Weekly Post From a Slinky

Years ago when I worked for Delta Airlines, I took a continuing education class and the instructor gave us a personality test. I remember little else from this particular class other than my results.

I was a slinky.

I haven’t thought of this in years; I have no idea whether there’s any validity to this test whatsoever, and I’ll have to do a search later, but the slinky title remained etched in my brain.

I remember something about slinkies living in the moment, enjoying the thrill of the unexpected, flexibility, but that’s about it. So, yeah, not much relevance here at all…moving on to the next random thought…

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In my previous post I said I was going to post once a week through the end of July, hoping this will help bring back my blogging mojo…

And… I’m already behind. Remember, we slinkies live in the moment — always, always, always a beautiful sunrise and a painful sticky bush. A lovely quality in theory but there’s not much about it that helps me through the practical aspects of this thing called life.

I’m moving along with the KonMari method, and I do plan to write more, but currently there’s not much to write. Parting with my material possessions is made easier by asking Does this spark joy? — it’s quite freeing! I’m getting rid of a lot. I’m also constantly reminded that I have less stuff than any of my housemates, and Marie Kondo, organizational guru and author of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, strongly warns against getting rid of others’ belongings. Sigh…

Moving on…

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I read an article today that struck a nerve, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I’m certain it’s because it’s something I needed to see. It was written by Roxanne Gay, the author of the popular book, Bad Feminist. This book is already on my to-read list, and after reading this piece, it moved further on up the list — likely to the top. In The Most Important Step Toward Creating the Life You Want, Gay describes how the dissatisfaction she often feels in her life manifests as a steady stream of complaints to friends, family, and coworkers. She adds that these grievances often extend to social media sites like Facebook, Tumbler, and Twitter, as well as long, ranty emails to various unlucky victims.

Let’s face it. Sometimes we simply want and need to voice ourselves, and in today’s virtual playground it’s easier than ever. This is a good thing, in my humble opinion. But today, while reading this article, I got that unsettled feeling that when I pay attention, alerts me to areas in my life that need addressing and likely need to change.

I do my best to not use Facebook as a platform to rant. This is a personal thing for me, and unless it’s excessive (and we know we all have an excessive ranter *friend* or two clogging up our newsfeed), I don’t have an issue with a little complaining here and there as long as it’s balanced. I don’t do Twitter — just another thing to distract me, but it’s only a matter of time. I hear it’s better, but then others tell me it’s more of the same, only less wordy.

I trimmed the major fat on Facebook during the last presidential election and either hid or unfriended those folks who felt the need to express every social, political, or religious view that ever popped into their heads in the most derogatory way possible. I don’t do hate, and just like I wouldn’t invite haters to a gathering in my home, I have no interest in seeing hate every time I want to zone out on social media. That’s a whole other issue.

Complaining is relatively innocent, but keeping it in check is important — it can annoy others but mostly it’s unnecessary negativity and hurts the one doing the complaining. Read the article. She says it better.

I’ve been down for a few months now. I’m frustrated with my marriage; I feel overwhelmed with my parenting responsibilities; finances are tight and I blame myself for a lot of that because I don’t have a steady job. My family and Gil’s bring another element of stress, but I do think that a lot of what we deal with comes with our stage of life. The child-rearing years are busy. I know this; I also know that I am blessed. But it’s easy to fall into that mode of worrying and feeling like I’m not enough and I’m not doing enough to ensure success or happiness or whatever for my children. Sometimes, even when we know how good we have it, life feels heavy. I don’t feel like I have the right to complain.

But as Eve (therapist) would say, “Viv, it’s all relative. Just say how you feel and don’t compound your bad feelings by feeling guilty for voicing them. That’s what this space is for.”

And she’s right… Therapy is a space to vent, get it out and then act. Shouldn’t that be the goal everywhere? Complaining simply for the sake of complaining is tedious and unproductive — therapy or elsewhere.

Lately, I find myself airing my grievances more and more. I do gripe to friends, but mostly it’s this redundant tape in my head. I’m socially aware enough to know that no one wants to be around a complainer but still the tape drones on and on and on inside, and the negativity is doing nothing for my mood.

At the same time, I recognize myself as a bit of an externalizer. I need to get stuff out on the table in order to move past it — or at least to make a rational decision about how to move forward.

More than anything, Gay’s article made me think about this blog and how I want to continue with this space.

I do gripe a lot here. I do my best to do it in a non-snarky way. That works for many, and I certainly have my share of snarky thoughts, but I never want to be simply snarky… I don’t think all-snark reflects who I am. I’m not snarky; I just have snarky moments — good lord, that could be a t-shirt…back on topic… enough with the run-on sentences…

Again I think it comes down to balance. I try to keep a balance of gripe-fest to uplifting. I mean, I did create this blog to purge, reflect and work out some emotional stuff, and it is called Grief Happens. But really, I’ve been so inspired and uplifted and supported by readers who I truly view as friends that I want to keep myself in check — not JUST for my readers but also for my own sanity. My life is not ALL fabulous and it’s certainly not ALL gripe-worthy. This space that began for me is no longer JUST for me, and I want to offer hope and give back. And…I also still need a place to purge. Hmmm.

So I came up with an idea. I’ll devote every Wednesday to something positive and uplifting, at least I hope you guys will see it that way. Depending on one’s circumstances, that’s always a gamble, but that’s my goal. This idea is evolving, so hang with me, please. When I started this post (DAYS ago), my plan was to announce (on Monday or Tuesday PRIOR) that I was going to start writing a “What’s Going Well Wednesday” post every Wednesday, and today would be my first one. Well…I didn’t finish this post, so I haven’t gotten around to creating a WGWW post. Let’s shoot for NEXT Wednesday. These will be short and might even be a photo or something (evolving — remember? slinky — remember? )I hope some of you will consider jumping on board and contributing. I’ll do my best to elaborate more but concisely before NEXT Wednesday. Sigh…

Did I mention that these July posts are just write — pretty much stream of consciousness with little editing? I’m even posting and going back to add links, categories, tags, etc. That’s my life right now and if leave these drafts hanging until they’re done, you might never read them. Bear with me, friends…

So…how about this. What IS going well for you today? (it’s still Wednesday here, but don’t let that little detail prevent you from sharing)

I’d love to know! Here’s my shorty for today: I have a new writing project that I’m excited about, and my kids are spending a few days with my mom. She’s happy; they’re happy; I’m enjoying a much-needed break and catching up on work. Yay!

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4 thoughts on “Weekly Post From a Slinky

  1. Women’s brains are like spaghetti…we are all over the place twisting and turning and changing direction – it’s not just you. Often by the time I’ve finished talking about something (or blogging about it) I’ve figured out that answer and it just feels good to have gotten it out of my head. My head is a dangerous neighborhood and I try not to spend too much time there.

    Also, when it’s in my head it is always, always, always WAY worse than it really is. Thinking about it and letting it roll around between my ears just makes it grow and get ugly. Bringing it out into the light by blogging or journaling (Brene’) or talking let’s me get it out and really look at it. It’s always better than I thought.

    All these words for me to say that you should never feel guilty about stating how you feel whenever you feel like it. If it bother YOU to gripe everyday than don’t do it; but if you worry about what WE then stop. As they say in AA what other people think of you is none of your business. Just be your real, honest and beautiful self and I, for one, will always read what you’ve written.

    Have a beautiful S.H.I.T day (Sorry Honey It’s Thursday).

    Sherry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry! I am all over the place lately. I missed this comment. I totally hear you! And I’m with you. I absolutely know that it’s important for me to have this space to be able to say whatever I want and need. It helps me work stuff out. But I really do feel that I need to designate a day just for the good. It’s my own way of being more intentional and hopefully it will inspire my readers to do the same. Just knowing that I’m writing a post like this weekly has forced me to examine the good every day. I just jot down a few things in a notebook every night. It’s been a good thing! Don’t worry, tho. I’ll definitely continue with the purge posts — F-word slinging and all. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your Wednesday idea! I hope you keep it going. I’ll definitely check in with it if you do. I think the idea of stopping and actively looking for something good is kind powerful – especially the idea of doing it routinely, and in the company (digital or otherwise!) of others.

    Today, for example, I had kind of a rotten day for a variety of reasons. When you asked for people to share something that was going well today, I almost didn’t bother – because what could I possibly say about this lousy day?? But then the idea that I was even feeling that – that I couldn’t think of ONE SINGLE THING good about my day – struck me. Because really, that’s ridiculous. There were certainly things that went well today: I published my first blog post in a while today, for one thing (the first that wasn’t a response to the weekly photo challenge at least, but was actually original.) I felt really good about that. Not blogging has been itching at me – and actually getting a post together and hitting publish felt like an accomplishment. Also, I’m trying to teach my kids to swim and both of them put their heads underwater today (a major breakthrough for them!) They were so proud. (It was so cute.) So yeah…there were definitely good moments.

    Thanks so much for shaking me out of the semi-depressed headspace I was in before I read your post!! I honestly think I’ll sleep better tonight now, for having shifted my perspective. I’m grateful!

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    • Yay!!! I can’t tell you how happy I am that you shared your thoughts. And that is absolutely a huge and happy thing about your kids. Goodness. I have been there. There’s a post idea in itself.

      I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. I’m there, too. Not saying it’s the same, but I know from previous conversations that there are similarities. I never followed up on the email I promised. Ugh. Sorry. Life. I’ll try — not out of obligation but because I truly WANT to tell you more…

      And publishing a post is huge. I skimmed it briefly and plan to go back. As always, your posts bring up so much for me, so I have to ponder a bit before commenting. And your photographs get better and better. The one that comes up on the WordPress Reader — black and white with your little girl — breathtaking. Seriously.

      The idea for What’s Going Well Wednesday just popped into my head, and I’m hoping it’s an original thought and not something I read about and forgot I read it. Oh well, if I discover it is, I’ll credit the source. Either way, I need something to force me to focus on the positives. I have been a hot, yelling, impatient mess for the past two weeks. No patience with anything or anyone. I even pulled out a notebook and I’m dedicating it for writing down things that are going well. I read another book about breaking the habit of complaining years ago — I’ll have to find it and link — but my take away was that it has to be an intentional practice. I mean I KNOW this from my psychology background, but doing is always harder.

      Well, feel better, friend. I hope the swimming successes continue. 🙂

      Like

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