the week, in brief
Monday—it’s ok, it’s ok, everything is ok. Tuesday—so fucking mopey, kill me now. Wednesday—a little better, maybe, anyway, I’m getting shit done—but I don’t want to talk to you. Thursday—ugh. Friday—all the things, solo sheesha date—hello, self—sleep. Saturday—fucking done, now writer tribe, children, art, Guinness. Sunday—it’s too hot, but we go to the Glenbow anyway, hello, how are you.
Cinder wrote his English 10 final on Thursday—year one of high school officially over, praise the Lord. Jane finished her shitty first draft of the new WIP on Saturday. That felt good for about seven minutes. Flora was mopey on Friday, so we went on our first girl date in forever. It was nice. Fuck, her brothers are noisy. I sorta understand why she complains so much about them, even when they’re being “good.”
I interviewed four local superstars, experiences that left me energized. The purpose of passionate people, I think, is to infect others with their energy. To make us see—look, here is a life well-lived. Appreciate it, laud it. But I think too often, the side-effect of these lives is to make us feel bad about ourselves. We don’t think, “Here is a life well-lived, and that’s awesome” and use that as fuel to lift ourselves up. We think, “Here is a life well-lived… and oh-my-god, my life is shit by comparison,” and we tear ourselves down.
I don’t think that, by the way.
Their stories fire me.
They also tire me, though. Just a little bit. I’m still trying to find a place to rest.
I am writing and thinking about radical honesty and radical compassion, and my overall dislike to the word radical. I think, in the end—radical and dogmatic are basically a synonym.
You: Suddenly a centrist?
Jane: An inadvertent iconoclast.
I miss Cuba.
Fuck, do I ever miss Cuba.
And it’s summer and hot now, and so I can’t pretend it’s about the winter.
I don’t actually miss Cuba as Cuba, you know. Much as I rag my children about it—I also like being able to flush toilet paper down toilets, drink water from a tap, and just run to the grocery store for things I want and need—or imagine I need—at my leisure.
But I miss—I miss the silence. I really miss the silence.
I miss the time and space I had to be in my head.
… and yet… I sabotage my chances at solitude ALL THE TIME.
Interesting, isn’t it?
And is it solitude I want… or that particular solitude I had in Cuba?
Or do I just want to smoke cigars and drink Cuba Libres every day?
Maybe I just don’t know what I want.
No. I do.
…keep on surprising me. When did they get this clever? And why do they always want to have those in-depth, earth-shaking conversations at 10 pm or midnight, when my eyes are closing and my brain is foggy?
The teenagers are also humbling me. I decide they are the Universe’s way of making sure the average human doesn’t get too full of herself as she hits her peak. I mean, really. Here I am, and, all my whining and whinging notwithstanding, I’m pretty together. I’m doing some awesome shit. I’m, if not quite at the peak of my creative powers, pretty close to seeing how to reach that summit. I fucking rock.
Enter teenager and the “OMFG can my mother possibly be this stupid?” look.
Flora’s particularly good at it.
Every once in a while, she pays me a backhanded compliment.
Flora: You’re not as lame as most moms.
At least Ender still thinks I’m perfect.
Cinder: Enjoy it while it lasts.
Jane: I will.
Cinder: You’re not lame. You’re just weird.
Well. There is that.
I start cleaning the kitchen—on Monday—and then, of course, as a result, I rearrange all the furniture and throw shit out and change things—and then end up sitting under the kitchen table, not weeping exactly, but just pondering… how long that pasta sauce has been under that baseboard and how much effort should I expand on dealing with it, and if I don’t… does it really matter?
Flora: Are you crying?
Flora: Are you hiding?
Flora: Do you want some chocolate?
Teenager or not, she loves me.
Cinder: Like I said, weird.
Ender: Pillow fort!
On that note… next week, I will try to be less self-indulgent.
The year started with a Monday; so does every week (Week 1: Transitions and Intentions)
Easier than you think, harder than I expected: a week in eleven stanzas (Week 2: Goodness and Selfishness)
A moody story (Week 3: Ebb and Flow)
Do it full out (Week 4: Passions and Outcomes)
The Buddha was a psychopath and other heresies (Week 5: No Cohesion)
A good week (Week 6: Execute, Regroup)
Killing it (Week 7: Exhaustion and Adrenaline)
Tired, petty, tired, unimportant (Week 8: Disappointment and Perseverance)
Professionals do it like this: [insert key scene here] (Week 9: Battle, Fatigue, Reward)
Reading Nabokov, crying, whining, regrouping (Week 10: Tears and Dreams)
Shake the Disease (Week 11: Sickness and Health… well, mostly sickness)
Cremation, not embalming, but I think I might live after all (Week 12: Angst and Gratitude)
Let’s pretend it all does have meaning (Week 13: Convalescence and Rebirth)
The cage is will, the lock is discipline (Week 14: Up and Down)
My negotiated self thinks you don’t exist–wanna make something of it? (Week 15: Priorities and Opportunity)
An introvert’s submission + radical prioritization in action, also pouting (Week 16: Ruthless and Weepy)
It’s about a radical, sustainable rhythm (Week 17: Sprinting and Napping)
It was a pickle juice waterfall but no bread was really harmed in the process (Week 18: Happy and Sad)
You probably shouldn’t call your teacher bad names, but sometimes, your mother must (Week 19: Excitement and Exhaustion)
Tell me I’m beautiful and feed me cherries (Week 20: Excitement and Exhaustion II)
A very short post about miracles, censorship, change: Week 21 (Transitions and Celebrations)
Time flies, and so does butter (Week 22: Remembering and forgetting)
I love you, I want you, I need you, I can’t find you (Week 23: Work and Rest)
You don’t understand—you can’t treat my father’s daughter this way (Week 24: Fathers and Daughters)
The summer was… SULTRY (Week 25: Gratitude and Collapse)
It’s like rest but not really (Week 26: Meandering and Reflection)
It’s the wrong question (Week 27: Success and Failure)
On not meditating but meditating anyway, and a cameo from John Keats (Week 28: Busy and Resting)
Hot, cold, self-indulgent as fuck (Week 29: Fire and Ice)
—->>>POSTCARDS FROM CUBA
The best things in life and on the Internet are free, but content creators need to pay for groceries with money. If you enjoy Nothing By The Book content, please express your delight and support by making a donation via PayPal:
You: “But how much should I give?”
Jane: “I get $1 each time a sell a traditionally published book, so my bar’s set really low, love. Want to buy me a cup of coffee? That’s $4.75 if you’ll spring for a mocha or latte. Bottle of wine? My palate’s unsophisticated: $19.95 will more than cover it.”
If you’d like to make a contribution but have PayPal issues, email me at nothingbythebook@ gmail.com and we’ll work something out. J
Pingback: Deadlines and little lies make the world go round (Week 31: Honesty and Compassion) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: That’s not the way the pope would put it, but… (Week 32: Purpose and Miracles) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: And before you know it, it’s over (Week 33: Fast and Slow) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Ragazzo da Napoli zajechał Mirafiori (Week 34: Nostalgia and Belonging) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Depression is a narcissistic disease, fentanyl is dangerous, and knowledge is power, sort of (Week 35: Introspection and Awareness) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: I’m not gonna tell you (Week 36: Smoke and Mirrors) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Slightly irritable and yet kinda happy (Week 37: Self-Improvement and Self-Indulgence) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: It’s not procrastination, it’s process (Week 38: Back and Forth) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Pavlov’s experiments, 21st century style (Week 39: Connectivity and Solitude) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: The last thing I remember… (Week 40: Truth and um, Not Really) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: All of life’s a (larval) stage (Week 41: Stagnation and Transformation) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Damn you, Robert Frost (Week 42: Angst and more Angst) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Speaking of conflict avoidance… (Week 43: Fight of Flight) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Halloween, Samhain, All Saints Day, Day of The Dead, Candy (Week 44: Neither Here Nor There) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Again with the silver-tongued Persians, and other stories (Week 45: Silence and language) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: War, Famine, Pestilence, Mornings (Week 46: Mornings and the Apocalypse) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Time flies but the Christmas tree is up (Week 47: Status quo and Change) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: I didn’t kill anyone–it just smells like it (Week 48: Guilt & Poison) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: You have a bad memory, while I want to rest on a flower (Week 49: Mothers and Caterpillars) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: Atheism, Spirituality, Boundaries, Slytherins (Week 50: This and That) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: When everyone’s a special snowflake… (Week 51: Normal and Narcissistic) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: The year will end on a Monday (Week 52: Guilt and Gratitude) | Nothing By The Book
Pingback: 52 Weeks Project (2018 Blog Post Index) | Nothing By The Book