Where I’ve Been Lately

Dearest friends, I am long overdue for an update. Here’s the scoop.

Why I’ve been delinquent:

While I have the best intentions for keeping up the blog and writing short, regular posts, I have not quite mastered this art. My biggest challenge is writing for a living, because I end up writing for other publications instead of my own.

What I’ve been doing instead:

During most of my waking hours, I’ve been birthing a baby called IDEA: The Institute for Democratic Education in America. It is a very large baby, and as Communications Director I am one of its proud parents. Our goal is to bridge the gap between our country’s values of participation and empowerment and the top-down way we educate our children. That is, we want all young people to have an education that nurtures their creativity, curiosity, and collaboration. In addition to shaping the organization’s message and website (designed by Darren), I’m leading an awesome blogging team of educators, students, parents, etc. from around the country, and I’m blessed that they’re great writers with a lot to share. Please check out the organization and follow us on Twitter and Facebook (I’m the one updating those sites).

I love the comfort and flexibility of working from home, though the downside is that I don’t maintain boundaries between my work and home life. In the new year, I am really going to try to change this, because most days I work until the moment I crawl into bed, and that is simply not healthy.

On the side, I’m doing freelance writing projects for small businesses and nonprofits, including social media marketing. Darren and I spent four days in Orlando, live-tweeting a diving trade show (random, yes) for our client Diver’s DLyte. The next weekend, I went to New York for a Public Allies board meeting and IDEA workshop. Traveling, while exciting, takes a lot out of me.

What I’ve been doing for fun:

Though I haven’t been good about building a lot of fun into my day lately, I do keep up with my favorite TV shows. It’s funny, because I didn’t watch much TV at all for years, and I went out a lot. Now, I’m enjoying being a homebody, and a good-quality show is what I look forward to at the end of a long day. The Office, Grey’s, and Fringe are must-sees. I usually keep up with Modern Family, Nip/Tuck, and SNL. Lost, Mad Men, and Dexter are on the back burner for now, but Darren and I love those, too.

I’m keeping up with yoga, maintaining the garden (though the winter will soon claim it), and trying new recipes. I’m still singing with The Mississippi Chorus and will have my first performance — of Handel’s lovely “Messiah” — on December 5th. My guitar-playing and reading ebb and flow.

Jackson’s the kind of town where instead of going out to clubs and loud house parties like my friends and I did in San Francisco, people keep their down time low-key. We have dinner parties (such as a neighborhood pre-Thanksgiving potluck) with organic food and wine, hang out at coffee-shop music performances, and see everyone we know during community “art walks” where businesses in the Fondren district keep their doors open late.

How the reschooling is coming:

For the past few weeks, I haven’t done a great job of living by my own Reschool Yourself values. I haven’t been living very joyfully or taking care of my body.  I’ve gotten back into my workaholic habits of staying up until 2 working on the IDEA website and popping up at 8 with my brain on overdrive. I haven’t made much time to do the things outside of work that I enjoy. I’m exhausted, cranky, and a little sickly.

I’ve fallen off the wagon, as a friend put it. It happens. The trick is for me to stop before I get too out of control, and make the effort to correct my course. Fortunately, the holidays are coming — Thanksgiving with Darren’s family, and Christmas in Hawaii with mine — and I plan to use them to do a whole lotta nothin’.

I’m excited to report that I’m finally finishing up the Reschool Yourself book proposal — yes, that book that lingered in the distance for so long but kept knocking against the insides of my head to be let out. I’ll keep you posted on the publishing process, which is known for being unpredictable. Darren’s already thinking about who will play us in the movie. (I haven’t come up with someone for me, but I think Seth Rogen could play him.)

Another piece of good news is that we’re not in the poorhouse like we were last Christmas. We’re actually starting to make a modest living — not a corporate-sized salary by any means, but enough that we don’t have to wait for our next check to buy socks. It feels good that we’re able to work from home, as we want to, and make ends meet. And we’re only going to get busier from here, because a lot of businesses need websites. (Did I mention that I’m slowly learning to program in HTML? For a former technophobe, this is major progress.)

What’s to come:

In the new year, Darren and I will be moving to a bigger place in Jackson. We’ve outgrown our cute little two-bedroom apartment; we need more space in the living room and kitchen, and three bedrooms so we can each use one for an office (Darren works in the bedroom now, which makes it tough for him to shut down his brain at night).

I’m going to work on more consciously living out the Reschool Yourself values of joy in all things, continuous learning, and self-care. Yes, I’ve fallen off the wagon temporarily, but I’m going to get right back on again.

Comments (3)

  1. Casandra

    Hey, way to go on writing this post. I, too, have fallen off my own wagon and I’m picking myself back up, slowly but surely. Projects abound! I can’t wait to take this inspiration into my own next blogpost!

    I’d love to make a catch up date- you, me, facebook chat?

  2. Melia

    I love the quote that goes something like “The master is not the one who never falls, but the one who picks herself up again.”

    Can’t wait to catch up on my own bliggity blog reading over the holidays and read some new stuff of yours as well. I’ll message you about touching base soon!

  3. Gilliebean

    Great update, Melia. I’m so glad you and Darren are busy and doing well and that you’re coming to visit so soon! I find I have a hard time blogging regularly when I have a ton going on with work or my super important social calendar (hello, happy hour), but I’m trying to enjoy writing more when I can instead of constantly feeling guilty. We should set aside time for reading and writing more fun stuff when you’re in town.


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