Advice to the Young Me

There was a fun discussion on Twitter recently (begun, I believe, from @pattidigh, who has a great blog called 37 Days: What would you be doing today if you had only 37 days to live?). The discussion centered around “Advice to Young Me.” Everyone was tweeting the advice they would give to their 22-year-old selves.

The responses were fun: One woman said she’d tell herself to wear her bikini every day. Many said they’d recommend to take more chances. One person told her young self: “Making someone a mix-tape does not mean you will marry him …”

I thought about this for awhile and tried to think of what advice I’d give my 22-year-old self. Mostly I thought my 22-year-old self didn’t need as much advice as my 26-year-old self did. Because that’s when I became a parent and started to doubt everything I did. So my advice to my 26-year-old self would be this: “Don’t worry so much about parenting. You’re doing fine. …”

I wish I didn’t worry so much then. I wish I’d enjoyed more — but my joy often got trampled by the worry. 

I wish I’d worried less about the living room being messy and relished more the feeling of sitting in the glider rocker (amid the mess) and having an infant’s tiny arms bent across my chest, his or her little fingers in a fist against my collarbone. Continue reading

Haiti — Still Can’t Grasp the Devastation

Wow, an aftershock of 6.1 this morning in Haiti? That’s considered a major earthquake to most of us used to those Richter numbers. And I was reading that, even before the aftershock, infection and amputations had become the focus. Amputations? Good Lord. And so many. … And for so many children. It all just breaks my heart.

One of my Lifescript friends on Twitter, Dr. Beckerman, forwarded this article about a residency colleague of his, Dr. Louise Ivers, who happened to be in Port-Au-Prince at the time of the earthquake. It details her experiences of both the earthquake and the aftermath — a really fascinating read.

Meanwhile, my colleague Laura was telling me about a U.S. friend of hers who was in the middle of adopting a little girl from Haiti. The paperwork was just stretching out forever and ever … and then the quake hit. She said her friend could hardly get word whether the orphanage was toppled or not. The latest she heard was that the 82nd Airborne was going in to try to secure the orphanage. Schools, hospitals, orphanages. … So many to worry about.

I wrote an article last Friday for Lifescript about how to help in Haiti — which charities are safe to choose, and how the text-donating thing works. My focus there was really just to help well-meaning readers who want to help but aren’t sure how. It’s all just overwhelming.

Tornadoes in Orange County?

Whew! Tornadoes in Southern California? What will they think of next?

Just saw pics of an actual one that did touch down right off the coast, in Huntington Harbour. Threw some boats around, but didn’t hurt anyone, thankfully.

Everyone here is just bracing for more wet weather, and discussing how stunned they were to hear the words “tornado warning” yesterday. We don’t even know what to do with that.

We have a bit of a reprieve now — today is supposed to have more warnings (hurricanes???). Tomorrow is supposed to be the worst of it.

Wish us luck!

The Birds Are Stayin’ …

Isn’t this little guy cute?

I got him at Target for a steal.

Then I bought him a friend.

And then I set them both up as my Christmas table decor.

The best thing about this particular Christmas table decor is that you don’t have to take it down after Christmas. Because birds — you know, they’re still around. There’s such a thing as winter birds, right? And they have their little birdseed, and their little berries and such.

So the birds get to stay.

And I get to put one less thing in the rafters. And I get to hang on to Christmas just a little longer. And I get to look at my pretty little centerpiece for another month or so. 

It’s really waaaaaay too easy to make me happy these days. …

The Problem With Writing …

The problem with being excited about your latest manuscript is that it’s all you want to talk about.

And that makes for a very boring blog.

All I think about now are plot points, how I’m going to get from Point A to Point B, why my character just did XYZ, and how he’s going to get out of this mess. I write in the morning, in the evening, on my lunch hour, and at stoplights in my car. All I want to talk about are goals, motivation and conflict. …

So what this means is that the world inside my head is wildly interesting — but I fear I have nothing interesting to offer. The only one I even bother with all my crazy GMC talk is my critique partner Patti, who indulges me because she is equally obsessed, but I try to bite my tongue when I talk to Superman and the kids.

Or my mom.

Or the postman.

Or my coworkers.

Or my sister-in-law.

Or my blog. …

Bear with me, please.

I’ll come off my high in a few days, probably.

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