Potentially Nonsense

No one expects the duckie inquisition.

This post was filmed before a live imaginary audience.

Today’s Write 31 Days prompt is: Audience.

I’m constantly trying to sneak things past my own internal censor. She’s a fiend with a massive sharpie. (Sometimes a sharpie is just a sharpie.)

I have what my biopsist described as a “nice crop of nodules” on my thyroid. It’s uncomfortable to swallow, talk, and/or breath. Makes hiking a real treat. I don’t think it’s a coincident that I’m having issues with my throat. Verbal wording is hard.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble talking in a way that’s transparent. I’ve had trouble living in a way that’s transparent. I’ve talked about being a chameleon before. It’s not so awesome. Especially the having to lick my own eyes part.

My internal censor is oh so very concerned with not offending the imaginary audience.

The thing is, I don’t need to connect with everyone, and not everyone needs to connect with me. That’s chameleon talk. That’s my child-self, scared of being abandoned or threatened or physically hurt. I feel for that kiddo. She needs more fuzzy blankets and hot cocoa than I remember to give her. I’ll do that, tonight.

But while I feel for her, I can’t be her. I can’t let her steer me around. She’s a terrible driver, and can’t see over the steering wheel. She can’t see the horizon. She can only imagine it.

With this writing challenge, I catch myself up with, “but what will people think?” Can I really say that? What if someone doesn’t like it? What if I offend someone?

Dude. If this blog causes pearl-clutching, I’m doing something horriby, horribly right.

I just have to trust that a few people may find resonance with what I write, just like I find with a few of the other participants. Not all of them are writing for me, and nor should they, nor should I expect them to.

I need to quit editing out all the juiciness in my writing, worrying over guessing what an imaginary person would like. I need to write for myself, and my own needs. It’s OK for art to serve the artist. The rest is gravy. Tasty, tasty gravy.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the wild and crazy index of all my posts of nope.

Sundowners in Whoville

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: WHO.

I really want to write something about Doctor Who here, but my brain is too tired to be clever. There isn’t enough coffee in the world, after being up most of the night with my Maggie Mayhem cat, who is 18 1/2, and has the occasional bad night. That’s when I give her muscle relaxant, and hold her. The vet says she’s just developed a cat version of sundowners. It’s bonkers. 98% of the time, she’s great. Happy, mischievous, and with a spring in her step. Maybe every three-ish months we have A Night.

See? Tired enough I can’t stay on target. Where was I? Better still, who was I?

Losing my husband to his own midlife idiocy has been even more bonkers than a cat with sundowners.

So many years have been All Him All the Time. Two of those years he was going through cancer treatments, and needed a lot of help and care, so that was as it should be. It was a lot of pressure and exhaustion for me, but he got to live, so it was worth it.

But the expectation that every day be All Him All the Time didn’t end with the cancer being cleared. If he wasn’t the center of attention, if people weren’t waiting on him, if he wasn’t excused for all bad behaviour, if anyone asked anything of him? Criminy.

If I so much as asked him to take the trash out, while I was cooking dinner, he literally stopped speaking to me for a week. A WEEK. He’d come home, glare at me, and go straight into the bedroom. Where he’d stay except for coming out to eat. He was the only one in his world allowed to be a real person, and everyone else was a nonplayer character.

And I went along with it, because He’d Had Cancer and Almost Died. Which was true, but at some point, can’t we start being a married couple again, and not a caregiver and care-ee?

I wasn’t allowed to be a person, with opinions and needs and feelings. I had no “who” in Whoville. I didn’t exist as a separate person.

And I went along with it. For years.

I went along with it, until I just couldn’t anymore. And I got some help, and I tried to get us to a marriage counselor, because me not caving anymore led to days and weeks of him just not speaking to me. The sheets of resentment baking off him locked me up with anxiety. I was on eggshells so constantly it was making me physically sick.1

Who can live like that?

After not having a who for so many years, it’s strange to have one. It’s like standing up and stretching after sleeping on the couch all scrinched up.

And now I’ve gone into eight minutes, so I guess that’s the end. Thanks for coming to my stream-of-consciousness Ted Talk.

ps.

I guess I’m going to sneak this in there after the timer, after all. I had stopped writing, years and years ago. I just didn’t have anything in me to write with. All my spare energy and time was spent taking care of T, in order to avoid his rage. This writing challenge is a tiny act of rebellion and reclaiming of self.2

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Thursday 13: You live where?

I’m trying something different, today, and doing a Thursday 13.

BEHOLD1. Here is my list of 13.

13 of the wildest place names I’ve seen this week.

1. Rosebud, AR
2. Humble, TX
3. Dawson Bottom Rd
4. Suds Run Rd
5. Peabody Ave
6. Hidden Forest Ln
7. Whistling Duck Way
8. Goose Creek, SC
9. Scenic Dr
10. Marsh Rabbit Way
11. Jupiter, FL
12. Flowery Branch, GA
13. Frozen Dog Rd

And one that defies numbering, and I swear is a real thing: Sloppy Deadening Rd. Honestly I thought someone was having a lark. Nope. Real road name.

If you’d like to share any funny or odd place names, I’d love to hear them. Who can’t use a smile?

**

In case you could use a smile, too. This Grumpy Cat cracked me up so much the first time I read it.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

But I’ve just done my nails, darlings.

I couldn’t possibly type a single word, today. I’ve just done my nails, darlings.

I mean, look at them. Utter perfection, non? There are perks to keeping my nail license, and all of them involve professional discounts, and access to professional products.

Look at those magnificent googly eyes. And with that color, I now nearly match my car. (My car is brighter. You can see it from space.) My nails also match my debit card, because I’m stylish like that. Très chic.

Yes, it was gel polish, so yes, it’s perfectly dry. But come on, who can type with that kind of beautiful distraction? Not me, that’s for sure. I mean. Just look at them.

So that’s why I’m not writing a post, today. I’ve just done my nails. I couldn’t possibly.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

I don’t wanna. You can’t make me.

I’m not writing today because I don’t feel like it.

I’m just not in the mood. I’m not inspired. The motivation fairy hasn’t rapped me over the head with his wand, today1.

And we all know I don’t go work or feed the dog or clean up after myself or go to the doctor unless I feel like it. I never do what needs to be done if I’m not inspired to.

What happens if I only do what I feel like doing? My life unwinds. Been there, done that, bought the major depressive disorder t-shirt, which was too expensive and the neck was too tight.

Depression makes living feel like absolutely everything is uphill. Anxiety makes it feel like everything is uphill, and it’s an ant hill. These two things take a lot of energy to compensate for and work around, and it doesn’t always leave much to spare for improving my life.

This writing project, though? It’s interesting. It’s an exercise in both discipline and self-care. It costs me about an hour of sleep a day, because I’m getting up an hour earlier.

I love feeling connected with you writers, and visiting what you’ve written is something I look forward to each day. I love the glimpse into other lives and places. Living alone, going to work at a job that discourages personal connection, losing my therapist because my new insurance doesn’t cover him… my days feel so isolating. Doing a group project like Write 31 Days and Five Minute Freewrites has helped with this.

So no, I don’t feel like writing this entry, today. I’m not in the mood to get up an hour earlier than usual to knock out 300-600 words, today. I don’t feel like it. And I’m not listening to that little voice that tells me I don’t have to do anything I don’t feel like doing. That’s the voice that tells me to eat what’s bad for me, and watch “Lost Girl” all day without leaving the house. It’s my inner brat2 teaming up with my good buddy, Depression3, and even though it’s tempting to listen, I’m not going to.

How are you handling your “don’t feel like it” impulses? Also, what kind of milk and cookies do you put out for the motivation fairy?

No, seriously. I think maybe he doesn’t like 2% and gingersnaps. Help?

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Halfway! Time to slack off.

Is it the 15th? Oh man, FINALLY. It’s the Halfway Point of Doom, folks. DOOM. We made it through the entire first half of this wacky challenge! You know what that means, right?

Time to slack off.

Don’t I deserve a break, today? Just an itty bitty kitty breather? I sure do.

via GIPHY

That’s why I’m not writing today – it’s the halfway mark, and I can take a little break, now. Isn’t that what the best marathoners do? Have a little siesta partway through, to rest, recharge, and reorient?

They don’t? Sucks for them, then, doesn’t it, because that’s what I’m doing.

Hellloooooo slack day.

What should I do? Take a walk? Eat a pie? Surf the ‘net for six hours? Sit on the couch thumbing through Twitter? The possibilities are endless. Anything, ANYTHING that doesn’t involve writing this post. That’s what I’ll do.

I mean, there’s no need to keep pushing so hard. This is in the bag. I’ve already done fifteen posts. I’ve outlined a few of the upcoming posts. I’m ahead! I should take a day or two or three to pre-celebrate my inevitable 1upcoming success.

It’s definitely not like when I try an online class and I go all bats to the wall2 for the first half, decide I’m a wee bit ahead and can back off, then take months to finish or never finish at all. This is completely different.

With 15 posts down and 16 to go, I can definitely afford to skip today. No one actually writes all 31 days, right? It’s not like the challenge is called “Write 31 Days” or anything.

Oh, wait. It is. My bad. Well, I’m not writing today, anyway, because I’ve earned this little break, right in the middle of the road. It’s like my hometown, where two cars often just stop in the middle of the road so the drivers can chat. True story. People wait for them to finish, and then everyone drives on.

I’m so damn homesick, right now.

That’s why I’m not writing, today. It’s the halfway point, y’all! Whoo!

via GIPHY

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

I know I’m not writing today, that’s for sure.

Today’s Write 31 Days Prompt: Five things I know for sure.

There isn’t much that I know for sure. There just isn’t. I don’t have immutable truths in my life. I don’t trust immutable truths.

So what do I know for sure? I know I’m not writing today, that’s for sure. Nope. Not going to write today. Nuh-uh.

Things that are a sure bet:

1. I know for sure I’m not going to write today, because the last time I stuck to a writing schedule was the Write 31 Days challenge… in 2012. SIX YEARS AGO. I’ve proven plenty of times that I don’t have the discipline to have enough stick-to-it-ness to stick to it.

2. I know for sure that it doesn’t matter whether or not I write today, because I’m just screaming into the void. I should save my breath for better things, like sighing with longing when I think about how it would have felt to complete this challenge.

3. I know for sure I shouldn’t be doing this glorious writing challenge, because that’s time I could spend looking for a second job, because the first job is only covering half my bills, and time is ticking. I have serious financial stress, y’all. Who can write under that kind of stress? Not me, that’s for sure.

4. I know for sure I’m not going to write today because all the other posts I’ve done so far this month were flukes. I’ll fail soon enough, just watch.

5. I know for sure I’m not going to write today because I am an utter space-kabob. There are so many other things I could be reading/writing/cleaning/watching/doing. Oooh, look! Shiny!

Those are the truths in my life, this morning. The five things I know for sure.

A mans feet sticking up out of a sunflower field.

Here is an example of how not to bury a body. You never know when this kind of information will be useful. Photo credit goes to Derek Thomson.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Weekend Link Love #2

Time to share a little love, this weekend.

Things I’ve listened to this week: Radio drama and the like is life.
Wolverine: The Long Night (FREE PODCAST, people!)
The X-Files: Cold Cases

Here are a few of my favorite people:

* Penny, who is stumbling along in the most interesting way possible.
* XKCD, which pretty much always makes me smile.
* Post Secret, for breaking my heart weekly, in the best way possible.
* The Coffee Snob, who wrote this gorgeous and devastating piece that might or might not be about a hat.

And shout out to the US Postal service, just because mail carriers are my heros. And also because I love working in the mail room every chance I get, and I only get that chance when the usual mail person has a vacation. RACK UP THAT PTO AND TAKE A VACATION, ALREADY.

OK, fellow Write 31 Day-ers and Five Minute Free Writers, we’re nearly at the halfway point. C’mon, we can do this! Everybody pull!

Close enough.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

You’ve got this.

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: PRAISE.

I think, as adults, we don’t get nearly enough of this. I don’t mean for accomplishments or goals met, but just about general life.

When I was finishing up my last temp job, which lasted six months, I asked someone if they’d mind being a reference for me. She said, “Yes. You’re a good worker.”

And I found out the meaning of the word “stunned.” I think it’s been since college since a peer said anything that matter-of-fact kind. It was effortless, like she’d said the day was sunny. It made me realize just how long it had been.

Since then, I’ve tried to do more of it with friends and peers. Worried about whether you’d messing up as a parent, because you don’t miraculously always know what to do? “You’re doing great. Everyone learns as they go.” Stressed out over job hunting? “You’re a catch. You’ve got this.”

Just simple, truthful, matter-of-fact, not making a huge deal out of it. Because it is simple and truthful. Praise doesn’t have to be earned by moving mountains. It’s the day to day acts that move mountains, not the grant written to get an earth mover and get digger permits. So why only praise when the relocated mountains are done with a magician’s flourish?

Did you go to class? Did you go to work? Did you make sure your kids have shelter? Did you do something to take care of yourself? Did you drink water? Maybe today was harder than usual. Did you take meds? Did you take steps to not self-harm? These things are important. It’s not the mountains that will trip you up – it’s the inconspicuous rock in the middle of the road.

You’ve got this, fellow writers and readers. You’ve got this.

And if you don’t got it? Please, reach for help.

(ps. This is part of what inspired weekly Weekend Link Love.)

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

It’s my birthday, and I’m sad.

In 2012, I made a list of 37 birthday wishes, and the first one was this: I wish for a second lifetime with my Travis.

This is my first birthday post-divorce. I can’t say it’s the first one without him, or the first one I’ve spent alone, because if I didn’t plan something for my own birthday, then we wouldn’t do anything. I always made his day nice, with a surprise party with friends the year he went through cancer treatments.

My day tended to go by like any other day, without notice. This was a bitter thing, last year, because I’d looked forward to my 42nd birthday since I was 9 years old, and read The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the first time. And we did nothing, even though I asked. Honestly, a happy birthday hug would have gone a long way.

This imbalance of care was one of the many things that finally destabilized our marriage. I didn’t feel loved. He went out of his way to take care of any woman who wasn’t me. Turns out he took special care of one particular 23 year old. In fact, he made sure she had a couple of nice birthdays, while he was at it. Because of course he did.

But I digress. It’s my day, and I’m not going to spend it talking about them.

I’m not writing today because it’s my birthday, and I’m sad. I can’t possibly write while sad. I definitely can’t use writing to help me process it, right?

Writing is the best way for me to process anything. This is something I seem to have to relearn, over and over. Is it a safe bet to assume, since you’re also participating in this writing challenge, that your mind works the same way? The act of writing indexes my memories and makes them richer. I get to enjoy the experiences again when I think about them in detail while writing. Often I don’t know what I think or how I feel until I write my way through it. I think more deeply, and feel more easily with a pen in my hand. When I don’t write, I don’t process anything. It just kind of pings off me, instead.

This day is so hard. I’ve decided to let myself grieve the situation, but also look for a way to enjoy the day.

Here’s what I’m doing:
* Candles for warmth and comfort. (Saint Poe)
* Calling family and friends for connection.
* Pie and coffee, because pie. And coffee.
* Load ink into each fountain pen, and put it next to a new journal.
* Sponsoring a child in need. I want to make a difference in my one wild and precious life.
* A fuzzy blanket from a friend, wrapped around me. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Literally. (I texted her to tell her how special it is.)

I’m doing things to mark the day, instead of pretending it’s not happening. I’ve never minded aging. I don’t really think about it, honestly, the same way I’m not shocked when I get up and the world is still turning. I felt older and more tired in my 20s than I did in my 30s. I’m going to make my 40s into a good life.

Today I will try to soften into feeling what comes to me, instead of shutting it down.

And I’ll write, even though I’m sad.

In case you’re having a hard time today, too, here is a sad-funny. I think this snake and I would be buds. Such a sweet little danger noodle.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

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