Warming up the in-inside

 

I am so much warmer than I use to be. The blanketing heat of self-assurance, confidence, comforts me like the safe embrace of a mothers hug.  Before starting 100 Words a Day the thought of writing would cause a deep stab of guilt and regret to course through me. I knew I should be writing but, oh whoa as me, I did not have the time, I could not find the words, my fingers were broken.

It felt as though sitting down to write would be the most difficult thing in the entire universe to do. I’ve birthed babies, nearly died from blood loss, raised a family, built a business and slapped a smile on while doing it all but writing? God no. No thank you Ma’am, that…that will definitely flatten me.

Writing was the easiest thing to push to the sidelines. How could I make time for something that I was not receiving immediate kickbacks from? What I didn’t see was that the rewards we draw from our creative enterprises are more beneficial to our souls than our pocketbooks. The prospect of a healthy soul is difficult to put a price on. We value our inside, our in-inside, differently than we do our physical body and external world. If we can see it, we can sooth it. No point in wasting time with the places that aren’t apparent to us.

It is an easy practice to fall into, one that I took on wholeheartedly. All the while the small nowhere-space next to my heart was crying out for a little kindness.

In times of chaos our creativity can seem as though it is a useless thing. A washed up nothingness that is better castoff for later days. We push it to the side and say, “I don’t have time for you now, Creativity.” Even though there is a slight longing in our voice as we toss it to the proverbial can.

I’ve discovered that it is precisely this creativity that helps to smooth out the chaos. Round out its edges. By shoving the meaningless things, the Facebooky and gossipy things to the side it was simple to make room for some souly things.  And I am already so much warmer because of it.

Our creative ventures are worth it. They cradle us unlike any material expedition could. As humans we forage creativity like bees to nectar. It is our nature to nurture the in-inside. But the external world, the sensible money making, “I have a million things to do” world tells us these prospects are a waste of time. Stop fighting it. Take a few minutes each day to do a little of what you love and then allow the rightness of it make you warm again.

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Being human is a strange and scary thing

 

Everyone wants to be just a little bit freer. Free of the worries which cloud over us like rising waves out of a stock still sea. Free of the pain and the sorrow which soars inches above our head allowing us to believe we have just barely dodged it. It circles round. Free of the tiny things, the ones we do not know are doing us harm. The head in the sand things. The turn your gaze to another things.

We want to be taken as well. Take your freedom and stuff it, says us. Roll it away to darkened corners. We do not want the heavy weight of decision-making upon us. We do not want to create or to resolve or to amend. Life has an abundance of idea-men already and autonomy is far too overrated.

We want to be in charge. We want the reigns.  The power, the prominence. We want, we want, we want too many materials to name. Want becomes need because the line here is thin. It is emaciated from eons of manipulation.

We want love. Light, luscious, luminescent love. Take you away from your own personal horror love. Save you love. We bargain for this love in friends, fans, mistresses, men and children. Dogs. Especially dogs. Dogs are not truth tellers—this is why we love them so.

We are all experts, yearning for a pat on the back. We know it all. We do it best. We say it perfectly. We are always right. If we are not, we will die. This is obvious from the strong personal vigils we stand yelling about our ultimate rightness to all those who will listen.

We are humble. We want to be humble. So fucking badly. We want to stand in a public square, baring our soul to those who seek it. Allowing strangers to touch our tarnished humanity, let go of the fear which holds us back. We want to be okay. We want the other people to see that we are okay. There goes the humility.

We want faith if it comes with statistics. We want happiness if it comes with a bit of pain. (Not too much pain because that would hurt.) We could use a little more sadness if it comes with tactful sexual allure. And we want it now, but only in small slices because we cannot handle a lot of anything at once.

We want our mothers, without their philosophies. We want fame without talent. Prestige without having done anything at all. We want blood while keeping our hands clean. Beautiful smiles which obscure the malice that lies beneath. We want strength without training. Exploration without danger. To experience life without living.

And each day we grapple with these morbid thoughts of want versus need. We jumble them, mix them into a giant bowl of universal subject matter. As we lay them out to dry, frightened for what we might discover, we forget that this is our impermanence we organise so deftly within our imagination stations. We look it over. We stare into its abyss wondering how to work it all out. How to consolidate this mass of mess in just the perfect way so it will come out inline with what all the other humans are doing.

So it will be undetectable. Desirable. So we will fit in. So we can simply be.

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The Plight of the Sensitive Smeller

 

The smell of grease fat lingers this morning from the previous night’s feast of fish and chips. Tiny whiffs of scent hang in the air like the surprise fun-bags you find at novelty shops. Except rather than discovering fanciful prizes upon opening them, these sacks contain a swift punch to the nostrils. A walloping of the senses.

I hate weird smells. Can you tell? I’m so anal about it. My roommates (and by “roommates” I mean my kids, husband and sister in law) must get SO annoyed with me. I am forever asking, “What is that disgusting smell?” or yelling in top rage mode, “WHY DOES THIS HOUSE STINK ALL OF THE TIME?!”

Sometimes I wonder if it is me that smells. I will slink away to the bathroom and attempt to check my various body parts for ill-smelling indicators but that never works. If the horrendous smells were in fact coming from my person I’d never be able to tell. I would have already become accustomed to my reek. The ripened aroma would have already amalgamated with my skin follicles. I would wear it like a child wears her favorite Halloween costume, for days and remorselessly. I would bathe happily in my stench never quite accepting the dismay I was putting those I love through by simply standing next to them.

This revelation leads me to believe that there still must be something extra that is stinking up my home because I can in fact smell it. I will begin rooting around under furniture, behind tables, like a hog roots for truffles. I am on a quest to find the sought after tang of insubordination. For one beautiful moment I believe the smell might have dissipated. I have opened the windows and currently all I can detect is an unsoiled breeze blowing in. My heart is aflutter by the seemingly mystical properties which have vanquished the horrendous odour from my abode. A single tear drops from my eye. I am free.

However my happiness is in vain. Somewhere in the depth of my senses there is a tingling. It lazily alerts my brain that the smell has not truly left but lays in wait. There is rests. “Soon” it teases as the plot of this ever thickening joke on my senses evolves.

Alas my friends, this is the plight of the sensitive smeller. It is a sad and pathetic tale but one which must be told. So next time you encounter someone whose nose is particularly in tune with their surroundings, remember these words. Have sympathy. Agree that, yes, there definitely is a revolting stink in here. And most of all assist them in their hunt for the aroma in question because, as our sacred scent-detecting mantra goes: A smellers search is never through until the smell is found.

 

Another post on writing and junk, you’d think we were all writers or something around here…weird.

 

The power in our small bi-level home surges as I hit the SUBMIT button. Wait, was that a sign? A message sent from the great beyond? My skin turns to gooseflesh. I think of Grampa Bert, my all-time favourite storyteller. Maybe? Bah! Hogwash. It’s an old house and the electrical in this bitch sucks. I guess it is more likely that my brain, the soft part that need constant reassurance, is really just teeming with anxiety over the new flood of rejection messages I will be receiving in two to eight weeks. Prepare yourself, rejection is coming.

Side note: there is a fly in this room right now. A FLY IN DECEMBER! Its buzzing is infuriating not only for the distraction but for the sheer perplexity of its existence.

I’ve begun sending out stories, essays, blurbs and whatever else a publisher may want to take a look at. I’m like a teeny-bopper clad in fluorescent pink and the personality to match—look at me, pay the attention to this gal over here!

A few days ago my sister-in-law asked me why I write online. Well she didn’t come out and literally ask me. We were talking about writing and I naturally assumed she wanted to know every possible detail of my writing career so I willingly divulged my secrets…that are no more secret than my dirty erotica writing forays.

I told her that I write to obviously become rich and famous because, you know, that’s what all art is about. Duh. But as a secondary motive I write to simply tell the stories that are buzzing around (like this damn December fly) in my brain. It seems as soon as I drag one out and place it to word processing document another one begins to unfold into reality.  The more I write, the more stories are waiting to be written.

I think about reading stories that stick with me for days, weeks, hell years afterwards. I will remember images or a plot twist or the simple construction of the first sentence, the hook, and I realise how essential the written word can be. Stories entangle our imaginary lives with reality giving us the perfect amount of unrealistic expectations to keep us moving forward and striving on. They feed our waning imaginations. The older we grow the more fiction we must consume to keep our brains hale and hearty.

Great literature from the past, blogs posts, short stories, online magazines, a funny Facebook post; we read and write to connect with one another.

The idea that something I’ve written could affect someone like this intoxicates me. I could be like an imagination doctor! To think one story, one sentence even will stop the reader and make him say, “Hey, I never thought of it that way.” It is a mesmerising goal to reach for. If I can write one blog post that someone reads and thinks, “That is exactly how I feel too sometimes, at least I’m not alone.” I’ve scored the big one.

I’m a peopley person. What can I say, I love them humans. And I’ve obsessed over writing since the beginning of time, my beginning at least. Writing and the human condition fit hand in hand. Or existential crisis in existential crisis. I guess it depends on how you’re looking at it, where you’re positivity meter stands at the moment.

So I’m going to keep on writing, keep on submitting my work and rejection messages be dammed! I’ll wear them down eventually…or I’ll get better I suppose. Whichever comes first.

I’ll show ‘em, I’ll show ‘em all! One day you’re gunna see my name in lights!

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The shiny things have distracted me again.

My eyes part to the sound of an energetic whirring that is coming from my right. The sound seems to be magnified in the otherwise dead quiet of our bedroom. It drones merrily, LLLLLIIIIIIIIIINNNNNDDDDDSSSSSSAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY (but not really because in the morning ones imagination is soft and pliable, it will believe anything). It nearly jumps from the ledge of my bedside table.

I wish I was the kind of person who did not need an alarm clock. You know the type. Those people who boast that they are so in tune with their own body, the internal clock which lives somewhere in their brain—or maybe it’s their foot, you know, to get them moving—anyways, it wakes them without incident every single morning. Yeah, I wish I was like that.

Alas I’m still using my trusty cell phone (like a sucker) perched to the side of my bed with a message splayed across it saying, “GOOD MORNING!!!” in what I have come to believe is a seriously passive aggressive pre-dawn text revulsion.

The street is speckled with hundreds of tiny multi-colored lights. Cheer bottled-up into filaments the size of a cat’s claw. The radio serenades me with Jingle Bell Rock and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus because it knows that is what I want to hear this fine and frosty morning. Obviously.

I had toyed with the idea of writing something profound this morning. Wowing you with my inexorable insight, my glass-windowed vision. I imagined exhibiting my heartache, my unrequited culpability, up like a farmer does his heifer for market. I would try to sell it to you, get it into your brain and out of mine. Pass the pain along. Share it among the healthy folk. Or, perhaps, the unhealthy ones. They will gobble it up faster. No questions asked.

I was thinking of showing you the guilt that sometimes claws its way to the surface and spills over the top (because it is over the top) in ill at ease times of aforementioned heartache. The times I let down those I love and those I do not love in a cataclysmic foray of disappointment. The times I must deliver the bad news, the stuff of plugged ears and dull faces.

I could have wrote, this morning about misery and mountaineering. I could have turned it all around and shone some upbeat and blinding light of positivity into the murky thoughts that sometimes cloud my better judgment. I could explain (in my very best self-help voice) that if we shoot for the sky we will reach the stars.

I might have slid words together like children gliding down an icy knoll. Content with jibber jabber and momentary answers to questions never asked, at least not by me. My prophet days are probably still ahead of me, oh how I will profit one day.

I could have carved it all out upon this word document and felt lighter in the end. I should have tossed it down intending to leave it where it lay. Rid myself of the word plague I struggle against everyday. Instead the flicker of pink and green and red and blue lights dance just off the flank of my vision. It distracts me for the times being, it is shiny and bright. Familiarity hugs me, and what kind of monster fights against hugs? I guess the lights will do for now. I’ll preach tomorrow.

 

FEAR

 

Some days I am afraid. I am afraid to start writing each morning for fear of discovering I no longer fall fast and deeply in love when placing pen to paper, finger to key, idea to world.

Some days I am afraid. Most days in honesty, panic strikes long and unabashed as I ready the babes for their school time escapades. Am I enough?  Can I do right by them? Will my guiding hand be strong and kind enough to chaperone them around life’s sadness and hurdles?

Some days I am afraid. Afraid of the tiny soloist who lives in the deep of my character and sings stridently about wasted opportunities. Rejections. The awkward moments and the ill-advised decisions. He will remind me of former days and he does not quiet. He does not calm.

Today I wake with a different type of fear dripping from my better judgment. Afraid that the fear which drives, the fear which pushes me to places I once imagined never gracing, will leave me lonely and lackluster.

For it is not the fear that holds us back—that keeps us indolent. It is a lack thereof. It is an emptiness in that place that gives us butterflies when dreaming of future days. It is a hole in the fabric that weaves together our motivation in all things seemingly impossible. It is a gap in the driving force that gives us grounds to reach into the farthest depths of our will for the people we love. It is desolation upon our plain of imagination.

It is this loss of motivation, this loss of fear that scares me most of all.

We tell ourselves that the fear is what we should fight against. The fear of this and the fear of that is what is holding us back. I have come to disagree. It is the fear that keeps us going. It is the fear that tells us we will never be good enough. Never be strong enough or smart enough or happy enough. It is this terror of “not enough” that keeps us striving. It keeps us living.

I suspect the fear will forever live somewhere just beneath the surface, and in hopes of eradication it will remain just out of reach. But close enough to keep me lively. Incentives towards growth. An aid in personal evolution. So I will hold my fear close at hand and continue to do the things which scare me.

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I’m just a rambling (wo)man.

 

I grab my phone and punch the Facebook icon for the twentieth time this morning. What am I looking for? I have recently come to learn that I am addicted to Facebook. I use it as a substitute for food and cigarettes (my last two addictions) when I am in need of some sort of security blanket consoling. A melancholy gloom hangs precariously above my head. At least the coffee is strong this chilly December morning.

The hymn of the worry wort has sprung forth in my brain and it rages methodically for a tune to harmonize with.  I have learnt over the years how to calm this beast with writing and visualization techniques. I visualize myself stomping, setting aflame then doing the Salsa upon the grave of my worrying tendencies.

What I really find works though, is the innate knowledge that I am smart, resourceful and confident enough to get through whatever it is which is causing me concern. This works fine, when it is controlled variables that are directly affected by my actions. Making money and career advancement for example. My theory does not work as well when it comes to human beings. We are a fickle bunch you know.

I find my uncertainties blossom into thousands of rampant eddies of thought and anxiety when people pleasing comes to mind. People Pleasing: my kryptonite. I’ve gotten better over the years at saying no to those I love. I have come to understand as I grow older that the happiness of others does not solely rest in my hands. Even if I wanted to, it would be impossible to make everyone happy. It simply cannot be done leading me to believe, in some twisted way, that I am a failure. This is the vicious circle of People Pleasing.

Yet even as I type these words there is a minute inkling in the deep of my soul that says this is an untruth. Beyond all of my better judgement, the hundreds of self-help books I’ve scoured and the confidence building courses I’ve endured, I still feel the innate urge to fall down flat so those I love can walk over me towards their happiness.

What a convoluted thing to write, I know.

Look guys, I know it seems like I have it all figured out here on this blog where I write slick sentences and pretty poetries but I’m just trying to unravel the mysteries of life too. I suspect that this is pretty much what every other messed up human onboard this ship is driving for as well.

We all have our foibles that make us “not perfect” and I would like to believe that most of us work tirelessly towards a healthy future. But until then, I think it is important that we give ourselves a millisecond to sit back and enjoy the journey.

Sometimes life can feel like a rambling blog post (much like this one I’m constructing right now) it keeps moving erratically and is impossible to organise. It will feel like you are running out of time to wrap things up into the neat and tidy bow you’ve imagined for it. I think it is important to remember that not everything can be tied up tidy every single time. Not every problem has a straightforward answer. Often when we sit back and leave it lay how it has fallen, these are the moments we can truly appreciate the truth in what we’ve created.

 

Progressing is key, it is time to delve into the deep.

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
― Anne LamottBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

If I could choose just one quote to love more than any others it would be this one. If there was one group of words which summed up how I usually feel or at least how I want to feel about life as a writer, this group would be it.

Unfortunately (or I suppose fortunately) for me there are far too many astounding humans quoted every damn day to choose just one as a favourite.

As I meander once again through the shallow waters of script and sonnet I can feel myself wading dangerously close to the deep end.  Currently I splash cheerily, absent-minded, in superficial thoughts. Words flow easily over my toes and out into the beyond. I think little of these sentences I scroll because little thought is required. It is all rhetoric. Pretty prose echoed agreeably as I spill it from my soul. Thoughts on life and love and being human. These are the easy things to write. They are safe but with little substance.

My words today will not strike any profound cords in those who read them. They will not rummage up memories which have been tucked away for safekeeping. These sentences are not dangerous. They will not provoke any deeper wondering or wake the harboured yearnings of moments lost to oblivion. They do not strip away the beautiful fluff we humans shield ourselves with to protect against anything weightier than the daily grind. Instead my words today will gently settle down upon you, resting easy while a war still rages beneath the surface.

There is an itching in my brain and it is growing stronger as my confidence as a writer ripens. I know it is not feasible to continue to write from this comfort state in which I currently live. To grow we must go out on a limb. We must use our doubt as a parachute and fall into the unknown with the tools and the belief that we will thrive against all odds. If we stay in this place of ease, the art of the matter will halt and nothing new will emerge.

There are many projects, ideas and visions I can so clearly see in my minds-eye. They will require hard work, resolve and a promise to write real and true – which is sometimes the most difficult requirement of all.

It is just a matter of finding the resolve to shut my eyes tight and jump, without reservations, into the deep.

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I nearly broke my perfect streak!

I tried to cheat this morning. *Sigh* I tried to cheat and hide it from you guys. I tried to hide it from myself – mumbling under my breath that it would be okay if I did it just this once. I had justification. Ugh I disgust myself.

Moments ago I found myself surfing through my Google Docs. I was looking for something that hadn’t been published that I could pass off as my daily post. I was literally about the CHEAT! I’m having a bit of a panic attack here. Well not really, it’s actually more of an attention attack so you’ll just have to excuse me while I let this pass.

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Okay, so why did I almost do it?

Well like I said I had justification. Since starting this writing project I’ve mustered up the wherewithal to take a look at some of my unfinished projects. And some of them (not all of them, let’s not go crazy here) are actually pretty good. They need some spit shining and a few rewrites but I want to try submitting to a few publishers. Again. This is actually a big deal because the mental and emotional trauma a writer endures while submitting their work to hundreds of publishers only to get rejected over and over again is pretty heavy stuff to say the least man.

So my plan was to sluff off my daily post and work on more pressing matters. But isn’t that sort of defeating the purpose Lindsay? *She types to herself in a borderline psychotic break sort of way.

The entire point of this thing is to warm up my writing skills. Isn’t getting this inspiration/guts to delve into the publishing world again only proving that my new writing habit is working. Why would I stop now?

Plus, 100 words a day isn’t difficult. Look, I’ve just got down over 300 in the few minutes I’ve been mulling this over!

Thanks writing friends, you guys are sure swell to talk to.

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Do you ever feel the pressure of waiting projects and overlook the process? Tell me what helps keep you on track and maybe I can adopt some new methods so I don’t try to cheat again!

 

 

It is Sunday and I’m Writing Stuff Down

A steaming cup of coffee sits to my left and just like that I am rejuvenated. A bit of this has to do with the coffee (well, maybe more than a bit. Coffee is life.) But more so it is a feeling of reemergence that is warming my heart this early Sunday morning. It has been exactly six days of writing at least 100 words a day and despite my misgivings about this project in the beginning I can already feel the difference in this once-weary writer’s soul.

Ideas are springing up seemingly out of nowhere. A newfound verve for unfinished projects has encapsulated me. Any spare moment I have I find myself meandering through writing projects I haven’t glanced at for years.

I no longer have that hardening feeling of it all being much too much. That overwhelming pressure when looking at all of the unfinished projects on my computer. The desperate feeling of inadequacy which ultimately stopped me dead in my tracks and inhibited me from pressing forward at all.

By writing every day and having the knowledge that I will continue to write every day I am reminded about how much I purely love to write. It is not about the end result yet. It is about the forming of sentences, the formulating of stories. It is about writing my truth down and knowing that I am doing this simply to improve and strengthen my craft. It is about growth as a writer and the growth of becoming my own human being.

What comes from that is yet to be determined and I’ve decided that that is alright by me. I have learnt that looking too far into the future is detrimental to my own creative process. So for now I will not take this writing time for granted but instead celebrate in the muse I have been so fortunate to once again find.

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Turns out, we all just have to communicate like there is no tomorrow.

Being a human is pretty damn lonely sometimes.

There are moments when I become so introverted in my thoughts and feelings that for a while I wonder if I will ever be able find my way out to civilisation again. Because let’s face it, sometimes it’s just easier to withdraw. It is simpler to go inwards and stew over that weird thing you said at that party ten years ago rather than face our concerns head on. That would involve confrontation, and if you are anything like me, confrontation is the root of all things uncomfortable in life.

I just finished reading, “The Last Tribe” by Brad Manuel. This book you guys. It. Is. Amazing. Read it now, my recommendation is strong with this one. Look I can’t even form a proper sentence because I am so obsessed with this book. One of the great qualities of The Last Tribe is how developed the characters are. Not only the main group of characters but ALL OF THEM. They all have little quirks and flaws but as a whole possess a purpose to survive in a dead world after a terrible pandemic catastrophe wipes out of the world.

With this attribute comes a similar communication technique which I wholly agree would be crucial in surviving a post-apocalyptic world. They are all exceptionally straight forward and candid. There is no skirting around issues or tippy-toeing around others because, I suspect in that type of a situation, coyness would likely get you killed.

These characters live in a new world where community is key to their survival. If one member of the group doesn’t like an idea they actually voice their concern (crazy concept right?!) There is no malice in their objection. They are simply pointing out the flaws where they see them. And on that token there are very rarely hurt feeling from these rebuttals. If someone’s idea is shot down due to serious design faults, they have the wherewithal to step back from themselves, look at it from a non-ego wielding point of view and acknowledge that it likely was not the best move for the group.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this happen in my everyday life. In this reality we are not in dire straits. We do not need to worry about survival. Teamwork and communication between peers is far less relevant. At least, this is what we’d like to believe.

The human race (at least most of us) has evolved to this point where we all just think we are the smartest smarty-pants whom have ever walked the earth. We can do it all. We don’t need no stinking input from others. It has actually become rude to rebut someone’s idea. I don’t actually know how we have progressed as far as we have. And when we don’t know the way, when we are feeling at a loss instead of asking for help we hide away. We retreat into our caves of concealment because some part of our brain has begun to think that needing help is a sign of weakness.

The reality is, we all need help sometimes. We may not be living on a post-pandemic world of fleeting technological resources but we do still need to work together for our survival. Maybe in our case it is more of an emotional survival but it is survival nonetheless.

I have decided as a personal goal that I am going to try much harder to be straightforward with the people I love. Not mean or hurtful but to tell those I live with how I am feeling about certain situations and voice my opinions on how to make things better. With that said I am going to put great effort forward to toss away the ego exerting mindset which causes me to get offended when someone suggests something be done differently than “my way”.

We all have areas of expertise and different ways of thinking around a problem, doesn’t it make sense to listen to all of the thoughts on the table? When they say, “Two heads are better than one” I don’t think they are talking about mythical monsters.

This idea had begun slowing creeping into my brain and now has taken on a fully formed shape which I cannot remove. I think that to begin living a happy and healthy life we must begin to communicate with one another like we are all just trying to survive a post-apocalyptic world. It is time to start speaking with truth and communicating effectively again.

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Just get the hell on with it why don’t you!

 

I look at the day ahead. I am reeling with anxiety. Timelines and schedules disco-hop through my mind’s eye in a fashion that leads me to believe that my brain has an evil ulterior motive. My hands quiver as I type and I have to wonder if I should even be taking this time to type at all because, damn, I just have so much to do today.

I am the sort of person who gets overwhelmed easily. Can you tell? I have a very difficult time dealing with too many responsibilities over one 24 hour time period. For example, raising children isn’t a stress factor (well it is, but not in the same way) because this endeavour spans an entire lifetime. If I want to feed them popcorn for dinner or skip homework one night  it’s going to be okay because I have a plethora of child-rearing days to make up for the misstep. Having three business meetings, a large quantity order going out during the lunch rush and having to do it all before 3pm when I pick the kids up from school…that gives me the spine chills.  These are the days I am an anxious ball of pent up stress that is undoubtedly radiating a gross amount of sweat and negative energy. An absolute treat to be around I’m sure.

And yes, oh yes, I’ve tried about every possible remedy for this fretful behaviour. From calming teas to lavender oil…to actually attempting to will away the busy onset of events—nothing seems to work.

Except there is actually one thing.

And that is, simply getting on with it. Just doing the shitty, stressful, wholly unwanted thing with a smile on your face and a can-do attitude in your heart. Yeah, yeah, lamest thing I’ve ever written. I know guys, but the truth of it is this is life man.

Sometimes we must simply get into the car and drive to the place we’ve never been. Despite the worry about getting lost and the stress of not knowing anybody there. Sometimes there is no simpler solution than to just do.

I find when managing my time efficiently and using up the leisure time I do have with productive ventures such as reading and writing I am more willing to participate in the tougher stuff with a positive attitude. As a general rule, a can-do ‘tude is one of the best qualities one can have…even if you are feeling the shit storm of obligation encompassing you like that mighty claws of a great griffon, sometimes you just gotta smack that griffon on the talon and say, “let’s fuckin’ do this!”

We humans are resilient and we typically thrive in high pressure situations, revealing to ourselves and others how remarkable we truly are. As we continue to “just get on with it” each time this feeling of conquering the beast becomes easier and easier to overcome.

We do not have the ability to learn or live well without experiencing a little trepidation in our lives. Anything worth doing is going to cause stress because it is new and unknown. In most instances, we must just get on with it or else life will get on without us.

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I Want To Write Poetry…Sometimes.

 

I wanted to write poetry this morning.

Mourning how many months, years, millennia

It has been since verse has scrawled across this screen.

I wanted to write beautifully

Words that scratch some surface

Suitably.

I wanted to write about appetite:

Strange passions.

Outrageous actions.

Famous fashions.

These moments-

They sometimes consume me.

Entangling me in yet-to-be-made memories.

Seeds for tomorrow days

Unmade ways

Ablaze with stories running with haste

In my brain.

I wanted to write something truthful

It seems.

I wanted to explain the emotions

Which reign.

I wanted to share pain,

Releasing and freeing. I wanted to freeze

This feeling of wellbeing

And peace.

To paper, to screen

To forever be seen.

I wanted to write poetry this morning.

Not only to mourn over time mislaid and misplaced

But to celebrate what life and writing has

Forever encased.

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Feeding the ego – one of the best ways to self sabotage.

 

Yesterday I mentioned ego and how we often tend to use technology to feed that ego in today’s society. I have several friends on my Facebook who use the motto “there is no such thing as bad press” to a fault. They air their dirty laundry as though it had been sitting in a pile of cow shit for days. Breakups, makeups, gripes and grimaces everything goes published in the land of Facebook statuses.

Random Facebook Status: ugh I love it when people stick their noses into my life without even knowing what is going on.

Comment 1: Don’t worry about those losers, you’re awesome!

Comment 2: *hugs*

Comment 3: People are so just jealous of you. You keep doing you babe!

This randomly generated Facebook status is a prime example of how easy it is to feed the ego in today’s tech driven world. The ability to boost ourselves up with a false sense-of-self from a list of randos who we have not seen or spoke to “IRL” in YEARS is literally at our fingertips. We are connected by this amazing technology that has the ability to do so much good in our lives and yet we squander its wonders with worrying relentlessly over how many “likes” we’ve received on our last profile pic update.

 

For so long I wrote for not myself nor those wanting to read my writing. I wrote for the likes. I wrote for the shares and the “wow you’re a really good writer” and the “oh my gosh you’re so funny!”

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I wrote for the sheer high it gave me to hit the publish button and watch the ego feeding frenzy come rolling in. I didn’t care about the content. It did not matter to me if I was writing true or not. I was simply looking for anyone to tell me I was good enough.

The problem was, eventually the “likes” and the shares stopped coming. The posts I was producing had become rushed and sloppy. The content was, in all honesty, shit. Running loops around pointless subjects that in the end, nobody cared to read about.

And this my friends is where the problem lies when seeking out self-aggrandizing methods upon social media platforms. Eventually, people catch on to your sly ways. They begin to see through the bullshit and your audience gets bored.

I no longer cared about the writing itself or who was reading it. I only cared about the number of views I received and how far my writing had travelled. The stories meant nothing to me, in all honesty the stories had all been done before. I wasn’t even trying anymore. It was the numbers that had somehow moved into the priority spot in my brain.

And as a writer, when the numbers takes precedence over the words…you know there is a bit of a problem.

So like all mentally healthy individuals, I threw my hands up in the air and said, “fuck it! I’m done with writing. I’m not getting the views and feedback I want so that equates to me not being good enough to carry on. Obvs.”

It took about six months of me subconsciously stewing over my writing to realise what had been happening. Yeah I know, that’s a long time to take to comprehend something so obvious.

So now I am back. No Facebook, no more feeding the ego. Just writing. It is time to get back to the words. To sling sentences and once again fall in love with the wholeness of writing something well. It is time to starve a little for my craft.

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Facebook is weird, but so is everything.

 

The harsh glow of this screen is straining my eyes as I try to think of the exact words that will explain how I feel this morning.  In the next minute I drop everything to google a few hilarious birthday memes and put them on my brother’s wall. It’s his birthday and memes are life. What the hell did I use to do before the internet? Be forced to call someone on the phone on their birthday? Human interaction? Ew gross.

Ugh what kind of social media monster have I become? Time after time I have seen this magnificent thing called Facebook work wonders for my professional life. It has helped me advertise our current business virtually for free. It has given me the ability to write and be read by hundreds of people who would have never seen my work otherwise.

However for a time, it also alienated me. It tucked me into a place where social interaction was solely taken through screen time and conversation was rather typed than spoken. It made face to face interactions odd and unkemptly, as though somewhere in the back of my brain I was thinking this socializing thing might just be easier if I wasn’t here at all. The protection of a screen had become everything.

Then we opened a business where speaking to people became our way of earning money. Everyday different humans walk into our shop and I am forced to converse with them. It is actually the best thing that could have ever happened to me. While we all know that socialization is important, I think we sometimes forget how detrimental physical human interaction actually is to our mental health.

It can get very lonely sitting behind a screen simply feeding ones ego with “likes” and “shares”.  It can become a hard habit to break. How easy it has become to feel as though we are living grandly in the imaginary frontier of the information superstation. How simple it is to believe that all of those friends and followers truly care about what and where and why and how we are living.

These sites that were crafted to connect us to each other have achieved to such an extent that they have disconnected us from everyday physical and emotional experiences. And although they create optimal and vast opportunities for professional growth they seem to be stifling our personal and emotional wellbeing. Simply put, those who cannot sort out the good and helpful aspects from the social media garbage are being left behind to wander aimlessly. They are searching for a false gratification that can never truly be achieved in that kind of a place, only hoped for under grossly false pretenses of grandeur and greatness.

I’ve come to enjoy talking and interacting with people again. I have learnt to appreciate different people’s foibles and intricacies. It is what makes us human and the main thing we try to hide when living behind a screen. In real life I seek these flaws out and remind myself to appreciate them in all of the people I meet because it means we are living, it means we are still trying to connect.

At times I still have to remind myself that there is nothing opulent about my social media sites. They are not there to make me rich nor famous but to simply allow me to stay in touch with those I do not see every day. These sites are not a substitution for connection but instead an extension for when there is no other option.

With that said, I’ll be signing off for now. I think it’s about time I call my brother and wish him a happy birthday.

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I’m back, and it might be a little awkward because I said that I was leaving forever but we are just going to have to persevere through this together until the weirdness abates.

 

My reflection hangs in the protective glass of a topographical map of Middle Earth. My husband has made it recently and it is an amazing piece of work. A stab of jealousy, or is this envy? Courses through my chest. It is not jealousy over his time nor envy for his talent. It is something else that I cannot quite name. Perhaps his resolve? His willingness to put his own hobbies before the meaningless hubbub, the monotonous pretexts of life. He loves creating these maps, therefore he just does it.

It seems to me any time I have an inkling about “doing” something for myself a flood of excuses washes over me and stops the notion in its tracks. I can’t write that book because I’m not smart enough. I can’t work on my short stories because I don’t have the time to put in the heavy editing that needs doing on them. I couldn’t possibly start up the spoken word poetry again because nobody listened to it in the first place.

My heart hurts when I think that these are the reasons I’ve held myself back from engaging in the thing that I love. Yes time is a factor, I am busy. We all are busy. But life is also flexible. It is an unending corridor of possibility an unrelenting miasma of options if only you learn how to wrangle it for your own.

If we do not allow ourselves to make the time for the purists which make us happy, what are we doing here? I suppose work and making money and being financially accountable are the “responsible” things to do at this point in our lives, but there must be something else. We must be able to mark and create the designs that live in our souls doing what makes us feel whole in order to live a rewarded life.

Ray Bradbury said, “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”

Somewhere between all of the worldly concerns of growing older I had forgotten his advice. I swept all fervour away and practicality became my main driving force. Admittedly, at the time this is what I needed. Sometimes to get on track with our professional goals we must batten down the hatches of our own whimsy and get down to business at hand. But I think I’ve come to a point where I have room for a little whimsy to creep back in. To be truthful, I believe it is exactly what I need.

So here we are, same blog, different name, new content. I would like to tell you what this thing is going to be about but, hell if I know man. I think it is just going to be the place where I come, every day, to write one hundred words…and maybe a little more if the muse decides to take me.

 

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Co-Workery

 

One of the most common questions we have gotten since starting up The Hot Wire is firstly, “Do you guys own this place?” Secondly, “Wow that’s awesome, you’re married then?” And finally, “Holy man don’t you guys drive each other nuts working together?” This last question is usually followed up by a, “I’d never be able to work with my wife/husband I’d kill them!”

We laugh, nod understandingly and play along telling them that, “Oh boy it’s come close to that before!” And then we all chuckle in good humour and continue on with our trade.

The truth is, of course it’s not easy working with your spouse. It’s also not easy working with a complete stranger or your best friend or a sibling either. The real damn truth of the matter is that it’s not easy working with anyone because all human beings have their own distinct ways of doing things. Isn’t that the purpose of kindergarten? To learn how to play well with others?

Jamie and I met while working together. It was in a little chicken factory…you may have heard of it  – KFC? We worked together for a few years but then went on to pursue separate things in life. Maybe that’s what primed us for our later years of co-workery (cool new word ‘eh?).

When we first began setting up the shop I worried about so many things when it came to working with Jamie. Mostly though, would there be a power struggle? Well, not really because he knew everything about the industry and I knew literally nothing. That basically determined our roles in the company pretty darn quick. Although most of the time I will still pretend to be the boss and he just plays along because he is a gawd-damn saint I tell you. A knight in shining armour! He often calls me “Boss” and I roll my eyes but quietly tuck away a smile because I know he does it just to make me feel good about myself and my place at The Hot Wire.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not all cutesy name calling and flirty ass-grabbing when it comes to spouses working together. There are days when we’ve had enough of each other. When one of us has said or done something to royally piss off the other one and we avoid each other like the plague.

There we’ll be, Jamie sitting on one side of the restaurant, me on the other, drinking our coffee and not acknowledging the others presence. And that’s okay too. I’ll be the first to admit it. We fight. Sometimes we are in the midst of a big ‘ol snap fest when a customer approaches the door and we turn it off like a magic button has been switched in the aggressive part of our brains and say in our most cheery voice, “Hi there! How’s it going today?” and the person walking in knows none the wiser because that’s just what the customer service industry is all about.

The business doesn’t wait for your spat to be through. The business doesn’t care about your hurt feelings or disagreements. The business only knows good service. Relationships and personal tribulations become secondary to that during regular business hours. This is the entrepreneur’s motto.

There has been too many times to count that I will be angry at Jamie and sulking when I realise I need to talk to him about something business related. Maybe it’s our next sandwich special or something to do with The Hot Wire’s bank account.

99.9% of me wants to ignore the issue and continue giving him the silent treatment but I know that is not an option when it comes to the business. So I deflate my ego a tad and continue on with professional matters. Pretty soon the topic of business will somehow shift our stuffiness towards each other and we will begin to work out all of the things that need working out. Eventually we find ourselves back to him calling me, “Boss” and me laughing at his corny jokes and wondering why we were so angry in the first place.

Perhaps both of us subconsciously know that things just go smoother when we aren’t in a huff with each other. Over the last year it seems to me that, although we certainly do not argue less, we do seem to resolve our disagreements on a much more congenial and timely basis.

Jamie and I were friends before we dated and have been lucky enough to only become better friends since then. We disagree on almost everything, we argue over small details, we drive each other crazy most of the time with our vastly differing opinions but we have the utmost respect for those opinions regardless of everything.

You could say we are friends with benefits. However our “benefits” far exceed the sexual favours that in which the popular saying suggests (although that’s nothing to shake a stick at either). My husband and I are lucky enough to have the benefit of choosing our own path. We make our decisions regarding money, business, family, children and life together. We hold each other up in times of stress and we celebrate as one in times of victory.

Working together does have its trials, but the trails seem minuscule when compared to the triumphs we get to revel in together. These are the days we are building up babes and a business simultaneously and some days if feels as though it is too much, sometimes we worry we have taken on more than we can chew. But we move through those rough patches together and just keep on growing.

I look to my side to find my husband and think about how proud I am of us to have built such an amazing team together. And I know that there has never been a better co-worker for me in all of history.

Real Talk

 

I woke up to snow falling at a steady pace just on the other side of my living room’s window. It wasn’t like yesterday afternoon where the snowflakes had been wet and the size of my dogs head (that is a pretty accurate comparison by the way) no this morning it was just regular snow, you know, the kind you expect to find in mid-January while you’re freezing and only dreaming of warmer days.

Blankets of the white stuff cover everything this morning. “It will be gone by noon” is what the various people who walk into the shop today will say. Although annoyance will be nipping at the back of their throat just as a small dog nips at the ankles of a human who they want the attention of.

The snow, really, is neither here nor there. Well, actually, from my understanding it is here AND there and just about everywhere. A teeny tiny part of my brain keeps wondering if this is it. Is this the snowpocolypse? Is this how it ends? Snow flurries and cold. It’s like a cruel fucking joke man.

Oh worry not my friends I only tease. I’m sure it will be gone by noon just like my imaginary customers say. I am reading The Stand by Stephen King, so you know, I’ve got a lot of grim and apocalyptic thoughts going on in the ole nog lately.

I keep gazing outside though to find the snow and what I am assuming to be cold waiting for me. For the last two weeks I’ve been walking to work. 4 km there 4 km home. It’s no great achievement, it’s not like, body building or marathon running but it’s something and I’ve been feeling pretty good about it I suppose. I’d like to walk to work today but for previously stated reasons (the impending snowpocolypse if you didn’t quite catch my drift ~boom~) I keep shying away from the idea. Imaginings of an imminent death or serious injury continue to sully the dark places in my brain.

You see there is always the possibility of somehow getting held up in some crazy and outlandish situation that I cannot even fathom right now and freezing to death…You can freeze to death in minus five, right? Well, scratch that, what about the constant worry of pneumonia? It is dreadfully wet out there and a 4km walk in the stuff would only result in the horrendous throes of sickness by the end. Obviously. And we can’t rule out the crazy lunatics that will undoubtedly surface at the beginning of any End of Days. I’m sure that includes the snowpocolypse too.

Ugh, when did I become such a big baby you guys? When did I start worrying endlessly about slipping on ice and breaking limbs? It wasn’t THAT long ago when I was carefree. It wasn’t that long ago when I would throw caution to the wind and do all of the sporadic and random things that now make me cringe. In present time caution is a dear friend who I hold close to my breast with an uncompromising grip.

As I continue to mull over a nice brisk walk to work this morning I imagine trudging my way up the concrete stairs of the walking bridge that connects the Northside of my city to the Southside. With my luck I’d ever so gracefully slip upon the one patch of black ice it holds beneath its snow covered dress and that would be all she wrote folks. Literally. I would tumble down a 20 foot drop all the while bashing my head against not only hard but FROZEN stone. There I would lay on the ground beside my maker, the walking bridge, for hours as falling snowflakes encased me in a catacomb of cold hell.  No one would come to my rescue or even see me because no one in their right mind would be out and about on a leisurely walk in the damn SNOWPOCOLYPSE! And thus it would be sometime after noon when a passerby—safely ambulatory now that the snow had melted—would find me groaning and moaning by the concrete clad staircase in which I had plummeted from hours before. No, today I think I will drive.

Stay safe out there folks, it’s a brave new world now.

Living Stories

The sun slips through a crack in my bedroom drapes and I roll over to put an arm around my snoring Jamie. I should really do some writing today. However the musing quickly slides away as a mounting to-do list takes precedence. There are always so many important things to worry about these days.

I hear the kids perusing the kitchen, likely on the hunt for Lucky Charms—their special weekend cereal. Rolling over and pulling the pillow over my head seems like the best option but the to-do list stops me. That damn to-do list, it gets me every time.

My legs feel heavy as I pull on my burgundy hole ridden sweats. I take a fleeting glance in the mirror but I don’t stay long because this early in the morning I don’t have the self-esteem to deal with un-showered, un-shaven, desperately tired with a side of bedhead Lindsay. Don’t cry for me blogoshpere, the truth is it just takes a bit of time for my girl power to kick into high gear on these lazy Sunday mornings—‘aight.

After an impromptu trip to the grocery store for milk, a quick clean of the kitchen, a shower and some coffee slurping I am off to work. The shop isn’t open today but there are some bakery orders that need filling and a bit of prep that is better not left for the last minute Monday morning madness.

I crank my go-to 90’s tunes and get to baking. I’m dancing and singing and sifting and mixing and I’m feeling pretty fucking good about it too. That is until an old friend creeps gently into the forefront of my thoughts.

God you should write today Lindsay. How long has it been? 3 maybe 4 weeks now. Cobwebs. Oh how we hate going back to the cobwebs.

Often, by this point, it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. You know, too thick with dust to bother.

The feeling moves down to my lungs and palpitates in a rhythm that cries; it’s over, you’re done, give up, writing isn’t in the cards, everything else is too important.

I wonder if writing will ever near the top of the to-do list again. Or if it really is just, over.

All of the greats say that if you are a “real writer” you will make time for writing. You will allow writing to be your first priority. YOU will live, breathe, eat and shit writing,

I don’t know how they do this.

It honestly baffles me. I am barely, just BARLEY, hanging in there with what I’ve got going on. Owning a business and raising two children, who by the way I’d like to be active members of society, takes all of the energy I’ve got. How could I possibly put writing in front my family’s well-being or my children’s upbringing into awesomeness? Obviously it isn’t an option.

But this angst that has now encompassed the entirety of my body does not let me forget. It tells me that it is my nature. It is who I am. It does not brush easily to the wayside for long. I’m in too deep now. Just a few words would suffice, several sentences, perhaps a paragraph if I’m lucky. However any bit will do for now.

After the bread has baked and the cupcakes have been frosted I sit down at a keyboard. I don’t know what I will write until my fingers stroke the keys and sometimes it is garbage that only its creator can appreciate. Occasionally by some vast miracle of the universe another person can find some sort of weird and unruly truth in it. Sometimes when that happens I smile and remember why it feels good to write for other human beings enjoyment.

But every time, every single time, I put words to paper I feel as though this clutching presence has been lifted and once again I can breathe easy.

I suppose that at this point in life, I am meant to be building businesses and bringing up babies, slinging sentences whenever I can and going a little crazy while juggling it all. I should feel lucky that I am one of the few that know, like really know, what they were meant to do.

And in time the writing will come. One day there will a desk that looks out onto something beautiful, a keyboard waiting to be pounded on and a brain overflowing with tales to tell.

I look forward to that day. But first, we must live the life to tell the stories.

They Are The Reason

As my word processing program boots up and blinks back into existence it scowls at me. It’s been a while old friend, I quietly say, as I am hesitant to let people know that I talk to inanimate objects.

It’s been over a month to be precise. But when I say things have been busy, I mean it literally.

The shop is getting busier and busier as the days go by. I’m not complaining because just between you and me I like money. I like it a lot. What I am complaining about is the achy feet, the stiff joints (because apparently I’m 279 years old these days) and the reeling to-do list which accosts the tiny bits of relief that momentarily surface in my brain. Oh the joys of being alive!

This last week however Jamie and I have got a bit of reprieve from the daily grind.  We shipped the small humans up to my parents house to stay with them for the week and by the looks of the photos I’ve been getting they are in their glory. And James and I have gotten a small taste of what it’s like to run a business without having tiny people in tow.

So, I’m just going to throw this out there guys…All of you humans that have no kids, um, what are you doing? Why aren’t you ruling the world right now? How are we, the exhausted parents, not your underlings yet? You are clearly the dominant species and should be prevailing over all civilisation. You surely have the energy for it!

Maybe that’s going a little far but after experiencing this last week, I have a newfound appreciation for ‘the working parent’ that’s for damn sure!

After dropping the babes off and heading back to Lethbridge we were solemn and sad, wondering how we could possibly stand this week without our darling littles.

After day one back to The Hot Wire there we were counting our float with huge grins on our faces, signing;

 

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For the next week we got up early to prep and stayed open late when the customers just kept on rolling in. We seemed to have endless energy! The work we got accomplished was unprecedented. We felt like we had the world by the small and curlies and there wasn’t anything or anyone holding us back.

Now as I am writing all of this there is a tiny screaming voice in the back of my thoughts saying, “there is a special place in hell for people like you Lindsay!” Because really, who actually talks about how much easier and more productive life is without children? It’s fucking blasphemy. It’s despicable. Its ludicrous!

But it is also the truth.

This morning I was in the shower, enjoying the uninterrupted cleansing time thinking about all of this. I thought about how productive life has been these last six days and how thankful I felt that our business was doing well.

And then just like that, discreet images of my two favourite people started nonchalantly dancing around in my memories.  Sophie mopping the floor at the shop while giving me her famous “Sophie look”. Lars, sitting at the table across from the till playing Uno like a pro. The hilarious things they say and the weirdo stuff they do flooded my brain and  it occurred to me that these two small humans ARE the shop.

They are the reason we started this thing up. They are the reason we work so hard to make it successful. Their smiles brighten the place on Saturdays and their presence gives us the drive to keep on going even when things seem impossible.

Yes a week here or there is nice to catch up on the little stuff. We all (including the kids) need a break from the routine now and then. But as I sit here typing my gaze continues to drift towards the clock and I find myself anxious to go pick them up.

Because as fancy-free as life was without them, the real adventure is experiencing the growth and evolution of our beautiful family together. They are the reason for everything we do and I don’t think I will ever be able to thank them enough for that.

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