The Scariest Line in Cinematic History: “Take Me to Bed or Lose Me Forever!”

Creepy clowns and manics in hockey masks may make some people tremble in fear, but the most terrifying moment I’ve experienced in a movie theatre was while watching the movie “Top Gun.” Maverick and Goose are partying at the bar, then it happens. Carole, Goose’s wife, shouts, “Hey Goose, you big stud — take me to bed or lose me forever!”


Oh my god. She said…what? I froze. I didn’t want to watch. In the split second before he answered, I imagined Carole’s flirty demand being used as a punch line — or worse, ignored. When Goose answered: “Show me the way home, honey,” I started breathing again. I laughed at myself. What straight man would turn down Meg Ryan?

That was in 1986. Carole was played by 25 year old Meg Ryan, the perfect blonde girl next door. Of course she could dare a man to turn down her attention with the ultimate threat. Even though I was roughly her age, I was quite a few pounds heavier, with heavy breasts and chunky thighs. I excelled at ironic sidebars, not flirty come-ons.

That’s how I remember it, at least. I recently found pictures of myself from around that time, and I was surprised by what I saw. My dark hair was glossy, my skin was luminously pale, and there was a sparkle in my eyes that apparently disappeared soon after the picture was taken. The oversized flannel shirt I was wearing caught my attention. I was more buxom than Meg Ryan, but not heavy. Not even chunky. All the raw material was there for me to be as appealing as any of my friends, as any of the girls I envied. All I was lacking was confidence.

As one of the girls who hit puberty earlier than my peers, I grew up self-conscious of my shape, equating my 5th grade C cup bra with being fat, hence undesirable. Throughout my adolescence, I was certain that anyone who looked me over was judging my weight, not appreciating my curves. Wearing boxy shirts, often mens shirts, a size too big was my way of hiding.

In ways, I was lucky. In the article “The Risks of Earlier Puberty,” the American Psychological Association pointed out the potential issues girls face when they develop younger than their peers. I was younger, but not exceedingly so, and I already had an established image as a nerd; while some bullying took place, big shirts and finding a group of church friends who were quite prudish made it easier for me to create a non-sexual identity despite having a build that could have been sexualized when I was too young to understand.

Those factors also made it easier for me to end up in a sexless marriage. My relationship did not start out that way, but within a handful of years, we could go months without even a hug. The longest we went without any intimacy or physical contact was nearly two years. Tthere were years where I was lucky; maybe once every month or two we would trip the light fantastic…for ten minutes or so.

By the time I was in my early-30s, after not losing some baby weight and spending the vast majority of my time as a caretaker, I believed I wasn’t sexy enough or skilled enough to entice my husband to bed. On the rare occasions I tried to initate sexy-time, I was shut down quickly. It was more clear than ever that the Meg Ryans of the world could taunt men that they would be replaced if they didn’t treasure the chance to enjoy playing. I was not from that tribe. I was more the “they also serve who only stand and wait” part of woman-kind. Men fall over themselves for the Daphnes of the world. No one notices the Velmas. I believed the messages, both spoken and unspoken, that I was undesirable.

Picture from https://www.themarysue.com/daphne-and-velma/

That is not where the story ends. I stayed in the marriage far longer than I should have, but I did eventually leave, and I dealt with the issues that led me to stay in the marriage so long. I discovered people who found me appealing, even sexy, and encouraged me to explore that. Ironically, even though I was overweight, droopy, and no where near my prime, I discovered men who liked “Velma” types — and that all I had been missing was confidence that I could be accepted and desired.

“Sexy” is a mind game. I needed to learn that. Body image is a mind game, too. Right now, I am physically In better shape than I’ve been in a couple decades, but I am on the far edge of my 50s, heavier than my doctor thinks I should be, and there are days — even weeks — when sexy eludes me.

Curvy women who dress to be noticed catch my eye; even now, I don’t have that kind of confidence. Plus size women unselfconsciously dancing in public are heros to me. I haven’t done that since college, long before I started dating my ex. Despite feeling worlds more confident that I am desirable, the girl who is hiding her curves from the public is still part of me. It’s not the part that holds the power, but it is still there, lurking in the shadows.

Near the end of “Top Gun,” Kelly McGillis teases Tom Cruise with Meg Ryan’s line, but instead of flirty fun, she delivers it smolderingly hot. Even now, I’m not in a relationship where I could confidently challenge my love to “take me to bed or lose me forever” right that moment, but I’ve learned to use my words and state my needs with confidence that I’m desired. Usually… Sometimes. Even though I haven’t mastered Ryan’s flirty yell or McGillis’ smoldering whisper, I have found my voice.

On Turning 60: Delicious Decadence

“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” —Woody Allen

I had a very slight hangover this morning. Because I have only rarely had a hangover, I had been at work an hour before I realized that my headache and slight nausea were probably from a girls’ night out that lasted longer than usual–the fact that we skipped supper in favor of appetizers probably accounted for the impact of the wine.

In other words, the list of crimes I committed against my body last night include drinking alcohol, not eating vegetables or fruits, sitting for a prolonged period, exposing my hearing to loud background noise, staying up way past my bedtime, and relishing fried cheese sticks with an amazing dip. When I consider the entire day,… well…unless a leaf of lettuce on a grilled chicken sandwich counts as a veggie serving, I went the entire day without vegetables. My step tracker accuses me of walking fewer than 6,000 steps yesterday, too, which is almost certainly accurate; I spent my day at a desk. It also points out that the previous night, I got about five hours of sleep. I had lost track of time while reading, so yes, I went into my day of debauchery without a good night’s sleep.

I think yesterday was a very good day–except for my body.  I engaged in work that I find fulfilling, I spent time with friends, I laughed and chatted, I texted flirty things to a receptive partner, I sang along with music as I did a bit of housework, and when I did go to sleep, I slept well. That’s a win, right?

Maybe. It depends on who I listen to. Three years ago I decided that I wanted to adopt a healthier lifestyle, so I researched how I should change my eating and exercise patterns (or lack thereof). Even though I was good at research, I understood credible sources, and I had friends and family with professional expertise, I was overwhelmed with information overload and conflicting advice.

The process of sifting through information to figure out what worked for me and the seventy pounds that I have lost (and maintained) is a different part of this story, but it does influence my attitudes and fears as I consider my reaction to entering a new decade of living–one that feels like a threshold (at least symbolically) past middle age.

Or, as Woody Allen implies, do I need to give up everything that makes life enjoyable if I want to live a long life? Some of the most reputable information I can currently find urges that I cut sugar as far out of my diet as possible to lessen the chance of Alzheimer’s (which runs in my family), and other information suggests I can keep my arthritis at manageable levels if I am devoted to an anti-inflammatory diet. In other words, the way I eat is antithetical to a long, healthy life.

I grew up believing mashed potatoes and red meat were required at every supper, and that adding pie to the menu qualifies as fine dining. That is not how I eat now, but I have never made a meal out of steamed fish with a kale salad. If I ever start a church, communion will be brownies and whiskey. Eating like the experts (whichever experts are popular at the moment) tell us to does not come easily to me.

The pile of supplements my parents take daily are their talisman against poor eyesight, arthritis, dementia, stroke, and high cholesterol. My mother used to love both tea and chocolate, but at the recommendation of a magazine article decades ago, she completely gave up both in hopes that she would avoid breast cancer–something no one in my extended family has suffered from.  She seems to accept Allen’s premise that living to one hundred requires giving up everything that makes living that long worth it.

Or does she? My elderly parents both have hobbies that they are devoted to, family that they engage with regularly (constantly, some grandchildren might claim), and love going on the occasional weekend getaway, although they hobble around for a few days after overdoing it. My father’s quest to find the “dark web” both horrified and amused the rest of the family–and his browser history suggested that he found at least a few corners of the internet that probably are better left alone.  

If I define “the things that make life worth living” in terms of sugar, wheat, and other “vices,” prevailing opinion says that yep, Woody Allen is a herald of wisdom. Popular belief does not account for variables, though, including basic genetics. Stories of ninety year olds who chop wood and smoke cigarettes make the news every so often, and my Facebook feed has more than once brought news of a younger, health-conscious friend who passed away suddenly. Simply eating right and exercise is not a guarantee of a long, healthy life.

I have fifty-nine years of making some good choices, some bad choices–living deliciously and living deprived. When I was in college, a friend explained to me why he had become a vegetarian: when he reached old age, he wanted to be as vibrant and active as his eighty-five year old great grandfather. I knew plenty of eighty-five year olds. They  were the “gripe about young people and go to prayer meetings” type of old, not the type that spent Saturday evening dancing at a Detroit Jazz Club with his grandson. Since my friend knew a different type of elderly person than I did, he may have made better long-term choices than I did, thus creating a completely different old age than the one I anticipated. Maybe.

This is the point where I could have a heart-warming, inspirational epiphany about starting today to make the rest of my life active, happy, and healthy. I could make a color-coded plan to hop out of bed every morning to do yoga and cardio, eat a plant based lunch, and do some strength training before going home for a small dinner of legumes and veggies. (Confession: I have created plans like that more than once, and yes, with full color-coding. It can be a good re-set, but I’m not the type who can make that a lifestyle.)

Experience says that I could follow the plan with enthusiasm and gusto for…um….three days. Maybe five. Then I would start feeling guilty when I fell short, and a deprivation mindset would take over. At that point, the Woody Allen paradox would be in full force. That is not the way for me to create the type of life that makes me happy to wake up.

Part of my fear of old age includes my assumption that I am likely to experience physical and/or mental decline to the point that I will not find joy or meaning in life. Typing that sentence was almost physically painful as I pulled the words this way and trying to hide the depth of my fear in big words and complex phrasing.

Here’s the basic truth: in the last decade, I have made previously unimaginable changes–both rediscovering parts of myself and reinventing myself. As I watched the TED Talk about the Blue Zones project, I got excited as I considered ways Dan Buettner’s research might apply to my life.

And that excitement, more than any chart of goals, intentions, and restrictions, shows me that I even though I’m uneasy about tiptoeing towards sixty, my future is not about depriving myself of things that make life worth living. It’s about maintaining excitement about something.  Balancing my intake of vegetables to sugar and exercise to sloth becomes more important–and probably more instinctive–when I know there is something worth living for. Allen’s quote might have the right idea if the causal relationship is flipped: If you can find a compelling reason to live to one hundred, the specifics about how to do that are easier.

On Turning 60: New People

“Y’know. Emily, whenever I meet a farmer, I ask him if he thinks it’s important to go to Agriculture School to be a good farmer…Yeah, and some of them say that it’s even a waste of time. You can get all those things, anyway, out of the pamphlets the government sends out. And Uncle Luke’s getting old–he’s about ready for me to start in taking over his farm tomorrow, if I could…And, like you say, being gone all that time … in other places and meeting other people . . . Gosh, if anything like that can happen I don’t want to go away. I guess new people aren’t any better than old ones. I’ll bet they almost never are. Emily … I feel that you’re as good a friend as I’ve got. I don’t need to go and meet the people in other towns.”  Thornton Wilder, Our Town, Act 2

“I guess new people aren’t any better than old ones…I don’t need to go and meet people in other towns.” The first time I heard George impulsively decide that he was not going to agriculture college, I was astonished. George’s decision reeked of fear of losing the life he knew, not passion for Emily. I lived in the 60s & 70s version of Our Town, and I could not wait to graduate from high school so I could hit the highway in search of adventure. That’s how I remember it, at least.

Because I have spent decades working with teens, George’s assertion that he knows all the people he needs to know feels tragic. Usually, young people are eager to find what is out there beyond their backyard. Even accounting for the massive differences between the time period of the play and now, I cannot imagine voluntarily choosing such a narrow, limited life.

Now that I am living back in the same Our Town setting that I vowed to flee, I am reconsidering the issue of old friends vs new people with a range of nuances and related topics that Thornton Wilder could not have imagined. Thanks to Facebook, people who I have not seen in person since high school graduation know that I had roasted parsnips last night. People I have not seen since I stopped attending the church we grew up in have enthusiastically approved of the color I recently painted my bathroom. Some of them live miles away, some in the same town we grew up in, but very, very few of my “old friends” are friends of mine in any sense beyond the “Facebook friend.” Our shared history is simply that: history.  

My Facebook is littered with friends from previous jobs, previous towns, previous relationships–the detritus of past phases of life. When I am looking for someone to go out to dinner, or I find an event that I’d like to attend with a friend, very few of these people are who I reach out to. We tacitly agree that we are “friends,” but in a historical sense. For a significant portion of my friends list, Facebook is a museum of people I used to know.

The people who I do socialize with, who I text frequently or play board games with are for the most part well within my comfort zone. I have known them for quite a while, often from work or family connections. At this stage in my life, it is easy to hang out with the people who have been woven into my life for years. I could become complacent, comfortable in my niche.

However…

My small town is literally smaller now than it was; since I was in high school, we have lost about a third of our residents.  I do not know everyone–not even close–but at this point, I will be surprised if an opportunity for a new romantic relationship or potential good friend pops up in my own backyard. As my “old friends” move closer to their children who left the area or retire to more scenic vistas, my social scene becomes more limited, which is something I am already starting to experience. In very concrete ways, I have friends, but no tribe, no web of relationships that weaving a barrier between me and times of loneliness.

Better yet, new people mean new stories, new ideas, and new opportunities. As much as I enjoy my old friends, we know each other’s dance steps too well. We can laugh before the punch line and anticipate the gossip. Having new people keeps our conversation and our minds vibrant.

My great-grandmother lived with my family for the last decade of her life, and in that time, the only new people she met were my siblings’  and my friends as they tromped through the house. My parents, active octogenarians who routinely share family gossip on Facebook, have not added anyone into their social circle in decades unless the person married into the family.  When they were younger, though, all of them left the security of home to meet new people and see what the world had to offer. They were not George Gibbs, too wary to see what was past the county line.

Right now, I have plenty of options for connecting with others if I simply reach out.  Facebook, Twitter, dating apps, and participating in a variety of activities could has kept a flow of new faces in my life, people who might fit into the fabric of my life.  

In Our Town, George is a broken man, widowed young at the end of the play. If I were to write a sequel to Our Town, George would be old well before his time, stymied by his inability to move past the old and embrace–or at least sample–something new.  One secret to loving life, to staying engaged mentally and physically, is to be open to new people. My challenge to myself is simple: Don’t be George. That is not the path to an interesting, fulfilling future.

On Turning 60: Wrinkled Souls

“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” Samuel Ullman  

Wrinkled souls. That phrase caught my attention. Over the course of my career, I have worked with teens and young adults, and the phrase “wrinkled souls” called specific faces to mind–the students who had given up (or never had) hope. The teens who believed that the moments they were living right then, regardless how stunted and dismal, were as good as their lives would be.

These are not the wrinkles of sages, earned through a lifetime of living. The wrinkled soul Ullman summons is the person who does not see anything ahead that is worthy of enthusiasm. There is nothing  joyful to anticipate, no good surprises in germinating for later, no beliefs or ideals or passions to lead a person to a life worth waking up for.

When I Google images of enthusiasm, my screen floods with pictures of action: pumped arms, wide smiles, jumping.  The face of enthusiasm is energetic, and even the teens I knew with wrinkled souls had moments that might read as enthusiastic, times when they made a touchdown or passed a test. That was transitory, not enough to build a life of enthusiasm. It takes years of disappointment to wrinkle a soul; some transitory successes do not replenish a depleted soul. Reaching those teens, those cynical, disheartened people, takes more faith and hope than I have been able to summon for a while, but throughout my career, I have seen young people with wrinkled souls find something worth the energy of believing in and caring about. When that happens, it’s magical.

I can analyze what factors probably contributed to the wrinkled souls of the teens I worked with, what traumas and situations caused them to have belief systems that lead to hopelessness. The analysis is not as easy when I turn the mirror towards myself.

I have reached the age where old friends start conversations with “Remember the time…” more often than they used to. Listening to my peers grouch about “young people” is too common, too, as I wonder when my friends became so wrapped in their successes that they apparently do not see the mess we have made of the world. Bit by bit, their enthusiasm and belief in the future seems to be drying up, and preserving what they have here and now is their prime directive.

Everything I said in the last paragraph–hell, the previous few paragraphs–is abstract and vague. Bloodless. People with enthusiasm, people who have ideals they focus on, things to anticipate–they drip with the elixirs of life. A soul can’t wrinkle when it’s fed like that.

I know senior citizens whose souls are overflowing. People who are still learning, acting as if they have another three or four decades before nature will slow them down. One couple I know bicycled the Canadian Rockies when they were in their sixties, and I recently chatted with a man in his seventies who is working on memorizing all of Shakespeare’s sonnets; he performs them locally every chance he gets.  Even though I have been told by multiple people that grandchildren are what make life worth living when you are older, I can look around me and find examples of people who create enthusiasm for their own projects and goals, too. Finding the passion to harness into action as I hit my next stage of life is the challenge. Right now, I am so invested in this stage of my life that I have trouble seeing the next part as vibrant and….well….juicy.

When I was in college, I drove an Oldsmobile that needed oil constantly. Everytime I put gas in, I would pop the hood, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off and reinsert it, then pull it out again to see if I needed to pour in a bit more oil.  As I am approaching this next stage, I wish there was a soul dipstick, a way that I could check every so often that I’m keeping my soul well hydrated. I will, eventually, have to accept wrinkles on my face. Wrinkles on my soul, though…not if I can help it.

Intention, Priorities, and Wibbly-Wobbly Time: Actions Tell the Truth


“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need”
~ The Rolling Stones

This past week, I saw my boyfriend five out of seven days. Less than four hours of that was just us alone. The rest of the time, we were surrounded by people, much of it in passing at a workplace. Still, between weather and vacations and illness and schedules, I’m happy that I saw him that much. None of the time was “special,” but then again, all time together is special, isn’t it?

My children are grown, and I recently went to a once-in-a-lifetime concert with one of my kids. I had more “special” time with her than just the two of us have had together in years. The fast food we ate while driving home following the concert as we excitedly rehashed the performance was more of a communion between us than the more expensive, restful lunch we ate the following day.

All time together counts, having time together is always a gift, but all time is not equal.  Talking about anything as ineffable as the quality of time will offer flawed generalizations, but recognizing that there are differences, that all time is not equal, is a starting point.

A few years ago, I was delighted to learn about “ordinary time.” In the traditional Christian calendar, ordinary time is the time between Advent and Lent, then the time between Lent and Advent. For Christians, it is the time between their big holy seasons. It is called ordinary time because the weeks are counted in ordinal numbers, not because it is blah or boring. However, in real life terms, it is the daily stuff. It is the going to work, having lunch, doing laundry, watching Netflix as the kids do the homework time. It is nothing special, but it is the building block of life — the sort of time that seems like no big deal until it is gone. Those of us who have suffered a loss or change — -a death, children moving out, roommates leaving — we realize then how routine minutes gave life its texture and meaning. Ordinary time is not flashy, but it is essential and has magic and meaning of its own.

But It is not kairos time. Kairos, the youngest child of Zeus, was the god of opportunity. Kairos time is the exactly perfect moment, the special time wrapped in glitter in your memory. The family vacation to Disneyland, the overnight get-away without the kids, the date night with no urgent texts or messy emotional moments marring it, the deep conversation that reaffirms your connection, the cudding with no alarm clock ticking — those are examples of kairos time. Kairos time is what we tend to count as more important. It is the time that means something special, that feels as if  it reaffirms the priority of a relationship. Kairos time feels damn good, but ordinary time is the base creating kairos time.

Because I am in a polyamorous relationship, time is a topic. My boyfriend and everyone we are involved with is committed to creating lives that make room for loving other people, trying to accommodate at a minimum, everyone’s needs–and ideally, at least once in a while, people’s wants.. However, some parts of our lives, hence our time, are still non-negotiable. Laundry needs done, floors need mopped, cars need taken in for oil changes, and children need attention and love.

Those of us who work to live out our belief that love is an unlimited resource and multiple relationships can be healthy for everyone involved know the truth of that: balancing everyone’s needs, drives, and emotions involves conversation and calendars at least as often as condoms and cuddles.

When time together gets out of balance, it can be very difficult to remember–even to believe–that people’s intentions are to find time to be together. That gets even more complicated when the people involved are trying to figure out what kind of time is needed. Is an ordinary afternoon enough, or is a date night or get-away called for–if and when possible? Just as people have different needs and expectations, so do relationships.  Finding the balance, then keeping it as close to balanced or figuring out how to re-balance is a challenge to some degree for all the poly people I know.

But that’s not different than other relationships. People who have multiple close friends, or multiple children, or parents and in-laws all have times that they talk about how to balance time and recognize that ordinary and kairos are different. That’s why being with the grandkids on Christmas Eve “counts more,” in a sense, than spending a random evening in January watching television with Grandpa does. That’s why a friends’ get away to a bed and breakfast in wine country is more of an event than grabbing lunch on a weekday with the same friends. Issues with balancing ordinary time and kairos are not the exclusive realm of poly relationships.

We can insist all we want that we intend to pay attention to those we love, that we intend to show how important they are, but the action of making time shows our true priorities–and having a balance of ordinary time and kairos time requires planning, commitment, and conversation. Saying “all time is special” may philosophically be true, but in terms of showing that a person is a priority, recognizing the balance of ordinary time and kairos time each person, each relationship, needs makes the difference in how well all the relationships function. It is easy to feel jealousy instead of generating compersion when feeling ignored or unneeded.

Time has another trait worth noting here: it keeps on ticking. Whatever is happening now, good or bad, will change. Karios time will end, ordinary time will segue into a different type of ordinary time. Unbalanced priorities can be discussed and worked on correcting, but there won’t ever be “the answer.” Creating the best relationships possible based on the unique needs of everyone involved takes communication, patience, and more than a touch of self-awareness. For me, thinking through the differences between ordinary time and kairos, and how I emotionally respond to perceived imbalances help me quell the gremlins and focus on compersion, trusting that joy, like love, is an unlimited resource.

Terror and Wonder: 60 Days till I’m 60

“How do I confront aging? With a wonder and a terror. Yeah, I’ll say that. Wonder and terror. “ Keanu Reeves

In sixty days, I turn sixty years old. That statement of fact can be wrapped in a variety of internal subtext: numbers don’t mean anything, I’ll only be a day older than I was the day before, sixty is the threshold of senior citizen, and a whole list of other responses and emotions. Whatever bow I wrap around it, the fact stays the same. I will be sixty in sixty days.

Point out all the examples of vibrant old women you know: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Betty White, Rita Moreno, Jane Fonda–all worthy role models. When I was twenty, I was not walking paths similar to what they were (or walking runways, either), and their bodies and lives at fifty were radically different than mine at fifty. As inspirational as they are to me, my sixty won’t look like theirs, and my seventy or eighty won’t, either.

My images of old age come closer to home. My great-grandmother, a bitter shut-in, lived with my family from the time I was ten. She died after I had gone away to college. My grandmother spent her last few years in a nursing home, often fractious from the ravages of dementia. Woven in my history is the daily experience of living with failing bodies and minds. My twenty wasn’t like theirs, either, and my fifty was worlds away from theirs. Trusting that their experience will not be mine is logical, but believing that means fighting a creamy emotional filling that I digested decades ago.

When I was a child, Andy Griffith’s “Aunt Bea” was old. I am currently two years older than Frances Bavier was when she began that role. Later in my life, The Golden Girls were heralded as full of life “older women.” At the beginning of the series, the sexy, fun older woman, Blanche (played by Rue McClanahan), was seven years younger than I am now.

I can offer evidence that culturally, I’m not really that old. A coworker suggested that my latest attempt at learning computer programming should be a countdown clock to the arrival of the Dungeons & Dragons-based game I recently supported on Kickstarter. Would an old person do that? I’m planning another solo tent camping trip this summer somewhere that I have never gone before–the “girls” I go out think that is foolhardy and dangerous. Right now, I’m in better shape physically, emotionally, and financially than I was at age fifty. (Rereading this paragraph, my gut reaction is “Methinks I doth protest too much.”)

However..I see the crepey skin on my neck. I debate if (when) I will stop fighting nature and let my salt & pepper hair take over–and I know there is not much pepper left. The night Peter Tork died, I had a couple shots of whiskey in his honor as I listened to “Auntie Grizelda.” President Kennedy’s death and Watergate are embedded with my worldview, and both the invention of birth control pills and the bafflement as my college friends were among the first AIDS victims are bound with my sexual history. I cannot ignore that the Baby Boom is going out with a whimper, and I am part of the last cohort.

So how am I confronting this? Just like Kenau Reeves said, with Terror and Wonder. Turning sixty is not bad. It is not good. It just is. Finding out what my sixty will be–since I can’t be Rita Moreno and I don’t have to be my bitter great-grandmother, will only have as much terror and wonder as I accept.

I process events and emotions through writing. For the next sixty days, I’m going to use a variety of quotes, memes, poems, songs—who knows what all I will find–to consider and process what lies ahead. I’m tossing these words out on the wind, hoping that maybe, just maybe, in hopes I’m not the only one looking head with terror and wonder.