Things I’ve been doing that are paying off:
- Scheduling time to write. Every morning for the last month or so, the first thing I’ve done when I start writing is blog. I decided to do it that way to clear the cobwebs, purge myself of any subconscious issues, and empty myself of the run-off, so that when I’m ready to really write, I get only the good stuff. Now I’ve reached a stage where I can tackle fiction-writing straight from the get-go, and it feels fluid and natural.
- Practicing guitar and singing. Mistress Mom Fact #958: I used to front a band called Ruben’s Daughter. It was a stereotypical band experience: I dated the guitarist; we had a mad and passionate affair that can only be described as winding; then when things stalled with our band, he upped and left for Cali and later died of a drug overdose. It’s one of the stages of my past that is so different from my present experience, a slight tinge of disbelief coats my tongue whenever I talk about it. Anyway, I used to have a kick-ass singing voice, and lately I’ve been learning guitar and trying to pick up the pieces of my smoke-stricken voice. And just when all this is happening, the band’s only fan one of our fans found me on Facebook and messaged me. “I know I’m really late on this one, but have you heard of Kings of Leon?” she asked. “I swear, the second I listened to their album, I thought of you and Ruben’s Daughter.” I’m thinking about putting away funds to record a few of our old tracks and maybe even pen a couple new ones, even though truth told, I read some of my old lyrics and physically shuddered. God, I was young then! [Says the 25-year old.]
- Job hunt. The thing about finding a telecommuting job is that not only are they hard to come by, but finding a decently paying one is crazy-difficult. I mean, not only are there a zillion and one people applying to the same position, but really, what’s to stop someone from just not paying you? Luckily, I’ve found a handful of places that are the real-deal and *enter trumpet* I’ve had my first big cumulative pay day. Here’s hoping this is steady and reliable work, and that the things that Rob has in the works (that have been paying off already!) continue to do well, too.
- Exercising. Remember when I said that I wanted to re-sculpt my body, and that I was willing to try stuffing my face in order to achieve that end? Yeah, that wasn’t such a great idea. My gut and ass ballooned, and my boobs didn’t. (Boo! Yay! Boo!) The really awesome thing about working out, though? It put me back in touch with my body, which was really hard for this yoga aficionado after giving birth. Something about running three miles in the blazing tropical sun makes me feel like G.I. Jane, though, and I gotta admit, going all boot-camp on my own ass fulfills a long-held fantasy of mine.
- Keeping in touch with my parents and my in-laws. I’ve had a really rocky relationship with my folks, but no matter what, they’ve supported me. They’ve never questioned my decisions and have always respected me as an individual, and I’m getting to think that it was my judgmental mentality that really fucked things up in the first place. Now that I’ve gotten to my judgment-free happy place, all of that has lifted, and oh-em-gee, I’d forgotten how funny and wonderful my folks are. Rob’s parents are a different bag altogether, which I hear is the norm when learning to deal with (might as well be) in-laws. I keep in touch with his mom’s side of the family via Facebook and email his mom frequently. There’s so much about Rob that can be explained by talking to his mom, and I love that just as much as I’m perplexed by it. His dad and I have always had a really great relationship, and I love Rob’s little sisters (half-sisters, via his pops) like my own. Thinking about all of this gives me the warm and fuzzies.
- Keeping in touch with my friends. I have a lot of friends. Got that? Not acquaintances. Not people I only know via social networking sites. Not friends of convenience. Actual friends. The kind that will bail me out of jail at 2 a.m. even though they have to get up for work in two hours and their kid has the chicken pox and holy fuck, what was I doing getting into a fight with a group of thuggettes on the train anyway? My friends pretty much span the whole spectrum of varied and awesome. They are corporate lawyers and slam poets, bartenders and military moms, party-hoppers and fashionistas, etc., and holy crackwhore, it is hard keeping up with what’s going on in all of their lives. Somehow, though, I’ve managed to do it, and the feelings of being immensely adored by such amazing individuals and being able to immensely adore them are sometimes more than I can stand.
- Bonding with my extended family. Something happened when I became a mom. All of a sudden, I felt an incredible urge to connect with everyone who might have a chromosome or two in common with me. It’s been a hard-won and completely worthwhile experience, with lots of set-backs and drama thrown in for good measure, and I recently exchanged emails with folks on my mom’s side and had a coffee-cum-martini-fest with a few cousins on my dad’s side that confirms my suspicions: awesome runs in my family.
- Bonding with my brother. He and I joke that he’s my first kid. After all, if you ask him who he was raised by, he inevitably answers with my name – even though I’m only five years older than him. Watching him make the same mistakes that I made was really tough for me. Every time he fell down, I felt the overwhelming inclination to run to his side, coo at him and dust off his knees. But I caught myself. Stayed on the sidelines. Watched him pick himself up, dust himself off, learn better for the next time around. It was heart-wrenching and completely frustrating, but now that I’ve found my cool, I’m dealing a lot better with it. We understand each other in a way that is so amazing, it compels me to make sure Riley has multiple siblings because surely this kind of love can only grow exponentially with size.
- Making it work with Rob. There are times when I’m sure things just can’t work out between us, and then something happens to reaffirm my belief in Rob and our relationship. It’s not just the fact that we have a baby together; truthfully, Riley in and of himself doesn’t justify staying with Rob. It’s the random texts to tell me about something only I would understand. It’s texting me little poems about how much he misses me. It’s emails with obscure music videos and being able to vibe about the most seemingly unimportant tangents. It’s taking the time and energy to work through our misunderstandings (and excusing my short fuse when I ultimately get frustrated and angry). We come from such different lives and experiences. We see things in such different ways. We talk such different languages. And with our well-meaning parents whispering in our ears, it’s hard to avoid getting suckered by a Jedi mind trick. And yet, somehow, in each other we find home. Fuck, we’re lucky.
- Being a mom. I watched Riley chase our housekeeper as his nanny held his hands and he kicked his feet with the power of a tiny stallion. Later that evening, as he practiced standing on the couch, he bent down to kiss me, then got up again, then bent down to kiss me again, again and again, making me absolutely surge electric with all that is good in the world. Then he repeated the same action, except instead of kissing me, he held his face in a way that suggested, “Mommy, my turn! Kiss me!” And of course I did. Again and again and again. Eight months old, and his love fills me with an intensity I never thought possible.
Rereading this list gives me the feeling of being stuffed by a really delicious holiday meal. Pure wonder how all of it is possible! *content sigh* It’s 12:45 a.m. Now off to edit fiction…