2020-06-21 Take Back the City Tour: Days 5 – Summer Solstice Shack Simple

Yesterday I was able to break out of the new normal routine to get a nice balance of holding counsel with the frogs and the butterflies and dragonflies at a “shack simple” experience and also have a lovely catch up session with some friends.

The shack simple day was coordinated by a friend of mine, Michelle, and hosted by the naturalist school out somewhere near Waubonsie in Iowa and the guy who leads that organization/effort, Jack. I honestly don’t know exactly where we were because Michelle drove me and two other MFA friends out around 8:30. It’s somewhere near the Loess Hills scenic byway which is across the Missouri River and about an hour south of the metro area.

I’d never even heard of a “shack simple” before but apparently the concept has been around a while. In my interpretation, it’s kind of an escape from all the havoc of life to live a simple life for for a while. Someplace to get clean and re-connect with nature. Get back to basics and discover what is lost from spending too much time trapped in the gridlock.

This experience was just a taste. Just a lazy morning rolling over like an old hound, into the afternoon. I can see where by itself, one day isn’t quite enough. My mind is often so wound up, it takes a while to settle down and relax. Once we chatted for a bit and the concept and amenities were explained to us, he turned the 5 of us loose to wander around and find our own way.

I personally wandered around a little getting my bearings with the building and the path to the nearby pond. I was emotional and fidgety and restless and had anxiety that I wasn’t going to be able to settle down to get something out of the day. Within the first hour I found two isolated places where I just sat and thought about stuff and let the tears come. It was a nice release.

I’ve been holding so much inside. It just needed out.

When I walked down to the pond Jack was there with the other gal from the Naturalist School that I had not met before. I sat with my notebook poised for brilliance and my water bottle at a picnic table. I was ready and waiting for something to come to me. But sort of distracted by what the other folks were doing.

I engaged Jack in conversation, asking questions about the school and his experience. I got good intel on a few of the butterfly species we were seeing and what his connection is with the MFA program.

Did you know that you can tell a butterfly from a moth by looking at their antennae? Butterflies have a little ball at the end of their antennae and moths have more of a feather like antennae. I never knew that. It feels like something everyone should know.

Jack is a cool guy and I really dig the fact that he had a flip phone and didn’t even assume I had an email address. Technology makes it easier to communicate with people but it was so lovely to daydream for just a second about how life would be without all that. It really would be more simple. There’s a longing inside of me to return to that kind of life and the shack simple just highlighted that.

I truly never did settle down. I wandered back to the shelter and put my yoga mat down in the cool dark basement and did corpse pose for about 20 minutes. Cried again. It wasn’t really crying, though, just letting the emotions leave my body and the path they chose was tears. They gathered on the surface of my eyes and softly ran down the sides of my temples.

I focused on my breathing for a bit but I would hardly call it meditating.

After that I went back to the main level to get a snack from my daypack. Stepha was there and so we chatted for a bit. The last time I saw her it was January and we were at Res together. That was all pre-pandemic and the focus was on the semester ahead. It’s crazy to think about how much was crushed by the virus and how it’s not only changed our daily lives but also had a huge impact on our mental health.

People don’t talk about it much but I’m sure the Covid has put a lot of folks into a depression. I was in denial about that until this past week but now I’m more aware that that is what I’m experiencing. People need people and I miss people. I miss all my people and meetups and conversations. It’s my lifeline, you know, to a better life. It’s a key component and you take that away and it leaves a void.

And Zoom doesn’t cut it. I feel like Zoom actually makes it worse. But that’s probably because we spend all day on Zoom and the last thing we want is to sit on a screen longer looking at ourself or a picture of ourself. I think I’m gonna change my Zoom profile pic to one of my cats this week. I digress.

After that shack simple introduction we packed our belongings back into the car and headed back home. Arriving back at Michelle’s place, we walked to get Tacos and margaritas (water for yours truly cuz I’m still off the sauce for at least the rest of this month). We sat at a table outside in the shade and talked about all sorts of stuff.

That was the bonus plan. It was actually better to have conversations and really connect with people than it was being out alone in nature. I mean, nature is great but the real value is sharing it with people and making memories.


Today is the actual Summer Solstice so there’s a lot of daylight to work with. I’ve got some serious weeding to do in the garden and also some planning to do for my upcoming week. There will be dentist appointments, mammograms, and mini-Road trips— oh my!

I’m keeping a paper calendar to keep track of my ailments and meds. I’m planning to abstain from the alcohol and keep the caffeine to a minimum. I’m feeling the urge to make a to-do list for the remainder of June. That must mean I’m seriously on the mend!.. That’s good news!!

Time now to get on the Sunday Solstice Train.

With Peace and Love and Gratitude,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-29 “Everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner”

That title is a line from the Lily Allen song appropriately titled “The Fear”. Half of the lyrics are about life and mass consumption and the way we seek after fortune and how society is all fucked up. The other half is confessional. It’s Admitting to confusion and not knowing what’s real and feeling taken over by “the fear”.

Every morning for a good long while, the first thing I do after getting out of bed and going pee is strip naked and get on the scale. And each time the number is lower than the day before I say to myself “everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner”. I can’t escape that line repeating in my head in the same way that I can’t escape my negative body image or my struggle with having an eating disorder.

I don’t talk about it much and very few people know. You know, anyone who reads this blog (which is like 2 people and about 384 WordPress bots), and my ex husband, and my current husband and Vis and Matt and Josh. Not my sisters or my mom or my girlfriends. That’s curious, you know. Just the men in my life.

It’s a clue, I suppose. But a clue to what? My continued struggle. Is it because I was conditioned and broken by my ex to be this way? Yes, I blame him and can’t escape seeking the kind of body image he held in such high regard. It’s ok for me to blame him and society and the standards that I took so much to heart that I repeatedly put my finger down my throat after so many binge sessions.

And not just binge sessions, but snacks and regular and reasonably portioned meals. I’m going to stop the backstory there. Rehashing history is not my aim today I wrote a lot of that out a while back after reading “Wasted” my Marya Hornbacher. May 6, 2019 is when that was posted.

I know that because I recently read a blog post from a friend of mine who was addressing her own issues head on and giving advice. It was a fantastic post an I know how hard it is to get it all down and share it. It was really well written and great advice. She’s one of the gals in the MFA program I’m in and we both participate in a writing group on Tuesday nights.

The other women in the group gave her great feedback and all I could say was “this is a great post, and asking if it was a first draft”. I wanted so badly to reach out to her and talk about it more, but didn’t. I couldn’t. I thought about quite a bit in the days to follow and am obviously still thinking about it. I still want to, but I’m afraid.

Why can’t I trust that we can talk about it and support each other? Why do I feel so alone with this struggle? Why do I step on the scale every fucking day, letting that number dictating the mood for the start of my day. Like the song says “I’m taken over by the fear”.

I’m afraid that if I say something to my girlfriends they will look at my thin body and be upset with me. That they will just say, you’re just so tiny and have nothing to worry about. But that’s not what I need. I honestly don’t know what I need though. That’s the truth at the heart of the matter.

I guess maybe my fear comes from the possibility of being rejected or dismissed. In my heart I don’t think that is the reception I would get if I tried to talk about with these women but that does alleviate my fear. With matters of the heart, things are often irrational. It’s just a rock and a hard place and I’m stuck between.

I confessed on May 6, 2019 that I had tried purging again after being “clean” for a good long while. And after, I knew it was a mistake and felt really shitty. It hasn’t happened again. It’s just sickening to think about actually.

But somehow all the stress in my life right now has triggered the re-release of the ugly beast that takes over my brain and makes me want to lose weight. It never really goes away, mind you, but most of the time it’s a passing thought I push down.

What’s the thought? Well.. if I can just lose about 5 pounds, I’ll be happier. That it will make my life better. It’s so dumb. But now the beast is in the drivers seat and I find myself eating less and less and going hungry sometimes and not eating. And then stepping on that scale and finding satisfaction when it’s a little less than the day before.

When I got married in February, my dress was a size 4. I weighed about 120 pounds. This morning, I weighed 114.0. One part of my brain says, thats enough already and another part of my brain thinks that 113 would be better so I have more of a buffer in case I want to indulge a little over the weekend.

I’m walking right now, and I’m hungry. And I’m thinking about what I’m going to allow myself to have today. It’s Friday. It’s that weekend coming up and I went to the grocery today. I bought stuff to make strawberry pie. I’m thinking about what I might sacrifice so that I can eat pie. How fucked up is that?!

I just can’t continue to write this. Writing it makes it clear how ridiculous I’m being. I need to take charge and fix it. I want to talk to my friends. I need to talk to someone. I need to push back against “the fear”. Everything is not cool.. if I keep getting thinner.

Searching for peace,
~Miss SugarCookie

If you’re interested in more of that backstory. Here’s my post from 2019:

https://theorganicsugarcookie.com/2019/05/06/2019-05-06-reading-wasted/

2020-05-21 Mother / Daughter Stuff

I’ve got some venting to do but I can predict the future so I’m not going there today. If you live long enough, you too will be able to predict the future. The disclaimer on that is that it all comes from experience. Ride that record right round enough times and there’s no question what the next song will be.

All that to say, I’m skipping the vent session and writing about a relationship topic instead. Not my love, or my kids, or friends who I’m tethered to by responsibility and dedication and love. I’m writing about my mom who has always been a person In my life, albeit not in the forefront, ever.

There’s not enough time or motivation to trudge through all the backstory of why our relationship is the way it is. You know, but it’s always colored by the fact that human beings are mostly self-centered and when it comes to parent / child relationships I sort of feel that the parent should be more selfless but it’s not in my moms nature.

Don’t get me wrong, she always does those things that in her head are requirements of the job… remembers birthdays and sends a card. She reaches out every so often to see how we are doing. She makes a big deal about getting together sometimes. And in the flipside she also expects these things in return.

That being said, outside of one other person, she’s the only one who wanted to talk to me about my Thesis. She genuinely wanted to read it and was happy for me getting my degree and my 4.0. I have a small group of people I’ve met in the MFA that are wonderful and we chat about all things MFA of course, but my mom is the only one outside of that that goes deeper than skin deep in conversation about it.

As I said, she asked for my thesis so she could read it, and I made a few edits and sent it to her. All 138 pages. Within a day she had read through all the poems and sent me back a long text with her feedback. She took the time to really evaluate some of them with her experience in mind and let me know her favorites and why.

She also let me know that reading the “Castle” poems made her sad for me. I’m not exactly painting a pretty picture of my new life here. She’s concerned for me and I told her we could meet up to talk about. It’s too much to text and I’m not one for phone calls. I guess we could do a call but I feel like any week now I’ll be able to see her in person.

Her husband has Parkinson’s and his condition has deteriorated enough in the past year that she’s had to employ help. All his medical stuff is handled by the VA as he served in the Vietnam war and there’s been a direct connection made with his issues and his exposure to Agent Orange. There’s not enough time now for me to elaborate on how absolutely Fucked Up that all is. But you can guess.

So she’s about to start getting weekly visits from a care person because she’s not physically able to do some of what is required. She’s been under tremendous stress with all of it for a while now so the help is a huge relief to her. It also means she can actually leave the house while the care person is there and so she’s looking forward to resuming our lunch meetups. I am too.

People need people yo! I miss all my meetups!

Anyway. It was so wonderful to me that she read my words and she said she’s proud of me. It means a great deal to hear those words from a parent. Inside I’m still that tentative, shy girl who just wants a little recognition from the people who are important. No matter how old I get I’m still seeking approval and hoping to loose my invisibility cloak, even if it is for short little bursts.

I love my mom. Things I write might focus more on the negative side of life, because that’s in my writer’s nature. It’s not often I bust out a happy poem or a positive one, though I’ve written a few of those over the years. I don’t know why I don’t think they are as interesting. It’s the opposite problem of my “poor me” tendencies. It’s too self-congratulatory or boastful or feels too much like bragging. I have to solve that puzzle too.

Anyway, maybe next week my mom can get away. She doesn’t want me to come to her house because she really wants to get out of the house and away. She’ll probably come to my house which Jim has given the OK on and I’ll make us some lunch. I’m looking forward to that.

On the flip side, I think about my daughter and our relationship and I’ve tried hard to make sure she knows she’s number 1 in my book. Her and her brother are tied for number 1. She texted me after midnight last night (she’s at her dads house) and said she needed to talk about something important. No clue what it was about.

She wants me to come get her for lunch today. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Nothing could be more important. Not work, not Jim, not school or writing or anything. About 12:30 I’m gonna cut my day in half and just let go of anything that needs doing. We’ll see how it plays out.

I did confirm with her that it’s not a health issue. So that’s a relief.

That’s it for today. Can’t believe it’s Thursday already. There’s never enough time. Why is that?

With Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-08 Navigation

Navigation is easy, when you have a map. I find that in matters of the human heart, we rarely have a map. We only know where we have been and can say with confidence, “I know that territory well” (for better or worse) but when can we ever say we know where we are going? The answer, my friends, is rarely.

It’s now almost 11PM on a Friday and I’m three quarters drunk and 7/8s the way to sleepy town. Sitting on my couch trying to stay awake long enough to greet my husband and his best friend as then emerge from their outside-guy-chat. Some much needed bro time after not getting to “hang out” for a little while.

The good news for me is that I got to have a friend over too. We had a lovely catch up session, albeit not long enough for me. I probably could have chatted for hours and hours but felt leery of running my mouth too much while drinking. The last thing I want is to become annoying or make someone not want to come back again. Always overthinking things as usual.. Ha!

Where was I? Oh yeah, matters of the human heart. Where was I going with that? The answer, my friends, is I don’t know. That was my point I guess. I don’t know. We don’t know. We don’t ever seem to know until we get there, wherever there is. Or get far past it, whatever it was.

Did I mention I’ve been drinking? And that I’m tired? Please excuse the fuzzy nonsense. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, in writing, is that if you are not specific enough. If the writing is too generic or nebulous, it’s not interesting to the reader. Probably if anyone who might have stumbled across this post and started reading has stopped already and maybe THAT is exactly what I wanted to have happen because if nobody is reading, and I think that nobody is reading, then I can let the truths at the heart of me guide my writing instead of worrying too much about perceptions.

Like it or not, part of human nature is to worry about other people’s perceptions of us and though as we age, it seems to matter less and less, it’s still always there.

As such, I’m acutely aware that Everything I write shapes that perception and though I’d like to say I don’t give a fuck, I do.

It’s one of the things I have been trying to work on. That worry and my writing. That worry in my conversations, especially with new-ish friends. I guess I just need to let my freak flags fly and if that is off-putting then it is what it is. I don’t know where this is going. See, I’m still being nebulous. 🙄 I blame the Frixinet.

I want to be more specific, but my brain is not able to pull in specifics at this point. It knows where it wants to go, which is to sleepy town and I guess that’s my cue.

Thanks for the flowers and the friendship!

Gnight friends.
Love you all,
~Miss SugarCookie .

2020-05-08 Looking Forward and Daydreaming about the Return of Normal

I’m feeling good today. Things “feel” like they are going my way again. It’s the end of the workweek and I’ve accomplished a lot and have a good plan for how the next month or two are going to play out. There’s a lot to do but my contribution is important and that means a lot to me.

The birthday of my son came and went but the family celebration will be this weekend. It’s nice to have that to look forward to. In general, it’s nice to have things to look forward to.

Today (fingers crossed) I’ll be getting to see a friend of mine in person. You know, it’s been exactly two months since I’ve seen a friend in person. March 8th I met Jackson at Elmwood park by his house. At that time I was already on a level of lockdown that required we meet outside. Two months seems like a long time.

I mean, we’ve done what we can, you know. Going for drives and walks and of course necessary trips to the grocery. And yes, I’ve seen people virtually over zoom, but there’s no substitute for the real thing. I’m talkin bout seeing people you love in person. Even for an introvert such as myself, it’s an important part of what is missing from my life right now.

I miss my happy hours with Sam and Lunches with Ryan and Vis and Barbie, and Jazzercise with Leah. I miss seeing my friend Amy on the regular and coffee and walking with Joshua. I miss planning my spring trip to Austin and conspiring to visit my people in Colorado, which is a growing crew.

So for me, getting to maybe see Michelle today is super special! I mean, Jim is having his work partner over maybe too and I’m all like “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” Right?!

They pushed my daughters actual graduation out to August and that doesn’t leave me with a lot of confidence in planning anything this summer. Still.. I’ve got my eyes and ears open for the official rules and the minute things ease up to the point we can have a party, I’m totally planning that. And traveling. And lunch meetups and happy hours. Real stuff. Not virtual.

We have much to celebrate and the fact that it’s all on pause is eating away at me. I just have to remind myself that it could be way worse and to just be grateful that these are my only worries during this crisis.

I think that’s gonna be it today and that’s a good sentiment to finish on. Gratitude! So much to look forward to, and I’ll take all I can get!!

Happy Friday.
XOXOXO,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-29 Mathematics and Other Tragedies

I could draw myself into a spiral. I could pretend to be a straight line or paint my life as an isosceles triangle in perpetual motion. The faster it spins, the more the points blur into circles that create borders that can’t be penetrated.

If I was reborn as a star, would I have five points or six? Or Seven!?? Would I be a better poet if I was a broken heart, or the zig-zag white space between the two separate halves.

Hearts don’t ever break in half. It’s never an equitable split. Most are fragments shattered like that round dish that was dropped on accident or because it was too hot to touch. And there are never any answers for that. Just possible explanations and plausible deniability and revisionist history. What geometric shapes are those? It must be a chapter I haven’t gotten to yet.

I’ve spent so much time with my face on the the floor because of gravity.

I’ve spent so much time enduring air travel trying to escape gravety.

I’ve spent so much time trying to learn how to finish this geometry so I can finally move on to algebra 2.

I fear there’s a long way to go before gravity will start making sense.

So many apples. So little time.


You’re welcome for that nonsense. You know a lot of the poetry I write is sort of nonsense. Or based on little connections in my brain and sparks of thought where one thing just leads to another. I think the closer I get to finishing this mfa program, the more my brain will feel the freedom of writing what I want to write again for me, and my sanity.

I’ve spent so long studying craft that it’s altered my perception of reality. It’s hijacked my creative instincts in some way. Or perhaps it’s that my life is just good now so I have less to muse about.

Here’s a secret (spoiler alert, some “poor me” might slip in here). Once upon a time I was in love with a guy. And having been previously conditioned to have a fear of commitment, I was unable to go all-in. Right up to the day that I realized that’s all that was left for us. So I tried it.

I convinced myself with this little nugget of logic .. if my heart gets broken, then I’ll just have so much good poetry. Yes, I actually told myself that. That was me bargaining with myself to tip the scales in the favor of the “all-in” option. It worked.

Then, wouldn’t you know it all fell apart after that and my heart got crushed. And then you know what happened? There was no fucking poetry. I just cried all the time and couldn’t write a single line of a single poem. I wrote a lot of journal entries (mostly because I didn’t have close friends to talk to), but the empty space where those poems were supposed to be crushed me even more.

I had trusted myself, and was betrayed. So I said “I’ll never do that again”.

Yeah, so that’s that melodramatic charm of mine coming through again.

Fast forward 4 years and I’ve finally found a few lines and arranged them into a poem and it was such a clinical process that I actually learned something about myself and also about the art of making poetry. That was the point I guess. It passed the JP test and made it into my thesis manuscript.

I’m attached to the idea of it more than the poem itself.

After my heart was broken in 2016 I turned to a guy friend for comfort. I thought I loved him too. Which is a blurry line.

I loved the idea of being in love with him.

I loved the way he spent so much time with me and listened to me and held me when I cried.

He was always clear with me “we” could never be, so it was safe. I didn’t have to worry about the unknown quantity in the air after I said “I love you”. I knew the response and that was in some fucked up way, really comforting.

If you tell someone you love them, the Tough part is in having their response be unexpected.

What have I learned? That I really loved Matt, and that I really loved Josh but for different reasons, and Vis, and of course Brian. Stitch all that together and the picture becomes more complete. It’s a complicated shape. Still a bit above my current geometrical comprehension, but I’m nothing if not a diligent student.

What other option do I have anyway? That’s life.

Thanks for hanging in with what was not intended to be a rehash of my broken heart again. But, I will take all I can get.

XOXOXO 😘
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-27 Today’s Big News Top 5 List

It’s Monday again but not just any Monday. Lots of big things to report on. Perfect for a top 5 List:

  1. Thesis = Done (I’ve said that about 4 other times, but I think this is it. Yes, I still have to print copies and send to the university by snail mail, but I’m not planning on touching it anymore). 💃💃💃
  2. It’s officially spring. I’m putting my money on no more freezing temps. It will be 80 today and I really don’t think we’ll see those low temps again since it’s so close to May. 🌷🌷🌷
  3. This week is my darling daughters last day of high school. May 1st is her official last day and then that’s it. Kind of feels anti-climatic, but I’m gonna do my best to make her feel special this week. It’s a big deal and just because her last semester and graduation has been hijacked by a pandemic is no reason not to do a happy dance and do something fun. 🎉🎉🎉
  4. It’s also Jim and my 3 month anniversary this week. Doesn’t even feel like we ever got married since the world went to shit after that. Things are going well. It’s nice to know we can work together through such a stressful time. Wonder what married life is like when there’s not a life threatening virus in play? 💕💕💕
  5. I took a shower yesterday. Normally that wouldn’t be news, but in these desperate times, we have to take all we can get. 😂😂😂

In other news, I seem to have some sort of mood swing thing going on. One minute I feel so happy and content and like the I’ve got the whole world in the palm of my hand. And the next I’m full of anxiety and sadness, triggered by the smallest stuff.

I woke up at 12:22am. My mind was wrecked with worry about lit mag stuff and I couldn’t fall back asleep.

Rewind to yesterday in the garden when I was listening to my tunes and digging in the dirt. I was inspired with so many great thoughts and ideas. I actually had strange heart palpitations and felt like I had taken a double shot of espresso or something. It was euphoric.

Two hours after that I saw a Facebook post that led to deep contemplation about my strained relationship with my father and it led me to the edge of tears. (The answer is to stop looking at FB ) and I guess do what Jim suggests and just treat the situation how I would counsel my children to do when they are adults. It’s good advice. He’s a keeper.

Anyway. You get the point. How is one supposed to focus with all this noise going on inside? 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

I think that’s gonna have to be it today. I need to get to work.

Cheers to the last week of April,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-18 Wavelengths and Pages and Need for Connection

Exactly one week from today is the deadline for getting my MFA thesis completed and in the proper format with all the required sections and content. Should be a snap cuz most of it has been done for weeks. I’ve just been fiddling with some of the poems and negotiating with my mentor about a final decision on what’s in and what’s out.

The good news on that front is that I finally wore him down on that one Poem I’ve toiled for so long on. I sent yet another version with an explanation of why it was important that it have space in the book. The bad news is that I think I wore him down and now have no confidence about it. Did he just give in? Does it matter? Good grief! A girl just can’t win.

Then I’m all like. It doesn’t matter cuz nobody’s gonna read this manuscript anyway so I tell myself to just “shrug it off”. Package that shit up and ship it off to the void.

I sent a copy of the preface and creative portion to my second reader about a week ago. I received an acknowledgement from him that he received it, and nary a peep since then. The second reader is not obligated to offer comment or feedback. Just a signature that it passes muster, but I know in my heart, with as much as I respect this person, that I will be disappointed if they don’t say something to me about it.

But it might not happen and I have to be prepared for that, you know. Get my “shrug off” ready for that too. Kind of a bummer since I felt like we had such good connection last semester and I don’t want to have any more thoughts that it was fake somehow, because of obligation.

It’s been so different this semester from the start. I don’t think my mentor and I have ever been on the same wavelength. And believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve not felt comfortable just having a conversation. He’s not intimidating, but makes me nervous somehow and no matter what I say, he’s off on some other planet showing me something else.

Just this week I sent an outline of my lecture (which is based on my 3rd semester craft paper). It was more than an outline and less than just writing it all out. He comes back with a bunch of suggestions, which is great, but it’s all for going down roads which would require a lot more research. I already did that work. That’s that 44 page craft paper.

Now perhaps I didn’t make the best choices for poets to examine in my topic, but I just need to use what I have to get it done. If I wanna go read up on the lives and poems Wordsworth and Hirshfield and Merwin, I can do that. But I’ve learned enough now that I can just go do that on my own.

It’s not required at this point, and I just wanna be done. I know I sound like a complainer but whatever. It’s only a 40 minute lecture and the requirement is just to do it, so that’s what I’m gonna do.

I also suggested adding some examples from my own life and put some of my own philosophical commentary in there and he just said don’t go there. Not in those words but that was the point. And I think back to past student lectures and the ones that had those elements are the ones that I remember.

Let’s not forget that I am a student and I don’t do this teaching thing for a living and nor do I want to. It’s my time and my MFA and the lecture is an opportunity to teach something I’ve learned and maybe connect some dots, and, more than that, connect with people. That’s part of the point.

Ok. Enough complaining. All roads lead to the end of the road no matter what kind of rocks the road is made of.

It’s Sunday and after wrecking myself Friday night and spending all day yesterday recovering, I’m looking forward to feeling good today and just getting some long procrastinated things done. Taxes for one. More with forms and bills that have been piling up for a few months now. Maybe some communication I’ve been putting off. We’ll see.

Last night when I got my appetite back I started having a craving for Panera. More specifically a green goddess Cobb salad with spinach. It’s healthy AND satisfying. I think Panera drive through is still open. I wonder what kind of push-back I’ll get about that since it’s technically against “house” rules right now.

I hope this Pandemic doesn’t linger much into the summer. I’m starting to not care. I know the rules are important, but ugggggghhh!

Enough is enough.
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. In my decimated state yesterday I was unsettled and just wanted to get away from everyone. I wandered around the house and took like a hundred pictures with my phone. They might start showing up here. Just sayn.

2020-04-09 Naturally Nervous

It doesn’t matter if I’ve known you my whole life or if we’ve just met. I’ll be nervous thinking about getting together. I’ll spend too much time thinking about it, worrying, wondering how it will go. It doesn’t matter if I’ve conducted a hundred meetings, each next one is a challenge. I’m naturally nervous.

We had our first team meeting last night for the online lit mag we’re starting up. The night before I was fussing about it big-time and I’m sure that was evident when I spoke to my “co-founder”. His style is very go with the flow and I tend to be very exacting. Gawd I wish I could be more go with the flow. He said “I lost my nervous gene years ago”.

In my head, I’m like, hmmmm, I thought a person was stuck with the genes they inherited from their parents (which makes his comment a poor metaphor), but that’s exactly it! I get stuck on logistics and specifics. And I want to present things in and organized and polished fashion, because I want to establish legitimacy and trust.

If you can show people you know what you’re talking about then they will begin to trust in you and once people believe in it, they can get behind it and believe in it too. I guess my approach sometimes comes across as controlling. In my line of work, people love it. They want order and control, so my nervous, perfectionist tendencies are valued.

I’m still figuring out how that translates to a group of super smart creative people who want to be a part of our little lit mag party. I’m sure Ed is already annoyed with me.

Anyway, the meeting went great, I thought, and everyone was engaged and enthusiastic. Afterwards I was so relieved! Today, at this moment I have less angst about the one on Friday but give it a day, you know, I have no doubt that anxiety will climb again.

Today I have other fish to fry anyway. The clock is ticking and my entire thesis is due soon. I’m turning a blind eye to the pandemic and marching forward as as if nothing has changed (so much has changed). I have had some serious misgivings about my writing lately and the negativity piling up around my these was not helping.

I broke down yesterday and reached out to my mentor about it. He responded right away with an email that left me in tears (tears of happy relief) and followed that up with a phone call to reinforce what his email said. Then we talked through some of his recent feedback and he helped with edits while on two poems. It was a good conversation. I’m glad I reached out and I’m glad he was receptive.

I’m a tough cookie sometimes, but still super soft in the middle. 😉

I’ve now got the motivation now to dive back in and keep on it. I have to use that feeling while it’s hot.

I also used the spark from yesterday’s conversation to finally submit to the Universities Annual poetry contest. It’s a nationwide contest that starts at the MFA level (I think) with universities across the country choosing one winner and runner up to represent their school. So I sent off 3 poems and now my fingers are crossed.

What else? It’s almost Friday and Jim is off tomorrow so he has a three day weekend. I still have lots of work today and tomorrow and the sooner I start, The quicker I can get to more important stuff! 😉

That’s it for today, ya’ll time for this nervous Nellie to get to work.

With Goodwill,
~Miss SugarCookie

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