At the Wheel, Listing Again.

Drawing by Karen Lapudula

The cemetery, again.

It’s where I walk, when I exercise.

It’s where I’ll end up sooner, if I don’t walk more often.


I related to the dried leaves pressed up against the wire fence trying to get in, again.

I’ve been here before.

Holding on to a steering wheel that is pulling me so hard to one side,
sparks flying off the side of the car scraping against the guard rail.

The steering wheel as a metaphor for balance comes from the ( highly recommended-he changed my whole world) life coach Alfred Depew ,who I worked with years ago.

I found him when I knew something was missing (children) but had no idea how to get there.

Divide all the areas of your life in to pieces on a pie.
Rate them in terms of fulfillment from 1-10.

I did.

When I shared the results he said; Life is like a steering wheel.
If you have a few areas that are at a 7 or 8, and a few at a 1-2-or 3,
and the odd 5 or 10 guess what happens?

Tell me.

You drive off the side of the road!



I remembered this when the word “stalled” came out- the other day when a friend asked me how I was feeling.

This didn’t make sense to him.

But your writing he said. And the kids are great. Schools sound like you are really connected to the work, the students. How are you stalled?


After the walk in the bright sun with my arms flailing this way and that (I was that woman, who you stare at when you see her walking by herself with her arms pumping too hard, and she appears to be talking or to herself as she exaggerates each step. You don’t want to stare, but it feels so good to know you still have some self-esteem, that you don’t let yourself look that foolish. I was her today. And I really enjoyed it.) I took the kids to the park to hit baseballs in all ten degrees. It was nearly 15 in the sun. We had a blast. Sam can hit a fast pitch hardball, with a regulation little league bat. T-ball might not hold his attention.


This morning we joined three hundred other adoptive and non adoptive families for a Chinese New Year Celebration with dancing, music, crafts, a dragon parade and lots of food. Both the boys sat, transfixed on the performers for over an hour. I soaked in the joy in the community.


I am taking Eddie out to dinner tonight to thank her for the new business cards that she designed!!! She is taking seven classes, and grieving for and healing over Haiti. She needs an ear for her thesis. I am honored to have the chance to listen for a change.


I am planning a trip to Boston to meet family, and enjoy the boys in a few weeks. I have also planned a Mommy Sammy day–for one of my school vacation days. We can’t wait.


All of this is to say I have such a full life, when I choose to enjoy it with both hands on the wheel.


There is one very large part missing, still. But with a full tank of gas, and my blinker on to get back on the road it’s only a matter of time, and a new GPS.


  1. I’ve been know to walk the cemetery for exercise as well. They are surprisingly peaceful places (though my good friend thinks I’m crazy).

    And, balance is at the forefront of my mind this year, too. I love the metaphor of the steering wheel, of how fast we veer off course when we pull too hard in one direction.

  2. We visited Mammoth Cave National Park on New Year’s weekend and were struck when we discovered a tiny cemetery called “Little Hope Cemetery.” Such an odd, poignant name. We did a few gravestone rubbings, but it was well below zero with the wind chill factor, so we didn’t stay long. It’s strange how compelling and repelling cemeteries can be.

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