puerto rico, part 8,394
getting funky

dump, literally and metaphorically speaking

i'm so on the fence about continuing the blog or letting it go. however, it's been the only place since the book where i keep track of what's going on in our lives and writing things down. the book - and surrounding life circumstances at the time - burned me out. my printer stopped playing nice with my computer and hasn't worked since, so i stopped scrapping at home. we moved, none of my stuff has gotten officially unpacked and made usable, so i lack the desire to dig through paper. and the ongoing, underlying theme here is "my stuff comes last," but without the blog, the kids' stories would be forgotten.

metaphorically, that's the underlying theme of my life right now: my stuff comes last. and it's time for some changes.

at my age (39 years, four months, 18 days), i'm finally ready to say "i'm done" with people who don't care. i've tried my entire life to find friends, to nurture relationships, to find people who care about spending time with me, and i'm officially done. the dead weight will be cut.

the emotional burden of trying for 39 years to find people who give a shit about me is taking its toll, and i'm done. i wash my hands of those people with whom i have tried  and failed to ignite any spark of giving a damn.

my life is small, but busy. and i understand that others have lives that are also busy. however, i am always willing to work out a time - regardless of how brief - to spend with those i enjoy and want in my life. the time has come, though, to erase the names in my book who do not choose to give that time to me. a person can try only so much, you know? either people want you in their life or they don't, and it has become abundantly clear that i have more people who feel the latter for me and my family.

so be it.

i'm done.

and hopefully this weight and soul-sucking "what the hell am i doing wrong?!" that i've been feeling for weeks months years will go away and i can just go about living my life with the small little group who have chosen me. and if that's literally just my husband and children (while they have no choice because they are under 18) then okay. at least they are fun.

i am who i am. like it or, apparently, don't. i am a grown up and will no longer be someone i'm not in order to sustain a relationship based on needing to be that person. and relationships that are gone because i'm no longer playing a game are relationships i no longer want and need in my life.

i've come to accept that some people have active, loyal circles of friends and family who choose to do things together and be with each other, and some don't. and so we will be our own island, having our own fun and making our memories together, and we will be enough. marc and i have talked often about how our role seems to be that of "give," and everyone around us is in the "take" position. one-sided relationships are unsustainable, and without anyone in our lives who "give" to and are supportive of us, we're tapped out. we can't always be the ones to call and try to make plans and stay in touch.

which is fine. we're busy anyway, and the coming months won't let up, either.

and what have we done over the past month, when i've updated absolutely nothing?

well, we got some snow.

and marc's parents came to visit and went to the kids' school carnival.

and came to henry's last band concert, after which we exited the school into even more snow.

and we took them to a great authentic ecuadorian restaurant in minneapolis.

and then we had to say goodbye, about which harper was not thrilled.

but she eventually came to terms with it.

and then we had more snow.

so i used some of the 5,348 antique blue canning jars that i got from my grandma and brought spring indoors.

and then it snowed a little more just to spite me.

club swim season started up again.

and it finally became nice enough outside for harp and her friends to race and jump and enjoy springtime while waiting for the school bus.

then the weather changed again and now we can't seem to get out of the 50s or away from the rain.

but harp finally has a big Big Girl bike and rides it regardless of weather.

and henry test drove a teen cross fit class to see if adding some dry land work of his own might be good for the summer.

and there were field trips and play dates and other things.

and less than two weeks until summer vacation.

but we have big plans for the summer, and i kinda can't wait to get started. especially with less burden and frustration and sadness on my heart. looking forward to trying peace in my life for a change ... assuming i can really make it stick.

letting go is the hardest part, isn't it?



I swear sometimes you are inside my head! This is something I have been struggling with for awhile myself. I recently have cut my own parents out of my life and have been waivering on some other people in my life. I,too,feel like I am forever the giver and everyone else is the taker. All I want in my life is peace as well and if that means, me, my husband and child,so be it. There is no place I'd rather be ;)


This, I think, is the struggle of forward-thinking, creative people. I know that I still cringe when I see blog posts (or other social media) about family events. My family isn't nearby, and the truth is that even if they were? We wouldn't be THAT family. I've also gotten very clear about friends having "roles." I know who I can call to go shopping with, who I can call to drink wine with, who I can call about the tough stuff, etc - and I've gotten okay with those being different people. I've also embraced distance, and in return have gotten some of the most beloved people in my life.

and ps - call me anytime!!!!

Renee Webb

Shell, I LOVE you. Always have, always will. I too struggle with the same issues, minus the kids and husband responsibilities. There seems to be an epidemic of these sorts in our world today. Not enough kindness. Too many people not willing to really care enough to join you in your pain or in your joy, yet we all long for just that. We are lonely even though we are not physically alone. It's sad and painful, and it may never change this side of Heaven. I'm sorry. I can't imagine someone NOT wanting to make time for you and your beautiful family. You are an amazing person and so very talented! I so admire your strength as a parent with a traveling husband. It has to be sooo hard at times and yet your kids are a testament of your beauty and perseverance. You are worth taking the time for, you are worth getting to know. Please keep on keeping on, your blog is wonderful and insightful and so very real. I love it. I love you. <3

Patti H.

You are right to be done with people who don't care. I have also had to let certain people go. Some who have literally been takers since we were kids. One particular person NEVER gave and often HURT. I tried for many years out of...loyalty?...caring?...I have no idea. You may be surprised when you let these people go, they will notice and write stupid things on fb or wherever "Oh! I wish we were still in touch!" Yeah, right. Don't think so. It's okay for your tribe to be smaller. The important people will be those you feel good with and who GIVE and TAKE. Hang in there. I have enjoyed your blog. I support whatever you decide to do with it. But, I hope you keep it up. ;) Take care.


Hi there :) I only discovered your blog over the longer winter and have really enjoyed your posts. I look forward to peeking in on your blog from time to time. The mantel looks so sweet; perfect for spring. You deserve people who will share their love; you and your family seem so genuine and fun!


I think I was where you are before we shook everything up and moved to the Village. I've gotten pretty danged particular about where my time outside of my family goes. I think that's part of the getting older process. I don't have time for BS or BS people or for anything other than people and things I truly enjoy. This is actually a good thing for you I think. Empty your life of the dead weight and you leave more room for the beautiful things.

Also, I wish I lived closer to you.

Miss Tina Bananahammock

I'm a stranger around here. I get it. It's been a struggle to make friends beyond a wave in the hall at the school or while driving down the street in my hood. I am just insecure enough to think it's me, but maybe it's not. We have enough about us that makes us different, and sometimes, perhaps especially in the Midwest, different can be scary, unapproachable and/or misunderstood. Plus I cuss like a sailor and yell at my kids. What's not to love?

I also think that we as women (and perhaps most of the world, really) are having to redefine what a friendship is with the roll that social media plays in our lives. What we used to discover about each other over wine or coffee is now gleaned from FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and maybe that satisfies our minds enough. Friendships are boiling down to a few lines in a status box.

But that's not enough for me. I crave real live, flesh-and-blood friends. Drinking a glass of wine while strolling through FB is not the same as enjoying a glass in person, with people like you who seem to get me and like me anyway. I get you and like you anyway. Wish I saw you more often.

Life is too short to not get back what we put out there. If you put it out there and it doesn't come back to you, f**k em.

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