Archive for July, 2010

did i run away and join the circus without my consent?

July 21, 2010

these past few months, but specially these last two weeks, have been an extreme test of my ability to handle stress. to keep my head from popping off. to maintain a professional demeanor and not glare at anyone and everyone who emails, calls, walks into my office. to get it all done and explain to the next person how it works while wearing a smile on my face. to balance on the thin wire of work and life outside the office.

being at work lately has felt like i’m the ringmaster, the lion tamer, the girl riding bareback and doing back flips through hoops while still landing on the back of the horse, the tight rope walker, the elephant trainer, the driver of the clown car, the 57th clown that gets out of the car, the juggler who’s just switched from bowling pins to fiery batons, the person hawking popcorn and cotton candy and those blinking light souvenirs, the parent watching over their child, AND the person who has to clean up and pack up the big top tent.

which leaves me with ZERO energy for anything outside of work. and putting in no effort with your life and hobbies and friends and health and family? that leaves me with a very flat existence. much like the big top tent after the support poles and bleachers and equipment and people and animals and air has been pulled out.

i’ve learned that me + stress = one big grumpypuss. i know this, but now i REALLY know this. it’s lodged at the forefront of my brain. (it’s probably making my forehead look a little lumpy.) but i don’t know how to stop. i want to do a good, complete job. there is a reason (i can’t think of it at the moment) that my boss chose to give me oh so very much work and i don’t want to disappoint him. but what about when i disappoint my family and friends? it’s a little like this, i suppose. where work is the “new friend” and everything else is the “old friend”. i need to make sure i pick up my undies for both my old and new friends. they deserve to be treated equally. but how do you do that when one demands so much more attention?

when do you draw the line? when you reach your breaking point? right before you crack? right after your head’s exploded? when your TO DO list reaches 100 items? when you arrive at work early, don’t take lunch, and still have to stay late? when your roommate wonders why she hasn’t seen you all week? when your friends are shocked by the lack of emails from you? when your family wonders why you don’t call? when you seriously consider early retirement? when you don’t smile a true smile all day? when you can’t remember the last time you heard good news? when your stress levels rocket because you have no outlet (working out, hanging out, writing) of release?

where do you put it? and how do you draw it? a stick in the sand? masking tape down the middle of the room? with a closed door? with tears down your cheeks? with hershey’s kisses?

what do you do when you give too much to one thing and not enough to another?

and so, to all those (online and off, in real life and digital life, in my manuscript) who have been neglected by the recent rush of work i’ve been doing, these are for you. they’re forget me not’s.

please accept them with my sincerest apologies for disappearing. and please, FORGET ME NOT while i’m gone.

growing up, awkwardly

July 18, 2010

i realize that in the grand scheme of things i am quite young. i have a lot left to learn. but you can’t deny that i have a bit of knowledge stored in this brain of mine. even if it is a tad unbalanced.

for instance, my conversations this weekend ranged from mortgages to reality TV. from savings accounts to “that’s what the kids are calling it.” from wedding invitations to my obsession with twitter. from vintage wines to blue raspberry slushes. from current love affairs to celebrity crushes. from washing machines and clotheslines to the sexiest bras. from taxes to toilet paper. from splitting the check to sugar cookies. from student loans to one drink too many. from compost piles to high school memories. from donations to double dipping. from directions home to salt and pepper shakers. from budgets to bud light aluminum cans. from car parts to that’s what she said.

i think i’m headed, albeit wobbly, in the right direction. i just hope that along the way i don’t lose my silly side. because adult conversations, while necessary, can be a bit dry. and who doesn’t like to get wet every now and then?

(looks like i’ve got some growing left.)

legal name change

July 13, 2010

Juliet:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

and would i, by any other name, still tweet?

it appears I DO. as is evidenced by my recent change in twitter user name. i’m now @abbymumford, formally known as @mumfusa.

why did i go from the obscure mumfusa to the normal abbymumford? mumfusa was generated in college, and well, as much as i don’t like to admit it, i’m past that time in my life. plus, i’ve been thinking about it for awhile. i joined twitter on a whim, but since that fateful day in march 2009, my relationship with twitter had completely changed. twitter and i? we’ve grown up. instead of following celebrities and marveling at how they tie their shoes like the rest of us, i have taken up residence in a publishing corner of the twitter world. i’m surrounded by authors and agents and publishers and editors and, let’s face it, digital friends. i’ve stopped lurking and joined the conversation.

and so, i’ve decided to unmask and unveil myself and go by my given name. err, my given nickname. (you have to save characters, you know. going by @abigailmumford would be asking for trouble. or for no RTs. or for no @ messages.)

plus, one of my life goals is to be published and i don’t plan on writing under the pen name of mumfusa, so i figure i should take this baby step forward towards that goal and link my internet presence with my off-line self. (in case that miraculous time comes when i sign an agent and a book deal and people start searching for me online.)

you know me, always prepared. never procrastinating. this is just me being me. whether it’s as mumfusa or abby or abigail.

happy blogiversary, self

July 8, 2010

it’s been a FULL year since i transformed my OLD to a live blog with real readers (you, and you, and you, thank you!) and grown up thoughts and immature ramblings. what a ride it’s been. thanks for listening and commenting and reading. cheers to another year of writing deadlines and whimsical musings and wondering how to get more of you to speak up. cause i heart you, readers, talk to me.

hey, what’s an anniversary without presents?

boring.

i got permission from his parents…and so, without further ado (dear readers), my present to you, live on-stage, performing for the first time as a solo artist (with a little help off-screen from his older brother):

LIAM AND HIS AIR GUITAR.

but first, turn on your speakers. ok, GO.

p.s. sorry about the quality. it’s from my sis-in-law’s phone to my phone to my email to youtube. i’m not so sure this little video was supposed to traverse the interwebs. but how could i not share this guy with you?

p.p.s. thanks to brother G for all the tech help. i couldn’t have done it without your help. on many levels.

graduation, family reunion, wedding: a photo essay.

July 7, 2010

let’s rewind a bit, shall we? the week of june 21-27 was a whirlwind. first, there was the family reunion in NJ. we reunined (fun, new word!) because sister E was graduating from high school. and if that’s not a reason to get together and CELEBRATE…well, it is a perfectly good reason. so that’s what we did.

the FAMILY REUNION. where kids and toys and games and parents and grandparents and and great grandparents and aunts and uncles and siblings and cousins were in every nook and cranny.

the cousins, who now live on opposite coasts were introduced.

the girls were excited to meet.

the boys, not so much.

once kids are introduced into the mix, it’s so fun to compare traits. genetics and personality. some of us have the same toes. some have similar color eyes. some have their dad’s nose, their mom’s  smile and the sweat glands of their aunt. some are shy like their dad. some are studious like their uncle. some are tall like this side of the family. some are stocky like that side of the family. some are still waiting to develop.  but you can’t deny the family resemblance here. it is uncanny. which one’s the graduate? which one’s the aunt? which one’s the niece?

then came the GRADUATION. which was as hot and stuffy and as full of cliched speeches as you might imagine. but we attend because we’re there to applaud sister E’s efforts over the past 4 years. her efforts in learning, in living, in playing, in growing. she’s finished one chapter and it’s immediately time for a new one to begin. a chapter that is slightly scary and exciting and full of independence. so we gather now to let her know we’re here. always here. supporting. and doing the things families do best. loving. so, here’s the graduate herself. looking all spiffed up and ready for college. or perhaps, more celebrating.

speaking of MORE celebrating, i had just that in store for me at the end of the week. this time, it was friends (and their families) gathering to cheer for the culmination of a love affair. you might recall my adventures in white washing a barn? well, it was time for that barn to take center stage at lauren and  nate’s wedding. but more importantly, it was time for LOVE to put on its cap and gown and stand up on stage and accept its diploma of marriage. congrats, you two!