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Hoping to Score
Sep 19th, 2010 by Christina

Tell me you didn’t see this coming: I have a life coach–or, well, I spoke with one once for 90 minutes. I know, I know–such a midlife-makeover-ish thing to do, right? And I’m really too cynical and eye-rolley to participate in something as amorphous as life coachery—but then it’s amazing what a sudden, unexplained bout of poverty and singleness can drive one to (see: self-help books and online dating sites). Honestly, I’ve been a little restless ever since I landed a job. (For which I am grateful, btw. I’m almost starting to believe in god.) And a sweet, cute boyfriend. (No, really, god, I was kidding. Of course I believe in you.) And figured out how to get groceries delivered right to my door (possibly the ultimate accomplishment of the three, thanks to my good pal god).

Now it’s time to sort out my creative self, something I’ve been trying to do since I was 21, with intermittent success. I didn’t make my original deadline of writing something important, critically-acclaimed and noteworthy by age 30. Or 40. And now 50 is uncomfortably near (um, no thank you, god). Fifty. Fif.Tee.

So now what? In a way, I don’t care as much as I used to about achieving something significant in my lifetime. So what if I would rather watch Mad Men and read other people’s books than write one myself? Does the world really need another book? We’re all going to die anyway—agents, editors, writers, critics, even the PR and marketing people. So in the end, perhaps just having fun and blogging is an acceptable way to pass one’s free time. Right? Am I capable of not putting such pressure on myself? Can I once and for all dismiss my gnawing, constant sense of disappointment in me?

Apparently not, because I wrestle with these thoughts, oh, 500 times a day. Recently, I inflicted my inner conflict on my super-creative and much-younger new friend Laura, who instantly fixed me up with her life coach, Marcia. My expectations were high. Prior to speaking with Marcia, I felt an untrustworthy sense of well-being—as if simply contacting her was accomplishment enough and she would take it from there. I didn’t want her to help me be creative as much as I wanted her to be creative for me, maybe even to produce something on my behalf–more like a surrogate than a coach.

Our introductory chat was good, like a combination of therapy and school. She helped me think about what has worked/not worked for me in the past as far as unlocking my creative self. I shared my struggle over how much to reveal and whose feelings to protect or not in this blog or in any future, larger tell-all endeavors. But she kept bringing up this notion of  a “goal,” which I found unsettling–because if  I had a goal, would I need a coach (or simply a trophy)?

We’re scheduled to speak again in a few weeks and I’m looking forward to that. Until then, I’m supposed to read a few inspiring texts that Marcia recommended, plus I’m going to write down some of the blog thoughts that I’m reluctant to publish and see where that leads me.

I’ll keep you (goal) posted.

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Wow, Man, It Really IS Complicated
Jan 7th, 2010 by Christina

So I went to a lovely, elegant dinner party on New Year’s Eve, as befits a woman of my age and580229259_549c0ef722 station. But since that kooky script writer often shows up unannounced, a sitcom-esque drama ensued.

Here’s what happened: During the cheese and crackers phase of the evening, a few of us were
chatting about the movie It’s Complicated. We chuckled about a scene where Meryl Streep’s character smokes pot for the first time in 27 years and gets completely, stereotypically wasted. One of the guests at our New Year’s Eve party said maybe it would be fun to smoke pot again sometime. Eyebrows raised among the rest of us, who were no doubt thinking what a devilish, oh-so-naughty and vaguely tempting notion that was.

During dinner, we talked about how challenging it is to be parents of teenagers, to want to tell your kids to just say no, even though every one of us said yes at some point during our youthful years, with varying results, ranging from No regrets to Damn, I wasted my college education because I was stoned all the time.

Then, a few minutes after our age-appropriate midnight champagne toast, a joint landed on the dinner table, again upping eyebrows, along with the ante. Some, but not all, of the guests partook, and the banter got wittier until we noticed that one of the guests was slumped over on the woman sitting next to him. Was he just an affectionate sort, we wondered, or was something wrong?

Something was wrong, because the next thing we knew, he had slid to the floor and 911 was being dialed. Soon there was a fire truck and an ambulance outside and several EMS guys streaming through the front door.

Our passed-out friend came to, but his face was the color of mushroom soup and he was out of it. The EMS guys, who looked all of 19 years old, delivered their stock New Year’s Eve line (“Had a little too much to drink tonight, sir?”) After checking him for signs of stroke or a heart attack, they didn’t come to a conclusion as to what had happened, but it seemed clear to us that he had inhaled on that joint quite vigorously and that after two decades living a cannabis-free life, it had simply knocked him out. Fortunately, he was fine, and the scene did not devolve into an episode of ER.

Then, right after the emergency vehicles pulled away, our hosts’ teenager returned from his New Year’s Eve party! Hopefully he had no idea what the old people been up to.

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? The grown-ups trying to hide their pot-smoking from the teenager?

If you experimented with drugs when you were young and are now a parent, how do you walk the line between being honest and not?

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