Chamber music party, critique, inspirational friends, Chanukah, family

Today I had a critique meeting. My friends pointed out a big problem, which was that I was having my protagonist do something that made her untrustworthy and unlikeable. What was amazing to me was that I hadn’t noticed it until they talked about it. This is one reason why having a critique group is so invaluable. Changing her actions actually makes everything work better, too; it allows her to experience secret-keeping in a particular way, to retain her integrity, and creates a foil in the person of another character in the book which will allow for some interesting character development.

After that I had a chamber music x-mas party to attend. The music was fun, the people are wonderful, and I’m really glad I went.

However, I didn’t just fall off the Whole30 wagon at the party; I jumped off. I tried to enjoy the experience, knowing what I was doing, but I have to say that all that sugar & grains & gluten made me feel sick. Ugh. We’re going to re-do the Whole30 month in January (my friend D’s plan to use that month was always probably better than our effort to stick to it during the holiday month). Nonetheless, I’ve gotten a lot out of the 24.5 days I managed to achieve sugar-free. It has shown me how far I’d gotten away from it, not just in infrequent occurrences, but as a regular thing. And I know I can do this: I’ve done it before.

One of the co-hosts, my friend F, is going to be 87 in February. I hope to be playing cello and vivaciously living life as well as she is when I am her age! I hope to be her age, for that matter. She says 87 doesn’t bother her, but the fact that 90 is only three years away gives her pause. She is an inspiration, with an unfailingly positive attitude and such love for music and people and life. She is always warm and welcoming, glad to see everyone who comes, and always has a kind word. A lovely soul.

I had a good talk with my friend R in between the party and running to the store for some dinner items. He’s had good news, in the form of employment and also moving along toward the next step in his process in the justice system. I was glad to hear it. We shared some laughs about the grammatical errors on the signs in prison, and about the bureaucratic nature of it, with the expected time delays and random ridiculousnesses.

Then, when I got home with dinner Ted had cleared off the dining room table, and it was so great to see it with a fresh table cloth and the lovely center piece one of my students gave me for a present at her last lesson. Our friends A and P came over, and we had a great visit with them. Joanna climbed up into P’s lap and wanted her to read to her, all snuggled in. This makes me so happy to see. A had Hazel and Jasmine in his lap for a while, too.

After dinner, which was such a pleasure to eat at the dining room table, all together, we lit the menorah and watched the candles while Hazel soaked her arm.

The kids went to bed very late, but there was no crying. They all got happily in bed, Ted turned the lights out, and I sang “Frere Jacques” our traditional three times (French, English, French). I bashed into the dresser as we left, but that didn’t disturb them.

Now I’m writing the blog, listening to the first Brahms sextet, which I love so much, and thinking of how lovely it will be to lie down in my own bed in a bit.

And I have forgiven myself for the leap off the wagon. It helps that I know I’ll do a better job in January. Life is so much better without shame and self-hatred. Yes, that is my aphorism for the day. 🙂

Peace and Joy, all!

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