Lessons in a Puzzle

Walk the Goats

1,000 pieces. That’s what the puzzle box said. I bought it. I’d try this puzzle thing.

Last time I was around a puzzle was 2-years ago. I was at a birthday party and the puzzle was 2/3rd complete. The remaining pieces were nicely laid out, face up. Several folks were standing over the puzzle, chatting, while scanning and trying to fit pieces in. I hit 3-clean picks in a row: snap, snap, snap. It was satisfying. “I’m a natural at this,” I thought.

I figured I’d buy a puzzle and try it at home. Lots of folks like puzzles. Maybe I’m one of them.

A thousand-piece puzzle is not a good place to start, if you aren’t sure you love puzzles.

Continue reading “Lessons in a Puzzle”

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The Vein-ity of Giving Blood

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I donate blood regularly. I’d like to say I do it strictly for the do-gooder character in me, but, like so many things, multiple characters influence my blood-donating habits.

Mom volunteered for Red Cross Blood Drives when I was growing up, so when the blood drive came to our high school, she encouraged me to donate, reassuring me over my needle-queasiness and worries about having blood taken. The character who wants to please mom is definitely in play

I’ve varied between being an occasional—sometimes lapsed—donor, to being consistent, donating regularly at our local firehouse, which hosts a blood drive every 8-weeks. My lapses were often due to inconvenience—no local blood drive—or too busy.  With our local firehouse setup, it’s easy to give. My do-gooder character believes in the value of donating, so making it easy helps me stay aligned in this corner of my mind.

My every-8-week donation plan sometimes gets thrown off schedule when my iron count fails.

Continue reading “The Vein-ity of Giving Blood”

I Have 340 Separate Account Log-Ons

Pixabay: Pixelkult. Free for commercial Use. No attribution required.

There’s a reason people use the same log-on name and password on every friggin’ site on the internet; they do it because every friggin’ site requires we establish an account in order to interact with them beyond looking at their offerings through the internet-window.

You want to come in and browse? Set up an account, create a user name and unique password, give us your personal data, and then—and only then—will we let you in to see our wares.

Imagine if that happened at retail stores? They would have collapsed sooner than their apparent, imminent collapse.

I have 340 web sites that required me to set up an account with them in order to engage.  Really? Did all 340 of them really need me to set up an account? I don’t even know if some of the accounts I have exist anymore. I’m pretty sure my MySpace account is defunct, but who knows, it could still be sitting there.

Continue reading “I Have 340 Separate Account Log-Ons”

Tilting at Windmills

VIVIANE6276 CC0 Creative Commons on Pixabay

I love moments when I see my perspective shift on something.  I tilt my psychological head and, bam! things are suddenly different.

I was driving to the hospital to see mom. The Vermont hills, peppered with farms and cows, rolled before me, small towns and communities rising up and fading away.  The green scenery swaddled me in its splendor; an occasional tree hinted at autumn.

I rounded a turn. There on the hill before me was a display of a half-dozen windmills.

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Shopping the Discount

71_Discount2The coupon was for 40% off a single item. A second coupon—same store—promised another $2 off on top. A character was aroused.


She gathered her purse. Told Bubba she was headed out.

“Where you going?” he asked.

“I’m off to shop,” she said.

“What are you buying?”

“I’m not buying, I’m shopping.”

He turned in his chair and eyed her. “What’s the difference?”

“Buying is when I need something specific, maybe toilet paper or toothpaste, and I go out and get it. Shopping is when I want something, but I don’t know what. I wander the aisles until something hooks me. Eventually, something will.  Shopping scratches an itch.”

“Oh,” he said, sounding confused.

“I have these coupons I need to use,” she said, as if that explained everything.  “How often does CVS send out 40% off coupons? With a $2 bonus on top? I gotta use ‘em today because they expire. I’ll walk around the store until I find something, maybe even something we need.  If I’m lucky, I’ll find something we need that’s more than we’d usually want to pay, and can apply the coupon to it; get maximum savings. What I get is less important than how much I can save.”

“So,” Bubba said, with sudden understanding, “what you’re really shopping for, is a bargain.”

Coffeebeanworks on Pixabay Creative Commons


Photo sources: MarcoRoesler on Pixabay; Coffeebeanworks on Pixabay

Dopamine-Induced Raw Begging

I’m responding to likes and kudos, comments and accolades. Like Pavlov’s dog, I’m salivating over feedback; getting hooked by WordPress’s announcement that I’ve surpassed my previous record of likes. New record: 27! It may be a puny record, but it’s my record. So…whoot!69_PavlovBegging_6-1-18Pavlov. Dogs. I’ve been writing about dogs. Ugly dogs. Fee for petting dogs. Dog House fiction.

Is this all an accident? Coincidence? I think not.

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Personas & Voices: Wit and Whimsy

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I love turning up lines or passages from other writers that capture the idea of different conversations taking place in their heads, conversations that reflect different facets of who they are.  J Blaide does that for me in her “Caffeine Crutch” post, excerpted below.

 

BLOG: Wit and Whimsy ~ “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

Post:  “My Caffeine Crutch”

“…being groggy MAKES ME HUNGRY! This combo turns off my logical thinking switch and seductively whispersoh how delicious that Dew will taste! Go on, just one won’t hurt. Just one soda today and then back to water like we promised each other. It’ll be so satisfying!” (For the record, in my head this dialogue is voiced by Him from Power Puff Girls).”


 

Bubba and the Broken Bottle

58_BrokenBottle1Bubba did the water-run today, bringing our three-gallon bottles and two-gallon water dispenser to the store to refill. Our tap water, while drinkable, leaves me feeling as if I’m coating my innards with scale.

Back from the store, Bubba carried the dispenser and one of the three-gallon bottles into the house. He left his truck parked curbside. The last bottle, filled, sat on the passenger-side floor, the truck door open.  Bubba had thought about closing the door as he made his first trip to the house, but he figured no one would steal the water bottle and, besides, he would be back in a flash.

Stepping back outside onto the front stoop, Bubba looked toward the truck and saw, in disbelief, that the water bottle was tipping over the door edge and out the truck. Too far away to save it, it crashed to the curb, shattering the bottle.

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Personas & Voices: Creative PTSD Gal

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I love turning up lines or passages from other writers that reflect the idea of “voices” in our head, those characters who push back on us, find us wrong, plug the negative, and basically get in the way of us finding peace; peace with ourselves.

 

BLOG: A Creative PTSD Gal ~ “A Place Where I can be Creative and Understand Me”

Post:  “Another Challenge…Punishment?””

“I have a lot to learn. I could be better but that’s why I’m not listening to the permanent negative voice in my head. Not this time.”


 

Personas & Voices: Blank Paper

Header-HomeAn interesting way to write about “self.” I find it fascinating to read a description by this blogger that separates mind from body, as if two distinctly different things.  Given the sometimes contradictory ways my own inner personas can respond to something, I totally get this.

 

 

BLOG: Blank Paper ~ “Conversations with Myself”

Post:  “What Does it Mean to Love Others”

“I didn’t love myself, too busy being desperate to be loved. My mind and body did not care for each other we just so happened to be roommates. Roommates who never appreciated each other or saw each other as equals.” 


 

He Said / She Said

31_LightSwitch2_4-6-18I poured myself out of bed this morning and trundled to the living room; Bubba, sitting on the couch with his coffee, was reading the news.

Still groggy, I scuffled around the couch to the front door and flipped off the outside light.  After pouring coffee in the kitchen, I settled in opposite Bubba.

“Did you just turn the outside light on?” he asked.

“Huh? No. I turned it off.”

“But it’s on,” he said.

I leaned forward so I could see.  Dang. The switch was in the up position; on for sure.

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Personas & Voices: Of Other Bloggers

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I love when I read other blogs and see language that captures the various ways we talk about ourselves, often using words that indicate different personas or characters. Here are three separate excerpts from three different bloggers that do just that.

 

 

BLOG: Confessions of an Irish Procrastinator  ~ “The musings of an Irish hopeful”

Post:  “Old Friends”

“Late last night, me and the Voice who lives in my head were just settling down for the night and who should rap the door but my good old pal Insomnia?!”

Continue reading “Personas & Voices: Of Other Bloggers”

Multiple Personalities. Who. Me?

30_SybilThe first friend I described my “character” concept to looked at me side-eyed and referenced the book Sybil.

After starting this blog—where I share tales of thoughts conflicting in my mind, or appearing without any conscious intent on my part—someone asked me if I might…possibly?…have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Multiple personalities? Who. Me?

I mentioned this to another friend, whose immediate response was, “don’t we all?”

Continue reading “Multiple Personalities. Who. Me?”

Blogging Awards ~ Two Minds ~ Updated

27_Blogging AwardsWhen I started blogging a month ago, I saw other bloggers announce blogging awards they’d been nominated for. “Awards!” I thought. Golden rings I hoped to win.

The awards provide recognition and potential exposure for bloggers, and typically involve various Q&A’s along with a requirement to pass-it-forward by nominating others. Often a generous list of “others.”

“Cool,” I thought. “I can do that.” I was getting myself ready for the day my brilliance was recognized and the nominations poured in.

Continue reading “Blogging Awards ~ Two Minds ~ Updated”

Personas & Voices: The Average Aspirant

Header-HomeThis post is from The Average Aspirant, by a blogger who chose blogging to express, motivate and inspire herself and others. Or, as her tagline reads, it’s a blog about the “average life of an average person with aspirational goals.”

In this post she shares her thoughts about Blogging Awards such as the versatile blogger, mystery blogger and sunshine blogger awards.

There was one short sentence that illustrated, to me, how we often use language to recognize different thoughts or personas that we may not want or like.  Our language often creates distance from a thought, or reflects an awareness that we really can be of two minds about something.

“I wish I didn’t think like this, but I can’t help it.” ~The Average Aspirant


 

Personas & Voices: Self Love Living

Header-HomeThis blog post is from the Self Love Living blog, by a woman who hopes to inspire others to love themselves.

Her post, titled Rebirth-Repost is heavy, dealing with doubt and depression and darkness. If you link through, be prepared for that.

She captures the idea of characters and voices in our heads in the paragraph below. The language reflects an idea of separation, separation that’s part of an idea from meditation that we aren’t our thoughts and our feelings. I find it helps to realize how often we use this language, without fully realizing how powerful it can be to help us know those thoughts don’t make up our entire being.

“There’s this girl in my head that I’ve learned to tame over the couple of years since this incident, this bitch. I’d like to call her, she hurts me, belittles me, makes me feel lonely; to sum it all up: she makes me feel like shit…”

~Self Love Living

 


 

Personas & Voices: Life on the Skinny Branches

 Header-HomeHere’s a post by another blogger that reflects the idea of personas, voices, characters or “other” parts of our minds. It’s from Life on the Skinny Branches, a blog by a woman who is “a closeted introvert” attempting to “live life out loud.”

This post was titled “Perfectionista Blues.” It captures that tug-of-war that can occur between two characters with different ideas about things.

““Life will go on. It is not the end of the world,” she continued, though somewhere inside was a part that did indeed experience such an event as life and death, and no amount of coaxing was ever going to change that part of her mind.”  ~Life on the Skinny Branches

 


 

3 Day, 3 Quote Challenge Day 2

 

Day 2-QuoteCrazy Lady In My Head nominated me to do the 3 Day, 3 Quote challenge. Today is Day 2.

Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you (Did on Day 1!)

2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three bloggers each day.

Quote #2: 

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good and how he treats people who can’t fight back.” ~Abigail Van Buren.

I try and watch how I treat folks as I go about my everyday business at grocery and retail stores, in restaurants, banks, etc. It’s amazingly easy to forget to be present for the short time I’m “doing life” with these folks!

Three bloggers I nominate to participate:

  1. Life on the Skinny Branches: “A closeted introvert attempts to live life out loud”
  2. I Wanna be a Lady: “On a journey to inspire women to be more connected”
  3. Whatever I Write: a 14-year old with a brain writing about bunches of things

 

Personas & Voices: Pearls & Grit

 Header-HomeI’m linking to blogs where I catch language that captures the idea of “characters.” Sometimes it’s “personas.” Other times it’s “voices” in our heads. As I write about the idea of characters, I’m realizing how common this concept is in writings and conversations.

Today it’s from Pearls and Grit, a blog by a woman who loves “learning how to take personal struggles and crafting our best selves out of those struggles and changes.”

This post was titled, “Is Your Inner Voice Sabotaging Your Confidence?” It was in this segment where she writes about our “inner voice.”

“Which brings up the inner voice that we all have. Our inner voices all have personalities too. Most often, our inner voices are not very kind. In fact, they can be downright mean. That inner voice, allowed to run unchecked, can be one of our most toxic relationships. To make positive change towards true confidence, we must build kinder, healthier inner voices. “  ~Pearls and Grit

 


 

I Don’t Darn Socks

25_darn-socks.jpgI called my mom the other day. She was darning socks. She has always darned socks.

I used to darn my socks. Now I don’t. Now when they get a hole in them, I throw them out.

I’m of two minds—two characters—about sock darning.

One character imagines my mother watching as I toss the socks out; socks that, except for the holes in the heels, are perfectly fine; easily fixed. That character—fearing a raised eyebrow—feels a compulsion to darn the socks. Reduce; reuse; recycle.

My other character doesn’t want to darn socks. That character wants to write. Or dance. Or hike. Or hang with Bubba. She doesn’t want to darn socks.

My anti-sock-darning character has prevailed; she tosses the socks. But she hides them under other things when throwing them out.

That’s because The Judge—the disapproving judge—still presides in her mind.