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The Summer Sabbatical

July 20, 2011 18 comments

My summer sabbatical was not planned.  I never thought my last post would have been June 1st.  In fact, my one year blogging anniversary came and went without any fanfare and trust me I am a fan of fanfare.

So why the unplanned sabbatical from my blog?  Hmm… not sure.  All I can tell you is that in the beginning I was busy living.  The last weeks of school are hectic, than summer swept me up in all it’s sparkle, sunscreen and sangrias (actually, it has been mostly rum, but I love to abuse alliteration).  Both of my kids have summer birthdays, so there are parties, presents and pinatas (actually, there were no pinatas, but again with the alliteration).  I have been enjoying the little moments, the everyday joys of summer.  Before I knew it, I looked up and I hadn’t written in over a month.

Then it became daunting.

I felt like I would need a spectacular re-entry and was at a loss.  I would get pings from my dear bloggy friends and readers and I would hide.  (I actually tried to respond to some tweets and am having Twitter issues).  Every time I read the brilliant writing of those I follow, I would feel like I was in a deeper hole.  Whether you’re a writer or not, I bet you have been there; procrastinating a paper in college, putting off a work deadline or avoiding thank you notes (of which I need to do for both my kids).  The longer you put it off, the bigger the task becomes.  

A friend asked me this week, if you’re not writing, where are you putting that time?  Well, that’s a post in itself, besides enjoying small summer moments , I have been more serious about window shopping for my passion and purpose.  I have been more focused on exploring new career options and have taken a big step.  I am enrolling in the September session of the Life Launch Program through the Hudson Institute in lovely Santa Barbara, CA.  I have some hunches on what I want to do next and I hope the program will help evaluate those hunches.

I told a friend that I didn’t think I would blog about the program and my thoughts behind it.  I felt that this blog was about Paige, the crazy, cocktail-drinking mom striving for balance through humor.  But looking for passion and purpose, trying to balance our personal identities with our parent personas, actual feels like a perfect fit.  I am convinced everybody has that moment (or several moments!) where they say ‘how did I get here’ and ‘do I want to be here’?  Let me be clear – I want to be here, in my home with my children and husband, but there are other parts of life that can be tinkered with.  I think about my friends who gave up high-powered careers to raise their families or those who work 80 hours per week, we all have those days where we ask ourselves if we should have chosen differently or wonder if it’s time to chart a new course. 

Therefore, it is my plan to continue to share with you my journey, my experiences and my thoughts, because we are all multi-faceted, unique and amazing people who fit in more than one bucket, whether that’s parents, working professionals or cocktail-loving crazies.  I hope you’ll share with me your questions about your chosen path, your future journeys and dreams yet to be fulfilled.  Crazy loves company.  Yes, I will still share parenting stories, but my seven-year old son is in the all farting, all the time stage, so I plan to spare you. 

Do you feel like you’re fulfilling your life’s purpose?  Are you passionate about how your spend your days?  Do you have another goal on the horizon?  Do you live a double or triple life to fulfill multiple passions?  Do you put lime in your rum?  How do you get a little boy to stop with the incessant potty talk?!

I am still on sabbatical, but there is sure a lot to discuss and now that I am here, it’s good to be back.

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My Son Has Hallmark Beat

March 31, 2011 11 comments

Yesterday was my birthday.  When my husband woke up at 6:30 am to make me breakfast (I am a lucky girl), he found my six-year old son already awake, working hard on this:

It read:

Dear mom, the hole family loves you, but the best part about you is eavin you loves yourself.  You ceap M and I rilly safe in this house and we all love you, nomter what.”

“Happy Birthday MOM!”

“MOM you are a star.”

I love everything about this card, especially:

  • The spontaneity, he did this on his own, without suggestion.  He couldn’t sleep because he was excited to write it
  • The fact that he values loving yourself.  If I helped instilled that in him, I am thrilled.
  • At an age where we discuss strangers, bad guys and monsters under the bed, he feels safe in his home.
  • The statement, ‘I love you no matter what’ has stuck with him.  I tell him this after I have to discipline him.  It warms my heart that he heard me.

My son loves to write.  He writes stories and illustrates them on his own.  I love that he has a passion for writing. 

I am humbled and touched that he so beautifully captured what I am trying to teach him.  Knowing that my parenting efforts are reaching him is the best birthday present I could receive.

What’s the best birthday present you have received?

Lesson from My Polygamist Same-Sex Date

January 10, 2011 24 comments

I have been having a polygamist, same-sex relationship.  Online, no less.  What would my grandmother say? 

Who is this group of women?  Fellow bloggers. 

My expectation of blogging was simple: to have a creative outlet for myself, a personal playground.  I did not expect to make friends online.  And then I did.

Yesterday, I took the next step in the relationship.  I met some other bloggers for lunch and wine tasting in Napa.  Whitehall Lane hosted us for a fabulous wine tasting that was delicious and educational (ask me about glass corks).  Who doesn’t bond over wine???  We then had a fabulous lunch at Brix.  There was singing, mooning and threats of motor-boating.  It was right up my alley. 

As I drove home reflecting on my afternoon, I felt blessed to have spent a day with exceptional women.  But as I chatted with a close friend about my experience, she said I sounded numb.  She said I was saying wonderful things, but lacked my usual animation.  I thought about it and realized, I lacked emotion because I had some deep thoughts brewing.

Somewhere along the way, my blogging expectations became more complex.  I started watching my blog stats and wondering what it would be like to be one of those celebrity bloggers.  I started thinking that turning my hobby into something more might be my next goal.  After meeting these amazing women I was ready to go home and go after that goal. 

But here’s the problem with me and goals:  I am a crazy overachiever.  My competitive spirit can cloud my judgement, reaching the goal becomes more important than the journey.  I often say I could never be on the Bachelor, because I would want the rose even if the guy was a creep.  I set goals for myself and when I achieve them, I feel lost.  I expect that the next achievement will keep me satisfied.  And it doesn’t.  I end up failing to fully appreciate the experience.  I fear that I could diminish my passion for writing if I take it too seriously.

I think it is great to turn passions into careers or have goals for your hobbies.  I met women yesterday who, for them, this is more than a hobby and I revere them.  But for me to have balance in my life, I have to catch myself.  Motivation is good in moderation.  I need an area of my life where I don’t push my hardest.   

Does this mean I don’t have secret dreams of turning writing into something more?  Of course I do.  Would it be great to make a little wine and lunch money while doing something I love?  Uh, yeah!  But I need to slow down, take time to smell the cabernets and enjoy my new polygamist same-sex relationship.

Do you have something that gives you pure joy without stress?  Is the journey or the destination more important to you?

Crazy Just Got Crazier

November 4, 2010 15 comments

I talk about struggling for balance, for never having enough time in the day.  I lament that I want to cut back at work and spend more time at home with the kids.  So what is my genius solution?  Enter a writing contest. 

NaNoWriMo is a writing program where you write a  novel in 30 days.  50,000 words in 30 days. 1,667 words per day.  The goal is not have a finished product, but rather just to get ideas down.  I am not supposed to edit, just write.  Hmm, run my mouth without censoring, I can probably handle that.   

You are entitled to skip straight to the comments and tell me that I am an idiot for signing up for this.  But here’s the thing, writing gives me balance, it’s how I sort out emotions, diffuse anger and appreciate life.  I have always dreamed of writing a book and a good friend suggested I turn my stories that I blog about into a semi-fiction book about being a crazy parent.  So I am going for it.  Will I have a finished product December 1st? No, but I’ll have a very rough draft.  Very rough I said!

Occasionally I might share an excerpt here, both to get feedback and to not overwhelm myself with blogging and writing.  So here we go, your first sneak peek (remember, just ideas, not a Pulitzer submission) of “Parenting Taught Me I Don’t Know Sh*t”.  (I haven’t made the philosophical decision about swearing in my novel.  I don’t swear on my blog, but I do swear in real life).

Okay, I am stalling, hear you go:

Pregnancy and Private Planes

A week into bed-rest my husband has to attend the wedding of a college buddy.  It’s a 2 hour plane ride from home and he “has to go” because he is the best man.  What about his best wife and best, going-to-be-born-at-any-moment baby?!  After a few hormonal battles, I agree to let him go, like I ever had a choice???  My cousin, who has a two-year-old agrees to come stay with me since I am still on bed-rest which clearly means I need a baby-sitter! (I was also bored and thrilled for the company!) 

I call my husband and… get f’ing voice mail!  What?! He is supposed to have his cell phone on him at all times in case I need him.  We had agreed he would only turn it off during the 20 minute ceremony!  Fine, I leave a message and will call again in 21 minutes.  19 minutes later I call again – voice mail.  I leave another message and wait. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, I am approaching hysteria! 

My cousin tries to point out the obvious – I am not in labor, but all I can say is , “But what if I were?!”  I leave another irate message about him not caring about me and the baby, and being an irresponsible father before he even has a baby.  My husband will tell you I left 15+ similar messages, I say prove it!  When he finally calls me back SIX HOURS LATER he is breathless, panicked and remorseful.  “I am sorry babe, my phone battery died and no one else brought their phones into the wedding.  I have been running around for hours trying to find a phone to call you.  Is everything okay?  I checked my voice mail and it said I had 15 messages, what happened?!” 

As I listen to him talk, I realize the impossible – he is drunk!  “Have you been drinking?!  You promised me you wouldn’t drink in case you had to get home in a hurry! What were you thinking?”  “Babe, listen.  I have had a few drinks.  It’s an open bar and I am the best man.  When the father-of-the-bride handed us shots, it would have been rude to say no”.  “Rude to say no!” I thunder, “Rude would be missing your baby’s birth because you’re too drunk to get home!”  “Honey,” he says as if he’s talking to a tantruming two-year-old, “you’re not in labor, right?” “Well, no, but I could have been!”.  He then tried to be the good guy, “Babe, I know it’s hard being on bed-rest, but if I needed to get home, I could take a cab to the airport and be on the next flight.”  I can’t be pacified, “Well what if I needed you in the middle of the night and there were no flights?! Would you charter a private plane?”  “Sweetie, the doctor said first babies are usually late and labor takes hours, even days, I am sure I would make it”  “Well OUR baby is not most babies!  Tell me you would charter a private plane if I needed you!”  “Honey, a private plane is tens of thousands of dollars, get some rest and we’ll talk in the morning”.  I will not be dissuaded, “TELL ME YOU WOULD CHARTER A PRIVATE PLANE!” “Honey, I promise I will get there for the birth of our child, I’ll see you tomorrow.  I love you and our baby.”  At this point, my cousin takes the phone, hands me some herbal tea and just smiles.  She’s smart enough not to try to reason with crazy.

Of course, it’s fiction, who really acts like that?  I did.

Sharing a Short Story

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

After reading the short story of a Writing Mama, I decided to go out on a limb and post one of my short stories. 

Do you want to read it? Click here.

Read it, react, comment.

Categories: Writing

Being Off-Balance is Rewarding

September 16, 2010 10 comments

I love awards.  I love honorable  mentions, cash prizes and glossy photos on the front page.  But the best awards are those that come from someone you respect and admire.  It is also amazing to get recognized for doing something you love.  I was touched to get an award from one of my favorite bloggers, Lori Dyan.  If you like my blog, don’t read hers, because it is so much better than mine that you might break up with me!  She’s funny, honest and will broach any topic.  Check her out!

The Blogging Award she bestowed upon me is the Versatile Blogger Award and there are some rules I have to follow:

1. Acknowledge the person who nominated me.  Lori Dyan – my blog crush! (No need for a restraining order!)

2. List ten things I like.

  • Laughing so hard I pee my pants, my husband does the laundry
  • Snuggling with my kids, after their baths, at bed time, when they smell clean and yummy
  • Long road trips when the kids sleep and my husband and I get to finish a conversation – he’s a captive audience!
  • Eating fresh fish while watching a Hawaiian sunset
  • Sushi, beer and beer with the girls
  • The sound of my waterski or wakeboard cutting through perfect water
  • Cocktails – any kind, any occasion
  • Chocolate.
  • Seeing the world through my kids eyes
  • Hearing that my writing resonates with someone.

3. Now I have to nominate ten other bloggers.  This is hard because I have come to follow and love so many great bloggers, but here are 10 in no particular order:

  1. Simply Diane… – She’s funny, likes to multi-task and loves to shop – what’s not to love?
  2. The Marriage Project – We could all follow her plan to be a good wife and laugh along the way!
  3. The Candy Shoppe – Everything she rights is touching, poignant, hilarious or all three.  A true artist.
  4. The Rock Pool – A group of female bloggers sharing the diverse and global perspectives – very cool.
  5. Because Chutney Goes with Everything – She writes on all sorts of topics and had me crying with laughter over pooping at work.
  6. Confessions of a Recovering Cynic – I recently discovered her and she is my kind of humor! (Slightly depraved)
  7. The Zany Housewife – I want to have cocktails and play Canasta with this hilariously fun blogger!
  8. The Highly Uninteresting Adventures of Average Girl – Her posts on parenting and life are far from average!
  9. My Morning Chocolate – I aspire to be Jen in the kitchen.  Her blog fuels my passion for food!
  10. Conflicted Mean Girl – I know you are already a recipient, but you’re so good that you need at least two of these!

Now I am off to drink a glass of Hall Cabernet and celebrate my award!

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