Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Going Buggy

I went into my son's bedroom to put his clean clothes away and noticed a sock on his bed. A sock way too big for him. And really dirty to boot. What follows is the conversation that ensued. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Mommy: What is this?

Elroy: A sock.

Mommy: Yes, I know its a sock. Where did it come from?

Elroy: Please don't throw it away.

Mommy: But where did you get it?

Elroy: George gave it to me.

Mommy: George gave you a dirty sock?

Elroy: Yes.

Mommy: Why? And who is George?

Elroy: You know, George. Me and Freddy and George hang out at school.

Mommy: And why did George give you a dirty sock.

Elroy: We want to keep beetles.

Mommy: What?!

Elroy: We're all going to keep beetles.

Mommy: Are you telling me there are beetles in this sock?

Elroy: Yes.

We're not keeping the sock.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nicknames. It's been years since I've had one. I miss having a nickname. It's like being a part of a club, like being included.

My first nickname was a rather unflattering one: a play on my name which, granted, does bear a resemblance to a certain aquatic creature of Scottish legend. Nickname number two? A combination of my initials which, when put together, rhymes with turtle. Then came the real nicknames:

Girl Achi (long story)
Battle Bitch (longer story)
Bass Baby
Mumbles (shouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure that one out)

Okay, I guess Clancy was actually my first nickname. Dad called me that when I was a small, young thing with pigtails and skinned knees. Years later, someone else picked it up again. Nicknames tie us to a time and place. They ground our memories.

They are generally better given than chosen but if I were to choose my own nickname, it might be... Nans? Ray? (Short for Teresa. That's TeRAYsa, not Tereesa). Or, perhaps something more indicative of my personality. Like... whats another word for indecisive, procrastinating dreamer?

Just don't call me Missy. Ever. Unless you want to find out how "Battle Bitch" came into being.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Habitually trying to change my habits

A wise woman once told me that it takes two weeks for your brain to accept new behavior. The real problem is that it takes way longer for the brain to un-learn the old. Old habits die hard, they come back unbidden, they flick the new habit on the nose and send it retreating to the corner. Oh, cruel habits! (not to be confused with cruel Hobbittses) And that old behavior is so ingrained that you don't even notice it at first!

Old habits can not be ignored. It takes a concentrated effort to push them down, step on their neck, and keep the pressure up until they are no longer moving. Then keep stepping a little more just to make sure the habit isn't faking it. Cause they will totally do that. At long last, when your leg is quivering from the effort and you think you've won, wait... just a little bit more... there! Done. Old habit dead. Phew! But watch your back. Old habits, like Alexander Godunov in "Die Hard", have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. Be vigilant. Be persistent. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some old behaviour to un-learn.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Focus on the long term

Fear. It can paralyze you. It can throw you into a constant state of inaction.
Imagine yourself walking into the garage. Your mission: to clean it out. Now, if you're like most people, the very thought of such an undertaking will stop you dead in your tracks. That's how I feel pretty much every day. Gotta clean the house, gotta find a job, gotta get the bills paid, gotta keep the kids fed, gotta keep the lights on, gotta write. Screeeeeeeeeech! Deer in the headlights time. Next thing you know it's 2 PM and all I've managed to do is check my e-mail and the want ads, maybe applied for a job or two if I am fortunate enough to find a good listing. Ugh...

Took a walk today to clear my head, to gain some focus. Priority One: take care of the kids. Get them up, fed, off to school. Priority Two: take care of yourself. Get some exercise; a great way to clear the mind and get energized for the day. Priority Three: take care of business. Get writing! The housework can wait. The job listings can wait. In fact, you'll get fresh postings at the end of the day and you'll be among the first responders. Bonus points!

So... new priorities set, new paths ahead. See you on the other side.