Antique Philosophy

“I used to be with it, but then they changed what “it” was. Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me.” – Grandpa Simpson

My latest antique aquisition to restore.

My latest antique acquisition to restore.

I don’t keep up with the Kardashains, but I could sit and chat about Cardassians. I couldn’t tell you what the hubbub is about Beyoncé, but I know the date that The Walking Dead will return.

The latest on Justin Bieber, or whatever Hollywood diva behaving badly is beyond me. The 3-year-old child that wandered away rom his home in nothing but a diaper at 1 am while his parents made an urgent errand at midnight, leaving him in the house unattended then discovered him missing and the door open when they returned, the manhunt that ensued to find the child inside a van over a mile away dead from hypothermia pegs my radar. This is tragic. It just emphasises the self-absorbed world of the stars.

I tend to  keep my head down, trying to stay focused on the task at hand whether it is editing, writing, the mlo job, or family life. I can’t blame this on my age as I was rather indifferent to  current events even when I was 18. I think age has just amplified it.

The death toll for 2016 –  who could not notice that?   Come on,  some of my favorites are gone. I’m thinking that 2016 is sponsored by George R.R. Martin.

 I don’t like  people who  have to stick their nose in my business and I try to keep mine out of theirs.  Live and let live.

I’m not blind or oblivious to real news. I live in the St. Louis area, there are killings every night.  Ferguson – yeah.  It’s a deal. An ongoing urban war zone. When I hear about last night’s shootings on the morning news, I am grateful to live in a rural area where my nearest neighbor says moo. Just so you know, I’m not calling my neighbor a cow, we live across the road from a dairy farm.

 So what does all this have to do with anything pertaining to writing?

Everything and nothing all at the same time. If I were glued to the social media frenzy day in and day out,  I might see more about the current topics and understand what people are complaining about Beyoncé. If I were interested, I’d read one of the gazillion articles that pop up on my feed. I could spend hours and hours scrolling through but I don’t.  I prefer to manage my time differently.

I have to live with my decisions. I have to manage my emotions, my  reactions, my successes and failures. It’s not that I don’t care, because I do. That’s the problem.  I  read an article that a friend shared,  then I feel discouraged by the cruelty that is in the world, or the self-absorbed star that makes the news for bad reasons (it’s never a good thing)  tilts the scale towards a more cynical outlook.

As a writer I need  to wrap my head around the current story, scene, character. I can’t get into the zone if I am obsessing over what the latest styles and trends are.  Yeah, I’m quite certain that yoga pants and sweatshirts  will never make  the best fashion list.  As an author (can’t tell you what a rush it is to be able to say that!),  I have to be mindful of what I say publicly. I have strong opinions about most everything,  but trust me,  it isn’t necessary to share my views with the world.  To each his or her own.  Who am I to judge anyone else?  I’ve made my own share of mistakes, and probably a couple of other people’s shares as well.  As a person, I strive to practice  something that seems to have gone out of style – being courteous. With all this “privilege” talk and entitlement attitude, I find myself asking “why you gotta be so mean?”

I know,  it’s not cool or in style or girl power or anything.   It’s old-fashioned, it’s  seemingly outdated. I. Don’t. Care.  The bottom line is I have to sleep at night.  I have plenty of other reasons why the sheep evade me,  I don’t need to add a stained conscience to it.

There are some basic  philosophies that I try to follow. About six years ago,  I changed jobs from an extremely stressful environment to a position with a company that allowed me to work from home. Aside from the woman who didn’t understand what full disclosure meant and the chaos that ensued from her lack of comprehension, working from home has been a dream!

At that time I made some drastic changes because the stress was literally killing me. Making changes is never easy. Making changes that stick is even harder.

I shared earlier about my goals for this year,  and that they centered around the theme of simplifying. My life rules are quite simple.

Speak with Integrity – I get tongue-tied at times,  I don’t talk in proper sentence structure, but I am sincere and honest. I don’t gossip or backstab.  I’m working on the speaking positive of myself.

Don’t Take it personal – Most of the time it’s not about you!  You are rarely on the other person’s radar.  I am responsible for my words and actions, not for other people’s words or actions.  Some people think I am oblivious.  I’m not. This is  a really hard one for me.

Don’t Assume – I’m sure you’ve heard the old expression ” Don’t assume because it makes an ass of u and me.”  It’s true.  Don’t jump to conclusions.  Ask questions, communicate clearly, clear up misunderstandings.

Do your best –  This may change from day-to-day.  This may change from hour to hour.  If I have a migraine, my best may be to manage not to throw up. Other days, I can manage 7500 words, plus  clean the entire house, plus drink my eight glasses of water, plus plus plus.

(You may recognize these as the four agreements – I take no  claim for their origins.  My hat is off to Miguel Ruiz)

My first draft of Red Wine & Roses was the best I could do at the time. The revisions made to it I did better.   The first draft of Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening was the best I could do. During revisions I will make it better.

I owe my morning sprint group some huge apologies because  over the past week,  I have not honored these four simple rules. This morning I had a self check and will make some adjustments. Once you know, then you can do better.

I’m not competing with other authors. I’m not competing with anyone else.  I am me. I’m trying to make the best decisions I can and live in a way that I can achieve my goals and dreams while being an asset to those around me.   By doing my best then I know  I won’t have regrets. By doing my best I can avoid the self-judgment, the mental lashings,  and make that crazy bitch inside my head shut the . . . . up.

I guess that makes me an antique. Oh well, I like antiques – I is one!~

Till next time





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