Monday, October 22, 2012

News: The Happy

This is late, but the timing fits. I need the prompting to focus on this, because I'm a bit of a downer when left to my own devices. Other people seem so much more interesting that I enjoy myself the most talking about their lives. Nevertheless, there are:

Things That Make Me Happy

See how damned happy I can get?

The List:

1. My Family: You Get What You Get

I'm getting along with some of my family. For now. That means a few visits here and there, and a few relatives I wouldn't see for decades otherwise. There has been more crap slung at me, and there will be even more betrayal and fallout, but I can pretend for a while that things are working. My son likes having someone else to visit, and I am thankful that he likes meeting people in general. He's mostly awesome when he's out, and he knows enough to be grounded about it all

I will accept positive feedback, even from them, even though I know it's all double-edged. I am trying to keep in mind that these people can't help themselves--not in order to forgive them all, but to avoid taking their shit personally and to take the responsibility to step out of the way of it. 

In other words, to treat them all like they are creatures of instinct without a fore-brain. It's sad, but at least there are already a couple off the list who I don't have to deal with at all.

I think this is pretty normal. Ditching my high expectations seems to be a repeated and unusually difficult process for me. My bad.

What has made this a bit worth it is reconnecting with my uncle who lives in Guatemala. Although he's as crusty as they come, I see that I've inherited a lot of his stubbornness and drive to hold on to his principles. I hope I have also gotten a fraction of his ability to laugh at himself for it, and to tell a damned fine story about his antics, and those of his acquaintances. 

I know two truly hilarious storytellers, and I should give credit to the other, who I have called Ed in a couple of stories. Both of them manly men who make light of their lives. I have to hand it to them.


2. NaNoWriMo: The November Challenge

It's gearing up, and I'm getting excited about it. More than I had expected. There are a group of my friends who get together to write a 50,000 word rough novel every year during the month of November, and I love doing it. Sometimes I forget how much. What an idiot.

There's a good chance I'll have enough spare time to just get it done, while job-hunting. Keep your fingers crossed--it will be the tightest November ever.


3. Diet & Health: The Reckoning

Last, but certainly not least: there's a strong chance that I've lost my secret weapon. Remember when I said that my cholesterol might not matter so much if I didn't have the high blood pressure? And that the high blood pressure might, if I were really lucky, be attributable entirely to the ibuprofen?

Bingo. Repeated testing last week showed a 35 point drop in Systolic, and enough in Diastolic.
Perfectly normal--in fact ideal.

Thanks mom for being a hypochondriac with a convenient blood-pressure machine. Because at the start of this I was getting swatted with canes by florid seniors for hogging the one at the pharmacy.

And thanks, Pish, for putting this task into the mix. I might have held over the Thanksgiving spirit a bit long, but I am feeling grateful for quite a bit right now, and it's important to me to hold the feeling.
Post-script: I forgot to add:

4. Nice Things in The World

A person I only know over the Internet, who amuses me endlessly, has just had a child a little early, and I get pretty verklempt about stuff like that. Next up: my cousin, who is also due any day.


  1. I'm envious that you have time for NanoWrimo! Good luck with that. And good job focusing on the positive. You have many good things going for you :)

  2. I am trying to remember that. So far so good.

  3. I love the idea of NaNoWriMo!  Good luck!  I wish I was in a position to participate, but I'm not really, though I was thinking of trying to craft my own scaled down version.

  4. Good luck with the novel challenge! How exciting! Also good job on staying positive even in the face of shitty circumstance and "concerned" loved ones. I swear if my family wren't my family I doubt they would be in my lives! lol.

    And nice things in the world! Totally. Babies are some of the nicest! :)

  5. It's funny that you bring this writing challenge up. It had actually been suggested to me that I might want to take a look at it, a few weeks back. I like the idea but the timing really isn't all that good for me. I would interested to see how you fare and if the task is as daunting as it sounds. I'm quite certain that I'd have to funnel every second of my free time toward the task just to have a hope of finishing and I don't think I can commit to something like that right now. 

    I have to  work with a lot of my family. There are days, when I wish I could be someplace else, mostly it's OK though.

  6. I don't have much family, but those I do I have found that it is better to have a superficial relationship with most of them to avoid being hurt or betrayed.  If I don't count on them, I am not disappointed.  Fortunately, I have other people to me that are more like my family than, well, my family ;)

    Great that your blood pressure is ideal!

    And good luck with NaNoWriMo!  I have decided not to do it, because things are so crazy for me at work right now that I jsut know I won't have the time to do it and will only end up frustrating myself.  For now, it is enough to concentrate on my blog!

  7. I have some long-standing family issues that I found intolerable. Some things I have forgiven, some I have learned are just normal, but some are unusual, some are bad, and some don't even compare to what I have heard from friends.

    I probably won't get into them on this blog, because that's not what I want to be about. Forward is where I want to go, and I'd rather be about other people, and ludicrous things.

    I find the blogging harder than NaNo, because I want it completed to a standard, and some posts need to sit in draft for a while to be ready. So I hope not to neglect this during November.

    My NaNo draft has no standards, no readers, and only one purpose; to achieve a fairly arbitrary number goal that I would never accomplish on my own. Hard work, but easier, in a way, than blogging. I blog to a standard, for a reason, for an audience. NaNo is quite different.

    No illusions, it's not sculpture, it's mud pies. But imagine digging up enough clay in a day to build a small town. You might not ever build that town, but then again, you'd be able to. And you would have already done something remarkable, that very few people have accomplished.

    And there might be enough gold in or underneath that clay to keep you digging. And you might begin to build that town. And it might be amazing.

    That's why I do it, that and the company of nice people who are also crazy enough to join in. 

  8.  It's 1667 words a day, which don't have to be good. It's hard for me to write without at least an idea, but there are many who do that easily.

    It can be liberating, and the hardest thing is giving yourself the time, not so much the actual writing, as long as you can start on it every day.

    You need a November when you can be spared, which is why most people do it because they have the time, or because they enjoy it a lot, and identify as writers. It's a ridiculous challenge, but also a way to live that dream for a while.

    No point in taking it on if it's more work. The time will come if it is something you might want to do, but it usually takes a few tries before you hit the mark.

    It is true that you will discover things about writing that will astound you. Your writing. It really can have a life of its own. Fiction is daunting, but anyone who has ever really listened to a story can write one.

  9.  They are. I love babies. Never got over mine. Thanks.

    Back at you, I want your circumstances to improve. It's not much to ask. You deserve a medal for your patience.

  10.  It's pretty amazing to me. You have to demand a month to let everything slide. Shut down everything you can, and do this, so there's a real conflict for most people. It's tough, and you have to want it to make it happen. Any scaled-down version that gets you writing without really over-thinking for a period of time would give you an idea.

  11. I may not have the time, or I may have too much. I don't know. It's pretty frightening around here if I let myself think too much about it. I could decide that there's no way to justify the time or effort, easily, and give up. But I am helping others do it, and we are a growing group. It's becoming a Big Thing.