The Friday Five!

1. First off, an update from last week’s post. Actually, not so much an update as much as a thank you. I got so many kind comments, responses and tweets from what I shared here last week about the drug issues I had in high school. It was incredibly kind and so moving, and reminded me yet again how lucky I am to have this community that shows up here every week. I’m glad I didn’t delete what I wrote, although I was a bit tempted, if only because it’s not something I’m proud of, and I worry how sharing it would affect my parents. But it is not a secret in my family or circle of longtime dear friends, and it felt good, in a way, to finally stop hiding it like it was. I could not have asked for a more accepting response, and for that, and so much else, I thank you. I also want to thank Rachel Simon over at Bustle, who wrote  this very nice piece  about the post and what she thought of it as a longtime reader of my books and the blog itself. I’m a very lucky girl to have you guys. Thanks again.

2. If last week will forever be known at THE ONE WHEN I TOLD EVERYONE I DID A LOT OF DRUGS IN HIGH SCHOOL, then this week has its own moniker: THE ONE WHEN I WORE SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES HOME FROM YOGA CLASS. Yes. Yes, I did. *sighs* Let me back up. I’ve written here before about how I have recently gotten into taking yoga, after years of telling everyone that it was NOT for me and to STOP SUGGESTING IT MIGHT MAKE ME LESS STRESSED WOULD YOU PLEASE? (If I had a dollar for each time someone suggested yoga for my natural neurotic state, I’d have…a lot of dollars.) I found a place I like, a teacher I really like, and it’s just kind of happened naturally, so I am trying not to question it and just GO with it, as much as that goes against, again, my natural state. So there I am after class on Monday, all blissed out and relaxed from Savasana (that’s when you basically stretch out on the mat and have a little nap, it’s glorious) and I get up to leave class. Get in the car, go to the pool to meet my husband and kid, then come home. I’m running a bath for my daughter when I stop to kick my shoes into the closet and realize—OH MY GOD—they are not MY shoes. I was wearing silver flip flops, and these are gold ones. I just stare at the shoes for a second, like this might be their fault. Then it hits me, and I pretty much die right there in the hallway I’m cringing and blushing so hard. (Crushing?) Eventually I pull myself together enough to call the yoga studio, where sure enough some poor woman has left her number in case the moron that walked off with her shoes gets in touch. (More crushing. My kid: “Mama, what’s wrong? I want to take a BATH!”) I call that poor woman, leave an incredibly apologetic and probably psychotic sounding message, and then bathe my kid, my face still burning. About an hour later, she calls back. She’s SO NICE about it. (Shout out to you, Virginia from Chapel Hill! You’re the best!) She gives me her address and I tell her I will bring her the shoes that afternoon. “No rush!” she tells me, the best sport ever. But I DO rush up there, then drop them on her front porch and slink away like the criminal that I am. Crushing. Of course, I shared this on Twitter (why, Lord, WHY?) so everyone is virtually giggling at me, all day long. The entire thing is so embarrassing I’m thinking it might just turn me off yoga again, but on Wednesday, I take a deep breath and return. I focus as I kick off my shoes outside the classroom with everyone else’s, making a mental note of their color and place. And I leave with them on, thank God. I am all for walking in someone else’s shoes in the figureative sense, but I don’t want to be known as the person after yoga who actually DOES it. At least some people got a good laugh out of it. There’s always an upside.

3. Speaking of sharing stories, I read one this week that REALLY affected me. My friend Joy Peskin, formerly an editor at Penguin, now at Macmillan, wrote an incredible piece in Parenting Magazine about her experience with postpartum depression. It’s called Just Show Up: A Love Story and if you’ve ever been pregnant, or know someone who is or may be, it’s a must read. Post Partum Depression is SUCH a serious thing, and not enough people talk about it in those days of pregnancy when you are rubbing your belly and glowing, or in the early days of motherhood when you’re supposed to be loving every single thing about being a mom. (Confession: I didn’t. I loved my kid, but those were HARD days sometimes, although I went through nothing near like what Joy did.) I’m so in awe of Joy for writing this piece and sharing her experience, which I know will help SO many other women. I’ve bookmarked it and printed it out, so I’ll always have copies for my friends when they are new moms. Joy’s an incredible editor, but I will confess to not knowing before how wonderfully she writes, and with such honesty. I feel lucky to know her. If you’re experiencing similar feelings, you are NOT alone. There is treatment that can help you. Talk to your doctor, your friends, or find a toll-free number you can call like Joy did. You don’t have to suffer, and neither does your family.

4. It’s getting harder and harder for me to pretend the summer isn’t ending. (Put a dollar in the water bottle! Oh, can’t, it’s already stuffed.) First off, my parents are shutting up our Cape Cod house and returning home. I have purchased school supplies (SOB!) for my rising kindergartner, swallowing hard as I watched her select the notebooks and lunchbox she wanted. And this weekend, the students return en masse here to Chapel Hill, their Uhauls and parents filling the streets, mini fridges galore being toted into dorm rooms. Town has been SO dead the last few weeks: you could always get a parking spot, often had a stoplight to yourself, and never had to wait long for your food to be ready. But this is the thing with a college town: without the students, it’s just another town. You need that influx, startling as it might be, every August to breathe life back into things. So I’m okay with going back to dodging beer trucks blocking Franklin Street, and worrying over all the people riding their bikes in downtown traffic without helmets (why, WHY?). Plus, students coming back means a WHOLE NEW pool of possible babysitters. Can’t complain about that. Ever.

5. The thing about school starting up again, though, is that it makes you feel like you, too, have to begin again. And frankly: I’m just not ready yet. It’s been cooler this week, it feels like fall, there are all these new beginnings. So I should start writing again. But every time I sit down and open up Word, I just…feel like I’ve just finished a race and now someone is blowing another starting whistle. I spent April touring and promoting the paperback of WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODYBE, and then all of June doing the same with THE MOON AND MORE. I just did my last official bookstore appearance LAST week. But I know myself, and usually I have two settings: really busy or bored. I have been trying, really hard, to find a place in between. A place where I can spend my work afternoons reading, or looking out he window, or going for a run and that’s okay. Where I can fall down a hole on Tumblr or Pinterest and that’s okay, too. Where not writing is not failing. It’s an elusive state, and I am always looking. Maybe I will find it in these last two weeks of August. I hope so.

Have a good weekend, everyone!