writing down the sun

baby steps

Posted in beach life, the big picture, what i'm thinking now by annie on January 30, 2009

Believe it or not, according to my records this is my first blog post in about six months (excluding posts at my law practice blog).

This from the woman who ran, at one time, no less than 9 blogs simultaneously.

The reasons behind my disappearance from the blogosphere were mostly self-imposed – no, scratch that. Entirely self-imposed. I wanted to see if I could do it — step back from this mad habit — and I wanted to see what my life was like without it.

Conclusions: Yes. And “OK, but I don’t prefer it as a way of life.”

There was more to it, of course. There were projects that demanded attention, and there were major lifechanges brewing in the French Press of Life that had to be Attended To.  Mostly, it was a decision based on need: time management needs, psychological needs, and professional needs.

So, over the last six months or so, I’ve had the opportunity to do some deep-level thinking about life, the universe and everything and while I don’t have the final score yet, I can most readily assure you that not one of my answers is “42.”  (Ironically, though, that is my age. But it’s not an answer, because age is irrelevant.)

Some of the blogs, I’m keeping. The Inspired Solo was helpful, and can still be. I may not be the person to run it any longer, but up it will stay, at least for the time being. The SC Bankruptcy & Consumer Law Blog will be transferred to the wonderful Däna Wilkinson, who has graciously allowed me to come back from time to time and post some thoughts as a non-lawyer.

Oh, yeah. That.

Sorry to bury the lede, but that’s pretty much indicative of my thoughts on this particular decision. For many reasons, none of which I can discuss here yet, I’ve decided to retire from the practice of law, as soon as I get this current crop of clients shepherded through their cases. And oddly, after ten years of angst-ridden internal debate on the question, now that I’ve finally decided, it’s no longer a big deal to me. Not even close to being the biggest thing I’ve got going on right now.

It’s a serious deal, to be sure. This is not the kind of thing you can just shut the door on, or delete a website and be done with it. There are matters to be handled, in particular ways. There are people to be helped. There are papers to be signed, and disclosures to be made, and I’ve made them – or will make them at the appropriate point. So, serious. But not important personally.

What is important: the projects in my Things window —

  • Moving back home to the Tar Heel state, and all that implies (packing up, securing housing, finding a part-time job, warning my brother and sister-in-law so they can make plans to be on vacation the week I need help moving in, that kind of thing)
  • Helping the daughter prepare for the big move (a task unto itself)
  • Dealing with the thing that brought me here (how vague)
  • And launching my new full-time freelance writing career

About that last: I’m scared, hell yes. It’s a scary, scary thing. But it excites me in a way that is new and wonderful, and it’s not mere denial. I mean, I know how scary it is! And I want to do it anyway. This? It’s a huge risk. And it’s one I simply have to take on myself. I simply cannot turn another year older with this “should I or shouldn’t I?” crap still roiling inside my head. Time to answer the question, and the only way to answer it definitively, is to do it, and give it my all. Whatever happens from there I’ll accept. I may grumble and/or rage but I’ll accept.

What I can no longer accept: living life mindlessly, doing the things I “ought” to be doing because I “should” and because it’s what “others” “expect.” I’m sick of living life in the quote marks. Full stop.

So, some housekeeping: we’re moving from here to a new domain: http://www.sherriesisk.com. That will happen over the next few days. I’ll keep the posts to date up here, as well, at least for the time being, but old posts will also migrate over there.

Aaaand … I’ll keep ya posted.

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just because you can … part 2

Posted in what i'm thinking now by annie on June 13, 2008

The story out of Oceanside, California yesterday has parents, teens, and educators talking — really talking, apparently, even agreeing with each other. Can that ever be a bad thing?

Well — yes, if the talk and agreement is centered around a mass school-wide deception of incomprehensibly epic and cruel proportions.

Imagine: you’re a teen. You go to school Monday morning only to note that several classmates are absent. Weird, you think – or perhaps you don’t notice. Maybe you only notice when the uniformed state troopers start showing up with grim faces and even grimmer news:

Those absent classmates? They’re all dead. Victims of a horrible drunk driving incident.

You and your classmates, with the raw grief that perhaps only teens can muster for each other over the lives of those who thought themselves invincible, predictably — understandably — fall apart. There are tears. There is despondency. There is rage.

Yet this is nothing like the rage that is induced mere hours later when the rumors start to float around. First, just one or two students who were particularly grief-stricken, inconsolable, hysterical with grief even — then more and more, and finally when you all file into the assembly that you used to think was a rapidly planned memorial service for the dead, you realize you all know by this point:

This was all a hoax.

Your teachers, your principals, your fucking guidance counselors all thought this was a good way to get you not to drink and drive over graduation weekend.

From my vantage point of 20-odd years post-high-school, this is how I feel: what the hell were these adults thinking? Were they thinking at all?

This whole charade has the smell of one of those projects that somehow take on lives of their own. You know the kind I mean. They start with just a kernel of an idea, fueled by a good intention. But by the time details start getting added to flesh out this kernel of an idea, the whole thing is a fait accompli and no one can even remember agreeing to the damn thing in the first place.

So, good people get swept up in the tide. Do they question it? Maybe. Maybe somewhere deep inside there’s a tiny whisper urging a bit of caution, another look, a step back. Do they listen? Maybe. Maybe someone tentatively raises a hand in a staff meeting and says, ever so uncertainly, “Are we sure this is the way we want to go?” That hand quickly gets pulled down, though, when the response is dismissive.

The end result: no one stops and takes a moment’s pause. No one takes that crucial step back and thinks about it from the peculiar vantage point of after-the-fact.

And, so, I have no doubt that there are some stunned school officials in Oceanside this week, wondering how in the hell they became such universal objects of scorn and outrage. How? Simple. They got carried away, and didn’t practice the one skill I believe is most needed in this day and age, yet remains sadly absent from our public education curriculum: critical thinking.

There is no reverse on the DVD player of your life. There is, however, a “fast forward” of sorts.

time to change clothes

Posted in what i'm thinking now by annie on June 2, 2008

I made it look different. I was gettin’ bored with the old pic and look.

i am tempted …

Posted in celebrities, what i'm thinking now by annie on May 27, 2008

While I generally love my life here on the SC coast, and have lived east of the Mississippi my entire life (in one case, just barely east, but … still), I am lately overcome with this nonsensical urge to pick up and move.

To Los Angeles.

I don’t know where this is coming from, mind you. I’ve always considered myself sort of anti-everything we pseudo-intellectual types think L.A. is all about. I’ve always thought there were three kinds of people in the world: New York people, L.A. people, and every-place-in-between people. I’ve always considered myself firmly in the NYC camp.

So why this sudden urge to haul ass to Hollywood? My acting career is well and truly done. I have no impulses to revive it. Swear to God.

It’s not the weather — we get similar weather here (maybe a bit more humid, and also there’s that whole hurricane thing, although L.A. does have the earthquake thing to balance it out).

I know exactly one person out there — an 85-year-old friend of my late mother’s. So it’s not an abundance of homeys calling me westward.

I’m not a big celebrity freak (though I do like making fun of them — but hell’s bells, I can do that here, too).

What gives?

Why the L.A. pull?

I just. don’t. know.

It’s very curious.

ah, twitter

Posted in what i'm thinking now by annie on May 3, 2008

I have been Twittering (tweeting? twitting?) for a week. I am officially hooked.

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Posted in what i'm thinking now, writing by annie on June 7, 2007