no more standing outside the fire

March was odd.

Kaylah was cleared to start her therapy leash walks, which was great. Then I pulled in a muscle in my back and was flat out for nearly two weeks, which was not great.

Kristina was home for the second of those weeks, which was great. But I wasn’t able to do all the fun things with her, or to coddle her the way I planned, which was not great.

After several visits with an orthopedic surgeon about my knee, he says he doesn’t want to do surgery right now, and prefers I do eight weeks of intensive PT first/instead, which was great. I wasn’t able to start that right away, because of the back thing, which was not great.

I gave myself time to rest and heal, which was great. But I also hibernated and hid away from things and people, licking my wounds in private and isolation, which was not great.

The above is from a note I wrote to a friend, after she asked how March was. At the end of that, I said it sounded like a silly blog post. Or perhaps like the children’s book Fortunately, by Remy Charlip.

The fact is I have been in this place that feels precariously balanced between rest and isolation. The winter was rough and demanding. But we are through that now. We are all much recovered, in fact. There is plenty of room for me to return to my writing, to my creative endeavours, to my work at the school, to my photography.

But is there room for me to return to ALL of them? Probably not. So I might have to choose – not choose one over the other forever, but choose what gets my attention first.

I’ve been letting my inner critic shut me up, shutting me down, shutting myself away from people, from writing here, from writing anywhere, really.

It’s time to come back into the open.

I am inspired by Brené Brown on a regular basis. Before her TED talk this year, she was interviewed for the TED blog. This quote struck me.

If you’re failing, at least that means you’re trying — not remaining on the outside of the arena, looking in. And we need to learn to deal with our inner critics, who are so adept at shutting us down when we dare to try.

That in turn reminded me of Garth Brooks’ song, Standing Outside the Fire.

I’m done with standing outside, looking in. I’m ready again, ready to work, to create, to play, to advocate, to write, to tell stories, to celebrate, to be vulnerable, to connect, to heal. I am ready.

The official video for this song is awesome, telling the story of a young man with Downs Syndrome who wants to compete on the high school track team. I can’t find that video anywhere now. This link is a tribute video to firefighters – it’s still a great song, with a more literal video interpretation.


    • Thank you, Katie. It’s been a very internal time. Here’s the funny part – the more I am writing on my creative project, the more I feel creative and am coming back to writing here on the blog. Absence here certainly does not mean I am being wildly creative elsewhere. Usually the opposite. Spring finally arriving in the Northwest is helping too, I am sure.

  • I feel humbled that as you hid from people, I still got to spend quality time with you….wait a darn tootin’ minute…maybe I am misunderstanding…perhaps you are implying that I am not a people 🙂 I am pretty sure that I always have zipped up my human outer covering to hide the reptilian-like true self. The mother ship cannot hear of this or I will be exiled to that silly planet with the talking trees that are so self-centered that you can’t get a word in edgewise. Heavy sigh!! I best get packing.

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