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Category Archives: Middle-aged Musings

Memory of Past Upsets

I was not going to write a Middle-aged Musings Monday this week. Then in going through my notebook looking for a blank back of a page, I came across something I wrote some months ago. I was upset (never mind about what) and could not write. As I often do, I wrote about how I could not write. It was not a usable post (some of my more sarcastic readers are shuddering at the thought there there is some stuff worse than what I actually publish) (you know who you are), except for a couple of paragraphs I share with you now:

Writing this out is not helping. That has almost always been the case for me. Some people swear by writing when they are upset. They get it all out of their system and feel better. I do not experience this effect. When I write about what is upsetting me, I usually get more upset. I see how completely justified I am in being upset. I wonder why I am not more upset. I marvel at my self-restraint in not killing the people that are making me upset.

One might think this is because I was such a persuasive writer. However, in my adolescent past, when I was ill-advised enough to show what I had written to the culprits causing the upset, it did not bring them to acknowledge the error of their ways. They actually refused to see the irrefutable logic of my position. Their self-delusion appalled me.

I rather liked those last two paragraphs. Then again, perhaps my self-delusion is not appalling others. No matter. It’s Monday. I deem that a short, silly post is acceptable. If anyone disagrees, well, that might upset me. But I probably won’t write a post about how upset I am.

Musings After the Deluge

You see what I was trying to do there, that internal rhyme with the “oo” in “Musings” and the “oo” in “Deluge”? Oh well, my other idea for a title was “Hi Ho, Hi Ho,” because I went back to work today, but I felt certain somebody would say, “Who you callin’ a ho?”

Yes, after a Wrist to Forehead Sunday and a Saturday post about Why I Couldn’t Write a Post, I am indulging in another Middle-aged Musings Monday. I’ll have to get back to the murderer dumping bodies in the Seine (that I had been going to write about Saturday, for those of you just tuning in). Today I’m tired.

I had all last week off (regularly scheduled factory shut-down, not emergency flood-related leave). I spent a good part of the week saying things like, “It’ll be a relief to go back to work!” and “I can’t WAIT to be back at work!” And now, here I am at work, once again facing the fact that work is, you know, work.

It really isn’t so bad.

For one thing, it’s a lot more cut and dried what I’m supposed to do next at work (and after my flood experience, I REALLY appreciate the “dried” aspect of it). I admit to spending a ridiculous amount of time last week sitting in a daze or wandering from room to room, wondering what to do first.

In my defense, there were times when there wasn’t a whole lot I could do. Sometimes I just had to wait for the sump pump to do it’s thang (no, that’s not a typo; I meant to say “thang.” Is that too precious?).

I made my blog post every day, and I worked at least a little on my novel each day. I took my dog for several walks, which was not the relaxing activity it normally is. We had to pick our way around oceans of mud as well as avoiding the various clean up crews (who were doing a very good job, by the way). I went running twice and exercised at Curves twice.

So much for non-flood-related chores. I almost included going to the laundromat in that list, which I did once (and wrote a blog post about), because I didn’t wash things dirtied in the flood. However, since the flood made it impossible for me to do laundry at home, I deemed it flood-related.

Typing this post into the computer now, after work, exercise and a cold shower (haven’t replaced the hot water heater yet), I reflect that it was not a bad day at all. I got some sympathy from my co-workers about my lousy vacation. Some of them had pretty bad ones, too.

I will end with a musing which my husband, Steven, mused on Sunday, about the time he was holding a towel on the cracked pipe in the bathroom and I was frantically on the phone with the plumber. “What,” he asked, “did we do to deserve all this?” I believe that calls for some half-baked philosophy suitable for Lame Post Friday. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.

More Musings on the Muse

It’s not exactly Writer’s Blank, because I can think of words I might write down. Could this be Writer’s Block?

I’ve discussed the inability to write before. Some writers (and MANY non-writers) scorn such an idea. If we’re not writing, they say, we must be self-dramatizing slackers. The rest of us explain, “Shut up.”

Welcome to Wrist to Forehead Monday.

I know that just last week I wrote a post about not being able to write (the irony was not lost on me) (In fact, I wrote a half page on my novel today before turning my attention to the blog) (so you see). Can I think of something new and different to say on the subject, in order to justify another nothing post?

I’m thinking I probably can. I have an almost endless fascination with reading about writing. It is a well-known saw in the writing lexicon: Write what you like to read.

I’m also thinking, Why am I justifying anything? I write what I write. People can read it or not.

But let’s back it up even further. Why do I disparage these as “nothing” posts? I sometimes get a lot of “Likes” from fellow bloggers on my posts about the tribulations of the writing life. I like to think it is because my fellow bloggers also struggle with our avocation.

That is as far as I wrote while at work today (I really feel I need to keep saying on a break, OF COURSE) (not that I think my boss reads blogs). While working and pondering my post, I remembered: It’s Middle-aged Musings Monday! I don’t have to apologize for anything! So I slap a title on my verbal meanderings and hit Publish.

I’ll try to get back to Mohawk Valley adventures tomorrow.

One further note: the expression we explain, shut up, is a reference to S.J. Perelman, a writer of some note from the previous century.

Don’t Mind Me

I delayed writing my blog post during my break at work in order to practice mindful eating. I couldn’t think of anything to write about anyways. Now that I’ve eaten and still have six minutes left on my break, I will attempt a Mid-week Middle-aged Musing on Mindfulness (enough Ms for you?).

I love to read while I eat. Or write. Or even watch television. We are told by nutrition experts (both real ones and the self-appointed kind) that this is the wrong thing to do. The theory is if you NOTICE your food while it is going in, you will feel more satisfied.

Many of us have observed the phenomenon of shoveling in food while distracted by book, computer, whatever, and suddenly realizing we’ve done away with an entire bag of chips. So the theory makes a lot of sense. I thought I’d try it. Full disclosure: I’ve tried it before and I can’t quite remember the results.

That was when my six minutes was up and I had to go back to work. I practiced mindful eating at lunch, too. It still only took me five minutes to eat my salad, but then I called Steven and talked rather than writing the rest of this blog post.

My conclusion is: if you’re eating something that tastes really good, mindful eating is the way to go. Enjoy it. I don’t imagine anybody needed me to tell them this, but, hey, I need a blog post and this is all I got.

On the brighter side, the reason I’m going with this instead of trying to come up with something more profound is that I have an authentic Mohawk Valley adventure planned. We’re going to see the Diamond Dawgs baseball team in Little Falls, NY. I’m hoping it’ll make a dandy blog post, and I’m hoping you’ll stay tuned.

Words Happen

I just looked back and saw that I did not do a Monday Middle-aged Musings, and that is good news for me. Now I can do a Midweek Musings and be off the hook.

The funny part is, I have two blog posts written that I could type in. The problem is, one of them will probably run over 1,000 words and I really ought to look a couple of things up before I start typing (does that intrigue you? I’m rather proud of it myself). The other is heavy on the half-baked philosophy and therefore more suitable for Lame Post Friday.

So, what am I left with, a post about what I’m not going to write a post about? Sounds pretty dull. The thing is, I haven’t been musing much this week, middle-agedly or otherwise. But I do have a question that just occurs to me: where do we draw the line between middle-aged musings and half-baked philosophy? Aren’t they awfully similar? And isn’t either one just an excuse for me to type whatever the hell I feel like for a few hundred words and call it a post?

You wouldn’t know it from this post, but I have actually been writing a lot this week. Yesterday I sat down and wrote the aforementioned 1,000+ word post, then worked on a new novel I had started on Monday. (Oh dear, didn’t mean to mention the novel. I hope I haven’t jinxed it.) This morning I wrote my Friday Lame Post, then worked some more on… that thing I wished I hadn’t mentioned. Can I just say, I LOVE writing! You do it, then suddenly you find yourself doing more of it! You write one thing, then you write something else! Words happen! (Ooh, good title.)

The irony is not lost on me: I am about to publish a singularly foolish post in which I brag about all this other great stuff I’ve written that I am, for reasons best known to myself (if that), I am not publishing yet. Let’s all muse on that for a while, shall we?

OK, we’re done.

Muddled Musings

Well, I avoided Wrist to Forehead Sunday, but I’m going to have to have a Middle-aged Musings Monday. And I’m thinking they are not going to be any too profound.

I actually spent most of the day waiting to not feel so lightheaded. During a brief time I didn’t feel so bad, we were walking down to the park to enjoy a Memorial Day Parade (about which I hope to write tomorrow) (preview of coming attractions). I finally realized, I’ve got to write the damn post or — well, I was going to say die trying, but really what will happen is just that I won’t have a post. Can’t have that.

I wish I had something wise to say about Memorial Day. As a veteran myself, one might think I would have something valuable to add to the chorus of praise for our service members who have given their all for our freedom. Unfortunately, all I can think of to say is, “Yeah, what they said!” One feels proud and humble when one thinks of these things. One doesn’t necessarily think of anything that hasn’t already been said.

Was that the slightest bit profound? To say that I can’t think of anything to say? After many posts of writing how I can’t think of anything to write, at least it makes a change of pace.

I always say the best defense for these nothing posts is, at least they’re short. As always, let’s hope for something better tomorrow.

This Is Why I Don’t Plan Anything!

Plans don’t work. You decide you’re going to do something, it’s a really good idea, it’s going to make your life easier, you are so smart to think of it, yes, YOU HAVE A PLAN!

And then it doesn’t work.

For example, today. You see, I have a bear of a week ahead of me, because our play, Dirty Work at the Crossroads at Ilion Little Theatre is bearing down on me like, well, like a locomotive with me tied to the tracks. No, I don’t get tied to the railroad tracks in this play, don’t get your hopes up for me being pulverized by the 6:15! But I have a lot to do, and a lot I would like to get done. I’m a little stressed.

Today I do not have to be at rehearsal. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday I do. Rehearsals are earlier this week. I still have to exercise, after, you know, working all day (still on ten hour days). And I like to post in my blog every day. I almost put “have to,” but my honesty asserts itself: I don’t have to. I choose to. And since I have chosen to every day for almost two years now, I want to continue to make that choice. So.

I thought, I can write two posts today, then only have to hit “Publish” on Tuesday. I could even get fancy and set it to publish on Tuesday without my further input. All I had to do was write two posts! I even had a topic for one: a shout-out to Symeon’s restaurant. As for the other: it’s Monday! I can do a Middle-aged Musings and have done with! So I dashed off the Symeon’s write up, making myself hungry in the process (love that Greek food).

And stared at a blank page in my notebook during all subsequent break time at work.

I got home, did a few things, ate supper, typed in the Tuesday post, all the while searching my brain for something, anything to muse about for a blog post’s worth. Nothing came to mind. I read a couple other blogs, looked at Facebook, and pondered my fate. Should I just publish the other post and worry about Tuesday on Tuesday? Bad idea. I won’t have time to type in squat if I exercise. Skip exercise, since I worked out today? Bad idea, because I may have to also skip Wednesday. Wrist to Forehead Monday? Well, I guess it is, but, you know, I just had a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

So now I have written over 400 words about how I am completely unable to write a post for today. The irony is not lost on me. In fact, I feel strangely proud of myself. On to prepare myself for the rest of the week!

Musings on Lack of a Muse

It’s no use: I have to hide behind a Mid-Week Middle-Aged Musings. Unfortunately I have very little to muse about.

I had thought I could spend the week happily writing about my Finger Lakes wine tasting adventures. It turns out they are not as easy to write about as the tastings at Vintage Spirits and Ilion Wine & Spirits. I suppose I could spend the post musing on why this is so, yet I feel strangely disinclined to do so.

I like to say I have Writer’s Blank rather than Writer’s Block, although sometimes I have Write It Then Cross It Out Syndrome. Today, however, it really feel like Block. There are words in my head, and my pen simply refuses to write them.

I know there are people out there who have no patience with this sort of crisis. I don’t say writers, because a lot of these people have never written a word in their lives, yet they feel certain that they know exactly what my problem is. As for the people that have written a word in their lives and claim never to have a problem of this nature, well, every writer is different (oh, how tactful of me to refrain from saying they are full of beans) (oops).

I think writing is an obstacle course (I did not say “like an obstacle course” because I prefer metaphor to simile). Sometimes you have to bull your way through the obstacle by main force. Sometimes you can climb or even jump over it. Sometimes you must carefully take it apart one piece at a time. And sometimes the best thing to do is to go around it and find a different way.

How’s that for something new to say about Why I Can’t Write a Post Today?

Musings at the Beginning of a Stressful Week

So I was all happy to be on eight hour days (at least for a day), because it gives me time in the morning to get a blog post written. And then I sit staring at the blank page, wishing I had brought a book to read.

Oh, I KNOW some of you saw that coming (and don’t the rest of you just hate know-it-alls?). It is a well known fact of writing that sometimes when you thing everything is ideal to Write, nothing comes out.

Ooh, ooh, it looks like I’ve backed into a Monday Middle-aged Musing. The problem is I’ve mused this before. Can I possibly think of anything new and different to say about it? A fresh insight. An enhanced perspective (and I don’t even have my thesaurus with me). The answer is I’ll never know, because I don’t remember what I said about it before. I haven’t the means to check that here and now as I write this. I will not have time later.

Actually, I have another musing to (I hope) entertain you with: I would make an outstanding homeless person. The more of my stuff I am carting around with me, the more comfortable I am. I think I would be quite content pushing around a grocery cart filled with all my worldly possessions.

Of course, I would have to get rid of about 90% of those possessions in order to fit everything in a grocery cart. Maybe I could get a Mary Poppins grocery cart (you know that scene in the movie where she reaches her whole arm into her bag and pulls out a coat rack, among other things).

The reason I think of this is that I may be going wine tasting this weekend with my family (some of the female members, at least). I may be spending the night before at Mom and Dad’s house, which obviously requires some packing. However, even if it was only a day trip, I am quite incapable of just grabbing my purse and going.

I must bring my notebook. And a book to read. Perhaps a change of shoes (although in a pinch, I can do without that). I will be happier if I bring my awesome large thermos with coffee. And a travel mug to drink said coffee. I want my crochet. I probably won’t crochet while riding to the wineries (I am emphatically not the designated driver), but I’ll want it at Mom and Dad’s house the night before. And at Diane’s house afterward.

I guess you could say I’m high maintenance. I could do some more musing on high maintenance people, but I kind of need to keep my posts short this week. I have rehearsal and a board meeting and exercise and a plethora of things to do to prepare for Saturday. In fact, I’ve said too much already (some may think I’ve said too much by having a blog at all, but I tend to doubt they are my regular readers).

Stay tuned as my stress level increases, or decreases if I actually manage to cross things off my list of stuff to do (ooh, cross off “write and type in Monday’s blog post.” Yes!).

Melancholy Musings Will Have To Do

I guess I thought that I could write about my depression once and never mention it again.

As I consider the misconception, I believe it is not that unrealistic after all. I went for almost two years writing every day about my life and never mentioned my depression till recently. That’s pretty circumspect, especially for me.

Lately I have been comforting myself with the thought that I am a high functioning depressant. I make it to work every day and even manage to do a few things outside work. I think there are actually a lot of us high functioning depressants out there. We keep our depression a deep, dark, shameful secret.

Now I’m out of the depressant closet (I hope no gay people are offended that I use their closet metaphor). I have exposed my mental flaws for all to see. I know, some of you are sitting there saying, “Oh, Cindy, we saw them all along. There are a lot. Physical flaws, too, don’t get me started.” You know who you are.

At this point in writing my rough draft, I was assailed by the thought that it is probably very boring to read about somebody else’s depression. It is not till much later, as I type this in, that I think, “So what? I’m ALWAYS afraid my blog posts are going to be boring. I can only write what I can write.”

The fact is, very little has changed since Wrist to Forehead Sunday (yesterday) when I had no Mohawk Valley adventures to write about. One small change: I was in a TERRIBLE Monday funk. It dissipated somewhat as the day wore on and seems to be completely leaving after a gruesome workout at Curves followed by a shower and cup of coffee at home.

So, funk gone, write the damn post, right? Well, I have a rehearsal to go to (preview of coming attractions). I’ve got time to hit publish. I’m going to call this a Middle-Aged Musings Monday and drive on. Hope to see you on Tuesday.