No idea what I thought I was going to write about today. I was distracted by a pizza party for a coworker’s last day, and now I am painfully full and not really inclined to think about writing.

Plus, I have work to do.

So here’s another quote from a book that I enjoyed, instead.

Rima had tried jogging after Oliver died. She thought it would be smart to get physically exhausted. She thought if she were body-tired instead of, or along with, feeling the heavy exhaustion of grief, she might think less. But the effort involved in lifting her feet over and over was too much for her. Later she tried again, but found she’d been mistaken in her primary assumption. All you did when you ran was think. She hated it.”

Now, I definitely have not tried running as a way of dealing with the exhaustion of grief. I can barely walk some days, I feel like, so while I was once a distance runner as a kid, I don’t think now would be a very good time to pick it up again. I’m more likely to wreck myself before I can tire myself out, really.

I have found that physical pain often helps detract from emotional pain, but it’s insanely temporary. Like, getting my first tattoo hurt far less than losing Alysia. Most of it even hurt less than saying goodbye to Hudson. But the physical pain subsided, whereas the emotional pain still remains.

I have been known to attempt to tire myself out in order to not think and feel so much, though. It doesn’t really work for me, even when I push my body further than it wants to go. It’s a distraction, for sure. But the effects don’t last.

I like that this book recognized the different kinds of tired a person can be. I haven’t often seen that distinction, in books, film, television or everyday conversation. I like how true it rang for me.

Learning To Make New Choices

I love the sound of a cold can of pop being opened. Or beer. Or pretty much anything cold. Popping that tab just sounds refreshing in my brain.

And coconut rice from the place down the street, which I am eating right now.

Not sure what to talk about today. Haha

I’ve been thinking more about how I can’t do everything. Like, obviously, because few people can, if any. I mean, we spend so much time doing things that we don’t necessarily want to do, that we don’t have enough time to do more of the things we want. Factor in finances and it seems pretty much impossible sometimes.

I think part of my problem is always trying to do too much. I spread myself too thin and then can’t fully enjoy some stuff. I try to do little bits of lots of things. I still make choices – let go of some things in favour of keeping others. More and more sacrifices have been made in the past couple of years, but they don’t really seem like sacrifices, which is good. It’s usually been a choice between something I’ve always done, like TIFF, for something I want to do more, like break a Guinness World Record or spend more time with friends or go to the zoo or a baseball game more often.

I think another part of the problem is in my ability to plan realistically. Like, I used to have everything mapped out for the year. I knew when the time would come to buy TIFF packages or Fan Expo passes, and I knew how those things fit into my budget on an annual basis. But lately there are so many different things coming up; things I didn’t do before. Things I didn’t know to plan for before. My priorities have shifted, and I find myself making different choices than I used to. Which is great, definitely. It’s just that I have a harder time planning far in advance now, I think. I’m okay saving for short term goals, but the longer term is more difficult, because so much changes in the meantime. I knew last year sometime that I wouldn’t be able to go to the BLT’s 15th birthday party this summer, for example. At some point, I realized that any money I had been saving had gone to other things. I wasn’t always thinking, “It’s this or the BLT but not both”, but I’m not sure it would have made a difference. It might have, but definitely not in every case.

I can’t even remember which specific moment caused me to actually choose between getting there this year or postponing it another year. It might have been renewing my zoo membership, or something Fan Expo-related. I think it was in the fall when I realized there wasn’t enough time left to start saving for a trip that would last longer than a day or two. There was whatever I was paying for at the time, and then the holidays stretching out before me, and birthdays and anniversaries and…it just got to be too late. I have very little to work with that it’s one of those things I have to commit to saving for WELL in advance; as far in advance as possible, really.

But I also think I need to change what I’m deciding between. Like, some of my monthly expenses can be altered or disposed of, and that would make a little difference each month, but a large difference overall. I think changes need to be made more in lifestyle than in individual expenditures. I need to actually figure out what’s most important to me, and focus more on those things.

Last year was the first time I didn’t go to any TIFF screenings because I couldn’t afford it, I didn’t take the time off work like I usually do, and there was just so much going on that I couldn’t even think of adding more to my plate. And yet, was it the end of the world? Not even remotely. I hadn’t even really looked into what was screening (except Midnight Madness because I wanted to go to one with my friend, Jen, but couldn’t even make that much happen), so I didn’t feel like I was missing much. I was focused more on other things; things which took priority over film screenings. Hard to imagine, even now, in a way, and yet there you go. There was too much on my To Do list so I whittled it down to something more manageable, and I didn’t feel like I’d really lost out, or gone against my instinct. I’d just changed some, and had other things calling to me more.

Things like that are all short term, too. By not spending money on a TIFF pass, I had more left over to do other smaller things, instead of that one big thing. And it was okay. I enjoyed myself.

It does, however, bother me that I won’t be at the boys’ birthday party next month. Something has to change just so that I don’t feel this way again next time.

Now I just have to figure out how to transfer that over so that it’s the other way around. Give up some little things and save up for the larger thing. It’s harder now because the little things are all kind of new, and I haven’t had a chance to really prioritize them into what I can and can’t do without. That in itself is a good exercise, whether there’s an end goal in mind, or not. I’ve been cruising along on my path of always-the-sameness for a long time; afraid to deviate lest I make a mistake and have to file for bankruptcy again, or something. However, I think I can make some changes and move things around without having things suddenly go that far, and some of the always-the-same things aren’t things I can’t do without, anymore. They served their purpose, and got me through when I needed them, but I’m not the same person, and I should spend less time trying to still be that, and more time trying to sort out what kind of person I am now.

I can be worth knowing. 🙂

Writing Exercises

I don’t feel like talking much today, so I thought I’d try a quick writing exercise. The first five are actually books I’ve written, though they are in various stages of completion. As such, number three’s title is still a work in progress. It’s more there as a placeholder for the book itself. Title six is what I would call my autobiography. Titles seven and eight have been on my mind for a long time now, and nine would probably work better as a comic strip, but the last one will really require some actual thought. I realize that most of them are technically a cheat, so maybe I’ll write more after, or do another little exercise, as well. Anyway…

Write 10 potential book titles of books you’d like to write.”

  1. Carving The Light
  2. Ebon Black and the Seven Dryads
  3. The Ellie Skye Chronicles
  4. Suffer The Fury
  5. Sometimes I See Hearts
  6. Great Idea; Poor Execution
  7. Downward God
  8. Downtown Abbie
  9. The Misadventures of Brody Graham
  10. Ramblings of a Wasted Heart

Okay, all but two of them are cheats. Well, maybe three, but really only numbers 7 and 8 are legit titles I wish I could use for something I’ve written. The titles of my actual books usually come from something that happens in the story, or some line of text. Ebon Black is a play on Snow White, and Ellie Skye doesn’t officially have a title yet, so it could end up being completely different. The last two I just threw in because I needed two more titles. I almost went with “Never A Bridesmaid” but felt it sounded too romance-y.

I’m not good at thinking up titles without having a story for them. When I do come up with the title first, it’s so far pretty much impossible for me to come up with a decent story idea to go along with it. Sort of like these blog posts. I usually throw in some kind of cohesive title last, because what I think I am writing about usually changes before I get to the end.

I don’t really understand things today, I don’t think. Feeling hella disconnected and…frenetic. I just Googled ‘frenetic’ to make sure I had the right word for how I’m feeling today. It’s close enough.

Part of a dream I had last night involved trying to tell someone something, but being constantly interrupted – partly from other things going on around us, and partly because the other person was just distracted and not really listening. Which was weird, because I am pretty sure she’d asked me a question and I was trying to answer it. Anyway, it was frustrating, and the sense of too much happening at once has continued into the day.

Let’s try another exercise, this one different from the last, but hopefully quicker:

  1. Who is coming round the corner?

    An elderly gentleman, wearing the requisite button-up argyle cardigan over a striped shirt and tan trousers. A beat-up old bowler hat rests upon his balding head, wisps of white hair poking out from underneath. He is alone, and slightly stooped, yet walks with purpose and intent. He’s going somewhere specific, his mind in both the past and the future at the same time.

  1. What is their secret?

    He’s met someone new, and is truly happy for the first time in his long life. He finally knows what real love is, even as it comes with the burden of guilt and shame he’s been taught since he was a child. The love of his life is a good decade younger than he is – and is another man.

  1. What are they carrying?

    Flowers. Every Sunday since his wife of 55 years passed away, he’s made the trek to the cemetery to lay fresh flowers at her grave, just as he’d done for her each week while she was alive. This week is no different on the surface, and yet – for him – it will never be the same again.