Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So, Thanks, I Guess (Anne)

29 days ago, a friend pressured me into trying National Novel Writing Month. Technically, I don't fit in their parameters, because most of the writers focus on works of fiction, and I can't imagine anything more ridiculous than my own life.
So I wrote a memoir.
50,000 words of a memoir. Most of which I will likely hack to pieces before sending it out to publishers in anticipation of many rejection letters.
(Sidebar: I think all of the dating rejection has completely prepared me for a life as a writer. How can rejection by a stranger be worse than rejection by someone I love? But I digress.)
The most recent boy to bail on me told me that what attracted me to him the most was my writing. He looooooooved reading my writing. He encouraged me to write a book, too, but I was too wrapped up in him and other summer pursuits to really take it seriously.
So when my friend challenged me to write an entire book in November, it was simply germination for a seed that had already been planted.
So to this boy who bailed on me exactly four months ago this week: thanks. Thanks for believing in me enough to encourage me to write a book. I never would have seriously considered it, had you not repeatedly told me you thought a book of mine would be great.
Oh, and thanks for being a chapter.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Do I want to be the Pot or the Kettle? (Stella)

I am dating a new man. Yea!! right? Um, no. I stopped getting excited about new relationships years ago. Now I approach them like I'm walking up quietly on a venomous snake that will snap my neck in two if I startle it. Somehow in my head I'll find my husband when I can get my arms around the scary snake before he notices I'm there. Unfortunately, for me that's what relationships have become. Everyone says - Have fun! Enjoy it! I laugh a dry, sarcastic laugh and say uh-huh. To my sweet married friends who didn't date past the age of 23 and have absolutely no idea the trauma of adult dating I tell them - you go and have 8 miscarriages and then tell me you're excited when you get pregnant again. A rather gruesome analogy but it gets my point across.

So this new fellow...he's great. Not just great, amazing. A 'real' grownup with a career, a home, and a life prepared to provide for a family. He is marriage minded and makes it very clear that I am being evaluated for future wifehood. That makes him sound methodical and cunning but he's quite the opposite. Despite being scarred by a painful divorce he is open and honest with his feelings, his fears, and his hopes. He treats me like a princess and trips over himself to take care of me. He's the kind of guy I've waited decades for. I'm having a wonderful time and feeling all those warm fuzzy feelings and yet...

I'm freaking out.

Why? Because THIS ONE is different. It feels totally different - as if it has real possibility. This one is all the things the others were not and this one just might be it. Funnily, I find myself (inside anyway) acting just like the men from my past who were so happy to be in a relationship until it turned serious and then they were clawing to get away. I absolutely refuse to let fear ruin my future or my possibilities so I charge ahead and tell "the jerk" (my special name for satan) to jump in a ditch 'cause I'm not listening!

That said I find it hysterical that I find myself (through honest means of heart shattering experiences) acting just like those men I've dated before who let their fears and insecurities make their decisions for them. I hate that and I absolutely refuse to be that person but it's interesting none the less that these feelings are so powerful.

The future is not yet decided and we're certainly not at a point of making any announcements but I thought I would throw out these thoughts and remind myself of my favorite Book of Mormon verse:

Moroni 7: 12 - Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

In honor of my future family I say - If the jerk can't find a ditch I have a few other suggestions...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gratitude and Holidays (Anne)

I think we mention the importance of gratitude on a fairly regular basis here on the ol' blog, but it's worth another mention today.

The talks in my ward today were all about gratitude and how important it is to be grateful. Every November over on my non-pen-named blog, I write a daily post of what I'm grateful for each day. Some days the posts are poignant realizations, some days the gratitude is perfunctory. But I do try to be grateful.

The holiday trifecta is fast approaching--the trifecta that reminds me over and over that I am alone. Christmas, New Years, and Valentine's Day. It is so easy for me to get bogged down in what I don't have (a spouse, heck--I'd settle for a mere date) that I fail to recognize what I do have: a truly wonderful life.

I'm really hoping that all of us who turn to this blog for some kind of comfort, validation, or support will remember that in the coming months, we are all blessed. Sometimes we are blessed with our jobs. Sometimes we are blessed with our families. Sometimes we are blessed as we serve others. We all can be grateful for at least one thing a day.

Focus on those blessings throughout this holiday season, and recognize God's hand in your life. I know the holidays can be hard--and I'm not saying I won't have some dark days myself--but keeping an eye toward what God HAS given me, instead of focusing on the one teensy-weensy thing He hasn't might help me be a little less despondent. I hope it helps you too.