2021-02-20 Why I’m Doubling Down Today

Yesterday, just as I was developing the inspiration to write about all the sexcapaids I’ve had in my life, life interjected and shut that down. 

Here’s how the conversation went (paraphrasing of course)…

Life:  “Here.. read this and get angry” (hands me an email).

Me: 😬😬😬 (deep breath). “No! Not today life. I’m not letting this shit get to me today. I’ve got other plans.” 

Life: “Ok then. Let’s just see about that.” 

Me: “I’m gonna write a poem instead.” 

Life: “Haha. That’s funny.” 

Me: “Whatever. Give me my trigger.” 

Life: (snickers) “Sure thing boss. Today’s topic is sex. Ha!!” 

(Life knows I’d rather poke my own eyes out than write a poem about sex.)

Me: “Challenge accepted!” I start to write about the sex poem but didn’t get very far before Life looked down at his wrist and tapped his watch. 

Life: “Times up. You’ve got to go.” 

Me: “Fuck. I was just getting started. No matter, I’ll finish later.” 

Life: “Fat chance.” 

Me: “Shut up. It’s Friday and I have all damn day.” 

Life: “That’s what you think.” 

Me: “Whatever Life. Go suck it.” 

Then I hurried out the door and drove to CB to visit my dad. Stopped at Little King to pick us up some sandwiches. While at my dad’s, we sat at the kitchen table, ate, and I listened to a few new stories. Turns out, by random chance my dad enrolled in college one week before receiving his draft notice, narrowly escaping being thrown into the war. His life could have gone very differently and if it had, I would not be here writing this. I digress. 

After that visit, I hurried home continuing to think on the topic of the day. At red lights I would open my phone and read where I left off and tried to think of what would be next. I had soooooo many thoughts. So many directions I could take the topic. But then the light would turn green and I had to go again. 

Arriving home it was immediately time to leave again. This time to take my darling daughter to get her second moderna shot. She missed her appointment in Iowa on Saturday because she was sick and so the only opportunity was this “open clinic” set up at a church here in Omaha for people needing the second shot. Open meaning no appointments. Open meaning a line of hundreds of people through the church, out the door, and down the block. And a cluster of parking a situation. 

She begged me to wait with her and of course I did. Did I mention this line was outside??!! Did I mention I hadn’t changed from my morning walk or that I wasn’t wearing a coat?! Did I mention it was only 20 degrees outside??! I must really love my daughter to freeze my ass off for 1.5 hours outside and 1 hour inside that church waiting with her. 

Every time she took her phone out to look at something I thought maybe I could write standing in line. I took my phone out of my pocket and then she’d look at me and ask “what are you doing? Talk to me.” Ok, fine. 

Three grueling and freezing hours later, we were done and headed to pick up my son. Arriving home (after securing some drive through dinner for them) I was frustrated and just wanted to sink into the couch. But not without some food and drink of my own. 

Enter stage left, R-Taco and homemade margs. One margarita, two margaritas, three and done. 

Somewhere in there I had the wherewithal to post all I had written in the morning… which was not much. 

As I pushed the “publish” button I heard a maniacal laugh and looked over my shoulder at Life. 

Life: “Told you so.”

Me: “Fine. You win….Today. But I’m doubling down on tomorrow.”

Life: (With a big smile) “Perfect!”


Doubling down for real! Life will NOT best me two days in a row. Nope!!

Today is the second day in a row I’ve spent time inside a church. Today I went to Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Cuz…. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. I’m talking about donating blood.

Today’s donation was a success as my hemoglobin came through at 13.0 (second finger stick as the first was 12.3 .. booo). I haven’t donated for over a year and it feels good to be able to do it again. Next one will be in April. Guess what else is in April? My next vacation.

I’m in charge of planning this time and it’s gonna be amazing. Don’t know where yet but that don’t matter. Wherever we go will be famous!!

Where was I going with this again? 

Oh yeah, doubling down on the day. It’s now past 5pm and I don’t even have a topic and I’ve wasted all my time writing about what happened yesterday. 

I went to a virtual workshop this morning which was all about sonnets and at the point where we had to free write is where I got stuck. None of the starters that were offered triggered anything in my brain and I ended up writing a few lines about Princess Diana and a quote of hers I heard once about chasing chicken around a plate. 

So rando, I know, but that’s how the brain works sometimes. Alas I could not produce any good lines from that, let alone an entire Sonnet so I’m still at square zero. 

Still. The day isn’t over yet. 

Life: (Tapping his watch again) “Clock is ticking.” 

That guy is really starting to get on my nerves. 

Later gaters, 🐊

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-18 A Serious Need to Not Take Anything Too Seriously

Having another one of those days. You know.. where I just want to tell the world to efffff off. Not you darlings though. Nope. 

This mood has been a fairly regular thing these weeks, I’m finding. I was soooooo tired this morning and tired of being tired. Caffeine helps but then I feel bad about being addicted to caffeine. Then I tell myself there are much worse things to be addicted to and that I’m being to hard on myself and then I pop another pill. 🤷‍♀️

Often I go round and round about this, and the result is always the same so why do I keep doing this to myself when there are bigger fish to fry? 

All of everything that I am concerned with is small. I have to remind myself that it’s tiny, tiny potato’s. Not enough to make one single helping of mashed taters…. AND that I have to not take anything too seriously. If I can just go about my day, with this in mind, it would be better. 

So much has changed in my life yet it’s bizarre, like super strange, how much never changes. A few days ago I remembered a blog I started on Tumblr in like 2010. A little bit of writing I had missed as I was organizing and backing up all my files for a rainy-fucking day that will never come. 

I logged in and pulled all those posts to my laptop, next stop is the external hard drive. I digress. 

Last night I began to reread these posts for something to do before bed. Super unproductive but whatevs. Mind you all that was written 10 years ago, so finding some of the same “issues” I’m still dealing with is … well….. comical. I mean, how else can I look at it? 

Yeah, I’m still struggling with body image issues and obsessive about my weight. Yeah, I’m still trying to eat healthy and failing. I still hate social media. I still worry I’m a bad parent. I still get irritated by my ex and lament about wasting time. I still have trouble sleeping because I can’t shut my brain off. I am still too concerned about what other people think. And I’m still listening to the same music.!! 🤣

Right now? 

  • Listening to ‘Beercan’ by BECK. 
  • Messaging with darling daughter about how she can get her second vaccine shot because she missed her appointment last Saturday. 
  • Drinking strawberry ginseng fizz in water for more caffeine. 
  • Tried to donate blood today and failed cuz my iron was too low. 
  • Thinking about refusing to do any social media shit for GLR. Just flat out saying “I don’t care, someone else can do it.” 
  • Rescheduled 2 meetups this week cuz I didn’t wanna, including my dad today. Selfish, but I don’t care. 
  • Bought discount cut flowers at the grocery like a hypocritical BOSS.
  • Procrastinating calling a tow truck. 
  • Procrastinating cleaning toilets. 
  • Procrastinating <insert everything here>.
  • Put periods at the end of all my bullet points cuz that’s the way I am. Not sorry. 

I already had a website/blog when I created that Tumblr 10 years ago. The purpose was so that I could let loose all the random thoughts I had that were not exactly “blog” worthy. Or rather, all the shit I was thinking that I really didn’t want on my primary and publicly promoted site. Anything a little angry, or seedy, or jealous, or needy. 

It’s actually some funny stuff. Reading it I forget how much I enjoy my own sense of humor. And again, a good reminder not to take anything too seriously. 

The last post there was late 2016, when I hit rock bottom. Or like right before I hit rock bottom. Like a hot 10 seconds before I drank myself down a drain and hit my head on the concrete at the bottom of the sewer. 

Not sure how long I was out, but the day I woke up wet and covered in shit was the same day I decided to start this blog.

I haven’t needed that alternate blog because I have this! And I have you!! My oh my. What a day of epiphanies!!! Seriously!!!! 🤣

Why taking caffeine and saying “I don’t care” out loud makes me feel better, I don’t know. But I love it.  

Yours truly,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-13 The Meaning of Life and Other Trivial Musings and Observations

Now I’ve gone and done it. It took a very long time and lots of analysis and countless experiments but I’ve finally definitively answered the ultimate question.. which, of course, is.. “what is the meaning of life.”

The answer is now crystal clear and It was quite simple actually. As soon as this post goes viral, folks around the world will begin their pilgrimage to Omaha Nebraska for a chance to get a selfie with the person who figured it out.

All I really had to do was change the definition of the word “meaning” to “color” and the definition of the word “life” to “pure quartz.” Waaaa-laaaa … crystal clear. 🤣

Actually the most important way to conduct oneself throughout the course of their life to get the most out of it is to not take it too seriously. The Earth is currently home to *almost* 7.7 billion people and we’re all together alone on this hunk of rock rotating through space. Alone in the way that there’s not another planet like ours anywhere even remotely close enough to travel to even if we could survive the trip.

What you do with your life isn’t going to matter beans to anyone but you and your very immediate sphere of influence. The only ticket off this rock is death and there are no guarantees for what happens then. Nope. No way to know no matter what potential “afterlife” humans have conjured with their primitive human brains. Religion is just a made up word/construct to try and satisfy the need to answer unanswerable questions (and also build empires and destroy others in the name of “God”). Religion is no different than science fiction.

Why do people believe in Life on other planets when there’s no evidence? Why do people believe in God when there’s no evidence? Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the effort to find evidence. It’s impressive but (for now) quite futile.

As beings with slightly higher functioning brains and a need for connection and a desire to communicate, we invented language. We invented making sounds with our mouths and called them words. We attached meanings to collections of sounds and began putting them together in longer sequences and called it sentences. We condensed more complex and abstract feelings into other words. We began naming everything. We invented language in the same way we invented utensils to eat with or baskets to carry things more efficiently. Language is just a tool.

And because humans were scattered across the globe without a way to connect to people outside their sphere of influence, the languages developed very differently and ultimate created what is commonly called (in English) a “language barrier”.

Humans with their little grayish-pink brains react poorly to anyone or anything that’s different or can’t be understood. We reject outsiders. We draw a line and call it a “border” and tell others they can or can’t cross it. This is a very shortsighted and primitive way of thinking.

By now all the “territories” have been named and claimed and there’s no-where else to go on earth to just live your life in peace. You have to choose where to live and how to live (If you are fortunate enough to have been born in a territory whose rules allow choice). Every territory has rules and a very small subset of humans who dictate those rules. Don’t let the construct of democracy fool you, we (the people who live in the United States) don’t have any say-so in the rules either. Democracy is just the word they use to lull us away from the realization that it’s just another dictatorship.

Yes we vote, but it’s largely for people and not actual laws. The lawmakers we vote for are supposed to have the best interest of the people at heart. But they don’t. They are also flawed human beings who are self-centered and concerned with money, power, their own livelihood, and sadly, all too often just getting re-elected. 

The rules are all established anyhow so how it’s going to be has already been decided. Changing the rules at this point is a process that’s broken beyond repair. It’s complicated.

Complicated is a word we often use in English to express something that would otherwise take a whole heck of a lot of words to communicate effectively. So we just get lazy and say it’s “complicated.” 

I do it too. I just did. Because I’m lazy. I don’t want to explain how the American government is broken beyond repair.

Because it’s Saturday and I don’t want to spend any more time typing words on a tiny screen than I have to. It’s Saturday and it’s damn fucking cold outside and I just want to sink into my warm couch with a hot cup of cream and sugar (AKA coffee) and read or chat with my people or write some poetry. 

That’s exactly how I discovered the true meaning of life. See.. crystal clear! 😉 You’re welcome.

And now that I’ve satisfied my own selfish need to get ten thousand steps today, I’m going to quit and make that coffee.

With peace and love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-21 Doing the Thursday Smile and Wave 👋🏻

Yesterday was such a strange day I want to let go of and forget it ever happened. By contrast today has been pretty freaking great so far. I just don’t get life sometimes. Is it life or is it me? I really do wonder if other people’s lives are like that. One day is shit and the next is sunshine.

I had 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night so that helps I suppose. Darth didn’t make an appearance, nor did I wake up with strange dreams or sweating through my clothes. I slept all the way to the 6am alarm and when it went off, I was like “holy crap!”

I stretched and checked my stats and other notifications that came in while I was sleeping. Then I thought, “it’s gonna be a great day.” And so the tone was set. 

So far everything else is the same. The morning routine, breakfast, commute to school, and now this. Still, the good mood persists. I guess I should not question, just enjoy it while it lasts. 

My set list today includes things I put off doing yesterday plus all the stuff on my Thursday list. Somehow it all feels manageable today and I’m not overwhelmed. 

What else? Today is my little-middle sisters birthday. She’s 39 I think. I wonder what kind of mood she’s in or what she thinks about being 39. Wonder if she is freaked out by being 39. For me 39 was no biggie. Life was crazy and I hardly cared how old I was.

My whole life I will not be able to separate my sister’s birthday from my ex Matt. They are the same age too and I REALLY wonder what he thinks about being 39. Never married, no kids. I wonder if he regrets “us” in some way, either that it was a mistake to let me go or perhaps that he wasted those 5 years of his life on me. Time is a funny thing and as it passes, it sometimes changes how we feel about a person or situation.

When I met Josh for coffee last week we talked briefly about Matt and I said I kind of wondered what he thought about my life now. Being married, a doctor’s wife, taking care of family and no longer clocking in at a paying gig.

Josh treats other people’s lives, questions, and problems very matter-of-fact like. He basically said Matt probably just thinks that “Shyla got everything Shyla wanted” and that’s it. It’s true. I knew what I wanted and I got it.

The life partner, living together, pursuing my passion for writing, the secure future for my children and I, and having the opportunity to do what I want with the rest of my life. How did THAT happen?

I suppose my mind still wanders to Matt at times but it’s no longer pangs of “what if.” Now it’s more just hoping he is well and finding peace with life, doing things he likes to do. I don’t really wonder about his relationships anymore really which is healthy. I think getting “everything” I wanted helps with all of that.

But now that I have “everything” I have to think about what else I want. Since I never imagined getting here, I never really dreamt beyond it. 🤷‍♀️

Wonder what my sister wants too. She’s been engaged since before I even met Jim. That’s coming up on three years. I wonder if they are going to be engaged forever and never actually get married. Or if they are both good with the “parent life” ship sailing away. They bought a house together last year finally. That seems like a big commitment to stay together. I’d ask her but she’s never very forthcoming when talking about these things.

What else? I’m not terribly inspired today to write. I’ve got some new content in my in-box and will make a go of reading some. Perhaps it will inspire me in some way to write. We’ll see.

On that note. There’s not much else for now. 

Waving from the Wave, 👋🏻🏄‍♀️🌊

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-12-10 Musing from Inside the Promethean Gap

Is it wrong to approach the world, tentative and wanting? Believing in good intentions and people? That we’re all just stuck here temporary and harmless, abandoned on a mysterious spiral arm of stars?

Is it wrong to believe in the power of human connection, however small. The innocence of it. The delicate nature of trust. When we die, as we all do, are the acts we perform, both knowingly and unknowingly, judged?

What if the big things don’t matter? What if that which lies beyond—the ultimate unknown which teeters just at the edge of the Event Horizon—takes us in as our physical being expires and instead of a lens built to look at the acts we’ve performed in our lifetime, we are measured by what we didn’t do?

Have we been given the gift of life and wasted it?

After all, like the rest of the Universe we’re just matter—molecules and atoms—stuck together in a myriad of configurations. The great mystery of whether our becoming was a random fluke or was engineered entirely on purpose remains unknown.

I posit that if our existence here was on purpose, then the answer to the aforementioned questions are also being kept from us by design.

Are you with me? Or have I lost you?

Three unrelated circumstances.. I’ll call them circumstances, for the lack of a better word, are swirling in my brain. Well, at least three. Their chemicals mix and lead me to question my own actions and how to proceed.

  1. I met a man about a year and a half ago who might not yet qualify as a man, because of age and maturity. There was a connection and I enjoyed talking with this person, to the point I would consider him a friend. Setting unease about my own motivations aside, I’ve come to discover this person might be lost on the path of life. Perhaps in some trouble. Do I try to help?
  2. For the lit mag I’m managing, I’ve recently set submissions for writers that are BIPOC to free, waiving our typical fee (only $3 to begin with). Such a tiny thing, this decision, but now we’re getting subs and find one from a man who doesn’t qualify, electing to use the free option instead of the paid option. I could decline with a request to please use the other option or I could just let it go. It could be an innocent mistake. There are people more sheltered than I. Perhaps he doesn’t know what BIPOC stands for. What do I do?
  3. (The newest and strangest by a wide margin.) Mr. SCC emailing me out of the blue asking for assistance defining the term Promethean Gap. Yes, I bit on it and chewed it. After some research and reading I fashioned what I felt was a sufficient reply. I attempted to be thoughtful, thorough, and above board in my response. A kind and cordial reply. And thought that would be that. But now there’s a new message in my in-box. A reply to my reply. It’s composed mostly as a “thank you” but includes some other commentary and an open-ended question. It concludes with a request for me to call. Call?! What to do? What response is appropriate?

Ok. So besides that, about #3 specifically. The original question was fascinating. I’d never heard the term Promethean Gap Before. I think that’s what pulled me into research, besides the strange coincidence that led to SCC contact me.

The Promethean Gap, also sometimes translated as Promethean Discrepancy (a German by the name Gunther Anders invented the term post WW), is a philosophical concept / theory that approaches the problem of man (humankind) having the capability to imagine and invent beyond what we are individually or collectively able to be as flawed corporal beings. In short, the gap between man and machine. Mr. Anders was also concerned about the consequences of this Gap and how it might affect the both the individual and society.

We can make machines that have longevity, power, and more recently intellect which far exceeds our own. Further, the gap is a space where we, the human race, have difficulty fully realizing the consequences of those creations.

The most common example is the invention of the Atomic Bomb. I would make a personal leap and say that the invention of computers, the internet, and AI, while making our lives seemingly easier, also holds a very destructive power with implications to society and the individual that we have not even begun to understand. 

As stated, the theory originally proposed is concerned with how individual beings come to terms with their humanity and individual power, versus machine power or a collective power. If we build a machine greater than ourselves, do we not become obsolete? Can we be held accountable? Does each of us have a responsibility to hold tight to greater ideals for the greater good? “Greater good” .. whatever that means.

Is it merely a coincidence that SCC found me? Or is the Universe throwing tea leaves on my path? If it’s the latter, how am I to interpret them?

One of the articles I read in my research was about a pilot who was involved, as a matter of duty, with the bombing of Hiroshima. Overcome with guilt it pretty much wrecked his life.

When I read this I can’t help but think of seemingly unrelated content, the Snowden docudrama, the Social Dilemma docudrama. How we invented the Genie and then let it out of the bottle. It can’t be undone.. the invention of computers and the internet. We can’t possibly comprehend the long term consequences.

But I watch my children, the next generation, and can’t help but feel a little bit sick about their use of electronics. And not just my children, but all people who don’t know life without a personal computer in their pocket. The unhealthy nature of social media. A rise in depression, anxiety, and suicide. It’s alarming.

The mind-bending power of the internet, driven by profit where they use your own data and likes to serve up content to keep you engaged and focused on a tiny screen instead of real human beings. The sheer amount of data being collected and stored (Often without permission) is daunting.

Rewind to a few months ago when I was watching the docudrama about Ted Kazinsky. Was he wrong? Or was he just a mad Genius who was right on. Led to destruction by being trapped in the Promethean Gap?

Snowden too, refusing to follow orders like the man tasked with the Hiroshima bombing. He’s now living life in Russia but with a clear conscience.

Is there any amount of bottom line profit that can clear the conscience of Babbage, Cerf, Kahn, Gates, Jobs or Zuckerberg? Mere mortals unknowingly making the Gap larger without foresight. No way they could even know the consequences of their inventions. We’re all human after all.

Wow. That went long. Sometimes I’m not sure where my mind will wander but I definitely have more thinking to do. As far as acting on current current circumstances.. I don’t think I have my answers yet. Getting there though. Getting closer. We’ll see.

With Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-02 What to do When the World is Bananas Part 2 🍌🍌

I’m walking on the treadmill again.. because it is one thing in my life I can control. So much is out of control right now. I remind myself daily that I’m doing the best I can under the circumstances. I have to try and focus on positive things and enjoy the small victories.

Today fell flat after a hopeful beginning. Somehow the hours all slipped by and I feel as though I have nothing to show for the time. Some things are intangible, though, like the fact that I took my daughter out to lunch and helped her sort out a frustrating situation with one of her classes. And I responded to an email from my sons English teacher who was notifying me of his growing list of missing assignments and his lack of participation in class lately. And made sure he knew I was communicating with her and that there would be consequences if he didn’t get on it this week.

I also did some chores but still feel like all that doesn’t amount to enough, given the number of hours I had to get things done.
Why am I so hard on myself? Good gravy!

I took a shower and that should be counted as an accomplishment. Right??!!

I’m can feel sadness about not being in Austin this week creeping in. But there’s no way I could have made that drive with Z and this head cold and anxiety about the Covid.

What else can I control right now? To make me feel better? What I’m eating and drinking. Stay on track with my plan to adopt healthy habits. My hair. Yeah.. I can control my hair which looks great today (thanks to the shower). Caring for my people.. I can do that, mostly. I can’t be held responsible for their mood or happiness but I can make sure they have what they need.

That’s why I made a special trip to Wal-Mart today to get the Lactaid which was completely out at the market this morning. I also got some real Sudafed for this stupid congestion. If I can get this cold under control I’ll feel better.

A good night sleep would also be fucking fantastic. I’ve slept less than 6 hours a night for the past 4 nights. And it’s been ages since I had a full 7 hours. Still.. I’m not wanting to take anything OTC or prescription to help me. I’m just not.

In other news, I’ve spent the last 3 days editing a personal essay I wanted to submit to a publication and the deadline was today. It’s so close to being ready and has taken a lot of effort as essays are not something I’ve worked on for submission before. While all these gazillions of blog posts are also personal essays, they are not “literary” and serve a different purpose.

This essay I’m working on is something I wrote shortly after my 3rd official residency in my MFA program. The focus of the essay is the concept of patriotism and I’m revisiting it because it seems like a good fit for the publication I found via submittable. it’s so close to what I would consider done.

This morning I realized the window for that platform was closed. So I guess I’ll keep that little nugget filed away in my virtual desk drawer for another day. Maybe missing the opportunity to submit that is what set my day on the wrong path. After that I basically said “effff it.”

I’ll get back on that horse tomorrow.

I’ll get on more of all the things and stuff I didn’t do today… tomorrow.

So Bananas. 🍌🍌🍌
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-20 I Just Can’t Today

I stare down at the glow of the screen of my SE, Evernote open with the date typed into the title. Just the date. I’ve been told I’m a good titler. Yeah, lots of years of practice. But today I’m at a loss. How on earth does one sum up the aching heart that comes from a child that’s hurting who you can’t help.

My Z called me late last night. Late like 1am. She’s crying and needs to talk. Again. She’s depressed, and feeling lost and alone. She’s burdened by the isolation she’s been in, for a lot longer than this pandemic and it’s getting worse. One by one her lifelines have been cut.

Her HS friends broke her heart by abandoning her. Throwing away her friendship like it meant nothing. And she does not have many friends and is so shy she doesn’t make new friends easily. She literally has no one her age to talk to, to laugh with, to love.

With the lack of school friends, she turned to the internet and found a few kindred spirits there. Believe me, as a parent I’m leery of this, but I’ve been watching and know for a fact these girls are legit. I also know she needed these people. People need people.

Her best friend is Alex who lives in California. The other two are in North Carolina and Australia. Yeah, that’s the power of the internet. But the two edges of that sword are that it is easy to communicate but also easy to stop. Alex was her lifeline when her best friend in real life dumped her. Z was devastated and Alex was there, all night long and in the weeks to follow, keeping her company. Day and night.

Now Alex is starting to become unavailable. Being unresponsive on discord and there’s no explanation.

We moved Z into the dorm at UNL in August and found pretty quickly that she was better off here. She’s been coming home every Friday and staying through Tuesday or Wednesday the following week. She does all her coursework online and has a rare in-person interaction for her classes.

The isolation there is worse. There are no clubs or activities (far as I’m aware) and no meetups in the dorms. It’s all shut down because of the pandemic, There are literally no opportunities there to meet people. And not a lot here at home either.

It’s heartbreaking to hear her cry at 1am (she spent the night at her dads house) and know I can’t comfort her outside of being there to listen. I told her she can come home today. We can spend some more time together, and then I pulled up a blanket in the recliner I had snuck off to to take her call, and we talked for an hour.

I let her know I was here for her and listening. And lamented with her about how this pandemic has just fucked everything up. All our plans. Our vacations and graduations and her freshman year.

And as if that was not enough, she also drops a bomb.. her dads parents, her grandparents have the virus. This is devastating news. They are already high risk because of their age (in their 70s) but it’s worse because they are also both diabetic and her grandpa has a long history with heart disease.

She said her dad told them at dinner and that they were not doing well. They are apparently still at home, resisting going to get help. Not sure why that would be. If it’s true (which is a terrible thing for me to say) this could be the event that breaks both of my children.

Hell, it just might break me too. They were my mom and dad for 18 years of my life. That whole family was a sacrifice I had to make to get out of a bad situation. But now is not the time for that. Now is a time I need to be strong for my children. At the very least be there for them if bad turns into worse.

I just texted my ex. And I’m just walking and crying. How on earth can we get through this? The Universe help me. I’m feeling pretty lost too.

I’m just tired, you know, of trying to smooth everything over and keep on being reliable and responsible. Thank goodness that I am done working or I might just go seriously off the rails. But I gotta keep it together for Z and C and Jim. Just put all my energy into them and myself. You know, secure your own oxygen mask first.

I took Z to vote yesterday and to renew her drivers license. My main motivation for voting early, besides avoiding the crowds on November 2nd, was so I could maybe drive to Austin for Election Day. Another getaway for my sanity I suppose. And because I miss my people. Now Z and I are conspiring to go together. Which I believe she needs as much as I do.

But we’ll be in a holding pattern until we know her grandparents are going to be ok. Which they might not be and I would not want us to be 1000 miles away when bad news falls.

It’s like 2 hours later. I had to take a call from my ex which turned into a long conversation. About Z and C and his parents. It was an ok chat, which is the best I can hope for with that one. He thinks Z needs to see a counselor and or be on meds for depression. Maybe.

What she needs first is a job and some activities and people to keep her busy. I mean, what she really needs is for the pandemic to end but it’s a waste to wish for that kind of change in the world.

Her grandma is doing ok. She’s a tough woman and a fighter. And her grandpa is a fighter too, but he’s been fighting diabetes for 60 years and CHF for over ten. And that’s not good.

My ex tells me they were told not to come to the hospital unless they could not breathe. There are no ICU beds. Beds and vents are in short supply. They are in Iowa, across the river. But I hear that’s happening here in Omaha too.

They think they picked up the virus at a funeral. For someone who died from Covid. And someone at the funeral was positive. Now a bunch of the family has it. Aunts, uncles. My ex did not go because he was feeling ill himself that day and felt it would be irresponsible to go. The most reasonable thing I’ve heard him say in a long time.

He thought about not telling the kids. But decided that if the outcome is not good, they would be really mad if he had not told them sooner. That was another good call. People need time to process information.

I need time too.

Anyway. I’m just worn thin and wonder how today will play out and tomorrow.
And the day after that.

Maybe I need a counselor too.

I guess that’s enough doom and gloom for one day.

Taking it one damn minute at a time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-05 A Day at Waubonsie

What must it be like to have your day defined by the hunt for firewood.. or searching for viable acorns? I had a lot of stray thoughts yesterday as my mind tried to walk away from the conversations in play. Someone would say something and I would think about that for a second and then I would follow that thread away and stop paying attention. It’s not that the conversation wasn’t interesting. On the contrary. I was very interested in these other people’s musings and talk that was at the front of their mind.

It’s just that I haven’t opened my mind in a while for new thoughts. The classic broken record on repeat (those who visit frequently to read what I am thinking know all too well). So having a whole day with new thoughts and ideas from other folks was a lot to process in the moment. A thing I’m not great at anyway. I even had to pop my phone out a few times to make a note of something I wanted to research more on or think about later so as to not lose track of it as one topic was quickly stacked onto another.

There was a lot of talk about academia. A subject I’m pretty ignorant about so I don’t have a lot to contribute. Things like what systematic problems exist and why someone might choose to stay in the field versus leaving to find something else. And my mind wanders away.

Talk about career. These are things I’ve beat like a dead horse and my opinions are clear. Working for your life for someone else or some organization. I’m on the side of it not mattering as long as you find yourself doing something you get satisfaction and value out of. Something that makes you feel fulfilled and like you have a good purpose.

There will always, always, ALWAYS be issues and things you don’t like about it. Frustrations, or people, or company politics that suck. That’s life. But does it pay the bills? Can you live the way you want with the moneys provided? Is there enough time at the end of the day to breathe? Time to do something else you enjoy? Time enough to give yourself to other people you love?

If so. That’s better than a lot of folks. Which is another good point. That it’s more important to have a measuring stick built on your own ideals than to fashion one that’s a replica of someone else’s. Or worse.. what the world at large has decided it should look like. Yeah, that standard issue stick is definitely not right for most.

I can’t directly give people advise. I just can’t. But if I could, I would say all of this. My fear is that people would look at my life (now) and say, “easy for you to say.” Which might lead to me getting defensive about the path of my life. And I’d have to start at the beginning and explain everything and nobody has time for that.

As Jack and Robert talked about their hunt for firewood, I could not help but think about the fact that I’m so conservative about everything. Something buried in me from my upbringing compels me to save things. I try to eat every bit of leftovers in the fridge (and am strict about not throwing food away). I save dryer sheets cuz I can’t bring myself to throw away something that has so much purpose left in it after one or two runs in the dryer. I wash out plastic bags because I don’t want to contribute to the piles of plastic that won’t decompose in the world. Is there nothing we can do with these super soft plastics? I need to look into that.

As of late I find myself slipping a bit, changing ever so slightly and letting something go into to trash that I previously would not. And am ashamed of myself. I don’t want to change that part of me.

Robert talked about sleeping out in the cold in his tent and how with one quilt, tucked just right, he got better sleep than he’s had in a great while. It made me want to try it. No space heater, no fire, just a blanket and my own body heat.

The primary goal of the “Shack Simple” day is to be restorative and just get back to a simpler way. Perhaps spend more than a day, cleanse the body of toxins, cleanse the mind of toxins, and just exist. Rediscover what it feels like to just be a creature that is a part of a grand ecosystem without all the fuss that comes with being human.

Of course it’s tough not to talk about current events. Politics, the president, and the coronavirus. Those were the topics I had the toughest time staying with the conversation. I want to cleanse my mind of toxins and not pump more in. Also I’m just tired of it all and have built up a wall to protect myself from it. Yes, of course I’ll vote, but it does me no good to get riled up about it. So I just sat there and tried to listen. I like to just listen (most of the time).

Today is the first Monday I don’t have to work. Yesterday it was decided that what I am is retired. Retired and ready to give my life to Poetry. Yes, Poetry, I’m open and ready to receive.

I don’t yet have words to describe how I feel. But I’ll keep working on that.

Thanks Michelle, Gina, Robert, and Jack for a lovely day yesterday. And cheers to having another soon.

Until next time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-04 On Days Like Today

On days like today I’m reminded how my son never wants to go outside. He resists it each and every time that I’ve suggested it, reliable as day turning to night as the sun slides down the sky. It always frustrates me because the outdoors has so much to offer. I ask myself as much as I ask him “why would anyone refuse it?”

The breeze and the sun.
The joy of stopping a fast moving soccer ball before it hits your opponents goal.
The mysticism in breath turning into fog on a cold morning.
The bounty of squirrels and birds busy with their own intentions.
That same cat that comes slinking around the porch at dusk that always makes you wonder if it is going, away from home or towards it. It must have a home right? You think about putting out a bowl of food or water.
And trees. Trees! So many different stories waiting to unfold there in the shade. Or perhaps just a good nap.
Have you ever slept outside?
You really can’t say you have lived unless you’ve slept outside. Exposed and open to every sound. Every star in the sky whispering the dreams they had on the way to greet you in the night. Their big plans for the future.

But he always says “no.”
Tells me he’s in the middle of something or has some excuse or another why not. Too cold. Too hot. Too tired. Too busy.

I try my best to be a good mother and so press a little harder. Coax with promises of fun. Press with my well rehearsed speech about living a balanced life and how important it is. He remains unimpressed. Sometimes he’s looking me in the eye and other times his back is turned.

Sometimes I let it go. And other times I conjure ultimatums. I push to the point he really has no choice. He follows me out the door, slumped shouldered and angry. I can feel his eyes burning the back of my head.

A half an hour later we are speaking to each other in British accents and laughing. We could be walking the block or, if we’re really lucky there’s a snow covered hill and we have our sled disks with us and we can get a rush from sliding down backwards. Maybe we carry our tennis rackets to the court to volley for a bit or, if it’s a hot day, we might sit by the side of the pool with our feet dipped in.

At least I imagine that’s how it would be if he followed me outside. Each and every time I’ve convinced him, he tries hard to resist letting it show that he’s having a good time until finally he gives in. He says something outrageous and I reply with “bloody hell!”

I know it is in his nature to resist but I also know, that even if he will refuse to admit it, these are the good times we’ll both remember. That he had fun when he finally gave in.

Today, for whatever reason, I was resisting my own plan to spend the day outside. Grumbling at myself as I rolled out of bed that I had promised my Sunday to the Sunshine. With no good reason why.

On days like today I need to remember how wonderful life can be, if we just open the doors and let it breathe.

It was a good day; a satisfying day. And I got to meet the grandmother chinquapin oak tree, not too far off the beaten path. Jack says the tree predates white man being in the area. That means that the tree is older than my heritage in America. That’s an old tree.

I’ve got more to say about my outing today, but it did wear me out a wee bit and I’d like to just sleep on all my thoughts a little.

Perhaps there will be more tomorrow. Perhaps not.
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-03 Thanks for the Reminder

It’s been a wild week. Lots of drama with the end of my time as an employee (at long last) and finally getting to pull the trigger on the first issue of The Good Life Review. It took till about 6PM yesterday before I entered into that corpse pose phase I’ve been talking about for a few days now.

After the social media frenzy of the morning I still had an initial meeting with a couple folks interested in hopping on our little GLR bus as script writing editors. Which went really well. Sometimes I think I lead better when I don’t have to accommodate my co-leader in the endeavor.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good guy and has the best intentions but I think I do better facilitating and operating without another person to defer to. I dunno, maybe I just secretly like to be in control and call all the shots.

In any case, he dipped on the meeting due to work issues (for the umpteenth tine) and so I flew solo talking to Jake and Joe. It was great! They are both enthusiastic about being on the team and so we are all systems go with adding (more) “drama” to the setlist of what we’re about. Yay!! 🤸🏼‍♀️

After that I started to slide into weekend mode. I’m talkin bout a REAL weekend without working or worrying about work. Without fretting about deadlines and what is next. Without any real responsibility aside from the things that should be a priority. Loving my people up and preparing meals and watching a few shows and enjoying a last swim of the season. Not to mention possibly sneaking away to be alone and spending some QT with a few books.

Reading books? What’s that like??!! 😜

I think I’ll get a fair bit of that tomorrow with my trip to participate in another “Shack Simple” with Jack. So today’s gonna be all about the Fam. And Jim. I mean, we’re still newlyweds after all.

Last night as we were retreating early to find a good nights sleep, I did one last scan of email (bad habit, I know) and read the subject of a spam email from Wedding Wire. A site I probably subscribed to when I was searching for a vendor or something during our wedding planning.

The subject said “Toasting to Eight Months.” And I looked at the calendar and was like, ha! Indeed it was our eight month anniversary and was completely overlooked by both of us (Thanks for the reminder wedding wire). That real life folks. I mentioned this to Jim who was also looking at his phone.

He said, that’s tomorrow right? We both laughed. He kissed me and said happy anniversary. Then we turned the last bedside lights off and both assumed our usual “fall asleep” positions. In the dark he says, “we can make out tomorrow.”

I said, “yup. Tomorrow.”

Yeah.. real life.

Now it’s tomorrow and we’re in the workout room. I’m doing that treadmill thing I do and he’s lifting with his son. After this I’ll make breakfast for us. Then we’ll see what else this responsibility-free Saturday has to offer.

On that note. My time is up.

Happy Caturday to All!
~Miss SugarCookie