Excuses, Something else, Nano Poblano

Day 30. The final day. Last post of the month. I blogged every day in November!

HUZZAH!

*Clears throat*

Well.

Almost.

I kind of succeeded 93% of the time. I blogged 28/30 days. Which is a 7% fail. Which is still 28 more posts I might have done otherwise. But also. I’m not sure if that’s how this works.

And while I say 93% success, I cheated on some of those. Cheated within the rules but against my own brain’s blogging standards. Brain expects more than simply blogging everyday. Brain says I have to write proper, meaningful posts. Photo-posts are a no-no, imbedding music videos with the hashtag ‘currentmood’ doesn’t meet the grade. A post where I waffle on with excuses of tiredness – CODSWALLOP!

Which means Brain thinks I had a 56.6% success rate. I can round that figure up, right?

Fortunately for me, in recent years, I’m better at ignoring that part of my brain.

So, thank you team Cheer Peppers! Thank you to those who found the time to read my posts and those who were able to leave a comment. Thank you Ra, for Nano Poblano.

Well done everyone, whatever your success rate – never forget that you blog for yourself!

*Group hug*


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Believing

Two days ago, I began a whole different post.

It was about failure and resolutions for a year we’ve now lost. Failed resolutions. I didn’t intend to fail, but then, I didn’t make any real effort to win so technically, failure was assured. Actually, that’s not even technical, that’s logical and I cannot (or should not) lament something I chose.

After Nano Poblemo, I said I would blog more. I haven’t, yet, and I’m not sure why I feel guilty about it. It’s crazy because I’m creating failures for myself.

So, it seems that this post too, is about failure.

It is.

And it isn’t.

Nano Poblano was a resolution. Not one timed with the New Year but one that came at the eleventh hour on the last day of October. I’d procrastinated. I’d thought about it for days previously before I finally committed to it. And then I did it – I blogged everyday for a month.

I won.

I set myself some resolutions for 2015. None of them were unreasonable or unrealistic but I didn’t take them on. I wondered how they were any different from my Nano Poblano challenge.

They weren’t different. Except, there was this little part of my brain that believed I could write a blog post everyday.

I believed.

This post was going to be about lots of things. Instead of resolutions, I’m going to focus on believing.

Happy New Year, my friends.

Whatever you do in 2016, be your best.

Off the Back of NaBloPoMo

Or as we Tiny Peppers like to call it, Nano Poblano.

Or, as I’ve been calling it lately (today), NaNo Problemo.

So, Day 30. Here I am, I took you on. I won. The only day-fail coming off the back of an ice skating accident and taking my friend to Emergency. Friday the 13th and all. But I caught you up.

IN YOUR FACE, November. IN. YOUR. FACE.

*ahem*

So, where am I at? What will this mean? Has it changed my life?

Meh. Huh? Maybe.

Time will tell. Today, I feel I will blog more often, which honestly, is a stupid thing to say because blogging more often than I did before NoBloPoMo won’t exactly be a stretch. But, irrespective of whether I do or don’t – I know I can. I’ve blogged every day for a month. WOOT! Two years ago I didn’t think I’d ever do that, the very thought would have made me vomit.

Not literally. Obviously.

I’ve been forced to rein in my self editor (who’s normally brutal). And I’ve been posting with mistakes. I been posting without twenty-million re-reads. Without relying on my husband’s proof-reading.

Congratulations to those who took on NaBloPoMo and/or Nano Poblano and won. And congratulation to those who gave NaBloPoMo and/or Nano Poblano a go. There are no losers. You’re all amazing.

And I wish to thank you. All those people who’ve found me here during my thirty day blogging frenzy with special thanks to those who’ve taken the time to leave a comment. I have found new friends here.

And thank you, Ra. You have no idea how much awesome you make.

Day Five: The Fear of Desperation

nanopoblano2015darkOkay, so it’s NanoPoblano or NaBloPoMo and I’m trying to avoid list-blogs. To that end, I’ve looked to The Daily Post for inspiration and found this topic, ‘Phobia Shmobia’. And really, it’s doesn’t matter what it inspires, does it?

I’ve always found phobias fascinating. My own main phobias include:

Atychiphobia – the fear of failure

Claustrophobia – the fear of enclosed spaces

Arachnophobia – the fear of spiders

Ophidiophobia – the fear of snakes

And some I can’t find a name for, like the fear of awkwardness. Why can’t it be called Awkwardphobia? Why does it have to be something-in-Latin-phobia?

The interesting thing about phobias is, they’re irrational. I have a friend who’s afraid of birds. She will cross the road to avoid walking through a folk of pigeons or seagulls. You couldn’t get her into a henhouse for love nor money. She finds them unpredictable. There’s a part of my brain that laughs with its logic. It asks – what threat do they pose!? Why are they to be feared!? Then, another part of my brain reminds me that fears are irrational. To some, my fear of spiders, snakes, enclosed spaces and failure are as illogical as her fear of birds.

Of course, there are ‘grades’ of everything. My fear of failure is my most debilitating fear. It’s not like I spend my life rigid with the fear of randomly confronting a spider or snake and I am still able to use an elevator without freaking out about the confined space. Logic does save me, most of the time. Things like awkwardness and failure are harder to define, but tangible fears I seem to handle okay. Which can be strange.

For instance, I’m not one to take a roller coaster ride. Not because I can’t, but because of logic. I wonder why people scream when they have some idea of what to expect. Which is hilarious because it makes me sound like no fun at all.

Oh my God, I’m no fun at all!

It’s weird, right? I’M WEIRD!

Firstly, let me clarify – I haven’t been on a OMG roller coaster ride. I live in an area where world-grade rides don’t exist so I (really) don’t know what I’m talking about. I took a local ghost ride once that was so underwhelming my friend beside me screamed just to give the cart behind us some hope.

The question The Daily Post asked was – have I overcome any fears?

Well, I’m blogging daily for the month of November.

As a failure-fearing-monkey, that’s progress.

NaNoProMoDon’tknowBloMoSomethingSomething

There are those of us that have Words. And I do mean Words with a capital, in italics and bold. It’s all words, words, words and they explode out of them in groups of a thousand and they actually contain brilliance that simply lacks a French polish. This is not me.

Words stumble out of me like it’s lunch time and they’re still in their pyjamas. They’re not embarrassed (but they should be) and I’m their mother, trying to make sense of their behaviour all the while feeling responsible for it.

I get caught in words, fixing their hair, adjusting their clothes, match making, trying to build perfection while avoiding clichés. I’m so poorly read I could weep. Yet, I’m not willing to undo that failure with any kind of gusto. If I read four books a year, it’s a Christmas miracle.

If you’re a follower of this blog, it’s well known fact I’m a slow writer and poorly read. For those with Words, it’s difficult to explain that each blog I write takes me hours, the comments I leave on a fellow’s blog can take just as long, compounded by panic – ‘is it offensive?’, ‘could I upset someone?’,  ‘does it convey what I mean?’ and you have no idea how many comments I spend hours on, and then delete.

This is me. Loving Words, while fearing Words.

Words.nanopoblano2015dark

Knowing all this, NaNoWriMo is a dream, NaBloPoMo is a possibility.

I’m going to give that a go.

Please be patient, and don’t shout.

Thank you.

*Cuts NaBloPoMo ribbon*

WHAT’S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

Maybe it’s a strange mantra. I kind of fancy one that’s more about love or creativity but this one speaks to me. It’s been my survival mechanism for many years now.

The important thing is, it mustn’t be misconstrued. I’m not asking myself to imagine the worst things that can possibly happen in any given situation. I’m not wondering if the legs will fall off my chair or my house will fall down or I’ll be abducted by a squirrel with a limp. It sounds like a drastic question, but what it actually offers me is perspective.

I procrastinate. More than I’d like, and probably more than is ‘normal’. I’m procrastinating about writing this blog post. I’ve had the title and the first line written for two weeks. But like anything I undertake have to fight the naysayers in my head. They’re telling me I suck and that this blog post is so badly written I’ll be judged ad infinitum by all who visit here. So I ask myself, what IS the worst that could happen?

I might suck.

I might be judged for it.

And the next question is the important one.

Does that matter?

*posts blog*

Now Wait a Doggone Minute

Part II, see Part I here.

Beach Little Dog

Little Dog

My parents have learnt a lot about their dog since adopting her from the shelter. She couldn’t stand the smell of smoke, or any vehicle noisier than a two-stroke motorcycle. She feared the kitchen and kitchen-type noises. She feared a door that was neither open or shut. She feared feet. She didn’t understand water could be found in designated bowls. She thought a ball was a weapon rather than a toy. She didn’t know grass, sand or dirt. She didn’t know she could dig. She cowered at any hand that reached for her.

My parents have learnt she loves children and will wag her backend off and/or cross traffic at the sight of one. She’s also an optimist. Despite evidence she’s been abused by the adult man of her previous life, she continues to approach men, cowering with appeasing Bambi-eyes, sometimes dragging herself along on her stomach to reach them in the hope of their approval.

I marvel at how adaptive and forgiving dogs can be and for Little Dog, most of the fears and anxieties she exhibited in those early days have dissipated, or in some instances, disappeared altogether.

This brings me to the day she was attacked by another dog. She survived, and she walks through the park where the attack took place without hesitation and continues to ignore other dogs like they don’t exist. The only thing that has changed is Little Dog gets defensive when strange dogs race up to her, even if they intend to play. They can bark or do cartwheels for all she cares so long as they keep their distance, but a fast-paced introduction leads to growling and a brief scuffle. This is compounded by my mum’s own anxiety on the issue, who’s now fearful of any dog off-lead.

This would be manageable except for the surprising number of dog walkers who disrespect our wish to not engage with their dog.

They say, ‘it’s fine, she won’t hurt’ or, ‘he’s friendly’ but it’s incidental – we don’t want other dogs racing towards ours but we cannot convey this, or Little Dog’s back-story before the other dog gets to us. Even if we manage to say ‘Can you please put your dog on lead’ they offer the same answers. A man told my mum to take her ‘f*cking dog elsewhere’ among other profanities as he had no control over his own dog nor had he bothered to even bring a lead. In another instance a woman told me indignantly it was an off-lead area. I said, ‘that’s fine, but as you have no control over your dog, how can I protect yours from mine?’

[Okay, so I wasn’t quite that eloquent, but I conveyed that point and it gave her something to think about.]

Even though we put our dog on lead when another approaches, it’s rarely read as a sign by them to do the same. One lady once let her dog off to meet ours. She was lovely, and the dog was lovely but that’s beside the point. By the time Mum was able to explain her concerns, the dogs had been with each other long enough to settle. Mum said it makes her feel like a over-reactive fool when she cannot prevent the exchange and then all her concerns amount to nothing.

As Little Dog is calm and unreactive, I guess people assume she’s ‘okay’ and they can please themselves, but I’m certain they’d be more cautious if Mum owned a Rottweiler or a Doberman or a German Shepherd. And simply because your dog isn’t the ‘problem’ dog, doesn’t mean you should be inconsiderate of others. Here’s another perspective, in this blog post by Liz.

Our dog is great with other dogs, if given the time to adjust to their presence. Please think about the dog walkers you approach – they may be one of those wonderful people who’ve adopted a ‘broken’ dog or they have a dog with a complex history. Respect that.

You do not know their story.