Thursday, February 20, 2014

Putting Yourself Out There: My Listen to Your Mother Metro Detroit Audition

For the past four and a half years, I have been putting myself out there blogging and writing about my life and opinions.  I still feel that tingle of excitement and nervousness as I click the publish button.  Sometimes I get a comment, most times not, but either way, I never really see the people and their facial expression as they read my posts.

This all changed when I auditioned for Listen to Your Mother Metro Detroit. 

I first learned about Listen to Your Mother at a BlogHer conference.  The women that read at the open mic night were women I had admired, especially Wendi Aarons as she read her open letter to Brand Manager of Proctor and Gamble, manufacturer of Always Maxi Pads.

Later,I could see other favorite writers read their pieces on the Listen to Your Mother’s YouTubechannel.  I knew I wanted to be apart of this production.  I wasn’t sure how, if, or when it would happen, so I just kept my eyes open for any opportunity near me.

My chance came a few weeks ago.  I read a piece of writing that was extremely personal which took me forever to write.

As I sat in front of the producers, my voice trembled as I fought back tears.

Tears for when I remembered the experience as it happened.  Tears for sharing thoughts I don’t normally share out loud.  Tears because of all this took an enormous amount of courage for me.

I left the audition not really knowing what the producers thought about my piece. I did leave knowing this:

It takes guts to put myself out there, to create something, to be a maker. No matter what, I need to be proud of that.

And I was proud, but for the next couple of weeks, I tried not to refresh my email every hour 10 minutes to see if I had been chosen.

I am excited to say that I have been given an opportunity to share my story on stage with the first cast of Listen to Your Mother Metro Detroit.

I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this production and have a chance to work with some very talented writers.

I started blogging because I just wanted to write, share my story, and connect with others.  

This is a culmination of my intentions in a way I never dreamed of.

listen to your mother metro detroit

Monday, February 10, 2014

Motivational Monday: Routine

I am starting to feel the darkness.  I haven’t felt that heaviness creeping around in the corners of my mind like this in quite some time.  I see the shadows in my peripheral vision, and I start to get nervous because I do not want to loose my grip and end up on the couch for the rest of the winter season.

I could blame it on the weather. It has been freezing with bitter wind chill factors, and so. much. snow.  Last month, I felt that I was one snow day away from transforming into Jack from The Shining.

I could blame it on work. Some unexpected things required immediate attention, forcing me to put some things on the back burner.

I could blame it on the lack of sleep since there has been a protest in sleeping through the night with both kids.

I am going to say it was a combo of all of these things that have deprived me of routine.

I thrive on routine. I feel focused with routine. Without it, I wander around wondering when the grocery shopping and laundry will get done (it won't) or when I will feel inspired to write (I don't).

This lack of routine has me at a loss for words. I feel that I have so much to say and write, but it gets lost while I flounder between home and work responsibilities.

Since writing is essential to my sanity, I decided to take matters into my own hands. 

This week I am going to a local writing group and I decided to take this online writing class with Jenna at the Word Cellar.

I am hoping to find my words underneath all of this muckiness.

In the meantime, I am trying to pay extra close attention to the small details. Observing the beauty of everyday moments helps me stay connected, keeping me from letting my mind wander into the darkness.

At the ear doctor.  I love his hat, cape, and mittens.  

How do you rediscover your passion? How do you keep your sanity during these harsh winter months?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Motivational Monday: Hello, February!

January, I'm kind of glad you are over.

We haven't seen this kind if snow here since 1978. Mention inches.  At first, I was good with it. The fresh white blankets of snow made everything pretty, even on gloomy, cloudy days.  We were able to go sledding. There is nothing quite like flying down a hill with the wind in your face. It brought back all kinds of cozy childhood memories, especially when we took the kids down the same sledding hills my parents took me when I was a kid.

But then the cold came. Cold as in 35 degrees BELOW 0 with the wind chill.  For days.  

School was cancelled. The days off were fun in the beginning. We didn't have to go back to school after our Christmas break so it felt like an extended vacation.  We were cozy in our jammies with nowhere to go and unlimited screen time on all devices.

But as the month drudged on, the inclement weather days kept coming.  During the whole month of January, we only had one full week of school. 

The cozy feeling began to feel stifling. I lost track of the days. The less I did, the less I wanted to do. So I tried to find the silver lining.

I baked cookies.  There were many benefits of this: the oven kept the house warmer.  The cookies were delicious. (Obviously).  The kids were into baking (for the first couple of batches), but began to loose interest.  But that didn't stop me.  I baked and baked and baked.  

I needed to feel a sense of accomplishment since everything else was falling apart with no schedule, no motivation. When those warm, delicious cookies came out of the oven and melted chocolate oozed out with the first bite, I felt like a winner.

However, I started to notice that I was developing an extra layer of insulation.  It kind of snuck up on me.  I mean, it's not like my clothes felt tight since I was only wearing jammies with elastic waistbands. I like to that think by adding this extra layer of insulation by the means of baking comforting treats, I was honoring my biology, a need to stay warm before we had things modern luxuries, like furnaces.

But we do have furnaces.  For quite some time.

So February, I need to get it together.  Enough of drifting through each day in your bathrobe, eating cookies. Enough of the unlimited screen time which is defiantly warping your children's sense of reality. 

I can't live like this anymore. Nothing is getting done.

Today I am going to go to the gym and run. I think being cooped up without the release of a good workout has made me crabby. My mind feels fuzzy.  

fitness quote mommy on the spot

I created some charts to help the kids stay focused on things other than screen time.

This reminds me of a lesson I already learned with summer: I do better with a schedule and a routine.  I do better when we have places to go or things to so. And when I say I really mean we.  Not that I don’t love cuddling on the couch with my babies, but I really am a better mom when we are doing stuff.

Did you have a lot of snow in January?  How did you cope?  How are you feeling about February?