Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:
« Someone Pooped In The Cupboard! | Main | My Babies Who Aren't Babies »

The Choreography of Life

Just so you know, don't ever write about how great you've been doing with working out and losing weight or else your body will promptly revolt and make your eye explode (again) forcing you to return to the eye doctor for the steroids that make your body explode. That Universe is a tricky bastard all the time waiting to get you so beware what you put out there! Also, speaking of warnings, I just realized you should probably also Beware of the Ides of March. They're tomorrow, you know.

I would take a photo of my eye to post it here but nobody needs to see that kind of carnage before noon. Carnage is best viewed after dinner. Everyone knows that. But if you're one of those weirdos that likes a shot of carnage before lunch you can just gander this old photo of my misbehaving eyeball and know all you need to know. Also, I' am typing this in a one-eyed fashion. Injured eye squinting closed against the harsh glare of the computer monitor. Seriously. My affliction is so great that I can't even bear to behold my beloved computer monitor. And I haven't been to the gym since the very day I wrote this post bragging about all my gym work. Serves me right.

In other, brighter (but not too bright, it'll hurt my eye!) news, we were driving home from the eye doctor last night when Serge spotted a most excellent couch and chair hunkered down on the side of the road. Hitchhiking, they seemed to be! And we were just the people to offer them a ride.

Turns out, some wily old broad beat us to the chair. A beautiful, red wingback chair (the exact replica of this near $1,000 Pottery Barn job) that would make your grandma circa 1969 blush with envy. Apparently the owners of the couch and chair were just giving them away. First come, first serve. And the old woman who beat us to the punch had already dibbed the chair and was headed back with a larger vehicle to pick it up.

But we scored the couch. I am now beholding the beauty of my new yellow couch as I type! Here! Look!

See that crocheted granny square afghan there? That's going for $245 on this Etsy page. Which is a bit steep but the average hand-made granny square afghan can be found for around $60. Got this one for $18 at the thrift shop. I actually talked the lady up in price. Which sounds weird but when I found out she was selling it to pay her heating bill I couldn't pay the measly $8 she quoted me. I told her I'd pay $20 and she came back with $18. Which, I know. Kind of a reverse negotiation but, honest to god, when she said she was using the proceeds to pay her heating bill I woulda bought the bastard for $100. Actually, now that I type this I wonder if that was her game. Maybe I'm an idiot, getting fleeced by wily old broads right and left. Anyway, $20 is still a steal!

She's a beauty, ain't she? Serge, who enjoys deer antler barometers, has yet to appreciate the glory that is the granny square afghan but he'll come around, he'll come around.

Speaking of Serge, he's right over there in his office. We're listening to a little Sinatra and typing together. Romantic in a kind of post-modern, working parents kind of way, no?

Hello baby! I'm writing about you!

He's probably surfing youporn, waiting for me to leave so he can take matters into his own hands... Naaah! He doesn't do that, NOT MY HUSBAND. Don't kid yourself, ladies. They do it. Ain't no thing. You, the one reading this right now who just shook your head and thought But not MY husband: Yes. Him too. Especially him.

Tough segue, the one from masturbation but I'll give it a try.

Big changes are coming up, I think. Personally and professionally. I feel like I'm finally settling into my life. This is right where I'm supposed to be. Six years ago we left our beloved New York City so we could become parents (raising kids in a cracker box apartment in Brooklyn didn't appeal to me and, my god, the expense!) and that happened. Five years ago I made a plan to freelance write so I didn't have to leave my kids all day and I made that happen. Then we made a plan to move to the Pennsylvania countryside because that's where we decided we wanted to raise a family and we made that happen. Now, here we are, living in our beloved "Pastor's House" in the country again, working in an office we love in the quaintest little town you ever did see. I couldn't be happier. Really. Also, AM I INSANE? The Universe is going to burn my house down again after reading this paragraph.

It's all about goals, it really is. For me, anyway. They are the choreography of life. If I don't have something to strive for, to look forward to, then I don't really know what the hell I'm doing. Can't wait to make these next few goals a reality. Hope you stick around for the ride. So what about you? What is your major goal in life right now? What are you doing to make it happen? I want to hear your goals! Even just vocalizing them or typing them helps bring them about!

Reader Comments (17)

I want to purchase a compound with room for an office, employees, a gallery space, and a farm just outside of downtown Denver. Depending on how things go we could be putting in an offer in an hour. Time to right a love letter. Cheers to your goals, Monica!

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I'm with you on the whole universe thing. I don't know why they call Karma a bitch. I can't say anything about my baby sleeping well without the universe interfering. It really seems to care a lot about my baby's sleep patterns for some reason.

Your goals are very relatable too. Ever since baby #2 I've been obsessing about having to go back to work. I, too, would have loved to write but have my doubts about my ability to make a living this way. So great that (cover your ears, Universe) you're making your goals happen, left, right and center.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatia

Don't some of us do it to? Surf YouPOrn that is? (Just sayin'.) Also - the whole granny square afghan thing - I really don't get why peeps are paying such ridiculous prices for them b/c they are so trendy now when ll they have to do is walk into a thrift store and not be hard-pressed to find one. At least in my neck of the woods. Great finds, lady. Bravo, well done and as for your eye? That's fucking sucks.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSelena

Oh goals where to start!

Commit to my Bikram practice- I keep falling in and out of love with it more than I should.

Finish my Pharmacy school pre-reqs, apply and get into Pharm school. My English and Languages degrees didn't set me up for all this science! 2015 I am hoping will be worth all this hard work and tears over chemistry.

Also learn to be happy in the present, I am so set on looking towards the future I often forget to be thankful for where I am at.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSara

working on a plan to negotiate with my boss to maintain full time employment status/salary/benefits, while switching to a flexible schedule so i can be home by 230 in the fall when my daughter starts big school. i'm totally worth it, and i am confident i can make him agree with me. (positive self-talk). sorry about your eye. my college roommate has the same affliction and i know it really stinks. speedy recovery. your post the other day motivated me to get back to working out, so thank you!

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodie goals for right now are : to get more of my work online so we don't depend so much on our retail store sales for income, to get in really good shape this year, and to finish my daughter's school year early (we homeschool) so I can have more time to produce work to sell for our busy summer season. Long term goals are to work on our house - just have to get my husband on board with that one. But if don't, I'm going to rip up some carpet soon and start putting in a hardwood floor by myself...gotta get this gross carpet out of here.

Your office is awesome, you guys! Can't wait to see more pictures...I'm digging the afghan! It's reminding me that I want to make a trip soon to our local thrift store - seems like spring could be a good time to pick up some good stuff!

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

I am strapped in and here for the ride! My goal this year is to get a passport so my hubby and I can travel. LOVE THE COUCH. It would look great with a yellow painted coffee table, no?

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterniobe19

My goal for 2013 is to make it through pregnancy, delivery and the first months of having a baby. We tried for awhile to get pregnant and now that i am well, i'm scared shitless.

Also, i want to quit my job and be a stay at home mom.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharity

YouPorn and granny square afghans all in one post. This is why I love your writing, Monica!

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

Sorry to read about your eye, sounds bad. So hear you on needing something to look forward to in order to maintain sanity - how pathetic is it that I'm currently looking forward to having a freaking garage sale next month? My goal is to clean out the basement and make enough $$ for a fancy target stroller system thingy for baby #3. I spend my lunch breaks at 3 AM down there giddy over crap I might get fifty cents for. Sad but true!

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartha

@Martha - A lofty goal! No goal is too small. Shit. At least you have garage sales. I always shy away because I can't take the rejection of people rolling up, looking over my crap and driving on without even getting out of the car!

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheGirlWho

"The drive by" always a downer, but! I too am looking forward to cleaning out the basement and garage for a yard sell....Thats about it....sad but true. Oh yeah! And spring! that's it, spring....

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermama

My goal is to get knocked up and then lose all the baby weight plus 50 more.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBonnieLee

you got time for a big comment? Lookee there you found Aunt Amelia's afghan. Long story, Forget it, I love these links you put in..the letter to Violet about her birth..beautiful. I have followed your story since you surfaced in Brooklyn and then lost contact until after you had Violet, so reading the story that went with your video was fun. Every once in a while I go back and read some post from way long ago and marvel at your writing style. Funny, sad everyday stories put down with brutal honesty. Okay, so the couch is great. Don't fergit to debug it,sister-thrifty, Otherwise you may be taking buggy things home with you in your clothes. Itchy itchy I am not jealous. Actually I 'scored' a couch at the RESTORE, tossed the back pillows which were all flattened ( the McBigback family sofa) but it passed the scratch and sniff test (ew) and $ 45 bucks plus stinky tax, I tossed it into my car/truckee thing. I washed the covers, sprayed it generously with FABREEZE cover-up and Lysol, and put a hot hair dryer to it (not sure that would get them critters down deep) but I felt better and who cares, I'm not sitting on it! hahaha. Oh man I just chucked out a nice leatherlook ottoman which reeked of dog feet after I tore the cover off and reupholstered it. 7 bucks is not worth that stank in my home. Ew. Back to you and your goals. You certainly are right about goals. We need them to stay healthy and excited about life. Little goals, big goals. Projects mixed with down time. I am trying to ease up on my own goals right now as I have my parents to think about and might wind up back here in Jersey, but that is a goal in itself. Anyway, living in the present but looking ahead, setting up a plan and thinking what I have to do and then doing it it my life...oh, and trying to avoid repeating past failures is my game. Spiritual guidance for me is deeply personal with God...So I add 'praying' at the top. "God you gotta guide my steps, i am just a dumbass so please HELP ME." I have my hopes and dreams but I always allow for to speak. Shit that happens could throw you into a depression but you just thank God and wait and see and keep going. See where it leads. If things go wrong, which they do, I am learning to yield to it. Yield to it. Knowing that God is in control. Not me and that it will ALL work out better that way.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGina

I am GOING TO (as opposed to 'planning to') self-publish my collection of short stories by the end of this month. Then I will attend the NanoWriMo Summer Camp next month and bang out another 50,000 words of my novel. I'll spend May and June editing it, and self-publish it by the end of June. In July, it's to Summer Camp #2, where I will start to write my memoir. It will be about my 15 years of drinking alcoholically and my recovery. I have no idea when I will publish that one, since I am not sure how it will go (harrowing, anyone??). But I at least want to start to WRITE the thing. I'll take it from there.

Congratulations on all your very positive recent changes! I love your office, your kids look happy and healthy, and you and Serge look more focused and centered. It all looks great ;)

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Roseanne would plunk herself down, put her feet up on the coffee table and smile as you hand her a cold beer.

March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but make sure that couch doesn't have bed bugs. I work for the pest control industry and you'd be surprised on how many items on the side of the road are there for a reason.

Ok, now that I have killed all of your joy, I'm very excited about everything else. Well, not your eye. That's no fun. But the being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. Keep doing it!

March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndee

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>