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The Lucky OneDecember 15, 2012

Yesterday morning, I got off work after having a terrible 48-hour tour in which I barely slept. I think I got about four hours of sleep, total, on my nap breaks. I was a zombie, and I was fighting a migraine because of it. 

But I refused to cancel my Debauched Sewing Circle that was coming to our house at 11:30. I got a tiny nap and got up and made coffee (sweet, sweet coffee -- I'm only drinking it every once in a while now, when I'm headachey, and it's so GOOD it hurts). 

Veronica Wolff, Sophie Littlefield, and Nicole Peeler (in a guest appearance from Pittsburgh!) arrived on the doorstep, and the clatch began. Veronica had never used a sewing machine and wanted to learn. And while I know my way around a bobbin (despite learning the other night on Twitter that I had been putting it in UPSIDE DOWN for thirty years, thus my constant frustration with the jacked-up bobbin thread), what you might not know is Sophie is a triple-black-belt in all things domestic. 

At show-and-tell: 

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The quilt top she made before we got our Wonder-Woman topped tree, but which would look SO GOOD on our walls. I'm just saying. 

Look! Vero sewing her first seam! She was awesome! 

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Nicole, well, she doesn't sew, and she'd just gotten off the plane. Luckily, we had things for her do, too. 

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Advanced Adah-wrangling

And as I flitted from the front porch sewing room back through to the kitchen, I was filled with such joy. This, perhaps, was what my ideal life looked like: Casually hosting friends in the home I've made with the person I love. 

(THIS is why I'm happy to be on the anti-depressants (if you haven't read that post, it's here). THIS is why I'm so glad that I can feel joy again, can connect again, can sit around and really talk and not feel as if I don't belong, which was such a terrible part of the depression.) 

As we sewed though, my exhaustion migraine got worse and worse. By the time we were leaving the house to go to our next adventure, I was barely holding it together, so when we got to Sophie's, I took more pills and she put me to bed in her dark bedroom. 

And the day got even better. I know that's weird, but as I dug my fingers into acupressure points and did the breathing that helps, I could hear laughter from the other room. Juliet Blackwell had arrived by then, and I could hear her infectious giggle, and I could hear Sophie chopping things, and the Dog's whapping tail, and Nikki's Chicago accent, and I felt safe and warm and happy and loved, so much so that the pain abated within 90 minutes, and the real honest-to-God-kill-me-now migraine never landed.

It has always been one of my favorite things in life, being by myself in another room, listening to people I love talk and laugh. Soemtimes I sneak away from parties just to do that. I love being the one washing the dishes  in the kitchen after a dinner party. I try to refuse help. I just want to stand there, barefoot, doing the cutlery by hand, listening to people laugh. There aren't words to describe how happy that makes me. 

By the time our significant others arrived for dinner at Sophie's, I was at the table with everyone, pounding Coca-colas (more sweet, sweet caffeine!).

When I was a little girl and looked ahead to my fabulous imaginary life, it looked like this, I think. As I grew up, I didn't think that fantasy existed. I thought I'd just been silly and naive. But it does happen, and honestly, it regularly happens, in part because I'm lucky, and in part because I've gone out and made it happen. I've surrounded myself with intelligent, driven, kind people who for some reason love the authentic self I reveal to them. We take care of each other. 

That's a really great feeling. I'm not sure what's better than that. 

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Comments

Hi Rachael! Glad you are feeling better and that you had a good time with your friends. What a really good post. Beautiful quilt, I love your Wonder Woman Tree and Adah the Inspector! Glad the meds have given us back the "old Rachael"! If it needs fixing - fix it :-) doesn't matter which body part! Wish I lived closer so I could join in with your fun! You have "made" me want to go to Venice! LOL Maybe someday! Have a great weekend Rachael! Sending huge hugs (((( O ))))

Yay! Kicking depression and the migraine in the ass is wonderful, and surrounding yourself with the people you deserve is spectacular. Glad you have it all (and wishing I could join the party too!)

I used to think it a little weird that your Dad so loves to wash dishes!!! OMG its in the GENES!! hahaha Thanks for the giggle Rachael....we are gonna miss you and Lala at Christmas but we are sending you back a big bag of little surprises!!! Don't worry they don't eat or breathe!!! Have a Great Holiday with Lala and thank you for giving up your holidays so people can have a safer saner holiday with their families......we love our 9-1-1 emergency operators everywhere!

You are such a sweet soul. I enjoy you so much. Thanks.

Friends are a wonderful thing, I'm so glad you are enjoying things again.

I'm the one that likes to sit back and watch my friends too. I like to be in the middle of the group too, but watching from the edges is one of my favourite things.

I love, love, love this post. Yup, life is good indeed and even sweeter when you realize just how good.

LOVE!!! YOU!!!!! i am the blessed one for sure. and your post made me sniffly.

Hi Rachael,loved your post,glad you are feeling better and enjoying time with friends. "Casually hosting friends in the home I've made with the person I love" sounds like a cozy and wonderful reflection on life!

Your getting over a migraine in record time is proof that love is a healing force.

I'm so glad you're happy now and can feel the joy. I see my doctor this week (FINALLY), even though I'm already perked up thanks to a new job I LOVE, but I know I can't put my joy in one place so I'm keeping the appointment. Life is getting better. And I find I enjoy reading about happy things much more than what passes for news nowadays.

Hi Rachael, I am smiling as I read your post. I too love hanging out in the kitchen listening to the sounds of loved ones laughing and joking. It truly is food for the soul. Our eldest son got married just last week and I have just been weeping over the gorgeous wedding photos. There were 3 photographers on the day so we have many candid shots of people just smiling and laughing and enjoying a beautiful day. The warm fuzzzies really are overwhelming. Sometimes in a sad and turbulent world you have to seek out joy and we are blessed when we can find it so close to home among family and friends.
I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas and safe and blessed holiday season.

This post makes me smile. It is so nice to see such a great description of such joy, especially in the face of exhaustion and migraine. YAY!!!!

I am so very glad for you! Such a tonic to hear something lovely on such a horrible news day/cycle. Thank you for sharing.

I hope to have that kind of a life someday too!

I love reading your Blog. Miss you

What a happy post! Made me smile. I am happy that the meds have been such a good help for you.
I got the chance to visit the 911 call center in Baltimore County Maryland last Friday night with a Boy Scout group and gained an even greater respect for what you and your colleagues do than I had before. What an amazing facility... can't thank you (and them) enough for what you all do.

I just finished your book LIFE IN STITCHES. I absolutely loved it. I picked the book out on a whim from my Kindle suggestions. I am so happy that I picked it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A month ago, I wound up in the hospital with a damaged heart caused by the stress of a bad cold. Luckily, the condition is reversible. Your book offered the good feeling I am in need of to recuperate. (I have many months of recuperation to look forward to.)

Anyway, I think you may have inspired me to pick up my knitting needles again. (Something I haven't done in over 40 years.) Any easy suggestions for an easy project?

Good post as everytime Rachael. And it is always good to see 4 women together on a photo : )

Sounds awesome, girlie!! You rock, as usual

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

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