January 17

Posted: January 17, 2020 by Rachel

Life seems to moving at lightning speed these days. I keep telling myself to be better at writing it all down before I forget. Looking back, last year comes to me in one big blur of long work hours, grieving and maneuvering my way through the minefield that is parenting my six-year-old son (Seriously, it’s supposed to get easier at some point, isn’t it?). I don’t want 2020 to befall the same fate. So, here I am, attempting to redeem myself. 

We’re a little over halfway through January. How I feel about that is neither here nor there, I’m just happy to be done with 2019. I’ve spent these seventeen days rebuilding my daily writing habit, reading books of essays that are definitely having a positive effect on my writing, and attempting to cut down on my coffee consumption, which is harder than I imagined. All in all, I’m finally doing well, which is a roundabout way of saying that I’d been struggling for a while but I’m in a better place now. 

I shut myself off to a lot last year but now my eyes are wide open. My ears even more so. I’d forgotten that there are stories everywhere. In this coffee shop alone, I imagine the man in a backwards hat and shorts at the table next to me who has barely looked up from his laptop to be working on a fitness and meal plan for a new client who, after years of being jerked around by her mean, charismatic husband, finally had the guts to demand a divorce. The young girl behind the counter with the perpetual frown is angry with herself for still being a barista after so long. She was supposed to be supporting herself with her writing by now. I keep my eyes and ears open and the words come.

I’m also trying to read each night after I tuck my son in. I had been reading How To Fall In Love With Anyone but then my library hold on Followers came in and all bets were off. For the record, the book is truly as addictive as everyone is saying. I actively think about it while I’m working, counting down the hours until I crack it open again. I love when a book does that.

I swear; simple pleasures are everything.

Oof. Guys, can I just say that last year was tough on marriage. Off the top of my head I can count one, two, three, four marriages that ended, and almost as many that have turned sticky and complicated. I catch myself staring at Dom a lot these days, my thoughts hovering somewhere along the lines of: That won’t happen to us, and Please don’t let that happen to us. The other day a friend and her husband invited us out to grab a bite to eat after school pickup. We met them at a little Cuban place we’d never been to before and the food was beyond delicious. I must have pressed my hand flat to Dom’s wrist and said “This is why we need to be better about trying new things” three times throughout the meal. We are creatures of comfort and therefore tend to be pretty predictable. Trying something new and stepping out of our comfort zones feels more necessary than ever these days. I do know one thing though, and that’s that I love Dom at least five times more today than I did on the day I married him, so we must be doing something right.

Like I said, I’m keeping my eyes and ears open this year. And also: being more honest with myself and everyone else, which it turns out, people really respect. A close friend recently thanked me for the inspiration to take herself out of a situation she wasn’t comfortable in. To that I say: life is too short not to stand up for yourself and what you think is important. 

To conclude this meandering post, I will say this: Thank you for being here with me. For reading and listening and sending me lovely DM’s. I hope you are all feeling as inspired and hopeful in 2020 as I am. Cheers to Friday!

Rachel Del 2020 TBR List

My 2020 TBR list

Posted: January 2, 2020

Beyond tracking the release date of a few books I’ve been obsessing over, I’ve never been one to give much forethought to the books I read each year. If an interesting books comes across my radar, I take an interest, but I’ve never really planned what I read. As the end of 2019 quickly approached, I saw more and more “best of” book lists, and after seeing Bud Smith’s, I had the thought that perhaps I should change things up a bit this year, because—hey! A lot happened in 2019 and I’m all about doing things differently in 2020. Making…

It’s not.

Posted: November 26, 2019

I had my father, the new sender of daily selfies, on the phone yesterday. “How’s your writing going?” he asked. He asks often now. It still makes me smile. The answer to his question has the opposite effect. “It’s not.” “You haven’t been able to shake anything loose yet, huh?” I shake my head but he’s on the phone and he can’t see me. The kettle boils, I pour water over the tea bag in my favorite red mug. “Not yet,” I say eventually. Later, I write in my journal about how guilty I feel that I’m not writing. I…

easing in

Posted: October 14, 2019

I am writing these words seated in the corner of a new-to-me coffee shop on a weekday evening. I had this planned, this writing break, this get out of the house break. Whatever the name; I needed it. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends this year (these past few months especially) and needed to set a date and time to get out of the house and be alone. I’d driven past this cafe a few times and always seemed to make the point of telling my husband I’d have to try it out sometime. Much to my disappointment…

the status of things, part two

Posted: October 10, 2019

Last week, my father started reading my blog. A friend of his, after asking after me one day, had looked me up and come across my website. “How long have you had your blog?” my father asked me one night over the phone. It had come out of the blue and caught me off guard. I told him I’ve had a website, in one form or another, since the eighth grade. He didn’t say much else at the time, and I was too nervous to push for more. The next time we spoke on the phone, he told me he’d…

the status of things, part one

Posted: October 5, 2019

This morning I waited until the boys left, until I heard the car start up and pull away, and then I lit my favorite candle and made a second cup of coffee. My laptop sat open and ready on the kitchen table, the first time I’d even looked at it in weeks. The house was blissfully silent. I’d prepared myself for this, written in my journal just yesterday that this morning would afford me the perfect block of free time to finally sit down and work my way through everything the only way I really know how: by writing it…

This I can Control

Posted: October 1, 2019

I have this habit of making things more complicated than they need to be. I could give you countless examples, some much more personal than others, but I will use this one: I make the process of selecting a new journal almost torturous. To begin, I’m picky. The paper can’t be too slippery because then the pen moves too freely and my writing becomes illegible. It can’t be too heavy because I often carry it along with me in my purse. It can’t be too large for the reasoning just stated. It needs to be easy to write in, which…

This Post has no Discernible Theme

Posted: September 15, 2019

I sat staring at the blank screen for more than a few minutes this morning. Clicked over to a couple blogs I enjoy. Took another sip of my near-cold coffee. Stared down at my slightly chipped manicure. Writing—the act of it, the thought of it—feels so different this year. I hadn’t realized until she was gone that so much of what I wrote was done in the hopes of pleasing my mother. I wanted to write something she would be proud of. Now, I write almost nothing at all. What I do is read. Even more than I did before….

summer break is over

and just like that… summer break is over

Posted: August 12, 2019

This morning my son walked into his first day of the first grade which means, among many other things including time moving far too quickly, that summer break is over. There’s so much hope in the beginning, isn’t there? The warm weather, the sun, the long days: it all leads you to believe that summer will be magic. There will be popsicles and lie-ins and dips in the pool and, if you’re lucky, trips to the beach. But this summer break felt like a tease. There was the promise of a break. Of slower, gentler times. I allowed myself to…

BEAUTIFUL WORDS I’VE READ LATELY | 03

Posted: July 9, 2019

Hanging On To A Home Stretching its long legs and shaking the sleep from its eyes, our home decided to move. This of course surprised us. You jumped out of bed and ran to hold shut the rattling cupboards. I went around collecting the paintings from the walls and stacked in safe layers the history of our bad taste. As the landscape changed, we watched the prairie give way to skyline to skyline to skyline as our home sprinted from one city to another. Trinkets from a dozen travels vanished. Shelves toppled over. Books-I-promised-to-read flew out windows and doors. We…