Author Archives: robynbird

About robynbird

I've been a writer since I could hold a pencil in my hand. I'm learning new and wonderful things about myself through my writing and realized it isn't enough just to write it down, I need to share it. What I have to say may not be Earth shattering, but it is filled with love and I hope it moves those who read it.

December: the good kind of chaos

We saw a thought provoking play Sunday last, I’m still trying to understand the impact it had on me. We talked about it all through dinner and all the way home, and still we’re left with questions.
That’s the power of the arts!
Aren’t we blessed to live in a world in which we experience the arts in so many fashions!?!
The play is an old one, but re-staged in the last twenty or so years. It reads timeless and current at the same moment. And the comment on society is as applicable now as it was then, especially in this country where the divide between the haves and have-nots continues to grow.
Every word we speak or write, every action we take or choose not to take has a ripple effect. Goes out from us into the world around us. Creates an impact. Most of us are immune to that awareness.
None of us should be.
An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley at Shakespeare Theatre Company
It will sit with me for a while.

Last week at school started at about 68% and ended Friday at 80% Lord of the Flies mode. The kids, faculty, and staff are all waiting for the ‘Man with the Bag’ so we can have a little break.
Nine more days.
We can do anything for nine days, right?

This Friday night, YBW and I went to the Lincoln Theatre for a conversation with Bob Woodward. Kojo Nnamdi moderated questions from the audience, with many of his own.

(excuse the pic quality, I broke my phone’s camera lens recently…Santa’s going to bring me a new one!)

Mr Woodward discussed his most recent publication, as well as sharing stories of George H W Bush, Gerald Ford, Mark Felt, and his time during Watergate. He spoke with a frankness, elegance, and sharp sense of humor.
Bob Woodward is one of my life-long ‘folk heroes’.
After all Watergate, Katharine Graham wrote him a letter, in which she wrote, “Beware the demon of pomposity.” He shared with us that he took her words to heart. Her words helped guide him through his career. One he’s spent just doing his job, reporting and writing the information he continues to work hard to collect.
One thing he said that struck me was we need to learn the value of silence. To sit in the uncomfortable silence is the only way to learn what others have to say.
It’s interesting, I’ve been practicing that skill over the last couple of years and it really does work! It’s changed the way I communicate with my daughters.

Saturday night, my darling friend Beccca and I went to The Strathmore to the All These Poses Tour.

(It’s signed!! and please hear that in an excited sing-songy sort of voice)

Rufus Wainwright is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his career with a show dedicated to his first two albums. Poses, his second album, is one of my favorite records.
The Strathmore is a wonderful venue, not a bad seat in the house, and has excellent acoustics!
Rufus was sublime!

YBW just came home from our winery. We chatted up folks in the barrel barn, drank some wine, and enjoyed a lunch of ham biscuits and brunswick stew. A lovely way to spend this cold and dreary Sunday afternoon.

While I’m enjoying the fullness of my calendar, I’m beginning to become concerned that I need some quiet time to do homework and wrap pressies!
And rest more.
This evening my plan is to be firmly planted on the floor, Christmas movies on the TV, wrapping gifts. What will most likely happen is I’ll lie on the sofa curled up under a blankie binge watching Mrs Maisel.
Y’all wanna take bets?

However overwhelmed I’m feeling (just a smitch), nothing can contain my joy at this season of Advent!
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Yall!
It’s snowing outside!
I’m putting my jammies on inside out, and flushing ice cubes straight away! This little Robynbird wants a snow day! I could get loads of wrapping done if I didn’t have to go to school!

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a tune for Tuesday vol 9

It’s December and that means I’m playing holiday music 24/7 up in my nest!
So for the next four weeks, Tuesday’s tunes will be holiday themed.

I love exploring different versions of traditional Christmas songs.
Sometimes they’re rocking, or jazzy. Sometimes they’re orchestral or sung by a choir.
Sometimes they’re bluesy as all get out.
Here’s White Christmas from Eric Clapton.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

becoming

I woke up before 6:00 this morning.
My brain pinballing all over the place.

I’m reminded of that Alanis song, These R The Thoughts.

Anyway, here’s what I’m considering this morning.

I have this belief that we all carry baggage, we have no choice.
But the idea is to have a simple carry-on bag, not steamer trunks full. We are all products of our experiences, good, bad, indifferent.
They shape us.
But we have the ability to decide how!
We can choose to learn from these things. We can make small shifts in thinking. We can rewrite our inner speech.
We can learn how to use our experiences to our advantage.

To become!

Not necessarily ‘better’ people, but just become the human we were meant to be before we were inadvertently influenced by others and events, etc.

I long to become.

The easiest way to do that is leave the large luggage behind, pack only what’s absolutely necessary and get on with it.
No matter where I am, I am there.
I gotta be straight with me before I can expect to be straight with the world.

That’s work most people avoid.
And here’s the biggest shame of that, it doesn’t have to be that difficult!
The work can be hard, but once you begin, you’re already further along than you realize. Sure, you’ll slip up. Sure, you’ll feel overwhelmed.
But by simply making the decision to start, you’re already ass deep in the work. In a good way!

It took me so long to learn how to feel safe.
To understand that I could exist in an environment not fraught with fear and anxiety. To realize that’s not how we’re meant to live. I’m no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Well, not the way I used to do.

The me I was before was a wreck. On so many unnecessary meds. Drugs to sleep, narcotics for pain, mood altering meds to simply function.
I realize now that all I needed to do was live differently. To escape that situation.
I did!

Now, my life isn’t perfect. And sure, issues.
But I’m not fearful.
My central nervous system isn’t always so over-stimulated.
I can breathe and sleep and function.
I am learning to feel safe in life. In love. In all things.

Inner speech is such a rat bastard!
But, I’m over here like, I don’t blame my mother for the way I hear her words in my head, the things I say to myself.
I can’t! I won’t!
She didn’t know any better.
Or perhaps she did. Perhaps she was cruel for her own entertainment.
Only, that can’t matter to me.
She was flawed.
But I am me.
And I decide what I say to myself! I decide that I am enough. I decide that I am loved. I decide that I will treat myself with kindness. I decide that I am safe.

I was driving the other day and nothing unsafe happened, but I may not have been paying attention and stopped at a green light or something simple like that. I don’t remember the act, only what happened after.
I remarked, Wow you’re stupid. or similar.
YBW grabbed my hand and was like, it’s OK to make a mistake.
I was hit with the full force of his kindness.
I realized that even though I work to shift my inner speech from “you are not, and will never be good enough” to literally anything else, it will always be in there.
I can’t erase it. I can only build upon it.

It’s OK to make a mistake vs You’re stupid for making a mistake.
A world of difference!

You know what Ms Frizzle said:

How I talk myself is influenced by what I was taught about myself by my mother. Her actions and words assured me I was never quite up to snuff.
I know I’m more than those thoughts.
I know how hard it is to learn to shift that process. I know how hard it is to find different words. But that work is everything!
Can’t learn anything new unless I’m willing to make mistakes.

I’ve been hearing lately about how I’m living my best life.
For the most part, I am.
Sure, there’s stuff to work out. My stuff, YBW’s stuff.
Our stuff. But our stuff is really just my stuff and his stuff kind of bumping into each other.
And I’m working on my stuff…and he’s trying to work on his too.
While there are things that are not ideal, we are aware and we are addressing them.

But I also know this isn’t exactly my best life.
But that’s because I’m still saying things like, “I want to (insert thing).” but not actually doing it. I’m procrastinating finishing my degree. I’m not reading. I’m hardly writing.
But, those are choices I’m making.

I can choose to live my best life to the fullest.
When people say they see me living my best life, they see what’s out there, they don’t see what I’m like inside.
However confident and put together I appear, I’m also a girl who doubts her every move. A girl who fears she’ll never feel ‘good enough’.
But I’m working on that. I’m working towards living my best life inside and out.

I am not a self fulfilling prophecy.
I will amount to more than I was lead to believe! I can, and will do what I set myself to. I can and will be content in my own skin, and in my life!
I am working each day to get to that place inside me.
So maybe I am living my best life after all.

And that’s the key.
Actively living!

It’s cool to want sunshine and lollipops, but you gotta make that happen.
So by doing this work, by actively living mylife, I’m actually in my best life!

Ta Da!
Who knew?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

giving of thanks for November

November. The month that contains the giving of thanks. And y’all, I am not a Thanksgiving kind of girl.
That said, I am chock full of gratitude this month.


Charleston visit.
Time with Sally and her fam.
Time with Jessica.
Solitary road trip.

My therapist.
Two of the three alternative healthcare providers.
Our therapist.
Amber. (she does my hair)


First snow day of the year! (Nov 15)
YBW’s sense of humor.
An unexpected day spent with Catherine.
Independent bookshops.
Michaels coupons.
Mail from Sundance.
My mother in law’s ring back on my finger.
40% off sale at J Crew. (Roby’s getting a new coat for Christmas.)
Flannel jammie pants.
My monogrammed rain boots.
Target’s customer service.
Old Town Warrenton.
Shop small Saturday.
Accidental wine tastings.
Eric Clapton’s Christmas album.
redbubble.com
Holding hands with YBW.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Apple cider mimosas.
Spending Thanksgiving with friends and family and actually enjoying myself.
YBW’s mad kitchen cleaning skills.
A powerful phone conversation with Thing 2.

A new menorah for Hanukkah. (first night is Dec 2)
Christmas decorating.
Making bows.
Fairy lights on the banister.
So! Many! Baby! Jesuses!

And quite possibly what I’m most grateful for!

Thing 1 is pregnant!
The best part is that she is in excellent health, and the baby is strong and healthy!

My cup runneth over.

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a tune for Tuesday vol 8

This song is quite possibly my favorite closing number. And y’all that’s no simple choice!
Here’s You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray (2007)

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

3.2.1. Quote Me – Inner Beauty

Kat at Family Furore nominated me for this particular challenge. She writes a beautiful blog about her life and family. Visit her site, you’ll be pleased you did!

3.2.1 Quote Me challenge was created by Rory over at A Guy Called Bloke.

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!
Thank the Selector
Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Simple quotes have the most powerful impact. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a quote posted somewhere or another and felt it ring true in my soul.
One little quote can become the lightning rod of empowerment, or create a shift in the way one considers life. One little quote can make you laugh, make you cry.
One little quote can live on long past the one who originally said it.

This ‘quote me’ challenge is a fun way to show how powerful words can be when they strike the right chord!

Great big thanks to Kat for nominating me!
Ironically, it was right after I posted about coloring my hair. So while I shared about changing my outward beauty, I’m excited to share some quotes about inner beauty that rang true in me.


Audrey knew what was up!


I believe this is what kindness can do for all of us!

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a tune for Tuesday vol 7

I was eleven when I bought my first 45. It was Toto’s Africa.
I was forty seven when Weezer remade Africa.
I liked it!

Weezer covered Toto’s Africa.
Asked Weird Al to star in the vid, which is pretty much just a parody of their vid for Undone (The Sweater Song)
Leaves me wondering how far on can cram one’s tongue in one’s cheek.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

brand new shiny copper

So Amber and I did a thing yesterday.

Amber is the girl who does my hair. She is some kind of Goddess, y’all!
At first I was super anxious. But then I took a big breath and said, “I trust you.” We both giggled and she went to mix the color. After she cut my hair and started to dry it, every eye in the joint was on us. (That’s more pressure than a girl like me needs, but Amber ate it up!)

I’ve been redhaired since the moment I was born with the teeniest bit of strawberry peach fuzz on my head. When I was a little girl it was bright orangey-red, very Annie. And yes, I have been known to sing Tomorrow…and Maybe!
When I was pregnant with Thing 2 it got darker and darker, theoretically she was taking my red for her own. The reality is she was the warmest chocolately-color brunette you ever saw. (And my hair did end up going back to normal.)
Before my fortieth birthday, there were strands of pure white growing from my head. In concentrated spots, no less. The beauty of that is for the most part, it reads as blonde highlights in my strawberry hair.
In the last few years I’m noticing how much it continues to fade. The vibrant red is really just pale strawberry with white.

All my life, I have loved being a redhead.
This copper color is still a bit shocking for me, but I can’t deny it’s gorgeous!
My husband, two sisters, two daughters, not to mention a salon full of stylists and clients agree they all love it! I’m on my way to school in a bit, let’s see what the teachers and kids have to say.

Here’s an old photo of my hair just for comparison.

Whether you prefer strawberry or copper, I’m down with my red hair!
(I know you’re wondering. Yes, it is as soft as it looks.)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

when wit turns mean

I have love, compassion, and kindness in my heart, but biting sarcasm coming out of my mouth.

What does it look like when wit turns mean?
Can one be of dry wit with the perfect bit of snark without crossing over to critical, hurtful, sarcasm?
Being playful, is that little bit of snarky humor without being unkind?

These are the questions I’m asking myself today.

Now, you may be aware of this quote.

I mean, come on, we have to admit Oscar Wilde was witty.
What interests me about this particular quote is I’m actually inclined to agree. Sarcasm, not super witty. But those who wield sarcasm are quite possibly using their intelligence, and instincts to point out what they observe about the world around them.
The more ‘intelligent’ (intuitive, instinctive, aware) you are the more you observe. The more you observe the more you understand. The more you understand the more you remark upon. The more you remark upon the more critical you can become.
That makes a kind of sense to me.

YBW and I were having a conversation with our therapist about helping each other feel safe. This kind of morphed into a discussion about him being butthurt (he used this word, I’m not being intentionally hurtful) when I’m “being myself” and saying whatever thing I’m thinking or feeling. Actually, it isn’t as much my words as it is my facial expressions.
Apparently when I think I’m making a “You sure about that?” face, what actually appears is a disapproving look.

This ‘face situation’ happens with positive emotions too. If I’m happy, y’all will know it!
(and that’s why I don’t play poker)
Most of what shows on my face and comes out of my mouth does not reflect what’s actually happening in my brain. Meaning, oftentimes what I’m actually thinking is much more kind than what my face shows.

According to Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D., sarcasm is really just hostility disguised as humor.

Am I hostile?!?
Do I attempt to mock or show contempt?!?
Do I honestly think I’m better than other people?
(Let’s be real, I am better than some people. I mean, for the most part I am a helpful, productive member of society. That said, am I walking the walk that matches the talk I’m talking?)
Here’s my truth.
I honestly have love and kindness and compassion in my heart.
When I say my intention is to do everything in love. It’s not bullshit. I’m as serious and I can possibly be.
I believe in the power of kindness. The power of compassion. The power of love.
They’re our super powers!

So why is that not reflected in what my mouth spews?
Why is it I can express my love, my kindness, my devotion a thousand million times, but the three times I express something like, “Don’t be stupid.” that’s what becomes internalized? When I say, “Don’t be stupid.” It’s not that I actually think the subject, or person, or whatever is stupid, I’m jut saying something off the cuff, something that to me means more like, “That’s a silly thing.” And mostly I mean it in a playful way.
Which leads us to intention.
For the most part, my intention is to just be “stupid” myself, by saying or doing something off the cuff. Off the cuff means I’m not putting any thought into it.
Not. Putting. Any. Thought. Into. It.
Whoa!
I’m not being mindful. I’m just saying whatever comes into my mind as fast as it comes.

I’m not hostile! (well, sometimes I am) I’m simply not paying attention. I’m not being mindful.
Words can and do hurt.
Dry wit is funny.
Snark can be funny.
Sarcasm is hurtful.

I don’t understand why I’m just now realizing that.
I learned that meanness as a small child. I learned that was how you communicate. My mother was more sarcastic than I could ever dream of being! But she was hostile. And she was chock-full of contempt.
I didn’t know. I didn’t know then what I know about her now.
I didn’t know that being mean was not the way I should treat people.
Only, I didn’t know it was mean. I thought that was how people who loved each other functioned.

Oh, I’m not making excuses, I understand that sometimes sarcasm sounds unkind.
What I’m really understanding for the first time is that my intentions and my actions are at odds.
I have much work to do.
I want my intentions and actions to become much more cohesive.
I’m journaling my ass off getting ready for my appointment with my own therapist next week.

I’ve been fighting to reach perfection my entire life!
Perfection is the big lie!
Being critical of others might make one feel perfect…but perfection isn’t truly achievable.
Being the best possible you is the only thing you can really strive for.

Damn.
It’s true what they say about learning something new each day. Kinda wish I’d known all this a bit sooner though.
I’m not entire finished with this thought process. There’s more to it. I’m going to give it a good think and get back to you.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 6

I’ve liked Bastille since the Bad Blood album in 2013.
And love this Marshmello and Bastille collaboration.

The video wasn’t what I expected when I first heard the lyrics, but it was beautiful!
*warning*
You will cry real tears.

This is Happier.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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