Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy NOvember.

I cannot post a blog without acknowledging how long it's been since I've last posted. Wow, I feel like I should be kneeling in the online confessional..."Bless me internets, for I have sinned. It has been 6 weeks since I've last blogged."  That one was for you Catholics, both practicing and recovering.  Yes, it has been awhile and without going into a long story, I will just say that I haven't been 100% well.  When my gas tank is low, the first thing to go is typically the writing jones, sadly. 

But here I am making the effort because damn it, I have something to say.  I bet you're thinking given the title and very recent events I am going to wax political about the state of our (civil) union.  You are incorrect.  Indeed, I am deeply disappointed in the election results.  This blog is not about that.  NO-vember is not about that.

NO, it's all about me.  Never expect anything else from my blogs and you will not be let down.  Well, geez, it's not YOUR blog, is it? 

Moving an actual point...

Has anyone ever suggested to you that you need to learn to say "no" or to do so more often?  It's not something that has come up for me a lot, given that I have over time learned the value of good old boundaries.  Yet I was recently asked, "what would happen if you said no to everything for a week?"  I responded, "A week?  Not would probably be a week where no one asked me anything.  But what about a MONTH?"

And thus it has been decided (the trash heap has spoken!) that November is the month of NO.  I'm serious.  No excuses or explanations tagged on to the end of it.  It's a blanket policy applying to all aspects of my life.  My intent is for my default answer to be NO all the time.  I do, however, maintain the option to change my mind after careful thought, after I consider said request or action's potential impact on my energy, psyche, health, life.  I need to explore whether it's something I truly want to do and have energy for rather than letting guilt, obligations, or lack of a "reason" rule my decision making.

This should be interesting.  You're wondering how this plays out in the real world. Here are some scenarios I envision:

Message on my voicemail: "Can you give me a call back?"  Me: No.

Friend being supportive: "Have you thought about talking to your doctor?"  Me: No.

Employer:  "Would you like a promotion and raise?"  Me: Fuck yes! (What you think I'm crazy here?)

So please, my friends and prepared.  I am going to make every effort humanly possible to just say no.  It will sound abrupt.  We're so used to "Well, I have to blah blah blah so I don't know, blah blah blah," am I right?  No one ever just says no, there is always a long story, an excuse, an explanation.  Are you ready for this?  I am. 

Happy NO-vember everyone! Feel free to hit me up for anything; I'd love to be tested on this.  I promise a full report at month's end.  At the very least...great fodder for my next blog! 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ground Control to Major Tom

Here I am at long last, living on my own for the first time in my life.  I am stuffed into a two room studio (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom) wondering where to put all my clothes and toiletries.  In a effort to make the situation sound super cool, my dear friend Cindy has referred to the new place as a Space Station.  "Pretend you're in outer space," she said.  "It'll be fun!" she claimed.  So here we are, me and the two kitties, exploring the far reaches of the galaxy from Space Station ______________.  There, I officially just started a contest to name my apartment. 

Last night I'm sitting here chatting with a friend, and it goes something like this:

Friend:  How's the view from the space station?
Me:  I don't know about my view, but the neighbors might get a decent shot of mah bewbs.
Friend:  Like giant asteroids hurling through space!!!


Yes, I need to install a mini-blind.  Just one.  No biggie, right?  Well...I hate to admit it, but somehow along the way of my adult development I have become one of those women who feels the need for a man to hang things up for her.  I mean, when I even THINK of  hanging up shelves, a picture, mini-blinds, my head goes all fuzzy.  All pink and fuzzy and blurry. 

I thought about how I might get some help with this, and what does everyone do these days?  Craigslist!!!  Can you imagine...I post an ad on craigslists looking for a man to help me hang things in my apartment.  Some poor little damsel in distress, welcoming strange men into her home.  The very most optimist in you might see the beginnings of a really bad porn film here.  My Mom will see her dear baby girl bloodied and dying from grisly power tool wounds.  I see something in between, and a little bit of both:  super creepy guy comes over to find me and at least two of my girlfriends waiting.  He's thinking porn film, we're poised and ready to stab the bastard over one wrong move. 

Then I think, does it have to be a guy?  I know some serious bad ass women who can rock some power tools.  If any of you are once again seeing the opening of a slightly less cheezy porn film, I understand.  Please don't get too distracted. ANYWAY...hanging things on walls does not equal brain surgery.  Shouldn't I be able to do this myself?  Well of course I CAN.  Everybody knows I'm capable.  It just seems like an enormous effort.  I don't even own any tools.  And no way I am going to go buy those stupid PINK ones just because I'm a girl. 

But I will do it.  I will find a way.  Because even though I enjoy the view of Andromeda from my space station window, I'd like to keep the two giant asteroids (not to mention the MOON) covered up.  Indeed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Turning Over a New Leaf.

How appropriate for fall, and I didn't even plan it that way...

Let me begin with a WELCOME!  Holy crap, people.  I'm going public!  Those of you who have followed my myspace blogging adventures understand what a big step this is for me.  It means that I may have to edit myself a bit more carefully, but that will only spur my creativity!

So why now, why the new blog, why the new leaf?  The new more public blog - it just about TIME, damn it.  No more contemplating the move, just do it.

As for anything else...again, if you've followed me on facebook, myspace, or the actual (GASP! ohmygoodness!) REAL world, you have seen nuttin but angst for the past couple of months.  Every time life throws a curveball, does Catherine make lemonade???  Nooooooo.  She cries out to the masses for support and validation.  Nothing wrong with that...we SHOULD ask for support when we need it.  But I was seeing a pattern, and it was a clear sign that I was not myself.

This is both excusable and understandable.  The calendar year 2009 has been not so friendly to me and mine.  It has been, to say the least, a rough year filled with losses both literal and figurative.  I have had to regroup, realign, and find a way to ground myself when everything around me was in flux.  I moved TWICE.  My relationship of 8 years ended.  My two most precious...died.  This is the short list.

And though I brought my struggles to others, I never once played the pity card.  No one ever said "Wow, let's go easy on Catherine, she's had a rough year."  No one ever thought they should protect me from any harsh realities, because we all know...I can handle my shit.  And yours, and theirs, and everyone else's.  Right?

Wrong.  The new leaf has turned because I finally see that I need to STOP.  In the words of a wise friend, "You seem to be like the boxer who just got knocked out and then climbs back into the ring with a better opponent without taking the time to heal and train harder.  Give yourself a chance to recover from the blows you have been hit with...Give yourself time to heal."

Amen, brotha.  So, I'm going into retirement.  I don't even think I really know how to step out of the ring, so to speak.  But I damn well know how to take care of myself.  I know that it's time to stop and look, really look at what happened this year.  Process.  Process some more.  Begin to heal. 

And then...ONLY THEN...move forward.