2017: It’s No Game

Draw the blinds on yesterday and its all so much scarier.”

So, here we are. Entering what might be the scariest year in our lifetime. 2016 killed off so many good people. Celebrities, idols, friends’ relatives (parents, siblings) and friends’ friends….it’s like they could feel the shift in the wind and wanted to get out of here before the storm arrived.

“Throw a rock against the road and it breaks into pieces.”

But we – you and I – are still standing. Or maybe you’re sitting. I don’t know. Maybe you are gripping the edges of your chair, gnashing your teeth, and making phone calls to the idiots who are running the asylum right now. Maybe I’ll see you in DC on the 21st. Maybe you’re knitting hats or making signs or trying to find a good use of your energy.

Maybe you don’t think the apocolypse is arriving on fiery steeds. I don’t know. Maybe nothing bad will happen. Maybe we’ll find a way to save ourselves.

In the meantime, since my time allotted to help save the world is minimal, I’m looking for ways to use my nervous energy for the good.

I’m making art. I even actually did a little bit of writing the other day though it was preliminary what-are-all-my-characters-up-to-if-I-start-this-over-from-a-different-angle writing. 900 words worth of that. I don’t usually give myself props for that kind of thing. But since Santa gave the girls Chromebooks for Christmas (thanks to Santa’s second job), I now have my laptop back and it’s a little anxiety-inducing. I mean, I had an excuse all last year and now I don’t have any more excuses. I feel like life is short and I want to leave it with at least ONE decent unpublished manuscript. Maybe when it’s burned with the others, it’ll flare up a little brighter.

My horoscope for 2017 talks about jobs and careers and things flipping on their head and courage and risks and I have had my eye on a couple of organizations I like, that do the kind of work I’d like to be a part of. A job opening appeared and I thought, a ha! Here it is! But I’m not sure it really is. If I was unencumbered and spoke a second language and could take a pay cut and live closer to society, maybe. But while contemplating that, I realized that it’s something I can do eventually. Right now, I need to count my blessings and keep the motor idling for a bit longer. It’s boring to do that but I’m pretty good and finding ways to charge up my brain outside of work.

And I need to keep saying “no” to things, extra things. Things I want to do and be involved in but cannot. I am only one person without a backup person. I am working on letting go of the guilt of not doing all the things. I am reminding myself that my first job is to be a mother to my children.

My second part-time job will start up again in the spring which is a relief. There were a few moments when it seemed like the positions would be turned into something else, a full-time parks job, which I’m not in the market for.

I’m actually planning the vegetable garden again after giving it up last year. I literally dropped the hoe on the whole big weedy mess in August. But now, my slate is slightly less full. One volunteer board is over with and the other is much easier to manage. So, we’ll see. I’ve made a planting plan and have my seed/plant orders ready to send once payday rolls around again.

I’m painting my bathroom which has needed an update for a long while. I’ll add the final coat this weekend and then begin to consider what to hang on the walls and save up for more peel-and-stick tiles for the box that holds the tub. I am really, really tired of looking at that shop class particle board monstrosity. I can’t afford to gut the whole room so I’ll cover up the worst of it as best I can. Frame some photos. Put up new switchplates. Bought a fluffy towel to turn into two bath mats since everything I saw at the store was rubber backed and too big for the space I have. Small inexpensive changes. That is the mantra now.

I’ll be focusing on little things this year. The things I can control. The things that make me happy. I’m lucky in a lot of ways and I’m going to do my best to ride this rollercoaster with my list of things I’m grateful for folded up in my pocket (which is not easy to do since pockets on women’s clothing are a fucking joke). I’m going to hang on tight, do what I can, and hope we come out the other side intact.

“To be insulted by these fascists, it’s so degrading. And it’s no game.”