April 2009

{Note: this is our 50th post! Holla!}

I feel fresh today, much, MUCH better than I’ve felt about things in a long time. I think I kicked myself in the rear this morning when I realized I’m 26 and I have a career that I’m 100% responsible for. If I don’t do the work, no one will do it for me. I might not get chewed out for slacking, but that doesn’t make it any less my fault.

And so, today I made myself make phone calls. And guess what? Out of the seven calls I’ve made in the last two hours, I’ve made four appointments and am on track to make at least one more for the week. Those are pretty good odds, if I do say so myself. And I didn’t really make any major faux pas! This is extremely comforting. I’m not so bad at this, after all.

As for the state of my home, I’m not sure what to say… it’s still not great, but I’ve got a goal – have it ready for company when my friends come down to go camping in the middle of May. I can do that! Even if I am going to be in New York for 7 of the 17 days between now and then, and on sales calls in Tennessee for 3 of them. That leaves me 7 whole days to get my house in shape! I can do that!

Suffice it to say that this post was mostly just a pep-talk for myself. I don’t like the defeatist attitude I’ve adopted recently, and I’m ready to snap out of it.

Ready? 1-2-3 *SNAP*


Today is my 26th birthday. No, this isn’t a post designed to solicit birthday wishes from my readers (although I’ll be happy to receive them if you are of a mind to leave some for me). Really, it’s a rumination on my first quarter century. Here’s what I’ve accomplished:

  • I’ve graduated from high school and college, without ever failing a class and only cheating on one test, with negligible success. I suck at both cheating and lying, apparently.
  • I got my drivers’ license on my first attempt and (knock on wood) have not yet caused a collision while driving. I’ve been told, variously by my mother and by my high school friends that I am both an excellent driver and a terrible driver. I have no idea how to respond to this, other than to say that my clean record speaks for itself. Right?
  • I met and married the love of my life. No word yet on procreation, but at least I have half of the process accomplished 🙂
  • I got a tattoo, 2 weeks after I turned 18. No, I didn’t really think that one through.
  • I’ve partaken of a variety of wines, beers and mixed drinks and still prefer the first alcohol I ever had: NyQuil. Just kidding. I guess the second alcohol I ever had is still my favorite; amaretto sours are delish!
  • I’ve lived and worked in New York City. What an amazing place… it’s less scary every time I visit. For the most part.
  • I’ve saved lives. Preventatively, at the very least. Being a lifeguard was satisfying on many levels: 1- life saving, of course. 2- tanning. 3- getting paid to tan.
  • I’ve taught high school math. At one point in my youth, I thought it was my calling. At many, MANY points during that year, I realized it definitely was NOT.
  • I once attended a Star Trek convention. ‘Nuf said.
  • I’ve worked for my mentor. I don’t think I appreciated it at the time, but working for this particular woman was really quite an honor. I learned so much… I wouldn’t be half so good at what I do now if it weren’t for her.
  • I’ve gone potluck for a roommate and wound up with a best friend and perhaps the only female I’m truly compatible living with.
  • I’ve watched my best friends settle down in Birmingham while I frolicked around Mobile and now Auburn. Nothing wrong with these places, I just miss my girls.
  • I found that I really can write a novel. And it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.
  • God has taught me more about patience than I could have ever guessed I needed to learn. Long-term planning is something I plan to do sometime in the long term. I have learned to be satisfied with what I have, right now.
  • I have perfected the art of procrastination. I am actually writing this post one week prior to my birthday, which sounds like the opposite of procrastination, I know, but what’s really going on is I’m putting off writing on my novel, which needs to happen. Soon.
  • I still have two of my wisdom teeth.
  • I have read Pride and Prejudice at least four times in the last six years. I can’t seem to get enough of it! Same with the entire Harry Potter series. I’ve read them all at least four times each… most of them five or six times. I’m trying to branch out and read something new this month. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
  • I’ve been a member of three churches, none of which I currently attend on a regular basis. Gotta get on that.
  • I have become an avid and successful online apparel shopper. I thought I hatedshopping! Nope, I enjoy browsing online. I just don’t enjoy browsing in a store. With other people. And with salespeople. Ew.
  • I have been to Disney World five times. Never enjoyed it more than I did when I went as an adult.
  • I’ve had twenty-five birthdays and the ones that I remember most are the ones where I acted like a jerk. Once, when I turned four, I pouted and sulked when the party was coming to a close and I wanted to keep playing with my cousin. And when I turned twenty, I spent the morning with my fiance in Mobile and drove four hours home to spend the evening with my family and I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I specifically recall taking a perfectly good book (well, it actually was a terrible book) and ripping out each page and stomping around my bedroom in circles and making a huge mess. I think I was a crazy person for the afternoon.
  • I’ve filed taxes like, ten times.
  • One of my front two teeth is fake, as a result of abrupt contact with a glass storm door. I don’t recommend running through a doorway unless you know there isn’t a sheet of glass between you and your destination.
  • I have never once met anyone more famous than Miss America (Heather Whitestone), nor have I seen Dave Matthews in concert, despite numerous attempts.
  • I was once an obsessive fan of the band of brothers, Hanson. Yes, it’s true. And no, I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I could continue, but I think that just about sums up the first quarter century I’ve been on this planet. What’s in store for the next? I can’t think of anything special that happens when a person turns 26… I suppose most major milestones in a person’s life have already passed by this point. But certainly, with that list of accomplishments, I have a lot to look forward to, right?

I have a question, and I’m going to use this opportunity to test my blogging skills by adding a poll. Please keep in mind this is definitely a test so if it looks wonky, please forgive. But the question is one that I’m curious about, so please let me know what you think.

What sort of Main Character do You Prefer to Read About?

Here I am at a coffee house in Auburn, Alabama hoping for the creative juices to hit me. This place has it all – Frank Sinatra music, coffee (obviously), free wireless, and (sort of) comfy sofas. I am waiting for that JK Rowling-like inspiration to flow from my fingertips to the screen. So far, I’m fairly certain I haven’t tapped into her genius. Yet.

What I have done is a fair amount of work… phone calls are a lot less stressful in this public sort of environment, as is staying “on task” with my emails. I feel a lot more guilty about playing instead of working when I’m in my pajamas. However, sometimes I wish Facebook were only available for perusal during the hours of 7-9pm. That would make me a much more productive person. I am just fascinated by people’s status updates. Seriously, almost everyone I know writes fascinating status updates. Full of links and wit and the occasional controversial statement. I have a hard time staying away, even when I’m supposed to be concentrating on my emails. People, quit giving me so much reason to stall!! I need to focus!

Anyway (and yes, I realize how unfocused this sounds), I’d like to know how one becomes a “self-starter.” I used to describe myself this way in job interviews, but I’ve come to find that I was only a “self-starter” when I had someone else starting me. So I guess that doesn’t exactly count, right? I’ve managed to start up and continue posting on this little blog, basically of my own desire and motivation, but this may be the most ambitious thing I’ve started without anyone else prodding me to do it.

So (and Dad, I expect you’ll have some fancy links for me, or at the very least another set of audio CDs…), does anyway have any advice? Should I make lists or set goals (yes, Dad, I know the answer to that question)? Should I plan my day by the half-hour like I used to? Should I just be satisfied with the level of self-startedness I currently possess and do the best I can with it?

I’m coming down off of my coffee-high now so I’m quickly beginning to care less and less about doing anything but listening to Frank croon and chilling out in this mellow environment. This is better than working in an office… it certainly smells better in here than any office I’ve ever worked in… and no one cares if I play on FB… Or text my friends for hours… or whether I’m a self-starter or not… just as long as I buy something every few hours or so!

So it has come to my attention that devoting an entire post to my Friend-at-Large may have been slightly rude considering all of the lovely friends that I have and love. So, for them (in alphabetical order, of course):

  • Dear Friend: The perfect roommate. Seriously, she still lets me borrow her clothes. And to think, we could have easily been set up to live with someone entirely different based solely on the whim of the BSC housing director. I forgive her for not loving TV the way I love it, even though on occasion it makes talking to her difficult as she never gets my allusions and often makes fun of my obsession. But still, she’s pretty awesome. I fully expect our children to be best friends one day… they’ll be thrown together a lot (whenever they actually exist, that is). She’s always there to give me good advice and listen when I need to complain. Thanks for everything, DF!
  • Fabulous Friend: Now this lovely woman is sort of my hero. She puts herself out there and takes chances like no one else I know. She’s very inspiring! Not to mention great to talk to about all sorts of dense and difficult subjects. Being friends with this philosophy major really broadened the topics of conversation normally had by underclass-undergrads. I’m pretty sure I’m smarter for knowing her. And what makes her a great friend is that even while she lived a long way away undergoing a most grueling course of post-graduate studies, she still managed to stay in touch and stay an excellent friend. Love to ya, Fab!
  • Funky Friend: It always makes me feel better to talk to Funky Friend. She is very real, and I appreciate that about her. She doesn’t try to hide her insecurities or frustrations with life – a relief to those of us who feel as if we have to ‘fake it’ just to get by. She doesn’t have it all figured out, but no one really does…and don’t we all benefit from knowing we’re not alone? And it goes without saying that Funky Friend has got an eclectic style that I really love. If I had oodles of money, I’d let her pick out all of my clothes and decorate my home. She’s very cool, and has a range of experience that makes me super jealous. Take me with you next time you travel, Funky!
  • Funny Friend: It would be hard to conceal that Funny Friend is my fellow post-er, Jenny. I worked with Jenny for a couple of years (give or take some months) and had never laughed so hard in my life than the days that we lunched together. Even the most potentially uninteresting story came to life when she told it. She and I have incredibly similar senses of humor and surprisingly similar work ethic, so it should be no shock that we often sent witty emails back and forth to one another during the work day. I’m pretty sure our co-workers knew what was up when we stifle our laughter every five minutes or so. I definitely miss that aspect of office-life… it got me through the day. Here’s to you, Jen!
  • Sista Friend: My darling little sister, you know, the smart, adorable one who only mere months ago was clueless about the future and adulthood but now seems to have the next five years of her life perfectly outlined. Despite my obvious jealousy for her togetherness, Sista makes for an excellent friend. She is part psychoanalyst, part motivational speaker and has gotten me started on numerous projects that would have languished into oblivion had it not been for her. Plus, who else but a sister would come and help me clean and organize my house once a year? I don’t know what I’d do without my own personal Mary Poppins! Hugs and Kisses, Sis!

And of course, Hubby, Mom and Dad, you know I love you, too 🙂 Thanks to all of my friends and family… you make life way more interesting and far more worth living. XOXOX!

I can think of nothing good that can come from cooking dinner at 3:45 pm and eating at 4:30. It means one of two things:

  1. My husband and I have aged 60 years overnight, which explains his propensity for naps and mine for cats.
  2. I’m hesitant to say the other possibility because, obviously, it’s likely the truth. I had nothing better to do.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I had plenty to do. Work has slowed down for me significantly as the season is ending (a new one begins in about two weeks, yay!) so that’s not really what I’m avoiding. I did some housework today (although not exactly the tremendous amount of work that needed to be done), so I wasn’t shirking that responsibility either.

No, mostly I think I was avoiding my book. Part of me is more committed to being published than ever, knowing that what I’ve written is interesting, wholesome, fun, and unique. At least, I hope it’s unique. My main character’s name is Darcie. Her ‘love interest’ is named Brendan. Last night I began reading another young adult book who’s main character is named D’Arcy and who is dating a guy named Brendan. That is just freakily coincidental.

Anyway, I can’t exactly figure out what’s stopping me from making progress. I’ve given myself a deadline of August to have my rewrites complete, but at this rate it will be August 2011.

I can’t think of anything I need exactly to get me started again… I’m too much of a pansy to post the first chapter here for general critique. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, but I know that if I don’t stop avoiding it soon, I’m going to turn even more gray than I already am and begin going to bed at 7. And there is the distinct possibility that I could become crazier about cats than some people already consider me. This is a worrisome trend!

I’ve neglected to post much this week as it’s been a sort of complicated one. I started off my week solidly with some excellent appointments and some good sales. After Monday, however, I wasn’t able to schedule a single appointment. I called and called, left voicemails, emails and even stopped by a few places without having much luck at all even speaking with a buyer. I was frustrated, to say the least. However, in a completely unexpected twist, I got several orders fully independent of any appointments. It’s not completely oxymoronic, but stick with me, you’ll see why it fits.

I had two friends share with me that they are pregnant and another friend’s wife just gave birth to a little girl. Lots of wonderful, life affirming activity this week. On the other hand, Hubby lost his grandmother this week. She gave him a lot of love over the years and I know he is sad that she’s passed on.

Somehow, though, in the face of this sadness, the funeral and activities surrounding it were some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I saw members of Hubby’s family that I haven’t seen in years and got a chance to hear some wonderful stories that made me laugh so hard my cheeks are actually hurting today. How can a gathering to mourn someone’s death end up being so much fun? I think it’s a testament to the bonds established a long time ago in this fun-loving family. I’m glad I got to be a part of it!

And so, to end my week of oxymorons, I am just about to book a hotel room in NYC with money that I don’t actually have. And paint my toenails. (note: if you’ve ever seen my toenails, you’ll understand why this is an utter oxymoron :))

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