Excuse Me While I Get My Sh*t Together

 

 

Last week I discussed the awesome TEDx talk by Sarah Knight called The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.

This past week, I’ve started a list. Note the word “started”…there is much more where this came from. (No, it’s not a ‘To Do’ list.)

It’s a budget of sorts. In other words, I’ve decided what I do and do not give a f*ck about.

And here is what I discovered:

 

Things I Give a F*ck About

(Things I need to give more time / energy / attention to)

  • My health
  • My family’s health
  • Spending time with my family
  • Getting “me” time
  • Self care
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Eating
  • Sleeping

Sound selfish? Good. It should. 🙂

 

Things I Do Not Give a F*ck About

(Things I need to give less time / energy / attention to)

  • What people think of me
  • TV shows I’m supposed to be watching because they are popular
  • People who don’t hear the word “no”
  • (Most) sports
  • Celebrities’ haircuts, dresses, shoes, handbags, relationships, pets…
  • Demands on my time and/or energy
  • Expectations about what I “should” be doing
  • Number of followers on [insert social media platform here]
  • Stats on my blog
  • What my neighbor thinks of my lawn

 

Now.

I have to stop giving a f*ck about these things in the form of time, energy, or money.

I have to stop stressing about these things.

I have to say NO to these things.

WITHOUT GUILT.

Some will be as easy as getting up, grabbing a marker, and crossing them off. *cough* Celebrities, sports, TV, blog stats… I already seriously don’t care about these things.

Others will be a difficult process of undoing who I am and recreating myself in the image of “What brings me joy.”

 

Now.

The real work begins.

 

My Sunday thoughts in (slightly over) 200 words.

ThoughtBubble

I’m going to take a bit to digest this information and attempt to free up some time and energy for the things I really want to do. The things that are important to me. The things that bring me joy.

I will probably be posting on here because this little Lemon Shark does bring me joy but I will not become obsessed with and/or stressed about what others think I should be doing. So… I’ll post when I want about what I want. 🙂

 

ICYMI, here’s the talk:

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
TEDx Talk by Sarah Knight

 

And here are the books:

 


Link: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

how to stop spending time you don’t have
with people you don’t like
doing things you don’t want to do

 

Link: Get Your Sh*t Together

how to stop worrying about what you should do
so you can finish what you need to do
and start doing what you want to do

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

 

 

I just saw this TEDx talk by Sarah Knight: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

Most of you have probably seen this or at least heard of it since it’s absurdly popular.

Knight is an internationally bestselling author and this TEDx talk has been viewed millions of times. But I live under a rock of responsibilities and obligations so I missed it.

As it turns out, that is fun and ironic because I needed to hear this woman tell me (yes, she was talking to me) how I can fix my current situation.

Some of the things she talks about are similar to what we stressed-out, unhappy people have heard before but it’s presented in Knight’s own, special way. Meaning…lots of swears. Kidding. (No, I’m not. But it is intelligent, insightful, and practical, too.) She has A PLAN. A simple one that, even in the midst of misery and overwhelm, we can manage:

1. Figure out what you don’t care about.

Are you ready for the mind-blowing next step???

2. Stop caring about it.

SAY NO to those things and DO NOT FEEL GUILTY for saying it. Free up time and energy to do things that bring you joy.

JOY! 🙂

 

I’m getting both her books. Now.

That’s the power Knight wields. (That was fun.)

Have a beautiful week, gentle readers. One full of joy.

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
TEDx Talk by Sarah Knight

 

 

 

Check out Knight’s books… (And just look at those subtitles! Don’t you want to do those things?!)

Link: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

how to stop spending time you don’t have
with people you don’t like
doing things you don’t want to do

 

Link: Get Your Sh*t Together

how to stop worrying about what you should do
so you can finish what you need to do
and start doing what you want to do

 

My Sunday thoughts in (slightly over) 200 words.

ThoughtBubble

 

 

 

 

Drowning in my ‘To Do’ List

 

 

Why do I always feel like I’m treading water?

I write a list which keeps chores, projects, appointments, and phone numbers handy, but…

This ‘To Do’ list never actually, you know, gets done. Which kind of defeats the purpose.

I continue to add to it until that cute, little notepad shaped like an owl or sunflower just won’t cut it and I have to break out the big guns. A huge, yellow legal pad. And still…I’m writing on the second then third page. This is usually for one week’s day’s worth of stuff.

If I complete something, I get that satisfaction of crossing it off. *ah* I love that. Sometimes, if I sweep the house and it wasn’t on the list, I’ll add it just to cross it off. That’s a perk of the dreaded list. (I know. It’s pathetic.)

What’s more pathetic is, when I complete a ‘work’, ‘home’, or ‘writing’ task, something else rushes in to take its place.

A ‘To Do’ list is helpful in certain ways but also serves as a tangible reminder that I WILL NEVER FINISH THAT LIST.

It’s like trying to scoop water out of a pool with a teaspoon while a waterfall splashes more in right next to me.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

Do you use a list to keep track of all the things you need to do? Do you have another (better) way? An app? A different way of approaching the traditional ‘To Do’ list? (Not including ripping it in half and throwing it in the trash – tried that. Doesn’t work.) If so, please share your wisdom in the comments. I need a life vest. Thank you…

 

 

My Life as an Introverted Writer

 

J.A. Allen’s “Scribble Challenge” invites writers to drop a response to a weekly flash fiction prompt in the comment section.

I had to take part in it. I mean. Flash.

It was fun. But the thing is, I won. I was a bit shocked, to be honest. (Thanks to the writers who voted for my entry!) The winner is invited to guest post over at J.A. Allen’s blog: Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins. Squee! So that is what I did. And I am there. A huge thank you to J.A. Allen for allowing me to muck up her beautiful space with my words. 🙂

Please check out: My Life as an Introverted Writer

 

We Are Living in a Distractible World and I Am a Distractible Girl

 

 

I just looked up a book about how to focus in a distracted world and I couldn’t make it through the description because I got distracted.

I wish this was me trying to be funny or something but, alas, that just happened. Seriously.

I’m not sure if this means I desperately need the book or it would be a bad fit because the author can’t hold the attention of his target audience long enough to buy his book.

In my defense, it’s a fairly lengthy description.

And I’m not always that easily distracted but… Ooh! Shiny!

When there is a lot going on (there is) and stuff keeps piling up on top my head (it does), I get overwhelmed then become easily distracted.

This got me thinking, as these things do, and now I’ve completely lost it and am in some deep philosophical discussion with myself about metaphysics and if the phone is actually ringing and if I’m even real.

So that’s the deal with my life right now. How are you?

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

How do you focus with all the distractions out there? By the way, should any of you lovely readers like to check the book out, the link is up there and it’s called Deep Work. I (obviously) haven’t read it but Sacha Black recommends it. 🙂

 

 

Character Crush: Spike

 

Spike is dreamy.

He’s also evil, dangerous, and undead. The platinum-haired crush of many Buffy fans is a twisted mess of emotions, poetry, death, and destruction. He’s also dreamy. *ahem*

I’ll not defend William the Bloody (Spike). He’s done some horrific things in his 100+ years on this earth. But I will say that, for a bloke without a soul, he’s pretty sweet.

Spike is a vampire. He has no conscience, yet he manages to have morals. Sometimes. When he feels like it. Not killing people for starters.

Okay… He’s got a chip in his head, courtesy of the demented Professor Maggie Walsh with her underground government agency, group of scientists, and soldier boys. As long as that chip’s nestled in Spike’s brain, he can’t hurt a human. There is that.

But there is so much more. Choices he makes when the chip stops working. When it’s removed. When he’s on his own, has free will, without technology interfering. He helps. Again and again. He helps. There is a bit of the meek poet he used to be in the 1800s still hanging out inside this demon leaving a delicious mixture of sentimental and homicidal. Like the time he swishes off in his black trench coat to kill Buffy with a shotgun and winds up sitting on the back porch consoling her. Because. Spike. Buffy’s crying and he wants to know if there’s anything he can do. When there isn’t, he sits with her. Who has empathy as a soulless demon? He’s a bit of a marshmallow. With fangs.

I’ll just throw in here that he nearly gets himself killed, going through “trials” that really should have killed him, to get his soul back. He chose to do this. He didn’t die, but did get majorly beaten and driven insane in the process.

Not to mention (yet I will) the comic relief he adds to the show. He’s dry. Deadpan. My favorite kind of humor. Though, in the Buffyverse, almost everyone has a side of humor with their evil-doing or evil-fighting. But Spike’s delivery is just…brilliant.

We can’t get too comfy around him. He can’t be trusted. Not entirely. And yet characters do trust him (with their lives and the lives of their loved ones). He offers help when the Scooby Gang needs it. He is deadly, yes. He is also affectionate, sensitive, and loyal.

Alas, at the end of the day (and well into the night), this lovely lad is still a vampire. One who saved the world. Just saying. ❤

 

 

I saw this blogathon forever ago. It’s about crushes. It can’t be an actor or actress, it must be the character. (Big shout-out to James Marsters, though, for his portrayal of Spike.) These movie blogathons are so fun. But then I saw television and book characters were fair game. I mean. Seriously? Awesome! Then…I thought. And thought. And, honestly, I was overwhelmed.

My mind was suddenly flooded with ALL OF THE PEOPLE. How could anyone choose one character from all the books, televisions shows, and movies out there. It’s impossible. So I picked one and created a running list that I plan to explore in the future. A blog series of amazing characters (and what makes them so damn lovable).

 

Television

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I’m pretty much crushing on, like, half the characters in Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse. My favs are: Spike (James Marsters), Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), and my girl crush, Willow (Alyson Hannigan).

Gilmore Girls: Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham)

Northern Exposure: Chris Stevens (John Corbett)

Xena, Warrior Princess: Xena (Lucy Lawless)

And many more…

Film

LOTR: Strider/Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom)

 

Harry Potter: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), Severus Snape (Alan Rickman)

Good Will Hunting: Will Hunting (Matt Damon)

Ocean’s Eleven: Erm…everyone. Okay, Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), if I had to choose.

Princess Bride: Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes)

The Avengers: Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.)

Blazing Saddles: Jim (Gene Wilder), Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn)

Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood: Viv Abbott Walker (Young: Ashley Judd / Older: Ellen Burstyn)

Grosse Pointe Blank: Martin Blank (John Cusack)

 

Dead Again: Gray Baker (Andy Garcia)

Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)

And many, many more…

Books

I can’t even. My brain hurts just thinking about this.

 

 

After I wrote my list of crushes, I thought, “Geez, Sarah, here’s something to look into, no? I mean, you’re crushing on some pretty unpleasant people.” Indeed. It’s a very interesting list. People who are crass, wicked, dangerous, manipulative… Criminals, demons, hit men…

Shiny, happy people aren’t my thing. Flaws are intriguing. That said, I don’t go for the truly evil. They’re not my thing, either. I find them disturbing. I love the reformed, conflicted, confused (or confusing) ones. For example, the sexist, womanizing, jackass billionaire Tony Stark (Iron Man) who, in The Avengers, consistently risks his own life to help innocents and, at the end, is the one who goes on a suicide flight to save the world. Or the hit man, Martin Blank, who has killed his share (and more) but is having a bit of a crisis and winds up saving a girl, her father, and some random folks along the way.

I think it’s safe to say I like my characters a little rough around the edges.

 

 

Character crushes. They are difficult to narrow down. At least for me. Who’s your crush? (Or crushes?)

 

This post is part of the Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Font and Frock#ReelInfatuation

 

Book Lovers Tag

 

 

First spotted this fun, little tag on Ritu Bhathal’s blog, But I Smile Anyway, then saw it on Shelley Wilson’s blog, Motivate Me.

I’m a book lover and both Ritu and Shelley invited anyone to play. So here I am. And here we go.

 

Do you have a specific place for reading?

 

I wish. Like a spot under a weeping willow or in a gorgeous garden blooming with roses or a soft window seat with sheer, billowing curtains. *sigh* No, I read in the car, in bed, while I’m walking from room to room, sitting on the couch…

 

Bookmarks or random pieces of paper?

 

I have a ginormous collection of the silliest, sweetest, loveliest, most awesome bookmarks ever. Yet…when I need to keep my place in a book (which is often as I’m constantly interrupted), I usually grab a random receipt, scrap of paper, or business card.

 

Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?

 

I can stop anywhere. Literally anywhere. Mid-paragraph. Mid-sentence. Hell, mid-word. This isn’t my preferred way to read (or, rather, stop reading) but has become that way. I used to finish chapters but, alas, times have changed. Or lack of time has changed. That said, if I’m two sentences away from the end of a chapter, I try to crawl my way to the finish line.

 

Do you eat or drink while reading?

 

Yes. I love sitting with a cup of tea or glass of wine while reading. It’s my “me” time. But that doesn’t happen very often. I’m usually reading whenever I get a spare moment so I’m chugging some water or my morning coffee before I’m on to the next thing. I don’t really eat while reading though. That would be disastrous.

 

Music or TV while reading?

 

I can barely concentrate when the neighbor is mowing his lawn so, no. No music or TV. As a matter of fact, if the kids are awake when I want to read, it’s DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time! (A.K.A. silence-in-the-house time.) Luckily, I have a book-loving family.

 

One book at a time or several?

 

Something a bit more than “several”. Always a few nonfiction/reference books plus a novel or two and some anthologies and short stories. I’m… Ooh! Shiny! *runs away*

 

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

 

Home. But I will read in my car provided there is NO ONE else there and I’m parked somewhere quiet. Never in a coffee shop or even a library because, regardless of how quiet places are supposed to be, there are always distractions.

 

Read out loud or silently?

 

Hmm. Do people read out loud? Now I’m wicked curious who reads out loud to themselves. Do you? Let me know in the comments. (Do I need to say that I read silently?) Although…now I must admit I read out loud to my children. But that’s totally different.

 

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

 

No. No! Who does this? Do you? What are these questions? I mean, if it’s a reference book, sure, but not a novel (novella, novelette, short story, whatever).

 

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

 

You could sell my 15-yr-old books in a bookstore they’re so new-looking. And I’m a big fan of rereading. Still…spines intact. (Except my Harry Potter series. They’re like an old, favorite stuffed animal. Worn and loved.)

 

Do you write in your books?

 

All the time. I draw and doodle and make rude comments in the margins. No! No, I don’t write in my books. That’s like… Just no. In my nonficiton/reference books, I highlight. I’m a huge highlighter. (Oh, and I will admit to trying some black-out poetry in a completely destroyed, unreadable copy of Harry Potter that was going to be thrown away and I saved. Because. Harry Potter.)

 

I’m going to follow suit in the nomination/tagging here and say that if you’d like to play, you’re tagged. (You should play. Just saying.)

Have fun, fellow book lovers!

 

Migraines and Manicures

 

 

“I totally have a migraine,” she flips her shiny hair over her shoulder and takes a sip of coffee.

“Those are the worst,” her friend says loudly and somewhat sympathetically.

The girl with the “migraine” looks up from her iPhone long enough to say, “They so are. Do you have an Advil?”

An anvil? Sure. I happen to have one here I can drop on your head to give you an idea of what it’s like to actually have a migraine.

When did this term become synonymous with a bad headache? Or a Frapuccino-sipping, hair-flipping mild one?

Three days ago, my head felt like a coconut being split open.

I felt like one of the extras in a B-rated horror movie, shrieking for a moment and having the camera linger on me long enough to show the audience I was the latest victim of an ax-wielding psycho star.

Actually, I might have welcomed having my head split open at the time. The pressure was…indescribable. I thought my brain might actually be swelling and pressing against my skull. Gross, right? I know. Then there’s the nausea and vomiting that goes along with the blinding pain, the vision problems, and the inability to move for fear of crumpling to the floor in agony. Not to mention (but I will) that if someone drops a spoon on the other side of the house, they may as well have hit you over the head with a frying pan. Oh, and you have to avoid sunlight like a vampire. Because. Pain.

You can’t read, write, eat, think… So, basically, you whimper (very quietly) and wish the time away. At least, that’s what I do.

This is how I spent my day—curled up in a ball under the covers with my hands desperately trying to cover my ears and my eyes at the same time. That didn’t work out well.

A migraine is a medical condition.

Seriously. It has symptoms and everything.

People, please, for the love of all that is good and covered in chocolate, stop. If you’re up and about, swishing your sweet coffee concoction, examining your manicure, pouting over your split ends, and texting, please don’t complain about your “migraine”.

It makes people who actually suffer from migraines feel miffed.

Okay, angry.

Okay, maybe it only makes me angry but this is my blog so…

 

 

I may be overreacting a tad here but, having just been through a 2-day adventure in agony (again), this was a fun little rant. And kind of overdue… Just saying. Do you suffer from migraines? How do you cope? Hopefully better than I do.

 

May Day Celebrations

 

 

The fire of the sun

In a spray of bright flowers

Spring turns to Summer

Petals float down from blue skies

Dancing with me in the breeze

 

May Day A spring holiday celebrated for millennia around the world, usually with flowers, crowning of a May Queen, and dancing around the maypole. Every country or region has its own specific customs.

Read more about May Day 🌺

Beltane An ancient fire festival marking the first day of summer (making Summer Solstice in June “midsummer” – Shakespeare, anyone?). Fires were used to represent the waxing sun and thought to provide protection and abundance for the coming season. The Green Man is often associated with this festival as are fairies and tree spirits.

Read more about Beltane 🌺

Lei Day In Hawaii, they celebrate Hawaiian culture and tradition with dancing and the giving of leis (necklaces made of flowers). Each island in this archipelago has its own distinct flower which is used to make the leis.

Read more about Lei Day 🌺

 

The May Queen

(an excerpt)

You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear;

To-morrow ’ll be the happiest time of all the glad new-year,—

Of all the glad new-year, mother, the maddest, merriest day;

For I ’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I ’m to be Queen o’ the May.

~~~

The honeysuckle round the porch has woven its wavy bowers,

And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo-flowers;

And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and hollows gray;

And I ’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I ’m to be Queen o’ the May.

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Wishing you all joy on May Day!

🌸🌸🌸

 

When Does a Victim Become a Villain?

 

 

When does a victim become a villain?

What is it that turns someone we would love to protect into someone we love to hate?

Is it the first act of violence against another living thing? Does it have to be human? When does the child who has been brutalized at home become the bully? Is there a magical age when we stop feeling sorry for the child or is it simply a response to the child’s actions?

When I read a book or see a film, I want to know about the villain’s history. He did that?! What on earth happened to him?

That’s just me. Others might not care. Good guy vs bad guy. The end.

I want more. I want to know why the bad guy is so bad. Is he pure evil? Did he make a mistake? Is he mentally unstable? Is he out for revenge?

When it comes to villains, grey matters. Har. Yes, the brain. Psychology and whatnot but, also, areas between the black and white world of good and evil. It’s not simple.

Of course, sometimes, it is. Simple, I mean. Other times, it’s extraordinarily complex.

In searching through the biggest baddies of all time for the Villains Blogathon, I saw some surprising selections.

Carrie from Stephen King’s Carrie is listed as one of the top villains. Hmm. The whole movie sets up those last scenes. She is bullied horrifically at school and abused sadistically at home. Also, she’s unsure (and afraid) of her powers. Then, well…burn, baby, burn. Returning home, Carrie is taken in by her mother who hugs her to hide the great, big knife she’s about to stab Carrie with.

Then there’s Regan. A disgusting-looking, in-need-of-a-facial, pea-soup-projectile-vomiting little girl. The girl from The Exorcist is one of the top villains? She is possessed by the devil, people. Just saying.

Norman Bates is, um, Psycho. This kid, the one who grew up to be his mother (literally), had an extremely disturbing relationship with his cruel, possessive, demented mother. His entire life was abuse and isolation, leading to his inevitable insanity and the infamous stabby shower scene.

If you’ll allow me to delve into the realm of television for one teensy moment, I must talk about one of my favorite victims/villains of all time: the beautifully insane Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer played by the incredibly talented Juliet Landau. Oh, yeah, Drusilla is nasty. No argument there. But it’s her backstory that makes me seriously sick. She was an innocent young woman who caught the attention of a vampire who, patiently, goes to great lengths and takes great pleasure in torturing and tormenting her. He waits for the perfect moment to take her soul and make her immortal—right as she is driven insane.

There are also the people who were victims because they were sort of…magically (or in some other unnatural way) morphed into villains: Jack Torrance (The Shining), Gollum (Lord of the Rings), the kids who lived in Gatlin, Nebraska (Children of the Corn), Bucky A.K.A. Winter Soldier (Captain America/Civil War), Regan (The Exorcist)…

I’m not defending any actions. I’m not denying their villain status. I’m asking when, exactly, do these characters become villains?

 

When does a brutalized or brainwashed victim become a villain? What pushes the helpless victim into the role of evil villain?

 

 

This post is part of The Great Villain Blogathon. Click here for all the participants.  #Villains2017

Read my Matrix contribution to VILLAINS2016 here. Working within the constraints of the Matrix was tough but chatting about the villain of the flick was wicked fun and philosophical and *psst* not Agent Smith.

 

A joyous thanks goes out to the hosts of The Great Villain Blogathon 2017: Ruth of Silver Screenings, Karen of Shadows & Satin, and Kristina of Speakeasy. This is an annual festival of fun. Evil fun. 😈

#villains2017