Day Five Writing Challenge

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A place you would live, but have never visited.

I think I would live in upstate California, Oregon, or Washington state. I only know the way it looks from pictures, but it calls to the soul of the modern wanderer, I think. I know it is crazy expensive, and rainy, but still. I could find a place there.

In reality, I will probably never leave Missouri at this point. That sort of makes me sad, but it isn't the end of the world either. If I were going to leave, I would have wanted to do so when the older kids were still younger. Leaving your kids just feels weird.

Day Four 30 Day Writing Challenge

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Yesterday was unusual, and I didn't have the chance to type. So imagine my surprise when I went to the writing challenge and the webpage was temporarily suspended. I found a new challenge.

Here is the link to the challenge I am using now:
I hope it stays.

No hyperlink, I am in a hurry.
It's day four, which is 10 interesting facts about myself. That is a weird thing. Because who thinks there are 10 interesting things to write about oneself?

But let's give this a try.

1. Sometimes I miss driving a cab.

2. I really  miss being a housewife. I didn't like the anxiety of depending on someone else, and the loneliness, and the just feeling like I wasn't living up to my potential feeling, but I miss being home, being with my kids, being in charge of my own time, and never having to be fake.

3. I love winter. I love the sound of the wind on a cold evening. I love when snow lights up the sky.

4. I think people who only want one or two kids are odd. I mean, it is so exciting making new PEOPLE. Why would you want to just stop?

5. I am pretty gross when I am alone. Let's hope there are no ghosts watching me.

6. I have trouble with the girly side of emotion. I am a problem-solver, and I have to consciously strive to just listen without fixing or assigning blame.

7. I still talk to inanimate objects like dolls and teddy bears sometimes.

8. My ear was torn when I was seven, and it hasn't been fixed. Sometimes I superglue it to wear earrings.

9. Despite the trouble with girly responses mentioned earlier, I can be very sappy and love romance and drama.

10. I love the idea of having secrets never told. People always think they have others figured out, but the idea that we all have things we never share is fascinating.

Day three- 30-Day Writing Challenge

Monday, January 15, 2018

Day three! Hopefully this isn't as much of a downer as yesterday's prompt proved to be. My memory was just not cooperating yesterday!

Day Three: Top three pet peeves

Okay. This is another tough one. I don't sit and think about all this, you know?

Also, I have often read that the traits which irritate you the most in others are ones that you have a tendency towards. So I would I just want to put it out there?

Let's talk about laundry. Specifically dirty laundry that hasn't made it into a hamper. Now, if the hamper or basket was moved, then I can almost overlook this. But when the hamper is right there, or within a few feet there is no reason to walk into the bedroom and see a sock by the foot of the bed. Another sock a foot or two away. A pair of inside out pants crumpled around the corner of the bed, and a shirt, stepped on and abused, lying lonely on the far side by the wall.
Use the hamper.

Secondly, be honest with yourself. I know we all have to save face in light of our inadequacies, but just be honest to yourself, if you can't be honest with the world. If you have a crush on your neighbor, no, you can't tell the world. But be sure that you are aware of it, and are aware of your intentions, because the mind can be a tricky, slippery thing. Maybe that girl down the hall really is a witch with a B, but if you have a little itty bit of jealousy, admit it to yourself. Only then, can you be aware of what you think you are lacking and start working towards it. If you find yourself proclaiming too loudly, "I would never want that," maybe it is time to take a step back and reconsider. Because maybe deep inside, it is something you really would want, and don't think you can have. Lying doesn't make it better. As a disclaimer, a psychologist wrote in a book on depression the opposite-he said, the ability to tell oneself little lies, helps people be happy. So, balance accordingly. Here is how I look at it. All your friends went out and didn't invite you? There are three actions you need to take: Acknowledge the hurt. Ouch. Consider why this may have happened. Have you been a bear? Are you boring? Both (that's how I feel!)? Then tell a little white lie to yourself. They knew you were stressed and didn't want to add to your obligations. There. Feel better?

Third, not recognizing the balance between privilege and hard work. Some people, no matter how hard they try, will never be above working class. I work with some. They don't have the look, they haven't learned the skills, they don't have opportunities, and they might not have the brainpower. Don't hold up your nose and point out all your hard work in the face of their failings. Other people, work truly hard, but don't recognize the power that came from their amazing family, their attractive looks, their sharp brain. Appreciate it. On the flip side, if you have a sharp brain, use it. I could have thrown my hands up at 28, finding myself divorced with three small children, unqualified for anything but a minimum wage job, struggling with the self-esteem of a gnat from a less than happy childhood. But this is where my privilege to have a decent brain came in. This is where my privilege to have a family which, while dysfunctional, was willing to step up and help me with my expenses and children so I could build a better life. This is where I was lucky to be from Springfield, Missouri where the cost of living was fairly low, and a time when government benefits were truly helpful. If this happened now, I may not have been able to cover daycare costs. Recognize your privilege, but if you have the ability to drag yourself up, do everything in your power to do so.

And there we have it.

Day Two-30 Day Writing Challenge

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Day two of the 30-Day Writing Challenge

Write about something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot.

This post is struggle for me. I keep scanning my brain trying to think of something. Something that can be used in an uplifting way, and I am coming up blank. I know people have said nice things about me. I know people have said not so nice things. But coming up with something specific is proving to be a challenge. Let me sit with my coffee a few more minutes...

I can't remember the good. Surely it is there, tucked away. Why can't I remember it?

I remember in upper elementary fifth, but probably sixth grade. I was at Fairview Elementary on the north side, part of Hillcrest now. Jane Shurtz was my teacher both in fifth and sixth grades, except when I was in St. Louis for half-plus of sixth. We were in the front main hallway, at the intersection where two small halls met before the multi-purpose room. People were milling around. We talked about something, I don't know what, whether serious or light-hearted, and she put her arms around me and gave me a hug. Now this was a beloved teacher of mine. As I stiffly let her hug me, she pulled back for a minute, looked at me and asked, "Why don't you ever hug back?"

And I wondered, why don't I? What was wrong with me? I was certainly uncomfortable being hugged, not in a weird way, just a "please don't touch me" way. I am still that way. Why? Why do I cringe at the touch of others, even my children, after a certain age? And I don't have any answer. Just that I feel this tension in my shoulders and my back at the thought of someone touching me. I don't know what is is. I think I was born that way.

And so! since I like a challenge. I am going to try to hug at least 3 people this week over the age of five, and touch at least 3 in an appropriate way, such as a pat on the back or touch on the arm.


30 Day Writing Challenge

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Well, why not?

I found this 30 Day Writing Challenge on Pinterest and thought why not? So here goes!

Day one: List 10 things that make you really happy.

1. Faith in the promises of God

2. Coffee

3. Holding babies

4. My family

5.Finding the right song to reflect my mood

6. Soft, quiet silence

7. Learning and sharing knowledge

8. Obsessing over my interests

9. Snow Falling on Cedars (not the book, the literal meaning, the book was just a once-read for me)

10. Writing

My Lampshade is Broken

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The shade is tilting sideways, one metal prong hanging onto the centerpiece. Tipped this way, were the light on, I could see the fly excrement dotting the white shade. I needed to buy a new one anyway.

It is November, oh song of my soul. Grey, wind-whipped November. Brown, wet leaves scatter across the ground, and riotous color still lurks in the trees another week or two. My soul is raw again. I come here again and again and again. Do we all come here? Is it just that I write about it? Or am I wrong and weird and troubled?

I don't know.

I keep failing again and again. I promise myself, I will be aloof and professional, and then I see these faces and I burst with giddiness and want to play. And it is the wrong time to play. It is the time to put on my grownup work costume and be wise and quiet and yet friendly and outgoing, and I don't get it, and  injustices rip at my soul and leave me feeling scattered and confused. I thought if I was good enough, or nice enough, or smart enough, it would be fair. And it isn't. And I whine and I whine and I hate the whine, because I know I am desperately lucky, and I still yearn for more.

And someone will read this and conclude that I am depressed and treat me weird, and I am just expressing and feeling the moment, so that I can let it wash over me, and turn myself inside out tomorrow and be fresh. Why is it so wrong to speak of it?

I don't understand this world.

And I step aside and try to see what they see. Am I angry? Shallow? Frivolous. Yes. But I am curious, kind, and have an inner calm that no one seems able to see. And the feelings cycle around and make for a boring blog, because you have seen it all before, because life is a circle, spiraling upward. And we revisit the same things over and over, adding a little more detail each time. Examining a corner once undiscovered.

And I will say something I don't mean, out of fear, to hide, because the truth hurts and pulls and makes people uncomfortable. And frivolous is better thing to be called than disappointed, or unseeing, or just...wrong.

And my husband is cranky tonight, and I feel alone.

And someone will misunderstand, and a read a depth or seriousness that I don't feel. Because I am silly Jill. Jill who can take a test, but isn't to be trusted with real responsibility. Jill, who can crack a joke, but who surely can't be seen as a role model. Jill who is living out the life of someone else, and can't even complain because almost everyone else is, too.

And I am lucky.


Cold Monday Morning

Monday, October 16, 2017

And I should be at home.
I tried desperately to come up with some way to stay home without out and out lying. I tried all weekend to get into the salon, but their online booking system was down.

So I am here. Here, where we will have our meetings and most-popular contest (and why do teachers who are asked and given extra responsibilities get extra praise? For assignments they were chosen for and paid for? It doesn't make any sense. It is all a big political nonsense bullshit game. I went into teaching to avoid office politics and yet, here they are, shoving themselves in my face).

And I think (and I know these aren't new thought), how silly this is, that I have to leave my children to come do this job. That women all over the US are leaving their babies, because "they have to." Why do we have to? Because we have bought into a system that rewards families for fragmenting and separating. If you want to be valued you have to "Be Somebody" and have nice things and impressive titles and degrees. Oh, some can make it in other ways, but money is always involved. Now, I am not saying that women should stay home. People should do whatever they want. But why do we want to leave our babies, so we can have bigger houses and fresh food? Where is the tipping point?

Why  have we built a society where we look down on the only people with any freedom, those who thwart the system? We are animals, and yet it is illegal to go hunt for what you want and live your life your way. I guess this way is easier. More comfortable. And face it, we have 7 billion people to feed, that requires a certain level of organization and sophistication. And we have laws that benefit women because left to nature, the world can be harsh. But...

What is missing?

I wish I had just lied. Everyone else lies about everything. They lie about what they do and how they feel, and most importantly, they lie to themselves.