There’s something about my birthday drawing near that always makes me feel like putting the proverbial pen to paper to do a bit of soul-searching. In 2009, it resulted in a blog post about musical influences, and in 2010, it resulted in a mind-spill of self-reflection.
Now here I am in 2013, trying to figure out how to mark my latest trip around the sun (in writing, anyway – the real-life celebrations are being taken care of as I write this…). I’ve been tossing a few ideas around in my mind and brainstorming with a few of my closest friends, and what you’ll find below is a result of that process. Since my son turned nine last week (and because nine fits nicely into 45, but we all know the first reason sounds much better…), I’ve divided the list into five categories with nine items each, mostly in random order. I’ve included a slew of links to relevant old blog posts, and just for fun, I’ve linked almost every instance of the word “poetry” (or variations thereof) to a different poem of mine, so be sure to check those out too. You can hover over each link to read its brief description.
About me: (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
Gently pressing lips
Against a little boy’s cheek
As he dreams
The quietest person
In a room full of friends
Because I want to be liked
And not left out
As I used to be
Fearful of losing
People I love
During stupid arguments
I‘ve reached the sobering conclusion that it’s better to think with your head than with your heart, for when you let your heart take control, it often runs amok, leaving your head, your sanity and possibly your credibility in a ditch somewhere. When you let your heart take control – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that when you allow your mind to cede control, you do stupid things that you never imagined you were capable of doing. And of course, you don’t necessarily realize what you’ve done until you have that lightning bolt moment of clarity, where you suddenly wake up on the far side of a nightmare and can’t quite believe you allowed yourself – even if only briefly – to behave that way, to completely lose control and turn into something that truly disappoints and mortifies you. By then, it’s usually too late because the damage is done. This damage is, quite possibly, irrevocable, as I think it’s much harder – if not impossible – to change someone’s impression of you once you’ve made a mess of things than to shape that important initial impression.
It haunts you, because you can’t comprehend how you unwittingly allowed yourself to turn into that person; you don’t understand how you couldn’t see at the time that you were hurtling down such a destructive path. You feel embarrassed as you suddenly realize how others must have seen you, and you are ashamed. You wonder which of these people is the real you, and it scares you to consider the possibility that it’s the disappointing you, the one who sunk below your usual self-defined personal standards. More than anything, you want to banish that part of you and prove you aren’t that person. The question is, can you? Should you try? Can the other you repair the damage?by Liza Rosenberg
Sometimes, life isn’t so great. You get bogged down in the negatives and lose sight of the good stuff – the stuff that makes you smile. And, while I’m not trying to minimize the negatives (and these days, there are more than a few, what with a friend being very sick, political and environmental disasters that are seemingly at every turn, a difficult job market, etc.), perhaps taking some time to focus on the positives will help take you to a better place. That’s why I’ve decided to take up a challenge – one that I will also pass on to you. But more on that later…
Fabulously talented author Isabel Losada (you really must read her books if you haven’t – even my son thinks she’s wonderful 😉 ) wrote a book entitled 100 Reasons to Be Glad, and as she shares her own list, she challenges readers to come up with their own. And because you know I simply can’t resist a challenge – especially one as interesting as this one, let’s see what I can come up with (in no particular order, of course).
My 100 reasons to be glad: (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
Every year in the days leading up to my birthday, I enter a period of self-reflection. I look back on the events of the past year and think about how they may have reshaped my life. In the years before we had our son (who arrived just over a week before my birthday back in 2004), I would often see my birthday as a milestone that marked another year of failing to achieve our goal of having a child, and of course, everything else just seemed to pale in comparison. These last six years with my son have been a gift that knows no bounds, and every birthday celebration of mine is now intertwined with the joy that his birth has brought me.
But I digress. The past year has been interesting, to say the least. I went from having two part-time positions in technical writing to becoming a full-time freelancer, having successfully managed to lose both jobs within weeks of one another. I’m certainly enjoying the variety that being a freelancer brings, not to mention the freedom to make my own schedule and do more of the writing that I actually enjoy (such as the pleasure I derive from writing poetry – a relatively new hobby, or the essays I submit to various anthologies); it also means that I have to work harder to ensure that I include social interaction with others. Of course, whatever my gripes might be with this new situation, it’s still infinitely better than my life before, when I was coming home every evening at 7:30, miserable and unable to find a satisfactory home-work balance. Now, my office consists of the corner of our blue, L-shaped couch (which is now at least several centimeters lower than every other part of the couch), and I’m trying to figure out which cappuccino maker to purchase (suggestions are welcome!), given that good coffee is missing from my life these days almost as much as good opportunities for social interaction. And, while I currently have a rather healthy load of writing projects, I’m always on the lookout for more, so feel free to give a shout if you think you’ve got something I might be interested in (end of professional plug). (more…)by Liza Rosenberg