as of late, a little late

Blah. Blah. Blah. There. Now that that’s out of the way, we continue with our regularly scheduled randomness.
The beans graduate from Kindergarten this week, although school isn’t out until June 21st. At which point they’ll head off to day camp, where? Good question. I’ve been avoiding signing them up, mostly because I don’t want to hear from Phil how it’s money out the window, especially if I’m not working. Said discussion leads to my feeling like anti-depressants would rock right about now. Seriously. I was on them a long time ago and now I think it’s about time I give ’em another go. Because I feel blah again, quiet, inside. This past weekend, while visiting with Alexandra in her Hamptons home, she asked how the writing was going. I had nothing to say. Just blah. No excitement. Just down, really down.

While I say aloud daily all I have to be so thankful for, and it’s a lot, it doesn’t lift my mood or energize me. I went back to my gynecologist, who tested my testosterone levels, saying they were, once again, “Still, very very low.” So, now I’m to use a bit more of the Androgel and re-test my blood in 6 weeks. Perhaps that will put some drive in me, sexual and otherwise.

I’ve gained 6 lbs since February. I weigh 135 lb. now. But at least I’m in the right mindset where my weight is concerned. My focus is now on eating healthfully, avoiding grains and processed sugars. I feel better about that. But then I think about signing them up for camp, and I feel heavy again. It has to be a total ass-drag to read this blog. Sorry. I feel badly about that, too.

Know what will cheer me up? Spending the rest of today making a “Year in Review” video of the kids. Because in the end, that’s what matters most, the memories and the deliciousness of our lives, savoring the smaller details and delights. For now, that’s where I’m trying to focus. Convinced? Me neither. I don’t know how to pull myself out of this funk– I just caught myself there. “Why pull yourself out? Just accept that this is how you’re feeling, become a witness to it, just observe it. Don’t judge it.” Someone sure is listening to perhaps a few too many self-help gurus. What do you do when you get the blahs in a big way?

Time with friends. Check. I just did that. It didn’t help. I tried watching trash TV, Pretty Little Liars via Netflix, seasons 1 and 2, also not helping. Food definitely won’t help. Magazines just emphasize the materialistic. And The Bachelorette SUCKS this season.



  1. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

    The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

    The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

    The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

    ‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

    ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

    If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

    1. Author

      I love this, and you for posting it. I’ve read it before, but I’d forgotten the meaning. Thanks for the reminder. And that’s the thing. I am very good about spending time with my children, very good about spending lots of time with grandparents and family. I’m getting better about making more plans. Last weekend, we were in Newport with Phil’s family. This past weekend, we were with friends. Next weekend, we head back to Newport with my Dad and Carol, my step-sister Amanda and her husband and two kids, my step-sister Erica and her man, plus Phil and my beans, party of 11. I’m bringing cocktail recipes and board games and a recipe for wheat-free crab cakes. I feel like I’m good on golf balls.

      We’ve just renewed our home lease for another year, since the housing inventory wasn’t ideal. We’ll take our time finding the right house before just buying for the sake of buying. We’re going to begin updates on our Austin home, before putting it on the market. And I still adore my new car. My “job”… that pebble could use some polishing. But I get so terribly anxious when I even think of it.

  2. i meant to add… you are doing the right thing! you are going to feel better… and, in the meantime you are savoring the important things in your life even if sometimes it feels like you’re just going through the motions. keep going! we are routing for you.

  3. This post really resonates with me, as I’m sure it will many of your readers.

    I’m not entirely sure you were soliciting advice, but I will offer some anyway: are you in any writer’s workshops? I often click through your past blog posts and see you mention this quite a bit in your early days. Even if there are not any writer’s workshops, maybe you could take on a photography challenge? I’m sure it is pedestrian for somebody of your talent, but a friend of mine did a 30 day photography challenge with a list of items she had to complete every day and she said it did wonders in terms of providing a first step.

  4. No advice but share the same feelings right now and just wishing for a way out of it.

  5. The one fail-safe way for me when I feel like that is music. Even when my interest in my interests has vanished, I can still manage to press play on my iPod. I have a playlist called “cheer up” that will, even if it’s on,y for a little while, elevate my mood. There’s a lot of nostalgia included- the 1978 Disco version of Rubber Duckie from the Sesame Street Fever album. Fun, Fun, Fun by the beach boys from Saturday mornings when my mom would put her beach boys album on and we’d clean the house and sing. For once in my Life, Stevie Wonder because you just can’t feel blah and listen to it. And a bunch of other stuff that is too upbeat for me to feel downbeat. At least for an hour.

  6. If you watch Long Island Princesses you will laugh and feel much better. It worked for me.

      1. There is a lot of speculation on the internet that she is not his type. Hmmmm.

  7. it happens- we have plateaus. If they last too long well sure, try that anti depressant. One thing I hated about going on them years ago after the first baby was the weight gain. Ugh. But many different options are out there and not all cause weight gain:) And yes, feel free to share this vanity with your doc when getting a prescription. As I told my doctor ‘I want one that is not known for massive weight gain as hello, that would make me feel worse!.

    When was the last time you picked up a camera for fun? I realized for me it’s been a while so next week shceduled a day of solo time/photography starting in East Austin (so many cool places to shoot there, we just went to a bar it’s neat in that area now) and just have fun. Or maybe a solo trip to another country? I know it’s hard since Phil has to work and the kids are home all summer- can the kids visit the grandparents while you get away even for 5 days? Some unplanned adventure seems to make you happy from what you have written over the years. Getting some of that back might not be hard as you think. Also, remember do not compare to other people (eaiser said than done, we all do this sometimes) as it can bum you out. You’ve done a lot and it’s easy to forget it when you are feeling ‘blah’ and uninspired. Dust some of that off and make lists of what you’ve accomplished if need be to keep that from overwhelming you.

  8. I live in a big city and recently took the subway (which I rarely do) downtown (where I rarely go). The hustle and bustle and people watching was just something different from my familiar routine. It was definitely energizing to take a little detour from my same-old. Yesterday I went to a different (ethnic) grocery store than I usually do, which was really interesting. Doing the same every day stuff just needs a little tweaking sometimes to stimulate the senses.

    Des has a sorry pack to choose from. I can’t keep one straight from the other. Though, I’m not convinced all of them are straight anyway.

  9. Have you thought about maybe going back to work part time? I could see you doing something that involves helping or motivating people with things that you already love to do and are creatively drawn to.

    Creative writing adjunt, personal stylist consultant, personal organizer consultant, personal assistant for someone really fun or inspiring, healthy lifestyle consultant, makeup/skincare/haircare consultant, professional photographer assistant…

    Sometimes when we do good things to help others with what we already love to do, we are inspire ourselves.

    I also get the vibe that maybe you need to refind yourself a little through something that makes you feel good about your talents and skills. It’s good to be wanted at what you’re good at, and you have so much to offer.

    1. Author

      I loved working in advertising, and I think I’d also love working with makeup or kitchen gadgets or anything having to do with entertaining. I just don’t know how to go about finding that type of job. I don’t think I’d enjoy working at a makeup counter. I’m not sure it’s the most effective use of my time to work in a store like Williams Sonoma (who are we kidding, I’d be their biggest buyer). I love these ideas, I just don’t know how to go about getting into it.

      1. Errr… life coach? Don’t laugh! They are paid to help map out a step by step plan for you once you articulate your goals/desires. This is good esp. for an indecisive libra lol. It;s like a personal trainer you don’t need to see them forever. Just a session or five. makes you accountable and someone who tells you the steps you need to make to get there. I really think it might help.

  10. Two things that never fail for me – exercise, and getting outside – preferably both at the same time. An outside run on a beautiful day while listening to your favorite upbeat playlist leaves you invigorated for the rest of the day, even for a non-runner like myself.

  11. Hi Stephanie!

    Why don’t you send yourself to camp?

    Writing camps/retreats can be a great way to get away, spend some time in a new setting to feel creative and possibly meet other people who you can share your experiences with.

    Maybe leaving isn’t a conventional answer when one is a parent (I’m not one, so I don’t want to assume this is doable), but maybe it’d make you appreciate coming back oh-so-much more?

    You could also call it educational/work-related for Phil Department inquiries. :)

    1. Author

      Yes, I guess this would be tricky without Norma (our nanny from Texas). We’d have to find someone to watch the kids. I actually have a book on my bedside table about retreats. I think there is value in it, almost a jumper cable. I love the idea, just have to bring it up with Phil. Joy.

  12. Have you thought about splitting the difference: a few weeks of camp and a few weeks without? During the time they are not at camp maybe you could take the kids for a little getaway, just the 3 of you. Great bonding time! Doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but a little adventure with the kiddos would make for great memories!

    Good luck… I hope you get through your downswing soon.

  13. Aren’t you writing a book or have a TV show in development? Thats good stuff right there!

  14. I find it hard to believe that MAC wouldn’t pay you to pop in to various make-up counters in the city for special events where you give lessons. Ask them.

  15. I haven’t been on your blog in a long time, maybe over a year, and it’s amazing to me how I can click on something and it sssoooo resonates with me. Yea, probably with a lot of people, since we all go through the blah-blah’s. But still… your writing always hits home.

    I have no advice, sorry, but believe you are a talented writer, amazing woman, and mother! I like the idea of a Life Coach, that seems like great advice.

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