16 November 2011

Updates: "Keep Calm and Carry On"

Like intuition, writing/journaling is a muscle that needs to be flexed to stay strong.  I sat down a few weeks ago to churn out a post and realized I’d become completely blog atrophied. So, here are a few narcissistic updates to clear the cobwebs before (hopefully) getting back to the business of the PU.

Update #1: I tried to start the PU back up again earlier this year and then kind of puttered out. Somewhere between March and September, I fell through the cracks of society.  I spent a lot of time light deprived in my basement office, unshowered beneath a dropped ceiling.  There, I toiled away in my little cubby with exposed insulation hanging like a fluffy pink thundercloud over my head.  (Good morning, fiberglass.) I shuffled to and from the kitchen for tea refills on the shattered remains of Wii games that have become encrusted in the carpet.

Encrusted because I still can’t vacuum without having to lie down. I got winded slicing a crusty baguette at a friend’s birthday party a few months ago. The physical atrophy remains and is hopefully the next to go.

Update #2: Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been having a ball, living a bit too high on the hog and justifying it like Steve Dunne: “I’m not wiggy. This is hang time. I’m regrouping and thinking about regrouping.”  All the while becoming one hot stone pedicure shy of insolvency.

During the day, I was carrying on like Brett Ashley, enjoying long lunches and day drinking at the Scarlet Oak with my other friends down here beneath the cracks.

Update #3: At some point over the summer, I morphed into Donatella Versace. This video hits a little too close to the mark.

Update #4: So, I was having a lot of fun practicing these avoidance behaviors, knowing full well they were unsustainable. I’ve had up to three jobs, coupled with full-time momma hood.  Running frantic, willy-nilly, undisciplined in a non-routine. In a million places at once and never truly “present” in any of them.

Update #5: Rotational neglect has its side effects.

I mumble to myself when I’m out in public like some cracked-out degenerate.

It’s been taking an unreasonable amount of mental gymnastics to write a simple paragraph.

Update #6: Rotational neglect causes anxiety.

My counselor/energy healer who is like a Cesar Millan for humans has been helping me see the upside of anxiety.  Take your natural neuroses and channel them into something productive.  If you don’t mix it up now and again, life stagnates and you never leave your comfort zone. I’ve seen what that looks like. It’s cringe worthy.

The freelance lifestyle isn’t working anymore. I need a place to show up, at least a few days a week.

“Keep Calm and Carry On”

Sometimes you receive little signs, flashes of intuition, that gently nudge you toward a certain path.  Sometimes you get actual, concrete signs that become a new mantra.

Over the summer, I found a card with a portly pug on it. The pug was wearing a sign around his burly chest: “Don’t Feed the Pug.” The photo’s caption: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” I was familiar with the photo because I’ve had an 8x10 glossy of it posted over Vito’s food dish in my kitchen for 5 years.  It was the October photo on a 2006 calendar, except the caption on mine is: “Round Mound of Hound.”

“Keep Calm and Carry On.”  I liked the sentiment so much that I stuck it on my whiteboard as a wee mantra.

About two months ago, I got a part-time job at a local make-up and skincare boutique.  I’d been looking for a way to supplement my infrequent freelance checks, and honestly, just wanted to have someplace to be other than my basement office.  At the very least, I figured being surrounded by anti-aging products would keep the inner hag at bay.

To the contrary, it awakened her.

The last time I worked in retail, it was 2001. It was pre-kids, pre LOTS of things, pre the past two years of shite. Pre-perspective.  So, after spending a few Saturdays being run ragged by a mannerless and self-entitled clientele (a.k.a missing my kids’ games to wait on hags), I realized that this was not going to work. Either that or that I was going to end up going all Ninja with a bottle of Glycolic Wash on the next person who came in with Wellbutrin eyes.

I walked to my car that evening, quietly berating myself for making another poor occupational decision, even a part-time one.  I was wondering if I could even trust myself to make the right one; to not waste my precious times on things that are clearly not right.

There’s a store near the boutique where I covet everything in the front window. They sell trendy clothes, bags, cool jewelry, trinkets, vintage reproductions of old signs, old postcards with kitzy bumperstick philosophy and punchlines: “I Childproofed My House But They’re still Getting In.”

This night, right there in the window, like a blue and white beacon, was a painted sign, blaring my mantra:  “Keep Calm and Carry On.” I ran inside and purchased it, along with some vintage postcards.
Keep Calm and Carry On.  There is still a certain weariness (as Pablo says) here, but I’m continuing to clear out the cobwebs and get back (as the Beatles say).

So, PU, let’s try this again...


Roving Lemon said...

The writing muscles are THE most important ones to get back in shape! (Says the woman up to her eyeballs in NaBlaPoMo.) We'll be happy to follow along as you flex 'em here. As for the inner hag, I'm putting mine to work for me--she says the things I fear to. Think about it. xoxo

Ted Turnip said...

Quite excellent. More please.

lp said...

Drinking in your every word and thirsty for more. God, I have missed your words, KJ. I love the feeling that they are swirling around me again, and can already see them building momentum. They comfort me...let me know you're here. And knowing you're here is one of the greatest joys I've known. And your words, your stories, the greatest gifts. [tears] Excuse the melodrama, but it's November, always the most melodramatic month, you know. ;) xo

lp said...

PS...The Donatella comparison and skit almost made me wee my knickers.