New year, new challenge

One of my friends posted a video today showing a brief look at her life over the past year. She made it with a video diary app called 1 Second Everyday, which allows users to capture videos one to three seconds long. I thought it was a pretty cool idea, so I downloaded the app and decided to try it myself. Of course, since it’s late, there wasn’t actually a whole lot going on at my house except for visits from my kitties:

Since it’s a video diary app, there’s also a section to record your thoughts on the day:

Days spent antiquing are so much fun, even if some of the really cool things have to be left behind. But kitties don’t care about tiny typewriters of pretty stained glass. All they care about is food. And water. And ear scritches. And getting inside the house again.

I’m really hoping I can stick with this challenge. I’d love to be able to create a video similar to my friend’s this time next year. And if nothing else, it’ll give me a brief record of my year, since I’ve been so rotten at keeping up with my actual diary the last few years.

Do you keep a diary of any sort?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Momentum…I don’t has it

I had hoped to carry my November blogging momentum forward into December, but that didn’t happen. I could blame the holidays and being sick and all kinds of other things, and I wouldn’t be wrong, exactly, but I would be just making excuses. Because the truth is that if you really want to do something, you’ll find a way (and the time) to do it.

It’s not that I don’t want to blog, because I do. But my project for this month fell flat in a hurry.

See, I had this idea to document my Christmas spirit. Last year, one of my coworkers questioned my commitment to festivity, so I proved my love of Christmas by wearing something festive every day I worked for the entire month of December (and if I’m not mistaken, I may have started between Thanksgiving and December, but that’s not really important, I suppose). I only worked three days a week for most of the Christmas season last year due to my class schedule.

Apparently, however…

Day of Darkness

I went Black Friday shopping this year for only the second time ever, and the first time in over a decade. I didn’t get much, and the two things I did buy weren’t on sale. *sigh*

Story of my life.

What about you – do you go Black Friday shopping? Why or why not?

(c) 2019. All rights reserved.

Making new things familiar

I can’t get over how true this is.

One of the things I decided to do when my children were small is try to see things from their perspective. Everything is new to children, everything is full of wonder. I’d forgotten how to see the world’s wonders; I’d forgotten how to see its magic.

I’d become like the grown-ups in The Polar Express: I could no longer hear the sweet music of the jingle bell from Santa’s sleigh.

After I made this decision to see the world through a child’s eyes, I could once again see the magic present everywhere. I could see the wonders in each day. I could hear the sweet music of that bell.

But now…

Mood

Apparently, I’m in a mood. That’s what I was told, anyway.

Never mind that I’m exhausted, both physically and mentally. Never mind that I’m looking ahead at our calendar and wondering how I’m going to make it through the next two months. (Never mind that I think the same thing every year. Never mind that the answer is always By the skin of our teeth.)

Because I’m in a mood, so the problem is clearly mine. No one else’s. There couldn’t possibly be any one of a number of reasons for why I’m quiet, why I’m tired, why I don’t feel like peopling.

Never mind all that. Just fix it. Suck it up, buttercup.

Hide your crazy and start acting like a lady.

This lady is going to bed. Because it’s far too peopley out there, and apparently, I’m in a mood.

(c) 2019. All rights reserved.

Traffic jams

Last night, I encountered a Midwestern traffic jam. I suppose the phenomenon is not particularly unique to the Midwest – I’m sure if you’re from a rural community, you’ll know what I mean. I try to be patient when I encounter farm equipment on the road because it’s not the farmer’s fault the tractor (or combine, in this case) only goes 20 miles an hour. They’re just doing their jobs, after all, and it’s a very important job. We need farmers.

Besides, it doesn’t do any good to get all worked up about it – it won’t make them go any faster.

But last night…

Tea

Tea and kluntje isn’t the same without milk, but it’s still pretty good.

We always drank tea with milk and kluntje growing up, usually at family get-togethers. Tea is comfort. Tea is family. Tea is home.

I’m drinking my tea with kluntje this afternoon and wishing I had some milk to go with it. It’s strong tea. German tea. It has a robust flavor when brewed properly, but I let mine steep too long today. It tastes almost…bitter.

Twenty-five years ago today, my mom passed away. I miss her every day. I wish that I could call her for advice. I wish that I could call her to ask about her day. I wish that I could remember her. I wish I had some milk for my tea.

It would be easy to become like my tea – dark and bitter. And for a while, I was. But as I sit here drinking my tea, wishing things were different, I’m reminded that even in the depths of darkness, there is still sweetness to be found. The cracked and broken shards of kluntje fill my mouth with sweetness. They’re strong, those remnants – they withstood the boiling tea.

The survived – and so did I.

I still miss my mom – I always will. But, like my tea, I am strong; I am robust. Like my tea, I can still bring comfort and joy. Like my kluntje, life has changed me – it has bent me, but it has not broken me. The hot water has worn me down, smoothed my rough edges, but it hasn’t melted me completely.

And I refuse to let it.

(c) 2019. All rights reserved.

The one where she feels totally embarrassed…

…because holy cats, has it been a while since I’ve posted! Like, a ridiculously long while! If anyone’s still hanging around, what’s new with you?

For me, I FINALLY finished my BA in May. Woooo! It was an exciting semester for me for a variety of reasons, and I’ve got pictures to prove it. In March, my bestie and I road-tripped down to St. Louis so I could present a paper at the annual Sigma Tau Delta conference. It was so much fun! I wish we could have been there for all the opening ceremonies, but I had to work that day. :/ There were a ton of awesome panels, including mine, which was all about John Milton.  Some of the other amazing panels I attended were on Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, VIrginia Woolf, and James Joyce. So! Many! Fun! Things!

I also attended a fascinating talk given by Nnedi Okorafor, and I’m now well into reading her Binti series. Sooo good.

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But after two years of hardcore writing and studying, I needed a little break. My brain hurt. My hands hurt. And then we moved, and EVERYTHING hurt. But things at Casa Kauffman seem to have settle down for now…just in time for school to start up again. :’) :’)

It’s been a long day, though, and I’m feeling a little run down, so I’m gonna spend a little time with the ones I love. After all, that’s what’s really important, right?

So here’s to new beginnings and new adventures! I’ll see you around!

(c) 2019. All rights reserved.

Deep Thoughts

What do you say when fear rules your thoughts? When you’re afraid to ask a question because you’re afraid you won’t like the answer, how do begin a dialogue?

Nothing. You say nothing.

What do you say when the conversation’s over? When all the laughing stops, how do you get it started once again?

Nothing. You say nothing. Because sometimes, you can’t.

What do you say when you fear to know the truth? When you’re afraid that the lies your brain tells are true, how do you separate reality from falsehood?

Nothing. You say nothing.

How do you put fear in its place when it looms so large beside you, behind you, before you?

I really, really, really wish I knew.

I live in fear. I think I always have. There’s so much in this world to fear, after all – rejection, failure, acceptance, success. I fear to know the truth; I fear to know the lie. I fear the lie is true and truth a lie.

I fear. I fear. I fear.

I dream, I hope, I long for things I know I’ll never have, and all in an attempt to subvert the fear, to free my heart and mind. Living in fear is exhausting and wreaks havoc on your mind and body. I no longer want to live in fear, but I have no idea how to put it all behind me.

Fake it till you make it has not always worked well for me.

I try to be positive, so I want to end this on a high note, but I don’t know that there is one. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again is rather a cliché at this point, but perhaps that’s what I need to do. Just keep on trying.

Just keep on swimming.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.