I feel a bit like the wheel on my MacBook, at the office we refer to it as the wheel of death, at home Finley squeals, “It’s workin’, it’s workin’.” I want to believe she’s right, that like that relentless little wheel, I am working. It would be so deeply reassuring to think that I am making forward progress, but I am admittedly getting caught up in some things that don’t seem to be doing anything in the way of moving me from the place that I am.

I apologize that I am going to have to dance around the subject, but it is what it is—the is ironically being so much of what I do. I live in a small town, I work in a business that can be high-profile and I have made myself all but entirely transparent online. I don’t regret these decisions, but I have painted myself into a corner of sorts.

This goes so far beyond having someone I no longer speak to troll the archives of this blog, this extends beyond taking what I do and claiming it for theirs, this is the murkier more prolonged, side-by-sideness that goes unacknowledged. The overlapping circles. I’ve certainly made mistakes in my time, but I haven’t lied. I have not sabotaged. Knowing that what I am dealing with now is a reality that involves people willing to do that…I am just at a loss.

Spinning. Turning. Stalling.

I want to celebrate what I have achieved and push myself to do more. I have the callouses and war wounds to prove that the road to today was not without effort. I am assiduously digging for some hidden cavity of fortitude to pass these tedious but pervasive berms. The extra weight of hurt, frustration and indignation are doing me no good.

It’s transparent.

“Mama, are you workin’?” She waits. I stew. She sidles closer and sneaks her face beneath mine. She holds my gaze until I let the anger go.

“We could do a puzzle together, would that be a great idea?”

I think it’s time to put one puzzle away for another.