Tag Archives: angst

Seven Quick Takes while I let my child rot in her crib, because it’s naptime darnit!

It’s Friday already?  Shoot!  Let’s see how fast I can do 7 Quick Takes.

1. My husband and I went to our first grown-up Halloween party since college.  Can you guess who we were?  It didn’t show up well in the pic, but I worked very, very hard at giving myself a realistic black eye.  I watched youtube videos and everything.

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2. My toddler is trying to give up naps.  This is the first time in a decade that I have only one kid at home with me, and I was really looking forward to getting all sorts of creative and organizational things done during naptime.  And now she wants to take it all away.  Seriously, does God do these things to us on purpose?  “Hey, were you really looking forward to getting your first consistent break in a decade?  SUCKER!”

3. I know God doesn’t really operate that way.  Still….aaaaurgh!

4. I love Jen’s Conversion Diary blog for so many reasons, but this one really hit me last weekend:  It is such a relief to realize that getting overwhelmed by life and coping by ignoring it is, like, a thing and not just an indicator that I am a bad person.  Case in point:  my daughter’s friend spent the night here last weekend, and when her father came to pick her up he knocked on the wrong door.

We have two doors leading into our house:  one is in the front, facing the road and looking pretty front-door-ish.  This door is broken.  The second door is on the side, past the lean-to that should house our garbage, only pulling the cans in and out is a pain, so we just leave them laying around.  Also, we forget recycling-day all the time, so our recycling can is usually overflowing into multiple cardboard boxes set around it.  The boxes are generally soggy and half-deteriorated.  This door works.

I can’t say I blame the Dad for picking the wrong one.

To unfasten the broken door, I have to unlock it, unchain it, and then pull with all my might until it opens enough that I can wriggle my hand inside and unhook the bungee cords we use to keep the screen door from banging in the wind.  It takes a solid minute, but when you are staring through the glass at someone who is gaping in shock and disbelief at you, it feels much longer.

So anyway this Dad comes, and I should mention that he lives in a mansion that is seriously gorgeous, immaculate, and still somehow very cozy and inviting.  Once I’d unsecured the bungee cords and led him through, stealthily trying to knock off a hornet’s nest in the top corner, he kindly apologizing for coming to the wrong door.  “Yeah, we need to get that fixed,” I said, trying to seem a little less irresponsible, “It was broken when we moved in.”  I should have thought it through before saying this because of course his next question would be:

“How long have you lived here?”

“Uh, six years.”

5. Back to Jen:  I wish I had her ability to come across as charming and eclectic in situations like this.  Unfortunately I’m pretty sure I just seem weird and shiftless.

6.  Here are my children this Halloween:

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A lioness, an elf maiden, a woodland fairy, a pirate, an orange monster (do you know how hard that is to pull off when you don’t know how to sew???) and an adorable clown.

7.  None of these quick takes has anything to do with the purported aim of this blog, but my toddler is not napping.  I don’t see how I can be expected to put thought into stuff under the circumstances..

Unedited ramblings on a Saturday Morning

I am conflicted about this blogging thing.  I’m not sure how committed I am to sticking with it.

The problem is, I really think of myself as a creative writer.  Coming up with works of fiction is what makes me happy, keeps me grounded, and helps me work out what it all means.

But it takes so much work.

I’m more of a re-writer, actually, than a writer.  The first draft is a long, tedious slog for me as I essentially just work out an outline for what I want to do.  It’s inefficient, but it’s the only way I can do it.  Re-writing, though, fills me with confidence and energy.  I am an excellent editor of my own work;  if a passage or a line that I am particularly fond of doesn’t serve the story – poof!  Gone.  It’s my superpower.  It’s the one area in my life where I feel really competent.  I love chiseling away at an idea, finding the perfect way to best present it, delving into characters and discovering how they really work.  I love it!

But it takes so much time.

Time, for the uninitiated, is not something you can find in spades when you have a family.  Well, at least, not if you are an inefficient sort, as I am.

Blogging is a great compromise, a creative outlet that makes less demands time-wise.  Every time I work on a post though, I have a creeping uneasiness that my time would be better spent on other types of writing.  I have a fantastic idea for a screenplay (believe me, I know how stupid that sounds!) that I haven’t begun work on because I’ve been using my snippets of spare time to prepare stuff for this blog.

I think it comes down to this:  what does God want from the need to write He has given me?  Creative writing is what I am best at, and it’s what I most enjoy…..but it just sits around my computer once it’s done.  I don’t “do” anything with it, partly because I don’t have the time and partly because I am sensitive to criticism.

If I write a short story in the empty woods, does it make a sound?

Am I meant to make a sound?  I mention not having a barbaric yelp in my first post, but that wasn’t entirely true.  I think I do have one, I just don’t know if it’s meant to be heard.  Maybe I’m meant to slave over something I love without accomplishing anything, like the father with his piano in The Tree of Life.  Devotion without mastery is something powerful, I think, in the eyes of our children.  And the value of things that are never fully realized in this world is a theme that tends to run through just about everything I write.  It’s clearly something carved deeply in my heart.

So.  I don’t know.  There are some things I’m interested in exploring (like why I like the Song of Ice and Fire books so much, even though the racy parts are so shocking I never recommend them to Christian friends) and that I think are worth some time and effort.  Maybe I’ll keep this up, at least sporadically.  Maybe it doesn’t matter, maybe this is the empty woods, too.  It may be that there is where I’m meant to stay.