The Glorious Muddle
glimpses of grace in the messiness of life

November 17, 2021

Happy First Birthday!


One year ago today, November 17, I proudly held my little bundle of joy in my arms and told her I’d love her forever . . .  Well, maybe I’m not really that crazy, but it was a proud moment for me when One Degree of Freedom was born. During the long months that preceded the birth, I had all the usual morning sickness and fears and feelings of being overwhelmed, until the contractions kicked in and ushered forth my baby to be shared with the world.

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November 12, 2021

Encouragement When It’s Needed Most

The last time I saw my dad in his new home, he asked me if I’m a teenager.

I shook my head. “Do I look like I am?”

He scrutinized my face. “Are you 25?”

“You’re getting closer, Dad!”

My dad is legally blind and he has dementia, but I still took it as a compliment. 🙂


November 2, 2021

Learning to Live with Messy

Thanks to Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

I like to know where things are. People often comment that my house is clean. It’s not. I rarely clean. But I put things where they belong. When I’m overwhelmed, overworked, frustrated, or anxious, it helps me to have an organized space. Clutter makes it hard to focus and it makes me feel more stressed. I cannot be creative in the midst of clutter.

Right now, my life is cluttered. I feel stressed. And I cannot do anything to straighten it out.

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October 3, 2021

Lessons Learned (So Far) From Dementia

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

Like it or not, I enrolled in a crash course in caregiving for people with dementia when my father quickly developed vascular dementia less than a year ago, followed by my mother’s mild cognitive impairment. I’ve learned a few things so far, mostly through making lots of mistakes, and I’m certain I will learn much more before I’m done.


September 14, 2021

Doing What You Do for Joy

Photo credit Maria Shanina on Unsplash

I’ve been struggling for several months now with my late-in-life career change. Writing has stopped bringing me joy. Mostly that’s because I stopped writing when my parents’ dementias demanded a whole new level of caregiving. It’s hard to find joy in something you’re not doing.

But this has led me to some introspection. Do I even enjoy writing? The answer took a while to find, buried beneath layers of gunk and expectations. To quote a popular idea, does writing “spark joy” for me? Does what you do spark joy for you?