Real Life in 11 Parts: May 16

1. I wonder at what point “in real life” became a common phrase. I’m fascinated by things like this, language and how different trends begin and spread.

2. That makes me think about the conversation Mani and I just had about class differences, and how these affect the things we know and don’t know.

3. Will I ever write anything again that doesn’t mention Chalupa snoring?

4. I just saw a headline about octopus eggs from space a zillion years ago. The internet is weird. It’s part of why I go out of the house — again with the “real life” theme. Not that real life isn’t in the house, too; it’s just that since I’m self-employed and work from home… see #3.

5. Came to Starbucks on Route 9. I just saw two of the nurses from the family practice where Mani and the kids and I all go for primary care. There was that moment, when patient confidentiality comes into play. It reminded me of how, many years ago, probably a decade now, I kept bumping into my former therapist everywhere.

6. Is it a stretch, to write 11 things a day? I guess that’s part of what I want to explore. What happens when I don’t worry about being boring or repetitive? Because honestly, life is repetitive. Sure, if you’re a first responder or an ER doc or in active combat duty, maybe the days are always filled with adrenaline and constantly changing conditions. But for most of us, aren’t there certain routines, beaten paths, patterns, and habits? Some degree of boring is ok with me now. I see it partly as a mindset, a way of seeing and perceiving. One could argue that boring is impossible if we’re truly awake and paying attention; if you watch one branch on a tree, a busy counter at a cafe, even the rise and fall of your own breath, you’ll see that nothing is static. And living with adrenaline coursing through your system is actually a recipe for disaster.

7. And yet, I worry this will get boring. Ha.

8. A woman with white shoulder-length hair is speaking Spanish with a younger woman. I imagine they might be related, maybe mother and daughter. Yesterday, I got to talk on the phone with a friend whose daughter has been living in Mexico. My friend is teaching herself Spanish using an app. She was saying how much she’s enjoying it, and also that it is siphoning mental energy away from writing at the moment. It got me thinking about how we get more proficient at whatever we’re doing the most consistently.

9. There are so many things I want to do and learn. And yet lately, my mental energy goes to writing, to caring for my marriage and kids, to nurturing my work and those who write with me, and now, to the baby dog. This is a life. My life. Will I ever return to studying Hebrew? Will I ever learn how to change the oil?

10. I just farted. Excuse me.

11. Sometimes when I look at the carefully arranged shelves filled with shiny, new things, I feel the pull of consumerism. If we have nice things, we’ll be happy. And then, through that momentary fog, I see something else. Something like the truth.

* * *

Want to write 11 things with me for 11 days with 11 other beautiful humans living life? The Sound of Real Life Happening, a brand-new writing group, will take place June 11-21. Whether your intention is to practice paying more attention to your days, to generate raw material for other writing, or both, this group promises to be small, supportive, intimate, and encouraging.

Details + registration

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