I emerged from my writing cave after two weeks to find this view waiting for me:
I seriously need to get out more.
WHAT’S PLAYING: The Pierces “Lights On”
Lately, I’ve been frustrated with society in general, and our government in particular, so I decided to tap into my internal Evil Overlord and come up with ways to make things better.
When I Come to Power:
1. People who take up two parking spaces shall have their cars crushed and melted.
If you’re that worried about other people accidentally scratching or dinging your car, then invest in a bicycle or walk. An expensive car does not give you the right to be a dick.
2. People who talk or text during movies shall be forced to watch artsy, foreign films that have no plot, minimal dialogue and lots of weird images without subtitles for six hours. Once again, having a cell phone and people who are willing to communicate with you doesn’t give you the right to fuck with my movie-going experience.
3. Telemarketers shall only be allowed to call people between the hours of 3:00PM and 3:02PM. This also goes for politicians, charities, survey polls, etc., anyone looking for money or time.
Companies that violate this rule shall be fined $100,000, and their CEO’s beat with a bag of oranges.
5. Last, but not least, those who don’t do their jobs, shall not get fucking paid.
Seriously, Congress, enough is enough. Strap on a set and do the right thing.
WHAT’S PLAYING: Placebo “Running up that Hill”
Last month, I learned that my nuclear power plant would not be taking on new fuel next year, so by late 2014, the doors will shut for good and I’ll be out of a job.
As you can imagine, my gut reaction was pure panic. “But I just bought a new car! I have a five-year plan! I’M NOT READY!”
And then I went to my crazy place.
I started coming up with scenarios that would allow me to survive in a nuclear power free world. You name it, I thought of it. Everything from selling my teeth to going off the grid and wearing nothing but blue gingham and ass-less chaps. By the end the day, I was mentally fashioning the spear I would use to hunt rats for food.
A couple of days later, I decided to go on vacation. I needed time and space to calm down and gain some perspective. I attended Donal Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Intensive and spent a fantastic week in Virginia Beach surrounded by some very talented writer and taking long, peaceful walks through the garden below:
It took some time, and a lot of soul-searching, but I finally realized that I’m in a pretty good place. Thanks to living well below my means the last 10 years, I’m financially secure with no debt, mortgage, kids or spouse to worry about. For the first time in my life, I don’t need to work. I can go anywhere and do anything I want. With this realization came a heady sense of freedom, followed immediately by overwhelming fear.
What the hell am I going to do? Take a year off and write full-time? Cast my net into the nuclear power river and see who bites? Raise ocelots? Start a business selling toupees for bald chimps?
Or maybe, just maybe, stop obsessing about the future and just live my life?
I don’t know. But one thing I have decided is that as soon as my job has officially ended, I’m going to Ireland for a month. There, I’ll spend my time with just a laptop, my thoughts, and a view like this one.
Who knew unemployment could be so beautiful?
A couple of months ago, my mom died. She passed away the day before Mother’s Day and two days after my birthday. I’m not sure what I feel at this point. Shock? Yes. Grief? Sure. Along with a heaping measure of guilt for not being a better daughter.
And then there’s this weird mix of exasperated amusement. My mom was what most people would call “a character.” She was blind, deaf, old-fashioned, and at times, a huge pain in the ass. She was the kind of person who would pick the day before Mother’s Day to shuffle off this mortal coil, if only to get back at me for forgetting her birthday for the last twenty years.
Some days, she drove me crazy. I’m talking claw-your-eyes-out-hair-on-fire-bat shit-crazy.
Other days, she was kind, loving, and fiercely protective. She handled life’s disappointments with humor, grace, and a kind of get-‘er-done-and-fuck-the-rest attitude that I’ve tried so hard to emulate in my own life. Most importantly, she was mine. My mother. And I would give everything I have in this life and the next, to have her back for just one more day.
Grief hits me at unexpected times, like when I’m driving or in the shower. One minute, I’m fine. The next, the pain is so great that it’s all I can do to keep breathing.
I don’t have the best track record when it comes to dealing with grief. When my twin brother died, I handled it by quitting my job, running away from home, shaving my head, and joining a cult. I wound up in Arizona a month later, married to a man I barely knew. My dad had it annulled while I went away for a few weeks to “rest” in a glorified booby hatch.
(Don’t worry. As of today’s post, I am still unmarried and not bald, so I guess that’s a good sign.)
I know the last thing my mom would want is for me to spend the rest of my life mourning her. If she were here, she’d smack me upside the head and tell me to get on with it. So, that’s what I’m doing.
I love you, Mom.