What I should be doing.

I’m not even going to check the date of the last post here. Because what matters, beyond the guilt for not writing anything at all (except Facebook statuses) for month after month?

Right here, right now, I am doing what I should be doing. I am avoiding my phone and the Facebook neck cramp that sometimes comes with too much scrolling, too much input. I am opening my MacBook and heeding some advice I received from a friend and hero…something along the lines of, “Writers write. Period.”

So I have been wrestling with this idea lately. And by lately I mean for like a year or two. Am I even a writer? I don’t write often. I don’t feel like I have ideas, ever. I occasionally have a strong opinion about something, but it floats in casually, and floats out on my next breath. If I get worked up over something, it might be something at work. Today I actually laughed when a disgruntled consumer sent me an e-mail recommending that I “go and suck donkey balls.” My only regret was that I couldn’t reply to his clever suggestion… have to stick to the scripts, you know.

But what makes someone a writer, really? Of course, writing. But maybe believing that it’s possible, too.

When I was in my senior year of high school, I had a weird downward slide and I stopped doing homework in the middle of the marking period. Before that, in my creative writing class, I was earning more than 100% on everything I turned in. After my little slide, my creative writing teacher and I used to actually get into yelling matches in the hallway over the assignments I wasn’t turning in. I didn’t care. I just wrote him off as an ass and completed my little slide, undoing a lot of my GPA in a few months. I limped through community college after that. One day while I was still in college, I ran into my old creative writing teacher on my way into the mall. I was embarrassed; he acted like nothing was wrong and just asked me what I was doing and what my plans were. I informed him that I was going to be a writer. That was my career goal at 19.

He stepped back and gave me an assessing gaze. I bristled, so sure we were about to fight again like we had in high school. Instead, he said something along the lines of, “I think you will. You’ve got the moxie to do it.”

I swear. Those few words haunt me. One time, one person believed that I had what it took to write – to really write. I had a few more encouraging words over time from professors and poets, but none struck me quite like those. Because “moxie” was never a word I would put with myself. I have always just kind of… existed. Floated along.

Today I have been thinking about this. Thinking about moxie. Thinking about how to make a life I want. Thinking about how to get to a place where, when someone tells me to go and suck donkey balls, it’s not because they didn’t like the pre-approved scripted response I sent them, but because they didn’t like something I made with my own two hands.

Something I wrote.

now... with moxie!

The thing about blooming late.

I have always considered myself a late bloomer.

I didn’t finish my BA right after high school. I earned my AA, then worked shifts for 5 years, then went back to school and polished off my BA with a 4.0.

I didn’t date, ever. I never had a boyfriend. Never once did one of those guys I had a crush on have a crush on me too. Until I met my husband.

The list could go on. Money, accomplishments, some things that I still haven’t done and feel like I should have.

Here’s the thing, though. I feel like, every time I get something good in my life, especially things I feel like I’ve been waiting on for years? I am relieved that I didn’t get it sooner. Blooming late isn’t always about you failing, sometimes it’s about you preparing. If you’re not ready in character and spirit and even in geographic location, the things that come to you might not have anywhere to land. Of they might touch down and then slip away.

And you really want your good things to stick.

So take heart, late bloomers. You’re not failing. You’re preparing. Good job!

Normal.

So, the MRI results were totally normal. No worries, my head is fine. Strictly by medical standards.

ha. hahaha. Oh man. My head is so not fine.

Not much else going on. Just kicking back in my corner office –er, office corner at home. I always forget how nice I can make it feel if I light a few candles and turn off the lights. It’s very relaxing over here. I’m sure the wine is helping.

I’m trying to get myself writing again, which explains why I’m sitting here writing a whole lot of nothing. I often avoid sitting down to write because I don’t have anything on my mind or I think I don’t have a good way to say what might be on my mind. The problem with that approach is that I never, and I mean never, write. So, I’m not writing much now, but at least words are coming out of my brain and turning into type.

It’s a start.

What’s going right.

I found myself kind of cranky and out of it earlier in the day. I was stressed out and mad at something unidentifiable, so I decided to scrawl out a list of everything that was getting under my skin at the moment.

Not two hours later, I received an e-mail form my husband, who was in a similar mood, except had decided to make a list of all the good things he could think of at the moment.

Lesson learned. I decided to try to keep track of what’s going right today.

In no particular order:

I was browsing on archive.org and decided on a whim to listen to a John Mayer concert without looking at the set list. I was actually enjoying the show and then the band started in on a totally rippin’ cover of Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How it Feels.” Joy ensued.

The $100 amazon gift card that I had sent to the wrong e-mail address yesterday was able to be returned/refunded to my amazon account, which is what I was trying to do in the first place. Whenever I get Visa or MC giftcards, I turn them into Amazon gift cards so I never have to worry about using up weird amounts on the card.

The blessed City of Corning picked up my recycling for the second time in a ROW. I usually have to call the nice lady at the work order center at noonish every other Wednesday to complain that my recycling is still outside.

This is a 4-day week for me – tomorrow is my “Friday.”

I have a great job.

I have a wonderful husband.

I am in good health, with 100% working parts.

I have a place to live, and am even so hopeful as to be looking at buying a house this year.

I have enough good music to keep my earbuds happy for a long, long time.

I am going on a sewing retreat this weekend with some super-cool quilters.

I actually spoke to a stranger in the elevator this morning, which is a very rare occurrence in these parts.

My magical musical year

I was going to write a long post talking about how amazing 2013 was, how I learned to move through grief and loss of a friend and a job to another life that aligns more with who I am and where I want to go. How I chopped off all my hair and started a business and then got a better job than the one I lost and finally went to Colorado and decided to learn to play the banjo and decided to stop being afraid all the time.

But, instead, I’ll show you my show recap for the year. This includes concerts and festivals. I think I saw Railroad Earth and The Infamous Stringdusters 11 times each this year.

There is no medicine quite like music.

February

Keller Williams – The Haunt, Ithaca, NY

March

Railroad Earth – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
Cabinet/Hot Buttered Rum – The Haunt, Ithaca, NY

April

Greensky Bluegrass – Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY

May

DelFest – Cumberland, MD
Railroad Earth – Chameleon Club, Lancaster, NY
Railroad Earth – Ram’s Head Live, Baltimore, MD

July

Railroad Earth – Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
Railroad Earth – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
Railroad Earth – Belly Up, Aspen, CO

August

Railroad Earth – Saranac Brewery, Utica, NY
Cabinet – Cyber Cafe West, Binghamton, NY

September

Infamous Stringdusters/Leftover Salmon/Assembly of Dust, Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY
FreshGrass, Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA
Railroad Earth – Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY

October

The Festy Experience, Roseland, VA

November

Della Mae – La Tourelle, Ithaca, NY
Horn O’Plenty, Sherman Theater, East Stroudsburg, PA

December

The Infamous Stringdusters – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
The Infamous Stringdusters – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
The Infamous Stringdusters – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
The Infamous Stringdusters – The National, Richmond, VA
The Infamous Stringdusters – The National, Richmond, VA

Resurrection.

It’s coming up on three months since my last post. I haven’t thought about the blog much. I actually stopped reading other people’s blogs at some point this year, because without Google reader, I just had a hard time getting into blogs again. I think it has been a good thing for me, not looking into other people’s lives. I also pretty much stopped watching, listening to, or reading the news. Because the news depresses me. No matter what’s up, you can just assume that something awful is being done to someone by someone else.

I’ve kicked around the thought of pulling the plug on the blog and just not blogging anymore. I’m not sure that I’m ready to do that.

I’m considering a recap series, kind of a 2013-in-review. I was a very sporadic blogger this year. I had a lot going on that I didn’t feel like blogging about while I was going through it.

I spent the first half of the year underneath a cloud of grief after the death of my friend Anthony last Christmas Eve. I tore down the Christmas decorations like they were poisonous. I had a hard time getting in the car and driving anywhere – it almost always made me cry. I took my husband to the park where Anthony and I used to walk before things started screaming downhill with the cancer. We walked the route that Anthony walked 21 times last year. Moving through it helped, but I think it was moving through my life that helped me more. Starting in May, Mr. Thor and I went to lots and lots of live shows. I swung hard in the opposite direction, toward action, and travel, and go-go-going…and I may have over-corrected a bit. I need some balance, and some perspective, and I tend to find that through blogging.

So I guess this is me, tentatively resurrecting this thing.

Hiya.

A few things have changed around the blog. Nothing much. I switched hosting plans. I switched the layout a little bit, and added mobile settings.

I haven’t been writing with any regularity… in all honesty I am just trying to decide if I have any more blog material in me.

See you soon – maybe?

I am not a quitter.

image
Not quitting.

Today I came super-duper close to quitting P90X. Seriously, rolling up my yoga mat, putting my weights in the closet, good riddance Tony Horton, slam-the-door, quitting.

Today was the first day of Phase 2. For those of you who don’t know what that means, basically it goes a little something like this: 30 days down, 60 more to go, weakling.

The last few times I have done the Core Synergistics workout, I have really struggled for some reason. Two times ago, I felt like I was going to throw up about halfway through. Last time, I felt like I was going to throw up about halfway through, and I actually skipped 12 minutes of the workout because I seriously needed to keep myself from throwing up.

I was super frustrated, because…well, shouldn’t I be getting more and more in shape, over here?

Then it hit me. I AM getting more and more in shape, and therefore I am doing the exercises with fewer modifications, and in many cases, no modifications. I am doing the exercises with greater intensity, and really working myself hard.

But I still wanted to quit P90X.

What made me put my shoes on tonight and decide to stay on this road? I am not sure. Maybe it’s thinking about my increased flexibility. In that photo above, I am standing comfortably with one leg on the foot board of my bed and the other leg on the floor. I can basically fold myself in half at the waist, I can control my movements when I sit up and sit down, when I get out of bed or off the couch there is no groaning or repositioning or pushing off. I just sit up and get up. I just go, now, where I used to kind of creak and lumber around.

I don’t want to creak and lumber anymore. Not now, that I know what it’s like to have a little bit of balance and a lot more muscle control.

I don’t want to do P90X anymore. But lots of life is about doing things we don’t want to do, right? Anything that gets you to a massive goal is probably going to take a lot of work, a lot of hours of dedication, a lot of saying no to the couch.

I don’t want to be on this road. But what other road is there, now that I’m here? I’m not hurting myself, I’m just working hard, many days a week. What’s so bad about that?

So I did Core Synergistics tonight. I gave my inner perfectionist the cold shoulder and I paused the workout quite a few times to catch my breath and lower my heart rate so I could keep going to the end. And I finished.

Because it’s not enough to just start it, is it? Some things are only worth starting if you are going to finish them.

Losing.

I am up early today. I have a drive to make alone, and what faces me at the end of that drive is something I hoped I would never see in this life, at this age.

I know this time of year is complicated. Around the holidays, I vacillate between childlike giddiness and grinch-like crankiness.

Maybe you do, too. Maybe today, you would like to burn your Christmas tree to the ground.

But do this:

Take stock of what you have. Remember how much you have, how much you have had, the richness and fullness of your life.

Think about your relationships and appreciate what each of them adds to your life.

Sit back, take a deep breath, sip some coffee, tea, or cocoa, look at some twinkly lights, and remember what you have.