Monday, October 13, 2008

Writing: Dead or Alive

I wake up late this morning to the sound of squirrels scampering across the roof. My neighbors in the cemetery are weed whacking. Talk about keeping up with the Joneses, we have to compete with dead ones. Frankenstein's landscaping abilities started a chain reaction of lawn upkeep on my piece of Suburbia Lane. The dead people have such a perfectly manicured property they made our adjoining house look scary. So we felt the need to hire professional lawn help, and next one of my living neighbors is out in her pajamas edging the sidewalk. I guess curb appeal trumps personal hygiene. Why do any of us care, anyhow, we're competing with the dead?

I pull the shade up in my bedroom and peer out, inconspicuously. I can't even see who is weed whacking. It must be a ghost. Apparently, gardening is what makes dead people come alive at hours I would like to re-murder them. This idea gets me wondering, as the five dollar shade snaps off its hinges and crashes on my head, what makes me come alive?

I'm not sure it is parenting. Is that shocking? Before I had kids I thought being a mother would complete me. Three children later it's not as fun as I thought it would be, and I'm not as good at it as I thought I'd be. Actually, many times it feels like a really hard job. There's a lot of guilt that comes with this admission.

Don't misunderstand me, please. I love my kids and I'd give my life for them. In fact, I think that's what I'm doing right now, minus the "dead" part. In a sense, I give so much to them, that I think it was beginning to hurt me. I had to admit to myself that being a mother is not what makes me come alive, and find out what does, so I could stop feeling like a zombie.

There's something freeing about going off by myself and writing. It's as if this part of me that's kept in solitary confinement gets time in the yard. I've always felt this way, for as long as I could write. For a while I was too busy, and I found myself jotting random things on scraps of paper, napkins, bills, and other places where the words fell into an unorganized abyss, never to be found again.

Then I started this blog, and eventually, my New Year's resolution to write everyday started actually happening. Now I have a place to put the scraps of ideas and moronic thoughts that bring me so much laughter, and I feel really good about that. I feel healthier.

What makes you come alive? Send me your comments...and try to be serious for a second.

---Good thing writing makes me come alive, because at 5 a.m., I think I look horror flick "undead."

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive"-Howard Thurman

Note: I saw two articles called "Finding Me in the Mothering Adventure" and "Don't Turn the Heat Off Your Passion" later today in a newsletter called Momsense that I get, and they seemed to really speak to me, in a profound way, about this post. You can read them too at:


Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

What makes me feel alive? All the following do it for me: baking from scratch and having it come out perfectly, running, gardening, singing, playing the piano, housepainting, swimming, biking, having a real live personal conversation with a grown-up, and of course writing. Breaking things can sometimes do in severe situations. Very honest post, so true, we need another outlet besides our children so we can be ourselves when we are not defined by those who are dependent on us.

Loren Christie said...

Thanks Elizabeth! Yes, isn't breaking things fun too?!

Romy and Andrew said...

Ice skating. I had been on the ice since three years old, skated competitively and taught lessons until I was seven months pregnant and could no long bend down to tie my skates. The belly is gone (mostly) but I think now I have to get those skates out and see if they will still feet my post pregger feet. My father-in-law runs a rink and it's been almost two years since I last took a glide!

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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