Monday, November 22, 2010 what comes next?

Lemon Slushee is falling from the sky!

Wouldn't that be cool?

It's snowing outside, the first of the season, and since I wrote the first line, it's gone from slush to almost real snow.  It was an ice cold rain when Heidi went out a half hour ago, then morphed into slush, and now is gradually solidifying into fluff...weird since, usually isn't it the other way around?  But I digress.

I've been neglecting the blog.  When I think back to how incredibly supportive those who have been reading along with me have been, leaving me notes here or making real life comments in the land beyond the internet, I feel guilty for not keeping it up more consistently.  I think now as I've faced the milestone (and kind of scary one) of 30, it's time for what's next.

'Why does she harp on about 30, it's no big deal,' you ask.  But for someone who had expectations far greater than their present circumstances describe, 30 is the first evaluation point, the forced stop where all of this is judged.  And to be honest I've had some difficulty facing it.  Having fallen into a crazy fortunate situation I've not done badly, but I wanted more from myself, and it's hard to excuse that when I was such an over-achiever in my academic years prior to this wonderful chapter.  I wouldn't change anything about my life; I would, however, like to change the me in the middle of it.  I'm 30.  I can no longer hang onto the mentality that I've still got time, I'm in my 20's!  I don't have to grow up yet, it's not time to look at the next part of life, I'm in my 20's!  Because I'm not and it IS time to grow up a teensy bit more and face life's next chapter.  And whereas I'm excited to move into that next part, it's always scary leaving the familiar for the unknown.  Will I make something of my writing?  Will I fail and have to face that maybe writing, this part of who I am, is not what I should be doing?  Will we start a family?  Holy crap, and be somebody's parents?!  Making their decisions for them (which, I must admit, as a control freak sounds lovely at first), and hoping we're not screwing them up from the get-go?  And then not save them when they make the wrong decisions for themselves, but let them get hurt instead?  And then watch them grow up and go out and get their own lives and leave me behind like I didn't birth them from my own womb!

I get ahead of myself.  This is something I do, which overwhelms me back into a state of paralysis and not-doing, something out of which I need to grow.  Maybe that starts now.  Because here's the kick-start I may have been waiting for, the psychological punch to get me moving.  I do want to make something of my writing, and I do want to be a mother.  I want to do good things and contribute where I can.  But none of this even sets into motion until I make some changes, some commitments, and pour some super glue between me and them.

I'm not sure what will become of this blog, but I feel it might be ready to grow with me, and that's exciting for me.  What has thus far been a kind of sounding board for all that bounces around my head, a place to recount trips and visits, and a blank canvas ready for whatever I feel like splashing across it, might be in store for some morphing of its own.  I don't know yet, though, what I want it to be.  Many successful bloggers become that way by finding what makes them stand out in the blogosphere, a reason to be sought out among the masses.  A niche.  So what's mine?  Because once you define your niche, don't you have to stay there in all you write?  I don't think just me and my voice are unique enough to carry me to the next phase, as much as my ego would be delighted to think so.  So this is something I have to figure out, and perhaps a new blog will come of it, something more defined.  I'll let you know.

The snow has lightened up; I can see across the hills now.  Heidi has gone back upstairs to bed, but it's 8:30 in the morning and I have blogged something!  And it's something I think I needed to work out through my fingers, to see in typed words across my screen and know has been said.

After this, my focus will be on a new story I've been working on, something a little light-hearted, not my usual kind of short story.  We all need to step outside our comfort zones from time to time to see what's possible, right?

Thanks for reading.  I promise not to let so much time pass next time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Big 3-0

It's happening.  I'm officially stepping out of my 20's and into the next decade of life - but not till next weekend!  The party was Saturday and it was fantastic, thanks to some truly amazing friends.  

Farrah in Barbara Walters mode - me with a mouthful already
The night was a celebration of the 80's, with appropriate games and music to complement the Ghostbusters and Goonies posters hanging on the walls.  Farrah came armed with delicious mac 'n cheese to pay homage to a childhood favorite, as well as a list of trivia questions from the year 1980.  Though I do believe I surprised them all with my fabulous knowledge of my birth year, by the end I was three shots of green apple vodka and about six pieces of Bubblicious gum in the wrong.  You see, for each incorrect response I was forced to choose between a piece of gum and a shot.  I think the massive wad of sugar did more to me than the vodka!

Check out this wad!
Chris and I tried our hands at homemade pizza to celebrate my favorite food from the teen years, and for my 20's, Ashley provided mudslides all around.  I was extremely lucky to have friends willing to take over many of the responsibilities I first set out to conquer all on my own, since I decided long ago that I wanted a party for this milestone birthday.  Thanks to Angela and Diane, there were '30s' strung around the house, balloons in every corner, birthday confetti, candles, and everything needed for food, drinks, and cake in coordinating colors.  Diane also sneakily coordinated with my mom Stateside to obtain a slew of childhood pictures that were fantastic to see again, and stood about the room for everyone to see.  The pigtails, the spiral perm in the 4th grade, the snaggle-toothed grin and hair-sprayed was great.

Diane, me, & Angela
After a while, Sara called everyone's attention to a challenging game of 'Name That Tune' that she organized, which stumped everybody at some point.  With plenty of food all around for munching and dipping (thanks to Diane and Farrah for the help), one might have scoffed at the idea of adding cake to this food fest.

Perhaps any other cake, but not this one, made by my friend Amy, who designed it, baked it, and graciously accepted the praise from every party guest as we dug into this chocolate-peanut-butter ecstasy.  I loved the book on top so much (it's made of cake, too!!!), I'm saving it to enjoy on the 13th (my actual birthday), if I can leave it alone till then!

In true Lindsey fashion I wrote a toast, and as I'm incapable of being brief, it stretched the length of one of those super long steno pads.  Here is what I subjected my guests to before rewarding them with champagne...

Thirty.  It probably seems silly to fear this number - after all, you've all already surpassed this particular milestone :)   I've been hanging out in my 20's for so long, what's wrong with staying there and holding onto that college age mentality that says it's not quite time to grow up yet?  But as all things do, life progresses, and instead of just planning where we're going next summer, I'm starting to plan for a family - though NOT YET.  I'm thinking more about hand moisturizer, the threat of wrinkles, and how the hell do I already have grey hairs?!  And just as I'm about to stomp my foot in protest and demand for all this to stop, I have to consider how kind life has been to me so far.  And this getting older doesn't seem so bad because I'm so excited to see what comes next.

I celebrated my 20th with Chris at the Roadhouse Grill in Gainesville, FL ten years ago, and how lucky am I to be ringing in my 30th with him still.  What I love most about this birthday is not only do I get to celebrate in this beautiful place with my best friend, I also get to do so surrounded by wonderful friends.  I'm lucky to have you all, and grateful for the friendship and for the opportunity to know each one of you.  As we're discovering more and more, it's the people connections that really make an experience, so thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making mine.

To what comes next.

Back: Chris Cole, Amy  (the fabulous baker), Chris L., Angela and Chad, Farrah and Brian, Ashley and Sean, Diane, Josh, and Scott
Front, from one arm of the couch to the other:  Peter, Suzanne, Heidi, me, Kristen, and Wayne
Floor-dwellers:  Sara and Rick