Maybe it’s the SSRI toxicity scare this past summer and the subsequent weaning off of Zoloft, or maybe the fetal cells left behind by my babies, but I cry very easily now. I used to laugh in dismay at those that cried at commercials, the news, heartfelt articles about disease, children with diseases, or photos of babies of any type. Now I am one of you and it sucks.

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Kid loses their pet? Dude gets robotic exoskeleton that allows his paralyzed body to walk? Woman reunited with her long lost child? I’m reduced to a river of snotty, messy tears on the verge of weeping.

In truth, pretty much ANY of the Steve Hartman “On The Road” segments can do that to me. I sometimes wonder if he gets dared to make us cry more with each segment.

I’ll admit, I thought I would be toasting my new decade from a snowy sleigh ride at a resort or a hot air balloon over a pastoral vista. Maybe a stopoff at a tattoo gallery, a trip to a jewelry store, a surprise weekend trip away, a crazy night on the town, or a book signing party but that’s not my life.

My main function most days is caring for two small children, writing when I can, and simply trying to not suck at either. To all of you that cry more than you want, more than you ever have, welcome to your new life. I can empathize. Pass the tissues.

This year I’m going to focus on rebuilding my friendships. I can’t expect people to give a rip about my birthday, much less my life, if I haven’t made a point of seeking them out. Yes, one could argue that people should be understanding of a fellow friend being sidelined from the social scene temporarily when they have a baby. But being so out of touch that you don’t know a friend is pregnant and due any day (sorry, Tracie) or that they had a parent pass away?… That’s pretty bad.

So I’m booking up my calendar with more outings for myself and less for the kids. They need to see good self-care and, frankly, if I’m feeling so bad about myself that I don’t want to leave the house then I really NEED to go hang out with friends. I’ve lost myself in caring for others and feel resentful that no one takes care of me, but if I’m that depleted that I can’t care for myself then there’s simply nothing left.

So feel free to cry, ask someone to bring you a tissue, dry your tears, and be kind to yourself or no one else will.

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