Friday, April 30, 2010

What do you want from life?

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Winston Churchill

What do you want from life
An Indian guru
to show you the inner light
The Tubes


I find it comical, really. Every single time I complain about my inability to motivate myself, or my lack of progress toward my non-existant goals, or whatever "poor me" crap I'm dishing out, I am almost instantly presented with opportunities. It's as if the universe is just waiting for me to get pissed off so that it can prove to me what a whiny little dingbat I really am. So, of course, after ranting here and then spending the rest of yesterday feeling lousy about it, I got up this morning to find in my email a notice about a group working on a picture book project and an announcement of a children's literature summer school class at the University of Washington. I should emphasize that these notices were not forwarded to me by someone who read yesterday's post. Both emails came from impersonal sources, newsletters actually.

Hurray, yippee.. just when I'm questioning myself and admitting that I know I have a problem pushing to set goals here is a golden opportunity to do just that. In fact the picture book project is perfect because it's so simple. It's a support group similar to Nanowrimo designed to jumpstart picture book writers. The goal is deceptively simple; Write seven picture books in seven days. And it starts.. tomorrow.


What do you want from life
To get cable TV
and watch it every night

That's not going to work for me. Any other week would be so much better. The first week of May is really not a great time to commit to a major project. You see I've got my regular stuff that needs to get done, plus a stained glass class on Monday, a writer's group meeting on Tuesday, Wednesday is Zane's Birthday, and Friday we have tickets to see a play. I've already committed to babysitting a few hours and I'm pretty sure I have a dentist's appointment in there somewhere too..

Pathetic isn't it?

And the other thing? The class at the UW which I know will be inspiring and fantastic and I would love to do? It's $500, two nights a week, sixty miles from home, and I might have to meet people or let them read what I write...

What do you want from life
To try and be happy
while you do the nasty things you must

Hey, Gina, what do you want from life?

Well, you can't have that, but if you're an American citizen you are entitled to:
a heated kidney shaped pool,
a microwave oven--don't watch the food cook,
a Dyna-Gym--I'll personally demonstrate it in the privacy of your own home,
a king-size Titanic unsinkable Molly Brown waterbed with polybendum,
a foolproof plan and an airtight alibi,
real simulated Indian jewelry,
a Gucci shoetree,
a year's supply of antibiotics,
a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth
and Bob Dylan's new unlisted phone number,
a beautifully restored 3rd Reich swizzle stick,
Rosemary's baby,
a dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams,
a new Matador, a new mastodon,
a Maverick, a Mustang, a Montego,
a Merc Montclair, a Mark IV, a meteor,
a Mercedes, an MG, or a Malibu,
a Mort Moriarty, a Maserati, a Mac truck,
a Mazda, a new Monza, or a moped,
a Winnebago--Hell, a herd of Winnebago's we're giving 'em away,
or how about a McCulloch chainsaw,
a Las Vegas wedding,
a Mexican divorce,
a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee pot,
or a baby's arm holding an apple?

Oh good grief... thirty years later and I just now found out that "a baby's arm holding an apple" is a penile reference. That explains why I can't find an image to fit with the lyric. Thank you urban dictionary. The song is stuck in my head and has been since my senior year of high school but I've always pictured those adorable ceramic baby arms that were so popular in the 80's. You know the ones? They hung on the wall holding the strings of adorable ceramic ballons? I've always thought the song said I was entitled to something pure and simple, albeit a bit childish and useless, but actually it says I am entitled to dick.

That figures.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


People often say that motivation doesn't last.
Well, neither does bathing
-- that's why we recommend it daily."
- Zig Ziglar

I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about motivation, primarily because thinking about it helps me to avoid actually doing anything about it. I've never been very good at motivating myself. Motivation most often comes from external forces in my life. Instead of deciding what I want to accomplish and working towards it I tend to clear large patches of time in order to be able to do whatever needs doing.. and people recognize this and ask me for help. But why am I like this? Why do I want one thing, (for instance, to spend time writing) but work for another (having nothing scheduled so that I can help when my neighbor asks if I can watch her daughter while she has some "me time"?) Why do I choose to do nothing on the off chance that I might be needed rather than do something productive, that would make me feel better about myself, to avoid the risk that I might have to say "No" to a request for my time? I used to think that it made me happy to be helpful but this is a lie. I am resentful. For a time I thought that my role in life truly was to help others reach their potential but now I believe that I was fooling myself. To most people I help I am nothing more than a crutch, interchangeable with half a dozen other people who support them.

The truth. I am not kind, or thoughtful, or concerned with helping others be all that they can be. In reality I have found the perfect disguise for my fear and insecurity. I won't fail if I never try and I can't try if I'm always too busy taking care of other people. Yes, it's perfect, except for one small detail. I hate it and that hatred is poisoning my life.

So my question to you is this; What do I do to fix this? It's a serious question. I know many of you are very good at organizing your lives, accomplishing your goals and still managing to be good friends, citizens and people in general. Give me some advice. Don't feel as though you need to make me feel better. I don't want to feel better. I want to change.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My hairless cat...

... lived in my master bathroom because he simply could not adjust to the move to Washington. He was fourteen, incontinent, anxious, and yowled loudly all day and night. When he was out of the bathroom he yowled to get back in, when he was in the bathroom he yowled for company, when we stood in the bathroom and visited with him he would lie in his heated cat bed and yowl anyway. A few days before I had surgery I found out he had kidney disease and rather than prolong his life I chose to have him put to sleep.

Yeah, that's kind of how it feels....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Museum of Glass

On a recent visit to the Tacoma Museum of Glass we saw
rainbows over the outside exhibits.

Gorgeous glass flowers

And some awesome architecture.

I wish I had remembered my camera!

Sometimes a cell phone just isn't good enough...

Monday, April 5, 2010


Tears are the biggest change in me since I lost my uterus. Despite the fact that I still have my ovaries and therefore have no viable excuse for the waterworks, the floodgates are open and I have cried more in the last month than I have in the last ten years. Perhaps the tears come because I am pain free and can finally relax, release my grip on the safety bar that has kept me from jumping out of the car and onto the tracks of my decrepit carnival ride of life. Or maybe I'm just losing my mind.

Not to belabor the point but pain has been a constant companion since my teen years. Pain that didn't make sense, that was too large for diagnosis, pain that caused me to stop asking questions because there were no answers and doctors tend to get annoyed with patients who keep complaining. I had the first surgery on my reproductive organs when I was seventeen years old. Then, despite the fact that I was told I might have trouble getting pregnant, I managed to do it seven times. Each pregnancy had complications that weren't easily explained, or, unfortunately for the fetus, survivable 43% of the time, but my body insisted on being fertile despite all attempts at contraception. Go figure. The ovaries worked fine but the uterus didn't always cooperate.

For thirty years I have felt as though there was an enemy living within me but finally it is gone. The pathology report shows that there was indeed something wrong, pockets of endometrial tissue growing within the uterine muscle, that possibly explains a lot of my history. Or possibly not. I will never truly know. But, now that the uterus is finally gone, there is an empty spot in my abdomen that seems to be filling with joy, and releasing, inexplicitly, a flood of tears.