Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Squeezing My Mind Grapes

One week ago I laid out my resolutions and I think it's time to check-in, because I know at least 8 of you can't wait to find out. (Speaking of that, I want to give a mini, inter-blog, shout out to my Jersey contingent. Thanks for reading! Heck, thanks to all of you.)

1) Write at least 3x a week. This is my seventh post since January 5th, so I am definitely kicking that resolution's ass. That said, it's really hard. Not peace in Darfur hard, but the reasons that kept me from writing for so long haven't gone away. I still have to take care of my kids, cook dinner, do laundry, check Facebook (seriously, I do), go to the gym, run errands, see friends. That's a full day. Now, I realize there are 8 million working poor in this country, who often have to choose between food and rent, who are often uninsured. I know how fortunate I am. But, I can only live my own experience and I don't like putting my kids in front of the TV so I can write.* I don't mind putting them in front of the TV so I can have some peace and quiet, but that's a blog for another time. The writing itself is hard too. I'm constantly questioning what I've written. Reading it over and over again. I am alternately satisfied and mortified, but I keep on. The feeling of euphoria I get from writing, especially if I think it's good, but even if it is bad, extends to everything else in my life. It's as if I've opened up a part of my brain that had been asleep. Anyway, it's a good thing.

2) Send one pitch a month to some sort of magazine about something. I have not done this yet, but the month ain't over yet. (I have been notoriously bad at this, hence my flourishing non-existent freelance career, so we shall see.)

3) Do 20 squats and 20 lunges everyday. Nope. And I actually don't care. I go to the gym and walk all over creation with 60 lbs. of kids packed into a 20 lb. stroller - that's 80 lbs. for you English majors - isn't that enough? I might revisit this resolution when we get a little closer to bathing suit season.

4) Cook more vegetarian meals. I made a very tasty salad with manchego cheese, oranges, butter lettuce, sunflower seeds and homemade vinaigrette, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It's just a salad, but it's a start. I made a pasta dish and a lentil dish that could have been vegetarian and threw meat into them, does that count?

My sub-resolution to cook more and meal plan is going well. I've cooked 7 out of the last 9 days. We had a house guest the two days we ate out. She graciously ate my chicken chili on Friday, but why should she suffer because of my complex grid of resolutions, co-resolutions and amended resolutions, so out we went. And it was so good. My April plan to not eat out for a month is going to really suck.

5) Learn HTML. So far I've only learned how do strikethroughs.

6) Do more crafty stuff and baking with the kids. We took them to MoMA, where they got much, much too close to the artwork and made clever and funny observations.
Me: How do you think Jackson Pollock held the brush to get the paint on the canvas like that?
Mimi: Just like a regular old man, Mom.
We are going to bake cookies today. The rest of the time they have been watching TV and playing dress-up so I can write. There is a reason that the children of writers, pen their own scathing memoirs as adults. I promise to do what I can to make that memoir interesting.

7) Learn to knit and sleep more. I just added these, so they don't count yet.

Don't worry I won't be tallying my accomplishments weekly. Maybe monthly.
Tomorrow: Another product review. Oh, the anticipation.

* I'm writing at Starbucks today, while the girls hang with Adam. Bliss.

• photo by studiosaynuk


  1. ooo oooo oooo i just figured out how to comment!
    on the html thingie...i can teach you some basic bold, italics, underline and paragraph break- if you want. it'll take all of 5 seconds.

    also want to add, keep writing my friend- you have a gift- share it with the world!

  2. You rock, Peta. We are going to do HTML and learn to knit. It's going to be such a productive winter. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. LMAO, Mimi, gotta love her, although she's still on my shit list for putting the hex on me with another boy.

  4. i love you, i love your writing... especially when it's about Brad Pitt, and film reviews. I am not addicted to reading your blog. Thank you for the entertainment, I miss you a lot, Day