A drop of water,
captures our reflection;
the pond fills with rain.
A drop of water,
Phobias, oh I have a few, I’ve had them since I was a child. The four main phobias that I can think of right off the top of my head are, in no particular order: Nyctophobia, Acrophobia, Arachnophobia, Trypophobia, Agoraphobia and Achievemephobia. Oh, I said four, and there are six. I wonder if I have others that I haven’t discovered, or realized, yet. I’ve often wondered if it’s all just one big phobia, but science tells me they’re all separate. I had anxiety growing up, and so I’ve thought it was all related to that. I think Cancer and Chemo have cured me of my anxiety, or it manifests itself different now.
I’ve rid myself of two phobias; the Nyctophobia, I think just by simply growing up; age and wisdom. The other phobia, the Arachnophobia, I don’t have that anymore. We had a friend, in high school, who had it real bad, which made me realize that mine wasn’t anywhere near what her level of fear was. I think I was finally cured one day at a friends house, after school, we sat on the couch together watching a Nat Geo special on spiders; my friend said she thought they looked awesome, I was soon mesmerized by the beauty and complexity of these spiders. Not to mention, my friend smelled real nice, was warm sitting next to me, and well, you know, soon I was loving spiders more than I thought I ever would.
I have Trypophobia real bad, I don’t like to talk about it or describe it. Okay, its a fear of clusters, or irregular patterns of holes or bumps. Oh yuck, I said it. Yep, that’s a weird one I know, but there it is. It is a phobia, but I think there’s a leaning towards calling it a biological revulsion.
I knew a girl who had such a deep seeded fear of clowns, she could not stand to hear that word spoken out loud. Not even the word, Assclown.
I am working towards pushing myself through the Achievemephobia, that is a tough one, as they all are. But it is a very important one that I need to get through, or at the very least learn how to cope. I am going to meet this one head on any day now.
I still have the acrophobia, and yet I go wall climbing. Yay me! We’re quite proud of ourselves out here at The Rusty Prose for that one. I still have the phobia, but I am able to work through it. My climbing partner is quite patient and understanding. It’s a real phobia, it’s the first one that I recall having. In a northern part of the city, where I grew up, there was a mountain pass, well, it was an extremely high span at the mouth of a large river. I dreaded having to drive over it. My father ridiculed me for asking if they could lower the bridge so it wasn’t so high up.
I still have the Agoraphobia, I think it’s getting worse as I am get older, my Cancer ordeal didn’t help matters in that regard, it left me feeling quite vulnerable; the pain, the weight loss, the act of dying but not actually dying, and the intense chemo brain left me feeling that I’d rather be alone, more so than ever in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t cower in fear while I’m out in public. Not at all. I’m actually an extroverted introvert and can be quite out going when I need to be, however, I really don’t like crowds of people.
For myself, I am all about self improvement. I have over come a couple fears, and learned to live, well enough, with a couple more.
Never put off until tomorrow something that can be done right now, or some such thing. I’m good at paraphrasing, I tend to forget the entire adage, or quote, or what have you. These are good words to live by and it’s taken me decades to turn that into practice. Not all of it is my own fault, there are numerous external factors involved, life, other people, well, life in general gets in the way of life. Of course, one must take ones health, and various other factors, into consideration, but it really is best to make the attempt to not put things off for another day.
I had procrastination tendencies as a child; early memories of not wanting to do my homework for one reason or another, then getting it piled up with no end in sight took me by surprise, not to mention the incredible amount of ‘music’ coming from all manner of adults who surrounded me during my education system sentence. I didn’t understand, nor did I care, what the repercussions would be. Going to school, keeping myself and my room clean, then all the household chores, were all I had to do, but I didn’t want anything to do with any of it, for all kinds of reasons. Reasons.
During puberty, and then teen years, meant all new levels of procrastination. There were many problems in my life, which I am not discussing here, right now, that contributed to procrastination, spite against my parents and authority in general, were the two strong factors. So, really, what ended up happening is that over the years I developed it as a habit, a bad habit, one of many that I carried through my teen years and well into adult hood.
As a young adult I seemed to be in a state of shock for the first few years, then as I got through into my late twenties I came to an incredible realization of what I had been doing, or, in the case of procrastination, what I had been not doing. I was sabotaging my own life by procrastinating out of spite against people who had sabotaged my life. I was cutting off my own nose to spite my face. I was seeing things in a different light, as well as having different job experiences soon made me do the opposite of procrastinating, I was getting to things as soon as I could.
Then I fell, head first, into an unhealthy relationship which lasted far longer than it should have, and my procrastination came back with a vengeance. You want spite? Well you got it. Man, I look back on that time and I feel real stupid for staying in for so long. But, it happens, as they tell me. Life gets in the way of life. I soon fell into a whirl pool effect of procrastinating on life, which really bummed me out, which, in turn, made me procrastinate even more, which bummed me out even more. You see where this is going? Yes, folks, we do love a good run on sentence down here at The Rusty Prose.
I am so much better now. I still put things off, but that really bugs me so I try my best to get things done. Don’t get me wrong, I, by no means, am an over achiever, I just do my best to accomplish my tasks on hand.
I have writer’s block, it’s late in the evening, it has been a long work week at the Salt Mines, and I’ve enjoyed an after work beer. I had today’s blog post all worked out but I changed my mind because it just wasn’t working for me. Instead, I’ll write about one thing or another, sorry, just kidding, I do have another bout of writer’s block, but we won’t let that stop us. Here at The Rusty Prose, we charge through these barriers, we turn road blocks into stepping stones, and we don’t put our wish bone where our back bone ought to be. I plan to accomplish lot of things done, but my system for planning always fails. I set the intent, and in doing so, I manage to get something done. At the very least, my typing has improved.
I, like a lot of people, have many frustrations in my day, mine is my blue collar job and all that it entails, so, I am writing this blog for a number of different reasons; to improve my writing, to compel myself to write on a regular basis, to garner a fan base, and, as an income stream. After I get my act together with this blog, I will get my Patreon page up and running. That would make two revenue streams, then after that maybe look into freelance blogging, as a third revenue stream. The idea is to get away from my penance at the Salt Mines, then move on to my literary fiction, which I quite enjoy writing.
More and more these days, more so now than ever, I have been dreaming, wishing, even pleading to be a stay at home writer, so, in a metaphysical sense, I think something positive is about to happen, or maybe I just have my hopes up. I am starting to feel, and notice, positive changes coming over me for my side hustle endeavor, as well as my day job at the Salt Mines. I do believe that I am turning a corner with both, as though one day this will all take off in a positive direction. I am motivated to stick with it, this blog, and my plans for other revenue streams.
I’ve been told, a few times recently, that I have been inspiring people, on twitter, in real life, and here on my blog. I don’t feel inspiring, but due to my Cancer situation, and my motivation to improve myself, I guess I’ve moved some people. I talk about my schedule, and how I make time to write, I have a blog, I have twitter and I know how to use it. I am networking well, I have my highs and my lows, lately I have been having highs on twitter, but lows on my blog. Today was the worst blog day, I had zero visitors, I’m exhausted and I have writer’s block.
I am in this for the long haul, I have been making some quickie little blog entries, mostly aimed at improving my writing, my prose and my typing. I am certain, that if I keep at this writing and editing and posting often, it will have numerous payoffs. The idea is, after I set myself free from the Salt Mines by supporting myself with three or four revenue streams, then I can, and will, begin working on all my rough wips waiting for my attention.
I am an extroverted introvert, I love how that sounds, and what that means is, I am outgoing, can be quite gregarious, can address a crowd, even perform live in one capacity or another, but for a limited time only. I turn into a pumpkin quite early, I need to be away from people. Maybe not all people, the company of one or two more suits me just fine, any more than three can get under my skin. Even three other people is pushing it; I need to be alone for a while to recharge my batteries, or with someone who is patient enough to understand.
I have always been that way, since I was a child, I remember being in large groups of kids and not wanting to be the focus of attention, especially when it came to girls. My parents didn’t want to hear about it, my grandmother, a nurse, picked up on it. One fine day, as a seven year old, I asked her why everybody stares at me, people in cars all look at me as I would walk down the street, she told me to ignore them and to look the other way. I think she picked up on the fact that I’m also agoraphobic, which is another story all together.
I’m so old, I’m from a time when us children would got outside and play on our own or would walk for a mile to get to a friends house. Mostly I would just walk for a mile to nowhere, too many times I’d get to a friends house and there would already be half a dozen people there.
I like conversing with people on a higher level than simple small talk, i.e., the weather, sports scores etc. I find, if I try to go even just a touch deeper than the weather, say politics, business, or finance, most people don’t want to hear about it, so I am left making small talk with a large group of people in most of my day to day interactions either at work, or at school. It’s easy enough to find people with whom I can have a more meaningful connection with, but they don’t all understand the hidden introvert.
I guess that’s the key right there, the introversion is mostly hidden and disguised, and so people are quickly blindsided by an extroverted person shutting down in an instant for seemingly no reason whatsoever. It took me several years for me to realize I was doing that to people, I’m sure I’ve hurt a lot of my friends, acquaintances, and lovers that way. Conversely I’ve been hurt by introverts who don’t understand my extroversion.
It’s not that I don’t like people, though I may have uttered that phrase a number of times in my life, its more that I need to be alone for certain periods of time. I feel, post cancer and chemo, that it’s getting worse. There are other factors involved, those, and the cancer, will be further expanded upon in future blog posts, which you can always read here, at The Rusty Prose. So don’t be offended if one minute, I’m acting like your best friend in the whole wide world and the next minute, I’m contemplating being alone, reading, writing or watching a film or listening to music; you’re more than welcome to come along, just don’t ask me to go out to play with you and all your friends.
I am a life long insomniac, always have been, always will be. Started as a child; I would lay awake all night, tossing and turning, I did not know it was insomnia, I would complain to my parents but, to no avail. Ironically, if and when I would fall asleep I would inadvertently wet the bed. Hmm, I just went from talking about my insomnia to outing myself as a bed wetter. I loved Sarah Silverman long before she outed herself as a bed wetter. I wonder if she’s also an insomniac.
My insomnia was hard for me to understand as a kid, I would be flat out exhausted, but did not want to go to bed, then, as I would go to bed and snuggle under the covers, I would warm up and, … wait for it, I would wake up. Wide awake, so, I would read until I couldn’t see any more then I would toss and turn until just before dawn, then I’d fall asleep, and promptly wet the bed. Soon enough, everyone in the household would get up, after having a full nights sleep and expect I was the same. Nope. I was unable to get up in the morning, cold, soaking wet, and flat out asleep.
This went on until just before puberty hit, when I finally stopped wetting the bed. I was staying up later I’d watch TV then I’d read a book until late night and sometimes until early early morning. Back then, **old man voice**, we only had a few TV channels to choose from, no VCR yet, and the stations would shut off around Three AM. So I would be tired when I went to bed, I don’t remember having insomnia going through puberty, aside from staying up until Four in the morning.
Insomnia was still there for me as as a young adult entering the blue collar work force, perfect, just perfect. I was staying up too late, usually having beers with buddy, watching the hockey games, then laying awake all night until I would fall asleep, just before my alarm would ring. Not very healthy, but then I started getting jobs which required working graveyard shifts, I did that for many, many a year. Insomnia also works well during the day, especially with lawn mowers, city noises and people. Yep, insomnia was here to stay.
Over the years I would learn different coping methods. A few little changes can help, avoid looking at the clock, or even turning the light on. I know the tendency is to do exactly those two things, then start reading, going on-line or TV time. I’ve read, in a few areas, that it’s best to act as though you’re asleep, keep still, eyes closed, and do your best to not ‘think’. It’s hard to do, but with a little practice one can accomplish these little things.
Then along a came Cancer, Surgery, Chemo, and the whole kerfuffle that came along with them. I would sleep in fifteen-minute chunks, awake for four, then more chunky sleep for four. Those might not be accurate numbers, I’ll have to go through my notes, I may have written that info down.
Now, these days, my insomnia is different, I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, but then I’m awake after a few hours. I have no problem sleeping during the day but I prefer to be a day person right now, it’s working for me, although lately I’ve been wondering if I’d like to go back to being a night person.
There is a hashtag, #writerslife, I feel confident enough to use on occasion. Just as everyone is unique, so too, are writers. My #writerslife may differ completely from others. I’m sure Rowling and King have much different lives than York or Payerely, whose lives differ completely from mine. Just as we all have unique experiences, we also have shared experiences. Fears, trepidation’s, as well as times of joy and elation. I use #writerslife, as well as other writers and bloggers hashtags, but I am now living the life, rather than just using the hashtag.
I may be living a writers life, but it’s also a blue collar workers life, a single mans life, and a post Cancer patients life. I think, in this case, a writers life can mean I have to be a writer, but I have to eat, sleep in clean linen, and I have the desire to be covered, cozy and warm, in the cold, wet months so therefore I need to work full time and cram writing into every available minute. And yes, we are prone to run on sentences here at the Rusty Prose. It’s a writers life, in that, in order to be a writer I need to put in the extra effort tantamount to having two jobs.
Another aspect of #writerslife, that I am experiencing, is the self doubt, the subjective view, the thoughts of complete and utter failure. Thoughts of, am I doing the right thing, is this crap, will people ridicule me for this? Don’t worry folks, I’m not being maudlin, these are just fleeting thoughts I’ve had, as I work on ideas; keeps me on my toes in terms of quality, quality of over quantity. I’m not phishing for sympathy, I believe many writers, many of whom are published and accomplished, have had similar thoughts at times.
I am putting words down on paper, into my computer, and onto my blog. I am constantly thinking of my works in progress, though many of them are in one form of limbo or another. I am devoting time on a daily basis to write, I get up earlier and I go to bed later. Right now I am mainly focused on this blog, but have plans to get my other stories up and running, hopefully sooner than later, but I try not to talk about it until I am actually working on them.
Life also has to go on, I have to take breaks, I have to watch my physical health as well as my mental health. I have issues with fatigue as well as insomnia; which, contrary to popular belief, are not related. I may get tired from the insomnia, but the fatigue is something else all together. My non-writerly job takes up a lot of my time and energy, as does my writing, so I try to take it easy when I can, it’s always good to stop and smell the roses, then sit and write a poem about them.
I had mentioned, in an earlier post, about writing as a hobby, which I am currently working into my side hustle, and now wanting to pursue other hobbies. I have a passion for model rail, I like the steam engine era and I prefer wood burning over coal. I am nostalgic, I did grow up near a rail line but they were electric diesel, I’m not that old. I know that once my side hustle gains traction, after a lot of hard work, I will be able to start my model railway.
Writing was my main hobby and interest, with model trains running a close second. I have never had a set up, aside from a brief moment when I was a child, and a few years ago, when I got a cheap set for Christmas, which rekindled my passion for model rail. I did set it up and started to look into getting myself an adult set, I looked into modelling and building the benchwork for the layout, I’ve studied various layouts to see which would suit me best. But, as we all know, life gets in the way of life and so I am now train less, for now.
I have the room for a little N scale set up, I have the plans for my benchwork, I have a good idea for a layout, I just don’t have the time or the cash right now. I have spent the past several months making time for writing and I’m still adjusting to that particular change in my life. Much the same as writing, with the model rail, I will take it in slow baby steps, one day at a time, one step at a time. I know I said I have the room for a layout bench, but I need to de-clutter that area to make the room.
So I guess I can make myself a honey-do list and tick each item off when I have a spare minute.
- Clear the space
- plan ahead
- make a materials list for the benchwork
- price out the lumber & hardware for the benchwork
- check and recheck the plans
- select a small and simple layout
- buy the supplies
- build the bench
- plan ahead for a larger expanded layout
- buy the track, a small engine and some rolling stock
- explore the modelling aspect of this hobby
There, I think we’ve simplified this for ourselves down here at The Rusty Prose. As I’ve said, I am currently using as much time as possible for my writing side-hustle, but one must have hobbies and interests, and as I work towards turning one hobby into my day job, I am prepping to create time for my new hobby. As a hobby, model rail is interesting because it covers a wide array of skills, there is carpentry, electrical, engineering, artistic design, realistic scale modelling, as well as research and development.
Have you escaped from your past? I’ve been able to hide from mine, but there is no escape, no statute of limitations. Where are the people you have hurt, where are the people who have hurt you? Have they escaped their past, are they looking for you? What is inescapable? I’ve reunited with people, from my past, who have not at all been able to escape their past. As a matter of fact, though I do get nostalgic, I think I have moved beyond my past, but I know it lurks around behind me, somewhere.
I push myself when I am tired, I gain some ground. I have phobia’s, but as an extroverted introvert I do my best to be intrepid, within my physical means, and, post Cancer, I may not care so much any more about phobia’s. I am wondering if that is what this is all about, Cancer. Cancer changed me to a degree or two, there is no denying that fact. My Chemo treatments left a mark, but we do our best and we march forth, we carry on, as they say. We all tire in our own ways, I push my self, not to exhaustion, but through the tired.
I look at the trees, I long for the days of quiet solitude, days when there were more trees than people, no light or noise pollution, the smell of horses in the air. I only dream of fruitful and prosperous times. I am obviously not adverse to hardship, I just do not want my pipe dreams to be rife with strife. In my current state, I would most likely stare at the trees as I either starve to death, or I keep a large animal from starving to death. Am I nostalgic for Mother Nature?
When I was diagnosed with Cancer, I went home, had a beer, dialed up some music, some of the ‘get together’ party music from my past, the way way back time, and had a good cry. A few beers, some eclectic obscure music, and memories of all my rather enlightened cohorts, nostalgia. Many of whom were dead, married, disappeared, incarcerated, or otherwise. I was already nostalgic, but the spectre of death, ones life flashing before ones eyes, was quite the event. A few more beers were in order.
Looking back on my life, I, at times, had a lot of fun, and, at times, I did did not.
I notice, when people say they’d like to go back to a certain time period, they tend pick some idealistic, or ideal, epoch, but they might not take into consideration that the hard times were usually austere times, not so much fun. I have an ideal time, and maybe a few settings, but I’ll save those for my pipe dreams.
Music, music in general, always takes me back. I don’t need, or even want a time machine, although that would be a riot unto itself. While physically going back in time has its appeal, I do like our ‘now time,’ our current present tense, with instant access to any music I love, any time I want, I use that as my time machine, music feeds and nourishes my nostalgia.
I have battled Cancer, I’ve endured Chemotherapy and I’ve suffered the indignities of Surgery and yet I have seen first hand just how fortunate I was to be dealing with my particular ordeal. Cancer was a formidable foe to be certain, warranting the battle of a lifetime. Chemotherapy was an out-worldly experience, one that I would never, ever want to go through again in this lifetime; I found the experience to be horrifying, an encounter which exposed me to be the coward that I am. I had Surgery to reconstruct the humerus on my (left) dominant arm after a cancerous tumor ate into the bone resulting in a fracture. Several horrible elements combined for one hell of an ordeal, though I know for certain many others faced even more horrendous situations and they have a faced it with grace, courage and dignity in their own ways.
One year prior to these events, among other things, I had rekindled my passion for writing and had taken up jotting down notes and ideas on a semi-regular basis. I kept it as a hobby, more or less, writing thoughts and ideas, a little more earnest as time went on, making sure I filled any spare time I had with writing. Soon I was writing on a regular basis, albeit for limited time, again mostly thoughts and ideas, and then short story ideas, and some script and stage play ideas. I submitted a short story based on an actual event, then a short stage play, then a fictional short story, none of which were accepted. I felt as though I was getting somewhere with my writing hobby and was looking for creative writing courses when disaster struck, I broke my writing arm and discovered I had Cancer which turned my life upside down for several years.
I was in no state to write, not of mind or body. Six months after the fracture we got smartphones and so that enabled me to start jotting down ideas, all with my right thumb. When, after a fashion, I could prop myself up I was able to write on paper, again with my non-dominant arm. Not an easy feat, to start to write with ones non-dominant arm, try it for a while. I had the added bonus of dealing with the side effects of the Chemotherapy which gave me a temporary cognitive dysfunction to muddle through. Google ‘Chemo brain’ (or maybe I can link it) for a better idea of what that is, or wait a while because I know I’ll have a whole blog post devoted to chemo brain. It took me well over one full year before I was able to even attempt to write with my left arm again, and I am sure my recovery sped up after that.
Though I survived I don’t like that term, ‘Survivor’ or ‘he was a fighter’, somehow, to me, that implies the poor unfortunate souls who succumbed to this horrid disease were not putting in the same effort; we are all different, our Cancers and treatments differ from person to person. Yes, I survived, a victory for me, but it was a Pyrrhic victory