On what I have been up to

So I had excellent intentions of embarking on a blog challenge that started April 1, and suddenly here it is, practically the middle of June. I don’t normally ignore my blog for that long, and some of you have asked me privately if everything is all right, and I appreciate that. Jessica is fine—in fact, she is starting a new project, which is making gorgeous works of art in glass. She is significantly better at this than I am. I will tell you more about that story later.

You know how I’m always oh-my-stars-and-whiskers about Jessica, right? So it never occurred to me that I myself am not actually indestructible until I went to see my doctor about what I thought was acid reflux or possibly a tiny hernia from all those years of heavy lifting. Then the doc said, “Hmm. I think that’s a chest wall tumor.”


Now, not to worry. It isn’t cancer, it’s just a pain in the ass. Or, actually, a pain in the rib cage. I’m doing whatever there is to do about it, and like that. It just sort of knocked me off my stride for a minute, and I had one of those opportunities to look around and think, “If this really were the end game, how would I feel about it?”

And after I sorted through all of my dreams and aspirations and all of that, I thought, “I would feel like I hadn’t played enough.” That was sort of a surprise to me because I thought I would be sad about the milestones I had never reached—a New York Times bestseller, maybe. Something to strive for. I thought about what I meant by playing, and it turns out I mean doing things that are their own reward, like laughing with friends, or learning how to play a new game, or listening to Dar Williams in concert.

And I thought, “That is very possibly a lovely way to live a life, and I don’t even need to do anything first, like lose twenty pounds or save up a thousand dollars.” So that is what I have been up to. How about you?


My collection of travel stories, Travels with Jessica, is now available! Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here. And I’ve published my essay “For Jessica” as a small book. Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here.

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  1. Glad you’re back and that Jessica is fine and continuing work on her art glass projects. I hope you slay your tumor dragon swiftly and get on with the important work of playing.

  2. Well, I hope you make that time to play. I’m realizing, too, how important it is. It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind. Thanks for the reminder to laugh and have fun!

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