Twenty Seventeen

So now it’s twenty seventeen. Not that I expected it to be, nor expect it to be for at least the first few weeks, it’s not different from 2016.

However, the day after my forty-first birthday, I expect things to begin to change pretty drastically. The biggest change will be that we will definitively no longer have a president most of the country can be proud of. There are plenty of people, several eye-rollingly in my own family, who say that we haven’t had one for the last eight years either. But we’ve had a classy, gracious, gentleman in the White House the last eight years, and we will have someone who is the polar and exact opposite of both adjectives and the noun for the next four. And he will officially be in office. The very thought makes me nauseated.

Twenty Sixteen

Oofdah. What a year this has been.

His Bratliness has managed to make a Cubs fan out of me lo these last several years (I was watching during the Steve Bartman incident), so this year’s win was pretty awesome. Here’s to next year being just as awesome for the team.

All the other things, though… I won’t go into the whole dumpster fire this year has been with the deaths of various icons or the politics.

Personally, it’s been pretty good over all. We haven’t gone any deeper into debt, though the debt we carried into this year hasn’t lessened by a whole hell of a lot either. We’re keeping our heads above water, pretty much. We had a friend move in with his two pit bulls, and they’re adorable goofballs. PITA… poor kitty. He’ll be capping off his 21st trip around the sun April 1, which will put him roughly at the equivalent of 100 human years old. He’s fairly close to stone deaf, at least has vision problems, is arthritic enough that he can’t get up on so much as a step stool, and is fairly obviously dealing with some sort of feline dementia, but over all, he seems to be happy. Pepa died back in January, just a few days before my birthday, but she’d been withdrawing for a good long while, so it wasn’t as much of a wrench to see her go.

Looking into 2017, I should really blog more. I have a few ideas, so we’ll see how it goes.

Love Absurdly

I have a tendency to tell or text my husband one of two phrases. “Love you mostest forever.” or “Love you ridiculous amounts.” Because I do. He’s my sweetheart, the one I annoy the absolute most, the one I trust to be there. My best friend. We’ve got a nice fifteen-and-a-half-year start on forever. I know I drive him up every nearest wall, and he drives me up a few, too. But I really wouldn’t want it any other way.

I don’t think I know how to love other than absurdly, throwing my entire self into it. Even when it hurts. I may draw back a little bit and even nurse my hurt, but I’ll always reach back out. And I wouldn’t want to be any other way. I wouldn’t be me any other way. So I love ridiculously, superlatively, absurdly. And I’ll never stop.

A Tale of Two Resumes

Disclaimer: These names and histories are ENTIRELY AND COMPLETELY fictional. However, they are entirely true to life, if rather optimistic.

There’s a company hiring for a single managerial position. There are two resumes for the final candidates. One is for Andrew Richards, the other for Andre Watson.

Andrew is 34, went to a fairly decent school, graduated in the top third of his class, has had a couple of jobs, starting in high school, his references note that he is detail oriented, has a stellar attendance record, and an employee of the month award.

Andre is 36, also went to a decent school, graduated in the top third of his class the same year Andrew did, has had jobs dating back to high school, and references paint him as conscientious and organized. One boss mentions that he found an error his supervisor missed that saved his company a couple thousand dollars at one point.

More often than not, Andrew will get called in for an interview before Andre will. Their resumes are actually pretty equal, all things considered, but it’s not just the names, though that has a lot to do with it. Andre’s two years older, and has had more jobs. At least one of Andrew’s is listed as an internship, though a paid one.

But the reason Andre had more jobs was that he actually worked two while he was in high school, because while both his and Andrew’s dads were hurt, Andre’s dad had his workman’s comp claim denied because the bureaucrat deciding it looked at it as a lazy black man trying to game the system. Andrew’s dad had the benefit of the doubt that he actually was hurt as badly as he said he was and that the incident happened on the work site. So while both high-school aged boys worked to help their families make ends meet, Andrew was able to work a single job, and most of his money went toward paying for leisure. Andre also has an additional job on his resume during his college years. His father was still out of work, because his injury wasn’t able to heal properly due to doctors treating him as a drug seeker. Andrew was able to take a summer off and go backpacking across the country with a couple of friends because his dad had returned to work by the time he graduated high school.

Andre graduated college the same year Andrew did because he took a little longer to go through, working and taking a couple fewer classes over two years to help out his family.

It’s so often not just the name that’s different.

I admit it

I finally admitted, out loud, that I’ve been battling depression for a while now. For months. I’ve put up a variably functional front, even been enthused over things here and there. But I’m not okay. And I don’t feel like I deserve to be depressed. I don’t contribute to the physical upkeep of the household with any consistency or the financial upkeep at all. I’ve never in my life managed to keep a single job for longer than about 5½ months. I’m within a year of 40, fat, unmotivated, unskilled, introverted, and, despite occasional efforts to the contrary with things like Lions, feel pretty much not worth the space I take up or the food I eat.

I don’t know if being medicated would help. We can’t afford the copays for me to find out right now. The biggest difficulty, even more so than the copays, is that our only vehicle is gone 5:30 am to 5:30 pm every M-F. We don’t have a particularly robust public transportation system in Killeen, and any offices are honestly too far for me to walk.

Part of the reason I don’t feel like I deserve to be depressed is that for right now, we have our house, we’re only a month in arrears on a few bills, we have insurance that covers going to a doctor to find out if medicating me would help and at least part of any medications that I might end up put on. Even with the issues I’ve got, I’m pretty remarkably privileged. I realize, objectively, that I have no less right to the care I need to live as a whole person. A strong part of me in the depths of my mind still buys into that work ethic thing that I would be better off if I just got my damned ass a job and a car and maybe some therapy. Too often, I hear these kind of thoughts in my dad’s voice. Especially the ones that add in therapy as an afterthought, because I’m weak enough to need it.

Right now, I’m just caught in a spiral of crap and I don’t really see a way out.


Naturally, at the start of a Gregorian calendar year, those of us who live by it think of the new. New year, new growth, new look at what’s right and what’s wrong with our lives and our world. Part of that comes from the placement of the new year so soon after the winter solstice, the rebirth of light. So many of our ancestors took that as a renewal of hope.

I have another reason to view this time of year as a new one. My birthday comes in hard on the heels of all of this, pretty much a moon behind the solstice itself. So naturally, my thoughts have turned the general direction of what’s ahead for me. Generally, I’m happy. I’m at the point where I’ve kind of got what it means to be me, to live in my skin, down. It doesn’t mean I’m complacent, but I’m certainly content. I can stand here and stretch out, grow into me a little bit more.

I’ve upgraded my Fitbit to a ChargeHR, and I noticed that right about then, I got more steps than I had been… fairly consistently over 3000/day. Now that’s not a lot, really. Certainly not the 10,000 recommended by pretty much everybody. But it’s better than what I’d managed before, and it’s not a huge goal. It’s also something I can look at and remind myself that “Hey, I’ve been doing this, all I’ve got to do is continue.” The bonus is that I’ve found myself looking for ways to meet and even exceed that goal.

I’ve decided my theme for this year is joy. Joy in what I have, in what I am. I’ve picked a few quotes that tickle my fancy with that. “Your body isn’t a temple, it’s an amusement park! Enjoy the ride!” “Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.” and “The purpose of life is to fight maturity.” Another one that brings it a little more down to earth is “I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace—a connection to what matters.”—Oprah.

My mini-theme for January is my own path. Parts of it are well-worn, both by my own feet and those of others. Parts of it hare off into mysterious tunnels and twists. I may have to backtrack over bits here and there. There may be parts where I’m trudging, there may be parts where I’m skipping and giggling and dancing. It’s mine to walk.

Equality vs. Equity

I read somewhere recently, and I can’t remember where right now (damn it!) something that clicked in a major way for me. What is being sought is not equality for everyone. It’s equity. The way that clicked it into place for me was a cartoon of three people watching a baseball game over a fence. A teenager, a young child, and a toddler. Equality has them all standing on level ground, with the teen able to see over the fence and the young child and toddler reduced to looking through the slats. Equity put the young child on a box and the toddler on two so that the heads of all three were at the same height, looking over the fence.

The thing is, we don’t even all start on equal, flat ground. As a white, cis, mostly able-bodied woman, I’m pretty high on the slopes of a mountain looking over that fence. Honestly, the only things that put me down on the slopes rather than on the peak are lack of a trust fund, my gender, and my weight. Most of these are seriously mitigated by the fact that I’m white, which is what puts me so high on those slopes. The thing is, realizing I’m that high doesn’t mean I want me and those with me on the slopes to be pulled down to the depths of say… a fat black gay trans* woman who’s confined to a wheelchair. It means I want pile up under her until she’s up to where I am, so she has the same view I get. That’s what equity is. It’s realizing that I start way the hell up here and my responsibility is to do my best to make sure everyone can get where I am, or even higher if I can pull it off.