I mean, really.  It's been a couple weeks and it's not like nothing has happened, or no thoughts have crossed my head or Rosie hasn't done anything outlandish.

It's more like:  we closed on the house and then it snowed a lot and then we tried to move in the snow and that didn't work so well but we did it as well as we could and then work became insanely busy because our crisis worker went to Nicaragua to get married and then it was Christmas and it was Christmas with a blended family and it was so super busy and then I had the crisis night from hell (almost literally) and we've been trying to unpack and get our house together and Rosie is very upset by the move and she took our Christmas tree down twice and we didn't have internet or cable for a week and a half (#firstworldproblems I know) and then all of our lovely friends were in town and then our sewer backed up and we found out the pipes are disconnected and we might have to excavate our backyard to fix it and now it's almost New Years and we have this lovely little gathering to attend ...

I have things to share.  A few pictures.  Some thoughts on the state of mental health services in the nation. My end of the year post.  I do.

But right now I am frying a chicken that's been soaked in a buttermilk brine and then the Mr. and I might see a movie.

Because life is very full.  Full of movement, full of joy, full of busy, full of laughter, full of horror at what Rosie does next, full of questions, full of dread about the cost of an excavation.  It's just full.

It's what I've been waiting for since 2007.

It couldn't be sweeter.

Welcome home, M.'s...

So it's my day off.  I work four 10 hour shifts.  But I commute an hour each way.  So I work four 12 hour shifts.  But I always end up staying late.  And technically, I'm on call every weekend.

So this is my day off.  I had big hopes for today.  Take Rose to the dog groomer (check).  Get the car title in my name (check).  Do some Christmas shopping (check).   Meditate.  (Oops).  Yoga.  (Oops.)  I am excellent at taking care of business.

I am not always excellent at taking care of myself.

It is my day off and I am waiting for Shoes to get home for our date night.  While I wait, I'm lost in Ted Talks.

How I love Ted Talks.

When I interned as a geriatric counselor, the activities director used to show Ted Talks and lead discussions in the auditorium.  It was a beautiful time of learning from people who knew far more about living than I do.

This is the Ted Talk I love the most today:

Ms. Adichie speaks for approximately 18 minutes on the danger of a single story (looking at a situation, a person, a culture from a single narrative).  I wish I could explain to you how strongly this resonates in my spirit.  I wish I could tell you how I was struck with the sheer ingenuity of her thought.

Although Ms. Adichie primarily addresses the story of our cultures, I couldn't help but link it back to my own experience in social work.  I wish I could tell you the bizarre and irritating things people continually tell me about the people I partner with in my job:  People who cope with mental health issues.  People who are living in poverty.   People whose children are in the custody of child welfare.

There is no one single story and our human lies are varied and complex beyond measure.

Here's what Ms. Adichie writes:

"The consequence of the single story is this:  It robs people of dignity.  It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult.  It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar."

How are we looking at people?  What are the unspoken value judgments behind our emotional reactions?  What are the stories we've heard and continue to tell?

Let's examine those.