48. Olivia

I need to keep this quick, but I realize that it’s important to document at least a snapshot of the month and the space I’m in today.



I have had three good cries in as many days and I am forced to acknowledge that I am emotionally and physically run down. Yesterday, after purging my tears, I laid down and slept the rest of the day. It helped, and is probably just the beginning of what I need.



BFD is growing in leaps and bounds and I am struggling (and failing) to keep pace. We hired someone part-time to be an account manager and help with other miscellaneous operations, and we have also brought on a designer and flash programmer that all of us know and like. We have raised our prices and are referring small jobs to someone else. When they evolve into big jobs, she is bringing them back into the BFD fold. In short, we’re getting there. It’s exciting, scary—and emotionally exhausting.



I decided to sell my house in the spring or early summer and my agent is helping my tenants find a new home. I made the decision after my tenants called about a broken dishwasher. When I went there with a plumber I was horrified and dismayed by how run down the yard and house had become. All my work undone. I hired a gardener and it took two men nine hours to clean it up. I officially dislike being a landlord. I don’t have the liquidity to fix things that break and I hate watching my property value be destroyed. The market is good and I look forward to getting out of debt and simplifying my life. I love Sebastopol; I am glad I am here; and I am ready to be here fully.



I must figure out soon how to integrate exercise back into my life. I think I need to find a studio and sign up for a yoga class. I miss yoga and going to class helps motivate me to do it on my own. The walks around here are beautiful, but I am working too hard to even take a half hour.



I learned this week that the cancer, the granddaughter of my good friends has been fighting for a year-and-a-half, has aggressively returned after a five month remission. Her parents learned this days before her ninth birthday, which she planned to celebrate with five friends. They waited until after the party to tell her, and when they did, her response was nothing short of amazing. She cried for ten minutes, then asked her parents if she will be able to stay in school and if she will lose her hair again. Yes to both for now. She then stopped crying and said okay. The doctors have told her parents that she probably only has months to live. They are looking into alternative therapies and not giving up hope. I’ve attached a photograph of Olivia. She is a beautiful, radiant child. How does a nine-year-old have the strength to deal with something so hard to understand? This is not my friends’ first tragedy and that too makes me wonder why some people seem to have so much more to bear than others. Olivia’s news came at a moment when I most needed to be reminded how precious life is and how fortunate I am.


Olivia has me thinking that I would like to volunteer in some way with sick children. I am going to research the idea and let it percolate. I would love to help children create their stories or even just be with them. Despite how behind I feel in my life, I came to Berkeley this weekend to help Karen clean out her office. Helping someone else is the best way I know to keep balance and joy in your life.