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It’s my Pi day and i’ll be irrational if I want to


I am unapologetically hubristic about my bithday you see, my birthday is the best birthday of the year, certainly not because it is my birthday, no it’s the best because it is 3.14 and that is Pi day. My birthday is about circularity and irrational numbers, and, of course, pie. This birthday even more better than a usual Pi day. Today I am going to Harvard’s conference on Achieving Healthcare Leadership and Outcomes through Writing and Publishing, I’m going to pitch my book to a room full of agents(yes, I brought pretty good batch of fear with me).

Beyond all that fun, I’m celebrating my Boston birthday by dining with Wendy, Nina, Jamie Cat Callan and her friend, Kirie. I’m so excited to have a dinner with some of my favorite women. Really, this is the most fun I can imagine. I’m so excited to see where this next circle of 3.14 will take me.

Today I will sit and learn about writing. And I will sit a round table and share a meal with women I love and who laugh and inspire me. And maybe the day will end with piece of cake or pie or some  other Circular sweet. There will be lots of fun and learning and laughter—those are my favorite things. My blog is also one of my favorite things—so I wanted include it in the circle of my day.  So also love Lily and Keith, so they are here too. Hey, it’s my birthday and I get to do what I want to beccause it’s my birthday.

I almost got another dog yesterday and other news of similar importance( the partially bilingual edition)

  1. Only the dog was a girl and Lily does not like girl dogs that are smaller than her. Lily can be a bit bitchy to them. I couldn’t stand her to be mean to this 4lbs. of chihuahua/doxie adorable mix. I did, however, fall in love. I mean, I have it bad. B-A-D. And let me tell you that she is MUCH cuter in person. My iPhone didn’t do justice to this beige-coloured beauty–and she is a BEAUTY. She has mottled fawn and white colour to her super-soft fur and her personality is perfection. Ugh! I hate that I can’t bring her home but Lily REALLY doesn’t like smaller girl dogs, so much so that I would fear for this beauties life. Lily is a cutey but if you saw how fierce she is when she plays with Mr. Monkey you would understand my fear.
  2. A Sephora and a William Sonoma store have just opened up within walking distance from my house. I am liking Valencia a smidgen more because of this. Access to skincare and a quality skillet makes me feel much more optimistic about this place. That said, I am not planning on becoming a member of the what is awesome about “Awesometown” club. They could put a JCrew in the lobby of my building and I still wouldn’t join that club (well, maybe if they put one in the lobby and they had free delivery and gave me a 20% discount AND offered free alterations).
  3. Continue reading ‘I almost got another dog yesterday and other news of similar importance( the partially bilingual edition)’

And the winner is…,uh

Your suggestions were brilliant. Some of you are serious naming over-achievers ( I am talking about you Alistair and Susan). There were soooooo many great ones.

I love:

“Couching Tigress Hidden Therapist” You, Alistair, are a hoot!

“Hillman’s Minx”( I am crazy-mad-in-love with this one, thanks Susan!)

“Educating Lily”( for obvious reasons this dog-mother loves this one. Susan knows how to get to my heart).

I loved Bowerbird’s paradoxical entree, “Sage Green”.

And the one I TRULY wish I could call it came from MJ, “Not Your Usual White Male Therapist In Tube Socks and Dockers.” That is BRILLIANT. LOVE-LOVE-LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Truly, you are all so creative and funny and smart. I love you all. And I can’t thank you enough for donning your thinking cap and coming up with so many wonderful names.  Thank you!

The bad news is that I had to narrow down the contenders to a short list. I submitted the following entrees to my Editor. These were the finalists:

“Deeply/Funny” from K-line.

“View from the Couch” from Alistair

“Depth Becomes Her” from Hannah

and my humble entree “Freudian Sips”. Continue reading ‘And the winner is…,uh’

Write a blog, change your life

Blogging has changed my life. It is right up there with getting married, going to college and starting therapy in terms of its profound life changing impact. Blogging has changed things about my character that I thought were unchangeable, permanent and irretractably set in stone. For a long time I have been ruminating on writing a blog post called “write a blog, change your life” and that is because I am constantly amazed how blogging has changed my life and changed me. The reason that I haven’t written this post before is that the longer I blog the more ways I experience the varied and surprising ways that blogging has changed my life and changed me and that the full impact of its effects can’t be known until I am done blogging and I am nowhere near done blogging. So that is why I am calling today Part I of what will clearly be a multi-episode series. For today I have decided to to document the four ways that blogging has changed my character.

Character Change Number One: Discipline

Three years ago no one was calling me disciplined. No one. Not even the people in my life who feel obligated to lie to me in order to buoy my spirits—the people who would tell me I was beautiful when I had a huge zit on my forehead and who would tell me I was smart when I had just made a really stupid mistake—and certainly not Kelly Valen who is the author of the soon to be released and must be read book,  Twisted Sisterhood. I don’t mean to name drop here. I know it is unseemly. However I have to tell you what a BIG deal it was for me to wake one morning to see that Kelly, a person I don’t really know and who has no reason to say things to me that she doesn’t  truly mean,  had left a comment on my Facebook page in which she described me as “Disciplined and prolific”. Her kind compliment about my character as a writer motivated me to plug my lapbook into my printer and print her compliment about my character and once it was printed I then took a hard look at myself in the metaphorical mirror and I saw that I was  no longer the undisciplined flibbertigibbet that I used to be.  Okay, to be kind, that isn’t entirely true. I would and could and did get things done if an authority figure (teacher or boss) gave me a deadline but if I didn’t have an external deadline there was little chance I would get any writing done. Thanks to regular blogging I have developed discipline and that is a miracle. If only I could translate that discipline to my fitness regime.

Character Changer Number Two: Prolific

As I said above, I was lazy and undisciplined and that led to an embarrassingly low volume of creative output. In the course of a year I felt like I has really achieved something if I had managed to write a few short stories and an essay or two. However, thanks to the blog I have written over 700 posts (not all of them published) and most of those are on the long-winded side (thank you patient readers), two book proposals, essays and a short and shockingly bad stab at a novel. I am in fact a prolific writer.  I don’t know how it happened or when it happened other than I started the blog and I stuck with it.

Character Change Number Three: Brave and/ or courageous

Before I started blogging I was a scaredy cat. I let fear stop me from taking all manner of risks. And truth be told I still have a good amount of fear. That said, if I had to tell you the characteristic mirrored most from those who read my blog is that I am brave and/ or courageous to write about what I do on my blog. Whenever I get this compliment (and o do get it a lot) I am always baffled by it. I really don’t get what is so brave about what I write. When people tell me I am brave I often say internally, “or I am stupid” as I just don’t get what I am doing that is so brave or courageous. However I have gotten this compliment at least 100 times so it must be true. I am here by owning that I am brave and courageous. I also own that I have no idea why I am.

Characteristic Change Number Four: Trust

I have trust issues that go waaaaay back.  I had a therapist many years ago that told me that my issues go back to Trust vs. Mistrust. I so mistrusted her analysis that I got up out of my chair mid-session and left and never came back. So, yeah, I had some trust issues. But somehow blogging and having such wonderful readers has helped me with this core issue.  I trust you even though I may have never met you in 3-D. I have shared some things with you that I wouldn’t share with my own family and friends. In sharing the really hard stuff with you I have had some big healing.  One of the most healing days in my life, I credit to the blog and to my LOVELY readers, and it was in response to my post Cassandra Complex. Reading your comments was more healing for me than all my time in Al-anon and work with many therapists. Truly, I will never forget that day and reading those comments—it was a life changing experience. I will never be the person I was before that post and for that I thank you all.

Because of my trust issues I generally viewed the world as hostile and dangerous. This is no longer true.  Now I tend to view the world, or at least the bloggy world, or more specifically the bloggy world that I am a part of as a very supportive, loving and encouraging place. I have made some true and life long friends through this blog. I have made the kind of friends that if I was ever in crisis, and Igor had left the country, I could turn to. I know if God forbid something happened to He-weasel or Lily that I could come to the blog and tell you what happened and I would get real, immediate and meaningful support. I know I could count on getting phone calls from bloggy friends around the world and that there are some of you I could even count on you to show up with a casserole and comfort even in the darkest and scariest nights of the soul and that is really saying something. You, my friends, have changed my belief that I am alone in the world—save my little circle of support—and for that I am eternally grateful. Just yesterday I got a handful of calls to check and see how yesterday went with Igor. Have I mentioned yet how much I love you all?

Well I do, even if this is your first time here. I love you for reading this far and giving a hoot what it is I might have to say. I have received so many unsolicited acts of kindness from my blogger friends that it truly helped change my sense of the world. Just today I was named the Blogger of Note (BON) over at Words of Wisdom thanks my dear bloggy friend Privilege who nominated me for this honour.  Thank you, Privilege! Thanks, Words of Wisdom! And thanks to all of you who are here from Words of Wisdom. If this is the first time, for your benefit and , perhaps, reading pleasure, I am linking to three of my favorite( and perhaps life changing) posts as is part of the protocol of being a “Blogger of Note”.

Cassandra Complex

16 Things You Don’t Say  To Someone Childless Not By Choice

My Lot in Life


I would love to hear how blogging has changed your life.  Come on, be brave and courageous and tell me your secrets. You can trust me and feel free to be prolific.

What I brought back from Santa Barbara

1. As promised, pie charts, graphs and the raw numbers of shawl wearers at the James Hillman conference.

Continue reading ‘What I brought back from Santa Barbara’

Happy bloggy birthday to me

Statistics show that most blogs only make it two months before tossing in the towel. 1.09 million blogs have only one post and were abandoned after just one day. 1.63 million made it for 126 days. 132,000 blogs were abandoned after just one year.

I have had moments in which I thought I would be part of the grim blogger burn out statistics but I have beaten the odds. Today my blog is two years old or in statistical language La Belette Rouge is 720 days old. Yet in someways I feel like I have been blogging forever. So much has happened in the last two years that I feel like I have been blogging for years. For a 720 day old blog I think my blog is pretty mature and is not at all tantrumy or showing any behavior that indicates it has entered the terrible twos( if it does I promise to give it a time out and come back after it has learned to play nice with others).

I remember the very moment I began to blog as if it was just two weeks ago. I remember sitting on the sofa in our home in Lake Bluff and writing the very first post. The blog was going to be my place to talk about things that were important to me but that I had no place in my life to talk about, such as my love of France, skincare and shoes. My blog was going to be about daring to say the truth about what I liked and disliked—but it most certainly wasn’t going to be about me. Well, that plan didn’t work out. Two months in and I was spilling my guts and telling you everything I thought I would never say. When the last IVF failed I lost my mind and started writing about me in spite of myself. What gave me the courage to be so bold? I suppose having a nom de plume and being hopped on inhuman levels of progesterone helped.

The summer before I started blogging I decided that since I wasn’t writing because of a complete lack of discipline I would give up the identity of “writer”. If I wasn’t writing and/or publishing how could I continue to claim that identity? I was a writer no more. I hadn’t published anything for years and I needed to just be honest with myself about it. There was no ceremony in which I was defrocked or had my Mont Blanc pen taken away but there was a stripping of the identifier of writer from my self concept that was equally humiliating.

So when I started blogging I swear to you that I never had any hopes of really “writing”again. I had no secret hopes of becoming the next Petite Anglaise. The thought never entered my mind until I started writing everyday and strangely I started liking to write again. I somehow magically, via blogging, developed the discipline around writing I never had before. Blogging gave me what countless writing classes and books on writing couldn’t give me. The daily practice of blogging gave me the discipline to write everyday even if I didn’t feel like it and even if I seemingly had nothing to say. The development of discipline may not sound like a big deal but to me it was akin to a magical and miraculous miracle.

I never imagined when I started blogging all that it would give me—the lovely friends I have made, the community I feel a part of, lovely Lily, and so much more. has been a home to me when I felt homeless and you all gave me a sense of continuity in times when I felt utterly destabilized. No matter if I was sitting on the white Ikea couch we had in Lake Bluff or the brown leather sofa in Austin, Texas or the microfiber Crate and Barrel couch in Valencia— Leah, WendyB, Randal, Shallow Coffee and so many other were there with me through it all. I am grateful to you all for sticking around—no matter when you got here.

Every time I have had a bout of blogger burn out I think about how much I would miss you all if I quit. I am reminded of how much you add to my life and how much blogging has changed my life for the better and I am ready to blog again. Over the two years my blog, topic, location, pet ( went from adored cat to adored dog), and other things have changed—and I have changed as a result of blogging. I look forward to another year of blogging and to see what happens in year three. From what I read it is likely I will be more “cooperative and capable”. I will exude confidence and feel more at ease. I “may have setbacks, but for the most part, 3-year-olds are friendly, talkative and downright helpful. Oh, and yes, they want to see and do everything.” Does that mean I will travel more this year? That would be nice. My “speech should be clear enough to be understood by strangers” and I “should have a speaking repertoire of at least 300 words” and using my “burgeoning vocabulary to speak in sentences of up to six words long.” Watch out Proust, here I come.

Please, even if you are a lurker and NEVER-EVER comment, please leave a comment today to help me celebrate my blog birthday and let me know you are there. Actually seeing you say hello in the comments is one of the best parts of blogging. Thanks again for everything! I make bye-bye now( that is me being two).

About Me

My name is Tracey, aka La Belette Rouge. I am a psychotherapist and the author of Freudian Sip @ Psychology Today. I blog about psychology, my therapy, dreams, writing, meaning making, home, longing, loss, infertility and other things that delight or inspire me. I try to make deep and elusive psychodynamic concepts accessible and funny. For more information, click here .
These blog posts are informational only and not meant to replace individual psychotherapy, counseling or medical advice. If you are in need of help, reaching out to a professional may help you decide how to proceed or how to find the care you need. For a referral, contact

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