Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Comfort of Scarves

Writing, for me, is a way to be honest with myself.  I have so many thoughts swirling around day to day that I often can't distinguish the legitimate ones from the utter nonsense.  I find when the thoughts are just too many and things are a bit over crowded that all I have to do is write.  Somehow, the process of putting thoughts to paper, figuratively speaking, brings truth to the forefront and all the rest seem to fade away.  At least for a moment.  So, today I find myself full of nonsense and in search of a little truth.  Let's see what happens.

Once again my life is requiring some readjusting.  In theory this sounds exciting and there are moments when I have ideas that seem borderline genius, however it is in fact exhausting and not much fun at all.  The reason being that I have run out of new options and find myself forced to pull from previous forms of existence.  There is a part of me that wants to take comfort in the familiar and embrace the past, much like a favorite old sweater.  But there is another part that questions the sanity of this.  Are we not supposed to be moving forward?  How many times have I heard, 'you can never go back'?  Yet, moving forward seems impossible, at least in this place I now find myself.  The new sweaters available don't seem all that well made and I can't stand the current trend of long in the front and short in the back.  I require symmetry.  So, I move towards digging out my old sweater.  Only when I finally locate it, there is a hole in the arm and it appears quite misshapen.  What's a person to do?  Perhaps a nice warm scarf that can double as a blanket.  I am aware that this seems a bit like moving forward, yet it comes with a touch of comfort from the past, which in fact may be my answer.  This is where I find myself today, if I were to be honest. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost Optimistic

My world as of late has been comprised mostly of failures, so you can imagine my delight today when I quite unexpectedly had a success.  Now, this success was not life changing or ground breaking, but nevertheless it was a success.  I'm quite aware that I have used the word success four times since beginning this post, but I just don't want anyone to forget that I, in fact, had a success.  Today, I successfully made gluten free sugar cookies that look and taste nearly identical to my regular sugar cookies.  I was so sure they would be a failure that I made an extra batch of the regular so my family would at least have something to decorate. 

This now brings me to my point.  Why do I anticipate failure?  Well, in this instance probably because of my recent record in the areas of family, friends, decorating, pet care taking, education, cooking, & all around living.  But lets not dwell on that.  Let's instead focus on why even in my 'better' seasons I worry about not being up to par.  I could be simplistic about it all and say it's in my nature, that I am a half empty kind of person.  But, really I'm almost an optimist. Contrary to what some of you may be thinking, being an 'almost optimist' does not make me a pessimist. 

Almost optimists like to look at the bright side of things and are even quite cheerful at times, but we have a bit more reality embedded within us than your average optimist.  You see, we know that life won't always work out and that things both good and bad happen in seasons.  We have a built in graph that helps us see the chance of something failing based on previously stored data.  We also realize that success and failure are probabilities, not guaranteed outcomes.  When our internal data shows that we are in a 'bad' season, we, like any other optimist, move forward with plans and ideas.  However, we don't ignore the probability of failure and plan accordingly.  I dare any psychologist to counter this logic that is based in rational thought, not negative energy.  So the next time you plan for failure, ask yourself if you are being a pessimist or an almost optimist.  If your answer is the latter, then I say all is well and carry on. You can always use the extra dough in the refrigerator to make cookies for your gluten tolerant friends and non tolerant enemies.

Monday, December 12, 2011


It has often been remarked that I belong in a different era.  I'm not sure how much of this is just my innate personality and how much is a result of a lifetime study of British period books/movies.  Upon watching yet another Masterpiece Classic, I discovered a new sliver of information to live by.  One must conduct oneself in a manner that is, if not pleasing at the very least, not offensive to others.  So often I am guilty, as way too many of us are, of mistaking frankness with blurting out whatever comes to mind.  One can be frank and honest without saying every thought.  I know for myself that much of what I say needs to be checked.   Therefore, I have devised a list of questions to run randomly through my head during conversation.  If what I am about to say meets with an affirmative, then I should close the mouth that seems to always want to be open.  Feel free to adopt my list of questions, goodness knows we could all use with an occasional check.  And remember, being real doesn't give you the right to offend just so you can have a reputation for being yourself.  After all, just because you are yourself doesn't mean you are well liked.

1.  Is what I am about to say for my own amusement?
2.  Am I about to say something so that I will seem amusing?
3.  Am I trying to fill dead air?
4.  Am I trying to take over the conversation, because clearly I am more amusing then the other person?
5.  Is what I am about to say better left for a diary or Internet journal?
6.  Do I want to end this conversation? (The affirmative answer to this question requires a different response to the one stated above, instead continue talking while ignoring questions 1-5 and chances are they will find a way to escape the conversation, hopefully never to return)
7.  Do I want to have another conversation with this person?

No need to thank me for this bit of wisdom and advice, but feel free to let me know how effective it was in helping you attain a bit of the etiquette so needed in our modern society.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hidden Insight

It seems that I have been causing myself quite a bit of trouble lately.  I'm pretty sure that becoming mute would put an end to most of it.  But, I have yet to come up with a rational pain free way of achieving this.  So, I am doing the only other thing that comes to mind, hiding. 

I realise that this sounds like an unhealthy thing to do, but I beg to differ.  There have been many brave people throughout history that have hidden and come out heroes or at the very least alive.  Okay, so perhaps 'hiding' is a strong word.  I am just one little decision at a time choosing to be alone.  The first time, I said 'no' it felt strange, even wrong.  But, the feelings of rest and peace that came over me as I stayed in my Utopian home (really, check out my pictures on 'More Than Words) made it not only worth it, but my new go to phrase.  "Tansy, do you want to go to dinner and a movie?"  "No."  "Tansy, do you want to walk around downtown, stare at strangers and make small talk?"  "No."  "What about helping your 'friends' only to have them treat you like an indentured servant that is rebelling?"  "No."  Each time I say no, it's like a gift I'm giving myself.

For years, I have worked on improving myself so that I could be a better friend/person.  You see to me friend and person were one and the same.  I thought to be a person that I must also be a friend and a good one at that.  Problem is that most people don't quite see things this way, to them being a person is good enough.  Why go through the trouble of being a 'friend', when you can just take advantage of those schmucks that are giving out friendship and its benefits for free?  The only problem with this is that the 'friends' that are having the life sucked out of them, get worn down pretty quick and start to short circuit.  They no longer have anything to offer, so the 'persons' simply chew them out for being flawed and worthless hoping this will help their 'friends' get back to their 'A' game.  Shockingly, this actually works.  However, on occasion the 'friend' gets smart and realises that they have a choice.  A choice to say 'no', not today.  Today, I choose self respect and a nice cozy hiding spot.  Today, I breathe for myself and maybe a cat or two.

In hiding comes healing, a chance to gain perspective and insight.  Too often we are told that being alone is wrong and even unstable.  But I think pushing on endlessly trying to please others in a headless bird state is wrong and unstable.  I mean headless birds do not make good decisions.  But, people that sit quietly sipping wine while watching Cranford, now those are some insightful people.  I will emerge one day, but not until I have watched a few more BBC miniseries while enjoying my own thoughts and ideas.  Ideas that will  make me a stronger person, but hopefully not a better 'friend'.