Saved by the bell.

I know you want this blog post to be about the tv show. Hell, I want it to be about the tv show. But I’ll hold that for another entry. Really, it’s just that I had about 72 things that were battling for blog space, and what happened instead is that I got on a roll writing and editing and (hopefully) perfecting my email blast for the list of students who utilize USM’s Veteran Resource Center after getting a few demographic details from my contact there, and it is now time to retire to my freshly-made bed.

I know some of you were waiting for the Poky Little Puppy answers to life. That, too, will have to wait til a later entry. But will probably happen soon.

Progress.

I’m making it. Slowly but surely. My apartment is tidier than it’s been in over two months. My under-eye circles are not quite the bruises they were last weekend. My mind is clearer than it was a minute ago, and clearer still than it was two minutes before that. These are all good things, for which I am grateful.

One thing I am quite sure contributed to this is that Joshua and I spent time out and about both days this weekend. I only took a few pictures yesterday because, really, you can only have so many pictures of Fort Williams before they all look alike. But my photojourney on Mackworth Island was a very different thing for me today, as it was only my second visit, and my first feels like it was years, not only months, ago.

To see some of the pictures I took today, please visit my Exploring Portland Pinterest board. There were some very powerful moments as I walked the path around the island, and I’m glad I documented it so I can reflect and write more as I’m prompted to do so.

Magic.

I read a lot of fantasy novels. The genre has been a source of excitement and comfort for me for over twenty years, and it is wonderfully inexhaustible. I’m currently reading The Sorceress by Michael Scott, the third book in a series I’m enjoying quite a bit.

Sometimes I think I enjoy reading fantasy because there is always resolution. Most stories come to a tidy end, but with fantasy, particularly YA, there is a clear-cut notion of good and evil, and while the bad guys usually take out some of our favorite characters along the way, it is never without a moral or life lesson attached. Life is rarely that simple, and sometimes it feels like heaving a deep emotional sigh to relax into a world where someone else is fighting the battles and taking on the weight of the world – in some cases, as when Annabeth and Percy from Rick Riordan’s Olympians series each take a turn in Atlas’s spot, literally.

I also think magic is a reminder of childhood simplicity, the wonder of imagination, the appreciation for small things grownups with big, important lives missed. Things I often miss now. I try to acknowledge the beauty and magic that shows itself to me every day, but sometimes I let my vision get clouded. I forget how to see things in a simple way. I become engrossed in the logistics of life, and forget to live it.

Last night, I had what can only be called a magical conversation. And it came at a time when I really needed the kind of blatant magic I experienced repeatedly over the course of the phone call. Specific family-related topics arising that the man I was chatting with couldn’t have known were weighing heavily on my mind. A comment he made about Maui, where he has lived for 7 years now, that was a near-verbatim repetition of the sentiment my new friend shared about Portland the other night, though he’d not read about it. A reminder that magical things happen when we ask for them, and believe in the power of the universe to deliver them.

Tonight, I will invoke his manifestation mantra and make it my own. I will ask the universe to surprise and delight me. And I will breathe deeply into my days, clearing my heart’s vision of the clutter of my mind, and discover the surprises and delights that are already present in each moment.

Therapy Thursday.

One of my favorite things about Richard is that he doesn’t make me carry the conversation all session, every session. Or even let me. He shares observations and insight and asks questions but gives them framework first. He heads me off if I start wandering into territory that I occupy primarily out of habit and not by choice. He brings things full circle when I’m struggling to bridge that few degrees of gap that would close it up and bring something key into focus. I never feel directed or coerced, or like he’s not listening – I feel like he has a really good read on what I need from him from week to week, and also overall, and works with me accordingly. It’s pretty awesome.

The weekend is fast approaching and I feel as though I’m forgetting something I’m supposed to go to or do, but as of right now, my plan is to spend as much time hanging with Joshua and reading as possible, hopefully outside for the majority of our daylight hours. As for tonight, I’ve run errands and cooked and cleaned and done dishes and checked homework, and now I am going to – c’mon, guess. Yep, it is book time for this girl. Happy Thursday, everyone!

I don’t like being one. But here I am. And sometimes, being a grownup means making cheeseburgers and doing dishes and hanging with your sponsor who is moving in two months and you feel a little like what? and then you make more food cuz the boy is still hungry and you make a phone call even though you hate the phone but you love the person whose birthday was yesterday and you don’t wanna just post on their Facebook wall and then you send an email you don’t wanna but know you should and watch a clip of ridiculous video with your teen boy before chastising him for leaving the bath mat on the floor because peeing on it is your cat’s favorite pastime. Then you have an awesome convo about books and text a friend about the job she’s interviewing for tomorrow with the douche you used to work for and you think about getting back to your own book when conversations die down but then you lay down and your non-pee-attacking cat curls up in the small of your back and you realize you haven’t blogged yet today and you wonder what you’re going to talk about and decide maybe there’s not much to say so you should probably go to sleep. Then you think back on all the things you wrote about today and the way you felt every time you blogged or journaled comes back and you think wtf, life; why you gotta be like that?

Yeah, it’s like that.

Without words.

I’ve been sitting here for ten minutes, trying to come up with a subject for the blog post I don’t even know how to write. Sometimes there are either too many words, or too few, and when I can’t decide, I elect for the latter here, and dump the rest elsewhere. I can say with absolute certainty, though, that I had a wonderful evening with a new friend, someone I believe is going to bring so very much to my life, and for whom I hope I can also be a source of beauty and joy and comfort and strength.

I’ll leave you with a quote she shared with me from the first time she landed in our fair city, what the cab driver who brought her from the airport to a hotel said to her when she told him she’d just gotten here and didn’t know anyone: “Broken angels come to Portland to heal.” This resonated so deeply for me, and not only for myself. Though this city sometimes feels as though it is full of demons and is far too small to hold them all and sometimes they spill all over and cause so much hurt, I do believe in the restorative power of our little ocean town and the love one can find here if one is open to it. This particular angel has returned on a mission to help others heal this time around, and I feel very fortunate to already be under the protection of this self-proclaimed Guardian Angel of Femmes. :)

Writing.

I’ve been doing quite a lot of it, just not so much here. It’s a new realization, and one I go back and forth with, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that I have dramatically changed the way I process things that are going on in my life. Part of it is obviously having Richard – even though it’s only an hour a week, it’s dedicated time that I know is there solely for that purpose. I think part of it too, though, is that I’ve been journaling again, and trying to find my own answers rather than putting all of my questions out to friends or boards or other resources I’ve often relied on in the past. It isn’t because I no longer trust or value those people, but because I’m beginning to trust and value my own insight and advice. I’m finding that, when I open myself to the possibility that I know what’s best for me – and only me, which gives me more clarity and emotional energy – I don’t need to do so much external processing. Don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely still times when I text one of my best friends to request some immediate support or an intervention, hours during which I question my choices and feel as though I shouldn’t even be allowed to pick my own clothes, let alone make any important decision, all of that still happens on occasion. But not as often. And a lot of it is because of the writing I’m doing all over the place. It really is my truest form of therapy, and I learn so much. From me. Cuz I’m a pretty smart kid. At least, most of the time.

Readathon.

It couldn’t have come at a better time, really. It’s midnight and time for me to take myself to bed, though I’ve only been awake since 2:30pm thanks to being awake for —- man, I hate math – 21.5 hours prior. For anyone who’s interested in what the Readathon looks like for me, below is a link to the wrap-up post, or you can just go to FolioFiles to see that as well as my mini-challenges and sporadic Readathon updates.

If you’re a reader of any sort, particularly if you feel like you never have enough time to read, I encourage you to join us in October – you don’t need to dedicate the full 24 hours, so don’t feel dissuaded by that! I only began participating in this particular event a few years ago, but I noticed that it seemed to be losing steam as far as advertising, hosting, cheering, and prize donation go this time around. I really don’t want to see it go away and am making it a priority to set aside time and funds to contribute and not just participate in the future.

Oh, you wanted the link to my wrap-up post? Right. Here you go. :)

Readathon Wrap on FolioFiles

Therapy Thursday

I was going to title this post, “Irony,” but then I realized I’d be letting down the folks who depend on that “Therapy Thursday” link each week, so I stuck to the code.

I think it’s interesting that I can recognize irony but, even with my pretty impressive grasp on the English language, I have a hard time defining it in ways that make sense to people who don’t just “get it.” God forbid I ever meet Alanis Morrissette.

So, first example of irony: Tonight, Richard told me about an inpatient clinic for codependence. The minute the words were out of his mouth, I started laughing so hard I could barely breathe, and within seconds was crying. This probably was in part because I’d already been crying and was desperate for comic relief, but it was still FREAKING HILARIOUS to me that back in the ’60s, some family members of alcoholics had started taking into their homes folks who needed support around things like setting boundaries and self-care and all of the other crap codependents tend to neglect. I was laughing so hard I could barely choke out, “Do you think they’re hiring?” And, to my credit, Rich was also laughing pretty damned hard, and said that maybe my treatment could double as my job interview.
I had a second example of irony, but I’ve forgotten what it was. This, Alanis, is NOT ironic – it is just bad luck. Take note.
For the weekend: I will be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I am super excited, especially since I’ve missed the last two. I have warned Joshua and let him know that he’s welcome to participate on whatever level he likes, but that I will not leave my reading to watch a particularly funny clip from Scrubs or the Fred movie/show/thing he’s been watching of late or other things I would normally do on the weekend. I went big grocery shopping tonight and will do meal prep tomorrow evening so there is enough coffee, real food, and snack food available that I will not have to spend more than five minutes at a time away from reading and blogging about reading if I don’t want to. It is also supposed to be gray and rainy and I hope there is thunder and lightning; that will make it an absolutely perfect readathon day, in my opinion.
My posts from tomorrow night through Sunday morning will be over on FolioFiles, and I’ll post links on my various social networks when I update. There will be mini-challenges, check-ins, and all sorts of fun nerdy bookish goodness, and I will take all the cheerleading I can get – you’d be surprised how tired you can get just reading for hours and hours, so swing by and say hi on the blog, on Facebook or Twitter, or even send me a text – I’ll be “unplugged” from anything not-Readathon-related until Sunday after sleep, but welcome Readathon encouragement, queries, and the like.
Now, off to find the charger pack for my keyboard’s batteries, since they have apparently decided that it’d be an awesome idea to die right before a day when I’ll be blogging every hour for 24 hours. Alanis? Also not ironic. Just sayin’.

Progress.

Had a really good meeting with a representative from the USM Veterans Resource Center; he took a stack of my business cards, and I’m going to prepare an e-blast for him to send out to the veteran student population about my writing services. I’m hopeful that this will be the start of an ongoing relationship that will benefit a community in need and also allow me to build my professional collection of work.

I also went for a walk tonight to clear my head and, whaddayaknow, it kinda worked. I took pictures along the way (creepy kid out with the camera at night, I know, whatever), which you can see in all their glory on my Exploring Portland Pinterest board. Now a quick hot shower, a bit of reading, and bedtime for this kid.