Monday, August 22, 2011

Dreadlocks and Dreams

I would like to write a novel. There. I finally said it out loud. I even wrote it in my blog, so all my 27 followers will know my biggest dream. I would like to be a published author.

Oh, but there's more. I secretly hope this labor-of-love novel will get published. Hundreds, if not thousands, will buy it. I would then be asked to go on a book tour to spend time in quaint bookstores across the country. Coffee charged and a little road weary, I would sign every book with my name and an encouraging word. God bless. Keep reading. Don't give up on your dreams. Thanks for all the love in Wichita!

Here's the crazy thing about big dreams, my friend. You actually have to take a step and begin. It can be small, even microscopic, but it does need to be in the general direction. Just thinking it, dreaming it, hoping for it, over and over in your mind doesn't get you any closer. Believe me, I know. It helps to immerse yourself in inspiration or become disciplined in your plan of action. I've not been good with either of those things, which is why I am here instead of there.

My last writing inspiration came last April (way too long ago in the inspiration realm) when I went to see Anne Lamott in Kansas City. She was amazing. She's been a writer for more than 20 years and published countless novels. But writing is still tough work for her, every word, every chapter. Her writing advice: "Always have a pen and write what you would like to come upon." Such sweet inspiration to be in her presence for an hour.

You can bet I took myself to the front of the stage that night to have her sign my book. She signed her name with a heart at the end. I cozied up next to her for a quick picture (posted above), a memento of the evening but also a lasting reminder of my dream. Write more. Write often. Write it to completion. Then be brave enough to send it out into the world. You never know. With some hard work, it might be me one day, long dreadlocks, talking about my writing and signing my name. I can see it. Now it's time to do it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Gross Naked Truth

At the dinner table tonight, my 4-year-old announces that I look gross naked. He then erupts into a fit of laughter. My husband doesn't laugh out loud, mainly because he values his life and this is the second time this subject has come up this week, but he does ask him to elaborate.

"Why does Mommy look gross naked?," my husband asks.

I lean in to hear the answer, too. I mean it's not everyday someone feels confident enough to comment on your body at the dinner table.

"The bumps on her stomach are super gross (pronounced GWOS)," he says.

"Belly button?" No. "Mosquito bites?" No. He then points to his nipples. I gasp at the table. He is talking about my boobs.

"Are you talking about my boobs," I shout. "They are NOT bumps, they're boobs, a lot bigger than bumps, and all girls have them!"

"Not little girls, they don't have them," he says confidently.

"No, but big girls have them and they're not gross," I confirm.

"What about sisters? Do sisters have them?" he asks, wide-eyed and, oh, so innocent.

"Is the sister younger or older?" I counter.

"Older sister."

"Yeah, an older sister probably has them," I say.

"My Mommy looks gross naked, my mommy looks gross naked," he chants between laughs, taking the conversation full circle.

"Enough about Mommy being gross naked," my husband finally says, intervening. "Finish your dinner!"

This is our conversation at the dinner table. This is my life. I am defending my body, and its grossness factor, to a 4-year-old (and not very well, I might add). It only affirms the obvious, folks. I have no idea what I'm doing as a parent. Not a clue. Even my explanations about the world and how it works, comes out a little skewed, which leads me to believe therapy in the future is a given.

On the bright side, I do show up every day as a parent (usually dressed, in case you're wondering for the story referenced above) ready to tackle the world for my boys. I might not be perfect, but I am present. There's got to be some good in that, right? I've also still got my sense of humor, which is a good thing, because, apparently, I look really gross naked. Hee. Hee.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Excuse Me

It's been 51 days since my last blog post. I guess I could be grandiose and say that I gave up blogging for the summer to focus on a simpler life. I turned inner versus catering to the outer. I love that concept, really I do, but it's just not true. The truth is that I filled myself up with excuses this summer and didn't have time for anything else.

I stopped walking outdoors, which keeps me totally sane and physically healthy, because it was just too hot. I got behind on housework and laundry, too. No energy, you see. I also lost my patience completely right before July 4 and never got it back, but it's because I have boys and they're crazy. I've been swamped with work stuff, personal stuff and then a whole bag of "other" stuff. When you're life is this full, who has time to write and reflect?

Tonight, I walked for an hour at the Nature Center. While soaking up the beauty and putting my feet into action, it's like all those nonsensical excuses just poured out of my soul. The world came back into focus. It was quiet and quick, but it made me teary just the same. I also made a few resolutions, starting this evening, to ensure my summer of excuses doesn't turn into the story of my life.

1. Walk outside everyday. Nature heals many things.
2. Blog weekly. It doesn't have to be profound or lengthy, it just has to be real.
3. Snuggle with my kids more.
4. Cut out white sugar. It's crack that makes me fat.
5. Nurture the relationships around me.
6. Find a few moments of quiet time in my day to meditate, pray or reflect on what is real.
7. Laugh.
8. Lighten up. My life isn't a dress rehearsal, but it can still be a good time.
9. Stay hopeful.
10. Try one new adventure each month. Be open to asking others to join me.

I'm back, my friends. No more filling my belly and mind with excuses. We make our life what it is and I'm thankful for that. I've already got my alarm set to walk outside tomorrow morning. What will you be doing?