Friday, October 14, 2011


My bright idea to take nine hours this semester has resulted in this drowning sensation I’ve been experiencing since mid-August. If I survive, I’ll have 21 hours toward a 36-hour degree by the end of this semester. If I don’t survive… well, I’m trying not to make that an option quite yet.

So what has been going on with me?

- I’ve been showing up in print. A lot. That’s because I did nothing but write all summer. Well, I did do other stuff. I went to camp and Memphis and Baytown and Beaumont and the beach. But I did have back-to-back deadlines all summer. I am grateful for the work, and it’s been fun to see my stuff popping up on newsstands.

- I’m on Pinterest. If you get a kick out of me making fun of stuff, follow me.

- I’ve seen “The Help” four times in the theater. I just keep finding people who want to go see it, so I go with them. The fourth time was tonight, and I went to see it with my friend Tammy. We were both emotional wrecks by the end and we sat there and talked about the movie until the theater guy politely asked us to leave so he could clean the place.

- School. I’m taking two writing classes and one class about how to teach people how to write. So I’m using just about every spare moment I have to write for my classes. When I’m not writing, I feel like I should be writing. I love my classes and my profs are outstanding. I’m experiencing the strange combination of not wanting the semester to end and being desperate for December to get here.

- Our girls are great. Julia is loving middle school. My own middle school experience was a bit hellish, and I’ve observed her positive experience so far with a blend of relief and incredulousness. Everyone my age talks about how awful middle school was. At 40, will she be the odd one who says, “Oh, I LOVE middle school!” We shall see. Jenna is as enthusiastic about life as she was as a 3-year-old. Just a little more calm and less messy.

- I still think of my friend Kristen often. We now know she died of a coronary artery dissection, which is a rare (aren’t they always) condition that mostly affects women. A few weeks ago, I dreamed I was standing in Kristen’s backyard, where our kids used to set off fireworks at their annual Fourth of July parties. In the dream, I saw her smiling and waving at me through her back window. I hesitated, then waved back. She disappeared.

One class I’m taking this semester is nonfiction: biography/autobiography. We’ve talked about how we’re not always aware of what’s going on in our lives when it’s happening. It’s not until later that we can look back, see how things were and write about them with more clarity. In this chaotic blur of children, school, work and home, I sometimes wonder what I’m missing right now that I will see later with clarity. Right now I feel hurried and frustrated because I’m just not getting it all done. But the truth is that I have a wonderfully loving and supportive husband, two girls that we cherish, and I have freedoms that many women in this world could only dream of. I have a mind and resources that enable me to constantly learn more about and evaluate the world I live in. The people who know me the best give me room to grapple with concepts like God and church and come up with new ways to view them when the old ways quit working.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I live a ridiculously charmed life. That’s what I want to remember when I write about this later.


  • At Sat Oct 15, 05:57:00 AM, Blogger Karen H said…

    "We’re not always aware of what’s going on in our lives when it’s happening. It’s not until later that we can look back, see how things were and write about them with more clarity."

    That is so true for me, especially with Randy's illness and the last few months of his life. I'm still trying to force myself to write about it more, but even when I think about it things are so much clearer now.

    Love all your writing and especially this personal stuff! Don't ever stop :)

  • At Tue Oct 18, 02:58:00 PM, Blogger Mary Lou said…

    Very thoughtful post. I love how your writing flows so effortlessly from one part to the next. Well, it is effortless for me as the reader. Your thoughts are so far ahead of where mine were at your age. I too was frustrated raising 3 boys and working full time. I never felt like I did anything well. But I never thought I'd see it more insight as I got older. I do, really, but I could never have known that then. You are so ahead. Good for you, Deana!


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