Summer’s Over

My son starts school Monday which means that summer is technically over.   Back to school.  Back to routines.  Back to homework (ugh).   Where did summer go?

Tami asked me this week how my “fifty firsts” are coming along (see May 19th blog) and I realized my summer has been filled with them.  The last couple months have flown by.  My son and I took our first vacation together to California where we had several fun firsts.  I went to the annual RWA conference for the first time and had many wonderful firsts.  I also had my first post-divorce date, which has lead to more than a few delightful firsts.  I guess time really does fly when you are having fun.

The weather here in Denver will allow us to soak up summer a while longer.  I need a few more weeks of warmth.  Then it’s time to change.

Have you soaked up enough summer?  Are you ready for the changes fall brings?

How do you deal with change?  Do you hold on tightly or do you embrace it for what it is – a new and exciting season in your life?

 

Overcompensation

Tinder is a popular dating app allowing you to glimpse a few pics and possibly a couple sentences from a potential match. If nothing else, it’s good for a laugh.  For instance, I’ve seen several pics of men with fish. Some are holding fish not much bigger than the worm they used to bait the hook. Probably not the best marketing .  Some guys are holding fish so big you can’t see their face. Overcompensation much?

I’ve definitely fallen victim to overcompensation at various points in my life.  Trying too hard in certain areas of relationships in order to make up for areas that are lacking (throwing money at it, creating a “perfect” environment).  I’m learning that I don’t need to solve every problem immediately.  I can say no.  They can wait.  When things don’t go the way we’d hoped right away, it’s an opportunity to build character.
Overcompensating is an unhealthy excess that burns out the giver as they try to make up for a reality that doesn’t exist.  It creates an unrealistic world for the receiver as well, when they realize that in the real world, people consistently under compensate for intelligence, commitment, dedication, you name it (various jobs come to mind here)
I’m teaching my son to bait his hook with patience and balance.  To adjust as we go and be grateful for what we have.  If you hand someone everything, they may very well end up appreciating nothing.

Roommates are easy

I’m attending a writers conference and posted a roommate request to the conference’s forum. Placing my post and responding to a few others was easy.  Non-smoker, non-drinker, keeps reasonable hours, doesn’t snore and isn’t a bathroom hog.  I’m even will to sleep on a sofa bed (piece of cake, considering I’m sleeping on a sofa sans bed for the foreseeable future).

Unlike dating websites, no one cares what I look like, how old I am, my political affiliations, religion, past history, future plans, my taste in music, movies, food, how many kids I have, dogs or cats (both, duh) and whether or not I want to spend every weekend participating in extreme sports with them (no, duh)
Instead of being judged and found lacking, I’m instantly accepted for who I am.  I’m looking forward to my first conference.  What a great opportunity – to be with other women who are as passionate as I am about writing romance, to learn, grow and have fun in the process.
Questions to ponder – Are women “fellow” writers?  Can I go “balls to the wall” with my writing?

Almost Faux Pas

Almost faux pas for the week-
Went to text a girlfriend about a conversation with a guy friend and started to text the guy instead. Fortunately I caught myself in time or I would have been super embarrassed. I wonder how often people do this. 
E-mail, text, phone, Facebook, blog, etc, etc. So many ways to be socially awkward 


What’s the most socially awkward experience you’ve ever had?

50 Firsts

Forget 50 Shades.  I’m 50 years old this week!  I’ve dreaded it a bit and since there’s no avoiding it, I’m switching to lemonade mode.  Here’s how I’m going to celebrate Fabulous Fifty – in the next year I’m going to have 50 firsts.  I don’t want them to be lame either.  They have to mean something and/or be good stuff.  I have some ideas and I’m keeping a list. I’ll blog on some.  I’m hoping to have some that won’t be blog appropriate  



First on my list – flowers on my toes.  I’ve never had anything but polish.  My girlfriend Tami’s present to me was a pedicure complete with art.  The flower has five petals (of course)


My girlfriend Mylene says every birthday is special as it’s a celebration of your life.  I’m healthy, have a lot to be thankful for and much to look forward to.  I’m totally ready to celebrate!



What’s the best birthday present you ever gave yourself?

Mother’s Day Randomness

Yes, it is Mother’s Day, according to whoever randomly decided the second Sunday in May would be a good day for it.  Mother’s Day, in my ever so humble opinion, should be my son’s birthday.  After all, that is the day I actually became a mother.  I tell my son that every day is Mother’s Day for me because I’m a mom every day.  I absolutely love being a mom.  I never take it for granted and being my son’s mom is the core of who I am.  

That being said, let me shift gears.  There is a television commercial that just pissed me off (I’ve tried to locate it so I can give credit and can’t find it).  It starts with a man at a desk in a room that is clearly his office, starting a novel.  It then moves through him starting a family and his room becomes his daughters room until she has graduated and moves out.  The last scene shows him having reclaimed the room and getting back to his novel.  The takeaway being that his personal ambition went on hold for twenty some years while he raised a child.  
My son happened to see this and asked me if he was getting in the way of my writing.  Great question that led to a wonderful teaching opportunity.  
I reminded my son that he always comes first and he is never in the way of anything.  However, part of being a good parent is also being a person as well as a parent and that there is room in life for both.  I encourage my son to be a great father to his kids.  I also encourage him to fulfill his dreams and goals as well.  He sees me move forward, albeit slowly.
Does my writing take last place most of the time?  Yes, it does.  Why?  Sometimes it’s mom priorities.  It’s also work, friends, preparing to buy a home, mundane to-do’s and occasionally, general laziness, which I need to recharge.
And if I can be a mom and write then surely that guy could have cranked out a novel.  Come on.  Our kids deserve better role models than that.
 

Spring’s Here

Spring in Colorado is almost non-existent.  Blink and you’ll miss it.  March and April are an unpleasant mix of cold, rain and snow with a few “teaser” days of warm and sunny.  I’m so done with winter although for once I’m glad to have had so much time to hibernate.

The seasons change because the earth’s axis of rotation tilts.  We lean away from the sun in winter and towards it in summer.  A year ago my life’s axis tilted when I left my husband of 22 years, moved out and filed for divorce.  Although it was the right decision, this past year has been the most difficult one of my life.  I spent the entire winter hibernating.  It takes a lot of time and energy to unravel 22 years with someone and move forward with life and future for myself and my family. I’ve spent much time focusing on tackling the to-do’s so I can have closure before moving on.
All my work is paying off.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.  I’m glad I hibernated. I’ve grieved, dealt with the past, worked through the short days and tried to rest during the long nights.  I’ve focused on my family.  Our health, our future.  Security and stability.
I think I’m ready for spring.  I have one more huge “closure” task to tackle, then my axis tilts towards summer.  Nature’s outward expression reflects in buds and blooms, birds mating and nesting.  While I’m still not ready to tackle mating yet, (those males strutting their stuff, yeah, not so sure about them) I’m ready for our family vacation, my first writer’s conference, buying a house and nesting in a place of my own.  I’m ready to shed my layers of wool and fleece, stress and grief and dress in cotton and flip flops with self confidence and joy.  I’m ready to come out of my cave, stretch myself and step into a new season.  Who’s with me?

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Cyndi Lauper’s amthem was much easier to embrace when I was 19.  Now, at 49, I just want to have a good nights sleep.  Hard to achieve when I’m sleeping on a couch with a dog and nocturnal cat.  

I want so much more than a good nights sleep.  I want to sell a house I own with my ex.  I want to buy a house for me and my family.  I want it to be a home.  I want to be the best mom I can be.  I want to publish my novels.  I want women to read them and feel encouraged and entertained.  I want to be healthy.  I want to relax.  
One of my girlfriends e-mailed me that she was depressed and frustrated, largely due to politics, posturing and crap at work.  I brainstormed with her on how she can make her job work for her. Cause, yeah, it’s work.  You work but work has to work for you too.  She e-mailed me yesterday that she made it work for her and felt fabulous.
I need to take my own advice about my life in general.  I have been so focused on doing the right thing, focusing on my priorities and generally working myself into the ground trying to keep up with the endless to-do’s that must happen in order to move me and my family forward, that what little fun I’ve had over the past year has been brief and inconsistent.
As a result, I did something last night I’ve never done before and hope to never do again.  I’m walking out the door to go to a concert with Mylene and I slipped two aspirin into my purse just in case I have a heart attack and need them.  A heart attack.  I felt that bad last night.  I Google’d the symptoms.  Beyond exhausted, stressed to the point on muscle cramps that were starting to freak me out.  Red flag.  Red flag.  Reality check Malia?
As I stood and listened to Christina Perri sing I believe, these words jumped out at me,”this is not the end of me, this is the beginning.  hold on, I am still alive”
Wow.  That pretty much sums up my life.  The end of a 25 year relationship is not going to be the end of me.  This is my beginning.  But, I need to hold on, because I still have several more months of transitioning to where I need to get to be settled and truly moving forward.  And, I am still alive. I need to keep it that way.  I need to relax and give myself a break.  Not push quite so hard.
Despite my exhaustion, I left the concert tired but amazingly stress free.  No headache.  No muscle pain.  I simply needed a break.  I needed to have fun with a friend.  I need to brainstorm ways my life can work for me and make it happen.  Cause right now I’m working hard and I’m putting myself dead last.  If something doesn’t change that figurative expression could become literal.
Every morning I receive a scripture from KLove radio.  This mornings was from Proverbs.  “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”  God knows just how important friends are.  And so do I.  Lets keep each other sharp girlfriends.  It’s a jungle out there and I want to be ready with a good blade to wield against whatever blocks my path.

Hi. My Name is Malia Martin

I’ve written a novel.  It’s called Take Two. 

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it.  That my name is Malia Martin and Take Two is a novel I wrote is anything but simple.  
I’ve lost much in my life.  And in these past several months of grief and winter of a relationship of which there will never be a spring again, I wondered if I lost myself.  I certainly lost my personality and began to wonder what happened to Malia.  Then I realized nothing happened to her.  
I’ve often referred to my life in recent years as a journey through a desert valley, recently coming up and out only to find myself still in a desert, just one without walls blocking my view.  I’m still me. I’m just moving and growing in my life.  Of course I’m not exactly the same person I was a year ago. Thank God I’m not.  That Malia was silent in many ways.
As as walk further away from the valley I sense much around me.  I’m starting to get hints of green grass, spring flowers, blue sky.  Just hints.  Enough to know that somewhere ahead are verdant meadows filled with wildflowers, breathtaking beaches and mountains to climb.  There will be rocks in my path.  Twists and turns and maybe even valleys again.  Yet, I know this – I will not be silent ever again in my life. I will not be quiet anymore.  I write and my words will be read.  Why?  
Because my voice matters and so does yours.  If you shout loudly in the valley and no one hears you, do you exist?  You bet you do.  You hear yourself and that’s enough to not give up.  Keep walking . . . one foot in front of the other.