What Kind of Idea Are You?

This week’s writing challenge at The Blacklight Candelabra intrigued me, and truth be told, intimidated me a bit.  For a few moments I was thrown back into the “I’m not a real writer” mindset.  A real writer would understand this challenge a lot better than I did.  Plus I never read Satanic Verses so I have no idea of the context.  Based on the instructions though, that may not be as important as I think it is.  In spite of my concerns, I copied the challenge into a Word document, highlighted a couple of (I thought) pertinent phrases and opened it a few times during the day to re-read it.  Then I read one of the responses already posted and added that to my already buzzing brain.  Here goes nothing.

I think ideas are fluid – they change or evolve as they develop.  Or perhaps what I mean to say is they should be fluid.  So compromise would seem to be one means of an idea changing or growing, right?.  What happens if there is no compromise?  No bending or growing?  Rushdie said it plainly enough:  “smashed to bits.”  Sometimes that’s the way I feel when discussing ideas with JD.  He sees things one way:  HIS.

And wouldn’t you know he’s an expert on just about Every. Damn. Thing?  From scrambling eggs to alternative healing to the cost of oil to the political crisis-of-the-day.  He knows everything there is to know about everything worth knowing – in his opinion.  Dare to disagree with one of his ideas and prepare to be disparaged for your foolishness.  His baby sister lives dangerously by voting Democrat and having the audacity to proclaim that with an Obama sticker on her foreign car.  Oh the horror!  I gave up trying to reason with him long ago.  You can only bash your head against the wall so many times.

JD will start one of his orations on some topic or other and the moment I realize this is one of those discussions, I tune out, which in itself is risky.  I manage to retain enough connection to the conversation to nod and murmur “mm hmm” on occasion.  (Can you call it a conversation when only one party is doing the talking?)  The risks come later when he says he told me something and I have no recollection of it.  He certainly could have told me the sky was purple with green polka dots and it probably would have sounded like the adults in Peanuts.

Then he complains that I never pay attention to him; that I don’t think what he says is important enough for me to listen.  Sigh.

We agree on that, to a point.  When he goes on and on and on about the same tired subjects, why would I want to pay attention?  I know his opinions on certain topics as well as he does and I don’t see those changing any time soon.  What’s the point of debating with someone who believes they’re right and everyone else isn’t?  Life is too short.

If I didn’t love the man I’m sure I would have killed him by now.  But I have to admit, every now and again he says something that resonates with me.  We often ask ourselves why we love each other and 18 years later we both still have the same answer:  I Don’t Know.

Out with the old…

This post is in response to the weekly challenge Creation and Destruction and builds on my last post about how a lot of folks might be resolving to do some stuff because it’s a new year.  I pointed out that while I’m not the resolution type, I do want to make one change in 2015.  My goal is to move more.  So what exactly does that mean and how will I know if I succeed?

Clearly a snapshot of the old me is in order.  No, not an actual photograph, I’m anonymous remember?  Not to mention camera shy.  But in order to evaluate progress you need to know where you started, correct?  Well I’m starting from a sloth-like state.

On a typical work day I’d curse the alarm clock at 4:30, which I had to move across the room so I wouldn’t hit Snooze over and over.  Once the morning routine was complete I’d drive the 2.5 miles to the train station where I’d stand in line for between 10 and 15 minutes until the train arrived.  I opt for a car near the elevator so when we arrive in Seattle I can take it up to street level rather than drag myself up the stairs among all the other lemmings.  With my bad knees I’m slow and I hate holding others up; that and I’m just plain lazy.

I then grab one of the many buses which run up Fourth Avenue and arrive at the office early enough to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee and breakfast from our café.  I’m usually working during that ritual but it’s more casual than focused unless there’s an urgent “to do” waiting in my inbox.  Sloth-like me sits probably 80% of the day.  Enough that when I do have to get up, everything complains:  hips, knees, ankles, feet, neck and shoulders.

After work, I used to grab a bus back to the train station where I’d stand waiting for the train, or if it was already in the station, find a seat.  Once at home, we either grab a bite out or throw together something and eat while catching up on whichever show we’re following.  Either way, more sitting.

Weekends aren’t any better sadly.  Even when we go visit JD’s mother and sister we’re sitting in the truck for almost an hour.  When we arrive at their house we’re sitting again.  Mom is in her mid-80s and she doesn’t get around well any more so “visits” are in her tiny living room usually.  And of course we have to eat!  Then there’s the almost hour drive back, once more planted on our asses.  Often the most exercise I get on the weekends is doing laundry and walking out to get the mail we’ve neglected all week.

There you have it – the old me.

So, what does the new me look like?  The new me will be different, but may not look different at first glance.  This change is not about appearance.

One of the things which I want to change is my attitude.  I hope the new me will, if not bounce out of bed, at least no longer curse the alarm clock.  I’d like to wake up happy to face a new day more often than not.

The new me will also be more active – habitually more active because she wants to be, not because she has to be.  I’ve already taken steps in that direction, literally.  Several weeks ago I started walking down to the train station after work rather than hopping on a bus.  I’ve only missed walking once when I had to stay late and needed to get there quickly.

Today was my first foray into water aerobics at the Y.  I’ve wanted to try this class since I joined the Y but it falls during the work day, not before or after.  For awhile I tried to swim on my own before work but I’m not very disciplined.  Strike that, the old me was not very disciplined.  I couldn’t make that into a habit.  To be fair, I had to leave for work two trains earlier than my regular departure to be able to swim and get to the office on time.  That quickly got old.

I believe the water aerobics will be more successful because I’ve added some accountability to the mix.  Since it’s held during my work day I have to work a little flex time in the morning and I’m already here early enough to do that.  In addition, I use my lunch hour to cover the rest of the time.  So I bet you’re wondering how that makes me accountable.  Well, I had to advise my attorneys and the backup secretaries in my department of my new schedule and explained what I’m doing.  I certainly don’t want them to see me as a quitter, so I’m counting on that to help keep me going.  My current goal is to participate in at least one of the two classes each week.  I’d like to build up to being able to do both eventually but I’m not making promises my body can’t keep right now.

Besides flailing and jumping about in the water, I’m walking for thirty minutes (give or take) with a group of secretaries on the days I’m not in the pool.  They’ve been walking together for some time and I just joined in recently.  We all take the elevator to the lowest level of the building’s garage.  Starting there we wind our way up the ramp to the top garage level, turn around and retrace our steps.  Most of them do it twice at least but I’m only able to do one time up and down so far.  I’m sure that’s going to change the better I feel.

Does this meet the challenge’s criteria?  Who knows, but it was what came to mind after reading the prompt.  I’m working toward the destruction of the old me:  lazy, crabby, feeling poorly – and hoping to create a new me:  active, happier, healthier.

Now for those of you who follow me, don’t be worried.  There will be no posts about how everyone should do what I’m doing because it’s wicked cool and it will make you feel so much better!  Far be it from me to tell anyone what they should do; we’re all grown-ups right?  Do what you want.  That’s what I’m doing.

And to be crystal clear, I might lose the laziness (well, some of it anyway) but I promise I will hold onto the sarcasm and my slightly twisted sense of humor.  Have you heard the one about why God is definitely not a woman? Hmm?  Anyone?