Pain In My Ass

I have late-onset hypochondria. Yes, that is a made up condition. Yes, this is a self-diagnosis. But doesn’t that just make me right?

In the past year, I have been convinced the following things would kill me: ingesting poison ivy (without actually ingesting any), Lyme disease (saw a tick once) and aneurysm (it was a headache). Now, there’s my ass. My tailbone has been sore for six months. I am not imagining this. I’ve had an ultrasound, X-ray and lots of people poking around the top of my butt crack. And before any of them came to a conclusion, I did: I determined I was suffering from stage 11 butt bone cancer and my daughter would grow up motherless and I wouldn’t live to give her a sibling or witness the incredible woman she will grow up to be.

That was the official self-diagnosis. Including the Ginny stuff. It’s what I spent weeks thinking about, and how I developed a habit of wistfully smelling her hair.

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SorryNotSorry: On motherhood, marriage and not being a new person.

The other morning, I posted the following status update on Facebook: “I was sincerely committed to not letting parenthood change me, but now that I see ‘buy photo paper’ on my to-do list, resistance just seems futile.” I know. Funny, right? I live to amuse myself.

Soon after, a friend very sweetly and genuinely commented about the joy he felt in the way his son has changed everything about the way he thinks and feels. My immediate reaction was to jokingly reply, “Yeah, but I was already awesome before having a kid.” I didn’t, partly because I didn’t want to imply that he wasn’t (he was!), but mostly because of another reason the joke might not land: It’s a little too close to how I really feel about myself.

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Oops: Cash Flow for Freelancers

If you pay tax estimates, you know it’s currently the worst time of year. While everyone else is planning to blow their tax return on a Memorial Day excursion, we have just paid our tax bill for last year and our first quarterly estimate in April, and for some infuriating reason, the second quarter is about to be due in June. So if you made more money last year than the year before–which is everyone’s goal–three huge tax bills are due in a two month span. Hey, IRS, that’s not how you divide 12 into four.

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Freelancing With a Tiny Freeloader: Everything is the same and everything is different

Well, I had a kid. And here I am, back behind my desk, working on the new challenge of keeping a tiny person fed, clothed and housed with the same old task of typing thoughts into the internet. We could segue into the miracle of childbirth here, but everyone has heard that before. Plus, I personally found the experience less miraculous and more a sciencey. Very cool, life-changing, intense science, but it definitely fit more into the scientific marvel than mystic miracle category for me. Not sure why that matters, but there it is.

To me, the real mystic happening is how parenthood changes this, the state of being a freelancer. I am doing, or getting back to doing at least, the same thing I was doing six weeks ago. Filtering my inbox, reaching out to sources, setting up interviews, researching and crafting stories from the results. But my motivations, methods and philosophy around all of it have shifted. Not drastically, but still dramatically; the way a silver of sunlight in the corner of window changes the lighting in an entire house. Here’s how.

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Being a mammal on the internet

Over the last several days, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time with my curser blinking helplessly in Google’s search field and my mind in the same condition. I can’t think of the right search term. I’ve tried them all. Nothing is giving me the information I seek. Mostly because I know better than to directly ask Google the question I really want answered: When, exactly, will I go into labor?

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