Posts Tagged ‘grow’

Give and Take

Give and Take

A gift courtesy david.orban, Creative Commons License

Alright, I took a week. I’m sorry, I’ve neglected you and didn’t tell you why or give you a heads up. We good?

If only it were that simple, right?

It comes back to this today. At work I am a Giver, with my friends, currently, I am a Giver, and with Dashing, I am equal parts Giver and Cleaner.

Even with family, especially this time of year, I am Giver/Cleaner.

I suppose we could say I use this blog to Take for myself, and it’s true, I do get something out of it (even more than this, although this was nice!). Or I wouldn’t keep doing it, right?

So when is it my turn in real life?

Well, if past experience serves, December? Not gonna be it.

See Christmas is in December, and my nearly Christian family thinks that means something…

Mini-rant: Why do we all have to celebrate holidays at the same time? I get that it makes things easier for employers and the government, but really? It’s so annoying when the shops all close down and when I was a shift-worker who didn’t get holidays with the rest of the country (hotels never close, yo. Service industry For The Win!) it was d*mn hard to keep track. Is this a holiday where I have to remember to buy groceries before the shops close, or is this a “holiday” where consumerism reigns and just the lucky government and school children stop working? I never knew until I was sitting in my car in an empty supermarket parking lot thinking “Wait… I know this… Crap, it’s that day!” And the reasoning behind specifically Christmas (which is my family’s argument every year) and that it’s not about taking the holiday with the rest of the country, it’s about that’s when it is, Baby Jesus couldn’t help being born on December 25th — EXCEPT THAT HE DID! Religious appropriation – puts Christmas right up there with Thanksgiving in my fake holiday book… End Rant. Continue: Mostly Thought Out Argument…

Add to that my birthday is in December, this past week actually. And from where I sit, birthdays rarely seem to be about the person growing older. Maybe it’s my div0rced-child roots showing but if the point is that it’s my daaaay and time for me to do whatever I want then couldn’t I forgo the party? Or by that logic, shouldn’t that be a mandated holiday every year (I had my first uni exam on my birthday, so holiday mandation could have been useful)? At the very least – could I go on a crime spree and have no repercussions? “Sorry officer, it’s my birthday and all I wanted to do today is race down the highway at 150 km/hr and invite myself inside some nice person’s home (side note: now that’s how to make friends!)… ”

It just feels like this period is all about me but not actually for me.

And maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.

I get that birthdays are on the surface about surviving another year, and presumably acknowledging one’s accomplishments, and celebrating one’s mistakes, self-reflection, finding enlightenment – but they seem to end up being about how your mother was very uncomfortable once upon a time or how your ex would really like to get drunk and lock himself in your bathroom (true story) or how your community really just wants an excuse to eat, drink and be merry – which means you smiling – a lot… I get that ultimately holidays are about celebrating family and togetherness and gratitude for our communities. I understand that is an easier feat to accomplish when it’s scheduled in the communities’ collective consciousness. I get that the date is not actually important so long as the intention is preserved.

Maybe I’m a Grinch. Maybe I just resent being told what to do and when to do it.

After all, if the point is to celebrate your community and show your gratitude for how they lift you up and preserve you from harm – isn’t making it easier kinda lazy? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful if you took time out and made a holiday happen instead of allowing a religious or governmental institution tell you when to do it?

Wouldn’t you appreciate one of your friends celebrating you on a day that isn’t your birthday more than having to say “It’s my birthday, let’s party, and you can buy me gifts/shots/lap dances?” If it’s not about the gift, if it’s about the thought behind the gift… then isn’t a gift “just because” better than a gift “because it’s [insert holiday]”?

One Last Mini-Rant On This Subject: And for the record, while I would really rather not get anything, if you must buy gifts, on behalf of anyone born in December or early January – Christmas themed gifts are not birthday presents! Buy some new wrapping paper – or use comic books, or newsprint, or fabric, or a dropcloth – stay away from red and green combos (unless the person you’re buying for actually likes that combination – which is cool if they do) and go for red OR green instead, and for goodness sake anything with snowflakes, Frosty, Santa, or reindeer are not welcome unless, you know, the recipient collects that stuff. I would rather you write me a poem, or make a card, or give a gift certificate, or put some thought into what I might like, versus, OK check, gift done. If you can’t find a mug/sweater/tchotchke that doesn’t have Christmas all over it for a winter birthday, you’re not really trying, and it’s kinda insulting. I’d rather not get anything at all. Seriously.

A Community of the Mind: Literature

Growing my mental community

Idea From X Ray courtesy arztsamui/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve talked a little bit about how music and literature and art reflect and define and cultivate us as much as we do them.

So in following my urge to grow and change, I contrarily took to reading some childhood favourites. When you feel the need for change, possibly drastic change, it can be helpful to find comfort in the familiar.

But now I’m done. My mind is adjusting to the changes, slowly, and right now it is screamingly bored.

I need something new to read.

Now I have a lot on my fiction to read list: Frankenstein, The Book Thief, and some new-to-me Sharon Creech – and those are just some of the ones I own… My shopping list is much longer.

But I’m craving some Non-Fiction. I could re-read Holy Blood, Holy Grail, but again, I want something new…. Something.

You know that feeling when you can almost taste it, you just can’t name it? Yeah, that. Totally THAT.

The problem being not many people in my communities read non-fiction. Oh, sure, if I want to discuss the Hunger Games, or hear (again) why I should invest in 50 Shades of Grey, or even to discuss Tolkien or A Song of Ice and Fire, I can find someone in a heartbeat, but non-fiction…? I’m hearing crickets.

Unless it’s a to-do (cooking, knitting, quilting) book, or a bio on someone you absolutely idolize, most people around me simply believe they will be bored without a plot filled with familiar character archetypes and either action or romance (or a little of both)…?

This is not true. A well reasoned argument, or well documented research and interesting conclusion, can be both stimulating and inspiring. Simply put, learning makes me want to learn.

And right now I don’t want to learn how to do something new, I want to learn how to think something new.

I want to bring new argument, new perspective, new challenges and debate into my mental community. I need some new fodder to chew on, I want to disagree and be inspired to do research and come to conclusions. I want to be made to think about whether or not I agree with someone’s logic.

So all you non fiction fans out there – help – any juicy non-fiction books you’d recommend?

Let’s Take A Break

Old Book Open by nuttakit/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image “Old Book Open” courtesy nuttakit/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Alright. Let’s lighten it up around here.

I’m re-reading Cornelia Funke‘s Inkworld series. Because it’s fun. And well written, and full of vibrant and sympathetic characters.

I just finished reading a bunch of books off my “should” read list – Dracula, Children of Men… I started Gulliver’s Travels and frankly could not stand the thinly veiled preaching and lack of plot. So I’ve returned to a familiar and fun fantasy.

What I like about Funke’s work is that while you can get lost and enjoy the reading, it is thought provoking at the same time. For instance, this particular series of hers is about the idea that reading the written word aloud can bring characters into and out of stories.

I love that idea.

As an actress, and story junkie, the idea that your favourite characters could step into your world, or that you could walk into theirs, is thrilling. It’s terrifying, and beautiful; it’s like forbidden fruit, you shouldn’t have it, but if you could… oh, if you could what depths of pain, and heights of ecstasy would you experience then?

If I could meet characters from my favourite books, I would want to meet:

  1. Charlotte Doyle and Zachariah.
  1. Katherine Sutton and Christopher Heron, and oh, heck Geoffrey Heron, too; he’s a man with whom one could ride a horse, not speaking, and yet share volumes. And the Lady… ooh, she’s thrilling all on her own.
  2. Meriadoc Brandybuck, Radagast the Brown, and Glorfindel. And Aragorn, and Arwen Evenstar, alright, let’s be honest. Oh, and Beorn from The Hobbit, Or There And Back Again.
  3. Peter Pevensie, at any point in his story, and Susan while she was Queen Susan the Gentle.
  4. And last but certainly not least, I would love to visit Anne Blythe at Ingleside, to meet all her children, especially Walter and Rilla and Jem… In fact, if I could be a seasonal tenant of the Ford’s at the House of Dreams, that would be lovely.

I love houses with names.

Who’s on your list??

Student living and me.

Just life. But through the eyes of a Blue-eyed History student.

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