Lists. I like them and I loathe them. If I write a list, I either want too many things for my scattered mind to simply remember, or I’m writing goals that are difficult to reach. Then my Type A personality kicks in and I don’t know what to do with the uncompleted list…and let’s not even mention what happens if a list is misplaced. Ah!

I recently found a list of goals I wrote last year; our situation is much different than the goals I had optimistically set. Instead of “paying off debt” and “saving for a house”, this last few months have been our “laundromat phase”…it’s no secret that choosing an acting career is an unpredictable form of self-employment. Generous friends opened up their guest house to us and we are forever grateful. And humbled.

I have a memory from my childhood when our washing machine was broken for what felt like months, but was probably only a couple weeks. I helped my mom lug huge loads of laundry (a family of 9 generates a lot of dirty clothes) to the laundromat. I had never seen so many quarters.

It was a long process and you can’t go far because you want to switch the load to the dryers as soon as you are able…and then you wait some more. I didn’t enjoy the chore, but I helped because it wasn’t my mom’s fault the washing machine broke and it was my dirty stuff too. Teamwork.

Right now I frequent the laundromat every week. I drive out of the way to use the one by the library (our happy place) and the crowd inside is always interesting; quiet, somewhat friendly, with a hint of “I don’t really want to be here.” Everyone has a story. I make eye contact and smile a “we are in this together” smile. My kids help. Teamwork.

Our La La Land story is much different than the amazing movie with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. I soaked up every minute of that film, especially since it was the first date night Andy and I had had in about 6 months (another “phase of life” confession). At one point, I realized my heart was racing and anxiety was building; the auditioning and rejection scenes were hitting close to home.

Our La La Land story entails a lot more trauma (less parties HA!) and the ending is still “to be determined.” Los Angeles is an incredibly unrelenting city, but the people who we have chosen to do life with here are unbelievably kind, encouraging, and fun.

At this moment, part of me wants to escape to the “country” and live a quiet life, but the list-making, laundry-toting part of me wants to press on and see the alternate ending. I’m not sure if it will lead to financial “security” and stability (since those things are never guaranteed anyway), but I know our little family’s love story is a good one either way…Teamwork.

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