How it's going so far

We are both alive! This dog is a true delight but sometimes I’m ready to hand him off to strangers on the street. Let me break it down for you:

  • Potty training: A+ (no doubt because I work at home and take him out once an hour when he’s not sleeping)

  • Sleeping: A- (he wakes up between 4:30 - 5:30 a.m. daily but seldom during the night)

  • Eating: A+ (aka HIGHLY MOTIVATED)

  • Chewing: Glass. Metal. Wood. Stone. Earth. Wind. Fire.

  • Jumping: D

  • Biting: F@#&

  • Crate tolerance: D

  • Spatial awareness/private time tolerance: F

  • General outlook & puppiness: ☀️

He’s only 11 weeks old, to be fair, so overall I award him an A. Sometimes that stands for “asshole,” but surely he would say the same about me. I harsh his mellow on an hourly basis.

Life these past three weeks has compressed and expanded. It’s just me and the first thing that has ever needed just me. I’m learning as I watch him, as I suppose he is learning about me: my inconsistencies, my flaws, the limits of my patience. Puppy blues are a real and honest thing, and the only way out is through. People were not lying about this! There have been some low, low moments. But I think about this, from Cup of Jo, all the time:

Says Caitlin on should we get a dog: “I’m a huge Gretchen Rubin fan, and she had similar reservations when her two daughters asked for a dog. Ultimately, she chose to go for it, and I think often about her decision in my own life. She said, ‘Have trouble deciding whether or not to choose a course of action? Like — whether or not to get a dog? Try this: Choose the bigger life.’ I already have a dog, but ‘choose the bigger life’ is still so powerful for me. It applies to everything — going on that run you’re dreading, moving to a new city. Choose the bigger life, Joanna!”

I did that, finally. And I do. And then I look at this face:



All dog all the time

Sorry, people. This is real life now.


I do recommend that you have in your life at least one friend who will share all your Lord Peter girlish fandom and all your Harriet Walter Worship and not only have buttons made but bags printed to prove it. God bless Potato Killer!


p.s. We have spent many a late night reciting this Gaudy Night passage to each other on SarahB’s sofa bed during Harriet Walter Weekends:

So, thought Harriet, it has happened. But it happened long ago. The only new thing that has happened is that now I have got to admit it to myself. I have known it for some time. But does he know it? He has very little excuse, after this, for not knowing it. Apparently he refuses to see it, and that may be new. If so, it ought to be easier to do what I meant to do.

She stared out resolutely across the dimpling water. But she was conscious of his every movement, of every page he turned, of every breath he drew. She seemed to be separately conscious of every bone in his body. At length he spoke, and she wondered how she could ever have mistaken another man's voice for his.

Here we are reading it to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt:


Here we are reading it in Central Park when Billie Jean King walked by:


Aw man, good times. Anyway, she’s the best and I love her very much. Obviously.

Checking in

I haven’t had much to say here lately so I haven’t said anything. That’s a change for me, a real growth experience. For a long time I’ve felt this compulsion to log in and type no matter what, as if I had some obligation to…what? An audience? Three people read this blog, and zero of them care. I know this for a fact. None of them send up flares or dial 9-1-1 if I don’t blog for a couple of weeks or days. I assume they know I’m living my life, as they are living theirs. Also they know how to text me. But I felt responsible anyway, to keep showing up here and spitting out CONTENT. I don’t anymore. I finally let myself let go of that.

I went to see a therapist a couple of weeks ago. I’ve entered a period of my life that has a shape and a shade to it that I don’t understand, and my usual tricks aren’t working. Deflecting, ignoring, avoiding. I can’t cheat my way out of whatever this is (it is “aging,” FYI). It’s also anxiety and stress but something else, too, an awareness that something structural is shifting—not only hormonal and physical but foundational. Elemental. Nothing is more boring, I know, than hearing people moan about their midlife crises and search for meaning, which is why I haven’t said much lately. I feel weird and uncomfortable and a little dumb, to be honest, and I prefer to do this dirty work offscreen and in person for a change, as I’m no longer convinced that I can advance by clicking and scrolling, either. I’m not sure I’ve made the healthiest choices in the last couple of years, life- or brain-wise, so I’m learning how to turn myself in different directions, more slowly and with more care.

Anyway, I got myself a bike and I’m joining a writing group and I’m getting a puppy, and I’m not making any promises to anybody anymore.

Later taters,