anxiety, inspiration, life lessons, mindfulness, motivation, parenting

Stuck In The Mud

That feeling of spinning your wheels, your body rocking with the car thinking it’s going to help in your efforts to dislodge it.  Wishing someone would come along to give you a push, yet recognizing that you haven’t seen another car for miles.

The karma truck is stuck in the mud.  I think it’s ok though – either I’m on the verge of getting back on the road or I’m making peace with the fact that sometimes you just have to put the damn thing in park.

Why so stuck?  Who knows really.  A friend of mine was describing this blog to his wife and said I write about ‘all this touchy-feely stuff’.  I explained how my initial motivation was to print out a year’s worth of posts and give them to my sons. Ok – it’s been a year and a half – now what?  My intent is not to hand them a tome.  I will never curate with the best of them, nor will I write with the best of them.  My sister told me that writers have discipline – I’m sure she’s right – she’s a truly outstanding writer.  I don’t think of myself as a writer – I feel like I’m more of a gusher, spewing forth foam and fluff and occasionally a stream of water that catches the light.  So you can see why I’m a little mired.  What is this blog to be now?  I’m trying to figure that out.  Filter out all the nonsense and distill my thoughts down to the most basic.  What do I want this to be?

“I do not know much about God and prayer, but I have come to believe, over the last twenty-five years, that there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple.  Help.  Thanks.  Wow.” — Anne Lamott. The woman is onto something.  [If you have never treated yourself to a book by Anne Lamott, please give yourself that gift].  Getting to the fundamentals.  Every morning when I’m out with the Sirs, there is a silent exchange between me and the stars.  First I whisper my gratitude, for to neglect to recognize what I have been given is folly and hubris and stupid.  The list is long.  Then I quietly marvel – how can you not marvel at a sky wallpapered with stars?  Or the words “I love you”?  Puppy licks (even from an especially mischievous one).  The intensity of the yellows and the oranges that inform the landscape on the mountain?  And finally, I say “Please”.  And I cry.  Every time I consider the request, I cry.  I feel a little like Holly Hunter‘s character in “Broadcast News“.  My therapeutic cry.

Am I sad?  No.  By the time I get to ‘please’, I’m overwhelmed.

And so we come full circle…I am more than shmaltz and less than Dostoevsky.  I am sitting in ‘park’ despite an urge to rock this baby out of the muck.  I’m old enough to know that we all have moments like these and young enough to feel impatient and itchy.  It feels good to write this to you.  It’s been too long.


82 thoughts on “Stuck In The Mud”

  1. Oh Mimi, I understand. Yes, I do. Funny how we are so much alike and yet different which is why I love to see when you’ve published a post ~ I always hop to yours first because I know I’ll find the connection I’m seeking and a tidbit to take away for my day. I walk my son to the bus every morning and on my way back to the house, I find myself skywatching, speaking to God/Universe in gratitude with a few pleas mixed in. My advice? Put her in park, get out and collect the gem-colored leaves of fall, wiggle your toes in the green grass before it gets too cold and honor your writings ~ walk with them now. Let the car sit in park and just write and walk. A new phase in your blog beckons ~ go with the flow. You are an excellent writer, one I admire and one I enjoy! Please don’t stop your music. We are all here waiting for your symphony.
    P.S. Love JT’s music as well! Great choice.

    1. I wasn’t counting on a second therapeutic cry this morning – and it is interesting that unbeknownst to us both, we check each other’s posts first thing. And your exuberant embrace of life inspires me each day. Your advice is sound – and I’m going to enjoy the seasons change (though it’s already a little too chilly to put my toes in the grass – and given Bogey’s indiscriminate potty locations, I think shoes are definitely in order 😉 ). Thank you so much for being the first words I read today..

      1. And thank you for being the first post I read today. It’s your honesty, your humanity and your love of fur therapy (pups) that makes me want to be friends with you. I know I can always count on a solid, friendly, thought provoking, and tidbit of wisdom mixed with feeling that your blog provides each and every time you post. I blog for my children as well ~ that perhaps one day when they are older that they will know me in an adult way as well. Such is the legacy that I want to leave. xo

  2. Maybe asking the universe to reveal…with ease and grace…what is next…can help.

    The karma Truck has been a light to me and I am sure many others have been uplifted by your post…What ever is next is the call of the universe to fullfill you spirits purpose….Many Blessings.

    1. Thank you so so much – it is more gratifying than you know to think that I may brightened a day of yours..And I believe the universe will show its plan – just need a little patience and a little less self-criticism I think.. 😉

  3. When I find myself here, whether it’s stuck in the mud or at a cross road I don’t know which direction I’m supposed to take, I do what I do best…jump off the road and hit the dirt paths. I too had a destination in mind when I first began blogging and you know how well that worked out! I not only left the road, I went and got myself a different truck!

    The blog, as in life, took many a detour and still travels many a winding path, all of which continue to lead to more stop, yield, one way, and bridge out signs…and I’m glad. Without these signs, those pot holes, the terrifying intersections of indecision, I’d have stayed, if not stuck in the mud, at the very least stuck in a rut. And I’d have missed those welcome rest areas along the way that promised a pee and a pop (yes pop, not poop), yet deliver so much more…a fabulous side kick or a staunch and sassy cheerleader.

    So, don’t fret the mud, don’t worry about the miry muck. Keep doing what you’re doing and doing like no one else can. You and that magnificent truck of yours always manage to navigate your way to exactly the right place at the right time. Even as you sit at this particular rest stop and ponder which direction you’ll be headed next, there’s someone sitting there, stuck there, with you…thanking the architect of that wallpapered sky for sticking them right there, right then…with you and that shining truck of truth, wisdom, and a full load of Mimi love…xoxo

    1. Ah WW – I’ve missed you, though I delight in knowing that you’re out there riding the side roads and the byways and arriving at a new chapter to share with all of us. You’re spot on – your blog has taken many turns and detours and even a couple of roundabouts along the way and this SK followed along with the full faith and knowledge that you were going to arrive where you needed to be. I may be in park, but I know I’ll be on the road again soon..xoxo

      1. I couldn’t be more grateful knowing you are there. And I know you’ll be on the road again, when your tank’s full…xoxo

  4. Welcome home for a bit. Hitting a bump or getting stuck in the mud is the lesson perhaps, to slow down a bit while the next door gets ready to open. I love your schmaltz and your writing is equal to some of the best writers, the catharsis alone has proven powerful. Next week I’ll bring the kleenex for both of us. But you have to promise that if we get stuck in the mud we will roll around a bit and then sit quietly covered with dirt, reflecting on all we have to be grateful for and end “our session” laughing like the school girls we once were until the tears do come, and they will. To the moon and back. All there is. Wherever you are and whatever road is next.

    1. The visual of us covered in mud is enough to get me laughing…And though the cathartic affect can be attributable to our history and our parallels, let’s not go overboard on my talent in this medium. Can’t wait to see you honey!! xoxo

      1. You know me I like to live my life in superlatives. Nonetheless, I embrace and will defend your talent always. See, from wherever I’m standing, whatever you’re doing is always going to be “the best”! What was the ditty from our 8th grade autograph books? “Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest. Till your good is better and your betters best”. No wonder you’re stuck in the mud What pressure! 😉

  5. Sometimes I believe we just need to listen to our own souls…and if it is time right now to just be idle, then so be it. I’m kind of at a similar place and have slowed down with posts because whatever goes on the blog needs to be from my heart. I think it’s all part of the tide going out and coming back in…patience and just a feeling of being settled in whatever is happening in our lives, and knowing that the spark will return. You truly are a gifted writer. All of what you say is the truth of who you are. Go with the flow of what is happening right now and know that when and if the time is right, you will return. Love to you my friend.

    1. Perhaps it is the rhythm in the tides, the seasons turning into each other – there is something comforting in knowing that you feel similarly, for I am always so amazing by the beauty in your photographs and the magnificence in your afternoon posts. So idle we shall be, to refuel perhaps and reflect and return. Thank you so much…love, m

      1. Thank you Mimi. I have spent a fair bit of time thinking about things myself lately and wondering why this year seems different. Autumn has always been a favorite season for me, but this year Autumn arrived with an unexplainable bit of sadness as well. For me, I think it might have a bit to do with becoming older and seeing life differently. My children are all grown now and the season of my own life is changing. I’m trying to just let it all settle. And, yes, there is always so much beauty around us. We need to just let it fill every part of our being and be nourished during this time of reflection. 🙂

      2. We’re in similar places – with grown children and changing stages in our own lives. It’s ironic that this is a time that is unsettling – when the presumption is that the older one gets the more one settles down.

      3. Yes…and it has a lot to do for me with looking back at what my life has been thus far. I’m grateful for the people I have met here…and that this is a community of sharing. It helps to know that I have friends who have similar feelings of an unsettled sort of sadness. To feel all of this is to acknowledge the changes in life. I know that it will all be okay, for both of us. 🙂

  6. Mimi, You have touched the lives of many through this blog. I know that you have touched mine. Continue to pray on it. I feel certain that the answers will come. People connect with the emotion in your writing. People relate to you and feel less alone after reading your beautiful words. Allow yourself to be still- the answers will come. Just know that you have made this world a better place.

    1. I would never ask for more than the enormity of the gift you have given me Kristin – for if we are not for each other, who are we for (to paraphrase Hillel). I will continue to keep it in neutral for a little while, though I feel so heartened by your words. Thank you so so much.

  7. Despite the fact that you’re feeling as though you’ve hit a ‘bump in the road,’ you express yourself *beautifully* honey, and every delivery from the Karma Truck is a blessing for those along its route.

    Emerson counseled us to “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” I believe you’re unconsciously doing this every morning as you gaze up at the stars (I do this as well when I take the dogs out–I look up and think of you doing the same each day and smile, for I feel as though it’s a gossamer thread that connects us–but I digress….)

    Be gentle and kind with yourself and look at this time as ‘the pause that refreshes.’ You’ll start rolling again when you’re ready…..all there is….xoxxox, l

    1. I’m lucky because we’ve been talking about this for a little while now – so I know this post is not news to you. And why am I not surprised that we would both use our pre-dawn time similarly? The thread that connects us may be gossamer-like, though arguably as strong as iron…
      I’m giving myself the space – and I’m working on giving myself the permission..All there is..xoxo, m

  8. Back in the day–in my 20’s–I used to run trails in the back country. About 3 miles up (really straight up, too) on this one trail–White Oak–I would watch the landscape drop away and broaden as i climbed, feeling closer and closer to the Great Power (God or what have you) that is the force of the Universe (back then, for sure just God) and by the time i would reach the top–5 miles up–I swear, tears would be streaming down my face at the sheer perfection of it all. The sheer connection of it all. The view was mine–all mine, and yet nothing I possessed–earned with the sweat of a lone runner (I never bumped into people on these epic journies…well, very infrequently, as it was all about solitude)

    Thank you for reminding me about that. Some of the purest moments in my life.

    Your karma truck isn’t stuck. It’s just getting a tune up from a very discreet mechanic. Should I capitalize mechanic? Er…maybe…;)

    Nice to “chat”, MiMi…You are such a You You….don’t ever change that…okay kay…

    gads must stop…:)

    1. Ah Karen…thank you. Thank you for making me feel that being just a ‘me’ is such a good thing. Thank you for sharing a visual that was so pure in its beauty, I could feel your awe and wonder. And yes, I think the mechanic is doing her/his thing and that’s ok too. hugs, m

  9. Feeling stuck must be the feeling of the week or at least it has been for me. I too shared my recent experience and something about sharing it made it feel less overwhelming. My hope is that you too will find peace in the stuck-ness that will get you going again. Keep your heart open and your mind clear and soon things will open up for you. Sending you lots of good vibes and peaceful prayers!

  10. ‘k, first am going to tell you that you are an excellent writer. One of the best I’ve read. (Disagree with your “nor will I write with the best of them.” Your “gushes” are more well formed and articulate than some folks’ final drafts.) Something about how your sentences flow and the meaning that comes out of what you write. There’s description and warmth and humor and sadness. You convey it all very clearly. I don’t know how much work you do between your first draft and what’s published, but my guess is that it’s all very stream-of-consciousness. You have a gift.

    So. Part of your blog’s purpose–no matter why it was started–is to share this gift and help others feel better about having the same thoughts. Being ok with being stuck and even considering to put it in park. You seem a woman who knows her own mind well enough to know that there is more to know. And putting that out there for others is priceless. Just sayin’ 😉

    Doesn’t matter what you write about, Mimi–it’s always a pleasure to read. You could always publish a recipe or two–heehe. Cheers!

    1. I leave the recipes to you – and I relish trying them!! I relish reading your posts too. And you’re right – there are no ‘drafts’ or iterations. What you see is what you get (which upon some reflection could be pretty scary). I am ok being ‘in park’ – because somehow good things happen when we let ourselves take stock (pun intended) 🙂 . That said, I’m silenced by the thought that sharing thoughts such as these are of help to anyone – humbled and grateful that you would think so. Sending abundant thanks and hugs, m

  11. Dear Mimi, your post and the song you included with it both touched me deeply in many ways. What a perfect combination. Wisdom and heart,and your courageous vulnerability that adds so much to the human connection and experience. You are an amazing writer partly because you don’t take yourself too seriously. I believe the song you included has many answers to many questions, including, perhaps, some you seek: “Try not to try too hard.” (It is good to put the car in park sometimes and just sit, reflect, and accept, before getting on with life. Some of life’s best lessons and greatest gifts come to us when we are stuck in the mud) “The secret of love is in opening up your heart. It’s OK to feel afraid. Love is the only road.” (You have mastered this one, dear friend.) Just keep being you and sharing more of you. The world needs the wonderful gifts that you bring to it. To us. To me.


    1. You’ve brought me to tears twice in one afternoon Russ!! That song by JT is one of my favorites and no surprise that the line “Try not to try too hard” is one that I repeat often to myself. It is true – sometimes you just have to park and figure out where you are (without the GPS telling you). To think that I have given you any gift at all is a greater gift to me my friend – truly.

      1. Your reply warmed my heart, brought a smile to my face, and brightened my day, Mimi. I can’t think of a time when hearing from you didn’t inspire such responses from me.

        Whether in park or flying down the road of life, I believe you are, in fact, getting information from the GPS : “Goodness Plus Spirit” (aka your heart.) I’m grateful for that connection, and that you share it so freely with others.

  12. So many wise people, I’m not sure what I can add except my instant, gut reaction: you are an amazingly talented writer, far better than I know you give yourself credit for. You used to spend your days dispensing advice (well, before the bureaucracy maybe), and really good advice, and developing and encouraging people to reach their full potential. It’s a stretch…but maybe your blog is the needy employee whom you can coax along with enough encouragement. Or imagine the luxury of having thousands of people with their ears cocked, waiting for your wisdom, or silliness, or thought-provoking insights, or sometimes, when necessary, the sound of silence. It should be fun for you above all else, no matter what the rest of us desperately need and want from you. After all, you gave at the office…

    1. Desperately? No honey, no desperation. If people enjoy it, identify with it, smile or nod – then I’d say I’m way ahead of the game. Thousands of people? Your generosity knows no bounds – YOU are the one with thousands who should be hanging on your every word. Wisdom from the blonde – sort of oxymoronic, huh? Love you Jill…

  13. Wow. Where does one start. 1) I felt it. 2) A pity-party for the Karma Truck. Hmmmm. Where’s the Karma in that? 3) “I don’t think of myself as a writer.” Well, la de da. Shame everyone else thinks you are. 4) I could follow all of your wonderful followers and be the nurturing type…but then, that wouldn’t be true to form, right? 5) Did you digest anything Anne Lamott wrote? How about this one my little Pony???

    “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”

    ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

    1. Wow – thanks for the ice cold water. The Lamott quote reverberates – part of the sham theory and all. But the splash in the face? This wasn’t a pity party – I give all a heads up when I’m going to have one, and I know better than to invite anyone. You missed the call in the huddle and hit me in the face with the ball. I’m just trying to figure some stuff out Dave, that’s all.

  14. we all have those moments/times. the trick is to have the moment and move ahead from it. keep it simple and stay open to what comes. you are all that you believe yourself to be.

  15. Sometimes the very best thing to do — the most totally 100% sane thing to do … is to tip your head back and let the tears fall.

    Step away.
    Get quiet.
    don’t accomplish.
    don’t “do.”
    Just … be.


  16. I think that we started our blogs about the same time and our daily lives were similar in that we were both in a ‘transition’ in our lives (although yours was a different type of transition). As that part of our life (our real life) passes through the transition phase we can get temporarily stuck in mud (as you put it) in our blogs because they seem to be moving at a different pace than real life. Once we get past the mud in our real lives and move on to something different, I am sure the blog too will redevelop into something reflective of ‘life past the transition and more about the next chapter of life’.

    PS I have said ‘we’ throughout this because this comment is really a pep talk to myself. 🙂

    1. I’m sure you’re right…and it’s good to know that I’ve been in such good company on this trip Elizabeth!! Different transitions, similar reactions. Thank you for the ‘shared pep talk’. Wish we could have more of those!

  17. That’s all I can say is I know exactly what you are talking about. I am parked observing as I wait for some sort of A HA moment to move me forward.
    Your words always cause me to ponder on things that are either already on my mind or things that I am trying to avoid. Always a good read and today was no different.

  18. I,too, have felt stuck in many ways, including my blog. It resulted in self imposed pressure to get “unstuck.” I think that’s counterproductive. Take a break so the inspiration can rise again.

  19. I can’t wait to read all the comments, but wanted to say, of all the sentences in your excellent post, this was one of the best: “I’m old enough to know that we all have moments like these and young enough to feel impatient and itchy.” Because I don’t think I can tell you anything except maybe this: that sometimes it’s good to roll around in the (whatever) until you feel sufficiently sick of yourself to blast out of it, shower off, and put on your cape again. It’s a necessary fallow time, a healing time. A time to gather energy.

    1. Thanks Lynne – it’s the knowing that this will pass that makes it palatable and the itchiness that ensures that I’ll grab my cape shortly. The benefit of experience is knowing that the fallow periods are there for a reason and will not/should not be dismissed. Learning to let it be. I’m trying..xo, m

  20. It has been too long–I am with you there in park though I am itching to go 120 kph (not as bad as 129mph–I am from Canada though I still have not made the transition to metric without converting. Mimi–you always have the perfect voice for what I am feeling–and I love “The Secret of Life”–

    1. Isn’t it weird how so much of our feelings parallel? And the realityis that no matter how much I rev the engine right now, I’m only hurting the engine. I need to idle – and be okay with that. And I too love that song – it just ratchets things down for me a bit.

  21. My goodness, Mimi. Those of us who love reading every word in every one of your blogs don’t care much about what someone”s husband thinks. To me, and I’m assuming everyone of your fans, you share your wisdom, hope and inspiration, and everything in between, lifting our spirits, either because we can relate to what you are experiencing at the time or because you ignite the same stuffed feeling in our own heads. I love how grateful you are and I hope your conclusion will be to forge ahead just being you and you alone; sharing with us in the same way you always have. Unless, of course, you want to change for your own sake and no one else’s. You are a talented writer, your messages organized and clear, layered with interesting quotes and music.
    Hope you don’t mind the pep talk, but I just spewed what my first thought was and that is what this is all about. I always look forward to hearing from you.
    I love James Taylor too, he speaks to the soul.
    Xo Fran xo

    1. Why in the world would I mind the pep talk? What I appreciate more than anything are these words that came from your heart. I don’t think I could ever change the way I write, I do wonder about the topics themselves and that’s what I’m sort of noodling around in my head. The idea that these posts echo your feelings and occasionally strike a chord which makes us feel connected is about the best I could ever hope for Fran. Thank you for everything always – and I am not at all surprised that you would be a JT fan too!! oxox, m

    1. Hi Twinkle…I’m not going anywhere – just taking a little time to sit still and figure out which way to take this truck next…Have an amazing weekend..hugs, m

  22. Ok, so, I love this. I love the honesty and the transparent freedom to just share with all of us, the feeling of not being quite sure. Though, to I and, everyone above me, it is clear that we just want more. Of whatever you have got. It’s all good, it’s always from that place we talked about, just under and just above – the layer in between that we all have but can’t always get in touch with. But as soon as your words hit the screen, for me, it’s like, yes, that. There it is. xoxo

    1. For one moment I felt like Emeril and thought you were going to say “Bam!”… 🙂 I don’t think I”m ready to stop – I just think I needed to park it for a bit. Love you Bon and love that you find that space in between…xoxo

  23. Honesty is amazing stuff. You are beautiful when you are stuck. Such vulnerability, honesty, and courage to share with us. I am sitting with you here in the muck and trusting that the Universe is guiding you right to where you want to be. Hold on, when the jolt of the truck swimming out of that muddy muck comes, you’ll want to be ready. 🙂

    1. Hi Vicky and thank you…for joining me and for ‘getting it’. I have no doubt that I’m going to roll out of this muck, which is why I can sit here with my friends and just let it be. I can’t say it’s the best view – but I’ve got some coffee and great company, so it’s all good…oxox

  24. Mimi…you go ahead and take the time you need to re-group.
    If you don’t mind, I have no worries or doubt at all that you’ll come out of that mud hole and the rest of us will be anxiously waiting 🙂
    You got this girl!!
    You are my little light shining when I slip into a mud hole 🙂
    Luv and Light

    1. Kimmie, I will always be here for you – as you are for so many people with the bright light that surrounds you…and yes, I’m not going anywhere…love, m

      1. Yay!! Do you know how hard it is to type and clap like a seal? lol
        Thanks M and just so you know, I slipped into that puddle not too long ago and you were the one that threw me a rope when I needed it 🙂
        Enjoy your Sunday my friend!! Luv and Light!!

      2. I am beyond thrilled to think that I had a hand in helping you out of a puddle Kimmie – my day is so happy because of you!! xox, m

      3. Now that is interesting…Same goes for me too!!
        We need to start a club or something! lol
        Have a fantabulous week Miss M oxox

  25. What a lot of great advise and words of encouragement you have received from so many. You have inspire and touched so many (myself included). I think that being in the mud is an alright place to be – take pause if need be and don’t rush or force things. Trust in yourself and your feelings. These are my thoughts – but I feel you already know what is best for you.


    1. I have to say that I am beyond humbled at the supportive responses I have received – and to think that I have touched anyone by these posts of mine is arguably more than I ever had imagined. I’m getting back to the rhythm I think – slowly, but surely. Thank you so much..hugs, m

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