stinkin thinkin

January 17, 2007|Posted in: Uncategorized

Well, I guess I live too much in my brain and not enough in the real world, but hey. Whatever. I guess I never did mention the bead workshop here on The Muse. But there you have it. You know as much about it now as anyone.

I did make it to work and I did update my blog and I do still have the cold, but I didn’t do lots of other things. But it’s a new year = no fear. Not beating up self over what I have not done, contrary to the Hail Mary. If life is an abacus, which it isn’t, but play along, won’t you? If life is an abacus, I’m still running behind. Some six months of Patrick’s back outta whack, then the holidays, then I was sick, then he was sick, then he was out of town, now I’m sick again. (And looking back, I could keep going back, miles and years…). I am so looking forward to Normal. When I get there, I’ll be sure and let you know what it’s like. Because I have surely never been there. And wouldn’t know where to buy coffee or get gas or rent a room if I did. Still, it’s on my list of Places I’d Like to See Before I Die.

Because this is what Normal would look like.

I’d be able to work my 20 hours a week and still be home every afternoon for the kids, to do stuff, help with homework, run errands, have fun. I’d make a decent supper every night, or Patrick would, when he cooks (and btw, he’s a great cook…Saturday nights are now his, yee-haw!). I’d have time to get to the gym or walk or yoga, and read good books, and write like a fiend, and hang out with friends, and have dinner parties, and we’d host groovy impromptu fiestas for our family and friends on magical fun days like Bob Marley’s Birthday (Feb. 6) and the First Day of Baseball (sometime in February or March, I think) and St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo and Summer Solstice (June 21, of course) and Lughnasad (August) and especially on Jane Austen’s Birthday (Dec. 16). We’d serve black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day and watch It’s A Wonderful Life at Christmas, and visit college towns with our girls, and pick blackberries in the summer for pies and jam, and grow a garden with fat zucchini and bursting red and yellow tomatoes and a couple of pots of basil for a special tomato-mozzarella salad that we like to make on hot nights. We’d paint our bedroom sky blue and listen to reggae on warm fall nights and trance/house music on cold winter nights. We’d dance in the kitchen and tell stories at the dinner table. We would do housework with Springsteen and U2 and Elvis Costello blasting. We wouldn’t miss a Jimmy Buffett concert or a chance to see our old favorites live on their reunion tours. We’d go see the kids in plays and in games, and pick them up or drop them off like a taxi service. We’d get up early on the weekends when we have kids and sleep late on the weekends when we don’t have kids. And if I had the juice once in a while, I’d make crepes for dessert, because all the kids love crepes with melted chocolate and bananas and strawberries and Nutella and whipped cream, and they remind me of Mia and how she and I ate crepes all over Paris and Lille and Brugge last spring.

And then I think…hey, wait a minute. I have all that now! What the…

Is this Normal? This crazy, wildly bucking bronco that I can’t seem to grip hard enough to keep my seat?

Must be.

Advice to Aspiring Writers: Open your eyes. Take a deep breath of gratitude. It’s free.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.

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