Tag Archives: birthday

Month in Review

For such a tender, fresh young time of year, May does a lot of heavy lifting. This month seemed both interminable and swift. We’ve been running hard, and every moment has felt as though it’s not full enough to get things done. I’m a big believer in slowing down, taking time, not having every moment scheduled. However, this has also been the month where I am at the mercy of my responsibilities. I’m limping into summer.

That is not to say that there have not been remarkable, wonderful, life-changing experiences this May.  I’m trying to craft the life I want now that my focus has changed, my responsibilities are shifting, and my children will soon all be in school for a full day. My small family and dear friends have been a beautiful, central, and necessary part of this month, and I’ve snuck in, quite purposefully, moments of art and beauty. It has been a month of shaking off the old, and insisting on the new.

Here are some highlights from May:

  • A short film that a fabulous and gifted friend and I wrote finally got filmed. For three days this month, I saw our words put into motion and got to work with some of the most talented, creative, hard-working, brilliant professionals I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with. The cast and crew were far more experienced than I, which is the best situation for me to be. I listened. I watched. I learned. I loved every minute of it. In addition to being cowriter, I functioned as executive producer. I started a production company called Melted Butter Productions. Onset, my job was largely to make sure people were fed and to stay out of their way, two things I’m fairly good at. It was a steep learning curve, and I loved every second of it, even the long hours, hard work, forms, and red tape. Right now the film is being edited and turned into something greater than the sum of its parts. I am thankful to have a team of people who I not only trust but who I so enjoyed working with. More on that project as it blooms.
  • I’ve written here about the life-altering, wonderful, affirming, much-needed experience that was Listen To Your Mother. It’s hard to believe that that was only a few weeks ago. The LTYM show was one of the greatest days of my life and the experience introduced me to some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. There is something about sharing this experience with other storytellers and writers that created bonds at the heart-level.
  • My daughter finished up preschool and will be starting kindergarten fall. May meant several transition activities, grounding us in this new part of our lives. I have one foot in the Slow Down! camp and another in the Spread Your Wings And Fly, Little Girl! camp.
  • For the twins, there were concerts, portfolio nights, and school events almost every day. My boys will be going to a new building in the same district this next year. It’s not so much a graduation as it is a transition, so my feet are in two camps with them as well. Exciting times to come.
  • One son started playing baseball this spring and his team has made it to the semifinals. The child has learned so much in a few short months, all things one would hope baseball or any group activity would teach: determination, focus, teamwork, shaking off bad moments, celebrating good. That’s a W.
  • My father turned 75 this month. There was much cake. That is also a W.

  • My sweet dog who is around 11 years old struggles with his health. We are spoiling him rotten and keeping an eye on him. His quality of life is our guide.
  • I’ve been knitting again. My daughter wants a new blanket and I stupidly agreed to do it. Now it’s a thing. A huge, boring, have-to-pay-just-enough-attention, why-did-I-knit-this-in-worsted-weight thing.
  • I have been writing more these last few days with a new routine and a new focus that I will expound on in a different blog entry. So far so good. But of course, all bets are off for summer. I assume the first day of vacation will trounce all over my happy writing plan and I will have a few more months of squeezing it in between special moments of asking the kids for the millionth time to close the door.
  • I have been catching up on the stack of magazines I have. Are you familiar with The Sun magazine? It’s absolutely brilliant. I just finished the September 2016 issue and have not been able to stop thinking about more than a few pieces in there, notably “#WeAreHarryChang” by Thomas Lee (oooh! You can read it here! Do it!)
  • A little late, but listening to season two of Big Magic podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her voice is sunshine, and her message is positive without being treacly or saccharine.
  • Finally watched Moonlight. Mahershala Ali earned that Oscar and probably another two or three. What a performance in quite a haunting film.
  • Also saw The Words, which was not as haunting, but an interesting play on that old chestnut of what happens when first we practice to deceive.
  • The best discovery this month is the National Geographic series, Genius.   It’s a fascinating, unblinking biography of Albert Einstein. Warts and all. Please tell me you are watching – I’m dying to talk about this show, especially the role of his wife Mileva. A biography of her wouldn’t have been uncalled for. Can you imagine an entire series of shows about underappreciated, unsung wives throughout history?

Deep breaths now as we waltz into June, a month of sweet berries and cannonballs, fireflies and picnics.

How was your May?



NaNoWriMo Day 14 — Birthday (Mine) Thoughts (Also Mine)

Updated NaNoWriMo numbers at the end.

I originally posted the following on Facebook, but it was coming across like a sad cry for birthday wishes. Certainly not my intent. For some reason, this seems the appropriate place to lay down these words and perhaps cover with a nice warm blanket.

Thank you, friends. We all need in our lives a moment when we feel a little sparkly-special. It’s really still ok to have some sort of childlike expectations for birthdays. Remember when it was, like, the best day of the year?! And all great things were to happen on your birthday?

That’s calmed down for me, but even now I look forward to cake and some form of deep-fried vegetables. Great things.

Let’s overshare for a moment, shall we? And by “we” I mean “me” because you’ve all been clamoring for access to the deep recesses of my mind. And also this is my monologue and I’m going to enjoy the moment.

I’ve been reflecting on recent events and also my sense of place. More than usual (and that’s a lot), I’m feeling quite “too” these days, — either as in “excessively” or, perhaps more kindly, as in “as well.” It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a thing. It makes me who I am and gives me a voice and a sense of straddling worlds. Good for humor, even better for inner-thigh stretching.

I think that feeling – which is hard to pin down because it’s toffee-sticky and I’m wading in it, trying not to eat my way out – means something. But it doesn’t have to. I’m writing about it. We’ll see if that brings meaning. I hope at some point in the future it is crafted into something funny. Or at least purposeful in a way that doesn’t make people want to gag.

Maybe it just stays in the draft folder, which is, I think, where too much of our lives end up. My goal for this next year is to polish more of my life into something better resembling a completed draft.

Which is all just to say that I am lucky to know you and receive your good wishes. I hope to use them well.

Have some cake and carry on.


And now the numbers.

Day 11 Stats:

  • Essay: “Errant Blue Lines” 1684 words
  • Essay: “Because Of Course There’s Pink Eye” 365 words

Daily Word Count: 2049

Total Word Count: 28,865

Day 12 Stats:

  • Essay: “Because Of Course There’s Pink Eye” 384 words
  • Essay: “This Year Thanksgiving is the Fourth Thursday in November”   1145 words

Daily Word Count: 1529

Total Word Count: 30,385

Day 13 Stats:

  • Essay: “When the Tooth Fairy is Your Family’s Financial Advisor” 107 Words

Daily Word Count: 107

Total Word Count: 30,492

Day 14 Stats:

  • Essay: “When the Tooth Fairy is Your Family’s Financial Advisor”   278 Words
  • Essay: “Birthday Stress for Ten Seconds”  1341 words
  • Essay: “This Side of the Table” 2575 Words

Daily Word Count: 4194

Total Word Count: 34,686