Happy Holidailies!!

christmas-tree-griswoldSo, hi! Here’s the thing; I feel like I should be apologizing, since I haven’t blogged, or written at all, since my dramatic farewell post on April 8th of this year.  What can I say? It seemed like a good idea at the time. I didn’t blog, even though I tried prompts to help me write, I tried freewriting, I even signed up for National Novel Writing Month, but I couldn’t get myself to write a thing. Ah, well, it’s a hard time of year for me. Sixteen years ago this moth my dad died. This year, instead of getting easier, you know, to let go, it’s weird. I think I can sense him, like, around me, and sometimes I hear whispers that I’m sure are him. It doesn’t scare me or anything, it’s just a little freakish.

Enough of that, though! If you are not familiar with Holidailies and December, it’s the month where each blogger who signs up endeavors to write one post each day of the month. Radical, right?🙂 I’m encouraging you right now, if you want to join this crazy holiday fun, I don’t think it’s too late! But, even if you don’t want to commit, it’s great to read others’ posts.

I’m trying something new for this month. I ordered a writing game from Bas Bleu, an entertaining web store, and it’s called Writer’s Prompt Sticks: Memoirs–Life Stories. I bought for NaNo, actually, because I thought it might assist me with my temporary (?) block. I was meant to be writing a memoir, just a slice of my life, not much really. But it seems I’m super at reading books about writing, and talking with others, and listening to podcasts about writing, just not so hot at the writing itself.

Anyway, each stick has two prompts on it, and I’m meant to pick one and write for eight minutes. I already know I’m shortening the time for the sake of this challenge, because when I do write, I write like Taz, and I don’t want you to end up with 8k words you just skim or close the page on.

Here we go. Setting up my timer now. The two blog prompts to choose from are:

1) Write about a time when you had a spiritual awakening.

2) Write about a time when you were in a religious or spiritual situation and you felt nothing or it felt ludicrous. 

They just get right down to it, huh? I think I’ll combine the two because the first prompt won’t take me very long. 1) I was raised Roman Catholic and I went to church every Sunday as a kid, you know, it meant something to me when I made my confirmation at 13, my brother Jimmy being Godfather. But I was very naive, and gullible (are they the same?), expecting the Church to be everything to me, to make up for every single thing I ever felt I was lacking. Feelings are fickle things, not to be trusted most of the time, because they can change on a dime and are severely disloyal. One minute they pretend to be your best friend, and the next thing you know you’re hiding your heads under the cover because you’re too scared to let yourself think, let alone feel.

Then in the summer before I turned 19, this was 1980, an exceptionally good year–except for this one thing. I had just finished my freshman year at college and was home before my sophomore year, hanging out with my best friend, Cathy Bruske. We were in a park near home, and we started talking to some guys on motorcycles. We felt that daring rush only familiar to late teens: anything could and would happen, and we were open to it all. The guys were sweet, and semi-cute, so we ended up following them back to one’s place.

The exact details of what all happened, I don’t really remember. I know I was drinking a could beers with them and Cathy, and somebody had pot, I might have smoked. I can’t really figure out why something so traumatic is such a blur to me, but there you have it–and maybe it’s a blessing, meant to protect my psyche from something I don’t wish to revisit.

One of the guys invited me into his bedroom. I don’t want to go into what all happened because I don’t know who may or may not be reading this. I guess I was sexually assaulted. I guess it’s iffy, a few counselors tell me it wasn’t an assault, at least not sexual, because there wasn’t any actual intercourse. You know what I say to that, to them, the naysayers? BULLSHIT. Maybe you hadda be there, but this is one time I trusted my feelings.

santas-coming

Somehow in that haze I got split up from Cathy, and I don’t know how in the hell I found my way back to our home in Detroit. Just lucky, I guess. I don’t know how, I felt torn apart and lost, and ended up at our parish church. This is the church I had grown up in, went to all those masses in, recited the Apostle’s Creed. I don’t know if they still do, but back then the priests lived right next to the church, in a rectory. It must have been the wee hours of the morning and I can’t imagine what my parents were thinking, but instead of going home, I went to church, parked, and walked up to the rectory door. I knocked, and rang the door bell, and banged with my fist and yelled, but no one came. I’m sure, if you’re with me as my wiser self, you can think of many reasons why that door wasn’t answered–logical, helpful reasons. But all I could feel at the time was that my church and God had turned their backs on me, that I was ruined. I didn’t cry, and still haven’t shed a tear about what happened all those years ago. It took me a long time to tell anyone, because of shame, and–well, the believability factor. There you have it. My answer to prompt #2.

That’s about all I have to say for today. Oh, that and I’m one of The Deplorables. Except I’m educated, I’m not racist nor xenophobic, and I’m certainly not a misogynist. But you can decide now whether or not that’ll keep you from reading any of my posts.

Peace out, friends…..stay thirsty.😉 clark-griswold

Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?

bigmacI almost closed/deleted/whatever my blog yesterday, which I’ve kept since (I think) May of 2007. Anyway, it’s a pretty long time. It’s just getting to be like FaceBook to me, which is why I mostly stay away from FB these days. FB is all about the houses to me. The big ones, the prettiest ones, the ones with adorable kids on swing sets in the backyards, handsome couples walking hand-in-hand down the neighborhood for all to see. Most of the rest of us stand there and admire, whistle, and applaud. Oh, and we can’t forget the likes. The more likes you get, it means more people like hearing about your pretty house, husband, wife, kids, pets . . . and not simply friends but total strangers. Someone you have never ever met in your entire life likes your dog, Fido.:/ What, and now there are love buttons, in case one can’t like the person enough. Am I the only living soul who finds this a little surreal? No, you needn’t argue with me about the difference between liking the poster and liking what the poster posts.

Anyway, blogging is getting to be like that, like FB. It’s been that way for a while for me. I just don’t “like” myself waiting and worrying over . . . likes. If you know me at all, I don’t need to explain that sentence to you, and if you don’t know me, there’s not enough time to educate you.  I suppose I could keep writing, for myself (it’s the only time I write anymore), while disabling the likes and comments. That way I might wonder who would’ve liked it, but I don’t have to torture myself over why no one liked it.

Nobody realizes the power they wield. I know I don’t have any power. I’m nobody. But not you, nope, not to me. Okay, there’s a lot more rolling around in this old head, you know, but I’m going to stop now. See you. okay

Find the Spy

find the spyWe all know learning does not always come easily, in fact sometimes it’s at a high price. I’ve learned something in the past six months which has become my new mantra, and it goes like this: “I don’t need to explain myself.” Period. (Except probably to a boss, if I want to keep my job.) Now, I could think it’s a waste to learn something valuable in my early 50’s, but try to just look at it as added wisdom, and practice it. That’s the ticker. It’s one thing to know, and quite another to do.

Wow. I almost emotionally vomited all over this page. That was close.

Moving along,  today is brought to you by the letter F. How about a lively night where you and your friends are locked in a room together and granted thrilling challenges of teamwork, brain power, and physical stamina – all competing for hidden clues each round to the spy’s identity. Your friends will have a great time with exciting rounds of digging up clues and challenges while they try to figure out who the spy is among them and why they were invited to this special dinner party.

Thanks for playing.

Peace out.

Chris🙂

Death Wears White

deathwearswhite

1st in the “murder mystery” series!

Hi. Hey there. *tap-tapping on the mike* Lou, is this thing on? Yeah? Okay, cool. That’s cool. So anyway, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Chris, the owner and sometimes maintainer of this blog. I’m in the middle of changing the main content, but I can’t really figure out what I want to say with it from here on out. I just know I want to feel happier, more joyful and grateful about things in general. I think it has to start here *touches chest* and here *points to laptop, where blog appears on-screen*.
So anyway, I’m doing the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, but on my own. Mostly because I had signed up for the official A-Z Challenge–but I forgot. And kept forgetting. Which is not that difficult seeing as I take a medication whose larger side effect is upon short-term memory. I hope I don’t sound like I’m trying to make an excuse. If I do, I deeply apologize. I’m just trying to explain, that’s it. Now then, what was I explaining?

Well, if you haven’t already guessed or figured it out, my theme for this April is tabletop board games, specifically of the murder mystery variety,  from A-Z. Or, if you want to get all technical about it, D-Z, except for Sundays, which is a day of rest.  The murders will include many-varied kinds, and I hope you will be quite entertained. I’m not actually sure why I was drawn to this topic. I’ve played board games, yes, and I’ve been bored by games, but I’ve never played the murder mystery variety. Have you?

And also, can you please tell me what that is on the floor in front of the nurse in the picture of the box? Oh dear, so many prepositional phrases all in a row in one question. I’m freakishly filled with pride. Anyone? Anyone?

Welcome to the Murder Mystery world, a world like none other. You like murky goings-on, tolerably tangled twists, mystery, unclear urges, and substantial subterfuge? Now you’re than a mere passerby or a gossip monger–this time you’re leading the investigation! Set aside an evening, call up some friends, pass out the roles, and let the fun begin!

“In Detroit’s Brighton Hospital, a well-known and well-liked doctor has just been found dead. The staff and visitors present at the time of the murder gather, and the inevitable begins – find out who committed the evil deed before they can escape!”–BoardGameCity.com

Please be assured, the rest of these posts will not be nearly so late. In fact, I should be sleeping by now (usually in bed by 8:30; I’m an early riser). My intention was to have this posted before noon. Well, you know. Tomorrow will  be a better day.  Thanks, Lou. That’s a wrap.

Peace to you and yours,

Smile!

Chris

Holidaze

The holidays are a weird time for lots of people. It can be fun and sentimental if we have family to count on.

But what if we don’t? What about those of us who are all alone, or estranged from family members? What if we’re homeless, and the best hope we can get tonight is shelter over our heads?

And don’t even get me started on expectations. We think we have the perfect Christmas in mind, but does it ever turn out that way?

This year, be happy for what you have, for where you are. Merry Christmas.

Love,
Chris

Rejoining The Human Race

first day on earth castellucciAmazingly, it’s been almost five months since I last posted to this blog. And I pay for it! LOL  I’m not sure I still remember how to do it. Have I been through some struggles in that time? Of course, but you know what? So have you, so have we all! I’ve experienced some major triumphs, too. Do tell me yours.

Here’s another thing. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I’ve really missed you guys. I’ve missed the camaraderie, the comments, the back-and-forth, and just knowing someone out there is reading silly things I’ve written.

You probably don’t know this, but there is a radio station out of Detroit (near where I live) which plays all Christmas music starting November 1st. Right? A little whacked, but I love it since it’s my favorite holiday. In fact, I was thinking of going to buy lights to put up around the ceiling. And, for the life of me, I cannot understand why it’s so important to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up the tree, even if it’s fake. Seriously?

Well, I won’t keep blabbing on and on. I read in a blogging book that the shorter the post the better (we’re all so busy these days!).

This will be my new schedule for posting: SU-T-TH-S. From now until just about Christmas I’ll be writing about trying to get my Christmas gifts crocheted in time. Yikes!

See you Tuesday. Until then, take care of yourself, and take care of each other.

 

Broken?

beI’ll be taking a break from writing for a while, I’m not sure how how long. Could be weeks, could be months.

I’m feeling completely empty. Besides the fact I only have three squares left to do out of 88 in the granny square blanket I’ve been working on, I have absolutely nothing good to show for my life. When I look at this photo, it makes me feel more than wistful, it parks a huge lump in my throat that refuses to budge.

Fearless is who I used to be. Shoot, after graduating from college, I drove myself from here (Michigan) to Wisconsin and over to Georgia for job interviews. Then I went again to an interview in Burlington, VT by way of Boston (stopping at Cheers–which is so a tourist trap—and the duck pond for a ride) BY MYSELF.  I was so confident and relaxed that I was offered the jobs in Vermont and Georgia and was forced to make a choice. I didn’t consider the fact that Burlington was probably used to dealing with lots of snow, and the fact my job was as an itinerant teacher factored a lot into my choice for Georgia. I can still smell the magnolia blooms years later. –sigh–

Now, today, I’m a nearly 53-yr-old woman on disability who is riddled with fears. I can’t even take my dog for a walk for God’s sake, and I have seriously psych myself out before I can go down the driveway to get the mail. Yesterday I went to the Recovery Int. meeting in the morning and actually had tears because someone told me I broke a rule and couldn’t talk about something. Sheesh. Talk about needing thicker skin! When I go somewhere I can’t answer the question “What do you do for a living?” because I don’t do anything. 

I know this seems like a self-pitying rant, but I am working on all this in therapy. It may not seem like it, but I am. And I’m going to start journaling again. I just need some time, and I felt it only fair to let you know why.

Namaste.