Friday, January 14, 2011

Somewhere In Between


Even better than finding my diaries is reading them to my boys. I enjoy hearing them giggle and seeing them learn about my younger self, before I was their mother.

I signed up for an online writing class at UCLA Extension. I fell in love with the variety of nonfiction classes they offered. It looks like they have enough online writing courses to complete the Certificate Program without ever having to visit the campus.  I’m excited and hope it goes well.


I had signed up at other extension courses to smaller schools before only to find the class cancelled after months of anticipating and scheduling it in my calendar. Once I didn’t find out about the cancellation till the morning of the class. I made the best of things by doing a write-in with another lady who had shown up. We talked most of the time.


We had an active weekend with a long bike ride, soccer scrimmage, and run. I missed having weekly writing classes for both the camaraderie and inspiration.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Found My Girlhood Diaries


While putting away our Christmas decorations, my husband lowered my memorabilia containers from the high shelving in our garage. I wanted him to bring down the boxes because one of them contained my childhood diaries.

In the first plastic bin, we found my kid's old baby outfits. They were cute colorful sleepers that brought back memories of chubby cheeks, little hands wrapped around my fingers, and long hours spent nursing and singing them to sleep. I compared the white baby shoes with bells on them to my 13 year old's big shoes as he was lying down reading. We marveled at the changes.

The second box had awards, yearbooks, birthday cards, and the diaries. I wondered if there would be any good to them. Had I written any details I'd since forgotten? And would any of it be worth reading? I raised the silver diary with a red colored rose on it to my nose. That one used to smell like roses. I inhaled. It had lost its scent. I opened the diary and started reading. Streams of tears were sliding past my cheeks to my sweater before I finished the second page. To my surprise and delight, I was a very detailed writer since then. I wrote about how much my dad had spent on groceries $129.89 (for a family of 6 kids, mind you) and how I tried to talk him out of spending so much. I noted what time the kids my mom babysat were picked up and that after they left, I would push my grandmother on her wheelchair  to try to help my mother with all her responsibilities. There were details about all my everyday nuances that are so irrelevant and yet so meaningful today.

The following quote was at the bottom of every right hand side page in the diary:

"Without anything special but write it down is better than with something special but never write it down. Sweet and tender memories are also the trace of past time."

Retrieving these diaries after over two decades, was like receiving a gift from my younger self. In that moment with tears in my eyes, it was as if my younger 12 year old self was there handing these journals over to me saying, "Here take them."

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year

One year is out and another quickly fills in. I welcome 2011 with open arms. I blogged 33 out of 52 weeks last year. I plan to continue my goal to blog at least once a week in a effort to check in, feel my pulse, recalibrate if I have to.

I don't have an obsessive list of new years resolutions but I do have goals for the new year. In general, I plan to turn my baby steps into leaps and bounds, to be more fearless, and continue to follow my bliss and enjoy each moment.

2010 was the start of many adventures. I met my Sacred Writing Circle, traveled to Alaska with my family and NYC with my sisters and husband, spent many nights reading poetry or science-fiction with my boys and husband in our nest, took long drives with lots of conversations with my sister on our way to writing groups and classes, did a mini writing retreat with my sister, wrote some travel pieces, joined a soccer league, played and ran with my kids and husband, ran several half marathons, read a lot of good books, attended four very memorable writing workshops from kick-ass women writers, started a blog, did an open mic night, and saw four unforgettable plays. I'd say it was a awesome year.