Monday, April 20, 2009

Guilt - or - Imperfect and trying really hard to accept it

I didn't sleep well last night, probably due to a variety of reasons. Our next-door neighbor left yesterday morning for a two-week trip, leaving a "very close, old friend" to house-sit, and of course this friend immediately got on her cell phone and invited everyone she knew to come on over that evening. In the wee hours of the night, folks were still sitting out on the patio next door (which is next to our bedroom window), having a very good, rather loud time. My heroic hubby did call over the fence to let them know they were disturbing us, but the damage was done.

And then there was that very large dinner I had, accompanied by not one but two drinks - mostly to stave off the realization that it was, alas, Sunday night and as usual, I had accomplished only the tiniest portion of what I had planned for the weekend. So there was that Sunday Night Woe to contend with as well, and it was also a very warm night, meaning much stickiness.

Naturally, I found myself lying in bed, sweating listlessly and obsessively fretting about one failing of mine after another. For some reason, falling behind on my photo-taking, photo-uploading, and especially photo-printing caused particular stomach-wrenching guilt and stress, to which was added the fact that my camera - with a particularly densely-packed and un-uploaded SD chip inside - has gone mysteriously missing in the last couple weeks.

After angonizing about this for a nightmarish time, I segued into a bit of nauseating guilt about the Los Angeles Festival of Books, happening at UCLA this weekend, April 25 and 26. Theoretically, this is my kind of event. Books! Wee! And plenty of great children's and YA authors will be there, like Susan Patron and Laurie Halse Anderson and Deb Caletti and Patrick Carman and N.D. Wilson and... well, read the author list for yourself. There will be panels and signings and even a special section devoted to graphic novels and comic books.

Sounds great, right? Except I don't want to go. I'm rather a busy gal right now, between my full-time job and my additional 6 to 10 hours a week spent preparing for and teaching an evening class and then all the family and household and exercise-related stuff. If I go to the Festival of Books, I'll feel obligated to take pictures (and remember, my camera is lost, so I'll have to use my cellphone) and pay very close attention and take notes - so that I can blog about it later.

So here's this wonderful, positive event completely dedicated to a subject I'm almost obsessive about, and I don't want to go! I don't want to pay close attention! I don't want to blog about it! I just want to spend what little spare time I have reading books. Not going to an event about books, not writing about books - just reading them. But then I feel guilty because I have nothing to blog about, especially as I read books for grown-ups more often than I read children's or YA books.

Pathetic, aren't I? Nobody is forcing me to blog, and yet I feel like a failure that I'm not posting at least once a day. And then I get all irritable and can't sleep at night, which makes me even more irritable, which just makes me want to curl up with a good book (and I can't because I'm too busy).

The really silly thing is that I'm sure no one notices when I don't blog every day, or when I fail to post my "weekly" graphic novel review for two weeks in a row. Which is sorta depressing in itself...

It's time for a sharp reminder to myself to Stop Obsessing About My Many Failures and Imperfections and to think about something else for a change. Like how great my poppies and sage are looking (despite the fact that I haven't worked in the garden in weeks and the weeds have become a sort of unsightly groundcover, and my roses have rust, and my lemon tree needs iron, and I left my last snap peas on the vine too long and they puffed themselves up into inedible spheres and then the vines all turned yellow and shriveled up, and...)


Here's a section of a mural near my house that always cheers me up. Happy happy joy joy.


  1. I check your blog daily -- and sometimes more often, to see if anybody has responded. Your readers are loyal even if they don't always find something to comment on.

    I wonder how many of us blog about feeling guilty; it's certainly a recurring theme in my posts. And I haven't blogged since March...

  2. P.S. I don't go to the LA Times Festival of Books any more either. Too hot. Too many people.

  3. Say! Is this the Eva M I think it is? It must be!
    Wow, here I thought I was the original children's lit blogger of Los Angeles, but it seems you have already beat me to it. :P

    Guilty for not blogging everyday? Oh my goodness. When I started my book blog, I wrote a manifesto of how and what I should include (because I am a nerd like that) and prime among my guidelines for myself was that I should blog no more than three times a week, lest I become Unnaturally Obsessed With Blogging. It's something I do on my own time, so if I'm not having fun, what's the point?

    Anyhow, I am going to the LA Festival of Books on Sunday. I'm sure it will be very hot, and crowded and completely crazed, but I am looking forward to it. I have to work on Saturday, so sadly, I will be missing out on ERIC CARLE! Gah!

  4. Oh lord, and it was my ultra-kvetchy post that you read! Usually I'm more upbeat, I swear.

    Okay, tell you what - if you blog about the Festival of Books, I'll post a link to your blog (which I really like and have added to my blog reader)...

  5. I believe having a good looking clump of sage to gaze at is always more important than blogging. For rust on your roses, try mixing half Listerine, half water, and spraying it over your rose bushes. Hopefully, it work for you as well as it does for me.

  6. Thank you, Kathryn, I will absolutely try the listerine! (that's right, you live near the ocean, too)
    Now I'm off to read your blog!