Category Archives: Thoughts

Journal – Just keeping up

The coffee is jumping inside of me
or maybe that’s just my own hormones
something is jumping inside of me
it’s leaping and touching the ceiling.

Yesterday it dragged the floor.
It sure is nice to have emotions again
dulce et decorum est
to have emotions again

I wonder who is talking
through my head
through my hands

I speak up at work now
everyone tells me how friendly I am
how welcoming
they appreciate my vocalness
I am well liked by my peers
that’s good
I guess.
I still have little anxieties
I used to have big anxieties
so that’s better.
I’m writing another novel
aren’t we proud?
I ran two miles
it hurt a little
but not much
I got all my shit together.
all. my. shit. together.

the cat desperately tries to crawl on my lap
and I write with one hand
desperately trying to keep him off my keyboard


So why is this knot in my stomach?
Why is my hair falling out?
Why do I spend my days in industry,
To hide from the nights
in darkness?

I’m feeling much better.
I’ve got it all under control.
Don’t worry about me.
I used to be worse, much worse.
It’s nice to have feelings again.
I spent a whole year with no ups or downs
creatively, emotionally, just…
And I asked myself,
Is this happiness?

Now I feel again
I’m getting things done
more than ever
trying to squash the anxiety in my chest, in my belly
running from the depression
breathing through the mania
and I ask myself
Is this happiness??

Don’t worry about me.
I’m fine.
I’ve been here before.
Lower, higher, much worse, much better, too much better.
I’m probably just at normal human levels now.
Is that
What happiness is?

Maybe happiness can only be found
in others.
Writing gives me a feeling of completion
of working towards my life ambitions
being who I should be.
People give me that oxytocin boost
linked in love
I’ve invested myself in people this year
now I know what they mean
now I know what they do for me
and how much I need them.
Is that
What happiness is?

Maybe asking
is asking
for trouble.

Finding new support styles


I thought I wasn’t the type to lean on people, but I found myself reeling when that support was lifted.

We are not islands. Why rely on yourself when you can make other people responsible for your health and sanity? They are usually happy to help.

Here is how I’m regaining my balance.



Old habit: running with a friend

New habit: scheduling remote exercise with a friend


I am not especially reliable, especially where exercise is concerned. Having made a promise to a friend is one of the few things that get me out there and moving, and I’m always glad when I have done it.

When isolation began, I really foundered in this area. I was afraid to go outside, I was too depressed to get moving. Exercise videos on youtube were a lifesaver. Doing a video alone is painful and grating and you’re relieved to be done. Doing them with somebody else on videochat makes it hilarious, and you want to do more.

Now I’m pushing my friends to schedule exercise time with me. It’s good for them too, they love it, I’m sure they’re very grateful (heh). Even just going for a run while keeping the phone to my ear and talking to somebody else running, is oddly comforting and connecting. We could both enjoy the beautiful things we saw outside, and describe them to each other. Proximity being no object, I can now run with a friend who lives in Kansas City who I rarely get to see. I have a feeling I’m going to keep doing this even after lockdown is lifted. I have more workout companions than ever!



Old habit: making cookies with my sister

New habit: making cookies with my siblings over Facetime


It’s nice, because more of my siblings can get involved this way. It’s fun to just set your phone on the countertop and get out your ingredients, compare recipes, show off your freshly baked cookies, eat them together.



Old habit: walking to a cafe and getting a treat

New habit: making myself a special beverage


It’s just as gratifying to sit down with your own cold-brew coffee or iced chai latte. There’s a little work involved, but think of the preparation time as a luxury. You don’t get annoyed at the work involved in drawing a bath and lighting up candles, do you?



Old habit: brush then floss

New habit: floss then brush


Yeah, this has no bearing on the topic. It’s just something that I learned. Apparently, if you floss BEFORE you brush, then the gaps are opened up between your teeth, and the fluoride from the toothpaste can get in there and work its magic. This assertion is still being personally tested by me, but it makes sense. Once upon a time, I didn’t believe in fluoride, and my teeth rotted. Now I believe in fluoride. I pray to fluoride every night, I perform the fluoride ritual, and it answers my prayers. In fluoride there is strength.



Old habit: eat all the bananas as fast as possible

New habit: once they are at perfect ripeness, bananas can go in the fridge


Yes, 80% of my coping habits are food-centric. Hush.



Old habit: spending an entire Sunday with my sister and her family

New habit: calling somebody at least every other day


In order to get the same quantity of people-hours into my week, this is necessary. If I skip too many days in a row, I find myself drifting.



Old habit: when the walls are closing in on me, get out of the house

New habit: turn into the woman from “The Yellow Wallpaper”


There is a squirrel in the walls. I have been battling it for months but I’ve been driven to new levels of insanity by its scrabbling and nibbling right above my head. If you see a crazy lady in pajamas stalking her roof with a knife, look away.

Headphones help. Fantasizing squirrel murder helps. These are not healthy strategies. I’m still working on this one.













Still alive


Yes, I am still alive! All this isolation blanks out my creativity. I haven’t written or drawn in a long, long time. Part of it was the idea that I had to post something cheerful to help people… but I couldn’t figure out how to write something cheerful. Even on my happiest days, cheerful writing is rare from me. I don’t know how people do it. It’s a mystery…

So I was mentally flatlined for a while there. I’m finally restabilizing, and figure out new coping mechanisms under these conditions.

My cooking game has leveled up a notch, and my house is coming together piece by piece. I remodeled a whole bathroom, it’s the nicest room in the house now and I want to spend all my time there, but my health is too good. The cats have been following me around everywhere and I find myself changing my behavior to suit their desires… they are training me.





A peep out of me


Smashwords is having a special Authors Give Back sale. People can download my book for free. We haven’t got a lot else to do, right? If we’re very, very lucky, boredom will be our worst enemy. The less lucky have to face loneliness, deprivation, sickness, and grief.

Well, I can’t fix that. But I can fix Bored. For several hours anyway.

I have this insurmountable to-do list on my phone, which I mostly ignore, and periodically angst over. I’m working my way through it at an alarming pace. I wonder how long it’ll last me. My freezer is getting really organized. I’ve figured out how to fight the ants back from the sink. Why aren’t I writing?

I guess I’m still adjusting, still reeling. I haven’t had the confidence to speak about what I’m seeing. For a while there, I wasn’t sure if this was worth worrying about or what.  Then came mental adjustment to new facts. Then came house arrest. Then I had to make fish cakes. Then came denial. Then I just absolutely had to learn how to tune the gears on my bike. Now I think I’ve come to terms, more or less, with whatever the hell is happening.

Have I mentioned how lucky I am? Maybe grateful… blessed… are better ways to put it. My work was already partially remote, so they’re letting us work from home. I didn’t really have that much put away in the stock market… money’s all made up anyway, it comes and goes. I’ve got a cabinet full of grits, rice, and beans if it comes to that. I really have nothing to worry about except other people.

Other people. That’s the only thing worth worrying about, isn’t it? I’m a type B, not a worrier by nature. Not by anybody’s standards. Well, you don’t have to worry about me. I’m not going anywhere. I mean that quite literally.

Missouri’s only got forty-something cases yet. That is, cases which have been tested and reported. Who knows what’s been hacked up out there, invisible, unreported.

It’s strange, behaving like I’m sick when I don’t feel sick. Next time I go out, I’ll get to play bandit with a kerchief on my face. That’s right, a handkerchief. My friends give me shit, because handkerchiefs are my religion. YOU SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT A HANDKERCHIEF, I’ll say, and whip mine out to save the day in every situation.

But I digress. It’s a writer’s prerogative.

So I’ll post more often, because we all need something to read, and it’s nice to know that we’re all alive out there.

Speaking of which… everyone alive out there? My precious reader friends and blogger friends? DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TOILET PAPER? 

Count off!


P.S. Bloggers might appreciate this. The diary of Samuel Pepys, written in the 1660’s in London during a bout of the Bubonic Plague.

I haven’t read a lot of it, but one part sticks in my mind: he was having a little house party, everyone was having a nice time, singing songs, then the party had end because two people got toothaches and wanted to go to bed.

Add modern dentistry and modern nutrition to my gratefulness list.













Coming out of hibernation


It was a lovely break, and I needed it! Thanks for being patient with me. I spent the past two months creatively BLANK. I petted the cats and watched TV and shopped and wrapped presents. I told myself I’d do something creative. I did nothing creative.

I think conversations with creative people helps trigger my own creativity.

In that light, let’s try kicking things off with a bit of philosophy:

What is wisdom?

Try to define it in your own words, without resorting to synonyms for wisdom (judgment, knowledge, etc). I’m curious about people’s personal twists on this.

My definition is below.


  • The ability to be happy in a civilization
  • The ability to make the kindest actions regardless of outside pressures
  • The ability to make crueler actions for the greater good
  • Tempering every action with love
  • Tempering love with sanity
  • The ability to be emotionally and situationally balanced, or to regain it quickly


What was your definition?













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