birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Tipping Point

When it was certain Steve was retiring in June, a kind of hindsight kicked in ex post facto. We had weathered a lot in the last three, maybe up to six years.

It began with the administrative credentialing process. It was then I became an admin widow, I joked. But joke no more. As he moved on, the consumption of energy it took to do his work meant everything else consumed me more. From the daily running of the shire to all family matters. And, I was running my own private practice, self employed.

We began to tip three years ago when the hip replacement was necessary. Steve did well, and healed. But asked too much of himself to return to work as soon as he did. I chauffeured and became an office assistant and courier. Running an entire county's special education program takes more than one human being. Our son arrived for his father's discharge and was an immense help in logistics and physical therapy.

I cheered us up with cooking and wearing bright colors when I went into his dreary office space. It seemed to help everyone around him. The only hiccup in his recovery was psychological, and makes sense.

Steve had had major surgeries on his hip as a child, contributing to the current necessity for replacement. Cracking open a hip cracked open old hurts. He sought a psychotherapist for help. As is the case with doctors, we don't treat our own families. I began to feel some relief knowing he had his someone.

His mobility returned; better than ever. We enjoyed his new health. Then came the cancer diagnosis a year ago. It doesn't require treatment as of this writing, and keeping gratitude is essential. But nonetheless, it is still there: The Emperor of All Maladies.

As he nears the retirement finish line, so do I. Little by little, I have worked less. I have contracted and focused on only the essential things. Anyone or anything that withdraws vital energies or is simply toxic is dispensed and dispatched. I am a Crone.

I awoke yesterday with this thought in my consciousness: "take the summer off". Which means, after mid-July no work until after labor day. This is opening a door to close my office and move it home. Like Jungians before me, and currently, home practice is where you will find us. Spinning stories and myths, and writing archetypal memoirs--with a cat on my lap.

I Didn’t Want to Figure It Out

Teacher Heal Thyself