'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

It's December 1st. Commenceth December.

I think I'll change my default icon.


It's skinny Buddha, a.k.a. "Bud," or "bud."  He seems a better choice for commencing than does Cynical Man, nothing personal Cynical Man, or Matt Feazell creator of Cynical Man.

So I have a lot of time off work to take, so I'm taking some of it.  I'm taking a lot of it.  My relationship to lots of time off while not leaving town is not the simple "Yay!  Rah!" one I suppose most people might have toward such liberty.  Like the rest of life, though, it is an adventure.  An adventure during which it's good to bear in mind not sabotaging myself.

I hope it isn't too sabotagey to have made a list, with entries off and on today, of stuff I can do with myself, stuff I'd like to do with myself.  At least they aren't all chore-like.  One that prompted me to take the phone out special to note it, as I was walking somewhere or another, was taking a bath.  I haven't taken a bath in a long time.  That might be something to do when/if I take the dog to doggy day care, which is another possibility on the list.  Funny to think of taking her to day care when I'm not at work, but then, like, whatever.

Along with me at and into this time I carry complicated stuff.  Trying to simplify it.  While also causing some of its complicatedness, if only by thought.  Thinking is so overrated.  It really is.

My feet are sore.  My long sleeves are white, sticking out of my short sleeves which are brown--- same top I had on yesterday, take that, world, I like my long white sleeves.

Found my paper journal again.  It was started on August 5, 2008, and is about 2/3 full.  That day in August of 2008 was a Tuesday, and I was noticing that I had developed something of a routine for Tuesdays.  Earlier, as I'd noted, I'd had a Saturday morning routine of doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen while listening to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.  Routines had felt dangerous to me for a long time.  When I found out children like routine, I wondered whether I ever had, or would have, if we had them.  Or maybe I didn't like our routines?  Well.  Let's not getting going in that vein.

Having the dog makes for what feels like an entirely different life from that August of 2008.  It's a richer life, but not only for having a dog.  There's other shit since then that's improved my quality of life greatly, and mucked with my emotional state(s) rather a lot, and in challenging ways, but in service, I choose to think, of a kind of progress of the soul.  After a long time not getting much of anywhere in what you might call a spiritual realm, I have made a lot of progress of the soul.  I'd give you a chart, if this were a good chart environment, but the soul thing isn't so much a chart kind of biz.

Olivera wrote the other day, so I plan to write her back soon.  Got another postcard from Brenda, who's great with the postcards, and I've got a handful of those I've had on deck for her, but rarely seem to think to sit down and dash off and get on their way, despite currently having current postcard stamps.  (Hiya, Brenda.  You're one of the few still reading me here, and I shout out to you.)  I also want to write Lee Ann and Lorne, particularly to follow up on my last missive in their direction.  Back in the day Lorne had some association between me and Gertrude Stein; I thought of that again when thinking of writing them and of how undignified I am in love.

I am utterly undignified in love.  The most striking bit of Hemingway's A Moveable Feast is when he freaks out---in a fairly drama-queen kind of way, for such a supposedly manly man---at overhearing Gertrude pleading with Alice in what I took it was to him a demeaningly diminishing way.  Alice had just spoken to Miss Stein in a way Ernest had never heard anyone speak to anyone, anywhere, ever.  We also have to surmise there, but surely what he means about how Alice was talking to Gertrude wasn't lovingly.  If we are to believe the story, the snippet, the strikingly unfortunate-sounding exchange, I guess Gertie was undignified herself in that arena.  So maybe I'm like her that way, as well as being fat and queer and word-nuts.  You know what, though?  I think I don't mind.  For some reason, right now, today, in some way that has something to do with the afore-mentioned progress of the soul, I don't mind.  I may even be glad of it.

It's now 6 times I've renewed my library copy of Janet Malcolm's Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice.  And I didn't put reading it on my list of things I can do with the spacious open time of these next few weeks.  Just got one called Thinking, Fast and Slow, in both the print and the audio editions.  (I haven't yet read the pages I'm linking to with these.  Those links are for me, too.)

One thing I'll say:  with the tie-down time-sensitive/-specific demands of (now 20 months of) life with the dog, it's good to have some serious break from other parts of routine.  Some respite.  And it's not inherently dangerous.  It's truly not.  In some ways it's less dangerous.  A better model/focus than the degree-of-danger one, however, is the challenge one, the "growth opportunity" one.  The one that sounds so self-help woo-woo dumb when you talk about it but at heart is not dumb at all.

Only an insane person could feel compelled to see the danger in both routine and the absense of routine.  I am that insane person.  Or I have been.  I have been that insane person.

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