Mid-life Meshugas and a Shameless Plug

It’s been a while since I published anything here. There’s been a lot of life going on.

I got a job in 2017, about 10 months after my mom died. In many ways, it was my dream job. The job stretched me and made me grow in a lot of new directions — which led inevitably, if not tangentially, to my desire to open up a yarn shop and build a diverse and inclusive fiber community.

I lost my job in 2019. The pain of that was nearly as bad as losing my mom had been. That threw me headlong into a heavy depression.

My son became increasingly anxious about school and his grades took a nosedive. Add worry to the depression.

Gradually, I started to put the pieces of my life back together. I started to dream of my yarn store and fiber community. I started a Facebook group and added a new Instagram account. I started attending Stitches and Vogue Knitting events, meeting some of my heroes and building a network in the process. Then I heard of someone I knew opening a yarn store with a dear friend of hers. My dreams started to look more real everyday. Even my ever-reserved and skeptical husband began to support the idea (he had always supported me).

I had even gotten a really cool playing gig. Life was looking up.

And then… well, you know. The ‘Rona.

Funnily enough, I had just gotten really sick with a weird cold/flu thing that was somehow… different. I had a fever and I was having trouble breathing. I’d had pneumonia before, but this was different. After 36 hours of trying to take care of myself and letting hubby pump me full of soup and toast, I went to my doctor. COVID protocols were already in effect at the office. My symptoms were like the flu — kinda — but the strep and flu tests came back negative.

In retrospect, my doc and I figured out I’d had the ‘Rona. The fact that I was fatigued for about 6 weeks after I “recovered” was a big hint. I was lucky.

My son’s last day of in person school for his junior year was on his 17th birthday. His depression and anxiety hit new highs.

My daughter had to leave her college campus right after spring break. There was no graduation ceremony.

We were lucky. My hubby can work from home and our financial situation is pretty stable. We have a lot to be grateful for.

None of that makes this easy: not the Corona virus, not the senseless murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and not the constant strain of living in this increasingly divisive political climate. Life has just not been anything approaching normal for months and it’s left us unmoored.

But dreams live on.

I have spent a lot of time, and a fair amount of cash, creating a new website and blog for my work in progress, For Ewe: an Inclusive Fiber Community. I’ve created a logo. I’ve started shadowing my friend at her yarn store to learn more about how it’s done. I’m knitting up a storm and writing about it. I’m creating a brand. Baby steps.

So, if you have followed me here at violamom2tellsall, please check out 4-ewe.com and follow me there too. Tell your crafty friends to follow me too. Help me build my dream.

Maybe writing there regularly will encourage me to write more here too. Stranger things have happened. Stay tuned.

Missing You

Day 24: Something you miss

Wow.  There are a lot of things that come to me.  Perhaps I need to make a list rather than try to put one topic into paragraphs.

  1. My grandmother: her voice, her giggle, her food, her unconditional love, her advice.
  2. My dad: there’s so much I never said and I’ll never have the chance.  I have to live with that, and it hurts.
  3. My babies: mind you, they still live with me (for now — one’s off to college soon), but I really miss them as babies.  I know babies are labor intensive and exhausting, but my kids were beautiful and amazing and I wish I’d enjoyed that time with them more.
  4. New York: yes, I’ve been saying that for over seven years, ever since we left.  The New York I moved to in 1990 no longer exists.  Hell, the NYC I left in 2008 no longer exists.  I miss the raw energy of the City, with all its creativity and crazy.  I miss the feeling that making it there was the end all and be all in the life of an artist.  Now it’s just an expensive and sanitized Disneyland full of chain and big box stores.  The little businesses and restaurants are closing.  People in other parts of the country don’t seem to understand that NYC had its share of mom and pop stores too.  They’re gone now.  It’s so sad that it makes me cry.
  5. My hair: this always happens after I cut it short.  It’ll pass. I’ll grow it long again and then cut it all off again, all in 7-10 year cycles.
  6. My friends: my social life here in Ohio is very different from the ones I’ve had pretty much anywhere else.  I miss the closeness I enjoyed with my neighbors in New York, and with my colleagues.  People keep to themselves and their families more here.  It’s hard for a person like me who’s used to creating her family wherever she calls home.
  7. The over 40 family members and friends who have died since 2008: among them were my colleagues and mentors from my NYC music scene days, along with treasured members of John’s family and my own.  It got so bad at one point that folks were passing away in groups of three within a week for a while.  There’s been a lot of loss.
  8. Ethnic diversity: I miss riding the subway with Orthodox Jewish diamond merchants, Mexican mariachi bands, old ladies in saris, and Korean restaurant workers who smell like kimchee.  I miss that feeling of each subway car being a mini United Nations.  I miss living somewhere where catching a cab is a magic carpet ride that might take you to the middle east or sub-Saharan Africa.  I miss readily available sushi delivered to my door so many times that the restaurant sent me not one but two Christmas cards.  What I really miss is that Arabs are just another group of people in NYC, and not viewed and talked about with suspicion and trepidation.  In NYC, folks were folks and we all lived, worked, and co-existed without too much trouble most of the time.  I’m not that dark, but I’m often the darkest thing in the room around here.  It’s gone from being annoying to being just plain infuriating.
  9. The ocean: I’m an east coast kinda gal.  I need an ocean.  This Lake Erie beach shit is NOT cutting it.
  10. Cheese steaks, hoagies, bagels, (real) pizza, pastrami, egg creams, and Sabrett’s hot dogs: ‘nuf said.
  11. The feeling that my entire life is ahead of me: at nearly 48, that’s not really true anymore.  Sure, there’s a lot of life left for me to live, but I’m rapidly approaching the time where I will have lived more than half of my life.  I may live to be 96, but I doubt I’ll live to be 120, if you catch my drift.  I’m not 40.  I’m not 30.  I’m definitely not the wide eyed 24 year old I was when I last graduated from something (Juilliard in 1993).  More than ever, the phrase life is too short is becoming truly meaningful.
  12. My uterus: another odd thing to say, but still true.  We parted ways nearly two months ago.  I don’t miss how it was in the final days, but I miss feeling like I’m whole.  I miss the possibility of having more babies.  My two are awesome, but I have always regretted not having more children.  Having my hysterectomy ushered me into a new stage of life that there is no way to prepare for — very much like becoming a parent or losing a parent.  There’s no way to explain how it feels.  It’s just the new normal.  Most days it’s okay, sometimes even great.  Then someone brings a baby into the room and I start to cry.  It’s hard to change how I see myself, but I’m trying.

I miss you all.