Afraid, vulnerable, and moving forward

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Emotions can dismantle a facade in seconds. I know this because it happened to me. It’s been happening more over the last year. I’ve been struck as I sit in my truck watching the children play outside of my son and daughter’s school. Emotional nausea that grips and squeezes until the eyes well up. The past crawling up and knocking at the door.

“When we don’t attend to emotions they metasticize and they grow.” — Susan David

The origin of this wellspring is simply known to me as the depths. The recesses. The annexed spaces within where I’ve shuttled loss…


Creativity is pain management. And it’s beautiful.

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“Art is only a way of expressing pain.”-John Lennon

This isn’t the quote. But, it’s a good place to start.

There’s a port-a-john on my running route. A plastic blue obelisk standing starkly against the tree-lined street. Depending on the distance, this box could be at mile two or mile ten of any number of runs.

I started running again this year. To get out of the house. To get out of my head. To get away from life. The banal pain of tedium on a daily basis. The purgatorial slog we subject ourselves to because we have to no…


What is the value of an unemployed life? More than you think.

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If I die, you’d be fucked, she said.

She was right. If she died, I would be properly fucked. We were fortunate enough to up our term life insurance. We’re still young. There’s still time. We can pivot with our youthful good health and, without any unforeseen circumstances, we’ll be alright.

The underwriting process is nothing short of secret service clearance. A microscope combs the last five years more than the previous twenty which tells me how little underwriters know about health, the human body, and what happens long term in the petri dish of our human frames.

My phone…


Use your creativity on solutions, or….shut the f*@k up.

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Today is my last day on Earth.

I’m not suicidal. I should be. It’d be easier to just erase myself and not face the end. It’s coming. The end. Or so they’d have you believe. Those folks always pop up at the top of my feeds.

Feeds. An interesting term for something that starves more than, you get it.

It’s their last day on Earth.

I’m killing my darlings.

They will no longer take up space in my life. I have to let them go. …


Start with this simple thought to grow your emotional wealth.

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When I was young I didn’t want to grow up. Now, that I’m grown, I don’t want to grow old. I’ve begun measuring the passage of time by how much my children grow since the last time I measured them. The lines, dates, and ages create a panic that I haven’t remembered enough. Or done enough.

By now, we’re familiar with Bronnie Ware’s work, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Ware, a palliative care nurse compiled notes having spoken with those approaching the end. …


We’re not doing our best, but there’s still time and hope.

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“I can tell the pandemic’s over because everyone is an asshole again.” -Someone said somewhere

Disparagement is in again. As the veil of the coronavirus lifts my fear is that lessons learned will soon be victims of short-term memory. Vanquished to a vault only to be reflected upon in the twilight years. To grandchildren. Friends around a dinner table. Or playing upon the silver screen of our mind as we stare off a porch into a yard.

The semantics of life and how we live have been under a microscope for the last year and a half. The emotions of…


Only in America do we commoditize people and their lives.

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Gas. Water. Solar. Wind.

Being human. Emotions. Self-worth.

Life as we know it has become commoditized.

All of it. Look around. There is a price tag on everything. We are living in the roadside hubcap tent of life. We are stale candy in a vending machine. We are contestants on an emotional supermarket sweep. Walking garage sales with emotions on our sleeves with tiny round stickers.

Money is the most important thing in history. Ever. It has surpassed water and air as the most vital and essential life-sustaining element. You have nothing if you don’t have money. …


I’m not ready to spend less time with her again

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She falls asleep before me. Always. Her breathing shifts and slows and deepens. Little jerks and twitches. It’s dark as pitch here. Outlines of things and slivers of light. The weather warms and clouds disperse as night opens. My vision dims and my ears become nocturnal hunters for sound. Her breath there. The popping of the house as humidity burrows in for the summer. Tiny wisps of wind whip through the waxy leaves of tall grass just outside the window.

Minutes before we were laughing.

We lay in bed and talk about today and tomorrow and highlights and conversations and…


Living, suffering, and redefining what doesn’t kill me.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Pandemic life corrupted my senses. My perceptions. Of life. What it should or should not be and how to cope with the cascade of news, loss, disappointment, and uncertainty. Or so I’ve been telling myself. Living in constant white static noise is exhausting. The basal distress worms its way through me, laying down and letting its full weight sit atop of me until I fall asleep like some phantom limb.

Pins and needles.

This is not life. This is not the suffering the Buddha spoke of. Nay friends, he was thinking cosmically. Deeper. Me. I’ve been dancing with my muse…


In a post-truth era, your “truth” is a story you choose to tell.

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Nary a social media post scrolls by without someone echoing into the chamber how they’re “living their truth” or proud of someone who is “speaking their truth.” The co-opting of the word truth by individuals who are simply living their life in accordance with their subjective measures for happiness and success is not the truth. It’s a crunchy semantic emotional noir ascribing fact to lives that in essence are just stories.

I recognize this turn of phrase has an essential component to it. There have been people who have endured tremendous abuses, indiscretions, and been forced to live in silence…

Nathan L. Senter

Writing to quiet the voices. To empty the gut. Coach. Husband. Father.

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