The right versus left brain question: where does creativity come from?

This is day 25 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 24: “Parenting through the smell of dead sewage”

 

Most of us have heard about people being “left-brained” or “right-brained,” but I don’t think there’s much to that. I know the right side of the body is controlled by the left brain hemisphere, but that doesn’t mean that when you are using your right hand to write (and we use both to type) you can’t be creative. I’ve heard that left-handed people are supposedly more creative because the “creative” side of the brain is the right side. To me, that just says the while drawing an image the “creative” brain is too tied up to think of an imaginative image.

 

An article by Christopher Wanjek, published in September, 2013, claims that left versus right brain is a myth. And I tend to agree. For one, the optical illusion of the “spinning dancer” will not yield consistent results. Some days, if you are more tired or more alert, she will start different ways. If you watch and she starts off spinning clockwise, she will turn and spin counter-clockwise after your brain gets tired and “switches.”

 

 

More in-depth responses about this optical illusion are available in videos as well as online, but to me it confirms the myth of right and left-brained people. Especially because creativity comes in many forms, which are controlled by different parts of the brain. The ability to connect dots and transform ideas across mediums makes individuals most creative in my mind.

 

I tested out my own right/left brain dominance in two separate online tests. They both gave me about an even balance of using both sides of my brain. I am curious as to what other people think about the results or if there really is such a thing as a link between creativity and being left-handed.

 

My brain on online quizzes

My brain on online quizzes

 

The second test, from http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3178, involved different types of questions. Where the above text showed me my preference for visual designs and the power of reading the correct color as opposed to viewing it, the test below asked more about how I reason through situations.

 

My results were again pretty even:

Studies on patients with brain damage have allowed scientists to determine how each side of the brain controls different functions. The left hemisphere, for example, specializes in language skills and logic. The right hemisphere allows us to recognize shapes and faces and express and read. Most people are not likely to be strictly left-brain or right-brained – we use each side of our brain depending on the task we’re dealing with. However, some theorists and researchers believe that there may be one side of the brain that we draw on more, which can in turn make the personality traits characteristic of that side of the brain to be more dominant than others.How to read your results: If you score closer to the right side of the graph, your personality is more characteristically right-brain. If you score closer to the left side of the graph, your personality is more characteristically left-brain. If you score somewhere in the middle, you share characteristics of both sides of the brain.
Overall Result
 46
Both your right and left hemisphere seem to have reached a level of perfect harmony – rather than trying to dominant each other, they work together to create a unique and well-balanced “you”. Your spontaneous, impulsive, and free-flowing right brain creates an exciting and adventurous world, while you left brain helps you make sense of it and keep track of everything.When faced with a problem or a tough decision, you’re not only able to break things down and make an informed and sensible choice, but you’re also not afraid to go with your gut when necessary. You tend to express your individuality both in words and actions, and although you’re perfectly comfortable running on a schedule or planning things ahead of time, there are occasions when you love to throw in a little spontaneity.Your balanced outlook and approach to life creates a desire in you to not only understand the world, but to also take it in your hands and mold it as you see fit. With both your right and left hemispheres working together to guide you, you are able to understand yourself and life in general from so many wonderful perspectives.

 

Maybe my brain is balanced because I’m a Libra (ha ha)!

 

I  retook the first test test a full 24 hours (almost exactly) later (I just finished it when I went to get the link for this post). I got “right-brained” by 62 percent! I know I changed my first opinion of which image most pleased me and I automatically chose a different hand to raise first. Last night, I used my right side for all the hand raising, leg-crossing tests. So, maybe my sense of rationality or logic is currently working harder because I am actively writing this post!

 

So, what do you think? Can creativity shift depending on what tasks we are actively doing and thinking about? I think this is the key to how we perform on these tests. Take them and let me know how you did!

 

Categories: blog, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Parenting through the smell of dead sewage

This is day 24 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 23: “Learn these 3 things free online”

 

as-the-laundry-rolls-72

The smell started Thursday

If anything has made me want to throw my hands and just give up on this 30-day blog challenge, it’s been today. Well, really it’s been the last 48 hours or so. Late Thursday evening my husband smelled something like sewer gas or a dead cat (poor dumpster kitties) coming from the sinks or the shower line. It was hard to say exactly where it was coming from, but it was bad enough to my husband that he called the emergency maintenance line. No one came.

 

Friday we went about our regular day, divided between my morning out of the house and my husband’s afternoon and evening out of the house. By the time he returned home from work (and no one had come from maintenance despite repeated calls in the morning), he was livid. I had been home all afternoon and though I smelled “it” I had gotten used to it. When the foul stench slapped him in the face as he returned home, my husband acted personally offended. He called the emergency line again.

 

Friday night maintenance agreed our apartment stinks

Around 9 p.m. the maintenance guy came to the apartment and acknowledged the disgusting odor. Our mounting concerns about the safety of the water that we both showered in and drank (we filter the tap water through a Brita pitcher, but it’s still tap water) made us increasingly nervous. And light-headed. My stomach is turning as I write this blog.

 

Though he looked under the sinks and around the property where the stray cats hang out, the maintenance guy found nothing. He even admitted that he peeked into the neighbor’s cracked window to check for a dead body. The smell is that bad. His suggestion was that something must have died, but he couldn’t find it and he couldn’t get approval for a plumber to come out until Monday.

 

Saturday the smell surrounds

The first thing my husband did this morning (Saturday) was to stop at the rental office and insist something further be done to figure out what the smell is. We needed a plumber to be called. One of the benefits of renting a place is the assurance that when something breaks or the place is uninhabitable someone will come fix it. And we shouldn’t have to have extra money to pay for these services. Well, this incident has made me wish we could just call a plumber ourselves and pay out of pocket just to feel like we had some kind of power in a seemingly hopeless situation.

 

After twice walking over to the rental office after my husband stopped in at 10 a.m., nothing had been accomplished. The same maintenance man who came to the apartment last night swore he called his supervisor and was waiting on a return call with approval to call a plumber. I watched “House of Cards” while the kids napped because I felt too dizzy and sick to my stomach to do anything productive.

Once 4 p.m. rolled around and my husband returned from work, we printed a dated letter to the management company saying we wanted a plumber called immediately. I have no desire to hire a lawyer and file a suit or even try to get out of our lease early. I would love to, but I just don’t have the time and energy. I know, though, if it comes to that, we need to have written documentation.

 

When to call 9-1-1

So, I handed my letter signed by my husband and by me to the lady in the leasing office and I drove to the grocery store. By about 4:45 p.m. my husband called to tell me he had called 9-1-1. They were on their way to determine if our apartment was subject to harmful gases or anything that would hurt the kids. The four firefighters who came said that they thought something died somewhere in or around the apartment. No gas levels or carbon monoxide were detected.

 

The leasing office finally got word from the off-duty supervisor who agreed to call a plumber. That plumber should be here by 9 p.m. but as it’s currently 6:27 p.m. I just feel sick, dizzy and helpless. And I don’t feel like blogging.

 

Categories: as the laundry rolls | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Learn these 3 things free online to boost your business website

This is day 23 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 22: “Are you a morning person or a night person?”

 

building a business

Everyone wants and needs an online presence in business, and no one has more than the 24 hours in a day, but here are some things I learned early that really helped me build my business. All three of these things are things I continue to study because as with most education, first you learn it, then you practice. I then go back and read, read, read so I can stay in step with changes.

 

1. At least learn basic HTML, then more coding

 

You should have a basic understanding of how to write HTML code. Minor font customizations like font size can be hand-coded on the “text” side of creating a WordPress post (or Blogger or just about any content management system). I used and recommend http://www.w3schools.com/

 

I earned my certification in CSS/XHTML from Kennesaw State University continuing education, but I’ve found that with coding, you really have to use it regularly not to lose it. So, learn what you can and revisit W3Schools until you have a need for more in-depth education and certification (through W3Schools does offer a certification as well).

 

2. Understand how to set up a blog

 

You can read the detailed information on blog sites like Blogger or WordPress. I wrote about starting a blog for free and my recommendation is to host your own URL. So many resources exist for learning how to build a blog and starting from a mission is key. Knowing what you want to do with your blog and how often you will update it is the key to success. After that, you need to learn more in-depth things like how to conduct keyword research, how to write for search engine optimization and how to create cornerstone content.

 

3. Learn Google Analytics

Again, free information and in-depth lessons are provided online from Google. You can learn how to monitor your website’s load speed, traffic sources and bounce rate to better understand your business.  You can go the extra mile and get certified in for Google Analytics. I intend to finish the classes and pay the $50 for certification as soon as possible (all the lessons are free; the certification costs $50).

Visit http://www.google.com/analytics/learn/

 

 

 

Categories: Search Engine Optimization | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Are you a morning person or a night person?

morning doesn't begin until after coffee

This is day 22 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 21: “Why I love HootSuite”

 

morning doesn't begin until after coffee

 

I’ve been thinking more and more that I’m a morning person, but I’m by no means a cheerful person in the morning. In fact, I’ve asked my husband not to speak to me in the mornings before I’ve had coffee. I just feel like when I get up early enough to wake up slowly, exercise and breathe fresh air, I feel better. I am more productive.

 

My recent thoughts started a few weeks ago, when I read an article about “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”. Now, I am not saying I get up early every morning or that I even exercise as often as I should, but when I do get up before 6 a.m., I feel like I have more energy.

 

Some studies suggest that night owls have darker tendencies toward narcissism an psychopathy, while morning people are generally regarded as more creative, light-hearted or happy. I don’t know about all this.

 

Also, I tend to think much of my early life impacted my–dare I say–preference for mornings. I joined the U.S. Army Reserves at age 21, which became my first introduction to both regular exercise and discipline. I grumbled about getting up at being outside ready to run two miles at 4:50 a.m., but I liked it. My secret love of mornings extended to a decision to work in a bakery during college. I had to be there by 5:30 or 6 a.m. Some ungodly hour. But, my shift was done in time to take am afternoon class or have the rest of the day off!

 

Speaking of classes, since my first afternoon college class I’ve decided to purposefully take the earliest classes offered. I like getting done with my day before everyone else gets going. Even now, I typically leave campus by the time it gets crowded. I take my most heavy class loads during the summer when others aren’t even enrolled.

 

See, my love of mornings actually stems from a dislike of groups. I never clicked with night clubs nor with socializing in groups. I guess in many ways I’m uncool. But, there it is. I feel better in the mornings and I get sleepy by midday. Taking an afternoon nap around 1 p.m. and then working until about 8 p.m. is my ideal schedule.

 

What traits do you associate with morning and night people? Is there really such a thing?

 

Categories: blog | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

What I love about HootSuite for social media management

Click to apply to be a Hootsuite Ambassador!

This is day 21 of 20-day blog challenge. Read day 20: “Will home-schooling breed hermits?”

Click to apply to be a Hootsuite Ambassador!

 

I had heard about HootSuite a long while before I got a chance to really dig into it. I knew HootSuite was a leader in social media, and I watched as people like John Petrucci published posts and tweets via HootSuite. I finally gained access not only to the Pro level of HootSuite’s social media dashboard but also to HootSuite University, during a social media marketing course at Kennesaw State University (with instructor Tyra Burton who offers a very similar social media marketing certificate to anyone through the online continuing education college). I earned my social media certification via this program while enrolled in the marketing course.

 

What I love about HootSuite’s social media dashboard

 

Though I have concerns that Facebook’s EdgeRank suppresses scheduled posts via its own scheduling tool as well as tools like HootSuite, I enjoy using HootSuite as a tool for social media management simply because I do so much with multiple accounts.

 

Even if I weren’t actively managing more than my own social media accounts, I would still benefit from HootSuite Pro access, which is only a few dollars a month, to schedule across multiple platforms including Twitter and Facebook.

 

HootSuite University is worth every penny

 

As with anything in life, and especially with education, one gets out what one puts in. This simple idea is why I enjoyed Burton’s social media marketing course and why I really learned a ton from her. I started the course with enough knowledge and experience, but I hadn’t used Twitter and I did not understand Pinterest. Learning how to leverage different platforms across social media as part of an integrated marketing strategy allowed me to connect the dots from what I was learning about traditional marketing and online activity. Consumer behavior isn’t changing, but certainly the way in which we interact and engage each other is changing.

 

So, HootSuite University helped me to get certified. I learned, understood and applied the powerful tools in the HootSuite social media dashboard. But, learning about HootSuite itself wasn’t the only think included. I also had a chance to watch hours and hours and hours of videos (I haven’t watched them all). Again, getting what you put into something is the best way to reap its benefits.

 

Teaching others social media

 

I enjoy helping others and teaching people how to improve their lives and build better careers. As President of the Kennesaw State University chapter of Society of Professional Journalists, I applied and earned a $400 grant to teach journalist members the importance of social media and the ease of HootSuite.

 

My biggest advantage in earning the grant and in leading others to HootSuite was always extra access to HootSuite University. There is just so much great information above and beyond what it takes to get certified. Practicing and continuing to stay active in your industry is the only way to stay current so I proudly promote HootSuite as a social media management tool, but I also strongly encourage others to go through HootSuite University. The billing for the University portion is just added to the Pro level account access so you can sign up when you have time to watch the videos, and cancel when you get busy.

Happy Hooting! If you want to, apply to be a HootSuite Ambassador and find out more about the benefits and perks.

Categories: Social Media | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Will home-schooling breed hermits?

thoughts on parenting from ground zero

 

 

This is day 20 of my 30-day blog challenge. Read day 19: “5 pet peeves of poor web design”

 

 

I’m going to categorize this blog “as the laundry rolls” and put it with my parenting tips and musings (from ground zero). I say “thoughts from ground zero” because I am a mom of a 3-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy, so I’m nowhere near qualified as any kind of expert. And today I want to ramble about my concerns and fears for educating my children.

 

thoughts on parenting from ground zero

 

 

Home-schooling isn’t the same as it used to be

As little as I actually know about homeschool, I know that in 1995, when I was in high school, the kids who stayed home were devoutly religious, medically ill or rurally located so they couldn’t get to school. I had cousins in a rural part of Tennessee who home-schooled because they were rural and I had at least one other friend who did some home-schooling because she had medical issues. The rest I’m more or less assuming.

But lately it seems home-schooling is more prominent and more people who I respect home-school their kids. When my daughter was closer to 1, I decided I would home-school her. I thought I would at least get her started, feeling confident I could get her to color inside the lines (or artistically interested in purposefully coloring outside the lines) and I knew I could teach her to count past 100.

Then, when she was closer to age 3, the age she turned November 2013, I felt more sure that sending her to a good public school was best. I thought this because I watch her interact with other children her age and slightly older; I see how excited she is to socialize.

A friend shared this article, “A New York and Chicago Mom Discover What Standardized Rigor Really Means for Their Children,” on Facebook today. Though I just knew it would break my heart, I read it anyway. And everything started spinning in my mind again.

 

How do I find a good public school?

My family currently lives in a two-bedroom apartment, but we intend to move into a house and we plan to buy a house before our daughter starts school. My research so far has involved checking property values and looking at school districts. Watching the housing market pull itself up by its bootstraps, I’m a little worried that by the time we are ready to buy the market will be more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s. But, I won’t feel pressured.

So, how do others gauge a “good public school”? Certainly standardized tests aren’t the answer. I literally feel like I want to walk into every elementary school and ask to interview the teachers. I want to find compassionate and inspiring individuals to whom I can trust my children’s education. But then, many teachers that I know say that their hands are tied by “no child left behind” and other policies. I’m terrified.

I’m not only terrified of finding the right questions and hoping for the honest answers but also I’m tired. I know it’s time to grow up and find stability, get involved with educating myself about local politics and raise my kids to be part of a community. I do fear in a way that by choosing to home-school and not socialize much, I’d be encouraging my kids to be hermits. Then again I feel strongly that the problems I had in school all involved peer pressure and trying too hard to fit in when I should have just been studying. I want to protect my kids from bullies, but I also want to teach them independence. That sense of standing up for yourself and really not caring what someone else thinks about you only comes from the heartache common in middle school.

 

So, I’m sitting here typing my thoughts out knowing only that I have much more research to do. Any advice in the comments will be appreciated, and I do intend to have further heart-to-heart talks with friends and family members.

 

Categories: as the laundry rolls | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Pet peeves of poor web design

don't add stress to others' lives with your website

 

This is day 19 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 18: “One quick tip for Facebook for business”

 

I think it’s safe to say that every business is online. Every musician, artist, cookie vendor and craftsperson has a website. If they don’t, they really should. Some people blog or sell items from third party websites like Facebook or Etsy. I don’t recommend making your home on someone else’s property for a few reasons that you can read about in my post “Tips on starting a free blog.”

 

don't add stress to others' lives with your website

1. Websites that automatically play music or video

This should be self-explanatory, but when I think of making a list of pet peeves about websites, this one rockets to the front of my mind. I often listen to music for a reason (or to review it) and when I visit a website that automatically loads music I quite often leave. If it’s a website I need to continue looking at, I scramble to find the “off” button and my stress level grows until I find it. Not a good first impression.

 

Slow to load websites. Everyone is busy and had to be at work ten minutes ago so if your website is slow to load you have got to find out why and fix it.

 

2. Poor graphic design

This includes everything from poorly matched colors and logos, like a bright web page in shocking orange with green text, to the layout of articles and images. We all know a poor design when we see one. Quite often text or images hang off the website borders. These things aren’t always the simplest things to fix, but finding a different WordPress theme (or a different designer) is necessary if you want a professional looking website.

 

3. Too many ads

Okay, you need to make money and you decided to do so via Google Ads or a similar service. Well, no matter how great your content is, at a certain point I will refuse to return to the website if I’m bombarded with ads—especially, the kind that follow me around the page. I can also do without ads with moving eyes and creepy images that change frequently. Ads in the middle of articles annoy me when they aren’t related. I don’t mind a recommended-for-further-reading link, but ads in the middle of the body text scream “hey, I’m making money off your reading this!” and that pisses me off.

 

4. Difficult to understand

Your business, product, service or blog needs to have a mission. Your mission may be to do whatever you please—and that’s fine—but, make your central purpose for being online known. If you are offering a product or service, your mission statement should get right to the core of how you provide a solution to someone else’s problem. If you are a writer with a blog, use it to speak to a specific audience.

 

I’ll admit even I have trouble with my websites. I know what I’d like people to hire me to do for them (write blogs, manage social media accounts, develop marketing strategy etc.), but I sometimes want to write about something that doesn’t neatly fit into a category. At this point, I evaluate my message and my purpose for writing and either add a category or keep the idea to myself.

 

5. Difficult to navigate

This ties directly into knowing what your purpose is on a website. If you are selling cookies, don’t hide the link to the online store. Your menu should answer the initial questions every visitor will have. Understanding this can be as simple as looking at your website from the perspective of a new visitor, but this can be tricky to do if you built the site yourself.

Categories: blog | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

One quick tip for using Facebook for business

you got other mail

Day 18 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 17: “Keyword research”

 

you got other mail

Today’s blog will be short, simple and sweet. Apparently more people than I would have otherwise realized do NOT know about the “other” inbox on Facebook. Most of the people who do freelance or some form of independent business–even if it is just supplementing a main source of income, use Facebook to network. Not everyone even bothers with an official Facebook Page for business (and honestly, depending on your business I don’t necessarily recommend a Page because of Facebook’s algorithm changes that make reach almost impossible).

 

Be aware of the ‘other’ inbox

 

My one simple piece of advice is for anyone doing any kind of business networking to know about the “other inbox.” Facebook created this inbox as a way to control unsolicited spam. That’s appreciated, certainly, but the other inbox is easy to forget about. Even as I know about it, I forget to check it. And it matters because it’s entirely possible to have a profile set to private, where you don’t want to network with everyone and their cousin, yet you still want to teach guitar lessons or have someone interested in your photography book a session.

As recently as today my husband told me he had messages in the “other inbox” on his Facebook profile. He generates most of his income from teaching guitar lessons as an independent contractor associated with local music stores, but he would not turn away an online student.

Again another friend of mine, who makes the bulk of her income as a freelance photographer, recently realized she’d lost possible jobs because she simply didn’t know about this “other inbox.”

 

Business Pages have an inbox too

 

If your business does have an official Facebook Page where you conduct your online networking and services or products, don’t forget about its inbox too. Just because you link to your main website or include a contact email on the Facebook Page, people can still email you directly through Facebook Pages. You may or may not get an email notification – and you can lose business by not responding in a timely manner.

Categories: Social Media | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Keyword research for blog writing

keyword

Day 17 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 16: “The shape of a heart”

 

keyword

One thing that I think makes me particularly tuned-in to keyword research as it applies to blog writing is the fact that I earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. More than just having taken (and passed) the classes, the reason I even enjoyed psychology as a discipline involved wanting to know what makes people do the things they do. Though I decided not to pursue an advanced degree in psychology, my love for understanding human nature has switched to applying it to consumer behavior. Sort of.

 

What is keyword research?

I don’t presume to be an expert on search engine optimization, but I’m interested in learning everything I can to benefit those for whom I write business blogs. I’ve heard the term “keyword research” thrown around, and I know a few places to do such research, but many people probably don’t even know what that means. So, in simple terms the “keyword” is a word (and often a longtail phrase) used by people to search the Internet.

For example, when you search for information about cars because you are going to need a new car sooner or later, you might start by searching “affordable used cars,” but by the time you’ve narrowed down that you want a particular make or model you might search for “Kia Forte reviews 2013” (I’m actually looking at getting a Kia Forte for our next car and I narrowed my search in a similar manner).

What this means is that any used car (and new car) dealer can capitalize on my search by using the keywords that I used in a blog. If I were to write a blog for a local used car dealership, I would recommend they have a weekly blog article reviewing different makes and models. Maybe even feature a car that is available on the lot.

 

Keyword research for blog writing

So now that keywords make sense, I’ll tell you that conducting keyword research can be done online using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, but it requires an active Adwords account. That may or may not be something the average blogger wants to dig into. If not, then using common sense to “feel out” keywords is a good way to start. Just put yourself in the shoes of the searcher. Think about what you offer as a blog writer, service provider or product salesperson. What problem do you solve for those who will be finding solutions on your website?

Some guides I recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about keyword research include free resources such as:

1. Copyblogger’s guide to keyword research

2. The Moz Blog

 

Reading things like the above (and the Moz link is to categories on the website so there are several blogs to read), is how I spend most of my “free time.” I understand that researching how to research isn’t how most business owners and entrepreneurs want to spend their free time. Most people just want instant answers to solve the problem of how much time it takes to market a business. And that’s where my freelance services can come in handy. I not only love writing but also love researching and marketing. So, if you don’t want to think about how your customers think and how best to drive traffic or write a blog, contact me at Ellen [@] EllenEldridge.com and I’d be happy to talk about how I can help you implement a blog.

 

Categories: blog, Search Engine Optimization | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The shape of a heart

that's not a heart!

This is day 16 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 15: “Dedicated hashtags on Twitter”

 

So, my heart is swelling quite a bit because I’ve been unable or unwilling to write poetry much over the last handful of years. I can admit that purging the negative feelings and pain felt much easier in poems. My happiness felt too big to let out; I feared sounding cheesy or trite. My pain I knew well. It fueled my creativity and allowed me to express the things I needed to get out.

But, I’ve been carrying this poem around for a few weeks. Lines emerging here and there. And I wanted to finish it and let it out. For the man who is shaped like my heart. Not because it’s Valentine’s Day, but because he makes every day one where I can be myself and look forward to living.

 

that's not a heart!

I love you Russell Eldridge. You are the shape of my heart.

 

The shape of a heart

 

A box of chocolates cannot contain my love for you.

That box isn’t the shape of a heart, and I never needed something

that would melt so easily.

 

No rose should symbolize my love for you. Hearts aren’t shaped like flowers,

and I never wanted something that would wilt within a week.

 

No matter how heart-shaped, never minding how sweet,

the shape I mean to keep changes.

 

In our flexible space, we grow. Like the shape of a heart.

 

When we started, you stood on stage,

heart calloused and little bit bruised.

I listened with a notebook clutched to my chest,

covering the shape of my heart.

 

You curled your long fingers around

the neck of a 7-string guitar, and

changed from chords to the notes

that excited movement in my pen.

 

The pregnant distance between song and writer shrank

as we sat closer on the couch.

We weren’t just watching Star Wars,

we were redefining our dreams.

 

Talks of touring turned into turning:

the guest room into playroom,

the basement into studio.

 

The sky shifted and the clouds opened,

raining down drops of joy

that we named.

 

We actively ignored our Valentine’s Day,

which marked exactly one week together

Feb. 7, 2008.

I solidly staked you;

sold you on the idea

of marrying me.

 

We planned a life together

rather than watched

as roses wilted. Instead of

emptying a box, we filled a house.

 

Our sixth Valentine’s Day will cruise by,

reminding us that our fifth wedding anniversary

is exactly one month away.

 

In all this time, I couldn’t tell you

how many tubes of toothpaste we squeezed,

but working together to push the contents to the top. We crafted

the perfect metaphor for love.

 

And that love doesn’t fit inside a box.

Love isn’t shaped like a heart and

no heart shape can recreate

what we’ve stocked inside our souls.

 

Our minds melted together,

seeds grew into children.

We’ll keep squeezing the toothpaste

to the top and living each day for each other.

Looking forward to the symbolic days we’ve made together. Because

That’s the shape of a heart.

 

 

 

Categories: blog | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment