Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog...

I was recently asked if I am experiencing writer's block because it's been awhile since I posted anything.  I wouldn't say that is necessarily the reason for my absence.  The truth is I love to write and this blog has been a great outlet for me to both record precious memories and at times provide some free therapy for myself.  But the bottom line is that it's the internet and therefore it's not private.  I've said enough in my posts that anyone who knows me well enough who finds out I have a blog can use a few key words and track this down.  It's funny, I'm okay with sharing my thoughts and feelings with billions of strangers but most of the people closest to me don't even know this blog exists.  Not only is it hard to let them in, it also makes me feel I need to censor myself in what I write to make sure things aren't taken out of context should someone stumble upon it who has been mentioned in a post.  I feel this way on message boards too when people I know in real life also join them.  Plus, there is a matter of time.  I'm a busy girl and most evenings it boils down to choices: I simply don't have the time to do everything I want to do in a day.  Writing has gone by the wayside in favor of reading these days.  There are just so many books and so little time-especially when you take allergy medicine that causes drowsiness and pass out after only a couple of pages.

The biggest reason for my absence is that I've reached a point where while I still feel I have plenty to say (never do I run out of opinions!), I feel I've over-shared way too much of my life over the years-not necessarily with blogging but in general-and now I just want my private life to be more private.  It's nothing personal against anyone and it does make me feel a bit closed off but at the same time my every move is just that: MY every move.  And quite frankly, I'm really not that exciting.  I don't want to start to feel I live under a microscope.  And I know by over-sharing in the first place over the years (can we say "attention starved?"), I have only myself to blame for getting to this point.

It does seem quite ironic that what is currently center stage in my life right now that I would ordinarily be all over writing about (because, seriously, what better way to over-analyze something)  is the one thing I just don't want to talk about and feel fiercely protective of.  My life has actually become rather routine and domesticated lately-which I'm not complaining about by any means; the somewhat slower pace has actually been welcoming.  But though I still very much incredulously ask on a regular basis "how is this my life?" I don't have as many entertaining experiences coming my way these days.  I'm still working on me and making some positive changes in my life and I'm sure blogging about that would probably put me to sleep let alone anyone who actually reads what I have to say!  I'm bored just thinking about it...

I know I've still got plenty to say.  There are still some memories of James that crop up and I find myself thinking "I've really got to get that one on paper."  There are, of course, new memories I'd like to be able to remember when my little pea brain starts to forget the good times (which at the rate I'm going should be, oh, next Thursday).  And there are times when I just want to vent.  So, I guess right now I'm trying to figure out how to proceed.  Do I stick with the narratives, just post short blurbs or both?  Time will tell.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Observations from a Coffee Shop

I was supposed to go cross-country skiing today but the friend I planned to go with came down with a cold and told me late last night he wouldn't be able to go.  I've never tried cross-country skiing before and as it is on my "bucket list," I'm a little disappointed but at the same time I was nervous and this wasn't exactly a "once in a lifetime, if you don't do it now, you will never get another chance" opportunity and it wasn't worth it to me for him to end up with something worse than a cold to indulge my wish list.  Plus, this meant I got to sleep in and certainly wasn't going to complain about that!

But, the last minute change of plans left me with nothing to do today.  (Well, nothing fun.  There's always some chore that needs to be done).  And because I'm frustrated with pretty much every male I know, including one of my beloved dogs, I decided I'd drag my lazy butt out of bed this morning and go on a coffee date.  With myself and a book.  The more I thought about it, an iced green tea latte sounded really good-and according to a message board I belong to, coffee shops are a great place to meet potential romantic interests.

So I got up this morning, made myself look presentable, gathered what I needed to run a couple of errands.  And then came the dilemma:  where to go?  Brewed Awakenings and Starbucks (x2) are right down the street.  Hmm...I've never tried Brewed Awakenings.  However, Starbucks is in the same shopping center as PetCo, which was also on the To Do list and thanks to my awesome co-workers, I have a gift card.  But both are chains and people at chain establishments usually just come and go, and I wanted something friendlier than that.  I do have a friend who owns a coffee shop and I do like to support local business....but it's all the way downtown.  (Which means about an extra 7 minutes to get there).  "What else do you have to do today?" asked the voice of reason.  Being this was an excellent point, I headed downtown. 

The nice thing about having a coffee shop owned by a friend who knows you are allergic to food is that he is patient enough to make something for you that will not kill you, which is definitely a plus.  We came up with a green tea latte that was quite tasty and since oatmeal is technically a breakfast food in my world, an oatmeal-butterscotch cookie to go with it.  The shop is small and was surprisingly loud for how few people were in there.  It's cozy but not in a way that feels cramped.  I sat a a table for two, for example, but didn't feel I was encroaching on the space of the ladies in the chairs next to me or vice versa.  I was happy to see (for my friend) that the majority of the customers seemed to be regulars.  Vancouver has a small town feel to it, downtown especially.  I arrived around 10 and the streets were still pretty quiet, so for the shop to be hopping spoke volumes in my opinion.  The clientele was pretty much what I find everywhere I go:  a guy in his 20's.  Two men in their 50's-long time friends from the sounds of it.  Two ladies in their 50's or 60's.  A woman in her 30's, maybe 40's with her little girl.  A married couple in their 30's  And me.  As I enjoyed my breakfast, another woman in her 50's, one in her 30's and another man in his 50's came in, replacing those who'd left.  Customers who got their drinks to go while I was there were a mother and her son, a mother and her daughter, a girl who was early 30's at the oldest, a guy in his 50's and a guy who may have been in his 30's who ordered two drinks to go.  So my friend's coffee shop, at least not this morning, was not the hangout for all those 32-45 year old single men I keep getting assured are "everywhere."  But that's okay.  As I said at the beginning, I'm frustrated with so many of my male friends right now that had I met one, I probably would have just told him where to go.

What's important is it seems my friend's shop is doing well and that makes me happy for him.  I got to have a nice glass of tea (in a real glass!), a cookie, and spent about an hour reading without a dog getting between my book and my line of vision.  (As I type, one is squished between me and the back of my chair snoring away.  He's great for my posture!).  Not a bad way at all to start what has turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day in the neighborhood.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Night Ramblings

Usually when I sit down to write I have a good idea of what I am going to say.  Tonight I'm just winging it.  I'd like to be able to say I'm being fueled by a glass of wine but thanks to those pesky yeast and sulfite allergies, no wine for this chica.  Actually, I'd like to be drinking a (virgin) pina colada on a beach in Mexico, truth be told, with a slight breeze in the air and samba music playing in the background.  Yeah, I also have the perfect tan and sun-streaked hair in this fantasy.  And of course, there's a magnificent sunset.  My beverage of choice this evening is a good ol' glass of water.  9:30 on a Friday night, sitting in my living room, drinking water.  Yep, I am quite the social butterfly!

Actually, I will be a social butterfly tomorrow when I have a house full of people who have many options for their evening and are choosing to spend it with me, helping me to celebrate turning 30-something (which doesn't actually happen until Tuesday) with a murder mystery dinner party.  I have no clue how to host a murder mystery dinner party (which is why our elegant "Captain's Dinner" for our 1938 disaster at sea is tacos), so luckily most of my guests are used to my game nights in which I basically just say show up and the rest just magically works itself out.  And there will be ice cream cake.  From Ben and Jerry's.  Take that other events.  I totally just upped the ante. 

And I was a social butterfly last night when volunteering at the Food Bank led to late night happy hour (when the heck did 9:00 become late night?!  Oh right, when I didn't get home until after 11:00 and had to drag my butt out of bed at 5:45 this morning to get ready for work.  I'm too young to be too old for this!).  So last night's social butterflyness coupled with that pesky borderline insomnia issue has me too dang tired to do anything tonight.  And I'm okay with that.  I'm just waiting for it to be a respectable time to go to bed on a Friday night and then I'm hitting the hay.  What I'm not okay with is that I keep saying "This is the last Friday night I spend home alone!" or "This is the last Friday night I spend cleaning the house for Game Night!" and before I know it, it's a week later and I'm home alone on a Friday night.  I don't feel life is passing me by, but at the same time, I don't want to get to that point either.  Because in a sense, life really is passing me by.  I'm not getting any younger, after all.  Well, at least not chronologically, anyway.  In spirit, I sure seem to be-not that I'm complaining!  Hopefully, staying young in this respect will keep me from ever really growing old.  I was thinking about this the other day and I'm not really sure I ever want to be old.  (I was also thinking about what they put as the cause of death on your death certificate if you are executed so there you go).  Mainly because it's scary to think about being old and not having anyone to take care of me, which is the position I am in now.  It's hard now to think that I could come home on a Friday afternoon, slip and hit my head and no one would know something was wrong until I didn't show up for work on Monday morning. Fifty years from now, who knows how long it would take for someone to find my limp, lifeless body?

It's funny, I will have a house full of people here tomorrow.  But on my actual birthday?  Well, I'll be celebrating that with me, myself and I from the looks of it.  And my dogs. (There's a very slim chance I will be taking a beginning fencing class.  Like half the group signed up for it needs to back out slim).  Part of me thinks this royally blows major chunks.  And part of me is quite alright having the day (okay, evening.  I do have to work that day-well, hmm...I do have plenty of vacation time...) to myself to just do things I enjoy-like eat cheesecake and then take a nice, long hot bath with a good book to keep me company (currently "Heat Rises" by Richard Castle.  I want to know who that really is, but at the same time, I think that might ruin it).  Or go see a movie if by some miracle "Wreck-It Ralph" magically appears at the $3 theater.  But at the same time, I don't need my birthday for that.  I can do those things whenever I want.  The upside of being single is I can pretty much do whatever I want whenever I want.  I'm not dependent on anyone else's schedule or opinion as to what to do with my free time.  It would help if I stopped finding reasons to talk myself out of some of the things that cross my mind as things I would like to do...

At any rate, I'm curious, as always, what this year has in store for me.  I've decided it's going to be the Year of Heather.  It's going to be (another) busy year and hopefully a very rewarding one.  Might as well take advantage of not being tied down other than my dogs.  I have goals (which is a post in itself) which I think are pretty reasonable and certainly attainable.  And which will get me off the couch for at least some of my Friday nights.