As I walked from the parking lot into the store the other day, a small compact passenger vehicle cruised past me before pulling into an empty slot. The car groaned low on its tires from the weight of five full grown men, elbows sticking out of their respective windows, singing together at the top of their lungs along to some country western song. It made me smile.

Apparently, they haven’t been paying close attention to the news recently. Don’t they know that there’s a swine flu out there (that we’re apparently not supposed to refer to as swine flu anymore)? That people are losing their jobs? That the stock market is still floating belly-up in uncertainty?

I guess not. And if they do, it didn’t seem to really matter at that moment. And I’m glad. Because seeing those five goofballs singing for the sheer fun of singing together made my morning. It’s good to see grownups having fun publicly.

It also makes me feel better knowing there are others out there like me.

I love to play air drum in the car, music bumping, windows down, wind blasting my hair as I scream down the freeway acting anything but my age. But like most decent folks, once I pull into a parking lot, I surreptitiously lower the volume, stop headbanging against the steering wheel, and pull on my grownup face. Dignified, yes, I suppose. But it makes me wonder, is everyone faking it in public? Are we all twisting down the volume control as we pull into the lot?

My girlfriend has a trampoline in her backyard. I’m a little jealous. Okay, a lot. Fat Cat won’t let me have one because he’s afraid I’ll embarrass the neighbors. (I, myself, can’t think of anything funnier than seeing my neighbors’ faces as I bounce in and out of view.) My friend says it’s for the kids, but I know better. She’s invited me over though. I can’t wait.

In the meantime, however, I’ve got Rock Band.

Confession Time

I am a chronic sufferer of procrastination. No, that’s not right. That makes me sound like a victim. I am a chronic procrastinator. But I’m sneaky about it. Instead of rooting into a couch cushion trying to use cable television to drown out the call of various things needing my attention, I instead manage to make myself look very busy at the computer.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking:  Big whoop, lady. Who hasn’t logged on to the Internet under the pretense of checking their email only to come up for air hours later with nothing to show for it except for a handful of useless oddball news tidbits and videos of baby ducks and puppies being best friends?  (Whew!  Long sentence!)

Well, I do that too. But I’m not talking about the Internet. I’m talking about butt-waggling. Yep. That’s how I waste most of my time…butt-waggling.

What is butt-waggling, you ask? Simple. You know how foot races depicted in cartoons show characters toeing the line, rear ends in the air waggling in anticipation? Well, that’s me. Only I’m journaling. I have this sick, addictive need to journal before I sit down to do my work. It’s actually one of my most favorite things to do. I like to plan out the month, the week, the day. I like to work out ideas, poke around my five-year plan, figure out new goals.

So I’m forever toeing the line, checking my position, butt raised high in anticipation. But instead of eying the distant finish line on the horizon, I’m looking down, checking the line drawn in the dust. Are my hands in the right position? Are my shoes tied tightly enough? And I’m obsessive compulsive. I check these things over and over again.

I’m also planning. Once I get started, I’m going to wave to the crowd at that first turn, or I’m going to kick it into fourth gear when I reach that first set of bleachers. I’m so damn busy planning what I’m going to do that by the time I’m ready to race, the sun has gone down and the fans have returned home.

As you can imagine, my perpetual butt-wagging has done nothing to advance me forward in my goals unless I get to include in my daily word count hundreds of pages of journaling, planning, and daydreaming. (There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming as an activity; however, there is a time and place for such things, and neither of them should be during work time, I’m finding.)

This is a condition I have wrangled with on and off for quite some time now. Recently, things have gotten worse. There are stories to be written, revised, workshopped, sent off! There are a thousand house chores calling my attention! There’s another work project looming black on the horizon!

In response, I have written and journaled and daydreamed and even schemed on how to accomplish these things. But now I’ve reached the end. There’s nothing more to figure out. There’s nothing left for me to do except take action.


Anyway, now that there’s no denying it, I have decided to take serious and unprecedented action. I’m quitting cold turkey. (Not forever, mind you. Just a few days. Just until I get caught up. Besides, I can quit anytime I want.)

But by confessing, I have decided to hereby reveal my habit and its true nature; self-indulgent and completely recreational. It’s to be considered from here on out as a decadent treat to be earned, like frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I get to partake just as soon as I get my day’s work done.

In that spirit, off I go. I’ve made some headway today — the first sign of progress in days — and I want to keep up the momentum.

P.S. I also managed to get a blog post done…<g>


My last blog entry was on December 11, 2008. At that time, I was just about seven months’ pregnant with our first child. My due date was February 21, 2009. The next day I fell off the face of the earth.

On December 12, 2009, at 2:02 p.m., Leia was born via emergency caesarean section. She was 3 lbs. 8.4 ozs. To say we were unprepared would be a huge understatement. We didn’t even have names ready. Our first child was “Baby Girl” for the first four days of her life.

What followed was four days of hospitalization for me, six weeks of hospitalization in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for Baby Leia, and then another six weeks of staying with my parents in a nearby town before I was able to come home with the baby. While I stayed with the baby at my parents’ house, my husband completed most of the renovation projects in our house and wrapped up the loose ends of a business we had just sold.

(To say the Universe moves in mysterious and serendipitous and timely ways is also an understatement.)

I am just starting to come up for air. Our baby girl Leia (yes, like Princess Leia <g>) is doing wonderfully. She’s a good eater, and at three and a half months, she is now a little over 12 lbs. Our little butterball. She’s a wonderful baby, just beautiful. She’s got a great temperament.

Now that we are home, I am eager to get back to writing. I stopped writing at first for obvious reasons. I was at the hospital constantly, my eyes fixated on this wondrous little person. I didn’t want to blink and miss anything.

There was this one moment right at the beginning, when I was first allowed to hobble down the hall by myself to visit her. I was staring at her little face through the plexiglass of her temperature-controlled isolette, and that’s when I got it. I just got it. And I thought, wow, if ever I could capture in words this feeling I have, this experience of becoming a parent, a mother, and do it justice, anyone who read those words would make sure they became parents too. Because if I could adequately describe how beautiful, how soul-moving that moment was, nobody in their right mind would want to miss out. And if I could do that, I’d be one helluva writer.

I’ve always had a thousand reasons for wanting to become one helluva writer, but now I’ve got one good one. Her name is Leia.

And so now we’re back, from outer space….