Change, Movies, and the Love List.

The times, they are a-changin‘, not just societally, but for me personally as well. I’m in flux; I feel like I’m standing on unstable ground. Everything is up in the air. Fluidity isn’t my preferred lifestyle: I’m not a fan of uncertainty at the best of times, and a dying parent is not the best of times. I thought I built my house on rock and was impervious to the slings of the world. To find out my world’s built on sand dunes with wind storms fast approaching has been a shock.

On the bright side, things haven’t gone to hell for me in this particular way before now. I’m not being flip: I wouldn’t have handled sick parents well in the times that came before now. Life can be serendipitous on occasion. [i] The work leading up to now has paid off: I’m not ‘not mentally ill,’ but I’ve more tools than I did once upon a time.

I’m also using them, something else that’s new. Ditto not responding to pressure and hard emotions with forms of self-harm. That’s some impressive growth especially considering my history, even if I had to realize it by facing things I’d rather not.  

Picking “brave” as my word of the year appears to have been wise, though I wish being brave didn’t walk lockstep with vulnerability (something I forgot).

Have you seen the movie “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World?” It stars Steve Carrell and Kiera Knightley, and it’s about the end of the world. You’d probably file it under “seriocomic” if you organize your DVDs by genre that way.[ii] It’s a “whistling in the dark movie” about finding joy in even the darkest of times. Or perhaps not – I can get these things wrong.

It’s also a movie of great lines and moments; picking a favourite is a challenge. Every moment Rob Corddry is onscreen is a gift. I finally settled on one of the last lines, spoken by Carrell’s Dodge just before the end: “It had to happen now.” [iii]

Never underestimate the importance of timing.

In the Box, Out of the Box celebrated ten years of blogging this month, an amazing accomplishment. That’s a lot of thinking and a lot of words. A recent post celebrating the milestone – How My Blog Began – introduced me to the practice of using February as “the love month.” It’s not romantic, and the process is simple: take a moment each day to name something or someone you love.

I’m always ready to steal a good idea. Having this plan in place will also provide a bit of structure (it’s more than just a pointed gratitude practice), and I find scaffolding helpful. What am I going to do, however, about the logistics? Should I start a new journal? It’s not like I don’t have ten empty notebooks sitting in a drawer just waiting on a pen. I pulled several out to look at, but they didn’t give me a “love list” vibe. I also don’t think this is what’s going to get me podcasting. “Hello, and welcome to my singular thought” isn’t particularly entertaining.

If only I had something online that functioned somewhat like a notebook that I could update as the month progresses and my love list grows. Like a blog, perhaps.

If only this project didn’t make me want to make a table (I love a good table: the WP table is not one).

I don’t think this prompt will produce a daily post, but dropping in with updates will perhaps inspire something new. We’ll see what happens. It’s a new year, and I’m feeling different: I think my posting’s going to be a little bit more of “anything goes.”

The Love List

DateThings I Love (unranked)
February 1 my son, my daughters
February 2my grandson; the flickers that live in the forest behind the house
February 3my home, with its shabby grace and comfortable familiarity
February 4my “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Once More With Feeling” musical episode movie poster
February 5seasonal fruit: I’m all about oranges right now, fresh from the south, and summer cherries are my happy place
February 6going for a walk on a cool winter morning when the fog is hanging about and the world is silent
February 7education: I’m listening to lectures on the Canadian residential school system and the sixties scoop: heartbreaking, and infuriating
February 8driving: even when I was trapped in the hell that is the daily commute, I still loved being in my car
February 9 reorganizing, getting rid of stuff, and putting what’s left in cool baskets and boxes
February 10oops. this will make today’s a little funny-slash-ironic
February 11procrastination. my doctor ever told me my hippocampus was feeling off because of stress. my inability to stay on task explained has allowed me to enjoy my current procrastinate-y ways
February 12sunny, winter days and time spent outside in the fresh air
February 13my infrared sauna, which I got for a steal on Craigslist and makes sore body parts very happy. Plus, it has a CD of Bob Marley playing on repeat
February 14 oops, again
February 15the half-price chocolate you find kicking around the day after chocolate holidays
February 16February 16th doesn’t exist, obviously
February 17calendars, watches, and other time-management devices that let us add order to a world of chaos
February 18oops, again, again.
February 19ditto
February 20ginger Gravol lozenges: I’ve been feeling under the weather
February 21online learning – although the subject matter, child abuse and developmental delays – is distressing
February 22sigh
February 23I thought I did!
February 24going out for lunch with my son (we had Mexican food)
February 25Fridays – I’m semiretired, you’d think it wouldn’t matter, but I still love ’em
February 26/March 7board games
February 27/March 7gardening season – the pansies are coming up, ditto the tulips
February 28/March 7finishing things, even if it takes longer than you think

[i] More than occasionally, as it happens. I’ve had some atrociously bad luck and experienced some really bad things, but things have also gone my way at convenient times. Perhaps the universe occasionally feels apologetic?

[ii] I categorize my DVDs into “adult” and “child,” before alphabetizing them within those categories.

[iii] Do I have to say “spoiler” if the end of the world is referenced in the movie’s title? Besides, this film came out in 2012 – I feel that there’s a movie-spoiler time limit, after which people shouldn’t have to worry. In my mind, that’s a year. After that, brace yourself. As a side note in my endnotes, this might be the most links I’ve ever included in a piece.

11 thoughts on “Change, Movies, and the Love List.

  1. It sounds like a fun movie. I might give it a try over the weekend. Thanks for the suggestion – the trailer looks hilarious.

    Ah, timing. I completely agree with you – it’s never the ‘right’ time for some things (like parents dying), but some times are ‘righter’ than others. I’ve come to the same conclusion. Yet another reason why ‘everything happens for a reason’ is something I strongly believe in. *Though, I do worry that on my deathbed I might find out it’s all a lie”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We handle our disc collections the same way! I love it! Now I can tell my husband and my son that I am not the only one on Earth that does that!

    “Ditto not responding to pressure and hard emotions with forms of self-harm.”
    I truly feel you on this, Bella. Suicidal ideations tend to run rampant when I am overwhelmed with dark emotions. (I call it the “this will never end” syndrome.) I have to remind myself that most people don’t immediately resort to fantasies of hurling themselves from a cliff into the desert sands below; and I’m happy to hear that you are using tools to combat the same phenomena.

    Thank you for allowing me to feel a little less alone in the world today! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

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