Articles

Variety News – July 5, 2021

On My Mind
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about patience. Mostly how I have so much less now than I used to. I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I think it would benefit me greatly to cultivate that again…I’m not sure what to call it. Life skill? Talent? Virtue?

Whatever you want to call it, life is a much happier, less stressful place when I’m content to live in the moment, and wait for what will eventually come. It goes hand-in-hand with impulse control, which is something else I really need to reign in again, specifically when it comes to spending. *sigh*

What am I so impatient about? Mostly being able to write full-time, and my hair (both the color and the length). But reigning in the little things – the impulse purchases, etc are equally important to get under control. So both daily things, and long-term goals. Fortunately, I have a plan for each of them that should help me re-focus my perspective on the journey, rather than the endgame. I think that will be very beneficial overall, from a mental health perspective.

Growing
Look! We have a couple of ripe cherry tomatoes! Let the Season of Tomatoes with Everything begin!

Watching
We’re watching the final season of Bosch on Amazon. Anyone else watching? The acting seems…well, not as good as it should be, IMO.

Reading
I found this rather interesting – How to Slow Time Down (Lifehacker)
https://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-time-slow-down-1847212162
Perspective really is everything, it seems. And this explains why my life is mostly just a blur in my memory. I’m not sure if I’m concerned about that or not, honestly.

Bling & Things
A few weeks ago, I bought an adorable little red/white/blue Flexi with a heart from Lilla Rose for some Independence Day hair bling. In the space of time between when I ordered it and when I wanted to wear it though, the side layers of my hair grew out enough that the extra small size doesn’t work for a half-up anymore, so it’s too small. I may be able to use the Flexi for other styles later when my hair is longer overall (and I can do more with smaller bits), but for this year, it’s consigned to the drawer. It was a nice thought, anyways (and I would have ordered a size up, but they were sold out, and at the time, the xs size was still working for me).

In any case, it is a very nice piece of seasonal hair bling. Maybe they’ll have them again next year and I can get the larger size then.

Post Round-up
The Writer’s Desk (last updated: 7/3/21 )
Leash Candy (last updated: 7/4/21)


Support your author:
This House of Books (my local bookstore!) | Bookshop.org
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks | Audible

Change and Patience

Words for the Week: Stress, exhaustion, bloom.

Changing routines is hard. I am trying rather valiantly to switch things up, with moderate success, but it’s slow going considering I have to rewrite neuro-pathways (essentially muscle-memory for the brain) and also actual muscle memory/kinetic energy. But! I was able to get back to the office at 11pm every night this past week, and after comparing the time it takes me to transcribe with the time it takes to just write, and the editing time required after each…I was able to determine that for me, writing the initial draft instead of dictating it, and then transcribing it later is definitely more efficient.

So, no more dictation, though I may use that just for capturing random thoughts to set the scene or details I want to include later. We’ll see.

It also means (given the editing component) that I have a lot of rewriting to do from last year. *sigh* But I can use my dictations as outlines of sorts, so all isn’t lost.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out how to motivate myself to keep up with daily/weekly chores so small issues don’t become big issues. Like the fact that I had to clean out my fridge yesterday and it was completely gross. Or that I routinely let non-dishwasher-safe dishes pile up in one of my sinks, and they sit there for weeks simply because I hate hand-washing dishes so I don’t do them right when they’re “generated”. And there’s the recycling that I don’t take out to the garage, so then I have empty cans and bottles piling up on my kitchen counters making it more difficult to cook.

Laziness is the only reason I don’t take care of these things right away, before that pack of celery becomes goo on a fridge shelf, or before there are so many cans on my counter I don’t have room for a cutting board. I know it needs to be done, I just choose not to take the 5 minutes to do it because I don’t feel like it, or I’m too tired, or just unmotivated.

I’m not sure how to motivate myself to do these things right away instead of waiting until they get to the point of no return (which then requires several hours of time to catch up rather than 5 minutes). I know routine is part of it, so that even when my brain doesn’t feel like it, kinetic energy and muscle memory just pull me into getting it done. I rely on that a lot for daily things, and it works well, once it’s coded into my brain. Re-coding though is…often problematic.

But I need to do something. Keeping up on these things gives me more time overall, and that is what I covet most…more time not doing housekeeping or cleaning chores. I also really hate cleaning veggie goo and moldy leftovers out of my refrigerator.

Am I trying to change up too much, too quickly, between the writing and household stuff? Possibly. I’m impatient with the fact that I can’t make quicker progress, mostly because I’m finally motivated to fix these problems, and it’s stressful going through the change. So I’m anxious to get through the transitional period and to the other side where this stuff just “happens” without so much mental effort.

Alas, “extra mental effort” seems to be the theme of the past 12 months and continues on. So I don’t know why I expect personal growth to be any different.

I did make some monthly goals for writing/publishing, and a plan for reaching those. I may have made them too late to hit this month, but it’s still a solid plan going forward. So there’s that.

I’ve been working on rehabbing my hip too, with good progress. Slow and steady with that…Friday was the first day I could do three sun salutation sets with zero pain. So this week, I start strength training for the muscles in and around my hips, in hopes of keeping any future damage to a minimum. Yet another change where patience is required (or a lot of damage could occur).

And my hair has hit another awkward point of growth…I really am going to have to find a new stylist soon, if only to even up the back and then sort of calm down the flippy-ness of the upper layers. That will be a February project, I guess.

Change and patience. Patience and change. Two things I am quite weary of at this point, but with enough patience and time, things will stabilize and get easier. It sometimes takes awhile, but they always do.

Eye on the prize, and all that. *sigh*


Support your author:
This House of Books (my local bookstore!) | Bookshop.org
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks | Audible

Not Right Now

I talk (whine, whatever) a lot here about things I want and can’t have. The list is actually a pretty short one – fewer than five items, really. But what keeps me from those things is a pretty short list too, and my own name is at the top of that list.

I hate it when people say things like:

  • You are your own worst enemy
  • If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen
  • If you’re not getting what you want, your priorities need to change

I hate it mostly because it’s all true. The reasons I don’t have the things on my “short list” are mainly self-imposed restrictions and rules that I’m hell-bent on following mainly because I feel that’s the “right thing to do”. Priorities that I could change, but won’t. And obviously I don’t want any of those short-listed items enough to “make them happen”. The personal cost is too high, or so I perceive it to be.

Some days, I really wish I were that person. That I could just change my priorities, drop everything holding me back or slowing me down, and run get the things I want with wild abandon. But I’m not, and I can’t. So I struggle with things daily, trying to make room in an already full life for just one or three more things that will not fit, no matter how badly I want them to.

This mostly ends up with me feeling defeated and beat-down, resigned to leaving those things on the short list unresolved. I’m tired of trying to shoehorn things in where they don’t fit, fighting all the external things that seem to be actively fighting against my best efforts, and the only thing that keeps me going is one minuscule sliver of hope:

What if these things are meant to happen in the future, instead of “right now”?

Looking back, there are a lot of things in my life I’ve had to wait a lot longer for than I’d have liked. Some of them I even gave up on while I was waiting, resigning myself to the fact that they were never going to happen, and learning to be okay with that. When they finally did, I could see why I needed to wait, how the base was being established during that time period, and how things fell into place how, and more importantly, when, they were supposed to. Like fate, or karma, or magic, or whatever you want to call it. They couldn’t be forced. They had to happen organically, in their time, not mine.

There are a lot of things I’ve wanted and never gotten too, of course. And that’s just life – often for the better (though not always). But maybe I just need to stop trying to force my short list to happen, and resign myself to the fact that if an when those things are supposed to do something, they will. Until then, I need to be patient, and work at building the foundations that need to be in place first. Having a good foundation never hurts, even if nothing is ever built on top.

It’s so annoyingly slow though. Decades, in some cases. *sigh*

I guess only time will tell. Patience is, indeed, a virtue, I suppose.


Support your author:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

Patience, Grasshopper

Grasshopper_Ladybug

Patience isn’t an easy thing for most of us. When I was young (say, elementary school through high school), I always wanted time to move faster. I couldn’t wait to get out of high school and get to college. And then in college, when I realized I still couldn’t really relate to people my age for various reasons, I wanted *that* time to move faster, so I could move out of my parent’s house and get a single, glorious job that would cover all my bills and still leave me free in the evenings to…you know, watch TV and sleep. Then I graduated, and got the job, but had to stay with my parents for two more years before I finally had enough money saved up to buy a house. I got a better job on the same day I got the house, and life was finally good. I’d finally reached the point where I wasn’t constantly wishing things would hurry up and move faster.

Nowadays, I’m less impatient with time itself, and more impatient *with* myself. Every time I have to learn something or figure something new out for my job, I think I should just be able to automagically access the data and apply it like a pro – like a digital download to the brain, Matrix-style. And with writing, I feel like I should be able to learn new concepts and apply them perfectly right away, instead of constantly botching it up, trying again, getting a little better, trying again…etc.

Of course I can’t…I have to figure out what I need to learn, and then read about it, and then apply it, and fail, and try again, and fail, and go through the same process everyone else does. Which is absolutely logical/normal, but with writing especially, I wish I could grab those relatively abstract concepts and apply them without so much floundering. Database stuff is far more logical than writing (which surprises no one, I’m certain).

It’s all ego, of course – thinking I should be able to just learn new things with a simple “make it so” command. Knowing that doesn’t make me want it less though, and I’m constantly repeating the phrase from the old Kung Fu TV series to myself:

“Patience, grasshopper.”

Which reminds me, of course, that there are steps to learning, and no shortcuts, and the “journey” of learning something is often a lesson in and of itself. So might be said of the journey of simply waiting for something to happen – or to see if something will eventually happen.

Life itself is more about the journey than any particular destination, methinks.

And that is why I had a grasshopper tattooed on my forearm a little over a week ago. The ladybug is for luck, which…is a philosophical discussion for another day.


Like this post? Support your author (Amazon links):

Tempest | The Biker’s Wench (Fantasy Ranch Book 1) | MacKenzie Saves the World: A Comic Shop Romance