I Shall Not…

It’s that time again – the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. Promises we make to ourselves with the hope that we will somehow improve our lives, ourselves, our worlds. Personally, I’ve always hated the concept that a new calender year should somehow morph us into people who we aren’t.

So, instead of resolutions, I’ve come up with a list of shall nots that I will not be doing this year:

  • I shall not go on a diet or resolve to remake my body in any way designed to raise my self esteem or self worth, rather I will celebrate who I am and how I look, cellulite and all.
  • I shall not quit any bad habits but rather dispose of the guilt I suffer from partaking in them.
  • I shall not be more positive, happier, kinder or nicer but rather will continue to be myself – speak and express my real and genuine feelings, opinions and ideas.
  • I shall not force myself to complete incomplete projects but rather savor whatever time I can spend on them and the creativity they excite.
  • I shall not plan or prepare for the futher whether emotionally or financially, but rather I will live in the present building my future one moment at a time.
  • I shall not get organized, catagorized or sanitized, but rather I will embrace my stacks of magazines, toppling tower of books, endless scraps of paper with notes & ideas and name the dust bunnies who live under my bed.
  • I shall not eat right, cut out fat, sugar, carbs or any other foodstuff that caresses my tastebuds but rather I will enjoy my food more, savoring every morsel and thank God for my bounty.
  • I shall not take stock of my life and determine all of the many things that require change and improvement but rather will accept myself for the unique and infinitely flawed human being that I am.
  • I shall not get a better job with more money and benefits but rather find work that satisfies and rewards me and does not ask for my soul if I do not want to give it.
  • I shall not endeavor to make a difference because I know that I already do, as do all of us, simply by being who we are.
  • I shall not seek to find someone special, go on blind dates or be party to any other ploy designed to find me a mate but rather find the specialness in everyone I meet.
  • But most of all, I shall not regret any mistakes, missteps or failures but rather treasure the lessons that they teach me.

That’s my list, what’s yours?

Have a happy new year, celebrate, be safe, be happy.

WC

Overload

I don’t know what it is about life. There are periods of time when everything goes great. The job is great, your diet is working, you have more good hair days than bad, your dentitst compliments you on your dental hygiene and the dog does as it is told. Then there are other times when nothing goes right, the job is a drag or worse, your friends don’t have time for you, your brain is ensconsed in a permanent fog and all you want to do is watch sitcom reruns and eat Cheetos.

Unfortunately, lately, I’m in the latter phase. My mind is elsewhere. If I could find it I might be able to talk some sense into it. If I could locate the synapses that are currently refusing to fire I could dash off my usual 6-7 posts a week. If I could find my ass with two hands I could get my dreary errands and paperwork done. If I could remember what it was that I was going to do, I could go there.

Although, I’ve managed to dress myself and arrive at work on a daily basis – I’ve remembered to eat (sort of) and I try not to leave the house without make up – I’m still just going through the motions. And it’s annoying the hell out of me. I’m not a slacker by nature, in fact I’m a bit obsessive about getting things done and taken care of, at least for the most part. But I can’t seem to shake the lethargy. I can’t seem to make myself do the things I need to do, want to do.

Nothing grabs me or interests me. I’m null. Void. Empty. This sucks.

Though I’ve pondered what could be the trouble I’ve come up with nothing. There is no terrible situation in my life. No emergencies. Nobody sick or injured. No bill collecters calling me. In fact, even the telemarketers have backed off. My well ordered life seems to be clipping along just fine, without me. Weird huh?

It has occurred to me that my job is bad for my brain. It seems to be this ravenous creature that feeds on fresh brain cells and each day it seems to need more. Each day before I go into that office, I suck in a breath and tell my brain cells to go to sleep, lest they experience the torture of being eaten whilst fully awake. I bumper car my way through the day, thinking mostly of when I can leave and get out of that space. This ain’t good. Yes, I already know this. I am making plans to jump ship, soon. I have a few things I have to finish first. But in the meantime….

I guess what I am trying to figure out is how to wake up my brain cells after I leave the job from hell. They don’t seem to want to rouse after sleeping all day and I really need them. I have been feeding them vitamins and protein drinks, fresh air and good books – but still they waffle. Or maybe they are a waffle. It could be. Anything is possible.

So, during my brain fart phase I may go missing for a few days. My comments or responses may seem a bit off. I may seem a bit off. And I am. But it’s just me battling with my brain, trying to herd the cells back into the corale. Nothing more, nothing less.

Hopefully a new brainy phase will follow. Hopefully, the nap has done them good and they will open the door to new and wonderous things for me to tell you about and talk about. Hopefully, they haven’t all run away from home, looking for a smarter and better host who won’t subject them to mind numbing stimuli and bad food.

In the meantime, if you see any of my brain cells please send them home.

WC

Children No More?

I’ve been wondering lately, why we seem to be in such a hurry to make kids grow up. What got me thinking was a ‘sneak preview’ I saw of an upcoming show, Kid Nation. I can’t really say why but the whole concept aggravated me to no end. I kept carping at the television, as though it would listen to me and just stop it.

The basic idea of this show is to take a bunch of kids aged from 8 to 15, put them in a ghost town and see if they can create a community. I suppose on the face of it, it sounds kind of cool and innovative and all that stuff that television execs get worked up about. But to me, it sounds a little sad. Kids are supposed to be kids. This is their time to learn, have fun, have adventures, be care-free and just live – hopefully fully employing their amazing imaginations and creating some precious memories for when they are old farts like the rest of us.

Instead, we give them sex education (Obama thinks age 5 is about the right time for this), teach them about sexual orientation (Why Joey has two mommies), give them more homework than I ever had in high school, cell phones, their own phones, their own televisions, social security numbers, bank accounts, debit cards, designer clothes, start them in school before they can speak, pay big bucks to get them into the right preschool or in some cases pre-preschool, chauffer them everywhere they go, cervical vaccinations as early as age 9, $120 sneakers, highlights and manicures.

They have play dates instead of running through the neighborhood gathering up their pals for a romp at the old railroad station. They have nannies instead of babysitters. Are taught security codes for their homes. Can text message and surf the net like pros, but can’t seem to think. They are ensconsed in electronic paraphanelia, plugged in, zoned out, on antidepressants, have disorders that take up page upon page of the PDR are vast consumers of internet porn and worst of all, cynical.

Have you watched a sitcom lately? Have you noticed that the kids, regardless of age, are always played as all knowing, world-weary, cynical punsters. Mom and Dad clearly can’t teach them anything because they know it all. And apparently must educate their parents in the ways of the world because they are clueless.

Now, when I was a kid, I know we all pretended that our parents were clueless and truly didn’t understand how things really were. Yet, whenever something bad happened, whenever life kicked us in the teeth, whenever something scared the bageebers out of us, we made a beeline to Mom and Pop. They may have been un-hip, squares, not with it, uninformed on pop culture, but they knew stuff. They knew life. They had graduated from the school of hard knocks and they were there for a reason. We all knew this in our hearts.

Today’s kids? I’m not so sure. I look around and it’s not kids I see, but very short adults running around in their power suits, dragging their laptops, drinking their lattes and smoking their cigarettes. Ordering their parents about, who seem to go whichever way they are commanded. They smirk, the deride, they disrespect and snicker.

And I’m not mad so much as sympathetic. I mourn the loss of their innocence. I mourn the loss of their carefree, clueless days. I mourn the loss wild imaginings. Not for me, because I had them. But for them – those in such a hurry to grow up and the parents who are pushing them along.

WC

Full Moon on the Rise?

I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of folks who will exclaim “Must be a full moon” whenever they witness odd, strange or outright bizarre behavior. I’m definitely one of them. To be honest, I’ve know idea if there is anything correct in that estimation as far as science is concerned. There are so many views about the mind and soul and what they are and what they respond to and how they respond to what they respond to that it seems it may be anyone’s guess.

Still…I have to say that whenever I have made such an utterance, the calendar nearly always validates my observation. That being the case, there are many signs to tip one off that there may be a full moon coming. I offer the following list as my contribution to public safety:

1. You come home to find your dog is lounging in your bed wearing your silk underwear.

2. You turn on your left blinker to make a left turn and your airbags release.

3. Your mother sends you an age-appropriate, taste-appropriate gift that is the right size, right color and aligns with your lifestyle. And you love it.

4. At every stop light, homeless dudes come out of nowhere to wash your windshield.

5. Your watch stops at the exact moment your hard drive crashed.

6. You wake up late, don’t get coffee, forget your cell phone and have a flat on the way to work – oh yeah, your triple a card is sitting on your desk with your cell phone.

7. A mini van carrying three soccer moms and ten little league soccer players runs the stop sign, narrowly missing you by a fraction of an inch and everyone flips you off, even the dog.

8. Gas prices go up fifty cents in one hour.

9. David Letterman actually says something funny on his show.

10. You win money on a scratcher and when you get home find a bill from the IRS for that exact amount.

11. You take a picture of Fergie to your hairdresser and tell her that you want a cut just like that and you leave the salon looking like Vin Diesel.

12. When you get home from grocery shopping you discover they forgot to put your butter and milk in the bag and in their stead is two cans of butter beans, a jar of marshmallow fluff and a package of Depends.

13. A cat spooks you as you are turning into your driveway and you hit the fence you put up the day before.

14. You discover that your favorite television show has been pre-empted by a chess match between the Yugoslavian and Siberian chess champs.

15. You find 37 messages on your answering machine from a three year who that day had discovered the phone.

Okay, that’s my list, what’s yours?

WC

How Hot Is It?

Words drip, sweat and
mix metaphor with similie
syntax liquid in its oozing
ekes with panted breath
fire combusting from
sun parched ideas
into molten lines
of nonsensical sentences
shrieking for waves
of cool, clear thoughts
floating on frozen
dacquiries and donning
umbrellas to shield
the mind from mean
summer smog-choked
concepts and dream of
winter’s words and
woolen coats whose pockets
are filled to the brim
with stories that
warm the heart.

Copyright 2007

Do You Listen to Your Little Voice?

Lately, mine has been saying some pretty strange things. Usually it’s the standard admonishments about not getting things done, forgetting to do the laundry, letting deadlines pass me by at warp speed or being fat. There is the occasional critique on my writing but I’ve learned to ignore most of those and I hardly hear them anymore.

But lately…mine has been telling me to ‘wait.’ Yep, that’s it. Just, ‘wait.’ It refuses to answer my questions: “Wait for what? Is something going to happen? Do you know something I don’t know? I hate to wait, why do I have to wait? Can’t you wait and then fill me in with a memo? Wait for WHAT????” Silence. No response, no chiding, no snappy comeback, nothing.

You might say I should ignore my little voice and go about my business. Well, usually I do ignore it – at least most of it – but this time I can’t seem to. It’s as though I am under the spell of the magic mantra, ‘wait.’ Wait, wait, wait, wait. I can’t seem to do anything but obey. Do you suppose it’s the thought police? Are they finally here after all this time?

Maybe it’s my intuition. I have that you know. Oh yes, from the beginning, I have had that funny little ability to sense things. I suppose we all have it to some degree – but mine can sometimes have such power of persuasion that it literally stops me cold. And it can be really annoying too. Luckily, it doesn’t involve talking to dead people – at least most of the time. So, maybe it’s my intuition telling me I should wait. That good things come to those who wait. That patience is a virtue. That an event is coming to which I need to pay attention. If I’m in motion and all crazy and multi-tasking like a loony I’ll miss it. A blur on the screen of life and I won’t have even noticed its coming and going.

Or maybe I’m just tired and need a break. Maybe I’ve been working too hard and my psyche needs a break. Could explain why I haven’t a thought in my head – other than ‘wait.’ Could be why nothing is getting to me in a good or a bad way. It could be….

Consequently, I’ve been playing a lot of computer Mah Jong and Spider. I’m in the wait mode. I’m in a holding pattern. I’m hovering. I’m waiting.

What’s your little voice telling you?

WC

Yes or No?

I don’t know about any of you, but I’ve been proposed to three times. Impressive, eh? Yet, I’m not married. Hmm, something must be out of whack here. Eh? What’s that? Did you ask why? Well let me tell you – in each case (well actually it was four and I did marry one of them, but honestly we were both talked into it, so I’m not sure it counts) there was just a gut feeling, some little voice that said “Don’t do it.”

For those of you who may be toying with accepting a proposal but aren’t quite sure, I offer the following list for consideration before you say yea or nay:

1. His mother still cuts his food and has offered to show how he likes it done.

2. He won’t let you see his driver’s license because he claims it’s a bad picture. Since when do men care if it’s a bad picture?

3. He thinks you should kick in for the engagement ring since you’ll be wearing it most of the time.

4. His idea of a menu for the reception is beer and pizza.

5. He has to drink a sixpack every night in order to relax after work.

6. He’s still friends with all of his former girlfriends.

7. Setting a wedding date is not important after he has moved in with you and you are doing his laundry, cleaning up after him and making him meals.

8. Your remote has a permenant indentation of his thumbprint on it.

9. The only time he speaks to you with any conviction is during sex and while lobbying for what movie to rent on Saturday night.

10. He makes you pick out the ring and then asks the clerk if the deposit is refundable.

11. His ex-wife wants to know your annual income, in case she needs to go back to court and up the child support.

12. He has three kids by a previous marriage but doesn’t want any with you.

13. When he moves in with you, the only thing he brings are his one grocery bag full of clothes and his big screen tv.

14. He won’t tell you where he works and keeps strange hours.

15. His brothers are excited at the prospect of crashing at your place when they are too tired or drunk to go home.

16. He sheepishly tells you he isn’t quite divorced from his first wife yet.

17. He still keeps some of his stuff at his mom’s, or his ex-wife’s house.

18. He wonders out loud, how you’re going to pay for the big fancy wedding you want and why you don’t just go to Vegas, because it includes gambling and free drinks, all for under $300 bucks.

Feel free to add to the list. 😉

WC

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

I realized today that I’m not in a good place. I don’t mean the house where I live or the city in which the house resides. I mean my insides. My head, heart maybe even my soul. I think this was a good realization because it’s making me think and to ask why?

It also made me try to backtrack – to find the time when I was in a good place. Curious really. It seems that over the last few years I’ve become the person I never wanted to be. Less hopeful, less positive, more grouchy, complaining and confused. I honestly wonder from time to time if I’m losing touch or have less of a grip on my senses, especially when I catch my typo’s.

But it’s made me ponder the bigger question – was it meant to be that way? I find myself lonely a lot. I don’t mean in the romantic way – though there is that – but more so in a general way. Most of my friends and people to whom I feel close don’t live nearby – in fact, most of them are at least three states away. With daily life, mine and theirs it’s hard to stay in close touch – some of the connection you get by being in people’s daily lives and they in yours ultimately gives way to the frustrations of daily life, stress, distractions. And I often chide myself for falling out of touch – forgetting to call when I’ve been meaning to, letting birthdays slip past me, not seeing the daily victories and being able to share in them. To no end, really, because what good does that do?

Back to my question: Was my life meant to be this way? Lonely, somewhat isolated, introspective much of the time? When I was a kid I was a bit of a loner. I liked it that way. Five kids in a three bedroom house is a whole lot of noise and chatter and I liked it when it was quiet and I could think or daydream. Maybe that is where it started – I never was the center of attention in anyone’s world, not even mine. My parents had too many children, financial woes and responsibilities to give us much quality time. Each of my siblings found their own way in the world. Their own way to cope with a family that was strung together more from DNA than any kind of spiritual glue. Not that I ever felt I wasn’t loved, I did, I knew I was. But I also felt as though I was regarded as an odd duck, even when I was very small. Like I spoke perhaps not a different language but definitely a different dialect – apparently, it’s all in the intonation, not the words themselves.

So my fate perhaps was set as a child – I would find my own way. Which I did and continue to do. Yet, I can’t say that makes me happy. It makes me lonely. It makes me long for at least one person who will stay constant in my life. One person who would notice if I wasn’t there and be interested in why not. One person who wouldn’t have to move away by several hundred miles in order to fulfill their life plan. Sounds like a significant other, doesn’t it? I wonder, maybe that’s all that it is. If so, I could be in a bad way because I haven’t met anyone who could really turn my head in a long while. Not sure if there is one out there who could anymore. Or maybe it’s me who isn’t doing the head turning. It could be in fact, that I am unlovable. Maybe it’s too icky to get too close to me? How’s that for paranoia?

I wish with all the magic pills they seem to be inventing lately that someone would invent a pill that could grow more adventure in my soul. That could be it – I need an adventure and Zelda is too busy and besides her adventures usually include injuries. Any suggestions?