Blogroll

When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

Archives

For posts sorted by date or label, see the links below.

For posts on frequently referenced topics, click the buttons to the right.

To search this blog, type in the field at the top left of the page and hit enter.

Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Those busy, busy feet

Before O. was born, we brought home a tiny pair of cowboy boots that D. had loved when he was little. They'd been stored by his parents for years, waiting to be handed down when the occasion arose. A few weeks before O.'s arrival, I set them on the bookshelf in his bedroom, thinking they'd be cute and figuring they wouldn't be needed for at least a year.

O. decided he was ready to walk two weeks ago.

At nine months old this week, he's gone from taking tentative steps to running headlong from one end of the living room to the other. There are slips and stumbles and wipeouts, of course. But our fearless little man has managed to get his legs under him in less time than it took for him to be ready to leave the womb. Consider me gobsmacked.

He entertains himself by toddling in circles around the couches -- following a similar path as the one D. used to wander with O. in his arms when O. needed soothing to sleep. Now these are routes for wide-eyed exploration. Does he realize he's retracing his steps? I wonder as he zips past for the nth time, a favorite stuffed toy rattle in his hands. He pauses only to exchange the jingle of soft bells for the remote control's novel buttons that light up when pressed -- or mouthed. Though he's going nowhere, he moves always with most urgent purpose.


The more speed he gathers, the less forward motion I seem to be able to make on my own roads toward -- well, anything. I know it's normal, but I feel scattered (even with breaks for mug cake). On the wish list of personal projects: work on hand-made Christmas gifts, sort through clothing for donation, reorganize closet, print wedding photos. Yes, wedding photos! We have yet to do that since we got married seven years ago, and now with so many shots of O. also in the queue, I fear it will never happen. His baby book has more in it than our wedding album. In fact, I'm not even sure if we have a wedding album ...

It's odd, that need to get something done. That's all I want, really, to finish something and, if I'm lucky, enjoy the process involved. Maybe the problem is in wanting an end at all -- but I can't turn everything into a love-the-journey thing. Sometimes you really do want to think about and be delighted by the destination and be done with getting there. Holiday travel comes to mind -- preparation for all that is taking priority now too. If you think baby-proofing our own house has been an adventure with an early walker, consider the grandparents' homes we'll be visiting. They're definitely not ready. Thinking ahead of what our families need to know -- and conveying the information effectively -- is my new responsibility.

So here I am, trying to stay one step ahead, to get somewhere, though on some days, I know O. isn't the only one running in circles. He just doesn't mind.

*

I'm linking up with Just Write this week. For more stories and essays, click the button below.


2 comments:

D. A. Wolf said...

This post makes me feel happy. Those busy, busy feet - as you allow me to experience them in your world - fill me with to overflowing with the best possible memories.

C. Troubadour said...

Dear Wolf -- I'm counting on these words to help me remember O.'s earliest steps as I'm sure they'll be eclipsed by bigger ones (of all sorts) too soon! It's been hardly a month and he's so much surer on his feet. They say climbing's next. Squee ...

Posts by date

Posts by label

Air travel Airline food Allergic reactions Astoria Awards Bacteremia Bacterial overgrowth Baggage beefs Bed and breakfast Betrayal Blues Body Boston Breastfeeding British Columbia California Canada Cape Spear Clam-digging Colonoscopy Commuter marriage Cooking CT scans Delays Diagnoses Dietitians Doctor-patient relationships Doctors Eating while traveling Editing Endocrine Endoscopy ER False starts Family dynamics Feedback Food anxiety Food sensitivities Gate agent guff GI Halifax Heart Home-making House hunting Hypoglycemia In-laws Intentional happiness Iowa Journaling Kidney stones Knitting Lab tests Little U. on the Prairie Liver function tests Long Beach Making friends in new places Malabsorption Massachusetts Medical records Medication Mentorship MFA programs Miami Monterey Motivation Moving Narrative New York Newark Newfoundland Nova Scotia Olympic Peninsula Ontario Ophthalmology Oregon Oxalates Pancreatic function tests Parenting Parents Paris Pets Photography Portland Prediabetes Pregnancy Process Professors Publishing Reproductive endocrine Research Revision Rewriting Rheumatology San Francisco Scenes from a graduation series Scenes from around the table series Seattle Sisters Skiing St. John's Striped-up paisley Teaching Technological snafus Texas Thesis Toronto Travel Travel fears Traveling while sick Ultrasound Urology Vancouver Victoria Voice Washington Washington D.C. Weight When words won't stick Whidbey Island Why we write Workshops Writers on writing Writing Writing friends Writing in odd places Writing jobs Yakima

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Those busy, busy feet

Before O. was born, we brought home a tiny pair of cowboy boots that D. had loved when he was little. They'd been stored by his parents for years, waiting to be handed down when the occasion arose. A few weeks before O.'s arrival, I set them on the bookshelf in his bedroom, thinking they'd be cute and figuring they wouldn't be needed for at least a year.

O. decided he was ready to walk two weeks ago.

At nine months old this week, he's gone from taking tentative steps to running headlong from one end of the living room to the other. There are slips and stumbles and wipeouts, of course. But our fearless little man has managed to get his legs under him in less time than it took for him to be ready to leave the womb. Consider me gobsmacked.

He entertains himself by toddling in circles around the couches -- following a similar path as the one D. used to wander with O. in his arms when O. needed soothing to sleep. Now these are routes for wide-eyed exploration. Does he realize he's retracing his steps? I wonder as he zips past for the nth time, a favorite stuffed toy rattle in his hands. He pauses only to exchange the jingle of soft bells for the remote control's novel buttons that light up when pressed -- or mouthed. Though he's going nowhere, he moves always with most urgent purpose.


The more speed he gathers, the less forward motion I seem to be able to make on my own roads toward -- well, anything. I know it's normal, but I feel scattered (even with breaks for mug cake). On the wish list of personal projects: work on hand-made Christmas gifts, sort through clothing for donation, reorganize closet, print wedding photos. Yes, wedding photos! We have yet to do that since we got married seven years ago, and now with so many shots of O. also in the queue, I fear it will never happen. His baby book has more in it than our wedding album. In fact, I'm not even sure if we have a wedding album ...

It's odd, that need to get something done. That's all I want, really, to finish something and, if I'm lucky, enjoy the process involved. Maybe the problem is in wanting an end at all -- but I can't turn everything into a love-the-journey thing. Sometimes you really do want to think about and be delighted by the destination and be done with getting there. Holiday travel comes to mind -- preparation for all that is taking priority now too. If you think baby-proofing our own house has been an adventure with an early walker, consider the grandparents' homes we'll be visiting. They're definitely not ready. Thinking ahead of what our families need to know -- and conveying the information effectively -- is my new responsibility.

So here I am, trying to stay one step ahead, to get somewhere, though on some days, I know O. isn't the only one running in circles. He just doesn't mind.

*

I'm linking up with Just Write this week. For more stories and essays, click the button below.


2 comments:

D. A. Wolf said...

This post makes me feel happy. Those busy, busy feet - as you allow me to experience them in your world - fill me with to overflowing with the best possible memories.

C. Troubadour said...

Dear Wolf -- I'm counting on these words to help me remember O.'s earliest steps as I'm sure they'll be eclipsed by bigger ones (of all sorts) too soon! It's been hardly a month and he's so much surer on his feet. They say climbing's next. Squee ...