Monday, December 31, 2012

2013, The Year of. . .

As 2012 has approached it’s end, I’ve been reading some of my past journal entries. Not just from this year, but 2011, 2010, 2009…. all the way back to 2006, which isn’t hard since the current journal I use (you can take the word “use” very lightly), started in 2006.  As with so many aspects of my life, I started a journal (once again) and never truly committed to the process.

One of the sad – no, make that frustrating – realizations I had was that sooo many of my posts are basically the same reflections, desires, and goals.

I want to lose weight.

I want to become a freelance writer.

I want to organize my home more thoroughly.

I want, I want, I want and not much doing.

Somewhere around the 2009 entries I started to sigh….a lot.  I even rolled my eyes at myself somewhere in the 2011 section.

Many of us know the famous quote by the amazing writer Annie Dillard:

Right on, Annie. 

It’s the reason why I keep writing down the same goals year after year.  My days are spent procrastinating. 

I have one friend who has lit a fire in me, though.  Crystal and I have spent years’ worth of lunches at Corner Bakery sharing our grievances and wishes with each other, along with a pecan tart or a slice of cinnamon coffee cake, and we’ve both noted that we always say the same things.  This year, however, Crystal has taken that first step and is actually making one of her long-time dreams a reality.  She’s started a non-profit organization, Our Hair.

She hasn’t just taken the first step, she’s started climbing the staircase, step after step after step.  

I am so proud of her and inspired by her.  You can check out her Facebook page and learn more about Our Hair here.  They provide African American kids in foster care with hair and skin care products and also education on how to care for their hair and skin.  I can tell you working at a children’s shelter, we never get products that are geared directly toward the needs of African American children. This is a sorely needed organization.

So yesterday I began throwing out old notes, plans, and self-help books.  I know what to do, I just need to push myself and start walking up that staircase. I’m determined not to read the same journal entries again the next year. 

And with friends like Crystal, I think it’s a big possibility I could reach my goals or at least be on my way.  I just need to be more attentive to how I spend my days.

Maybe we should call this the year of being mindful.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Bad Parenting Continues

Pat and I work really hard to be good role models for our kids.

Yes, we’re both struggling with weight issues right now, and we watch a little too much TV, and sit at the computer more than we should, and sometimes have silly spats in front of the young’uns.

Well, at least we watch what we say in front of them….


Okay, we slip….frequently. I’ve written about that before, in the days before I took my long sabbatical from writing.

A couple of the highlights:
At a very young age, Savannah said the infamous “F” word when she dropped a crayon during a Christmas Eve service.

Sarah sweetly said “shit” a few times while walking around the living room. I guess she thought that’s what you do when you take a stroll.

And recently:
Pace’s vocabulary is quickly expanding after a late start, which has us relieved, excited, and a little ashamed.

One of his new phrases is “kicking ass!”

That’s. Great. Pace.

Did I mention he’s two?


There’s one incident that popped in my head today that gave me a really good laugh and prompted the writing of this post.

A little background - Pat isn’t too fond of other drivers on the road. When I say he’s not too fond, I mean there’s quite a bit of name calling and dirty looks being thrown around, and me holding down his arm before he teaches our kids what the middle finger can be used for. His favorite reaction is, “What a douchebag.”

I apologize now if I’ve offended anyone with that term.

And now on with the story…

So a couple weeks ago Pat was leaving the house and like a good family, we were all saying good-bye to him at the door. As he walked to the car, Savannah called out to him (with neighbors outside, I might add), “Watch out for the douchebags, Dad!” And shut the door. Pat said he could hear me inside saying,

“Savannah! Don’t say that!”

And her responding,

“What?? What did I say??”

Yes, Pat and I try really hard to be good role models.

We just forget sometimes.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

High School Days

Last night I went to the open house for the local Arts Magnet High School with my oldest daughter Savannah.


High School….already.

It’s happening too fast.

But before I sink into a my baby’s growing up depression, I want to talk about how freaking cool this school is!

This is actually my alma mater. I graduated from there in 1988 and it was a cool school waaayyyy back then.  You know, in the old days.

May I name drop for a moment? I walked the halls with Erykah Badu, hung out between classes with jazz great Roy Hargrove, and did a few plays and parties with Elizabeth Mitchell who was in the TV series “Lost.”  Edie Brickell graduated the year before I arrived. Norah Jones came in a few years after me and her phenomenal success made the school close to impossible to get into.

Back in my day it was just a 2-story brick building with an addition in the back that included a state-of-the-art (for the 80’s) music department.

The school is on the same spot, but it’s now a 4-story modern, talent molding facility.

I seriously want to go back to high school. I’ll take on all the awkwardness and fear to be able to hang out here 5 days a week.

My favorite class, Playwriting, was tucked into a small, dark room in the back of the Auditorium. I filled several spirals for 4 years in that space. That class is now in a huge computer lab where each student has their own computer to type out the next Broadway play, or at least a 10-minute play to have produced in Showcase Theater on a cold Thursday night.

Honestly, I would go back for my teaching certificate if I was guaranteed a position at this specific school...but quite frankly I don't think I have enough talent and experience to teach these kids. They are exceptional.

And my girl is exceptional.  Make a note, Arts. 
(I'm showing my age.  I keep calling it "Arts" instead of "Booker T" as it's now known.)

Savannah was so excited. She kept looking all around her with this smile on her face. That smile I love so much.

Every once in a while she would look at me and whisper, “I really want to go here, Mom.”

Every time we turned a corner her smile would get brighter and I would think

Please let her go here.

Like mother, like daughter.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Long Awaited Post

Not long ago I was talking to my teen daughter, Savannah, about the books she likes to read. I’m trying to get some Christmas ideas, you know. She said, “Your blog is my favorite thing to read. Why don’t you write on it anymore?”

Well, Savannah, Mommy has had a year-long stage of writer’s block.

Quite honestly, I just didn’t feel I had anything interesting to say anymore. I guess I felt stunted, static, bored. That’s not fun to write about.

But I’ve been thinking about Savannah’s words and how I hate that she seems let down a little that her mom stopped doing something she enjoyed.

I’ve been thinking about my love for writing and how much I long for it and miss it.

I remembered just how much I enjoyed being a part of an online community…a funny, insightful, and supportive community, and how I got to know some of my husband’s long distance, long-time friends through this blog.

I’m also in a different place now than I was a year ago, even 6 months ago. I’m working in a new job that has changed my outlook on things, both material & spiritual.

I’ve decided that I do have something to say. I’ll be writing about that new outlook and the recent experiences that have brought on these changes. Things that I want my kids to know.

Of course, I’ll still be sharing those embarrassing mommy moments. I don’t think my mother & aunt would let me get away without those. (And I think those are the posts that have made this blog Savannah’s favorite thing to read.)

So, thank you, Savannah, for being Mom’s #1 fan and for encouraging me to write again. This blog post is dedicated to you, Sweetie.