Thursday, July 4, 2013

Everyday in July: Day 4 - If you could be any punctuation mark, whatwould you be?

Normally questions like this piss off my inner cranky old man. But in keeping with today's blog theme: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it.

Is your life on a brief pause like a comma, or are you living vicariously through other people, like quotations? My favorite quote comes from a novel about my latest fascination. Essentially it's a love story about a zombie who falls in love with a human. He tries to remember what his life was like before he died, and in the process he becomes less zombie-like and begins to regain some of his humanity.
"I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I'm drowning in ellipses."

I love this quote because it exemplifies where I am in life. Actually, I'm at least head above water. Working on some exclamation points.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Everyday in July: Day 3 - Things that make me uncomfortable.

I've been trying to write this post for three days now. I wanted to write more than just a laundry list of annoyances. I read through other people's posts on the same prompt, hoping to find inspiration. Instead I found that alot of people are creeped out about things that don't bother me at all. Like "all things bathroom related", "profanity" and "being late". Clearly not my issues, although I'm happy to say I have greatly improved in the category of tardiness. In fact, I could list each one of those items as Things I'm completely comfortable with.

I noticed there were alot of items having to do with social anxiety. Crowds, hand hygiene, public speaking were mentioned quite often. I found one other person who hates making phones like I do. She also happens to be the originator of this blog meme. Confrontation was also frequently listed. As far as public speaking goes, I don't have a problem with it. In fact, sometimes I prefer speaking with strangers than speaking in a setting with people I already know. And as far as confrontation goes,  I've learned you can do more damage to relationships by not talking about something important. I'm ok with confrontation.

I've taken huge strides in an effort to step outside my comfort zone and I like to think I've been successful at it. I won't say nothing makes me uncomfortable, but really not much does. Those things I am uncomfortable with are things I'm very comfortable with being uncomfortable with them.

The thought of being sandwiched among thousands of people really creeps me out. I get antsy and nervous when I have to be in large capacity situations. I don't remember this ever bothering me before and I'm not sure why it does now, but I know I don't like it and I'm ok with it.

Assholes. And Ass-isms.
I'm real intolerant of people who don't like people like me. I'm also intolerant of any belief system (real, imagined or both) that devalues gender, ethnicity, sexuality, music & dance or tattoos. Ain't nobody got time for chopping people up in little categories and judging them. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Everyday in July: Day 2 - How to be good in a crisis.

1. Identify the most important and the most immediate issue. What is most at stake? Is the crisis about safety? Yours or someone else? Is it a health concern? What's needed first?  If you can answer this problem accurately, you've already solved most of it.

2. See the crisis from start to finish. Explore possible outcomes and decide on the optimal solution.

3. Remember this is not about you. Think about what needs to happen that brings about the best result and focus on that. Don't think about how much you're doing compared to someone else. Fairness is always irrelevant in a crisis.

4. Eliminate the nonessential, but remember to care for yourself. If you're problem solver, you have to stay in the game. And you will surely be on the sidelines if you don't take care of yourself. Forget about doing your nails, ignore the DVR, you don't have time for social engagements. But you do have to sleep, you do have to rest and you do have to move your body. You have a crisis to handle, you don't have any leisure time. At least not now.

5. When the crisis is over, it's still not going to be about you. No one will care how much research you did, how many phone calls you made or how many nights you stayed up solving the problem. They'll just be glad it's over and will want to forget everything that has happened. Don't be surprised if you don't get the regard you think you should. Remember the point was to solve the crisis, not for you to be patted on the back.

6. Decide on a reward for yourself before the crisis is over. Use that as a motivator and a comfort for when the drama goes away. Because when the drama goes away, you're going to feel lonely. You're going to wonder what you're supposed to do when there is nothing left to do. Find a healthy activity to reengage yourself back to whatever your normal is.

7. Make plans for the next crisis. Shoes will fall. Hammers will drop. If the worst hasn't happen yet, get ready for it. Make your phone trees, set your plan Bs, get as many people as you can your side. Update your contacts, your emergency contacts, plan your will AND your funeral, and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

Everyday in July Challenge: Day 1 - The story of my life in 250 words or less.

Hopping around Blogher, I stumbled upon another great writing challenge. Originally posted here, My Purple Dreams altered it for the month of July. I don't know what I like so much about these challenges. Or why I rarely finish them. But I like this one alot, and I hope to complete each day. Off we go.

I am an only child, as was my father. My mother has two sisters, and each of them had two kids. I'm number four out of the five cousins. During family holidays, my cousins and I would put on a show for everyone. We thought of ourselves as an up and coming Sylvers or Jacksons. We would make up dances to the latest songs. Two of us played piano and one played the trumpet. We would charge admission, which was never more than a quarter. The eldest cousin was always in charge of the money and to this day none of us have ever been paid.

I went to catholic school just about my whole life. I liked having to wear a uniform because that meant I didn't have to take time and figure out a new outfit for each day. To this day whenever I wear colorful socks I feel like I'm breaking a rule!

I was also a girl scout. I was a Brownie for one year, advanced to a Junior, and I would have been a Cadet but our troop leader moved away. I still have my sash with all my badges.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Back at it.

Even I'm surprised I've been away this long this time. So much has happened since last December. Some good, some bad, mostly just life happening. Details later.

To help get me back in the swing of writing, I'm taking some inspiration from July Blogher Prompts. Today's prompt has to do with connecting with friends. My first call was to a new buddy I met while on GOBA. In fact, she was the very first person I met there. While in route on the first day, she rode up beside me and made a comment about the weather. It was raining lightly, and it was quite refreshing. She asked how many GOBAs I'd been on. When I said none, she offered to introduce me around once we got to camp. We chatted for a bit, then she said she had to go, as she was a volunteer and needed to be at the information booth at camp. When she said that, I remembered I'd first seen her at check-in. She has long, wild & curly grey hair and wore bright fuschia lipstick. I thought she isn't your everyday grandmother. Turns out I was right.

When I finally arrived at camp, I quickly put up my tent and made my bed. I found the shower truck and took the best shower of my life. When I returned to my tent, I laid down for a quick nap. I woke up just in time to go meet Donna at the information tent. For a minute I hesitated; I thought perhaps it would be uncomfortable and awkward meeting new people. But then I realized what I was doing and I went anyway. I decided if it was terrible I could just leave, but I knew it wouldn't be. Donna was already there with a few others, but before I could say anything, she greeted me and quickly began telling everyone I was on my first GOBA. Everyone she introduced me to had done at least eight; two people had done 25 and 24 years respectively. Donna has 12 GOBAs completed, and I don't think she's planning on stopping anytime soon. She tells me there's another black woman she wants to introduce me to; someone else I'd chatted with while en route that day. We hadn't introduced ourselves; just chitchatted for a distance and then parted company as we each rode our own pace. It always surprises and delights me when white people are able to talk about race without acting like it's a hugely weird thing. Donna knew I was on my own and she's known Debby for years, so it made sense for her to say it that way. Debby rides a Nazca recumbent--"one sexy" bike" as she describes it.

Throughout GOBA week, I met some really interesting people; young & old, from all over the country. Every evening a group of folks would meet at the information tent and decide where to eat and what to do for the evening. There was always something to do in GOBAville. I hope to return next year.