Thoughtful Thursday – Short Weeks

Sometimes short weeks feel longer than regular ones. The first time I heard that, I shrugged it off in disbelief. But this week, I feel it.

I think the phenomenon can be best described as Vacation Brain. It’s where your thoughts continually drift toward weekend plans. This is often experienced on Friday afternoon during regular weeks, but seems to happen for much of the day before a getaway. Productivity becomes as slow as the clock, whose seconds seem like hours.

I have a busy weekend ahead including a wedding and a family visit. They are in two different cities.

I have some things to do yet like laundry and packing, but now that it’s finally the evening, my heart’s into cuddling and watching a movie. I figure I can manage a bit of play time in with the responsibilities. Laundry mainly washes itself…

A few other things to do before leaving town like an oil change. It seems there’s always something.

I think I’m getting very close to being caught up though. Pretty soon my life should be smooth in the right areas and exciting instead of where it’s hectic now. At least, that’s the plan.

R~

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Warrior Wednesday – Fighting for Freedom

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Image created using Bitmoji

It’s really hard to feel free when you’re in the position I am right now. I suppose I have some options, but many of them have things to weigh carefully. Financially, I need to make a serious change if I don’t get a regular job soon. I’m at risk of losing my home.

It’s not that I don’t have desirable skills. There is one particular skill that is making it difficult for me. Which one? I don’t speak enough French. I’m learning it, but I mostly know basic etiquette and swears. One of those is helpful for work.

I’m waiting to hear on the results of a job interview.

Options if I don’t get the job:

  1. Drive Uber: I’m already delivering food through them, but delivering people makes more money. There are drawbacks. One being that I don’t love driving enough to make it my main career. The increase in car maintenance costs needs to be considered. If something happens to my car, I’m back to having trouble paying my mortgage. But the schedule is flexible, which is great for writing. The varied clientele could be inspiring for a story. I could end up working less to pay my expenses. Note: I also recently applied to another type of delivery service that pays more.
  2. Relocate: I could apply to jobs in another part of the country. Peterborough would be my first choice because it’s closer to my family, closer to Toronto (a major film hub in Canada), and there may be more English speakers and less of a need to be bilingual. Also, I really like the dojo there. I could even get back into karate as they do that too. But moving means selling my condo. It needs a bit of work before I can really do that. It also means not seeing my movie club friends much, missing my little buddy, and his sister. I’d miss my dojo too, but I know I’ll see them eventually at a seminar at least. But I could go through all the work of moving again to end up in the same position. It feels like regardless this French issue will continue to pop up in my life. Selling includes extra costs like legal fees that would eat into any equity I’ve accumulated. Moving to Peterborough would put me closer to my family. My parents are in their mid-seventies, so it could become important to be closer to them.

I feel like if my car was paid off, everything would be easier. I’m feeling pulled in a couple of directions and I don’t know what the answer is for me. On the one hand, one of the options has a lot of potential, but on the other, am I done with Ottawa? The only thing I know is that I can’t stay in this limbo state forever. What about the other things I’m already working on here? I think some could be done from anywhere. I’m less worried about the cost of moving than I am about the possibility that no one will buy my condo. That could put me in a worse position.

I think if I don’t hear anything by the end of this week, I’m going to try option 1. Or maybe I should just set that in motion now via email…

The idea of getting back to karate is tantalizing. My life is rather busy for it right now though.

I’ve hardly been able to write lately 😦

I really don’t know what the right decision is on this. I think I can try option 1 for a bit, see if I can make enough doing that to support myself, and if not, go for option 2. I may try both and see what happens.

R~

Warrior Wednesday – Election Strategy

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Image created using Bitmoji

Not that is has anything to do with today’s post, but I had to repair my kurigata again. Hopefully, it will last longer this time. Last time, I didn’t notice something about it. It wasn’t making full contact with the sword because it was arched like a human foot. I scraped off the old glue and filed it down some to make both surfaces connect better, so I think it will last longer this time.

In other news, the election is tomorrow. The province is a bit of a verbal battleground. Simply suggesting an article has too little information or another has come to be under suspicious circumstances results in backlash. Yet I continue to implore people to investigate more deeply. Don’t blindly accept something just because it’s about someone you don’t like. That’s not objective.

I don’t know why I can mostly stay calm despite all the chaos around me. Perhaps it’s my training, though there are many with similar training that seem anything but rational lately.

Elections are a gamble. Most politicians don’t follow through with their promises. In some cases, that’s a good thing. In others, it’s upsetting. It means though that we’re betting on someone we actually don’t know at all to keep their word. It’s rather messed up when you look at it that way.

There are a lot of questionable things being said. For example, people are getting hung up on a politician’s stance on guns. Sometimes that is reasonable because I’m way not in favour of voting for someone who wishes all the gun owners I know dead. That’s not even a gun issue per se, but rather that I’d prefer a homicidal person isn’t elected to any office. In this current election, it’s a little silly to get distracted by a topic like gun control legislation because this is a provincial election and matters like gun control and whether or not we would go to war are under federal mandate. Not that we should ignore it entirely. I mean, they might want to run federally someday and then it becomes a BIG problem.

Anyway, I never saw how angry people got during election time when I was a child. I guess I was too busy playing outside in the fresh air with my friends or reading a book. There were only the newspapers, the door-to-door campaigns, TV, and lawn signs to go by and they took a lot more time to get people riled up. Now, everyday is a new angle or attack and the news can put out articles several times a day. There’s not time to catch one’s breath and think critically about whether or not voters are just pawns in someone else’s game. A game where people staying divided is a goal.

This election feels rather… American… Not because people want to liken one of the candidates to someone in the south, but because there has been more focus on attacking the other parties than there has been on marketing their own philosophies and platforms.

I’m working this particular election, so I have an even different view of it than I’ve ever had before. I’ve been briefed on voter fraud and things people try because many votes will be coming through my station.

Thankfully, I will be busy all day tomorrow. I’m allowed my phone or a book because I may need to call people, but I’m going to elect to stay off social media, focus on my duties, and take a break from the news onslaught. I’ll pack a second book in case I make it through my current one.

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Delicate Writing

L4BB3-67RLK3J_RoyRFor the record, Tuesday is the other day I’m thinking about scrapping. It would give me the time I need for other things and I also often don’t feel like writing a blog post on Tuesdays.

That all being said, I figured that today I could talk about writing about delicate subjects.

Now, I’ve done this a number of times. One of the writing gigs I got was because I could write about such things as palliative care with the right level of delicacy. This is something I have learned because of my past social work education.

And it transferred well to handling a sensitive topic for my play Crisis.

That’s not to say I always get the tone right. Tone is so very complicated because it’s not just about the situation, but the specific character in the situation.

For example, when writing about a death in the family there can be a wide range of ways someone might respond depending on their relationship to the deceased, what is going on in their life at the time, and a myriad of other factors. Some people will collapse to the ground sobbing. Another might immediately reach for something that soothes them like drugs or alcohol. Others may simply frown and say that it’s unfortunate then launch into some wild story of the shenanigans they used to get into when they were young. Get several of those people together in a funeral scene and that makes for some possible story conflict.

I unfortunately have a lot of experience with death. My first funeral happened when I was 6 years old. It was my grand mother, though we were raised believing she was our aunt. And after that, nearly every year someone passed away in my family. That’s one of the realities of having a large family. My dad had 15 brothers and sisters. My mom had about half that. Well, technically they were all her aunts and uncles. Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time at wakes and not really at the funeral itself.

Some topics are so delicate that many recommend staying away from entirely. Topics like any kind of theorizing about what causes autism, for example. I’m unsure that is helpful though. Perhaps the more theories out there, the more people are working on finding a solution?

Back to the death thing. It’s odd to me that movies and TV focus mainly on showing people as sad. I’ve been to wakes where the spouse was utterly devastated and died soon after of a broken heart. I’ve been to others where the wife was completely fine and even relieved to see their loved one was no longer suffering. I’ve also seen a twin at their twin’s wake and that is sadder than anything else I’ve ever seen.

My own first experience was strange. My “aunt” was always yelling at me. I was a little bit of a wild child who climbed on the cupboards to get to the cookies 🙂

Anyway, I slept through all the commotion. She had died in our home and her home care nurse found her. My brother later woke me up and told me, but being so young I didn’t really get it. Until the funeral ceremony when everyone around me was crying. That’s when I figured out that I’d never see her again. I cried then and didn’t understand how I could be sad when she was almost always mean to me. Hell of a thing to learn about at six years old.

These days though, I’m usually the one that can keep it together and be strong for others. My brothers are not so strong and I usually have to help them through it.

I think it’s hard to nail delicate subjects unless you’ve experienced similar situations. And the way people handle things like the grief process can be different too. There is usually a part that involves guilt where someone feels like if they had only done something like check why their neighbour’s gate was open, maybe he could’ve been saved. People often feel angry too. Like their loved one should have known the path they took would lead where it did.

Anyway, I find a lot of movies and such don’t capture all this as well as it could. The Notebook did capture some of it really well. We certainly see the anger portion in John Wick and The Punisher. Shock is something also usually captured, but I’m not sure I’ve seen many that go through the entire cycle.

Something, I suppose, that I’ll ensure I do in my own writing.

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Jung on Gratitude

thoughtfulCarl Jung said a few things about gratitude when he was alive that really speak to me. One of the more poignant in my life right now is, “Be grateful for your difficulties and challenges, for they hold blessings. In fact… Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health personal growth, individuation and self-actualisation.”

It has been feeling difficult lately and it has partly been because I’ve been a bit disorganized. That’s not usually me. A few months back, I decided to separate my home task list from my writing and work task list. I thought it was a fantastic idea to be MORE organized. It turns out, I prefer to see everything in one list. It’s easier for me to deal with it all in one convenient place. Not that it was inconvenient as I use KanbanFlow and it’s easy enough to switch between lists, but I can prioritize it all better in one rather than flipping between them.

Anyway, hopefully this period of challenge is leading to something amazing. Right now, I feel rather like I’m in the same place I was before I went back to school only I am more equipped to write the pieces I want to write. But I’m not any further ahead in learning French. I have Fridays blocked off partly for self-study in that area, so hopefully I’ll improve enough, so I won’t be completely useless for a job that needs it.

Jung also said, “If our religion is based on salvation, our chief emotions will be fear and trembling. If our religion is based on wonder, our chief emotion will be gratitude.”

What if we replaced the word religion with something else? Let’s put life there instead. If our life is based on salvation, if we wait for others to save us, it will be full of fear. If we look at the world in wonder, it will be full of gratitude. I like that much better.

And it can be hard to be grateful sometimes. When you’re unemployed and you’re behind on your chores and your neck is acting up so much you want to refer to it as several other parts of the human anatomy, it’s easy to forget about the things you do have.

I have a really good emotional support system. People who care about me. And that means more to me than money ever will.

I’ll leave you with this other thing he said, “The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced and contrasted and compared to sadness. In comparing how an experience could have been worse we develop gratitude and happiness, while if we compare it how it could have been better we develop bitterness and sadness.”

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – The Persona

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Sorry, I’m late on this post because my neck was super sore yesterday and I mostly got movies watched because of it.

Anyway, Jung totally relates to theatre. Carl Jung came up with four archetypes. One of these is The Persona.

Basically, the persona is the masks we all wear around different people.

Now, some people act exactly the same around everyone they know, but most don’t.

I know people that can’t sneeze around people they don’t know well. I know tons of women that have shy bladders in public restrooms. I know I used to pretend I didn’t like horror as much as I do.

I totally act different with my five year old buddy than I do with someone on a date than I do around my martial arts pals than I do with my brothers, etc.

That’s normal and mostly reasonable. This picture describes this a little better.

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Actually, this one is even better.

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So we’re all actors most of the days of our lives.

It’s part of the reason coming home from work is such a relief. You can be unapologetically you.

Ideally, you want to get to that place with some of your social groups because they form your support network. I’m almost totally me around my dojo buds and the people that have known me since I was a child. For some, it’s been awhile since they last saw me really inebriated because our parties changed when they had babies, but that’s life. But I know if I really needed help, they’d be there.

Now, I don’t think it’s incredibly beneficial to hide large chunks of who you are from people you want to be closer to. If you have romantic feelings for someone and you spend a bunch of time pretending to be someone you aren’t because you think they’d be more impressed rather than letting them get to know the real you, well, that’s probably going to blow up eventually. More to the point, why would you want to? Why would you want them to think you are what you think is cooler than you are? I mean, they might actually think the real you is cooler than that person you want to pretend to be.

But sometimes we need to act, like when the boss expects the moon and you can only deliver a picture of the moon because you’re not in possession of some moon capturing device and even if you were, that would probably destroy the Earth if you actually tried to give it to them. But you tell them, sure thing and deliver as close as possible. Actually, I usually tell them I can’t destroy the world for you, but I’ll get as close as possible.

Wait, that got weird. See why I don’t usually let all of myself out to everyone? I can be quite ridiculous.

Anyway, there are some other Jungian archetypes and they’re all quite fascinating. You can read more about them here. I’ve talked about a couple in this post.

R~

Frisky Friday – A Romantic Checkup

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Image created using Bitmoji

So, this week, I started a new thing on my blog where all my posts look at the same word from different perspectives. It was check. Today, I’m looking at it from my usual Friday view.

I think it can be helpful to check where you are occasionally in the romantic sense. For example, for me right now, I know that I’m somewhat interested in a couple of men, but we’re all busy people and so if we go out, it’s all very casual. I know I’m graduating soon and don’t really know what happens after that, so I haven’t wanted to get too close to anyone. I’m hoping to stay in Ottawa, but it’s possible I’ll have to consider moving and while long distance could be okay with the right person, I know I can’t currently promise anything and don’t want to unnecessarily hurt anyone.

Do you know what your current wants and needs are?

It’s okay if you’re just looking for a bed buddy, but it can be awfully awkward to suggest it and not come off sounding like a pervert…

If you have a partner, if can be helpful to check how they’re feeling about the relationship once in awhile. Try not to do it too often or you’ll cause problems where there weren’t any, and that is SUPER annoying, but I think a good time would be while you seem to be going through a rough patch. Those happen to the best of couples.

I rather like where I am because right now dating is completely free from expectations. I don’t know if anything will turn into more, but I’m not focused on it. It’s just one part among many other parts of my life. Sure, I’m hoping to find that person that really gets me, but I feel like that might be easier once school is done and I have a more set schedule.

In my youth, I was so focused on things like having a boyfriend and not on just getting to know someone and figuring out if we were meant to be friends or were actually romantically compatible. It was as if having the title of girlfriend was critical to who I was. While it’s certainly nice to be with someone, I’m not focused on labels these days.

Right now is all about light-hearted fun for me and just seeing where things organically lead. I like that we can all just do our stuff and connect when we have time without some idea that we should be seeing each other more than we are as if we should be blindly following some Vice or Cosmo article on the subject. I don’t need to follow what other people think the relationship checkpoints should be.

I’m also not eager to get to the drama that often comes with being with someone. Fights over things like garbage cans, what’s for dinner, or what movie to watch I’m in no rush for. I find people over-complicate so much in dating.

Another important thing to check in with yourself about in regards to relationships and dating are your deal-breakers and warning flags.

Abusiveness is my deal-breaker.

What’s a deal breaker? It’s something you won’t tolerate in your relationship.

I also really don’t enjoy being with someone who doesn’t have their own hobbies. It’s not that we can’t have some of those in common, but I need alone time to write and create things. I need me time to think about how I feel about stuff that probably has nothing to do with them. I’ve had that relationship where we had to be together almost every minute of every day and it’s suffocating. It’s suffocating to the point of filling me with anxiety and making me not want to spend time together at all.

One thing that really annoys me?

Being bossed around. I’m picky about who I let dictate to me. I’m not your child or your property. I’m my own person who has her own wants and needs. I have agency. I’m not the woman who responds well to controlling behaviours. This is a warning flag for me.

We all have warning flags often gotten from past relationships. It’s important to talk about them when they’re triggered, so you can give a new person a chance. Just because someone does one thing like someone who things didn’t work with doesn’t mean they are in any way like that person. Our instincts are trying to save us from harm, but there may be no real base for us to feel that way.

See I think I’ve even over complicated things.

If you like someone, show them. If they do things that upset you, talk to them about it. Otherwise, have fun.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~