Flying the Flag

Happy February, Sober Blog Citizens! Well, the US Presidential Inauguration day has come and gone and so I want to take this opportunity to apologize to THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD.  I’M REALLY SORRY ABOUT THIS. WE’LL TRY TO DO BETTER NEXT TIME. Please bear with us for four years (or less!! Please let it be less…)

Then there were the weeks of Frozen January Winter Hell here in the PNW. We had snow, we had ice, we had snow-ice, snow-rain, ice-rain, super low temps, major freeway and highway closures, buildings collapsing. At this point a cup of ice sends me into a PTSD fit. There were lengthy and heated discussions on my site about whether or not people should be abducting outdoor cats during the cold weather. As a neighborhood lead, I received half a dozen requests to flag posts from other neighbors who had gotten just a bit EXCITED and maybe said some not-so-nice-things to or about other neighbors. Mind you, this is a neighborhood whose residents can chat for a week about GUY IN A TRUCK CAME TO MY HOUSE SELLING MEAT. So nothing is beneath our scrutiny.

Apart from that, we’re rolling along here in Betty Land. This weekend is Beach House weekend! Which sounds ever-so-slightly more awesome than it is because we are doing Beach House DIY. Which, I grant you, is about a million times more fun than suburban DIY because, well, HERE WE ARE. AT THE BEACH. But still.

We rolled into town last night and I really wanted to eat some fish, so we went downtown to one of our favorite places and they had an all-you-can-eat fish and chips special. And I was like THAT SOUNDS LIKE A CHALLENGE, BRING IT ON. In accordance with our tee-totaling ways, we ordered the ever-popular, always available, soda water and lime. And as soon as we did, our server just whipped the wine list off the table in a fluid motion as she turned away to go place our order. Whoaaaaa.

So I’m assuming that, here, in Florence, “soda water lime” is code for I AM AN ALCOHOLIC. Which is super convenient. And if you’re a server, that is also code for MY TIP JUST WENT DOWN. I don’t want to insult servers by asserting that they are all curmudgeonly towards non-drinkers who will not be jacking up an enormous bar bill. But we have noticed the quality of our service declining after we hand back the cocktail list. This was NOT the case, however, for us last night. The service was wonderful and the fish kept-a-coming. I actually only managed one additional piece of fish (cod, deep fried, AMAZING) in addition to the already generous portions, plus fries plus delicious cole slaw. And honestly I ordered it because I was going to GET MY MONEY’S WORTH. Wow, I just realized I can CUT AND PASTE this paragraph into my TripAdvisor review. BONUS.

Had a nice chat recently with one of my local sober friends, and we both set goals for the year which feature primarily DEALING WITH OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR NONSENSE. For me, specifically handling individuals whose very nature and being translate to my psychic nails on a chalkboard:

  • People who make excuses.
  • People who martyr themselves and then are resentful about it.
  • People who give every last drop of sweat and blood up to other people who don’t appreciate it.
  • People who piss and moan on Facebook about how unhappy they but don’t do anything to change it.

JEEZUS THAT DRIVE ME NUTS. I have to keep myself from shouting STOP BEING A DOORMAT!! STOP WHINING AND FIX YOUR LIFE!!! The restraint that is needed to keep myself from becoming a complete lady-douche is ASTRONOMICAL. As one can imagine.

So what I’m working on here is my empathy, which is a good thing to have. Because these people are obviously stuck. Wedged in their ruts. Running on their hamster wheels- SQUEAK SQUEAK. Stuck. Not trapped, but stuck. Unable to envision a different life “because”… Can’t do this because of that, can’t do that until I do this, can’t move forward because of blah, blah, blah. And it’s hard to listen to it and watch it and not scream EVERYTHING AFTER “BECAUSE” IS BULLSHIT.

Crawling down from the hamster wheel is hard. You have to do and say things that are uncomfortable, the most notable and powerful being NO. You have to put yourself first (for a bit, obviously, we are not sociopaths– or are we?? **please see first paragraph**) Ever notice that when you agree to something you don’t want to do, something that really violates your personal boundaries, that your body cringes? LISTEN TO IT. It knows what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

You have to remind yourself why you should be grateful what for what you do have, even if it isn’t much which may mean speaking to yourself VERY FIRMLY.  You have to convince yourself that you will always have enough. Not a lot, not specifically this or that, just enough. 

So now that I’ve gone off on how you can all FIX YOURSELVES so I don’t have to change AT ALL, I’ll get back to my part in this. I don’t have any control over anyone’s behavior but mine. Which, frankly, drives me fucking crazy. But I don’t. So I’m working on it. Whether we are on the wheel, or dying to RIP SOMEONE OFF OF IT, we always have work to do on ourselves.


For those of you who follow my DIY blog, Hammer Down, please check back soon for a beach house post. This weekend we are revamping the laundry room (please contain your enthusiasm) including new paint, flooring and shelving.





18 thoughts on “Flying the Flag

    1. He really is disturbingly orange! It’s actually quite entertaining (in a scary, let’s-be-friends-with-Putin kind of way) because all the smart funny people are liberals and the satire is BOOMING. I’m starting to speak Trump-twitter-ese: “Paint sprayer malfunctioned. Total disaster! Sad!”
      The F-N-C’s were AMAZING. Seriously thinking about eating it again tonight. It won’t be AYCE but that’s probably safer for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Apology Accepted. I feel somewhat partially responsible because I only phoned all the people I knew in America (4 – not including you, I don’t have your #) to remind them to vote sensibly, when it appeared it was too late. I should have tried harder and sooner.As you said, I can only control my own behaviour…….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am as intolerant as you are! And getting less tolerant as I age. I have a friend who was diagnosed with Learned Helplessness, where her best defense against life was to appear or pretend to be helpless. The flip side of this behavior is that she was super-manipulative because she had to counteract all that helplessness. What drove me crazy is she didn’t want to change this … she was totally comfortable with always being the victim. She excelled at it. I got to where I couldn’t even listen to her because she wouldn’t WAKE THE FUCK UP!

    Thank you for this opportunity to vent. I too need to work on empathy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Since I was about two, my dad has said, “Don’t be a martyr!” None of us knew what it meant, but we knew we were never supposed to be one. It worked! Martyrs also drive me nuts. (That was a mini-vent.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Missed reading your blog!! I just took a photo of your list (and the bit before and after) and sent it to a mate. We were talking about the exact same thing this morning in relation to a few people we know. Life is hard. Life is a struggle. But the good life (not talking materialistically) is one worth fighting for. But people tend to drown themselves in alcohol instead of trying to work out what WOULD make them happy. So silly eh 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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