C’est la vie

Hello my friends. How are you? My life is busy, as I know yours is for you. I’ve got quite a bit going on these days, but won’t bother you with details. The busier I get, the more obsessed I get about time. I need more time. There’s not enough time. Why won’t time slow down? I want to freeze this moment or that one. Am I spending my time doing what I want? Am I spending enough quality time with my family? Why can’t I manage my time better? Time, time, time. I am in awe of its mysteries and fearful of its speed.

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Have you all seen the latest Voices column at The HerStories Project? I finally made my debut as the assistant editor! If you haven’t read “Gifts From My Grandmother,” by Justine Uhlenbrock, you can click here to do so – but please come back to finish reading this post. I must tell you this gig is much harder than I’d anticipated. Picking the first essay was so, so hard. There are amazing writers out there in our blogging world. As a writer who’s actively submitting, it’s humbling to be in a position to read the work of fellow writers. In fact, I suspect it may be contributing to my own writing malaise. The writers who’ve submitted to The HerStories Project pour their hearts out onto the page and their courage is intimidating for me. And having to choose sucks – it’s soul crushing to have to deliver bad news. I am thrilled for the writers who will get spotlighted on the HSP site. If you have a story to tell, I urge you to consider submitting. Click here for more information.

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Post Script: Yesterday, we shared a new essay written by Dana Schwartz, “Parting Words: Reading My Mother’s Eulogy.” Oh my goodness, it’s beautifully heartbreaking.

I’m getting excited for November 3rd! That’s the publication day for Mothering Through the Darkness. Yay! Have you ordered your copy yet? In addition to the link on my side bar, you can also order the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The week of November 2nd there will be a big social media push for the book. My apologies in advance. This is huge for me for several reasons. As assistant editor at the HSP (for the record I contributed nothing to the editing of the book) it’s my job to help get the word out. I love the book and believe its message is very important. Added bonus, the essays in the collection are wonderful. Finally, I’m in it, and thrilled! I’m a published author! Finally!!!!

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Post Script: Exciting news, Amazon sold out of the book – before publications day. Not to worry, Amazon is getting more. If you can’t wait, you can order form Barnes and Noble.

As I wrote this post I was in the car traveling home from a wedding in Charleston, SC. The wedding was lovely. The venue was a centuries-old historic plantation house, its grounds covered with live oaks that were draped with Spanish moss. Very romantic. The bride and groom were stunning – young, gorgeous, happy, in love. We got to see old friends, and revel in the celebration of marriage and family. And yet, two aspects of the wedding made me a bit melancholy. As I watched the couple’s family gather around for the requisite family photo, I felt a mixture of envy and sadness at the sheer number of people in the photo (and not everyone was there). I turned to R. and confessed that I felt sorry for our children. They will never have a big family photo. With simple math and factoring in the precarious nature of fate, I can fairly predict that some of our family will not be around when my children get married. R. is an only child, and now so am I, with no nieces and nephews. My children do not have first cousins. I only have one cousin I see on a regular basis. There will be no big Smith Family Photo for my children.

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Don’t worry, I didn’t spend the rest of the wedding wallowing in self-pity. I put on my big girl panties and shook it off. Plus, my feet hurt so badly (new shoes, high heels) that I tended to obsess more about the pain I felt than anything else.

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The other thought that kept popping in my head was that we were the old people at the wedding. A few months ago I read an essay written by my friend Dana (of Kiss My List) that she wrote for Club Mid – “9 Things I Notice now that I’m the middle-Aged Wedding Guest.” So much of what Dana wrote about resonated for me that night. I hate to age myself before my time, because I’m only in my mid-forties. Still, I didn’t dance one dance! Even with my sore feet, I could have boogied a little bit, but I didn’t. Everyone on the dance floor looked so young and hip, and I wasn’t feeling it. In fact, we left early. Honestly I don’t believe I’ve ever left a wedding early. I fear I’ve entered a new phase of life.

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I swear, my wedding was just yesterday.

We missed the post-wedding brunch the following day as well. Hunter needed help with an essay for English and R. promised him a porch-tailgate party for the Talladega race. Hunter also had a Halloween party to attend. I was worried about all the chores I’d have to do because we’d been gone for (only!) two days. New Phase.

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My birthday was a few weeks ago, and this year I chose to celebrate it quietly. I declined R’s offer to have southern boil for our friends, which we’ve done for the last few Allie birthdays. I’m not sure why I didn’t have the party, other than I just didn’t want to. Instead R. cooked the most amazing meal for me – prompting me to post my first foodie picture ever on Instagram. I was treated to a number lunches by close friends, and I savored the one-on-one time I got to have with each of them, just catching up. I wish I’d captured the moments with photos, so I could share them here, but I did not. See? I’m off my game these days. And I’m learning to be okay with that.

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I’ve had a nagging issue that has been “nitpicking” at my brain (thank you Tamara – I totally stole that term from her), and quite honestly, this “thing” is also hurting my heart. I’m trying very hard to let it go, I am. I swear I am, but it’s hard. So hard. I know that eventually, as always, time will wear the nitpicking down and hopefully heal my heart. I’m afraid that writing about what’s nitpicking me will add fuel to a fire I desperately need to die out. I need to grow up and realize that having the last word is not always necessary and that the silence of others speaks volumes. I must let go of the things that I cannot change. I must set free those who do not love me. But for now, my head hurts from the thinking.

Halloween is next week, and we are not ready. Audrey’s changed her mind more than a few times about what she wants to be. I believe she’s trying to coordinate with a friend, and they haven’t quite made up their minds. Camden keeps telling his Karate instructor that he’s going to be Jack the Ripper. Um, no, no he’s not. And how in the world does he know who Jack the Ripper is? And seriously? NO! It’s crunch time, so he’d better make up his mind pretty darn quick. Bear and Hunter are skipping it all this year, which is appropriate I guess, given their age. It’s weird for me. I still remember their first Halloween.

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And the first year I took them trick-or-treating:

Halloween 2002

What really sticks in my mind about that year is how Barrett freaked out whenever kids came to our door in costume. I took them out tick-or-treating in a stroller and at one house a mother answered the door dressed as a witch – and he really lost it. That’s when the alarm bells started ringing. The autism alarm.

So the point of this post? Truly not sure, other than to say I miss you. I miss writing. And I am processing this phase of my life where I seem to have so little control over events, my thoughts, aging, my children’s schedule, and the swift passage of time. It makes me sad – and curiously, happy. Life is good. A new job, a book, thriving children, time alone with my guy! The time thing and the nitpicking, it’s just part of the deal. C’est La Vie.

BlogHopButton[1]And at the last minute, I decided to try and link up with my buds at FTSF. So in 1000 years, I’m guess that time will still be a great, beautiful and frustrating mystery for those crazy momma’s in 3015 to try and manage. Good luck future sisters! And if you’re not a FTSF member, you’re really confused right now. Sorry.

What’s your good news? What’s your bad news? Do you experience nitpicking of the brain? Do you have a cure? What are your Halloween plans? Do you still have birthday parties for yourself, if it’s not a milestone year? Do you still dance at weddings?

20 thoughts on “C’est la vie”

  1. Aw, so much great stuff happening in your life right now and huge congrats on the book and more. By the way, I also came to the realization at a wedding last year that we, too, are the middle-aged couple at the wedding now, even though our own wedding felt like it was just yesterday. Just not sure where the time goes at all now!

  2. I’d love to hear more about the brain nitpicking cure! For me, it’s just time. Things bother me less and less.
    I think at least three times in the last two weeks, I put my foot in my mouth and said dumb things. That nitpicks!
    Also, weddings. I think I’m between young and middle-aged which is just ODD.

  3. I’m so glad you linked up, and I feel like we just caught up over coffee – great post! Thank you for the shout out too.

    I have trouble letting things go, so I can imagine how the nitpicking is weighing on you.

    Congrats on the book! I can say I knew you when. :)

  4. I hope that you figure your way around whatever it is that’s nitpicking at you. And yes – I’m pretty sure that for as long as there are parents, there will be time-management issues and the desire to split yourself in half to achieve all the things which need doing by yesterday :)

  5. Hey Gorgeous. I’m sorry about whatever’s nitpicking your brain and I, too, am in the “leave the wedding early” phase. I don’t really even bother with high heels any longer so can’t actually blame them. And YAY the book! WHOOOOT! So so excited. I didn’t realize they’d sold out on Amazon. Jack the Ripper? For real? Oh jeez…

  6. I’m tired reading how busy you are!!! But I love that you are trying to find balance and that although you might miss blogging you are missing it for the right reasons.

  7. Congrats on everything, Allie. Your life is full. I congratulate you on writing this and posting it on the Thursday. Whew. That’s an achievement in itself says she who is falling back on a Halloween post of long ago … Love that the book is sold out on Amazon.

  8. “And if you’re not a FTSF member, you’re really confused right now. Sorry.” *laughing*

    Seems like there’s a lot going on in your life, but I seem to see some serenity underneath it all. A smidge of wisdom, a dash of kindness and understanding. Your kids are going more and more into the world, and your family is adapting to the new world.

    And you’ll be dancing again at weddings, in a lot less than a 1000 years from now. (see what I did there!)

    XOXOXOXO

  9. Hi Allie. So proud to hear about the published author title!! Congrats on so many levels! Can’t wait to read your essay. The ‘nitpicking’ never goes away. There will always be something that weighs on your heart and mind. It’s how you are wired. I can totally relate. Have a great Thanksgiving! Miss all of you!

    Uncle Mark

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