Soooo. It's Wednesday. I'm a day behind.
Let's talk about a couple of things I'm luuuuurving this week:
1) I'm currenty in the middle of four or five books:
3) Bonus! I also have a super soft spot for Lang Leav. Every word that she writes is just ... truth.
And have you heard Tin Man by Miranda Lambert? It was on repeat last night while I made dinner.
I'll be back later this week (I promise this time) with a little somethin' I've been working on. Maybe. If Grey's Anatomy doesn't take over my life first.
Who invented Netflix? Genius.
I hope you're having a good week. Move all of the mountains.
Here are a few things that I'm eyeing lately --
1) I've been trying to get up earlier in the morning to be more productive. Sometimes that means doing laundry, sometimes it means just sitting at the kitchen table and staring at a much-too-bright computer, or sometimes that means picking up a nuclear disaster living room. It makes me feel better to start the day having crossed a few things off of my list, and I never thought I'd ever say that.
Here are some interesting things about how successful people rock their mornings:
** As an offshoot of this biz, I was working on an article for apps that busy moms need. I completely abandoned it. You know what busy moms need? Not more crap clogging up their already busy day. Amen.
2) Hey Jude ... Fun fact: When I was in high school, I did a group speech thing, and in the middle, we broke out into Hey Jude ... with dancing. I'm not a singer, just saying. (I'm not a dancer either, for the rec.)
One bonus thing -- I don't always agree with Glennon's politics and sometimes her voice gets a little annoying, but this. THIS.
I think that's about it ...
I'll be back later this week to talk to you about Teacher Appreciation Week. #eyerollsfordays
I love you as much as I love reading The Zookeeper's Wife -- which, you guys. Please read. It's so good.
You are not a builder - not a carpenter. But you did it; you built a house in him. One with windows and doors. Dark closets for all of your scars and hurts. You built something in him and the soft glow coming from the windows looked like it was welcoming you home.
You knocked on the door that you screwed in the hinges for. Solid oak. One that could withstand a hard time or two. You knocked until your knuckles were red and bruised,
he did not answer.
You built a home in him and then, he didn’t answer. Didn’t answer when you called out at night, lost without a flashlight.
You sowed seeds and grew a forest for the future in his ribs - one that could withstand high winds and rain. You planted seeds for trees that would grow to be a fortress for you both to hide behind. And then you fell in love with him - a man born afraid of storms.
Afraid of you.
Afraid of your hurricane.
Afraid of your crazy that gets rattled loose sometimes.
It’s the same crazy that cut its teeth on every lover that came before him. It was honed by the dirt that they hastily smeared on your fresh wounds as they left. Wounds caused by biting words, and the he just never picked you over himself force that slapped you every time you tried to come up for air. It's still slapping at you like waves licking a beach.
He never picked you over himself.
He never picked you over himself.
He will never pick you over himself.
And your home that has been crafted in his heart - you beg him. Plead and chant let me in like some kind of blustery, bruised prayer. A thousand times, you’ve asked.
A thousand times, denied.
Let me in past our front door, you ask him.
Let me in.
You lace your boots and prepare for some kind of wild war. They are still dirty from the last time and your laces are worn thin. They have been through this before and so have you and you think that maybe, just maybe, this might be the last time you have to put them on.
You yell for him.
And there is an answer in his silence.
He turns his cheek and he walks away, and you’re defeated and useless again. He is not brave enough for you, and he doesn't know it yet - but your name will be on his lips and tongue a million times between now and forever. One day, he'll look up - searching for you, and no ... no. You'll have found a map by then.
You hear your momma’s voice float up through the fog. It’s a reminder. A reminder. A reminder.
You can’t change people, honey.
You can’t change him.
You realize that the doorbell is just as broken as the person that owns it. Broken in an unfixable kind of way that makes hell seem easy.
You will walk away and your edges will feel singed. Raw. You will walk away and you will need a healing that only comes from a quiet room. You will weep for the Almost. For the Lost Magic. For the painful Never Again.
And then, you will rest.
You will rest long. Sleep hard. Leave the windows open and let the sunshine seep into your weary. The seeds in your pocket will remind you that you still have a forever.
And with each breath, you will remind yourself
that you were made for peace.
You were made for peace.
You were made for peace.
You were made for peace.
Short and sweet and to the point - Tuesday Tapas are two things that I love this week.
1) Simone Biles dancing to a song from Moana on Dancing with the Stars.
2) I've started to cook again. (Again.) I took a brief (read: wildly long) hiatus and now I'm back at it. I found this Friendship Spaghetti Pie recipe from The Country Cook. It makes two 9" pie pans of the "spaghetti pie". One to eat and one to either give away or to freeze. I chose to freeze my second pie for later on when I'm on another brief (read: wildly long) hiatus.
Others Recipes of Hers To Try:
The pastor at the Easter service I attended spoke clearly and smiled at me from behind his podium. A dog licked my ankle from somewhere under the pew, The Gen raced his cars next to me and hid his eyes when I sang, "He Lives!" (my fav Easter song) to him.
Then, we sat.
The pastor began his sermon. He is small, this guy, and he has a cane. Retired. Salt and pepper hair. He's the kind of guy that can look at you and you know he's smiling at you - even if he's not. His eyes - they're kind.
From his pulpit, he talked about Jesus. He talked about how he suffered and then he spoke the line that has been banging around my head for a few days now ...
"We've all walked through a dark, dark night." He was telling the story we all know. He was telling the story of The Rising.
And at the time ... at the time, I was busy making sure my child didn't eat any. more. chocolate. The pastor spoke those words and my eyes snapped to his. And he wasn't looking at me. He was looking out at the congregation. And you know how sermons go, right? Sometimes, some people pay attention. Sometimes, some people act interested.
There were three dogs walking around. The front door to the church was accidentally left open and I could hear the cars going by. The kids to my right were on phones and the lady behind me kept calling random things out (none of which happened to be amen).
But I heard the words.
We've all walked through a dark, dark night.
Like a deck of cards, memories flipped through. What was my darkest night? Where was I? What was I doing? I'm thirty-four-years-old. Have I experienced it yet? Or, as we get older, do the dark nights shift ... does our top three list change?
Have I walked through it? Have I taken the deep breaths, felt the chill on my skin, heard the howling wind, and clutched at everything - anything that wasn't moving? What did it look like?
But the bigger question? The question that has dogged me for days?
Why can't I remember? Why can't I pin it down?
I mean - there have been some hikes. Brutal hikes.
I opened a glovebox one afternoon and out tumbled Valentine's Day cards from another woman's kids.
I called my brother one afternoon and by the grace of God, my counselor of a sister-in-law answered instead. I spoke the divorce word out loud and she listened.
I was in labor for 24 hours and they were not good hours.
I laid next to a man in the dark one night, as he whispered that he wasn't over The One That Came Before. That he was trying. That he could see the light at the end of the long tunnel, but he wasn't there yet.
There was third grade when mom had breast cancer, and there was tenth grade when mom and dad divorced, and there was eleventh grade when my brother left for a far away college.
There was cancer in my beautiful cousin. Cancer in my loving grandmother. Cancer in my kind step-mom.
There was the time I wrecked my car at a car wash, the time the phone bill was like $400 or something because of Miss Cleo, the psychic, and there was the time Duchess, our family dog, died out in the woods by herself.
There have been other things, too. Small things, maybe. But still ... things:
Junior high track.
An emergency visit because of an errant gallbladder, and I was too sick to remember to wear underwear.
Being picked last every single day of my life in gym.
Just ... not being picked at all.
Life ebbs and flows and all of the cliches are true. There are mountains and valleys and there are hard days and there are beautiful days.
The thing I realized, though? I finally figured it all out. I was on a flight back home from my momma's house and The Gen was curled up and asleep in the seat next to me in a way that he won't be able to do next year at this time, and it came to me:
The shiny, shiny light.
The sparkly kind.
The blinding kind.
The kind that you have to put your hand up in front of your eyes because it actually hurts your retinas or corneas or whatever.
The light on the other side helps you forget the pain of the dark, dark days.
So when the Pastor Whose Name I Don't Even Know looked out to his flock and solemnly proclaimed that yes, we have all lived through dark, dark days, I nodded my head at him.
It was an automatic response.
Because, of course we have.
Deafeningly quiet, these nights seem infinite in length. There's no handrail, no lighted path, not even a freaking map.
But, but, but.
The sun will always rise in the morning.
And with it?
Comes the light.
Do we forget the dark, dark days? Never. Do we forget the conversations, do we forget the events, or do we forget how the scars on the insides of our ribs came to be?
Those notches ... those scars spell out some kind of mantra. Some kind of chant.
There was a rising, they say.
There ... in that one breath of space ... was a rising.
I'm just back for another super quick installment of Tuesday Tapas.
To the point.
Here are the things that I adore this week:
1) Caitlyn Siehl ... Her book is on my bedside table. What drew me first to her was the line, "I am not a place for cowards," and I sort of thought to myself ... yes. Yes I like her already.
Here's the link to her Tumblr account: Passing Through
2) MercyMe's new song. Ohhhh, it's good. So, so good.
3) And because I can't help myself --
I have two articles coming out on Her View From Home in the next two weeks. Getting up early is doing good things for me. Except on Friday. For some reason, I just can't make myself get up early on Friday morning.
If you're still looking for all the things:
- Mumford and Sons sing Amazing Grace and it's terrible, but I love it.
- I made The Boyfriend listen to S-Town and I think he actually maybe hates me for it.
That's all. :)
Charge at the week, kids.
Every year I make my kids read The Great Gatsby.
Mostly because I love it.
Kinda because I have kids that still talk to me about it - even years later.
And sorta because I love Fitzgerald and Hemingway and the 20s and whatever.
There's a line in the movie that I always show the kids at the end. And it's not the new movie with Leonardo, but the older one with the guy in it from 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Anyway. Daisy - the woman Gatsby has been chasing the whole book (for the last five years) says to him, "Oh, you want too much!"
Gatsby wants Daisy to look at her husband and tell him she never loved him. Gatsby wants her to look at her husband and say, "No mas. I'm leaving you for another man." (The other man here is Gats himself, btw.)
And she can't. She just can't bring herself to do it.
She's like every other woman in the history of ever and she just. can't. with his bullshit.
He's railroading her. Pressuring her. And she collapses. Says that he just wants too much of her. And Gatsby, the poor guy, can't understand why, in fact, it's all just "too much".
It's the way she says it. It's the way that it's wrenched from her heart. It's the way that she throws it out of her mouth like the curveball that it is. She's telling him no. She's telling him just ... no. It's a heroic line ... from a not so heroic character. She finally takes a stand after being shoved around throughout the entire novel.
A few days ago, I texted BFF Betsy that, sometimes, women just love too much. We have an over abundance. Too much. We tend to smother. To dole out all of the things. We don't know how to play it cool ... how to rein it in. Hand-written notes, apologies, it's okays, and every single piece of our hearts. Giving all of us.
Until we just collapse under the pressure of it all and just -
It's too much.
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (cliche, I know):
If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog's money, my dog's time--everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.
Because that's how we roll, you know.
Because, I've decided, that's all we want.
Women, the tricky, tricky, tricksters, have it all figured out. They give what they want to receive. They give all of themselves. Their time. Their effort. Their money. Their hearts. All of it. In return, all they want is the same thing.
This idea of surrendering all you have seems kinda simple.
Until you get burned. Brutally seared. Scarred. Catapulted into some kind of charred land that you've never seen before - one that is too hot, unfamiliar. A place that crumbles under your touch.
Until someone sees all you can give, and they put their hands up anyway. Until they call uncle.
Until you've walked next to someone and they just decide to turn around and go back home.
Until they decide that you are not their home.
The thing about girls is that we believe that people mean what they say because WE mean what we say. And that, my darlings, is not how life works.
Instead, we often find ourselves in these impossible situations like Gatsby and Daisy. A woman stuck between two impossibilities. Between staying ... or not. A woman trying to decide who, if any of them, are the best fit.
And the joke of it all? Neither man is worthy. One is a lying, looney-tunes bootlegger and the other is her husband - cheating on her with a different married woman. Such a tangled web, this book.
But it shouts from every page - that this ... this love thing ... it isn't easy. I mean, every page is basically a big, shouty warning to just freaking step back. At the end of the book, the narrator moves back home to his mom and dad's house for goodness sake. The poor boy is traumatized after watching it all go down.
For the record, Gatsby winds up dead. Killed by Daisy's husband's mistress's husband. Right?
And Daisy? She stays with her cheating husband.
Because it is just a book, you know.
Just a book with a really friggin good reminder:
Be with someone that wants too much from you.
Be with them because they gladly hand it all right back to you.
Tapas: Small Spanish savory dishes, typically served with drinks at a bar.
I'm starting a new series around here. A Tuesday kinda series.
And since I love, love, love tapas ... I've decided to call it just that. Tuesday Tapas. It's got a ring to it or something.
Served at a bar.
I feel like tapas and I are BFFs.
Mk - so the premise is super easy. Sometimes I feel like I write myself into a corner here - all serious and nothing else. Soooooo. Two little things. Every Tuesday that I love or find super interesting. Or mildly interesting. Or funny. Small things.
... Kinda like tapas.
1) Neil Hilborn. While I was elbow deep in assigning my seniors 5,000 assignments for the end of the school year because I NEED TO TEACH THEM ALL THE THINGS BEFORE MAY ... I came across Neil Hilborn. And holy shiz, you guys.
I'm still new to the whole slam poetry genre/movement, but he is courage personified. Like he stands there and just -
This is one of my favorites.
2. Have you heard of the poet Amy Turn Sharp? She's amazing. Sharpies and true words - two of my favorite things, you guys. She is good. So good.
That's it! Don't you love Tuesday Tapas?
Me, too, dang it. Me, too.
I've been making my seniors write, write, write. And since April is National Poetry Month, four of their remaining assignments are poems.
I know they love me.
As a "mentor text" (fancy teacher word for "example"), I chose one of their assignments and wrote one of my own in class today. [It's really kind of terrifying to hook your computer up to the big screen and churn out an idea while the kids are watching/not watching/praying it's all over soon so they can graduate.]
It's based off off of a poem found in the New Yorker and comes from THIS prompt. You should write one, too. Scribble it down on a piece of paper next to you. Tell a story about something you will one day love about yourself. Mine happens to be wrinkles. :)
Someday I’ll Love Becky
My momma gave me eye cream when I was 14.
Said to slather it on my skin.
Said it would prevent the wrinkles setting in.
So I did.
I slathered in on.
For fifteen years,
it nourished my skin.
But the wrinkles still came.
A frown line between my eyebrows,
and wrinkles that stretched from my eyes –
sort of like small spider legs
And then came the parenthesis around my lips.
Like an added epitaph on a one-day tombstone.
(This girl laughed.)
And then I had a little boy and suddenly,
the wrinkles and
the eye cream didn’t matter.
the wrinkles were more like a story.
A story that he was a part of.
A story that he practically created.
When I think about the thing
that I’ll maybe one day love,
I think it must be the wrinkles.
Because how could you hate --
how could you really hate
(and I do mean anything)
that was created by living
When you laugh in the wrong place, or
when you ask for too much.
When you don't cook well, or
when you tell the same story more than twice.
When you let your roots grow too long, or
when you forget to get your eyebrows waxed.
When you throw your kleenex on the floor, or
when you refuse to eat any kind of leftover.
When some months, your jeans are too tight, and
when you press snooze 18 times in the morning.
When you can't pick a place for dinner, or
when you're ambivalent about exercise.
When you go to bed sweaty, and
when you go to bed with dishes in the sink.
When you can't stay up past 11, and
when you don't really want to.
They're all the things that don't really matter, but
when you clump them all together ...
They become A List. And
when the measuring starts ...
The unraveling begins.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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