Friday, June 21, 2013

#7QT: Oh the Shame, the Shame, the Shame

Is it Friday? Bless my buttons! Read below and then more over at Jen's!


There is a skit by Irish comedian Dylan Moran on shame which uses a brilliant [take-it-with-a-grain-of-comedic-sea-salt] analogy comparing the eating of biscuits between Protestants and Catholics. It is a great Robison family favorite:

"Oh, I can't tell which is nicer, the biscuits or the shame!" 

I've been feeling a lot of shame lately between all my commitments and projects and moving and pregnancy and just being there as a member of my family. It's been a really hard balance, and I'm thankful you readers are still here as I write other things more than blog posts, like thank you cards and freelance.

Although, the book Jen found on writing more/ better has me really excited. As does the ability to download Kindle onto my PC!

I'm starting a women's writer workshop come July and am estatic -- and, hopefully, I'll publish more here too!

I had my gestational diabetes test done today. My doctor allowed me to eat yogurt beforehand since I still get so nauseous in the morning, but the sugary drink I had 5 minutes to down didn't help with that. I brought work to do, and ended up curled up on my side in the room instead. This pregnancy has certainly given me more to be thankful for, especially my health. I may feel sick and need to sleep way more than usual, but I am still doing well and am a low-risk pregnancy!

I am really going to miss my OB doctor and the staff. My doctor is kind, professional, and I feel extremely comfortable with her. I would have loved to have her deliver Bebe! The staff loves to chat with me and ask about updates - mostly because my FIL is another OB in the officer, I'm sure, but also because they are just as genial and caring.

My #1 task upon moving South: new OB! Well, and unpacking. And maybe going on a cemetery tour and exploring the French Quarter!

Today is our six months of marriage mark!!!! How exciting. Just to re-cap:


Have you ever heard of Temple Grandin?

Inventor, animal activist, and autistic!


I am getting to the end of Robert Penn Warren's 'All the King's Men' and it is just thrilling.
“For the truth is a terrible thing. You dabble your foot in it and it is nothing. But you walk a little farther and you feel it pull you like an undertow or a whirlpool. First there is the slow pull so steady and gradual you scarcely notice it, then the acceleration, then the dizzy whirl and plunge into darkness. For there is a blackness of truth, too. They say it is a terrible thing to fall into the Grace of God. I am prepared to believe that.” 
The book is long, extremely well-written, an investment of time and intellect, and worth savoring every word and story. The character of Jack Burton is flawed, smart, introspective, cunning, and just.


Rest in Peace, Michael Hastings (died in a car accident on June 18):
Okay, here’s my advice to you (and young journalists in general):
1. You basically have to be willing to devote your life to journalism if you want to break in. Treat it like it’s medical school or law school.
2. When interviewing for a job, tell the editor how you love to report. How your passion is gathering information. Do not mention how you want to be a writer, use the word “prose,” or that deep down you have a sinking suspicion you are the next Norman Mailer.
3. Be prepared to do a lot of things for free. This sucks, and it’s unfair, and it gives rich kids an edge. But it’s also the reality.
4. When writing for a mass audience, put a fact in every sentence.
5. Also, keep the stories simple and to the point, at least at first.
6. You should have a blog and be following journalists you like on Twitter.
7. If there’s a publication you want to work for or write for, cold call the editors and/or email them. This can work.
8. By the second sentence of a pitch, the entirety of the story should be explained. (In other words, if you can’t come up with a rough headline for your story idea, it’s going to be a challenge to get it published.)
9. Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it’s more important to you than anything else in your life—family, friends, social life, whatever.
10. Learn to embrace rejection as part of the gig. Keep writing/pitching/reading.
H/T Explore

Last weekend in Ohio for a while... I'll miss home! I'll miss my big family, taking the dogs to the dog park and hanging with our cats, walking to and from work, my family eating dinner together, walking around the neighborhood, coffee and play dates with the kids, the best job I've ever had, and the familiar.

Until then, I'm going to keep on keepin' on. Happy Friday!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Job Title: Support Role, Leading Lady

In 21 days, my husband and I will move most of our worldly possessions down South for a year. I am attempting to remain calm and create a game plan as I'll continue to work till the end of the month, and still have belongings scattered between two homes.

I've started to be asked the question of what I am going to "do down there"; I usually look at my belly and reply, "Have a baby!" That does not generate as many laughs as I'd originally hoped. What people mean is what job I am going to do. Never mind that I already edit and write when I'm not nannying, and I'll continue to do more freelance, God-willing. But a "real" job? No thanks. 

I love nannying. I love taking care of kids. This is one reason Will and I decided to be open to pregnancy early in our marriage. We knew that Will would be busy with medicine. And me? I wanted to be busy with kids and supporting Will. 

When I took on a third part-time job earlier this year, the work load started to suffocate me. Pregnant, working overtime, and supporting Will from near and far was hard. I cried a lot. My Dad, the man who instilled my need to be busy and productive with a go-getter work ethic, suggested I quit my third job. 

But I like it, I explained. 

But you're miserable, he reasoned. 

Just tired, said I; I need more sleep. I need more time. 

What you need to do is support your husband, he said. You're married now. Will is your priority, and your baby. 

So I did, and my happiness levels leaped. I missed the action of that job, but I relished in getting to bed earlier and more family time. I even finished a few book reviews. I supported Will as we decided where we wanted to go for the next year. We decided a surgery rotation was not the best thing for our family or Will. We decided to forgo residency one year, take a risk, and enter into a one year clinical research masters program for MDs at Tulane University. 

Do I get paid for advising my husband? Of course not. But it's what I live for: to be there for Will, to support him, to love him. My career ambitions will always be second to our family, and that is my decision. That's a monetary risk** we take on, a sacrifice we accept. 

Feminism's battle call isn't about competing with our fellow man, earning money to prove our worth. It's about the ability to pursue our passions without obstacles that confuse gender with capabilities. Women can do anything. Individuals must decide how to best use their own talents. 

I'm not interested in working in a hospital or running a company. I like editing and being on my own schedule (mostly) and taking care of little kids. I like short projects and long term planning. I like books and coloring and making people happy. I like supporting people, especially Will. He'll work long hours with demanding people. I'll have long hours with smaller demanding people. We'll do it for each other, and with each other. 

At his medical school graduation shindig, after chanting "Speech!" at him for a few moments, my husband thanked everyone for being there and for supporting him through the last four years. And then he talked about medicine, the profession he's wanted to do and be in since he was a tot, and how it's just one path in life, and just one way to support our little family and build a life with me. Cue the "Ahhhhhhhhs!" and applause, and a kiss from me. 

No one says anything negative about Will wanting to support me; that's his role as husband, they say. That's his manly vocation, his duty. Then why can't women answer a similar call without fear of retribution? Fear of accusations that their talents are being wasted? 

To play a supporting role does not mean passivity. It means to serve, to invest your love, to discern your ambitions and rise to the occasion. It means to use those talents to benefit the ones you love best, to give them the similar opportunity to grow, discover and pursue in life. 

Pope Francis tweeted this past Sunday, "The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love." The pay-offs are certainly different, but the reward? Substantial. 

**I'm going to keep writing, because I'm good at it, love it, and people keep asking me to do it (and even pay me occasionally).