On a return to writing

I started this blog several years ago, during a period of personal transition.  I dubbed it my “journey of self-discovery.”  It was a means of navigating the shit life threw at me without actually having a nervous breakdown.  We all go through such times – pivotal points of change where what was is no longer, but what comes next is unclear.  The uncharted path forward littered with the debris of uncertainty and self-doubt.

I have always found writing cathartic and have long been fascinated by the first-person, introspective essay.  Especially when written in the vein of  philosopher Michel de Montaigne.  He dared to pose the indelible question, “Who am I?”, and then spent a lifetime seeking to find the answer through the art of composition.  As an introvert prone to spending a great deal of time stomping around inside the cluttered recesses of my own head, I find the prospect of introspection both enlightening and liberating.

So what changed? 

Life. 

My last blog post was nearly 3 years ago.   A lot has transpired in the intervening time period.  I changed jobs, sold my soul to my daughter’s band booster club,  started playing tennis, came down with a bit of cancer, saw my daughter graduate high school then stood on the sidelines as she navigated her way through her first successful semester of college.  To say it’s been a roller coaster ride would be an obvious understatement.  The highs were invigorating; the lows gut wrenching, at best.  

Now, all these years later, I find myself once more standing on the precipice, Grendel’s mother at my back – the ever present reminder of challenges faced; before me, the uncharted path forward, littered with the debris of uncertainty and self-doubt.   

I have come full circle.   

      

Things I learned this week

“The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.”

            – Dante Alighieri

This week I learned:

…that there were a few notable anniversaries:

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  • My favorite novel Pride & Prejudice was first published 200 years ago (January 27, 1813).  I usually wait until the lazy days of summer to pull it out and give it another read, but this year I think I might delve into it a little earlier.
  • We are the World turned 28 this week.  The recording of this song and the release of the video was a profound moment in my teenage years.  In all honesty, I’m not real sure I completely understood their cause at the time, but the collaboration of all of my favorite musical talents on one record nearly blew my mind.
  • This week, 27 years ago, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded during lift off.  I watched the launch live on television, alongside millions of other school children.  I remember the level of excitement surrounding this launch.  We all understood that we were watching history in the making.  Then, it all went horribly wrong.  I will never forget that day, what I saw, what I felt.   Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston with my daughter’s middle school Robotics class.   One of the films we watched highlighted NASA’s missions throughout the years – the triumphant and the tragedy.  I probably should have been expecting it, but when the video of Challenger’s last seconds filled the screen it took my breath away.

…that the girl who sits next to me in Historical Geology has adult ADHD.  I suspect she is unmedicated because surely if she were, I wouldn’t spend the first half of class trying to figure out a way to make her shut up and sit still without getting arrested for a felony.

…that I don’t have the personality for Twitter.  I find the task of coming up with witty pieces of brilliance in under 140 characters on a daily basis undoable.   I also don’t have the patience or the attention span to sit and scroll through all of those endless posts and reposts, and reposts of reposts.  I don’t even find it an efficient source of news.  There is one thing, though, that I do get a kick out of – followers.  One of my favorite games is the “what if” game.  I do it in the grocery store, at the gym, in traffic – everywhere.  I find I can do it with Twitter followers, as well.   And so, with every new follower notice, I take a minute to try to come up with their story.  After that, I make a bet with myself to see how long it takes them to realize I’m not any fun and unfollow me.  It never takes too long.

…that – in keeping with the Twitter thread – people actually have apps to keep track of who unfollows their twitter account.  Really?  If I took the time to worry about all the people who decided they didn’t like me over the years, I’d never get a damn thing done.

…and last, but not least, this week’s awww moment is brought to you by two sweet girls who make my heart smile.

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An award? For me?

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My morning began like so many these days – with the sound of a howling cat.  One who is increasingly convinced that he might starve to death, if not fed by 5:30 a.m.  I stumbled out of bed, spewing an impressive collection of words that would make George Carlin proud, as I went.  It is at this point in my day that I question the decision to rescue this 20lb flea bag from the animal shelter, commiserate with his previous owners for putting up with such an obnoxious beast, for as long as they did, and threaten to toss his ass out the back door to fend for himself against the coyotes who live just beyond the railroad tracks.

(I may get up before the roosters and the sun, but I am far from what one would consider a jolly morning person).

My coffee was already made, courtesy of a husband who I want to believe pre-sets the coffee pot out of undying devotion to my eternal happiness; but alas, that would be a falsehood of epic proportions.  I make crappy coffee.  Or so he says. In an effort to ensure that he is not subjected to my alleged swill, he makes it every night before bed and sets the timer.  I should be insulted by this – I am not.

With a steaming cup of my husband’s coffee in hand, I began my morning ritual of sifting through emails, blogs, and Facebook nonsense.  I shuffled through the list of new and freshly pressed WordPress entries, then hopped over to the blogs I follow regularly, and began to read.  There was a lot to read this morning.  Seems everyone is back at it, after the holiday craziness.

About twenty minutes later, I find myself reading The Food and Wine Hedonist’s latest offering.  It seems he was nominated for some sort of award.  Good for him.  I like him.  He’s funny and his apt descriptions of the Top Chef contestants have been known to cause me to produce a laugh induced snot bubble or two.   As I neared the bottom of the page, I see that part of the rules in accepting such a nomination is to pay it forward.  I shuffle through his list of worthy recipients, click on a few, then – what is this?  Peggy Isaacs?  Wait…that’s me.

Someone likes me…they really, really, like me!

Okay, well maybe that is pushing the intent of this honor to the brink of exaggeration; however, I must say that every writer, blogger, or whatever one might call themselves, finds the acknowledgement of a peer rewarding.  I certainly do.  It’s the narcissist in me, I can’t help myself.

Well, anyway, on to the business at hand:

The Liebster Blog Award. It’s given to up-and-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

liebster-blog-awardThe rules for the Liebster Blog Award are:

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  3. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Reveal your 5 blog picks.
  5. Let them know you chose them by posting on their blog.

So, much thanks to The Food and Wine Hedonist for this; I am humbled.

Now on to the matter of paying this forward.  I will say this is probably the hardest thing to do, not because I don’t follow some very worthy bloggers – I do.  It’s just the most of them have more followers than the allotted 200, or don’t have the total number of followers listed.  I think I don’t care about this little rule (look at me, bucking the system).  I am going to nominate who I choose based on how I feel about their content.

I hereby nominate the following blogs for The Liebster Blog Award:

Bill Chance:  His blog is lots of fun, filled with his travels, his perspective on life, his love for food, writing, and photography.  There is never a dull moment over at www.billchance.org.

It’s Just One Workout:  Her outlook on food and exercise reminds me that I’m not alone in my struggle to maintain a certain level of health and fitness.  She also reminds me that it’s okay to laugh at myself when I do fall of the wagon – as long as I get my ass back up, and moving.

Kim the FanGirl:  She hasn’t written anything in a month or so, and that makes me sad.  She has a wonderful way with words.  Her review of Florence + the Machine’s latest album, Ceremonials, left me breathless.

The Illiterate Scribe:  He gives some interesting writing advice.  A must read if you are a struggling writer, such as myself.

Novel Girl:  She gives some great writing advice, as well.  Another must read for those writers who need a little encouragement.  Like me.

Hope you enjoy.

Now, does anybody want a cat?  He’s about 12 years old.  Really fat.  Seriously obnoxious…

…anyone?