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Thinking thinky thoughts.

I feel like I’m circling the drain.

I can’t exactly explain it.

I’m at the conflux of several perfect storms – to wit:

aging parents

teenager

health (or lack thereof)

money (or lack thereof)

I can’t even seem to wrap my head around everything that’s going on. It’s just that I’m feeling dead inside and overwhelmed.

I do think I may have a touch of depression.

Just a touch.

I miss the things that made me feel alive.

Ordinarily I love spring.

This year I’m not feeling that “lift” that I usually get.

I mean – I still love the daffodils. I still find beauty in the tiny green buds on the trees.The emerald in the field is a welcome sight.

But I can’t seem to get on board with it all.

I’m doing the usual springtime garden chores just because they need to be done. I’m not making plans. I’m giving up the work on a lot of things. I just don’t feel like doing it anymore.

There are a lot of things I’m just not feeling anymore.

I think I need to get off social media for a while. Everyone else’s lives seem to be so much fuller than mine.

I’m at risk of fading away.

I’ve got three boxes of books yet to be read and I can’t seem to make myself start any of them. That is just so not me.

I like to think of myself as a pragmatist, but even the most pragmatic of us have a seed of optimism. I don’t feel optimistic.

I don’t sleep. Much. I’m groggy during the day and wide awake at night.

My parents both seem to be looking to me to “fix” things for them, but I don’t know how or what to fix.

My kid will be in high school next year. Four more years and out of the nest.

One of my dearest friends is getting remarried and she has asked me to be her matron of honor. Which of course I am going to do, but I am feeling a little reluctant about it.

Where is my energy?

Where is my desire?

Where is my zest for life?

I don’t usually feel this way at this time of year. This is more of a fall feeling.

I think I need a vacation.

All the proof I need.

Contrary to the belief (non-belief?) of my staunchly atheist cousin, I must assert:  There is a God.

And He’s got a sense of humor.

All that spiritual woo-woo stuff aside, the proof is in the humor to be found while examining my life. To wit:

I read, I write. I think these things are important. I think everyone should be literate and love it.

Funny thing is: I have a dyslexic teenager who hates reading and writing. Especially reading. And yet still maintains an A(ish) grade in English. 

I have had a lot of testing done here lately to determine if I have gallstones – which I do not. Still doesn’t explain why I have digestive issues.

Funny thing is: My husband is the one with gallstones. In one magnificently scary episode that warranted a trip to the ER, the tests came back conclusive for gallstones (and not heart issues, thank God) and he’s having his gallbladder removed next week. 

I have determined that I am at the end of my gardening life – mainly because physically I can’t do what I once did and secondarily because no one at my house cares or appreciates it. It’s a lot of work and practically zero reward.

Funny thing is: I find myself on these dreary winter days pinning gardening stuff to my “Green Space” Pinterest board and otherwise seeking out garden-related web content. 

I started this blog (and the one before it, now conscripted to the depths) in order to keep writing, daily.

Funny thing is:  The minute I got a (semi) regular writing gig this blog became a ghost town. I suppose the argument could be that I’m still writing daily, but I’m not writing for myself. I’m writing for The Man. The Man Who Gives Me a Regular Paycheck, can we say amen? 

The tug and pull of my daily life causes me to pause occasionally and examine the facts of the case. There is humor in contradiction, and the contrarian nature of my life is proof positive that Someone Out There likes to toy with me. I can’t take myself too seriously. What would be the point? –

 

– Mox

Two. Thousand. Words.

Every once in a while the universe sends me a message. Nothing big like where did the dinosaurs go or why are we so fascinated with the Kardashians, but just a gentle nudge to set me on a path. Things happen or don’t happen, and I’m left to sort out what that means (or doesn’t) and draw a few conclusions from it. Often I wake up with a snippet of a dream, like the time I dreamed about my former boss and asked him if he regretted anything he did in the course of his cancer treatment. (He didn’t, because “it bought me more time.”) The universe apparently thought I needed to know that. And I guess I did, because it changed the way I felt about the unfairness of his too-early death. (I still think it’s unfair, for the record. But he got to wring out more time, so it goes into the Win column.)

This morning, I was rudely dragged from sleep by my alarm (sidebar: I do not like waking up in the dark. I miss summer.) with one thought on repeat: two thousand words.

In case you’re wondering, two thousand words is a lot. Well, it is for me, because I’m not one of those prolific writers. You know the ones, the ones who can just do a stream-of-consciousness thing and write down all the words in their head and then come back and straighten it out later. Unfortunately I am too anal for that. If a narrative starts to go off the rails I stop, backtrack, and correct it, editing as I go. I’ve done it at least nine times so far in this post.

One of the bits of feedback I got from my many writers’ workshops in college was that I needed to “let go” with my words, just let them all out and let the story go wherever it wanted. I never really understood that back then, but I understand it now – not that understanding it would make any difference in the way I write. I wish I could do that, “let go” of all the words and let them spill out on paper like a letter from a madman. I wish I could learn to stop editing as I go. Would it make me a better writer?

But the universe apparently wants me to spill ink in the amount of two thousand words a day.

I’ve been thinking for a while about how to carve out some time for writing, such as getting up earlier and spending a little time with my laptop. I haven’t done it yet. I value my sleep. I also know that the somnambulate state could likely be fertile ground. Would it engender two thousand words’ worth?

Dreams are a funny thing. Most of mine disappear the moment I wake up. Only a precious few stay with me. Sometimes it’s only the refrain, as this morning: two thousand words.

Here are 496 of them.

— Mox

As we approach the Labor Day holiday weekend, I find myself feeling at odds with a number of things:

1. the fact that my birthday is coming up

2. dog days

3. bugs

4. my to-do list

5. my should-do list

By the time we reach this point in our calendar year, I have just about had it with all of the above. I’ve long since noticed that the morning light has moved past watery and into bleakness at my 5:30 alarm. The birds have stopped their morning chorus. It’s fairly silent pre-6am. I suppose I could embrace all of that and develop a routine in which I sit down to write for thirty minutes, but you know and I know that’s not going to happen. See also: not a morning person.

While I don’t necessarily hold a grudge about having yet another birthday, I don’t particularly feel inordinate joy about it. I don’t have a burning desire for a big party, but I also don’t want the wah-wah of no fuss made, either. Which is to say, I don’t really WANT a big pile of gifts, but I would enjoy a little bit of planning on someone else’s part to celebrate my birthday. Asking me “what do you want for your birthday?” and then “what do you want to do for your birthday?” both bear the hallmarks of consideration, but also are just a big coverup for the fact that NO ONE has thought about it. Believe me, I’ve thought about it. It’s all I’ve thought about for a month now. If I have to plan my own birthday celebration, then what’s the point?

I’m also starting to see people my age in the obituary column these days. Sobering.

Can we talk about the heat? August is traditionally a hot month, yes, and this one has been no exception. But I’ve had it with having to keep all the blinds pulled in the house just to keep the house cool and keep the a/c from running all the time. I miss seeing daylight. I’m tired of being in a cave.

Let’s also talk about mosquitoes and spiders and ants. Three of my least favorite bugs. The humidity, paired with popup thundershowers, has brought all of these critters out with a vengeance. In fact, we had to have a window frame replaced in our bathroom because moisture had gotten into it and rotted it away, and boy, was it loaded with ants. I am so freaking sick of ants. I am also enormously tired of walking into spider webs. This is the time of year that spider webs seem to be floating through the air. Nothing will turn you into a ninja like walking into a spider web, face first. If we could just get the spiders to eat all the ants and capture all the mosquitoes in their webs, I could live with that.

I have a to-do list that continues to grow exponentially, and I am only doing the musts on it. Which is to say, when we need cat food and toilet paper, I go to the store. Priorities.

My should-do lists contains items like “weed the flowerbeds” and “trim the shrubs” and “sweep the porch.” The fact that I am not doing any of these things makes our house look abandoned. Not to mention that my husband has fallen behind on mowing the grass, so yeah, it looks seedy around here.

I reach this point every year, and I recognize it, and frankly, it seems to arrive earlier and earlier each year. I drink too many cokes, too much wine, I eat too many junk food items, I sleep poorly. It’s slashing the other three tires because the first one is flat. It’s only a matter of time before I meet this mood coming and going.

In short: I am done. Please wake me up when spring arrives again.

 

 

— Mox

One of the problems with being a sub-par blogger is that it takes a few minutes to access that part of your memory that stores your login information for your blog.

Oops. Lots of stuff crowding out the logins these days. Thank God for my password manager.

I suppose, if anyone has any interest, I should give you the briefest of brief rundowns on life here in Moxland.

Spawn has entered eighth grade. Eighth grade, people! This kid is nearly as tall as me, with a foot a full shoe size bigger than mine. Safe to say I’ll be called Shorty here before too long. This is the last year for us at our K-8 grade school, and then it’s off to the fraught world of private Catholic high school. I don’t know whether to be excited or afraid.

I continue to work, part-time, writing for a tech company. Most writers will tell you that they enjoy what they do, and I will tell you the same thing… except for the writing part. The reading and the research, the brainstorming, the outlining, the meetings with your creative team – all of that, I love. The actual process of putting words down in noun-verb order… yeah. Painful. Some days it’s like pulling teeth. And yet I will tell you without reservation that I LOVE IT.

My parents continue to get old and older. They need me more than I am comfortable with admitting. It seems incredibly ass-backwards to be the care giver instead of the care receiver. Right now my responsibilities include carting one or the other of them to some doctor’s appointment, surgery, or outpatient procedure. And I have also become the chief gardener at their house, since physically they are limited to the tasks they can still perform. I think I’ve planted more perennials and roses and tomato plants at their house than have at mine.

Moxland zoo count stands at six cats, one dog, one gerbil, one turtle, and four fish. We have adopted a policy of attrition for the cats.

I seem to spend a lot of time in the car, going hither and yon. People tell me that this sort of thing is pretty typical for persons in my position.

All in all, I am in a place that is neither happy nor miserable. Which is to say pretty normal.

However, the main reason I blew the dust off this blog is to put this tidbit of information out there for those of you who may stumble across this blog. Grammarly, a software company  that produces grammar-checking software (which I use for my job) has taken up the cause of literacy, and as such has set up a pretty sweet deal for those bloggers out there who would join in the good fight. I say “sweet deal” like there’s some remuneration involved, but alas, no. No money will cross your palm. Money, however, will cross the palms of the good folks who operate these literacy programs:

Fostering greater literacy is the “sweet deal” I’m talking about – think about it: greater literacy means more people to read blogs. Wouldn’t you enjoy more people reading your blog?

If you want to know a bit more about this program, go here to see what it’s all about.

 

— Mox

 

 

Not dead yet.

Funny how a for-fun blog will get shuttled to the wayside in favor of a paying gig.

Just wanted to reassure all and sundry that I am still on this side of the grass.

— Mox

Looking forward.

So I have come to a decision as of recently, one that won’t be put into action for *at least* ten years, probably more like 20.

Of course this decision hinges on a number of factors, the major ones being Spawn graduating from college and beginning a life separate from my husband and myself, and my parents no longer needing me.  And me retaining some semblance of health.  But I have a dream.

This dream is known as Retirement and while I am not anxious to be on the downward slope toward Eternity, retirement will be (I hope) a welcome state of being.

My husband assures me we will be able to retire, and I have my doubts about that, but for the sake of this dream I have allowed myself to reach this decision.

I have decided that I will become an artist in my retirement years.

I’m not even sure I will be a serious artist.  My current vision involves living a Bohemian lifestyle, throwing a lot of brightly colored paint around, and cutting my hair super short and coloring it some crazy color.

See also:  Mid-life crisis.

Those who know me know that I am more a Talbots kind of gal, raised with manners and sensible shoes, without an alternative bone in my body.   I have a sense of decorum, I can set a table properly for a dinner party, and I write thank you notes.  I live in a small town in the Upper South, where no one wears white shoes after Labor Day, and my politics are reserved for the voting booth.  In short, I am what is known as A Good Girl.

Once I get Spawn raised to Adulthood and I do not need to explain myself to my mother – the gloves are off.

I can hardly wait to become the person who will inspire eye-rolling in the adult version of Spawn.  Lord knows I am inspiring eye-rolling in the pre-teen version, and it’s not near as much fun as I anticipate the later version will be.  It’s entirely possible a suggestion will be made that I have my marbles checked.  I won’t care then, and I don’t care now.

All I know is, it’s good to have a goal.

 

— Mox

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