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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/walkinbird
Rated: 18+ · Book · Experience · #930577
Blog started in Jan 2005: 1st entries for Write in Every Genre. Then the REAL ME begins
It Hurts When I Stop Talking

Sometime in Fall of 1998, when a visit from Dad was infrequent, and primarily at the mercy of his 88 Toyota making the 50 mile journey, I was being treated to lunch. The restaurant was my choice, I think. Sisley Italian Kitchen at the Town Center mall was somewhere my dad had not yet tried, so that was my pick. Either I was being treated to the luxury of lunch and adult conversation without my husband and 5 year old son in tow, or that's just how the moment has lodged in my memory. The more I think about it, they probably were there, but enjoying the Italian food too much to bother interrupting.

Daddy and his lady friend at the time, Anne, came up together and made a day of it with me and the family. We were eating together and talking about some of my scripts, stories, coverages, poems and other creative attempts that really were not seeing the light of day. I think I'd just finished a group reading of The Artist's Way and was in a terribly frenetic mood over my writing. I think I'd just given them an entire rundown on a speculative Star Trek script.

My Dad asked me point blank, “Why don’t you write it?? Anne agreed. It sure sounded like I wanted to write it. Why wasn't I writing seriously? It's what I'd set out to do when earning my college degree in Broadcasting many years earlier.

Heck, I should, I agreed non-verbally.

“I will.”

But, I didn’t.

Blogs can be wild, unpredictable storehouses of moments, tangents, creative dervishes, if you will. I'm getting a firmer handle on my creative cycle. My mental compost heap (which is a catch phrase from Natalie Goldman or Julia Cameron - I can't think which, right now) finally seems to be allowing a fairly regular seepage of by-products. That may be a gross analogy, but I give myself credit to categorize my work in raw terms. It proves that I'm not so much the procrastinating perfectionist that I once was.

Still, I always seem to need prompts and motivation. Being a self-starter is the next step. My attempt to keep up in the Write in Every Genre Contest at the beginning of the year seemed like a perfect point to launch the blog.

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October 3, 2021 at 1:54pm
October 3, 2021 at 1:54pm
ABC Afternoon Special, yes, I remember the specific network, as it was part of the show title. I can actually remember the voice of the announcer declare, The ABC Afternoon Special...stated as confidently as newspapers once used to be cited with the auspicious use of "The" at the beginning. Chicago Style Manual or Strunk and White may still declare it necessary, but I would be surprised if college professors now are requiring as strict adherence as my own did once.

I think about the authority of television networks in the Seventies and Eighties, who were FCC contained and dictated to, and I wonder about whose sensibility decided to market the made-for-television movies aimed at issues of the day. Were they ever really meant for the children, or did they heighten the news market the television giants of the time also had to sell advertising time for? The topics of the shows and the actors they'd use seemed to be really for the mothers of the children, at this time it wouldn't be for the fathers, much as yet. And simply because it aired in the afternoon (After-school) it was "special" rather than primetime.

The disconnect, which I've only sensed decades after I was in their audience, is they magnanimously offered these special topic shows up AS IF most youth would be watching with an adult. I was not one of those kids -- I was a latch-key kid, and a media junkie, so I pretty much saw all these hot topic long-form docudramas on my own, to hash out for myself, and to reassure myself that if Henry Winkler could save the kid in the end, then of course, some adult in my life would appear to guide the way as well. The scriptwriters maybe were a bit more aware than the marketers, since the protagonist was usually a teacher or a coach, not the troubled kid's actual parent. Divorce was a huge reality, and usually it could be a contributing factor to the kid's troubles in the script. It could even be the main topic.

I also remember John Travolta as The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, which was primetime, and I probably had my parents present, but it wasn't like we talked during the presentation, or the commercials.
June 27, 2021 at 4:05am
June 27, 2021 at 4:05am
I live on the West Coast, and still new to the specific home we now inhabit. It'm also going to mention that the new residence was broken into about seven weeks ago, when we were not yet occupying the home, but most of our belongings had been moved in. I preface with that information, since I feel like I have to justify my actions, mostly because I'm not truly happy that I had to lie and turn someone away from my front porch.

Saturday night, and a full week ahead of a major holiday weekend -- finding out how our neighbors a few doors down party. Nothing more than loud music, and maybe some of the earlier firecrackers came from that direction? Zoning with my phone and a documentary on Netflix simultaneously, I'm startled to hear the Ring camera alert followed by the doorbell being rung, and I can see the top of a dark grey hoodie through the small, arched accent window, high up on the front door. My spouse goes to the door shirtless, and asks through the door, what is needed. Apparently the tall young woman is requesting a blanket at our door at almost midnight.

I'm taken aback as I realize the time, and I actually indicate a black throw on the ground that my spouse can offer, but then, both of us before he actually opens the door, think it through, and decide, it doesn't feel right to open the door.

We had select things stolen when the house was previously targeted, and we have no idea who made that decision to violate us, but clearly, our dear hearts still can't trust fully. I'm hoping I can leave a blanket and a warm coat out in the daytime. Moreso, I'd like them to go to her, but I cannot count on that being for certain.

It's sad to think that I rather hope she didn't have things work out for certain for her ,and that's what led her to check at someone's door at nearly midnight, instead of it being done with forethought. Who thinks it's alright to knock on a stranger's door at night for things you might need? You're injured, somebody's after you...yeah, then I might open the door. But you're twenty something and didn't think out , just a couple hours earlier, where you'd be laying your head that night and that a blanket would make that better?

I admit, I have enough to give away, and that's even with a reality of no pay coming into my bank account for the last six weeks. But I'm starting to feel old that I can mostly find myself being critical of a lack of planning by a stranger? Hope I can be a better person in the morning.
June 20, 2021 at 10:52am
June 20, 2021 at 10:52am
I woke with a thought that I couldn't shake -- I may have to apply for disability. I have a broadcast clip from an interview seven months ago in which I genuinely state my love for work. It is more than irritating to realize the compromise to my core beliefs that has to occur so money that I've allowed to be put aside from the time I first worked at sixteen can be used to assist me now. The reason it suddenly came to me in this way, waking with a start, is in equating my spouses' limbo state in relation to disability.

It has taken several moves and several extended times of being at home (whether I've been working or unemployed in that stay) to see and, honestly, to accept the daily struggle he has with depression. Specifically, these last couple of months clarify it for me even more, since I know I too have felt the strongest effects of depression I've ever oin f myself. So, the reason getting disability for the effects of depression is so difficult is threefold, and certainly unhelpful for the person seeking the security their work-life might have allowed. To get the benefit, you have to have enough current "credits" as a worker. If you haven't worked lately, (and I forget the amount of time the credits would equate to), but as an example, my spouse did Lyft for just under a year (now about 2 full years ago) and that's insufficient. Of course, it would also cast doubt on a disability claim, as the work is also evidence of capability to work. The driving stopped as soon as our vehicle became damaged through the fault of a young driver who had no insurance coverage, and Lyft has certain standards for the look of a vehicle. We didn't have the ability to fix it ourselves, and cyclie-out of-control-speaking, my spouse didn't have it in him to continue. Depression takes something that takes a bit of effort and makes it something insurmountable.

So, that's one small example. And this morning's realization is that I'm not getting any response from my attempts to reopen my unemployment claim. Within one week, I may have to open a new claim, because the earlier one expires and the EDD will have to recalculate the payment from the newer employer. In the meantime, this is making me see that my inability to find some other place to work is being impacted by my own sense for not being good enough, and in trying to face the struggle I am having to walk about for any amount of time. On a scale of walking differently all my life, there was never a level one (not looking disabled), and right now I'd put myself at about seven in relation to working for an employer fulltime.

I may just be better served, whether it goes against my grain or not, to make the disability claim instead of the unemployed claim while I have current employment credits. That's the piece of it I realized this morning. If you are reading this and do not know me well, I have only been a recipient of unemployment three times within thirty plus years of working. I'm not sure why I'm predisposed to justify it in some manner, but the yahoos who fight and moan about Socialist or laughably Communist leanings in American social programs do get plenty of airtime on Fox News. So, gunshy yes, agree with the under educated, no.

How disabled do I have to be, and how does this affect my ability to survive into old age? These are the questions I refuse to face while I am busy working, And sadly, my spouse, a great father-figure, who took on home responsibilities (Mr. Mom) and make them secure in important ways that I couldn't always; shows our kids how they are so well-loved...I have the reminder of today's calendar-stated purpose to proclaim that Fatherhood really has nothing to do with supplying an income, and I love how he's done Fatherhood.

June 14, 2021 at 3:04am
June 14, 2021 at 3:04am
A few hours ago, I sat down to make a blog entry, spurred by my personal resolve to create daily. I had a topic, but being on my computer aided me in becoming sidetracked by not one, but two shopping events (one exploratory, related to an estate auction, and one completed for items the newly set up household is needing). So, instead of giving myself two hours to a "daily" deadline, I only have four minutes.

I even sidetracked myself with a quick delve into biographic information about Diane Arbus, and I have no recollection how that happened.

My topic is one I had many thoughts about during our strictest lockdown weeks in 2020, when I realized how easily disenfranchised all of us became, but especially those with disabilities. Due to the public health crisis, public restrooms almost everywhere were unavailable. Places to sit were blockaded or removed. We were asked to resort to impossible discomfort, restriction and uncontested loss of access and/or accessibility (or at least outside the expectations of ADA compliance we'd had for at least a twenty-year comfort zone).

I do remember being in college during the first decade of global AIDS fear. I don't recall public restrooms being blockaded for that, and scientifically during 2020, it made little sense to restrict access to the degree it was, for as long as it was. Even as California has an approaching calendar date for "reopening fully," I think public restrooms will be rethought by businesses. The food services crews that have worked through the pandemic include many individuals who weren't even trained to stock and clean the restrooms, so if they do not have to, many businesses may just decide it is unnecessary, and continue to block access to everyone.

As a woman with a mobility disability, who has worked in the field and relies on highway rest stops, grocery store ladies rooms, or even the gender neutral toilet in a Jack in the Box, or Starbucks, and has found none being made available, I wonder if any dare to bring this to their government officials?

Just sitting for longer periods of time, I believe, made me lose function, muscle mass, core strength. Nations, States, and Counties really should be informed that the restrictions "for our own good," took us backwards. Many have function and confidence to regain in the world outside our own door, and most importantly, reestablish and reinforce with our leaders how easily the citizenry can lose their trust when decades-long advances in civil rights are so readily rolled back.
June 12, 2021 at 4:14pm
June 12, 2021 at 4:14pm
I've read that Astrologically we are in Gemini under the influence of Mercury in this current moment early June 2021 (in the Northern Hemisphere). Where I live, there have also been persistent winds (and I haven't lived in this zone long enough to know if these winds are part of the Santa Anas, or a differently identified set of winds). But the last few days have been hard to keep a lid on emotional vomit episodes; meaning it just seems like we are all irritable and sniping at each other.

Because we are re-establishing a full household of all family members, this reality is not preferred. And as my spouse and I wound down the upset, I caught myself using my sometimes dark humor to have something clever to say "to end the scene" as it were. It amounted to threatening to clear emotional blockages with a desire to pour drain clean down everyone's throat to clear blockages. And as soon as I said it, figured it was right to note I didn't mean to say that out loud -- and truly did not want to be taken as threatening anyone with physical harm.

My spouse made a comment to improve the response and said I meant to say "Spiritual Draino."

Which -- genius -- I immediately told him I had to use that term, so this post had to be created right away.

The house currently does have a number of plumbing and other functionality issues. Pat on the back to all involved, we were able to resolve having a working dryer by today. Slow draining double sink with a garbage disposal and dishwasher hook up is next to address. A minor leak off the wax seal for one of the bathroom toilets a close second. These type of issues are what have me holding drain cleaner on the edge of my reasoning center.
June 11, 2021 at 1:22pm
June 11, 2021 at 1:22pm
Robinson Crusoe on Mars, I probably have had the opportunity to see it in my pre-teen years on the local television Sunday show called, The Family Film Festival, hosted by Tom Hatton. And I am surprised to see it holding a fairly high critic rating on the Rotten Tomatoes site, given its 300 year old source material, (in name mostly), and its 1964 cinematic pedigree.

The fact that I know about the film really makes me feel old, but now I am intrigued, because it is a pairing my husband recommends as an alternate when I say I am looking for a science fiction film to pair properly with one guilty pleasure go-to, the Eighties' Louis Gossett, Jr. and Dennis Quaid vehicle, Enemy Mine. We recognize that it comes from a Seventies' novella. This is also where my husband's much more researched knowledge refutes my thought that Enemy Mine can be paired with his all-time most watched favorite film adapted from a book, The Martian. His logic is Enemy Mine is B-grade, and The Martian is not. I acquiesce knowing The Martian was Oscar nominated and eked out a Golden Globe Best Picture (comedy or musical) win in 2016.

A similar intellectual-bent Eighties film we both enjoyed is Alien Nation. But I preferred the later resulting television series on Fox to the stand-alone film. Although Mandy Patinkin's turn as Sam Francisco cannot be denied my admiration for that role in the film version. And there’s no denying the level of my admiration for all his wonderful characters portrayed throughout his acting career.

I started this blog post believing and trying to modify my thinking that as soon as you start to feel age is getting the better of you in important life functions... then the problems we see facing unsupported seniors now are what are in your very near future.

My anxiety stems from experiencing harsh realities before I am even at an age that is noted as “Senior” (and even then, it’s only for small portion of eateries). Are employers now aware that AARP starts recruiting for membership dues from the newly turned 50? Forget 60, or anything a decade from true retirement age.


The first time an employer makes you question your own tech savvy when one piece of software will replace another....

The impression you have that a majority of co-workers are younger than you, and your days as a valued employee are numbered...

That's when you need a good double-feature of mature-minded speculative fiction.
June 10, 2021 at 8:31pm
June 10, 2021 at 8:31pm
I started a coaching experience today. One week ago, I spoke with the coach over the phone as an introduction to what personal coaching entails. I haven't joined a team, and this coach won't be taking me out for ice cream if the game goes south. This coach won't really be the one in charge, but the coach will keep me accountable to goals and declarations I have decided upon for a period of time.

I am unsure how many people have chosen to employ a coach for creative outcomes. I knew immediately once I got past the ego-based objections that each of my intended outcomes needed to steer me on a creative river. Too long (my whole life) I've been the old fashioned ferry master, solely walking the shoreline to lead my desire to write and be known as a writer. Now, I have decided to be on the ferry and at the wheel. [I'd have to research to recall the title for that job; pretty sure it was one of "Mark Twain's" early occupations -- Pilot, yes, I think that is correct term!]

How do I confirm that now is the right time? I see interesting coincidences in the timing and certain dates. My anniversary of joining this site, Writing.com, is August 26, 2003. The completion of a 12 week session with this coach falls on August 26. Now, I did not mention Writing.com in my Coaching Plan, but I find it interesting that I will have reached eighteen years casually enjoying a kind of authorly childhood on the site.

By the end of my twelve weeks, one of my outcomes is to have a short (60 page) non-fiction e-book up on Amazon. It is an ambitious project to take on, given that I have not written any of it yet. But it is the project I believe I can complete. It is an idea that has been on my mind for a sustained stretch of memory, yet, I've never taken serious action. Well that ends today. The outline and chapters will be done by tonight, and I have given myself a 536 word task for the next 55 days. The remainder of the time will be for formatting and upload to Amazon; a process I know little about.

So, much like the way my hunger for dinner is currently growing, and no one is making that happen for me, my writing project must start, because no one but me can complete it.

This is one of the main lessons in adulthood. You represent yourself. You choose the adventure. Some people may agree to join you on your quest, but the responsibility for what you want the outcome to be is all you. A coach can be helpful, since not far into the journey, you may realize a dysfunction (or a dozen) may stand in your way. Who knew some children actually care what their parents, neighbors, local sheriff, or peers think of them?

Stay tuned for updates.

June 8, 2021 at 1:02pm
June 8, 2021 at 1:02pm
I am a long-time practitioner/follower of Julia Cameron's, Artist's Way. I appreciate her original book, The Artist's Way, most for its now iconic phrases like "crazy-maker," and "frustrated artist", plus I love the form of the lessons for their being part curriculum, part memoir. I have written three sentences and want to write three pages. I feel all my doubts. At the same time, I have embarked on a renewed commitment to myself. I am renewing my site membership here at Writing.com. I purchased a writer's bundle from a short webinar I attended last week to give me access to some tools and motivators. I have also committed to a self-improvement series over the next twelve weeks which puts everything I want to accomplish under the eyes of a coach I've hired. I had some uncertainty on the coaching, but the part I was uncertain about accepting related directly to the financial investment. Having confidence in investing in myself I do already realize is one of my reflective lessons. I have had a lifetime of "making do" with second-hand clothing and other belongings, to the point of it being second-nature that I can only seek out the used.

What can I build from that understanding of myself? The habit of buying bargain is a fixation, and I do know I have it in me to love long-lasting quality that a new item may bring. It is currently shaded somewhat by distribution difficulties and high gas costs in the country. In some categories of items, like appliances, wanting and being able to acquire what is wanted is frustrated by these global market forces. So, is the use of one's creative talents affected by inner and outer forces in the same way, and we just don't notice?

Ah, I am feeling the fatigue already.... It is another component I will have to battle if I do plan on recommitting to a daily writing practice. A voice telling me, reminding and insisting: your back hurts in this chair, and you're a lousy, slow typist...this will take forever. What you have written is certainly sufficient -- no one will be reading it anyway, right?

And the second wave: You are unemployed and barely have an updated resume, there's a project you should work on before all this. Editing you're good at...go edit that and email it to a few places. You like gambling. Money in that bank account is only shrinking. If you keep at this, the bank will start charging you fees for no longer having direct deposit. Go call those cheats...go set up an online account. Might as well resign up to do surveys and earn gift cards, at least then you could go shopping!

Since experiencing the year of global pandemic (so many new experiences), even the things I once enjoyed are less driving. This may be depression. But, on the other hand, the silly giddiness of enjoying shopping, or of sitting to watch new episode on a network TV series -- even those dependable dopemine-hits seem silly.
June 4, 2021 at 8:01pm
June 4, 2021 at 8:01pm
I have become ambivalent whether I will share this with the people involved, so I thought I might have some satisfaction if I posted it as a documentation of my experience.

Written May 20, 2021

It is my hope that this letter will be carefully considered. As the full board expresses their wishes for the future expansion of the agency in a new funding year, and those wishes become the directives followed by staff, try to invite and listen to that staff, and welcome manageable transformation.

As far back as September, I recognize that we have a misalignment in communication. I no longer recall the exact point the boss and I, alone, were discussing over the phone, but suddenly she is saying to me, “I can’t believe you said that!” To which I had to reply, “I don’t know what you heard me say?” I felt frightened, as we worked on personal understanding as well as a need for workflow expectations for a solid hour.

Something from that interaction carries over into my mid-October (and only) performance review. In the summary written by the agency's Executive Director it is noted in her words, that (employee) had misgivings about taking on the duty of Reassurance Calls. In my memory, I endured another frightening phone interaction and had the duty taken from me. The statement in my performance review only justifies her actions from her perspective, but is not the truth.

There are more slights, humiliations related to task disappearance, and points in time when I am disregarded. A particular one, I accept now as a naïve mistake by someone with power over me – The full discourse of which is within an email conversation the program manager, office administrator, and I shared in March within my new supervisor’s first week. I suffered that weekend in the unknowing headspace of what they each considered “a simple request,” sent via a Friday email. I do not have access to that email conversation now, and I effectively feel I made the proper teaching moment. But it is important for you to be aware of and train current and future employees to know appropriate requests and inappropriate requests about federally protected civil rights and having a “medical condition” documented for one’s employment file.

The point at which I am thoroughly floored is being handed a written reprimand on Friday April 23rd after my direct supervisor, for the last five weeks, has cleared the room of other staff. I react to two things immediately, that it first references February 17 as a formal reprimand, and that in describing the interaction on April 20th, there are statements in quotes, which are stated to be my words with the supporting claim that two other people heard the same. It says nothing about the manner in which she continued to berate me on April 20th. I made no disrespectful comments, and she was the one who continued to loudly hammer me about how I must comply immediately and do it without further question.

So, as I am signing the document on the 23rd -- At this point, I get it, she can say anything, and I am powerless. There are no witnesses, and I am not given a copy that day. I am told to leave for the day, and when I object, simply because I’d rather get back to working, the program manager tells me that the Executive Director said I might be upset and authorized correcting the clock out so I’m completing the full day.

On the day the Executive Director provides me the termination documents just two and a half weeks later, I communicate calmly and questioningly -- I’m not recalling at all what incident “last week” she is referring to as she starts out.

When the Executive Director hands me the termination document, I don’t respond outwardly to the use of the word “altercation” twice used to describe May 6 and May 7 – but, absolutely, an incorrect term.

Demoralized, devalued, completely exhausted by the battle to be genuinely heard – these are my takeaways from these under-a-microscope interactions that became increasingly intense once I was invited back into the main office.

I’m an intelligent person, and it seems to me that no one is acknowledging my psyche under the degrading effects of micro-managing. As an example, being unable to respond with a question or clarifying statement to one’s supervisor without having her cc every perceived insubordinate comment to the Executive Director.

From my perspective, I worked hard for this agency, the people it serves, and the community members we invite to also be a part of making positive changes. I also know I was making personal improvements in relating as requested, and my months of obedient and fruitful actions end up meaning so little.

The main courtesy I was seeking in this employment was acknowledgment, with compassion, of the free expression and questioning that is my temperament, and shockingly missing, perhaps some reflective questioning about my well-being, if anyone is reporting that I am out of line. Instead, the final weeks were confidence-crushing.

I was brought to tears on May 7th, only my direct supervisor and the administrator, acting as a witness, were subjected to that. Did our Executive Director get that in written employee statements? Faced with my tears, the two of them say, I’m a good employee, and that they don’t want me to give up; so, I do not. What a hollow gesture to make me feel better. I shouldn’t be hard on them, it did ultimately fall to the boss’ choice.

I feel this is my piece. It all needs to be said. I pray the team truly becomes a team. There’s much to overcome, and I wish the agency good fortune, really.

November 13, 2020 at 8:29am
November 13, 2020 at 8:29am
Ergh. Too long since writing inspired me to get out of bed before work. If only lax muscles would inspire me in the same way to suddenly want to exercise regularly?

So, the real topic: Writing when scheduled to.

When I started my new job 3 months ago, I was asked to set annual goals, (with what I deemed little guidance), and within that document I set a monthly list of social media/blog post topics that I would write on. Then I never referred back to the list. It is 2020 after all...It seems unsurprising that the support I set up from myself, even though it seemed forced, and I was resisting the necessity to plan , or at least to set the plan down in paper to be used against me later (yes, I can admit to myself, this is a perception, and only temporary).

I do remember October was intended to be about Emergency Preparedness. Because, well, October is the month for that; I have had a lifetime of that being drilled into me. It makes me wonder at just how hit-n-miss marketing and PSAs really can be...I cannot explain why I can remember a PSA from the mid-Seventies asking you to write to Pueblo, Colorado for a consumer protection guide, yet I'm sure not everyone, even everyone in Californiia, is not as knee-jerk reactive to the knowledge that October is earthquake (and other disasters Preparedness month.

Most of my posts, instead have been inspired by tips from "The Depression Project," BECAUSE, I guess, I want people to be prepared for how to cope with depression -- I see it -- we all need support. I know most of the topics I picked were space-fillers, and it's better...I mean, the writing is usually better, if you are actually inspired.

So, this morning I was thinking about my parents. My dad, who passed in mid-August 2019, and even my mom, still with us... I was thinking of them together, in the context of how they influenced and inspired me -- how I have been and continue to be supported by their actions. And in the context of caretaking, how I have both been asked and not asked to have that role in my families lives. [There's the family I started, and the family I was a product of. What was in the Divine's "mind" when setting up this progression of life "connection capsules"? Do the mountain-top gurus have an answer on that area as yet?

I specifically remember being asked to be my grandmother's caregiver, or at least steward in her house so she could age in place with dignity after Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (cancer) surgery and treatment leading to clinical trial, and somewhere in there, rest from the labors of the world (at least a little bit...as much as she could tolerate). That is kinda the focus of the last year or so of one's life -- tolerating (sometimes a lot).

An aside... have both "a lot" and "even though" always been separated? I really always want to mash their parts together. I just don't know if I'm jealous that other words or phrases get to transform and become normal usage in ones lifetime, while others persistently stay stubbornly troublesome. OK, well really, I do not know if they have been, what I will call, "solid words" before, and I am being forced to put the space in, of if they are only my desire to have as solids? (Aside done).

Where was I? Ah, adoration of the caregiving role in its unknown solid and space induced forms... The outside assignment, "Please take care of Grandma," or "Please house Grandpa for awhile," and the duty (in my estimation self-imposed or intrinsic), but still leading to a more full-bodied response, where I easily relate (I say to myself, "Self: My dad set up his living arrangement for himself nicely, (as in, thought-out) but its isolated and I'm the one closest to him; he really needs more happening in his life, and in his care, because truthfully it is so apparent that he is self-neglecting his health...but there is independence to consider, and I highly value that for him." And even though you do some of the talking and caring that should take place between a father and an oldest daughter, the grand plans never solve the equation. Choices, in this case, his personal choices, or at leas, his body's ability to cope with the choices still end in death.

And what does my playing this over here in my head (and via my personal blog) have to do with what I write in a blog or post on social media to keep isolated seniors or those who care for them sane in 2020? Maybe just the recognition that there are always going to be choices. And regardless of how well or how badly the attempts to provide caring solutions go off, death can, and at some point, will be the result. Is that too nihilistic? It might be just nihilistic enough, right. I mean it is the truth. And we do not talk about it enough.

But, for the general public, I agree, I do not want to fill 2020 with truth as much as I want it to be heavily lined with coping. Coping is important, because minutes and hours are important. Coping allows those moments to still be possible. Not coping, or resisting the basic care that folks can manage to push out during the overload of a pandemic results in wasted moments.

I am now living a life of moments and hours and days, and this year, 2020, stands out in contrast to the usual experience of what a year is templated to be. Pop culture flashes strung together by a movie studio or two's line up of New Releases, it has not been. Normally, I would've enjoyed that type of year, since it had become what I was most used to. Just like how I might have spent this year, and more years, piecing together ways to keep dad fed and happy and maybe healthy -- but I sure do not know how I might have coped if I'd had to force that template onto 2020.

I have heard many people say it, and I have concurred -- my loved one wouldn't have tolerated this pandemic, this year. And if I'm honest with myself, I wouldn't have tolerated very well a year spent sharing this experience. Like agreeing to cover certain topics on a calendar schedule, without the freedom to be inspired, and moved to write about something, a fixed schedule for writing guidance is pretty intolerable.

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