Mischief Barely Managed

Well, I did it, folks.

30 days of blogging in the books.

I think this is the third time I’ve attempted NaBloPoMo, if memory serves, and this time definitely felt the most…fun. It was a needed distraction this time, a needed outlet. It was a positive and productive way to channel my idle time spent between schooling my kids and bingeing Netflix and sneaking Halloween candy.

The best and most surprising thing about this month- I was able to create new, original content every. single. day. In years past, I’ve resorted to reblogging old posts of mine or reblogging others’ posts or posting a single, large poop emoji, but this year somehow the words they were a-flowin’. And I’m super proud of some of the pieces I wrote to boot. This one made me giggle in particular.

Another great aspect of doing NaBloMoPo as part of the Cheer Pepper community – I met some rad new bloggers and read interesting, creative and thought-provoking content.

Thank you to Ra, who orchestrated this amazing community.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my posts.

Thank you to my husband, who fielded my daily laments of whaaaaaat should I blog about nooooow?! and listened to my mid-writing rants and pretended to care when I read sections out loud to him when I thought I was being particularly crafty and witty.

Thanks to my IRL friends for their support and some fabulous writing ideas!

Thanks to my kids for endless inspiration and interruption.

Perhaps I’ll be back doing this next year, but stick around and read me all year long (sign up to follow my posts right here on WordPress, or check me out on Twitter or Facebook – links in the sidebar); I’m hoping the creative juices I got flowing this month won’t dry up anytime soon.

I’m gonna sign off using Brene Brown’s line because it’s awesome and because I don’t think she’ll mind:

Stay awkward, brave, and kind.


Day 30 – The Last Day

Naming my Gremlins

So there’s this weird thing.

I want people to read my blog. I like the attention and the likes and the comments (not gonna lie, dopamine is one hell of a ‘drug’). And I just started sharing this blog with mom friends and locals that I actually see in real life. And I think they might actually read this.  Which is awesome, right?!  I appreciate the support and it’s a rush and I want to work on my writing, create some space for me, and express my feelings.

But.

I’m worried I’ll be judged. Ripped apart. Either in comments, or worse, silently and behind my back.

It’s the feeling where I put myself out there by writing something emotional and hard and true…and then immediately after hitting the ‘publish’ button, I want to take it back.  Because people are going to see whiny and weak and selfish instead.

I know what this feeling is called. It’s called vulnerability. And I’ve come to know that when I feel this feeling, I’m taking a risk. Putting myself out there. Which means I open myself up…to the bad AND the good.

What if people actually like my writing? What if they see courage and authenticity? What if some publisher wants to give me a million dollar advance on a book deal and a free nanny for a year?!?! (One can dream…)

So I’m going to take Brene Brown’s advice and name the gremlins* (like I did above). And then I’m gonna keep writing and keep posting, and tell those gremlins to go fuck themselves.

Because as long as I am writing what’s true and productive and respectful, then I am writing for me and no one else.

And I (and my writing) are enough. (I think I need to type that a few more times before I believe it fully.)

I am enough.

I am enough.

I am enough.

I am enough.

I am enough.

I am enough.

I am enough.

I am enough.

I am enough.


*gremlins are the word Ms. Brown uses to describe the shame voices that tell you you’re unworthy of love and connection.

NaBloPoMo Day 9

Singing For Me

I used to sing more.

When I lived in Northern California, before marriage and kids, I worked one day a week at a counseling agency where my commute was about 35 minutes each way, give or take.

Each Wednesday, after a leisurely morning of sleeping in, exercising, showering, eating, and catching up on stuff, I’d drive to work to see several evening clients.  I plugged in my ipod and chose from one of my many playlists.

And I’d sing.  I’d sing very loudly and with passion.  I’d try to hold the long notes and I remember the first time I successfully held that one note in that one Sara Bareilles song as long as she did.  There were a few times I sang so loud that I remember thinking I should scale it back or I wouldn’t have working vocal chords during my upcoming therapy sessions.

I’m actually a decent singer.  A little better than average, I’d say.  I was one of those kids who idolized the musical theater geeks but never had the ladyballs to join up, even for the backstage stuff.  I was in a dinky choir in middle school once.  I couldn’t read music (and still can’t) and didn’t know how to sing the harmony unless I heard someone sing it first.

Lately, with sadness, I’ve realized that I don’t sing very much anymore.

I don’t have a commute anymore.  When I’m in the car I’m rarely alone.  And when I’m “alone” at home, one or both of the kids are sleeping, so I can’t let loose there either.

Don’t get me wrong – I sing to my kids (when they let me).  But it’s not the same as singing for me.  Singing the songs that I want to sing, in the way I want to sing them.

There’s been a few times when I’ve been folding laundry upstairs and everyone else was downstairs and I put some music on my phone to sing to.  It felt nice.  More than nice, even.  When I’m out running (a loose term for what I actually do) I often can’t help myself and start singing half the lyrics, between gasps of breath and probably loudly and off-key since I can’t hear myself through my earphones.  I’ve forgotten how stress-relieving singing is for me.  It works my lungs, my diaphragm.  It makes my eyes water and my sinuses plug up with emotion (read: snot).  It calms me, makes me feel alive.

I was reminded of this because I’m reading a book: Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection.  In it, she has a chapter that mentions the importance of music, dancing, and singing in what she calls wholehearted living.  I want to be wholehearted.  I want to feel more carefree.  I want to carve out times and places where I can express myself in this way, like I used to.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs to sing to.


NaBloPoMo Day 2