First, I have to thank you guys for the support on my confession of being a Glancer. I was so surprised to read your comments and emails and discover I’m nestled in a warm community of Glancers. I’d love to gather you all in a room to watch something wonderful on television, just so we’d all enjoy it that much more.

Second, I took a brief trip to Texas over the last 3 days. Mom and I drove down on Sunday, an 8 hour road trip where I got to play DJ the whole time; Mom rolled with Gaga, loves Brandi Carlile, and actually thought something in my iPod had broken when I was playing Neutral Milk Hotel and didn’t believe me when I tried to explain that no, that distortion is meant to be in the music and yes, that really is how Jeff Mangum’s voice is supposed to sound. We had some sushi (which you cannot find in her tiny town in Arkansas), went to a real live mall, and just generally enjoyed Big City life. While Mom went to some appointments, I got to spend some time with a very dear friend whose heart has been broken in ways I cannot even imagine. We hadn’t seen each other since his wedding 2 years ago and I never imagined I’d be holding his hand as he went through a very painful divorce. I’m so thankful this trip allowed time for us to be together. Mom and I also had a lovely dinner with Linds, whose hair has very nearly recovered from her disastrous Seattle trip last month.

(Sidebar: there is a blog post forthcoming with details of that particular hair-raising experience, with pictures as soon as Linds can send them to me. Be very excited.)

Today we drove back to Arkansas from Dallas, stopping in Little Rock to pick up Ceci, who took over DJ duties for the rest of the trip (hello Glee and the Judds!). When we finally pulled into the driveway, the three of us (plus the Moo) were wilted and exhausted but very happy to be home and together. Papa Leo poured us all some wine and we spent the evening out on the patio, looking at the White River and shooting the potato gun (hello Arkansas!). After some pizza and Idol, everyone headed off to bed and I’m settled in with Maizie, ready to pick up a silly fiction book and forget about things for a little while.

The drive to Texas was really therapeutic for me. On the way down, Mom and I talked nearly the whole way about everything under the sun. But on the way back today, we were both very quiet. I can’t speak for my mother, but I definitely got lost in what my friend RG calls “Windshield Time.” In Windshield Time, you tend to follow one thought after another until you don’t remember how you started thinking about something in the first place. It’s also an excellent time to sit and be settled in your sadness. RG spent a lot of Windshield Time getting over his broken engagement. I’m spent the majority of my Windshield Time today making plans. I thought a lot about what I’d like to see in my life when I emerge from this protective shelter of my family on Sunday.

You know how doctors on television tell ladies in labor to relax into the pain? (PS: Doctors on television totally are the same as doctors in actual real life hospitals, so basically anything you learn in a medical drama is true in real life as well.) ANYWAY. Women in labor are told to relax into the pain. My own roommate swears this worked for her when she gave birth to her son; in fact, she says relaxing into the pain made her contractions almost pleasurable. I realized today during my Windshield Time, without even noticing it happening, I’ve somehow relaxed into my sadness. It’s more compartmentalized. The sadness is there, always there, but it’s manageable, a dull ache instead of a throbbing hurt. Settling into the sadness has allowed me to begin making plans. I still get tripped up with crummy moments but they pass and I can move forward. Always be moving forward, right?

I’m happy I still have a few days at home. I’m not ready to leave this cocoon quite yet. But you guys, at least I’m making plans for what I’ll do when I do have to leave. I’m making plans to move forward. And what’s even more amazing? I’m starting to see that there’s a forward out there, waiting for me.

So thank you, Texas. I might not like your weather, or your politics, or the fact that you don’t recycle very much but boy do you know how to make a girl start to feel like herself again.

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