Out of the corner of the eye I saw he’d texted me, which isn’t unusual but in the past few weeks had been less frequent. We’ve both been busy: he has gone back to school and I have been traveling quite a bit for work. And there were the holidays: Parties. Family. Gatherings. Shopping. Lots of people to please.
I know, right? Serious Third World / “This is 40″ problems.
For an insecure little second I wondered if he was cancelling our date tonight. Continue reading
Nashville singles: The following is a list of potential suitors.
It began as a text exchange between a fellow single mom and me. You should note that this particular friend and I have a texting parlance that affords us to know such things as Android phones inexplicably capitalize “Shit” and iPhones do a likewise thing with a word I can’t bring myself to type on the internet.
So take this list with a grain of salt.
Right now she’s 11 and has a playlist called “Best Songs Ever” which has 125 songs on it. As she gets older, the list will narrow.
She’ll get better at making lists, but “Best Songs Ever” – if she still has a list like that – will have (I predict) eight songs on it. Maybe nine.
One song for when she was 13 or 14 and was nursing her first heartbreak. Maybe it’s actually his heart and she broke it. She’ll lay on her bed in her room and lock the door and write in her diary and listen to that same song over and over again. It’ll make her feel as sentimental as a kid can feel at that age. She’ll write something along the lines of “I remember when life was much simpler and all we worried about was whose house we were going to have dance practice at.”
Keeneland; Lexington, Ky.
In no particular order, though I numbered them just to make it easier to read – here are some sweet little moments from my 2011. I think when you’re having a great time, every little bit of it sparkles.
1. Lily in the Heathrow airport: It is a complicated airport and we were racing to catch our connection to Bangalore, India, and we had to ride a shuttle, a train, and pass through several security clearances. Just getting to this point had been a bureaucratic nightmare, and I think my mother and I had our doubts we’d ever get to India. My daughter Lily, 9 at the time, never waivered. My favorite moment is standing on a shuttle, feeling a certain peace at our lack of control over the situation. I looked at Lily and she said very calmly, “We’ll make it.” I thought for the first of many times on that trip – Damn, she is so grown-up.
Concert tickets were my go-to gift last Christmas – mostly because they were an easy thing to buy without leaving my house. I was stressed enough – in the middle of a divorce – and didn’t want the extra hassle of traffic, stores, cold, searching, wrapping, strangers.
Tickets turned out to be a hit, and soon I began to buy them to fill my new free time as a single woman. Later, I bought them with a kind of earnest hope – in twos – anticipating new people in my life. Then I began buying them with specific people in mind, especially my 10-year-old daughter. Ultimately, I bought them for myself.
I fell in love this year. Not with any one particular person or band or venue, but with my city … my Nashville … and my life in it. It has been a year worth remembering in song, starting with Rob Zombie. Continue reading
This morning I woke up an hour earlier than usual and gave myself time to:
- Watch the sun rise. The sky is dark, then it’s gray, then it’s yellow, then it’s blue. Warm under a blanket, from my porch.
- Start dinner. Split peas are soaking and ready for soup when I’m home from work.
- Drink my own coffee. Not Starbucks. Not my coworker’s.
- Walk around my garden. Take pictures of the blooms that weren’t there last night, but have magically appeared this morning.
- Listen to music. Slow, soft. Sam Cooke, romantic Elvis. No need for anything drilling to get me going.
- Write. In my journal. This post.
I can rarely buy time for myself in the mornings, but it’s such a gift when I do. How about you? What would you do with 60 minutes of extra solitude?
At some point in the last year, I decided to make mornings a luxury. They had become exhausting, a mad dash whose finish line was just the beginning to the “real” (and often very long) day ahead. I wanted more sleep. Lily wanted eggs. Neither of us could find a matching sock. And so it went. Then, in an effort to shave some time one morning, I opted for a quick dip in the bathtub instead of washing my hair in the shower. As I ran the water, I raced downstairs for my coffee cup. While I was there, I cranked up my “Mad Men” playlist on itunes. (It’s full of Perry Como and Julie London.) As I sank into the water, I felt calm. As I climbed out, I felt confident. In the months since, I’ve added (or reinstated) several other happies to my morning routine. I rarely accomplish all of them, but I have a much better shot at a lovely day if I can pull off at least three. Here are 10:
1. Wake up to something pretty.
My friend Courtney Seiter gave me this for Christmas.
Hanging to the right of my side of the bed is a photograph of a strong, sexy woman strutting straight through the middle of a jazz quartet. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up each morning, and it inspires me to be strong (and show the boys who’s boss!).