Girl School for Grownups

Like having a big sister, but better because I can't boss you around!

Taking Action

Getting ready to get ready is how my husband likes to describe my approach to life. It’s said with kindness and there is evidence to support his statement.┬áBut I don’t want to live like that. It certainly isn’t life-giving to have all sorts of ideas that never come to fruition. And I want to move towards life, not away from it.

Taking action, just for today, means typing some words. Even if the words aren’t exactly right. Even if my mind tells me that what I say isn’t important. There’s some truth to both thoughts. Will the words ever be exactly right? Nope. Is what I say important? Well, I suppose the question to ask is “important to whom?” (Is the right word there “who?” And should that question mark be inside or outside the quotation marks? I honestly don’t know and those kinds of questions can be the ones that cause me to abandon typing altogether.)

So is what i say important? In many ways the answer is no. I am but one person among many, and there are millions of people who are more eloquent and knowledgable than I am. But as a writer, the answer is emphatically YES. What I say is important because in saying it I improve the quality of my life. That’s enough to continue. But even beyond that, there’s the possibility that what I say can reach another person. And that makes it important too.

If you are still reading, I would appreciate it if you would subscribe to this blog. I think there’s a way to subscribe via email on the site. If you subscribe you will be among the first to read about stuff like depression and makeup and recovery and building a house and life. And my promise to you is that I will continue to write. Because my words matter. And because taking action matters.

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What gets in the way

So I guess I love my blog so much that I can’t bring myself to write in it. As I emerge from the clouds of grief, writing becomes more possible. But this morning as I was getting ready I found there are all sorts of thoughts that get in the way, such as:

  • I could write about the skincare line I love! (But it’s expensive and that would be wrong to write about something that’s expensive.)
  • I could write about being an empty-nester for four days now. (But what do I know?)
  • Perhaps I could write on the impact gaining 10 pounds has on me. (But nobody cares about that.)

A few months back I was listening to Rob Lowe on NPR. I’ve always assumed he was an idiot, because look at him! He can’t possible be smart AND that beautiful, right? Well, I was wrong about this. He was talking about writing a book and said this very important thought, “Everyone can write, because nobody else can tell your unique story.”

I started a blog in 2005 while training for the Women’s Tri Fitness competition, and wrote in it for 4 years. Then my parents life fell apart and I wrote less and less, mainly because I couldn’t care enough to write about fitness when there were BIG UNSOLVABLE PROBLEMS that I was dealing with.┬áToday I’m gathering up the courage to return to writing once again. It’s been 8 months since my dad died and I can tell that the sadness is easing. Yesterday I went to the county office to get another death certificate, and doing that didn’t take me out emotionally. This is a very good thing.

With nervous butterflies in my tummy, I press Publish.

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From the heart

When I was growing up, I desperately wanted a big brother. The thought was that he could introduce me to his cute friends and I could date them! But do you know what I could have really used? A big sister. But maybe not an actual real big sister, because real people have their own real people issues. But an idealized big sister who could gently guide me through all the twists and turns of growing up, and could help me learn from her mistakes. Someone whose feedback I could trust and who would encourage me when life felt oh-so-tough, as it often does.

As a newly married girl, I would joke with my husband, saying “oh, they teach you this stuff in girl school and that’s why you don’t know it!” (Tim grew up in a household with no sisters, so there are lots of girl things that were new to him.) This line could come up when I was refolding napkins before having people over for dinner, or … oh, I can’t remember other instances, but it’s been part of our lexicon for years now.

This blog is a combination of these two ideas. My hope is that Girl School for Grownups will be a source of enlightenment and encouragement, where no topic is off limits. The subjects will range from serious (I’ve got some real life experience with depression and can share strategies that have worked for me) to silly (why having a collection is so much fun) and all points in between (let’s talk desert island beauty products!).

But here’s my big concern: what if this comes across like I’m a big know-it-all? So from the heart, please know that I want to share what I’ve learned so that your life can be better. And a valuable lesson that I keep re-learning is that what other people think of me is none of my business. So perhaps this will seem like shameless self-promotion to some. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take in order to reach those for whom this works.

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