Becoming Irish

What is it about the Irish? The other day I caught a very brief part of a program on NPR discussing Irish immigrants in America, and the persecution of the Irish population that occurred, giving rise to “Irish need not apply” signs. I’ve mostly only seen those signs in bars, and interpreted them to mean because the Irish were always so stinkin’ drunk, they shouldn’t even bother applying. Ha! How wrong  I was (though that stereotype definitely played into the persecution.)

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. The day that half of the American population loses their mind in an alcoholic binge while dressed in every piece of green clothing they own, topped off with deely boppers, flashing glasses, and a green feather boa.  Everyone wants to be Irish or claim to have a single cell of Irish blood in their bodies.  Why is this? Continue reading

The Year of Doing All The Things I Always Say I’m Going to Do But Never Do……

My blog.  My first blog (well, technically, my second since I blogged about my Dad dying here).  My first blog entry.

It’s the year 2015, and in addition to having a therapist, ten different social media accounts, and a few pair of skinny jeans, one must certainly be blogging.

I used to write. I used to write a lot. For no one in particular, actually, other than myself and an online pen pal.  I have historically kept journals about my life, since the days of being ten years old, back when journals were known as “diaries”.  I kept it up in high school due to an English class requirement from Mrs. Greschner, and elected Creative Composition in college over business writing; a class filled with brilliant writers and a T.A. who used to bring us wine even though we were underage.  I like getting my thoughts out of my head and onto paper.  At one point I may have even been one of those romantics who dreamed about a career as a writer; a journalist, a travel writer, a novelist….  It’s probably best I didn’t choose that career path, since most of those writers have joined the ranks of the unemployed and are now trying to make a living by blogging and freelancing by writing digital headlines that begin with “A Mom picked up her kids from school and you won’t believe what happens next!”  The extent of my own writing career now involves board meeting minutes and lengthy Christmas letters.

Back in 1998, I was obsessed with an inspirational writer named Sark, and spent many nights and days procrastinating at work, whiling away my time reading message boards, chatting with creative women across the globe, and mailing out postcard fairies.  It all seems so cheesy now, many years later, but back then I was 25, full of hope and dreams and had not yet had my soul eaten by the sad reality of middle aged life and the realization that maybe this is as good as it gets, it wasn’t cheesy. It was inspirational. It kept me alive with hope.

It was on that message board that I met Windy City Wendy, a digital pen-pal who would become a real life friend that I would see live and in the flesh every five years or so.  Wendy was an inspiration, and remains so to this day.  Wendy was one of those people who gave life to the cliche “do what you love and the money will follow”; or how about “find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”.  Wendy wrote.  And wrote.  And wrote.  And she followed her passion.  And eventually her persistence and love of writing led to a career in words. You can follow her in her latest adventures at Dear Wendy.  Me on the other hand, I kept writing in my journals, a new one for each year of my life, and honing my craft at drafting corporate minutes.

But there remains in me a desire to write to a broader audience.  To “blog”, even though I despise that word. To release my thoughts to the universe, aka the internet.  I don’t really know what I expect to gain from this process, other than a therapeutic way to purge my brain of the constant thoughts that are swirling in my head.  I am not even certain what I will write about in the days that come; I only know that I have a need to write.  Not necessarily a passion or a desire or a longing; just a need.

And so it is that in the year 2015, which happens to be the year of my 43rd trip around the sun, I begin this blog.  I have officially declared this the year of doing all the things I always say I’m going to do but never do.  Each month a minimum of one thing on that list; hopefully more. March was to be the month I finally learned to downhill ski. Only it’s Wisconsin and currently 68 degrees, so that goal will have to wait until the next Polar Vortex.  Instead, I am word-pressing (what an elegant term, which only now gained real meaning to me as I used it as a verb.  Nicely done Word Press!), using the domain name that I have been paying for at least two years now. Without a single blog entry made.

So welcome to Me & Ms. Jones.

I have no idea what I will write about, but this is America, so I may wax poetic about politics, complain about my job, rag endlessly about stupid people and how they annoy me, lambaste celebrities, post videos of cats….. (no, I definitely will not be posting videos about cats). Mostly I hope to purge the fear, despair and loathing that has come with finding oneself middle aged with no direction, no children, no spouse, and no clue as to what happens next, other than turning 50.  That sounds depressing, actually.  I probably wouldn’t read a blog like that.

So I’ll try to write about more exciting things. I promise.  Like the things I always said I would do and finally did in January and February of this year, and what’s next on the list.

The end, for now.