2020-03-26 Climbing the Pyramid is a Struggle

My basic needs are being met, and I’m grateful for that. By Maslow’s standards, I’m probably at Safety and while that’s ok, I’m desperate to go higher. But I’m stuck.

So many of my writer friends and acquaintances are writing their hearts out right now. Amid this crisis people are inspired to create. In times when you have more time because you’re isolated you can explore and let your brain wander and maybe, definitely that’s a good thing.

I’m not. And I haven’t been. I’ve got less time now, and feel less isolated, because my sanctuary has been invaded. My time has been raided and from before sun-up to after sun-down I’ve nothing left to give back to myself.

It’s work, which I’ve praised but it has transformed before my very eyes from saving grace to marauder. It’s got to level out soon. I think (I hope) today will be the start of that.

It’s not knowing how to, at the same time, homeschool. Sure, if I was twiddling my thumbs all day I would sit with my children and play task-master, checking in on their “enrichment plans”.

I’m not there, though, you know. I’m still adjusting.. fighting with my ex about where the kids are and why and all my anger and frustration that’s built up over the years comes pouring out. I just hate my ex. After all this time I’m still angry about so many things. Does one ever get over being treated so rotten by someone they love and trust with their life.

How is that possible? How can we have hurt each other so much? And when the bullshit just continues for years and years and you have to continue to take it and try to be amiable for the kids sake, it just doesn’t go away.

Yesterday I ripped him a new one on the phone and he acted like he had no idea where it was all coming from. Like an ignorant ass, he said my yelling was unfounded and something in me has changed. “You’re different now.” He said.

No shit genius. People change and perhaps I’ve grown a spine. Perhaps I’ve also been perfecting my throat-punch and he should be grateful that there’s a pandemic because if there wasn’t I might just go to his place and demonstrate my skills. I just hate him. And that’s a world I rarely use.

My son is here with me and my daughter is at his house. She’s not being very communicative and I’m just hoping she isn’t being persuaded to stay there. Gawd. It’s an awful feeling to know that the kids are stuck in this conflict with us, probably taking shrapnel from our verbal confrontations. It’s got to stop.

So, yeah, I’m just trying to figure out how to shelter in place and not lose my mind. I’ve not yet arrived at master of the art of homeschooling.

Oh, did I mention I’m behind on the whole writing a thesis bit? Or the lit-mag startup. Or, I dunno, supporting my husband and nurturing my marriage which is still less than 2 months old.

I logged onto Facebook today and that was a big mistake. So many people posting about every freaking thing and I just don’t have a positive note to contribute. Just because I say I’m grateful, doesn’t mean I’m bathing in gratitude and finding all the beauty in every little nook and corner. Facebook just makes me feel like shit. And those things I’m seeing are being posted by friends and family who I love. Why can’t I just find joy in their accomplishments and words of encouragement? What the hell is wrong with me?

Don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical.

I’ve got a meeting today with the other “co-founder” of this not-yet-a-real-thing on-line lit mag. It’s been a struggle for both of us to find the time. This is a guy I just happened to be sitting across a lunch table from when approached by one of the mentors of the MFA program about this little idea. He’s a teacher and has kids so he’s in the same boat as me trying to juggle life.

We both bring unique and needed skills to the table, but we do operate differently. I like things to be organized and well planned out and he just seems to like to roll with whatever. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just an adjustment for me. We need to get shit done and were still at step 1, which is assembling a team.

Hopefully I’ll get more insight into what that looks like from his communications (which he has not copied me on). I’m a little miffed about that. If you were starting a new project together, it’s good to have Everyone have as much information as possible. So I feel a little bit in the dark on where things stand and can’t make progress forward myself until I’ve got the full picture. I’m sure I’m overthinking and overdramatizing this as usual. Hopeful today’s meeting will actually happen this time and that all will be revealed.

I mean, if our launch date is still June 1. We gotta get in gear and go. So that’s where the “go for it” attitude is such a positive.. we just really need to engage the whole team soon. Again, just hopeful we have a complete list today on who that is. we’ll see.

For now, I have to put that out of my mind so I can get to work. No place to hide.

Stuck at Safety,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-03-12 SugarCookie Shit Series Episode 1: The Lit Mag Identity Crisis

So this is a continuation of that post I wrote yesterday which is sort of a grand departure from my normal time, flow, format, way. Call it what you wan’t, it’s just different.

Speaking of different, I’m starting up a new online lit mag. That’s pretty cool news eh? Turns out, when you start something new you have never done before, you have a lot to learn and inevitably fuck things up. We learn from our mistakes yes? So why am I having such a doozie of a time getting to the point where I am making mistakes?

Here’s what I know: We need format, content, organization, mission/vision/identity. People are excited and rooting for us, but who exactly is “us” is unclear. Because “we” are not officially affiliated to any organization in particular (the university, cough cough) we have the creative license to do whatever we want to do.

I’m excited about the possibilities but hung up on the hum drum of every other online lit mag in the universe that has some clever name, tag line, images, and a standard look and feel->Issues, Submissions, About, Blog, Contact. Yada-yada, you name it and it all starts looking the same after a while.

One of the tasks on my to-do list is to develop the site and consequently look at a bunch of other sites and see what we like. Model it after that. There it is again, did you catch it? “We.” What “we” really need is a collective meeting to brainstorm and make decisions. It’s not a dictatorship and I don’t want to operate in a bubble. I’ve looked at dozens of sites. I have ideas. But I’m just one person.

What we did decide was to Run quarterly issues and open up for submissions on like June 1 with the first issue being in the fall. That’s a goal right. Goals are good. We also decided to have open submissions year round. Read, filter up the chain, decide, produce a beautiful issue. Same story, different site.

Someone might submit, someone might read, what’s the point. We have to have a team that has core values man. A team, I tell you. Not a few people in bubbles.

I want to make something like the Taco Bell lit mag or the identity crisis lit mag or the other one that’s been stewing in my brain anonymously for about 3 years. An idea I had before I knew what it was (don’t you just love that?).

I want to create something crazy and interesting written by crazy for crazy to help people feel a little less crazy on this damn plannet. Why is doing something so off the wall feel appealing? If we do that, all those people who are excited and rooting for us might not approve. But, what is the worst that can happen. They yank their support? Ummmmm, what support?

See… this is just one giant pile of shit. I need a giant white board and a room full of cool people to brainstorm this bitch out. I want a website that pops and is different from the rest. I want to have a mixed media category and a regular blog post with something you might hear at BarCamp Omaha. I need to create a spreadsheet for tracking expenses and documents where we brainstorm about pages and content and submission guidelines and oh yeah, our Brand.

I can do the tech stuff, provide starter funding, manage operations, and possibly even serve as a poetry editor (or mixed media editor would be even more better).

I currently have 3 or 4 people who are down for participating and recruiting is not in my A game bag. I’m going to start a document for notes we took at our last meeting and set up agenda items for the next meeting with assignments listed and names attached. That’s Mario kicking into gear on this pile of shit. If we just want to go for it and do it, we have to let Mario drive the bus. Luigi can hang out on the seat above the wheel well and go “weeeeee” when we hit a bump and then say something completely brilliant to make all of us stare at him in wonderment.

Yeah, Mario drives and Luigi is doing his thing making it interesting.

We need a meeting and an agenda and an invitee list and logistics of how to meet (cuz coronavirus— ugh!). We need to be open to the ideas of all and know that no idea or suggestion is too strange to be kept quiet. It has to be friendly and inviting.

Oh good gawd I think the meds are finally kicking in and the words on my screen are going blurry and I think that means I have to git.

All that to describe one pile of shit. Wow. I can’t imagine how the rest of this series will go.

***

I did literally write all that at midnight and then fell asleep. Just read it myself.

I’m totally down for taking one day for the rest of this week to describe all my piles of shit. I’ll call it the SugarCookie Shit Series. Cuz that’s just the kind of mood I’m in this week.

I’m gonna go section off my time and spend an hour on today’s shit pile before I transition over to work work. That will probably be tomorrow’s shit pile. First week back on the job and I’m already balls deep in the weeds. Nature of the beast. 🤷‍♀️ But my how I’m getting ahead of myself.

Cheers to Talking things One Damn Day at a time,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Today’s featured image asks the question, “who me?” And also, why.