Real Life vs. The Blogosphere

The world’s a strange place. Connected beyond imagination, our real lives involve separation and loneliness.

When I was a child, I’d visit my neighbors. The old woman around the corner was a round, loud person with a slight, soft-spoken husband. He puttered around their yard and house, repairing and fixing and amusing himself. She’d invite me in to their homespun, soft-furnitured living room and insist I eat the cookies she’d just made.

They kept a dog or two. Whenever we played outside in our backyard, the dogs would bark. Sure enough, after a few rounds of yip-yip-yip, we’d hear her screech, “Skipper! Quiet!” I could imitate her tone and inflection; still can.

Nowadays, my neighbors are more reclusive. I still try to visit them. I plan a block party each summer. But, it’s different. It’s isolated. It’s even a bit cold.

One time, bearing the Christmas cookie plate I make and gift every year, I rang my neighbors who never come out and socialize. They’d just installed a door camera, I noted. I could hear it whirring as the focus changed, probably recording me. Their teenage daughters’ cars were out front. Their interior lights were on. I could hear their talking before I rang. Yet, no one answered.

Resisting my inner child’s urge to do something less kind, I left the plate on their porch and went back home.

It’s different. It’s rude.

I feel a similar confusion and slight affront where my writing’s concerned. Here, on my blog, I post every day. I write about my thoughts and feelings, my ideas, my odd story plots, my poetry, and -most vulnerably- my depression.

Occasionally, I share what I write to my Facebook page. Like, my personal one that everyone who is my ‘friend’ can read. All of my neighbors are ‘friends,’ although I happen to know they don’t read what I write. Only when I announce I’m having a baby do about a fourth of my ‘friends’ (130ish) click that little Like.

The rest of the time, about 30 people respond.

If I write something depressive, about 8.

In real life, sometimes 1 or 2 come up and say something.

I wonder what things would have been like if I’d become an adult fifty years ago, or even twenty. My mom would tell me that her mom’s neighbors met every morning for coffee. My grandmother said she and the kids of her childhood played jacks together. My husband’s grandmother sat outside with the other mothers in their complex at college, while their children all played in the central courtyard.

Different times. Warmer times.

This age allows me an outlet I wouldn’t have had fifty years ago, or even twenty. Instead of living in the isolation of my two-story house with only the dishes and laundry for company, I have you all.

But, I often wonder, why don’t I have those who are closer? Why don’t they notice? Why don’t they care?

Maybe it’s the cookies.

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—————-

Here’s what I wrote this week:

Wednesday, January 15: Examined the differences between the sexes in “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (and I’m Adrift in Space).”

Thursday, January 16: Throwback to how to write poetry with “A Muse, The Blues, Some Clues -AKA How to Write Poetry.”

Friday, January 17: Posted the winners of this week’s “Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.” Congratulations to AnneMichael, and Rob.

Saturday, January 18: Announced the 55th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is what paradise looks like to you. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, January 19: “A Small Protest,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Also, “How Much is That Poem in the Window?,” in response to Crispina Kemp’s prompt photo.

Monday, January 20: An inspirational quote from Almost Iowa.

Tuesday, January 21: Poemed “As I Lay, Here.”

Wednesday, January 22: This post, plus “The Island Getaway, a Continued Story (My Part).”

I also published a bit on my motherhood site. I wrote “Did You Go Swimming Today? and Other Post-Delivery Fallacies” and “Short, Sweet, Sleep.”

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: BBH Singapore

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (and I’m Adrift in Space)

Gender and sex and such are hot topics, and have been for the past …few thousand years. What -you haven’t heard of Pompeii? Ancient Greece? Today may not be as ‘woke’ and original as people assume, but defining male and female is not a popular place to go.

Yet, there are lines. An obviously major category-maker is one’s sex-defining parts. I can’t use a urinal, and my husband can’t grow a baby.

Dangit.

The differences do not remain within those parameters; but, as I said, these are not recommended waters for sailing. And yet, we all behave as if those differences are in place and are perfectly acceptable. Why?

Could it be that there are female traits? Male traits?

Girls are better students; they’re people-pleasers so they want to be good for their teacher. They’re able to sit still for a task and give it greater detail. They plan well, multi-task well, and improve their appearance well. Girls are good at communication and feelings -including hurting those feelings.

Boys are good at logic and focus; they get the job done and move on. Genetically stronger and hairier, they’re often suited for manual labor. In fact, their mechanically-inclined brains make manual labors easy to complete as well. They’re more physical and less emotional -including a desire to punch it out over talk it over.

But, but, but …exceptions!!

Yes, there are. Ever the square peg in the round hole, I chafe against being placed into any category I appear to be in. I’m sure others feel the same way. However, I wonder if any of them are, like me, living and behaving exactly as our sex is expected to.

Maybe the gray areas have always been, and the female/male attributes are simply a result of gray clusters.

Maybe women do talk more, cry more, and do that excited hand thing when they meet a friend.

Maybe men do talk less, cry less, and shift uncomfortably when their wives do that excited hand thing when they meet.

Why are we so afraid to say so? Do any of you feel the way I do, out in space and ashamed to step into place? What’s so bad about being a woman? What’s so bad about being a man?

—————-

Here’s what I wrote this week:

Wednesday, January 8: “My Other Half,” a post about my husband.

Thursday, January 9: Throwback to “C.S.I.,” a cliché within an enigma within a trope.

Friday, January 10: Let y’all know the winner of the 53rd “Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest:” Matt Snyder. Congratulations!

Saturday, January 11: Announced the 54th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is The Bleak Midwinter. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, January 12: “The Threshold of Their Lives,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, January 13: An inspirational quote by Richard G. Scott.

Tuesday, January 14: “How to Have Kids When You’re Crazy” over at The Bipolar Collaborative Blog.

Also ish: a groggy poem, titled, “Poem?

Wednesdayish, January 15: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “What C-Section Recovery is Like” and “Fluent Minecraft.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens; except, of course, for those copyrights owned by almighty Disney.

My Other Half

Did you know that I am married? That I share my life with a wonderful husband, and father of our five boys?

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I write about me all the time, even when I write about other people. I’m inside my head; seeing my distorted, depressive view of things, and that’s what ends up painted all over this blog.

But… there are more sides to this story than mine. I owe my lavish, stay-at-home lifestyle and this very blog to my husband. He is my patron. He’s also a devoted spy, reading what I write and ensuring no one’s comments get too frisky.

Yet I rarely specifically mention him.

Me: “Did you see what I wrote on my blog?”

Him: “Oh. Yeah. That story.”

Me: “…Sorry.”

Him: “It’s okay. You always write about me after we fight.”

My one-sidedness has been niggling at me. I haven’t been fair. I haven’t been honest. I love the guy, after all, and think he needn’t be misrepresented.

I’ve loved Kevin since we were 16 years old. One month or so after my birthday, I came out to the front porch of our house to find it decorated in paper cutouts. I knew the signs, and yelled inside that my sister must have been asked to the upcoming school dance. I was wrong; I’d been asked.

Amongst the paper décor was a page of instructions: to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” at the top of my voice, say the alphabet backwards, go to a Geocities website, and call a phone number at the bottom if I needed ‘technical support.’ He’d also included an envelope of the letters of his name.

I ended up succeeding in solving the puzzle, thanks to a little reverse phone number searching in our school directory. They wouldn’t have that these days…

The day of the dance, we played Capture the Flag in the school hallways, ate in our finery at a friend’s house, and attended the dance itself at the State Capitol Building. Neither of us could actually dance, so we talked a lot and pretended we could.

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By Andrew Smith from Seattle, WA, USA – Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City, CC BY-SA 2.0

Although Kevin and I attended the same junior high school as well, that date was our first interaction. I went home, determined to set up that LAN party he’d proposed during our pretend-dancing. He went home and told his sister he wanted to marry me.

Kevin’s an interesting person: extremely intelligent and analytical to many extents but also creative and artistic. His sense of humor is a lot like mine -or mine’s like his.

My mother: “You two have the same odd sense of humor. Do you know how I know?”

Me: …

My mother: “When someone says something, you both crack up, but no one else is laughing.”

She’s mostly right. Kev and I diverge a bit with morbid humor (him) or slapstick (me). We’re both right up wry alley, however, and enjoy intelligent observations.

Star Wars Text

From April of 2016, shortly after Disney released the first “Star Wars” film they made after acquiring the franchise rights.

He’s an excellent singer. His main career is a software engineer; his side, the dice business. In his free time, he likes computer games or interesting shows and films.

Our talents and interests crossover more often than complement, but it makes choosing a movie to watch easier. After all, what other guy choosesPride and Prejudice,” or what other gal choosesThe Matrix?” I believe our disagreements stem from the similarities; but maybe all couples fight, and fight over other things.

On the whole, I sure love my Kevin. And now you know a little more about him; about us.

This is the point at which I tend to ask the audience a question, like What’s something you want to know about Kevin? but he’s mine mine mine and so you can’t.

Instead, who’s your other half? Who supports or shares your writing journey? Does he or she read what you create?

—————-

Check out what I wrote this week:
Friday, January 3: “Old Year, New Year – Old Me, New Me,” an update on what’s been goin’ down in the last month, and some resolutions.

Saturday, January 4: Announced the 53rd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a commercial jingle. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, January 5: “Memories Within the Old Hutch,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, January 6: An inspirational quote by Thoreau.

Also, “Postpartum Depression: Why Mental Health Surveys Suck” over at The Bipolar Collaborative Blog.

Tuesday, January 7: “Baby Blues (Eyes),” a poem.

Wednesday, January 8: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “I Had My Baby” and “Sharing, a poem.”

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Old Year, New Year – Old Me, New Me

As we come to the end of my self-induced sabbatical, I’ve had time to reflect. I’d love to say I’ve had time to read -but that’s been hit-or-miss. What I’ve actually filled my days with are the following:

  • Stumbling ‘twixt bed and bathroom, mumbling incoherent threats to the piles I stumble around.
  • Thinking of a great story idea during 2 a.m. feeding, only to lament my motivation to write it during 3 a.m. still-awake-and-burping and curse my lack of hands during 4 a.m. walking-the-still-fussing-child.
  • Candy Crush. A lot of Candy Crush.
  • Catching the odd post from a friend about The New Year and a Word for the Year, determining to write my own, and ending up with ideas like ‘Sleep’ or ‘Chocolate.’
  • Becoming horribly depressed when I don’t sleep, then wondering what that was all about when I do.
  • Simultaneously resolving change to better my situation, and resolving sadness and sugar at the pointlessness of my situation.

But recovery is going well, for both of us. The baby is probably up a pound or two from birth weight. He’s a serious child who has not yet mastered his neck muscles or his roving vision. People tell me this is normal, and I’ve nicknamed the situation ‘crazy turtle eyes.’

I’m down a pound or two from birth weight. I’m a serious mother who has not yet mastered my abdominal muscles or roving parenting. People tell me this is normal as well, and I’ve nicknamed my situation ‘hunchbacked snail.’

In the between-times of cursing laundry and children, I notice my ageing body and failing memory more. “I’m old, Peter -ever so much more than twenty.” “I feel [fat], sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” …which is better than during the pregnancy, at the end of which I kept thinking, “No, Sam. I can’t recall the taste of food… nor the sound of water… nor the touch of grass.”

Clearly, when tired, I revert to movie quotes. I think my children are accustomed to the habit. If not, I at least make for a confusing conversational partner.

I’m not in the habit of declaring resolutions at the start. I’m the sort to resolve and break and depress cyclically throughout the year. I do know I’ve a few things I wish to accomplish overall:

  • Lose at least 20 pounds. Ideally, 40.
  • Figure out this hating homelife thing.
  • Read a book on parenting.
  • Read a book a month. Realistically, read a book a year.
  • Go to Europe.
  • Pay for the baby, the water heater, the Europe, the boys’ savings accounts, and our house-painting plans. This may involve robbing a bank, or blackmailing the boys’ orthodontist.
  • Finish my children’s picture book idea with my friend.

If you made it this far, I love you. (“Welcome to Costco. I love you.”) I would also appreciate if you’d do me a little favor: answer a question.

If you could pick one or two books you’d recommend to anyone, what would they be?

My recommendations come with a caveat and depend on the tastes of the person asking. I need a list, though, and trust the high opinions of those who got this far.

—–

Gifs courtesy of GIPHY

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Guess What? I’m a Mommy …Again

I did it! Well -the doctors did. Yesterday, around 13:44, the obstetrics surgical team extracted my fifth boy.

He weighed 6 lbs 4 oz (rounded up) and measured 19 inches long.

I’m not allowed to go into labor, so we scheduled the operation at 37 weeks. All in all, this has been the best C-Section recovery I’ve had. I can only attribute that to the skill of the team, the healthiness of my body, and to the many prayers I know people offered on our behalf.

Because of privacy reasons, I dislike posting pictures online. Since I know he’ll change rapidly and you’re all DYING to see, however, here are two I took this morning:

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“Hello. The world is bright and cold. I’m not certain I like it yet.”

Baby Five Full Body (2)

A pen, for comparison.

We haven’t agreed on a name yet, but I keep that information private as well. 🙂

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Dice Store: Things I’ve Learned from Online Retail

I shambled down to work in our online dice store this morning. There they sat: shelf after shelf of opaque, transparent, swirled, pearlized, and speckled.

Pearlized Gold and Black 4 Sided Dice

Above the desk hung the Reaper miniatures.

Kieron, Ranger

Upon the far wall and beneath the regular d4 through d60 dice nestled our specialty sets, like stone or crystal-shaped.

16mm Solid Metal Dice

And I knew where they all were.

Mostly.

I recalled those days when we first purchased the website, and did not have such order. Instead, we pawed through plastic bags we’d heaped on a spare bookcase and shelf in the barely-lit basement. We often purchased a grab bag of dice from our main supplier, then spent ‘family time’ sorting through a giant pile.

Those dice would then need to have their picture taken and be entered into the computer. This proved a wasteful process overall, since the dice were often leftovers from product runs that the manufacturer would not continue to make.

It’s only taken me a decade, but I feel I’m starting to get the hang of the dice store. In fact, today I thought to create a Top Ten List of Things I’ve Learned:

  1. I have no idea what our customers do with their dice, but almost all of them have awesome e-mail addresses.
    “What do people use the dice for?” is a common question I’m asked. The honest truth is that I don’t know. I assume sets are for gaming, odd dice are for gaming, and …well, the expensive sorts are for gaming. See? No idea.
    Clear Red Double 12 Sided Dice
    No matter what they use their dice for, though, our clientele are clearly awesome people. Even back when most people had e-mail addresses for business purposes only, I noticed our customers favored epic varieties.
  2. Shipping costs money.
    From the boxes to the filler to the cost of shipment itself, we usually break about even or at a loss. Most people assume we’re gouging them (thanks, Amazon) by charging a flat rate of $4.95, but the smallest-sized package pays the United States Postal Service around $3.
    A word of advice if you suspect gouging: buy more if you can or need to. You’ll get the most value for the shipment cost.
  3. Companies (like ours) do get discounts on supplies, shipments, and products.
    When regular humans buy anything at a store, they pay retail cost. Places like Wal-mart don’t pay the same as their customers; the most common markup is double the wholesale price. Therein the profit lies, yes?
    Whenever I think of all the hands a product travels through from factory to retailer, I mentally tack on what each ‘hand’ charges. It’s sickening sometimes.
  4. China is cheating.
    This could be a post in itself. With the success of Kickstarter, many amateur businesses post ideas for dice designs and then arrange for companies in China to make them. China, in turn, spams out e-mails to businesses like ours, offering those products to us at a discount rate. Basically, they take the designs and run.
    Not only that, but they downright lie on customs forms in order to save money. We’ve had it happen with everything we’ve purchased for some trial runs of new products this year.
  5. Despite almost everything being online, a lot of business relationships are built by talking or meeting.
    You know: old school. My husband and I are still surprised when we have to call a company and/or their website is terrible.
  6. There’s a die for that.
    Size Comparison Dice
    Visitors to our store express surprise at all the different dice we carry. I mention that we might sell around 10% of those in one retailer’s catalog; about half of another who only makes two varieties. When people see everything from real Tiger’s Eye sets to large cubes with hearts, I can see why some assume we’ve got everything.
    We don’t. There are many, many more options out there.
  7. Stickers are real time-savers.
    Our latest printer types up everything we need (postage, addresses, and tracking information) on one label. I love it!!
  8. People like free stuff.
    Back when we had more random dice to dispose of, we offered one free die with a $20 purchase. One time a customer complained because her free die had a defect. I’m not sure if anyone purchased dice specifically to get a free one, but I was surprised about the one complaint.
    Of course, I like free stuff, too.
  9. Businesses often fill specific requests.
    We will. Want a note to your recipient? A blue d12 instead of green one? A discount coupon? How about getting your gaming candle cushioned in bubble wrap? We’ll probably do it.
    Granted, we’d have to stop doing freebies if everyone asked, but we’re cool to fulfill the odd one now and again.
  10. The customer is always right.
    This was a hard lesson for me the first few times someone demanded something, like that woman and her replacement free die. Still, makes sense. The customers are the ones keeping the business in business so, as long as they don’t ask for the moon, we’ll keep ’em happy.
    12-Sided Signs of the Planets Astrology Dice

Do you have any questions about dice? Running an online business? Painting a minifig? How about whether it’s a good idea to leap over a burning troll during a dungeon raid?

I may have a die to help answer that.

—————-

Check out what I wrote this week:
Wednesday, November 20: “Utah Mormons: What Do You Want to Know?” I’m still open to questions.

Thursday, November 21: Threwback to that time I wrote an epic poem, “The Ballad of the Garbage Truck.”

Friday, November 22: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. One year!! Congratulations to Giselle, Bruce, and Michael!

Saturday, November 23: Slipped in one, last complaint about pregnancy in “What Pregnancy is Really Like.”

Sunday, November 24: Nothing

Monday, November 25: “That Awkward First Date,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Tuesday, November 26: “Since the Bombs Fell: Six.” Although I’d love to stay and write in the post-apocalyptic world, I ended this series before it mutated out of control.

Wednesday, November 27: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “Thanksgiving Dinner, a poem.”

 

All photos ©2019 Kevin Owens and Game Master Dice

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Utah Mormons: What Do You Want to Know?

I am a Utah Mormon.*

If that shocked you, you may need to spend more time plowing thru -okay, you’re right: I don’t mention it much. I mostly don’t bring up my location or religious affiliation because of The Box Phenomenon. People are so keen to categorize that they will automatically assume things about my character, things that are probably not true.

There are, however, many characteristics or behaviors or habits or lack of cuss words that are true because of my Utah LDSness.

Like

  1. I don’t drink alcohol. Never have, and I mean never.
  2. I have not done recreational drugs.
  3. I’ve never had a cup of coffee.
  4. I have no tattoos. Never have.
  5. I wear one set of earrings, in my ear lobes.
  6. I lived a very clean dating life and my husband is the only man I’ve known.**
  7. I don’t swear, unless it’s the morning after the children have not slept and they will damn well hear about how frustrating they’ve been after the umpteenth time -in which case, it’s still only “damn” and “hell.”
  8. I attend church every week and (before I was pregnant) voluntarily worked a ‘job’ in our ward.

The list could go on, I suppose, but that’s why I’m writing this post. I am naturally curious about how other people live their lives, and assume others might be curious about mine. I specifically wonder if everyone else starts the day with a cup of coffee. Does everyone else flip off bad drivers on the freeway? Does everyone slip on a tank top and short shorts and call themselves dressed?

I don’t.

And so, what do you wonder about MY day-to-day life or views based on my location and religious leanings? Within reason, what questions do you have? Do you have any?

I’m no official representative of my faith and will not purport to be so, but am willing to answer what I can.

Try me. I’m curious.

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*The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has officially stated that its members are not ‘Mormons,’ but are ‘members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.’

**You know, in the biblical sense.

—————-

Besides a question, you may also be interested in my writings of last week:
Wednesday, November 13: Made some important announcements about the blog’s schedule in “I’m Having a Baby (I Think).”

Thursday, November 14: Attempted an homage to Geoff’s style with “A Tribute to Geoff LePard of TanGental.”

Friday, November 15: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Matt Snyder!

Saturday, November 16: Announced the 52nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest! Happy birthday to bad poetry!! The theme is BIRTH, and is the last contest of the year. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, November 17: “A Confusing Session,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, November 18: Shared LA’s astute assessment of life and its responsibilities.

Tuesday, November 19: “Since the Bombs Fell: Five.”

Wednesday, November 20: Today.

I also posted a poem on my motherhood site, “Is There an Echo?

 

Photo Credit: Michael Hart

©2019 Chelsea Owens

I’m Having a Baby (I Think)

This last year has been the longest decade of my life. From injury to surgery to SURPRISE pregnancy to associated complications, I’ve wrestled with keeping some part of me afloat. The problem is, that part has not always been a useful one -like my face.

Yet as I draw ever nearer my scheduled surgery date, I must finally face the facts: I’m probably having a baby.

I know, I know; that sounds funny. Of course I’m having a baby. I’ve had appointments. I’m eating peppermint ice cream. There’s something moving down there that had better not be the oft-parodied Alien‘s clip. Professional people with professional equipment have seen a humanoid in my uterus.

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And, though you’ll NEVER see a picture of this, I’m about the size and weight of a hippopotamus. Still, I’ve been in a bit of denial. I’ve been ignoring the elephant in the womb in an effort to not accept the inevitable. But, facts are facts and this alien’s gonna be coming on December 2nd at 5:00 p.m.

Which leads to some other things I need to announce about life, the blog-o-verse, and my writing:

  1. Time
    Frankly, I won’t have any.
  2. Time
    Because of this, the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest will be on hold for the entire month of December. The last one of the year will run from November 16-22, 2019. The next will resume on January 4, 2020.
  3. Time
    I will not be writing on the blog, beginning on December 2nd. Oh -maybe I’ll drop a Wednesday Gripe or a Sunday Prompt, but I think taking a sabbatical would be healthiest for me and my spawn.
  4. Time
    I will also not be consistent in reading people’s blogs, though that’s been the case since about May. I love you all and will do my best.

My hope is you’ll stick around and deal with the adorable baby picture or two I’m liable to post. Thank you for your friendship, patience, and support.

—————-

And, here’s what I wrote this week:
Wednesday, November 6: Addressed my unhealthy lack of anticipation in “What do you hope for?

Thursday, November 7: Shared Heather Dawn‘s post, “I Met Depression… and I Won.”

Friday, November 8: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to The Abject Muse!

Saturday, November 9: Announced the 51st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Christmas commercialism. PLEASE ENTER!

And, encouraged everyone to go vote for a finalist in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.

Sunday, November 10: “Capture a Critter #1: Monkey Buffet Festival,” in response to Deb Whittam‘s prompt.

Monday, November 11: An ‘inspirational’ quote by Steve Martin.

Tuesday, November 12: “Since the Bombs Fell: Four,” the fourth in a series I intend to end at #6.

Wednesday, November 13: Today.

 

I also posted a poem at my motherhood site: “Towels, a poem.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

What do you hope for?

I’ve always wanted to fly.

I’m not talking airplanes, either. I’m talking: self-automated, magic flight. In my childhood nighttime dreams I’d run -fast, faster, faster!- till the momentum or movement or fairy dust accelerated my hopeful person into the sky.

I have other dreams, of course, but I fear to share them. I fear that voicing my wants, desires, and wishes will result in disaster. If, for example, I’d always wanted perfect vision, I wouldn’t tell anyone. Telling another would surely result in Fate crashing a car into mine and causing blindness, afflicting me with a genetic condition that affects sight, or causing one eye to randomly fall out.

Hey; it could happen!

As you can see, I’ve a real problem looking forward to things. From a psychological mush of my parents using upcoming events as rewards I might lose; my always putting others before me in true, selfless motherhood; and a desire to avoid the pain of disappointment, I do not anticipate positive events.

Instead, I numb. Instead, I cry. Instead, I sadly shelve my glowing orbs of potential dreams and tell myself to look elsewhere.

Elsewhere is safer.

And yet, I do have dreams. I think. Waaaaaay back in high school, our teacher had us make a bucket list of things we wanted to do in life. Mine included traveling to Europe, learning another language, and …I don’t remember.

Wishing and anticipating and doing were so much easier then -you know, before I had to wait for the ol’ money tree to produce something besides sour grapes.

How about you? Have you ever had a dream? Do you still? Do you share your dreams, or hold them like secret treasures?

—————-

Here be what I wrote in the past week:
Wednesday, October 30: Opened up about the elephant in the room in “Depression and Donuts (and an Elephant).”

Thursday, October 31: Shared my first entry in the Halloweensie contest, “Midnight.”

Also, wrote an entry for this year’s contest, “Scampy Mouse.”

Friday, November 1: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Ruth Scribbles!

Saturday, November 2: Announced the 50th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is FIFTY (go figure). PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, November 3: “The Healthy Benefits of Popcornopolis,” in response to reading the front of my favorite, very unhealthy snack.

Monday, November 4: An inspirational quote by Charles Bukowski, in the form of his poem.

Tuesday, November 5: “Since the Bombs Fell: Three.”

Wednesday, November 6: Today.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Parenting: The Fine Line

I’m no expert at parenting. My life plan was not to be a mother; I use this as an excuse whenever raising offspring is difficult.

Still, I care about my kids. I care that they aren’t psychopaths or sociopaths. I care that they know how to cook, clean, and respect authority. They’ll definitely put the seat down.

Training my spawn involves a lot of strain, some of which comes from doubt:

Am I doing the right thing by making his friend send him home to finish a job?

Should I have yelled when my sweet, little pre-teen gave me attitude?

Was that too harsh to make him walk to school because he slept in and refused to get ready on time?

(In case you wonder at the masculine pronouns, I have all boys.)

I thought about the fine line of parenting today. I believe I thought about it the third time I prepared for vocal conflict with my most difficult son.

Me in the driver’s seat, patiently, “So, you threw the carseat into the back, yet say it’s #4’s fault because it hit his head before hitting #3?”

Him, mimicking my patient manner, “Yes. #4 made a dumb decision to climb over the seat. If he hadn’t done that, #3 wouldn’t have been hit.”

Believe it or not, this exchange went on for a good ten minutes. He refused responsibility for the thrown-carseat injuries; I refused to let him dodge said responsibility.

The Line here is Respect vs. “pick your battles.” Almost all of my lines are Something vs. “pick your battles.” My choice to engage (or not) goes back to that no-sociopath thing.

*Sigh*

I know not all of you have children -at least, not currently. Whether you have or not, have you felt the strain of walking a line? What did you choose? Was it worth it?

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Here’s what went down this past week:
Wednesday, October 16: Wrote “Where, Oh Where Should My Blogging Go?

Thursday, October 17: Throwback to my first post, “Hello, My Name Is.”

Friday, October 18: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to MagicQuill17!

Saturday, October 19: Announced the 48th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is the Old West. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, October 20: Shared Carrot Ranch‘s 3rd rodeo. Another one’s coming tomorrow!

Also wrote “The Wife Stands Alone” for Pensitivity’s Three Things Challenge.

Monday, October 21: An inspirational quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Tuesday, October 22: “Since the Bombs Fell: One,” the first in a dystopian series.

Wednesday, October 23: Today.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

©2019 Chelsea Owens