Once upon a time, back when I was a beginning blogger, I knew how to set up a new blog. I added widgets and images and “about” and “contact” pages effortlessly (well, maybe not EFFORTLESSLY) but that was not the case today.
Today I decided that I have spent too much time scrolling through social media and not enough time interacting with my fellow writers.
Today I decided that I have spent too much time listening to the lies the EIC tells me and not enough time twisting suburbia.
Today I managed to create a copy of myself.
Well, not literally…(I could use another self or three, but the copy of the copy of the copy gets pretty blurry)
But I did manage to create a new blog site. A place where I can be be fundaMENTALly me, which leaves me free to return to my Erma Bombeck/Tracy Beckerman inspired tales from suburbia.
But in the process of building a new site, I managed to lose my version of suburbia (evidently wordpress.com no longer supports Coraline and I’m not a huge fan of Colinear (“our update to the older Coraline”) – so….
Today I changed the theme of my blog.
I also spent HOURS trying to create the new site…and found that I cannot, no matter how hard I try, figure out how to add the sharing buttons on my post or remove “twistingsuburbia” as the author of my posts.
In short, Today I tried something new – and I failed.
But it’s okay – because today I wrote (two posts – one to each blog!) and, as Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day.
Happy Fall! FYI that’s Fall as in brisk mornings and changing leaves, spooky decorations and bonfires (unless you live in California), hot chocolate and pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING, not “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” You’re probably too young to remember that particular commercial (lucky you).
After two months of 70 hour workweeks my side gig is finally coming to an end. I have tons of free time, which should mean that I have time to clean, write, catch up on Lucifer and This is Us or just Get Things Done.
Instead I’ve taken up a new hobby, and I’ve been spending far too much time drawing (my husband has nicknamed me Simon).
But as Suziespeaks pointed out, it’s the final quarter of the year, and the hell that is 2020 is finally coming to an end. It’s entirely possible that the new year will bring a fresh level of hell (how many levels did Dante say there were?), but I intend on starting 2021 with a clean slate – and a clean house.
Weekend #1 didn’t go entirely as planned. I was going to prep the livingroom for a new coat of paint, but decided to take a daycation at the beach instead. The water was finally warm(ish) and The Girl and I were able to swim and boogie board and search for shells while The Man watched the Sooners get trounced.
Sunday The Girl worked as a PA on a friend’s movie and we watched football with socially distant strangers. I was sad. Not because The Girl was working on a movie and I wasn’t (that’s a lie. I really miss being on set) but because the Chicago Bears forgot how to play football. I’m not sure what they were doing on the field, but I wouldn’t call it football (yeah, yeah, I know – the Colt’s D is #1 in the league. IDC)….and don’t get me started on the Lakers. I mean hellooooo – Jimmy Butler is just one guy. The five of you can’t stop one guy? (fingers crossed that tonight goes a little better).
Sorry. This post wasn’t supposed to be all about sports, but OMG couldn’t just ONE of my teams have won? It’s probably my fault that they lost – the universe wanted me to paint.
My point (yes, I have one) is that I want to spend the last quarter of the year Getting My Shit Together.
If you haven’t done it by midlife – why start now?
Oh goody, it’s the EIC. How I’ve missed you – not.
(EIC sulks away)
Wow. What a pouty hormonal B (the EIC, not me – although it applies to me as well…and the Girl. Sometimes I feel sorry for my husband – but he can be a pouty hormonal B sometimes too.)
ANYWAY. When I first got sent home (way back in March. April sometime this year) I thought “oh, I can use the time I save not commuting to tackle the garage and give the house a coat of paint” (I’m not sure how much tackling and painting I thought I’d get done with my extra hour/day, but that’s not the point) – and here we are, half a year later, and I still need to tackle and paint (which has nothing to do with bait and tackle, but coffee has kicked my ADHD into overdrive).
So I am trying to get organized – going through closets and drawers and tossing anything that doesn’t “spark joy” – all I have left are a pair of sweats, my supersoft robe, a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates.
I’m also going through files on my computer (not that I have any personal files on my computer, because we’ve been warned about that)…and I came across a document from eons ago – back when I first started blogging and was trying to “find my niche.” I knew that I couldn’t be Erma Bombeck (sigh. If only…) but I wanted to help new mothers survive the wilds of suburbia and parenthood with sanity (mostly) intact.
I was having a hard time coming up with a name for my blog, and although I love “Twisting Suburbia – Tales From the Skewed Side” my first tagline was a little darker:
Twisting Suburbia – Putting the F-U in fun, and the FUN in dysfunctional.
I have to admit I’m a little sad that I didn’t use this one:
Because I’m a B*tch – confessions from a mediocre aunt and a horrible mother
The document also includes a list of games for exhausted mothers/fathers/siblings/babysitters. The following games should give you 5-15 minutes of “free” time. Time to go to the bathroom, or take a catnap or cry softly while adding some Irish to your coffee:
Hide and DON’T seek
The quiet game
Statues (note – never touch/unfreeze the frozen player)
Post-apocalyptic planet: everybody’s dead. Dead people don’t move. (Please note – this game may be hijacked by older children playing post-apocalyptic zombie apocalypse, but never fear – you can outrun a zombie, unless it’s one of those zombies from World War Z)
Full disclosure – I played hide and don’t seek with my brother. After about 5 minutes he would come looking for me.
“Why aren’t you looking for me?”
“You’re such a good hider – go hide again.”
He would play for at least 15 minutes, and I know of at least once that he fell asleep while waiting for me to find him.
I tried playing Hide and Don’t Seek with my daughter – when I told her to “go hide again” she rolled her eyes and walked away.
So, tell me – what’cha doing with the rest of the year? How do you plan to “start fresh” in 2021? I’d love to hear from you (and not just because reading comments is better than painting the livingroom).
And for those of you who missed it, here’s the Life Call commercial that everyone mocks:
For those of you who were disappointed/confused/irritated by my earlier post, it was my half-assed attempt at humor. With all the divisiveness/hatred/bad and sad news out there I haven’t been feeling very funny lately, but I’m trying. It was either a silly post or putting bologna in my shoes.
I promised that I would try to blog on Tuesdays and Fridays. I was thinking of adding Sunday, which is when my EIC spoke up.
You can’t even post twice a week, what makes you think three times is a good idea?
I wrote three times last week.
But not on Tuesday or Friday.
(checks blog). Liar. I wrote on Friday.
You posted a “Woe is me, my brother’s dog died.” That’s not a post, that’s a not-so-subtle cry for attention.
No YOU shut up.
You’ve been quiet lately.
Did you miss me?
Hell no, I was hoping you’d died.
Well, I was hoping you’d died.
What? That doesn’t even make any sense.
You don’t make sense.
You’re an idiot.
I know you are but what am I?
OMG. Shut up already.
As you can tell, my EIC is a two year old.
You’re a two year old.
Please be quiet.
My Evil Inner Critic is a two year old. Actually, he changes. Some days he’s two, some days he’s my age, and some days he’s my older than dirt grandmother who was always disappointed in me. Whoops. That wasn’t me, that was him again. Sneaky bastard. My grandmother was a military wife, and our house was never clean enough for her (she actually wiped the top of the door on a visit) but she loved me and taught me to garden, to cook, to fish and to paint (well, she tried). The EIC whispers that she was disappointed in me, but he’s a liar. She would love her great-granddaughter and she would get a kick out of my blog.
That’s what you tell yourself, but you’ll never know because she’s dead.
The Evil Inner Critic is that voice in your head that tells you that you’re not good/smart/thin enough. The one who says that you’re too old/young/tall/short/dumb to try something new. The demon who whispers that it’s too late to chase your dreams, and that even if it wasn’t, you’re a talent-less hack and that nobody likes you anyway (or maybe that’s just mine).
Nadia Bolz-Webber (founding pastor of The House For All Sinners and Saints) says that your EIC is the devil. She/they look AWESOME. I’m more spiritual than Christian, but I’m definitely going to check them out.
Peter Michaelson explains on Whywesuffer.com: The inner critic (known in psychoanalysis as the superego) is a brute force, a totalitarian tyrant, lurking in the human psyche. It’s a primitive part of us that operates with the mentality of a psychopath. It harbors a capacity for evil.(It) is a formidable inner foe, a true enemy within that is audacious and shameless. He says that we cannot ignore it, tame it or befriend it, but says that we can, however, undermine and defeat it with correct self-knowledge.
I’ve battled the EIC for years all my life. I’ve tried different techniques to keep him quiet. Some of them work well, some less so. I’ve found that giving him a voice – letting him spew his lies and hatred without interruption works best .* As you can see from above, I don’t always follow my own advice, so I looked online for some tips.
Katherine Grugg says that her EIC is the henchman of Fear (FEAR=False Expectations Appearing Real) and that she pictures him as an evil disney sidekick: He whispers his lies into my ear, hoping that I’ll believe him. He’s as quiet as the Evil Queen’s raven in Snow White, as subtle as the Siamese Cats in The Aristocats and has the same tone of voice, at times, as Cinderella’s step-sisters. But that’s where the G-rated comparisons stop. (And I call him he because it fits better today, but he’s not restricted to gender.)
She says that her inner critic is the single greatest threat to her success as a writer, and lists ten techniques that work for her. These two are my favorite:
I yelled right back at this voice. My therapist told me I can tell him to shut up. He will. I owed it to myself to fight back. And I also learned that if real people say this stuff to me, I have the means to leave them.
I stopped comparing myself to others. My inner critic is obsessed with the success of other writers. He whispered in my ear that I should be doing this, that or the other better. This is a bunch of ca-ca. My success is mine alone. Just tell that inner critic to shut up once and for all so you can focus on being you!
She explains that If I actually listen to my inner critic, then it’s like I am putting the handcuffs on and I’m allowing him to drag me into fear. There’s no way I can be successful and listen to him at the same time. One of us has to go.
Hey Assbutt. I’m not going anywhere. Time for you to go.
*I take dictation from the EIC, writing everything he says longhand (because it’s faster) for 5 minutes or until he runs out of steam, whichever is shorter. Sometimes I laugh and shred it, sometimes I write out responses to his B.S.
As I said yesterday, I am trying to be a better blogger and person. The second part is proving to be more difficult than the first, because the older I get the less I like people. Yes, I am becoming the angry old man yelling at kids to get off my lawn. Which is weird, since I’m not a man, and nobody plays on my lawn (probably because the landscaping is tippy and weird). I am, however, very tempted to start beating people with my big wooden spoon (FYI spoons are deadlier than you’d think).
But I digress (again. thanks adult onset ADHD!) – I am trying to be a better blogger. I am trying to write on a consistent/predictable basis. The plan was to post on Tuesdays and Fridays. I am well aware that today is neither. Wait. It’s not, is it? As The Doctor says, Time is a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey….stuff, and sometimes I get lost (especially now, in the 2975th day of our enforced staycation).
ANYWAY. Everything I’ve read/heard/seen says that it’s very important that writers join some sort of writing group. Weird, since writing is a solitary action, but okay. I joined a Facebook group. It was weird. No, really. I’ve been involved in blogging groups in the past, and this one is…”unique” (look! I found another word for “weird”).
There was a long list of rules at the top of the post. Normal things, like “be nice”, “no political posts”, “no spam or marketing”, “no running with scissors.” Then it got really strange (another synonym! I am on a roll*), and not just because I couldn’t figure out how they’d know if I was running with scissors. There was a long list of rules for the “share your latest post” thread, and they weren’t really clear. My understanding was that you were supposed to link directly to your post, but also how you were sharing it. You were supposed to tag the person whose post was above yours (because supposedly people were deleting their posts?). You were supposed to “like” the thread, but not until it closed, and then type “done” when you did it? Whaaaaaaat?
I received a message from the admin that I needed to “complete the thread or risk being removed.” I reached out to the admin with “this is my first time and I thought I was doing this correctly” but he/she/they didn’t bother with assistance, either by responding to my post or via a DM. I read through the list of rules for a third time, corrected my mistake and moved on.
Well, I thought I’d fixed my mistake. I was tagged again this morning. The admin who couldn’t be bothered to help me had no trouble warning me that I needed a to “complete the thread or risk being removed, the thread is now closed.”
Not to be repetitive, but….whaaaaaat?
It wasn’t until I left the group (and finished my second cup of coffee) that I realized my mistake. The admin wasn’t wondering where I share MY post (twitter, linked in, facebook, etc) they wanted members to show support for each other by sharing every post in the thread. Granted, there were only 34 posts, but….Whaaaaaaaat?
I am sure the group works for some people, but not for me. I am willing to read and like and comment on posts. I will share posts when they resonate, or if I think they will be of interests to my friends and followers. I am not going to share a post on what type of fish food underwater basketweavers use, but I bet it’s Velveeta cheese.
It’s nobody’s fault but my own, of course. Maybe my pre-quarantine brain would have understood the rules. I don’t have any way of knowing. That brain ran away screaming and has been replaced by version 2.0. Like many “upgrades” it’s a cheaper product with less memory and frequent “file not found” errors.
I belonged to a group many moons ago. Their rules included things like “be nice”, “no political posts” and “no running with scissors” (how do they know?). They also required that you comment on or share (“not just like”) the three posts above you in the thread. I’m pretty sure that even Brain 2.0 could understand those rules.
I miss that group almost as much as I miss my brain.
So tell me. Do you belong to a blogger’s group? Can I join? Do you think they’ll like me? Can I run with scissors?
*Thanks to my ADHD “synonym” and “roll” have me craving cinnamon rolls. Yumm.
I’ve been told (well, not TOLD, exactly) that the secret to a successful blog is blogging on a regular basis. Heard. That’s the word I was looking for. I heard that a good blogger writes on a regular basis (no, I don’t remember where) – that his/her/their readers want to be able to depend on the blogger – that they/he/she (am I missing any pronouns?) need to know when the posts will come.
If you’re following me (and if you’re not, why not? don’t you like me?), you’ll know that I’m not a good blogger. You’ll know that I’m far less than consistent – that (at best) I’m an occasional blogger. I have a confession to make. Seeing that I’m not Catholic (and even if I were, churches are closed). I’ll confess here. I let work and worry and stress and the black dog derail me. I want to write on a regular basis, but there are some days the brain weasels are running so fast all I can hear is the squeak of the wheel and other days the EIC won’t shut up.
BUT (Yes, I have a big but, and not just the one that’s getting bigger thanks to the pandemic and stress eating drinking).
I’m trying to change. I’m trying to be a better writer/friend/human. I am trying to overcome my procrastinating perfectionist tendencies. I am trying to stop ignoring the voices in my head and allow them to speak their (my?) mind – because my customer service training taught me that if you allow a person to vent, uninterrupted, eventually they will run out of steam.
When I started blogging, I had aspirations delusions of becoming the next Erma Bombeck. My mom and I loved Erma Bombeck, and her posts frequently caused milk (mine) or pink chablis (mom’s) to snort from our nose(s). I find it highly suspicious that my mother died shortly after her favorite author left us.
I started blogging because, as a reluctant suburban soccer mom, I felt out of place and intimidated by the perfectly quaffed Stepford Wives PTA moms (in their slim skirts, clean blouses and 9″ heels) who chatted effortlessly with each other and the school staff at back to school nights and “Coffee With the Principal” events.
Wait. That’s not right. I started blogging because, as a former DINK (Dual Income, No Kids), I felt out of place and intimidated by the perfectly quaffed new mothers (in their yoga pants and squeaky clean athletic shoes) at the “baby and me” and “toddler time” classes.
Nope. That’s not it either. I started blogging because, as a “late in life” accidental mother, I felt overwhelmed and out of place among the perfectly quaffed young women (in their designer maternity clothes) at the prenatal classes.
Huh. Evidently I was intimidated by women with perfect hair, flawless makeup and neatly pressed clothes. Who knew? (Who wouldn’t be? Have you SEEN The Stepford Wives?).
Which is the long way of saying that I started blogging because I felt like I didn’t fit in, and I was hoping to connect with others like me – mothers who were more comfortable in jeans and beat up tennis shoes than nylons and 9″ heels. I wanted to let those mothers know that they’re not alone – that I was able to find women with wine in their Starbucks mugs and paint in their hair (or maybe that was just me – I’m not very good at painting). I wanted to tell them that I’d found the square pegs – and that many of those who looked like round pegs didn’t always fit in either.
My blog has changed since I started. I’d like to think that I’ve changed too. I’m no longer a suburban soccer mom (although, for some weird reason, I’m still a referee – possibly because I can’t say the N-word). My “baby” is in college, and I’m trying to figure out who I’m supposed to be, now that I’m not “just” a mom.*
I’ve been an actress, a masseuse, a lighting designer, a comedian, a re-enactor, a cook/maid/chauffer/nurse/coach/teacher/referee (aka wife and mother). I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I’ve decided that writing will be part of it.
This year I decided to finish my 15-year WIP even if it kills me. I’ve created a list of baby steps to reach my destination, and the first one was to join a writer’s group. I went to my first meeting on Tuesday, and guess what? I didn’t fit in. Writers are weird (not that there’s anything with that).
I didn’t fit in, because I’m not weird, I’m crazy – I hope you are too. #changetheworld
Oh goody, I’ve made it to Blogging U’sDay Four – Identify Your Audience. This is going to be a tough one, because it’s Friday and multiple cups of coffee have kicked my ADHD into high gear (Oh look! Squirrel!)
I have no doubt that The Powers That Be thought they were being helpful when they suggested that I brainstorm the kind of person you hope will read your blog. What do you want to say to them?
What do I want to say? OMG There’s a storm in my brain! No wonder I have a headache! Thunder! Lightning! Rain and hail! Hail, hail, the gangs all here (told you my ADHD was in high gear – the hamsters are RACING on their wheel).
Seriously – I’ve done this before, is it cheating if I just repost?
Who is my ideal audience? (ok brainstorm, work your magic)
Gee, I don’t know. What kind of readers would I like? I mean, I’m not picky. Not really. I know there are people who prefer to surround themselves with like-minded individuals, but I’m not one of them. My family of heart includes writers and actors, stay at home moms (and dads) and CEOs, hippies and button-downed professionals, parents with two legged children and four, mischief makers and rule followers, liberals and conservatives and everything in between.
To be perfectly honest, my ideal audience member would be my mother. She’s been gone for 24 years now, so, unless they have internet access in the Great Beyond, she won’t be reading any of these posts.
Mostly I want people who “get” me (don’t we all?). People who understand sarcasm, love movies and books and music and mood swings. Errr. strike that last bit. Pretty sure nobody loves a mood swing. Wikipedia says A moodswing is an extreme or rapid change in mood. Such moodswings can play a positive part in promoting problem solving and in producing flexible forward planning. However, when moodswings are so strong that they are disruptive, they may be the main part of a bipolar disorder. Of course, Wikipedia also choose to use the drama masks when talking about mood swings and bipolar disorder. Wikipedia can suck it.
I want to talk to people whose minds are open, but not so far that their brains have fallen out. People who drink and swear, and those who don’t (you’ve been warned – I use a lot of four letter words). People who are willing to listen to me babble, to toast my successes, grieve my losses, and are willing to lift me up when the black dog comes for a visit. Friends who want to ride with me on this crazy rollercoaster we call life. Family of blood and heart.
I have a confession to make – I’m a procrastinator perfectionist with ADHD – which means that it takes me forever to start a project and I don’t always finish it. Evidently I am not a very good dult, but who wants to be one anyway?
This is my third attempt at “Learning the Fundamentals” from Blogging U. I believe that the third time is the charm. If nothing else, at least I’ve made it to Day Two: Take Control of Your Title and Tagline. It’s a small success, but progress is all about the baby steps.
My original Title/Tagline was Twisting Suburbia/Stories From a Skewed Soccer Mom.
When I first started blogging, I wanted to write about my life as a reluctant soccer mom. I started by confessing that I was an accidental mother who never intended to live in the suburbs and avoided the PTA like the plague. I wanted to tell stories from the skewed side of suburbia – to tell stories about women who didn’t quite fit the image of the suburban soccer mom, and provide tips on surviving the perils of parenthood with sanity (mostly) intact.
The good news is that they’re out there. The rebels and the renegades, the artists and mischief makers – the anti-Stepford wives who refuse to drive minivans and go drink-or-treating with their pack at Halloween.
The bad news is that I’m an inconsistent writer at best, and Time is a wibbly-wobbly thing. Life has wooshed by and The Girl has become a dult, despite my best efforts to keep her from growing up.
She’s too old for soccer. That’s a lie (evidently I’m a lying procrastinator perfectionist with ADHD). She still plays, but she’s outgrown the need for halftime and post-game snacks. I am no longer a suburban soccer mom, reluctant or otherwise.
Today’s task proved challenging. The Powers That Be tried to help by suggesting that for a fun, personal title, start by listing some adjectives that describe you, or play with quotes or book titles you love.
Adjectives that describe me? Procrastinator. Perfectionist. I considered changing my title to The PP Princessbut was worried that it would limit me to readers who enjoy golden showers (besides, I’m not a princess, I’m a queen). I’m still twisted (as my friends and family will tell you) and I still live in suburbia (heavy sigh) so the title stayed.
The tagline needed to change. I came up with a list:
Twisting Suburbia – musings/life/rants from a skewed point of view
Looking at the world through skewed colored glasses
Because we can’t all be suburban soccer moms
View/visions from the dork side
Adventures/Rantings/Confessions of a reluctant soccer mom
The View from the skewed side
Scenes/Stories from the skewed side
And then one of my personalities suggested Tales From the Skewed Side.I love it, because it’s a riff on Gary Larson’s Tales from the Far Side. I love Gary Larson. As a graduate of the Mentally Gifted Minor program (a precursor to the GATE program) this one was my favorite ‘toons:
It could also be considered a riff on Tales from the Crypt.
I loved Tales From the Crypt when I was a kid (as well as the Tales From the Cryptkeeper TV series), but I’m not quite goth enough to carry that one off.
Welcome to the skewed side-the dark side may have cookies, but we have Red Solo cups.
I haven’t blogged in a while, so I decided to revisit the Blogging U “Learning the Fundamentals” course. Today is Day one, and I’ve been instructed to publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post. Tell us about you and what we’ll find on your new blog.
The post stumped me. I mean, I don’t know who I am. I know I’m a liar, because I started off by saying I haven’t blogged in a while, when, as a matter of fact, I published a post yesterday…and I lied in that post too.
(I’d like to take a moment to give a special shout out to Kristen Ann James for her post on “how to post a gif to your blog post”
But I’m a liar who took several months off for a variety of reasons, and my writing is rusty (which explains why I had to edit yesterday’s posts multiple times). So here I am, ready to begin again, pretending today is Day 1.
So who am I? IDK. I mean, I know who I’ve been (daughter, wife, mother, coach, referee, actress, lighting designer, stage mother, comedian, writer, masseuse, biller) but I’m going through The Change, and I’m not really sure who or what I’m changing into (I hope it’s a unicorn!). Evidently I am a pupa, which is much better than being a puta.*
Which brings us to “Why are you here?”. I have to admit that I don’t know the answer to that question either. I tried asking Siri, but she didn’t answer (possibly because I don’t have an Iphone). Fortunately, Google was there for me. A Google search brings up “about 5,430,000,000 results” including an incredible page called manifest your potential and a self assessment quiz from Oprah.com . Evidently I’m a knowledgeable creative who should be careful of the fact that “when fear of conformity overrides your creativity, you can assume the role of “outsider” or “orphan” and end up feeling alienated. You may even go so far as refusing to vote or pay taxes. This lone-wolf stance might be a defense against feeling vulnerable. Try to be aware that blaming others for your banishment, or pushing away those who want to get close, only makes things worse. Also, dramatizing your emotions can interfere with your creativity” and “When you can’t find a way to be the expert, you may withdraw or simply withhold information, which can make you seem smug or arrogant.”
I’m so glad I took the quiz (Hey WordPress – why isn’t there a sarcasm font?). It was fun, but didn’t tell me why I’m here. It’s entirely possible that the answer may take more time and effort than a flip post will allow (guess it’s time for some navel-gazing).
It looks like I can’t answer either question from Day 1. I am a sad egg (which is completely different than being a bad egg).
The EIC (Evil Inner Critic) just popped in to remind me that, since I don’t know who I am or why I’m here, I have failed my first task. Failing used to throw me into a tailspin of depression and self-doubt, but not this time. This is a new year, a new post and a new me, and the EIC can go F himself.
I’m not afraid of failure (well, I am, but I’m trying to convince myself that I’m not). After all, Truman Capote tells us that “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”and Samuel Beckett reminds us to “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Never mind who I am and why I’m here – I want to know who you are and why are YOU here? Or don’t you know? Let’s find out together.
Hey there! I know, I know, it’s been a whilea couple of months far too long since last I wrote. I’ve been meaning to write for a while now, but Life got in the way.
Sigh. I’m lying. I could go on and on about how I was derailed (again) by Loss and Grief (Death took too many people home last year), or say that I was (once again) thrown into the Pit of Despair by the hatred/violence/bigotry that made the headlines last year. TBH I was suffering from the dreaded Writer’s Block.
From Wikipedia: Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges from difficulty in coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years. Throughout history, writer’s block has been a documented problem.
Thanks to NaNoWriMo and some friends who kept nagging nudging me to write again, I was able to push through my block and finish my 15 year WIP (deets to come) – and I realized that I MISS WRITING.
So I’m back from outer space/the pit/wherever my brain has been hiding these many months. I’ve been knocking around a few ideas for blog posts, but I have to thank Glenn Close for giving me a much needed kick in the pants. Her Golden Globes speech resonated with me:
“I’m thinking of my mom who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life and in her 80s she said to me, ‘I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.’ And it was so not right, and I feel what I’ve learned through this whole experience is that women, we’re nurturers. That’s what’s expected of us. We have our children, we have our husbands, if we’re lucky enough, and our partners, whoever. But we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, ‘I can do that and I should be allowed to do that.'”
It resonated with me because her mother could have been mine (no, not literally – but OMG how cool would it be to have Glenn Close as a sister?!)
I’ve spoken before about my life as an accidental mother, but I’ve never shared the fact that I was an accidental daughter (evidently the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree). My mother was amazing – raised two kids while our dad traveled the world, kept a spotless house, hosted dinners and parties for dozens (she was an incredible cook), never forgot a birthday or anniversary, and drove us across country every summer…and yet…..
She thought she was Less Than. She, like Glenn Close’s mother, thought she’d “never accomplished anything.” I wish I’d had the chance to convince her otherwise.
Over the past few days (months) our newsfeeds have been filled with stories of the incredible women filling our Capitol. Women of different ages/nationalities/backgrounds/religious beliefs/sexual preferences being sworn in to the 116th Congress is an important moment in history. I’m not saying that it’s not worth the coverage, nor am I trying to diminish the historical/cultural significance of this moment in time BUT (there’s always a but, isn’t there?)…
We need to recognize all women. ALL WOMEN. We need to do something other than just pay lip service to the shouts of “grrrl power!” We need to lift each other up, to remind each other that we are MORE THAN. More than a moment, a march, a punk rock slogan.
The next time you overhear someone making themselves smaller by saying “I’m just a ____*” remind them we’re not Justa. We’re women, and we ROAR.