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
|Date||Things I Love (unranked)|
|February 1||my son, my daughters|
|February 2||my grandson; the flickers that live in the forest behind the house|
|February 3||my home, with its shabby grace and comfortable familiarity|
|February 4||my “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Once More With Feeling” musical episode movie poster|
|February 5||seasonal fruit: I’m all about oranges right now, fresh from the south, and summer cherries are my happy place|
|February 6||going for a walk on a cool winter morning when the fog is hanging about and the world is silent|
|February 7||education: I’m listening to lectures on the Canadian residential school system and the sixties scoop: heartbreaking, and infuriating|
|February 8||driving: 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 10||oops. this will make today’s a little funny-slash-ironic|
|February 11||procrastination. 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 12||sunny, winter days and time spent outside in the fresh air|
|February 13||my 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 15||the half-price chocolate you find kicking around the day after chocolate holidays|
|February 16||February 16th doesn’t exist, obviously|
|February 17||calendars, watches, and other time-management devices that let us add order to a world of chaos|
|February 18||oops, again, again.|
|February 20||ginger Gravol lozenges: I’ve been feeling under the weather|
|February 21||online learning – although the subject matter, child abuse and developmental delays – is distressing|
|February 23||I thought I did!|
|February 24||going out for lunch with my son (we had Mexican food)|
|February 25||Fridays – I’m semiretired, you’d think it wouldn’t matter, but I still love ’em|
|February 26/March 7||board games|
|February 27/March 7||gardening season – the pansies are coming up, ditto the tulips|
|February 28/March 7||finishing 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.