Before I get into the emotional stuff: reminder! I'm part of a very cool event happening in New York City on Wednesday! Yes I'll be selling books, and signing your copy if you have one and stop to say hello after. Come on down!
And now the emotional stuff: I wrote about my dog Emily dying. The essay ran in the New York Times online on Thursday and in the print paper on Sunday. It was the most difficult thing I have ever written, done mostly two Sundays ago while pacing around boxes and baskets on the floor of my temporary rental unit until midnight. I've been asked if writing it has helped with the healing process. Maybe. One of the most difficult parts of Emily dying was that the hours leading up to when she was put down. They were not peaceful, and those images are hard. The first draft I wrote that Sunday night was 2,000 words and had more of that in it. I got it down to 1,100 words before I turned it in, and my editor and I cut it down to 800, so a lot got left out. Maybe nobody needs to know that stuff anyway. But going through this process helped me to take a hard look at it, write about it, and now hopefully not think about it so often.
I knew it running would be another bout of emotion too. I planned to work on my taxes on Thursday afternoon so I wouldn't keep checking social media to see what people said. I started sobbing when I picked up the paper on Sunday and saw it in print (on my way to a race – not good!) I'm glad that in sharing my experience, other people are sharing theirs too, but I'm trying to be careful and kind to myself too. I have 25 emails in my inbox right now about it (the essay was the eighth most popular story on their website on Sunday so that's not surprising). I haven't been able to open them yet. I will, at some point.
The other thing that happened this week was I ran my 10th straight Ocean Drive 10 miler, and to my very great shock, I finished second in my age group. I've never placed in this race before, and I haven't been running like I usually do (see: that essay). I started to hedge the win by thinking that maybe not as many people ran it, or looking at how much slower this was then my 10 miler PR but then I stopped. A win is a win is a win. I'll take it.
(Short review of the new course for those who asked: too many turns, still buckets of wind, and the course had construction trailers and dumpsters parked on it. Also: boring. Also: not really on the Ocean Drive. Not great).
"Things I Wish I Had Known When My Dog Died" for The New York Times
What I'm Reading
I finished up Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod, which was perfectly fine (three stars on Goodreads). At a recent book event, someone asked me about blogs-to-books, and I said there aren't as many as there used to be. This is an exception. It was just enough – an enjoyable stand-alone read but not one that made me want to read her blog. I'm now onto Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat. by Sarah Robb O'Haga, which I'm reading for work.
What I'm Watching
Parks & Rec from the start. I never saw the first season, and I was a half interested viewer when it aired. On The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, Peter Sagal said watching it helped him because it was a show where all the characters genuinely cared about each other. That I've been depressed is no secret — well, not now since I put it in the essay about Emily. So now I'm watching it too (my suggestion for when he finished watching himself: Scrubs. Same deal). I've also been watching a lot of free movies On Demand thanks to having cable, which is provided in my rental. I'll list them below with a one-sentence recap/thought:
- Leap of Faith. Meatloaf is the bus driver!
- Pete's Dragon. Covered a lot of the same topics as their new Jungle Book did, and Jungle Book did it better
- Zigfield Girl. A classic worth watching
- Pajama Party. What the…
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith. This came out right when I was in a bad relationship with someone who wanted to look like Brad Pitt, and this was a reminder of that time so phooey.