Not much has been going on lately. Mostly staying at home while John recovers. He caught a cold and has been sneezing a lot, which with the broken jaw really sucks. I’ve been doing some writing, some job searching, and considering going back to college for my Bachelor’s. We’re debating the pros and cons of it right now, but I think ultimately (if I can get scholarships/ grants) it would be worthwhile, especially since I have a targeted degree path in mind and would use my time there to cultivate contacts in my planned field.
As for my writing, I’ve got a few different writing projects going, both fiction and non-fiction.
- A suburban sci-fi YA novel. I’m pretty sure that when/if I finish it, it’ll actually be considered just YA sci-fi, but I call it “suburban sci-fi” because it’s similar in tone to a suburban fantasy (fantasy in a modern-day, real-world setting), but it’s sci-fi instead of fantasy.
- An autobiography. This one I am, admittedly, not concentrating much on. See, more than a few people who mainly know me through my writing have told me I should write a book about my experiences of the past 10 years — marriage, motherhood, losing my own mom, separating from my husband, getting back together with my husband, becoming atheist, dealing with natural disasters, the marriage/ relationship experiment we tried, coming to terms with my husband’s sexuality, etc. etc. And John’s said he’s okay with it, even though it would more than likely reveal some pretty private stuff about both of us. But I just don’t feel comfortable with it, because it does require writing about family and friends who may not want to be written about. So I work on this on a sort of intermittent basis, but I don’t focus a lot of my energy on it. Honestly, I could probably just compile 10 years of letters never sent, blog posts (both posted and unposted), and journal entries. But it’s a really personal, revealing project, and it really does make me uncomfortable on a visceral level. Mainly I’m worried that if I finish it and it does get published, people I know will read it. I don’t care about strangers reading it; but I don’t want family or friends reading it. Also, it feels a bit, I don’t know, egotistical to write an autobiography. I’m a nobody. I’m told this doesn’t matter, and that I have a lot to teach people. It still feels very . . . arrogant. Reeking of hubris. You could say I’m conflicted about this project.
- Finally, I have a series of short articles on feminism and relationships.
I’m mostly doing all this for fun. I have no idea who to submit the finished works to, or if there’s any market for them. I just like to write. I think I might do what one of my friends has done, and hire someone to help me edit the finished manuscript, then go ahead and publish it in e-book files. Maybe with a small print run, if there’s any demand. I don’t know.
Finally, I’ve made some decisions for my personal health and happiness. I really need to start focusing on my psychological and emotional health, and stop letting myself get caught up in toxic situations and with toxic people. With that in mind, I’ve made the following decisions:
- I am going to work harder on maintaining lines of communication between myself and my siblings.
- I am not going to associate with people who drag me down.
- This Christmas, I am going to focus on what I’ve always loved about the holiday: family, giving gifts, and baking.
I really love my family. I may not always agree with them, but in the end they’ve always been a wonderfully supportive and accepting group of people. I used to think our family was dysfunctional, but as I’ve grown older and had the opportunity to observe other family dynamics, I’ve realized I really hit the jackpot with my family. They’re an amazing group of people, and I’m lucky to have them. I knew a girl back in Centralia who had such a rocky relationship with her family that she didn’t know her mom had died until a month after the funeral. That’s really horrifying to me.
Not associating with people who drag me down is pretty simple. If every time I hang out with someone, I end up angry/ agitated/ frustrated/ hurt, and all my best efforts to alleviate the situation have failed, then I just stop hanging out with them. There’s absolutely no validity to it, and (honestly) I have no doubt that the few people in my life who make me feel this way would probably prefer not to see me anymore. So why make both of us miserable?
The Christmas thing is because I miss the Christmas celebrations of my childhood, and I think I’ve possibly been focusing too much on the material aspect and cost issues of Christmas since I’ve gotten married — and definitely since I became an atheist and felt I could no longer celebrate the “reason” for the season.But honestly? Christmas was a pagan celebration long before it was co-opted by Christianity, and I can find meaning in the historical significance, not to mention the seasonal shift. More than that, you don’t need to believe in god to believe in the meaning and importance of relationships and family. So instead of worrying about the larger philosophical questions of celebrating what has been co-opted into a religious holiday, I’m going to focus on what’s always made Christmas such a special time of year: The people I love.