Krissie: Episode 6, A New Hope

Sorry I’m late — I got up and we had to have a family confab about my son (the three of us, son and Richie and me) but it’s all good. He’s pretty frustrated by work and by the wretched shape of his body. He has a lot of back and knee issues, and yet he needs to earn his living via physical labor given his relatively severe learning difference, which we now simply call dyslexia since there’s less of an onus on that. His are worse, involving math, etc., but dyslexia will do. A lot of his past drug issues (pretty much over since he’s been with my DIL) were self-medicating his feelings of inadequacy.
But I digress. So he’s interested in big equipment school, and that seems a great option for him. He’s always liked machines — obsessed with tractors when he was a toddler, loved snowmobiles and go-carts and 4-wheelers. When he works at the mountain he loved the snowcat, etc. So this is a good option.
The schools are outside of Portland, OR and Madison, WI. We have family near both places. The prices aren’t too expensive, there are loans, plus he probably qualifies for Voc-Rehab. He’d have to be gone 6 weeks, and that worries him, but he needs to have a career, not just do odd jobs and mowing lawns and making snow (the latter is fun but it only lasts 3 months a year).
He’s going to meet with a councilor at the state (we have lots of job training help here in VT) and he’s got some education money from working both the Nevada and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (working in the woods, making trails, moving boulders — he loved it).
Really, the perfect job for him would be forest ranger or something in one of the big western parks, but his GF won’t leave here or her family.
But this would be a good option, and I’m hopeful. We just have to help him find the money to pay for it.
So I’m starting off the day feeling energized and hopeful.
I wrote four thousand words yesterday! I haven’t written that much as my daily quota in a long, long time. (When I’m finishing up I write huge amounts of stuff, but a regular daily amount is usually 2k or less). So I was stoked, plus I got to play with Alex for a while. Good times.
I’m going to have to leave my lovely fictional world, though, the place I’ve been living for the past few weeks. I’ve written almost 100 pages and it’s time to send it off into the world and see if anyone loves it. And next week I start on contracted work, which I also love.
The thing is, two guarantees of my feeling good are my kids being happy, positive and having a plan (the son) and working. I can’t control whether anyone else in my life is happy, but when they are everything goes up a notch.
What I can control is my work. I only feel good when I’m writing, and I’ve been writing steadily. I can shut out all the other worries, at least temporarily.
It’s funny that it’s taken me so long to figure out what I need to do to feel good. I need to work. It’s that simple.
Are other people like that? Have one simple thing that makes everything else bearable? I know for some people it’s exercise. If they walk, or run, daily, it gives them the endorphins and the peace of mind to work through everything.
For other’s it’s a nightly glass of wine and quiet time. Or rocking your baby.
In fact, all those things are good.
I’d like to come up with a list of zen-inducing activities, just in case I’m between books and can’t write. For me it starts with writing and goes from there:
1. Writing
2. exercising
3. Hugging Alex
4. … sewing?
5. for Jenny it would be crocheting
6. For Lani, knitting. and maybe her evening glass of wine with Alastair
7. For Lani it’s probably sex with Alastair but I don’t think that’s an option for the rest of us.
Any more ideas? The more the merrier, since Alastair is out of the question.

Krissie: To bang or not to bang

I got my hair trimmed on my birthday while my mother had her hair permed. I wanted a cut to make my suddenly curly hair be curly, but to trim my bangs to cover my long, lined forehead. My usual person, Tracy, is out, having given one of her kidneys to her sister, bless her, bless her, bless her. So I had Hannah, who’s also done a good job, do it. And I loved it, but I don’t like the bangs. But I’m open to opinion. Maybe they need to be shorter. Wispier. Dunno. What do you think?
Today is Green Up Day (do you have that in other states?). Everyone gets out and cleans up roadsides, etc. This year we’re concentrating on Hurricane Irene mess. The more I travel around our tiny state the more devastation I see. Amazing. So I’m dragging out all my ancient printers etc. for Richie to take to recycling (free today). Decluttering!!!
I got my butt to swimming yesterday, after writing 1500 words. It’s 40 minutes away (about 26 miles but there’s road construction) and arrived and no one was in the pool. It was smooth and gorgeous looking and I was filled with contentment until I got to the locker and discovered I hadn’t brought my bathing suit. At first i tried to be all Zen about it — if I forgot my bathing suit I wasn’t meant to swim yadda yadda yadda, and I was all set to go home.
And then I said fuck that and went down to the fabulous plus size clothing store they have in that tiny town (Elizabeth’s Large Size Fashions — if you’re ever in northern Vermont and wear size 14 up go to St. Johnsbury!) I was gonna get the cheapest suit I could find, even a size 5x as long as it covered me, but I ended up finding an adorable suit on sale, size 18. And since I’m moving down from 22 to 20 to slightly less then I’d need to buy a smaller one anyway. It’s very cute even if it doesn’t have a skirt to hide my butt.
So I overdid, walking for an hour, but damn, did I get a lot accomplished on my MIP. I came home and hobbled around like I’d been for a 2 miles walk, which maybe it was akin to. But it felt so good.
I’m most definitely in the zone. And tomorrow I get to celebrate my birthday by having everyone over for a cookout, and I’ll eat a piece of cake and I won’t feel guilty. So there. (I’ll also send the rest of the cake home with my son and my mother).
So life is good until the next crisis. With luck I’ll ride this one a little better. I was 231 on the scale. Don’t remember if my lowest was 230.5 or 231.5 (I think it was the latter) but it’s staying down and creeping toward the 220s.
Nothing but good times ahead.