The Suckiest Summer


This was the suckiest summer ever.

  • Anna did a year of chemistry is six weeks.

  • We didn't go on a safari.

  • We didn't roast marshmallows over a glowing fire with hordes of best friends.

  • I didn't stop eating sugar.

  • I didn't work out enough.

  • I'm not tan.

  • And I didn't even put a dent in my summer reading pile.

At least that's the message my monkey mind delivers as I begin my annual ritual of emotional revving before the change and stress of a new school year begins.

I did this when I was in school, and I seem to carry on this ever so useful tradition as my daughter begins her school year, too.

I guess I didn't read the memo that said I'm not actually the student attending school.

However, I am reading this one over and over again this morning:


Dear Mrs. Cry Me A River Lorrie Tom,

Remember that monkey minds and Facebook posts don't tell the entire story.

They are unreliable narrators.  

As Jesus said in Verse I Have No Idea, "Put on your big girl gratitude panties!" 

Notice all the close to heart and home awesomes that did happen this summer.

Love and kisses, 

The Sane Part of Your Brain

So here's my short and sweet list of summer awesomes:

1. Legos in the Garage

Anna redecorated her room.  Out with the Legos and white dresser (that was also her changing table!) and in with the Lava Lamp and sleek furniture from Ikea.  She's inhabiting her growing up self and she's a beauty to behold.


2.  Mama Backed Off

Didn't check grades. Didn't ask when she had tests. Pleaded with her to keep watching Modern Family even when she wanted to hit the ole chemistry homework.  Must keep doing this.  Must keep doing this.

3.  Marching Band Camp

Good people. Good music. Junk food.  Exhaustion.  My girl with her people.  


4.  Pickleball with my Husband

Get your mind out of the gutter. It's a fun new sport we've discovered. Took a Sunday afternoon class through Hermosa Beach Parks and Rec.  Ron said the expression on my face when practicing overhead smashes was pure delight.  In addition to hiking, this is my new favorite date.


5.  Marco Polo

Nope. Not the pool game, but a new to me app!  I'm making new friends and reconnecting with old beloveds using this make and listen at your own convenience video messaging app.  For me, Queen of Not Staying Connected and Hate Talking on the Phone, this is a game changer.

6. Hope Writers

I joined a faith-based writing community and it's awesome.  It's my version of band camp - a happy place with my word people.

7. Website Pivot

Is anyone getting seasick yet?  I seem to rock my website boat a lot, but websites are writing and writing is revision so I'm in good company with myself. My mission is to spread writing love like butter on bread for any and all humans - not just teachers.  I'm going to be less teachery and more lovery. That's a word.  

8. Gonna Do it Scared

I start writing/revision on a big project outside my blog on September 1 via Manuscript Accelerator.  Plunked down hard, cold cash months ago to reserve my spot and a coach. Already postponed the start date two times, and in the last three months of summer, I haven't listened to the voice saying, "Put it off again.  You don't have time.  You need to focus on your health. Yadda.  Yadda. Yadda."  This is big.  This is listening to my sane brain even though I don't know how I will find the time for all the things.  Going forward in faith. 

9.  Left a Poem on an Abandoned Building

Every time we drive up Highway 395 (which is at least one or two times per year), we pass an abandoned shack near the northern end of Crowley Lake.  I often throw out Facebook posts saying I want to buy it and make it into an official Poem Stop (I'll give away free poems, hot coffee and chocolate chip cookies for weary travelers). This year, I wrote a poem and tacked it to the door.  No coffee. No cookies.  Just some sweet words for a sad building.  


10. Quick-fire Round for the Summer that Didn't Suck

  • Great British Baking Show – another favorite Friday night date with my husband.

  • With just one visit, reminded that toes in the sand, body in the ocean, and bikes on the Strand are moments away from my home. I’m not a beach girl, but I am a nature girl, and that Pacific Ocean is some pretty awesome nature. Gotta feel it. Gotta hear it. More often.

  • Reunited with paper calendar. Digital calendar fail, but ToDoist and Evernote convert.

  • Asked for professional website and productivity help! Gotta know what I don’t know.

  • A short and smoky getaway with dear friends and doggies.

  • Soft serve at Frosty Chalet in Lone Pine.

  • Oregon weddings and reunions.

  • Used bookstores (Yeah for Bart's in Ojai).

  • Listening to Anna and her BFF sing show tunes in the car. Never was "It's Too Damn Hot" more appropriate.


And so on this last day of summer, this day before school begins once again, I'm reminded to ignore that monkey mind and pay attention to what was good during the short but sweet summer of 2018.

Always writing with gratitude,