Hanging up my blogging stocking

T’is the season.  For parties, family gatherings and good tidings.  For joy, good will, and hot chocolate.  For panicked shopping, cookie-induced bloating, and lame elf-rearranging.

And all of it makes me sweaty with stress.

Tack the task of helping out a former employee part-time on to this month, and I’m feeling over-scheduled and under-motivated.

The solution, I think, is to take a break.

From blogging.

blogging hiatus

Not that it’s why I started writing, but I’ve been at this blog over for two years now, and it appears to be going nowhere.

Sure, I’ve had a few things published here and there that I’m proud of.  But I’m not one of those famously popular bloggers who wrote a post that went viral overnight, received a shit-ton of followers, and the rest just fell in to place.

It’s easy to compare my small number of followers and readers to others success and think, “What’s the freaking point?

My blogging feels like jogging on a treadmill at a crowded gym, where everyone else is running with a smile on their face and logging in miles, while I’m sweating profusely and getting my shoelaces stuck in the track belt.  Dammit if it doesn’t smell like my dance career all over again.  The same insecurity and self-doubt and self-loathing I had to battle with myself as a dancer surfaced again while writing.

I started blogging because I wanted to write and I wanted a creative outlet.   But somehow it morphed in to this thing that doesn’t feel about the writing at all.  It became about the marketing and the tweeting and the pinning and the hand shaking and the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”.   All of that took a lot of time, exponentially more time, than the writing.

And because I’m so I’m horrible at all of that self-marketing and networking, it’s put a damper on the whole blogging process.

I’ve lost my passion for writing, and instead, have been approaching it half-assed.  It feels more like a chore than a joy.  I’m plagued by a writer’s block of momentous proportions.  I’m tired of feeling like I’m doing a mediocre job.

I need to step away for a bit and reevaluate why I write, who I write for, and what I want to write about, because I veered off path somewhere.

And I need some time away from my computer.  Time to readjust my posture from that slouched one I’ve adopted while stooped over my laptop.  Time to snuggle on the couch, warmed by a blanket and my husband instead of the heat of my MacBook Pro.  Time to work on myself – to work out, take a class or two, find a hobby, catch up on projects, find what fuels me.

I want to feel inspired, motivated and creative again.

So, I’m taking a step back and taking time off to refocus.  How much time?  Until I  can come back to writing and hitting “Publish” with the confidence that I will not measure my self-worth in shares, likes, comments, pageviews or retweets.

I’m not sure when that will be.  Maybe in a couple of weeks.  Maybe longer.  But I’m definitely giving myself a hiatus for the holidays.  I’ll still be present and accounted for on , , and , and if I find some rockin’ kids music you simply must hear, I’ll post it.

But for now, I’m hanging up my blogging stocking for Santa to fill.

Who knows, maybe I’ll get a box of inspiration, wrapped in hilarity with a pretty bow made out of sheer genius.

Or maybe I’ll just get coal.

I hope you’ll find your way back here when I do, and have a very happy holiday season!

The Soundtrack of My Life

I’ve often wondered what songs I’d include on the soundtrack if someone made a movie of my life.

Not that any movie producer or screenwriter is looking at my life and thinking “Hey, you know what would make a GREAT movie? An aging stay-at-home mom who’s lost her mojo and can’t seem to shake the holiday weight she put on in 2011.”

Besides, who the heck would want to play that role?

But if they DID, I’d have a list in hand of tunes that would land on the soundtrack. Because the movies that really resonate with me and make me want to crawl in to a character’s life for a little while are usually the ones that have a kick ass soundtrack with songs that speak to the character’s struggles and triumphs.

Or have scenes with a song so intertwined to the plot development and are just so plain memorable you can’t remove the song from the movie in your mind. Case in point: the famous boom box scene from Say Anything. Can you hear Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” and not think of John Cusack in a trench coat in the middle of summer?

Here are just a few songs that would need to appear on the soundtrack of my life.


“Shake Your Rump” by the Beastie Boys
I’ve wiggled my booty and pulled 80’s dances out of my pocket to this song more than is humanly possible. It is The Song that will lure me out to the dance floor. Over and over again.

“Don’t Go Away  by Toad the Wet Sprocket
I first heard Toad the Wet Sprocket the summer after high school before they released a hit song, and became a devoted fan. I can’t think of making my college voyage without a Toad song sprinkled in the mix.

“Dancing Queen” by ABBA
My theme song. Need I say more?

“Love” by
The sireny vocals of Harriet Wheeler telling me to love myself like no one else is exactly what I need to hear every now and then. Like a good friend slapping me out of a bad decision.

“Mr. Bitterness” by Soul Coughing
When I moved to New York City after graduate school, I spent the majority of my daily commutes listening to Soul Coughing on my portable CD player. Yeah, that’s right. A CD PLAYER. The kind that weighed four pounds and felt like a brick at the bottom of my messenger bag. This band’s sound felt like the city to me. Raw with unexpected finds around every corner, smart and boiling over with creative energy.

“Let Down” by Radiohead
For the disappointing times in my life.  What?  A girl’s entitled to be moody every once in a while.

“Go or Go Ahead” by Rufus Wainwright
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Mr. Wainwright, and this song is perhaps one of my favorites of his. Not necessarily because I’ve had any kind of similar heartbreaking experience, but because I saw him perform this live at the Beacon Theatre in NYC. A performance so raw and flawless and moving that it was truly a transformative experience for me.

“Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam ‎
Besides all of the songs that accompanied our wedding, this gorgeous song plays for my marriage, my husband. For all the obvious reasons found in the song lyrics, and for all the reasons between just my husband and me.

“Still Fighting It” by Ben Folds
The beauty of this song is that I loved it years ago, but it speaks to me even more strongly now that I’m a parent.  I dare you moms and dads to listen to this without tearing up a tiny bit.

“Sight of the Sun” by Fun.
“Carry On” could easily find itself on my soundtrack, as it got me through some pretty rough patches this past year. But “Sight of the Sun,” which appears on the Girls soundtrack, turns around one of my bad moods in the first nine notes. This band may just be my new obsession.

If any one of these artists wants to write a song for or about a retired, mediocre dancer who feels inept and swept up in motherhood while finding herself virtually unemployable at 40, contact me ASAP.


What songs would you want included in YOUR soundtrack?  I’d love to hear your picks in the comments below, on my page, or !

Bumpy travels…

I would like to think that the road to becoming a better person and parent would be the smooth kind of the newly paved highway by our house, courtesy of the Stimulus Package.  Instead, it feels more like the shoddy and nauseating honeymoon van ride in Jamaica from the airport to our hotel in the pitch-black dark of the middle of the night, on a rocky and curvy road, unsure if we were headed to the right hotel, being driven by a man who needed to stop along the way and pick up an icicle to nibble on.

I would also love to say that I’ve been a patient parent lately, but I’ve fallen short of my goal.  Perhaps I need to lower my expectations of myself.  There are things that my kids do that I inherently know aren’t awful things, and it’s just my reaction to them that make it worse.  For instance, the noise. Oh the noise!  Both the whining and the happy screaming.  At times I wish there was a mute button or a volume knob for my kids.  Or Parent Ear Plugs.  But maybe this is really MY issue, not theirs.  I’ve learned that I’m really sensitive to noise.  When it escalates, so does my heart rate.  My chest gets tight, my nerves get shot, and I blow like a pressure cooker.  Screaming back isn’t only childish, but unhelpful.  Finding a solution that creates peace, sanity and patience is a trial and error lately.  Sometimes I physically have to plug up my ears, take a few breaths, count to ten.  But this tactic is easy to forget.  Being mindful and present works when things are going smoothly, but I forget when things get rocky.

I so wish that I could be one of those folks that keep their cool under any situation, just letting things roll off their back.  Part of the work I’m doing here is just coming to peace with who I am in the first place.  But what that also does is shed light on the parts of myself that are unpleasant.  The attitudes, behavior and patterns I’ve inherited from my own parents, both the good and the bad.   I don’t know if I’ll ever get to a place where I’m completely calm all of the time.   Reacting to every little thing that occurs without giving that Thing time to register has been so etched in my makeup that it will take some time to break that down.  But I don’t know if that intensity will ever leave.  Could it be channeled in to something else?  Perhaps. 

Whatever the case, at least I’m wearing my seat belt…