Paddling with One Oar

Something isn’t right with me.

I’ve been searching pretty hard lately. I’ve been trying to figure out what is going on with me. I’ve been feeling like there is something missing in my life. It isn’t my relationship with God. I have been reading my Bible and praying daily. I took an ecourse called #MakeOverYourMornings, because I thought that might help me. Instead, it has brought up more things I feel like I’m behind on in my life. It wasn’t until I read this blog post someone shared that I figured out what my deal was.

I’m paddling with one oar.

Several years ago, I heard a sermon that used the analogy of a Follower of Christ’s life being a canoe with two oars. One oar is spirituality – your relationship with God, your service, etc. The other oar is what you do – your career/gifting/whatever it is that God made you to do. If you only focus on one oar, you can’t move forward in your life. You’ll be going in circles.

I have been keeping up with my relationship with God, which is of utmost importance to me and my family and the world, really. When I do not spend time with God, when I have not taken the time to allow Him to satisfy me with His love, I am not the same person. I am snappy, become irritated easily, withdraw, get jealous easily, find fault (with myself) easily, and am generally just awful. However, I have found that I am still finding fault with myself, with my life, and becoming jealous of other people. I haven’t been writing, either.

The screenplay that was meant to have a first draft done by August still has no outline.

Yeah.

I’m going around in circles and I am ridiculously dizzy.

With homemaking, housekeeping (which I am lousy at), child rearing, being a wife, helping at the non-profit, family and friend relationships, and my other life responsibilities, I find it difficult to take time to pursue my passions and dreams. When my day is done, I’m exhausted and collapse on the couch next to Hunny until it is permissible to lay in bed. But I have to figure out a way to shake off my exhaustion.

The thing that isn’t right is the thing that hasn’t been written.

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Love & Mercy (A Review of Sorts)

Oh my word, you guys. Hunny took me on a date June 29th, over a month ago. My plan was to share our movie experience with you the following week. It is somewhat terrifying to me that I let 33 days slip through my fingers. Does that frighten you to your very core? If not, it should!

33 days ago, the plan was to see Love & Mercy and then watch I’ll See You in My Dreams, a Doris Day / Danny Thomas movie. I can’t even explain how excited I was to see a biopic followed by a movie made in 1951. Two types of films I love with the man I love?! Life does not get any better than that.

When we arrive at the film house, we do not see a Danny Thomas movie poster. Doris Day’s enormous smile is nowhere to be found. Hunny asks the girl behind the concessions stand about the movie. She tells us I’ll See You in My Dreams is an old person movie about old people and we did not want to see that. Undaunted, we went on to watch Love & Mercy.

I went into this movie looking forward to peeking behind the scenes at the Beach Boys and completely uninterested in Brian Wilson. You see, growing up I believed I would be involved in music. I would be a singer/songwriter for some band or just myself and that would be my life and livelihood. I watched Behind the Music incessantly. It did not matter if the bands were ones I didn’t know full of people I had never heard about, I watched to learn about the ins and outs of the music business and how they found inspiration for music. Unfortunately, the show was mainly how their lives were a train wreck: affairs, drugs, thieving managers, tragic diseases, and tragic accidents involving planes or trains. I vividly remember watching the one on Wilson Phillips where Carnie Wilson talked about what a horrible father she had and how mean he was to her. I don’t know why this burned into my brain, but I felt so sorry for her. And it made me not like her dad. I couldn’t stop loving the Beach Boys, but I knew that guy was a bad dude.

When the film ended and I emerged from the emotional roller coaster, I felt terrible for Brain Wilson. Again, great writing paired with amazing acting can change a person. For the record, I still am not a Brian Wilson fan and I will always be a Beach Boys fan. I didn’t care that Paul Dano and John Cusack look nothing alike, because their mannerisms and speech patterns were similar. They were both heartbreaking and completely genuine in expressing the pain they were independently experiencing. Paul Giamatte is legitimately horrifying as the psychotic psychiatrist Eugene. This is not a movie you want to see when you’re feeling overly emotional. It is definitely worth seeing.

A Long Hard Look

I’m sick, you guys. As in, can’t do anything but lay there, can’t concentrate on anything, and just feeling horrendous. There’s nothing like being unable to function to make you reevaluate your life. I don’t like what I see.

I’m wasting my life.

Let me clarify: being Hunny’s wife and being mother/care giver to the Littles is not a waste. It is an honor and a privilege. All the screaming and crying I’ve heard from my sick bed confirms that they cannot function without me, so I’m kind of important to their overall well being and quite possibly their existence. However, I am wasting the precious vapor that is my life.

Aside from the 40+ hours a week I spend taking care of my home and family, I spend all my extra time, energy, and effort helping Hunny with his duties at his second job working for a nonprofit organization. Helping my husband is part of being a wife, but I have nothing left over for myself. I spend zero time and energy following my passions or chasing my dreams. If I don’t change this, I will resent my Hunny. Nobody wants that.

I am going to prayerfully consider what I can do to change this and make time for me.

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Saving Cats and Enjoying the Rain

It’s gray outside. It’s damp. There’s a slight mist anchoring the last chill winter has to offer. It’s bleak.

And it’s perfect.

I have this sadness inside of me that requires release. I’ve decided to release it as a screenplay. I’ve also decided death will be involved. And there will be tears. Aquatic mountains of tears. And there will be pain. Insurmountable rushes of pain. But with death and tears and pain comes life and joy and laughter.

Last year, I attempted to write a screenplay about a girl whose best friend’s engagement spurs her to persuade her boyfriend to propose. Only he can’t propose until he gets his family’s approval. Spoiler Alert: they don’t approve. I had the misfortune of telling Hunny this couple was based on us and that they would not end up together. In all honesty, the couple was loosely based on us and I hadn’t decided whether or not they would repair their broken relationship. The boyfriend’s inability to stand up to his parents to defend the woman he loved made this decision difficult. Would the girl go back to him? Could he make it up to her? Needless to say, I gave up on the story. Hunny’s dislike of the narrative and my inability to fully overcome my grief was a bad combination.

This year, I’m writing something else. I’m going to use Blake Snyder’s book Save the Cat! as a guide and finish a screenplay. I’m going to share my journey with you, but I won’t share many clear specifics, because I’m still in a fragile state. Hunny said my logline, a one to two sentence description of a screenplay, “sounded good.” His lack of excitement nearly derailed me, so he is officially out of the loop. He’ll be getting the same amount of information as you do. As I read this aloud to him after I post it, I’m sure you’ll be able to hear his protests. Sometimes you have to do something that is uncomfortable for others in order to protect yourself.

I’m excited and nervous! I think it will be great and cathartic. Mainly cathartic.

Here we go!

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 23} French Film – Populaire

God really loves me (and you, of course!). I mean, He really loves me. If He didn’t, this movie would not have been made.

Populaire is everything I love all rolled up in one great movie: a based on true events romantic comedy, a period piece no less, with 1950’s fashion set in France that stars a PINK TYPEWRITER (Ok, ok. The pink typewriter comes into the storyline towards the end, but still)!! Seriously?! Seriously? Best. movie. ever.

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30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 22} Dark Comedy – The Cable Guy

I don’t even want to review this movie. When Hunny and I first started dating, he asked me if I saw this movie and if I liked it. I had not and I was not interested in watching it. I did come across some interesting information about The Cable Guy. Ben Stiller was originally meant to star in the film, but he found directing and acting was too difficult. Chris Farley was the first choice, but was unable to commit due to scheduling conflicts. Jim Carrey won the role and got an unprecedented 20 million dollar salary for the role.

The only funny line from this movie is: I learned the facts of life from watching The Facts of Life.

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 21} Robin Williams – Aladdin

When I was preparing for this series, it was before Robin William’s tragic suicide. I was planning on reviewing Father’s Day. It is a less than stellar movie and I thought it would be encouraging to see that even someone as legendary as Robin Williams makes mistakes. Now that he’s gone, I feel that would be in poor taste.

We did not go to the movies very often growing up. Most of the movies we did see in the theaters starred Robin Williams: Jumanji, Hook, and Aladdin. I was at UNC-Chapel Hill for Journalism Camp and saw part of the filming of Patch Adams. The movie I want to revisit is Aladdin.

Aladdin was a huge hit with my entire family. We saw it in the theater and bought it on VHS when it came out (no DVDs then). My mom still has our Aladdin Christmas stockings. When we went to Disney World, the best part for us was watching the Aladdin parade.

Robin Williams did so much ad libbing as Genie that the script was turned down for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. He improvised so much that there was 16 hours of material. He was even asked to improvise the merchant role, but most of what he said was unsuitable for the Disney audience.