The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not


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Sharing the spotlight with my favorite son

I have the great honor of sharing the spotlight with my favorite (and only) son Peyton today as we’re highlighted through the Chatham Arts Council’s Meet the Artist series. I thought Rachel Flanagan did a great job; the whole process was enjoyable. The arts have been hit hard during this coronavirus quarantining, so shout out to all arts patrons who have helped keep the lights on with arts orgs, and who’ve helped artists pay the bills. I’ve been around the block, but my young, emerging artist is just starting out and his steady work during this period has a hopeful vibe for this proud mother, artist, and arts patron. Seek out local artists and arts organizations and see how you might help support them — not all support has to be financial, either. Boost the signal of their work, send kind words of support, share their contact information with potential patrons and clients. The arts are incredibly important, and through organizations like the Chatham Arts Council, and Hobbs Architects in downtown Pittsboro (who sponsor the Meet the Artist series), there continues to be an audience.

I’m always happy for folks to check out my kid lit stuff and my romance stuff, but I really hope you’ll check out the links for Peyton. He’s an amazing photographer, and a true emerging artist. And if you happen to need portraits, event coverage, a photojournalist, or film development, hit him up.

Peyton Sickles


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Early Voting Starts Today

Whether you vote on November 3, by absentee ballot, or by one-stop early voting–even if you and I cancel each other out at the poll–you need to VOTE. In North Carolina, early voting starts today (October 15) and runs through October 31. Check out the North Carolina State Board of Elections for information regarding where you can vote early, if that’s your jam.

Since I didn’t raise a lemming, and our son is awake, aware, and active, I thought I’d share a couple photos he captured over the last few months for WUNC of Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar; the 2020 Raleigh Women’s March, and moments from the Raleigh protests in May and in August. Vote for what’s happening in the world. Vote for what you want the future to look like. Vote your conscience. Vote because it’s your right, and your privilege. Just vote.

 


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The Decade at a Glance

I am nothing if not an optimist. It’s been a crazy year, but a good one, and as we come to the start of a fresh new year and a fresh new decade, I’ve been reminiscing over the last ten years. They were pretty great, actually. There have been some doozies: I stopped working full-time so I could pursue life as an author; I survived and fought my way back from a life-altering traumatic brain injury; we experienced the death of a close friend, which encouraged us to give in to our wanderlust and stop waiting for the perfect time to travel and see the world. There have been highs and lows, excitement and boredom, happiness and love. In fact, this last decade has been my most creative, most productive yet. Since January 1, 2010, I have:

And best yet: I’m still in my mid-40s!

So a little advice: say Y.E.S. when someone asks you to experience or do something new. Take a leap of faith. Believe in yourself. Save for a vacation – you can do it. Nobody needs to eat several lunches or dinners out each week. Pack a lunch and cook at home. Put priority on your happiness, and enrich your hearts and minds with family and friends. Learn a new language. Take piano lessons. Plant a victory garden. Make a new friend. Volunteer at your local food bank or homeless shelter. Be the best YOU you can be. Think positively: this is going to be a great decade!


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Well, another summer in the books … which means it’s time to go back to college

I made it through another college departure, as our son headed off for his junior year after dinner.  And I didn’t even cry in front of him. much. We did it, I remind myself, as my emotions run the gamut from heartbroken to overjoyed … because all of our hoping, dreaming, planning, and saving have made it possible for him to return for another year to university, to pursue the things that most interest him, and will help build the man he is to become. But I’m sad … now it’s just me and Steve. Well, and my husband (who’s way better than Steve). Summertime is the best because we get in so much adventuring and dreaming and all the stuff. Sigh. Good luck to all the college-bound kids out there, and good luck to all their parents. You did it, even though it breaks your heart to know the future is just that much closer. If I close my eyes, I can still feel his little heart beat against my chest.

We adventured in Colorado this summer.


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So long, house!

acornIn 1997, my soul mate and I kicked off an adventure in a little town called Apex, in a beautiful little house on Acorn Hill Lane. Nineteen years, one son, three dogs and three cats later, we’re moving on to a new adventure half an hour down the road in a new little town. When we moved into this house, I was four months pregnant; I had breakfast one morning with my husband, went to work, and came home to a different house in a different town. Today, our son woke up and had breakfast with us, went to school, and will come home to a different house in a different town. I’ve passed the torch. I’m going to miss our house, where the most exciting (the birth of our son) and the saddest (the death of my father-in-law) events have occurred.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 5.07.40 PMBut we are nothing if not adventurers, we Sickles Three, and anticipate that our new house on two acres in the meadow will bring with it more of the good stuff, and likely more of the sad stuff … eventually. Either way, we face our new adventure head-on, where being together makes any house a home.

So, so long house … and thanks for all the fish!


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Adventuring in Vancouver

While my sweetie was conferencing, I tagged along to get in a little adventuring. I found Vancouver to be a rather functional working city, with pretty spots peeking through on occasion. The Stanley Park area was our favorite, particularly watching the rowing club in Coal Harbour. I walked about 45 miles over four days, took the city bus, the Sea bus and the water taxi. All around, a fun week.