What does one buy her husband to make up for the general craziness of the writing/blogging/freelancing life putting the sex life on the back burner when Important Things Are Happening that Must Be Attended to Right This Minute? I’m thinking the man-equivalent to Something Shiny and Sparkly.

Don’t say a Ferrari. I’m freelancing. That Writer-Speak for “Looks Good On Paper Only” with “Fucking Broke” understood to be the most accepted translation. Besides, it’s not like I came home smelling like another man’s cologne or something. That, my friends, would require what normal people tend to refer to as “Free Time”.  I have been told this “Free Time” is something one can only find outside of The Internet and requires the separation, if only temporary, mind you, of self and laptop. Always interesting, this learning about the habits of the Non-Writer.

The other night, after a frantic nod to, um, Quality Time, (and a “Was That Good For You? Yes? Good!,” exchange as I bolted out of the room and into my email to reply to a revision request from my editor, I realized I’m married to a saint. I mean, I knew that before Oh Husband Whom I Know is Reading These Words, but sometimes, the little Aha! Moments tend to jump out and say You Have No Idea How Difficult You Are to Live With Sometimes and Why is Pinterest Giving His Penis a Complex?

Let’s discuss, shall we? Or would it be easier to just get a calendar and a Sharpie and circle the other days of the month indicating:

  • Deadlines
  • Twitter parties
  • Sherlock
  • That blog post I REALLY need to write about that thing that just went viral that I’ll go to my grave swearing a tiny part of me wasn’t convinced my brilliant response would go viral, too
  • General stabbiness because ten different bloggers TOLD me I’m a much better writer than that two-bit hack that went viral only because she got lucky (after I asked them, of course)
  • My fictional characters in that novel I’m writing just acted out the next scene inside my head I have to write RIGHT now or I lose it all
  • The kid drove me nuts all day
  • PINTEREST
  • Live-tweeting Downton Abby
  • I got in a phone fight with his mom
  • I got in a phone fight with my mom
  • We’re out of chocolate
  • We’re out of wine
  • We’re out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The hours I need to comb through blog archives in search of THE PERFECT PIECE of literary wit to submit to –
  • A) Listen To Your Mother
  • B) Blogher Voices of the Year
  • That Facebook quiz I need to take to figure out what character I’m most like in Harry Potter, which leads me to the one about what kind of French cheese I am
  • The dishes in the sink that aren’t gonna do themselves
  • The fifteenth online book launch party this month for yet another friend I can’t let down
  • The twitter argument I have to finish with this idiot who has no fucking clue who they’re messing with
  • The planets are out of alignment
  • Mercury is in retrograde …. Again
  • File another invoice while secretly cursing the chick with the 300 Sandwiches and the book deal
  • I’m busy buying 19 more URL’s for ideas I’ll never get to…just in case
  • Frantic text conversations with the online friends I’ve yet to meet in person discussing Important Things like how many pairs of shoes to pack for that conference none of us have actually purchased tickets for yet
  • My 1,000 word goal for the day is still 989 words short
  • The NEED to Google my blog Alexa rank RIGHT NOW even though I still have no idea what it means
  • Which, obviously, is to be followed up by checking my Klout score
  • *Googling “Does Klout Matter to People who don’t think in 140?
  • I haven’t yet taken 30 selfies from different angles, narrowed it down to the perfect one, and thought up a witty caption for that #365feministselfie thing and posted it EVERYWHERE before I even THINK of getting naked
  • That important email I’m waiting for that will show up right now if I keep hitting refresh
  • The conference call I’m waiting on in east coast time with everybody else in west coast time
  • The kid drove me nuts all day & we’re out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The writing and scheduling of next week’s blog posts
  • When I was frisky while he was at work and I was home alone and I took care of it myself already because I was being proactive and really should be congratulated for thinking ahead to free up my night to …
  • Pick any of the above

Damn. Poor guy puts up with a lot, doesn’t he?

We writers are a special bunch. And the people who are nuts enough to love us deserve their own reality shows, I think. Because when we make it big? That’s when we make it up to them and they can proudly tell the world they knew marrying the crazy lady would totally pay off in the end.

Just let me finish up this chapter so I can write this blog post and hit Publish because dammit, this one’s gonna go viral.

I just know it.

 

Jan 122014
 

Sometimes, the blogosphere has to come second. While this space has served me well in allowing me to get the Instant Gratification fix so important to my sanity, the deadlines take precedence. I thought about blogging every day that I couldn’t. And that’s something, at least.

This past week was one of the crazier ones. Three deadlines — two for Latina and one for a new writing partnership I’ll be announcing soon. I homeschool and the girl-child has an extra-curricular activity every. single. day. of. the week. Plus the cooking of the meals and the trying to make sure we have something clean to wear … and the bed time routine and the MAMAIAMTHIRSTYINEEDTOGOPOTTYCANIHAVEMOREWATERPLEASEITHINKTHERE’SAMONSTERUNDERMYBED business usually means I’m sitting down to write around 10 p.m. or so. And then I write, email me work off to my editors, and if I’m still able to blink beyond the sleep and focus 0n the screen before me, that’s when I open a new word doc I’m working on….

I’m writing a novel, y’all. I’m pretty sure it’s the one thing I was supposed to be working on all those times I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be working on and now that I’ve figured it out, I’ll sleep when I’m done.

Which brings me to the reason I cracked open the laptop today before the sun set. While my daughter plays quietly in her room and The Husband watches some TV instead of taking down the Christmas tree, I’m here to announce the end of Girl Body Pride. And because the click-throughs no longer matter, I’ll share the reasons behind the why in this space that isn’t going anywhere.

I called it The Final Bow.

 

 

 

photo(65)

This is a hard post to write. It’s surprising how hard it is to find the words, actually, considering that after much soul-searching and late night text message marathons with the friends I’ve made through writing. But then again, I guess knowing what needs to be done  doesn’t make the doing any easier, even with the absolute certainty that I’ve made the right decision.

It’s time to bow down to the many incredible and established voices in the realm of body and self-image discussions.  It’s time to let Girl Body Pride fade into internet oblivion.  While I’ve truly the experience and am grateful to have connected with some of most talented writers I know, I think this is the right thing to do. My role as Latina Magazine’s advice columnist, alongside homeschooling my daughter, my personal blog, and the occasional need to sleep, all have limited the time I am able to responsibly bitching about which celeb mom’s six-week post-partum bikini body is giving us all a complex on this week’s glossy magazine cover. Deadlines that help pay the bills always take priority, as does time with my little girl and husband. Clearly, something had to give. The answer became clear when I realized I was no longer capable of giving 100 percent of my efforts to making this site all I had believed it could be.

If I see you at any conferences this year, you’ll probably receive a business card that lists Girl Body Pride as part of my identity. And that’s perfectly fine with me because I think it always will be. I’m grateful for the words shared on the site by so many wonderfully talented writers and bloggers, thankful for the friends made and connections established, and so very appreciative to you, our readers, for cheering us on along the way.

You’re still beautiful, just the way you are. And you always will be.

 

And that’s that.

 

It’s impossible to always put yourself first…

but poisonous to always put yourself last.

Those words are by my friend, Jenni Chiu. I found them tonight and I’m sharing them with you now, partly because they need to be shared.

Mostly because I needed the reminder myself.

I’m in a weird place right now. I’m not even sure of the words to use to describe it, which doesn’t happen very often. All I know is I keep hoping that tomorrow the veil I can’t shake will have lifted. I want to see the sun again and feel it on my face.

I want to stop being the reason The Husband worries.

I want to stop being tired all the time and remember what it feels like to revel in my once-regular workout routine because I know it makes me feel good.

What I don’t want is for Christmas to be a giant farce wrapped in pretty paper, because right now, that’s what it’s turning out to be. The Christmas cards went out. The gifts are under the tree. Santa’s ready. I know Christmas morning will be magical for her. Her magic is my own.  But I want my own groove back.

When I wake up to find my daughter quietly playing in her room, her breakfast dishes in the sink, and the opened cereal box on the kitchen counter because she knows Mama needed sleep, I vow to sleep like normal people do and wake (like normal people do) with (or even before) my child. I’ll start tomorrow. Then I’ll start the next day. And then it’s 3:30 a.m. and I’ve accomplished nothing. I climb into bed, drawing myself close to the warmth of my husband’s body, and fall asleep before I can worry about everything I still have left to do.

She asked for waffles the other day. I made them for lunch. But I know it’s not the same.

I’m going to be 36 soon. The new year is almost upon us. There’s a promise in every tomorrow. I know all of these things. I just don’t feel them right now. Maybe it’s something in the water. Or maybe I’m seeing so many friends writing about how they are pulling themselves through this holiday season just barely because so many of my friends are writers now and this is just how we process. I’m not sure. What I do know is I see myself in their words. Maybe you see yourself in mine.

We’re mothers. We’re women. We’re tired but don’t want to be.

We’re doing what needs to be done for others. We’re wishing we didn’t feel guilty for even considering that we must also do what we want for ourselves.

We push ourselves relentlessly because we’ve learned to balance the weight of the world on our shoulders and don’t know how to deal with the sense of lightness that comes when anyone else tries to lift it because that is what we would do for those that we love. The problem is that we don’t know how to handle taking the time we need for ourselves to just breathe and do for ourselves before we find ourselves running on empty.

 

I live in a small town.

 

A family in our homeschool group opens their farm to the kids for weekly horsemanship lessons. The kids get to ride ponies and choose a foal to train throughout the winter.

My chiropractor is my pastor, the closest Starbucks is a two-hour drive, and my 17-pound dog once tried to go bear-hunting at 2 a.m. I stopped him in time, but if my dog could have spoken to me as he self-righteously huffed his way back into our house, I’m pretty sure he would have insisted that he could have had him and it was my fault we weren’t having bear for dinner tomorrow night.

Eliana brought the Flat Stanley Mz. Elma's daughter mailed us to meet the foal she has selected to work with. Her name is Josephina.

Thanksgiving marked our first anniversary of our new life in Northern Maine. Last year we ate a turkey dinner at the local truck stop. This year we ate with friends as our kids played together in the basement. Last year we knew almost no one and purposely drove anywhere to see and talk with other people. This year, I haven’t been able to catch a breath during the last week because our little world has grown.

We added a new friend today in this little world of ours. Her name is Josephine.

This is how love looks when it's new.

Eliana insists on calling her Josephina. And Josephina doesn’t seem to mind at all.

 

This is our life right now

There’s more I need to write about. Other things I’d like to write about. But for now, it has to wait.

Every four hours, Eliana gets to sit tight with her nebulizer to control an extended asthma flare. It started two weeks ago with low-grade temp that she couldn’t shake until recently.

She’s complaining of leg pain and woke up at 3 a.m. because It Hurts, Mama. When I finally got her settled back into bed at 5 a.m., I watched her work to keep her legs straight because They Need to Be Straight, Mama, But They Hurt.

This morning she asked me if she has dry skin on the palms of her hands. I held her little hands in mine and they were soft and warm and her fingers curled into my own. “No, Baby,” I said. “Your hands feel just right.”

She frowned. “But they hurt, too. I wanted them to be dry so your lotions would fix it.”

On the way home from errands this afternoon, I heard her tired voice from the backseat of the truck.

“Mama? I just don’t feel like myself right now.”

I know, little girl. I know.

Your daddy had growing pains, I say. And I tell her how he grew so fast his legs needed to be in casts to ease the stress on his bones. Eliana is going to be a tall girl (shes already over 48 inches at 6 year’s old) and she’s growing fast, just like both The Husband and I did. But I can’t relate to growing pains, even if I was 5’1” at 8-years-old and at my full adult height of 5’6” by my thirteenth birthday. I just didn’t feel them. Not like this girl.

I’ve watched her go from Silly and Happy to Listless and Grumpy so many times in the same day since this started that I’m not even phased when she switches extremes anymore. Thankfully, she just ate her first solid meal of the day at 6 p.m. (a bowl of black beans because she loves them so much and rubbed her belly to prove it) and she’s back to herself. She asked for a chocolate chip cookie (gluten-free, but not paleo because I don’t have any made right now) and I said yes.

And the cookie made her smile.

Monday we see her pediatrician to discuss asthma maintenance. I’ve made a note to discuss the growing pains. Until then, she gets cookies because seeing her smile makes me feel better.

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