Love Is All Around

Thunderstorms are in the forecast for today–of course, it’s the first weekend of Jazz Fest, and it always rains for Jazz Fest–and I have to make a grocery store run. I’m going to have another cup of coffee while I write this and then make a dash for the store. I slept fairly well last night, despite waking up around four in the morning but it only took me about another fifteen minutes before I fell back asleep. I have a lot of things I want to get done today, so hopefully the thunder and rain will help motivate me. Either that, or I’ll curl up with Cleopatra’s Shadows, which I am enjoying. And really, going to the store early on Sunday morning is the smart thing to do–because everyone is either getting ready for church or already there.

Paul and I watched the first episode of The Handmaid’s Tale last night, and my God, was it chilling. I finally read the book a few years ago, and like so many others, thought it was exquisitely written and thematically terrifying. I wasn’t sure how they would do it as a series, though, and I have to say, it’s riveting and terrifying, and not really hard to see how something like the repressive world of Gilead could happen in reality. Elisabeth Moss is definitely shaping up to be one of the best actresses of her generation, and her choices of roles–from Mad Men to Top of the Lake to this–certainly capture her range. We’ll keep watching, of course.

I drove up to Ponchatoula yesterday to pick Paul up; he’d gone up there on Thursday to visit our friends the Marshalls on the train. His birthday was Friday, so we weren’t together on his birthday, but really, after twenty-one years together (twenty-two on July 20th), things like birthdays don’t matter as much to us as they did when we were newly coupled. I know that probably sounds terrible, but my own birthday never mattered much to me–my family wasn’t big on things like that when I was a kid, and I learned early on that caring about my birthday and making a fuss about it always ended in disappointment, so I got over it very young–and I inevitably end up hurting people’s feelings because I just don’t see what a big deal it is. I also realize that makes me sound awful and uncaring, but I really do think birthdays are for kids.

Although it’s really interesting to reflect back on my life and see how I’ve learned to lower my expectations in order to avoid disappointments. It’s very self-defeating in some ways; I’m trying to learn not to be so self-deprecating about myself. There really is something to be said for daily affirmations, which I’ve started doing. Plus not having deadline pressure is helping me relax, and it’s nice being able to take the time to really evaluate and assess everything about my writing and my career and where I want to go with it in the  future. I was so busy writing for so long I never took the time to actually sit back and think about things, make plans, set goals, and figure out how to get there.

All right, I’d best get to the grocery store before the storms start.

Here’s a hunk to start your week:

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