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.

twenty five years of Thing 1

When each of my girls turned 13 I created a book. This book was filled with photographs from their first moments until as close as I could get to the deadline before their birthday that year.
For this day twelve years ago I made Thirteen Years of Thing 1.

I honestly don’t know what the significance of my daughters becoming teenagers was, but when Thing 1 was closing in on that title, it hit me in a way I didn’t expect. And going through the photographic evidence of her lifetime brought me great comfort when I was so anxious about that anniversary of her birth.

Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of Thing 1’s birthday.
My first daughter has been in our world for a quarter century. I am awestruck!

I was on the phone with her one day last week, we were talking about her birthday. I remarked “quarter century of Thing 1”, that gave her pause. She hadn’t considered it like that. And then she rallied and said, “Sounds like it should be a book year.”
D’oh!
I did not make her a book. Part of me wishes I had, especially since this is her last birthday before becoming a mom.

I’ve called her twice already this morning. Her phone is turned off. Part of me is pleased she’s getting to sleep late, the other part of me wants to hear her voice.

I’m feeling my joy in the back of my throat and bubbling up into my eyes this morning.

Sally commented on a birthday social media post, “If she only knew how special she was to all of us! She’ll always be 3 in hearts!”
It’s true!
She was the first kid in my friend group. The first kid so many people ever loved. And even though we always tease that Sally is really my first daughter, Thing 1 changed the world for all of us.

Twenty five years ago I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Truth is, I still don’t know what I’m doing some of the time.
I don’t think I mommied her the best possible way. I think I mommied her based on the way I was mommied.
BIG MISTAKE!
But, I learned better over time.
I grew up with her. I learned to be a woman the same time I was learning to be a mom. She paid a bit of the price for that. But she also experienced the maddest kind of love! More fun than she can possibly remember. And somewhere down deep in her I believe she holds the nugget of truth that she is the human personification of every hope and dream I ever had.
I know I failed at being her mom sometimes, but I also know that I far exceeded any mom expectations.
She is who she is because I am her mom.
I am who I am because she is my daughter.
She made me a mom twenty five years ago. In May she’ll make me a grandmother.
Still awestruck!

This is one of my all time favorite Thing 1 photos.

Age ten, November 2004 on the dock in Charleston.

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Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

in love with being alive

I saw this on my friend Becca’s (I think) insta.
I was over here like, First of all I don’t drink coffee…
But then I read the last sentence and I got the gooseflesh.

I hope you fall in love with being alive again.
Y’all, let’s ponder that for a moment.

I’m going to ignore the size of the assumption someone has fallen out of love with being alive. I mean, cause that’s one hell of a big assumption.
But…

I wrote just the other day about paying attention. By deliberately acknowledging my gratitude I felt peaceful and joyful. And I might not have had this language in that moment, but I realize now that I can say I truly felt in love with being alive.
That’s been an overarching theme for me this year. And yes, the year is still young. But the feeling has been building in me for quite some time now, it just began to make enough sense to put it into play after the holidays.

I get bogged down in the living of life. The day to day minutiae becomes the focus. I’m so involved in doing the tedious daily requirements I sometimes forget to look up. To pay attention.

That’s life though, right?
Only what if it wasn’t?
What if I could be focused on tedious tasks, manage the minutiae, and still be aware?
What if? What if? What if?
That question ought to be stricken from my vernacular.
As a lifetime question-asker, I’m still learning how to phrase questions so they can be answered.
So instead of asking what if? the question could be something much more specific.
What can I do to complete tedious tasks and manage the minutiae without it being my sole focus?
What can I do each day to help me look up and pay attention?
Simple rephrasing.
Look how much easier those questions seem than the what if? question.
I think I’m on to something here…just gotta figure out what it is exactly.

Anyway, life can get in the way of living. I think we all experience that. It doesn’t have to though. We really can manage to do the ‘all the things’ and still experience peace, joy, and gratitude.
We can be in love with being alive!
I believe with every fiber of my being that it is the simplest thing.
(Most of us) were in love with being alive when we were kids. And at other important/special times in our lives. We just have to remember how to do it.
We have to remember that the tedium and minutiae are just box checking. A handful of specific things we must accomplish in this life.
But we have two hands!
What’s in the other one?
Is that where the magic of love, hope, joy, and gratitude are?

Life can be frustrating.
Difficult people or situations can get in your way.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people in stores who push their buggies all willy-nilly through the aisles. I get foaming-at-the-mouth angry. I lay curses and wish plagues upon them. I want to stab them with my ice pick. My anger doesn’t impact them, only me. I’m the one all jacked up and they’re just shopping.
What would it be like if I didn’t?
What would it be like if I accepted being in this situation without focusing all my white hot anger at it?
Would make my visits to the shops much better for me. I might even find some joy and gratitude with my purchases, right?

Perception is key. (Or is it ‘Don’t be a hater’?)
Either way, I know I’m on to something this time.

I know I have the ability to shift my focus.
I know I can pay attention to what brings me joy and gratitude.
I know by looking up once in a while, I can quite easily be in love with being alive.

However worn out we feel, however tired we are of the tedium and minutiae of life, we are not broken. We may have fissures, or be fractured, but life cannot truly break us.
I know this because I’m full of love. I’m full of hope. It slips in and fills in the cracks from those long ago fractures. Love and hope make me whole.

Hope reminds me to look up and pay attention.
Gratitude brings me peace.
Love is my intention.
And that’s what helps me fall (and remain) in love with being alive!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

focused, but not paying attention

I haven’t blogged in a bit. Neither read nor wrote.
I’ve been so busy doing other things, course work, house projects (pics soon), and other stuff, that I haven’t had the mental/emotional energy to give. That’s not just about writing, it’s also about reading. The bloggers I follow use their mental and emotional energies to write, the very least I can do is use mine when I read them.

This morning I caught up on posts from some of my fave bloggers.
Y’all, I’m so glad I did.
LA wrote two posts that gave me pause.
The first one focused on her gratitude and calm, the second focused on highlights from her week.
I swear to you, this woman inspires me every time I read her!

Not all that long ago, I made a vow to pay more attention.
I’m not really doing that.
Why do I forget to pay attention?
Life gets in the way…?
I’m accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.
I am focused, but I am not paying attention.

So I stopped.
I took some big breaths.
I paid attention.

Low and behold, it created a shift in me.
I felt peaceful. I felt joyful. I felt my gratitude.

So in the spirit of highlighting my week (or longer), paying attention to my joy, gratitude and calm, I compiled a list. (I mean, of course I did.)

I am grateful for:
my massage therapist
Woolly Mammoth giving us shows that are entertaining and thought provoking
our monthly date for dinner and games (cards or board) with my favorite of YBW’s friends
bubbly in the afternoon with Holly
Planning for Baby K (this includes attending a shower in March, purchasing baby items, finally choosing my grandmother name, planning a party to celebrate her arrival, and all manner of conversations with my daughter about her pregnancy)
breakfast with Nora
my therapist
my husband coming home from work and taking my car for gas because I was too sick to leave the house
snow days
Valspar C1214 Ballet Slippers
my acupuncturist
good sleep
Coca Cola when I was sick
knowing how to do important handy things
forecast of a bit of snow this week to keep the streak alive (Thing 1 was born during an ice/sleet/snow event and for the last twenty four years it has snowed, or something, the week of her birthday. Saturday she turns 25, now that’s a streak!)
honest conversations with the people I love
being reminded to pay attention

Reading about another’s gratitude can inspire one to stop and pay attention to one’s own gratitude.
Acknowledging one’s own gratitude can truly cause feelings of joy and calm.

I must remember that while I’m busy living, and accomplishing tasks, I still need to pay attention with more frequency.
Celebrate the life I have while I’m living it.

You know what Ferris Bueller said:

I don’t want to miss any opportunity for gratitude!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 21

I’ve waited six long years for a new album by my beloved Vampire Weekend!
Sometime this spring we’ll get double album FOTB (Father of the Bride).
SQUEE!

This is Harmony Hall.
Notice the lyric “I don’t want to live like this but I don’t want to die.”
This line is also used in Finger Back from 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City.
I’m so ready for this record to be released!

Please listen responsibly.

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a tune for Tuesday vol 20

An oldie but a goodie.
Here’s Jet with Are You Gonna Be My Girl

Please listen responsibly.

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observing something extraordinary

YBW and I went to Woolly Mammoth yesterday. We saw BLKS a play written by Aziza Barnes.
It was powerful and profound.
It was hilarious and heartbreaking.
It was relatable and once-removed.

These characters used modern vernacular, the way people, well mostly young people, actually speak to each other. I heard pretty much every curse word I know, and one I didn’t (c**tbucket). The N word flew around like nobody’s business, always with an ‘a’ sound not a hard ‘er’ sound.

We sat in the theater for two hours watching a twenty-four hour period in the lives of these characters.
There were aspects of their life that rang true to me, medical issues, discovering a cheating significant other, the death of a parent, relying on one’s girlfriends for love and support, day drinking, and simply being a woman out in the world, and what that means regarding safety.
As a woman I’ve experienced many of these things.
But not in the way these characters experience the same things.

Aziza Barnes says,

“BLKS is a play by and for Black people, and that if you are not identifiable or identified as a Black person, you can still watch this play, of course, but you are bearing witness. You cannot claim it as yours, and you can’t commodify it as yours, but you can surely enjoy it. And you can sure experience it. Most things in life I’ve had to experience purely as an observer, purely as a witness, and it was fine, it was more than fine, it was a blessing.”

All our subscription tickets are for Talkback Sunday shows.
Sharing questions and thoughts with actors and audience members make these post show conversations an excellent way to learn more about the subject matter.
To stimulate thought.
To simply enjoy the show even more.
These actors discussing their thoughts and feelings regarding this play was every bit as powerful as the play itself.

Yesterday I was an observer, I bore witness to something extraordinary!
It was a blessing.

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a tune for Tuesday vol 19

Before they were on every top 40 station with Sex on Fire, these three bothers and their cousin were a funky little group that had an even funkier little following. Honestly, when they became more commercial, I found myself missing their older, funkier, more raw sound.
From their debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, here’s Kings of Leon with Molly’s Chambers.

Just another girl that wants to rule the world
Any time or place
And when she gets into your head
You know she’s there to stay

Please listen responsibly.

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

a tune for Tuesday vol 18

This song!
I’ve loved it for well over ten years now. Every single time I hear it, it really is like hearing if for the first time.
Listen how beautifully it captures the moment when the beginning of the end of a relationship becomes a clear realization.
This is The Libertines with Music When The Lights Go Out.

Please listen responsibly.

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

conceptual interpretation or more what you’d call guidelines

Laurie at Meditations in Motion wrote a post in which she quoted this bible verse:

‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.’ Luke 6:45 (NIV)

Now this got me thinking.
It reminded me of a post I wrote in November. I was examining the difference between what’s in my heart and what comes out of my mouth. I questioned the obvious disconnect between my intention and action.

Normally I’m not about the literal interpretation of scripture. For me it’s more conceptual.

Suddenly, I am reminded of something Barbossa said.

But I digress…

This verse kicked me square in the solar plexus. That kick feels more literal than conceptual. So today, the bible and I are going to get literal.
I find myself asking questions. (Who knew?)
What is in my heart?
Is it where I store good or evil?
Is my mouth speaking what’s in my heart?

I wrote this in that November post:
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 as 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?

Luke tells us that Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Am I actually storing good in my heart?
Is my heart filled with kindness, compassion, and love just because I want it to be?

Not to be overly dramatic, but I’m seriously experiencing a crisis over this.
My words reveal my heart.
Not only to others, but also to me.

Here’s what’s up.
My words are not always kind.
I believe in the power of kindness, compassion, and love, yet I don’t always practice what I believe.
Does that mean I have evil stored up in my heart?
Am I just spewing what is in my heart?
The literal interpretation of that makes me queasy.

So let’s look at this conceptually.
Can it be that there is both good and evil stored up in my heart?
Can I create an environment in my heart in which good grows and just kind of kicks evil’s ass?
Is this a case of feelings follow actions? If I speak good words will good store up in my heart?

I must listen to my words. Not just the words I say to others, the words I say to myself. To God. I must determine if my words reflect what is in my heart.
This is a time for both literal and conceptual interpretation.
A time to ask and answer the hard questions.

I wrote this in that November post:
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 nowhere near finished with this.
I do have much work ahead of me.
I will journal about this.
I will keep asking questions and doing my damnedest to answer them.
I will be brutally honest with myself. With God.

I want my concept of what’s in my heart to be my absolute truth. I want what comes out of my mouth to reflect that truth.
Do everything in love.
I believe that with every fiber of my being.
Surely there is good stored up in my heart.
Time to put my mouth where my heart is.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 17

This is a Thing 1 song. I left her house yesterday and find myself missing her this morning.
My girl loves herself some P!nk. (so much so that this was our song at my wedding reception)
This is Raise Your Glass.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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