are some shining lights on that platform and one of those is the WeRateDogs account (@dogs_rates).  According to Wikipedia: the WeRateDogs account was started in 2015 by college student Matt Nelson.

Here’s a recent sample:  Jun 25 

This is Dusky. She’s not the hero we deserve, but she’s the one we need right now. 13/10 would trust with my life

Thankful Thursday: grateful for slovenliness

I started the day grumpy and dissatisfied with various aspects of life and when I got to work on my revisions, my grumpiness and dissatisfaction grew. BUT. I stepped away from my desk to do some cleaning before Wildebeest arrives this afternoon and I’m happy to report feeling more centered. More calm. More whatevs about life.

Today I am thankful for my dirty kitchen sink that provided an outlet for frenzied scrubbing and J. Roddy Walston and The Business for the soundtrack for said scrubbing.

Not my kitchen, but rest assured my sinks are equally shiny.

CREDIT: Photo by Matt Wignall



Sunday Confessional: Everything is making me sick and I’m taking a break

Today I went through my email and unsubscribed  from every political, environmental, and news organization that sends me updates, action alerts, petitions, pleas for money, links to never-ending bad news, etc.

I’m worn out and run-down. Exhausted.

Between the constant assault on the planet and the constant assault on the most vulnerable/powerless people of the planet, I’ve had enough. (Note: These assaults aren’t new, just more blatant than before.)

I’ve fought the good fight for many years, and I know I’m needed now. But I also know I’m no good to anyone or anything if  I’m not healthy. So I’m temporarily changing my status from Activist to Inactive.

Today I’m taking action for me.

I plan on watching lots of cavorting goat videos.

Old Dog political perspective

I’m an old dog; I don’t get too excited.
I don’t get caught up in all the mass hysteria.
Tim Howard

This sweet old dog photo courtesy of Morguefile.

This sweet old dog photo courtesy of Morguefile.

I literally made myself ill in 2004 working against a second G.W. Bush/Cheney term, and today saw a photo of the radiant Michelle Obama embracing the loathesome Bush who created the cyle of death and destruction that continues today. Seeing them together like that was a kick to the gut.

And then I realized I shouldn’t be at all surprised.

Michelle’s husband expanded many of the immoral programs Bush put in place (drone program, for example), giving those Republican programs a bipartisan blessing that effectively cemented them as permanent U.S. policies. Now we’re about to have Round Two of a Clinton presidency, and the power structure keeps rolling along.

 An oligarchy runs this country and exploits the rest of the planet, and while it infuriates me, I refuse to make myself sick over it.


Making room for anxiety

Can’t point my finger at just one thing that’s provoking anxiety today,
it’s more an accumulation of a whole lot of stuff twirling in my head.

Image from

Image from

Anxiety and I are well-acquainted with one another,
and I know the best approach
is to acknowledge that the anxiety is there,
accept its existence rather than try to fight it,
and then move on with my life.


I’m feeling anxious,
it’s not a good feeling but I accept that it’s happening,
and now I’m going to go work on my middle-grade revisions.

Take that, Anxiety.





Sometimes it’s okay not to sweat

I’m wired for daily exercise.
Foam roller stretching.
Hoop dancing.
Weight lifting.
I require movement of one kind or another
to maintain my mental health.

I just spent the morning in bed with my laptop
and the biggest use of muscles came when I poured more coffee.
My normal response to that inactivity would be a sense of unease or guilt.
But you know what?
I’m feeling good because I made solid progress on my YA.

I exercised my creative muscles, yo.

Friday Five: The Swimming Edition

1) I used to swim and I loved to swim and I swam a lot. A mile per session. But then I got tired of smelling like chlorine and I stopped swimming and focused on running. For the record, I also love running. But right now my body isn’t doing as well with the running.

2) For quite some time after I quit swimming, I had dreams of swimming. Strong, efficient strokes and flip turns and the black line on the floor of the pool showing me the way. It made me sad to quit, but I couldn’t take the chlorine. Well, this week I dove back in the pool.
file0003550277033) Wednesday was my first time swimming laps in YEARS and I was so happy to be back that I took off too fast and went into oxygen debt which meant I never quite caught my breath. And so I started to chastise myself for being out of shape and such a mess before remembering that, hey, I’d been away from swimming for a long time and still banged out a pretty fast mile. So there, Nasty Voice.

4) Today I swam again and it was so much easier because I didn’t take off like a crazy woman delirious with happiness about being back in the water. I was still very happy, but I was a smarter happy and kept my breathing regular.

5) Downside? Despite my best efforts in the shower afterward, I’m now getting whiffs of chlorine PLUS it seems that I should’ve taken the time to adjust the goggles I wore because they were definitely too tight and I kinda, sorta gave myself two black eyes.
cat in goggles

Sunshine + Birds = Improved Outlook

It’s been soul-crushingly cold this past week, but today the temperature in the shade is hovering at the freezing mark and is almost tolerable in the sun. My feathered friends have been here throughout the week, eating seeds and drinking from the heated bath. I’m grateful for their company.

Birds in cold and snow 001


Birds in cold and snow 005

Birds in cold and snow 008

Stay warm, friends!

Self-Preservation 101

On this election night, I’m taking steps to avoid a full-on freak-out:

  • I vacuumed up the dog hair, cat hair, geranium petals, and miscellaneous debris because I feel less angst when I’m doing something, even if that something is a mundane housekeeping chore.
  • Then I listened to The Clash’s Combat Rock at full volume while lifting weights.
    Combat Rock album cover“Know Your Rights” felt particularly timely and I pumped that iron with a fierce determination.




  • I just remembered the photos I took this morning, of the tenacious cottonwood leaves clinging to the tops of the trees down the hill from me. I’ve been watching and admiring them for the past week and I’m posting them here as a reminder that all the political ignorance and ugly out there right now is no match for nature’s beauty. So take that, climate-change denying authoritarian soulless candidate who might be my next “voice” in the Senate!
    Lone cottonwood leaves 001
  • Beer.
  • Netflix.
  • Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

(And you know what else? In the spirit of self-preservation I’m also gonna quit wasting my time trying to get that effing bullet point to line up where it should line up!)

Headed Into the Light

Today is one of my favorite days of the year: the winter solstice. Tomorrow we’ll have only a few seconds more of daylight, but knowing each coming day will be a tiny bit longer and a tiny bit brighter makes me very happy. I can cope now that the light’s on my side.


Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

There Will Be Tears


Over winter break, one of Zebu's classmates committed suicide.
I thought I'd cried myself out during the candlelight vigil
that followed three days later but discovered this past weekend at the
boy's service there is no limit to tears.

As I watched Zebu and friends consoling one another,
holding each other,
I thought I'd break in two.
And for the first time I absolutely, fully and completely,
understood how suicide transfers the pain of one onto many.
Years ago I was in a very sad place that didn't offer much light or hope,
and didn't think I could continue.
This weekend as I witnessed all that grief, I was so grateful
I'd made it through to the light and spared others my pain.

My heart aches for the boy who was unable to, in that moment,
find a glimpse of something to keep him going.
My heart aches for the family and friends left wondering why.
My heart aches for the many people struggling right now to find the light and hope.

And so the tears continue.

                                                                                             © Wildebeest 2012 


My Secret to Mental Health


As mentioned (ahem) a time or two before,
I don't do well with the short, dark days of winter
and try all sorts of things to keep myself from
collapsing into a weeping sack of Tracy.

My current favorite weapon for deflecting the winter blues
is to do a 20-minute cardio workout on the treadmill
(walk, jog, stride, sprint, repeat x 4).
I know, I know…big deal, right?

I don't do the workout just any old time: I do the workout
so it coincides with the sun disappearing behind the foothills.

Because even though the sun is leaving me for the day,
I don't really mind because at that very moment my system is flooded with endorphins.

                                                                                   image from

Take that, Winter!