Or lack thereof, is a problem, and here it is New Year’s Day.  A time to promise to live better and control expenses, write that novel, shop that novel, find an agent, not live on credit cards, get fit and somewhere in all that you remember to be grateful and enjoy each monotonous, lonely day.

And year after year we find a dozen reasons not to live better; I don’t have to live by society’s standards, I am who I am, I accept me as I am, extra weight and all.  Right? Isn’t that what it’s all about?  Who will care if I don’t finish that novel. Take up Yoga? All that getting up and down at my age-ugh. TaiChi? It will take me years to get the hang of it, plus there’s the problem with my ankles.  The very idea of getting dressed, climbing into my car, to drive to a gym where I pay someone yell at me that I can do ‘one more’ is too terrible to even think about.

I think it’s something innate that leads us to self sabotage.  Maybe part of the Survival of the Fittest sort of thing?  Self defeating people would tend to thin the herd.  (‘We’ being the un-physically fit, socially awkward type and less likely to reproduce.) So it’s built in, this self doubt and the media plays on those very insecurities.  We see only perfect people on television, and we expect each other to be perfect and we make celebrities out of random odd people who keep getting married to thugs or having plastic surgery.  Definitely a ‘thinning of the herd’ type of thing.  And the way I see it, it’s our jobs as humans to break through the self doubt to change our lives.

We’re getting ‘dumbed down’ instead of ‘smarted up.’  We don’t teach our children to think.  We teach them what to think.  And only our schools teach our children, not the family, no society at large.  And outside of Sesame Street, television is getting dumber and so are we.  And less social.  We use ATMs and self checkout stands at the grocers so we don’t have to deal with other people.  Most people don’t even know what a paperback is anymore.  We have ereaders so we can play games while we’re on the toilet.  We get 300 channels on our televisions and are entertained by endless news casts, reruns, and ‘reality’ shows.  We have 52″ flat screen plasma televisions (with HD) and watch football games on the 5″ screen on our cellphone.  We shop online and wonder why it didn’t feel like Christmas this year?

Yet our motivation to better ourselves seems weak, if it is there at all.  Are you unmotivated

 Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

because you’re depressed, or depressed because you’re unmotivated?  How do you stay motivated?  With the pride of accomplishment?  What about love who you are now?  I don’t need to wear the “right” fashion to be accepted.  I don’t need to drop 20 lbs.  Plenty of women are carrying far more than that.  Who’s looking at me any more any way?  This summer I bought a bikini for the first time in years, extra 20 lbs and all and went to the pool.  I figured, plenty of women go to the pool wearing less and weighing more.

How do you stop your brain from asking, “‘none of this will matter in 50 years,’ so just relax, slow down, enjoy your life, don’t stress about running marathons and eating gluten-free, polyunsaturated fatty foods.

I find it hard to maintain a healthy balance between things I should do and things I’d like to do, and things I have to do.  My motivation in all three is down to nil.  I just can’t work up the interest to care.  I like writing my blog, doing genealogy, and now I’m volunteering for other things at the dog shelter, like photographing the animals and keeping the animals updated on the website.  But after I volunteer I regret it, because I don’t know if I really want to.  You know, get all involved with people and rules and other weirdness.

I feel restless, like I’m letting my life pass me by.  But I am content to write my blog, read others’, Tai Chiexercise as much as I do, running errands, and in general being a housewife.  Though I am not content every day.  I’ll stick with Tai Chi.  Something I’ve always wanted to learn.  I understand it takes years to become expert and I’m not doing too much else with the rest of my life.  I’m trying to treat everyone with kindness and we know that’s not always easy.  I’m content right now–well, close to it– but will I become discontent next year, or next week?  Disappointed in myself?  Yes, and nothing will change.

At what point does contentment become acceptance?  And how much should I accept?

New Online Jewelry Store

Getting my new online jewelry store up and running.  I have 118 photos to upload and some 30 pieces of jewelry to caption and describe.  I want to make some business cards to hand out at my neighbor’s Holiday Boutique on the 30th, where I will be selling some of my jewelry.  I already ordered 200 little organza drawstring bags to wrap them in.  Hope to sell more than one, but doubt I’ll sell all 200 pieces.   (If you’re curious you can check out my store at  I spent a lot of last year making all these, but had to stop because nothing was selling at the other websites I tried.  Got my fingers crossed this time will work better, since I already have over 50 views on my stuff.  No sales (of course) but a lot more views in the first few weeks on this site than a year on the other two sites combined.  Hope that’s a good sign.  Not that I expect to become a millionaire this way, I do hope I am able to augment my diminished income.Turquoise and garnet ring

I finally decided to dredge up my old fantasy novel to work on for NaNoWriMo.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it actually seemed pretty good.  I’m kind of jazzed about it again.  I wrote more than 20,000 words last November, maybe I can get 30,000 more this November.  I am pleased to be at least editing it again:  I’m not writing 1000 words a day, but I am editing up to 3000 words a day.   I will still try to get in an hour or so editing tonight.  I haven’t had much chance to edit since I’ve spent most of today on my website.  I like how the story is going and may post my first chapter up here to share.

My work at the shelter may involve some fund raising events.  I have the chance to volunteer at two different holiday boutiques coming up.  Not sure what would be involved in volunteering.  As long as I don’t have to handle cash, I’m comfortable.  Also have the chance to bring in baked goods for them to sell as well.  Any excuse to make cookies is enough for me.  Son said he might make mini pumpkin pies as well.  The didn’t ask for it, but we also make peanut butter cups, which are always a big hit.  It is expensive to bake anymore, so I would have to limit what we brought, but all the money goes to a fund for the veterinarian care of the animals that come to the shelter.  This consists of not the spay or neutering, which is basically charged to the adopting family, but for the various illnesses the animals show up with.  Some need antibiotics, and others need surgery for broken bones.  Pretty awful to think of these poor critters not getting good health care while at the shelter (they don’t like it when I call it “jail”) so I’m happy to donate what I am able, if only my time.  I think I would really miss working at the shelter should I go back to work.

Son has been kicking around the idea of going to some sort of tech school.  He’s considered X-ray tech or similar medical technician, which would be very nice income for someone without a college degree.  He’s also a great cook and enjoys it, so he was looking at culinary school.  It would be a year long process and he couldn’t do online studies, obviously, but for him to be interested at all is huge.  He also finally got new glasses recently.  He’s been complaining about his old glasses for about three years now, so it’s a huge relief not to have to hear him complain about not being able to see, nor afford new glasses.  YAY!!

I can’t believe it…well, yes I can: Christmas decorations are going up all over town, hanging from light posts and draped in the stores.  I have already done much of my shopping (online) and don’t plan to do much more.  Not being Christian, I don’t have a religious reason to observe, and then being sort of anti-consumerism, I don’t spend a lot of money.  This year I want to paint grandson’s room and get a throw rug in there.  That’s about all I want.  Though we are still kicking around the idea of visiting Seattle over the holiday break between Christmas and New Years.  We’ll see.  It would be a pretty good test to see if we could handle living in the city in the grayest state in the Union.  I’d really like to do it, but as my unemployment just ran out and I don’t know that I’ll get the extension I applied for (probably) and even if I do, my benefits will be somewhat reduced.  Of course, we were just getting our heads above water (sans mortgage payment, of course) with all our bills.   Thank you Republicans!