I might be a narcissist if

I won’t write in my paper and ink journal because it’s too much effort, even though I carry it everywhere I go except the bathroom, but I will journal at the computer where all my friends and family and seven billion strangers have access to it. Nonetheless, I noticed the other day that I haven’t posted since the fourth day of February, and this blog needs to earn it’s keep, so here we are.

I read not long ago that if you devote an hour a day to reading about a certain topic, you’ll be an expert in that field within seven years. And I wondered what fields I would explore if I decided to do that. I haven’t, you know. Decided, I mean. I just wondered. But I’d like to be an expert in social work. And I would like to be able to render a picture in my mind into recognizable form. Not using words, that is–just lines, color, shading. And I would like to be able to differentiate one classical composer from another without needing to look at the cd label. I need to choose wisely. At forty-eight, I have time to become an expert in only five areas assuming I do them one at a time (and die at the expected time with my mind intact–a pretty rash assumption). I won’t do it singularly, if I do it at all, because that’s how I roll, but still. That’s the maximum amount of time I have.

Then, I read that if you write three hundred words per day, you’ll have a book at the end of the year. Just three hundred. Man, that’s kinder and gentler than the one thousand six hundred and sixty-seven that NaNoWriMo requires, isn’t it? I think I could do three hundred. You’ll notice that all the numbers are spelled out here, and THIS is the three hundred and twelfth word. So I am there. Not that this is novel material, but it took less than fifteen minutes from deciding to blog to get to three hundred and twelve words.

I’m once again confronted with the difference between what I say I want and what I actually do.

Want. Do.

I’ve been presented recently with the opportunity to pursue a thirty-five year old dream, with minor alterations in details. And by minor I mean less than 500 miles. It’s a thing I can’t not do. Because thirty-five years. Offered at a time I am financially, mentally, emotionally prepared to do it. To not do the thing would be stupid. Even if I am terrified.

Remember this?
fearless tat

People ask folks with back tats what the point is. Why would you get a tattoo where you can never see it? I do see it. I can look in the mirror. Or at photos. But more importantly than being able to SEE it, is knowing it’s there. Every day. This is a useful thing for me. Every time I have an opportunity that scares me, I remind myself I am fearless. I am so fearless that I paid good money to have it painfully etched into my skin.

Do you remember when I got it? I do. Three years ago. One year away from my BSW. After four years of single parenting. After putting more demons to rest than I care to re-visit today. I’m fearless. And so I’m moving.

12. Tired. Cranky. Fat.


So. I’m tired. I don’t know whether I am tired physically, or because of this series of rapid changes, but I am tired. I am sure part of it is that I still haven’t regulated my schedule. I just can’t make myself see the point of getting out of my bed at 3:30 if I have nowhere to go, and I just want to sleep.

In other news, I have reached the serious part of the non-smoker plan. Three cigarettes yesterday. Two so far today. I’m having to do some fast talking with myself. I don’t want to quit smoking. I do want to be a non-smoker. Which dog will I feed? And also, those cookies…..GIVE THEM TO ME!

Speaking of cookies, I had a discussion with several pairs of jeans today. Basically, the discussion consisted of me saying “buh bye.” For those of you wondering why I dress mostly in skirts and tops, let me tell you. My waist is about a size 12/14. Hips, 10/12. Ass, 6/8. The jeans that make my butt look good are impossible to button. Unless they are low rise, and then I can button them, but the band rolls down and my belly hangs out for all the world to see, which is gross because tiger stripes, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a closet full of tunics.

I am not even thinking about diet and exercise at this point. Too much else already going on. I’m going to stick with fixing my sleep and fixating on cigarettes.

This picture is all I want in life right now. Nicotine, cookies, and that Otter IN my bed. But I’m going to settle for some Earl Grey Raspberry and Game of Thrones.

11. I Am Rarely


10. Not Distracted


Alternate Title: Sometimes I Get a Glimpse

This has been a good weekend. And I don’t mean a weekend full of frivolity. I mean this has been a weekend that fed my soul. Friday night, there was conversation and Game of Thrones. Saturday, I introduced my companion and my children to the Bookthing. I dropped off upwards of 100 books and left with only four. Yay, me. Then brunch. An afternoon spent napping. Excellent dinner, classic Dr. Who, more GoT. Gotta get ready for the new season by re-watching the old ones. This morning I cooked breakfast. I can’t even remember the last time I did that. Sitting at the table, surrounded by dear faces, just talking. I’ll be cooking breakfast more often, because the result is worth it. Afterward, more conversation over extended coffee while watching my children do their children things.

Apparently I looked distracted. I was not. I was fully present and fully focused in the moment– realizing how peaceful and solid I felt.

Now, I’m no fool. I don’t think. Maybe I am. But sometimes, I have to hear myself say a thing out loud before I allow myself to admit a deeper truth. Truth: I purge my house every January. Another truth: This year’s purge is wider and deeper than it has been since my divorce. Another truth: my physical environment is a close reflection of my mental and emotional self. Implied truth: If I am clearing out old things that no longer serve me, I am clearing out old emotions and ideas that no longer serve me. Conclusion: I am clearing physical space and mental/emotional space at the same time. I knew this, but I didn’t see what was happening until I said it out loud yesterday.

Sometimes, the universe conspires to give me a glimpse, and if I am paying attention, I am compelled to acknowledge the true state of things. And today’s true state of things with me is: I want more weekends like this. Weekends where nothing and everything happens. Weekends that are about loving the moments.

7. This Year’s Mission


For years, plenty of them, my younger girls have been asking when I was going to make their scrapbooks. And my older kids have been asking when was I going to finish their scrapbooks. I finally have an answer: 2016.

This pile (plus two more bins tucked into a closet) is roughly 30 years worth of memorabilia, minus the 5-6 years in the middle which I’ve completed. Oh, and I quit developing pictures when digital got big, so there will be more.

Here’s the rub: I haven’t had a dedicated scrapping space since I left Topeka in 2000. I made one today. I’m not sure the children will be entirely happy with me, because I claimed the dining room table to make this happen. And I have to be able to leave things on it. Scrapping isn’t something I can do in 10 minutes and clean up and take back out for 10 minutes again later. I need the pictures, the papers, the books, the mats, the tape runner, the page protectors, the pens, the, the, the literally at my fingertips.

So. We’ll be eating our meals Japanese style, seated on the floor around a coffee table in front of the glass wall to the balcony for the duration. Not a great solution, but a solution. I want to get these stories down before I get dementia. My memory is sketchy enough as it is.

In other news, I cleaned the living room today. I have a guest coming this weekend. I’ve promised to spend next Tuesday with my daughter. I can tackle the bathrooms and kitchen next Thursday. Then Marscon the next weekend. That means I can start scrapping on the 18th (if I’m off for the holiday and I am pretty sure I am) or the 19th. The first thing I have to do is look at all this stuff and see what I actually have. It’s been moved and removed so many times that all I have now is a great big jumbled up mess of memories.

6. Mix and Match


I felt a bit…what’s the word…rebellious?? Maybe. What I didn’t feel was like I had to wear all solids with the striped skirt. So I didn’t. As my children love to say, “I’m grown, I do what I want.”

Do you ever have one of those periods of time where you are experiencing positive emotions, but are somewhat weirded out by them? That’s me right now. I think I am uncomfortable because there could be change. Change is hard. Change is not usually fun. It stretches me in funny ways. Also, there’s the possibility that I still find happiness a bizarre personal condition.

Speaking of stretching, I didn’t think I had overdone it yesterday, but I’ve got some twinges in my hips and thighs today. I’d say I was out of shape, but I don’t want to hurt round’s feelings.

I’ve come across this quote several times in the past few days: “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” Antoine De Saint-Exupery I’m thinking hard on this one, so I thought I would leave it right here for a minute.

Oh, you thought mix and match referred to my clothes, didn’t you? Oops. I was talking about my head.

5. Quit Lying


This morning, I did some digital purging. Then I started on my clothes again. Another ten percent gone, and the closet is still full. And then I did the bookshelves again, another five percent of those gone. Plus a slew of unread magazines. I now have empty shelf space. How crazy is that?

I’m embarrassed to admit that if it weren’t for the pile of crap in the living room corner waiting to be hauled off to Goodwill/The Bookthing, you’d never know I’d been purging. You certainly wouldn’t be able to tell by looking in my closet or at the shelves. Clearly there is more to do. But. Progress has been made.

You know I have said for years that I want to live in a tiny cabin one day. And that I am frustrated by the amount of stuff in my house; that I don’t want my things to come between me and life; that I’m tired of being owned by possessions. So if you are wondering what this is: this is making my actions line up with my stated priorities. It’s time to either do that, or quit lying to myself about what I want.

2. Truth


These are my children. Aren’t they lovely?

Here’s a thing that should never be done to children: no one should ever try to turn them against their parent. If their parent sucks badly enough, the kids will eventually figure it out themselves.

Here’s another thing that should never be done to children, even after they are grown: their soft white under-belly should never be exposed to others.

People who do those things need to be excised like a cancer.

And here’s a thing about communication: you can’t complain about the lack of it if you delete or ignore it when you get it.

And here’s a thing about passive-aggressiveness: I’m better at it, and I’ve just raised the bar. In public. Because my attempts at direct private communication have not been acknowledged, and I’m calling you out.