Can You Hold This for Me?

It's a big week for us. Chloe's graduating. She's going to a grown up interview for a grown up job. I've spent a lot of time crying. Not sad crying. Not emptying nest crying. Just feeling all the feelings crying. Pride and hope and where the hell did the time go...all at the same time. I'm crying right now just writing about crying.

The past few months, I've had shoulder pain. Can't raise my arm, can't do much yoga, can't spot Lily on back handsprings kind of shoulder pain. I went to the chiropractor, and he got my back and neck in better shape than they've been in for the last 10 years. I highly recommend chiropractors, by the way. No pills, no shots, no scalpels, just good old fashioned adjustments.

Unfortunately, it didn't help my shoulder. At all.

So, I've spent weeks researching, stretching, icing, heating, taking more ibuprofen than I'm comfortable with, but nothing seemed to help that much.

Stretching helps some.

Meditation helps more.

But then...

Yesterday, Lily and I went to the Christmas Spectacular at Lakepark Farm with some friends. It's wonderful and magical, and the kids and adults alike had a great time. As we neared the end of the evening, when the kids were all tired and sugared up and slap happy, I noticed my one girlfriend sitting on a bench holding her purse, children's coats, toys they made in Santa's workshop, two cups of hot chocolate and a bag of giant turtles--the chocolate variety--as she stared blankly ahead.

Seeing my friend bogged down with so much stuff sent a bolt of clarity directly to my heart.

I'm carrying too much stuff. Some is mine, but too much of it belongs to other people. I've been unwittingly carrying around bad days, hurt feelings, secrets, confessions, judgments, expectations, insecurities and so much more.

No wonder my shoulder hurts, I'm like a freaking pack mule.

Reaching my own full hands toward her, I joked, "Can you hold this for me?"

She laughed. We laughed.

But...It's too much.

It makes my joints ache.

When the kids were little and wanted to bring a special item along somewhere we would always tell them, "You can bring it, but you have to carry it." We're not carrying it for you.

So, day by day, item by item, I am giving stuff back. I can't carry this for you. Here you go. This belongs to you. This is yours. I can't carry this for you.

You can bring it, but you have to carry it.



  1. Wait, wait, WAIT!

    Just where'na fuck do you think I am gonna put all THAT? No, no, no...I called no takebacks very clearly during the first session of "Norton and the Bomber."

    Nice try.


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