By Shanty Espinosa
I think I have pre-Alzheimer’s. Or maybe just short-term memory loss like Dory the fish. Or (most likely) gluten-induced dietary fog brain. Or PMS. Whatever the culprit, in the past week, my life has taken on a sluggish quality, as though a white, puffy cloud is following me from room to room, coming between me and the keyboard, the dirty dishes, the Twitter. (Okay, so this might be a blessing). Anyway.
Last week, I forgot to post Thursday’s blog post. That wouldn’t have been all that bad except I had a guest blogger that day, the lovely Beth Vogt (whose re-scheduled post will appear this Thursday instead). Not only did I forget Beth’s post … I FORGOT MY BLOG ALTOGETHER. Well, there’s nothing to say to that except Shame on Shanty. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) 😊 And no, I don’t actually feel shame about it. I feel a teensy bit of regret, though, as in “Wow. I wish that hadn’t happened.”
And I wish my brain wasn’t so foggy.
Something else happened (also last week): I attended a writers’ conference where I sat around and shot the breeze with my writer buddies aka the people who get me, and we discussed blog topics, book ideas, and the state of the publishing industry. Then (this is the best part), we gorged ourselves on pasta and shrimp, and talked some more, and laughed. Then we stood in the atrium of the Gaylord Texan, blocking traffic on the hotel’s beautifully decorated pathway while we took countless selfies, first with this friend, then with that one, then the entire group, then retakes because we’re all over sixteen-years-old and don’t possess the picture-taking knack that comes naturally to the young. It was a glorious evening.
Driving home the next day, I was foggy-brained again.
I almost missed an exit, and I did pull in front of a sports car, but somehow, I managed to get back to Canyon safely. I hugged my kids and kissed my husband, and plopped into a chair in front of Netflix. My oldest, Gage, curled up next to me in my recliner. He’s way too big for that, but you won’t hear me complaining. “Momma?” he said. “I missed you when you were gone.” And my heart melted right then and there all over the upholstery, and I pulled that kid toward me and squeezed him like there was no tomorrow.
And the fog in my brain? It lifted slightly.
Turns out I wasn’t suffering from pre-Alzheimer’s, short-term memory loss, poor dietary choices, or even PMS. (Okay, maybe it was partially PMS because when am I not affected by hormones?) But I think mostly I was just too busy for my own good. Busy with blogging, cleaning, social media, marriage, cooking, not to mention my kids’ extracurricular activities. You know … the LIFE stuff. “Soccer mom” doesn’t begin to describe Shanty Espinosa. I need way more adjectives than that, but I digress.
My point is this: when it came down to what was important, my mind was clear. Crystal. I wasn’t too busy for the things that matter. Or, more than likely, I just slowed down enough to notice them. Don’t get me wrong. In NO WAY do I consider myself to be holier-than-thou-other-foggy-brained-mommies. This was nothing more than coincidence. I know this because I didn’t see it coming. But I certainly did enjoy the snuggles on the recliner.
So, if you take anything away from Shame on Shanty today, let it be the acceptance that it’s alright to slow down a little. Say no to the things that don’t matter and yes to the things that do. If you feel yourself getting a little blurry around the edges, then stop and turn the fog machine off, and when the air is clear … pass out a few hugs.
Shanty Espinosa is a happily married mother of four who has a passion for helping others overcome their life struggles. Even though she’s not a real person, she’s helped dozens of fictitious characters through her support group that meets down at the local coffee shop. You can read about one of the women she helped in Looking Glass Lies, the novel where Shanty came to life.
Follow Shame on Shanty and be entered to win one of the books in Shanty’s October pile which includes Varina Denman’s Looking Glass Lies. Winners will be drawn from blog subscribers and announced on November 2nd. US and Canada only.
September’s winners: Julie Waldron, Connie Saunders, Erica Halmar, Darla Peters, Pam Graber, and Mary. Congratulations!