Messy Middle

From Fall 2021:

“Just do the next right thing, just the things that need to get done today,” I often tell myself as we are muddling through the first back to school weeks. Getting back to our routines and schedules of the fall and adjusting to the ever-decreasing daylight in the Pacific Northwest propel me to increase my caffeine intake in the form of that delicious dark elixir we call coffee. I had cut down, and even quit a few months ago, but I’m back. That cup of coffee each morning is what I look forward to at night as my mess of curls gets secured up high so as not to choke me through the night. Hitting the pillow, I dream of how that creamy deliciousness will lie to me, again conspiring all the ways we are going to be productive. Inevitably, I do what I need to do, but find this time of year – it all seems hard.

I hate all the things about the going-through-it phases of life. I love the triumph of having gone through something hard only after the fact. Lessons learned and experience gained is a great thing. Learning the lesson? Gaining the experience? That pesky present tense verb is the part I’m not in love with.

And we are in the middle of it.

Where do you want to live? What do you want to do? Where should they go to school?

There are no answers. I don’t like not having answers. Or a plan. Or a direction.

“Just do the next right thing,” I remind myself for the 58th time. Keep working out, keep walking the dogs, doing the dishes, making dinners, cutting vegetables and making lunches. Tame the never ending laundry, or at least beat it down a bit. Keep moving forward. The next needed thing.


I love the colors of fall, the crispness in the air and especially the Halloweeny things. Twinkle lights dangled around our porch offer coziness each evening at dusk, a reminder of summer days spent camping.

Today? March 7th, 2022?

Still tired. Still drinking that exquisite cup of Joe each morning. Added Wordle into the mix with friends each morning, but, still in the messy middle in the midst of March. Sunsets are coming minutes later each day as the hours of light incrementally stretch longer. Maybe the whole point is that while we may have a new job, a move coming up, etc., we are just ALWAYS in the messy middle? If it’s not our physical location, it’s kids changing phases, or schools, or I don’t know, global pandemics. Maybe being human is just that there is no end, until the end-end. There is no ‘there’. Perhaps It’s just moving forward doing the next best thing we can at any given moment.

I think the next right thing is to go to bed. That morning cup of coffee calls me from just the other side of sleep…

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