Life Doesn't Fit in a File Folder

Ups and Downs & Lessons From the Universe

It’s been one of those weeks!

Were my life a roller coaster ride, I’ve got to tell you, this week has been positively loopy.

And it’s only Thursday.

On Monday, I showed up at my local grocery store, all showered and dressed at 8 am, to discuss catering for my son’s bar mitzvah with a woman named Karen.

Only to learn that my appointment is actually next week at 8 am.

As I stood there, dejected, I received a text from someone telling me that she couldn’t make a coffee date we’d been strenuously trying to set-up.

For months.

Last night, Hubby told me that we cannot have the Friday night dinner before our son’s bar mitzvah at the location we had previously selected.

I cannot even discuss this right now without feeling nauseated.

Because, seriously, where are we going with under 6 weeks left?

Yesterday, I wrote a guest post of which I was particularly proud. Very few people left comments. And that’s okay, except it left me feeling embarrassed and confused. I don’t understand why that content didn’t speak to people. I re-posted it HERE and, for those who may have missed it, I would still be interested in hearing your comments.

Anyway, I was feeling kind of low.

Then I learned it was National Teacher’s Appreciation Week. I had no idea.

One of my former students sent me this comment on my Facebook wall.

So that made me feel better. I mean, I figure if I’m losing my writing mojo, at least my students appreciate me, right?

And speaking of my students, this morning I tried to log onto my email account at Monroe Community College.

But I was locked out.

Because every six months we have to reset our passwords. Pain in the booty.

I’m currently working through Super Heroes combined with a series of uppercase letters and those annoying keys required for extra security. You know: !@#$%^&*()_+.


So I had to change my password which took four attempts plus a call to the Technology Services Help Desk.

Because I’d forgotten I’d already been W0nderw0man08! and Aquaman09% and Superman10# P0isonIvy11? And the computer won’t let you repeat any part of any identity you’ve ever been before.

By the time I made it in, I was a little cranky.

But then, lo and behold.

I saw this piece of loveliness. (You may have to click on it to appreciate the font more fully.)

You guys, I was instantly pumped up like Arnold Schwarzenegger used to be when he was on steroids.

  • And I would like to take this opportunity to thank every English teacher that I have ever had. I’m just positively overwhelmed. And…wow…I’m just so unprepared for a moment like this…
  • I would like to thank Laura Ingalls Wilder and Judy Blume. I’d like to thank William Faulkner and and Harper Lee and Kate Chopin and F. Scott Fitzgerald…Omigosh, y’all. You know who you are.
  • I’d also like to thank the unattractive green swivel chair in my parents’ house for letting me sit there for hours, escaping to different lands.
  • And thanks to all my former students who hit LIKE when I update my status on Facebook, even if my status isn’t interesting or funny. I’m just happy you let me know you are still out there and you haven’t minimized me. Yet.
Look, there he is now.

So once again the universe teaches this twit a lesson.

Life will always be filled with bumps in the road.


Somehow, some truck eventually comes along and some hot dude steps out and takes his shirt off and patches the hole with gravel.

It always works out, y’all.

(Except when it doesn’t.)

Anyway, it’s extra nice to have this happen during my blogoversary month.

And don’t forget, it’s not too late to register for a chance to win Elena Aitken’s SUGAR CRASH.


Tweet This Twit @rasjacobson

60 thoughts on “Ups and Downs & Lessons From the Universe

  1. First of all, Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week. I know how passionate you are about what you do, and considering I’ve had some great teachers throughout the years that I am forever grateful for, I know your students feel the same way.

    And second, yes to the universe working in mysterious ways…along with blogging. There have been posts I’ve been so proud of that received crickets in the comments, and others that I’ve been “meh” about that somehow struck a chord. I know you know, but it’s truly about how you felt when you wrote it. Not how the public responded.

    But it’s all about perspective. You get knocked down once, and then someone reaches down to unexpectedly lend you a hand. Grab on and go for the ride, my friend. You know it will all work out fine 😉

    1. Thanks Abby. It is odd. Sometimes to get to thinking, “Oh yes. This is the best thing I’ve ever written and you do a little dance prepared to be Freshly Pressed and it’s like…’Hello? Where is everyone? Is there some cool thing happening that I don’t know about?”

      Thank you for your validation. The blogosphere is a weird place. For reals.

      1. I’ve never been Freshly Pressed, nor do I think I ever will. It’s simply quality over quantity with readers and comments and the conversation is what I adore. You foster good conversation. 🙂

        1. You know what I mean. The moment right before you press publish and you’re all: “Yesssssss!” *fist pump!* That. I didn’t literally mean Freshly Pressed. Just that feeling like you have a winner.

          And then nothing.

          It hurts my heart.

          Must. Get. Over. That. Need. To. Be. Loved.

  2. Woooooooot!!! Congratulations, Renee!! WELL deserved, I’d reckon. Is that hot guy going to be in Albany? I mean, didn’t they say “snacks”?

    Also, I wouldn’t beat yourself up on your last guest post. I certainly don’t think you’ve lost your mojo! I think a lot of times guest posts get overlooked, and/or other folks are probably having roller coaster weeks themselves!

    And I hope you can find a back-up place for the Friday night dinner! (You had a Jules-esque blonde moment with that catering appt., LOL It made me kind of proud. ;))

    1. That guy is kind of snackishy, isn’t he. I could put nutella all over him, right? 😉

      Jules, I NEVER do that stuff. But I have been doing it all. the. time. lately. It’s driving everyone bonkers.

      As far as the Bar Mitzvah goes, all I can say is oy. Seriously. Hubby is going to handle this one. He picked the place and now he’s going to have to figure things out. (Of couse, I’ll have to be the one who notifies everyone, etc.) PITA! (Gah!)

  3. Oh sweets, it’s chaos! Keep breathing and at least your sense of humor hasn’t left you high and dry. Glad your students love you (not surprrised!) but a little appreciate is always nice. Hang in there…don’t worry about the guest post, ebbs and flows and it seems right now everyone is slammed. xo

  4. Awww, hugs! Your post was beautiful.

    Twitter has been noisy lately…and not in the good way, so I can see where someone might miss you if you weren’t in your usual spot. But I know that feeling. Ever since I decided to start my fiction series on the blog, I have that feeling each week that I post. If the comments don’t come in for a few hours I think, “what did I do wrong?”

    Funny how we torture ourselves like that.

    Here’s hoping things gets better – and yay for the good stuff!

    1. Two things, maybe three.

      1) Twitter has been noisy. There are so many giveaways. I know I have been tweeting in attempts to win everything on @kludgymom’s blog. Seriously go and check out Gigi’s blog. Fast. Omigosh. So much good cyberswag. But seriously, yes. You are right. There is a lot going on with graduations and end of the year exams. And warm-weather sports. And all that jazz. So thank you for that reminder.

      2) I often read your Friday Fiction on my iPhone, but it is SUCH a pain to log in. Oy. But I’m digging it. So just keep doing it. It’s good practice.

      3) Torturing ourselves. Yes. And why? I don’t know. But I love everyone’s comments so much. And maybe it’s because writing my WIP is so lonely, I NEED to comments to keep me afloat. To keep me pushing along and believing in my dream that gosh darn it, one day I will be an author.

      1. A lot of my blog reading happens by phone or iPad, so I don’t always comment (in other words, no worries on #2, but love that you told me you are reading still!).

        And you are awesome. Awesome enough that I DO sometimes comment from a mobile device. Ha. 🙂

  5. Renee,
    Congrats on the awesome adjunct award – very cool! And I love it that you have a student (or two…) that took the time let you know how much he appreciates your class and what he learned during his time spent there!

    1. Thanks Dawn. I do! My students check in all the time, which I love. Plus, if William Bradley would ever go, it’s HIS turn on WWF. Just sayin’ William. Sheesh! I know you’re killing me, but come on. 😉

      I adore them all. I really do. It’s ridiculous.

  6. Congratulations on your award! Did it come in a box marked “Fra-gee-lay”. Sorry, Christmas Story reference. But really, if those are the really bad things that happen to you… can I have your life, please? lol It seems like heaven. I’ve been penniless, homeless, and raising 3 kids alone after hubby ran off. Not having a pissing contest, just sayin’… Maybe you could read my blog sometime? Maybe this post –

    And don’t worry you’ll find a replacement place for the dinner. I had a place go out of business with my deposit (d-bags) for my wedding rehearsal dinner a month before it was to take place. I just went with the flow and found another. 🙂 As my Mother always says, “This too shall pass”.

    1. Hi Margaret. Will definitely read that post. I have read several of your others. And yes, that is the situation here with the restaurant, too. WHich is fine because the quality had been going down down down for a while so it’s just as well.

      And no, there were some other sucky things that happened this week that I neglected to layer on. A betrayal, a death, some stupidities. How many things do you need to hear? I don’t put everything on the blog. But just know, there were some other, less superficial things, too — that certain people would not appreciate me writing about. iykwim.

      But you are right, everything will work out. I have faith in that. Sometimes you just want certain parts to pass a little faster though… 😉

      1. Aw, I’m sorry you had the other stuff happen. I didn’t mean to trivialize your troubles, I just was trying to tell you to not sweat the small or moderately large stuff, either. 🙂

        1. No. It’s a good reality check. My friend just sent a picture of me holding a Torah, something I had never done until recently as I was raised in a more observant tradition when I was young. It made me remember not to pet the sweaty stuff. I mean sweat the petty stuff. Oh, you know what I mean.

          And I was serious about meeting at Wegmans.

          But maybe in July after all this madness ends. 😉

  7. Yay for a well deserved award! Hope the check (or “cheque” in Canada) comes with some well deserved yumminess. That picture is distracting me on my lunch hour, by the way.

  8. Adjunct of the Year! That’s so awesome! Congratulations! I’d vote you Cousin of the year, but Aaron might get mad and not let me back into camp – or play Words with Friends with me anymore.

    I did read your blog. Thought it was beautiful. But I didn’t comment since I don’t have a kid, so no kid memories. If it helps, I remember when I was a kid laying outside on our deck with my parents and brother watching shooting stars.

    Maybe Friday night dinner at Wegman’s? Best place ever for us “out-of-towners”!! 🙂

    1. Thank Larisa. It’s just weird to try and figure out which posts get comments and which posts people just delete or ignore. Or what.

      You don’t have to have kids to remember thunderstorms or torrential downpours. Remember at camp when the tents seemed like they were going to blow over, and everyone would scream?

      It’s fine. I’m over it.

      I just liked it too much to not have it run. Especially when it has been so rainy up here. Even as I tap this out to you, the sky is ominously gray. Those puffy clouds look like rain.

      I can’t even discuss Friday night. Will keep you posted. Oy.

      1. Where were you yesterday evening when I had to walk fluffy dog in pouring rain? I made him hold it until 10pm! He’s sooo good!! 🙂

        I actually wouldn’t mind walking in the rain. It felt really good after my workout, but it takes forever for Baka to dry. I should get used to it. It’s Florida and rainy season is upon us.

  9. With all the feeling, passion and thought you put onto your classes it’s no doubt you absolutely deserve the “best adjunct” award! You really rock and I’m thrilled others noticed. Keep on caring and being so damn thoughtful. 🙂

  10. It’s incredible how a simple, genuine gesture can make life’s roller coasters bearable, and those dizzy-yuck-upside down parts obscelete. (Okay, almost.) For what it’s worth, I thought of you on Teacher’s Day. And I’m so glad that student spoke up! Sure he’s one of hundreds. (…of admirers, that is).

    1. Thanks August. I keep thinking of you because – as you know – I thought you were a guy at first. And now have quickly become one of my fave bloggers. And all the most important events in my life happened in August. How can I not adore you.

  11. Here is a true still ongoing story that may make you feel better, at least in that misery loves company. My hubby and I decided in a moment of frugalness (Is there such a word?) to change phone companies. We thought Comcast was charging too much for our house phone and cells. So we went to Verizon and talked to them. They do not have house phone service (Shouldn’t we have known that?) but promptly signed us up for our cells. They offered us a gadget called Home Phone Connect, which turned out to be just like Magic Jack. After two days, we returned it and said no thank you. We also returned the cell phone and went to AT&T. They were able to give us cell phones which were up and working rather quickly. Since we very rarely use a cell phone anyway, we opted for a low cost plan. They promised (in writing) that we would be able to have phone service with our old number in about ten days, and Internet service faster than that. Naively, we tried a few days ago to connect the Internet. It doesn’t work without a phone system! So now we had no Internet, no home phone, and cell phones that were rapidly costing us a fortune in phone calls.
    Today we got the bad news. When we returned the phones, etc. to Verizon, they canceled our house phone number. AT&T found out they could not retrieve the number. In the middle of all this chaos, our present Internet service, Epic Wireless, went out today. It seems a nearby tower was out of commission….all day! I write minutes and reports for non-profit organization and had 10 pages to email to the President. As I write this, our Internet is back, but until we switch to AT&T, we have no house phone until Monday – with a new number! (Can you imagine telling everyone you know, every business, that you have a new house phone number after having the same one for nearly 12 years? They just published a new community directory here for the 800+ homes in our development with our old number, of course. I don’t know all 800, of course, but still… what a mess.)
    So Renee, don’t worry about the restaurant. We will find you and be there ready to celebrate with the whole family!

    1. Marlene, that sounds awful. But thank you for telling me you’ll be there for us. Wherever that may be. We’ll keep you posted.

      The phone stuff sounds like a nightmare. Truly. Glad you are hooked up again. 😉

  12. Wow! That is a serious rollercoaster. Super mazel tov on the adjunct of the year. Woot woot! And I’m sure everything will work out for the bar mitzvah. Simchas can kind of be like that, I think. I’ve never made a bar mitzvah, but I’ve done a wedding and two brisses in the past five years, and there’s usually some breathtaking snag (which is awesome when you’re all postpartum – not).

    Anyways, here’s to anticipating the peaks of the rollercoaster, and savoring them through the valleys. Now I’m going to go read (and comment on) that guest post!

  13. It is the nature of life to go up and down! I had a very zenless day as you will see when I post this comment. I didn’t come by yesterday because this has been going on for two days!
    Congrats on Teacher Appreciation and what an amazing kid to send you that message. That my dear is a message from the great beyond!
    Now to see if this posts or goes into your spam………………………

      1. I had a spam week. I wrote about it in “How to Break out of Jail and Other Useful Tidbits! It was because of using too many tags. Thanks Renee!

  14. Yay for you!!!!!!!!!

    I loved the post on t-storms and little rubber booties. Reminded me of playing on a certain flower-box lined porch during humid summer storms with my fav cuz.

    Bar mitzvah bumps. No prob. You’re the hostess with the mostess. Just get a tent, a few bazillion pizzas, and it’s a party in your yard. Preferably with a short t-storm. 🙂

    1. “Reminded me of playing on a certain flower-box lined porch during humid summer storms with my fav cuz.”

      Le sigh.

      Best memory ever. Thanks for that one, D. So many good ones: Hide & Seek. And tippy hammocks. Croquet on the lawn.

      Trying to breathe through the BM bumps. I am feeling better. At least this happened with time to notify all the family about new location. You know… once we figure out where that might actually be.

  15. Congratulations on your teaching award! Steve & I were writing something the other day and stumbled on a grammer question. I said I could always text Renee, she would know. I wish I could remember to ask you now, but we made a decision and hoped it was right.

    1. Hahahaha.

      I don’t know everything.

      But my help line is 1-800-SOS-GRAMMAR. Just kidding. That has too many digits. But wouldn’t that be awesome. “Hello? Yes, I’m having a semi-colon emergency!” 😉

  16. Congratulations on the honor! Looks like the universe might be getting ready to straighten out and fly right for you, hmmm?

    Good luck with the bar mitzvah – I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to have the restaurant bail at the last minute!

  17. This is such a fantastic post!! And I am grinning like an old fool reading about your news!!! So proud of you!! Oh, oh oh!! The green swivel chair!! Oh!! That reminds me of my ugly fake leather rocking chair! Man I spent hours in that thing! Congratulations darling!!!

  18. Somehow, some truck eventually comes along and some hot dude steps out and takes his shirt off and patches the hole with gravel.
    These words and that picture? A Mother’s Day gift in their own right! *giggle*

    I’m not glad for all the potholes in the road before your metaphorical shirtless hottie arrived, but WOO! This is great news, which doesn’t surprise me in light of all the care you show your current and past students when you touch on them here. Also your creativity. 🙂

  19. Wooow! Congratulations, Renee! You really deserve it. Life was full of ups and downs, but just always stay positive and go for it.

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