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

Paying myself back — or forward?

I started off the year kind of gangbusters with blogging, but soon fell off the wagon, as you know. But I didn’t want that last depressing post to be up here on top anymore. I keep praying for my family and friends and am counting on God and the medical system to take it from there.

I haven’t been blogging, but I have been thinking. The usual “What do I want to be when I grow up?” thoughts, only now “when I grow up” pretty much means “when I retire” — which who knows if I’ll ever really be able to. I just saw a commercial for an investment company (don’t have a clue which one), that asks people to write on a wall what they would do if they could do anything. The thing I noticed during the 30 seconds I was engaged was that so many people wrote down creative things. They’d make pies or be a florist or be a writer (! — I’m guessing not the kind of writer I am). So many people are just itching to do something that has nothing to do with traditional office/trade/factory work. The commercial basically said “Yes, you can get paid to do that — you pay yourself to do it with your retirement money.”

That’s a great way to think about it. All those years of working and paying bills (and yes, saving, because that’s a must) are so you can be in charge of your own destiny. Pay yourself to have the freedom to do what you really want. Because otherwise, you might still decide to be a florist, but are you going to work for someone else? Start your own shop? That’s still a business, and a competitive one I imagine. It’s hard work, even though your products are beautiful (and highly perishable). Same with pie baking — or any kind of food/catering business — not easy either. And a writer? Please. We all know how hard that is — and even harder to make any money at it.

So the bottom line, you need to be financially free to pursue your dreams, but that seems so unlikely. I read some sobering statistics yesterday about women and retirement in this article…I don’t think anyone envisions him/herself destitute or in a nursing home, but the sobering reality is that many of us will end up there. There’s also a slew of articles that say, don’t even think about retiring…that even after you reach retirement age, you should still plan to work at least part time.

It’s hard to think about that — that at almost no point in your life (unless you can’t physically or mentally do it anymore), you’ll have to be “on call,” responsible for doing something someone else thinks is worthy of paying you for.

It’s also hard to balance the idea of delayed gratification and saving more for tomorrow with wanting some rewards for hard work today — especially because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anyone and none of us is getting any younger. (If not now, when?)

I stress about money and saving all the time. I’m convinced we aren’t doing enough. It drives Mike crazy.

I also say just about every day that I want a vacation (the beach comes up a lot). That also drives Mike crazy.

How do you do it? How do you approach the live-today-(while-you-can)-or-save-for-tomorrow conundrum?

Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold.
But other times it’s essential to take time off
and to make sure 
that your most important decision in the day
simply consists 
of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.
~ Douglas Pagels

« Older entries