This is My Brand

This was a pile of stuff which reached halfway up the fence. Fiberglass kayaks and plastic deck boxes make a big fire.

Two weeks ago, I started a fire. It’s the biggest one I’ve started to date and what you see in the photo is the aftermath. While I would have loved to take a more effective marketing photo, I was too busy trying to calm my heart attack, and put the fire out before it burned down the fence between our house and the neighbors. Or worse, one of our houses.

(In case you think I’m a pyro, I usually limit my activities with fire to camp ground fire pits and our BBQ pit here at home.)

So, how does something like this happen? It’s a long story. If you have not read any of my other posts, I strongly recommend you go back to the beginning. This one will still be waiting when you return. For those of you who have read them, and wonder why this one wasn’t posted sooner? I’m a storyteller, people. I have a schedule and placed this one where it belonged for the best effect.

From the outside looking in, it may not appear so obvious I have a riding horse with rubber band legs. It’s called my life. What’s wrong with it? Anyone who has been reading this blog about pursuing dreams or finding your tribe, and thought “Someone’s life story told with wit and charm. How sweet! Oh look, pretty pictures and cute bunnies…” Yes, that’s some of my life, but I’ve only scratched the surface.

I’ve mentioned my husband who is a disabled veteran. He struggles daily with pain and depression. Unfortunately, it made an underlying problem he never quite conquered even worse. It’s called PROCRASTINATION. When you add pack rat tendencies to it, you have an ever-growing problem which takes even longer to fix, and affects the well-being of others. Until they accidentally set fire to the mess. (Lots of fuel. Burns quick. I have first-hand experience now.) At least, I think it was an accident. I was thinking about the next post to follow “Finding Your Tribe,” while pondering the duel personalities of fire as both destroyer and agent of cleansing. Ironic, isn’t it?

Ok, Ok… You’re wondering what I was doing when I set an old fiberglass kayak, with a bunch of stuff piled above it, on fire and sent it to Valhalla. (Yes, some of my ancestry is Scandinavian.) Waging war on squirrels, that’s what. I’m certain there is someone out there who will be more than happy to tell me I’m wrong; but I’m reasonably certain the uptick in the squirrel population, to our older neighborhood with established trees, comes from all the rampant development around us. Over the years, developers have ripped out pastures and large stands of trees ever closer to our subdivision. Seems like they’ve been going crazy recently.

I get it. Human beings keep producing new generations who need places to live. If I have to put up with hundreds of displaced squirrels ripping my property apart, in order to have lots of apartment complexes and more shopping nearby, maybe some of you should take a leap of faith and get out there in the real world. Build your own stinkin’ nest with your resources. You might surprise yourself and find you reached the other side when you open your eyes. I can promise you the safety net doesn’t last forever. Mine died (spiritual and inspirational) when I was 46, supposedly to suicide. I’m now the safety net, though there are many days I’m not certain it’s as strong as it should be.

This is why I started writing novels again. This is my motivation. Nano-whato? Pfft! I believe I have mentioned my obsessive personality. I can easily write a few thousand words a day, and when I don’t feel like it, all I have to do is look around me. My house needs a new roof; a total plumbing re-pipe; a remodeled kitchen; new flooring downstairs and some upstairs; new stair treads; a stairlift for the hubs; new windows; possibly taking down the oak tree… I think that’s enough for now. I’m pursuing my dream to become a published author with an in-house graphic production company, because I already have the skills to do my support work, as well as the software. Initially, I thought about hiring myself out as a copy writer, then concluded I was exhibiting a lack of faith; in both myself and the God I believe provides for us. I’m not waiting for anything to be perfect, the right time, or to have enough time. My life will probably never be perfect. Big deal!

The right time doesn’t come. You have to make it happen. (The Lord helps those who help themselves.) I got tired of telling myself “no.” I certainly will not allow anyone else to tell me “no” either. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work because I don’t want handouts, or for someone else to clean up our mess. I’m not laying all the blame at my husband’s door. I allowed myself to let things slide, using the excuse if he didn’t care enough to deal with it, why am I getting my knickers in a twist over it? All our problems are fixable. It means acknowledging there is a problem first, then setting a deadline to address it. The biggest problem here was not setting deadlines, which are a way of creating accountability and maintaining motivation.

Obviously, I’ve reached a breaking point, where instead of burning all the oak leaves, along with the acorns which attract the squirrels to our yard, I accidentally set a toxic fiberglass kayak and a few other things on fire. Did it solve a problem or two? Surprisingly, yes. Though I don’t recommend taking such action in the first place, nor do I plan to try it again myself. (For a few days, I couldn’t talk without coughing.)

The name of this blog is “Confessions of a Middle-Aged Writer”, though maybe it should have been “Middle-aged Drama Queen.” Just sayin’. Still, what you continue to see is what you will get here. This my brand, my leap of faith. I have no idea what it will look like on the other side, but I’m taking it anyway.

Quote of the Week

So what if you set the world on fire? It’s what you do during the aftermath that counts.

Kristal DeJong

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