Category Archives: friends

Life From Scratch book tour

Life From Scratch by the amazing Melissa Ford was the first novel I’ve read by someone I know.  And by “know” I mean, “know on the internet but really really hope I’ll meet her in person someday, though I’d probably be starstruck.”

I’m moderately into chick lit, by which I mean, I like it if it’s well written (see: Jennifer Weiner) and merely tolerate it if it’s not (though I’ve been known to read more than my share of poorly written fiction of many genres).  Life From Scratch is definitely in the former category.  If you’ve read Mel’s blog for say, two seconds, you know that she writes very well.  Her voice in this book is decidedly Rachel’s, though a hint of Mel shows through as well.

I have to say, as a semi-recently divorced woman, I was pleased to pick up a book with a recently divorced woman as the protagonist.  And here, I must confess, I remember those fictional blog posts that Mel linked to on Stirrup Queens way back when.  (Does anyone else remember them?)  When I started reading the book, I recognized the name, Rachel Goldman, and the bare bones of her story—divorced, learning to cook, best friend a single mother by choice.

Towards the end of Chapter 11, Rachel is reflecting on her relationship with Adam when she says “What I really want, more than any other birthday wish I ever made, is to meld what I know now with what I had then and build something entirely new in the process…something potentially wonderful again.” If you could go back to any time in your life and “meld what you know now with what you had then” when would you choose and what would you do with the information you have? What would you tell yourself or what might you try to change about yourself and/or your life?

I thought long and hard about if I’d like to go back to when I met Mr. X and see if something potentially wonderful could happen.  The problem is, with what I know now, I would not end up with him, unless he, too, were different.

I’d really love to go back to college with the self-knowledge that I have now.  I’d be a lot less tortured (I hope) and I wouldn’t feel so bad about not fitting in with the people I thought I was supposed to.  I wouldn’t let the grief of losing a best friend my freshman year paralyze me and I would allow myself to grieve and move through the process in a healthy way.  I would be more open to relationships with guys (other than my “best friend,” or on vacation or study abroad) and I would be open to learning a lot more without the strictures I placed on myself back then.

How would you react if your blog hit the big time — if you had hundreds of thousands or even millions of readers hanging on your every word, if you won awards, if mainstream media wanted to interview and feature you? Are there aspects of blogging fame that you’d refuse? How would the content of your blog change?

My blog has been at it’s best, I believe, when I’ve been the most honest, the most vulnerable.  My being able to do that requires anonymity, or at least, anonymity to those in my face-to-face, everyday life.  I don’t want to say “real life” because some of you have been very real friends to me, in ways that my wonderful, in the flesh friends could not be.

The idea of any kind of fame makes me nervous.  Blogging fame in particular makes me nervous, unless I wrote a very different kind of blog.  Even then…nope, don’t want the fame.  If I’m ever any good at this blogging thing (and please, don’t judge me by the last few months alone), being able to be real and honest is the key to that.  Fame would just shoot all that to hell.

If you had a year to do what you wanted, what would you do?  Would you learn to cook or something different?

I don’t believe I would learn to cook.  I might learn photography.  I’d love to use the time to travel and learn photography as I go.

I’d  really like to be able to fall in love (with an emotionally mature one this time) and make a life with someone.  I’d like that life to have children in it.  If all I had to do was take a year off  to get that, I’d be first in line.

To continue to the next leg of this book tour, please visit the main list at Write Mind Open Heart.

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Lola

This whole weekend has been under the cloud of the heartbreaking news I learned of yesterday: fellow ALI blogger Wiseguy lost her dear, newly born Lola After years of struggling with infertility, Wiseguy is no stranger to pain and loss.  This one was a punch in the gut to me, someone who has never met Wiseguy in person, has never heard her voice, and knows her “only” on the internet.  I was so excited for her about this pregnancy and was eagerly awaiting the birth to see if little one would be Lola or Kaiser.  I can’t stop thinking about my friend, who has been a strong voice of support to me through my last couple of years of struggle.  I wish there were words.

perfect moment monday: 2-in-1

The first perfect moment:  How do you prepare to meet someone who has already read your diary?

There’s no preparing, really, for meeting Lori, aka Lavender Luz, of Weebles Wobblog fame.  She’s lovely, as easy to talk with in either small talk or soul-baring conversations, and I wish she lived here.

We’d exchanged some emails, she knew I lived in the live-music capitol of the world, and so when she was planning a work trip here, she asked if I’d be up for getting together.  If you ever have the same opportunity take it.  It’s kind of like meeting a rock star, albeit a very un-diva-like rock star who blogs.  And likes mojitos in the middle of the afternoon. 😉

The perfect part was when we said goodbye, it felt like the beginning of our IRL friendship, rather than the end of the evening.

(And if you don’t read her blog, you really should remedy that ASAP.)

The second perfect moment:  I’ve finally been feeling ready to start connecting with more people to let more people in.  The trick is how and getting started.

I won’t bore you with a list of the things I’ve been considering.  The moment is last night I received a call from the facilitator of my divorce recovery group, asking me if I would be one of the four volunteer facilitators for the group starting Tuesday.  I talked it over with my closest friend from the class, who is also volunteering, and I decided that, yes, I am ready to do this.  Six or even three months ago I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be ready to do this now, though it was something I might want to do “in the future.”  I suppose the future is now.  It is so amazing to see visible progress in myself.

You can read about other perfect moments here.

remembering and hoping

A friend of mine died this week in the flooding we’ve had here in my state.  She was in my “When Your Relationship Ends” class and was one of my favorite people in the class.

I am very sad for the ending of her life, for myself, for her children, for her friends.  In this season of reflection I remember her, and hope that not only will her memory be for a blessing, but so will my own, when the time comes.

perfect moment monday: one year later

I’ve been thinking a lot in the past week or so about this time one year ago.  It was just about this time that I started going really crazy living at my parents’ house and starting to feel like I needed to get out of there now.

One year ago I was in the throes of divorce details, worried about my house selling (which eventually went into foreclosure), and was basically swimming in a sea of angst about Mr. X.

One year ago I was jobless, had very little money in the bank, was living with mom and dad, and was having a very difficult time imagining a better future.

Today…today is amazing.  Today I have a good job in a great city, I no longer have to depend on my parents’ help for my basic needs, and I have a great place to live.  The best thing, however, is the change within myself.  I noticed this weekend, at the second of two get-togethers with some dear friends and several of their friends (who have brought me into the circle without question) that I had a sense of belonging and peace that was quite foreign to me a year ago.  Today I don’t feel like the “pause” button is set on my life anymore.  Last night I laughed with friends, enjoyed food, and was happy.

Pretty darn perfect.

Read about some more perfect moments over at Lavender Luz’s.

about the dogs…

I went to work today and didn’t have to crawl home after less than two hours because I was exhausted.  In fact, I lasted almost the whole day.

This is progress.

In other news, having appendicitis got me out of dog-sitting Gertie.  She and Miss Famous met (again) on Friday, however, and I think that it was a successful meeting, all in all.  My friends (Gertie’s owners) and I decided that part of their previous issues might have been that they are both so much alike.  The main triggers for conflict we noticed this time were 1) Miss Famous is opposed to an overly enthusiastic “background check” and Gerts is a bit slow on the uptake and 2) Gertie is very protective of “her” baby.  It is fine with my friends if Miss Famous licks that baby all over her face, as she did the first time they came to visit (without the Gertster).  It is not, however, fine with Gertie, and she let this be known.  It was awfully nice to throw them in the backyard when they first arrived and see Miss Famous go nuts running laps around the yard (she’s been a bit under-exercised since I’ve been recovering).

I had a more active day today than I’ve had in almost two weeks, so I am going to sign off now, and go to bed.

Wild times around here, let me tell you.

catching up

I seem to have fallen out of the blogging habit in the last few days.  Partly, I have not been able to communicate well what has been going on, which is mostly internal.  There are a few externals that I’ll catch you up on, and hopefully this will end the blogging drought.

  • I have started lessons in the Alexander Technique.  A woman in my group (actually one of the volunteer facilitators) is a teacher of the technique, and she has been kind enough to give me a reduced rate.  I have had two lessons so far and have been becoming more and more aware of how much I tense my muscles (shoulders, neck, and jaw particularly) and how unaware of my body I am most of the time.  I had been talking with my therapist about finding a way to learn to be more present in my body and then I learned about this technique and that D teaches it.  I will try to write more about it later.  It’s been a really fascinating experience, so far.
  • I have decided to stop sticking my head in the sand about my finances.  I think I had a pendulum-swing reaction to not being under X’s controlling thumb in money matters, and haven’t been paying nearly enough attention to how I spend my money.
  • My sister is still on a downward spiral.  Not much to say about that—actually, there’s a LOT to say about that, but not much that can be said succinctly.  I hope to write more about that later, as well.
  • In happy news, two of the greatest people in the world (and their 8 month old daughter AND their rambunctious Labradoodle) are moving back to the US from the Netherlands this week.  And they’re moving to my city!  In my insanity, I have offered to dog-sit while they are schlepping their belongings from the various locations across the state where they have been stored.  Miss Famous and the Labradoodle do know each other, and Miss Famous was, well, not the best hostess the last time they were together.  I will keep you up-to-date on these two dogs’ shenanigans.  Here’s a couple of pics of Miss Famous’ once and future house-guest:

    Gertie, with her laser-eye beam look

    she's a lot bigger than Miss Famous

    There are no pics of Gertie and Miss Famous together, because, well, yeah.  Hopefully things will be calmer this time around and I can share photographic evidence of their friendship with you.