Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloweeeeeen!

Just a quick wish that anyone reading this will enjoy a fun night of pretense and chocolate. (Because, really, what could be a better combination?)

For me, the evening's festivities will provide a much-needed break from the chaos that's been my life these past few weeks. Yes, in part because of the writing challenge (which I'm still in the midst of), but also because of other family-related factors that've kept me well occupied. Sometimes, though, just being able to stop and smell the Snickers miniatures is the way to go, and tonight I'll get to do that...alongside my little 8-year-old "Phantom."

Wishing you all as much fun as he'll have!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Balancing Act

I've been having difficulties with this lately--staying balanced. In attempting to allocate my time to everything and everybody requiring it, I've been (to use my mother's circa-1970s phrase) "spreading myself too thin."

It's not intentional. I'm not going out of my way to try to be a Super Achiever. (I would, in fact, prefer to be an Unambitious Slug this week.) But I think this is the state of most 21st century women's lives: Really, really busy...almost all of the time.

So, if I volunteer an hour in my son's classroom today, do I also have time to make something for the school bake sale tomorrow? If I'm working on a newspaper essay due this week, when will I get my required novel writing done for the 70 Day Challenge? If I go to the gym to workout tonight, when will I do the laundry? (Or--she asks hopefully--does that mean I get to skip the laundry?! :-)

Anyway, I know I'm not alone in this. Just about everyone I've talked to this week (month...year...) has said something similar. There are simply too few hours in the day for all the things we're expected to do, so we need to make choices. My choice tonight? To read a novel or to clean the kitchen... Any guesses which one I'll pick?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Writing Challenge

Last night, I visited the website of author Elizabeth Gilbert, whose wonderful memoir Eat, Pray, Love has inspired so many. It is, in fact, a book I happen to be in the midst of reading this very week. On her site, Gilbert has a page up with "Some Thoughts on Writing," which, for anyone who's ever pursued a creative art, rings wise and true. Here's the link: http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/writing.htm .

Anyway, in relaying her feelings during the writing of her #1 New York Times bestseller, Gilbert tells us about one of those writing days, a day when she agonized over how terrible she thought her prose sounded. Then, as she explains, she realized this wasn't her problem. She says, "I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows."

I absolutely loved this. Because I think she's nailed it.

And so, with her wisdom in mind, I signed up to be part of a writing challenge that begins next Monday: 70 Days of Sweat (see link: http://70daysofsweat.com/wordpress/archives/71). It couldn't have been more aptly named, nor, for me, could it have come at a better time. Thanks to the sponsors of this event (and to "Sven," our hunky personal trainer :), and best of luck to all the participants!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hold That Thought

It's October. A beautiful, fall, Midwestern day. The leaves outside are beginning to turn to flame. The sky is the gorgeous blue of a silk scarf, and the clouds dance around in it like cotton balls. I know this because I've been staring out my window for hours today. Why just stare? Why not go out into it and become "one" with the autumn?

Because I've been making those necessary but irritating phone calls--with the health insurance company, the credit card company, the car insurance company and the credit card company again--and they all put me on hold.

And on hold some more.

And on hold again, while some demonic person played a bizarre, jazzed-up, Musak version of the Titanic theme song "My Heart Will Go On." (No, I'm not kidding.)

My heart might go on but, let me tell you, my patience is limited.

If, according to to the writers of that fabulous new CW comedy Reaper, "hell on earth" is a place like the local DMV, then I say purgatory must be the state of being on hold while some insurance agent claims to need "just a minute" to check their files...