When I started blogging, I had four blogs:
- My Beautiful New York, my NYC people and places
- Running Aground, my goal to run a 5K
- the Connected Life, getting my kids off technology
- A Church A Day, on trying to find meaning by visiting a church a day.
Now they’re all rolled into one (thanks to web developer extraordinaire Felicity Fields). This one, To Pursue Happiness, is about those four goals and the primary goal: to stay happy.
I pursue happiness though I may have absolutely no reason or right.
I feel a loss that my kids are growing up at lightning speed. I feel a sadness that my husband is increasingly challenged by his Parkinson’s Disease.
While these are challenges, they don’t define me. I don’t have to enter or stay in a place of permanent sadness or loss. Life is about what you do with the hand of cards you’re dealt. And I’m dealing.
I’m thriving. I’m staying honest. I’m finding joy. Two great joys in the last couple of weeks were:
Curtain call at the Listen To Your Mother show
- As a cast member of Listen To Your Mother at Symphony Space
- As the leader of Artists’ and Writers’ weekend in the Adirondacks.
I was anxious about how these would turn out. Would I deliver the goods? Could I? I did!
In these forums, I could be honest, funny, and surprising.
I could write about and share a lot of feelings, including but not limited to sadness or happiness. A range of emotions, even ambivalence and anger, is acceptable and encouraged in my writing.
So while I still do feel, at times, lost, I can find myself through writing and in the company of other women writers. That’s how I pursue happiness.
Before the Listen To Your Mother show, the cast warmed up. And that’s Shari Simpson-Cabelin, assistant director, doubled-over, laughing. (I’m in the white pants.) (Photos by Jennifer Lee)
At last week’s Listen To Your Mother show, I was reminded that I am not alone. There are a lot of women telling their truths, deep stories about hardship and love.
Here are some of the Listen To Your Mother (LTYM) New York City posts from my fellow cast members.
Thanks to Shari’s blog for compiling these so I could repurpose! And thanks to producer Holly Rosen Fink, a steady presence, who made this show such a hit.
I got to work with the fab director Amy Wilson, who blogged on motherhood conspiring against her, even as she put on a show.
Here are more stories from the Mother’s Day show.
- Co-producer Varda Steinhardt‘s piece was about tracking the orbit of her sons’ stars.
- Marinka received the dreaded call from the nurse’s office, It’s Always Bad News.
- Kim Forde, 8 and 1/2 month pregnant, read Welcome To The Circus, a guide to the family circus.
- Elizabeth (Kizz) Robinson wrote About Me, on how to be child-free and loving.
I haven’t posted my story yet. I want it to be a surprise.
Over the summer, you can see the show at the Listen To Your Mother YouTube channel. There will be videos from all 24 shows across the country, some still going on. Also, upcoming are professional photos of our NYC show by the awesome Jennifer Lee.
At my Adirondack retreat and at my LTYM show, I heard a lot of stories that make me go, “aww” – and I feel in the company of AWW — Awesome Women Writers.
Through relentless honesty, these women writers (and one guy) make it okay to be honest and to tell my story too.