my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

November 12th, 2012

On Breakfast and Inspiration

I had the very real and very true pleasure of having breakfast with Laura Lippman while she was in town for an IFOA event in Uxbridge a few weeks ago. Sometimes, I take for granted the perks of my job–how lucky I am to have access to authors as they come into town, Michael Chabon was here last week, impeccably dressed and ridiculously generous, and as I walked by the front desk after returning to the office, Louise Erdrich was on her way in, tall, stately–she has an immense, yet quiet, presence.

So, breakfast–it’s an awkward meal to share with people, I think, because it’s so early, and so few people are truly ‘morning’ people. Anyway, we’re in a mad rush on Mondays and Tuesdays, generally, because those are daycare days, and add to that a meeting that made my whole schedule a half-hour early meant I was even more panicked than usual. The result? I left my wallet at home. Ugh. And I had been doing so well. I had made soup over the weekend, brought my lunch, we were out the door on time, and I was disappointed that I never seem to get it all right. There’s always something that’s kind of off, whether it’s not enough meal planning, or time, or sleep, or organization. I don’t know how regular super-moms do it–keep it all together.

Laura Lippman has a young daughter, she’s just around the same age as RRBB, and we swapped a lot of toddler stories–the delight they have in dancing, concerns and philosophies around schooling, and the sheer delight in having them. I would have spent the whole time asking her about writing and about how she manages to be so consistently, well, consistent in terms of the quality and scope of her novels, especially the stand-alones, but we really only had an hour. She did say that with parenting some things had to give–and, for her, that was blogging, but I think I’ve discovered that already. I can barely make a dent in all the things that I want to say. They pile up like traffic in my mind and then trundle out into the air, forever lost and I think that I’ll never get back to it.

I was in a cab with a friend from work the other day, and we were discussing how hard it is just to keep everything together,to keep everything moving in the right direction. And when Laura and I were discussing it, she said something so profound–“But you’re assuming you can work to 100%. You can get to 97%, that’s a solid A+.” And it changed my perspective immediately. Sure, I forgot my wallet. Sure, we might have ordered pizza once last week and Chinese the week before, but we’re managing to raise a ridiculously happy and healthy little fellow, keep our house looking great, work, live, and enjoy our family. That’s a solid 97% right there.

One Response to “On Breakfast and Inspiration”

  • Nadine says:

    You hit the nail on the head. I have learned to accept that most of the time I am a B parent and a B employee. On days where I’m a C or a D, I forgive myself and move on. On those magical days when I hit the A+ I take a deep breath and savour it, trying not to get too cocky as failure is just one misstep away. And as kids get older you find your groove just a wee bit more and you see that what you have invested in them has taken root and you just relax a bit. I loved reading this. 🙂


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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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