hinges, bridges, and baskets

I feel so ridiculous right now. I'm self-conscious and gun shy and all tied up in my head. I'm scared to blog. And I know the only way to break through it is to just write something, anything. But I hate filler and I hate just typing for the sake of hitting the keys.

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I need to make major changes in my media consumption. I feel like I've been drinking from some poisonous wells over the past several months - maybe longer. A few sips, and I undo all the hard work of trying to be positive and find inspiration in the daily. All of a sudden I'm frustrated and angry and annoyed, with no place to direct those negative feelings. Mental energy just burned up with nothing to show for it, and a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. I'm disappointed in myself for not being more disciplined.

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I think I've gotten better at not letting my happiness hinge on things that can change. There's been a brutally steep learning curve for me on this - one that's spanned most of my adulthood, in fact. For most of that time, I clung to the people in my life, terrified of losing them. I suppose that's typical for a child of divorce?

Loss and change are an inevitable part of life. But instead of coming to understand and accept this over time in a healthy, measured way, I think I denied and denied it until all of a sudden, everyone who was supposed to be a constant in my life was gone, over a bewilderingly short period of time. It felt like my skin was ripped clean off my body, and I was alone, exposed to the elements, helpless. Of course, I wasn't ever helpless. I just hadn't accepted the fact that it's no one's responsibility but my own to look after myself. I had me to take care of me, and that's enough most of the time. And that won't change. If I can make me happy, that's a happiness I don't risk losing, whereas depending on another to fulfill me emotionally, or to take care of me - that's betting the farm and not having any idea what weather's coming down the line.

People will come and go from my life. Money will come and go - so will the things it buys. I'll have to move and give up homes I love; leave cities I've grown attached to. All the things that it's so easy to lean on as touchstones in my life can change with deceptive ease and speed. So I work really hard at placing these things in my heart in such a way that when they inevitably go away, they don't rip my heart out with them.

And in the meantime, I cultivate happiness in things that can't be taken away from me, so that when the bigger losses do hit, I've got things to turn to, to ease the pain. Music. Writing. Running. And I'm trying very hard to kick my reading life back into gear.

This isn't to say I don't treasure the people in my life, even though I know they'll someday be gone. I absolutely do, no question. I just try to think of my relationships with them like a bridge between us. They're the destination on the far side - a city that is exciting and fun to visit, and rewarding to experience. But you rarely walk across a bridge without stopping to take in the view. The work of building and maintaining relationships is like enjoying that walk back and forth, between the other and the self. When you learn to enjoy that process - that journey - it's a joy that can be renewed again and again, with each new relationship. It doesn't go away when that person does; when you can no longer visit that city.

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Some friends are throwing a Pastel Party for Easter. My awesome friend who designed the invitation sent me a version without names/addresses to post, because he is (as I may have mentioned) awesome:



And speaking of Easter, I made Chaucer a basket, the toys for which he could smell in the shopping bag before I even took them out. I have video that I'll post later, of him being utterly ridiculous and hilarious and whining about it, but for now, this pic alone shows how bad he was pouting, because I wouldn't give him anything from it:
















GOOBER.