Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Birthday I Wasn’t Going to Celebrate.

My birthday… was incredible.  The event at my son’s cross-country awards dinner — was overwhelmingly beautiful.  The boys on my son’s team, and even the girls on their cross-country team, the coaches, the parents — all showed such a level of kindness — that I will never forget it.  I pray I never will.  I pray too, that I can return such kindness and good will.

Word got out about it…and the local paper will interview my son, his teammates and some of the Mom’s that were involved, on Sunday to do an article — pretty cool.  I will post the article when it comes out.  Stay tuned.

I may write about it before then as well.

Gratitude.  Gratitude.

Learning to trust God even during hard times — even years and years and years of hard times is such a hard lesson. But with Gratitude, grace and strength sometimes comes.  Hang in there.  Never, ever give up.

 

Update; 50a9430d60ba8.preview-620The Article:

http://missoulian.com/news/local/sentinel-high-cross-country-team-surprises-senior-with-letterman-jacket/article_1dee2e06-3209-11e2-bf99-0019bb2963f4.html

http://missoulian.com/nick-peragine-secondary/image_6aac47ec-31bd-11e2-a693-0019bb2963f4.html

50a9435d6809b.preview-620


New Day

Last night, I finished my latest rewrite of my latest script after midnight on my birthday.  (Do I need some commas there? ) Today, I will proof it for typos, go over it again, and then send it in to Bluecat, a few hours before the final deadline.  This is my re-submission from an earlier Bluecat deadline and many of my changes were due to notes I’d received from the readers. (I love Bluecat — their notes are incredible.  Most contests do not offer that incentive).

So…We’ll see.  After this deadline, I’ll receive more notes and if I haven’t vastly improved it based on whether I place in the contest, then I will send it into a script doctor and pay for some advice on how to fix it.

Though I know it still has problems, it’s not perfect — I like the script. I’ve distinctly told my point of view.  I’ve told my truth.  (NOTE:  THIS IS NOT MY LOGLINE): It’s a futuristic story about how we as a human race destroy ourselves.  It’s called The Hum.

I’m not writing the logline, because it just doesn’t fit the theme of this post.

The theme of this post is,  it’s my birthday!

: )

I’ve been dreading this birthday.  Dreading it.  My goal was to be thin, shapely and sexy and on some beach somewhere wearing a bikini in celebration after I’d met with industry folks to discuss my script.

Obviously, I didn’t reach my goal.  In my view it was not that lofty.  I could have ( should have) at least done the “thin, shapely and sexy” part, but I didn’t.

Instead I am about 10 to 15 pounds overweight, haven’t been running or to the gym in months.  My stomach feels gross because of all the yucky food I’ve been eating.  Instead of a warm beach, I am sitting at my desk, clicking away here and listening to cars drive by on wet roads.  Snow is predicted today.

I told everyone in my family that I would not celebrate my birthday this year. (I think I already explained why in previous posts), and I meant it.  I pulled my old facebook page and started a new one with 94% less friends than I had before just to make sure none of my old pals would write my age in a big fat numbers on my page.  Salt in wound.

but this morning…

I thanked God sincerely for my birthday.  I am happy to be here.  I am happy I finished my script.  I am happy that I am going to the skin doctor and I will be happier if he removes a tiny mole and it tests out to be nothing.

This evening, I will attend my oldest son’s cross-country awards pot luck dinner.  There, ( I was given inside information) the boys on the team will present my son with a Letterman jacket that they all chipped in to buy for him.  This will be the most beautiful birthday I’ve had in a long while, to see my son, my beautiful son, honored and appreciated in such a gracious way.  I am so grateful.  I am so amazed at those boys, and the coach.  I invited one of my son’s most special teachers.  She seems excited to come. As a teacher who has devoted her life to teaching special needs kids, it means a lot to her as well to see one of her students appreciated by regular peers.  She, was the one person who encouraged both my son and me that he would be capable of  participating in a a typical high school sport — not just Special Olympics.  And  now this.  I am so touched by the sentiment and it hasn’t even happened yet.

Yes, I am thanking God for this birthday.  It feels good, too, that though I am not on a beach, I’ve been able to say how I wanted to spend this day.  For the last 6 years I’ve felt sad that J hasn’t been here to celebrate with me, but this year — it doesn’t hurt so bad at all.  I’ve gotten used to it.  I don’t really feel it anymore.  Besides, dinner and a cake with candles isn’t what I want.  I am not sad about being older — as I said, I am happy to be here.

My dread was not about age.   It was about accomplishment and doubting  my worth, and whether that I have something to offer — something that I can be proud of.

Today is my gift:  I accomplished a determined rewrite; I will make  deadline — And my child is loved and appreciated by others, not just me.

P.S.4:43   p.m.  My folks just came over with a chocolate cake and a card.  Inside the card my mother wrote: ” We still celebrate this day — its one of the most important days in our lives. Love, Mom and Dad” 

Earlier, J sent flowers.  At first I thought the delivery person was the Jehovah Witness, so I hid.  She kept ringing and knocking — I thought “Wow, pushy” as I crouched low by the sofa.  She looked in the window.  I think she saw me.  Then my phone rang.

“Hello?  Is Patricia there?’

“Who is this?”

“The Flower shop.  I have some flowers for you…”
I felt so dumb.  I am truly forever young.


Politics-Schmolitics

I am in the middle of a rewrite that I must power through in less than 48 hours.  That’s the final deadline.  It’s a resubmission.  I entered it months ago, received notes ( good ones, too) and FINALLY, at the proverbial eleventh hour, I am doing my rewrite.   I will get this done.

I am posting here at this moment as an effort to stall ( I suppose) and because I accidentally saw a political post from an acquaintance and it ticked me off.

I was going to write a response, but… Meh. Who cares?

The election is over.  We are all swimming in the same soup.  And frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass about the opposing opinion anyway.  Let them foam at the mouth.  Let them froth and steam.  It’s what they do.


Advice From a Stranger

I woke at five, finally.  Little voices in my head telling me to get up.  Other more soothing voices whispering, “why?  Just one more hour.  One more hour won’t hurt.”

I checked my alarm (my phone) and read a text from J.  He was still at work, thanked me for my text.  I had written about a podcast I thought he would like to hear when he arrived home.  He had sent his  message after midnight.

The thought that woke me and got me up: He’s killing himself to keep this thing afloat.  He’s killing himself to maintain this impossible marriage, family, situation, while I moan.

It’s not right. My feelings are not lying to me, but my head is telling me all the wrong ways to look at my life.  Last time I checked, I am the only one in charge of my thinking.

Last night, a received some unsolicited  advice from a person I’ve never met — never seen his face, or a photograph — but is a writing “friend” of mine.  I belong to an online writers group, and that’s where we “met.”

The advice came after I had responded to a question posed from this same member — what is your writing habit?  Where, how many hours a week, etc. do any of us devote toward writing?

My answer prompted a response from him that he sent privately.  He said he was concerned.

Let me stop there, because I am trying to illustrate how his response made me think differently this morning, rather than describing a bad internet moment.  His advice, ( I should go back and find a quote from the letter) simply suggested I force myself to go on a walk everyday, allowing my mind (forcing my mind) to notice everything outside myself.

It took him three emails back to me to make me understand.  That’s how deep is my  well-dug trench.

He also gave me sound advice for writing.  Promise myself 5 minutes if that’s all I’ve got.  Promise myself what I can and will do, instead of huge unrealistic goals.  As I consider this, this is exactly how I’ve finished most of my stuff.  But I called it tricking myself into writing.   In the past I would tell myself that I would write one sentence, or one paragraph and call it good.  Invariably, I would always write more.

But his advice was for me to look outside myself.  (Der…kind of embarrassing that I was not aware of what I’ve been doing, but now I do. : )  Train my brain to do it — yes.  I must and will make an effort at this.

Something else I realized, the way I’ve thought about things for too long, my focus on loneliness and other self-destructive thoughts, has been with me since childhood.  I recall specific moments that caused me to move further back, to withdraw and hide from people because it became safer to do so. It is self-fulfilling prophecy stuff.  My thoughts are making it worse and I am helping no one.

I think too, about my son with autism.  It has always been my feeling that his autism is a self-defense mechanism of a sort.  His way of looking at the world is a much more acceptable place for him than the one he’s been born into.  His reality, though, is real to him.  Self-stimming, other spectrum caused “tics” are comforting to him, even if the rest of us cannot understand.  Each day is an effort to help him expand, see and understand more.  Often, he doesn’t want to try –even if it would help him. Skilled at hiding his thoughts, if things bother him it is not as noticeable (to outsiders) because he is not particularly verbal.  But he dwells on things that bother him, sometimes for days, years even.  I know because he’ll blurt out things from the past that were “bad” days to him.  Days, for example, when I yelled at him, or his grandfather became angry, when he got in trouble for throwing a rock, or for yelling in class — and he equates it to a current “bad” moment that to the rest of us, has no correlation.  We all do that, I suppose.  But it looks more impossible when my son does it, because he cannot explain the thoughts he had in between.

When I consider what my friend ( the stranger) wrote, it reminded me of words that I would give to any of my children, but especially my autistic son to help them see the world beyond them, and yet let them know they are part of it:  “Stay in the moment.”  “Be with us.”  “Let it go.”  “Notice the world around you.”  “Tell me what you did today.”   “See the moon? The stars?  Aren’t they beautiful?” “You are awesome.” “I love you.  I would not change one thing about you.”

My friend said if you consider your whole life, 1% of it is bad, while 99% is good.  Yet we dwell on the 1%.  Too many days, I deliberately dwell on the minutia of a bad moment.

So true.

I see his point.  Now to make life a practice. One step.  Then one more and repeat.

For now (’cause I am not walking in the dark without a can of bear spray), I’ll notice what is around me.

In front of me, laying on my desk, is my cat Frodo, purring like a small engine, and ever so often he touches his paw to my fingers as I type.  My two kids who are home with me sleep a few fit away, snuggled in sleeping bags.  I can hear them breathe and sigh — the most beautiful sound in the world:  One’s child sleeping and peaceful.
I can hear my dog behind me, patiently waiting for me to feed him.  Frodo curls up now near my keyboard –working his cute factor to the -inth.

It is dark.  I like the dark and the quiet.  I hear the refrigerator, my dog’s collar as he shakes his head.  I notice my toes are cold.

J sleeps far from here. He should be here.  I miss him and I don’t.  I think I will move along from that thought.

I trust that my oldest daughter, my youngest son, my oldest son and my husband, all, are safe where they are.  I am grateful for that.  Grateful.  God bless our children, our family, us.

But I have work to do.  75 pages of a script to figure out and make notes on, then power through a rewrite based on the notes and have it done before the end of this weekend. ( So much for 5 minutes at a time.  I gotta get through this.. Procrastination is such a deadly fail.)

That’s the plan.  And if I fail?  I promise to get back up and go at it again.

I promise, too, to squeeze in a walk today.

Many thanks to my faceless friend.  Makes me ponder beautiful souls beyond…


Night Out With Friend(s)

Me again.

How’re things? Yeah… me too.  Hanging in there.

Shut up about the election — and quit with your grinning gleefulness.  I’m over it.  Moving on.  I refuse to care anymore, (but when it all goes to hell I’ll sure know who to point a finger at).   ; )  Movin’ along.  Nothing to see here.

Pondering sillier things that matter to no one else.  For one, I just noticed that  I need a real photo of myself.   I’ve been trying to branch out a bit and join some “professional” networking sites and suddenly I realized that as vain as I am — I still do not have a decent photo of myself.  I have my goofy photos, my old photos when I was an actress, but those won’t do any more.  Nope.  Gotta face it. I am who I am, now.
And I am lucky to be here.

Tonight, I spent time in my truck while waiting for my youngest daughter in dance class, penciling through my script that I have less than six days to rewrite.  Just like High School — waiting until the last frickin’ minute to turn in the assignment, but I’ll get it in.  Screw it.  I’ll turn it in no matter what.

Ahhh.. so great to be so immature, so lacking of professionalism and suave-less at this point of middle age.  I’m tired of trying.  Truly.  What does anyone want?  I have all my teeth. I weigh less than 130 pounds.  I’m a nonsmoker and I have ZERO tattoos — that’s saying something.  I bathe.  I smell good.  Hire me. Love me. There.

By the way — as we approach the holiday season, it is worth noting that it is nearly impossible to get drunk on rum and eggnog.  I’ve tried.  The extra eight pounds is not worth the barely there buzz.  Tomorrow, back to Chai tea, and curried short grain brown rice with broccoli. My kids will revolt.  I will light some incense and pray over them with my hands up in the air.  (They love that.)  I will fast.  Green tea and honey.  Raw carrots, apples and broccoli until I’ve lost the ten annoying pounds.  Maybe I’ll get a nose piercing.  Hmm.  Maybe not. My nose is not dainty enough to be pretty, a ring in it would only call attention to it. You’re right.  I’ll puff up my blond hair and wear dangling earrings and long skirts for no one but you.

Listening to music tonight as I write, to you, my fictional person, my fictional love — here ’tis, tonight’s play list:

Star Crossed Memories    5:00    Robert Francis    Strangers in the First Place
Some Things Never Change    3:52    Robert Francis
Being Alone (feat. Robert Francis)    4:40    Love On A Real Train & Joachim Cooder
Now Is the Start    4:43    A Fine Frenzy    Now Is the Start – Single
When Will I See You Again?    4:55    Anders Osborne
Furr    4:08    Blitzen Trapper    Furr (Bonus Track Version)
Pumped Up Kicks    4:00    Foster the People
Helena Beat    4:36    Foster the People
Amazing Eyes    3:46    Good Old War
Hold On    5:34    Tom Waits   Mule Variations
Downtown Train    3:50    Tom Waits  Rain Dogs

Foster the People was my 12-year-old son’s choice, but I like it.  I’m in more of Tom Waits mood, but he closes the list so I’m happy to look forward to it.   As it is I just attempted dancing in front of my kids and the look on their faces said it all: Stop. Please. Stop.

Okay.  Sitting back down I am.

I should be working on my script anyway. I know.  I do not know why I resist. It’s a good script. It’s a good concept.  My writing has not yet met the level of the concept.  I think I am doubting myself.  (Really?  Ya think?)  Yeah, asshole other self – I think that ‘s what’s going on.  I haven’t filled in the blanks that I’ve left in my story.  It doesn’t scare me, but it sure feels like I am a C student, too embarrassed to hope for an A.

I am waiting for my kids to go to bed.  I’ll tuck them in and pray with them.  We’ll ask God to watch over and protect us, to guide us, to make us more than we are…

but as i look at my children I see them as perfect and lovely as they are.  I am not anxious to see them acquire or “be” more.  They are perfect now.  With each passing day, I sense sadness as it goes while at the same time I am joyous to see them grow and transform.  As God’s child — does he see me like that too?  Am I enough yet?  Am I good enough — and for what?

Here comes my Tom Waits picks. Listening to Hold On makes me sigh. Relief and Comfort from a song and a man I will never know. Just like writing to you.  No one there.  No one listening, but somehow it helps to imagine it anyway.

My kids, one in college, one on a Special Olympics trip, one at a sleep over and two who feel sad and left out have requested to camp out with sleeping bags in the living room.  I said yes.
They are watching cartoons and I have ear phones on. Uh oh. Music ran out.  What shall I pick?  Boxer Rebellion?  The Airborne Toxic Event?  nah.. Going with Civil Twilight and letting genius pick the rest.

Ooh Yay… Group Love singing “Colours.”  I love this group, don’t you?  Oh, here’s my side of fries… could you pass the salt?  Sure, another round. Live it up!

Smiling.  Happy.  It’s good.  I’m grateful for your friendship.

Back to work.

but first I’m listening to Airborne Toxic Event’s recording of  “Happiness is Overrated.”