I always thought that was the saddest thing I'd ever heard. Of COURSE she had a life. She was (still is) beautiful. She had a great job. She was a Super Aunt to 2 adorable neices. She drove a Mustang. She had great taste in music. She thought her life was humdrum, so-so, unremarkable. But it wasn't. It was her life. I ached for her to celebrate it.
I have other friends who've started blogs, published a few entries, then abruptly stopped. "Why aren't you writing?" I ask. "I keep checking for an update." Invariably, the answer is the same: "I don't have anything to write about. My life's not exciting."
Neither is mine. I mean, really. I lead a pretty humdrum life. I get up at 7 most mornings, rush through the morning routine, get the two older kids off to school, settle down in my studio to work, break for lunch when I think about it or when Ian starts begging for food, think about dinner when Darren comes through the door at 6, stay up too late reading or scrapping or chatting, and start all over the next day.
Sometimes I have lunch with friends and drop a chipotle shrimp on my shelf without even noticing until my kid says, "Mom. There's a shrimp on your shirt."
Sometimes I get a call from Rodney (my beloved brother who lives in Seattle and whom I haven't seen in too many years) and we laugh and cry and snark and talk about stuff for 2 hours at a time until our sides ache and our smile muscles are weary and our hearts are spent.
Sometimes I swordfight with Ian in the front yard (he always gives me the BROKEN sword, little cheater that he is), dueling gallantly until he finally rips open my gut and chops off my arm and leaves me to die spectacularly in the overgrown grass under a 104-degree sun with who knows which neighbors giggling from behind their bushes or from the picture windows of their air-conditioned houses.
Last week, I packed for Aidan a lunch (it was bribery, I'll admit it) that consisted of S'more Sandwiches, 2 Oreo cookies and a Fruit Roll-Up, prompting a note home from his teacher which read "Please only send one sweet in Aidan's lunch per day."
I drew smiley faces and hearts and flowers and a big swirly "DANI" on my 15-year-old daughter's lunch sack (she's too cool for a lunch BOX, you know), hoping she wouldn't be embarrassed of it, and half figuring she'd throw the sack away and stash her sandwich and chips in her purse as soon as she got to school. But instead, she was PROUD of that little sack and announced after school, "Hey Mom. Marissa loved your artwork. She said she wishes HER mom would draw on her sacks." Oh... I forgot to mention that in the bottom corner of the sack, I wrote boldly, "Dani has the coolest Mom EVER." :)
Thursday night, I went upstairs to kiss the boys goodnight. When I reached the landing to head back down to the family room, I was suddenly slammed with the realization that I was exhausted. I haven't yet changed my nightly routine. I'm still staying up 'til 2 or so in the morning, but rising at 7. By Thursday night, it'd caught up with me and I turned on my heel and walked straight to my bedroom instead of back down the stairs. I was snoring by 9:30.
Tonight, we ate at CiCi's Pizza, then Dani generously bathed the boys and put them to bed while Darren and I snuggled on the couch and watched "Anger Management". We laughed and laughed. Our fat cat snuggled with us and (weird cat that she is) kept licking the back of my neck. Eventually, Dani came down and watched the end of the movie with us. We didn't even have popcorn.
These aren't exactly the things that define an exciting life. It's unremarkable. But it's MY life. It's everything I've ever dreamed of. It's safe, it's warm, it's happy, it's peaceful.
I'm not clothed in physical beauty. I'm not showered with monetary blessings. I'm not overrun with talent or grace or wisdom.
But I lead a life that's fun to scrap.
I have a life worth writing about.
Celebrate it, 'cause so do you.
Get to it! Be remarkable!
"My students were middle-class kids who were ashamed of their background. They felt like unless they grew up in poverty, they had nothing to write about...I felt sorry for these kids, that they thought their whole past was absolutely worthless because it was less than remarkable."
-David Sedaris, from an interview in January Magazine