Yet during the holiday season we’re bombarded with images of social wealth.
Everything from: Family dinners, parties, drinks with friends, hugging, skating in pairs, walking together looking at lights, Secret Santa and gift exchanges, spontaneous snowballs fights, eating roasted chestnuts, and of course, people running into the arms of loved ones at airports…
But what if those things aren’t in your life?
The social media holiday barrage, Christmas FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), anticipointment (trademark?), Facebook, Instagram, TV, Google+, Twitter, MySpace (kidding, just wanted to see if you were paying attention) – all bursting with shiny images of happy people enjoying the holidays together. It can be overwhelming yet it’s only a day, like any other.
So if you find yourself less-than-surrounded by family and friends during the holidays,try to:
1. Marathon your way through the season, which apparently now begins…
The holiday season stresses out most everyone, but for those who are ill, the holidays can be a nightmare(before and during Christmas); it’s stressful for even those who don’t celebrate Christmas(or try not to celebrate).
The roads are busier. Malls overrun by zombies (We are The Walking Dead, but with brightly-wrapped gifts). Christmas songs drone on, but peace on Earth, really, there’s barely a pretense of civility.
So many Santas, ringing and ho-ho-hoing for money to buy toys – I thought there was a workshop and elves for that…
Expectations. Unrealistic expectations. Too much food (First World Problem).
Frolicking. Accidents. Frolicking accidents. Ugly Christmas sweaters (no longer ironic), now ironically iconic?
Gifts/gift cards/e-gift cards, “the perfect gift” for the “perfect” Christmas – that’s where stress-relievers come in.
First, take a deep breath. Christmas is one day.One.24 hours.1440 minutes. Let’s also enjoy the other 364 days in the year. Relax.
Second, the holidays should be about: giving, helping, hoping, kindness, compassion, and dreams; not pushing, whining, complaining, stressing and screams…Relax.
Third, you need to find out what works for you, what makes you happy, what brings you comfort and joy. If you don’t know that, how can you share it with others? Relax.
Here are some usual ways (and unusual, whatever that means) ways to relieve stress during the holidays (and all the year through)? There are more than 12 so you decide which is which.
If I’ve left some out and I’m sure I did, please comment to tell me what I missed and then share the post on social media so others can tell me what I missed as well…
Read books/ebooks (This is a safe space, no “books vs ebooks” arguments here; all books are welcome and accepted!).
Volunteer (I once knew someone who said more people would volunteer if they were paid, ummm, that’s a job).
Write a blog/journal/novels/poems.
Manicure/Pedicure (at home works too).
Bake (me a cake?).
Aromatherpy (Don’t limit yourself to the usual scents, whatever smells good to you, smell away).
Look for the Fibonacci symbol in nature or fractals, so fun on snowy days.
Design clothes.Wear clothes.Buy New-To-You clothes (Goodwill, Talize, Salvation Army, Value Village, Mission Store, and other Love-Them-Again stores are awesome).
Go see a play, be in a play, write a play, direct a play.
Look at the stars (the ones in the sky).
Plant yourself near a plant to reduce your blood pressure.
Karate (relaxed and ready to defend yourself, probably not against Ninjas or aliens, but maybe zombies or vampires).
Visit an art gallery/museum.
Stream (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney Plus, Acorn TV, Crave, HBO, TMN, SlingTV, BritBox, and many more; with more popping up every day).
Play board games.
Play video games.
Play card games.
Stay and enjoy.
Do puzzles – crossword, boxed puzzles, puzzle boxes, find-a-word (Have you heard? The bird is the word), sudoku, logic, trivia and if you can figure out people, wow, you’ve solved the biggest puzzle ever.
Apply gentle pressure to the spot between your 2nd and 3rd knuckle, between your fingers, where your finger and hand meet to reduce stress.
Cheer someone up with a fun surprise (Do not break into their home and draw a happy face on the wall or anything in red lipstick on their mirror, apparently that’s considered “creepy”).
Wine/Beer tasting tour (Don’t taste and drive).
Learn some magic tricks (Be nice to rabbits).
Get/give a facial.
Watch the clouds (the ones in the sky).
Jump (jump jump jump around) on a trampoline (safety first).
Smile (I just like to smile, smiling’s my favourite).
Drink water (don’t waste it).
Create the next big fad! i.e. Lint kittens and puppies. Easy to keep – no walks, no food, soft and cuddly, and easy to house-train. Do not expose to water.
Join a team (fantasy or real).
Pet sit (don’t actually sit on a pet).
Tear paper (then recycle then tear again).
Visualize (guided or unguided, just remember to leave some breadcrumbs to find your way back).
Pay it forward.
Be kind (random or deliberate).
Fix stuff (fix something for someone: TV, car, fridge, cellphone, alarm system, computer, appliances, sewing machine, etc. Even it wasn’t broken, er, at the time, they’ll probably understand you were trying to give them a gift…probably).
Give your time.
Offer your knowledge.
Give your full attention.
When a child hands you a toy phone or a banana, answer it and have a conversation (best time with a phone/actually smart).
Take a shower (not at the Bates Motel).
Take a bath (not in a horror movie).
Enjoy social media for what it is not what you want it to be (because the internet).
Take some photographs (not just of your food and selfies with duck lips).
Ski-doo (not on thin ice…it’s all going to be thin ice soon).
Watch a sunset.
Watch a sunrise.
Cook (Combine food and fashion ie. Forget Lululemon, how about lasagna leggings? Pizza pants. Taco ties. Chocolate crop top. Wine wedding dress. Turkey tux. Beer boots. Hamburger hat. Curry coat. Steak scarf. Bacon blouse. This food fashion can be consumed at any time – hopefully not when you’re out in public).
Join a club (not a gang).
Drink green/white tea.
Walk in a park or the woods (not at night on a full moon, just in case).
Climb a wall, so you don’t climb the walls.
Laugh some more.
Make someone laugh.
Spend time with nature and animals (don’t pet grizzly bears, badgers, or snakes, start slow with cats, dogs, rabbits…then move up).
Build a snowman (do you wanna?).
Remember to forget.
Smash stuff (smash plates, bowls, walls, pumpkins,etc., and if you can’t go to one of the places where you pay to smash stuff, I’m sure family and friends will understand you need stress relief, especially during the holidays).
Make soap not dope.
String popcorn (the eat, the popcorn not the string).
Visit (real or virtual as long as you’re there, in the moment).
Watch TV (question what you watch).
Listen to someone.
‘Tis the season, cut down a Christmas tree for a busy family member or friend. Cautionary note, unlike in the Hallmark and other Christmas movies, cartoons, etc., apparently it’s “frowned upon”, some might even say “illegal”, to just randomly cut trees down. Who knew?
One of the best ways to relieve stress, being honest, with yourself and others; we/they/me/whoever may not appreciate it at first, but it could be the best gift ever, someday.
Chocolate. Enough said.
If you know me and/or you’re a reader of my blog (https://yadadarcyyada.com) you know, I think laughter is the best medicine and it certainly qualifies as a stress reliever. Laughing, even if it hurts sometimes, still makes me feel better. I go to a happy place, including but not limited to: Psych, George Carlin, Seinfeld, Community, Friends, Rick and Morty, The Office, Marx Brothers, Flight of the Conchords, and more.
I love to share the laughter. If I can make someone smile, laugh, giggle, chortle, spew liquid from their nose, then hey, I feel better. Get silly. Adulting is tough, who says we can’t be a kid at heart?
Finding ways to help others is a great stress reliever. It’s hard to think about your problems when you’re helping others with theirs.
There are an endless amount of causes out there, try to support those who really need it. Those who are hungry, scared, without shelter, without hope, being abused, ill, falling through so many cracks.
Donate to a cause in someone’s name instead of handing them another gift they may or may not need or want, or better yet, start a foundation in their name, I’m sure it won’t affect their taxes…much. Help yourself by helping others.
Knitting? Did I mention knitting? What I want to knit…a black cable knit sweater and a Doctor-Who-vintage-Tom-Baker-as-The-Doctor scarf. I’ve been talked down to scarf of one colour and even that’s not going well. The holes are there to let hopes and dreams in, yeah, that’s it. They’re a design feature.
Turns out knitting can be a “knotty” stress reliever.
Exercise is suggested for stress relief, but with pain and fatigue, exercise can be challenging. Years ago, someone suggested Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia/relaxation/arthritis/exercise, I thought, how would flailing my arms around, slowly, help with any of those things? I’ll just look weirder than I usually do.
Lifting weights? I’m no Schwarzenegger, but Hasta la Vista, babyweight (my son is in his 20s). I like Yoga (and Baby Yoda), but it can be painful. Walking helps, but my dogs start barking and the rest of my body growls at me.
I love swimming (not so much Aquafit), but getting there and back, dressing, undressing, showering, etc. is exhausting; I sometimes feel worse, certainly less relaxed (and it’s pricey). And of course these days, we’re not sharing any pools. Thanks COVID.
What else? For seniors, VON offers free programs twice a week, (SMART) Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together; there’s Ageless Grace (more like Graceless Aging for me). I’ve tried the gym. Belly-dancing (don’t try to picture it). Dancing (Frankie says Relax).
Yet I stick like glue to Tai Chi because it unsticks me. Relaxes. Soothes. Feeling sore? Tai Chi won’t magically fix everything, but it helps ease some aches and gets you moving.
To learn Tai Chi I borrowed items from the library (having fun isn’t hard if you’ve got a library card). Later bought VHS tapes (yes, that long ago, I fought off a saber-tooth tiger to get home), then DVDs (now on YouTube and streaming services, soon to be uploaded into our brains).
Now I have fun with it, I pretend I’m carrying an invisible jar containing invisible chocolate, so I must guard it with my life. But seriously, once I opened my mind, body and heart to Tai Chi, it gave me a priceless gift – some pain and stress relief so I could have quality of life. I can dance again. Well, sort of. My version of it.
Remember, getting through one day (for example, Christmas Day) isn’t the same as finding and giving joy each day.What about you dear readers? What are some of the usual or unusual ways you know to relieve stress during the holidays and all the year through (remember this is a more or less family-friendly blog).
Wishing everyone a safe, happy and stress-free (ok, low stress/reduced stress) holiday season: Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! ¡Felices Fiestas! Jie Ri Yu Kuai! Laethanta saoire sona! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Yuletide Greetings! Best wishes for 2020! Joyeux Noël! Let it snow…somewhere else! Feliz Navidad! Seasons Greetings! Happy New Year Joy! Celebrate! Be merry! Shiawasena kyūjitsu!Boas Festas! Li holide eximnandi! Happy Christmas! Happy New Year! Wishing you a latke fun this Hanukkah! Hau’oli Lanui! मेरी क्रिसमस ! Forhe Feiertage! Selamat Hari Raya! Happy Channukah! Joyeuses Fêtes! Prettige Feestdagen! Buone Feste! Trevlig Helg! Jingle All The Way! Happy Holidays from owl of us! Tis the Season! Warmest greetings! Happy Holidays, Mate! It doesn’t matter how you say it as long as it’s said with kindness.
You’re born. You didn’t ask for it, but it happened, let’s not go into detail how, there it is. Do what you will with that life (do no harm); despite what some people will tell you, you (mostly) choose how to live it.
One, two, one, two, three Oh yeah yeah Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh! Oh yeah yeah Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh! Struggled with faith in food love or food miracles (miracles) uh!Never wanna put myheart/stomachon the line, uh!But swimming in your Phenylethylalanine is something spiritual (spiritual) uh!I’m born again every time your flavonoids spend the night, uh!
‘Cause your Tryptophan takes me to paradise Yeah your Seratonin takes me to paradiseAnd it shows, yeah, yeah, yeah ‘Cause you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out ofchocolateheaven For too long, for too long… Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh! Oh yeah yeah Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh! I grant Bruno Mars and his writing team weren’t talking about chocolate, but feel free to go with the original lyrics, my chocolatified version, or add your food/beverage fav, I dunno, just off the top of my head: Wine, Pierogi, coffee, scones, fried chicken, brownies, Butter Tarts, Kevin Bacon (cook at more than 6 degrees), corn dogs, cotton candy, tea, Pumpkin Spice Girls latte, crumpets, snow cones, rice, cereal, funnel cakes,Sir Alec Guiness beer, martini(shaken not stirred), pizza,John Candy, B-52, Som tam, Injera, dumplings, smoothies, eggnog, Dosa, Bagels,doughnuts/donuts,Superman, Black Panther, CaptainAmerica, Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Loki,Aquaman, Thor, Star Lord, Deadpool, Spiderman, Black Widow, IronMan, Batman, Captain Marvel (seriously, you can have Marvel and DC Comics cocktails – please don’t drink and hero), Fudge, Bonbons, Lauren Graham crackers (crunch super-fast), cake(https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/09/16/you-had-me-at-cake/), Butter Chicken, tacos, Poke, Wagyu beef, paella, French toast (with ketchup) kebabs,Champ, Bannock, Corn on the cob, Potjiekos,Basil Rathbone, lobster, Baklava,Christina Applegate(haven’t watched“Dead To Me”onNetflix? Give yourself a summer treat), Philly cheese steak, Dim Sum, Samosas,Ty Cobb salad, Caesar salad (Veni, vidi, vici), Waldorf salad (or The Big Salad), Pad Thai, Bologna (m-m-m-my Bologna!),Rosemary Clooney, Bratwurst/Sauerkraut, Chicago Deep Dish, Spanikopita (I should say I love you more often), kale, New York peppermint patties, honey, broccoli,BBQ,Sean Bean(One Does Not Simply Eat Beans the Musical Fruit because the more you eat…),Tandoori, Masala, Vindaloo anything (would make a shoe taste good), pineapple(you know that’s right),Fusion (don’t jump to the conclusion these foods suffers from confusion), Piri-Piri chicken, Brandy (you’re a fine girl), chorizo, Darryl Strawberry Shortcake,
Biryani,Peameal/Back bacon,salmon, Sugar Ray Leonard, spaghetti and meatballs, marshmallows, chocolatesyrup, candy canes, candycorn,Pop Tarts,maple syrup (spaghetti with maple syrup?),Nanaimobars,TimTams,Peaches Geldof, steak, eggs,olives, spring rolls, summer rolls, California rolls, egg rolls,butteredrolls (causing rolls?), avocados, chocolate chip cookies,Beavertails, Oysters Rockefeller, Heather Graham crackers, onion rings (‘Cause if you like it, then you shoulda put an onion ring on it), Bubble and squeak, Moose tacos, Beef Stroganoff, chicken,Gyros,crab, Meat Loaf (2 out of 3 ain’t bad), Vegemite, fajitas, Naan,shrimp, Toad-in-the-hole (notoadswere harmed in the making of this dish, butfrogs are fair game for food…runKermit, run!!!),Jello, pot stickers,Buffalo wings (I get how they might fly, but how do they land?),chocolate/candybars, Ginger Rogers, fish’n’chips,Christmaspudding, Poutine,chocolate pudding,Pho, pita, Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch, enchiladas, Bloody Mary (Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary), grasshoppers(to each their own, if you cover them withchocolate…),Sourdough bread,Saffron Burrows, Chop Suey,Croissants,chocolate–covered almonds, muffins, Sloppy Joes, Brioche, Bananabread,Twinkies, Arnold Palmer, wontons, Tater tots (not made out of real tots), Carrot Top, hot dogs, hamburgers,Jajangmyeon, rye bread, Souvlaki,Munster cheese (found at 1313 Mockingbird Lane), Kobe beef, yogurt,snails (meow), Alison Brie Larson, turnovers, strudel, Beef Wellington, Gumbo, Kung Pao Chicken, Churros, Alyssa Milano cookies, nachos/salsa, ice cream,Soufflé, snake, Harvey Milk, Sushi,Irish stew, Vanilla Ice (Ice Ice Baby), crepes, Souvlaki, Blinis, mac n’cheese,
Bangers and Mash,Halston Sage,gnocchi, Chow Mein/Lo-Mein (just ‘mein’ line that stuff right into my veins), Kofta, chips/crisps,Chocolatemilkshakes, Coq au Vin Diesel,I Am GRoot Vegetables,chili, Pastitsio, Matzo Ball soup,chicken noodle soup, tomato soup…soup there it is (no soup for you!), Pop/Soda/Soda Pop/Soft drinks,Tim Curry,cheesecake, lamb (“What do you mean, you don’t eat no meat? [the entire room stops, in shock]…That’s okay. I make lamb.” Hilarious line, only Andrea Martin could have pulled it off; My Big Fat Greek Wedding),Sandwiches, bacon, peanut butter andbananasandwich, NewYork-style pastrami,pickles, clam chowder, Knish, Fiona Applepie, cream pie,Cherry Jones pie, infinite pi? Halle Berry cobbler, stromboli, Baked Alaska, haggis, Kugel, tamales,Beef Bourguignon, calamari, pancakes, caviar,Waffles,Salmon Mousse, Cawl, Chuck Berry crumble (Roll Over Beethoven), French Fries, deep-fried ice cream, cannoli (leave the gun), hummus,lasagna, Reuben,popcorn…Sorry, I think I just fell into a food fantasy spiral…Anyway, yeah yeah yeah yeah ’cause I really think food could bring us together,think of it babe whenever, some foul-talking jerk comes along trying to divide us, you gotta stay strong…Look in your heart and let food keep us together…whatever. I will, I will, I will I will be there to share forever…I recently tried to break free from my chocolatemania…not cold turkey (of course).Just weaning myself down. As long as stress stays away (withFibromyalgiaand life, sounds reasonable), I’m sure thechocolatecraving will as well (ha!).Speaking of First World Problems ‘stress’(https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/), you may have noticedWordPress(can’t you just pretend to be nice? https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/06/10/cant-you-just-pretend-to-be-nice/) with it’s new Gutenberg Editor has riddled posts and comments(https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/05/03/very-me/)with ADS, as far as I’m concerned, stealing our creative voice.Unless you pay the greedy blog gods a ransom fee to remove the malware (aka ads).Why does society put up with greed, lies and corruption, even making excuses for it? Could be we feel powerless, maybe we’re just so used to being lied to, we’ve got consumer Stockholm Syndrome.Whatever the reason, it’ll only get worse. In The Game of Life(https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/03/25/welcome-to-your-life/)you encounter obstacles, but at least there’s a chance to win; who thinks in this checkered world, the game is permanently fixed?
You’ll die. I’ll die. None of us gets out alive. We didn’t ask to be here. Hopefully we had some good times along the way, but we’re all going to die, one way or another. Don’t have to like it; there it is. Someday you’ll blow out the last candle on your birthday cake. Answer a door to a Mister Death, something about the reaping. Go gentle into that good night or rage against it, but don’t just kill time getting there. Until then, hope you have the time of your life.
Stereotyping is the scourge of our time. All women are this, all men are that, good guys always win, life is fair, fat people are lazy…religion, race, wealth, poverty, sex,diets, politics, illness – everything is painted with the stereotype brush…wait, did I just stereotype stereotyping? Make no mistake, hate is the easy way. Different = Hate. Don’t agree with you = Hate. Blame everyone for your problems. Don’t change, just dig in. Lies, make them big, no, small won’t do. Feed them what they want to hear, while they pretend to care about those they hold dear.
You must remember this A kiss is just a kissA lie is still a lie The fundamental things apply As time goes by
And when politicians woo They still say “I love you” On that you can rely No matter what the future bringsAs lies goes by
Promises of jobs and tax cuts Never out-of-date Tapping into bias with a passion
Spilling jealousy and hate
It’s an age-old story,
over love and glory.
We pick and choose
what truths to hold self-evident…
her truth, his truth,
my truth, your truth, the truth…
flippity-floppity, they can’t all be true.
That no one can deny
It’s still the same old story A fight for love and glory A case of do or die The world will always welcome liars As time goes by…
Storytelling, once used to pass along useful information, to keep people safe or make their lives easier. Cavegal/Caveguy didn’t recount that story about almost being eaten by a Saber Tooth tiger to get Retweeted, or get Likes on Instagram. Nor did they stop to film it, or get a Selfie #catscratchfever No, she/he told exciting tales, not to get attention, to influence, to build her/his brand, but to warn others not to go picking berries on that path where those tigers live #berryscary #noyabbadabbadooforyou
We’re addicts, we need another fix. Oh we can stop anytime, we don’t need it, then a ping, a new text, email, tweet, update, tag, post, whatever. We’re all about the yarn, the tale, the story…We crave all the grimy little details, especially the ones that sound like they could be real, the facts say otherwise, but they’re boring, tell us more about the lies, fraud, sex, the scandal of it all, no matter how insane or impossible it seems…tell us more, more, more! Is it true? Who cares? Jump on that bandwagon wherever it may take you. Why worry, got to get another hit. As long as we get our momentary rush, who cares about the consequences?
Do people even want to rule the world anymore, or are they content to just stare at a screen and watch the world burn, as long as they can feed on the flames of the story as we crackle? Remember the good old days when there used to be a line-up to rule the world: aliens, supernatural beings, crime lords, hackers, scammers, Dystopian Future leaders seem especially bent on keeping control (time is fleeting…),megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur, terrorists, corporate terrorists, politicians, super villains (better than average villains or just wearing capes?), Huns, Hordes (so many Hordes),puppets, paupers, pirates, poets, pawns and kings (they’ve been up and down and over and out and they know one thing, each time they find themselves flat on their face, they pick themselves up and get back in the race), and who can forget Vikings, evil scientists, and laboratory mice whose genes have been spliced (sounds painful and wrong – free Pinky and The Brain!).
But for those who still have an interest in ruling the world, here’s an Easy Peasy guide:
Make someone’s day with a smile or a kind word. Do something they need, not just someone you think they need. Help them as they need help.
Be part of the good, even if it means not taking that tempting/way-too-easy dig at someone (just as a completely random example, Donald Trump).
Jump rope, Jump Force, Shonen Jump, Jump Jump Jump Around (I Came To Get Down), Jump Up and Down for Joy, jump-start your day, jump-start a car – just don’t jump to conclusions.
See the world from someone’s else point of view, even on their worst day. Then someone else. And someone else. The sky’s the limit and maybe not even then.
Care. Don’t just pretend to care. Do it, surely it must take the same effort, right?
Don’t attack, don’t react – act on your best instincts.
Do something you didn’t think you could do. Except murder. Don’t do murder. Or anything else bad, let’s start again, do something good you didn’t think you could do.
Grow food instead of a portfolio.
Be yourself. Unless you can be Groot, then be Groot (I am Groot).
Laugh (I’ll help, Jann Arden has a comedy series, Jann – watch, laugh, repeat). Cry (or laugh and cry thanks to Ricky Gervais, his Netflix series, After Life may just change your life, it changed mine). Dream, wonder, rejoice – seriously, if you’re still not watching The Orville, I, I, I just don’t…So go ahead and feel, feel frustrated, sad, lonely, happy, hopeful, hopeless, scared, joyful, jealous, disappointed, angry, but don’t think those feelings are facts; just to reiterate, feelings are not facts.
Show and share compassion, patience, empathy, understanding – all the money spent on piles of flowers, stuffed animals, balloons and candles, the endless moldering memorials – give that money to those in need. Isn’t that a better way to remember those who have been lost?
Offer your support and some Random or Not-So-Random Acts Of Kindness, but try something different, if you’re in line for coffee, you can afford a coffee (or think you can, that’s a whole other issue), the only kindness you’re giving is to the coffee place. Give that money to those in need, not just in need of a caffeine fix.
Comfort, inspire, don’t require something in return.
Anger, greed and fear are so tempting, calling a siren’s song, ‘give in to me, it will feel soooo good’ and it could, briefly, but it hurts others; if that makes you feel good, you need some serious help.
Be part of something kind. Easy to pick on someone, more work to pick them up. Instead of rising to the bait, rise together.
Share something you want to keep all to yourself, for me, chocolate (they’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands, then again, if I share, we’ll both be in bliss).
Answer a child’s toy phone instead of your phone. Be there, in the here and now, tomorrow isn’t certain, but I’m certain we should be enjoying today. Welcome to your life, there’s no turning back so let’s enjoy a world where there’s enough for everyone – enough food, enough shelter, enough kindness, enough hope, enough compassion, enough love.
This blog post brought to you today by Donna’s Brain, now filled with 100% more:
Tears For Fears.
Toy Story (4, 5, 75, whatever, just keep ’em coming, we’ll watch, we promise).
Frank Sinatra (anyone else feeling a Rat Pack vibe these days?).
The Walking Dead (more Negan please, gots to get me a Jeffrey Dean Morgan fix).
Agatha Christie – the new Ordeal By Innocence – go catch some red herring.
Organization (shouldn’t that be a four-letter word?).
Buffy (RIP Luke Perry).
The Orville (stop taking breaks, work 24/7 365 please and thank you).
Kindness (it really does matter).
Harry Potter (I don’t know if the Sorting Hat could figure me out right now).
Avengers (and of course, Guardians of the Galaxy – I get it, I still listen to my Walkman).
E.T. (Text home?).
Supernatural (300 has a whole new meaning, they get my jonesing for some JDM and pizza).
The Handmaid’s Tale (as we start to live it we should accept that good people don’t always win, but that doesn’t mean they should stop being good and yes, some rich people believe the ‘screw the rules I have money’ motto, but money doesn’t equal right just right now).
Exhaustion (is there a place past exhaustion, like mega-exhaustion?).
Secret City (is this a series or a documentary, it’s so difficult to tell anymore…).
Books (more on that later).
Why is it every Spring I feel (doesn’t make it true) like I need more socks, pizza (did I already mention pizza, it’s worth another shout out, right?), donuts,Gilmore Girls, maybe Easter eggs (only the chocolate ones, I can have eggs anytime) and cake.
Thinking of how fix the root causes of all the anger, hate, loneliness, trauma; compassion.
Game of Thrones (anyway to get Jason Momoa back in flashbacks, time warps, something?).
Psych (why aren’t they bring this show back, at least a movie or limited run series, come on, I’m desperately in need of a happy place!).
Change (not all change is good, not all change is bad).
The Good Fight (keep it up).
SEO, streaming, dreaming, superheroes, raw water, CBD-infused anything and everything, detox, botox, Cheetos dust (is that a must?), ruffles, truffles, bigger phones, smaller minds, ALF, BTS, Bill and Ted (what’s the newest Excellent Adventure, finding their dentures?), cryptocurrency, Wikileaks (maybe they just need WikiDepends), Julian Assange, rading #Area51 (#StormiArea51), self-driving cars (scare me less than drivers driving cars), flying cars (still not as scary as people driving cars on the ground), goat yoga (yoga goat?), inflated lips, inflated hips, inflated prices, fanny packs are back (what?!?), Momo, CYA, Apple (is it really an #AppleEvent without Steve Jobs? Maybe Tim Apple will be there, would Tim Cook be a cooked apple, but I digress.), FOMO, Snapple, GMO – oh no, my brain is melting;
Ultravox and pancakes and not necessarily in that order.
Boomtown Rats and Queen (feeling a Live Aid vibe here).
U2 (What if I found what I was looking for and didn’t know that’s what it was?).
Downton Abbey followed by the urban sequel, Downtown New York Abbey.
Stranger Things (welcome to my life).
Murder (not doing it, writing about it or reading about it or watching it, wait, I’m sensing a theme).
Why the birds are conspiring to sing their ‘songs’ outside my window, exactly what subliminal messages are they putting into my brain… I’ve been going through some stuff as you see from my ‘slow blogging’, but not slow braining, but I keep bouncing back,Don’t Stop Me Now https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/02/06/dont-stop-me-now/I guess the biggest thing I’ve been struggling with, concerning blogging and social media is, am I part of the problem, am I an enabler? Am I feeding the beast? I try not to, but readily admit, I’ve had varying degrees of success. I move forward with a new resolve…I hope.
Glad to be back and always to be here with all of you.
Big bloggy hugs and welcome to your life, young, or old, or in between, the rest is up to you.
“Listen do you want to know a secret Do you promise not to tell woh woh woh closer Let me whisper in your ear…”
The irony of that Beatles song and everything else, once you’ve told a secret, it’s no longer a secret because, really, two can keep a secret…if one them is dead. “Pretty Little Liars”, huh, more like Petty Little Liars for many politicians and too many others https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/01/14/your-genius-is-showing/. But not everyone!
Some wear their secrets as armor, others to get away with things, others to avoid embarrassment, but no matter the reason for your secrets, they’re toxic.
I get that secrets and lies are a thing, have been for as long as humankind has existed.
I naïvely thought social media would make it better. Wrong again, it’s worse (or just more obvious…more visible?). Now it’s all denials, proof, more denials, more proof…and so on.
Me, I’m an open book, what about you? Of course, at any given time only those two pages are really ‘open’.
When someone tells you another person’s secrets, red flag wavin’, don’t trust them with your secrets (or anything else).
“The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one.” ~ Margaret Atwood
At least chocolate never lies or keeps secrets…or maybe it does, who am I kidding, I don’t care.
“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do day after tomorrow just as well.” -Mark TwainI’m a pro at procrastination, no amateur stuff for me. I wish I could stop procrastinating, but I keep postponing it.I do it when blogging, postponing writing posts – I tell myself it’s a lack of energy, lack of time, lack of ideas – I wish those were truths, but like most cases of procrastination, my real issue, fear. If I delay doing something, it can’t fail.
My procrastination is getting worse, becoming a chronic condition.Is it the amount of choices? Time inconsistency? Self-censorship? Constant interruptions? Laziness? Lack of focus?We all put off doing things, but when does it move to acting against your best interests, your better judgement, when does procrastination take over your common sense?
What if I’m not even a pro procrastinator, but just an amateur stresstinator?https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/05/overwhelmed/Either way, I need to get out of my head, out of my own way, so I ignored the Scarlett O’Hara voice in my head, telling me to think about it tomorrow (after all, tomorrow is another day)…Then fiddle-dee-dee, I called/emailed/talked to who I needed (note I did not use the word “wanted”) to contact, and even wrote this post; giggling (mostly in my head), thinking of Carol Burnett’s “Went With The Wind”.
I’m haunted. Maybe haunted isn’t the right word, um, spooked, creeped out, ok, maybe just confused. I’ve tried to lead a normal life, really I have, but I’m afraid my attempts have been astonishingly less than successful.
Everywhere I turn, so-called supernatural forces invade my peace and quiet.
Ghouls, goblins, trolls, clowns, demons, ghosts, poltergeist (Theeeeey’rrrre here!), killers (#JFKFiles, or a version of them are being ‘released’, but my conspiracy theory stands – it was aliens, so in love with Marilyn Monroe they took her to their planet and they also took John F. Kennedy because he was having her death investigated…and now you also know my theory on how Monroe ‘died’)…Serial killers, serials killers who kill serial killers (Thank you?), vampires, zombies, dragons, zombie dragons, monsters, witches, warlocks, werewolves, wizards, whatchamacallits (why am I suddenly craving chocolate?)…I admit, I’m no Stephen King, but I’m not blameless in this, I’ve invited some of them in, even if metaphysically, er, unwittingly?
How was I to know it would be an ongoing supernatural thing?
Something wicked this way comes, really, kinda busy double double toiling and troubling here…
Rapping, rapping, rapping at my door? Let me guess, the government wanting more, more, more.
No, it’s not what goes bump in the night that terrifies me, but those in the light, pretending they want my thoughts to be free.
It’s not a corpse risen from its grave, nor a black cat (look how cute they are, how could something that cute be bad luck, oh wait, just had a flashback of some past dates, cute can equal creepy)…
What scares me the most doesn’t claw from the ground, nor fly down and drag me to its lair – no, it’s the lies, the lies, oh the lies, lies, lies! We’re spending our precious time on this planet…listening, worse, accepting lies – from politicians, corporations, anyone – we want to believe (ok, lapsed into X-Files there, who am I kidding, it’s playing in my brain right now). How can we trust if we’ve become toilet paper, waiting to be used or always taking crap from folks?
I feel like shouting, Beware! Beware! there and everywhere, Grim Reapers Heffalump or Woozle, I’m very confusel. And it isn’t honey they’re after, they’d have to let the bees live for that, no, Winnie the Pooh and all of us should know, it’s all been very sly-sly-sly…Power and money is what they covet and if they so love it, they’ll guzzle up and muzzle up everything you prize.
Who needs horror movies anymore? https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/ This is where the magic happens. Online. They put a spell on us and now we’re theirs. It’s all a bunch of hocus pocus. We need to cut through, maybe with a jigsaw…or break through, open our minds – Aparecium! Reveal the truth (yes, it’s still alive, just been badly wounded). I’m should drown my sorrows in Butterbeer, yup, you guessed it, I’m rereading the Harry Potter series for Halloween.
This isn’t your Grinch’s consumerism, it’s so much worse.I don’t even enjoy entertainment (as much), I’m getting (more?) grossed out: books, TV, music, phones, video games, apps, sports, fashion, movies – what we spend on entertainment could be feeding people, giving them healthcare, education, shelter, security – the budget of the new Star Wars movie alone could feed a nation or six (The Last Jedi? Nothing like spoilers – now release the fans!).
We’re so afraid of being alone or being left out, we’re so desperate to be accepted, to get approval, we’re willing to believe just about anything – we believe gossip is real, innuendo is truth, and rumour is fact. Who says we don’t get enough exercise, have you been on the internet, we get plenty of exercise, jumping to conclusions. Instead of feeling connected and informed, I’m feeling tortured (and not in a starving artist kind of way). Smoke and mirrors, why bother, just plop whatever BS on the internet and suddenly, for many people, it’s magically true. Getting news from Facebook and Twitter? Really? That drives me batty! Seriously, the internet, enter at your own risk https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/10/28/enter-at-your-own-risk/
In a world of choices, we have less and less choice every single day. You think zombies, Negan, and The Saviors are scary in The Walking Dead?Ple-eeease, that’s nothing, you want to get terrified, look up: child pornography,sexual harassment, rape culture (#MeToo isn’t just a hashtag, it’s past time – listen), child abuse, racism (clowns now emboldened to wash off their make-up and take their show on the road), poverty,net neutrality https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/06/02/net-neutrality-i-hardly-knew-you/, opioid epidemic (let me guess, this crisis will now be ‘fixed’, for profit, by those who caused the problems, for profit)…cashless society (some folks must really love having their everything tracked), stock market manipulation, business amalgamation, human trafficking, scams, women’s (real) equality, chemicals (everywhere) in our environment, war profiteering, civil (and not so civil) rights, human (and not so human) rights, multi-level marketing, tax loopholes/evasion, sponsored reviews, wealth abyss, or want to get freaky, gasp, food waste.
The real darkness seems to be oozing from deep inside us as we hyper-focus on the trivial and ignore anything of consequence – arguing, fussing, fighting, whining, name-calling, complaining – we’ve become mentally Pennywise and pound foolish. We wear wireless masks, hiding in costumes of anonymity and anger, our candy the pain we can inflict or watch or both. We all float down here in the internet sewer because here, everything you’re afraid of, every nightmare you ever had can be found with the click of a button, and I guess, we want more of Wi-Fi IT.
It’s all so devilishly clever – we’re snapping selfies while they charge us hidden fees for digging our own graves.
Education, formal or otherwise is the answer, the more you learn the less you’ll be burned. Click on learn, not Clickbait. Who cares what celebrities are doing? Care about those who need, not those who greed. Seriously, what are we looking for anyway?
Maybe this year for Halloween, Rick Ghastly can sing an updated version of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, because even if we find out cellphones are causing cancer or controlling our minds, they’ll have to pry these smartphones out of our cold, dead hands!!!
So I’ll try to rise up above the noise and confusion, carry on to see past all illusions. I’ll lay my weary head to rest (only 3 days without sleep, I’m fine) and wait for Halloween candy to go sale…because, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore...
Even Dean and Sam Winchester boys couldn’t help us out of the hellish pit of petulance we’ve fallen into, but I’d love to see them try. The Fall of the House of Us…sure. Happy Halloween!
Tricia Helfer, Alex Trebek, Lorne Michaels, Michael Bublé, Mary Pickford (yes, American’s sweetheart was Canadian), James Doohan, Elizabeth Arden, Joni Mitchell, Arcade Fire, Sandra Oh, Monty Hall, Michael Cera, Tommy Chong, Nathan Fillion https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/24/firefly/
Dave Foley, Yannick Bisson, Cobi Smulders, Wayne Gretzky, The Tragically Hip, Leslie Neilsen https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/04/airplane/ Rick Moranis, Seth Rogen, Neil Young, Margaret Atwood, Martin Short, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Peter Jennings, Rich Little, Morley Safer, Barenaked Ladies, Fay Wray…
Now we’re going to war? Over wood and dairy? Really?
Canadians forced to don our uniforms of toques and parkas, eh, and hoard rations of maple syrup, poutine, butter tarts, and beer for the battles! Ski-Doo Fleets! Canoe Armadas! We’ll cream you with our Tim Hortons donuts, you hosers!
Speak truth to power, tell the Emperor he’s not wearing any clothes, Oh Lord, I feel like scrubbing my mind of that horrifying orange image. How can you trust a guy that says he’s gonna pull out then doesn’t? Obviously talking about Trump pulling out of NAFTA here.
Canada isn’t known as the 51st state for nothing. Canada and America are BFFs, I thought it would be easier…to stay friends, well, except throwing shade during that nasty little war over 200 years ago, but Canada wasn’t even a country then, we’re only turning 150 this July 1st – Happy Birthday Canada! https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/01/happy-canada-day-eh/
Captain Concussion could use his superpowers to fight Iced Z, the Zamboni driver who got turned into an arch-villain during the blast and bring awareness to concussions. Stan Lee could show up selling beer and snacks at the hockey games. And we’ve got some groovy 70’s music too, how about a StarCanuckLord in the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie?
Come on, we’re trying, we elected a moderate-yoga-posing-legalizing-marijuana- -nonorange-hot Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (not perfect, but seems like he’s actually part of the human race).
But it’s not enough, is it, America, I know, Blame Canada, we’re not a real country anyway (thanks South Park).
French is one of Canada’s official languages, some facsimile of English is the other. We have a whole French province, we love French Toast, French Fries, French cheese, Lord knows we drink more than our share of French wine…
France, you have the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Johnny Deppdrinking living there (is there really another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, talk about not pulling out in time).
Please don’t let Russia/Putin control your election like it did with the #Election2016 and #Brexit – aren’t you kinda notorious for revolutions against tyrants?
We still accept endless visits from Prince Charles/Camilla when you know some prefer Kate Middleton, Prince William, Princess Charlotte,Prince George, and Prince Harry. We still have the Queen on our money.
This hating on Canada by The White House will have ramifications for many. In Canada, we already pay more for most stuff than Americans do; now our dollar shrank, meaning we’ll pay even more for books (noooo!), food, shelter, clothes, medicine, and even, gasp, chocolate.
Canadians are, er, unique…
But America,won’t you please, please won’t you be my good neighbour again? I miss you. A lot.
I know this might be a stressful time for some, but I hope this finds you in good stead. Every choice has consequences. In the course of human events it becomes necessaryto distract ourselves at times, I don’t know about you, but there’s no limits to what I can accomplish when I’m avoiding doing something else, yet we hold these truths to be self-evident, some choices must still be made, hopefully informed choices.
Some choices are easy. Some hard. Some seem like a joy or a joke. Some involve danger, some choices even have underestimated peril, ie. household chores – germs, cleaning tools, boredom, hiring strangers, using pets (who hasn’t wondered if pets could help with household chores?) and imagine trying to really ‘clean house’?
Then there’s the danger of choosing ice cream or chocolate and/or chocolate ice cream as a remedy for the common cold, it may not lessen the tyranny of the infirmity, yet if you add whining, comfy clothes, and sniffling, the choice is clear. Sniffle.
Admittedly, choices would be easier if everything was simply spelled out for us, without: lies, manipulation, false promises, hidden agendas, threats, deceit, complex small print, and if we weren’t at the mercy of drama ‘monsters’.
Life is a leap, we’re always jumping into the unknown – every second, minute, hour, day. Life changes, there are peaks and valleys, but as long as you breathe, there’s hope.
Remember, even if…
1. You did something, said something that embarrassed or cost you, and/or offended, disturbed others. Learn from it. Social media can be flat, most humans are 3D. Keeping your dimensions, they’re important.
2. You stayed too long and gave too much, trying to save a toxic relationship with: a partner, friend, family member, group, organization, political party, etc. That doesn’t mean you’re trapped, mentally chew off that leg and get away.
3. You got caught up in the hype machine, most have at one time or another (even if they won’t admit it). Simple answer – accept responsibility, and change, start again.
4. You fell head over heels, with stuff, especially during the holidays. We instinctively hunt and gather, now for stuff. You felt momentarily joyful but less than triumphant. Don’t feed addictions, accept them to overcome them.
5. You found out the hard way talk is cheap – words, words everywhere but not a lot of truth, common sense, or depth.
6. You gave your trust, your love, your dreams to people who sometimes didn’t deserve or care about those gifts; that’s about them, not you.
7. You forgot, while you’re responsible to many in this life, in the end, you’re only responsible for yourself and your words/actions.
8. You took things for granted, got comfortable and forgot everything can change, end or disappear. It can, they can, it does, they do…so don’t.
9. You gave up, settled, but it’s never too late, at least to have a modified version of your dreams.
10. You’ve worried, fretted, brooded, hoped, believed, over thought, agonized and still things didn’t go your way, the other shoe still dropped. You fell and it looks like you’re down for the count. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, get up, dust off, there’s no time limit on getting back up.
Halloween has come and gone, election buzz drones on and on, even if it seemed more like The Hateful Eight and clickbait than democracy. We lived through this horror for 9 years in Canada until we were,er, ‘saved’ by sunny ways.
Thanksgiving – we should be thankful every day, but maybe we shouldn’t eat that way.
Black Fridayand CyberMonday deals send cash registers pinging, Christmas bells start ringing, everywhere there’s singing. What will it be like this year? Still holiday cheer? More chances to learn and grow, to stop seeing each other as us or them.
Love is all around, going backwards wastes it. You can never tell what’s next so just keep going. You’re gonna make it after all.
Humans are capable of greatness, but too often it’s just us saying we’re great. With all reverence, I’ll paraphrase the magnificent R.E.M.: In the eye of a hurricane, feeling your insides churning as you hear the pain. Bored of people only mis-serving, wanting to believe, can’t perceive their own needs.
Change the world, stop being fed up, instead follow through and follow-up. Shriek after shriek, holler after holler, anyone will do anything to worship at the dollar, Bumbling, stumbling, perfectly baffled, trumped…
Tethered, biased on all sides, “winning” in a tournament of lies; chopped, cropped, plopped in front of another scream, another screen…
Another moment too obscene. Vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light. Feel like turning it all off and only watching Psych (you know that’s right)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (had some time alone). It’s the end of the world as we know it (in a media cone). It’s once again the end of the world as we know it…and I feel behind.
It’s been a stuffy, screeching, spooky, sweltering summer abundant with the bafflings of humanity and nature alike. Here I am, an oldening woman who blogs alone in a skiff in the Blog Stream trying to find the ‘best words’ and had gone sixty odd days now without blogging a post. Whether I shall turn out to be the heroine of my own life, or whether that prodigious station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a blogger, despite being in a break, cannot in good conscience ignore her blog birthday, a wonderful opportunity to thank her dear readers, who stick with her through ups and downs and even the not hanging around. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely (ok, Summer 2013) – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on TV, I thought to blog about a little and see the bloggery part of the world.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. At any given time it can seem like the worst of times, but is it? There’s no world war. No Inquisition. No Ice Age. No plague. No killer bees. No asteroids hurdling toward the Earth (no worries, Bruce Willis will save us anyway).
No hoards, Attila the Hun, saber tooth tigers, or Genghis Khan. No cannibal galaxies hungering for galactic flesh (not to be confused with cannabis galaxies hungering for galactic munchies). No cat overlords, er, well, maybe a few cat overlords. No alien invaders (although there is that signal from HD164595, no worries, Will Smith will save us).
Last I checked, no zombie apocalypse, unless you count the overabundance of movies/TV shows about zombies and of course, smartphone users.
That’s not to say everything is wonderful. How could we not have problems? Over seven billion humans trying to coexist with each other, as well as animals, insects, fish, birds, and of course, Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster (Hi Nessie!), Yeti, elves, golems, El Chupacabra, dragons, Kala Bandar, vampires, werewolves, and all manner of magical beasts.
I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I struggle with first impressions. My instincts, often right, are second, third and fiftieth guessed. As I get older, I’m trying to listen to those first instincts; Maya Angelou was so right, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
It’s sooooo easy to sit around a kitchen, coffee shop, newsroom, living-room, bar, boardroom, online and fix all the world’s problems, but as Edward R. Murrow warned us: “Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”
Cooking competitions, game shows, reality shows, sports – all answers are easy unless you’re actually doing it.
Lies are seductive, there’s no need to prove them, they just float out there in our new Fact-Free World. WTF (What The Fact).
Options? Just believe what we want to believe because we like who says it or how they say it. Forget the facts, it’s all about the feels. We feel like something is true, so now it is. I feel like I’m watching The Blair Witch Projectinstead of an election and as we know, what we feel is more important than the facts.
The biggest feels, fear…but if Star Wars and Yoda have taught us anything, it’s this, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
And it’s been announced Trump is going to write, direct, and star in the next Star Wars film, Star Wars VIII: Make The Empire Great Again.
Oh la la Politics and the Public, seems like a Bad Romance. Elections, like watching children scuffle over a toy in a sandbox, caring less about the toy itself, but the prize of winning it. Divisive politics, like passing gas, it sure feels good, a relief to get it out there. Then what? The stench, the disgust of others…Passing gas is a necessity of life, although the reasons for more gas can be avoided.
I don’t like gossip, rumour, innuendo, speculation, tittle-tattle, lies, hyberbole. I like facts. I miss when the news was news, actual facts and events, not just guesses, conjecture, speculation, and supposition. Taglines, soundbites, and slogans – more important than substance, service, and civility; mocking has become an acceptable form of communication…
Blindly following anyone or anything, without questioning, doubting, challenging, like it or not, no matter what you call it, you’re in a cult…or a mob…or a joke.
When I paused my blogging I felt so far behind I didn’t even know who shot J.R…yes, that far behind!
Now I feel a little better, more caught up. I’ve been writing a book, well, an outline and a chapter. I’ve been reading. Resting. Visiting. Appointmenting. Decompressing. Researching. Regenerating.
Sadly, I was viciously attacked by migraines, but some downtime hooked up to an IV gave me time for deep thought…just kidding, I was thinking the doctor, McDreamy might fall in love with me, Grey’s Anatomy style (preferably with less whining). Also thinking a hospital would be a bad place to be during a zombie outbreak, but with a lot of potential weapons. I also wrote this post in my head, so it might be a bit scatty. Revisiting aspects of my life, including my wardrobe, still going for comfortable, but maybe hobochic. What do you think, dear readers?
What else have I been up to? Planning. Playing. Re-watching a few things, the newer Battlestar Galactica (So Say We All) and Warehouse 13 – thank you dear Teagan https://teagansbooks.com/ for making me want to revisit The Warehouse; I’m always happy there. It reminds me that the biggest adventure, is life itself, and that the spirit of The Warehouse is inside us all, the spirit of endless wonder.
I even know who Gossip Girl is (I’ll never tell xo xo). Caught up on John Oliver back despite popular demand, funny and truth, can’t get enough of that. Almost lapsed into a cheesy made-for-TV movie coma with never-to-be classics such as but not limited to: TV adaptations of Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen murder mysteries https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/25/crapathy/Murder, She Baked (where ex-soap stars drop by for a cookie break; Cookie Monster should make a guest appearance!).
I know my heart was heavy and uplifted as The Tragically Hip sang a very public goodbye, a final gift of music to everyone they love: fans, band members, family, friends, hometown of Kingston, Ontario and Canada…I alternated between singing and crying, sometimes both at the same time.
I know I’m thankful to everyone who continues to support my blog – my wonderful readers, fellow bloggers, also, the lovely ladies at #BloggersPitStop for all the support. I know I’m grateful you could stop by for my belated blog birthday bash. Enjoy the party games – watch out, you don’t know what will be pinned where these days!!! Enjoy the virtual cake (as always, you have me at cake) – even chocolate has no calories!
Feel free to visit, we’ll pretend we’re under the sea in an octopus’s garden – that’s where I’d like to be, under the sea, in an octopus’s garden in the shade.
So maybe the best words are…please, be kind, what the hell do you have to lose?
It’s never easy to say goodbye. Ok, that’s not true, sometimes it’s super easy to say goodbye, in fact, you wished could’ve said goodbye much, much earlier. You’re with someone, they’re annoying you, but it’s impolite to leave, or you feel you should or have to stay. Or when you’re at a party, function, event, etc. and some guests are driving you up a wall. There are times when you’re screaming goodbye in your head, measuring how many steps it would take to get to the door, or wondering if anyone will notice if you were to dive out of the window, full-on Die Hard – hmm, was that what Shakespeare was picturing when he said, ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow, wait to jump out that window till the morrow’? Something like that.
We love to tell stories, we’re natural born storytellers. Over 7 billion of us on the planet, telling our stories. So many stories. While we’re telling those stories, or hearing those stories, we’re not going to agree on everything all the time or be pleased all the time, but could we put all the hate, bullying, vitriol, name-calling, hyperbole, lies, persecution, injustice on the shelf? Maybe we could strive to disagree respectfully. There are many ways to tell stories, from many perspectives.
A long-awaited specialist appointment (now waiting for more, er, stuff and trying new, er, stuff) opened and reopened my eyes. No worries, it’s notfatal, to the best of my knowledge, it just feels like it’s killing me…
1) I need to take a break and focus on my health.
2) I need to write, not just blog posts, but my book, and maybe try to make more money to pay for my dirty habit…to clarify, it’s my chocolate habit, but it can be dirty; dark chocolate especially leaves terrible stains and smears everywhere.
3) It’s with a heavy heart that I write This Is Where I Leave You…actually, I didn’t write that, Jonathan Tropper did and it was delightfully flawed, if a little clever-clever, but I appreciate the exertion. Plots and characters somewhat transparent yet quite engaging. His authentically muddled and intriguingly idiosyncratic style keeps me reading. Hollywood made a valiant attempt to adequately adapt it to the screen with: Tina Fey (SNL, Mean Girls, 30 Rock, Spongebob Squarepants, Simpsons, Sisters, Muppets, etc.), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Zootopia, Juno, Paul, Little House on the Prairie, Knight Rider, etc.),
Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Girls, J. Edgar, Lincoln, The Unusuals, etc. ),Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood, Justified, Catch and Release, Live Free or Die Hard, The Mindy Project, The Office, Hitman, Call of Duty),Dax Shepard (Robot Chicken, Idiocracy, Parenthood,and endless oddSamsungcommercials with wife, Kristen Bell who will always be Veronica Mars to me, also great in Deadwood), Jane Fonda (The Newsroom, Barbarella, On Golden Pond, Sunday in New York, Cat Ballou, Barefoot in the Park, The Butler, Georgia Rule, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Klute, Coming Home, The China Syndrome, The Morning After, and you may know her from her activism and/or groovy exercise videos).
4) I might need to cut back on TV, way too many shows are just ads in disguise. ie. Ride with Norman Reedus should actually be titled: American Tourism, Ducati, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Triumph, and Yamaha Pay For Ride with Norman Reedus. And it’s weird how he wanders around never opening his wallet, it’s like he’s still on The Walking Dead, I guess there’s no need for money during the zombie apocalypse – the Daryl Dixon Discount.
Gorgeous bikes, scenery, people (well, mostly), but obviously one long commercial. Don’t know if I’m now more or less inclined to be sad if Negan chooses Daryl. Just sayin’.
I’ll forgive AMC, after all, they also gave us: Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Talking Dead, Hell On Wheels, Mad Men, Fear The Walking Dead, Turn: Washington’s Spies, The American West, Into The Badlands, and now, Preacher, a gruesomely heartening supernatural tale of good vs evil, or more like good vs itself.
5) I need to find new ways to de-stress. Stress is everywhere these days. Even dogs and cats are under pressure to perform, and not just in endless and often demeaning internet videos, gifs, memes, etc. (see above, but how cute is that?); just look at their food – it has to be high in fiber, promote lean muscle, keep them at a healthy weight, all so they can be adorably frisky and playful, for our amusement. Amusement seems more important now than ever. We need to be constantly amused, entertained, busy. Is it a latent, twisted version of hunting and gathering, we now hunt and gather entertainment?
We even amuse ourselves with foodporn, I mean, food now…
6) I’m crushing on teacup pigs, some call them pocket pigs, or micro pigs, but I worry about their popularity, they could get bought up by someone like Bill Gates and we’ll have to buy endless crappy versions of them – Microsoft pigs.
7) I need to catch up on my reading. Numerous library books await my attention, with due dates, apparently some others have the nerve to want to use my the public library.
Life is all about the journey, not the destination, and sometimes that journey takes you not where you meant to go but where you’re meant to be. Reading takes you anywhere you want to go and while some books may not change the world, they could change your world.
My books to review basket is also overflowing. I almost missed out on a great murder mystery, These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly in the bookflood https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1415718938And I’ve enjoyed indie works – hidden treasures, like the ones previously mentioned here https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/29/always-on-my-mind-blog-party/ and so many more. Luckily I can’t physically see the Netgalley books unless I log on, so I’m pretending I forgot my password (psssh, I know you remember your password). Books have many purposes: entertainment, distraction, learning, companionship, dreaming, but really, like pop culture they’re a way of examining life, a form of philosophy. Long time readers of this blog know I have an ongoing love affair with books, including Open Court’s…and Philosophy series, but there are so many of them, how can I read and review them all? I can’t, but I sure can try. If not on here, then on Goodreads. ie. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1677400824
8) I wish The Newsroom (stunning cast of: Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Emily Mortimer, Jane Fonda, Alison Pill, John Gallagher, Jr., Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Messina, Kat Dennings, David Harbour, Hope Davis, Kelen Coleman, Grace Gummer, Constance Zimmer, B. J. Novak, etc.) was still on and that more people watched it.
Aaron Sorkin is a master at presenting all sides of, well, everything, logically, rationally, especially politics. We need more of that. Smart, well-balanced writing. To me, Sorkin is the ultimate optimist, an anti-cynic, after all, who else would keep monologuing, writing epic, inspiring speeches and broadcasting them in the hopes he’s actually reaching people, not just cleverly preaching to the converted.
9) So…Politics…That happened. I feel all Alice Through The Looking Glass, what if it’s all a dream? Maybe I went through a mirror, fell down a rabbit hole, opened a door, magically traveled through a wall to Platform 9 3/4, opened a portal, a Stargate, a paratime machine, a window, a crack? I keep hoping I’m in some alternate reality, some parallel Universe and I’ll wake up. Are we BrainDead (funny show, but making me a tad paranoid of the ants that keep invading my place)? Have aliens taken over politicians? Naah, too obvious. As Alexander Hamilton said:“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”? Hmmm, how about stand for something with even a hint of logic, intelligence, integrity, or sanity?
Donald Trump, #Brexit, bogus indignation, lies, corruption, murder, abuse, war, poverty, disease, starvation, terrorism (of course, we’ve always got a new foe, it’s important to keep us scared, worried, after all, we buy more that way). Imagine what we could accomplish if we focused on what mattered and would help all people, not just a select few.
It’s too easy to long for a simpler times. Watching Brooklyn(https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/08/stand-by-me/) it seems like life was simpler, less complex, less contentious, and it’s true in many ways. But we can’t live in the past. Can’t go back. Can’t unring bells that have been rung. With technology ruling our lives, we have to find ways to somehow enjoy the benefits of here and now without being consumed and overwhelmed by the here and now.
10) I’ve thought a lot about why the world more closely resembles the last days of Roman Empire and that line Gena Rowlands uses to chide/teach her moviedaughter, Sandra Bullock in the romcom Hope Floats, “It’s the worst kind of extravagance the way you spend your chances”. What if this applies to the whole world now? We need to stop spending our chances.
We need to stop settling. Stop lowering our expectations. Go out there, spend your chances wisely. We may live in a world supercharged by social media, where we dramatize each problem, instead of looking for solutions. Where gossip, blame, fighting, arguing, cool cynicism, magical thinking, phony outrage, lowest common denominator pandering, digital degrees of The Butter Battle Book, The Lorax, and The Cat in the Hat combined (Dr. Seuss would be so proud) rule the day. Where intelligence is mocked, sensationalism screams loudest, bits and soundbites of information, right or wrong, reign supreme. In fact, it would be really funny, if it wasn’t such a sad mess…
It doesn’t mean we have to buy into it. We can be more. Rise above. Care. Have character, loyalty, integrity, even if it’s not cool to do so. Choose courage. Choose love. Choose hope. Caveat emptor, lest we drown in the muck. You’ll find true power in being kind.
I write this with tears in my eyes and the words to Green Day’s Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) playing over and over in my head: “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.” I do, I hope you had the time of your life, I certainly did.
I can’t thank those of you who have supported me enough! Thanks for following, sharing, reblogging, commenting, visiting. I’m not ruling out coming back at some point, I’m just not well enough to continue now.
I’ll still visit my blogging family and friends regularly. Still take part in some parties, social media stuff, etc. Blogging is addictive. When you first do it, you feel like you’re standing naked (sorry for the visual), exposed, and then you start to love it. You have to silence your inner critic (she’s just jealous).
My posts stay here, so please, visit my vaults whenever you’d like, comment, share, I’ll still be here, after all, almost 3 years of blogging later there’s close to 600 posts, like these:
I’m not ruling out returning to this blog or another blog, or bookstores near you (she wrote wistfully). Some time away might recharge my batteries and I will regenerate (I could be the new Doctor in Doctor Who, I think it’s time for a female Doctor). Until then, so long and thanks for all the fish…come on, you think I’d leave without something to do with Douglas Adams, he’s at least partially responsible for my brain. I might be down now, but there’s no time limit on getting back up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, I’ll get up, dust off, and be back, one way or another!
Life is choosing. Choosing to be happy or sad. Nice or mean. Hopeful or hopeless. Among the mass of expectations, concepts, beliefs, abstractions, and stereotypes swirls millions and millions of choices. We’re not always going to make the right choices. Sometimes we’re mean and feel sorry, sometimes we’re sorry we’re not more mean.
1) It’s hilarious, even 15 years later, maybe more so; 2) It’s wise and relevant, especially about how we’re brandwashed, er, brainwashed; 3) The words to the song keep echoing through my head, “Can’t you just pretend to be nice, can you at least pretend to be nice, if you could just pretend to be nice, then everything in my life would be alright.”
For me, people who pretend to be nice are pretty much as annoying as meanies. “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”- Dave Barry Yet there are still tons of genuinely nice people…but we’re designed to notice danger, it’s for survival. We notice loud stuff, outrageous stuff, bad stuff – it was meant to help us notice danger, pay attention to danger, to keep us safe and to keep our loved ones safe, but now, sigh, there’s the internet, you know the internet, like your neighbourhood gossip on steroids, virally, digitally frothing at the mouth.
Texts, tweets, memes, video, posts, gifs, statuses, chats, comments, updates, etc., blaming, blaming, blaming – basically blaming everyone – immigrants, women, social assistance recipients, minorities, religions, etc., well, that won’t get you a job, or make the rich stop screwing you (without consent or foreplay). Just as spewing vitriol won’t change your economic or socioeconomic status, or get you something you want, or bring back those you love. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, sorry Mom and Dad, your famous, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is stone cold dead. We’re all quickly learning you’re entitled to your own opinion and your own facts – just ask The Incredible Trump.
Maybe it’s easier to lash out than look in. Is it easier to yell at a clerk? Or scream at a receptionist (by the way, no one was paying any attention to your information until you screamed)? Or sharpen your claws: ‘You’re so brave to wear that shirt.’ Brave, really, I’m not running into a burning building to save babies and puppies, oh I see, you’re being catty. Than to just be nice?
When I asked an ex (note the word ‘ex’, for many, many reasons) why he couldn’t just be nice, his answer was, ‘it’s too much work’. Really? Could that possibly be it? Is it just easier to snark, snarl, sneer? Easier to mock, mimic, moan? Is meanness, ridicule, viciousness, derision a form of laziness?
Then again, if you’re not: molesting, abusing, being racist, getting all mass murdery, killing serially or non-sequentially, making human skin coats, terrorizing, stealing, lying, raping (yes, creepy, horrible Stanford rapist and any other rapists, no still means no and to clarify, unconscious also means no; not difficult to understand), you probably still qualify as ‘nice’, but hopefully we can try to raise the bar way, way higher.
Speaking of nice, I’m thrilled (thank you kindly) to be one of the winners of the Blogger’s Pit Stop and The Pinterest Game – please drop by, visit, share, it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and lots of fun.
To the best of my knowledge, there’s no standardized testing for ignorance, intolerance, meanness, or unhappiness yet, but I’d buy stocks in that future booming business. Be nice, you don’t know what people have been through or are going through.
Is it too late to say sorry? ‘Cause I’m missing more than just your bloggy. Yeah, I know-oh-oh, I want to be a good neighbour bloggy (ok, perhaps I’m not going to be rapper anytime soon). I know it’s a busy time of year, but drop by whenever, dears, my blogdoor is always open. Please leave links in the comment box. Drop by often. Enjoy the virtual cake, chocolate, cupcakes, tarts, pies, cookies, and er, liquid refreshments. Meet and greet other bloggers. Introduce yourself. Be kind. Be nice. Have fun. Obvious now I’m from Canada, eh? Sorry.
Through the blog storm,
we reach the shore
We give it all
but they want more
And we wait for views
With or without you
Can’t blog with
or without views
And you blog yourself all day
And you blog, and you blog
And you blog yourself away.
If this had audio you’d know I sang it just like Bono of U2, it’s like we’re twins, ok, maybe closer to the Swedish Chef from The Muppets, but it’s all good.
Blogging is a lot like cooking. Some people do it instinctively. A pinch of this. A dash of that. Somehow they know just the right blend. Others follow a precise recipe.
1. First thing you need to decide, what kind of cooking, I mean, blogging do you enjoy? Home-cooked, formal, informal, sugar-free, spicy, sweet, sour, no artificial flavours or colours, grilling, gourmet, fusion? Do you want to indulge your readers with moist, sweet chocolate brownies (my secret, melt the butter, let it cool then slowly add it to the mixture) or spicy chipolte chicken taco with guacamole (drooling)…
2. With blogging, like cooking you need an appreciative audience. Those who don’t just eat to live, but live to eat. Those who don’t just like blogs, but love them.
3. Posts can fill up our email like a meal can fill up our stomachs, but too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, sometimes a snack is the way to go.
4. Processed food, junk food, fast food, sure, they call themselves food, but really, food by any other name is not always food…same goes for blogging.
6. Don’t think if people will: Like it, share it, reblog it, tweet it, agree, disagree, hate you, be a troll under your blogging bridge, or if you’ll end up looking like Mr. Bean with a turkey on your head. Just do what you want to do…that turkey looks good on you.
8. Sometimes you slave over a hot stove aka computer, plate your hopefully tasty content, and serve it up….you wait for readers to gobble it up, but sometimes they never come to the table, even when called repeatedly. Maybe they’re busy, after all, when they open their email, it’s like a giant buffet has been served up, how much can they possibly eat? Maybe they’ve already eaten or are dining elsewhere. It happens. Try again.
May dances in,
dances with dreadfully
dances ribbons of hope,
twisting pretty, pure,
about what once was,
what will be,
and never be again.
In the moonlit
rattling bones of night
I, awake pondered,
what if those
five stages of grief:
are a stale simplification?
Is life ever that simple
or that linear?
My 5 Stages of Belief, Relief, oh Good Grief!
1. I can’t deny I was kind of missing my old tagline, Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure. Trying to decide, what do you think, dear readers, I’ve believed a lot of things…
2. Some days I feel I should scrub my eyes after reading some comments sections and news. I’m a walking paper cut as I read about people, even leaders and wannabes rage, lie, attack, hyperbole flying, anger roaring, name-calling like schoolyard bullies. People lap it up like reality cream. We might be sliding down a slobbery, slatternly nowhere-to-clutch-on-and-save-ourselves slippery slope. Mike Judge should re-release Idiocracy, exaggerated for effect, but maybe not as much as we’d like. It reminds me of RKO 281, based on Orson Welles’ struggle to make and release Citizen Trump, I mean, Kane. Why reward and encourage those who spread hate? Why feed the beast?
3. Some days even doing errands isn’t what you bargained for. I heard a woman trying to return a bathing suit she’d ironed. A dog dressed as Darth Vader (probably not by choice). Felt accosted by an overenthusiastic greeter when I just wanted to look at some books. Even the book covers were more than I bargained for – various states of half-dress; invisible force fields between people as they try to kiss; murdering someone or thinking about murdering someone; symbolism runs amok; people with words as clothes; moodiness; weird eyes; people with half faces; hot demons, aliens, wizards, vikings, pirates – all looking epic; folks gazing off into the distance looking pensive or constipated. And don’t even get me started on titles….
4. Remember my Happiness Project? I figured out fairly quickly (well, quickly for me, it’s all relative, right?) that happiness doesn’t come in a project, happiness has to come from doing, being, happiness has to flow naturally, happiness cannot be forced. But I had some fun, hope you do too. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
5. Not ashamed to have belted out the lyrics to cheesy 80’s Starship classic, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now with Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins. I accept and embrace my cheesy side, it helps me write, helps me keep smiling, laughing, despite, well, so much, including Fibromyalgia: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/08/fibromyalgia-is-a-four-letter-word/ SNL, Trainwreck, etc., my comcrush it still growing. Still not sure about Angry Birds though, Hitchcock flashbacks and all.
Also, Keri Russell –The Americans, Felicity, Austenland https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/12/29/austenland/is an under-rated actress. I’m having a craving for Quiche (that counts as pie, right?). Watching Andy Griffith I wish he’d been on The Walking Dead as like, Rick Grimes’ Grandpa – he could’ve just charmed the zombies, talked some Matlock sense into them. I’d now settle for The Christopher Walken Dead.
Life is pie (or pi, if you’re mathematically inclined). You don’t have to like every variety, you don’t even have to know every variety, in fact, new varieties are being made all the time…but some of it is so awesome, light, and flaky, it makes you want to take bite after bite, searching for hidden delights.
So if this world runs out of Mothers (noooo!), or bloggers (unlikely), we’ll still have each other, nothing’s gonna stop us, nothing’s gonna stop us now, although we might get distracted, by chocolate…or something.
Dear Readers, how are you today? Happy, I hope.
Lately I’ve been in a shall we say, reflective mood, thinking of the highs and lows, cons and pros of being human.
I know, like so many things, it’s complicated.
Let’s start with the Pros:
1. We’re amusing.
I never understand why people go to the zoo when they can watch people instead, such as, on public transit. In one ride I saw: a guy with a bag full of copper wires sucking down a giant blue slurpee who collected paper transfers from the bus floor, tore two apart, licked them, put them together then showed ‘it’ to the driver; another guy was reading a scientific magazine, upside down; a photoshopped woman talking loudly and graphically about her knotty/naughty love life via cellphone; an older gentleman wearing PJs, cool, I did that too, in high school, the top one day, bottoms another, but as I get older I just think, sure, that looks comfy, you could get off the bus and right into bed. Who needs The Oscars? Hop on a bus, be awarded.
2. We’re ingenious.
Really, we came up with all kinds of stuff, like: flying, fire, medicine, books, family, duct tape, technology, chocolate, the internet, music, blogging, swimming inside in the winter, batteries, politicians, money, cake, saunas, friendships, trains, Johnny Depp as a pirate, pool noodle under fitted sheet so a child doesn’t roll out of bed (wish I’d known this when my son was young), driving, driving with dogs on our laps, wait, someone needs to explain this one to me, does the dog think he’s driving, does he even comprehend what driving is, I doubt he passed a driving test, I mean, how did he fill out all the forms, reach the pedals with his paws, not bite the instructor?
3. We’re endlessly curious.
We ask questions such as, but not limited to: “How bad can it be?” (very bad); “Could it get any worse?” (yes); “How stupid can you be?” (have you heard some politicians?).
4. We’re brave.
We live on a planet where the earth shakes, volcanoes spew lava, mountains of snow grow, and storms make us remember there’s no place like home…and then invite tourists, cause it’s that awesome.
5. We fall in love and out of love.
Love can go from oh’s to ex’s…ex’s to oh’s or so I’ve heard…at least, in song. Our hearts can stay, stray, delay, relay, live to love another day. Don’t think my ex’s or oh’s haunt me, but I’d like to think someday my Prince Charming will ride in on his baggage cart and sweep me into his manly arms, yes, apparently in my flight of fancy I’m dainty and light as a feather, his bronzed flesh glowing, huh, glowing? Too much of the X-Files reboot? But I digress…he’ll have room on his baggage cart for my baggage too and we’ll be off, into the sunset (Risky Business-style sunglasses firmly in place), hopefully not ending up like Thelma and Louise, Romeo and Juliet, or Butch and Sundance…
6. We yearn.
For more, for other worlds and explore them through books, movies, TV…finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens aka A-New-Hope-revisited when I took my son to a movie marathon for his birthday. It was great, but I have to wonder, what is it with people dropping children off on desert planets? Do they think it’s desert daycare? Do they think the children might go all Home Alone on the scum of these wretched hives of villainy? At what point should we just admit they’re bad parents?
7. We all want to be heroes or funny anti-heroes.
Yeah, I saw Deadpooland laughed so hard my sides hurt. I’m having a bit of a Ryan Reynolds week (how often can you say that?), saw Woman In Gold too, how does Helen Mirren do it? But we don’t have to wear a cape, or a mask, have mutant powers, or fancy gadgets…just be good to one another. But if you get a chance to be be Batman and drive the Batmobile, do that too. Kindness is true heroics.
The Cons? Maybe another time, or…all of the above? Anything you want to add?
As a writer I have to believe words have power. One of the words I dislike is hate (note I didn’t say I hated hate). It’s overused. People hate their life. Family. Weight. Home. Car. Cats (maybe they sense your hate). Government. Politicians. Job. Hair. Cake (you are so reading the wrong blog). Books. TV shows. Songs. Actors. Movies. Vegetables (how do you hate something plant-based?).
I’m tired of hearing people say they hate…I’m not sure they know what that word means. Hate should be reserved for really, really bad people and things, like: child abusers, rapists, murderers, Hitler, warlords, dictators, alien overlords, stuff like that.
1. Let’s review, do you really hate your life or just certain aspects? Your whole life is a big category with many moving parts, pick the right part to hate, let the rest roll on.
2. Standing in the middle of a room silently or loudly screaming, “I hate my life” or “no No NOOOO!” repeatedly will probably make you feel slightly better for about 30 seconds, but it’s not a long-term ‘fix’.
3. This is usually the point when advice-giver types tell you to change your life. That’s all well and good, but what if some things are beyond your ability to change? Should you just accept them, or rail against them, lay down and kick and scream until you feel better, or until someone offers you ice cream to stop, or threatens to call the authorities (and no ice cream)?
4. How much time do you spend each day ‘hating your life’, I suggest you cut that in half, help others with the other half, you’ll feel the hate drift away.
5. Take a deep breath. This probably won’t help you hate your life less, but hopefully you might get a nice breath of fresh air, or the smell of fresh-baked goods.
6. Do something, maybe something different, or something to help someone else, again, may not make your life full of singing and woodland creatures doing your housework, but it might remind you of the good things.
7. Take charge of your life, unless you wouldn’t feel comfortable having you in charge, after all, do you even remember where your keys, or the remote is right now?
8. Are you at least changing the things you hate about your life? You’d hate to get stuck in a rut of hating the same things for decades.
9. Check your birth certificate. Are you old enough to hate your life? There are some weird laws out there, you don’t want to be breaking any.
10. Write down what you hate, maybe there’s a great book, or movie or TV show, song, etc. in all that hate. As much as people say they love positivity, so many popular shows, movies, books, plays, songs, etc. are about dysfunction, hate, crime, death, destruction, apocalyptic worlds, and misery, including Misery.
Maybe the haters just need a nap. A nap always makes you feel better. I’ve been enjoying a tiny bit more sleep (even when awake) in the past week (new meds).
Fibromyalgia and sleep don’t get along, but as much as I can hate the pain it inflicts on me 24/7, the constant fatigue, feeling left out of life sometimes, there’s no point, it is what it is. I have a choice, I can choose hate and be all grumpypants, or I can choose love and keep enjoying what I have and hoping for better days ahead.
If I said anything wonky during my blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/29/always-on-my-mind-blog-party/ (still open by the way, drop by anytime and promote your blog, for free, yes, free – we hear that word often, but it’s rarely true, in this case, it is) – I’ll blame it on the drugs (totally legal ones). Thanks to all those who came out. Happily, my bed and I are back on speaking terms, for now, and we didn’t even need sleep counseling.
Haters gonna hate, so let’s bake them a cake…seriously, who can hate when eating cake?
Be brave. Be bold. Choose love…and naps…and cake (not necessarily in that order).
Decisions. The average person now makes more decisions in a day than most did in weeks, months, even years. Decisions can engulf us. Haunt us. Overwhelm us. Interrupt us. Even stalk us in our dreams, ummm, a Nightmare on Choice Street? Choices are great, but too many can make it difficult, or almost impossible to make and trust decisions. Then comes the morning after, littered with “Did I make the right choice?”, “What did I do?”, “Can I return this?”, “What was I thinking?”.
Even in blogging there are so many decisions. At first, it felt frightening, like I was that boy in Jurassic Park, when Dr. Grant was explaining how Velociraptors kill.
Now I’m more like Chris Pratt, on a motorcycle, riding with the Velociraptors in Jurassic World, which for me was an all-out, action-packed cheesefest (in a good way), but a noticeable lack of Jeff Goldblum.
And yes, we’ve all made the wrong decisions, like someone thinking it was a good idea to make a certain theme park ride that shall remain nameless, ok, Tomorrowland, into a movie. It had its moments, mainly involving George Clooney and Hugh Laurie – I do so enjoy when Laurie’s given a chance to rant.
Even after years of blogging I still have trouble making some decisions, and have more blank-I-just-can’t-make-this-decision-moments than would seem humanly possible..but mostly it’s much, much more like It’s A Small World After All.
Blogging has taken me to places I might never have gone:
2. Hopeful places…
Thank you, Mary Smithhttp://www.marysmith.co.uk/ for your riveting novel, No More Mulberries and equally entrancing non-fiction offering, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women. Reminding us that so much of the stereotypes, drama, and propaganda are fabrications – to sell products, news, and government policies; that strength, compassion, and hope still blossoms, especially in the hearts of the oppressed.
4. Complex places… Ever wonder what happened after? You know, afterDarcy and Elizabeth, afterJane Eyre and Rochester? Some authors take up the challenge and continue the classic stories. It’s awfully daring, foolhardy, or just cashing in. In the case of Luccia Grayhttp://lucciagray.com/ – I’m going with daring. As a reader, I didn’t feel this was just to piggyback on the fame, but because Gray loves the enigmatic character, and wanted to continue Eyre’s story through her Eyre Hall Trilogy. The first book, All Hallows at Eyre Hall draws you in, and by the second, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hallyou’re on tenterhooks, awaiting more.
One way or another, we’re all busy.
Finding blogs we enjoy is challenging enough, but making time to read them is daunting.
Why not put all the awesome blogs in one place?
I promised you a blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/24/take-it-easy/
Here it is! 1. Mix and mingle, refreshments to your left beside the archives (what do you think of the new theme?). 2. Please leave your blog link or post link in the comment box below along with any introductions. One link per comment, but come back as often as you’d like. 3. Please reblog to spread the word or like, share on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, etc. Like, share, reblog, tell your family, friends and blogneighbours. 4. I will visit and respond asap (at the snail’s pace I’m moving these days, the next Star Wars film could be out before my asap…kidding ). 5. Have fun, it’s a great way to find bloggers and have them find you.
Thank you for coming to the party and for supporting my blog…You’ve made blogging a decision I’ll never regret.
Maybe I didn’t blog love Quite as often as I could Maybe I didn’t treat posts Quite as good as I should If you felt like second best Sorry, it’s just lack of time You were always on my mind (you were always on my mind) You were always on my mind
Well I’m a-runnin’
(ok, walking quickly)
down the road,
tryin’ to loosen
I’ve got seven
on my mind
Four million that want to own me, two that want to stone me, one that could be a friend of mine.
Take it easy, take it easy.
Don’t let the sound of your own words drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy…
Whether in blogging, work, love, parenting, friendship…The Eagles (goodbye Glenn Fry) had it right – take it easy. The sound of your own wheels (the ones turning in your brain) aka the sound of your own words – spoken, written, or even in your head can drive you crazy. Instead, I want to Take It Easy, to celebrate – despite the war and strife, the Canadian dollar sinking faster than the Titanic (the ship, not the movie)…
rising food prices (wait, how many were going to eat cauliflower in January anyway? Eat in season, or frozen), Star Wars mania, lack of affordable housing and healthcare, loss, illness…but at least there’s no zombies, and I still have all of you – my readers and other bloggers!
You make me happy when skies are grey, you’ll never know, dears, how much I love you – thank you, thank you, thank you for being here!
Friday January 29th we’re going to beat the January blahs, the winter ennui, the snow woes with a knockout blog party!
I was trying to get it together for this week, but seriously, The X-Files is returning, my hold of Season 3 of Orphan Black came in at the library, my son has a Pokemon thingie, schoolwork, housework, workwork, lifework, adulting, decisions, snow, cold, snow, cold (repeat)…I think I’m catching a cold, oh, and did I mention The X-Files is returning?
And some of you may have noticed I’ve been trying out new themes. Turns out choices are limited for mobile-friendly themes in the ‘Free’ category on WordPress, but I will choose in time to expose it (oh my!) for the celebration!!!
Come back Friday January 29th and join in the fun! It’s easy, leave your blog link or a link to an old post, new post, red post, blue post in the comment box (one link per comment, but come back as often as you like). Introduce yourself, wander around, eat some cake, be astonished at the size of my archives (oh my!), and mingle with the other bloggers. There will be virtual cake, blogging advice, and who knows what else! It may take awhile, but I promise I’ll read, visit, and reply to everyone!
One thing I’ve yet to regret (but the day is young) is blogging. I’ve virtually met some words-cannot-express-how-awesome people here who’ve welcomed me with open arms into their blogging family.
And I get swag! Really, my mail carrier randomly hands me treats! Like books (my drug of choice), or chocolates from Chicago I won from the enchanting Cherhttps://thechicagofiles.wordpress.com/ a delightful friend, blogger, and ex-pat Canadian. Yes, I got a box of chocolates delivered to my door just for reading a blog post! I love blogging! Those poor chocolates didn’t make it through the night – next of kin was notified…then eaten.
It may seem like the internet is a giant virtual haystack and we’re just tiny needles, but we can find each other with blogging parties and thanks to the tireless efforts of amazing and generous bloggers like:
Twas the week before Christmas
(almost two till my birthday)…
When all through the blogosphere…
not a blogger was stirring…
ok, some are stirring, but mostly cocktails…
Yet posts were still flying out with hopes that readers might give them a shout!
Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for bloggers, readers and many bloggers are off prepping for the big day, partying, waiting in line for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and of course, searching for perfect gifts.
Here are some, er, helpful last-minute gift ideas for those hard to buy for folks:
1. O Christmas tree! As a cautionary note, unlike in the movies, apparently it’s ‘frowned upon’, some might even say illegal, to just randomly cut trees down. Who knew?
2. Draw happy faces on all their socks/nylons so they’ll feel happy as they start each day. Or sneak into their house or room and draw a happy face on their wall, or mirror in red lipstick or paint. Wait, is that creepy? Nah, it’ll be a fun surprise.
3. Fix something for them: TV, car, fridge, cellphone, alarm system, computer, appliances, sewing machine, etc. Even if none were broken (but might be after), it’s the thought that counts.
4. Donate to a cause in their name or better yet, start a foundation in their name, I’m sure it won’t affect their taxes…much.
5. Sing them a song, but only if your voice doesn’t resemble fingernails on a chalkboard, mastodons dying in a tar pit, Bridget Jones singing, or my Mom singing (love you, please don’t sing).
6. Indie books. Mass-produced can be good, but a steady diet can leave you feeling flat. Best thing about indie, less cookie cutter, same goes for everything. Like indie author/blogger, A.H. Browne who kindly beamed aliens into my email. As they scurried around my brain, I was laughingly sucked into space to cavort (hey, I can cavort with the best of them) through the Saloon at the Edge of Everywhere. That sounds familiar, did I spend time there in my youth, next to CBGB, right? Book One of The Otherwhere Chronicles made me reluctant to return to Earth, like when you’re at a party, it’s past time to go home, but you think, just a few minutes more. If you’re feeling brave and in need of some fun, visit Arthur at http://pouringmyartout.com/ – don’t say I didn’t warn you! Any indie authors reading this, please add links in the comment box below where your work can be found (heck, it’s Christmas, anyone add links).
if after all
To go over
Hello, can you hear me? I’m in Canada dreamingabout who I’ll one day be Hello from the other side Feels like I’ve blogged a thousand times I sometimes forget, uphill can make you rest And at least I can say I tried
Not as much tears me up anymore So hello from the other side Feels like I’ve blogged a thousand times
Thanks Adele, like ‘Hello’is ever leaving my head.
Hello, I’m probably one of the most honest people ever – except I lie.
When I say I’m fine, sometimes, I lie.
Even if it’s mostly to myself.
I haven’t been well for a while now, even more so than usual, which is saying something. I’ve been pushing through with sheer force of will, but even that is wearing thin.
Apparently I need more ‘self-care’, which apparently, I’m very not ‘good’ at it.
So when an unlikely source, Groupon threw me a line – 50% off movies and popcorn (I brought the popcorn home for my son), I thought, why not? I wasn’t disappointed to watch The Hunger Games take its final bow on the big screen, except the title Mockingjay Part 2, really, that’s kind of boring, how about The Mockingjay Awakens, or Mockingjay Hurray! or an Australian version, Mockingjay G’day! I wasn’t thrilled by The Hunger Games books, but I did enjoy exploring our world, choices, freedoms and illusions of, through this world, onscreen more. When Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) keeps asking Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), ‘Real or Not Real’, I understood. Too often the world can feel violent and even surreal, but what is real…or not real? I suppose the best we can do is try to stand for something, or we’ll fall for anything.
Christmas music jingled away as I waited for the movie to begin, and I realized, blogging and Christmas have a lot more in common than I thought, like…
1. It’s better to give than receive. Even if you feel you don’t have enough, try to help others in some way. In blogging you can give by: ‘liking’, ‘sharing’, and/or ‘commenting’. You may not agree with every word, but appreciate that blogger took the time to post (as you wish to be appreciated).
2. Connection – you never know who you’re going to virtually meet and how they’ll change your life, or you theirs.
3. Fruitcake and posts – love, hate, like bits of, or given time, both could be used to prop open a door to…
4. Lots of surprises, awkward moments, comfort, joy, regifting, and more than a few ugly sweaters (still, it’s all in the eye of the beholder).
5. Plenty of glitz and fancy bits, yet sometimes, the substance and what really matters still shines through.
6. Gingerbread, yes, delightful, but sometimes hard to handle, especially without breaking.
9. Posts hung like stockings by the internet chimney with care, with hopes that readers soon will be there.
8. Cookies, meals out, eggnog, and other holiday treats, all awesome, but too many and you start to feel sluggish, tired, irritable, and overwhelmed. Blogging can be the same – know yourself, know your readers.
9. We can all be Santa’s Elves filling Santa’s shelves – bringing posts, perhaps comfort and joy…
10. Cookies, carrots, comments, posts, shares, maybe some milk (or in some cases, more adult libations) – all left for those we hope will show up.
11. Visions of sugar plums. Hoping to inspire and please, but sometimes, as hard as we try, our posts, our holidays, our days fall flat. There’s no time limit on getting up, or starting over. Dust off and try again!
12. Christmas trees, all different, just as all blogs are different. Don’t worry if you have the right niche, enough followers, comments, likes, etc. Don’t overthink. Send your creativity into the world, who knows what will come of it…anything, everything.
With blogging and Christmas and everything else, be brave, do what you feel, even if it goes wrong, you tried and that can’t really be wrong. Slow down, take the time to really enjoy and take it all in (including chocolate).
Adding blogging to that and anxiety, well, it could be the proverbial straw.
When it’s quiet here on my blog, I have time to think.
Why am I really doing this?
Should I be doing this?
I have so much else to do, is this a distraction?
Or is blogging just another version of chocolate, sappy movies, wanting to cry, desperately wishing a time machine would materialize in my living room to whisk me back to a time when the biggest decisions I had to make were: what to wear to school, who to hang out with, what to listen to…Probably shouldn’t go back, I might scream at myself to quit wishing to grow up and just enjoy growing up.
Some days I feel like blogging is more Hotline Blog (I’m assured Drake will drop this as a follow-up to his famous Hotline Bling) You used to like me on my blog post Late or early when I needed blog love And I know when that hotline pinged It could only mean one thing… But these days, you’ve become a ghost Wonder if you’re out there forgettin’ about my blog post Doing other things, maybe making cinnamon toast
But blogging isn’t all about Likes, it’s about enjoying each other…
I try to imagine what my blog would have been if I blogged as a child, you know, before I knew:
1. I’d have a computer, in my home.
2. I’d use this computer to tell perfect strangers (well, maybe not perfect) stuff about my life.
3. My worst recurring nightmare wasn’t fear, it was the fear of fear.
4. Bacon would become both hero and villain.
5. Everyone lied to me about stuff, including but not limited to: Santa, this won’t hurt (it did), The Tooth Fairy, being “almost there” (we weren’t), there was no more chocolate (there was), and that I’d use math in real life…
6. Life is less Game of Life and more Monopoly.
7. Power is a commodity, not necessarily the one that lights up your home.
8. What skin tags are, let alone having them.
9. The world is crawling with serial killers, if TV is to be believed.
10. Some people will still be mean, even as adults.
11. I’d use numbers from a fortune cookie for lottery tickets.
12. My body would be my worst enemy.
13. I’d look more like Jessica Fletcher than Jessica Alba.
14. I’d still be watching Doctor Who, Monty Python, and so would my teen son.
15. I’d lose hours of my life to a mysterious world that delivers weird yet amusing things to me right at home (yes, including pizza and Amazon).
16. I’d ever tire of Christmas (well, the commercialism of Christmas).
17. I’d try figgy pudding…get out there – try, visit, read, comment, share, take part in something different.
18. I’d let zombies into my home at least once a week…and love it.
19. You can’t eat all the cake, you have to share it, same goes for blogging.
20. I’d have many families – the one I was born into, the ones I found and found me, the ones I’ve made, and this amazing blogging community.
So get out there, hakuna matata – visit some blogs, enjoy each other, and never forget, you’re not alone.
I was working
on my blog,
late one night
When my eyes
an eerie sight
For my post
from its slab,
began to rise
to my surprise
It did the mash,
it did the Monster Meet and Greet Mash!
A monster blogger mash, it was a graveyard smash!
It did the mash, it caught on in a flash…
It did the mash, it did the monster blog mash!
The zombies and bloggers were having fun,
The blog party had just begun…
The scene was rockin’, we were digging the shares,
Some were commenting, well, those who dared
So add your link and des-crypt-ion, girls and guys,
Then suddenly to your surprise…
You can mash, you can monster blogger mash!
While I often say the best part of blogging is ‘meeting’ other bloggers, readers, etc., it’s been too long since we hung together, so welcome to the party, please, feel free to leave your blog name, a link to your blog or favourite post(s), and a des-crypt-ion. And pass it on: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, LinkIn,or reblog, so others can dig it too…
For some special treats, drop by some of the other blogs and Suzie’s Blog Party on Halloweenhttp://suzie81speaks.com (fabulous British blogger and creator of Twitter’s popular #SundayBlogShare). I’ll check back, enjoy the snacks, but I have some busy times ahead, including preparing something completely different…Hopefully I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew-ie and end up as blaster fodder. May The Force be with me.
Yes, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year People dressing as ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, Celebrities, minions, villains, and fools Filled with fun, food, and fear It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all With trick or treat greetings and candy meetings Friends and strangers coming to call It’s the hap-happiest season of all
October conjures images of:
Fall leaves, crisp nights… pumpkins and pumpkin spice…Halloween, candy, black cats…sexy Hunger Games costumes, yeah, I’ve stopped asking why at this point…
Apparently, scary is definitely different for different people.
For some scary is:
The dark – where all the known and unknown creep.
Horror movies that make people hide their eyes, but have to peak.
The price of groceries or hydro (both terrifying).
Trying on bathing suits (could turn your hair white).
Dating, parenting, love…
Loss of those we love. Christmas or any holidays with in-laws.
Elections, wars, politicians.
Loss of cellphone reception (The horror! The horror!).
Running out of chocolate (now that’s horror!).
Liars, vampires, aliens, monsters, sparkly vampires, zombies…
I started blogging to relax, reignite my love of writing, and to be rich/famous (not necessarily in that order) – 555 posts later, well, two out of three ain’t bad. No one warned it could be so scary!
Life doesn’t come with instructions, we have to grope our way through this at times terrifying funhouse – long strips of goodness, gooey badness, melty magnificence, and squishy horrors – blogging is pretty much the same.
It was a dark and stormy night…Start a blog they said. It’ll be fun they said.
1.You want the blog truth, you can’t handle the blog truth! By the flickering computer light and hum, something wicked this way comes…really, Shakespeare how would thou deal with: endless emails, trolls, glitches, and ghosts in the machine?
2. First, you find your way through the woods (aka the internet) to an old mansion (aka WordPress) where you start your blog. Soon, strange things start happening – stuff moves by itself, stuff disappears, and you find yourself alone, in the dark, and still, you hear the click, click, click of the keyboard…
3. Come up with a cunning plan, overly elaborate with, as a random example, a dog with a speech impediment; a drug-addled vegetarian with a groovy van; narcissistic metrosexual; frumpy geek girl who needs contacts; and constantly kidnapped drama queen.
4. Your loved ones look at you oddly as you repeatedly type: All work and no play makes Donna a dull girl…They complain you’re hunched over your shining computer, or using them for…inspiration.
5. Read aloud from online posts, only to realize, you’ve freed some ancient vengeful Babylonian deity…or worse, a telemarketer! Who you gonna call?
6. Invited to Bloggers Bash at a spooky mansion, you accept, bloggers are fun, right?
7.Pop over to Pinterest for a ‘minute’ tofind an image or inspiration…later you’re found wandering through the desert and learn you’ve been missing for 7 years and still didn’t find the right meme.
8. Fall asleep at your computer and wake up in a dream where a serial killer is hunting you, or worse, you’ve lost all your followers!
9. You decide to take a break from writing and take a bath or shower, you know better, but it’s been a long day.
10. You ask for books to review, but then …One, two, writers are coming for you. Three, four, publishers knock at your door. Five, six, who do you pick? Seven, eight, accept your fate. Nine, ten, never sleep again.
11.You turn to run from the glowing ooze on your keyboard, but there’s a evil clown or worse, housework behind you…your furniture is moving on it’s own, but it’s not getting dusted…Why? Oh why?
12.Through a series of unfortunate events, you find out your blog is built on an old cemetery and an ancient burial ground where rituals were performed. You could run to another platform, but that’s a lot of work.
13. So I will think of blogging not as a horror movie, but more like a community garden. We all work together to grow something remarkable. There will be ups and downs, but in the end, we’ll all be part of something amazing…as long as nothing comes alive to eat us.
All that peace and love stuff, it’s just idealistic mumbo jumbo, right?
Or is it?
While I admit I don’t understand a lot of stuff, but as long as it’s not really hurting anyone, why would I care?
Too often, the commonly held view seems to be that if we don’t agree, we’re at odds.
Like somehow 7 billion of us are suddenly going to start agreeing, or we have to battle it out Star Trek style.
For example, I find the rise of pumpkin spice alarming – apparently pumpkin spice is a season now, so the pumpkin spice must flow.
Here’s a completely incomplete list of stuff people do that I don’t ‘get’, or want to (no particular order):
1. Touching wet paint or wet cement – yes, it’s wet, move on. 2. Running water after going to the bathroom instead of actually washing your hands. 3. Lying, lying, and what was that other thing, oh yeah, lying. 4. Judging a person based on their skin tone, religion, race, nationality, whom they choose to love, clothes, home, family, etc.
5. Walking into traffic looking at a cellphone. 6. Bad driving. 7. Hurting others, especially children. 8. Loving something just because it’s endorsed by or has the name of a celebrity.
9. Using racism as a political strategy. 10. Fat shaming, and also those who say fat shaming is wrong, because they’re also calling people fat. 11. Having fictional conversations in your head with others (ok, done this). 12. Not smiling back at a child or being impatient when an elderly person is slowly walking down the stairs in front of you.
13. Yelling at furniture that jumped out and stubbed your toe (ok, I’ve totally done that). 14. Wearing uncomfortable shoes (especially with stubbed toes). 15. People who pretend they don’t fart (you do, we all do, own it). 16. Reading the instructions after you’ve done something.
17. Saying “I’m sorry” when you’re not sorry. 18. Unenvironmentalists (you know that should be a word). 19. Buying non-orange pumpkins. 20. Pretending you don’t wish some cool movie-like thing would happen to you today instead of just the usual stuff…come on, you really haven’t done this?
I can’t understand how people find the time or energy to judge, fight, or generally care so much about everyone else’s business. Does this have to do with our fight or flight response? Not running from sabre-tooth tigers (mostly), our fear response is now triggered by shopping (prices are terrifying), finding info on the internet (bloodcurdling), and politicians (I’ll take the tiger). Obviously our fear of scarcity has survived, so maybe those who are different or disagree feed into that fear. I’m just guessing, frankly, I’m baffled.
The internet just seethes with fear and loathing which is why I’m happy when I find bloggers who make me smile. David Prosser, a wonderful, funny, and caring blogger from Wales offered the world his Buthidars philosophy https://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/ – a hug, a good deed, a simple gesture, a smile…forging a path toward peace.
And he shares his life each week at: https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/ and kindly shared one of his novels, The Queen’s Envoy, with the caveat, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, but I emphatically enjoyed the fanciful flight of fictitious foibles. It reminded me of watching Bond movies with my Dad. As a child I didn’t understand what Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, and “Oh James!”really meant, but the spirit of adventure always made me feel like anything was possible. I like that feeling, wherever I can find it.
It’s Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada;I’m thankful we can all agree to disagree, eh. I don’t tell people they’re stupid for their beliefs and I don’t expect them to understand my complicated relationships with: chocolate, spiders, TV, sleep, housekeeping, kale, Jane Austen, gravity, technology, toenail clippers, Christmas, pools (you know, cause of sharks), clowns, Thanksgiving, meat, and life in general.
We don’t have to agree to have fun, be respectful, and add love and hope to the world.
Dear readers, I admit to being in a bit of a pickle.
In youth, life seemed limitless, infinite.
Writing was the same, I just wrote, not a lot of stopping to think.
Such is the power and joy of youth.
And as we age limitations don’t just come from the outside, but from your own body:
Sagging (oh no, those should still be much higher).
Weird spots randomly attach themselves to your skin (“Out, Damned Spot!” doesn’t work, believe me, I’ve tried).
Eating cake may seem more exciting and less work than other, er, strenuous activities…
But if you’re not aging, you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth (good for you, care to share?), or you’re dead and you just don’t know it yet.
Sigh, so many things I wish I’d done or not done.
Sweet dreams lost, given up, given away, or stolen…
Sweet dreams fulfilled, waiting in the wings, and yet to come…
There’s also a certain grace, a wisdom, a knowing that comes with age, even for books. Remember how those new and shiny ebooks were going to destroy the book industry? Make books into relics only viewed in museums? Those dire predictions may have been premature. The texture and weight of a book in your hands tells you so much about the content; ebooks all feel the same.
Deep in our DNA, we’re storytellers, not just those who write, but those who read. We don’t just want to experience the stories, we want to share the stories. It’s about connection.
Many of those stories are by independent authors, not backed by a marketing budget larger than most of us will earn in a lifetime. Does that make them somehow less? Personally, I never cease to be amazed at the talent, the passion, the wonder never appreciated, just because it isn’t a bestseller.
I’ve reviewed books on and off for 30 years, yet ironically, I’m not always a fan of book reviews. I don’t enjoy a book report disguised as a review (we got it, you read the book, now, why should I?) and being told I should like or dislike a book. That’s silly, no one can tell you if you’ll like or dislike something, just why they liked or disliked it.
I love a story that transports me, takes me with the characters on their journey. I want to be there, a part of the story, which happened when I called upon Atonement, Tennessee…and never wanted to leave.
Teagan Riordain Geneviene kindly and brilliantly invites us to visit a small Southern town where things are not as they seem, but instead, is full of mystery, intrigue, murder, dashes of magic, romance…even a cat naturally more attuned and intelligent than her human counterparts (guess that goes without saying).
I admit being a tad miffed Atonement, Tennessee didn’t come with a warning label, something like: Don’t start reading if you have anything else you need to do for the next couple of days. Of course, obsessively reading this book also helped me cast the movie and/or TV series, let’s see, how about Ian Somerhalder, Richard Armitage, andDavid Tennant? Look how cute and cuddly they are…oh, and there’s cats too!
This is fantasy at its finest, but still left me wanting more…more…more…
Maybe I could 100% honest review your books too, just contact me, see, over there to your right – ‘Sending Me Stuff’.
Age can sure make you restless, even more so than in the bloom of youth, for we have the knowledge of what has been, what never was, and what could be. I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter what your age, and the only real limits are those of your courage and your convictions.
If you are reading this blog there’s a good chance you’re not just a reader, you could also be a blogger yourself…or one of my family or friends (Hi family and friends!).
What I mean is, many people who read blogs are also bloggers who send their creativity out there, into the universe, in one form or another, through an intricate web.
Yet too often,The Phantom of the Blogging Tips (er, Blogera? No? That’s not a thing?) is inside your mind, telling you how to blog instead of letting you find your own voice.
So before you’re past the point of no return:
1. Don’t second-guess yourself, there are literally millions of others out there willing to do that for you. Go with your instincts.
2. Before you post you may stop and think: will my readers like this, hate this, be offended, not press ‘Like’, will Unfollow, or what if they send an army of robot ants to carry me off in my sleep? Let me help, the answers are: Hopefully. Possibly. It’s a distinct possibility. Maybe. Hopefully not. And it’s the internet, stranger things have happened.
3. You’ll do a post you think is amazing, you’ll press publish (very important step, many bloggers forget this one) and tumbleweeds will roll across your blog and you’ll wonder, what did I do wrong? Probably nothing, most likely it was WordPress..again.
4. Your posts could be awesome, but people are busy and there’s an infinite amount of information out there…or they just can’t find your posts. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/Get out there and be your own Number One Fan (but not in a creepy Stephen King way).
6. Don’t be afraid to try something new or different. Tell us about a movie, a book, something you cook, draw, paint, build, remember, did, crafted, give us advice (we might not take it, doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear it)…anything, but it’s your voice we want to hear, authentic, not copied, or some regurgitated whatchamathingies we’ve read everywhere else.
7. Even if aliens are stealing your likes, keep trying, they’ll give up at some point or move on to another planet.
9. Keep a good sense of humour, balance, and if you can, relax, it’s just your diary you’re letting the whole world read, ok, when I say it like that it does sound kind of terrifying. But remember, when in doubt, chocolate out!
10. Find your own style, your own groove, your own path, your own magic. Cookie cutters are for Christmas, be yourself.
11. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This applies in blogging too.
12. So ignore all The Phantoms of the Blogging Tips, even me. You can do this.
So let me get this straight – you take the good you take the bad you take the both and there you have The Facts of Life? That can’t be right. Can it? Am I getting this whole thing facts of life and happiness stuff all wrong? Maybe chocolate was the answer all along. Could it really be that easy? Could that be what the universe is trying to tell me as my happiness project carries on?
1. My brain, which doubles as an MP3 player, awakes to music, a foggy playlist scampering to Jack Johnson crooning, Upside Down then Blind Melon, David Bowie, and Tears For Fears all melodically reminisced about Change… 2. The pages of The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig, came to life as I read, making me want more. Then I thought of Jennifer Aniston in Cake, amazing, but tissues at the ready. With cake, like life we gradually add one thing after another, hopefully in the right order, until there’s something delightful.
3. Luke Bryan wanted me to Kick the Dust Up(point me to a cornfield, cause, damn, that’s catchy). 4. I think my happy place may have vandals…maybe I didn’t lock up after the last time I left.
5. Never forget. 6. The basic insultiness of the TV adaptation of Pamela Redmond Satran’s Younger – all young people are flibbertigibbits/all older people are past their sell-by-date. Like Sex and the City you have to suspend belief, your hold on reality, even your dignity to buy what they’re selling. Begs the questions, could I pass for younger and if so, why? I would like the naturally elastic skin back. 7. Lisa Whelchel + Kim Fields + farm from Smallville, here’s a fact of life, yup, all in the same movie, For Better or Worse…ok, definitely worse.
1. Barenaked Ladies felt they needed to remind me of good times and that I don’t have a million dollars, but what I could do if I did.
2. Let’s Make A Deal is still on? What year is this? 3. Wilson Phillips begged me to Hold On (thanks, I got this). 4. Took a delicious and mind-etching bite of Wes Anderson’s droll, absurd The Grand Budapest Hotel. Can a movie be too amazing? If so, this is.
5. Tim McGraw told me to live like I was dyin’, well, duh. 6. Watched season première of Doctor Who…remembered why I love it. Let’s forget last season. 7. New series, Mr. Robot where Christian Slater seems to be reviving his Pump Up The Volume role, just older, but still angry. As a hacker, now instead of Talking Hard, he’s Typing Hard.
1. The clock ticks, my birthday looms, another season falls away…I guess even when you feel stuck, or trapped and there seems to be no escape, no way out (like in The Maze Runner, oh great, now I’m going to have Wild Boys by Duran Duran in my head), you can turn another corner and wow, you’re out…or maybe just borrow a ladder and climb out. 2. Really want to watch The Fault In Our Stars, not sure I’m ready for ugly crying, especially when I have a cold https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/06/the-fault-in-our-stars/ 3. Writing, like everything else doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes it’s perfect to just unfocus and be.
4. Should I read A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld, or would I just gave up? 5. Does it weird anyone else out that if you remove an ‘s’, the French word for fish looks like poison?
6. I need to invent a way to eliminate dusting, perhaps by eliminating dust. 7. What if life is like a bowl of cherries and we’re the pits?
Maybe I just need some sleep…without The Cure burbling in on all 8 legs of Lullaby. If they’re The Cure, what was the disease again?
You’re the one thing I just can’t get enough of.
I’ll tell you something, it could be blog love.
Because I’ve had the time of my life
and I’ve rarely felt this way before,
I swear, it’s the truth and I owe it all to you…
Always liked Dirty Dancing’s message that nothing is impossible (well, except a sequel with Patrick Swayze…or Jennifer Grey’s original nose). And that nobody should put me in a corner, unless I paint myself in (true story).
Which lead me to Laggies, ok Sam Rockwell lead me there, but intrigued and entertained, I stayed. Kiera Knightley plays a quirky woman (no surprise, but this time, no British accent, way to step out there) who too often waits for others to make decisions for her. Instead of living life according to someone else’s schedule, beliefs, and dreams she decides to follow her heart, her dreams, and finds a her version of happiness.
1. Company from out-of-town, got them hooked on Haven, muhahaha…also, food involved.
2. Realized people would be 500lbs if they ate as much food as the characters in Joanne Fluke books.
3. Read a great book on memory…can’t remember the title.
4. Re-pledged undying allegiance to public libraries.
5.Thought about taking up knitting….hmm, instead read a book about women in a knitting club, close enough.
6. Read Beekeeping for Dummies…I have more chance of being a bee than a beekeeper apparently.
7. Tried not to second guess myself, wait, unless that’s a bad idea.
1. Had a zen moment where I just felt floaty – good job remembering not to do this while driving or operating heavy machinery.
2. Donated more stuff.
3. Dental emergency – I know I’ve always tried to be good to you, teeth, but I’ll redouble my efforts.
4. Pain from dental work, watched The Originals and thought, do vampires need dental work?
5. Some pain, not as much as Orphan Black (wow, Tatiana Maslany playing endless clones just never gets boring), had me revisiting The Island of Dr. Moreau, did I almost forgot how epic H.G. Wells was?
6. Went to mall and yard sales, not sure which were more surreal, people buying junk or selling it.
7. Watched Fear The Walking Dead, really, like anyone would notice the zombie apocalypse that quickly these days, especially in LA.
1. Haters gonna hate, but they’re just noise, listened to the good stuff instead.
2. Lost more of my baby weight, sure, my baby’s 17, but better late than never, right?
3. Computer’s dying; it has Windows Vista if that gives you any idea of it’s age. Looked for new one.
4. Worried excessively about passing driving test until I noticed I had chocolate…feeling fine.
5. Passed my last driving test, yup, you can teach an old dog new tricks. They’re dreadfully obsessed with parallel parking, so this is about parallel posting, aka, please leave your link here (in the comment section – any post) for others to find to celebrate with me.
6. Saw a music video that made me wonder if I’d been dancing incorrectly for years as my underwear doesn’t show.
7. Master of Horror Wes Craven, died. I always wondered, could some of my insomnia stem from watching Nightmare of Elm Street?
1. Spent time chatting online with Microsoft; quickly realized I knew more than they did.
2. Reminded again how wonderful and brave my son is.
3. Sang Nothing Compares 2 U, out loud, thinking of my blogging friends.
4. Oh, so that’s what it sounds like when the doves cry.
5. Thought about what I’m going to do next, writing wise.
6. Made a bouquet of pencils.
7. Wrote more emails to politicians and news people.
Remember, it’s just an illusion the world is racing past, go at the speed that makes you happy. Have the time of your life.
In the summer, readers run away from blogs like swimmers running out of the water away from the shark in Jaws (We’re going to need a bigger blog).
So what do you do in a blogging slump? Post more? Less? Write longer or shorter posts? Add more pictures of cats? More tweets, likes…eat more chocolate? Or just accept it and take a break for the rest of the summer? Acceptance is such a strange thing, isn’t it? It can be positive – you accept a gift, get accepted into a club, accept an award, or it can become something you feel forced to do, such as compliance or acquiescence.
I accept The Imitation Game was a brilliant film starring Benedict Cumberbatch (who apparently can’t be anything but astonishing) about WWII. I don’t accept it’s completely factual, clearly they took certain liberties such as Cumberbatch portraying Turing as though he had Asperger’s Syndrome. I don’t know if that’s Hollywood pretending everyone who’s a genius has Autism, or because they wanted Cumberbatch to play Turing more like Sherlock.
Joan Clarke (played with dazzling brilliance by Kiera Knightley) wasn’t recruited by Turing, crossword puzzle or otherwise, but was engaged to him.
They did concede Turning’s machine was based on a Polish cryptologic machine (the Polish broke the Enigma code years before), but that he’d built a better, faster machine for the more sophisticated code.
This is Hollywood. They add drama.
Unlike previous films about the Enigma code, this film didn’t cause international snits like U-571, or put us to sleep like Enigma (despite a stunning performance by Kate Winslet, wait, wasn’t she in another famous historically inaccurate film, something about a ship?).
I don’t take umbrage to movies that play with history. Most of history is changeable, written by the victors and those who want to cast themselves in a positive light. I read history books and watch documentaries, but even those should be taken with a grain of salt. Movies, TV shows, and books, even those based on real-life people and events, those are for entertainment.
This delightful movie wasn’t actually about the war or codes, it was about acceptance. Alan Turing was a gifted mathematician and cryptographer and yet, in the end, it didn’t matter if he saved millions of lives or gave us the basis for modern computers, it mattered that he was gay. He was only 41 when he committed suicide after being forced to endure chemical castration. His future work, his life, all lost because no one could accept he wasn’t their definition of ‘normal’.
Fear and discrimination are the real enemies. People refusing to accept the differences of others. Differences should be encouraged, supported, celebrated. Different isn’t less, most often, it’s more.
The occasional broken heart (some courtesy of good-for-nothing teen heart-throbs leering suggestively from glossy magazine covers), the enforced cleaning of my room, scrapped knees and elbows, the tedium of school, bullying, losses…still, I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a time where we knew little.
Sure, pesky facts sometimes showed up, but we were quick to scare them away and defiantly let our ‘ignorance is bliss’ flag fly!
Of course, I knew horrible things had happened and were happening, but for inexplicable reasons (I blame chocolate and kittens), I seemed to believe things would get better.
I don’t know, maybe it was growing up in a small town, but even with all my extensive sci-fi reading and viewing I could never have imagined this strange new world I would someday live in where Donald Trump could be President of the United States; someone would list their dog as a job reference; Kardashians are deities; people fawn and argue on social media over food while many don’t have any food at all; we would still believe governments and corporations who regularly and flagrantly lie to and cheat us…where fiction is fact and fantasy masquerades as reality.
The news, entertainment, internet, politics, business, sports, relationships – it’s like we’re watching The Tudors or The Borgias and the only thing that has changed are the outfits…and the quality of the acting. Lies, intrigues, shifting alliances, hypocrisy, machinations, double standards (like when someone does whatever they want, but when someone else does the same thing or less, they’re outraged, shocked, appalled – insert Fox Newsworthy propaganda rhetoric here).
Tired of the daily circus, I eagerly plopped down on my couch, green tea in hand, sore feet on the exercise ball (hey, it has to be good for something) to distract myself from the distractions and marvel at Colin Firth’s magnificence in Magic in the Moonlight.
But alas, I found the movie full of philosophical questions about the meaning of life. Sigh. Is nothing sacred? While enjoying the witty banter, I also had to think about whether this is all there is. This day-to-day, this cycle of life, the collective cultures, religions, the systems and wealth of knowledge obtained from human history and common experiences…Or is there more? A higher power, a divine plan, magic, a metaphysical world beyond the rational. Are there plans or is it all spontaneous and just happening as it’s happening? Perhaps I should have just revisited the pastoral peace of Pride and Prejudice, but then, I’d probably wonder again whether I would really like Mr. Darcy if I met him, or think he was a rich, pompous jerk.
My brain was awash with questions…and green tea. Do we need illusions or even delusions to survive and then more and more as stress levels build?
Is that why the world is looking more like the final days of an empire?
It might also explain why pop culture has become an avant-garde-Spanx-clad-Salvador-Dali-painting-on-Viagra.
Oh well, off to Outwit, Outlast and Outplay another day.
As a girl you grow up being taught so many things, but many girls aren’t taught how to be single, better yet, singular, or even better, singularly spectacular. I’m pretty sure this goes for boys as well.
One of the big things looming over a single person is dating. The mysteries of the ages look simple compared to dating. Dating is so complex there are times you don’t even know you’re on a date, in fact, you could be on a date right now. And actually getting a date, that’s more complicated than doing your taxes and most often, less fun.
Dating keeps getting weirder…texting, online dating (did they just match me up with my ex?), sexting, digital fantasies – are we dating or on a sci-fi reality show? And what’s with The Bachelor? If I wanted to date a guy who was dating lots of other women at the same time I would have stayed in the music scene. No, I don’t accept your rose, I don’t know where it’s been.
Be ready to let it go. Hypothetically let’s say you and another person manage to agree to see each other, at a specific time and place, not virtually, but the date isn’t going well. He endlessly checks his phone, explains how women who like chocolate are emotionally constipated, tells stories about his spawn-of-Satan-horns-and-all ex (still married, just a technicality, really, we’re waiting until after the baby is born to divorce), the time he was in prison (a complete misunderstanding), asks to see your toes, and then he says, “Hey, I missed you,” when you came back from the washroom. You start looking for exits and wondering why you didn’t take the money you spent on hair, clothes, and make-up for the date and buy lottery tickets; the odds are ever in your favour. In a desperate attempt to save the date, you try to find common ground, only to discover it’s more like quicksand.
Be the change you want to see in the date. Don’t think of a bad date as a disaster (that word is reserved for when your plane goes down, the volcano you’re climbing erupts, or you learn they’re discontinuing your favourite ice cream flavour), think of it as a learning opportunity. Do a forensic exam of the date. It might have gone better if you hadn’t talked about your extreme obsession with Daryl Dixon (not Norman Reedus, Daryl Dixon), or the hilarious time you put laxatives in your ex’s coffee, or enthused about the TV show, Say Yes to The Dress and how you can’t wait to be on it, or told your date his haircut makes him look like Charles Manson. But who can really pin down the exact moment where things went wrong?
Be the date. Visualize how you want the date to go. You want to charm your date. Be urbane and witty, your eyes should sparkle like diamonds, your hair should catch the light as your toss it casually over your shoulder (not too close to the candlelight or it will actually catch on fire).
Be who you want to date. Think about it, if you want your date to be interesting and fun, be that yourself. If you want your date to be a bad boy type who may run guns on the weekend and is wiping his fingerprints from all the silverware and glasses he uses on the date, be that yourself (oh, don’t forget to take your napkin, they can do wonders with DNA nowadays).
Be your own date. If dating is getting you down, take a break. Learn how to be a singularly spectacular person on your own. Take yourself out to dinner without reading or checking your cellphone, instead, watch the people (not in a creepy-the-management-has-to-ask-you-to-leave-and-puts-your-picture-up-so-you-can’t-come-back way); appreciate the meal and me time. Take yourself to the movie, but if you’re still on the lookout for Mr. Right even when spending time alone, I don’t recommend Magic Mike XXL, the gents in the audience will be more into Channing Tatum than you.
Being a singular person is about being you, in all situations, so get out there and be your own party.
Of lovers and friends I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living…
In my life I loved them all.
Why do we love when it hurts so much to lose those we love?
How would you answer this question, dear readers?
My answer is as simple and as complex as love itself.
I don’t know for sure, but I think because it feels so amazing to love and be loved, also, we need each other and love connects in a way that nothing else can.
Love and loss haunt me these days.
I decided reading would offer it’s usual distraction.
As I read Love, Rosie aka Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern(Hachette Books), I felt like I was watching a long Friends episode.
Beyond wanting to swat the characters for being such annoying goofs, I was left with a nagging feeling about love and communication and their places in the modern world.
This book and movie adaptation wouldn’t have happened if the two main characters even once had a simple, honest conversation. There, end of book and they lived more or less happily ever after.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? We can communicate each moment of every day in multiple ways, yet our communication skills seem to be deteriorating. Does non-stop communication help if we’re not telling each other what we really need to know? Ahern also wrote P.S. I Love You, a funny and poignant book, with the beautiful lesson of going on when you’re ready to go on, how you’re ready to go on, after any kind of loss, but I still liked the movie better – I blame Harry Connick Jr.
I’m sorry, baby, I didn’t mean it. There’s also: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Gerard Butler, and James Marsters. Oops, I’m sorry book, probably should have read you before I saw the movie. The characters didn’t give me what I wanted, I didn’t feel a sincerity or connection, or maybe I was expecting too much.
Love comes into our lives in many ways, family, friends, lovers, partners; to fill, enrich, challenge, sustain, nurture, embrace, excite, thrill, comfort, cherish, and support us.
It also leaves in many ways.
How can love continue to breathe when it’s viciously torn away, crushed, betrayed, taken for granted, withdrawn, or ignored?
Because it once was and in some way, somewhere, will always be.
I lost someone I love very much yesterday.
I really can’t imagine a world without…but I must.
Gone from this world, but forever in my heart.
Which weirdly leads me to Week 4 of my Changes/Happiness Project. I wanted to fall in love again with life, and despite the loss life has repeatedly pummeled me with, I want to keep loving. Here are the first 3 weeks of challenges, if you wish to follow along, or just read about it.
As a writer I’ve read literally (that might not be the correct use of that word) thousands of articles on ‘how to get your book published’.
Then I noticed something strange about all of those articles, something they all had in common – they’d all been written by published authors.
What? This is a complete travesty! There are so many more of us, unpublished writers, looking for work and those authors are hogging the spotlight. They get books published, then they get articles published about how to get published. What a scam!
I’ve read enough self-help books to know what had to be done, those books (ironically, also written by published authors) clearly tell us that if you want something bad enough, you just have to imagine it, wish for it, and you’ll get it. Or was that a book about fairy tales?
Anyway…here’s my version of imagining it, wishing for it, my 12 easy steps to get your book published, I mean, how hard could it be, there are whole buildings full of books.
How To Get Your Book Published:
1. Write a book.
2. Books or manuscripts (as they say in the biz) are generally typed on typing thingies. Some famous writers in history seemed to prefer typewriters, who knows, maybe they didn’t know about computers back then, I don’t have all the answers. I suggest going for a more personalized approach – handwriting your book. Publishers will appreciate your dedication and they’ll understand you really want this book deal.
3. Go on a book tour. Don’t wait for your book to be published, the public is hungry for your words, bring them to the masses. Go to a book store and start telling customers all about your book. Sign books they’re holding or books on the store shelves – someday when you’re famous they’ll thank you for it.
4. Get an agent. As exciting as it might be, not a secret or special agent.
5. You need a literary-sounding name. If your name isn’t already literary-sounding, change it to something like: J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Dr. Seuss, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, George R.R. Martin, Shakespeare, E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, Agatha Christie – something really authory.
6. Writing for children is different from writing for adults. For example, don’t use the name Stephen King or anything he writes about…ever.
7. Have family and friends write glowing book blurbs and reviews. If possible, have them use a well-known authory name, see #5 for examples.
8. People love pictures. You should totally get some of those.
9. Have characters in your book.Characters is just a fancy literary term for people you write about, either made-up people or those you know (I doubt anyone will sue you).
10. People like when characters do stuff in books. Have your characters stay busy. I don’t want to tell you what to write, but supernatural, scary, science, and sex (or a combination thereof) fly off the shelves. Have fictitious people who don’t even slightly resemble your siblings, parents, children, boss, ex, celebrities, anyone, living or dead or undead, doing fictitious (nudge nudge, wink wink) stuff.
11. Have your publisher help you promote your book. Sorry, did I skip that part? Get a publisher, preferably one who showers you with money, then get them to help promote your book (see #1).
12. Be prepared. Get ready, not only for fame and fortune, but to discuss and possibly explain your book, at length, on or in: TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, forums, bathroom stalls, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, planes, trains, automobiles, restaurants, conventions, parties, family gatherings, fan sites, stalker fan sites, book signings (see #3 and don’t forget to bring a pen) – yes, everywhere and mostly to people who haven’t actually read your book.
Now you’ve done all the hard work. Take some ‘me time’, relax in a bubble bath, have some tea or wine.
Let those royalties roll in and remember, show some love to those who helped you out. You’re welcome.
Everyday in the media and social media I hear about happiness.
Gross National Happiness,
polls, songs, quotes…
what’s with all the happiness?
Is wretchedness and melancholy really that out of style?
Where are the memes celebrating the drudgery of everyday life?
Where are all the T-shirts promoting doom and gloom?
If happiness is sooooo easy why does everyone have to be constantly reminded to be happy?
When did we become so obsessed with measuring and quantifying happiness? When it became big business, that’s when. I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately so I was drawn to The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being by William Davies(Verso). I felt the book was overly academic, like I needed a degree in something to understand it, but it did have some fascinating, logical, brilliant, and disturbing points about how we’re being sold happiness and at what cost. Happiness is a new religion.
But what if we’re being sold a one-size-fits-all happiness coat? It seems to insulate us against heartache, but instead, it’s drafty, the seams are fraying, and oops, it’s not waterproof. I’ve been sales-pitched happiness for years, and I’m starting to feel consumer fatigue. I’m guessing a lot of people aren’t feeling ‘the happy’ the way they’re told they should be feeling it, especially if the amount of loneliness, antidepressants, and boredom are any indication.
I find people endlessly fascinating, though I could live to be a 1000 and still never grasp their full complexity. Maybe I don’t want to, there’s nothing more thrilling than a mystery. I’ve observed that people seem to think they have to add things and people to their life to be happier, but what if it’s quite the opposite, what if you have to remove things and people to be happier?
I decided to start my own Happiness Savings Plan – pool then diversify my assets and lose some liabilities. I want to make sure I keep falling in love, over and over again, with my son’s laughter, books, music, clouds, chocolate, TV, movies, loved ones, conversation, kittens, dreams, puppies, laughter, hope…I’m tired of hearing about: The Kardashians, FIFA, Bruce Jenner/Caitlyn (I don’t care about the choice, I’m just sick of endless publicity-seeking), spy pigeons, wrinkled selfies (pretty much all selfies at this point actually), drought shaming, fat shaming, age shaming, sex mad marsupials…sigh,I’m feeling less happy just thinking about it all.
So for the next 365 days my plan is to make changes, one per day, mostly removing things; perhaps it will make me happier, perhaps not, only time will tell.
I invite you, my dear readers to join, if you so wish, don’t feel like you need to, or do the same changes. And don’t worry, there won’t be endless posts about my C-C-Changes Plan, just an update here and there…
My first week is as follows:
1. Remove 15 minutes or more of internet time per day.
2. Remove 15 minutes or more of news/politics per day.
3. Remove 15 minutes or more of sitting per day.
4. Give up one TV show.
5. Change 15 minutes of screen time into reading or listening to a book time.
6. Take 15 minutes or more to organize .
7. Learn something new each day.
It might be challenging, but as G.K. Chesterton reminded us, “There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”