The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Out of Town

I will be heading home to GA tomorrow to take care of last minute details on the sale of my house. Yay! for selling the house, but Boo! for having to be away from G for almost an entire week. I will take my laptop with me and do my best to update the blog from there, but it's going to be a very busy week, so the blog will be low priority. If I don't update, just check back next week, when I will be a much happier sweetie. :) Why happier? Because I will be back in NC and hopefully will have accomplished all of my goals and closed on the house, thus making me feel like a wonder-woman type person who works hard and succeeds often. I'll let you know how that works out.

Poem

I read through "A Working Girl Can't Win" by Deborah Garrison last night, a book of poetry that I absolutely adore. It's gritty and harsh, but also beautiful and soft at times. I think I will just type out one of the poems that seems appropriate for the end of a winter work week. I dedicate it to T, my working-girl friend (at least the first part she will appreciate :)

FIGHT SONG

Sometimes you have to say it:
Fuck them all.

Yes fuck them all -
the artsy posers,
the office blowhards
and brown-nosers;

Fuck the type who gets the job done
and the type who stands on principle;
the down-to-earth and understated;
the overhyped and underrated;

Project director?
Get a bullshit detector.

Client's mum?
Up your bum.

You can't be nice to everyone.

When your back is to the wall
When they don't return your call
When you're sick of saving face
When you're screwed in any case

Fuck culture scanners, contest winners,
subtle thinkers and the hacks who offend them;
people who give catered dinners
and (saddest of sinners) the sheep who attend them -

which is to say fuck yourself
and the person you were: polite and mature,
a trooper for good. The beauty is
they'll soon forget you

and if they don't
they probably should.

New Me

I had a great day yesterday! It was a very not-stressful, relatively uneventful, but still fun birthday. I had a few very important realizations, and I feel that they will lead to a new me emerging.

Realization #1 - When I was younger, I believed in myself totally and completely. I knew I was a good singer and that I was smart. I set goals for myself and was confident that I could achieve them. Because I believed in myself, others naturally believed in me too. Confidence is contagious in that way. Somewhere along the line, though, I started depending on the confidence of others in order to fuel my own self-worth. Instead of feeling smart and talented, I needed those around me to convince me that I was. In order to return to the hard-working self-confident girl I used to be, I have to find confidence in myself apart from what anyone else thinks.

Realization #2 - I have been using various distractions and excuses to avoid finishing any project because I am ultimately afraid of what others will think of my writing. If I don't actually finish a project and get it out there, then no one can judge it.

Realization #3 - I spend a lot of time thinking about the past stages of my life or "who I used to be" and wishing that I had made more of my life at the time, lived to the fullest so to speak. I feel regret and longing for other times because I feel that I didn't fully live them the way I should have. However, I only just now realized that in doing that, I am also failing to live THIS moment to the fullest, thereby perpetuating the cycle and heading down a path that will lead to me looking back on this moment wishing I had done more with my life. The only cure for this is to start now to make the most of today.

These three very important realizations are a breakthrough for me on the road to being the person I know I want to be. Self-confidence, hard work, and the courage to finish a project and send it out into the market are what I need right now more than anything in my writing. This is the beginning of a whole new me, and even though everyday will not be perfect, at least I am aware of where I need to change and can start moving in the right direction.

Happy Birthday to Me!


And 31 has arrived, whether I wanted it to or not. That's the thing about birthdays... as long as you are still alive, they are inevitable. I guess the only thing to do is embrace my 31'ness and love it. I am discovering that aging is not the easiest thing in the world, especially when you feel like you are not making the most of your life.

By some strange trick of fate or perhaps by providence, I found a letter my father wrote to me 11 years ago on my birthday. This is not a letter that I saved intentionally or even remembered, to be honest. After about 10 moves and 2 house fires, it's a miracle that it still exists. It just so happened tonight that I decided to pull out some books of poetry and read through some of my favorites for inspiration. As I was reading through the Collected Early Poems of Adrienne Rich, I noticed a folded piece of paper, nothing special looking, just a ripped off sheet of a white legal pad. It is dated January 19, 1997, and this is what it says:

Dearest S,
I just can't believe that you aren't going to be a teenager anymore. It was just yesterday that I met your mother and gave her our first kiss. Now all of the sudden I'm wishing you a twentieth birthday. Well, so far you have made the best of your life. That's important and I am very proud of you.
Today in Sunday School class P.W. was talking about life on earth. When you look up someone you usually find a date of birth and a date of death. It is hard to find anything else about most people. My greatest accomplishment is my children. That's my pride and joy.
The weather has warmed up today. I actually went fishing for 30 minutes. No luck. I hope you are staying warm.
Well, Happy Birthday!!! You are a most beautiful young lady. I miss you and Love you.
Your
Dad


How beautiful that I found that letter today, and how strangely perfect. I am not certain whether he would still say I have "made the best of my life",but I feel a renewed passion to make sure that 11 years from now, I will know that it is true.

I am a Rubik's Cube


Tomorrow's the big day, my 31st birthday. I am fully aware of the fact that most people don't make a big deal of their birthdays past the age of 21 (except maybe 50, but I still have some time before I reach that benchmark). I am not sure why every day feels like a countdown to the guillotine to me. 30 fell heavy on me, but I blamed it on the fact that I had just filed for divorce and was facing major stress and drama at the time. So, what's my excuse this year?

I was thinking about it, and I decide that my problem is this: My life is like a Rubik's cube that is currently a jumbled mess of mixed color. I have tried to figure out a Rubik's cube many times, and even though I would come close sometimes, there would always be pieces out of place that I just couldn't move to the right spot. You know how you might get one side perfect, but on your quest to make the next side perfect, the first one gets messed up again? If our purpose in life is to get the different pieces of our selves organized and moving in one focused direction so that we can make an impact on the world around us, I am more of a mess right now than I should be at 31. A Rubik's cube has six sides and six colors. Compared to life, you could maybe say that the six colors represent your love life, career, education, religion, family, and hobbies. For the purposes of my comparison, getting your love life settled and finding that one person who you can love and who is perfect for you (and loves you back of course), would mean that one side of your cube is all one color. Now that I've gotten that side together, my career side is all screwed up. Will I ever be able to get them all together at the same time? And can I make an impact on the world when I feel like I'm such a mess??

If I felt like I had an eternity to work on this puzzle, I would feel more relaxed and 31 would seem like a baby. So why am I feeling like there's someone standing there with a stopwatch? The world moves so fast these days, and careers are carved out for most of us in our 20's. Is there a place in our society for people who still haven't figured out their careers by age 31? I would venture to say that a lot of people settle for whatever job they land in, and then don't dare to leave to pursue any other dreams for fear of losing their retirement and security. (That and also the fact that it takes a lot of money to even survive these days.) It's very tough to head out into a uncertain payday. But I know I'm doing the right thing and that this will pay off eventually. It's right for my soul, but unfortunately, there are no paychecks for following your own personal creative agenda. Maybe I need to seek out stories of writer or poets who didn't publish their first work until their mid-30's.

I am going to do my best to embrace 31 as beautiful and as a year of opportunity for me. The more I think about it, colors can be boring when they are organized and perfectly placed. There is beauty to be found in the mix and the chaos. Besides, I would bet anything that once you've actually finished a Rubik's cube, it isn't as much fun anymore.

Body Language

So I have been watching streaming video from ON AIR with Ryan Seacrest, where they play random videos, old and new. Ciara and Missy Eliot's "One, Two Step" just came on and it's the first time I've ever seen that video, even though I've heard the song a ton. Something about Ciara just mesmerized me. Sure, she's gorgeous, but it is more than that. She just has a presence on screen. She seems incredibly comfortable with her own body, and I can't help but wonder how that happens.

I have known beautiful women before who are just not comfortable in their own skin, and that little hesitation holds them back from being truly amazing beauties. Ciara in that video doesn't just move like a dancer, she moves like she doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks about her. Or maybe even a step further. She moves like she knows without a doubt that everyone will like her, even if her moves are risky and a bit different. I wonder if she has just grown up with people always admiring her and she just grew to believe it 100%, or did it have more to do with how her parents raised her?

I had a bit of a mixed confidence growing up. I actually had a group of girls come up to me in fourth grade and say "You aren't pretty enough to be our friend." I am not kidding about this. They approached me in a herd, with M, the most popular girl in my class, right in front. No one really talked to me or included me in anything for a month or more after that. It was not a pleasant experience, and that moment dealt a terrible blow to my self-confidence. (I would be willing to wage money that Ciara never had that happen to her.) On the other hand, I also had amazing luck meeting boys when I went out of town. Summer camp, family vacations, choir or band trips, I always attracted boys easily and flirted with confidence.

As an adult, I have moments of both extreme confidence and pitiful self-doubt. Being overweight at this point in my life doesn't help either. Is it possible at the age of 31 (almost) to find a confidence that you've never had before? If I lose 50 lbs, will I magically be confident in my body, which then will lead to confidence in all aspects of myself? With my luck, by the time I cultivate that kind of confidence, I will be so old that my body won't work as well anymore. If only there was a magic solution to confidence issues. I have a sinking suspicion that it has more to do with my own personal attitude than it will ever have to do with how I look or how much I weigh. I can't decide if that's good news or bad...

Good News

I went through an awful divorce last year, and let me tell you, that is not something I ever ever want to go through again. Not that anyone ever wants to go through a divorce, but you just don't realize how difficult or unpleasant it can be until you've been through it. Anyway, even though I have moved on with my life, there have been a few things that still legally have tied me to my ex. Thank goodness, I'm talking about property and not children. I can't imagine how difficult a divorce is when you have children together.

So the good news is that I think I have sold the house that we still owned together. Now, to put it in perspective, this house, although once beautiful, is currently severely damaged from a fire we went through 2 years ago. I wasn't sure how long it would take me to sell that property, but I was not expecting it to sell this quickly. I talked to a man tonight that wants to buy the house, made a reasonable offer, and is ready to work on his financing options. He said he will call me back on Monday and let me know what the bank has to say. I have a very good feeling about this!!

Of course, having to get in touch with my ex and negotiate terms and get his approval is a pain in my fucking ass. Even having to deal with him on such limited terms is upseting me and has gotten me all worked up. I hear his old, snobby and judgmental tone in every word of the emails he sends. At first, I was really letting him get to me, and then I realized... this is the last big thing holding us to each other in any way. It's just amazing how five years ago I was excited about marrying this person. I honestly have no idea what I was thinking. I am gong to blame a temporary mental disorder or something, who knows. All I know now is that I am a hell of a lot better without him, and every word he speaks to me only further proves that point. The good news is that in a month or less, I might be rid of him forever. This makes a great early birthday present.

Home is Where the Heart is...

And the distractions. While I certainly love that I can work in my pj's from the comfort of my home office where all of my fun pens and notebooks and references are within easy reach, I can't help but wonder if I would get more quality writing time in if I was out of the house. You hear all the time about how a writer composed some famous novel or poem in a cafe or park. Maybe there's something to that.

I am not getting nearly enough writing done in a day. Right now, I am lucky if I get anything of real quality written in a day, much less the 1000+ words I was hoping for originally. And when I read through blogs and musings of other writers, I see that they are producing more than 1000 words, while some of them are also working full time jobs. Yes, yes. I realize that a lot of the people I am looking at are also people who have been writing as a career for more than 5 years now. I guess there's just a part of me that is so ready to be a good writer that I can't drum up any patience.

While reading through the array of "How to be a better writer" type books I bought, I have noticed that there are two conflicting sentiments that get thrown around quite often. One is that if you are going to be a writer, you need to focus and get off your ass and get ready to work harder than you have at anything in your entire life. You have to be prepared to set your own deadlines and find the time in your busy life to seek out that much needed solitude and write write write. The other sentiment is that writers are creative, fragile souls and you can't beat yourself up for not meeting every deadline or not hitting every expected word count. Give yourself space and time to develop your craft or you will smother the inner genius. Is it just me or are these two completely different ways to talk to yourself? On one hand, push yourself hard and be demanding. But on the other hand, when you don't succeed at your original goal, don't get upset. Can those two ideas really be reconciled? It's not working out so well for me, honestly.

If I know deep inside that nothing bad will come of me not reaching a deadline, and that I will able to just shrug it off and take another week or two to finish, then I won't meet that deadline. I just won't. If I am going to push myself to achieve something, then I have to know that a thorough self-flogging will commence if I do not achieve it on time. This the entire source of my current struggle, because my current attitude toward myself is so negative that I am really leaving myself little room to succeed in the first place. Perhaps my ego cannot handle a self-flogging any worse than the one I'm already giving it. Or maybe I need a geniune, go for broke, kick in the ass. See what kind of a mess I am?

Anyway, I am going to try stepping out of the house and finding a place where I can physically go for an hour or two each day and focus on writing. Maybe I can set a word count goal for my outing and say that I will not come home again until I have 1000 new words in my novel. I have made a list of places to try, and I think I will start tomorrow if the weather holds up. The weather service has issued a "winter storm" warning saying that snow and freezing rain are coming our way. Schools and such are delayed for tomorrow, but I suspect it won't be as bad as they think. After all, it rarely is, right? So if the roads are travel-able, I will head out to spot #1 on my list tomorrow - the Cary public library. I need to get a library card anyway. I'll let you know how it goes.

American Idol is Back!


Season 7 of American Idol has begun!! I didn't actually watch last night's audition show, but I recorded it and I am looking forward to watching it this morning. The audition shows always crack me up, even if they are contrived and set up in a way.

My cousin Kevin went to the auditions in Nashville a few years ago, and he said that there are several rounds you have to get through in order to actually audition in front of Simon, Paula, and Randy. Judges are set up in little mini-booths that are crammed together in rooms and hallways and they check off a series of things on a judging sheet and you either make it to the next round or you don't. Some of the people who make it to the tv show version are obviously not talented enough to have passed five or six rounds of judging, which means that they got passed through for the simple fact that they CAN'T sing. I guess after the audition show proved to be such a huge hit in the second season or whenever, they decided to extend it to several two hour special shows, and milk it for all it's worth when someone is dressed up crazy or can't carry a tune to save their life.

My guess is, by the time someone actually makes it to the three celebrity judges, their fate has basically already been decided. Either they were put through to specifically go forward in the competition or they were pushed through to be made fun of by millions of Americans tuning in. I guess there are some "close calls" where the judges are supposedly torn about what to do, but those are probably put in there knowingly as well. I can understand that it is purely for our entertainment value, and I certainly am entertained by the bad singers. However, it also makes a bit sad that instead of putting through geniunely talented people an giving them a shot in front of the big dogs, they give those precious slots away to horrible singers and exhibitionists. There are probably a lot of very talented people that are cast aside for the sake of getting laughs and improving ratings. The other sad thing is, of course, that he majority of these bad singers actually are getting their hopes up and thinking that they can sing. I mean, after all, they have pobably been hearing really talented people get cut while they keep getting pushed through to the next round. I feel sorry for them in a way. Ah, well, such is the nature of the beast.

Either way, I am looking forward to this season on Idol and can't wait to see what kind of talent rises to the top this year. I tend to watch a season religiously, and then not watch the next season at all. I did not like Taylor Hicks in Season 5, and was so incredibly disappointed when he won, so I didn't even bother with last season at all. (Of course, I wasn't surprised when his record went belly up and the label dropped his record deal. Katherine McPhee seems to be doing well for herself though, as it should be. That girl can sing. And, of course, there's Chris Daughtry who has really come out with some great songs.) But back to Season 7. I am ready for a new Idol, and hope it turns out to be a great season. Okay, well, enough of my rambling, I'm off to watch the show and laugh at all the bad singers. Peace out.

Injured Hand

I am not going to write much today, because my left hand is killing me. Well, specifically, my left wrist hurts. I must have been holding it wrong when I was typing or something, I am not sure. All I know is that for the past 24 hours, it hurts like hell to do just about anything, and it is extremely annoying. Especially when you are a writer who plays computer games for fun. I am going to take it easy again today on the computer, though, and hope that tomorrow I am feeling all better.

A Deserted Red Carpet


Ah, the Golden Globes. I usually am right there, front and center, waiting to see each and every designer shoe that hits the red carpet. I LOVE watching the stars arrive at the awards shows, I have to admit it. There were years in the past when I used to print out all the nominees and circle my favorites, hoping and praying they would win, cheering for them from my humble sofa. The past couple of years, though, I haven't been invested enough in watching current movies or television to care as much about who wins, unfortunately. (And after looking down the list of last night's winners, I realized I hardly recognize the names of most of the movies and shows who won anyway) However, I still love to watch the red carpet pre-show.

This year, it was just not meant to be. With the writers' strike continuing after months of no resolution, the Golden Globe awards that were supposed to take place last night were reduced down to a press conference. A lot of the stars were quoted saying things like "I am so glad I don't have to worry about a dress this year!" but I doubt that is really true for most of them. If it were me, picking out an amazing Oscar de la Renta gown or strutting my stuff in Versace on the Red Carpet looking sexy and rubbing elbows will all of Hollywood's elite would be one of my favorite events of the year. You can't tell me they had more fun sitting at home in their pj's listening to a press conference.

I haven't gotten too involved in reading about the strike, but I have read a little bit. I am usually honestly against strikes in general when it comes to high profile people, like baseball stars and such. I mean, compared to my $40,000 a year, they seem to be doing okay and who the hell do they think they are denying their paying fans(who by the way, look forward to the entertainment they provide as a light in the darkness of our humble lives)the opportunity to see them play or to watch new shows on tv and such. I am sure I would understand them better if I was in their shoes, but I'm not, so until that day, I don't usually sympathize. Being a writer, though, I can actually understand where some of these writers are coming from. I think it would be pretty hard to swallow if you wrote a hit tv series for years and watched the actors and the producers getting fat rich off of your words and clever genius, while you failed to see even half the monetary rewards that they did. Sometimes, though, the writing is shitty and a movie or show is only successful because of those actors or directors that everyone wants to support or see. I guess it is a pretty complicated issue for them, and I honestly hope that the writers come out on top.

All I know is that I missed watching the red carpet parade of stars last night, and I hope the strike is over before the Oscars.

Happy Friday!

Even though am not working a "traditional" job these days, I still love the weekend. Mostly, I love it because G and I get to spend a ton of time together. We are even going to a big formal party event tomorrow for his work. I guess they do this every year and it's a big to-do, but G has never been. I am very excited about it.

I am also, wonder of wonders, actually excited about going to my weight watchers meeting today. I usually follow the FLEX plan, where you have a set number of points that you are supposed to eat in a day. It has been working pretty well, but I gained 4 lbs over the holidays because I wasn't following the plan. This week, I decided to try the CORE plan,where instead of counting points, you pick from a set list of approved foods and eat until you are in a comfortable state, not too full, not too hungry. It has been tough, because bread and regular cheese are no allowed, but it has been fun to try new combinations of food also. For example, I started making these Strawberry Banana shakes, and we have decided we should have them every morning because they are so good. All I do is put a banana, five or six strawberries, a couple spoonfulls of fat free plain yogurt, some skim milk and ice together in the blender. It is awesome! It has been a good week, and I am anxious to go to my meeting and find out what the results are. I am pretty sure I lost at least 2 lbs this week.

Happy Friday everyone. :) Have a great weekend.

Procrastination

In the book of my life, chapter one is probably called "Procrastinator Extraordinaire". I dare to say that I have a talent for procrastinating. Somehow, I tend to know exactly how long I can wait to begin something in order for it to be done at the precise moment that it is due. I practiced this skill to perfection when I was in college. When a paper was due, I would put it off while a few of my friends would start early. And then when a couple more friends would decide that the time had come, I would still delay. Hell, it might be midnight the night before the paper is due, and I would just be starting it. I would work through the night, focused and determined, and at 8:00,I would be on time to class with a paper in my hand. Usually I got an A or A- on everything. The one time I started a paper a week early, I got a C.

Even though I have been out of college for quite some time, I am still a heavy procrastinator. I must admit, however, that it does not carry the thrill it once held for me. Sometimes, I think that I procrastinate to the point of denying myself happiness. Life isn't about writing papers or getting good grades anymore. Now, I procrastinate with things like vacuuming, or making phone calls, or writing. Things that I know, once I finish, I will be happy about. Exercising is a big one. Why do I delay? Why do I keep putting these things off? No one is setting a "vacuum the living room" deadline for me, so therefore, I can procrastinate doing it indefinitely.

For the amateur procrastinator, this might mean very little. However, for someone like me who might as well have been a professional procrastinator for years, the transition from a largely deadlined life to a life where I set my own deadlines or, horror of horrors, no deadlines exist, has been difficult to say the least. I have spent a lot of time thinking about where my motivation has disappeared to, and I think this could be a key point. Without a deadline pushing me to know exactly when I should start a task, I have a hard time getting motivated to do it.

I have tried, in light of this realization, to set my own deadlines. For example, my boyfriend and I have installed a "clipboard" system where we put a couple of clipboards on the wall that hold our to-do lists. One holds the weekly list, and another holds the monthly list. By the end of each week or month, all of the items on the list need to be checked off. This has helped a bit, but nothing compares to the motivation that a grade or a professor used to bring to my life. I think the real solution lies deeper than a clipboard can go. I think that I need to start redesigning my thought process and instead of constantly looking outside of myself for motivation, start an internal method of pushing myself to act. I realize it won't happen overnight, but I am going to start moving towards a life where, when something needs to get done, I just do it now. Even just typing that out made my stomach flip in fear. Maybe I'll start working on it next week...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


It is 7:00 AM and I have been up all night reading the last book in the Harrry Potter series. I have honestly been putting off reading it for some months, mostly out of reluctance to see it end. I pre-ordered the book and went to pick it up the day it came out, what? Six months ago? But I set it aside, not wanting to open it, even after I had been so excited about it being released.

And then, three days ago, I picked it up and started to read. I think I read about 50 pages or so the first night. Then the night before last, I stayed up way too late reading, and made it to page 300'ish. After a day of waking up with very little sleep, I decided that the only way to proceed was just to stay up as late as it took and finish the entire book. Otherwise, it would hold me in its grip and I would be tired for days, staying up too late because I just didn't want to put it down. I guess I started reading last night around 9 pm, and I read all night long. I cried, I suffered through that pain of sitting in one awkward position holding a 700 page hardcover book, and I loved every minute of it.

There are very few books that a reader comes upon that have the ability to own you quite like the Harry Potter series of books. I can remember the first one in my life. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I remember very clearly that I spent an entire day, morning till morning, reading that book. I was probably about 10 I guess. There have been a few others like that in the past, but not many. Until Harry Potter. Each of the seven books in the series have led to all night reading sessions, and I know I am not the only one who felt that way about these books. There is just something magical about these books, no pun intended.

I am not sure what fascinates me and keeps me glued to the page the way that these books do. I only know that I wish with all my heart that I could figure it out, bottle it up, and become that kind of writer. J K Rowling created a world that millions became a part of, and that will continue to touch lives and spark imaginations for years to come. I decided to look up a bit about the author and see what the internet had to say about her and this is what I found out:
*She was born in 1965, which makes her 12 years older than me...so she'll be 43 this year.
*She claims to have been on a train when the story of Harry Potter came to her, fully formed in 1990. I know that I have ideas that come to me out of nowhere, but nothing has ever come "fully formed". I doubt that happens to many writers. Maybe Stephen King, but he's a powerhouse. Anyway, 1990 would make her 25 at the time.
*She finished the first book in 1995, after going through many life changes such as the death of her mother, marriage, becoming a mother herself, and getting divorced.
*She submitted three chapters to an agent, they accepted her, but then the novel was rejected by 12 houses. Finally, a small london publisher accepted the manuscript (reportedly telling her to find a day job since no one gets rich writing children's books), and then rights were sold in Amerca as well.
*The first printing of the first Harry Potter book was only 1000 copies.
*The seventh book in the series sold over 11 million copies in the first 24 hours, mine being one of them.
*JK Rowling's fortune is estimated at over 500 million british pounds, which is God knows how much in US Dollars...almost a billion?

I am not sure how she did it, but she created an entire world that captures and captivates its readers, refusing to let go, even after the final page is turned. I certainly don't have delusions of being that huge of an author someday, but I wish that I could possess some tiny bit of that kind of talent as a writer. She was 25 when she started writing her epic series. I will be 31 in exactly two weeks, and I am way behind. I wonder where I will be at 43, and if I will have published anything important?

If you haven't read the Harry Potter series of books, you absolutely should. Be warned, of course, that it will lead to sleepless nights of mad, hungry reading. But I assure that it's worth every moment. The movies hardly do it justice.

Self Talk

The things we say to ourselves inside our head are probably the most important things that anyone says to us. The difference is that while we, unfortunately, cannot control the things that other people say or think about us, we can most definitely control and change the things we say to ourselves. When I started to think about this fact, I became extremely aware of the things that I say about myself inside my own head.

For example, I often tell myself that I am fat. Now, I am definitely overweight for sure, which is just a simple fact, but there are other ways that I could address this with myself. I could be nice to myself and say things like "Damn, I look hot! Just imagine how much hotter I will look when I'm 140 lbs." Maybe if I said things like that all day, I would walk around a much happier, sexier me... and would be more willing to work out. Instead, I find myself saying things like "Everything I put on my body looks disgusting." Truth be told, I would NEVER say that about anyone else. So why do I say it to myself? Shouldn't I be the most important person NOT to say it to?

The more I think about it, actually, the more I start to realize that there is a negative commentary going on inside my head most of the day. I will write something, and then say something like "Oh my God, you'll never be able to write anything good." Or I will walk into a messy room and think "You are so lazy and worthless." I am mean to myself!!

When I think back to past boyfriends who said ugly things to me, or anyone who was mean to me at all... I can very clearly remember words that were said to me that injured me deep inside. Like when L said to me, "I love you for who you could be, not who you are now. I love you for your potential." That still hurts me now, even 8 years later. And he only said that once. So how much more am I hurting myself on a daily basis? I never really thought much about it until now. I am going to have to be more aware of the things I say to myself all day long. Then I'll have to begin a process of reversing the damage I've probably done to my own ego. Wow, in a world where so many people canhurt you, I just never thought I would be so quick to hurt myself.

Britney's Drama - Whose Fault is it anyway?


So Britney was in the hospital this weekend. I read about it and then went to youtube.com to see if I could find some coverage. It's unbelievable what I found on there. Now, I have mostly looked at comedy things and home videos or music videos on youtube, but this time I saw something I have never seen before. I watched one 3 minute video of Britney just trying to get into a restaurant with her sister. It took them 3 minutes to walk like 20 feet because of a sea of reporters. I guess we can sit back from where we are and judge Brit all we want, but until we've spent every moment of every day for years on end dodging photographers from the time we left our house to the time we got back in, we'd probably be fucked up too.

I was in total shock after watching those videos. There is a video from hollywoodtv that shows Britney's ambulance pulling up to Cedar-Sinai Hospital, and the reporter is running so hard you can hear him almost out of breath, then he goes up to a chain link fence and is doing everything he can to get one tiny zoomed-in glance of Britney on a stretcher. Now, you could say that I am just as guilty as he is because I'm sitting here watching it, every bit as fascinated as he hopes I will be. And I guess I am, because to me, this is interesting. It's like seeing life from a totally different point of view. I am only four years older than Britney Spears, but look how incredibly different our lives are. It's crazy. I know that I sometimes feel like I can barely keep it together, so I can't even imagine what she feels like most of the time. I think sometimes those of us "normal" people think that life is amazing for the rich and famous, but money isn't everything.

Check out some of the videos linked on my page here and just watch what her life is like. There is one video of Kevin Federline zig-zagging all over the road just to "protect" his children from being on camera. The camera guy calls him a "dick" for doing it. Ha! Yeah, how DARE the father of these tiny under-the-age-of-5-children try to keep the photogs from taking his picture a million times a day! I just think it's sad that he feels it's safer to zig-zag around on the road like that than let those photgraphers up next to him. The next time I look at a glamorous photo of a star and think, "man, I wish that was me", I can guarantee you that I will think again. Having the freedom to live your life and make mistakes without everyone watching and criticizing your every move is something all of us "normal" people should be grateful for every day.

I feel for Britney, I really do. Millions of people judging you and speculating about your mental health? No thanks. Of course, she's the one who keeps doing all these dramatic things like shaving her head or locking herself in the bathroom, refusing to give her son back to his father for the night. It all becomes a vicious cycle I suppose. Maybe the truth is that she knows the crazier she seems, the more albums she will sell. I hope she's secretly swimming in her millions and laughing at all of us.

Decisions, Decisions

G's Friend N mentioned once over lunch that he had read an article about how people who slave over decisions, looking at every detail and weighing all options carefully are generally more prone to regret their decisions than someone who just quickly picked something. I thought that sounded absurd at first. I mean, surely someone who took their time deciding exactly what was best is happier with their decision than someone who eenie, meenie, minie, moe's their decisions? And let's think about this... aren't we really looking at a fundamental difference between most men and women?

For example, my brother is marrying his long-time girlfriend in February. She is the one looking at all of the options for the wedding. She thinks about each type of flower, trying to decide which is the perfect look and scent and color. He, on the other hand, would just as happily choose roses or lilies or whatever. I guess the truth is that the reason most men just pick something is that in most cases they really don't care or think that it has any effect on them.

I want to repaint the living room downstairs in our house, but after getting lots of paint samples and those little booklets you get for free at Home Depot with all the color strips in them... I can't decide what will look best. The thing is, I realize that every other time I have picked a paint color, with maybe one exception in my life, I have regretted my decision. Is that because I haphazardly picked a random color and then was disappointed with the results? NO! It's because I spent all that time looking for the perfect color. After you've looked at all the options, I think it's true that you are just setting yourself up for disappointment and regret. Especially if you find several options that you lke, because the option you didn't choose inevitably becomes the one you wish you had. Maybe what I should do is just lay out the paint colors in front of G and let him randomly choose one.

Maybe it's the investment of time that makes us care so much about the results. If women spent less time worrying over the decision making process, maybe we would, in general, be happier with our decisions. For me, it either needs to be that, or else I need to just enjoy the fun I have during the decision phase and commit to my choices without regret. After all, looking through all the paint colors or flowers is the best part sometimes. Actually, maybe that's why we feel regret once a decision is made! We feel regret because we are letting go and saying goodbye to a fun project that gave us the freedom to daydream with endless options. I have never thought of it that way until just now. Something to think about for sure.

Ick

I am not feeling too well this morning, so I am not going to write much. This time of year is so icky sometimes. The weather is actually gorgeous with clear blue skies. However, it is currently 23 degrees outside and almost 9:00 AM. That's freakin' cold! The problem with that temperature is not necessarily that it is cold. The problem is that tomorrow it might be a high of 75. Who knows? The drastic variances (is this a word? oh god, I feel awful) in temperature cause more sickness and general feelings of ickiness than anything else this time of year. If it would just be cold and stay cold, we could all adjust right? Instead of shorts one day and parkas the next. Don't get me wrong, I'll take this North Carolina blue sky cold anyday over the slushy winters of Indianapolis. I just wish it would make up its mind to stay at least within a 30 degree temperature range for more than two days at a time. And now that I've added my two cents, I'm going to go blow my nose.

January 2nd

I wonder when schools start back? I'll have to remember to ask Mom. It feels so strange after teaching for three years to not be going back to school after the holidays. I usually love school this time of year. The kids are refreshed and excited to be back. The promise of spring is just around the corner. The schoolyear is halfway done, and work on the end of the year musicals can begin. Last year at this time, we were just starting auditions for "Annie Jr", and I was so excited. It turned out amazing in the end, and I know that is an experience I will never forget. A part of me is sad now knowing that I do not have a program to work on, or a group of kids to lead.

On the other hand, I am very happy to be working on my new book. There are so many ideas flowing through me! I also want to start a story for a special project. I am not sure how safe it is to work on two projects at once, but I am going to try. I get burned out on one thing so easily that I think I will give this a shot and see what happens. There is only so much that books about how to write and other writers can really tell you about the process of writing. Some books will say "never do this" or "you can only do this" but the truth is that writing is extremely personal. One person can only say what works for them, or at the very most, what has worked for the writers they have known and taught. I am still learning about what works for me, but I feel that I am on the edge of success in figuring out a routine.

I sense that many good things will happen with my writing this year. It's as if I have been given a new start and I am just now realizing the tremendous gift that is in my life.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I can't believe we're almost through the first decade of the new milennium. Just thinking about how much our world has changed since 1999 is mind blowing, and it's hard to imagine what it will be like in the year 2108. I'll be gone for sure, but maybe my grandchildren will be there, hopefully living in a better world and not a worse one. There's just always so much to reflect on this time of year. G and I sat up for a bit last night talking about past New Year's and plans for next year, things like that. He is sick, though, so no big party for us. I kind of like just sitting at home with him on New Year's Eve though. No traffic, no loud crowds... just us.

One of our activities last night was to make this poster. I had mentioned earlier that we set a goal to make $100,000 this year, so this poster is our way of keeping track and staying motivated. We called it "Untold Riches" because everyday that G gets home from work or we get a random phone call or I check my broker on EQ2, he asks "Untold Riches?". So far, there have been no Untold Riches, but perhaps this year will be our big beginning.

I was thinking about that amount... $100,000. If all of my friends read this blog, each of them would probably view that amount differently. To a few of my friends that is a lot of money (to me it certainly is). But to others, it's just a drop in the bucket. Some people I know make more than that just by themselves, and then their spouses make at least that on top of it. I hope I can say that for myself someday. I wouldn't say that those people are smarter or better than me, they just chose different career paths. I also wouldn't say they are necessarily happier than I am either. The old saying that "Money can't buy happiness" is absolutely true. On the other hand, if you've found happiness, then money is maybe the next thing to start shooting for. :) Money certainly makes things easier, and also allows you to enjoy your happiness in exotic locations, hehe. I think our main reason for wanting to be rich is because we would rather be together all day than split up for work.

We put our Untold Riches 2008 poster up in our office where we spend the majority of our time. I know that even though it will be a challenge, by the time 2009 hits, we will have filled in the whole chart. It may sound cheesy, but I know that I have found the love of my life, and that together, anything is possible. Here's where we start proving it.

Happy New Year to everyone, and may your New Year's Resolutions, goals, aspirations, and dreams come true.

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Sarra's bookshelf: sarra-s-favorites

Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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