Thursday, September 19, 2019

On challenging myself

Call me crazy but I like marking big milestones with things that scare the crap out of me. 

Like when I turned 40 and signed up for ballet. Nothing like squeezing into a way-too-tight leotard and having to look at your reflection in full-length studio mirrors for 90 minutes straight. It’s either self-image making or breaking, depending on your state of mind – or how many glasses of wine you’ve consumed. Turns out I loved it so much I took classes for two years. My legs thanked me and I was humbled by what my 40-year-old self was able to accomplish: deep pliĆ©s, dizzying turns, putting metaphorical "ribs on a shelf" (it took me six months to really understand what my teacher meant and what that finally felt like!).

I'm heading into year 45 in a few weeks. I've been feeling the itch. My soul feels restless. Which means it's time, once again, to challenge myself creatively. In keeping with the Scare the Crap Out of Myself tradition, I've decided to enroll in a creative writing course. Ten weeks of Fiction at Gotham Writers Workshop, starting on Monday. 

The thought of walking into a classroom after 17 years scares the heck out of me. Even more terrifying is the prospect of baring my soul to a group of strangers (writing fiction is such a personal, empathetic act). But I'm also looking forward to how I will bloom. This anticipation far outweighs my apprehension.

If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you...

No one is impressed you're turning 45. (HuffPost)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Monday motivation on the R train

While I am totally unmotivated this morning, I'm hoping watching these guys will change that.

Try these get-off-your-butt quotes to get the week going. (Everyday Power) 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

First day of (a new) school

And all the parents in New York said, “Woot woot!!” 

But seriously, this is a big day and a big year for these two - brand new schools in a new city, making new friends, meeting new teachers, navigating a new campus and learning where and how they fit in in their school culture. 

It’s exciting and scary to start all over again. I’m so proud of my bear cubs!

Back-to-school tips for parents. (The Onion)

Thursday, August 8, 2019

We are now that country

Are you like me and mad as hell about the senseless deaths occurring all around us, every day, because of gun violence? Just days after mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton left 32 dead and 51 injured, Amnesty International issued a news alert warning international travelers to steer clear of visiting the US. 

"Travelers to the United States should remain cautious that the country does not adequately protect people's right to be safe, regardless of who they might be," Ernest Coverson, campaign manager for the End Gun Violence Campaign at Amnesty International USA, said in a press release. "People in the United States cannot reasonably expect to be free from harm - a guarantee of not being shot is impossible. Once again, it is chillingly clear that the US government is unwilling to ensure protection against gun violence."

Our country's rampant gun violence amounts to a human rights crisis. Why will our elected officials do nothing about it? Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Power must go back to the people, and not within the powerful lobbying interests of the NRA

If you're like me and feel helpless, there are a number of things we can do right now:

Let's take our country back. 

Gun violence in 2019, so far. (Wikipedia)

Monday, July 22, 2019

On writer's block

I have so much to say and nothing great to write at the same time. Blame it on perfectionism or Pulitzer Syndrome or insecurity rearing its ugly self. So much to download as life has been quite eventful the past six weeks: 

  • Landed in New York City - an (im)possible dream fulfilled!
  • What moving a family of four to one of the busiest cities in the world looks like (hint: Have you ever driven a U-Haul into Lower Manhattan on a Saturday afternoon?)
  • Discovering delicious eats (like pea toast)
  • Race cars, the electric kind
  • Minds blown and expectations exceeded by the great Pierre Cardin at the Brooklyn Museum
  • Figuring out What's Next
  • Love for Willa Cather and Virginia Woolf rekindled 
  • My mid-life awakening

Well, at least I got the outline started. Now that I've thrown the bullet points out there, there's no excuse. Gleaning wisdom from one of my writing heroes, Malcolm Gladwell:

"I deal with writer's block by lowering my expectations. I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent - and when you don't, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. I write a little bit, almost every day, and if it results in two or three or (on a good day) four good paragraphs, I consider myself a lucky man. Never try to be the hare. All hail the tortoise."

This week's challenge: Channel my inner tortoise.

Drawing Hands by MC Escher