Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On the Holidays, the Circle of Life, and Owning One's Stories

Hrm... I had no earthly idea you could actually upload GIFs to Blogger and have them work. I suppose that opens up a whole new wealth of blogging possibilities, doesn't it. Sometimes you really just need to say it with a moving picture. But already, I digress. I'm really here to talk about the holidays and life in general.

I did fantastic this year, especially professionally. I made good money. I've been able to keep our bellies filled with good food without also feeling like I'm working myself half to death. I'm especially happy that I didn't have to take too many junk content assignments in order to make ends meet. The vast majority of the projects I worked on were honest jobs creating good content for legitimate businesses for a change. I literally can't remember the last time I wrote clickbait or advertising for some crappy snake oil product and that's the way I like it. I don't need to feel like I'm changing the world with what I do or anything, but I do need to feel good about how I earn my living on a basic level.

I'm looking forward to kicking back and enjoying my holiday weekend for sure. Cooking will be relatively hassle free. This year, I got us a turkey from Omaha Steaks that's already prepped and brined, so I really don't have to do much of anything beyond putting it in the oven when I'm ready to cook it. We went the fast and easy route with the sides, gravy, and pumpkin pie as well. Seth is picking up the rolls and butter at the store tonight and the produce man is bringing our veggies tomorrow afternoon sometime, so yeah. We're definitely set. 

I love our Thanksgivings. They're what I always wanted. Lots of good food, and booze, and laughter. They're free, and easy, and fun because we go to great lengths to make sure they're not stressful in the least. I'm not like a lot of wife types. I get nothing out of wringing my hands over whether or not there's enough food or enough things on the menu to please whatever picky eater is going to present that year. I don't need everything to be "just so". I don't rise to the occasion when it comes to being judged or critiqued on how I entertain or what my cooking is like. My holidays have none of that going on anymore, so they feel the way they're supposed to. Finally.


In other news, Seth's grandmother passed away yesterday at the age of 89 after being ill for quite some time. His mother basically did the same thing to him that she did to me when Seth was in the hospital years ago, meaning she tried to forbid him to post anything about it on Facebook or speak to any of his friends about what was going on. She tried to claim she was just passing on the wishes Seth's grandfather, but unfortunately I know better just from actual experience. That is the exact same way she treated me when Seth was in the hospital.

I still remember exactly how that felt. Being told that I basically wasn't allowed to use any of my coping methods or have any kind of support system of my own when the person I basically consider to be my husband was very likely getting ready to die. She even tried to forbid me to speak to my own mother about what was going on. I always figured I was being treated that way mostly because I clearly wasn't the kind of person she wanted for her son or as part of her family, so it was pretty disappointing to see Seth -- the last person that should be seen as an outsider -- being treated the exact same way. 

I'm proud of him for not putting up with it and telling her where to go with that nonsense. This was his grandmother. He should feel absolutely free to discuss her death with whomever he pleases and post about it wherever he pleases. I don't know that he considers himself to be a writer to the same extent that I do, but he is, so putting things into written words -- even if it's just on social media -- is a big part of how he processes things. Telling him he's basically not allowed to do that and receive comfort, support, and well wishes from his friends is unacceptable.

It's like I've always said. People own the things that happen to them, the relationships they've been part of, and the feelings they have about all of it. Part of owning those things for a writer is putting them into written words and, quite possibly, sharing it with other people. If someone is worried about how they might eventually come across should they ever make an appearance in that writer's running narrative, they should treat that person better. They should treat everyone better. Reclaiming ownership of my own stories has been a big thing for me over the past several years. Clearly it's been a major motif in Seth's life as well.


Speaking of owning one's stories, I miss writing challenges. At the beginning of the month, I seriously considered participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) over the course of November. There are prompts for all of the weekdays and then you freewrite on Saturdays and Sundays. I eventually decided to pass, but since it's something you can do every month if you want, I'm considering signing up to try it in December.

I miss the way blogging and journaling used to be habits for me. I miss writing more personal things about my life and just putting them out there for pretty much anyone to read. That's how I blogged a loooooooong time ago when I was still new to the Internet. That habit was responsible for bringing me my relationship, all of my current friendships, and -- eventually -- my career as a professional writer. I'd love to see what else might come my way if I went back to that.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

In Which a Vase Gets Its Flowers

Lately I've become such a fan of subscription boxes and whatnot. There's honestly nothing I like getting in the mail more than food. Plus, I really enjoy expanding my horizons as far as what I eat, but I often have trouble making decisions about what to try next for myself. Some of the box options out there these days are awesome. For instance, we do Nature Box for healthy snack options and Try the World just because it's super fun to get a package in the mail every other month filled with edibles from around the world.

One thing I'd really been interested in for a while is some sort of produce box option, because Seth and I really need to be eating more fruits and vegetables. However, we don't always know what we'd like to try. Also, I really preferred the idea of finding a local farm to support, as well as getting into the habit of eating seasonal/organic produce as well. I finally found an option I'm really happy with and we've been having so much fun with all the fruits and veggies.

This same place also offers eggs and flowers as add-on extras. We'd been wanting to get into cooking and eating eggs more often for a long time, so we've been ordering them pretty consistently. I don't usually care that much about having fresh flowers in the house or anything, so I hadn't seriously thought much about getting those, but Seth asked if we could have some for our bedroom and I thought "yeah, why not -- it would be nice to have some seasonal flowers around for a change". Those are them in the picture above.

I have to say, flowers really do kind of brighten up a room and make it feel special. This bouquet came arranged so nicely, too. Someone really put a lot of thought into it. Obviously, I know that we ordered and paid for it ourselves, but it's kind of odd how "cared about" finding flowers waiting for you outside makes you feel regardless.

I put them in this jar/vase thing I bought in Las Vegas years ago and still happen to have around. If memory serves, I actually bought it when I was there on my honeymoon after marrying my ex. I was trying to get excited about building a home as a married woman and I just really thought this particular item was pretty and very "me". I got it at the Luxor, so it was sort of Egyptian looking, as you can see. Shiny, lots of colors, and with handles that look like cobras. (I've been nuts about anything to do with ancient Egypt since I was a kid.) It was so bright, cheerful, colorful, and different -- kind of like me at the time, back before I became really hard and cynical -- and I bought it specifically to put fresh flowers in.

My then-new-husband hated this poor vase to high heaven. In fact, he shit on this vase and on my tastes so badly, that I wound up sticking it on some out-of-the-way shelf when I got home and never once filling it with flowers the way I'd planned. Really, you don't even know how hurt my feelings were at the time. Well... guess what, mother fuckers. I still love this vase and (miraculously), so does Seth. And it has flowers in it. Finally. And it looks just as nice filled with flowers as I'd always imagined it would. Something kind of fitting about that.