Taking a bow

Don’t think of this as good-bye.

Well, okay, maybe a little.

Friends, after months of periodically mulling things over, noodling, waffling, and otherwise staring into space for extended periods of time I’ve decided it’s time to end my run here at One-Woman Show. For over two years I’ve shared my tales of juggling life, laundry and love, and blogging has been a part of this juggling. But in the last six months or so I’ve realized how important it is for me to simplify my life a bit more, or at least to focus my time and energy a little differently. And with that comes choices.

For now, I’m choosing to focus on new — and renewed — pursuits instead of blogging:

Like writing a new humor column at The Imperfect Parent!

I’ve spent the last year dishing about single parenting and divorce in my Dinner for One column, but it’s time to change focus, particularly because my single days are winding down. (Woohoo!) So, I pitched an idea to the editor for a new yet-to-be-titled humor column and he liked it. I’ll be starting in late June so check back here or at the Imperfect Parent website for more details!

Like writing and submitting articles, essays…and, eventually, another novel.

I didn’t discover a love of writing until my late 30’s; I didn’t discover blogging until 2007. I’ve often wished I’d made these discoveries earlier in life, but now I understand (or at least begrudgingly admit) they came into my life at exactly the right time.

This blog has helped me find my voice and hone my writing style. It’s also opened up writing opportunities for me — other potential blogging gigs, my first column — plus helped me connect with potential agents, authors, writers, and, yes, readers like you whose feedback and friendship I value so much.

What I haven’t spent as much time doing as I’d like to is writing outside of OWS. I’m excited to change gears now and do more pitching and submissions. Build my portfolio. Collect those clips. Get more paying gigs! Start work on Novel #2.

I don’t know how or where this will all go, but I have confidence it will go somewhere.

I want to (or maybe I have to?) give it a go.

Like volunteering — through blogging!

Yes, you read that right. I’m combining my interest in non-profits and writing by helping to start a blog for HEARTH, a great organization I’ve been involved with for about 5 years. HEARTH helps up to 15 single moms and their children find their footing again – through safe housing, mentoring, parenting and life skills classes — plus a lot of hard work on the women’s part. I hope I can keep up with them as an occasional guest contributor.

Like spending time away from the computer.

Despite all I’ve written about, well, writing, I’m looking forward to spending more time outdoors, more time exercising (because I’m actually exercising again!) and just enjoying more of life with the wonderful people in my life.

That’s what I really want to do when the curtains close.

Oh, there is one other thing.

 

 

Heh. I’ve always wanted to say that (and it’s true). 😉

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading and sharing your comments here.

I’ve loved blogging at OWS and wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself blogging again someday. In the meantime, I’m linking to some of my favorite posts below. Please enjoy them… and see you real soon around town or the internet!

Susan

Best in Show / Vintage Susan/ One Woman’s Favorites to Write:

I Will Beat Myself Silly with a Limp Lizard (One of my all-time favs!)

Scenes Not from an Italian Restaurant

Italian Genes Do Not Equal la Dolce Vita

Query Me This A really fun one to write. Seriously, I cracked myself up.

Party Moms Gone Mad

Complicated Like This

This is My Life

Take A Flying Leap (or Watch Me Take One) Probably the last time you’ll see me jump out of a plane on purpose!

You Tarzan Me Be Jane

Embarrassing Dating Tales I: Mothballs and Me

And MORE Embarrassing Dating Tales: Dwight Was Right (oh, and these are just the “best” tales – oy!)

Wake Me Up Before You BloNoGoGo – A pseudo tribute to NanoWriMo…and if you don’t know what that is, well, never mind

My Life in Poetry (or Not)

Dating and the Patience is a Virtue Experiment

Better yet, when my patience finally paid off:

A Blog, A Law and a Little Luck – Part I

…and Part II (yeah, it’s good 🙂 )

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Love songs

It’s funny, this time of year. There are so many jewelry, cards and flowers commercials (plus new horror movies — and I don’t mean reality TV shows), but I never think of this as a season for new love songs. Maybe it’s just escaped me, but it got me thinking about how love songs have impacted my life.

For me, exposure started young,

and continued to infiltrate my pre-teen/teenage years, which were primarily dedicated to unrequited love. Take this sappy one — the theme song for our junior prom, which I got to by having to ask not one, not two, but three guys before getting a “yes”! (ugh – my only consolation was that #s 1 and 2, who natch were the ones I wanted to go with – in that order – were each going to be out of town. Against all odds a very nice friend went with me):

Or this one from the same era:

Friggin’ Phil Collins. So not helpful.

After my teenage years, I graduated to grander and more inspiring love songs. Take my wedding song:

(Note we had a band play this like the simpler, much less schmaltzy version sung by Linda Ronstadt.)

The problem, you might imagine, is that I chose this song with the best intentions (and it was me alone who came up with it) but for the wrong person.

Which, years later, led to my listening repeatedly to Nightingale, a song by Norah Jones. The lyrics seemed to say it all for me as I agonized over what to do about my marriage — and ultimately decided to file for divorce.

I also fell in love with Patty Griffin’s song, Rain, when I first heard it. I’m not sure I’ve ever found (or ever will find) another song that expresses the grief and hope I felt after ending my marriage in quite the same way:

During my subsequent years of frequent, largely unsuccessful rounds of dating I found these “love” songs to keep me company:

Sorry, I can’t seem to find a good video of that one. No, no – noooo, no, no, no…but this one always put a little pep in my step:

And this is probably my favorite…although I’m not sure if I find it empowering because of the lyrics or the juggling:

…life is too short to be unhappy
And since I know what I’m worth there’ll be no settling for dirt
Knowing what I deserve is gold
If I want diamonds then I can’t settle for coal…

Amen!

So now I find myself approaching a Valentine’s Day weekend with my honey, who is the most amazing man I’ve ever met — with not one love song in mind.

Something tells me I’ll find one that fits one of these days.

Happy Valentine’s Day, kids – there’s a song for each of us out there and I’d love to know what yours is.

Oh, and as a bonus while you’re loading up the iPod, here’s a little greeting from the Internet.

Couldn’t resist sharing 😉

Your Buddhalicious Nearest Book

Buddha@Hong Kong
Buddha@Hong Kong, originally uploaded by hk_traveller.
Elizabeth at Love, Elizabeth tagged me for this — it’s a good one and easy! Here are the rules:
  1. Pick up the nearest book.
  2. Open to page 123.
  3. Locate the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing…
  5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged me.

When I saw Elizabeth’s selection (one of my favorite books, Pride & Prejudice) I was at work and the closest book was a dictionary. I decided to wait until I got home and here I am.

…Reaching for the bookshelf… Aha!

I bought the book If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl about two years ago. As you may have gathered by now, I can be fairly philosophical about life and love (but not so much about laundry, as in my blog’s tagline — I mean how much does one need to ponder the meaning in a pile of Power Rangers underwear?). Anyway, as the title implies, the book is about dating and finding intimate relationships along the spiritual path — and finding peace within yourself even if it’s not your time to be with someone. It’s a little hokey pokey in a few places, but really rather good overall. I especially like this part, which has nothing to do with the meme, but I’ll share it with you anyway:

“Each person has a story to tell. Some of the chapters are heroic. Some of them are about loss, some about fear, some about achievement or joy, just like my story… When you say good-bye to someone or decide not to see them again, remember you are a moment in their story. Make it a story that doesn’t leave a scar.”

Cool, right? So I turn to Page 123 and follow the instructions above. I notice the title of this section is “When the Buddha Makes Love.”

Oh, my. I’m not sure I signed up for this. When Jeff Mac writes about something embarrassing on his blog, Manslations, he’ll joke that he’s faint of heart because he’s from Connecticut. Well, Jeffrey, I’m from the friggin’ midwest!

I digress. Here’s what I’m supposed to quote:

“…At a spiritual level, making love is an experience of the shared heart that flourishes alongside honesty, love, and commitment. It flows from knowing each other well and desiring to dissolve into the heart and body of each other. It can’t be learned through a how-to manual, or instruction book, because it uniquely reflects all of who you are.”

Well, that wasn’t so bad — no talk of the Big O until further down the page (and we ain’t talking Oprah, honey). Those sentences are spot on, don’t you think?

Wait, I didn’t mean…uh…

I’m putting the book back right now.

I’m going to try something different here because I don’t follow directions well. Instead of tagging people, why don’t you leave me a comment with your 3 sentences from the book nearest to you? (And if you have a blog, feel free to post it, too!)

Please no Kama Sutra if you can help it. I’m not sure my heart can take it. Or just send it to me separately. 😉

Speaking of idiots dating among us…

Have you ever seen The Pickup Artist on Vh1? This reality show is yet another “tale of transformation,” touting that “for these eight lovable losers, ‘socially awkward’ is the understatement of the year. And when it comes to this lonely hearts club, desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Desperate all right. Desperate for a slap of commonsense upside the head.

Watching it makes me desperate for a drink.

If you haven’t seen this show, you should — if only for one or more of the following three reasons:

  1. You are glad you are not dating anymore and need to feel superior (or sympathetic) to those of us who are.
  2. You need to be reminded why you should never live your life on national TV.
  3. You relish the fact that you’re not young and foolish enough to seek advice from any idiot around…anymore.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a soft spot for socially awkward, good-hearted, but not so cool people. (This is probably why I am a geek magnet, come to think of it. Or just a geek.) I agree with the idea of being aware of your body language, how to dress and act more confident, how to silence your inner critic, how to take chances.

Where did you get those goggles?But, honestly, guys. Insecurities aside, how can you take this advice seriously when your expert’s name is…Mystery? And he has buggy eyes rimmed in black eyeliner? With strange piercings on his face? And wears aviator goggles and a lice-infested hat you’d find half off at the temporary Halloween store set up in the abandoned building down the street — a hat like this one?

I happen to have the show on now. (Cut me some slack. The kids are at The Ex’s so I don’t have to watch Hannah Montana.) They just showed the winner of some “field contest” — a young, cute enough guy who scored the prize by making out with an attractive girl at some bar. Do you think he understands that she made out with him because she was completely off her rocker drunk? I wonder if she passed out on him, like what happened to me.

Probably not. He’s an aspiring pick-up artist. I am SO not one.

Update: OK, now I’ve had this show on in the background for over an hour (again, cut me some slack). In case any of the contestants or defenders of these innocents are reading this…all I’m saying is you guys aren’t stupid, so don’t do stupid stunts and expect to find love in a bar filled with drunken 20-somethings. (I know it can happen, but love?) Forget the slick talk and the cool acts. Just listen, be truthful (usually), be respectful, don’t be cocky and DON’T be spineless. It will get you farther than most.

See, I do have a soft spot.