Today I was having a deep conversation with a friend of mine who’s been with me since my days as a bad, (okay let’s be real: atrocious) waitress. Back then I wished for, longed for with all my heart, a soulmate as corny as that sounds. A soulmate and everything that comes with that. You know, once you meet your soulmate, you have, probably a baby and a house and a life…of course, that’s unrealistic and we all know that now. But it’s about what’s on the other side no matter what we’re doing – no matter how far we’ve come. Why is it so hard to see how much we’ve accomplished and not how far we have to go or to focus on what’s missing?

I’m reminded of the string of men I dated that I clung to like they’d be the one until they did something that irritated me like said the word “yummy” not referring to food or another one who didn’t think Annie Hall is genius. Important stuff. Or else they were perfect but I was “too much.” Too needy, too intense, too demanding. Whatever.

One day, I met the man I was supposed to be with and here we are with a baby, house, great marriage and I have a book published. But what do I do? Do I enjoy everyday and say, “hey, stef, did you ever think you’d have it so good when you could barely make ends meet? When you slept with that guy you thought was IT and he never called you again? Did you ever think you’d have a book published and it would be doing well? Did you ever think you’d have your soulmate (disclaimer – my husband thinks the term soulmate was created as a marketing ploy for people that read Cathy cartoons – but that’s one of the many reasons I love him more than I can put into words) an a child you love more than anything?”

But I’m anxious anyway. How do you explain that? How do you explain that I worry that if my book doesn’t do well enough I’ll have to go back to work full-time and leave my little girl at home with a nanny or at daycare. Not that there’s anything wrong with it and I may do it but…

Why can’t I look at everything I have and be so ecstatic I’m jumping up and down? I’m healthy, my family is healthy blah blah blah. Is everyone like that or just us chronic worriers? Are there people besides born again Christians that are just blissful and thankful everyday?

So just to fight those negative thoughts, here’s my gratitude list for today. And don’t start thinking I”m new agey or a 12 stepper. Y’all know I like my wine.

1. My husband – the most patient, cool, funny, genius, generous to a fault, loyal, compassionate person I know.

2. My daughter. Nuff said.

3. Grey’s Anatomy – why do I love that show so much?

4. Flavored coffee (not sweetened and there’s a big difference)

5. American Idol (soon I’ll hate this show but not quite yet)

6. When I’m at the park with my daughter and my mind is quiet.

7. The song “Wedding Day” by Rosie Thomas.

8. My brother and S-I-L. Seriously, they are the fucking coolest.

9. Lena’s blog. It really makes me laugh.

10. Cookies from Whole Foods that have no sugar cause I can’t have sugar cause I’m an addict. There will never be enough sugar in the world to satiate me.

11. Bad new country songs by people like Keith Urban or Rascall Flats. You’d never think I was that nerdy, I know.

23. Having my brother come over for American Idol.

27. My husband.

28. My friends.

29. Blogging.

30. When people tell me that they love my book. Of course. Duh.

35. My deep belief in Kabbalah and how it keeps me grounded. Okay, I’m fucking with you on that one.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on April 23, 2006 3:26 amUncategorized16 comments  


  1. kim said,

    You don’t want a soul mate trust me. If you see people through rose colored glasses like I do your soul mate will turn out to be a shizophrenic, manic depressive who refuses to be medicated. Yeah I know what that says about me.

    Find some nice people who will bring you a casserole when you have a baby.

    The last line scared me for a second, I mean you are all “LA”!

    | April 23, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

  2. MrsFortune said,

    Ditto on the last line, I almost spit my coffee out. Haha. And I’m with you on Idol – I think I may hate it soon, too, like next year, but for now, it still delights me.

    | April 23, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

  3. surcie said,

    Stef, your WTF made me laugh. I’ve been meaning to tell you, I’m reading the book and it’s terrific. Granted, I’m only on page 24. . .I can relate to the c-section, the miserable attempts at breastfeeding, the postpartum doula, crying to the pediatrician, etc. I wish I had the book back then–or a girlfriend like you!

    | April 23, 2006 @ 5:52 pm

  4. Old Lush said,

    OK, seriously, American Idol? I thought someone like you was above that…oh, I am so disappointed. Ha Ha. Am I the only one out there that doesn’t like that show? Maybe I’m the freak. Nah.

    | April 24, 2006 @ 6:02 am

  5. Heather said,

    Great post! So true. Sometimes I really need to step back and appreciate things and not worry about everything I can’t control.

    And, I love Grey’s Anatomy, and I actually call and vote for American Idol.

    I finished the book. Loved it! Why can’t I find someone like you here in Ohio?

    | April 24, 2006 @ 10:24 am

  6. Jess Riley said,

    Two of the new mom friends I gave your book to just finished it and LOVED it. (One of them also saw you on the teevee.) 🙂 You’re on your way, kemosabi! (And you’re also not alone in the anxiety. I’m a mess lately.)

    | April 24, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

  7. Lena said,

    Oooh – you so frightened me on that last one.

    It is so normal to be anxious when things are going well because you have MORE TO LOSE.

    The thing is, you reach a point of frustration with yourself where you say ‘Do I want to live my entire life worrying? Or enjoy my accomplishments?’

    Some days you’ll answer “enjoy” and others you’ll anser “worry, damnit!”

    Coming from a consummate worrier, trust me when I say you just need to find a balance in your life where you allow yourself to enjoy your daughter, husband, and literary success.

    | April 24, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

  8. Jess said,

    Grey’s Anatomy = love. American Idol = guilty pleasure.

    | April 25, 2006 @ 2:07 am

  9. Mom101 said,

    Thanks for the nice comment at my place and pointing the way back here…and huge congrats on the book! Hugeness of the highest order.

    And I have to agree with your husband on the whole soulmate concept. I really believe there’s no “one” right person for anyone (and not just because I met Mr Right, ohhhhh six or seven hundred times before Nate). Just the right person for you right now. Hopefully that now lasts 75 years, and that’s the most we can ever ask for.

    In the words of your illustrious governor–which you’d think he wrote himself considering how much he referenced it in his campaign speeches–I’ll be back.

    | April 25, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  10. sweatpantsmom said,

    What a great idea – a gratitude list.

    I feel the same way – sometimes I feel like slapping myself in the face and saying, “Stop whining and smell the goddamn roses!”

    And you truly scared me there with the Kabbalah thing.

    | April 25, 2006 @ 7:05 pm

  11. Shannon said,

    Girl, there’s a reason we’re friends. And it’s called . . . kaballah. But seriously, it’s called, “Everything You Ever Say Sounds Like It Could Have Come Out of My Own Mouth”.
    Oh, and we’re SO on for tandem American Idol viewing.
    Love your book but love you more!

    | April 25, 2006 @ 10:55 pm

  12. Virenda said,

    LOL, love the photos and you are beautiful.

    I love Lena and her blog as well. That’s why I made her my best friend. ~wink~

    I’d NEVER admit it either but I’m a sucker for cheesy country/rock songs. Don’t get me started on Gretchen Wilson. :0)

    I too am an addict of sugar. I will eat ALL of whatever sugary thing I buy, which needless to say has NOT helped my diet, health plan.

    American Idol to me is still cool but who knows maybe next season I won’t watch EVERY FREAKING episode and talk about it with hubby forever.

    35. Oh thank god! :0)

    Loving it.

    | April 26, 2006 @ 4:23 am

  13. surcie said,

    I think our brains must not know the difference between good stress and bad. My response to all of it is the same–I’m a ball of anxiety. That’s why I can’t help lovin’ that pink pill o’ mine.

    btw, my husband keeps going back to my blog to re-read and laugh at your “pretty” comment.

    | April 26, 2006 @ 12:22 pm

  14. Alexa said,

    I am still waiting for the elusive day the worry dies. I frequently think it is just over the horizon, but lo, I get there and think of new crap to worry about. My mother always told me I’d “grow out of it.” Yeah. That’s working out swell.
    The pictures are beautiful, by the way.

    | April 26, 2006 @ 3:39 pm

  15. Teacher lady said,

    I read an article about this just yesterday (I am super-embarrassed to admit I read it in SELF magazine, but that’s another story). It is in our evolutionary interest (apparently, according to the brain trust over at SELF) to be perpetually unsatisfied and always looking to our next achievement. This was a great thing, about 100+ years ago, when a big accomplishment was having 10 kids and having not ONE of them die of Cholera or starve to death, but now? Not so much. My point is (yes, I have one): hell, no, you’re not alone. I thought if I left corporate America and went back to school full-time to teach and work on my Ph.D that I would be crazy-over-the-top-happy. And I was, for about, oh, the first 6 months. Now I’m just trudging toward the elusive dissertation defense and wondering how much my first “real” job will pay. It’s always something.

    | April 28, 2006 @ 7:59 pm

  16. Mary-LUE said,

    “Are there people besides born again Christians that are just blissful and thankful everyday?”

    Shoot, I don’t even know a born again Christian who is blissful and thankful everyday. At least not me or any of the Christians I know.

    And now I’ve got a full-blown teenager in my midst. 14 in just a few days. What hole can I bury my head in for the next few years? I’m afraid. Very afraid.

    I am grateful often, though. There is a lot to be grateful for and your post reminds me to remember that. Thanks.

    | May 4, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

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