Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's my blog, I can cry if I want to.

So I had one of those weird days - this thing happened, this (metaphorical) poke at a (metaphorical) sore spot I have that I thought was long since healed.

Turns out it isn't. It's still raw and oozing and didn't want to be poked at. It hurt, actually.

So on the way home I was thinking those negative thoughts, you know? The ones that say all the things you aren't, all the ways you have failed, all the ways in which you do not live up to the expectations you hold for yourself.

This happens to me all the freaking time.

When I get like this, I make a list. (I love lists; sometimes I will put something on a list that I've already done just so that I can have the pleasure of crossing it off.) The list I make when I'm feeling lost and lonely and like a big fat failure is the list of all the things I can do,  all the things I have accomplished, all the successes and the skills I have acquired over the years. The list includes the most mundane things: as long as I'm proud of my achievement, it goes on the list.

The list includes the following things:

  • I can drive a standard. The person who poked me cannot. Na na na na na na. (Nobody said the list isn't childish)
  • I can quiet a class of 32 grade 8 students without saying a word.
  • I am the queen of the knitters. Herewith is evidence: the Citron shawl I knit for my gramma. It is fabulous, and by the end I was knitting a row of 437 teeny tiny stitches and not even feeling the urge for a stiff drink.

  • I took up riding when I was 34. Not a lot of people do that, although my friend Holly knows a lady who started taking lessons when she was 65 and just did her first show at 72. And I'm not bad at it, either (especially now that I have cracked the canter).
  • I own my house. Well, the bank owns it, actually, but they let me live here. Me, a single, unmarried person without a second income. They looked at me and though I was a good risk for a mortgage.
  • I'm raising a boy child. On my own. I did not freak out (much) when I got pregnant, I did not run shrieking for the hills because it was not what I planned. I did not leave; I stayed and did my best and I didn't regret it for a moment. This boy here is my greatest achievement (even more than the canter, actually).

  • I have three university degrees. Irritating person who irritates me? Oh, they have NONE.
  • I make a mean pie. Any kind. Bring it on.
  • I have some awesome friends, one of whom swears that she would totally throw herself on a bee for me. Totally.
And this irritating person, who drove me to publishing a self-aggrandizing list of the ways in which I am fabulous, they do not get to make me feel like less of a great person with one poke. I'm not going to let them.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.

I've been thinking for a long time (since April, actually, did you notice?) about blogging. I find that I have these huge expectations of myself - scintillating content, regularly updated, a few good jokes. At the same time, I have all these limitations: the things that I most want to write about are the things I can't say. All those tangled up stories of life that writing can magically smooth out, but which are not intended for a blogging public. I felt gagged, stuck in the trivial when I wanted to get a few good stones off my chest instead.

Then there's the issue of updating. I've never been good at regular output. The only time I wrote to a deadline which I never, ever missed was when I was an editor, and that ended in a nasty bit of burnout and resulted in a complete life change (and the decision to never write for a living again, which is kind of a shame because I liked it at the time). I'm kind of a sporadic person - something will occur to me as I drive, and I write about it later. Or not. Whatevs.

I never wanted to write one of those navel-gazing whiny blogs: "Woe is me, I weeded the asparagus patch today and my darling hubby took lean ground beef out of the freezer instead of extra-lean, the useless lump" but I've started to think that's what blogging is best suited to. Not so much the existential or the transcendent, but just the everyday. This is what happened to me today. Read it or don't - it doesn't matter.

So I'm back, with this: today I went to Spruce Meadows and saw Eric Lamaze do a clear round on Hickstead, and it was amazing.

Thanks. Come again soon.