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Three-Day Weekend


I have a three-day weekend. For the time being I’m going to ignore the messy yard, the laundry, the school projects, and the emails I need to tend to. I’m letting the sun warm my body as it blasts through the sliding glass door. I’m going to stay in my jammies til at least noon.

Yesterday afternoon was a bit of a train wreck at work. One kid in particular was wearing my nerves so thin I actually had to pause and put my head down and regroup lest I pull out my hair or turn into my version of The Hulk. I had a day where I felt I hadn’t been a great teacher. I wasn’t getting through to some of them and my voice was a mouse fart against their elephant trumpeting and T-Rex stomping.

So I believe I deserve a three-day weekend. Reboot, please.

Sometimes three-day weekends put a lot of pressure on you, though. If you don’t have a trip planned (which would have been nice) you are immersed in your surroundings and all the things you know you should do since you have an extra day. Rest and relaxation is on the agenda. But wait, that bill… that email… the yard… the kids… my creative projects.

Maybe I’ll just pretend I have to work Monday. So Sunday night will be a grand surprise when I don’t have to set my alarm for the next day.

I’m half-joking about the pressure because I believe everyone should have three-day weekends all the time. Or at least three days off per week. People will ask less time off from work because they will get all their doctor appointments, etc. covered. More time with family and friends. More time for exercise. So in turn less time at the doctor’s office. One day less of work commuting so better for the environment. More productive at work because they are refreshed. More balance in life.

That’s my opinion. I won’t get into the reasons why it might be difficult. Let me just stay in my jammies writing, ignoring the chores, and listening to my son have a blast with his friends he only gets to see on the weekends.

How do you feel about three-day weekends? What would you do with that extra day?

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Clearing the Clutter, Freeing the Mind

I’ve been walking past this mess of a home office for months now. It might even be a year. Piles and stacks of papers. Cabinets of files which need going through, sorted, recycled, thrown away. I don’t want to do it. It will take so much time. And I don’t want to spend my weekend doing my very least favorite chore. I’ve scrubbed toilets before I’ve gotten to the office.

But today it’s raining. I have the house to myself. I have no plans. There is no reason not to do this.

So here I am sorting through months and years worth of bills, statements, photos, my son’s old report cards, instructional manuals for items I don’t even own anymore.

There are things which make me wince and feel that pang in my gut:

Old writings I never finished.

A song list for my all-girl’s 80’s cover band that disbanded after the second rehearsal.

Photos of me and my son when he was a baby. He’ll never be that cooing cherub ever again.

Pay stubs from various jobs.

Files from all my freelance attempts.

Scribbled notes to my husband at the beginning of our separation nightmare.

How had I let all these things pile up, disrupting my home’s feng shui? Well I hadn’t carved the time to tackle this mess. I had ignored it. Until it started causing me disturbance and keeping me from getting to my creative work and even my work work.

With every sheet of paper I let go (I’m sorry son I cannot keep every school work or drawing you ever did) and those that I angrily threw into the trash (Eff you, IRS!) as well as those I tossed into the recycling bag with relief (Those words I wrote to myself in that dark time that has thankfully passed) I became lighter and lighter.

And I came across things which made me smile:

Writings I did finish.

A photo of me in the community paper when I self published my children’s book.

Birthday cards and kind notes from various friends and family.

Sweet sayings and drawings my son created for me.

Those pay stubs from various jobs. Hey, I’ve done a variety of things in my life.

Even the loving notes and cards from my husband when we were together brought me a smile through the sadness of it all. Because we did have those good times and now we are back to being friends.

The clutter was a reminder of what I have gone through this past year or so. And how sometimes you have to go through the pits of hell to finally figure out who you are and be OK with it.

The past makes us part of who we are. But if we become confined to its clutter there is no space to move forward.

Now the clutter is cleared. My mind is free. And my office a blank canvas ready for the vibrant colors to come.



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The Scream of Silence

It was brought to my attention last night at a neighborhood party that I had not contributed to my blog lately.

I knew this would happen.

One of my avid readers, the boyfriend of the party host and the only male there, mouthed at me from across the room and plateful of cheese and crusty garlic bread.

“Your blog.”

That’s all he had to say really. I knew he would at some point in the evening bring about my accountability for my writing.

“I know,” I mouthed back at him. “I’ve been applying for jobs lately. Not a lot of time for my writing.”

My avid reader is deaf. He contracted polio when he was twelve. Woke up one morning to complete and total silence. I cannot imagine losing my hearing. Sometimes I think I’d rather be blind. To not hear the crescendo of a song that makes your whole body vibrate? To not hear the birds sing outside the window, reminding me of simplicity and nature? To not hear the myriad of beautiful (and not so beautiful) voices and accents from around the globe in their own rhythm and cadence?

But my avid reader doesn’t let this silence deafen his life. He fishes. He shops at the flea market impatiently with his girlfriend. He attends parties. He drives the old ladies (and intoxicated) people home. And he reads lips from across the room.

I am in awe of this ability. I try to read lips, too. I usually look at a person’s mouth when they are speaking to me. It helps clear the wobble of communication in loud places. But my avid reader not only reads lips, he recognizes accents, too. He knew I came from somewhere-in-the-south when he first met me. His girlfriend is English, and boasts a refined Liverpool accent. Thank goodness because she enunciates with the precision of a stern schoolteacher. I can’t imagine poor avid reader trying to read the lips of some of the people I heard mumbling their way through life during my childhood.


Despite his handicap, which perhaps he doesn’t even recognize it as that, he is one of the happiest people I know. I hear his laughter all the way down the street sometimes when I’m walking the dog.

I claim to be, and am, a very auditory person. I have music playing almost constantly. I can’t even brush my teeth without clicking my iPod to shuffle. But when my son and husband went away on a trip for a week I did not turn on the TV or music until the day before they arrived. It was as if I needed that calm quiet. That peacefulness after years worth of conversation and children and cartoons and the pop of Nerf guns.

I wouldn’t want the absence of sound all the time like Avid Reader. Although that absence does magnify the other senses. Maybe colors are more vivid. Hugs are deeper. The gulf breeze more caressing. Faces have more character.

And just maybe words, lines, and stories birth an even bigger life within the scream of silence. And when at a party full of cackling women the silence must be just heavenly.


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Last night I had one of my usual half-awake-half-dreaming 3am bouts.  These usually occur in the middle of a good dream.  When I’m about to sink my teeth into a blueberry cake donut or when I’m about to have my body willingly held captive by a dark, handsome stranger.  Forget about the times when I’m being chased by an evil, angry a-hole with a gun, a hungry alligator, a tidal wave, or since childhood a raging tornado or hissing snakes. Those dreams are allowed by the R.E.M. to conclude at will.  Although lately I’ve prevailed against such stalkers.  In one I actually grabbed the snake by its neck and threw it over a cliff.  In another I challenged the gun-slinger by getting into my defensive stance, looking him in the eye, and saying, “Don’t mess with me.  I’m a GREEN belt, mother f*cker!”

Since I’ve been spending more and more time on my writing, I’ve been waking up at this ungodly yet peaceful hour with various ideas.  Some for short stories, others about what my next line or scene will be in the novel I’m unhurriedly creating, and of course several for future blog posts.  Last night I woke up from a dream I now can’t remember and had an idea for a daily prompt.

You know those cheesy infomercials you’d catch at, well, 3am, like the Ginsu knife, Sham Wow, or the Snuggie (I have one don’t judge me)?  Well what if you wrote an infomercial but instead of the Ab Roller the product was yourself?  How would you market yourself?  What would you say?  What are the qualities you could offer that maybe someone of less sharpness, absorption, or snuggly-ness couldn’t?

Here’s what I thought of at 3am, or something close to it (the darkness makes things seem so much more awesome).  Cue non-accented male voice-over and bleak, black and white shots:

Are you tired of a bitchy friend or a nagging wife?  Wish you had a nicer neighbor?  What about those mean restaurant patrons or that guy who never picks up after his dog?  And those people who go on and on about their ailments, politics, or crappy job.  Well have we got a refresher for you! (Cue up-beat voice-over and crisp, colorful images):


My fortune at Chinese take-out tonight. Seriously.

Introducing Jenifer, the diplomatic Libran who is sure to bring positive vibes to any occasion!  She’ll be your listening ear.  She’ll laugh at your mediocre jokes.  She won’t hassle and will water your plants when you’re out of town.  She’ll be your partner on the loneliest of dance floors; she’ll sing decent karaoke and clap for you even if yours is not so decent.

But wait, there’s more!

Even with the crappiest of waiters she won’t make a scene.  And she doesn’t leave for a dog walk without at least 3 poop bags!  Her only complaint may be that she is tired but she will most certainly follow that with a “but I’ll just get a quick reboot later and be OK.”  You’ll never hear her start a conversation involving politics and if you start one she will most likely change the subject.  She loves her writing career/job/hobby and will gladly proofread you or your children’s letters and essays.

So don’t wait! Act now and receive Jenifer for the low, low price of inspiration and human companionship.  A handful of dark chocolates and a nice bottle of Chardonnay won’t hurt, either.  Order today!

(Cue really super fast kind of whispered voice-over with speedy, rolling text):

Discrepancies include and are not limited to: Little to no availability for phone conversations, sometimes doesn’t leave the house for days, occasionally wears pajamas til the early evening, at times just wants to be left alone, sometimes needs constant validation for her writing, may only snuggle for up to 5 minutes, avoids heavily crowded areas unless 1.5 to 3 glasses of white wine are consumed, requires monthly pedicures, daily intake of dark chocolate, eight hours of sleep with white noise, one hour of rigorous exercise, and reserves the right to be in a non-positive frame of mind one week prior to “that time of month”.

Blog now!

Note:  Wow, the The Daily Post at WordPress.com used my idea above (with a bit of a twist) for one of their Daily Prompts: As Seen on TV!

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