Jenny: Listening Skills in 2012

My best friend, Krissie (aka the fabulous Anne Stuart) emailed me this on Dec 29:

I want to do a blog like Lani’s, though only for a year, and I want it to be about personal transformation. Losing weight, getting healthy, changing my reality. I want a place where I can post daily, get support, keep myself honest, and I think a community and feedback would help me in the process.

Then she asked me if I wanted to journal-blog with her.   I need another blog like I need another dog, but the journal part appealed.  The one-year only appealed.  The blogging daily did not, so forget that, but like Krissie, I knew, I know, that I have to change.  And I hate change.  I will cling to anything forever rather than change: a bad marriage, a dead-end career, a too-big house, you name it, I’ll hold onto it rather than do something about it.

Our other best friend, Lucy March (aka the fabulous Lani Diane Rich) knew she needed to change her life two and a half years ago, so she did something about it.  She wrote daily for 516 days in her brilliant journal blog, A Year and Change, to magnificent results: she carted her two kids across state lines, moved in with me, got divorced, reinvented her career, created an amazing internet community, wrote a novel, began her own business, picked up a younger Scotsman on the net, got married again, and generally established herself as an Icon of Reinvention while Krissie and I looked on and said, “Huh.”  Well, we’re twenty years older than Lucy-Lani, so we don’t move as fast.

It’s the not-moving-as-fast that’s doing us in, or maybe just the not-moving.  We both feel like we’re stuck, we both have health issues, we’re both unhappy with where we’re living, and we’re both going nuts from guilt and pressure.   I am in the middle of change–I’m crossing genres in my career, I bought a derelict cottage two states away, I’m preparing for a move in a year by getting rid of most of my stuff, I now have three grandchildren I need to see much more often–lots of stuff that’s underway already.  But I’m doing all of that the way I do everything, completely unorganized, completely overwhelmed, and much too slowly.

The real problem, I think, is that I don’t listen to myself.   I keep making the same dumb mistake of thinking that if I just believe something enough, it’ll be true.  I remember back when I was a runner–yes, at one point I ran five miles a day and had a body like a rubber band, but those days are gone–I chose a different route that had me running up a hill at the end of the five miles.  I was doing my usual cheerleading in my head–You can do this, just keep going, no pain no gain, run, keep on running, just keep on running–when I realized I was walking.   My conscious mind, my ego, knew I was going to run up that hill, but my body and my id–the girls in the basement–held a meeting and decided that my ego was crazy and they were going to have to take over.  Thank God they did, I’d probably have had a heart attack, and my ego would have blamed me.

And now I’m back with the same dumb mistake, having decided that if something isn’t working–my health, my career, my living space–the solution is to keep running, only faster.   Except maybe this time, I take a step back and get a good look at where I want to go and what I need to change to get there.  I’m not interested in numbers.  I don’t care if I lose weight, I don’t care if I write 1000 words a day, I don’t care if my blood pressure goes down.  I just want to pay attention to myself instead of trying to blindly run up another damn hill.

So my journaling here will be different from Krissie’s–not every day and more about paying attention to the things my body and my instincts are shouting at me–a process to help me find my way to where I should be.  Put that way, it sounds like navel-gazing which is probably what it will be.  Not very interesting.  Just read Krissie’s posts.

I’ll be over here ignoring my ego.


75 thoughts on “Jenny: Listening Skills in 2012

  1. 2011 was a terrible year, no doubt about it. My 2010 was pretty bad, too, and I’m not actually expecting great things from 2012 either.(It’s going to start with a visit to say good-bye to a terminally ill beloved friend which frankly, is a terrible way to open a year and really makes me wish I’d gone to see her a few weeks ago, even though it was the holidays and she had too many visitors already. But I suppose maybe it’s nicer for her to start the year with another visitor coming and not just the quick decline to look forward to, so, two sides to every story, yes?) But not my point: I would like to read along on your journey of a year and do some work on reinventing myself, so pretty please, could I have an RSS button? I don’t know how to add a site to my reader without the button, and I know for sure that unless sites show up in google reader, I lose track of them almost immediately. Many, many thanks and I hope the reinvention is a wonderful success!

  2. Thanks Jenny and Krissie, for starting this blog! I’m not listening to myself either and since it’s a milestone year (50) for me, I figure that I must be missing something important. Why else would I be procrastinating so much?

    I’ll stumble through this along with you.

  3. I will trudge along the path to enlightenment with you and Krissie, and you can both toss crumbs over your shoulders. I’ll pick them up(and probably eat them)yet still hold out a hope that I’ll learn something beneficial on the journey.

    Love the new site. It’s cheerful, yet relaxing.

  4. I turned a deaf ear to the rest of my body for years. Last year, I finally heard the screaming and, more importantly, listened.

    I got the message, Life, and I’m acting on it.

    Go, Jenny. You can do it!

  5. Diane (TT) says:

    I was awed by Lani’s Year and Change and enjoyed following along. But I did not follow her example and clean up my life. I care about the numbers (the ones on my scale are the worst EVER) – one of my aunts is changing her diet to be plant-based in the hopes of avoiding the strokes that killed her father and have left my mom a bit more confused than she otherwise would be and that sounds like a laudable goal – but I’m not sure that I’m ready (well, I know I’m not, I’ve got a freezer full of dead chickens and occasional mammal bits). I already have meatless Mondays, but may need to work harder on the rest of the week.

    Also, I have WAY too much stuff. So, perhaps I should stop writing about it and start some sorting. Just a little bit each day should make some progress.

    Or maybe I’ll just go make gravy. Because I can.

  6. may says:

    I really liked it when you said ‘I just want to pay attention to myself instead of trying to blindly run up anther damn hill.’

    I find incrediably hard to listen to myself about a lot of things. One thing that 2011 showed me, was that I have my insttincts and they are for the most part not wrong.

    I love the new site. I’m looking forward to all the new posts!

  7. I’m looking forward to reading both you and Krissie. I just wish you weren’t so hard on yourself. You rock. And also roll. And if you are an imperfect human being, well, so are the rest of us. (Except maybe Alastair…) At least you are trying a new and positive thing.

    Oh, and I hate change too. It’s like being in the middle of an earthquake. So good for you for moving forward anyway.

    While Alastair is being miraculous as usual, could he add a sign-up for an email subscription? (I can’t figure out the RSS thing to save myself, and if I don’t get a reminder, I forget to come read.)

  8. Hi Jenny,
    I am blessed (although I don’t always consider it a blessing) to have a husband who is vehemently anti-clutter. So at times, he gently encourages me to get rid of stuff and at times, he just gets disgusted.
    To be fair to me, the man thinks a perfect kitchen countertop would have absolutely nothing on it. Who the hell can live like that?
    But anyway, one of the best — and admittedly most likely only — methods that ever helped me declutter was a Flylady routine.
    She calls it something funny, but I just call it Three Boxes. You get three boxes, go to a clutter spot and keep working until you’ve filled the three. One with stuff to keep. One with stuff to give away. And one with junk to throw away.
    And then you’re done. You only do the three boxes at a time.
    It really helps me not to get overwhelmed.
    It also helps me to think of other people finding some use for or some joy in something I no longer love or use.
    I think that’s another Flylady rule: love it, use it or get rid of it. That helps me, too.

  9. Robin S. says:

    Okay. Coming over here was a bit scary. I don’t listen to myself, either. And you used to run? Sheese.

    Much good-luck for you over the next year.

  10. I must look into Flylady again. I flirted with it once but then I wandered off.
    Three boxes. If all I did was three boxes for the rest of my life, this place would never get done. My I do have three critieria:
    Do I love it and will it fit in the cottage in NJ?
    Is it too old, broken, or worn out to salvage?
    So probably the same thing. I just do it with garbage bags. Lots of them.

  11. JulieB says:

    I’m in for reading. I have no resolutions. I gave those up last year. But I do have things I’m floundering with, and I realized one day at work I was too impatient to talk to my dean’s secretary, because I was putting intense pressure on myself to be “on” and in full go mode all the time. And I realized, when I couldn’t even take 10 minutes at work to talk to another human being, something was really wrong. So, best wishes for all here as we refabulize ourselves. 🙂

  12. Great. You spit on goals and numbered goals and then I come in and number things. Fortunately in my new Zen-like incarnation I will not feel petty about the goal thing. Goals are good for me, as long as they’re goals I like. Such as walking down to your lake.
    it’s one-thirty and I’ve only had one DC so far. I rock!

  13. Jenny,
    You’d be surprised how far three boxes a day will take you. We had to declutter the old house to put it on the market, and we worked one room at a time with the three-boxes method. Took a few months, but the house got done.
    If you’re too overwhelmed, you won’t do anything. You’ll just stare at the mess and feel guilty. (At least, that’s what I do.)
    We went from 2200 square feet to just under 1600, which should be plenty of room for two people, two dogs and two cats. And I love having a smaller house, just less of everything to take care of. But it took some doing to get rid of enough stuff to fit in here.

  14. We’re at 4200 square feet. But the good news is, Lani and fam have the top floor and all my stuff is out of there, and about half the second floor is done. So I’m down to clearing out about 2100 square feet. That’s good, right?

  15. Forgot — the Flylady will overwhelm you with e-mails and reminders and make you feel guilty about how little you’re doing. (At least, I felt that way.) But there are some really good tips there. Just don’t let it be a source of guilt. (Who needs another one of those?)

  16. You can have goals. I spit on my goals, not your goals. I love your goals. Your goals are goddess-like.

    It’s gonna be a long year.

  17. “Put that way, it sounds like navel-gazing which is probably what it will be. Not very interesting.”

    Oh, no. Knowing you, you’ll find some fluff in your navel and then do something artistic with it which will impress us all.

  18. I’m just trying to say that every time you write what you say you think is a boring post, we all come along and read it and find it interesting. Remember that time you took before and after photos of your office and everyone was enthralled by all the interesting objects they could see in the background? Your daily life and thoughts may be boring to you because you live with them all the time, but since we don’t live in your head, they’re new and interesting to us.

    Of course, what I don’t know is how much time you spend editing and writing all those supposedly “boring” but actually well-written and funny posts. If you’re actually spending lots of time polishing even the “boring” posts then yes, I can see how it would be added pressure.

  19. I was kidding, I was kidding!
    There’s no pressure because I have no belly button link crafts. Yet.
    Thank you for the lovely compliments.

  20. Diane says:

    I don’t mind New Year’s resolutions, really, but I like to keep them realistic. For example, mine is to learn to do one new thing this year. To really devote some time to whatever I end up choosing. It can be anything… mental, physical, emotional. Just one new thing.

    That’s not too overwhelming for me. And it means I’ll be doing something that interests me, which greatly increases the chances of keeping said resolution. : )

  21. Atomic Betty says:

    I’ve been trying to figure out what I want. I think for the last four months or so I’ve been running around too much to even try to figure out what I need. That and trying to find more consistent time to write are my current goals.

  22. stephanie says:

    The best things I’ve learned from Flylady 1) You can do anything for 15 mins – so set the timer and tidy up! and 2) You can’t organize clutter.
    The rest can get overwhelming so I pick and choose. Right now I choose to not read the emails:)

  23. Jenny,
    Completely doable. Other trick of the Flylady that I like is the egg timer. Set it for 15 minutes. Work like mad. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Another way not to get overwhelmed.

  24. Oops. 🙂 Obviously didn’t read ahead. Sorry.

    I have been helped along in my… well, definitely not neat ways, but not packrat ways, either. Somewhere in the middle, but definitely leaning toward cluttered.

    Anway, helped by having the task of cleaning out to different houses after two elderly relatives died. Both packrats.

    Nothing will make you realize how little stuff matters like cleaning out a house after someone dies. You see that the vast majority is just stuff, a lot of it pure trash. Very little treasured or even used.

  25. Think this is a great goal. Will admit, a year ago for Christmas, I got myself a bread machine.

    And have never taken it out of the box. 🙁 And I was really excited about baking bread.

    Goal: Will bake my own bread this year. (At least once.)

  26. I hope if I say I found that so funny — that you don’t listen to yourself — that I don’t offend you.

    It’s just that so many people don’t listen to themselves, and the rest of us probably trash-talk ourselves, so shouldn’t be listening to ourselves.

    In fact, I’d be that those of us who listen most closely to ourselves are probably bad-mouthing ourselves.

  27. romney says:

    Have nothing that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. (William Morris said something like that) Anyway, preferably things that fufill both criteria!

    I put the stuff straight into the containers I’m going to use to take it to the charity shop or put it in the rubbish/recycling. It cuts out a stage so there is no excuse to leave it hanging around the house.

  28. I’ve had this one goal in my head for the last – oh god, I don’t know how many years. But lately it’s been yammering at me – really loudly.

    The trouble is it’s really impractical. I want a little cabin or house somewhere on the property that I can live and be totally alone. I’m raising kids so that’s not going to happen for a really long time!

    The workable alternative would be to quit my job so that I can have silence and alone time while my kids are at school. But then we run into the finances problem.

    What I’m going to do as a temporary stop-gap measure to keep myself sane is to take a week off work sometime this month. To write, finish a friend’s christmas present and through things away.

    Now I just have to remember to do that.

  29. Karen Poling says:

    This is what I needed. I lost 35# on WW, gained 10 back and have been stuck for months, not going to meetings, eating, eating and did I mention eating. I exercise but I’d have to be a coal miner to burn up what I’m eating. I am now going to stop it thank you. Good luck.

  30. romney says:

    I found Julie Morgenstern’s organisation books useful. She writes well about the way people do the oddest things that work against what they actually want, and specific ways to avoid the problems. I took a lot of great stuff from her. I think “SHED your stuff, change your life” is probably the one for this situation. Its all in the title!

  31. You and Krissie and Lani are amazing. I followed A Year and Change, and I remember feeling dubious about, even critical of some of Lani’s choices, because I’m so programmed to think of why things won’t work that I never do anything and miss out on things that could have been amazing. If I had been in Lani’s shoes I would have missed out on Alastair, because I would have been thinking scary thoughts about rebounds and internet relationships if I had even had the ovaries to leave a bad marriage in the first place. So I’m jumping on the bandwagon with my own blog and my own year of change. I’ll be following, and thanks to all three of you for the inspiration.

  32. Kelly S says:

    Thanks for your comment. You reminded me that I want to learn a marshal art, one that could be used in defense if ever attacked, and that could and should be a goal for this year. I have a smothered fear of the future, torture and rape. Here’s hoping I and really no one experiences the last 2 again. Anyway, I figure learning to defend myself will release some of the fear.

  33. RedwoodKim says:

    My kid’s preschool teacher told me to start small. Sit down and have a cup of tea. Make MY favorite dinner, even if it isn’t high on anyone else’s list. Buy my favorite fruit. Most importantly, acknowledge it. Conciously think, this is something I am doing for myself. It’s already helped me tremendously.

  34. Beth E says:

    Having just spent the last year trying to weed through 65 years worth of clutter in the family home after my mom’s death, I’ve begun to do a lot of streamlining here at home. I find having things organized and clutter-free to be calming, plus it’s easier to find what I’m looking for. I like the “three boxes” and “do it for 15 minutes” ideas. Currently, I’m using the “if I don’t love it, it’s out of here” method – it’s providing a steady stream of items for the monthly donation pick-up truck that comes around. My sister also recommends the “if something comes into the house, something else must leave” method, to keep clutter from reappearing.

  35. RLJ says:

    Here’s my goal for the year – make homemade marshmallows. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but was hamstrung by a not great kitchen and lack of equipment. Then the other day I realized that my mom has everything and is more than happy to let me make a mess in her kitchen (she even helps clean it up sometime).

    For me this is important because I have wanted to try this for a while and I figured out how I can do it despite of what I don’t have. I don’t have to wait until my life is perfect. I can do it now.

  36. I have been so bad at listening to myself this year that myself started giving myself signs. It makes sense if you let it.
    Signs like dimes appearing everywhere & owls suddenly popping up in strange places. I had fun learning what those things meant but there’s still something elusive I can’t hear.
    Maybe following your journal will help. It’s helped before. And that’s not meant as pressure because no way could it be a conscience thing. It will just be something I accidentally stumble over.

  37. Micki says:

    I love FlyLady! She’s got all these psychological tricks (27-fling boogie is the coolest-named technique in my book), and even if you don’t hit perfect, she can make you feel OK with that, which is a really important thing. I don’t clean well when I’m feeling guilty and miserable. I didn’t sign up for the e-mails; I just go to the website when I need inspiration. I haven’t done her in two or three years (five?), but I just started a couple of days ago. Pamper missions are cool, too: like I really need an excuse to sit and read (which was today’s pamper mission (-:).

  38. Micki says:

    I find the timing is the hardest thing. But, bread that is a little old (12 hours at least after baking) is a lot easier to slice. So, I pop my ingredients in the breadmaker at 5:30 when I get home, let ’em rise after dinner, pop ’em into the oven at 8:30ish, and leave them in the oven over night. Next morning: bread.

    Really good bread: add the dill seed and garlic from certain brands of pickles to your basic 1/2 whole wheat loaf. Put in fancy schmancy little loaf pans. Serve with . . . ham and havarti? smoked salmon? carrots and more garlic?

  39. Micki says:

    (-: Is there going to be a like button on this blog? Because I keep wanting to like stuff; and this really deserves a LOVE button.

  40. Micki,
    Oh, yum! Sounds a bit advance for me, but I really do want to try. Went to the local farmer’s market all last summer and bought great bread. Tons of great bread. Made me really want to do it myself.

  41. Ditto what Deb says about you being too hard on yourself and all that. Would you let any of US talk about ourselves that way? Would you let Krissie or Lani or Mollie do so? Tsk. So add that to the list.

  42. Ah, but it will be a Fabulous year because you, and we, will make it so. I desperately need a Fabulous year and am in serious need of a refabulizing. So thank you for opening a place and a conversation where we can begin with you. Remember how well it worked for Lani/Lucy!

    I guess we’ll all end up calling ourselves the ReFabs. LOL!

  43. Robin S. says:

    No offense taken. Trash talk in my head shows up, too. I’m just really stubborn and keep going at things when I should step back and listen up.

  44. Kelly S: Wow, I have those fears, too. Yikes! Well, I want to take yoga and martial arts and I’m starting from the point of having been sedentary for a year and a half. I’ve taken maybe half a dozen walks is all. Good goals. Or intentions. I do intentions, not goals. But this should be a good place to check in and be accountable.

  45. sheri williams says:

    I am so glad I found this. I am going to share with my MIL, we both need to affect change in our lives this year. With a new baby coming in April and a 4 yr old already any hints and tips on how not lose my mind is very much appreciated

  46. I’m glad you have a plan to take time off. You need time to write and time to yourself. Your kids are old enough to be able to do without you for hours at a time; maybe you can train them to do for themselves, or entertain themselves. And now the twins can drive!!!

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  47. Great blog! moving to a derelict cottage! Did that in Aug of 2011 in Maine. Drove a 27ft uHaul 2500 miles from Austin, TX (where I owned a perfect house) to Lubec, ME where I owned a 175 yr old derelict farmhouse but it had 10 acres of beachfront property which I had owned for 30 years but had ignored. Now I’m in the midst of winter (which we don’t have in Austin) in a house in the midst of re-hab. So if you need any re-hab tips, I’m your girl. My first tip…think very carefully not only about the size of your derelict cottage but also it’s size while you’re re-habbing. I have a 10×20 storage unit filled with stuff I’m not missing and should have sold in Texas! Good luck to you though!

  48. I’ve read all the responses and like them all. I left one but maybe it didn’t get posted, that’s okay, going to go finish undecorating my tree and take some of the advice listed above. When I first became ill I was placed on heavy duty meds, when the meds were changed a year and a half later I found I had gone from 3 porcelain dolls to around 90. I am slowly culling them, my nieces, sisters, sisters-in-law, they get lovely doll gifts. Just saying, it’s one way to unclutter and not feel guilty about all the money “wasted”.

  49. I have NO idea. It’s a new blog. Maybe it’s a slow learned when it comes to commenters. Everybody has to be approved the first time, but after that they should have let you in.

  50. Meegan says:

    I love reading all of these posts, knowing I’m not alone in my befuddledness (it is too a word, I say so!). I read “since we don’t live in your head” and thought, WOW, wouldn’t it be awesome to live in Jenni’s head?! LOL Then I wouldn’t have to live in MY head, which is boring and, to the uninitiated, sometimes scary. You truly do come up with some of the best ideas, Jenni! I have a hard time committing to things I promise myself I’ll do, so I’ll just read along in the background and not make any promises. Hoping it will rub off on me, though. 🙂

  51. Meegan says:

    My brother and his family made homemade marshmallows this year and brought them to our Christmas gathering. He also made homemade cocoa mix. They were awesome! Good luck and I hope you have as much fun and success as they did!

  52. Ya know babe, I just found this blog this morning (ok, afternoon, I have sleep issues) and it’s the answer to a wee prayer I heard myself pray yesterday. Moar Navels. A little voice whispered to me that I needed Moar Navels to Gaze Into. No fracking idea what that meant at the time, only that it was the next step on the Path of Reinventing My Fabulousness, and then here you and Krissie are, providing your adorable navels while Reinventing Fabulous as well. Is my subconscious stalking your subconscious or what?

  53. I don’t know about your subconscious, but your e-mail goosed me toward Pinterest. I am still on the fence about it, but I have a lot of lemon cookie recipes up there now.

  54. cleo says:

    “I just want to pay attention to myself instead of trying to blindly run up another damn hill.”

    Thanks for that. I’ve been struggling with this myself. I teach web design and one of the things I emphasize is problem solving (and boy does web present you with lots of problems to practice on). So one of my problem solving rules (along with “don’t forget to breathe” and “don’t panic”) is “Don’t keep doing the same thing and expect something different to happen”.

    The other day I had one of those moments in my life when I realized that I’m DOING THAT – I’m just doing the same things I always do, waiting for them to work they way they usually. And they’re not really.

  55. Bevzilla says:

    Found this link on FB and am totally on board with the re-hab your life in 2012. I’ve been divorced for 7 yrs, recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and have to revamp my eating and exercise habits. Fighting depression along the way makes it all so much harder. Also have to start looking for a house, as I have another year before my daughter turns 18 and kicks me out of the house her grandfather left to her.

    I’m looking forward to watching the cottage put on new layers of reality. Keep the pix coming.

  56. Bevzilla says:

    My first intention this year is to spend 20 mins each morning doing Tai Chi and adding 3-4 evening yoga workouts to my schedule. I hope to get a friend to do yoga with me so we can keep each other on track. Good luck with your plan and let us be a support for each other.

  57. Micki says:

    Oh, it’s not, really! I’d give you my recipe but it’s all in grams . . . well, what the heck, here it is. 150 ml of water, 120 ml milk, 200 g. whole wheat, 200 g. BREAD flour, 2 to 4 US Tbsp of butter, same amount of honey, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp yeast. Top with the dregs from a pickle jar, and run it through the dough cycle (I think it makes my bread maker last longer, and I hate the hole in the bottom.). After doubling (30 to 60 minutes) in greased pans, put it in the oven . . . and here I have a problem. Mine is a convection, and I use mini-loaf pans for cuter bread. So while 40 minutes at 175C/350F works for me, it might not work for you.

  58. I want to know how I got to this post by clicking Dogs & Cats Living Together?

    Great – just what I need is another blog where I love the comments as much as the blog content. I can not leave a post before I read every comment and even click through to read more from several commenters!

    Actually, I got here from reading a book and clicking a webpage and then another and another. I hope at times I have something comment worthy to add as well.
    I am older than many bloggers but still have dreams and goals. Running is not one of them.
    I DID get my dream fixer-upper farmhouse (which has nightmare moments and will be the death of me.)
    I should share more of that with my readers.
    Of course I have several blogs. Just not time to update them.

    Thank you all for giving me inspiration and smiles.
    I look forward to getting to know you better.

  59. Oh, sorry, I put all the categories on the first post so that they’d show up on the first page.
    I’ll take them off when we finally start talking about relationships.

  60. Jennifer says:

    This might be a relevant link:

    I am … debating doing this myself. I like the town/place I live in now, but I am way stagnant, can’t get a job doing anything other than what I do (and if I lose this one I might as well die ’cause the pickins are slim to get another), almost all of my friends move on from here and yet I stay. I am pretty much exactly the same as I was at age 24 and I’m 33, so that should tell you something. Nothing has changed except for one dead parent and well, see below. I need to leave this end of the state and grow the hell up already, and maybe go somewhere where I have other options than “clerical” and “barista.”

    The big issue with me has been driving. I had the crap scared out of me at 16 trying to learn–my parents AND the paid instructor should never, ever teach anyone anything, especially to a scared kid who doesn’t know how to turn on the ignition. Apparently I should have psychically known how to drive long before I sat in the driver’s seat? Anyway, I never got a license and moved to one of the few places in the state where you don’t absolutely have to have a car in order to live. It took me another 16 years to get my license, through failed attempts with others and finally having someone else who’d had a driving phobia come into my life for a few years to teach me how without screaming.

    So now I have a license, but have hardly driven for the last year since I got it (driving instructor pretty much bailed from my life after that), and I am still a scared newbie on the freeway like you wouldn’t believe and have to rent a Zipcar to get any practice in. I have driven a car 8 times since getting my license, since driving with my mom screaming is awful and it takes a year to be eligible for Zipcar and I just got that.

    Oh, hey, guess where I wanna move? SoCal, Land of Cars. The land where you canNOT go carfree.

    My lease runs out at the end of August. At the end of this past August, I decided to move when the lease was up. But ah, having just gone to SoCal last week and seen the traffic for myself, I am wondering if I should just postpone for another year and get more driving practice in. I already need to buy a car, but beyond that, am I going to be up to handling hours on the 6-lane freeway every single day to move in 8 months? Uh…

    So I don’t know. I want to be trying to make Big Drastic Change (like everyone else!), but maybe I am just not up to it yet. I have been on The Slow Path for EVERYTHING with regards to driving, why do I think I’m going to speed this up when I can’t manage to drive to Sacramento yet?

  61. You may think this sounds like a strange suggestion but contact your local sportscar driving club. They are every where. You can even find a local SCCA (Sportscar Club of America)and ask about smaller driving clubs.
    Or contact a racetrack.
    Take one of their driving classes. They are set up to teach potential racecar drivers but will also teach you defensive driving techniques. Where I live they offer classes that teach you have to drive in all sorts of weather. You do not need to drive super fast.
    I recommend this for all parents of teenagers.
    Explain to them what you want and you may find someone patient and gentle, male OR female to work with you one on one.

  62. On here, I don’t do much revising, maybe three passes and that’s just reading and fixing typos, not the heavier stuff I do on Argh. This blog is still kind of hidden, which I like since I vent and whine here. So this is probably the lightest editing I do anywhere. I hadn’t thought of it until you asked.

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