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Mom Organization Skills 101

There is no greater reward than being a mother, but believe me, for all those expecting moms out there, you sure do have your work cut out for you in order to earn that reward. It was only when I had my second child that I realized, being prepared for any scenario was better…

How Do I Choose the Best Professional Cleaning Service

Keeping your home clean can be an exhausting task, especially if you have to squeeze it in between the chaos and work and keeping your family in line. And if your life feels like it’s nothing but cleaning and tedious chores, perhaps it’s…

How to Keep Your Pool Clean Without Using Chemicals

The weather is getting hotter and hotter, and if you haven’t done it already, you are probably getting ready to open your pool and start the swimming season. Having a pool in your backyard is wonderful, but it requires quite some effort before you…

No, it's not a list of ingredients for a weird recipe, just a list of things I have to remember to maintain, and all of which start out with the best of intentions, ending up in a few straggly brown plants, an algae-covered tank, and a bad case of writer's block.

To explain how these odd ingredients actually do connect, I'm borrowing a line from Alan Jay Lerner, the lyricist & playwright (for My Fair Lady, Camelot, etc.). In his memoir, he wrote that he became a theatre writer ecause of "a cigarette, a left hook, and a wrong turn on the way to the men's room". (The cigarette got him kicked out of prep school en route to a diplomatic career, the left hook in a college boxing match damaged his vision & kept him out of the war, and the wrong turn was taken by composer Fritz Loewe, causing him to meet Lerner and launching a very successful collaboration.) I always loved that elegant combination of seemingly unrelated events (even though the memoir also contains lengthy descriptions of the writing retreats Lerner & Loewe spent at their various country homes, complete with a full complement of servants catering to their every need, taking 2 months to write one song, and I want to yell, "Okay, let's see you write a song while shelpping 2 kids around, running a home, teaching voice lessons, and doing all your writing at 5 a.m. before the kids get up!")

Anyway, my serendipitous combination of circumstances may not lead to a successful career, but it has shown me I need to slow down a bit and take better care of myself, as well as take better care of the tomatoes I planted with such optimism but occasionally forget to water. Meanwhile, the fish tank was a well-intended gift from the boys' godfathers (my best friend from college, Andy, and his husband-until-Calif.-figures-out-what-to-do-about-the-gay-marriages-performed-before-Prop.8, Bob, who has proclaimed himself to be the boys' 'fairy godmother'). The idea of the tank was that the boys were totally responsible for it* and I was to do nothing but watch and enjoy. I guess I missed the asterisk . . . *until they both get really busy with their respective activities and mom caves in and cleans the tank . . . . and since I teach my voice lessons in the room with the tank, I have to look at the algae on a regular basis.

Then there's the lapses in blog entries. I had all these noble intentions, to post twice a week, to cross-post to other more popular sites so I could follow in Diablo Cody's footsteps (she's the Academy-Award-winning screenwriter who got her start blogging about her work as a stripper . . . not that I'm stripping, but I figured someone out there is reading these blogs . . . oh, never mind). Anyway, it meant I stopped writing for my own enjoyment and was thinking of my blog as a promotional activity, which pretty much took the fun out of it, and sure enough, over 2 weeks have gone by where I didn't even realize I hadn't been posting, I just got busy with other things.

So - I hereby resolve to water plants, clean the fish tank, and write blog entries purely for my own enjoyment, and if my efforts produce edible tomatoes, a beautiful aquarium, or a screenwriting contract, that's icing on the cake. Meanwhile, after I get myself more serene and then become an overnight success after 35 years, I can use this series of events to launch my own memoirs, and make Alan Jay Lerner look lazy by comparison.

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