What should I write today?

When I decided to do this blog, I set a goal for myself to shoot for a post a week (or more if I felt inspired).  I knew it was an ambitious goal (for me), and promised myself I wouldn’t beat myself up if I couldn’t meet that goal.  I just didn’t think I would be struggling so early in the game!  I missed last week, but am giving myself a bye on that one because I was moving.  So I was determined to write a post tonight.  And then I got stuck trying to figure out a topic. 

I have several sort of half-formed thoughts I’ve been ruminating on, but so far none of them really feel ready (I’m sure they’ll show up at some point).  After turning those over and setting them aside, I started to ponder (and reject) some truly random things to write about.  Here are a few examples.

It drives me nuts when the end of a new paper towel or toilet paper roll is glued down.  I know they don’t have to do it, because some brands don’t.  So why frustrate me into ripping half the roll to shreds to get it unstuck?  Still worse when it causes the plies of the two-ply stuff to come undone wrong so they don’t line up.  Yeah.  Right.  Who wants to read a post about toilet paper?

Today I booked my tickets to Florida, so I can keep up a tradition of seeing the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films with my brother.  Searching for good airfare is enough to drive anyone batty, especially when timing is tight.  There are so many airlines and travel websites, each handling baggage differently, and some including and some not including taxes and fees.  It is like comparing apples to oranges and measuring them in – oh, I don’t know – cubic centimeters.  On top of that, there’s the coin toss of when to click the “purchase” button, because the price could go up in 10 minutes, or drop tomorrow.  Argh.  Frustrating, maybe, but hardly enough for a full blog post that isn’t just a rant. 

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug in 49 days.  But… well, that says it all, really.

Then there are the (mis)adventures of the Legolas and Thorin action figures that live on my desk at work.  Every Thursday, the cleaning folks come through the office and dust our desks, though I like to joke they really just come through with a leaf-blower, because Legolas and Thorin rarely make it to Friday morning still standing.  I like taking pics of them and posting them on Facebook with mini-captions of what happened after hours (for instance, last night they were celebrating just a little too much).  I’ve often contemplated writing short stories based on these photos, and I may still, but before I post anything like that I will have to do some research to make sure I’m not plagiarizing or breaking any rules.

Sometimes it really stinks being a rule-follower.  I may still post on this one, so for now I’ll leave it at that.

I suppose that’s enough randomness for one pointless post.  Here’s hoping I come up with something better before too long, or I’ll start regretting my foray into the blogosphere.

Have a fantastic weekend!

PS – I just realized, as I was re-reading this, that aside from the toilet paper, there is almost a chain of thought here, somewhere in the middle.   I’m not at all surprised it has to do with LOTR & the Hobbit.  Yay for not-so-random randomness!

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Daily Prompt: Significant

Today’s Daily Prompt:

Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing, or event from the last month of your life into the glistening marble of immortality. What’s the statue and what makes it so significant?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SIGNIFICANT.

Significant

Asked to show SIGNIFICANT
What would I set in stone
Of the month just passed so swiftly
To all the future shown

Perhaps the shiny Jeep just bought
Or the dear old one I sold
The darling little niece of mine
Who just turned 5 years old
A room piled high with boxes
My whole world packed away
The place I’ll soon be leaving
Or the new one where I’ll stay

How could marble catch and hold
The flowing winds of change
The shifting sands of a life
Significant and strange

Lessons from the Fuzzy-Mutt: Content to Stay, Excited to Go

Note:  I wrote this in January of 2012, when I first began contemplating starting a blog.  I’ve since moved on to a different company and I no longer get to bring Strider to work with me.  But my contemplations seem to still hold true, and Strider certainly hasn’t changed!

Strider came to work with me today.  This is a rare treat, reserved for incredibly slow days, holidays, and maintenance in the apartment days, like today.

I love having Strider at work.  He spends most of the day under my desk (usually just chilling under there, but sometimes sleeping), or wandering quietly about the office searching for unattended bits of food.  He follows me If I step away from my desk, whether it is the few steps to the printer or across the way to the bathroom, where he waits outside the door.  Then he settles back under the desk while I work.  He’s a happy face, even on our worst days.

Then the day ends.  He always knows when it is that time.  “Mom opened that drawer – time to go? I think so, she pulled out that thing she carries, but is it really?  YES!  There’s my LEASH! Let’s go, Let’s Go, LET’S GO!!”  His tail goes into what I call “helicopter mode.”  He prances around, and tries to sit like a good boy but his backside wiggles too much.  “YAY! WE’RE GOING!”  He bounds to the door, realizes he’s gotten way ahead of me and bounds back, then back to the door again.

A coworker witnessed and commented on this today, and I replied “He’s so easy going.  He’s content to be wherever he is, but gets so excited to go to the next place, wherever it may be.”  As I walked out, watched Strider run around a bit, and then loaded him in the Jeep to go home, I started pondering this.  If animals take after their owners, does that mean I’m “content to stay and excited to go?”  My impulse is to answer “not really,” but it bears consideration.

Once I am settled somewhere, I am usually content to stay there.  Whether it be a job or an apartment, I’ll stay even if it isn’t the best (happiest/healthiest) place for me.  But is that being content or complacent?  I’d hate to think it was the latter, though it certainly could be.  Perhaps it is some combination of both?

And how about the “excited to go” part?  Change is hard for me, I admit.  I put down roots, and being uprooted is uncomfortable (to put it mildly).  And yet, thinking of the changes I’ve gone through, it seems once things are decided and I know what’s next, I do get excited about the new.

So maybe I’m “content to stay but usually (or eventually?) excited to go.”

Next I began to wonder, why is Strider content to stay, but excited to go?  Because he isn’t just content to hang out at work and excited to go home.  He’s also content to hang out at home and excited to go on a walk.  Content to be on a walk, but excited to go back in.  Content to be at my sister’s house, but excited to get in the Jeep to go home.  Content to be in the Jeep, but excited to get out.  The only times he  isn’t either content or excited are when he’s sleeping (though I suppose that could be counted under “content”) or when either the staying or the going happens without me: when I go to work and he stays home, when he goes into the grooming salon to get his nails done and I stay in the main store, or when he stays at my sister’s house while I go elsewhere.  Strider is content to stay with me and excited to go with me, but he is sad, and sometimes anxious, when we’re apart.  I think the same is true of me.  I am content when I am staying with God in His will, and excited when I go with Him where He leads.  When I am discontented, sad, or anxious, it is usually because I am apart from Him.

I wish I could be as loyal and faithful as Strider.  I’m pretty sure that my fuzzy-mutt believes with all his doggie-heart that as long as he’s with me everything will be okay.  So, given the choice, he’ll always choose to be with me.  While I know everything will be okay as long as I dwell in God’s will, so often my selfish human nature gets in the way of choosing to follow Him in unquestioning trust.

Strider is all sprawled out on the floor, exhausted by his day of sleeping under my desk, content to doze while I write.  In a minute, when I get up and go to my computer, he’ll jump up, wag his tail, and follow me to the other room, where he’ll contentedly sprawl some more while I check my Facebook and email.  Then he’ll excitedly follow me out for a contented walk, and then excitedly pull me back to the door so he can curl up contentedly next to me when we go to bed.  A simple, sweet life.  We humans complicate things too much.

A closing prayer:  Lord, help me be content to stay where you stay and excited to go where you go, trusting that as long as I’m with You, everything will be okay.

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The first step on a new journey

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time.  I dabbled a little in blogging once upon a time but never really embraced it fully.  Now that I’ve decided to dive back in, I thought I’d start off with some of the thoughts that lead me here, and a mini-mission statement.

My mom taught us to read well before kindergarten, and I grew up with a love of books, which then morphed into a love of writing.  It has long been much easier for me to express myself through written rather than spoken words.  I’ve been “thinking” stories as long as I can remember, and was bitten by the writing bug early on.  I remember the thrill of a new story idea and how I’d not have a moment’s peace until I started working on it.  Sadly, as I grew older this impulse was curbed by reality and responsibility.  Especially after graduating college and entering “the work force,” my writing has taken a back seat to paying the bills, walking the dog, changing the kitty litter, doing the dishes, or folding laundry.  I still have the writing bug, but have much less time (and energy) to indulge it, at least on the scale of anything longer than a few stanzas of poetry.   

I’ve been going back and forth about whether I would do a blog for a long time.  While I recognize my need for a writing outlet, a blog is so public. And the internet is sometimes not a very nice place.  I’m pretty sensitive, and the idea that I’d be putting my personal thoughts out there for anyone to see and potentially dump on is terrifying.  Really.  Terrifying.  After all, who am I to think that anyone in the world cares what I think about anything? I’m not an expert on any specific topic. I’m not particularly clever or witty.  I’m intelligent, often pensive, and usually thoughtful, but I don’t expect I’ll be very profound.  I can’t promise to be a great writer, though I believe I am at least a good one.

At the end of the day, however, I’m not doing this for anyone else in the world.  I’m doing it for me.  I need to write.  There are a few main things that keep me sane in an insane world:  God, music, reading, and writing.  God is always there for me and always will be, even when I drift from His side.  Music speaks to me and for me when I haven’t the words.   Reading opens new worlds to me, introduces me to lifelong friends, and keeps my imagination fertile.  But writing is in me and always has been.  Something in me withers when I let my writing fall by the wayside, and life loses a little bit of its luster.  So, I’m trying to be brave, to bury my fears and insecurities and take the risk of putting my words, my thoughts, out there.

And now on to the mini-mission statement.   Okay, so actually I don’t have a mission. At least not yet.  As I said above, I just need an outlet for writing that is slightly more doable in scope than actually finishing a book (though I do dream of doing that too, someday).  I intend to use this space to write about whatever piques my interest.  Any subject I find myself musing on is fair game.  Strider (my dog) or Luna (my cat).  A recently read book.  My continuing weight loss struggles.  A favorite movie or recent episode of a TV show (or my lack of cable or network TV stations of any kind).  Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit.  Legos.  Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Legos.  

It is my hope that a blog will give me an outlet for writing that is manageable within the constraints of my current circumstances.  I hope to reawaken the author/poet who has slumbered in me for far too long, to dust off dreams and visions, to process and reflect on this amazing, crazy world around me.

I have taken the first step of a new journey.