The Caretaker


Dreams of nothingness.  Dreams of silent abandonment from all those around me.

Treasured roles —

A need to be needed.  Needed.  Silent screams for freedom.
That which fills me, depletes me.
That which completes me, breaks me.


An identity lost in a fog of who I once was. Blinded by the reality of who I am.
Visions of solitude shielded by a panic of isolation.
A quest to evolve in a shadow of complacency.  The illusion of distance.  Close, yet far away.

Challenged to face the unknown. An unchartered path to selfhood. Endless possibilities for a life yet lived.

Inspired by The Daily Post word prompt “lukewarm.” 

Who am I?

Several years ago I was in a literature class and given an assignment of writing a short essay about “who I am.”  I immediately began to pound the keyboard as I bragged about being a wife, mother, PTA president, Girl Scout leader and Sunday School teacher.  I felt certain I was going to be the star of the class as I shared the vast array of roles that I was experiencing in my life.

When the teacher returned the graded essay, I was aghast when I saw nothing but a giant red X across the front of my written words with one comment. “Those are roles you have, not who you are.”  Since that day almost ten years ago, I’ve struggled with how to answer that question.  My roles are very different now.  I’m divorced, my children are adults, and I’m now living the life of a doting grandmother, and yet I still cannot successfully define “who I am” — and with every day that passes, I become more for desperate for that resolve.

No Picture Necessary

I was laying in bed last night, and my Facebook feed began to scroll out of control about how beautiful the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis to you non-Alaskans) were dancing.  Living in Alaska, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence, however experiencing an aurora display always provides breathtaking moments . Many of my friends on Facebook were posting pictures, and some were driving to higher elevations to enjoy even more breathtaking views.  Although I’ve enjoyed the beauty of the “lights” in person uncountable times, I’ll admit that I usually take the more passive approach of continual refreshes of my Facebook and Instagram feeds.  For some reason last night, my heart felt the ping of the excitement, as I began to see the pictures in my news feed.

I wanted to see and experience the magic of the evening firsthand.  I wanted to take pictures and post them to social media.  I wanted to be one of the cool people who climbed out of bed in the middle of a cold dark night to drive to the top of a mountain to gaze at something that very few people ever get to experience.  I wanted to go to the unofficial party of those who chased moments of magical beauty. And so I did.

Within a few quick minutes, I had crawled into sweatpants and Bailey, my wonder dog and I were outside under the night sky, and walking to the car under an umbrella of bold green streaks.  I planned on taking pictures, but since I was dependent on my iPhone camera, I decided to wait until we got to the top of the mountain in order to have a better chance at capturing the true beauty. Driving up the mountain was challenging as I could hardly keep my eyes off the sky and on the road.  I began to get more excited – but not only because of the beauty of the night.

I began to realize I was beginning to focus more on the picture I was going to take and post to Facebook, than the miracle that was dancing over my head.  My focus was shifting from actual self-fulfillment to the need to prove that I was being self-fulfilled.  Instead of allowing myself to experience the magic of the moment, and the overwhelming emotions I was feeling standing under one of God’s great miracles, I was mentally preparing the “post” that would ensue to validate those emotions.

I’m beginning to recognize more and more that I’m spending far too much time attempting to capture the proof of moments, instead living those moments.  For some reason I have equated the subsequent validation of moments like last night’s Northern Lights, as some profound acknowledgment that I’m whole, fulfilled and a person who appreciates the little things.

As I stood on top of that mountain last night with my iPhone camera in hand, I looked around at all of the others focused on the night’s dancing lights, and I realized that no picture was capable of capturing the emotions of my middle of the night jaunt and the crayola like sky I was standing under.  A picture would not show the beat of my racing heart, or the tears beginning to swell in my eyes as a result of greatness of the night. It wouldn’t capture the excitement I was feeling about my decision to make a midnight run up to the top of the mountain.  The moment was one that needed to be lived, not shared.

Looking up at last night’s sky helped me realize that it’s impossible to photograph self-fulfillment, and despite my previous attempts to “prove” myself to others, I was trying to take an impossible picture.  I spent almost an hour at the top of that mountain staring up at the sky through my teary eyes, and although I have no picture for Facebook or Instagram, I do have a memory that will be ingrained in my heart forever, and by that I am blessed.

Fragments of Rose-Colored Nothingness

It’s not complicated anymore.  It’s over.

I took off my rose-colored glasses today.  And then I stepped on them.  And then I beat them with a hammer.

After almost three years, my head and my heart are in unison. Their teamwork invaluable to my quest.  They both feel heavy, but I know they will regain their strength.  Not only have I chosen a  different path, I’ve begun my new journey.

My journey without you.

My heart hurts.

Tonight is hard.
Tomorrow will be worse.
The day after, even worse.

But I know –
I will eventually find peace.
I will eventually find contentment.
And then I will find myself.

The Beauty of Minutia

I’ve never been a fan of resolutions, so for the past several years I’ve set New Year’s goals instead. Although I didn’t meet every goal I set for 2014, I did meet several of them, and I learned a lot while attempting me meet those that were unattained. When I began thinking about what goals I wanted to set for 2015, most of the ones I considered felt redundant, so instead of setting specific goals, I’ve decided to choose a word to use for my primary focus for growth this year.


I want to figure out who I am, and then get to know the real me. I then want to allow myself the experience of living the authentic life I deserve.

I want to be real. I want to listen to my heart. I don’t want to just survive life; I want to live it! I want to create adventures in monotony. I want to focus on the minutia. I want to feel. I want to be brave. I want to love hard. I want to take chances. I want to avoid over thinking. I want to trust the process. I want to have faith.  I want to be happy.  I want to avoid regrets.

I want to be “me.”

Just Jot It January


Happy Anniversary and Thank you very much

In less than 48 hours, this blog will celebrate its first birthday. December 28 marks the one-year anniversary of my first post on DreamsinAlaska. As I sit here reflecting while feeling a little blasé’ about my very mediocre blog and my plethora of Haiku, it seems only appropriate to share a few babbles to bring you all up to date.  Although I created the blog in August 2013, it had remained a blank page until last December when late one night I desperately needed to talk to someone, and there was no one available to listen. Like many things in my life, DreamsinAlaska evolved from a good idea followed by high hopes, but then stalled due to my own fears.

Unfortunately, I’m the Queen of Analysis Paralysis, and I suffer from a slight case of OCD, which is often coupled with a rampant case of perfectionism. Needless to say, none of those things are conducive to being a writer who shares their words. This blog was intended to be the medicine that cured those issues. My thought process way back then was that I wouldn’t share the blog with anyone I knew. By keeping it private from my friends and family, I thought I would be able to write freely without fear of repercussions, and since I wasn’t being evaluated by one of my writing teachers, I wouldn’t have the pressure of perfection.   After all, how hard could it be to write a daily brain dump to a group of unknown strangers?

What I didn’t expect was such kindness from so many of you in Blogland. I was overwhelmed by encouraging and kind words, likes on my posts, and people choosing to follow my blog, but instead of relishing in the wonderful new opportunities for friendships and community, I once again shied away. Instead of writing my daily brain dumps and allowing myself to share transparency through my words, I began to write Haiku, lots and lots of Haiku.

I had a Haiku published on The Good Men Project (which was a total fluke) and then I wrote an article for elephant journal about writing Haiku. It seems like all roads lead to Haiku, not because I love it, or because I gain joy from writing it, but more because it’s three lines and I can spit them out in minutes. As you can see, there is a lot of Haiku on this blog. Most of them have told the same sad story – three lines of whining about an on again, off again relationship with a man – a relationship that should have never been – a relationship that I sold my soul to maintain knowing the inevitability of its outcome.

As I’ve reread this year’s posts, I realize how broken I’ve been. 2014 was supposed to be a year of hope and joy, and yet instead of allowing myself to enjoy the grace of others, in several situations I’ve sadly fought to hang on to that which has continued to drag me down.

There have also been a lot issues that are real and substantial parts of my life that have been beyond my control, forcing me to maintain my bearings while in the eye of a violent storm:

~my oldest daughter’s anorexia

~the high risk pregnancies of my middle and youngest daughter

~initial health scares for my first grandchild, who is now the picture of health

~ the constant financial worries of working in the public sector, while going to
school full-time to earn a degree that realistically may not change any of my
constant financial concerns

In the midst of all of the spiraling chaos there has been some good too, however. I became a grandmother this year. My granddaughter is the one thing that has kept me going during times I didn’t think I could continue. She’s been the light that’s enabled me to navigate the darkness.

I have also managed to continue in school, even when I didn’t think I had it in me. Some of that is due to perseverance, however most is because of the grace shared by several teachers I’ve had along the way. When I told them I was too tired and overwhelmed by life to continue; they encouraged me and worked with me to keep chugging along, allowing me to maintain my 4.0 GPA (a must for an obsessive perfectionist) as I move that much closer to my degree completion at the end of 2015.

I’ve continued to see Dr. B.A. on a weekly basis, and although I’m sure she must wonder why I haven’t figured out my life yet, her reassurance that I haven’t gone crazy (at least not as of last Wednesday), along with her reassurance that I probably won’t go crazy, has provided comfort in the midst of the emotional roller coaster I’ve been riding. She’s also continued to encourage my writing. As a writer herself, she understands what a passion it is, and she understands the conflicted feelings I have between my desire to write and the fear I have of sharing my words. She’s also been my confidant as I’ve attempted to identify, balance, and maintain the relationship she’s assisting my departure from.

One of the most simple, yet most significant pleasures during 2014 has been the notification ding that I receive from WordPress when someone likes a post, comments on a post, or chooses to follow this blog. There is no way that I can articulate how much I’ve appreciated each new ding, or the pleasure the sound gives me. Every notification has encouraged me, and despite a year of intermittent posts of sad Haiku, those dings have kept me here – they have helped me maintained the hope that eventually I will achieve my goal of a daily brain dump.

Thank you for taking the time to read my words this year.  Although I’m not sure what my posts in 2015 may include (no doubt at least a few Haiku), I do hope that you’ll continue on this journey with me while I continue to figure it out.

A gently closed door
The joy of new beginnings
An unknown journey


Stark Blue in the Midst of Fall

While driving out to the Nature Center this morning, I become overwhelmed with emotion.  I was completely overtaken by the beauty of the day.  The blue bird skies, the crisp fall air and the majestic mountains were breathtaking.  As I sipped my Jitters latte with Bailey the wonder dog in my lap, I was overwhelmed with just how blessed I am.  It’s easy to overlook the obvious when burdens begin to feel heavy and life is developing in a way we may not have anticipated or desired.  I began to reflect on my life….

Work has been especially challenging the past few months and it’s left me both physically and emotionally exhausted.  My own classes have been demanding and time consuming, leaving me brain drained on a daily basis.  Whereas I love living in Eagle River again, there never seems to be enough time to do the things I believe with help refill my teapot.  A complicated relationship has left me fragile and for as much as I’m thrilled to have my four adult children living their lives independently of me, I still struggle with the  awareness that each of them took a small piece of my heart when they flew from my nest.

As Bailey shifted his position, I looked in the backseat of my car and had to chuckle as I saw the carseat base on one side and the dog kennel on the other.  It was at that moment, I felt an overpowering sense of gratitude for my life as it is today.  I’m an unattached 50 year old grandmother, with a medically diagnosed schizophrenic dog.  I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and yet despite it all…I am blessed!

My life has been complicated in many ways.  In many situations, I’ve been a victim of circumstance, however as I’ve fought the fight to continue my journey, I’ve also been a recipient of selfless grace and generosity from others.  Despite the fact that I still harbor residual shards of brokenness, those fractured pieces no longer control how I live my life, or the expectations I have for my future.

I’m more physically healthy now than I’ve been since my teenage years.  My emotional health is the best it’s ever been, and even though it’s sometimes hard to see the forest through the trees, I feel a sense of confidence in life.  In the midst of all of life’s chaos including the worry, the concern, and the fears I have for those I love, along with the periodic anxiety of what my own future holds, I’m content.


As I watched the floating leaves on the fall color palate, my eyes shifted to the distant glacier.  In many ways, the stark blue hues seemed misplaced amongst the yellow, orange and red foliage.  The glacier provided a reminder of the many changes that occur over time and the unexpected beauty those changes can bring.  Like the glacier, my life has been a series of drastic events over time.  Some of them of been unexpected and unfortunate, and some have been undeserved blessings.  My gratitude today is for all of them,  since without both the defeat and the grace, my heart and soul wouldn’t understand the significance of the process leading to the beauty of the unexpected.

I am grateful and I am blessed.

The Week

The Week

It’s been good, bad, happy and sad.  It’s been peaceful, chaotic, boring and exciting.  I’ve had an open heart, a closed heart and at times, have felt like I’ve had no heart.  I’ve loved and I’ve hated.  I’ve made decisions, doubted my decisions and then fought to justify my decisions.  I’ve worked hard, played hard and felt hard.

I survived.