Jan 052011

(I am in loooooove with this illustration from Jenny at Geek in Heels — look for it popping up all over my Internet accounts in coming days!)

I have been juggling various ailments for the past 6 weeks. Sad to drop out of #reverb10 halfway through, and even sadder to miss my dear readers for so long. Hope to play at least a bit of catch-up in the near future….

Meanwhile, just wanted to drop in and wish you joy, love, and lots of memorable adventures in 2011.

Dec 132010

Playing a little catch-up on the #reverb10. A few of these questions just didn’t resonate with me, plus I’ve been a bit sickly and uninspired….

Day 10: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Don’t know about my wisEST, but here are a pair of wise decisions from my past year:

1. I’ve been planning for years to write a book about shopping. I have dozens of pages of notes, but the actual writing never happens. This year, I decided to start a separate blog on the topic as a way to force myself to write, even if just a couple of paragraphs at a time.

2. I began setting up the new blog, planned my first posts, handed out a few hundred business cards with its address, only to discover that my excitement over the project was more than equalled by my stress at never being able to get to it. So I set it aside, and the stress went away. Am finishing up a few other pressing projects first (and getting back into the swing of writing via #reverb10), and can’t wait to move forward with passion in 2011.

Day 11: What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011?

Um … forced lists like this? I get that it’s 2011, but something about the need for ELEVEN things rubs me the wrong way. So let’s say “gnawing guilt over things not done” and echo The Pale Wisconsinite on “monkey attacks.” Better two I can feel great about than a halfhearted eleven….

Day 12: This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body?

For the past few years, my body and I have been at war. It doesn’t encourage many moments of peaceful coexistence. But I recently read a book on energy within the body, which had an exercise that involved feeling the flow of energy in your hands. Can you close your eyes, focus on your hands, and feel the energy circulating through them? I can. It helps me relax in those times when my brain won’t slow down.

Day 13: Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

See above on my new blog and book. Next step: Just start writing.

Hope you’ll all join me over at Consuming Obsessions starting sometime next month!

Dec 102010

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up.

Once upon a time, I was a lawyer. (And a damn good one — law review, appellate clerkship, office on the 42nd floor of a Manhattan skyscraper. The whole nine yards.) Now I don’t work at all.

Once upon a time, I traveled the world. Sometimes for years at a time. Now I’m often too exhausted to go out for pizza.

Once upon a time, I offered encouragement, support, food, and gifts to family and friends. Now it’s rare that I manage a yearly birthday card.

Once upon a time, I was active in my faith, in volunteer work, in creative hobbies. Now I’m lucky to get online and write a blog post.

When life changes so dramatically, it’s easy to fall into existential crisis. What can I offer the world when all I can offer is … my existence?

(photo by Punam Bean)

A classmate once called me “the kind of person who holds doors open for people.”  A stereotypical law school alpha male, he didn’t necessarily mean it as a compliment.  But I choose to take it as one; I like being “the kind of person” who makes other people’s lives fractionally easier as we go about our days.

At the same time, I never expect anything from anyone else. When other people offer some small kindness, it’s always a surprise. That touch of surprise means I can thank them and really mean it. The appreciation shines through, and they go about their day feeling better about themselves for having helped.

An Israeli ice cream vendor once told me “You have a … sparkle … And when I look at you, it makes me sparkle too.” The memory is bittersweet because fatigue has dimmed the sparkle. But I still feel it, glimmering, passing from person to person when I smile.

And there you have it: a kind gesture, a thank you, a smile.


On days when I measure myself against the world, it doesn’t feel like much.

But it is something.

It is my something.

Dec 082010

[Sorry, bit rambly. I’m a sickie tonight….]

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Recently, while researching Chinese medicine, I came across a symptom called “no desire to speak.” It stopped me in my tracks. I have felt that way most of the time for the past several years. I’ve always been shy, but these days communication takes so much more energy than I have to give.

The silence isn’t just verbal — I have trouble with email and letters too. Also Twitter, Facebook updates, and even this blog. Countless times I have clicked over to the blogs I follow to leave a comment (probably even your blog) but closed the window because it all just seemed too hard.

In some ways, my Internet communities have been a lifesaver for me during this time. I can log on a few minutes at a time, whenever I have a burst of energy or inspiration. I can read, digest, and then leave a sentence or two in response. But as much as I rely on these online worlds for socialization and support, and as much as I truly care about the people whose lives I follow, online friendships offer a “wide but shallow” kind of community. Very different from the people who know you deeply, with all your strengths and weaknesses, your history and quirks. So while I love my online community and couldn’t live without them, I vow to work to reconnect with real-world friends in earnest throughout 2011.

Dec 082010

Glad to see I’m not the only one behind on #reverb10. I love this opportunity to gain back a little blogging mojo, but apparently old procrastination habits die hard…. Anyway, on to Day 6:

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

These days, what I make most are ill-fated plans.

Ingredients? Aspirations, optimism, big ideas, limited time, low energy, the occasional knock-down migraine, and a large portion of hope.

Although I’ve been sick for years now, I can never seem to resign myself to the idea of getting nothing done. My brain and my psyche still love to make big plans. I draft epic to-do lists. I research trips and hobbies and events and new ideas. I brain-write articles and blog posts. I dream of my two unwritten books, my three other empty blogs. The plans rarely come to fruition, but I cannot stop making them. I still believe someday these plans will come through — and you never know when till you try, right?

Once upon a time, I played with photos….

What would I like to make? Stuff! Sewing, jewelry, paper, photography — name your craft, I wish I had time for it. Two Wishes was originally a craft blog, way back before the interruptions of wedding and baby. The name itself refers to my wish to have my professional career but also to lead an artistically creative life.

And now I have neither (go figure). But as poor Mr. T will tell you, all the fabric, jewelry supplies, paper, ribbons, film, and fripperies aren’t going anywhere. I dream that they, too, will have their day.

Dec 052010

Today’s question is “What (or whom) did you let go of this year?

And I’ve got nothing. It’s a thought-provoking question, and I could go on and on about the ideas and issues it raises for me….

But instead I’ve decided to just let go of the question.

See you tomorrow!

Dec 032010

The second #reverb10 question is: What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing, and can you eliminate it?

My first thought was “mother our high-maintenance baby” (she doesn’t allow me a computer, pen, or phone without demanding it from my hands) and “the authorities seem to frown on that sort of thing.”

If you don’t know what this is, you are more productive than I am.

But realistically, there are other distractions that would be easier to cut. Most pressingly, I spend a frightening amount of time on computer games. Maybe 30-90 minutes each day, but over a month that adds up to almost an entire work week. Yikes!

The games almost always happen because I’m too brain-dead for anything else, but sometimes it pays to write even when you’re brain-dead. You can research, type out a brainstormed first draft, sometimes even access ideas that flow more easily when you’re too tired for barriers…. And many of my creative plans for 2011 require more writing output, so it’s good to have this reminder.

What do you think, will there be more productivity from us all in 2011? Or just another well-intended New Year’s resolution?? (Here’s hoping for more writing from us all!)