Good Old Days

“These are the good old days” I heard someone say over the summer.

Whatever this moment, this age, this part of your life, no matter where you are.

This is it.

You’ll look back and romanticize this moment in time, b/c well, that’s what we do.

So in this moment, where she wants me to rub her back, snuggle with her, and he wants me to pour his milk, put down the toilet seat and comb his hair. This is it.

Please let me never forget that one day, this will all change.

When we live in these ordinary moments of tasks and to do’s, we forget how sacred and precious this really is.

The dishes.

The laundry.

The way the bathroom is dirty every single night, no matter how many times I wipe the faucet down.

Yesterday, I was alone in my car driving on a busy, congested road in the city.

It was raining. It was just after 5pm. I was running errands while kids were at playdates.

I was listening to a podcast about writers and books. And the traffic was not moving.

And I looked up and out the window. I could see the rest of the evening ahead.

Make dinner, read, calm Milo ( who will be tired from the playdate), take the dog out in the rain, nothing special.

But everything about this IS special.

This IS the life I created and formed, that I chose and  I continue to choose.

This made me laugh b/c sometimes I dream of a different life.

One where we travel around the world and camp and have new adventures every day, one where we explore foods and cultures and we are exhausted at the end of our days b/c our lives are so interesting and full of moving, learning and being.

Do you ever dream of a life away from your own?

But then, I remembered, THESE are the good old days.

Not the road less traveled or the dreams not yet realized.

Just this.

A rainy Monday night, a good book waiting to be read, a meatloaf  ready to go in the oven,  a faucet that needs to be cleaned.

These are the good old days.

 

 

 

 

We Are From

My Jewish Children.

We are from love and earth.

We are from brothers and sisters.

We are from Israel and The Holocaust.

We are from candles and prayers.

We are from intensity and softness.

We are from the moon and the harvest.

We are from Hebrew and English.

We are from light and dark.

My Jewish children, do not be afraid of where we are from bc it is in our bones and in our blood.

Eternal spirit and breath guide us today, to stand strong in the name of those who lost their lives.

Those who can’t be with us to cry or to hold our hands.

We are from each other.

My Jewish children, we must always remember that those who hate us are not full of the love that we know. We are the lucky ones to know this love and my beautiful babies, I will teach you where we are from. ❤️

This is going to ruin our marriage.

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The day I decided to quit drinking, I looked at Mel through wet, messy eyes.

” I’m afraid this is going to ruin our marriage.”

I said this directly to him. Then my head dropped and I wept. UGLY CRY.

My whole body shaking with the unknown. SO MUCH FEAR.

For over 20 years, we have been drinking together. Some of those nights ending in rage, screaming and anger and sometimes in passion.

Either way, LOTS of emotions tied into this whole drinking habit/culture/ life…

My relationship to alcohol has been:

very long and personal,

abusive at times,

ALWAYS beloved,

a bit confusing.. to be honest.

Never have I loved anything that made me feel so bad.

To me drinking was fun, celebrating, laughter, silliness, crazy nights, so many good stories, memories, being cool, hanging out, something to look forward to.

In my mind, there’s NOTHING worse than your drinking buddy getting sober.

What a buzz kill.

I asked Mel, ” Are you mad?”

“NO. Why would I be?”  he was sincere.

” Well, to be honest, I would be really pissed if you quit drinking on me, first. Like, REALLY MAD. ”  I admitted.

But over the past few years, I did NOT like who I was when I drank. Especially when we would be alone. I would start to say mean things. I would be cold, rude, direct and certainly not loving or kind.

With my kids, I found myself more tired than energized by drinking. I found myself wanting to rush through bedtime/ reading with them so that I could go to sleep or lay down. Even with 1-2 glasses of wine. I found my pitta temper and fire on a much shorter fuse when I had ANY alcohol than when I was sober.

UGH. Facing all of this about yourself sucks.

But it’s true.

And so, when I finally said, ENOUGH to drinking- my biggest fear was that our marriage would come crashing down.

I asked myself over and over ” who am I in this relationship without alcohol?”  And there was just a lot of silence on the other end. B/c the I realized- who am I in my LIFE without alcohol? OH SHIT- this is so much more complicated than I could imagine.

And I really just wanted to feel what it was like.  THE GOOD NEWS. It’s been WAY easier than I imagined it would be and that I truly do have these beautiful authentic relationships to others AND MYSELF that have nothing to do with the alcohol that  I thought was fueling so much of the connection.  PHEW.

The BAD NEWS: I used alcohol to cover a lot of trauma I did not want to deal with. Now, I’m facing it – actually I’m looking it RIGHT in the eyes. Holding the gaze. Feeling all the feels and breathing the whole time. I CAN DO THIS.  When it becomes to much, I relax. I go for a walk, I call a friend. I GOT THIS.

I used alcohol to numb myself from feeling DEEP and PROFOUND jOY that I have in my life. I always thought peeps used it to hide from the discomfort- but actually, discomfort is my jam! my thing! I’m good with the shadows.. I used it to take the edge off the moments of connection with my family, my loved ones, my own accomplishments or celebrations.  Like some ” I don’t really deserve this”  kinda stuff.

But, now I’m going into 5 months ( WHOA) and honestly, our marriage is BETTER than it was 6 months ago.. in so many ways.

  1. I feel more integrated and not split between sober Pleasance and drinking Pleasance.
  2. When I really do feel something about our marriage or my life, I FEEL IT. I can’t hide or avoid.. well, I mean I CAN.. but I don’t. So that when we sit down to talk or confront – more often than not, I am kind and compassionate and loving, which really is the essence of who I ( WE) are. And that feels awesome.
  3.  I made a commitment to myself long ago to live my life fully with an open heart and open mind and strength. I make the choice every day to integrate and be honest with people. So, in this case, it was time to deal with my demons and my unhealthy relationship to drinking. What occurs after this.. well, it’s not my biz, really.
  4. I’m thinking A LOT these days about what is my biz and what’s not. What’s my responsibility and what’s not. If it’s not my job to make sure everyone else is comfortable all the time.. does that mean I can talk more openly about my trauma? My demons? MY shadows? If I don’t have to try to get you to like me or to please you- does that mean we can GO THERE with the really uncomfortable stuff that I buried with my drinking?

I’ll update you again in a few months- if you want to talk about any of this, or if I can help you process, digest or connect to  your own story with alcohol- I’d love it.

I’m NOT a hater of it- I’m not a NO DRINKING FOR EVERYONE advocate, I’m just sharing my own experiences in hopes that it inspires you to think about yours!

XO, P

P.S. Our dog is named Miller Lite Silicki. Yep. I know. I know…

Mel

I have been with the same guy for over 20 years. When I say that out loud or put in writing, it blows my mind. I feel like all these years together, all these experiences, he was there but not THERE. Mel is  my biggest fan, my supporter for sure. BUT, his voice is quiet, his approach subtle.  He is on the sidelines, and I’ve always been on the field.

As you can probably tell, I’m very complicated and emotional. I spent many years HATING this about myself. It’s only until recent years where I see this as my super power and I’ve been full blow leaping into what’s possible for my life. And there’s Mel.

I’m reading this Gottman book  and one of the chapters has questions you can use with your partner to deepen your connection. Last night I asked Mel, ” What does home mean to you? ” And he looked at me, with a confused expression. ” It means where we are right now. We are home. ”  I dropped my head and put my palms over my eyes.  BIG SIGH.        ” You really mean that, don’t you?”  I asked. He nodded, looking lost. ” Well, what’s yours?” he asks.

” Home is a place of comfort and ease and safety. Home is safe. Spacious yet soft.  A place to be. Home is what we are creating for our children. for ourselves. I think of our home like our own personal retreat.”   ” HMM.” He replies. Clearly we are on different pages, with this one.

And yet, he is always saying ” Yes. you should do that. Go to Israel, go to Mardi Gras,  go on that cruise, go to grad school in Philly, I’ll help you move. Go open that yoga studio, I’ll help you build it. Go write that book. Go live your life, Pleasance.  We will figure it out.”  His relentless support for my crazy ideas and independence has served us well.

And to be clear, We are not best friends.

Last year I had 3 friends who lost their husbands. In all 3 cases, the couples were madly in love. The closest of friends, confidantes, enjoying similar passions and building really big beautiful lives together.

Watching these 3 people I care about go through this, I started to question my own marriage. I started to think what we had was not real or ” as good” as my friends. I started to get really, really scared and I freaked out on Mel and to my journal and my friends. ARE WE GOING TO MAKE IT?

The truth is, I’m at a point in my life where a lot of my  friends who are married, are pretty unhappy and going through their own struggles. I think this is b/c of a lot of layered reasons like society, stress, fear, pushing things under the rug, etc.

Mel and I are not alone. There are a few times over the past 20 years where I really did not think we were going to make it. There were a few times when I just was crawling out of my skin with our life, with our marriage, with the choices we had made, with the day to day. And yet, somehow after each deepest, darkest valley- somehow we start to climb back up that hill together, stronger.

I know I have done my part… read the books, hired the therapists, started the conversations. BUT at every turn, he has a choice. TRY. STAY. ASK. ENGAGE.

And he has.

Over and over he shows me that people CAN evolve. We BOTH have.

We can grow together and mess up a lot and forgive. WE CAN FORGIVE.

When I met Mel I was wild. Untamed. Messy. So angry. So lost. And he was there. He never left, and it didn’t scare him. He did not really react to it all, to be honest. He just stayed. People said ” He’s good for you, P. But he’s so quiet. He’s so not like you.”

But when you are with someone every season for 20 years.

You know them. You feel them. And yet, he is still a mystery to me.  And I to him.

Recently, he came on my podcast, which was unlike him. And I am proud of him, he really wanted to do it.  It was so nice to hear him talk about his life and share in this way.

I won’t pretend to know what the next 20 years will hold or what on earth might unfold.

But as the seasons change again, and another year starts to come to a close, I realize with compassion that without a guidebook or instruction manual, we are raising these kids and living this life TOGETHER. I think for us, it’s actually really GOOD that we are not best friends. I think for us, fiercely independent souls that the truth is we are BOTH scared and complicated, both only children from divorced homes, both not convinced we were ever supposed to be the ones to get married or have kids. We are bruised. We are human. And somehow, SOMEHOW, we found our way home.

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And again.

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

It’s been months since I wrote here.

It’s been months since I could find words to put on this page and to make meaning from it.

Part of this has to do with ALL the other ways I’ve been creating…

podcasts, Instagram writing, vimeo videos, blogs on lil omm site, weekly emails to the lil omm newsletter….ya know, it’s a lot.

I would sit to write from my heart with no reason and I would just stare at a blank page.

Meanwhile, my journals are packed, I’m flying through them. But that’s stuff that’s just for me. It’s sacred b/c it’s totally mine. I get to be naughty OR nice. I get to rip open my heart and soul and know that the grammar or the spelling or the flow or the nonsense does not matter.

And 2 days before the last post here, I quit drinking. And that alone could fill page after page.. I think I needed to be “alone” the past few months. Truly on my own, truly SOBER. In order to be able to start again.

I created this blog so many years ago to document my life as a new mama who was dreaming of starting her own biz.

And I miss having this creative outlet to just flow for NO reason.. so I’m starting again.

Not for you, but for me.

“Anyhow, the older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Who is she?

I saw her in the bathroom. At first, just legs. I smelled her before I saw her.

The stench of bleach. I heard the scrubbing.

It was hot, really, really hot.

No air circulation at all. So hard to breathe. Sticky. Suffocating.

6 stalls, old swinging doors with that sound when you open and close. that certain creak of old doors and then BANG! when it shuts- it SLAMS.

I heard the creaking first, then the slam behind her. I stood there. She went to the sink.

She put all her supplies in the sink. The cloth, the brush, the bleach, the little bucket.

She lifted her hand and took to the mirror.

Why was I standing there? I was in slow motion. I could not move, it was so hot.

The air was still.

She kept her gaze down. Sweat dripped from her hair line to her neck.

Not even 16.

Clothes, too tight- flesh exposed over the top of her shorts.

Upper arms soft and full coming out of the tee shirt.

Blonde hair pulled tight. Heavy eyes, lids.

I stood there. “oh dear god, send this child love”

I think I stood still to give her some space to breathe.

Like, If I moved, it would hurt her more.

If we made eye contact, I would see in her soul. IN HER SOUL.

She opens another creaky door.

She drags all her supplies into the stall. Hands full, towels under her arms.

SLAM.

CLICK. she locks herself in. so no one can see, so no one can feel- HER.

Quietly, I open my door. I hold it and slowly, slowly let it release, there is no slam.

Aware, I slide the lock into place. No noise.

I stand there for a minute, I can hear her breathing.

These stalls are so small.

I have a hard time moving inside, I wonder how tight it is in there, for her. Oh my gosh, so tight. so small. no room to breathe.

” Love, Love, Love, Send this child LOVE.”

It’s so hard to breathe in here.

I want to know her story.

I want to know why she looks so sad.

I want to hold her hand, brush out her hair, rub oils on her feet.

I want to spend hours listening to her soul. I want to know her pain.

I want to sit with her.

But I don’t.

I finish.

With no noise, no slams, no bangs, no disruption, I wash my hands, shake them dry and walk out.