Photo credit: 2010 Arol Viñolas/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
If I had to tell you my biggest weakness, it would be knowing my limits. I’m all or nothing and I don’t stop. Growing up, “lazy” was worse than any four letter word. But the time has come for me to slow down. It is not easy but fortunately I have gracious friends who are helping me gently step away for a bit.
Photo credit: 2011 Steve Hoefer/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
“You have exhausted me.”
Sitting in a theater with my parents in 1992, I saw ‘Patriot Games’ for the first time. It was the moment when I knew I wanted to make movies.
Now it was early 2006, and I was headed back to visit Los Angeles, a city that I loved and had visited several times to see relatives as a child, and several times again in my early 20s, usually as a film critic for a media company based in Santa Monica. This time I was invited to stay in the perfectly clean guest house of a produced screenwriter for a few days, to meet in person and to work on our project. I mention that it was perfectly clean to acknowledge the irrationality of the thought that I was sure a black widow spider was going to aggressively hunt me while I slept.
This writer had signed me into a contract to develop a film script around an idea of his, after I pitched him my fourth screenplay, which he liked but thought would be a tough sale. Up until this trip, I thought the creative process was going great.
Photo Credit: Flickr/chicagophotogirl . Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
Over the last few months I’ve written about heartbreak: my initial heartbreak in Heartbreak and Hope, and I’ve also talked about how that heartbreak actually strengthened the relationship between my husband and I in Marriage and Tragedy: How Heartbreak Brought us Closer Together. But today I’m here to talk about a side of heartbreak that does not really have a silver lining. I’m here to tell you how heartbreak has hurt some of my closest friendships. Perhaps you can relate.
It’s Thanksgiving time, a prompting to pause and be grateful. Sure, maybe we need all the reminders we can get, and yes, perhaps Americans tend to be too unappreciative in general, but I’ve also noticed how easily we beat ourselves up over such things. Sometimes, I think we are more thankful than we realize. Maybe we just express it in different ways.
A month ago I wrote a post about holidays being a tough time of year. I asked readers to let me in on how they dealt with holidays that were less than cheery. You all were amazing, honest, and very wise. And your input gave me great peace.
After writing that post I read of a challenge that a blogger I follow is doing. Her name is Sarah Markley. If you have never read her story, or her blog, I suggest you do so right away. Her honesty speaks to me each and every day. Sarah is currently doing a ’100 Joys’ challenge during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It inspired me, and below you can read about a few of the ways I was able to find joy during what has typically been a very hard time of year. (more…)
I’m a runner. I am a skilled and fast runner. In fact you might be surprised at how nicely I have perfected my skill. Yet, before you start picturing me in a marathon, I should inform you that I mean none of this in the physical sense. In fact, I highly doubt I would move quicker than a fast walk out of a burning building unless the fire was actually threatening damage to my fancy new jeans. No, I run in a much more figurative way.
I run away from conflict. I treat it like a flesh-eating virus. I avoid explosive situations like one might avoid a creepy stalker. I escape from anything that has the propensity to turn ugly. I run far away and I move quickly.
Actor Ewan McGregor and his best friend (actor) Charlie Boorman travelled 20,000 miles on motorcycles: east from London all the way to New York (with a short flight between Russia and Alaska). They recorded every step of the journey in a documentary called ‘Long Way Round.’ My friend James recommended that I see it as we both have a love for (and a history with) motorcycles.
It would be hard to explain how much I’ve fallen in love with the series. It’s a surreal, exhilarating and eye-opening travelogue. Once the guys reach Mongolia, the two-lane concrete roads give way to potholed dirt and mud trails. Their passage through Mongolia consists mostly of getting stuck in the mud, falling down, needing two men to lift the bikes back up, and damaged machines. Ewan and Charlie start to break down too, and come really close to bailing out of the route- in favor of a paved shortcut through Russia. But they decide to stick it out. Although the day-after-day hardships are described as long hours of “crying in my helmet,” they eventually conquer the trek across Mongolia, and leave that country with a profound sense of affection for it. I’m watching this thinking “where have all the adventures gone, and why have I closed the door? When was the last time I faced an overwhelming challenge and prevailed?”
I was talking with a friend on the bus ride home about a challenge facing my wife and I (outside of our marraige). He listened, smiled, and only had this to say: “just remember that there are a lot of people out there who are struggling as well.” I thought it was a weird response. But I actually appreciate it now, because he attempted to solve… nothing.
His statement also graceously reminded me of my small place on this large and complicated globe (something easily forgotten when we learn of a threat to our calm and controlled lives). A little context goes a long way. His comment was subtle and authentic, and as I think about it more- very rare.