Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Friday, January 30, 2009


You blink and a month of the new year is gone. yikes.

I was thinking over the past few days about choices. Choices we make, paths of life that we choose and where those paths lead us. Part of the reason I have been thinking about this is because I have been going through my old journals trying to write my book. (Well, one of them at least.) Don't worry, names will be changed to protect the innocent (or criminal). I have been thinking alot of where my choices have led me and where different choices might have taken me.

It's kind of like that movie Sliding Doors (no, I haven't seen it, but I understand the concept.) You catch your train and your life goes one way, you miss your train and take another, and your life is completely different.

On the surface, my life is good. A friend who will see her 35th birthday before I see mine recently told me that she hated me. This revelation apparently came to her after seeing my family photo, or one of the pictures of Brooklyn smiling and laughing and just being her cute little self. This friend commented that she'd be happy with a guy who was semi-normal, not incredibly horrible to look at, and appropriately aged who would just ask her out on a date. To her, my success is measured by my husband and my family.

Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence (or as Irma Bombeck used to say, on the other side of the septic tank.) That particular friend envies my home life, whereas I (or other of my married friends) might envy, and to some extent even miss, the footloose and fancy free lifestyle of being single. (Or at least, we miss the lifestyle of having our own space and not tripping over toys every 2 feet.)

So what were my choices? Well, if I go back to high school, I suppose I could scrutinize several choices that might have affected my life's outcome and brought me to where I am right now. I went through high school and college with the single-minded goal of law school, and my choices reflected that, for the most part. For example, my senior year of high school, despite massive protestations from "Del," I quite the high school band. I packed up my trumpet, relegated it to my closet and moved on. A choice. One that I made then without much thought to the future or to what my trumpet might get me. These days, when I go out to see a punk band play, that has a horn section, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if I had kept playing, auditioning for a band or an orchestra somewhere. Would I be on a stage right now? Would I be travelling the world?

Another choice- singing. I sang in the school choir, and I liked it, and I think I was pretty good. But it was never something I saw as a vehicle to carry me into the future. I saw it as a way to pass time and have a little fun. As I look back now, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if I had continued to sing into college, or taken voice lessons. Especially these days in the glow of American Idol, I can't help but wonder whether I would have cut a record or be singing to packed houses. (Odds are, I would not, but it's fun to wonder, right?)

A favorite "what if" for me has been basketball. I loved to play. I played in high school and for 2 years of college. A bum knee sidelined me for part of a season and after that, I felt hopeless (there were other factors at play) in continuing to strive for playing time. So I gave it up. I can't help but wonder what would have come of my sticking to it? At the time, I saw basketball as a way to stay in shape and to stay competitive. I loved to play and as long as I could still play at a certain level, I did. But when that got taken away (a la' my injuries), I was still focused on the law school finish line, and so basketball simply fell away. Even today I still miss that time of my life. Would I have gone pro? Would I have toured Europe with a team there? Could I have cut it playing in the big leagues? Who knows. Again, fun to wonder sometimes, but these are the choices we make.

I could go on with various choices, things that I chose to do (or not do) because of money (or a lack of it), places that I opted not to go, trips that I convinced myself I could not afford to take. I would not say that these things are regrets. I look at my life today and I love what I have, and I love my life and my family. When I wonder about the swinging doors in my life, my choices, I think that if I had made a different choice anywhere along the line, I might not have what I do today. I know for a fact that if I had not chucked it all, packed my car and moved to LA, I would not have met my husband in law school and I would not have my little girl. The rest of the stuff is a throw-away if you consider that choice as being fundamental. And there have been choices since the move. I could have pursued a career in federal law enforcement. I tested for the FBI and Secret Service. But both of those programs had pretty strict re-location policies, that are difficult if you have a family tagging along. Yes, I think about how that might have been, jogging along side a limo going down Pennsylvania Avenue, but what about the family that I would not be able to have.

I'm not sure there is a point here, and I know there is not an answer. Sometimes it is fun to consider what might have been or things that might have become, but I guess in the grand scheme of things, we have to live in the "now." I can long for the bygone days, friendships, places that I've been, or I can look forward to what's coming next, the places that I will go, the friends I have now, the friends I have yet to meet. Ultimately, that makes for a much more satisfying journey.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

About two weeks ago, I starting thinking about resolutions. Why do people make them, what they usually make them for, and whether or not they do any good. Lose 10 pounds, quit smoking, quit drinking, be nicer to our fellow man, drive slower, eat better, spend more timeetc., etc., etc. We all have these thoughts of grandeur that usually wither out around January 15th or so. If we're lucky, they may last through Easter. So I started to think about resolutions, like I do every year around Thanksgiving, wondering if there was something I could do differently or better, or maybe there was something that I've always wanted to do, but could never seem to find the time. Maybe my resolution could be to make the time.

So what do I want to do with my life? You might laugh at that question and wonder what else there is for me to do. I have an education, a good career, a nice house, a great family, what more could I want. That's enough to keep me busy, right? Well, back in the day, I did quite a bit to keep me busy. Music, sports, school, art, writing, boys (of course!). I was always up to something. These days, although Brooklyn is enough to keep me busy nonstop, there are still things I'd like to do. Someday, I'd like to open a bakery. Someday, I'd like to open up a shop and sell my handmade cards. Someday, I'd like to open up a volleyball club. Someday I'd like to write a book, or two or three. (Someday, I'd like to play pro beach volleyball, but I know that's probably a little bit beyond me these days.)

The bakery, the card shop and the volleyball club are probably a little out of my reach, until I find someone who can invest and give me start-up capital. So I'm left with the "do-it-yourself" kind of projects. Writing. You don't need investors to do that, not really a lot of start-up capital needed. I guess in order to write a book, you have to have patience. And determination. I have those things, I just tend to get sidetracked- by Brooklyn, by the job, by life. And then there are those pesky little things like actually sitting down to write and what to write about, and then there's the editing.

I've heard that you should write what you know. Fiction or non-fiction, you write what you know. Then I heard somewhere else that if you want to write a book, you should sit down and write a page a day. Doesn't matter what you write about, just make sure you write a page a day. In one of those "how to" books, it says not to edit until you are all done. (That's just one of my issues, that I keep going back over what I have written, trying to edit it all of the time.)

So, in thinking about all of this, I decided that my New Year's Resolution was going to be to sit down and actually write my book. (On a side note, I have two friends that have actually finished books and I am completely in awe of their drive and ability to do it.) I have a ton of ideas. I have journals and notebooks full of ideas, I have lots of things to write about. I just need to nail my backside to a chair once a day and write... something... anything. (I even thought about keeping a diary or journal and just writing something everyday, whether or not it all following the same topic.)

I resolved to do it. I was going to pick one of my topics, I was going to write a book. I had my New Year's Resolution, I was ready to go. As the year dwindled to a close, I thought about it, I planned it out. Was I going to use the laptop and type on the living room couch, watching t.v.? Was I going to use the desktop and close the world out for an hour a day? How was I going to do it, where was I going to do it? I figured those things would come to me as I put fingers to keys. The year was coming to a close, and I was ready.

At some point on New Year's Eve, I remembered my resolution. I remembered my big plans, my dream of putting my thoughts down and making something of them. Then I went back to chasing Brooklyn around, trying to get her down to nap, then getting ready for our dinner out. As we sat through a steak dinner and then danced around and had a few drinks with friends, resolutions were the farthest thing from my mind. As we drove home with a sleeping baby girl, I never once considered my book. After we convinced her that 1:30 a.m. was not a good time to play in her playroom, and looking forward to sleeping in, the last thing I wanted to do was think, about anything.

And so, New Year's Eve rolled into New Year's Day, and 2009 began. No worries, right? It was the first. Plenty of time to sit down and write something. At least 12 whole hours of being awake, time to write something. Then the Rose Bowl Parade was on, then we went out for lunch and a few errands. (Target, anyone?). Then the Rose Bowl Game was on. We tried to get B to nap somewhere in there too. Then I finished wrapping up the last of the holiday gifts and boxing them up. Then I got started on dinner. Then we played with B, then we put her to bed, then I watched a few back episodes of Without a Trace, and then... and then... and then... and then I went to bed. And fell asleep. And had completely random and weird dreams, the stuff that movies- or novels are made of. And then it was the 2nd. And then I realized that I hadn't written a thing down yesterday. Not a darn thing.

Ah well. Realization sets in. The resolution is out the window, and it took less than 24 hours. So much for the resolutions. But, as with things like resolutions, there are no "real" rules. There's nothing that says that if I fall down, I can't get back up and try again. There's nothing that says that because I failed once, I can't try again. So I shall try. I will endeavor once more to actually sit down and write something, just a little something, even night. Maybe when I'm done, I'll get lucky and someone else will actually want to read it. Maybe when I'm done, I'll get lucky and find an agent who might want to sell it for me. Maybe. Oooh. Maybe, I could sell my book, and then use the money I make as my start-up money for my card shop or bakery or volleyball club. Ooooooh.

Well, it's good to dream. Dreams are what life is made of, I suppose. And we all have to start somewhere. Even if it's somewhere as small and simple as writing a little bit each day. So you'll have to excuse me, while I go write something down.