First ridiculous event of 2016

I am weak, this I know. It took only one night of frigid temps for me to break my post-holiday “eat healthy” vow with a mug of sugary, milky, calorie-laden chai latte. Standing in front of the microwave, my fleece throw wrapped around me, I hoped the two minutes I’d punched on the timer would be long enough for the cats to finish eating for the 47th time so I could get my sweet fix and get back to the couch and my movie (Eat Pray Love).

Then, BANG!

The cats went flying and I flew to the back door to see my still fully intact Halloween pumpkin, which I had so jauntily perched on top of the grill with a pair of glittery red Christmas bells wrapped around it, rolling along the driveway. I made it outside just in time to see the pumpkin turning the corner and starting down our steep driveway. Just out of my reach, it ricocheted against the berm of the planting bed and back out onto the pavement, picking up speed. I tried flinging my fleece at it to slow it down — futile. Now it was a big orange bumpety bowling ball, headed straight down the alley, with me chasing after it in the 20-degree darkness, in my holey slippers, hoping the pavement wasn’t icy and I wouldn’t kill myself.

Down Big Orange went, careening across the street (thank God no cars just then) and right up the concrete ramp my neighbor Nancy had just replaced her front steps with, probably in anticipation of the knee replacement she needs.


Right into her front door.


I paused, only halfway down the driveway. I imagined the oozing bits of smashed pumpkin all over her stoop. The 10-year-old in me considered turning and running back inside — she’d never know it was my pumpkin. But no, I did the adult thing, running through the curbside slush to assess the damage. A miracle — no smash! But I had to search for Big Orange in her yard (why is it so damn dark everywhere?!), expecting to see her fling open her front door in a panic any second as Gracie barked and barked on the other side.

She didn’t appear. Maybe she wasn’t home (though her car was out front). Maybe she didn’t hear it (not likely). Or maybe she thought “No way in hell I’m going to see who/what just pounded on my front door.”

I’ll fess up next time I see her (so, like, April or May).

In the meantime, I retrieved Big Orange (still solid as a rock — clearly a superior squash), race-walked back up the driveway, recovered my flung fleece, deposited Big Orange on the bench by the back door, retrieved the worse-for-the-wear glittery red Christmas bells, and went back to my chai.

It needed another 30 seconds. And I completely forgot the whipped cream. So, bright spot, the diet’s not fully trashed after all.

“Life was a little like that, I guess.
We’d spend so long chasing after something already in motion,
always out of reach and calling, just ahead.”

~ Mackenzie Herbert, Chasing Trains

Anyone there? Over, over.

Actually, I’m pretty sure no one is because I haven’t blogged in forever and I’m sort of wondering if I remember how. But I miss it; miss how writing for fun makes me feel.

Over the past year, there’s been entirely too much of the other, not-for-fun-but-for-money kind of writing going on, so my brain has been all used up with that. When I sit down at night and pop out the recliner on the couch (God forgive me, we have a sofa with double recliners — and I love it) about all I can do is browse a few websites and binge-watch Game of Thrones. Lately I haven’t even been reading other blogs.

But now we’re all caught up on GOT, we’re just starting Six Feet Under, and tonight I’ve had a mojito and read a few blogs I like. Now I’m missing my own blog. I’ve missed it all along, but life, in all its boring stressfulness, keeps getting in the way. I now believe everything they say about what (peri)menopause does to your brain (and your body) — it’s all I can do to get through a day at my desk and I have the pounds to prove I’m at my desk way too much, usually eating something.

I think back on all the things I COULD have blogged about in the last 9 months or so (including a wonderful trip to England).And too much sad stuff, as we’ve had a few deaths in my extended family. But instead of blogging, I’ve been praying, plugging away at work, and pulling the lever on the recliner — all regularly.

As I write this, I’m watching TV, drinking another mojito, talking to Mike, eating a cookie, and losing my train of thought. I’d like to say “I’m back” and up to blogging regularly, but I don’t think that’s the truth, much as I’d like it to be. I keep thinking of “someday” when I’m retired and free to do creative things like blogging and cooking and baking and crafting. I think about that way too much, and I don’t want to. Life is now, not 15+ years from now. I struggle with this. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

On that note, that’s enough for now. I miss my blog; I’m glad it’s still here. For someday. Whether that’s tomorrow or next year.

Begin at the beginning…and go on till you come to the end; then stop.
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Finally cool

I’ve seen a flurry of articles, memes, and quotes lately about introversion — here’s an example from Pinterest.


And another one.

introvert too

Introversion sounds so much more cool than “shy,” which is what I knew I was long, long ago when my mother tried to coax me to come in to see some friends who were visiting and I hid around the corner. “Show us your doll,” someone said. I promptly threw it around the corner, into the room, much to my mother’s mortification. I’ve been crossing the street or walking the other way to avoid people ever since. I am terrible at small talk, need my alone time, celebrate a little when social plans (with other than my good friends) get cancelled, screen my calls, and have been told to “cheer up” or asked “what’s wrong?” more times than I can remember. (That also has a new name…”bitchy resting face” or BRF. Seriously, I”m fine, people, I just look this way.)

Once in junior high I made a valiant attempt to be outgoing — talked (to boys!), laughed, joked around. It sort of worked — I think people were shocked I could speak. A “frenemy” (we didn’t know to call them that back then, but it SO applies to junior high girls) basically called me out for “copying” her…”Just because I talk and laugh and am friendly doesn’t mean you should.” She needn’t have worried — I think it lasted about a week.

Now, however, it’s gotten kind of cool to be shy introverted. Introverts are not shy, so we’re now told, we’re just drained by social interaction, not afraid of it. We’re thinkers, listeners, writers (hello). Instead of being a negative, now it’s kind of a positive (or at least neutral). I had to laugh when a health & fitness blog writer I follow — a bundle of manic energy if ever there was one — wrote about how she’s really introverted and prefers to be at home (the woman is NEVER at home, posts pictures of herself doing yoga in bikinis, teaches fitness classes, is a personal trainer, etc. But now it’s a thing to be introverted, so…). Yes, introversion has “arrived.”

introverts 3

The majority of my friends are introverts (my husband is neither introverted nor extroverted, but a nice blend of both). We love each other, love to see each other and spend time together, but are just as happy to stay home. I have one dear friend who’s clearly not one of us. Outgoing, friendly, generous, open, speaks her mind (sometimes to a hilarious fault)…can talk to anyone anywhere and make an instant friend. She reached out to me on my first day of work and we’ve been friends ever since — me and a thousand other people. She is a people magnet. I still want to be her when I grow up, no matter how accepted introversion becomes.

In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy this time in the sun. But don’t sit next to me, please, unless I already know you. Don’t invite me to parties with mostly people I don’t know — well, invite me, but know that it will cause me all kinds of angst. Don’t expect me to chat after a long day, when I’m finally sitting down with my laptop and HGTV. (Yes, I work from home, alone, with the cats. But it is work. Work that regularly requires me to interview people — smart people. Perfect strangers. And sound intelligent. And then write about it intelligently. It’s exhausting.)

But do email me — I love to hear from you. Do talk to me on Facebook — I assure you I read ALL of your posts. Do tell me about your life — I’m a great listener. If you want to, ask me about my life. You might have to ask more than once and probe a little — I don’t like to bore people. Do get to know me — I make a great friend. And I’m a cool person. Finally.

“I think he’s lovely,” said Anne reproachfully. “He is so
very sympathetic. He didn’t mind how much I talked —
he seemed to like it. I felt he was a kindred spirit
as soon as I ever saw him.”
“You’re both queer enough, if that’s what you mean
by kindred spirits,” said Marilla with a sniff.
~ L.M. Montgomery,
Anne of Green Gables

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