The word of the week is determination.
Nov 6 - Ten Years Of Failure
Yep, 10 years since I moved to BC...
It's a random benchmark, picking a decade to look back on, and ultimately it's meaningless: you'll still get out of bed the next day and go about your life as you've built it... or at least, as you were inhabiting it currently.
Not much has changed the last 10 years for me: I'm still working a day job that's unfulfilling, pecking away at my writing, and finding my eyes focused on my feet instead of the horizon too many days of the year. Keeping my head down and plugging away may get me from day-to-day, but it certainly doesn't with me out of the ruts that I track from home to work and back again, with interludes in between for fun and recreation to take my mind off the wandering I'm doing.
So what can you learn from 10 years of failing., you ask? Well... this:
Working hard comes naturally to me, but as you can see from the image above, one's definition of work needs to change regularly. Just as you build up muscle from a workout and need to keep adding weight, the same applies for how you approach your work ethic: keep gradually adding weight and testing yourself to see how you're holding up. Not that you should keep adding stress, mind you, but rather focus on accomplishing your tasks and then work up to new challenges that build on your foundation of smaller successes.
This is one of my favorite quotes to tell myself from time to time:
Only those who make mistakes have the opportunity to learn, and I'm counting it into my stubborn head that Mistakes Are OK: they don't mean I'm foolish, or stupid, or a Failure, but that I just need to step back and find another approach to the problem(s) that I'm facing at the time.
One step backward, and then move forward from there.
Nov 7 – More Trolls? Yes!
Whoa! Some GOOD news? Love it!
Apparently Trollhunters was such a big success for Netflix, that they've not only commissioned a second season( being released next month! )but they've decided to split things off into two new sub-series, set in the same world!
I'm a sucker for good writing, and Trollhunters has it in spades, which speaks rather well for the new series as well. I'm really anticipating some great Netflix-watching in 2018 or early 2019, when these shows make it to 'air' so to speak.
Who knew how quickly the dynamic could shift away from a dull-as-dishwater Hollywood system, too set it its ways, towards dynamic online productions funded by Netflix and HBO... it's a revolution!
Nov 8 – Groo-riffic
I'll share with you one of the oddities of my life:
I've been collecting Groo comics for more than twenty years now, and there's been a paucity of them around in local comic shops. Such that in all those years, I've only managed to scrounge a half-dozen or so of the forty issues I've been missing, many from the later years of the run when I wasn't able to collect them regularly. While I could have hunted them down on eBay, the prices weren't conducive to collecting( averaging $20 an issue, with shipping! )so I let it be.
A few months ago, I wandered into a local used bookshop and as is my habit, made sure to check all the racks of comics for Groo.
Imagine my shock when I found over fifty of them for sale, in that one shop! I didn't have my list with me, but at $1.00 an issue, I bought the lot though some were in rough shape... As it happens, there were more than a few duplicates, but there were 26 issues there that I hadn't had before - what a stroke of luck!
Now I'm down to about 10 issues to find, which is pretty dang good, as my collection's looking fairly close to complete now AND I might find the time in a year or two to read through them all again:
Nov 9 – Smart and In Control?
Am I smart? Am I intelligent? How do I measure those?
All my life, I've been told that I'm smart, that I'm highly intelligent and that has informed how I've looked at the world: from a rational, logical and informed point of view.
But have you really know that your smart person? Sure, you can take IQ tests, memorize trivia, get membership in Mensa or do any of the thousand things to prove to yourself that you're not just a smarter frogging among many the pond.
Being rational, I do like to turn to science for answers when I'm not sure about things, and this week - while been questioning my life - I came across a rather succinct list of Thirteen Signs You're Smarter Than You Realise:
one of the reasons I like this list is because it doesn't attempt to quantify intelligence, but rather looks at the whole picture of a person. In looking at the various items, I found that most of them apply to me, in various degrees, and that's helpful.
Because even smart people need to do a self check on their smarts on occasion.
Nov 10 – Healthy Rage
This is one of my favorite quotes from any movie: "I'm always angry"
As regular readers of this blog may be able to tell, I live in a constant state of frustration: with my health, my work, my finances, my writing, my... whatever; There's always a list of things that I've Got To Do Better, and it's never-ending.
Frustration often leads to anger, and that stresses me out. Which I can't take anymore: there's no way in hell I want my stress-induced chest pains to return, and so I've made great efforts to learn how to channel my frustration-born anger into something else:
Don't like the way some things going in your life? Change things up: you're the only one who can do it, because in the World Of Adulting, nobody's going to step forward to add YOUR problems to their own already-heaping basket of things.
You're on your own, as in so many things in life, so best learn how to deal...
And sure, that can cause frustration, probably heaps of it, especially if you're ALREADY working hard on finding solutions. I know for myself, it feels like I'm trapped in a muddy pit some days, clawing at the sides to get out but getting exactly nowhere as I slide back down despite the howling energy I pour into the attempts at forward motion. 'Work smarter, not harder' is a good mantra, yet some days I want to punch whoever wrote it in the face and ask them exactly how smart one has to be before you know it's time to just float in the mud and rethink things entirely. Learning how to relax is also important, because without a firm foundation to fall back on, that meant it is going to swallow you up too often.
Hmmm. Maybe I need to take up professional mud wrestling?
Nov 11 – Remembrance
It's a pittance of time...
Nov 12 – Destination: Fun?
Sometimes you find deep meaning in the oddest of places...
I was feeling rather down today, with the gloomy weather not helping at all and despite spending the morning with my lovely lady, the clouds over my head lingered.
So I went to see a movie: Thor Ragnarok.
The movie was a fun romp, an action spectacle with none other than the magnificent Cate Blanchett as the evil Hela, chewing the scenery and kicking ass with aplomb: delightful! The plot was straightforward, the CGI served the story instead of drawing attention to itself, and everything just worked from the get-go.
The movie also spoke to something deep inside me.
That, I think was a total surprise; this isn't a drama, or a thinker's film by any stretch... but it was a perfect fit for my mood and headspace, because of Thor.
Spoilers( mild )below.
In the film, Thor teams up with his brother Loki and the Hulk in order to defeat Hela, with the usual banter and bad-assery that we've come to expect from these characters. However, Thor grows yet again as a character, perhaps the most yet to date, and in doing so he made me realize that I'm facing many of the same choices that he did in the film.
For Thor, it was about letting the unnecessary fade... about clinging to the past, or false notions of what he was, in order to grow into what he truly IS, and needed to be for his people - as well as for himself. Hard-won wisdom, won at great cost.
I need to be a writer, but I can't support myself on that alone. I need to get a better income, but to do so only to set aside my writing( yet again )to focus on that job search as well as getting my home business up and running in 2018.
The pull between the two is tearing me apart: write, or work to pay the bills?
I don't have the health or mental strength to do both any more.
I'll leave it at that.
Nothing much more to say, save that a new week lies ahead, after a brief working-holiday tomorrow. See you again.