5.

“The moon is messing with us.”

Yesterday is dust –

cutting tiles and color coordinating.

Daddy worked a long day

at home and away.

I entertained children –

gaming with daughters,

huddled together,

eating chips and laughing.

The baby screamed,

tears streamed,

he threw things.

He’s no longer napping.

I held him. I rocked. I said,

“I know, baby. I know.”

Sushi break with Mia.

“They say this place is magic.”

“Who is they?”

“I am they.”

At the book store

we walked down isles

of titles and things –

so many things.

I sat down to plan future things,

and anxiously awaited

the unfolding of things.

We packed up our things,

to a grand home

where the tick-tocks of clocks

soothed us to sleep.

My tired eyes read –

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

until I gave in.

As the dust settled, so did we,

there we lied, in blankets covered,

safe and whole.

The baby between us,

Daddy put my hand on his tired head.

“I love my sweet boys.” I said.

The children slept,

they were happy.

I am one-part “they.”

And they closed their eyes to dream

of more of these things,

more bedtime stories like these

filled with everyday things

and everyday people

and maybe, just maybe,

a little more sleep

for us all.

4.

Well, here we are folks, three days away from a new year and I did not reach my Goodreads goal of 30 books (I read 26). Oh well, it’s not the number of books read that matters. What truly matters is the substance and how it still lingers in my blood. Here are some of the words still warming my insides and expanding my heart and mind:

“‘You were her way here, and it’s a dangerous thing to be a door.’ She tapped my chest, above my heart, with her forefinger.”

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

“Only those who can enjoy using their imaginations when working with limited resources know true freedom.”

A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind by Shoukei Matsumoto

“Everyone builds wealth. The only question is: For whom?”

The Latte Factor by David Bach

“[…] anytime I sense perfectionistic tendencies perking up to stop me […] Write this one down: Starting small and sucky beats staying stucky.”

Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

“Maybe I could stop looking for someone to blame, let my flaws settle and meld with the rest of me, stop taking my name – and my self – so seriously.”

Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself by Mark Epstein

“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

“…and for a few moments, it was just the three of us […] – the three who knew what had happened and too many layers between all of us, too much keeping us from one another.”

Looking for Alaska by John Green

“I love my mother, so I say this with a double-size-serving of guilt: because her words came so easily and cost her nothing, they were never quite as precious as Dad’s.”

Like Water by Rebecca Podos

“‘I see someone who hasn’t decided on anything yet.’ What is the art I want to make? I only know I want to undo the dark, discover the secrets I’m keeping from myself.”

How to be Luminous by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

“To the calm mind, the universe kneels to play. From the agitated mind, the universe shies away.”

Livin’ The Moment by David Romanelli

I love books and the people who write them. I had a wonderful journey through 7,500+ pages. Each book I read inspired me in one way or another and I know I’ve grown from the nourishment of novels.

I look forward to the books I will discover in 2020. If you’d like to follow my reading journey, please visit: Ashley’s Goodreads Profile.

And please share some quotes or books you’ve read this year that inspired you in the comments below.

Until next time…

Ashley

3.

“Self-doubt is self-worth in another universe.” A wise man once said. That wise man is “Devon,” played by Jason Schwartzman in the movie Wine Country on Netflix.

This line made me smile, and not just because it came out of Jason’s mouth (he’s one of my favorite actors). It made me smile because, I struggle with self-doubt! Self-doubt is my kryptonite. It is a dream killer. It makes me question every decision I make, or worse, it withholds me from making decisions. It paralyses me. So to think that self-doubt might be self-worth in another universe gives me hope. Because, I don’t think it’s ever going away.

I need to learn how to conquer self-doubt and stop self-sabotaging once and for all! Could it happen? Is it possible? 

I’ve given up on writing, which has always been really important to me, countless times. I’ve had this WordPress blog for five years now and I’ve deleted numerous posts because I didn’t think they were good enough. Truth – I didn’t think I was good enough. And now I regret it. I’m mad at myself for being such a harsh critic and not giving myself room-to-grow, or permission to be an imperfect foolish human.  

I think the only way through self-doubt is to embrace the fool who says, I’m not sure about this or what I’m doing, but I’m going to do it anyway – leap! I’ve always felt like a fool, stumbling over my words like they’re two left feet that lost their direction. After years of reading self-help books and following spiritual programs, I’ve learned time and time again, the way through self-doubt is foolishly believing in yourself no matter what. Simply, and bravely, showing up for yourself and trying, and trying again. Everyday I feel like I’m failing at something, but every day there are small wins too.

This morning I had a small win when I made my family banana pancakes. After years of making pancakes for them, I can now make them confidently from scratch without a recipe to follow for measurements. They don’t always turn out great but this morning, those were the best banana pancakes I think I’ve ever made. Win!

While I stood there waiting for each pancake to puff up in the pan, I thought about blogging. What should I write about? My husband, who had been hovering around me all morning in need of attention, entered the kitchen for the third or fourth time in 20 minutes. I told him I wanted to write but didn’t know what to write about. “What am I going to blog about making pancakes?” I said sarcastically. 

“Sure.” He said. 

Well, okay then. 

Until next time…

Ashley