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Friday, May 30, 2008

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Warning: Playing With Blogs Will End in Blindness & Ruin.

I'm not going to comment on the literary/social merit of The New York Times Sunday magazine cover essay by repentant blogger Emily Gould. Gawker, the blog she wrote for, has never been my cup of tea, and as Ariel pointed out in the post that brought the piece to my attention, Gould is very young. Young women with an audience, particularly beautiful young women, need to be cut a lot of slack. It's something I am writing about at much greater length offline, in my memoir, So Far For Beauty.

What tickled me about the piece so much was the obvious relish with which it was delivered. I can't help but think that the NYT devoted the cover and so much column space to Gould's confession as a kind of public service message along these lines:

Children, heed your print media: nice girls don't blog.

You can read much more thoughtful commentary on the article from Blogher contributing editor Susan Merritt right here.

Updated to add the link to this Salon article on the same story by Rebecca Traister. I maybe love this enough to put it on my fridge:
We have to remember: There is nothing wrong with women writing about themselves, their youth, their indiscretions, their habits and values and personal development. Men have been writing about this stuff for thousands of years; they call it the canon.


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Thursday, May 29, 2008

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This morning I went looking for a link to this local news story that is so arch-typically Arkansasan, that if it didn't involve real people being hurt, frightened, and nearly killed, would be a nearly complete breakfast of awesome. Let's just say there are only about three places on the planet where it could have happened, and they all touch the Mississippi delta.

Here's hoping everybody who was hurt gets well, and everyone who needs to be locked up, leashed or otherwise contained gets that too.

While I was looking for that, I found a link to the full text of a feature that ran in the state paper back in January, profiling me and the lovely Kristen Chase, briefly of Arkansas.

When it it came out, I couldn't find an online version that didn't cost something. This one's free!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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One thing that was hard to get used to when I moved to Arkansas was how people left their outside footwear on indoors. In Newfoundland and to the best of my recollection, in Canada, you leave your shoes and boots inside the entrance and either walk in unshod, or if it's a dress-up occasion, you might bring a pair of dress shoes that are only worn indoors. I guess it has to do with the climate. No floor would survive the road salt that would be tracked in during the winters. But it seems like the custom was observed in warm weather months too.

Rain, snow or shine, my dad would not comply.

If you invited my father into your home, it was understood that his brown leather workboots would remain on his feet, regardless of the season. If you didn't understand that, he didn't stay, and he didn't come back. My father could be a contrary bastard sometimes, but he was no boor: he was generally a gracious guest and could be unexpectedly fastidious about personal decorum. It was just one of his signature eccentricities that people accepted and excepted without question.

I wish I had asked him what that was about. They came off if he was planning to rest, bathe or swim, and that was it. It was as if going shoeless was to go around undressed. Only my dad could make a scuffed pair of brown workboots seem formal.

I've been remembering that since we moved in. Half the floor in our new house is covered in freshly refinished oak, and Patrick and I spent the first several days intercepting kids, workmen and visitors at the door, making them remove their footwear. In our zeal we decided to declare our floors for Newfoundland, and establish a permanent shoe-free base in the new world. We applied felt padding to every piece of furniture. We would have applied it to the kids' feet if it would have stuck. We lifted and lowered beds and dressers with the breath-held precision of a lunar landing. We were complete nuts.

"Maybe we should just take a utility knife and make a big sacrificial gouge in the middle somewhere and be done with it," I suggested after one of the boys' beds fell apart mid-assembly and nearly gave us simultaneous heart attacks. No way could we survive the flawlessness much longer.

There's a bedroom suite that came with the house, an atomic-era double bed, end table and dresser fashioned in curved modern lines from blonde wood. Before the seller, Charles, knew that buyer was us or we knew that the seller was Charles, I'd asked our agent to inquire whether he would be interested in selling it to us. She came back with the word that it was ours for free if we wanted it.

We put the bed and end table in the pre-schooler's room, but the dresser wouldn't leave enough floor space for play, so I decided to conscript it for use as a linen bureau/buffet in the dining room. Only after we got it set up, I noticed a big spot smack in the middle of the mirror where the coating on the back of the glass has corroded, an atoll of verdigris in a silver sea. My first reaction was, oh, crap.

My second reaction was, thank God.

I let my breath out after that. We put good doormats everywhere and started letting guests cross the threshold unhindered (we sweep like mad curlers behind them). My four year old spilled milk everywhere under the dining room table the other day, and we only made him sleep outside with the dog for one night. I did discover pencil scribbles on the new coffee table yesterday. Fortunately they could be erased faster than I could dial 1-800-GYP-SIES.

I've been needing to ease up in other areas too. I don't know if it's the new environment, or blogging/writing developments, or just that things are going pretty well and I'm not sure how to cope with that, but I've noticed the volume control in my head for self-criticism seems to have slid up. Maybe I thought that in the new house, I'd be the new me, and I'm put out when the old gang of character traits shows up on the doorstep.

Because I don't know if I've told you this, but I am really kind of a mess. Some parts of my personality have no manners and no sense. Some come tracking in shit. Some are wearing killer stillettos and don't give a damn. I've been going behind them, scolding and tut-tutting.

Throughout the day, I'll catch a glimpse myself in the mirror, whenever I grab my sunglasses and keys off the bureau or toss the mail in a drawer in the hope it will sort itself out. That flaw is right at eye level, literally in my face. Like my dad's boots, like my innumerable, gate-crashing imperfections, it's damn well not coming off to please me. Life is meant to be lived in, worn out, used up, it says to me. Deal with it.


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Friday, May 23, 2008

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Sitting at Someday


Last Friday night, we tossed sleeping bags on the bed that came with the house and tucked the three boys into it, then collapsed on our own mattress, set down on the floor of our new bedroom, penned in by a fortress of boxes: five happy, sleepy campers.

We really were camping. Although Patrick had managed to assemble our newly arrived sofa and coffee table that day, we still didn't have updated electrical outlets for the stove and "contraption oven," as my nine-year-old called the microwave/convection oven. The washer, dryer and dishwasher weren't hooked up. We had no television and no computers, no chairs for our dining room table, and god only knew where to find a pair of clean underwear. But we had a refrigerator to keep milk cold, our patio set to eat on, and plenty of take-out food within a five-mile radius. When I told Patrick we were staying that night, he knew better than to try and reason with me. Our two-month exodus was over. We'd come home.

One week later, it's still box city around here, but we are slowly setting up house. Our dining room chairs were the last of the new furnishings to arrive, my one big decorator splurge. They are the red-orange Eames eiffel side chairs I saw in the magazine spread that was the departure point for our color scheme (though it is fair to say that we evolved it considerably). While the replacements for our tattered, handed-down living room furniture were bought at deep discount, a new Eames chair doesn't ever turn up on I thought hard about substituting them with something much cheaper, "just for now," especially after we found out what covering our lovely fifties asbestos floors would cost, but it seemed like a non-confidence vote in our future. We've been living with "just for now," make-do, band-aid solutions for eleven years. I wanted to feel like we'd arrived at "someday."

And that's how I feel, every day when I drink my first cup of coffee in one of those chairs. Like I'm sitting at Someday. Like it's Christmas, every morning.

The other day I looked around at the margarita-colored walls, the tomato-soup chairs, the swimming pool turquoise kitchen and the natural light that streams in everywhere, and declared aloud that there was simply no quarter for a bad mood in this house. Then at the end of the day, I had to write an enormous check for the electrician, and it turned out that, in fact, there was.

It's been really hard to spend money on this move, even though we downsized, even though we factored a budget for necessary updates in the decision to buy. The guilt and fear is constantly there in the background, with a long list of the world's ills that should be cured before we get something nice to sit on, something safe to walk on (our old hardwood floors were so splintered, I once had to take a toddler into ER to remove a shard of wood from his foot), or electrical outlets that don't electrocute us.

Living on the edge for so long has so distorted my perspective, I can't tell the difference between necessity and luxury. I've been fighting a rising tide of anxiety over all this wild extravagance. Then yesterday, our beloved financial coach, Linda, stopped by with a housewarming gift for the kids. As we showed her around, I found myself over-explaining every new furnishing, each improvement, describing how awful the old sofa was -- so bad even the freecyclers wouldn't take it. When we got to Patrick's office, she admired his new desk.

"What were you using before?" she asked. Sheepishly, we pointed to a tiny computer table that cost fifty bucks at Target five years ago.

Linda let loose with one of her wonderful, no-shit, Yankee guffaws. "And you've paid the mortgage and the bills working from THAT for two years??? Jesus Christ!"

Jesus Christ, he really did.

"That's nothing," I confessed, laughing. "Do you know I've been writing for six months without a "q, a, z, numeral one, or exclamation point?" I gestured to my battered ibook that the cats spilled coffee on back in the fall.

Linda, not for the first or last time, looked at me with that look that says, thank god there's still a chance I can help you, and asked, "How is that possible?"

"Well, I copy and paste the letters in. I can do an "a" really fast. And I don't really like exclamation points."

Is there anything like laughter for restoring perspective? It's like watching sunshine burn fog off the bay. A house to live in, tools to work with, chairs to sit in—even happy, red-orange chairs—these are basics. These are priorities. Guilt is the wasteful extravagance. Let's get caught up on long-overdue medical and dental care, let's dig the rest of the way out of hole we fell into last year, let's try and build up some emergency savings to turn to when the work doesn't come in, then we can think about whether we can afford to indulge in it.


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Saturday, May 17, 2008

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Queen of Her Castle


...and a dirty rascal:


In case you're worried we're taking "too fancy for our britches" to the outer extreme, the costume was for a Boston Tea Party at school. Which, disappointingly for the third grade boys, was an actual tea party, and did not result in an overthrow of tyranny.

We're home sweet, sweet home.


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Thursday, May 15, 2008

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Blog to Book, V. 2.0: The New Breed

Back in the early days of personal blogging, if you can remember back two or three years, some people in traditional publishing noticed that some of these new-fangled blogs were being read by a lot of people. There was a flurry of courting, followed by a mass hitching of wagons to stars, and a bunch of bouncing books were born and brought to market.

Many bloggers and publishers were disappointed that their offspring didn't all hit the ground running, with the entire internet running after them. While a few of these marriages of blog to book were successful, a great many others ended with both sides disillusioned. Their half-breed babies were neglected and left to panhandle from the remnant bins.

Fast forward to present time. Two new anthologies, one just released, and one forthcoming, have convinced me that we've arrived at Blog to Book 2.0. I think we're seeing not just the content being transliterated into the print world (Blog to Book 1.0), but the missing chromosome, the community dynamic.

Watching these two projects come to term, I've been struck by the level of ownership and initiative by the bloggers involved. Neither of the lead bloggers who edited them are docile brides, willing to settle for the "throw it at the wall and see what sticks" approach of traditional publishing. A brief bout of groping and thrusting followed by snoring is not going to cut it.

For example, publisher can't be bothered to throw a proper book launch? Fine, then.

This is a self-determining, self-defined community. I hope the publishers of both these books like their tigers by the tails.


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

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Fluff, not Drivel.

These hand-printed accent cushions were my Mother's Day/Housewarming gift to myself. They arrived in four days and were packaged so prettily in coordinating tissue paper. The covers are removable, an essential feature in this household. They came from this wonderful shop on Etsy.

The varnish on the hardwood floors is drying. It looks like we move in on Friday.


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Detour Signs

So, a few weeks ago I went to New York. I tried on some clothes, ate cupcakes, got driven around a lot. That's the kind of person I am.

In a few days, my dear friend Jen Lemen is leaving for Rwanda to visit some children. She is bringing two thousand bouncy balls, a blueprint for empowerment (written by Rwandan Odette Umurerwa and illustrated by Jen), and the Miracle-Gro substance that is the spirit of Jen Lemen. That's the kind of person she is.

I really hope you will follow along and pitch in.


I was thrilled to become the Mind, Body, Spirit editor for a website called a few months ago. Some of you may have noticed the brag badge in my sidebar. The site was invented to help women share items of interest on the internet, and last summer, I got lucky and found myself in a cab with the three amazing founders. We bonded over a late night supper, and I was ecstatic when they offered to make an honest woman out of me and gave me a spot on the masthead.

Sk-rt was a runaway success from the get-go, the kind that everyone roots for. Well, nearly everyone. The site was recently rebranded, under threat of litigation by a print publication that felt they owned the word, "skirt," or any word that came within a vowel of it (they can have skort). I've been respectfully and quietly waiting for it to all get sorted out. Thank god, not everyone thinks discretion is the better part of valor.

I adore this take on the situation with every breath in my body. If your significant other ever walks out on you for another, people, THIS is the girl you want in your corner. Madam, I kirtsy in your general direction.


Finally, I will be participating in a panel at Blogher '08, in San Francisco this summer. Last year was my first time to attend, and this year I'm on the agenda. Crazy, I know.

The panel is called "What We Believe: Beautiful Blogging and Positive Posting." It's going to rock. We'll be raffling off a live unicorn. I hope you'll come.


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Saturday, May 10, 2008

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Almost Famous

It's happened enough times now that I can see it coming.

Someone at the park, or in the checkout lane, keeps looking at me, then looking away. They're thinking about saying something. Then thinking they won't. But then they might.

The first few times it happened, I thought maybe there was spinach in my teeth, or I had come unbuttoned somewhere. After all, I am a person who routinely discovers my t-shirt has been inside out all day. It would be nice if someone would intervene before lunchtime.

Finally, they take a step forward. Usually they are blushing. And they always smile.

"I hope you don't think this is weird, but..."

"I feel weird telling you this, but..."

"I have a confession to make..."

Here it comes.

...I've been reading your blog."

Last night, I went to my kids' school picnic, where there were at least half a dozen self-professed daily readers of Notes, and judging by a few stolen glances, I'm guessing several more who are keeping it on the down-low for now.

Unless I had spinach between my teeth or was wearing something backwards.

Most of these are people I have no prior relationship with, other than the fact that our kids go to school together. They are ALL people I've admired in passing for one reason or another: for being organized, pretty, funny, clever or kind. I'm the one who should be saying, "God! I hope you don't think I'm weird!"

Apart from the fact that it's killing my small talk game at public gatherings (they've read it all already on the blog—I've got nothing left), it's thrilling for me when someone delurks in person. I'm always astonished and humbled. Please don't ever feel weird letting me know you're out there. Unless you are on my doorstep, and you are weird.

Patrick teases me that I'm becoming a "local personality." This is not nearly as famous as "local celebrity." I am still not as recognizable as, say, the local late night weather guy or the city paper movie critic. But it's possible I am on track to be invited to judge a county fair pie contest someday. Barring scandal.

It's mostly all wonderful, this overspill from the blog into my offline life. But a little overwhelming at times, too. It's a strange thing to talk to someone who knows so much about me, and to know so little about them. And the Sally Fields part of me that is so gratified and excited to learn someone likes me—they really like me—is the part that worries they might not like the next thing I write.

I'm sure it happens. Someone comes here because a friend sent them something I wrote that they found inspirational; then they are turned off when I use a strong word to express a strong emotion. Or they came here for something I wrote that was funny and irreverent, and don't know what to think when I mention that I'm a church-going Christian. I might go off on a rant or a rave that offends their own, most deeply held values, and they take it personally. Or they just get bored with me.

It's okay, I tell myself. That's part of being a writer. Readers and recognition is what I've worked for. Time to put my big girl underpants on.

If things continue the way they are going behind the scenes here at Notes, the public part of my life is going to get a lot more public in the next few years. So I'm grateful for these opportunities to practice getting pride and fear into manageable proportions.

Of course, not everyone I encounter offline is a fan. While some of my friends are enthusiastic readers, others don't know what to think. One of my very closest and dearest friends has never read this blog, though she is unfailingly supportive of me and my writing. The internet is just not her thing.

Some don't get it. Some don't like it. One or two still think this is just something I do instead of my "real" writing.

Some want to talk about the blog, and it's all others can do to keep their eyes from rolling back into their heads when I say the word. You'd think I'd spit up a half-eaten canape into my cocktail napkin and showed it to them.

"Here, how do you like my BLLLAAAAGHHHH...?"

Sometimes they can't make out the line I draw between public and private, and they worry that something they do or say might fall on the public side. The more public things get, the more I try to err on the side of caution with this. But still, as one friend confided in me recently, it's a bit like travelling with a member of the press.

Those reactions are all understandable. I don't know exactly what it is or where it's all going either. Some days, I wonder what I've gotten myself into, and what it will cost me. Some days, I feel like I'm wearing my whole life inside out.

And then one of you comes over, blushing, smiling, and says,

"I hope you don't think I'm weird but..."

And I smile all the way home, spinach teeth and all. Thank you.


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Friday, May 09, 2008

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Coming Together

Watching the new house come together is beyond thrilling. It's the first opportunity we've ever had to deliberately express ourselves in a home interior, and the whole process is surprisingly rich. We've had to think deeply about who we are as individuals, as a family, and how we really live.

I've been trying to organize my moving set on flickr into before and after order. Here's a glimpse (there are some notes on the photos you can read if you click on them):




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But the nineties were just last YEAR


Wednesday night, I went out for dinner with a group of fabulous moms. Seated next to me was a new, very cute friend who has two small kids. She was asking about my husband. I told her how the first time I saw a photo of him, he reminded me of a very thin Dave Pirner, and she said, "Who?"

Then my skin shriveled up and my bones crumbled to dust. The End.


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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

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With my little eye


I bought a new camera yesterday. I've been needing one for a while: my three-year-old Kodak EasyShare had been dropped on its head too many times. Also, having the word "EASY" plastered across my camera is far less cool in blogging circles than it is on double decker tour bus circles. Everytime I took a picture with it at the Blogher conference last year, I felt like I was standing up in high-waisted, elasticized jeans. Stonewashed. While everyone else was firing off their Canon Rebels and Nikon D's, I was shooting with the "Mom jeans" of cameras.

I don't pretend to be a real Photographer. But even with my humble point and shoot, I've taken a few photos over the years I feel good about, and I've learned some things. I have an eye for composition. I've gotten cocky enough to criticize my husband when I have to hand him the camera. There's a difference in mood between his and my pictures of the kids — he's not shooting through the viewfinder of his heart, I tell him. And I've become obsessed with natural light. I hate flash. I'd much rather sacrifice focus to keep atmosphere.

This is where my EasyShare was starting to frustrate me. I don't feel ready to move up to a SLR, but I'm ready to do more with ISO and exposure. And even though a digital camera is a legitimate piece of equipment for what we and the IRS —incredibly— now consider my "work," I couldn't bring myself to spend upward of $500.

In other words, I've outgrown the trike, but still need training wheels. So after much deliberation, I settled on a Sony Cybershot DSC-H10, for the highly technical reason that it felt good in my hand. It set me back about two hundred and fifty tax-deductible bucks. It has manual options for exposure and ISO, and other features that I won't even pretend to understand. Although it lacks an optical viewfinder and won't take easily replaced AA batteries, those are drawbacks I can live with. I've heard the Cybershots perform decently in low light and the 10X zoom will let me get even closer to my subjects in the wild. Not that my kids even notice me and my camera anymore. I am Jane Goodall with the chimps. But with 10x zoom, I can now blog about their earwax.

When I started blogging, I never would have guessed how essential photography would become to my process. My cats spilled coffee on my ibook about six months ago, and I have been typing without letters a, z, q and "delete" ever since (I copy and paste them in, and let me tell you, I've gotten pretty fast at it). So I can blog without a letter "a", but not without a camera. When Heather Armstrong said in a recent interview that she keeps a notepad handy to jot down material for her blog, I realized that my camera has been my notepad, my shorthand way of capturing a moment that I want to write about later (like I did with the red dress). I guess the shutter click is my way of saying, "Note to Self:"


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Sunday, May 04, 2008

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Flawed is my beat.

Every so many Sundays I post on Flawed But Authentic. Lucky for me, Leah has assembled such an outstanding team of contributors, no one misses me when I have to skip a week or five.

I have a little something over there tonight: Voices Carry
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Thursday, May 01, 2008

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While in New York, I went to Saks to look for a pair of jeans and, well, to see Saks. Does a person really need a reason? I was having a great time gawking and gaping, and generally playing the part of country mouse goes to town, when my friend pointed to a red dress hanging on a rack.

"That would look great on you."

"Mmmm," I concurred wistfully. The sign on the wall said Ralph Lauren. I kept moving.

My friend wasn't content to leave it at that, though.

"Try it on."

"What for? It's going to be way out of my budget."

"Try it on."

I was convinced the Very Elegant sales clerk could see right through the cheap leather of my Forever 21 bag to the contents of my wallet, and would just cross her arms and shake her head when I asked for a dressing room, but she gestured forward and ushered me into a chamber nearly as spacious as my berth back at the Hudson.

As I slipped the dress off the hanger, I glanced at the tag. $1200. OMFG. Now I was not only hesitant to put it on, I was petrified. What if I snagged it with a fingernail? I called out to my friend to come and retrieve it before I sneezed on it or sweated in it or spontaneously combusted and left soot on it.

No answer. Okay, I thought. It's just pretend. Get into it.

I slipped out of my Levi's and into that dress and then I died.

I died right then and there on the dressing room floor, and I came back in the mirror as someone Fabulous. I hardly knew myself.

I stepped out of the room and called out to my friend, who turned around with a grin. I think we both uttered several expletives right in front of the Very Elegant sales clerk. We hugged. We cheered. It wasn't a dress; it was an Occasion.

Before I took it off, I snapped a picture to remember it by. After I changed back into my Levi's and t-shirt, my friend and I went for a drink overlooking Rockefeller Center. We were still giddy, like we'd both just come from a tent revival.

Of course, I left the dress in New York. Even if I had the money, how often would I wear a dress like that? Twice a year? It's impractical, it's impossible, it should be very cut and dry.

But I have to confess, I look at that picture nearly every day since I got back, look at it and sigh, like stealing glances at a snapshot of an illicit lover. My fling.

The question of whether or not a twelve hundred dollar dress is a good value if it makes you feel like a million bucks is a topic for another day, and in this case, a moot point.

But this isn't really about the dress. It's about that woman in the mirror. She's the one I'd like to bring home and keep.

"Who are you to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Marianne Williamson asked beautifully and famously in her book, Return to Love. Long before the trailer for Akelah and the Bee got attached to every family dvd we ever brought home last year, long before it was quoted by and commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela, I loved that rhetorical question and its inspired response: "Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God."

The idea that there is enough fabulousness to go all the way around is a principle I strive to live by. It wasn't always so. For most of my adult life, I lived in fear that the opposite was true: that someone else's claim on success, talent, good looks or wealth meant less of those things would be available to me. Perhaps more detrimentally, I acted as if I believed that laying claim to any of those things for myself would be stealing from someone who needed or deserved them more. It looks ridiculous spelled out, but that's how I lived, particularly where money and creativity were concerned.

Seeing the falsity of a belief is one thing, but learning to walk a new walk is quite another. The old tapes die hard.

Even as good and exciting things are happening all around, I find myself slipping back into scarcity mindset. I wake up at night worried that I can't deliver on commitments I've made. That I'm not really good enough. That my dearest relationships won't survive my saying yes to new opportunities. That the house budget will run out before the flooring is installed, that my husband's business will grind to a halt, that the sky will fall.

This fear is my default position, like slouching. It takes constant awareness and effort to pull my shoulders back, sit up, breathe, trust. To substitute every "what if?" with "why not?"

Recently, some wonderful things have been happening in my online community. Everywhere I turn, books are coming out, television appearances are being booked, speaking invitations offered. We've come a long way in a breathtakingly short time. Three years ago, when the New York Times first reported on "mommy-blogging," it was with enough acid to cause the ink to drip. Fast forward to a few weeks back, when the Wall Street Journal ran its report on the same story —99.9% snide-free. It's a good time to be in new media.

Amid the chorus of atta-girls (and boys), there has been the odd hiss-boo, some muttered, some howled. My first response to the spoilers is to be judgemental. "Get a life," I think. "Batshit crazy," I decide.

But yesterday, my friend Belinda took her own feelings about the batshit crazies and channeled them into an absolutely gorgeous post to her daughter, in which she wisely counsels her to rise above hating and "not-enough" thinking.

I so much embrace the values in Belinda's post, that it forced me to take a good look at how coldly and quickly I want to disassociate myself from the howlers in the gutter. Because it's one tiny step for health and wholeness to recognize that for what it is—sickness. It's a much bigger stretch to get beyond the reflexive aversion to ugliness and see that the person howling is in pain, and a mighty, muscle-tearing leap to come to a full stop and see myself in them.

We react most negatively to what we cannot allow in ourselves. For me, that's the victim card. Nothing will flip my switch like someone whining "poor me," whether it's in the key of self-rightousness or self-pity. But how many times have I been locked in the dungeon of my own thinking, howling and weeping while I held the keys? How many times have I blamed others for my own choices, because that was easier than taking responsibility and risking disappointment?


Sometimes, as Williamson pointed out, it's our own potential to shine that can't be admitted. And for as long as that's true, we can't really celebrate others, except to hoist them on a gallows or a pedestal and wait for them to tumble down.

"A high tide raises all boats together," my mom said to me over dinner in Chelsea last week.

If I parse that with my left brain, I know it's not exactly true. Some people miss the boat, some ships run aground. Some dreams sink straight to the bottom and never rise again.

But I have to live as if it is true, because I do know that my living small and scared serves nobody. It doesn't heal the suffering. It doesn't move anyone else ahead. It doesn't make me a hero or a saint.

Whether or not I ever get to wear another dress like that dress on the outside, I want to wear it everyday of my life on the inside. To dare to be fabulous. And dare you to be fabulous with me.

Try it on.

This post is dedicated with much affection to my New York husband, Bill ;-)

Perfect Post Award – 0508

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