Waiting

No one loves waiting, for good things or bad news, expectation can be exciting or crippling. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for a phone call or text that the thing you knew was going to happen has happened. Knowing that getting that message means everything is about to be thrown into upheaval again – just when things were starting to feel a little more manageable. Waiting for the ground to fall out from under your feet when you were hoping for stability.

I’m waiting for bad news. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been outside the whole situation since the start and I don’t think I have the energy/ability to be in it now. At the end of it, but the start of the fallout. I just can’t and yet here I am waiting and wondering how or if I’ll get through. Can we magically jump forward in time? After I’ve figured out how to cope. To when everyone who is inevitably going to be depending on me is settled on the other side of this crisis.

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Black Hole

What do I want to write?

Stress.

I wish it was something I had more control over.

I’ve said it before I obsess, which isn’t a great quality when you are under stress. It means you then obsess over all the things causing you stress.

I would say that 75% of the time I deal with my stress pretty well. Venting my thoughts helps. Apologies, and thanks, to all those who’ve had to listen/read. I think letting them out prevents me from getting an ulcer or obsessing to distraction.

That other 25% is where the obsessive personality causes issues.

Dwelling on things that need to happen: house maintenance; making sure Mum has money; planning out everyone’s lives (because suddenly that seems to be my responsibility?); getting through tax season without having a complete meltdown; eating. Basically, there is a range from annoying chores to “OMG, I can’t do this!”.

All of these stressors are then either aggravated or assisted by various people, neither of which is helpful because I much prefer dealing with stress alone. Probably not the most reasonable approach, but I’m mostly only referring to that 25%. Those problems I am convinced would be solved if I could just deal with them and everyone else would just accept the resolution and shut up about it.

Instead, they are complicated by other people and I spend nights tossing in bed contemplating the problem from all angles, keeping myself up when I should be sleeping.

Thinking about stresses that were never meant to be mine, at least not yet, taking my time away from dealing with the stress in my own life or getting the sleep I need to work/live.

At times I catch myself thinking ‘hey, I think things are going well.’, then suddenly an appointment has to be made, a situation dealt with.

Stress is turning my brain to mush. It is building rage in my brain, that is going to come out in one long wail as I collapse in a heap on the ground. Except I’m pretty sure I’m losing my voice trying to talk over the people not listening to me when I try to explain the solutions to the problems – so I will just be falling to the ground my mouth a soundless void, a black hole – beware you don’t get pulled into its gravity.

Define Happiness

I watched One Night With Adele this evening, not because I was overly interested, it just happened to come on after another show I was watching so I figured, why not? The premise was Adele chatting with Oprah interspersed with a small private concert. This post isn’t about the show though – it was fine. This post is about one question, conversation, they had about being happy.

This is one of those questions that I’m always interested to hear how people answer, not because I think happiness is the “be all, end all” but because it is interesting to see how people define their own happiness.

Often people focus on others when creating their own happiness. I think parents are guilty of this, placing their children’s happiness before their own. Which to me has always seemed to undermine the message. How can your children be happy if you yourself are never happy? If you aren’t setting that example for them of what it looks like?

This is probably why I’ve never understood concepts like “stay together for the children”. Growing up, I was waiting for my parents to get divorced, I could see the tension and couldn’t understand why they kept pushing forward. (Yes, I know there are many complicated reasons people stay in relationships longer than they should, beyond children: money, comfort, abuse (emotional or physical), fear, religion, boredom.) In my mind, it always made more sense to be happy in one’s own right, before expecting those around them to be happy.

I digress though, happiness, people define it through others (children, partners) and some through deeds (charitable works, accomplishments). It is a bit of a complicated idea.

I’ve never really been “happy”, at least not in the way people wanted me to be. I’ve had many people in my life tell me I need to be happier or more optimistic until I showed them all the door. Having people tell you to “be happier” just makes you want to defy them for trying to instil their version of happiness in you and to turn into the grumpiest version of yourself, hence it is best to rid yourself of these people.

But what is happiness then?

For most people, it takes a good portion of their life to determine what makes them happy. We spend time testing out people, places and things, seeing what we like and don’t like. We can instantly decide we don’t like a certain food; a place might take a while to feel like home; people are harder, finding your own happiness is complicated but trying to fit other people into your version of happiness can be impossible. Probably why when we find people who we think make us happy we try to hold on for good or bad.

As we spend the time finding where we derive happiness we spend time testing out our capacity for happiness too. Some people thrive at a basic level of happiness, the kind you get from a good cup of coffee or a movie. They fill their life with these simple things or pleasures and never really strive for deeper happiness. Others require a much deeper level wherein only the answers to the universe will suffice. For most people, we never find a fixed place along that spectrum, instead, we move back and forth over time. Finding happiness in an honest conversation with friends, a simple sunset or a deeply introspective idea/book/piece of music.

I think I prefer this non-static version of happiness – I’m not wandering around smiling all the time. I have things that make me smile, happiness itself is just a little more ephemeral for me. I’m just living my life, a cynical pragmatist with a dark sense of humour.

If you think I should be more optimistic in order to be happier then you probably don’t want to listen to me vent about things and you shouldn’t be reading this blog – it will not make you happy.

Grrr…

Last March I discovered that some vermin had invaded my car and tore up the stuffing in my hood cover to use as building material for the nest they built under there. Likely they were looking for a cozy spot to hide from the very cold February we’d had, but I was not pleased. They even nibbled on the plastic covering the engine wires – because apparently plastic is tasty? 🤔

Well, it’s been rather cold again this month and as you may have guessed more vermin have been eating plastic covering off my engine wires, why?! There isn’t even a cozy hood cover to build a nest under anymore! The cats in our neighbourhood are clearly not doing a good job of deterring the vermin. 🤬

Unimpressed… Do you have any electrical tape?
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Current Questions – Part I

  1. Boom! Suddenly under the covers in your bed you are wide awake, but why when you were exhausted just minutes ago on the couch?
  2. Does time play with our minds so that the four days after a long weekend feel like the equivalent of ten days?
  3. Follow up to 2 – How do the hours in two basically identical work days sometimes seem infinite or sometimes barely enough?
  4. Follow up to 2 & 3 – Where does the time go or come from to create those situations?
  5. When will I win millions of dollars in the lottery so I can spoil everyone I know and spend my days determining what is really going on with time?
  6. What is the point of unanswerable questions?
  7. I just like the number seven, don’t you?
  8. Eight on the other hand is tricky, because if it falls over it can be infinite and then we are wondering is time hiding in/as eight, isn’t that strange?
  9. Does this list need to have ten items?
  10. Yes it does, but was this post a waste of all of our time?

Know Better

We all know better. We make decisions that we know we’ll regret. Some are small, eating that food that we know will upset our stomach, but it is tasty so we take the chance. Some are big, staying in a job/relationship/scenario that isn’t good for us.

Our reasons vary, from laziness to fear, comfort to security. We tell ourselves “Next time…”. Then next time comes and we make the same decision.

Eventually, once we’ve suffered enough, we’ll probably make the right decision and stick with it, but for some reason, it usually takes us the mistakes before we learn.

Then once we’ve learned the lesson, we want to impress that same knowledge onto others. Given the ability to see the mistake we want to prevent others from that suffering. Noble. Alas, that isn’t how we humans seem to work. We don’t want someone else to tell us we are wrong, we want to keep making mistakes until we reach our own epiphany.

Would we be better if we listened? Probably not, there is value in the lessons, if we accept them.

What should you have known better about today? Me? I should have known better than to eat _____, fill in the blank with almost any food. Did you think it would be more world-changing? Not today, remember my life is a little boring, it lacks the drama that creates many of our opportunities for lessons/mistakes. Next time…

Timing

As I just typed in a message to, well possibly the only person who will read this, committing yourself to write something creative every day is difficult, especially when your life isn’t terribly exciting.

It is possible that choosing to do so in the midst of a pandemic when you have no desire to go outside where the germs and the people are is not ideal timing.

You could just go outside, you say.

I could, I respond, but outside is where I take pictures and that really only helps a little bit.

Life, and by association, exciting or creative writing topics generally are only found by interacting with people and places.

Make something up, you say.

Fiction? I ask, but is that what you are wanting to read about? Should I just start making up stories? Are stories more interesting than my observations on life, or lack thereof? I suppose that is something I can try. Interspersed between photos and random thoughts.

I do have a lot of days to fill space – my timing could have been better. I don’t know if one can exactly place a restriction like time on creativity. I type having assigned myself the task of daily creation.

Return To Routine

Why so early?

The worst part of time off work is when it comes to an end. When you have to go back to your old routines and you have to turn your morning alarms back on.

During my time off I love being able to wake up naturally, rolling over in bed noting the time then cozying back under the covers because I have no plans or need to get up – especially early in the morning.

Time off has come to an end though, no more leisurely weekday mornings getting out of bed only when I desire coffee more than sleep. Tomorrow I’ll be missing cozy sleep-ins while I sip coffee at work trying to clear out my inbox after two weeks of ignoring it.

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Energy Inflation

Unproductive. It is a word that can feel like it’s nagging you. It floats around in your head telling you that you haven’t accomplished things, that you should be finding better ways to spend your time, generally making you feel like you are wasting your potential.

Even though we’ve had it reasserted over and over to us that we should be. We can’t be productive all the time. Unproductiveness has its purpose and it is something that from time to time we all need to be.

I spent the end of the year being unproductive. I spent it not doing much of anything actually. Trying to rebuild those reserves of energy I’ll need to get through the next months, to be productive.

Unfortunately, the last couple of years it doesn’t feel as if I can replenish that energy. It feels like I’m expending more than ever before as if my batteries can no longer hold a charge.

Like everything else in life, it is becoming more expensive to be productive. More expensive to buy groceries to feed your body; more expensive to find the energy to fill your mind.

When I’m required to be productive it costs me so much more than I have. Not necessarily because I have more on my plate, though this year that is true, more because any reserves that might have carried over from prior years have long been depleted. That time I’m meant to be resting and unproductive in order to store energy instead is just immediately being spent.

I’m sure we are all feeling similarly these days but if you aren’t – tell me your secret! Or just send some extra energy my way.