Krissie: My superpower

Photo on 2014-06-17 at 09.58 I caught up on all the Brene Brown stuff before it disappeared from the internet. The one week that I found the most difficult was when I had to name my superpower.

Now, admittedly, Jenny and Lani and I went into this from a different perspective than other people. I mean, the first thing we had to do was make a sign that said “I am a creative person.” Uh, duh. We don’t have any trouble claiming our creativity. In fact, I took the course hoping to boost my creativity.

(Small tangent). I shouldn’t do that. I keep trying to control my creativity, the girls in the basement, or boost it up, or keep them running on a treadmill. Believe it or not I buy books on writing fast. This is absurd. I’ve been given a huge gift, and instead of trying to pummel it into something malleable I should accept it for what it is. A large, shaggy mass that rolls around picking up things (there’s a video game like that – I forget the name but the beginning is Cat-something)(something like Catamahri Damasy?  The spelling’s way off). It’s not something I can put into neat, labelled boxes and take out in proper doses. It’s a mystery. End of lecture to myself.

So, anyway, with the Brene Brown course we weren’t dealing with the obvious problems people have (or I should only talk about myself). I don’t need to give myself permission to write. I don’t even need to give myself permission to write shitty first drafts. I have all sorts of superpowers.

So when it came time to list it, the obvious superpower was writing. But for me, that was too obvious. I emailed Jenny about it. I thought maybe my superpower was to make people feel better, that by being so open I helped them open up. Jenny said no, my superpower was … I forget exactly, but I think it was being a caring/nurturing human being/friend. That wasn’t good enough (I wish I could find the exact wording — one hears things differently from the way people say them). So I put off working on the week until the deadline was approaching.
There were so many things I considered my superpowers (you know I have no false humility, right?). And then it came to me.
My superpower is Joie de Vivre. (Joy of living for those few who didn’t take French). I didn’t survive my nasty childhood — I thrived. While everyone around me crashed and burned I wept and then embraced life again. I write books that fill me with joy and fill others with joy. 40 years later I’m still madly in love with my stories.
The world around me is astonishingly beautiful, and I never take it for granted. I embrace everyone, and if I could do so literally I would. I never hold on to things that would make life harder — I let go of pain (at least the everyday pain of disappointment and worry – grief is a different matter) and choose joy. Choose to nurture friends when they need nurturing, choose to live life as I want to live it it, as best I can.
Jenny and Lani did an intervention a year and a half ago, saying I was dwelling too much on grief and death. Jenny’s been pretty clear about the fact that I have to stop dwelling on dates and such. the thing is, I don’t dwell as much as it seems. This place was a place I could talk about it, I could say anything, and if I wanted to work out my relationship with my recently deceased mother and my two-years dead sister and my brother and father and nephew then it was a safe place to do so. But it got lugubrious.
The thing is, I wasn’t living my life like that. I would get passing moments of grief, like a breeze on a spring day, and then it would be gone.
So amidst my self-proclaimed joie de vivre I have a great deal of grief, but that’s only logical when you get to a certain age and watch everyone die around you.
We also had to choose the dark side or the problem with our superpower, and mine, of course, was having to be “on.” The Krissie Show is absolutely real, it’s a part of who I am, it’s just a bit on steroids. But I slip into it naturally, and slip out of it just as easily, and it existed long before I ever started writing. I just need to make sure the Krissie Show doesn’t make too many demands at a time I’m not able to fill them.

Jenny and Lani may disagree, but hey, this one’s up to me. I may have missed Jenny or Lani talking about this, but if they didn’t, tell me what your superpower is. Don’t think too hard about it (I say, having had to to think too hard about mine). Your first instincts might be right, or you may have to work it out.
I want to know what fellow Marvel Superheroes we have here. I’m Auntie Mame. Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.

What’s your superpower?

Jenny: Imperfection Friday: I’m Not Cool

I love this lesson.

Brown talks about the drawbacks of being cool, that cool is a straight jacket we imprison ourselves in. She talks about how she didn’t include the chapter on laughter, song, and dance in the first draft of The Gifts of Imperfection because she thought it didn’t seem deep enough, and then her assistant pointed out that the data that said those things were important was all over her research, and that she wasn’t including them because she thought they weren’t cool.

Cool kills. Continue reading

Jenny: I Am A Creative Being (This Is Not A Breakthrough)

I loved the first four lessons of the Part One of the Brene Brown class last time. Then I got hit by the Reality Truck again and didn’t finish the last two. (I made notes about what I had to do, though. It’s on my list . . .) Still I was definitely in for the last six lessons, especially when Lani and Krissie signed up, too, because the last six are on creativity, and we’ve all struggled with that. Then the first lesson came and it was to write “I am a creative being.”

Duh. Continue reading

Krissie: Being a Grandmother

10155405_10151938181056666_8087596011065914211_n Is that not the most precious face you’ve ever seen? Actually, she looks very much like Tim, which I imagine has helped his bonding, because he has bonded, big time.
I won’t bore you with the issues between him and Erin. They’ll work them out. Nor the issues with Alex — those will be worked out in time too. I’m here to talk about me.

Originally I thought I wouldn’t want to go to Jenny’s till the end of the month, because the baby was here. Well, it ain’t my baby. That’s why I was going through that three day patch of post partum depression (and yes, I know full well it’s a serious mental illness – my aunt suffered from it. Erin, the baby machine, doesn’t feel a thing. Or is in complete denial.)

Anyway, as Tim has adjusted to being a father (and his sense of responsibility has shifted into high gear) he’s started setting limits (with me), particularly because he can’t set limits in the house with Erin or Alex. First, I was not to show up without warning. Not to come down there. So I called and was going to see the baby on Saturday, because that was the age Tim and Kate had been when I adopted them (17 days). Erin had to go out, so I was going to go Sunday. Tim came by, I told him I was coming down, and he got all bad-tempered. Now he wants me to wait until I’m invited. Because they live in a single-wide trailer, and all I’ll do is go goo-goo and it’s too crowded and it makes him crazy.
Sigh. I’m trying to be understanding. I do understand — he told his childhood friend that he couldn’t come down either (though with him he came up with an excuse about feeling sick because he’s ashamed of living in a trailer). So I soldiered up and we talked about something else and he was about to leave when I remembered Richie had found some baby pictures of Tim. So I said “Do you want to see a picture of someone absolutely adorable?”
And he snapped and said “No. If you’d said was me then it would be okay, but all you do is make a fuss and it’s creepy.” Or words to that effect.
JCOAFFT. (I will not tell you what that strands for. It’s something my father once cursed, and while it’s inventive it’s also very blasphemous and I’m much more likely to use foul words that blasphemous ones. But that’s just me.)
Anyway. Clearly my maternal fondness for adorable babies and children grates on his last nerve, even when said babies are his daughter and himself.
And clearly putting off going to Crusie’s, as well as putting off moving, means nothing, because there’s so much drama involved in my relationship with Tim. And the problem with Alex is that he’s become uber-protective of Mom and sister, so that instead of feeling left out, he’s refusing to do anything with Tim, refusing to allow anyone come between the tight little group of mom and sister and Alex, and that means Tim is on the outside as well.

Not my circus, not my monkeys. I’m just following rules, being cheerful, going about my business. I’m someone with very few boundaries myself, and I’m always sacrificing so that the rest of my family can get what they want. We go to a seafood restaurant and Richie and Kaim want crab? Oh, I’d love fish and chips (the cheapest thing on the menu). Just once I’d like to get the most expensive thing on the menu.
Stop bitching, Krissie. I need to start putting the energy into the Brene Brown course. I’m at a point of transition, and even if part of that transition isn’t what I’d like it to be, I need to claim what I can.
(The other issue is that even though I feel like Alex is my grandson, and he is, he’s still most definitely his mother’s parents’ grandchild. I’m still honorary, so I feel shut out of the new family, more than before.
Oh, I’m whining. I just need to learn limits and boundaries.
Mostly I need to go see Jenny and talk about grown up stuff and let go of what’s not mine and what I can’t have.  I’ve spent almost 27 years trying to raise Tim, and he’s getting to the point where he’s doing okay.  If I annoy or embarrass him that’s to be expected, but I can’t change for him.  I can’t be someone else.  So I’ll have to let go of him for now, while he works this stuff out).
(Looking at my doleful face in the mirror and giving myself a raspberry).
Today I shall quilt! So there, universe! Take that!

Hello I must be going (Krissie)

I am a creative person.  Well, of course I am.  (It’s the Brene Brown course.)  But there’s a lot hidden beneath that statement, what stops me, and you know, I think I’m going to come out and talk about the only thing that shames me, and I always thought I was shameless.

Anyway, today THE HIGH SHERIFF OF HUNTINGDON, my take on Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham, is half price for Kindle (US, UK, AU/NZ), Nook, and Kobo.http://tinyurl.com/qcejn9l  

And at www.anne-stuart.com I talk about the fun of taking actors and having them do what I want them to do (usually indecent stuff) and writing with a tv camera pointed at you.

Back to your regularly scheduled posts.

Lani: Jumping Back In

Hey, ReFabbers! It’s been a while, huh? So, how do I do this? Do I spend forever explaining all the things that have been going on in my life, or do I just hop back in like I never left?

I think, for the moment, hopping back in is the way to go. So let’s go!

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of internal work using Brené Brown’s books as jumping points. Those of you who remember all the work I did when I was blogging as Lucy March through that whole leaving-my-husband, living-in-Jen’s-attic, swearing-I’d-never-get-married-again, falling-in-love-and-getting-married-again thing may be thinking, “Geez, you don’t have it together yet?” to which my answer is, “Why no, I really don’t.” And here’s why: Continue reading

Friday: Not Now (Krissie)

Okay, I did my writing blog (I am being soooo good).  Deal is Lord of Danger for 99 cents, in US, UK, Au/NZ and for Nook!

I gotta go see my grandchild because she’s 18 days old and that’s how old my kids where when I got them.  A million things to do, then I attack the Brene Brown assignment.  This is gonna be good.