Here and there

There are a number of things I want to write about here. I should really keep a list in my Get To Work Book rather than leaving all of the tabs open in my browser so that I remember whatever it is whenever I have time to get to writing about it.

A few years ago, I tried to get myself to write more regularly by setting an intention: I would set a timer on my phone for five minutes and just write. Editing could come later. The important thing was starting. That is what I’m doing right now. We’ll see how well it works this time around.

Last week I started a mindfulness class. It’s actually intended for students, but no one objected when I registered, or when I RSVP’d with my clearly-not-a-student signature, so even though I feel conspicuous in the space, those feelings are all on me. We closed our eyes and the instructor led us through a mindfulness exercise. We learned to belly breathe – familiar from voice lessons decades ago – as well as a technique whose real name I can’t remember because the instructor made us laugh by calling it chaos breathing. She had us turn and face the wall so that we didn’t laugh at ourselves or others as we bounced up and down, flapping our arms like chickens. She closed the class with a guided meditation, breathing our breath into our feet, feeling them heavy against the floor. I had the sensation of my distractions unfurling like a coiled ribbon, then gathering back in on themselves. I needed this.

These days I am thinking about emotional labor, and minimalism, and why we don’t listen to women. I’ll talk about all of these things later. I promise.

Five Minute Reviews

I’m back at work and trying to get into the groove of professional writing, and it’s hard. My posting here has fallen off to the point that I’m still trying to get through posts about a trip we took a year ago. For the last few months, most of the writing I was able to accomplish was done one-handed on my phone while feeding the baby or in the stolen moments while he was napping and I really should have been napping as well.

I’m trying a few things to flex my writing muscles again. Most nights I’ve been able to take a few minutes before bed or before work to write a couple of paragraphs in a paper journal. I’m chipping away at the backlog of real emails during my pumping breaks. And I’ve been keeping a running list of things I want to write about here.

As an experiment, I’m going to try to write five minute reviews of whatever: books, movies, products, recipes, food trucks, etc. I will set a timer and write for five minutes, and whatever I get down (plus photos and links added after) is what I’ll post here. I’m going to try to do this weekly. Wish me luck!


I’m newly inspired to write by The Orwell Prize’s real-time blogging of the Orwell Diaries.  Orwell’s small observations of life in 1938 England, coupled with the letters from my grandfather that I reread this morning, have me thinking about blogging as a way of capturing every day life rather than just trying to say something meaningful, you know?

Saw a white owl two nights ago – the first in about two years. Also in the distance another bird probably a little owl.

(An excerpt from August 16, 1938)

Since the 70s (at least), my grandfather has kept a diary, recording small events, what they had for dinner, etc.  To most people, reading these diaries would be boring as sin, but to those of us who love him and will miss him terribly when he’s gone, it’s a way to connect with his life and understand the things that were important to him.

Over the 6 1/2 years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve gone back and forth between recording the day-to-day, musing on bigger things (or attempting to do so), and not posting at all because I didn’t feel like I had anything to say.  In the last week, however, two of my friends have posted about small things and the need to post more, even if it’s about less.  I think I’ll try to do the same.