Peter Cat got himself hurt on something on Sunday, which meant a worrying trip to the vets and a very fetching bandana, and also a rather large vet’s bill. Yay. He’s now home and Very Grumpy that we won’t let him outside… I don’t think anyone’s broken it to him yet that he’s not allowed out for two weeks. He’s going to be Exceedingly Grumpy at that point! However, he is fairly stylish in a bandana-bandage sort of thing, and is being more affectionate to everyone in the hopes this will bribe us into opening a door for him. (It hasn’t worked yet.)
Uncanny Magazine and Strange Horizons both have Kickstarters on at the moment – consider supporting excellent writing! (I really need to get my budget for writing magazines sorted… there’s so many I want to subscribe to!)
My curtains are currently moving strangely. I think this is due to the Small Black Fluff on my windowsill, staring intently at passers-by.
I’m using Drops to learn Norwegian; while I’m mostly building up vocab at the moment, it has a strong insistence on being able to say “I am allergic to peanut butter” and that I know the words for “body”, “umbrella” and “goodbye”. I am wondering at what point I need to ask it if it’s ok. (The app is actually very good; it drips new vocabulary in and uses images instead of English words, plus it’s very easy to use. Currently doing twenty minutes a day!)
I am still ridiculously lacking in motivation… not been doing great recently, so that’s been fun. It feels a bit like wading through treacle? I had a conversation with my partner about anti-depressants, anyhow, which I Do Not Want To Go Back On but if the swings get too bad then I may. We’ll see.
And finally: the groan that goes around the Editorial Team when someone risks asking, “So, is this a series…?” confirms this meme!
All of the happy things for June 2019! Except the weather. What happened to the sunshine?! (Well, apart from one brief day. It’s like it decided to remind everyone what we were missing…)
A lovely friend has sent me all the llamas! (And a nature-y notebook, which is lined and lovely.)
It’s actually the same friend who sent me the brooch; it’s a bit of an odd friendship, but so far, I think we’re making it work! It’s really nice to get cards in the post anyhow, and I’ve been sending them things too – and now this means I get to choose and send another ridiculous card! How does one improve on llamas? A sloth, maybe?
Not a happy thing per se; I had one of the worst panic attacks I’ve had for a while this month, set off by what should have been a small stress – but if nothing else, it did show me that I can cope with them! My partner was amazing too, which helped so much. It sucks to have one and I’m so frustrated that after so long of feeling ok, my brain is being dumb… but I know that I can cope.
3.I finished a story!
Actually, I’ve finished all the stories! I’ve uploaded the final installment of The Summer Knight on Wattpad, which means my Dresden Files writing is now done. It starts at The Envoy if you want some quick reading in an urban fantasy universe!
We built a thing! The fences in the garden had blown down a few months back in the bad storm, and I’d deconstructed them (well, the wind did most of it) and stacked the wood… and then had an idea to built a bike shelter out of them to keep the rain (and pigeon poop) off the bikes. So we spent a sunny Saturday out in the garden with a saw and a tape measure and various spiders and woodlice and a lot of screws, and we built a thing! It felt so good to be using those skills again, and to be able to look at something and go “yes, I see the problem, we need MOAR SCREWS” because over-engineering something is always the best solution.
Well, it was either that or duct tape.
And on a side note for a happy thing; being out in the garden. It’s lovely dappled shade and it was beautiful.
I hate having fuss made for birthdays – or Christmas, or any event for that matter – and so birthdays are always something of an ordeal before people get to know me. However, this year was great! I made cake (excellent for diverting attention, and also feeding people) and had a chilled evening in with my partner.
And I had excellent presents – socks! Computer games! No books, thankfully. I already have more than enough books.
(I know, I know, but seriously. I have 30 on my slush pile at work and at least 20 here and I know I always need more but… one of the perils of working in publishing is that you get swamped with books!)
2. Easter eggs!
Yes, it’s a month late…but I did an Easter Egg hunt for my partner, and they just found the last one! It made me laugh a lot. They were all hidden in plain sight, as it were…but it’s obviously a corner they don’t look in too often!
I’m typing this while sitting on the floor, my back against the sofa. My partner’s playing something random, snowy and involving dying of hunger (if you’re not eaten by wolves first…it sounds quite tense.) I’ve got a favourite playlist on, my notebook by my knees, a teacup on the table. It all feels so comforting and quiet and normal; like sinking into a warm duvet, and being able to breathe out for the first time in a while.
I’m very much hoping that it leads to some more writing; the ideas are there, but they just haven’t been coming out! Here’s hoping…
The idea originally came from my friend at Pastry & Purls, and I’ve done 19 posts over the two years; I missed July, September & November 2017, and February 2018…and that’s it! Some were double month posts, but otherwise – two straight years!
I definitely have trends for the things that make me happy…
My “other” includes dating, dancing, hot tubs, house-hunting, Christmas decorating, my Grandma, tidying and languages…
I’ve also noticed, though, that I do ‘big’ posts about a lot of the things that make me happy; crafts, or books, or writing. So I think those areas would be likely to bulk up even more if I looked at wider trends.
5 Happy Things has been a really fun thing to do – and I think it’s good for me, too, as every month it at least makes me think about what I’ve been doing, and what things have made me happy. It extends further than just the one post, too, as I’ll try to collect things during the month; taking pictures of the cats or baking or my walks, or thinking of things that I could add. It’s definitely a mindfulness thing that’s added to my happiness, and it’s also been fun!
I know there are seven stages of grief, but are there equivalent stages of happiness?
When I first moved to Oxford, it felt like golden bubbles rising in my chest; a happiness that swallowed everything when it exploded, and I could always feel it simmering.
Then an Autumn; partly being on some medication that made everything dark, but partly also everything settling – the knowledge that yes, I was here, and I hadn’t screwed it up immediately – so everything could grow, and settle; but I was also aware of how shallow my roots were, and how small my branches. I was growing, but not yet rooted.
I feel grey. Disassociated. Not caring, unable to process; I’m putting down roots, seeing just how far they are spreading, but the earth over them feels so shallow. It’s all going to be taken away again, and I’m just waiting for that to happen. Waiting for the hand to lift me out and tell me that I have to start again somewhere else; waiting for the earth around me to scorch. Waiting for another start and another set of memories to live with.
I feel resigned to loss, although I’m not sure anyone ever gets totally used to it; so many things have moved or changed or gone in the last few years that I think it’s all caught up, and I don’t have any expectation of longevity.
But then I don’t think anyone really can, either; everything always changes. So it also seems normal.
I hope there is a next stage of happiness – acceptance? The blending of sheer joy with the cut that says everything does end, and move on, and change. The sweet scent and bitter taste of a memory, because it will only happen once. The knowledge that this is only a life lived once, and we can only live the best one we can.