I think I'm a poet

#metoo, dating my hubby, and my #rootedlife

In case you forgot, this year I’m all about some Aztec philosophy. I’ve been teased by some neighbors about it. I don’t mind the teasing. Because I’m rooted, yo.

As a refresher, I recently learned about this philosophy, Neltiliztli, which I’ve hashtagged as living a #rootedlife this year. I even made a nifty little infographic. You’re welcome!

I don’t necessarily get up every morning and ask myself, “Hey, Larrie. How are you going to live more Aztecy today?”

But, I’ve been able to review the things I’ve done and see how they related to it. Recently, I read some of my writing for a fundraiser for the Rape Recovery Center. The night included 9 other women writers and the theme was, #metoo. Chad organized the night, for the January event by Voices Heard. Each month, he organizes a night with a group of writers where he shares some of his stuff and the other writers take their turns. There’s always a theme and the times I’ve done it in the past have been stretching, hilarious, touching, and unique. The #metoo night rang true to these emotions. As I reflected back on it, I tied it in to my #rootedlife. That night, the piece I read was a letter to myself, addressed to 18-year old Larrie. I shared bits and pieces of my last 20 years. I talked about making mistakes. I accepted them. I talked about how that created a worthwhile life, in a round about way. I talked about courage. I talked about my actions.

I also listened a lot that night. There were funny stories, hard stories about rape, uplifting stories that came out of rape, crass stories, and some poignant poems. This was the ixtlamatiliztli part of things where I heard practical experiences from these other women. This was also the tlaticpac part of the night where this slippery earth we’re traveling along is managed better when we journey together. It was a night that reiterated to me the strength in coming together, picking each other up when we fall, sharing the hard, sharing the poignant, and sharing the laughter. And doing it with people from all different backgrounds.

Also, Nathan came with me. It was a date night for us, a unique date night. Afterward, we went to snack on sugary things at Cheesecake Factory with two pals, Lynley and Todd. Isn’t it nice when you find good couple friends?

Having a different style of date night gives your relationship a little bit of a recharge. I recently learned this so I’m going to share. It’s from The Gottman Institute and they’ve got some research that shows that engaging in novel experiences as a couple impacts the brain’s reward system. “Such novel experiences release dopamine and norepinephrine, the same chemicals which are released during early romantic courtship.” Twitterpated!

So mix things up.

Also, we helped raise money for a nonprofit that’s doing some serious good.

All in all, it was a good night of living the rooted life.

Happier than a magpie with fast-food trash

positivepsychologyI went to a writer’s conference last week. It was a beautiful thing. It was also a hard thing. It was a hard thing because I am pregnant. Nausea and ANYTHING just don’t mix well. Throw in a headache for good measure and the lack of pain-killer options for pregnant women and it was the perfect little storm for me during my stay in Midway.

And yet, I loved it.

Physically, it would have been terrible, between the nausea, headache, and the nature of being at a conference filled with sitting.

Emotionally, it was far from terrible. At the end of the conference, Hilary Weeks, gave a keynote message in which she mentioned a theory that I had never heard of: the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Basically, if we are experiencing life with positive emotions, we are more likely to broaden our experiences by seeking more creative, flexible, and unpredictable ways to experience life, and then build on that because these new experiences create more real, more lasting connections.

In spite of the physical poopiness I was experiencing, my emotions were positive thanks to my excitement for the conference, the friends that I went with, the faculty teaching, and the new friends I made.

And then I came back to work today.

What I learned from my Writing Memoirs class

  1. Writing is hard. Each week, I only had to bring 2 pages, but I THOUGHT about what to write for hours, days, not weeks. Then I sat down to write and entangled myself in a wrestling match with the keyboard: “This is what I want it to SAY, but you’re getting it all wrong. Ugh.” Of the pieces that I wrote, one of them felt a little inspired. The others, forced.
  2. I was embarrased when it was my turn to share my writing. I felt my cheeks heating up. “Don’t react,” I whispered in my head. “It’s not a big deal; just nice friends listening to one of your stories.”
  3. I loved hearing these other women’s stories, learning about their impressive lives, hearing their voices in their writing, and creating new friendships.
  4. My husband is incredible; this wasn’t a new finding, just reiterated over and over as he took Dom each Thursday night for the last month and a half to eat the dinner that he made, play, bathe, read stories, go to bed, while I went to a class just for me. And I got to share one of Nathan’s poems with the class. I was tempted to bring more just to show off, but I resisted.
  5. It was nice doing something just for me. I thought that I might feel guilty for taking an evening to myself even while working full time, but it was okay. Great, actually. Dom got quality time with Dad, too.
  6. I hope to keep tabs on these women, my new friends, even though the class is over. It was a class full of fabulous.

I Used To Keep Journals

I used to finish journals. I am serious. This is not a lie, folks. I wrote to the very last page in the book, a feat that took years. But a feat I used to accomplish. Used to.

I keep meaning to fix this problem that I have. I honest-to-goodness feel it’s important for me to write things down in a journal. They would be things that aren’t blog worthy. In other words, they have meaning to ME, but not necessarily to the INTERNET. Or they are things that I would consider nearing sacred so I wouldn’t just throw them out into the blog world for comment.

But despite all of my thinking about it, I haven’t done it. Why is it so hard to journal again? Do you journal? Did you used to? Why did you stop or what keeps you going? Did you ever finish an entire journal?

A Little Poetry from the Journal

I have a rule about my journals. I’m not allowed to tear pages out. It doesn’t matter if I’ve written something incriminating, if I’ve completely changed my opinions or if I’ve tried to draw a cartoon and didn’t like the finished product ONE BIT. The page must remain.

When I lived with my parents after graduating from college, I had a rushed move from Provo to Salt Lake so I didn’t really go through my stuff or carefully pack up boxes. I found, one day, a very random scrap of paper. It had clearly been torn out of my journal. The handwriting was mine. The experience, I remembered. I didn’t remember writing the poem and I didn’t remember tearing out the page.

I only remember the experience, now recorded as a memory in this poem:

“A Faded Trail”

Nothing’s left but faded memories.
I stopped, ignored the warnings.
I didn’t listen to a word,
found myself awake in mornings
hearing sounds I’d never heard.
And inside the walls had crumbled.
I could feel forgotten tears
all at once, proud and humbled,
full of courage, full of fears.
Welcomed back into the color,
I then wondered what I’d missed,
thought myself filled up with valor
as I searched and I wished
to find a scrap of memory
a taste or smell that might remind.
I could only look in front of me.
The trail faded out behind.


As I’ve been reading through my journal from my senior year of high school, the BIGGEST thing I’ve realized is that I was not a very good writer back then. I tried too hard. I’m pretty sure that I’ve improved since then and let’s chalk it up to my sa-weet blogging skills. Or let’s not. We could chalk it up to all the money I’ve spent on higher education. I would hope an English BA and a nearly-attained Technical Writing MS would amount to SOMETHING.*

The following rambling entry was written in class my senior year:


Her seat holds her body in class.
Each hand grips the edges of her desk.
Her crossed legs keep her from running.
Her assignment fills space on her desk top.
She is trapped within her unanswered problems.
However, nothing can jail her thoughts.
They run free
Chasing her raingutter sailboat,
Skipping across rocks that hold the stream bed.
She picks her pen off her desk,
Pictures splash from the ink.

*However, if the only thing that it amounts to is the one-act play I wrote where Antigone, Ismene, Puck and Linda Loman attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting together, then I can die happy. Big grin.

Buy a T-Shirt; Read a Poem

So long, farewell to Therapy Thursdays. Truly the end of an era. Sigh. How about we make a t-shirt to commemorate it? Okay. How cool is my little design? Yep, pretty cool.

(Click on the picture/design to see the cool t-shirts. I don’t care if anybody buys anything. It was mostly just fun to make, even if it took me 5 minutes.)

Now on to the Therapy Thursdays replacement and the winner is…

I own a lot of journals, which don’t have “typical” journal entries (i.e.: today, I did this and this and I like so-and-so boy; tomorrow, I’ll write some more and like some other boy).

So lucky you, you get a glimpse into one of those journals each week when I’ll post a journal entry from my past. Ready, go!

I creep out naked, wet and red,
Clutching to a branch
And wait for the sun to warm my wings.
I dream of a green expanse of meadow
With drops of perfect, white flower buds
That stretch open to the fast, blue sky
As I bouncing flutter by.