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Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Day for Relaxed Gladness

After a week of 30 degree weather on the Outer Banks, (translated: FREEZING, for us beach-blooded people at least), today was a perfect 65 degrees, with all the sun one could want, and just a breath of breeze blowing, and a warm breeze at that. It was the type of day that makes you remember that winter doesn't last forever, that spring is really going to follow.

We've passed the shortest day of the year, each day now followed by one a little longer, a few more minutes until the sun sets behind the ocean, a few more minutes to appreciate life here on the beach.

After two weeks of holiday travel, visiting family, and two very tired children who've been off schedule for days, today seemed like a day made for people to just stop, take a deep breath, and actually enjoy the madness; at least, now that it's mostly over. A day of recuperation, and calm gladness, for lack of a better way to describe it. Feeling happy, but relaxed; sitting on the porch and enjoying the day instead of using it to get something done, and not feeling the least bit guilty about it. A wasted day that is perfectly un-wasted.

Days like today put me in a great frame of mind to write. I'm not stressed about it, or anything really; that would be near impossible in the frame of mind today induced. I know that when I sit down, even though I have no ideas at the forefront of my mind, my fingers will start going across the keyboard, and words will appear, becoming sentences, building into paragraphs, even pages.

I sat out on my porch tonight, and just let myself loose in my head, letting go of all the unintentional, and unavoidable, tensions that keep everyone grounded in their day to day lives. The lake across the street, more of a large pond really, was reflecting a porch light from a house sitting at it's far edge, gently rippling and swaying, and somehow beautiful.

For me, that reflection, and the fact that I could just sit and take it in, absorb it really, was the greatest gift I've received this year. I'm happy my family is healthy, I'm happy we could all be together as we so rarely can these days, and I'm happy that we are, for the most part, happy.

But more than any of that, I'm happy that I was given those few moments on the porch to actually realize those things, to let them sink way deep down into me, where I can truly appreciate them.

I hope the New Year brings more of the same. =)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Horoscope

I like to read my horoscope on every morning when I get on the computer to check all my mailboxes. I don't live by what they say, and I'm not super into the whole astrology thing, but I do think it's fun to read and relate things to. Plus, when they're good ones, why not use that little extra to make it through the day? I mean, seriously, every little bit helps, so I'll take what I can get.

Recently, starting about a week before I decided that writing a book while raising an autistic 2.5 year old and ridiculously active 1 year old (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHLOE!) was a great idea, my horoscope has talked about writing. Here's the one I have for today.

Incredible feelings of enthusiasm, optimism,
and sheer joy could fill your heart and mind today, dear Taurus.

Your life is changing in a positive way,and even though it may not be readily apparent, you're sensing it intuitively.

Romance with someone from far away could be in the cards.

If you're a writer, publishing is right around the corner.

The only downside is that occasionally you might feel panic as

if all this will disappear.

Stay focused!

I'm feeling pretty stoked about my day now, and about life in general. =) I'm hoping that while my husband is playing his usual Sunday afternoon football game with the guys that ol' Rob Pattinson will show up on my porch with his newly shorn hair and profess his undying lust for my brain. Hey, a girl can daydream, right? Haha, okay, so that's a little far-fetched even for an Ali daydream. Still...

It's so true about the panic thing though. I often worry that if I don't write as much as possible, I'll lose it. Then I'll have to tell people I'm a loser instead of a writer. (Slightly sarcastic there, but also a little serious.) I should know better, since I've spent years ignoring my writing ability in favor of what I called "living my life" at the time, and it's still there, patiently waiting for me to utilize it. But that fear never goes away completely I don't think, at least not for me. While I don't think that writing is what defines me,..........wait. Okay, actually, I do kind of think it defines me, to a certain extent any ways. So without that, who am I? I'd just be "that girl Ali, with the really long hair", like that's some kind of amazing skill. "Oooooh, she can grow her hair really fast! Super awesome!"

Ummm....yeah. Not so much, I don't think. I'd much rather be Ali the writer with really long hair, haha!

In a tiny aside-I still feel like such a poser saying, "I'm a writer", which probably will last until I have something published. Anyway, this has been kind of rambling, and I'm not going to fix that, sorry. My cup of coffee is empty, and it's time to refill and start the daily battle of keeping the house decently un-messy. Oh, and to write of course! ;)

Elephants are my fave, for those of you who don't know, and this one is so happy!
Check out that grin! Perfect for my horoscope-induced euphoria today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas (yeah, I said it)

Holy cow, the holiday season is madness, and I haven't even (hardly) left the house! I don't think I have ever had such a full calendar, even before I had kids and had a "life", so to speak. I mean, it is literally like every single day is planned down to the minute.

Part of that is because it helps me not go completely postal on my kids during the day if we have a schedule of some sort; with Colin being autistic (possibly-still being diagnosed, huge pain in the butt, don't even get me started), he has to have things on a schedule or he'll have a meltdown. So my day is full of lists from the time we wake up until the kids are both asleep, and then my "free time" at night has been filled with present wrapping, last-minute bargain shopping on the 'net (I am such a pro, it's ridiculous), and cleaning everything I missed during the day. Oh, and trying to read a little of Book 10 in the Wheel of Time series. (And reading just a little is like, impossible. You have to commit to read this series, and by book 10....yeah, I'm pretty commited.) And snuggle for a millisecond with my husband before I fall asleep.

So every time I get ready to write, I just sit down and stare vacantly at whatever is in front of me, so overwhelmed to actually have a minute of my own time that I can't even do anything with it but watch it slip away, and then looking back at the wasted staring I did once my kids need something (which is ALL THE TIME.)

So I haven't written anything in a few days, and now I'm getting a little antsy in my pantsy's, just like after I drink a lot of syrup (please tell me you've seen Super Troopers, otherwise I'll sound crazy. And so will you-how have you not seen this hilarious movie?!)
And even though it's 10:30pm right now, and my eyes close all by themselves at 11:45pm every night, no matter where I am (which makes me feel so old at 25), I am going to write. I have a icy cold can of Coke (my FAVORITE!) in front of my that I just opened to help me along the way. Hey, I know it's not the greatest before-bedtime beverage, and I don't care. You only live once, it's the holidays, I'm worth it, blah blah blah. I'll regret the lack of sleep tomorrow, but as for tonight...

I'm off to find out what my people have been doing in my absence, dilligently journaling their journey, wherever it may lead.

In case I lose another few weeks in the holiday time warp that is my life right now, I hope yours is fantastic, and remember to be kind; it costs you nothing, but it's priceless to others.

~peace & love~
(spread it around!)

1. Robert Pattinson

2. 1965 Ivy Green Mustang Fastback

3. A Vacation
4. This Awesome Chair to Write/'Net Stalk From

5. A Weekly Massage

6. World Peace

Thursday, December 4, 2008

For Carolyn-She's Made of Awesome

While you may read this and wonder what it has to do with writing, just keep going; all will be revealed in time, young wheathopper.

I woke up this morning because my son, who is 2 1/2, was laying on top of my daughter, who is 1, who was hitting me in response, while laying between me and my husband. When I say this morning, I mean 4 am. While we have a king sized bed, it's a little cramped with 4. Not to mention I didn't remember getting my daughter in the night and letter her sleep there.

So I tried to get my son back to sleep in our bed, (something I don't normally do but I was too tired to get up), which woke my daughter up. So I carried her with one arm while she was nursing (no small feat since she's getting longer and heavier now) and dragged him back to his own bed with the other. Less than 5 minutes later he was back in our bed, and she was awake again. By this time it was almost 5 am, and pretty obvious to me that sleep was out of the question. My daughter drove this point home by sitting up, laughing, and pulling my hair.

While I can be a morning person, that usually only applies to the time 7 am or later, which is when the kids usually wake me up. Needless to say, I was not happy this morning. In fact, I was in a downright crappy mood. I stomped out to the kitchen, slammed the coffeepot around, and glared at my kids, both of whom were smiling and probably thinking I was pretty funny. Come to think of it, I looked pretty funny with my crazy rooster hair.

After rationalizing that watching a 30 minute Little Einstein DVD before 6 am did not make me a bad mother, since the alternative was me beating them into submission (kidding), I sat them down to watch it and got on the computer to do my morning routine of checking emails and sites I love.

After reading the comments Carolyn had left me on this blog, my entire day was better. I'm not saying that lightly either. I would have continued my day being crabby (to put it lightly) unless something great happened, which luckily it did.

There is nothing better than sharing a joke with someone, and I'm starting to think that the feeling is multiplied when the person is a virtual stranger. I've never met Carolyn; in fact, we live about as far apart as is physically possible while staying in the US. She found my blog by chance, and after reading her first comment, I read hers.

And I laughed and laughed and laughed. (C.-the dress you're wearing to church really got me.) Here was a woman almost a continent away who shared the same slightly twisted, occasionally perverted, and definitely silly sense of humor as me!! How was that even possible? I thought I had met the few people who understood my brand of silliness, and I've always counted myself lucky to have that small handful of people. And here was a woman miles and miles away, who found me by pure chance, and she is HILARIOUS!! Seriously, I crack up reading her comments, and I totally understand what she means. Better yet, she understands what I mean, which is no small feat.

Not only that, but she encourages me to continue my writing. It's one thing to have a close friend, husband, or family member tell you you're doing well; they're required to, it's a rule. Like when you were going to prom in a hideous dress your mother knew you'd hate when you grew up and looked at the pictures, but she ooohed and aaaahed over it, telling you that you looked beautiful, NO MATTER WHAT. It's not that I don't trust them, I just know they wouldn't be brutally honest and tell me something sucked if it did. And while I don't know if Carolyn would tell me that either, I like to think she would. And her praises come with no strings attached, from one stranger to another. Although now I think of her as a friend, not a stranger.

So now the sun is finally rising, and it's rising on a good day in our home. Thanks to a sister-soul God or fate was kind enough to send my way, I am in a great mood, and I will not be forced to hurt my children. Just kidding, but parents will understand the impulse. I'm drinking my coffee, watching my son get yogurt everywhere, and listening to the Hannukah song by Adam Sandler (and who doesn't smile when they hear that?).

It's gonna be a great day.