We could learn a thing or two from some of the longest-living organisms on the planet.

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Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash

A little over six months ago, I gave my dad a gift that perhaps, in retrospect, is something I actually wanted for myself. The gift was a book, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

I spent many hours as a child exploring the farm I grew up on immersed in nature. I sat for long hours in fields and wooded areas observing and listening to insects, small mammals, birds and the wind blowing through the tree branches.

In college, I became a biology major with the idea that I would one day be a wildlife biologist. In the fantasy of my future life, I spent my days trekking through field and forest observing, counting, and photographing all manner of wild animals. Things didn’t turn out exactly as planned. A brief stint as a wild bird rehabilitator soured me on the whole wildlife biologist bit and I moved into the healthcare sector instead. Despite this setback, my love of the natural world persisted. I even spent two weeks volunteering in Costa Rica to save leatherback turtle eggs from poachers just a few years ago. …

Reflections on almost 18 years of motherhood

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Photo Courtesy of Author

I remember the first time I realized how significantly becoming a mother had changed my life. My oldest daughter was about three months old and we were both ill with severe diarrhea. I was changing her diaper several times each hour and I had given up wearing clothes or straying more than a couple of feet from the bathroom for fear that I would make a mess before I could get there. I took more than one shower that night, letting everything pour from my body because I had no control to do otherwise. …

I can’t help it — I’ve always been this way.

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Photo by Sarah Mak on Unsplash

It is 1:00 p.m. and I can’t say for sure where the morning went. I did some reading and ran an errand and made a doctor’s appointment. I played with a spreadsheet and created some graphs strictly for my own use and pleasure. I marveled at the beauty and sadness of a winter day.

I am just as likely to spend an afternoon taking a walk through the park with my camera in hand or sitting in silence for an eternity watching and waiting for a chipmunk to emerge from his hiding place in the roots of a gnarled old oak as I am to do something “constructive” like making money or catching up on my bookkeeping. …

Some ideas for making 2021 your comeback year

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Photo by Radina Romanova on Unsplash

Well, it’s finally over — 2020 is dead and 2021 is fresh and new. Now I know that just because a day on your calendar has passed that doesn’t mean that all your problems will suddenly disappear. But after a year that has been difficult for so many people, feeling hopeful for any reason strikes me as a step in the right direction.

On New Year’s morning, shortly after sunrise, my boyfriend and I ran about a mile along the beach and then stripped down to swimsuits and plunged into the ocean while we were still hot enough from the run to be able to stand it. The day was overcast and windy and the water was probably sixty degrees. …

A strategy for letting go

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Photo by Veit Hammer on Unsplash

My maternal grandmother died when I was eleven years old. Later that same year my great aunt who lived with my paternal grandmother also died. She was like a third grandmother to me.

I was sixteen when my maternal grandfather died. I was in my twenties when my paternal grandfather died and I was lucky enough to have my paternal grandmother with me until I was in my thirties. She was the only grandparent who lived to see my oldest daughter born.

I come from a long line of humans, most of whom are already dead. I have entered my fifth decade and I know that means that I am well on my way to becoming a member of the oldest living generation in my family. I don’t sit at the kid’s table anymore — there is plenty of room at the grown-up table. …

This is what I’ve learned — safety is everything.

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Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash

I am fifty years old and in the first truly healthy intimate relationship of my life. Until a few weeks ago, if you had asked how this relationship was different than the others, I might have listed a number of things I’ve noticed. I might have said that my boyfriend listens to what I have to say. I might have said that he has never been anything less than completely respectful of me in every way imaginable.

I might have answered that we have fun and laugh a lot and that we truly enjoy each other’s company. I might have replied that he spontaneously helps me whenever he perceives that I am facing a challenge or that we both really miss each other when we are apart. I might have told you that he likes me — the real me and understands me in a way that is rare and beautiful. …

A Plan for Recovery

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Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash

When I was eighteen years old, my first credit card application appeared in my college mailbox. I worked part-time and had zero credit history. I was approved within days and became the proud owner of a Discover card.

More applications came and more pieces of plastic filled my wallet. My credit score was excellent and for the next few years I paid off my cards in full every single month. I used them to earn rewards and cash. It was like getting a discount just to live. I was beating the system or so I thought.

Then, when I was twenty-four I divorced and moved to another state. I worked for minimum wage at a nonprofit. I did that for a year and used my credit cards to pay for basic necessities like food because seven bucks an hour just doesn’t cut it. Fortunately, as soon as I found a better job, I quickly went back to a debt-free lifestyle. …

My flirtation with the world of shadows

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Photo by Avery Cocozziello on Unsplash

I am not, by nature, a morning person, although years of being a mother has given me the ability to get up at ungodly hours and still function. I am not grumpy in the early morning, I am simply not at my best.

I prefer to awake around nine a.m. and get out of bed at ten. I like to spend some time daydreaming, stretching, and staring at the ceiling before I dare to touch feet to ground. I don’t even consider going to bed until at least midnight and I don’t care to eat dinner until around nine p.m. …

The importance of making your intentions clear

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Confession time — I am not always great at “reading” other people. Most of the time, if you want me to know something, you have to tell me point blank. I will definitely return the favor, since that is the only way I know to operate in the world.

Over the years, I’ve gotten better at reading between the lines and picking up on unspoken messages,which is a useful skill in a world where people don’t always make their true intentions clear. But here’s the thing, I don’t really believe that I (or anyone else for that matter) should have to guess at what other people are thinking. Why can’t we just be up front and honest about what we need or expect? …

I really do

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Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash

Yesterday I was stuck in traffic behind a line of cars all trying to turn left into the shopping mall parking lot. I was working my food delivery gig and trying to get into a lane to go straight before the chicken dinner sitting in the passenger seat got cold. I was indignant that this many people could possibly be shopping in person during the worst days that we have seen of this pandemic to date. I was annoyed that the world and everyone in it was working against my plans.

My general mood was marred by agitation. I was worried about having enough money for the holidays. I was worried about my custody arrangement with my ex and the effect it is having on my youngest daughter. I was worried about the apparent lack of interest that my oldest daughter seems to have in getting through her senior year of high school with a diploma in hand. And then I saw it. A bumper sticker that, quite honestly, changed my day. Right there in black and white were the words I needed to see at that moment. …


Alecia Kennedy

Trader·writer·photographer·truth-seeker·all around curious person. https://medium.com/breaking-all-the-rules snaphappyphotos.smugmug.com/

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