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Are you still in the same place?

This morning an alarm went off on my phone.

I was surprised since it’s a Sunday and I had specifically cleared this day to spend with my family since it’s Father’s Day.

I checked my phone and on my calendar it read:

That took me a second to digest and then I remembered why I left that memo to myself.

Six months ago, my horoscope said that this year would be full of changes and that I should check back in on this date and ask myself, “Are you still in the same place?”

January Nik was feeling a bit down in the dumps and decided to put the Astrological Guides to the test and marked it down on her calendar to ask herself that very question.

“Are you still in the same place?”

Whoa, doggie. Let me count the ways.

Since January, we have skirted WWIII, a global pandemic has shut down most everything, Australia caught on fire, Trump is still Trump, protests and riots over systemic racism and brutality inherent in the system, and we’re still waiting for the Murder Hornets to invade.

But, let’s focus on me.

Let’s check in physically. I am currently 10 lbs lighter and an inch or so tighter thanks to Pilates. The blood work from my last physical was the best it’s been in years. My IBS has been pretty stable since working AWS (more on that later). Menopause is still doing its thing but that’s inevitable. I’ve been trying new recipes and eating healthier so that is also a big bonus plus.

Psychologically. Ugh. Well, that’s a bit of a roller coaster. Some days I am feeling pretty good, full of hope for the future because I am basically a romantic optimist. And then other days I go online, check the news and social media, and wish the Four Horsemen would just ride through and finish this farce once and for all.

On the Creative Front, I go from a manic burst of writing and dreaming up New Exciting Projects!!! to a sluggish, what is the point?, editing and reformatting old projects. But I don’t stop because….Reasons.

OH! and I’ve also been accepted into a Bachelor’s degree program at University of Virginia. (First I have to do this stupid Bio101 online course because my math classes didn’t transfer but that’s a cinch.) I’m excited! I’m having my first advisor meeting on Zoom this Monday. I’m aiming for a Bachelor’s degree with a focus on Writing and Psychology. What I’d like to do is be able to take this training and use the power of Story to help people with mental illness or social problems. It’s a lofty, romantic and probably impossible goal but, what the fuck, I’m just killing time otherwise.

Regarding the Day Job, oh hell! I could never have imagined in a million years I would be where I am right now. It is SO SWEET. I wake up, roll out of bed, slap on some day old jeans and a t shirt, grab a cup of coffee, go downstairs to my home office, log onto my work PC and COMMUTE IS DONE! And, best of all , I have found that I am a viable and needed part of the office team. I never felt that back in the Before Covid Times. I used to worry that everything at work would go to AWS (alternate work space) and I’d be booted because, I felt, that I couldn’t do my job online. My days consisted of processing paper contracts and going upstairs 2-3x a day to “check the box” and see if there anything there for my department.

It was like a tragic Russian farce. My job was to ‘check the box. It is always empty but still, it is my duty to….check the box.’

And the Covid 19 Pandemic hit and we were forced to change with the times. Departments scanned and emailed their contracts to me and I would route them to the appropriate signers. Weirdly, this caused my department to become more communicative with each other. Before this, my bosses really didn’t know what I did because, if I were doing my job correctly, they never saw the problems because I checked and fixed them before it ever landed on their desks.

So, this is a Freaking A Plus for me.

And I love staying home. I can do my day job, keep my housework under control AND even work in my stories. AND NEVER WEAR A BRA!!

On the family front, we’re doing fine. Frankly, the quarantine hasn’t really affected us socially. It’s one of the upsides of being hermits. We’ve got our online worlds, books, movies and Netflix. Fuck, this is paradise!

So, I’m feeling pretty good.

And then I remember what is happening outside my gilded, secured walls.

And I feel a mixture of fear, anxiety and, quite frankly, embarrassment that I’m in a better place now than 6 months ago.

But maybe even all of that chaos and change is for the best.

Birth is a messy thing, painful and not very polite.

I hope we can say that, in six months, we are in a better place.

Until the Murder Hornets get here…
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Go home, 2020. You’re drunk.

My son works at a Big Grocery Store chain. Today he told me this story.

“Have you ever heard of a Brazilian Wandering Spider?” he said.

“No.”

“They are deadly as hell and, worst of all, they sometimes hitchhike in shipments of bananas.”

“Holy shit.”

“Big Grocery Store has a policy on what to do when we find one. They have to close the store for three days to fumigate. And guess what? When I was on vacation last week, they found one in my store.”*

“Holy shit!”

“But it was dead so they didn’t close the store. I guess they figured it didn’t have friends.”

“Jesus. That’s crazy.”

“But you know what I kept thinking? Because everything is so crazy now, can you imagine suiting up, putting on a mask, gloves and everything, to go to the store only to be told, “Sorry. The store is closed.” So you ask, ‘Why? The Covid Virus? Has someone gotten sick?’ And somebody in a hazmat suit says, ‘No, sir. Spiders.’

Because, frankly, Spiders make everything worse. Even in 2020.

*before you tell me this is an Urban Legend, he said they had pictures of the dead spider.