Monday, July 26, 2010

Anne Lamott

On April 14th I went with some friends to hear Anne Lamott speak. You need to understand that Anne Lamott is my hero is many ways. Okay, maybe hero is too strong a word, but I love her and think she is brilliant and the Lord speaks to me through her writing. She writes about how messy life is and makes it seem beautiful and purposeful. She reminds me that God is bigger than our messes and that He has enough grace to cover them all. I didn't know when I saw her that five days later my Grandma would pass away and many of the things she said about grief and mess would soon resonate more than ever.
Anne has a quote in her book "Traveling Mercies" that says

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."

So, here are a few pearls of wisdom I wrote down during her talk:

Discussion is the most important thing.

“Each must enter the nest made by other imperfect birds.” – Rumi poem

See the divine in the ordinary – the sacred.

All we can do is invite people into our homes and lives.

“Sit there and cry, which is always the best place to start.”

If you’re a woman over the age of 12 and you’re not mad about the culture, then Anne is worried about you.

“Self consciousness is what kills you and the lack of it saves you.”

“Doing the grief and doing the anger are also what saves us.”

She calls her characters “people (she’s) worked with.”

Spoke about women’s equality and how this generation of young women still believe sexuality equals power.

Anne has to “practice not talking.”

Messy grace is the best kind – messy, hard-fought grace.

Family. Messes. Mistakes. Growing into the people we’re supposed to be – things she writes about.

The home of your own true self – Go back to where it is you really are.

Writing probably won’t make you famous, but it will give you everything you wanted.

If you can’t feel it, you can’t heal it.

Everything that’s happened to you is yours – yours to write about.

“If people don’t want you to write about them then they should’ve behaved better.”

What kids need is a journal and a pen.

No one cares if you write – a universal truth. – Just do it. Be one of the culture’s storytellers.
Sit down and just do it (write) and give yourself a short assignment.

An hour and a half will buy you 45 minutes of writing.

Hate is a great thing to write about because it is so enlivening.

Write what you’d like to come upon.

“Laughter is carbonated holiness.”

“Write one whole draft and go through and try to take out the lies.”

Make kids and teenagers come up to the front of the class and read their stuff.

What you know about Lamott is only what she shares.

You only have to go as fast as your slowest part.

It’s stressful to have dual citizenship (between here on earth and Heaven).

(photo: Nichol, Anne, Teri, Marci, and me. We met her and signed our books and we made her laugh. It was awesome).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love.

I cannot wait to see this movie! Enjoyed the book, like Elizabeth Gilbert, love Julia Roberts. Sometimes I watch the trailer just because. :) So excited. I'll probably see it twice. haha.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, "Eat. Pray. Love"

(quote found here).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A post of random thoughts...

Today I wore leggings. That's right, leggings. I'm not completely sure why, except that I have an office fashion icon (my friend, Marci) and she wears them with dresses and looks adorable, so I tried that today. I thought they might be uncomfortable and tight, but they were the opposite. They were super comfy. I felt a little tiny bit like Audrey Hepburn. But wearing them took me back...all the way back to age eight, when I used to wear nothing but leggings for pants. I hated jeans as a child and thought they were uncomfortable. My mom wasn't sure I'd ever grow out of my leggings phase. It is a phase I don't often remember, but something about the cotton hugging my calf brought it all back. Made me want to get my oversize Spottie Dottie sweater with some pink leggings and a side ponytail (yes, I really did wear that circa 1992).
I went to the grocery store yesterday (remember how I hate the grocery store?) and I could not bring myself to buy any kind of meat product. I'm not sure why. I envision eating it and it repulses me. I couldn't think about chicken or salmon to turkey or shrimp or even beef. (And no, I am not pregnant, that would take a miracle of Mary standards and that was a once in a lifetime event). I can't understand it except to say that I really think it has to do with the fact that I should eat better and cook and I don't really want to do either. That and the fact that I love pasta (although even last night I wasn't up to making that). Everything I make doesn't taste the way I wish and requires lots of dishes afterward. (Can I hire you as a personal chef? Maybe Bethenny Frankel?). In the end, I bought a bag of frozen scallops. Random, I know.
Today I read one of my favorite blogs, C Jane Enjoy It, and thought to myself "she is so happy" (read the end of this post for proof). Then I realized that all of my favorite bloggers are quite content with their lives, not only Courtney, but Stephanie, Ree, Nina, and Joanna. (Is it weird that I feel like we're all old friends?). I got a little jealous after reading Courtney's post. I also realized that all of them have lives that don't revolve around a job and not one of them lives alone (in fact all but one have kids). Their days often consist of errands and children and meals and family and visits with friends. I saw my friend, Sarah, for lunch today and her life consists of those things too and she also is very happy most the time, and even when she's not, she wouldn't change a thing about her life right now. I want that.
So my thought wasn't so much about quitting my job, grabbing the first man I see to marry me, and start popping out babies, rather, my thought was, do these people love their lives because it really is what they've always wanted? Or, do they love their lives because they have the right attitude? Does anyone even know the answer to that? Or is it both? Not sure, but very curious to find out. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Simple. Calm. Easy.

Today I walked outside and was swept away with the peace of the morning. I wanted to sit down in the silent sunshine and just ponder. Absorb. Breathe. It was the first cool morning we’ve had in about a week and the campus was nearly empty, because it was only 8:30. The calmness of the venue and the soft sun and the cool temperature, it just begged to be enjoyed. It was simple and calm and easy.
These three words are what I desire for my life right now. Simple. Calm. Easy. Not sure how to make that happen, but I am working on it.
My weekend was a good start. It was the first weekend I had no real plans and didn’t have to run all over the place and I could just try to be and enjoy myself. I didn’t sleep as much as I needed, but I did take some “me time.” I spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning just sitting and watching TV and veg-ing. I also went to Montana’s and danced with my friends and then went home to SD to see my best friend, Amy, and see a play at the Moonlight and have a late convo with our other good friend. Sunday brought a day mostly spent with Dad and a chance to see the family for a bit. It was all just what I needed to feel a bit more normal and set a slower pace for the next several weeks.
(photo taken by me in Newport).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Texas Extravaganza

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So, instead of writing, here are pictures from my family trip to Texas.
Ashley is a great packer (she takes after my Dad in that way). She helped me re-pack my suitcase (thanks, A).
It takes a lot to travel with a family of four!
We went to an all girls tea in Fort Worth at The Ashton Hotel. It was a beautiful hotel and a beautiful city. I could have sat and looked out the window the whole day.

My favorite Ainsley girl. Love her to pieces. (note: pardon my hand taking up the picture).

The Fourth of July brought a party for Nana’s 80th birthday and sparklers to celebrate.

The aunts and Nana.

The cousins – so many girls! The whole family (and the many takes it took to get us there because it makes me laugh).

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I live in a mess. Seriously, I look around my room and I see stacks of stuff everywhere. I use corners like I should cupboards and my bookshelves are so cluttered they are starting to dip in the middle from the weight of the words on the pages sitting on them. This weight of words is what my head feels like; this mess round me is what I feel like. I want to just throw it all away and start over. Every impulse in my body tonight is telling me to grab a pile and chuck it, but I also know that I may regret that decision in the morning when I am not so exhausted and hard on myself. Anyone can agree that I have too much stuff… for my bedroom. I have office items and bedroom items and living room items, etc. I have spent six years living independently in one room. I am 24 and have enough stuff, enough life accumulated, to fill half an apartment. And I think that is normal. I haven’t moved any of my stuff into the rest of the apartment, because I view it as corporate space and I am also kinda possessive. It’s just this messy cycle… there we go, my mess again. Maybe it’s just tonight. I’ve had a long and busy last few weeks. I just got back from Las Vegas today, was in Texas last week, two weeks before that I had Rachel’s wedding and before that our trip to Vegas, and in all of these activities I have the stress and pressure of this heavy independent study literature review I am trying to write and failing at. I’m exhausted and kind of grumpy, and when I get these moods I always feel the need to sleep or purge stuff. But I do need to purge, because if I insist on living an entire life of stuff in one room then I have to make some decisions of what to keep… which brings me to my next problem: decisions. I HATE making decisions. It doesn’t come easily to me and I feel guilty about lame things and I always feel overwhelmed. I’m also lazy. I like clutter. I like things… mainly books and magazines and sweet notes people have written me or cool pictures I’ve bought and music and movies and even old homework assignments. I want to be surrounded by these beautiful things… just not all in one room. I’m getting a new chair and ottoman on Saturday and I have no clue where it will fit in my room, because my room has no space left. (Sigh), I’m tired of the mess… in my room and in my head.