(image by Paul Citone)
1. My hubby celebrated another birthday this week. I won’t say the number out loud because he’d probably feel better if I didn’t. But to me, his age has always been a plus. He was the first real man I ever dated and the moment I realized that I never looked back. I had a few gift ideas for him, but he kept saying, “I don’t need anything” and unlike me saying that (and not meaning it), he meant it.
Once our son was asleep, he showered and dressed and came into the bedroom to kiss me; he was off to spend some time with his cousin. I asked him, “was it a good birthday?” and he said “it was a great birthday.” I lament often about how different him and I are (would I have been satisfied if this were how my birthday played out?), but in the end, as long as he’s happy with how his day went, than so am I.
2. At the time of this blog post, I will be nearing the end of my self-imposed social media detox. I have mixed feelings about how the past five days have gone. On one side I feel great. Renewed. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say there’s a part of of me that feels like I’m missing out on something (which is really silly, I realize; but it’s the truth). What’s truly amazing is how many times a day I think: oh, I should document this (on instagram). And then I stop and think to myself: why? Which is when I remember why I truly decided to take this break.
3. I can’t believe I didn’t mention it last week, but the hubby and I went to see John Mayer last weekend (The Search For Everything tour) and just as I imagined, he blew us away. I’d seen him before, but this was Dom’s first time. He was a good sport for coming along, considering it’s not his kind of music at all, but I had faith than JM’s guitar brilliance would win him over. And it did.
I catch him humming along to JM’s songs during the day. He’s learning how to play Helpless on the guitar. He sings, “Still feel like a man” instead of “still feel like your man,” and it might possibly be the most endearing thing about him yet.
“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”
Starting tomorrow, I’m doing a social media detox, because—to be honest—it’s killing me. No Instagram, no Facebook and no Twitter or Snapchat (even though I’m rarely on those). I’m going to start with seven days, but I’m hopeful that I can make it much longer. Here’s why I’m doing it:
1. I need to break the comparison cycle. She has this, he has that, she wrote another book, he’s on vacation again—It. Is. Killing. Me. I’m aware that it’s my own problem, and that I have to train my mind to stop thinking this way.
2. To improve my mood. Studies show that the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you are to develop depression. And, as I’m sure you all know by now, I’ve been there. And I really, really don’t want to go back.
3. I need to get back to living in the moment. Picture this: my four-year-old son asks me to play and I say (with my face glued to my phone) “just one second” … and then ten minutes go by. I don’t want to be that type of mother.
4. My time is precious and should be treated as such. If I actually kept track of how often I pick up my phone and absently scroll through Instagram, I would be sick to my stomach. Literally. It needs to stop.
5. I need to re-evaluate. Why do I need to post a photo of my laptop at Starbucks so that people know I’m writing? Why do I need to share what I’m wearing, or eating, or drinking? Why do I care so much?
It’s going to be hard—there’s no sugarcoating the fact that I’m an Instagram addict. But that just motivates me even more to really give this detox a go.
So, if you see me online this week—proceed to give me a swift kick in the rear end.
Happy release day to my girl, Kandi Steiner. She killed it with this one, you’re going to want to pick up a copy for yourself and all your girlfriends.
Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.
She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.
Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.
Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.
He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.
Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.
Having just finished REVELRY an hour before sitting down to write this review, I feel as though I’m still working through my feelings. What I DO know, is that I loved it. No surprise there! Kandi Steiner remains one of my favorite authors these days, and REVELRY is a perfect example of why.
“He was trying to figure out my story–who I was, why I was there. And I’d have told him, but I didn’t know myself.”
Divorced or not, Wren is an incredibly relatable character and I found myself rooting for her from the very first page. And as usual–I wasn’t disappointed.
1. I try not to be the kind of person that imagines their life looking any different than just the way it is, but sometimes… sometimes I catch a glimpse of a beautifully dressed woman in impeccable heels getting into her Mercedes and I wonder what her week will look like. Or I turn to my husband and say: in another life, I’d live on the road, writing in a different coffee shop each day. Or I nod along when he tells me he’d love to live even a day in the life of the families that own the beach houses we passed the shoreline of La Jolla last weekend.
2. A girlfriend of mine who I’ve known online for a couple years now is writing some of the most honest, heart breaking words I may have ever read. It seems silly to tell her how brave she is for putting them out into the world, but that’s exactly what she is. You see, I worry too much about what people think of me. I always have. I wish, for just one moment, I could open myself up the way she does. I’m so lucky to know her; she’s going to do some wonderful things.
3. I’m slowly realizing that I’m going to have to be one of those writers who makes the time to write. It isn’t readily available to me. With a child and a full-time career and a husband and all the responsibilities that come along with that, I’m going to have to steal extra hours. It’s going to mean nights like Friday night when I make coffee at 9 p.m. and sit down on the couch with my laptop. It’s going to mean setting an alarm and waking up earlier than everyone else. It means continuing to steal moments here and there–like the time I waited in line at the post office for ten minutes, writing chapter notes in the Notes app on my iPhone. It means choosing, today, right now, to open up my laptop and write instead of turning to Netflix to watch the next episode of 13 Reasons Why.
But I’d choose this life over any other life. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll say the same.
1. It’s been interesting, this week, to see how people respond when it comes up in conversation that Dom and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. We get one of two responses: either a semi-disinterested stare and a barely audible grunt (which I take as a “ha! six years is nothing, just you wait until you’ve been married as long as me and xyz”); or their face lights up in a way that makes me truly proud to have made it this far already.
I’ve been hearing all my life that a lot of marriages fall apart around year seven. I’m happy to say that Dom and I are as happy as we’ve ever been.
2. Yesterday, I started writing a short story about a woman who can’t work on her novels in public without being hit on. It’s about love. It’s about self-care. It’s about personal growth.
It’s nothing amazing yet, but the point is that I’m trying.
3. Just look at this picture, taken this week. I can’t even. This last year of motherhood has been really hard, but sometimes we have moments that seem to make it all worth it. Four has been good to us, so far.
1. Sometimes I’m irrationally scared to go back and look at things I’ve written in the past. I’m worried that no matter how much I liked the writing at the time I wrote it, it will now seem somehow less than. As a writer, all I really want is to keep working and improve my skill set. To look back at something I wrote two years ago and published is scary. As such, I’ve decided to re-write my first book, Finding Lily. Wish me luck.
2. We leave for California on Saturday morning. Last year, after our three amazingly relaxing days in La Jolla, I jokingly told Dom I wanted to go back for our anniversary again next year. Well, today’s our sixth anniversary and we’ll see you in a week, La Jolla.
3. I’m entirely certain that one of my favorite feelings in life is when someone falls head over heels over a book that I recommended to them. I’ve been telling everyone I can to read The Hate U Give and smiling more and more as their positive responses find their way back to me. I love the way reading can unite people. (by the way, this is what I’m reading now, in case you’re interested).