Potentially Nonsense

No one expects the duckie inquisition.

Category: October (page 1 of 2)

Virtual high-fives for everyone

This month I have written through my own excuses. I’ve looked at them, listened to them, recognized them, and then walked right through them like they were cobwebs disguised as cages.

I found out I can do what I didn’t think I could. I’ve learned I can write even when I absolutely don’t think I can. Even when I have a really good reason for not writing. I checked in with something every single day this month. Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are.

Reader, you’re awesome, you know that? From your toes to your crown, you are awesome. You’ve survived everything in your life – all the trials and challenges, all the bullshit, all the times you wanted to give up, and here you are. This is it. The last day of Write 31 Days, 2018 and 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writing Prompts.

Image with a purple background, quoting the podcast Welcome to Night Vale: You too have survived. Survived everything up to this moment.

Because it’s not October without an appearance by Welcome to Night Vale.

Virtual high-fives for everyone, and especially these people:

* Ruth, who runs The Nerd Factory, where readers think, and thinkers read. Also, she’s wicked interesting.
* Jen, who is holding space and befriending dragons.
* Neta, who is enjoying The View From Here.
* Wendy, who makes a darn good waffle.
* Maxine, who finds happiness in the chaos.
* Cheryl, over in her online corner, storying away.
* Miccah, who thinks all the thoughts.
* Gattina, who has a beautiful case of writer’s cramps.
* Lee Ann, at the Unfocused Life.
* Margaret, who has set out in quest of truth.
* Albarclay: Have I mentioned how very much I love reading hiking memoirs? Cos I do.
* Julie, who is planting a garden.
* Andrew, at Blessed are the Pure of Heart is frickin’ awesome, and you should go check out his blog right now. I’ll wait.
* Penny, who is stumbling along in the most interesting way possible.
* Mary, whose blog is where creativity and love meet.
* Roanna, because she’s been my friend since Jesus lost his sandals, and she writes like an angel possessed. Visit her at Squirrels and Tequila.
* Ron, at Scrambled, not Fried.
* Colleen at Loose Leaf Notes.
* Country Dew, at Blue Country Magic.

Big love to everyone who dropped by and left a word or two. You’re the best.

Thank you so much for visiting.


The End

Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Insane courage, lodgepole pine, and having a voice

Today’s Five Minute Freewrite prompt is: VOICE

I’m not writing today because my voice is not important. My voice got me in trouble when I used it as a kid, and as a wife. My body and heart are quick to remind me why it’s a bad idea.

My voice is not important, and when I’ve used it, it’s brought me pain. So I’m going to stay stuck in my past and keep doing as I’ve always done, living a silent life, because who would want to listen to me? And if they do listen, the consequences are going to be painful.

^^ These have been hard thoughts to get past. That bit of bad coding is in there deep, and two years of good therapy has only begun to help me get it figured out. It might be a life-long habit, this breaking of old habit.

So I’m not writing today.

But if I were writing today, and did have a voice, I would want it to be made of earth and air. I would want it to feel like wind in a dry pine woods, with at least one thin Lodgepole creaking as it leans in the wind. I would want my voice and my higher self grounded in earth, and flexing around obstacles. It should be a necessary nothing that nonetheless moves, shifting things before and after it.

If I had a voice, I would want to talk about deeply important trivial things, because in the words of The Crow, nothing is trivial. I would want to use it to laugh too loud, and to laugh with other people.

Part of this Write 31 Days project, for me, is just getting past the initial block in my brain that stops my voice. If I can do that, I can say anything.

Listening to The Minimalists podcast, led me to look up Jeff Sanders talking about 20 seconds of courage. (Apparently this is from “We Bought a Zoo,” but I’ve not seen it.) Who can’t be brave for 20 seconds? This concept has done more to help me over my blocks than almost anything else. Often it brings some dissociation with it, but I’m getting better at accepting that disorientation, and quicker at bringing my self back. That’s where all the grueling work of healing and therapy has come in.

This is a Post of Nope, and a double serving of overcoming my own nope (writing and speaking).

Do you struggle with feeling your words, your voice, is unimportant? How do you speak up for yourself, for others? Any advice for someone trying to find theirs, and to heal in this area?

Your voice is important, y’all. And so is mine.

Now get out there and use it! I can’t wait to read blogs and hear your textual voices, this morning.

In case you’re having a bad day, here is a photo of my Jaynie, being so very helpful.

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.

My own private Ida-nope.

Today’s post is short1. I’m going to go to bed early. I’m going to get up later than I’ve been getting up this week, because I’m writing this ahead of time. I’m scheduling it.

In the morning, I’m going to take a longer shower than necessary. I’m going to have two, two cups of coffee.2 I’ll take the dog on his constitutional, and then I’ll go to work. After work, the doggo and I are going for another walk. How decadent!

That’s what my self care looks like, today. That’s how I’m going to take care of myself. That’s how I’m going to protect my self, today. I may come back later and post pics of the walk, or I may not. It will be a surprise for both of us.

So I’m not writing a proper post today, because I’m opting in for a little nonproductive time spent taking care of myself.

Are you doing anything intentional this month to look after or protect your own wild and precious self?

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.

Can’t write. I’m too busy healing.

I had a Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) meeting to go to, so I couldn’t possibly write for the 31 Day Challenge, today. Nope. Can’t write. I’m too busy healing and learning. Big job, healing.

I shared for the first time. A few others had shared on the topic of trying to be helpful, easing the path of others, and how it’s problematic. Earlier this week, I had my “but I’m just being helpful!” flipped back at me by an utter stranger.

I like second-hand puzzles. I like getting them from thrift stores and yard sales for $0.50. I like the risk of it. Will all the pieces be there? What will I find when I open the box? Sometimes the puzzle inside will be completely new, with the pieces still in a sealed bag. Once there was a dart game in the box, instead of a puzzle.

So I opened this particular box’o’puzzle, and… someone had left it neatly sorted into baggies. In fact, the border had been left assembled, to spare me the work. The previous puzzler was helpfully trying to do a kindness for the next person, and it robbed me of some of the fun of solving the puzzle. It wasn’t helpful. I wanted to solve my own puzzle. The act of solving it is the whole point.

And all week I’ve been puzzling over this puzzling puzzle predicament.

Picture of Crowley from Supernatural captioned, "No one in the history of torture's been tortured with torture like the torture you'll be tortured with."

Obligatory Crowley.

How many times have I tried to be “helpful” and make life easier for someone else, and actually robbed them of the joy and challenge of solving their own puzzle? My compulsive need to help, to be useful, kept them from finding out how capable they are of guiding their own needs, wants, and life. One of my biggest struggles has been stepping back and not meddling. Not trying to fix things. Even if someone else wants those things fixed, it might be something they really, really need the experience of solving themselves. Maybe they need someone to tell them they can, instead of doing it for them.

My mind keeps coming back to it, rolling it over like a stone in a river. The point of solving a problem is to solve it, not necessarily the solution itself. I need to stop trying to jump in to help, unasked.

And that was my CoDA share this week, and the first time I’ve shared. So I can’t write this post. I’m too busy being gobsmacked by my realizations.

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.

Too tired to be inspired

I’m so tired, I’m shaking.

I want sleep so bad that I feel like crying. My arms and legs are heavy and slow. My eyes are slow and gritty. There’s not enough Visine in the world for this. Getting myself out of bed was like a physical pain. At least there’s no migraine, which this kind of thing can often trigger.

It’s been a long week with work, and it’s Tuesday, and there’s my elderkitty’s health, and there’s life, and there’s learning to live alone, and there’s learning to comfort myself instead of just taking care of other people, and I’m tired.

T-I-R-E-D.

And now my Maggie-cat has jumped onto my shoulder from behind me, from the bed. She’s old, and doesn’t feel good, and wants to be held. So I’m holding her soft fur, and her warm kitty body, and I’m listening to her comforting purr, and that makes me want sleep even more.

Also, it means typing one-handed.

Can I just crawl back into my nice beautiful warm bed? I could curl up with Maggie Mayhem purring in my arm, like we’ve done almost every night for 18 years, and we could both go back to sleep for another 10 minutes before I have to leave for work. Ten more minutes. When I have ten minutes left of my lunch break, it seems like nothing. This morning it seems like a sleepy lifetime.

I’m tired, so that’s why I’m not writing this blog entry, today.

At night I’ve been setting an alarm to encourage me to go to bed at a good time. Each night, all the chores I need to do take longer than I think that they will, or should. Suddenly single after fourteen years, with three cats, one dog, a full-time job… don’t I deserve a little extra sleep? It’s a lot of work maintaining everything. Is it really that important that it get up and post this? It’s not like anyone would know. It’s not a paid gig. I’m not changing the world with it.

I’m not changing the world. I’m changing myself. I’m changing my priorities, and teaching myself to see my own time as having value and use when I take it for myself. My time is not only useful when I use it to support other people. It is not only valuable when I’m trading it for money.

This month is about noticing my excuses, and walking through them. It’s about learning how to take care of myself, and about learning what new dreams I want to dream. It’s about waking up. It’s not about going back to sleep.

Are you still with me this morning, writing, fellow Write 31 Day-ers? Leave a comment, and I’ll drop by your blog to say hello. Let’s bolster each other, and limp across the finish line with our arms around each other’s shoulders.

May we all sleep well, tonight, when the day is done.

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 #1

This week, I realized how much I appreciate that the Write 31 Day-ers and Five Minute Free Writers are helping me create movement in my life. I desperately want that movement. Life should have texture, and you, fellow writers, are out there with spackle guns vigorously decorating the internet, right now. Spray on, you crazy diamonds.

People who commented, or otherwise caught my fancy this week:

* Ruth, who runs The Nerd Factory, where readers think, and thinkers read. Also, she’s wicked interesting.
* Jen, who is holding space and befriending dragons.
* You have got to visit Actual Conversations with My Husband, because her writing keeps making me laugh at work. Sorry, cubicle neighbor.
* Neta, who is enjoying The View From Here.
* Wendy, who makes a darn good waffle.
* Maxine, who finds happiness in the chaos.
* Cheryl, over in her online corner, storying away.
* Miccah, who thinks all the thoughts.
* Gattina, who has a beautiful case of writer’s cramps.
* Lee Ann, at the Unfocused Life.
* Margaret, who has set out in quest of truth.
* Diesel Noogies, who is writing about hiking in a way that will knock your wool socks right off.
* Albarclay: Have I mentioned how very much I love reading hiking memoirs? Cos I do.
* Julie, who is planting a garden.
* Andrew, at Blessed are the Pure of Heart is frickin’ awesome, and you should go check out his blog right now. I’ll wait.
* Miauw Chan, purely because I find their writing to be thought provoking.
* Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, just because I love her, and her writing makes me Feel All The Things.

I’m so glad you’re all here with me.

In case you need a smile, here’s something that made me smile.

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.

A most sincere haiku of nope

Today’s Write 31 Days prompt is: HAIKU.

I write nothing, while,
In this October of nope,
I write all the things.

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

Five Minute Friday: Share

This week I’m participating in Five Minute Friday. FMF is pretty much what it sounds like – set a timer, write for five minutes on the prompt provided. It’s been a great tool for getting me up and writing, before work, on this, the most holy day of the workweek.

Today’s Five Minute Friday Freewrite prompt is: SHARE.

I’ve worked for myself for a lot of years. I took care of the hands and feet of marginalized and vulnerable people, like those in the trans community, and under-served people, like veterans, and people who were physically unable to do so for themselves, like those with cerebral palsy or dementia.

It was humble work, and it (mostly) paid the bills.

^^ It’s the “mostly” in that sentence that’s concerning.

When my (now ex-)husband quit yet another job without a word, because he didn’t get along with his manager, (“It’s like she’s not even trying to figure out how to make me happy!” Seriously. Those words were spoken.) I finally snapped. I knew I didn’t want to live like this for another 14 years. And that meant taking on traditional employment.

I had to leave my clients. That was so, so hard. I called so many people, trying to find anyone else in town who does what I did. I did my best, but most techs only serve out of spas, and few take on the extra training to become a medical nail tech. My heart was so broken to leave them. I’m still broken about that. Is this a taste of how therapists feel when they have to let a client go?

After six months or so of job hunting and contracting and temping, I finally got on at a great place. The work is meh, but the mission is amazing.

But… it’s an entirely different kind of work environment. There’s no hugging someone who looks like they need it, or prompting them to share more and to work things out talking with me. There’s no hand holding. It’s not a place where I can hold out a hand and “oooh” over someone’s sparkly nail polish. There’s no deep sharing of life stories, or unburdening while I give someone a foot massage.

It’s a Fairly Serious and Professional Place.

The sharing that takes place, physical, verbal, and emotional, is so different from what I’ve been doing that my instincts are all wrong. I have to constantly remind myself it’s not appropriate to touch someone on the shoulder, after years of working with people who were touch-deprived. It’s not appropriate to smile and call someone “sweetheart,” when they’re having a hard time and could use comfort.

I’m constantly monitoring myself to make sure I don’t share or ask for too much information. It’s strange and exhausting and kind of lonely. It’s been the hardest part of going back to office life, which I hadn’t been expecting at all.

I went from working in IT to taking care of people, and now am back to working in an office. Have you had to make an unexpected, major career transition? Because, dude. I could really use some tips on this.

In case you’re having a bad day, here’s something that made me smile.

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

VACUUM ALL THE THINGS

I’m not writing today because I need to clean. There are dishes to do, meals to prep, carpet to be de-furred (three cats + one dog = pet hair tumbleweeds overnight), and basically everything looks important and more fun than writing, right now. It’s great to avoid writing by being productive at something else. It’s such a convenient reason! Thanks, dog footprints on the carpet. You’re the best.

Yes, there are definitely more important things I need to do today than write.

Look! Look over here! The bathroom sink clearly needs a good scrub. Maybe a baking soda soak, while I’m at it. Look. Go on. It’s all so fascinating.

It’s self-care! That’s what it is. Self-care. It’s not procrastination or fear of failure at all. I’m just taking good care of myself. And, really, who can write with a sink full of dishes staring at them? Not me, that’s who. No siree.

When was the last time I washed the cat beds? Too long ago, that’s when. I have time for a load of laundry while the dishes run. It’s not like I need to watch it. I just need to get it started. There will be plenty of time to write after that. Plenty.

Should I run the carpet shampooer? I mean, maybe I should? I did already vacuum three times, to make sure I got up all the pet hair. If I’m going to do that, maybe I should go ahead and run the shampooer. Might as well, right? I’m halfway there, already.

Oh, oh! I could sweep! The entry way needs a tidy up. Groceries? How am I for groceries? If I’m going to pick up groceries, I’d better clean the fridge, first, and if I’m going to clean the fridge, I need to take the trash out, and if I’m going to take the trash out, I might as well empty all the trash cans.

And… and… and….

VACUUM ALL THE THINGS.

So that’s why I’m not writing today – I need to vacuum.

Absolute credit where absolute credit is due. Besides, “Hyperbole and a Half” is hilarious. She said it first, and the internet was never the same again.

In case you’re having a bad day, here is an emergency Hank.

A photo of a woman wearing glasses, sitting on a couch, with a small dog resting his head on her shoulder.

Responsible for 100% of the dog hair and pawprints in this apartment.

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

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