Starting Again: a travelogue to encourage people who are beginning again…again

Magpie's mugI have long been up this morning in the quiet tiny apartment, this place of refuge where I landed after limping back to Kansas. #1 son generously called it the Hobbit House for its diminutive size and coziness. I’ll always be grateful for the sweetness of that name. The kids saw home where I saw only Sauron’s shadow. My freckled flesh still smoking.

I am not the only person restarting – again. I sometimes grieve for the life that was not supposed to go this way. A life so promising. So much sweat and effort and strategy given to build an

Intact and happy family
Cozy warm home
Meaningful work to make the world better
Enough funds to travel and share
Christmases around one tree
Late nights tucking whole families in when they returned to the nest for holidays and celebrations. Listening to them sleep with a quieting joy; holding hands with the sleepy other saying nothing but grinning at our embarrassment of riches.

Nope. It didn’t work out the way I’d hoped and kept cultivating toward. (Yet.)


So what now with all the do-overs and begin agains in the rear view?

Abandoning the things done that were for others or to prove my worth or to “not be that girl” who is blamed as the broken dupe or wenchy cow left for another. Not one of the prim faith, nor passionate pursuer of an unseen god.

I am no longer the aggregate of those caricatures. I am now just me, sitting alone, sharing a table with a to-do list and bills to sort. Trying to sort the way ahead. Strategically and informed. Appreciating this blistering journey to this day and the people it has woven within.


Late last December, I discovered my word for the year, Build. Never one to keep it easy, my brain divided Build into four parts, a four-part harmony. I hope to first BUILD Space of heart and head. Then BUILD credibility of trusting my own instinct and letting that play out at a work I enjoy. BUILDing conversations which build community comes next, and finally to BUILD something that lasts.

Which brings me to today and initiating my travelogue of the BUILDing year ahead.

I know it will include successes and failure – likely in equal measure. This balance has already been written in the short year.

I hope it will contain space made of heart and head, a clearing of the last wee bits of wreckage long left within. Half-life complete, reclaimed now for hearty growth.

I must learn to trust my own voice which means I must discover how to hear and recognize it. So often as women, we supplant our own voices with the shouting, insinuations, or not-so-subtle suggestions of other voices we wrongly regard as more sound, more world-wise, more beautiful than our own.

This may prove the toughest goal to achieve.

And with this comes a conversation built among people who may love and hate one another. A conversation born of necessity as we have been degraded so long by what divides us rather than joined by what defines us as a people and community.

Finally, as like most people, I want to build something that lasts.

First and foremost, I want my launched kids to last – to thrive – and live long, happy, bringing-people-to-the-table lives as they define best for their stories. Life-long friendships and conversations are my not-so-secret-hopes and no less a hope to hold a familiar hand until the last day.

Yes, I would love that.

Of anything 50 years of scrappiness has taught me, is I must learn to hold these hopes and plans loosely.

This adventure – for myself – is my inward rallying cry tossed out into the Kansas wind. A wind haiku.

Waking in snowmelt.
Winter, the new life begins.
Song rises on wind.

Not great poetry, but true.

It begins today. Join me if you will.


A cardinal Sunday soloist is chirping a song outside of my window. My southern genes suggest this may be seen as good luck. With last night’s highway meteor, things could be looking up.

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