Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Writing your own life

Seems like forever since I’ve written a blog post. It’s not for lack of things to say, says me whose mother nicknamed her ‘satchel mouth’ as a child. Just the business of life keeps me preoccupied. And since ‘fiction writer’ is my occupation, some days I’d rather make things up than ponder truths.

Disclaimer: In another life, I was a journalist and taught reporting for many years and didn’t make anything up.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could write our own endings? Edit our shortcomings, failures, and yes successes?

Tweak yesterday, today, or tomorrow to get it just so….

The unpredictability of life is what makes it so…unpredictable. And worth living.

Sometimes the curve balls life lobs my way really tick me off, making me long for a do-over, a makeover, or just for whole seasons to be over.

Like this summer, which I spent ‘booted’ and cranky, recovering from ankle and foot surgery. I couldn’t wait for fall. Autumn arrived, at least calendar wise. As I sit avoiding work by pecking out this post, the slight breeze outside is wafting the 88-degree temps inside. I’m long out of the boot, but recovery continues, as does the crankiness.

On the positive side my gorgeous friend Franny (ten years my senior and beyond stunning inside and out), persuaded me (and it took a lot of persuading) to join her in water workouts at the Y. I love the instructor, the other women in the class, the workouts, and even the water.

So to continue in a cliché-ridden vein, every cloud does have a silver lining.

Got an e-mail from older son today, who’s studying in Seoul this semester. This is his third sojourn abroad, a journey that started when he was in high school – as I’ve chronicled before. Actually it probably started when fate and the financial woes of the Michigan public school systems led my administrator father to a job in Iowa more than 30 years ago. I transferred to Iowa State University and met my husband, he of the Viking blood, when we both worked at our college newspaper. His wanderlust runs strong in our firstborn.

We haven’t heard from Erik much because he’s so busy with classes and tutoring English. That and the time difference make finding a time to Skype difficult.

And, as he says in the last line of his note, with him no news is good news. This is a running joke in our family because often when he has news it has to do with wanting to go to:

  1. Europe (twice)
  2. Asia
  3. The moon (okay that one hasn’t come up yet, but I’m still waiting)

He’s writing his own life, as is his younger brother, and having the time of his life doing it.

As a mom, that truth makes me very happy indeed.


  1. You brought up something I've never thought about - writing our own story, sweet ending and all.
    I guess for me, I'm just having a difficult time living one day at a time!
    I feel bad that you had such a hard time in the boot but then again I feel bad for me with the chronic pancreas diagnosis.
    It's learning to live my life in a different way and I do love to stay in my comfort zone.
    So happy to hear both your sons are adventurous and doing their own thing. It's what we should wish for all our offspring instead of trying to wrap them in the cloak of our own lives. Wanting them to stay put in our own molds.
    Guess I'd do some things over if I had the chance with my own daughters. Hmmmm. Doing better with the grandchildren!
    Thanks for sharing. Blessings. Barb

  2. Well, you can hardly fault Erik for having wanderlust when he's half Viking and you named him accordingly. But what you have to watch out for is the Nordic Saga Syndrome. We People of the Ice (my grandfather was from Norway,by way of just about the whole planet--that wanderlust thing)...as I was saying, we P of the I tend to dress up our true stories. If Erik starts doing that, you need to, uhm...oh. Seeing as how you're sort of in the business of dressing up stories, maybe I'm talking to the wall here.