If we were talking across a picket fence RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT, you would be staring into the makeup-less eye sockets of a woman still in her favorite (stretched) Gillian O'Malley pajama's she bought off the clearance rack in Target two years ago and you would watch as she took occasional sips of her lukewarm, thrice-reheated coffee. This is my life, unfiltered. I am needing to take a shower and slip into a bathing suit (a end-of-season Lands End Super Slimmer that makes me instantly feel age 79 when I put it on)for my twin's swimming lessons at the Y. I am hearing my voice raise-even as I am really wanting to keep it level-- as I tell them that, NO, they cannot have ANY MORE FOOD, kitchen closed, be thankful for the breakfast we had and you're not really hungry, just bored. I think to myself "Can I not just get ONE thing done (this post) in a morning? Is this too much to ask? How do other working-from-moms get anything done?". Yes....this is my life this morning, unfiltered.
Filter-free. There are times (in personal relationships) that a filter is very, very necessary. There are other places where sharing the stuff--all of it--without any hue but stark reality is actually life-giving. This is what I love about the women of Neighborlies. Yes, we have our lovely Michelle sharing her gift of photography in many of our articles, but our words refuse to gloss over the grit and even the occasional glory of life lived this side of Heaven. Even as we are preparing our next issue, stories are being put down on paper for the first time, bravely exposing weakness in order to infuse empathy and hope into the lives of a reader that might be walking through the same confusing place. Sure, we enjoy exchanging thoughts and ideas on the trivial, but our mission remains to write about the real. We hope you have found this to be a place where you can relate and relax in the company of women who write on what really is.
If you are new to Neighborlies, here are JUST A VERY FEW of my favorites from past issues to get you started:
Nyomi was born while I almost bled out on the table. I woke up after surgery asking for my baby, finding out she would be my only one. My body didn't die, but part of my soul did.
No longer did I need my friends for entertainment and to have a good time. Screw amusement; there is no diversion when your child will not forthelove just stop crying. Now I needed friends for survival and for sanity. I needed friends to speak the truth of Hope into my life and to pick up the slack that I just couldn’t handle on my own.
Fear can be isolating or it can be shared... and like the monster that's just a shirt on a hanger, it's often gone once you shed some light on it.
This Spring marks 15 years of doing life alone as a single mom. That is a shocking number to me.