December 28, 2022 early am I’m up in the early, pitch dark silence of York, England, sitting in the living room of the beautiful AirBnB I rented nearly a year ago for just this occasion, the final day of my 5th decade. A number of people I love are asleep in this house with me: the incomparable Dr Marry, my spectacular mother, her partner Bob, my beloved Quinn and his girl Leona. All, and my brother Wes for part of it, have made the trek across the pond to celebrate this milestone birthday with me—something I have been planning since Dr Marry and I celebrated my 46th birthday in Yorkshire…
2020: my year in review
Beyond the devastation (and our late in the year diagnosis), COVID was a gift for Dr Marry and me. I closed down my offices in March and have been working from home ever since. That means Dr Marry and I had all spring and summer and much of the fall together since his job was also a hybrid of in-person and virtual teaching. We walked and biked more than we ever have. I baked copious amounts of bread and went back to my pre-full time job delight of searching for and trying fun new recipes.
Taking tea and enjoying the journey
I took this trip as much for my former self as I did for my present self. That girl had great big dreams in spite of her challenging reality. In the face of economic struggle, she taught her young son to enjoy the simple act of afternoon tea and other little joys. She wouldn’t have believed she could ever even seriously contemplate a trip like this.
e2 podcast: Sandra McCutcheon
Listen to the podcast here. Please meet my new friend Dr Sandra McCutcheon, or Sands, as Dr Marry calls her. Sandra is someone I have known of nearly as long as I have known Dr Marry because they did their PhDs together at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England. He has always spoken highly of her, so when she reached out while we were doing our addiction/sobriety series, I was keen to get to know her for myself. I wasn’t disappointed. Sandra left her super science-y life behind a number of years ago when she began to practice mindfulness, at first out of necessity and then out of choice.…