Rain and Boredom

Another rainy Fall day. Makes me want to take a nap.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking around for my energy. I KNOW it was here someplace. It’s been deteriorating steadily the last few years. You know — a chip off here, a dent there. But it was always there for me when I needed it.

Now with the rain and clouds it wants to play hide and seek. Good thing I’ve cleaned up and out a lot of clutter in my house in the last eight months.

But, like a lot of others I’ve talked to (or read from), there are a number of us who are losing our energy — creative, kinetic, spiritual, or otherwise.

Easy to blame Covid19. Why not? I blame it for ruining what social life I had. Not exercising? That’s my own fault. Upside sleep schedule?  You can’t blame the man who’s bringing home the bacon. Weather? I love the cool days and evenings.

I’ve been taking the easy way out for my lack of energy. I’ve been finding such great artists for my blog. But life is more than an art blog, isn’t it?

I’ve often thought of getting a part time job. Stimulate my energy and my mind. But not much is available when I’m available. And, anyway, I worked 50 years to be able to enjoy my time off.

I’ve been reading a lot every day. This time around it’s Shōgun . Love it. But reading is a quiet sport and it doesn’t take long for me to start jumbling up the Japanese words. I have been going through others’ blogs and reading their contributions — that’s been fun. I’ve even started going through every Twitter account I follow (only about 400) and reading and liking what they post.

Somehow this feels and sounds desperate, though.

I need a new idea for a short story. Or a novel. Or a set of novels. I think I’m only really happy when I write.

I have about a dozen starts in my Unfinished Folder that could use a jump start. Looking for the Unicorn (writing about dementia from the patient’s point of view), Grandfather’s Room (story about my daughter-in-law’s grandfather moving to assisted living), Of Elves and Madness (unhappy girl runs into sexy elf in woods and goes with him to his world), The Rock (another unhappy wife jogging through the woods — who knows what was supposed to be next?), The World is All An Illusion (wonder if that was the start of an ethereal blog way back when?), Speaking With Aliens (goofy factory worker talks to aliens through his TV), She Looked Out the Back Window (another disgruntled female getting ready to go for a walk in the rain… is there a pattern here?), Fairy Circle (little girl calls up a naughty fairy and years later it comes back to haunt her), Game, Set, Match (sharp, sexy girl meets man in bar .. I’m sure he’s a magical something…), Three Faeries Doing Faerie Things (read this outline and it doesn’t feel familiar. Was it someone else’s idea? A dream? Good and bad faeries fighting.)

A lot of starts, not enough finishes. Food for thought, perhaps. What do you think?

Maybe it’s time for that nap ….

 

 

Get ‘er Goin’!

I thank you for visiting me and the Goddess this week while I was on vacation with my family up  nort’. Again. It is just a wonderful reprise to the daily grind of politics, viruses, hoarder houses, and such.

Even though these weekends are stressful as far as running around with three kids and three dogs, they are fulfilling. At least until my energy runs out. What these getaways also do is refocus my being to things that really matter in life.

But then you come home, kids go one way, you another. And there you are. Vibrating on the sofa, re-circling, refocusing, recharging and open like a toddler.

And you think — what now?

Who wants to go back to washing and folding laundry and doing dishes and mowing the lawn and sitting at a desk answering phones all day?

Who needs it?

If I have learned anything from this C19 nightmare is that most of us need it in one form or another. Kids need to get out of the house and go to school and see friends and stress over math assignments. Moms and dads need to get out of the house and go back to the office and deal with know-it-alls and office gossip and sales goals. Even retired grannies need to get out of the house and join community organizations that help people in one way or another and meet friends for coffee and get back to quilting or writing or whatever they do.

Sitting in the house day after day with nothing but the TV and radio is not good for the creative spirit.

I have written some of my best stories based on people I’ve worked with, places I’ve driven, conversations I’ve either overheard or had myself. The green trees and grass and wild fields around my house are beautiful, but after a while they lose their stimulation ability.

We need to be curious outside our parentheses. We can’t hide from the world and get settled in and do nothing. The world will keep changing but you will not. And one day visitors won’t be able to distinguish you from the beige flowered couch you sit upon.

After a while without people and places and things you find yourself with nothing to talk about. Grandkids can only tell you so many times about the fish that got away or how many hot dogs they ate one day. You can only talk about the old days so much before you finally become boring.

Without outside connections, without outside interactions, you really can turn into a slug. Even if you’re surrounded by grandkids and dogs.

If they aren’t stimulated by something new, neither will you be. If you can’t get out there and bring new and interesting things into their world they will turn out to be 8am-8pm internet slugs…. and so will you.

So, as much as I loved my time away, I am very happy to be back in my up and down world of the mind. I have projects to finish, projects to plan, projects to give up. And it’s only Monday!

Get on up and out today!

 

 

The Buh Buh Buh Blues

(Base guitar)

 da da da thump…

Don’t wanna write ‘cuz there’s no light…

da a da thump…

Don’t wanna sing or work on my bling…

da a da thump…

Don’t wanna jog in my new tennis shoes…

(Loud and bluesy)

Don’t wanna do nuthin’ cuz I got the blues….

I’ve got the (loud) no-sunshine, no-energy, don’t give a whack ‘bout nuthin’ wintery bluuuueeesss…

 Been wanting to write more blogs, network with other writers, send off my two novels to agents and publishers, work on a second draft of my third novel, organize the files in my laptop, download music for I-Tunes, enter a few contests, and teach myself Pre- Pre-Basic Photoshop. And that’s just my literary aspirations. I also want to make some jewelry, stencil my kitchen wall, sew a little bling on one of my tops, and try out a new Gordon Ramsay recipe. But the truth is, after I get home from work, all I want to do is slip into my jammies, curl up in the corner of my sofa, and veg. What happened to my creative side? Moreover, what happened to my energy side?

Once upon a time I thought I was alone in this lethargy. Even those days when the sun blasted its heat across the winter land, I would mumble about snow and slush and temperatures below zero and go home, curl up on my sofa, and veg. But in taking the pulse of those near and far lately, I find their energy has ebbed, too. My jewelry maker friend hasn’t threaded a bead for weeks. My gourmet guru hasn’t opened a cookbook in the same amount of time. And my book-a-holic friend hasn’t read more than a chapter or two a week.  Our vacuums are clogging and our cats are snoring. What’s happening?

 Fear not ― our water has not been laced with lazy pills. It’s mostly the Midwest Midwinter Blues (da da da thump). I’m sure readers in California or Georgia have different names for it (how about the Frigid Fifties Funk?) But it’s a real phenomenon. Lack of sunshine and vitamin D, cold toes, icy windows ―you know ― the whole bit. But it’s more complicated than that. Between watching eight episodes of Fringe in a row and shoveling a path from your car to your house, what else is there to do in the dullness? I mean, how many times can you play Angry Birds before your brains are scrambled?

Oh, I hear you energy-ites – walk. Ski. Play fetch with your dog. Join a health club. No no no ― you don’t get it. For many of us, these blues make our legs feel like tree trunks. Our eyes burn from the dry air blown by heaters and our hands hurt from holding onto the steering wheel too tight on our way home because the roads are sheer ice. We don’t want to risk pulled muscles and frostbite just to catch a glimpse at Apollo and his steeds and his daylight.

Well then ― are we lazy? I think not. Most of us are pretty darn busy from morning to evening. Office work. Baby work. Assembly line work. Walking. Typing. Cleaning. Moving. Calculating. Stress is everywhere, and it doesn’t take long for the strings of dread to wrap you up nice and tight. That’s why fresh air, sunshine, and gentle breezes are so important. Play ball with the kids, throw a brat on the barby, boat rides and bike rides. Those kinds of things nurture your psyche and your energy level naturally.

It’s much harder to get excited about food and sports when it’s dark when you go to work and dark when you come home. 5:30 p.m. feels like 8:30 p.m. Vegetables are dull, salads even duller. Television shows are all reruns, and even Hollywood gossip makes us yawn. What can be done to cure this International ― or at least Midwest ― Sluggishfest? Here are a few ideas:

 1.  Share your boredom. Nothing makes you feel better than when you share your blahs with your friends and co-workers and they say, “Yeah! Me too!” Misery loves company, and with enough miserable company you can have a pick-me-up party. Share your most uninteresting stories over drinks or lunch boxes. Joy arrives as you realize you are not the only one who’s bored with your stories.

 2.  Go to the library or video store and rent the most ridiculous musical you can find. How can you not raise your energy level when Lee Marvin sings and dances to “Hand Me Down That Can O’ Beans?” How can you not swing along Broadway when Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger sing, “You say toe-may-toe, I say toe-mah-toe…”

 3.  Play Hide the Pig. In my office we take turns hiding a little plastic pink pig. We aren’t sure if it’s a girl or a boy, but it sure breaks up the monotony when we discover it peeking out of various coffee cups or out from behind a stack of catalogs. It’s silly, it’s idiotic ― and a whole lotta fun.

 4. Bring out your artsy crafty stuff and, without thinking, make the ugliest, corniest, cheesiest art thingy you’ve ever made. Don’t waste time “creating” it; just go for it. That tacky bracelet or stickman artwork or smudged stamp will do wonders for your ego. Like, “OMG…I know I can do better than that!

 I’m sure you can come up with your own kick starts to get your blah life back to its sparkling, energetic center too. As they say, this too shall pass. Conserve your energy ― you’re going to need it. Don’t worry about what you should be doing ― live in the now. Mother Nature has a way of pulling you back into the groove as soon as the weather warms up. Before no time you’ll be complaining about sunburn, burnt chicken on the grill and the humidity.

Now…where did they hide that pig?

 

©2012 Claudia Anderson