am I happy yet?

As I mentioned in a prior post, my sister-in-law asks pointed questions that stay with me for a while. During one of their visits a couple of years ago, she asked me whether I was happy with my life. I responded with a tepid “yes”. This lukewarm response was less to do with an overall assessment of life than with a sense that the past couple of years have been challenging. I haven’t achieved what I hoped I would in my professional life or all that I could have achieved. But in reality, I’m not sure that I would change anything because I have enjoyed the journey.

As a never-married woman who has no children, I think some people assume that I must be unhappy and frustrated – I’m not. Or that I must be terribly self-centered – I don’t think I am. Or that I must be pining for love – I’m not. Or that I must be afraid of having no one to care for me in my old age – well, maybe a little. I’m sure many people would find it all very sad or assume that I’m deluding myself about the need for a relationship, but the reality is that I’m very happy with how things have turned out for me. 

Overall, I feel like I am living the life I was meant to live. Some little girls dream of meeting prince charming, having a big wedding and becoming a mother. Even as child, I really didn’t envision getting married or having children – it wasn’t the dream I had for myself. I’ve never been particularly focused on relationships or dating. Many of the activities that I most enjoy are fairly solitary in nature – I’m very much an introvert.

I have everything I need and most things I want – though I would love a magic wand that would quickly finish off my renovations … for no additional cost! I think I could have achieved more, but the jobs that inspired my greatest commitment were not sustainable. I’ve bounced around a bit professionally. I am happy with my job and my work contribution, which is great as many people are not happy with their current position.

Are there new things I would like to accomplish? Yes, I just have to figure out how to get there and make the decision to focus my attention and energy. This has always been the challenge for me. I find it hard to settle into one thing. I’m interested in many things and see connections between issues, so to me it feels like I’ve connected the dots but others see “bouncing around” and lack of continuity. 

As long as I am taking care of my mother, any course changes will be on hold because I don’t have the time or energy to take on something new just yet. The good news is that this gives me some “down time” to figure out what I want and how to get there. I have some ideas and hopefully will be able to take some baby steps over the coming year.

what happened to that book you were writing?


Last year, when I took my 6-month break (that became a 12-month break), I had planned to work on a book. I would write a little story and my mother, who has done arts and crafts all her life, would work on the illustrations. This lovely little book would be shared with family and friends. The book should have been done by now … but it’s not. What happened? Continue reading

big knitting … this is no little cat mat!

My mother started our “big knitting” craze by making a couple of lap blankets for Christmas – one for her sister and the other for herself. They aren’t too big – just enough to fit over her legs. We decided to put flannel on the back, making it nice and warm. Mom uses it all the time and it’s been great to see her use the things she has made. It also provided a nice break from the smaller cat mats and children’s hats we had been knitting.  Continue reading

doing something useful



“It’s nice to be doing something useful.” Yes, my mother is very excited about a new project: knitting children’s hats for the 500 Hats Project, which is organized by a local store, Lovelyarns in Baltimore. The project asks local knitters and crocheters to make hats for elementary and middle-school children in selected Baltimore City schools or programs. I hope Mom and I can go to the store to deliver the hats, as it looks fantastic: I found out about the program when searching for local knitting-related charity projects and what makes it very convenient and flexible is that there are no deadlines – they accept hats anytime.  Continue reading

clearing out and letting go

clothes-2150834_1280Even in a small space, there are things to sell, give away, donate or throw away. When Mom came to live with me, she mailed several boxes of clothes, craft supplies, etc. and I found homes for them in the closet or in drawers. I sorted through my things to make space for whatever she sent down. This meant that some of my things were put out for anyone to take while other items were donated to organizations helping: women fleeing domestic violence or homeless people in Baltimore or veterans who need assistance or shelter-bound animals seeking a home. Of course, some items were thrown away, having already given their all. Item A needed space so Item B had to go.  Continue reading