It’s time

April 19, 2011 at 8:04 am (general life)

I think all the readers of this blog also follow my main blog at http://twittertales.wordpress.com. Since the twittertales blog now has Miscellaneous Mondays (as well as shiny new writing articles on Saturdays, and Steampunk stuff on Sundays), this blog no longer has any unique purpose (unless my realist novel is accepted for publication under the Felicity Bloomfield name, in which case I’ll grab the metaphorical paddles and revive this blog like I never left).

I will still see comments posted here, and will respond to them.

Here to say farewell is a selection of relaxed cats:

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If you could choose

March 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm (general life)

If you were to choose to be above average in one of these three ways, which would you be?

A good person

A talented person

A happy person

I grew up aiming for the first, and I really really wish I could support the hypothesis that I’m the second. The third just seems impossible.

But probably more pleasant than the other two combined.

Which would you choose, if you could have only one?

I think most people require the first or second (or both) to be happy. On the up side, being good is a choice and being talented is generally a matter of how much effort you put in. So maybe we really do have a choice.

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Six months to come alive again

March 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm (general life, Mental illness)

When CJ and I married, it was like being Cinderella.

Before we married, I was living in a granny flat in which most of the appliances were broken (including the washing machine, oven and toilet), where there was a large area of fungus, and where the water was not safe to drink. It cost two-thirds of my income, and was my only real option of a place to live. I needed to live alone because my anxiety disorder didn’t let me live with anyone.

When CJ and I married*I had good company and massages permanently on tap, a nice house where everything worked, and I never had to decide whether to have meat or not based on the ebb and flow of my income. I also had the new brand-ability to plan my future with some degree of certainty, and for the first time I had a choice about whether or not to have children someday. Everything in every area got dramatically better on one day.

On the down side, if CJ dies I’ll lose everything. He has life insurance (I checked, believe me), but other than relative wealth I’d lose most of the goodness of my life.

The awareness of my dependence of CJ didn’t impair my ability to function and/or enjoy CJ – but it didn’t go away either. Which is why when I read this article – mainly about the five stages of grief, and how they’re overemphasised in modern counselling – it meant a lot to me.

The thing that really made me feel better is that, according to studies, most people are largely recovered from major life-changing grief in about. . . six months. They still miss whoever or whatever it was, but the human ability to revert to individual emotional averages is extremely effective.

As a writer, I’m constantly designing the other kind of grief – the rare kind that permanently damages the sufferer – because it makes interesting characters. It’s a huge relief to realise that the way I see grief is based on an entirely fictional world view.

If CJ dies, my life will never be the same – but the worst pain will be mostly done by six months. If I have to, I can survive that.

Morbid and optimistic is a lot better than just morbid.

*Evidently there is at least one person I can live with – and even share a room with.

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Ambidextrous Unconscious?

March 1, 2011 at 8:11 am (general life)

A few nights ago I had a dream in which my wedding ring was on my right hand. I only noticed it was odd because when I woke up and later glanced at my right hand I was momentarily startled to see no ring there.

Does our unconscious flip us into a mirror image of ourselves in our dreams? What does this mean. . . for SCIENCE?

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The secret of love

February 14, 2011 at 10:56 am (general life, Mental illness)

CJ and I have now been married over two years (the two that are meant to be the hardest – one of several reasons we haven’t tried for kids yet). Overall, it’s been a lot easier and nicer than I expected – and I know how unusual that is.

I think the secret to a happy home (other than picking someone kind) is knowing who should do what – and doing it (before the other person has to ask) plus a bit more for love (but not too much – the other person has to have a chance to show their love too).

CJ earns most of the money; I try my best. I do more chores than CJ, but when I’m freaking out I ask for help and he helps. I let CJ spend money on computer stuff and books; he lets me spend money on awesomenesses and writing things. I coordinate most things, especially money and running the household; CJ has less impact on day to day things but also less to remember and be responsible for. In all these areas, we’ve found what works best for both of us.

Chores are the most difficult thing. Before marriage, I expected chores to be the hardest thing (having seen CJ’s bedroom many a time), and they are (even now) – but they’re a million times better than I expected. We talked about chores plenty, both before and after the wedding. CJ lifted his standards, and I lowered mine.

A good marriage is built on mutual respect and love – which is exactly where chores come in.

I don’t think it’s possible for me as a woman to respect a man who is too immature to do the dishes without being told (that makes him a child, and I’m not attracted to children). I also don’t think it’s possible for me to feel loved if I’m constantly cleaning up after a man. I DO clean up after CJ, but I know he also cleans up after me.

We’ve now spend half our time together dating, and half married. The married half has been nicer, more peaceful, and has seen less disagreements (partly because we know each other better, and can predict the other person’s reactions with enormous accuracy).

The hardest part of being married is that I am forced to carry my mental illness with me. I hate feeling that CJ has only ever met the second-best version of me (not that that’s entirely true; I have plenty of good days). I often feel angry that he is so content and happy when I’m living in the dark. It’s pretty clear neither of those things are his fault – and if he wasn’t immune to my depression he would be pretty useless.

The nicest parts of marriage are being able to make plans together, knowing that we have each other to rely on and laugh with, and having a warm body next to me at night*.

*One that doesn’t only love me for my ability to open the cat food cans.

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The good side of a bad dad

January 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm (general life, Mental illness)

I sometimes wonder if I should have kids. I’m pretty nuts, and I don’t know how children will influence my mental illness – or how my mental illness will influence them. But my mum has an anxiety disorder too, which is oddly encouraging – because I inherited it from her, but my life is pretty good (which means that my kids may well have anxiety issues too, but that’s not the worst thing in the world).

Even better, I get to instantly know my kids are, in one way, much better off than I was.

My biological dad is a bit useless. He’s in and out of jail for fraud, and he left my mum before I was a year old.

I have a fantastic stepfather – in fact, my earliest memory is preparing for their wedding. But I feel like I have an advantage in the realm of parenthood when I realise that CJ will be the father of my children – from the first instant of their life. That’s pretty encouraging.

Who knows? Maybe my kids will even turn out non-crazy. That’d be nice.

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Denouement

December 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm (general life)

*hoping I spelled the title right*

One of the best things about living in the Southern hemisphere is that my Christmas holidays ARE my Summer holidays. Which means that the school year ends just before Christmas and the New Year. Which is an excellent story device – maximum panic in school/work (for teachers such as myself) and personal life (Christmas) followed by a week of collapse and leftovers, followed by a new start.

Today I can barely move, but in a wonderfully lethargic way. Outside the occasional car passes, slow now after the stressed-out speeding and near deaths of the last month.

We’re living in the epilogue, and it’s a nice place to be. Threads get tied up; people spout the kind of things found in greeting cards; and there are no fight scenes.

2011 is just over the horizon, looking bright and shiny and hopeful.

It’s a good time of year.

I managed to eat a sensible amount of food yesterday (in fact it’s now lunch time and I’m genuinely hungry). And we sold another piece of jewellery, which means we are now officially out of debt, with money to spare.

I WIN!!

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Do or Diet

December 24, 2010 at 11:09 am (general life)

Dieting is a strange thing. In a way, it’s tremendously easy. All one has to do is sit around (and exercise a bit) and one becomes magically thinner.

In another way, it’s almost impossible. Your body and mind need food, so it’s hard to judge what the right amount is. More importantly, both body and mind are designed to maintain whatever weight you’re at, so the instant you lose even 0.1 of a kilo your body and mind both scream at you that you’re dying.

If I’m very very good for the next eight days, I’ll end the year in the healthy weight range.

If I streeeeettch our food and petrol, and put off one of our Christmas presents, CJ and I will be able to make our savings goal for the year.

My two goals this year were to get in the healthy weight range (and stay there for twelve months), and to do better financially (which we sort of have, but there were a LOT of travel expenses).

If I don’t achieve the healthy weight range and get the last hundred dollars into our savings account in the next eight days, it will be as if everything I’ve worked so hard toward from day to day to week to month this year has been pointless. My greatest fear this year has been that I wouldn’t make those two goals.

It’s harsh, but that’s how I roll.

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Budget

December 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm (general life)

CJ and I are saving for a house. We put aside a certain amount each year. I just sat down and worked out our budget until the end of 2010. And we can make it. If we can put off getting presents for three close friends (who will be fine with it), we will end the year with $2.

Yay us.

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Christmas

December 13, 2010 at 9:36 am (general life)

For those who hadn’t noticed, it’s next week.

Soon the pain will be over.

Oh look! A picture of gratuitous cuteness!

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