I step from my bed in the morning to the sound of the tea pot whistling and a book being read aloud. I pause to look in the mirror, I don’t recognize this tired woman. Tired even after eight hours of sleep the night before. I wash my face rubbing it hard with cold water trying to find the me underneath. Eventually she emerge but it is through foggy eyes that I see her. I search through the closet of familiar shirts trying to create a certain balance, not for others but myself. I settle into blue, blue shirt, blue jeans, blue Chacos. I need it to day, to wrap myself in blue swaddled around the edges from all traces of yellow. Today yellows (and there for greens, browns and reds) hurt my mind they interupt my being. So in blue I join the tea drinking.

But I leave the tea behind, leave husband and son to sit anonymously in a cafe and write. This is not lofty fiction or a pointed essay but a train of thoughts one leading to another until I have circled back to he beginning and I can hear the old men at the next table talking about health care and their grandchildren. I know I am done writing when I start to count how many times the barista walks past the counter.

That is a natural rhythm one that moves with my mind and down into the ink. I write no less or more than I need to and when I am done I close the book and walk out the door.

I am trying to honor myself this morning, not giving myself freedom but feeding myself in ways I have been starved. From the coffee shop I head to the fabric store to find a pattern and fabric. I know that there are both at home, but I need something I can do quickly and well. I want to be able to slip this dress on Sunday evening after a shower without a second thought without wondering if the seams are right or the neckline even.

To honor myself is not selfish. It brings me back to my family refreshed.

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