Daily Gratitude

•January 8, 2020 • Leave a Comment

At the risk of sounding like one of Those People, I’m going to make an effort to focused on gratitude each day.

This morning, I sat quietly for a minute warming my hands around a cup of coffee and listening to the silence. I thought about how lucky I am to have the luxury of quiet. I live in a safe, dry, warm, comfortable, quiet home, and I appreciate that.

Back Again

•January 7, 2020 • 1 Comment

New Year, new me, new hair

Well, it’s been a minute since I last posted anything. Fur those who might be worried that my silence signaled a relapse into depression: you can rest easy- my mood has been stable and my outlook has generally been positive. Life just got busy: Holidays. Year end. A few big work deadlines. Short days. Etc. I gave myself permission to give up on the blogging for a while. I didn’t feel like I was writing anything very meaningful, and the stress of trying to write something every day was stress that I didn’t want or need.

At the time it was freeing. Now, I’m debating whether it is worth getting back into the habit again. Generally speaking, life is still pretty full with work and writing and life, so there’s no obvious time to set aside for it. I still don’t have a “vision” for what I want this blog to be About- mostly it’s just my train of thought. And so far this hasn’t been a year of big goals: I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions, and I’m not terribly focused on restructuring my life in any meaningful way. Mostly, I’ve been trying to simplify: getting rid of clutter, purging old contacts, deleting old tweets… It feels good to let go. Freeing. It feels right, somehow.

Maybe it’s a subconscious desire to clear the drawing board in preparation for bigger and better things. That’s my hope, anyway. I went and got my Tarot cards read on New Year’s Eve: I’d kind of been dreading the new year and hoped that getting a little esoteric guidance might help me redirect my mind towards more hopeful things. I have to say it was very helpful: I do feel like I’m about to take a big step forward, so now feels like a good time to get my ducks in a row.

So, the bottom line is: I’m going to try to get back to writing regularly, but right now it’s not a high priority and there might be gaps between posts. If you’re a regular reader and you are interested to hear my thoughts on something in particular, I’m happy to take suggestions of topics to write about. I’d also like to get better about taking and posting more photographs again- I’m just putting that thought out there to help hold myself accountable.

Here’s to the adventure of a new year!

Key Lost Key Found

•November 18, 2019 • 1 Comment

“Where the hell are my keys?”

This is my perennial thought every time I visit the Costco Gas station on Sepulveda Boulevard, day or night. I’ll stand beside the car, staring out into space, waiting for the gallons to fill up and my cash to drain out and think about keys. My keys. Specifically, the set of keys that I lost, without a trace, at this exact Costco Gas station eighteen months ago.

It was one of life’s little mysteries. I’d had the keys when I left the house: which I knew because I remembered locking up. And I still had half the keys when I left the Costco Gas station, which I knew because the car still started. But by the time I made it to my office- back at my old job at which it was necessary to have a bathroom key, somehow I no longer had one.

How does one lose half their keys?

I’d searched the car. I’d searched the parking garage. I’d asked at the building office if anyone had turned anything in. I’d called the landlady to make sure I hadn’t somehow dropped them in the driveway. I’d gone back to the Costco to check in the lost and found.

Nothing. Nada. Not a trace. The keys were gone.

It bothered me. Every time I went back to the gas station I thought about it, and every time I came away mystified. But somehow it felt… appropriate. The day I lost my keys was the day my life took a jog into unexpected territory: new friends, new interests, adventures in therapy, profound depression… it felt like a hex. It felt like my keys had been stolen by eldritch fae bent on inflicting misfortune on my life. Whom, I wondered, had I insulted to deserve this?

At any rate, they came back today.

In a twist of poetic symmetry, I had stopped at the Costco Gas today on the way to work, and I had wondered, as usual, where my keys had gone. It wasn’t that I needed them: I’d replaced them ages ago, but the fact that they were missing still bothered me.

“Maybe it was just meant to be.” I decided, as I usually do, and I went along my way.

I made it to work and sat in the parking lot to put on some makeup before walking onto the lot. I fished out the stub of an eyebrow pencil: by now, little more than the length of my thumb, and fumbled it. It fell… beside me somewhere: I didn’t see where. I hadn’t heard it hit the seat or the center console, but if Murphy’s Law had any influence, it was almost certainly somewhere down beside the drivers side seat. I couldn’t see it, but I could see something that glinted silver in the morning light. Reaching a hand down, I could feel something. I thought it would probably be too difficult to get ahold of it, but I managed to pinch it between two fingers and it came out easily. A set of keys. Two house keys. A key to an office bathroom. A mystery key I no longer recognized.

The missing keys were back.

I couldn’t help but feel like it was a sign. Of what? I didn’t know. It felt portentous that the keys had come to me on today of all days. That they had appeared on a day when I’d gone to the same gas station where I’d lost them. Maybe a sign that it was time to turn the key to open up a new chapter of my life. Maybe it was a sign that it was time to turn the key to close an old one. Maybe it is a sign that the questions that have mystified me for months will finally start producing some answers: answers that, in spite of all my searching, may have been within arm’s reach this whole time.

I could be happy with that.

Looking back

•November 8, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Some years it do be like that.

My mom sent an email out asking for updates on our year to be included in the annual Christmas letter. Thus caused me to have two realizations: first that it’s getting to be That Time Of Year and I’m going to need to start thinking about all the things I want to wrap up before the holidays, and two, that this has been a fairly eventful year for travel and benchmarks.

This time last year I found myself looking back only to discover that I didn’t have anything to share. It was both freeing (it meant I could be forgiven for not sending a newsletter) and discouraging (as it meant that a year of my life was going by without anything remarkable to snow for it). So it feels good to have news to share this year: like I’ve turned a corner. Like I’ve taken a step forward.

Looking back over the year also meant looking back over the year’s photos in search of a good picture to include. We’d attended several weddings, so I hoped to find something that I could use without needing to put in a lot of effort to take one. It was a complicated year for photos: on one hand I felt pretty good about my looks thanks to some new hair styling and weight change, but in the other hand is spent so much of the year under such a dark cloud of depression that there were a lot of pictures in which I just couldn’t bring myself to smile. I was relieved to discover that I still had quite a few good options to choose from: maybe, in spite of my volatile mood, I actually had something to show for myself.

At any rate, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that looking back over the lady year was not quite the chore I feared it would be. Maybe it is a Sign of good things to come.


•November 7, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Clearly, I shouldn’t be allowed to stay up past my bed time. I stayed up reassembling my manuscript last night in order to send it off to an agent who had requested it: and I succeeded in doing so- the story is now back in one piece- but I am DRAGGING today. Partly I’m blaming the weather: it is damp and threatening rain so my whole body feels heavy and achy. Nothing seems quite able to shake it: coffee, energy shot, power napping, exercise… I’m just going to have to muddle through.

My mood continues to be pretty good: if I make it through today it will be five days in a row of good humor. I’m making an effort to appreciate it as much as I can while it lasts. The only dark cloud at the moment is worry about the cat who has gotten quite thin lately. She’s getting on in years, and hasn’t been eating much lately so I always worry it is a Sign of something. I made an appointment to take her to the V-E-T on Saturday for an annual checkup, but worry about how bony she has become. Her energy seems low, but her affection and appetite seem high. We’ve gotten into the (probably bad) habit of letting her have little table scraps of meat and butter in the hopes of giving her a little padding, but it doesn’t seem to have helped. It’s possible that the dry cat food has been making her constipated, but we’re out of it at the moment so I’ve been giving her little dollops of canned tuna. Unsurprisingly, she is loving it and keeps licking the plate clean. So, I might have created a monster, but at least she’s eating something.

Anyway, that’s my life right now. What I wouldn’t give for a nap…

First Request!

•November 6, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I got my very first request from an agent willing to read the full manuscript of my novel! This was a thrilling way to start the day, followed abruptly by a sudden surge of panic as I realized that the whole middle section of the book is currently “under construction” after my most recent round of cuts. My saving grace is thefact that I won’t be able to send the manuscript until this evening when I get back home. This buys me most of a day to smooth over the rough edges and put everything back into its place. And having a deadline is extremely motivating- which is very helpful in forcing me to make decisions. I can always tinker with them later.

So, the news is good, but it still doesn’t feel real. A request for a manuscript isn’t the same thing as an offer, but it’s definitely a big step forward. Just getting a literary professional to say they’re willing to read my work is a Big Deal to me. With luck, this reader will be able to point me in the right direction on how to proceed from here: now that I’m getting into unfamiliar territory. I don’t really know how the path is supposed to go from here- up until now my whole goal was “finish writing my novel” followed by “get published” as if there were simple tasks on a to do list.

One thing is for sure: I have my work cut out for me!

Technical Difficulties

•November 5, 2019 • 1 Comment

The I.T. guy wanted to borrow my work computer to try to resolve an issue that I was having while trying to save files in Photoshop. The program would let me Save As just fine, but every time I tried to make changes and then Save I would receive a message saying that I didn’t have write access to the drive.

“It sounds just take an hour.” He said. Four hours ago.

I’ve received several updated by phone: all to the effect of “we haven’t figured out the problem yet”. This is pretty consistent with my experience of technical issues: they are either simple fixes that can be resolved in five minutes with a simple reboot, or it is Stump The Staff level difficult. This, evidently, fell into the latter category.

I’d handed over my computer at lunch hour, hoping that the time that I would spend out of commission would be minimally disruptive, but Murphy’s Law being what it is, I spent most of the afternoon looking for other ways I could make myself useful that didn’t require internet, server connection, or the ability to type.

It was not my most productive afternoon. Luckily for me it was not an afternoon that I needed to sit in on any meetings or editing sessions to take notes, so all things considered it was probably as good of a time as any.

Art any rate, I’m up and running now: and the issue may even be fixed (I’m afraid to speak too soon). All’s well that ends well.

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