A Little Help From a Friend


I ran into a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in ages this week. The usual things keep us running in opposite directions: we both have three young kids, freelance work, busy lives with the added inconvenience of living on opposite sides of town. So when our paths crossed; her sitting at a table working away on her laptop at Starbucks, and me, sweaty from a jog (if you can call it that) in search of a big glass of water, well it felt sort of serendipitous.

How’s writing going, she asked me, almost immediately. She is a writer. On my very best days (which aren’t often) I call myself a writer. We often talk about projects and ideas, lamenting that our first-born, rule-following personalities and the lovely chaos of three children don’t exactly mesh with the creative endeavors we want to pursue. We get each other that way.

So I was honest and told the truth: I’m not writing at all. I’m not cooking. I can’t string two words together if my life depended on it and my kids have eaten scrambled eggs and toast more times in the last month than I care to admit.

She reminded me what my favorite author, Anne Lammott, always says. Sit down and write a shitty first-draft. You have to start somewhere. Get back in the habit. Cook something. Write something. Even if it’s bad, especially if it is, I guess.

So here I am, stewing on the fact that life is hard sometimes. Writing and mothering, being an adult, a friend and a wife is just hard sometimes. And I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that way. But life goes on, as it has a way of doing. With my friend’s good advice ringing in my ear, I finally opened my computer and stared at the blank screen for a while waiting for words to appear. Here’s to bad first drafts, trying again, learning from mistakes, starting again.

Last night I made a pot of cous cous and sautéed some green beans in a little butter and chicken stock. Aaron brought home a grocery store rotisserie chicken. I pulled the chicken off the bone and stirred marinated artichokes, Kalamata olives and the cooked green beans into the cous cous. I drizzled the whole concoction with a little balsamic vinegar salad dressing and called it dinner. It was surprisingly tasty and fresh and if I’d had a bit of fresh basil and some feta cheese to crumble over the whole thing it would have been even better.

2 thoughts on “A Little Help From a Friend

  1. “Writing and mothering, being an adult, a friend and a wife is just hard sometimes.”

    Yes. And you are NOT the only one who feels this way! XO


  2. Yes! The starting back up is the hard part whether it’s writing, working out, getting re-connected, etc etc…Great reminder for us all!


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