Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm a writer?

Side note: if you didn't read that title to the tune of "I'm Ron Burgandy?" then you haven't seen Anchorman.  If you haven't see Anchorman, then you have missed out on some of the most hilarious moments of your life.  Stop reading this now, go watch the movie, then come back.  I'll wait.

Okay, so I know I write on here (sometimes), but I do not think of myself as a writer, per say.  Many of you are, well, real writers with real writing jobs and you also just happen to have blogs.  Me?  I'm just  a person who has a blog.  Just an online diary in which I blurt out thoughts and feelings about the world and such.  I enjoy writing, but does enjoying something make you good at it?  Does it buy you a ticket into the show?

I still don't know the answer to that, but I can tell you this:  I entered a writing contest.  My favorite magazine in the world, Real Simple (look to the right, they had their own label on my blog long before this post), has an annual contest called Life Lessons.  Each year, they assign a topic and readers can enter.  I've been reading this magazine for years (thanks to my awesome in-laws) and have seen the contest entries.  I've noted that sometimes the winners are previously published authors.  None of the topics has ever really moved me to try my hand at it, but this year, the topic was on the bravest thing you've ever done.  I knew immediately that I would write about saying goodbye to my son, a topic you are all familiar with here on this blog.  So, in September I wrote the essay and sent it off and didn't think much about it again.  I was proud of myself for entering and taking a risk.  I was vaguely aware in January that I figured they must have picked a winner by now (specific dates not being my strong front) and sort of said to myself, "okay, must not have placed, I'm sure they had lots of good entries".  

At the time, I was busy welcoming The Munchkin into the world.  We were busy in the best kind of way.  While we were at the hospital on The Munchkin's second day in the world, however, I got a call from an editor at Real Simple.  Turns out, they were running late on notifying people but I won!  I won a writing contest!  Me!  We could talk all day about the karmic timing of this little prize because I sure still needed some money for the adoption attorney, but the fact of the matter is, I put myself out there and it paid off.  

I guess in addition to letting you know my good news, I just want to encourage you all to go for it too.  What is it that you love to do but don't get paid for?  Writing?  Sewing?  Soap making?  Knitting?  Well, guess what?  Maybe you can!  I've spent years basically afraid of failure and got rewarded on the first try.  I know that makes me lucky but it feels like the universe telling me go for it.  And I'll bet you get the same message.

If you care to read the article, you can read it here:


A version of it has been posted on this blog before.  If you care to read the magazine, well, you will never find yourself disappointed!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why I Believe in Fairy Tales

I know a lot of women blame fairy tales for giving them unrealistic expectations of relationships.  Books and movies often portray a woman (admittedly, often helpless) who is swept away by a knight in shining armor and lives, well, happily ever after.  People claim that this doesn't exist, that roles are stereotypical, that happiness is a daily choice and that the whole thing is oversimplified.  Perhaps it is, but I think maybe they are looking with the wrong eyes.  Here is a glimpse into my personal happily ever after:

I have been home with the two kids all day by myself while The Mister is at work.  I am tired.  I am overwhelmed.  I am feeling, if I'm honest, pretty helpless and in need of saving.  I hear the garage door opening and know that my knight's steed is approaching.

The Mister enter's the castle, our home, and sees his fair maiden wilting under the pressure of motherhood.  He sweeps the baby from her arms and changes her diaper and feeds her a bottle.  Did you hear his chain mail clinking?

Once he has put the baby down for a nap, he takes the older child into the yard and plays ball with her. I am almost blinded by the glare of the sun on his armor.  This man who has worked hard all day and come home to find a puddle of goo in place of his wife does not pause for a shower, does not ask what he can have for his reward, but he saves me, rescues me from the dragon that motherhood can sometimes be, draws his sword against my fears and helps me push forward.

THAT is a fairy tale ending.  My knight may drive a four wheeled steed.  His armor may be disguised by a work uniform, but have not doubt, he is my hero, and every day, in a million little ways, he saves me and moves me toward our happily ever after.  Without him, I don't know where I would be or how I would do it.  I am so lucky that it really is like a fairy tale for me.