Tag Archives: goals

On the verge in 2016

2015 was a pretty spectacular year for your favorite butch blogger.

I landed a publishing contract and my book, Leaving Normal: Adventures in Gender, was released on June 26. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s the same day the U.S. Supreme Court issued its marriage equality ruling.

W and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

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Call me a sucker for a head of feathered hair back in the day.

I not only survived my first public speaking gig but shined. Like Farrah Fawcett’s pretty feathered hair circa 1974.

I was sitting in my writers’ group right before the holidays thinking about how far I’ve come and outlining goals for 2016. I was feeling joyful and content surrounded by writers who are not only colleagues but friends.

And that’s when I realized how close I am to having it all figured out. To being happy and content in all aspects of my life.

W and I always talk about being “on the verge.” You know that place, don’t you?

Sure, things are good now. But you’re on the verge of something better.  You’re almost there. You’re so close. You just need to figure one thing out, work on that one last thing.

I have this copied in my quote journal:

“I’ll probably really figure out exactly how to be alive right when I’m gasping for my last breath.”

— Jane Hamilton, The Book of Ruth

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Do I smell an Emmy? And Tony for the musical version?

I used to think that would be me. Having a giant epiphany about how to live when I’m on my deathbed. It would be so dramatic. Hilary Swank would play me in the Lifetime made for TV movie. The all-flannel wardrobe would be designed by Michael Kors or maybe the guy who designs the Chaps brand for Kohl’s.

I had a real epiphany at my writers’ group that day. We’re always “on the verge.” All of us. At least if you’re growing. That’s life. One verge after another.

The trick is to enjoy the ride.

So, 2016? Bring it on.

* * *

What about you?  What are you on the verge of in 2016?

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What’s next?

Birthday cake with one candleThat was one of the prompts at my writing group today.  We were celebrating the one-year birthday of the group, so we did a lot of reflecting about the past and projecting about the future.  Birthdays are good for that kind of thing.

Here’s what I wrote:

In the next year, I want to keep at this writing thing.  I want to work toward developing a regular writing practice.  I say work “toward” a disciplined writing practice, because I don’t know that I will ever write every single day for an hour or between the hours of 8 and 10 Monday through Friday.  For me, part of the magic of writing is allowing myself to be enchanted by my muse, who is unpredictable and spontaneous with a touch of crazy and fantastic cleavage that always wins my attention.

Book dealI will finish my memoir and sell it to a small LGBT publisher.  I don’t plan on getting rich.  I will help sell my book by organizing book signings and participating in conferences.  I will travel to cool, gay-friendly places like Rehoboth, Del., and Provincetown, Mass., and attend Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival where I will dance in the moonlight with the Indigo Girls.

W says that I will be too busy for her when all of this happens.  I tell her that she can come with me.  This will be a grand adventure for both of us.

Butch Voices logoI tell a friend that my book will be so wildly popular and successful that I will be asked to attend the Butch Voices conference in California in two years and speak on a panel.

I inform W that she can go to this, too.  She smiles real big at the thought of being in a room packed with butch women.

My public speaking experience is limited.  As a college freshman, I gave an instructional speech on flossing.  And there was the dramatic reading class that I took, reciting lines from Neil Simon plays.

“Have you ever spoken on a panel?” my friend asks.

“No,” I reply.  “But I will.”

Yes, you can fail therapy

Failing GradeI told W last night in bed that I’m failing therapy.

“What are you talking about?  You can’t fail therapy,” she said.

“Well, you’re wrong about that,” I responded.  “I’m definitely failing therapy.”

She just looked at me and waited.

Me: So, I have therapy this Friday.  And, I told you about my two homework assignments.

W: Right.  Start eating more healthy.  Which we did this week.  Remember, we had salad?

Me: One salad doesn’t really cut it.  But, that’s not what I’m talking about.  I have until Friday morning to start dieting.

W: Ok.  You were supposed to sign up for that art class or something.

Me: Yeah.  Which starts tomorrow.  At 10 a.m.

W: (laughter)

Me: And, that’s how I’m failing therapy.

W: (laughter)

Me: I didn’t feel like calling today and signing up for the class.  And I don’t know that I’m that into mosaics anyway.  But I do have a back-up plan.  So that I don’t fail therapy.

W: And that would be?

Me: There’s a writer’s group that meets every Tuesday morning from 10:00 to 12:00 at that new independent bookstore.  It’s free.  I thought I might give that a try.

W: There you go.  That sounds like a plan.

Me: Crap.

W: What?

Me: I forgot about those deadlines for work.  And I have to pick Kid #2 up after school.  Tomorrow is not going to work.  Looks like I’m failing therapy again.

* * *

WritingSo, I’m passing therapy, barely, because I actually went to the writers’ group today.  I’ve been talking in therapy about doing something just for me like taking a class or joining a group or doing something like that.  My deadline is this Friday morning when I show up for my therapy session.

About the writers’ group: The instructor is using The Artist’s Way as a guide.  We worked on some writing prompts from that book and actually wrote two short pieces.

Maybe I’ll share some of what I’ve written here in this space at a later date.

For now, I’m going to hang with this writing group and see where it takes me.  I liked hanging out with people.  Especially people who like to write.

So, yay me for doing something that took me way out of my comfort zone and following through and actually talking in a group and not seeming all weird and wallflowery (I think) and for squeaking by in therapy, at least for a couple more weeks.

* * *

One writing prompt from today’s writing group and my response:

Ten Tiny Changes (small changes to make in your life)

1. I would like to eat healthier, especially by eating more fresh and less processed food.

2. I would like to learn how to cook some new meals/recipes.

3. I would like to ride my bike more.

4. I would like to spend more time reading.

5. I would like to take an art class.*

6. I would like to get at least one piece of writing published this year.

7. I would like to spend more time with friends (and make some new ones).

8. I would like to be out in nature more.

9. I would like for the TVs in my home to be off more.

10. I would like to volunteer for something this year.

* Apparently not a mosaic class.