Postcards from places I've never been.

Category: Post of Nope (Page 3 of 3)

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.

Tasty, tasty grief marinade.

Today’s Five Minute Freewrite prompt is: COMFORT.

Beginning last Friday, I’ve been marinating in grief. I’m grieving my husband, marriage, and previous future, and that’s opening me up right down the line to grieving the various dads who have left over the years.

What tipped me over was something so simple, it’s embarrassing. I’m losing my therapist of the last year-and-a-half, because my f*cking insurance changed. So right when I really, really could use the self-harm and mental health safety net, I lose it. What a contradiction. I need support because I’m freaking out over losing support. Humans are weird monkeys.

So I’m concentrating on comfort.

Fuzzy blanket? Check.
Ratty quilt I made a few years ago? Check.
Lavendar and lemongrass candle? Check.
Healthy food in the fridge and freezer? Plentiful coffee beans? Check, check.

More importantly, am I taking 10-15 minutes every day to practice calming myself down? Am I regulating instead of letting emotions steamroll over me? Am I checking in with myself, instead of checking out from feeling entirely? Am I walking? Getting daylight? Talking to friends? Taking appropriate actions so I don’t transmute emotional pain into physical pain?

Those are harder tasks, and they’re also deeply effective. I was given some excellent tools by said therapist, and I can honestly say I’d be in some real trouble right now, without them. He changed my life for the better.

All I can say is, I’m mostly OK. I’m doing better than I would have been, two years ago. I put all my long-sleeved shirts in the car, so I can’t easily put them on in the morning. That helps, too. I’m also taking my own advice. There’s a reason I have this page on my blog, and some of that reason is to keep it handy for myself.

I’m practicing comfort, and I’m practicing softening enough to feel things. Turns out emotions hurt less when I just let them through. Did everyone know this except me? It’s like the difference between choking and drinking. Great mother of walnuts, that’s hard. I’m just so good at slapping emotions away like mosquitoes. It’s only recently that I’ve managed the trick of feeling better after crying, instead of feeling worse. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

Thanks for the tools and for caring enough to have patience with me, Mr. Therapist. You’re the best, and I’ll miss you.

***

In case you’re having a rough go, too, here’s something that made me literally bounce from happiness.

The “Good Omens” trailer is MAGNIFICENT.

I really really really really REALLY hope this is a print I’ll be able to pick up.

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.

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.

It’s sunny.

Great googly moogly, look at that sunshine. What a shame it would be to be stuck indoors on this lemonade-and-sunglasses kind of day. The temperature is perfect. It smells amazing out there, after yesterday’s rain.

Nope. I can’t possibly spend even 15 minutes writing, today. The sunshine. I must be out in it.

This is when I desperately miss having a garden. Pots on a balcony are nice, but to have an entire morning to myself, shoveling dirt, pinching off leggy plants, finding surprise bugs and volunteer plants, feeling the strength in my back and legs and arms.

Oh man. This is when I’m tired of living in an apartment. I love my apartment neighbors, and the fact that I can have company whenever I crave it, but I do miss the physicality of being able to work on a house and a yard.

In fact, this is a perfect day to go to Spencer Butte. I think I’ll do just that.

So that’s why I’m not writing today. It’s gorgeous and sunny out.

In case you’re having a hard day, here is a dandy lion.

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

It’s raining.

It’s raining.

It’s raining; it’s pouring.
The old woman is snoring.
She went to bed and bumped her head,
And she couldn’t get up in the morning.

Seriously, it’s all grey and yucky outside and I’m utterly unmotivated. I am without motive. I cannot be bothered to motivate. Too tired to be inspired. I just want to curl up with a big, BIG quilt, some very hot tea, and as many cats as I can borrow from my neighbors for the day. (They don’t mind. Really.) I don’t want to move at all. I don’t want to go to work, or feed the animals, or walk the dog, or do anything that I don’t feel like doing. And I don’t feel like writing, because it’s raining.

It’s cold and drizzly. No one’s paying me to write, so I don’t actually have to, do I? I mean, what would the consequences be? (Well, other than letting myself down. So there’s that.) But. Rain. Water from the sky. If you’ve ever visited Oregon, you know this is some apocalyptic bullshit, right here. I can be a slug for one day. Who will notice? (I will.)

I want to stay inside and lay about and do nothing, even though that’s bad for the grey matter between my ears and makes me feel like a ghost. Yes, the weather dictates my life.

So that’s why I’m not writing today. It’s raining.

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

Posts of Nope: A Write 31 Days Challenge

Welcome, Write 31 Day-ers and Five Minute Free Writers.

Welcome to my house. Come freely, go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring.

Who can resist a dramatic entrance?

It’s October, the most wonderful time of the year. (Hey, Halloween is in the heart.) It’s also time for a writing challenge – to write every day, for 31 days.

For this blogging challenge, I’ll be writing about why I’m not writing. There are so many good reasons to not write, am I right, or am I right? It will be 31 Days of NOPE. Not so tough now, are you, writer’s block? Neener neener. I’ll be doing a mix of my own thing, and prompts from both challenges.

So, to begin.

I didn’t write today because it’s the first day of this challenge. I’ll start writing tomorrow. It’s only the first day, and I need to pace myself. Today I’m far too busy and stressed, and I have too many blogs to visit because y’all are such good writers. STOP BEING SO INTERESTING. Tomorrow is soon enough. There’s plenty of time to get started. No one starts off this challenge on the first day with a full post, right? Today is for shaking babies and kissing hands and admiring everyone else’s ideas. This is not the real start of the writing challenge.

Besides, I can do a better job tomorrow, when I’m rested and have more time and feel more creative and have less to do and have taken the time to visit 47,220 other blogs to make sure I’m doing this right and to psych myself out that I’m not good enough to participate because everyone else is so much better than I am and it’s definitely a contest and not just a personal challenge.

Tomorrow. I’ll write the first real blog post tomorrow. That’s soon enough.

So that’s why I’m not writing today. It’s only the first day. I have pleeenty of time.

31 Posts of Nope:
Day 1: Today. Right here, right now. This very post.
Day 2: It’s raining.
Day 3: It’s sunny.
Day 4: VACUUM ALL THE THINGS
Day 5: Five Minute Friday: Share
Day 6: A most sincere haiku of nope.
Day 7: Weekend link love
Day 8: Tasty, tasty grief.
Day 9: Too tired to be inspired.
Day 10: CoDA
Day 11: It’s my birthday, and I’m sad.
Day 12: Five Minute Friday: You’ve got this.
Day 13: Weekend Link Love
Day 14: I know I’m not writing today, that’s for sure.
Day 15: Halfway! Time to slack off.
Day 16: I don’t wanna. You can’t make me.
Day 17: But I’ve just done my nails, darling.
Day 18: Thursday 13: You live where?
Day 19: Five Minute Friday: Sundowners in Whoville.
Day 20: Potentially Nonsense is filmed before a live imaginary audience.
Day 21: It’s my first ex-anniversary, and boy are my arms tired.
Day 22: Weekend Link Love, sans weekend, with unexpected rabbits.
Day 23: My own private Ida-nope.
Day 24: The banshee scream of Netflix.
Day 25: Thursday 13: Say what?
Day 26: Five Minute Friday: Moment
Day 27: I’m too busy making soup.
Day 28: Personality defrag
Day 29: Insane courage, lodgepole pine, and having a voice.
Day 30: Come closer.
Day 31: The finish line. BAM.

Oh, wow. Are you still reading? Niiiiiice. If you’re comfortable with receiving snail mail, let me know in the comments. (Don’t post your address there! Link to your site, and I’ll visit and drop you a line.) I’ll mail you a small bit of sunshiny happiness as a thank you for reading all the way to the bottom. This is open to the first three responses that mention it, on the first day of the 2018 Write 31 Days Challenge.

Welcome, and thank you so much for visiting. You’re awesome.

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