Too Much Noise

I’ve heard from a few people lately, curious why I haven’t been posting. On here, on Facebook, on the family photo stream.

I don’t have an answer, except to say that I recognize that I’m withdrawing. Almost like I’m protecting myself. From what, I can’t quite articulate, except to say that there is too much input for my head right now. More incoming information than I can fully process.

  • Family vacations
  • New babies
  • Celebrity news
  • International terrors

And there are so, so, so many opinions on everything: victories/defeats of social movements, how we should be parenting our kids – or not, decluttering, redecorating, saving, spending, the good old days.

If that’s not enough, everyone – including myself – has apps on their phones and devices that allow them to not only weigh in on today’s happenings but also experience the nostalgia of what transpired on this particular day 1, 2, 3 or even 5 years ago.

I have so much noise going on in my life right now without ever opening an app, turning on the TV or flipping on the radio, that I’ve found myself almost repelled by the thought of introducing more.

Michael Ginsberg, Mad Men. His nipples are unforgettable.



This merger that closed with my company a few weeks ago? It’s huge. Like… we all said it would mean big things, and I think we all underestimated what that really meant. I’m preparing myself for the possibility that I may not have a job here in a few weeks. Or… I might. I might still be reporting in through R&D… or I could be a part of the marketing function. My job could still be in Madison… or I might report in through a central office in the Chicago area. These are all very real possibilities that swirl in the air.

What work looks like post-merger is like a huge puzzle, and they’re laying down one piece at a time through a series of emails. A lot of times, just like a puzzle, the announcements are filling in details for big pieces we already knew existed. But every so often, new pieces are laid down that reveal a new element that you had no idea was going to be a part of the picture.

That’s all I really feel comfortable saying.


Meanwhile, in light of all of this, I’ve been quieting my head by focusing on family and enjoying our perfect Wisconsin summer.




Graham picked me some flowers at school.


I’ve been having so much fun with my new hobby. Paper had better run and hide, because nothing is safe!!


Our evenings are often spent playing out back. The kids have been having a blast with the neighbor kids. We and the two houses next to us all have kids around the same age. The kids have been spending a lot of time running around in a giant pack between the three backyards. Lesson learned, if I want to offer the kids a popsicle, I’d better have at least six to hand out.


We joined a CSA this summer. You may have never heard of one, but they are a part of mainstream vocabulary around here. What it means for us is that we bring home a big box of fresh vegetables every week and have to figure out how to cook, eat or preserve them before we pick up next week’s box. It’s a lot of veggies, and we have learned how to cook with bok choy, turnips, kohlrabi, fennel, and many other new things. I have had so much fun (and have eaten so much salad) with this challenge. And the kids have cemented their love and hate for many new things. :)





If you don’t hear from me right now, don’t worry. It probably just means I’m playing trains in the basement or pulling weeds in the garden… watching kids play or sitting with Andy in the cool breeze watching the sun set over the fields.

And my phone’s back in the house somewhere. If you call it to catch up, I promise I’ll answer.

Beads Being a Metaphor, Of Course

More and more these days, I’m feeling anxious. About what, I have no idea. All I know is, I have so many spare thoughts rattling around my head, I’m having trouble focusing for very long.

Work is a big source of this. It’s all input, input, input. Like I’m sitting in my front yard building a birdhouse and someone walks by and tosses a bead over the fence, into the yard. I take note of it, but I’m not really bothered to do anything about it. More people walk by, more beads tossed into the front yard. I, meanwhile, continue on what I’m doing because I want to finish my project. I’ll deal with this ever-growing pile of beads later. I’m getting close to finishing, but now my eye is starting to get drawn more and more to this growing pile of mixed-up beads that I’ve just been ignoring. I start to see that there are different colors and shapes that I could easily sort into different piles. I eventually wander over to the beads and start sorting. But now I’m bothered by the fact that my birdhouse isn’t finished. So I wander back to that. All the while, more people walk by, more beads get thrown over the fence, and I’m now trying to finish a project and can’t concentrate because FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE WHERE ARE ALL THESE BEADS COMING FROM?!?

I now try and set aside time to address the bead problem. Birdhouse will have to wait, this is getting ridiculous. I start sorting, but the pile, nay hill of beads is just a little too daunting. I fret about the best way to separate them. Deal with them. Hand them off to somebody else? Can I put them in bags and stow them in the garage? Make necklaces? Sell them on Craigslist? Too many options on how to organize and just, I dunno, deal. Then I start to think about what’s going on inside the house. How long have I been in the front yard? Does the house need cleaning? Am I really 3000 miles past due on an oil change? I need a haircut. ARGH! The beads. No, double ARGH! The unfinished birdhouse.

And then I start to get flaky and completely ineffective.

How does that even happen?

So, this is kinda how I feel lately. Steeped in chaos. But I don’t really ‘live there,’ if you know what I mean. I visit this place on a daily basis, but at the end of the day, I’m able to let it go. And I sleep well, so it’s doable. If those two things weren’t true, I’d probably have a regular prescription of Xanax by now.

In the end, this is a little message to everybody who has wondered why I’m averaging a 2-day turnaround for phonecalls. Or you haven’t gotten a thank-you note (gulp, that’s the worst of all, thankfully it’s not too many people?). Or why I have jars of corn from the plant still sitting on my desk. I’m still figuring this new life out. Getting there, but still have a ways to go.


I’m not stressed. I keep telling myself that. Instead, I’ve settled into a slightly insomniac state.

I blame this on the coffee. I don’t have to get up early, and my brain doesn’t need to perform complex tasks right off the bat, yet I have my pot of coffee every morning. And I nurse it all morning. I look at it as calorie-free comfort food. Of course, there’s decaf, but I’ve already packed the decaf. So 100% Columbian it is.

The dreams have started. I don’t get them every night, and they all revolve around the wedding. I’m actually glad my brain is ignoring the cross-country move for now. The wedding dreams are all unique in their own way, but they all entail the same premise. I am not aware that it’s my wedding day.

In fact, in the last one, I was sitting in the sanctuary in my pink bathrobe when the guests started to arrive. One of the bridesmaids had to tap me on the shoulder to tell me to put my dress on. Forget that I’ve just crawled out of bed and haven’t done my hair or makeup. While I’m in the dressing room, trying to get the dress over my head, I hear the wedding processional start. So I proceed to run down the aisle, covered head to toe in my wedding dress since I couldn’t find the hole to put my head through.

My days consist entirely of a mixture of one of two activities: packing my apartment and finishing the wedding programs. This time next week, our move to Texas will be in full swing. Andy and I leave Illinois next Wednesday morning and arrive in Texas on Thursday night. I can safely say that I’m ready to be done with all this preparation, and I’m ready to get on with the next step!