dreaminghope: (Bee Faerie)
When my sister and I were little - under ten years old, I think, but we did this for years - we invented a world and two huge families of characters. We talked about our characters, acted them out, drew them, and wrote stories about them. Their stories kept us occupied for hours - days - especially while we were camping, away from our other sources of entertainment. My sister's characters were all siblings; a huge family that all lived in a massive mansion. Mine were a group of friends who were visitors from a planet called Timely (it's a pretty cool place; I still visit there sometimes).

Though we had characters that were little kids, we mostly played teens. The age range was from fourteen to eighteen years old. I remember that the eighteen year olds were the mature characters; they were mostly responsible people who babysat the little kids and took care of the pets. They were kind of boring. The sixteen year olds were our most-played characters; they were the perfect combination of young enough to be fun while seeming old enough to do all the things we were too young to do: dating, going to parties, being independent.

When I got there, sixteen turned out to be a less than ideal age: braces, acne, hormones, bullies, teenaged dramatics, school stress, too young to drink, too old to play Precious Places...

So, sixteen wasn't as perfect as I thought it would be when I was ten. And eighteen wasn't as boring and grown-up as I'd imagined. My ten year old self would consider me to be unthinkably old now - far too old to be fun - but I still feel like I'm just getting started.

Thirty-one is the new sixteen.
dreaminghope: (Flying Demon Girl)
My birthday is three weeks from today, making now an excellent time to start thinking about what I might ask for. I do have lots of wishes. I wish for a violence-free Olympics for my city. I wish for my friend to find permanent relief from her five month long migraine headache. I wish for healthy, happy, bouncing babies for all my friends who want them. I wish for the whiners in my spiritual community to either start helping or to just shut up. Ahem... so, not all my wishes are nice. And none of those are likely birthday presents. There's just nothing I am lacking.

Actually, there is one thing I would really like for myself. It's a frivolous thing; a pure and simple luxury. What I'd really like for myself is a warm toilet seat.

That I don't have this is partially my fault. Our house is old and heated with electric baseboard heaters, which means that it's unevenly heated at best. I'm also a bit frugal (cheap), so I keep the temperature low (I turn down the thermostat anytime I don't need to wear a sweater). The result is a cool bathroom and a cold toilet seat, especially first thing in the morning.

It's worse at work, though. I work in a closet of an office at the back of a cement warehouse. Because we deal with fruits and vegetables, we don't put the heat on in the warehouse very often. In the summer, the warehouse is pleasantly cool. In the winter, it is bloody cold. Sometimes the walk-in refrigerator is warmer. The bathroom is located in the warehouse, and it is also unheated. I bite my lip when I sit down so I don't squeak when my warm skin hits the icy plastic.

It's still not a practical birthday wish, but I am so blessed that the only thing left to want is a warm place to sit my bare bum.
dreaminghope: (Zoey)
This is it... the end of my twenties. I'll be thirty tomorrow.

My uncle took it upon himself to tell me that turning thirty was the only birthday he had trouble dealing with. That's when he realized that he would never be twenty-nine again – that he wasn't a "young person" anymore – and he wondered if this was all there was to life.

I'm not having any such concerns. I've already had my age-related existential crisis.

My tough birthday was my tenth.

The night before I turned ten, I lay in bed, sleepless, restless, for hours. I would never be nine again. I would never be a little kid again. Was this all there was to life? Nothing was ever going to be the same ever again. After all, from then on, my age would always have two digits in it.
dreaminghope: (Waterbaby)
Disclaimer: I've been away from LJ for about a week and I haven't had a chance to look at my Friends' List yet. Any resemblance to people living or dead, or situations current or past, is purely coincidence. It's all about me, after all.

Context: I'm coming back to LJ after a week away, so I checked out [livejournal.com profile] readers_list* first, because I'm a slut for good writing. I read the new posts, then got to this one and remembered something I've been meaning to write since I first read it in February. This desire was further compounded by an article in Saturday's "Globe and Mail" about Generation Me.

Princess time: I've been away from LJ doing self-indulgent things like getting Russ to make me extra fancy breakfasts, receiving gifts from people, going out for huge rich meals (with dessert), and spending birthday money from Grandma. For a week, I was the birthday princess. Now I'm ready to go back to Real Life...

Real Life is where I am not a princess. I'm important to some people, but I'm not objectively important. Anything I do well, someone else does even better. Anything I am suffering through, someone else has suffered through worse. Any list of adjectives and labels I can use to describe myself could probably also be used to describe someone else in this world. It isn't that I am not a unique and special person, but that everyone else is too. "If everyone's special, no one is."**

I have more than a little self-obsession. Of course my problems seem more important than anyone else's – they are mine. In that, I am perfectly average.

Sometimes when I'm writing a rant for LJ about a stupid or mean or ignorant customer, co-worker, family member, friend, acquaintance, or stranger on the street, I wonder what they would write in their journal about me or about the situation. Sometimes that means that I don't post the rant.

I do feel better when I listen to someone else's problems and can make them feel better, even in just a little way. But sometimes when someone wants to talk about their problems, I want to back away so I can keep thinking just about myself. This is probably perfectly average too.

I have a motto – a kick in my own ass when I get too self-involved – that I try to follow:

Stop whining that no one understands you and try understanding someone else instead.


In the "Globe and Mail" article, the writer uses blogging as an example of self-involvement, and that certainly can be true if each person dwells only on their own life and point of view. But blogging can also be a way of seeing that so many of us are facing the same kinds of problems, and that we are all celebrating and hurting in turn. My pain isn't bigger than yours, nor even that much different. We are both people who are sometimes in pain. And my successes aren't greater than yours, and you want me to cheer you on when you win just like I want to be celebrated when I win.

In the [livejournal.com profile] readers_list post, [livejournal.com profile] cadhla wrote: Because you're amazing. And you deserve to know it. In my opinion, life does have inherent value, and so does every person on this earth. Everyone is a little different from everyone else alive, present, past, and future.*** But being born and having unique DNA and fingerprints isn't an accomplishment.

I am only as special as I make someone else feel.

I am only amazing when I make the world better in some way.

And so is everyone else.

*If you don't read [livejournal.com profile] readers_list, go add it to your Friends' List. Go ahead now; this post will still be here when you get back.

**Wisdom from The Incredibles. If you haven't seen the movie, go see it. Don't worry, this post will still be here when you get back.

***Barring cloning, of course.
dreaminghope: (Sexy)
Last night was my fabulous birthday party. It was an amazing party!

Read more... )

It was simply a perfect birthday present. I had a wonderful time.
dreaminghope: (Zoey)
I'm home early -- Dave gave me a ride home. What a sweetie! He is another thing that makes Omega something better then hell.

I put the Gathering registrations for Russ, Jamey and I in the mail today.

It is so beautiful outside! Cool, blue and sunny. I wish I could have the door open, but Zoey is still an indoor only kitty, and it doesn't seem fair to shut her in the bedroom or bathroom so I can have the door open.

---

Inspiration hit and I dropped everything. I put Zoey on a leash (the iguana's leash, actually) and took her out into the yard for the first time. She is so adorable, all big ears and twitching nose. Good thing for the leash: she immediately wanted to play with a gray squirrel almost as big as her little kitten self.

---

I still haven't decided what Russ and I are doing tonight for my birthday, besides drinking tequila.
dreaminghope: (Firelight)
I'm still at work, but I'm dicking around because it's my birthday! Besides, I've already gotten lots done today.

The company gave me tequila for my birthday!

Celeste and I were joking around this morning about how much we'll have to drink tonight because of some crisis or another and she said something about martinis and I responded that it's margaritas for me. Within a couple of hours, a bottle of tequila, wrapped in shiny paper, was on my desk. Celeste told Dave what to get, and he picked it up.

I love tequila! It looks like a nice brand -- I'll have to give it a little try tonight. (Or a big try...)

And the Big Boss isn't in the office, so everyone's a little more relaxed and happy. He's even on a plane, so he can't even call to harass us from a distance.

Yesterday, Celeste and I talked a lot. I think she's at her wits end around here too. If she goes, I'm out of here. She's the only thing that keeps me from completely losing it. She has been a great advocate for getting resources for my department, she defends us to the Big Boss, she agrees with me as to what needs fixing and gives me advice on how to go about it.

But today's not a day to dwell on such unpleasant realities. I am happily in birthday la-la land, counting down the time until I get to go out into the sun.
dreaminghope: (Firelight)
One post about great things:

Registration packages for the Gathering arrived yesterday. Aside from the sour grapes and bitching from a few on the Gathering email list, this is a moment of pure excitement!

Russ, Jamey and I will be going this year, tenting together. This is Jamey's first Gathering, and I am really looking forward to introducing her to everything and everyone. And I think the new site sounds great.

Our registrations and cheques will be in the mail tomorrow!

Also, my birthday is fast approaching and I am getting really joyful about it. Today was the first "event": Shannon bought me a sushi dinner, because she's going to be out of town for the actual birthday. I wish she could be at my party, but I think it's important that she go to Edmonton.

And tonight I hung out with ED, watching Queer As Folk on DVD and chatting.

I was going to do a second post about some crap that's going down at work, but that can wait until tomorrow. Tonight, I want to think about the good stuff.

Yeah -- great things coming!

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