Too much?

Do you ever have that thing where you have too many good ideas?  Or at least, a lot of ideas that seem good, if only you could do them all.   If only I did not have to go to my job, or see my friends ever, or take my cat to the vet, I would be able to write all these stories and make all these YouTube videos and post all these blogs.   My studies would be going so much faster, and I could write that program that would do that thing.


Why can’t I just be unemployed and unloved?  It would be perfect!


Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was Mara talking right there.

Mara the Demon

Okay, not exactly Mara, but maybe you know what I mean.  That’s the path away from reality and into a cyclical self-created drama that only exists in my head.

The thing is, time is finite.   When I leave this world, whenever that is, there will be a lot of things that I won’t have done that I would like to.  That happens to everyone.

And then I got this stupid cold, and I feel like such a slacker because I slept and read books instead of studying and writing.   I need to stop that.   That’s ridiculous.  I’m human.  And right here, right now, I’m a sick human, and that means I have to slow down and take care of myself.

I don’t know why I drive myself so hard sometimes, but I do know that it’s counterproductive.  Sometimes the reason why I don’t do things is because I’m so stymied by the feeling that I need to be creating things and doing useful things at all times.  I get so attached to that idea that it stops me in my tracks and I don’t do anything.   It’s part of my procrastination problem.  I want to do everything, and make everything, but I can’t, so I don’t even get started, and I don’t even try.     And then I feel guilty, which leads me right back to the beginning, and where I’m doing nothing but staring at Facebook for hours and feeling bad at myself.

But Facebook isn’t really the thing.  I mean, it’s distracting, and it’s designed to be distracting, but the distraction isn’t the problem.  The problem is being too much of a damn perfectionist, and expecting too much of myself and believing somehow that I’m not doing enough or being enough.   I am enough.  I am doing enough.   The words I write today are enough.  The code I figure out is enough.  The chords I learn are enough.

And just sitting here coughing and reading books is enough.

I am already who I’m supposed to be, and I don’t have to do anything more than what I do.

So, that’s my brain dump for the day.   It’s a mess, and it probably doesn’t make any sense, and it’s brilliant, and perfect, and exactly right.

Just sayin’.

Big Life Goals Pt. 3 – Tools

If you remember from last time, I went over some tips and techniques for beating a procrastination problem.

I have to say  that in the weeks since I decided that I really wanted to do something about this problem, I have gotten a lot more done.  I’ve been more consistent in studying my programming, and in writing.   I started that YouTube channel, which I think falls under the category of writing.   I feel more productive, and I think that is having a positive effect on my mood in general.   I’ve also become very protective of my time.

When I set out to do research on beating procrastination, I discovered that there are a lot of tools that are available to help a person be more productive and manage their time.   I want to share some with you, because some of them have changed my life.  Since I am a Mac computer user, a lot of the computer apps are geared towards Apple.   That being said, I don’t own an iPhone, so I’m not completely biased.

Notes and Lists and Things

The first thing I found that has really been helping me out is Evernote.   They have a desktop app, a website, a tablet, and a phone app. (Yep, even for Android.)   The thing that is so great about Evernote is its versatility.  You can make into almost anything you need it to be.   It can be your calendar, your contacts, a notebook for saving ideas, and probably a dozen other things that I haven’t even thought of yet.  It even has the ability in the phone app to do voice notes, if you can’t stop to type it in.   It has a structure where you create notes, which can be saved under notebooks, and those notebooks can be stacked.   There’s a ton of tutorials on YouTube for the different ways that people use it.   I may do one of my own.

I have mine set up in two basic ways.  First there’s the to-do lists.  I’ve always been against the idea of a to-do list, but somehow being able to set it up my own way in Evernote has really made it more bearable.   There are four of them, Today, Tomorrow, This Week, and This Year.  Every day, I write a list of the things I want to get done.  For today, I had blog, laundry, and study.   (Blog…check.)   It even lets you format with little check boxes, so you can check things off when you’ve completed them.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.10.52 PM

Then I also make a list for what I think I want to work on tomorrow.   And then that all sort of rolls up into a weekly to-do list, that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.12.18 PM


So, if I know that I want to study twice per week, then I know I have to put it on this list for today and for tomorrow.   I also like to keep in mind any events or plans I have.  If I’m going on vacation, I’ll put less on the list, and not over commit.

The other section I set up in Evernote is basically just a bunch of organized notes.  It’s my repository for ideas and things I want to remember.    When I’m at work, I log into their website to take notes in meetings, and write to-do lists.   I have one long ongoing list of notes from every meeting I have with my boss.  I have a list of blogs that I want to read later, ideas for future blogs I want to write, ideas for future YouTube videos, short story ideas, novel ideas, study notes, awesome sentences I thought of or overheard that might make be a great first sentence of a story, a list of websites for things I might want to do on my next vacation, so many tiny houses, and for some reason, a single note with a url for this.

Eliminating Distractions

Evernote is great, because you can bend it to your will.   But if your problem is willpower, then these next two apps could be helpful, Freedom and Self-Control.  Freedom is an app that makes it impossible for your computer to login to the internet for a set amount of time.  I hear that Michael Chabon uses it when he’s writing.  This is great for me if I’m working on just writing a story, but not so great if I’m doing my online Python class, which of course requires me to be on the internet.   That’s where Self-Control comes in handy.  It’s very similar to Freedom, in that it limits your internet and has a timer, but it works with a blacklist.  You basically add the sites that you find yourself being distracted by, like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, but you can still get to the rest of the internet.  I like to break my work periods up into 45 minute chunks.   I mentioned the Pomodoro Technique last time, and yes, there’s an app for that, too.   Although I haven’t tried it.

There’s also another app that I haven’t tried, which I may.  It’s called Habit RPG.  It basically turns your daily tasks and productivity into a video game.   You get points for checking things off of your to-do list, and achieving goals.   I read about it in this article on Lifehacker, which was all about how to “gamify” your productivity.   Gamification is huge right now.


Those are all some really great positive reinforcements, but like I’ve mentioned, I’m pretty highly motivated by negative reinforcement, mostly by way of fear of public embarrassment.   This is where the website stickK comes into play.   stickK is a website where you can set a goal, make a commitment to follow through with that goal, and if you don’t, there’s a consequence.  There’s a lot of options on the site for what the consequence might be, and they’re optional.  However, one of the more popular features of the site is that you can set as your consequence that a certain amount of money will be donated to an anti-charity of your choice, should you not meet your commitment.

This is where it gets good, and you get to cheer me on or root against me!

Since one of my Big Life Goals is to write a novel, I need to be writing more, like a lot more.  Not just on my novel, but in general.  It’s a muscle that needs exercising.   So, for the next six weeks, I commit to writing at least one blog post of 300 words or more per week.  Linking to an article with a three sentence summary of my feelings on it won’t count.  Pictures of my cat won’t count.  YouTube videos won’t count.

And for any week that I don’t do it, $10 is going to be donated to the NRA in my name.    Now, how’s that for some motivation?

If you want to cheer me or jeer me, click here to follow.

What about you?

Do you have any tools or apps that you use to keep yourself on task?   Do you have a specific way of setting up Evernote that helps you stay productive?

Do you think I’m crazy for even risking donating to the NRA?  Are you pissed that I would choose the NRA as my “anti-charity” and have a lot of things to tell me about your Second Amendment rights?

Leave your comments and questions below!   Just sayin’

Big Life Goals Pt. 2 – Beating Procrastination

If you remember from last time, here were my stated big life goals:

  1. Learn to stop procrastinating
  2. Write a novel
  3. Learn to code
  4. Learn to play guitar
  5. Become fluent in French

And I put stop procrastinating at the top of the list, because until I concur that one, the others are going to be much more difficult to pull off.

I began doing some more research on procrastination, looking for advice, research, and tools that would help me curb the habit.  It turns out, not surprisingly, that the internet has a lot to say about this.  I’ve had a lot to read, and some YouTube videos to watch, and this is what I’ve found to be most relevant and helpful to me.  It may not be what’s best for you.   Also, if you’re reading this, and you have a technique that you want to share, there’s a comment section for that, and I hope you’ll use it.  I want to help as many of you out there as possible.

But first, a little humor from The Onion about what I’m trying to do here with this whole ‘Big Life Goals’ project:

“Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you’re exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.”

It’s easy to get discouraged; I’ve spent long periods of time feeling like I don’t have the emotional energy to work on my own stuff after putting in 40+ hours a week doing someone else’s stuff for the paycheck that pays for my life, because my stuff isn’t making me a dime.  Writing is something I truly love to do, and it’s not physically tasking, but it’s still exhausting.  So my first piece of anti-procrastinating advice is this:

Take a nap

I didn’t read this one on the internet anywhere; I came up with it all on my own.  (Which is of course, not to say that no one else said it on the internet, for the internet is vast, and I have not read all of it…yet.)  If you feel like you should or want to do something, but you’re lagging and drowsy, and you just can’t get yourself motivated, do what the college kids do, and take a snooze break.    It’s important, however, that you time yourself.    If you sleep too long, you won’t go to bed at night, and you’ll spend the rest of the day, at work or school or wherever you spend your days, feeling all cracked out and tense, and then the cycle just repeats itself.  You’ll come home in the evening, and you’ll just be too tired to sit down and write, or program, or practice French.  Whatever it is that you’ve decided you’d like to do with yourself in your lifetime.

Have a snack

This goes along with the nap.  If you want your brain to work, you need to give it fuel.  If you give yourself a little bit of a snack, your brain will be ready to focus, and a grumbling stomach will be one less distraction.   I’m typing this with an ice cream sandwich in my hand.

Turn off Facebook

Or Tumblr, or Twitter, or YouTube, or whatever your go to time suck is.  I am not proud of myself, but I am fairly addicted to Facebook.   I want to go on there and be the first person to post the most witty reply to everything my friends post.  It’s silly.  It’s not making the world a better place.  And to top it off, studies show that spending time on Facebook actually makes you lonely.  If you’re like me, and you almost can’t help yourself from opening the page, there are apps for that, and I’ll go over them in my next installment, where I’ll talk about all the tools that can help you procrastinate less and be more productive.

Break it Up

This came up in the comments of the last post, and it’s the most frequent advice you’ll see anywhere when you start researching procrastination.   It’s highly unlikely that you can write a novel, learn an entire coding language, or master an instrument in a single sitting, as I said before.   So the thing to do is to break your goals into a series of smaller goals.   Study one chapter in a Python book.   Have one conversation in French with your cat.  (Je parle francais a mon chat.)   Write 300 words of your novel.   Even this blog post is a good example of this.  I was originally going to write one single post about all this Life Goals and Procrastination stuff, but it proved to be just too much for me to take on all at once, so I kept not doing it.  Once I decided to break it up, it became a lot easier.   Writing a whole novel is such a huge project that it seems almost impossible to even conceive.   Writing 300 words?  I can do that while standing on my head.

Write a List

I have always been, deep in my soul, anti-to-do-list.   To-do lists, I’ve always thought, took the spontaneity and fun out of life.  And who ever actually pays any attention to them once they’ve written them?   You put all this stuff on the list, and then you do everything that’s not on it.   What I’ve started doing is keeping four to-do lists.  One for today, one for tomorrow, one for the week, and one for the year.   I decide what’s possible to get done today, and anything and everything I want to do today is on it.  If I think of something throughout the day that needs doing, I’ll add it to the list, or if I can’t do it today, I’ll put it on tomorrow’s.  That way there’s no stress about forgetting it, and it’s not distracting me.   I also try to predict what I’ll have time to do tomorrow.  I keep my eye on my calendar, so that if I know I have social engagements or what have you, I put less stuff on my list for that day.  The week list has everything I hope to get done by the end of the week.  If I want to write three times this week, I’ll put it on the list three times.  Then when I’m making out my today and tomorrow lists, I try to make sure I keep track of how many of each of those I do.   The year list is things that I may not be able to do this week, but I want to keep track of down the line.

Here’s a cool YouTube video about lists:

Have a Notebook

Whether it’s online, or in an app, or physically a pen and paper old-school notebook, you should have a place to put down your random ideas, questions, and thoughts.  You want to deposit them somewhere so that you know you can come back to them later, and that you won’t forget.  If you are in the middle of learning a new song on guitar, and suddenly the question “how do armadillos breed?” pops into your head, what you don’t want to do is open up Google right then and there, because the next thing you know, you’ll be down the rabbit hole, clicking from link to link, and deeper and deeper into the internet.

Positive Reinforcement

I see a lot of suggestions out there about charts or calendars.  Mark off or add a gold star each day that you do some work toward your goal or project.   If you see the stars adding up for days in a row, it’ll motivate you to keep doing it.  You won’t want to break the chain, and end the good vibes of self-esteem you’re getting for accomplishing it.   For some people, promising themselves gifts when they reach certain benchmarks could also be motivational.  “Once I’ve finished the first half of my novel, I’ll buy myself a shiny new soap dish!”

Negative Reinforcement

I believe I’ve said before that the fear of public embarrassment is highly motivating for me.   I would finally sit down to write my paper on the day it was due, because I couldn’t face what the teacher might say if I didn’t turn it in, let alone what anyone else would say when they saw my poor grades.  I learned musical parts right before shows, because I didn’t want to get up in front of an audience and make a huge mistake.   So some sort of negative consequence could be helpful to keep you on track.  It’s probably best to combine this with a positive reinforcement.

Prioritize Goofing Off

It’s not really feasible to be a 24/7 productivity machine.  Or even if it is, it doesn’t sound like much fun.   I know that I do a much better job of getting things done, if I know that there will be a chance to do something less taxing later.  So, on my daily to-do list, I may have “study Python for 45 minutes” but I also have, “watch Monty Python”.    There’s also techniques, like the Pomodoro Technique where you break up tasks into 25 minute chunks with 5 minute breaks in-between to goof off.

This, of course, is not the end of this series, but it’s a good place to stop for today, while I go accomplish something else on my to-do list.    Stay tuned for Part 3, where I think I’ll go over some of the tools I’ve been using to help curb my procrastination.  And here’s some links for more reading:


Links to More Ideas About Beating Procrastination (Not Comprehensive)

How to Stop Procrastinating on Your Goals by Using the ‘Seinfeld Strategy’

10 Techniques to Successfully Overcome Procrastination

HOW WE PROCRASTINATE (and may not even know it.) 



And, seriously, if you have any suggestions about procrastination beating tips and tricks, post below.  I love comments!



Big Life Goals Pt. 1

Some time ago, it occurred to me that there were some things that I would like to do in life.  These things were for me, and no one else.  They weren’t things I planned to do to help me make more money or get a better job.  They were just things I wanted to accomplish.   And that was when I came up with my list of four Big Life Goals, and they are, sort of in this order:

  1. Write a novel
  2. Learn to code
  3. Learn to play guitar
  4. Become fluent in French

Those are some pretty decent goals.  It’d be nice if I could get them done, in my limited time here on this rock hurling around the sun.  But, like I said, I’ve had this list for awhile.  And to be bluntly honest, I haven’t made a lot of progress on any of them.   Which is not to say that I haven’t done any work on them.   I’ve got about 27,000 words written of a rough draft of a novel.  I’ve got a couple other ideas for other novels, too.   I have picked up a bit here and a bit there of computer programming, especially in my job.  Every once in awhile, I pick the guitar that’s been laying about my house for the last 4 years, and I learn a simple tune.   And I became good enough at French to be able to find bathrooms before visiting Paris.

But a couple of weeks ago, while I was supposed to be studying for this online course I’m taking on Python (a computer programming language), I caught myself procrastinating by reading this article about procrastination.  I got there because I was on Facebook, and a friend of mine sent me a link to one of their other articles.  And thus the spiral began.  I’ve been down this road before.  One YouTube video leads to another.  Just one more tiny home.  Or one documentary on Netflix about Mortified leads to three more, and then it’s one o’clock in the morning, and I have to get up for work the next day, and I haven’t read a single paragraph of my text book, or learned any new code.

I procrastinate big time.   I always have.  And for most of my life, it hasn’t really been that big of a problem.  I got very good grades all through school by writing papers the day that they were due, usually starting them at six in the morning.  The pressure combined with caffeine and sugar helped me turn out some really smart, well supported theses with many typos.  I wrote them so last minute that I never had time to proofread them.  And like I said, I got very good grades.  So, I was never really motivated to do anything any differently.  It just kept paying off.

And it wasn’t just in school.  I played in bands where I learned my parts only when we had a gig coming up, and I had the fear of public embarrassment to motivate me.  At work, I always start things in the hours before they’re due.  I have a really hard time starting something ahead of time, and if I have a couple of weeks, there’s no way I’m starting it today.

It occurred to me, therefore, that on my list of Big Life Goals, getting this procrastinating thing under control ought to be number one, because those other goals aren’t the kind of thing that I can start at six a.m., and have possibly have finished by two in the afternoon.  If I’m going to write a novel, it’s going to take weeks, if not years.  I’m going to have to start working on it sooner, rather than later.   There is no way that it’ll get done if I keep putting it off every day to watch the latest upload to the Last Week Tonight feed on YouTube.

So my list Big Life Goals, as they stand right now, sort of in order, and subject to change whenever I see fit, without notice is:

  1. Learn to stop procrastinating
  2. Write a novel
  3. Learn to code
  4. Learn to play guitar
  5. Become fluent in French

Stay tuned for further updates on my progress on tackling challenges, staying motivated, and achieving my goals.


P.S. This is the beginning of the post I was going to write, and teased in the intro, of the post “Not Going According to Plan”

CSGL – Holding Out

The other day, someone actually asked me why I was single. Now, there’s a plenitude of reasons why I’m single, but mostly it’s just timing. I haven’t been in the right place at the right time with the right guy.

So, I know it’s been awhile.   Just to quickly summarize, still in the bay area, still working, still 30-ish, still have the coolest cat in the world, still a Giants fan.   And yes, still single.   If your counting, it’s been three years.

The other day, someone actually asked me why I was single.   Now, there’s a plenitude of reasons why I’m single, but mostly it’s just timing.  I haven’t been in the right place at the right time with the right guy.   So here I am.   Friday night, on my couch, with my cat, just got done watching the ball game, and no intention of being elsewhere or doing otherwise.   Anyway, back to the question.  Why am I single?     Because I’m holding out for Awesome.   That’s what I said.   And you know what?  It’s true!

So this is what holding out for Awesome looks like.    And in about 15 minutes, it’s also going to look like me taking a bubble bath.   Of course, Awesome isn’t going to find me in the bathroom.  (That would be really fucking weird.)  So, I’ve got to go out sometimes.  I’ve got to put myself out there.

So, I gave a guy my number.   I don’t know if he’s Awesome or Not Awesome.   If he doesn’t call me, he’s definitely Not Awesome.   And I bought two tickets to the Giants’ game on the 11th, and I’m going to see if I can find a date.

And if that doesn’t work, well at least I’ll still get to be at a ballgame.   Hopefully watching the Giants cream the Dodgers.  Unlike tonight.   No throwing balls away or kicking them when you should be picking them up and throwing them to first.

But did you see that rocket the kid launched into center field tonight?  That was a thing of beauty.  Gotta love a rookie.   Brandon Belt might be my new hero.

Just sayin’.

SGL – Nothing Crazy About It

So, you know, right after the “divorce”, I sort of went on a tear where I had to be having all the fun and the excitement all the time.   I guess I had something to prove.  Or more like I had something to reclaim.    Running off to bars on a whim,   Dodging personal questions.  Oh wow, Tijuana. Dying my hair “Go-Eff-Yourself-Red”.   And who could forget being kidnapped by a rockstar.  You get the point.   So, yeah, I would say that it definitely wasn’t that I had something to prove (well except maybe the hair) as much as it was about focusing on the positive side of finding myself in the position of being single, which was wholly unexpected.

These days, I reclaim this spot on the couch, mostly.   Because right now, the best part of being single is the part where I get to sit here, and not do a damn thing I don’t want to do.   I get to watch what I want to watch on TV, listen to this Imogene Heap album that I downloaded the other night as much as I want, scratch my butt, and best of all, have a cat.

Mr. Darcy

So, yeah, it’s Saturday night, and I’m not out on the town, and that’s not the slightest bit unusual.   I’m sitting here trying to find a pair of shoes to go with a dress to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks, because I’ve become a girl who goes to a lot of weddings.   And Speak For Yourself really is a very nice album, and you should download it, too.

It may not be as crazy, but it’s me.  Me being me with myself (and my cat) , and there’s nothing in the world better than that.

Just sayin’.

Sometimes I Can’t Believe I’m Not Screaming

I know the title of this blog sounds like some sort of emocore band’s disappointing sophomore release.  I know it, and I’m still not going to change it.   Because it’s true.    I am really amazed that I’m not screaming.   Frequently.

I’ll be the first to admit that I basically suck at life.   Well, not all of life, really, but just relating to most of the other people on this planet.  But the thing is, I don’t think it’s just me.   I think we’re all just wandering around blindly bumping into one another, stepping on each others’ toes, pushing in on one another, pushing each other around, and making asses of ourselves.   And it’s so often way too much for me, pushing and being pushed, and it seems like I would feel so much better to just let it out in a blood curdling, gutteral, primal scream.

And I honestly don’t know how it is that I’m not just screaming my head off out of pure frustration.

Screaming because I’m not being heard.   Screaming because everyone stands too close.  Screaming because I just want everyone to stop moving for a minute.  Screaming because I want everything to stop for a minute.  Screaming because everything and everyone are being too loud.   Screaming because it’s too quiet.  Screaming because I’m lonely.  Screaming because they’re scaring me.   Screaming because they don’t understand.    Screaming because I don’t know how to explain it.    Screaming because it doesn’t make any sense.  Screaming because I messed it up again.   Screaming because I just want to be left alone.  Screaming because I don’t like it.   Screaming because I do.   Screaming because they’re not listening.   Screaming because I don’t matter.    Screaming because they won’t leave me alone.   Screaming because they’re hurting me. And screaming because I just want to be myself.    Screaming because I want a little space to myself that is my own.

But I’m not screaming.   I’m just sitting here in my room, feet under an electric blanket, listening to A Fine Frenzy, writing this blog.    Maybe that’s what we’re all doing.   Maybe I’m not the only one fighting off the urge.

Or maybe I’m just nuts, and it really is just me.

I doubt it.

Just sayin’.

Not a Geek! Not a Nerd! Not a Dork!

I took this online quiz/personality test, and apparently I’m not a geek, a nerd, or a dork…..I’m all three.   I think I knew that.

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test…

Outcast Genius

52 % Nerd, 61% Geek, 61% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.

Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don’t care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).

Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.


Thanks Again!

Eleanor Roosevelt Once Said ….

It’s not her birthday, or anything, but I was thinking about Mrs. Roosevelt today.  I have a refrigerator magnet that shows a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt, and a quote from her:  “Do something every day that scares you.”

That’s not such a hard philosophy for me to follow.  I’m usually pretty scared of everything.    I’m scared of everything staying the same, and I’m scared of things changing.    I’m scared of my past, and I’m scared of my future.   Hell, I’m scared of sock monkeys.   I just need to remember that if some decision I face or some circumstance frightens the daylight out of me, well then I’m probably doing something right.    Life shouldn’t be too easy.

Momser read me this quote once, where she said: “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”

I can only be myself.    I cannot be what people need me or want me to be, unless what they want and need me to be is just myself.   I struggle with being myself.    But I know that I, myself, sometimes have to do things that other people don’t understand or wouldn’t do.   And if there’s something in the way of me being as me as I can be, well I guess it’s my duty to break it down.

That all got me to thinking quite a bit more about Mrs. Roosevelt, and so I started going through collections of her quotes, and here are a few more that have some meaning to me.

She said: “A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”

I need to take a step back, and look around.   Nothing needs to be this complicated.  It is.  I am.

She said: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

I need to stop worrying so much about what others think of my actions.  I have to do what I have to do.   There will always be someone who disagrees or who would do it differently.     They’re not looking my reality in the face.

She said: “I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role.”

I should try to find some more pleasure in being different.   I can’t always agree, and I don’t want to.   It wouldn’t be much fun.  Life wouldn’t be as much fun if we all agreed about anything.   From the big things to the little things, I need to find a way to say, “I don’t agree with you.”

She said: “Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”

And finally she also said: “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”

So I’m going to live my life, be myself, cut the fat, voice my unpopular opinions, scare the crap right out of myself.   And if I do this, if I follow the advice of Eleanor Roosevelt, well, I think I might not be too bad off.    And I think if Eleanor were here, she’d give me an encouraging smile and tell me to get to it.    Because …”It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

And as always, I’m just sayin’.

CSGL – 30 Days of Summer

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a narrator.   This voice in my head that tells me what’s happening to me, usually in real time.  (Is it just me?)   Most frequently the voice mimics Jane Austen.    One too many re-treads through Mansfield Park, I think, did me in.    However, the voice does shift from time to time from different influences.   A book I’m reading, a song I like, or a movie I’m watching.   Or, perhaps, the kinds of movies I’ve been watching.

Being as I am spoiled digital rotten, I have a Netflix account with a full DVD and Instant Watch queue.   Lately I’ve been trying to make my way through all the films that were nominated for Oscars that I never did get around to actually going out and seeing.   Also, I’ve sort of become obsessed with documentaries, because you have no idea how much stuff I don’t know.

So, I’ve been sitting here over the last few weeks – and by sitting here, I of course mean laying in my bed – watching lots of poignant shit.   All the while with this Object of Crush in my head  and all the ups, downs, and intrigues of a single girl’s life with single girl friends, and the well-intentioned but off-base remarks from male buds swimming in my overactive imagination.   Well, wouldn’t you know it, but that voice in my head, well it’s a mix of some sort of indie movie heroine and, well, Morgan Spurlock…you know, the guy from Super Size Me, except this is more like his television series 30 Days.

And it’s like there’s a hidden camera crew following me around for a month while I trip, stumble, start, sprint through my life, which though very mundane and not a very good plot for a movie, is somehow being turned into the next best thing since (500) Days of Summer.  (Similar sort of soundtrack, actually.)

But are you ready for the twist?   (There’s got to be a twist, right?)   In my indie-movie-life-documentary, my role….well, I’m certainly too clumsy to be the hip ingenue, aren’t I?    It’s like the bumbling sidekick suddenly became the focus of the film.

It’s totally whacky and zany.   It sure as shit ain’t gonna win an Oscar.   But maybe, just maybe, it could be a darling at Cannes.

Probably not though, I mean, shit the only thing that happens in this movie is the lead character lies in bed on a Tuesday night, while her friends are out bowling, and types on a laptop about the voice she hears in her head saying something like “For the Next 30 Days, PeggyLuWho will toil under the burden of infatuation and anxiety, lose sleep, write more numerous and self-deprecating, naval gazing blogs than she has in the last two years, while trying to keep up with the endless adventures of best mates.  Will she find true love and everlasting frienship?    Will she listen to Regina Spektor or The Shins or Vampire Weekend on her iPod tonight?”

Why does this all sound so much more lovely when it’s happening in my head than it does in black and white on my macbook screen?