Posts Tagged ‘good habits’

Habits are strange. It seems inordinately easy to fall into a bad habit, while way too arduous to build a good one. And vice versa. Breaking bad habits (smoking, over-eating, drug abuse) are a grueling trek akin to hiking Mount Everest, while establishing good habits (exercising, eating right, writing everyday) makes that little walk to the top of the world seem simple.

I bring this up because after two months of complete and utter brainlessness, trying to get myself back into writing – AT THE VERY LEAST – a weekly blog entry is sort of like swimming the English Channel with no endurance training. Yeah, I can swim, but, man, that water is cold and choppy, and the other side seems so very far away… What the hell was I thinking???

Most of the time I sit down at my computer and have no idea what I’m going to say. That’s just the way we pantsers do things. I might have a kernel from a topic in the news or something that happened, or a general (read: extremely vague) thought I want to share. Sometimes all I have is a really cool title. I have several short stories like that right now – really cool titles, and not a word more. Someday the stories will show up. I hope.

Anyhoo, here I am trying to get back into a good habit. When I went wandering around in that great empty space of my mind, I found that there actually have been several cool things that happened lately. On the grand scale, the US Supreme Court (finally!) decided that marriage is a legal right accorded to ANY two adults willing to make the commitment, regardless of gender, sexual identity or orientation. And Iran (grudgingly) sat at the bargaining table with the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, and hammered out a deal on their nuclear technology – a diplomatic resolution to a potentially devastating future for all concerned.

Of course, American conservative politicians are frothing at the mouth over both of these, ranting on about the fall of civilization and the destruction of “good Christian values.” Neither of which any of them seem to actually understand, or we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I’ll never fathom why they continually want to run around in fear screaming about the sky falling and needing to condemn everyone else for not doing the same. It seems a lot of wasted energy for nothing. Just think how wonderful the world would be if they worked that hard to actually accomplish something positive? So I have two things to say in response to the fright-right: 1) stay in your own bedroom, and 2) give peace a chance.

I could go on and on about both topics, but don’t really see the point when there are already millions of words on the Internet supporting all the various sides and arguments. Go forth and laugh and point, as you will.

No, I’d rather talk about something far more important that happened this weekend, a combination of events that really helped me feel better in so many ways.

It rained.

And I don’t mean the usual spit-take we’re offered here in SoCal, I mean an honest to goodness, rip-roaring, pouring-assed-rain thunderstorm. It seems there was a bit of a hurricane down off the west coast of Mexico, and the remnants of it splattered ashore here. It clouded up a little on Friday (which had it’s own excitement as a wildfire closed down a major freeway here. See: “Wildfire on SoCal freeway…”), then we had some drizzle and then actual rain on Saturday. My husband and I went out back to enjoy the weather, startling a stray tom that had taken to one of the doghouses for shelter. He bolted off and we laughed in the rain.

Sunday saw more of the same, off and on for most of the morning. And then in the afternoon, the skies opened up and we had a genuine gulley-washer. It poured. It thundered. The rain sluiced off the roof in great sheets. The brittle little nubs of grass we had left in the yard were drowned. For a good while, the water running down the street (what SoCal calls rain gutters, the rest of us call useless) was even with the sidewalk and threatening incursions into the yard. It was glorious!

We stood on the front porch a long time, basking in the thunderous energy. I tried to capture some of it on my phone, but the video quality was poor and didn’t really do it justice. It went on for some time, and then we finally wandered back into the office to get back to our lazy Sunday afternoon of Internet cruising and videos. Something caught my eye as I was about to sit at my desk. I took a better look through the blinds and realized that the stray from the day before was back in the doghouse, nonchalantly bathing himself as if he owned the place. We don’t have dogs right now, so I guess he’s claiming squatter’s rights. I didn’t mind. The Goddess had seen fit to give me a thunderstorm and a feline visitor on the same day. A nice double play if ever I’ve seen one.

It was something I really needed, a pleasant helping of my favorite things to drag me out of my slump. Feeling content, even happy, I’ve been given a reprieve from the darkness. Oh, I know it’s only temporary – such is the nature of depression – but it gives me something to work with and for. It gives me hope.

Here it is in the waning hours of Tuesday, and the stray is still out back. He’s a lovely ginger with beautiful gold eyes, but very skittish and obviously in need of some TLC. Somehow a little canned chicken made its way out there, right next to a bowl of water. I have no idea how that happened (wink*wink). But four days later, he’s come to some level of understanding that this is a safe place to be. At least for now. Being on the animal underground we could be just a way station, or we could be the forever home. We’ll just have to take it one day at a time, just like everything else in life.

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