Tag Archives: driving

TSAONGAF 1

pointless meanderings

TSAONGAF is the abbreviation for Mark Manson’s self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’ve read MM’s articles with some regularity, and last week I read his bestselling book. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot. As I said earlier, I’m going to blog about some of my thoughts on his various concepts.

What does MM mean by not giving a f*ck? He points out that most of us are wrapped up in caring about so many things that we feel perpetually entitled to a perfect world and freak out when things don’t go how we want. I guess you could say that our giving f*cks too freely has turned us into a bunch of whiny Karens. MM suggests we drill down to our basic values (and change them if they aren’t working for us), and then find the few, important things to focus on. “Let the little things go.” We’ve heard that before, right?

Obsessing over way too many unimportant details has been a huge problem for me my whole life. I can’t simply decide not to and that’s that. “Don’t do that” is a negative statement, and when you focus on a negative, well, you know what happens. “Don’t eat potato chips”… now all you can think about are potato chips. I’ve been trying to substitute the negative statements with positive ones. Focus on work. Pay attention to family. Engage in self-care routines. Get more sleep and exercise. Read more books.

Focusing on these positives has had the effect of pushing some of the trivial crap away. It really does work. I don’t have time (or the inclination) to engage in social media arguments (a huge source of past stress) when I’m in the middle of a good book. If I’m filling my time with pleasurable activities, I’m less inclined to click on a new dating site “just to see.” I know that leads down a bad path. I can step back now. It’s a bit harder in some areas, such as driving ~ I still get enraged when someone does a dangerous maneuver. What does MM say about that?

It’s okay for life to suck sometimes, is what he says. We are not entitled to a perfect life, and there’s no need to feel inadequate when something fails to be perfect. So I had a frustrating drive to Los Angeles. That’s just how it is some days and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me or the way I’m living my life. Sometimes traffic is sucky and frustrating. That’s okay. I literally had this ridiculous conversation in my head the other week. I was so stupid for letting my daughter go to UCB. She had a full ride to UCD and wouldn’t have met her future husband there probably. I’d have more money now and wouldn’t have to make this horrible drive when I want to see her. God, I’m so dumb!

But then I got to her house (a half hour later than expected) and had such a great time with my family. I’m not “dumb” because there was a detour and some other drivers were being rude and awful. It’s okay for things to suck sometimes. I’m not entitled to perfection. It’s hard though to keep that mindset all the time… I’m constantly reminding myself to stay positive and not dwell on small annoyances. Being positive is more of a habit now than it used to be though, so I am improving. Slowly.

Okay, that’s the end of this PoiMo. I’ll do more MM musing another time. 🙂

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image originally found on Pixabay.

Friday Night Q’s

Butterfly at night with flowers

Lovely Di @ pensitivity101 has offered us some interesting questions…

1.  What is your first childhood memory?

Waving goodbye to someone. They were on a train and my mom held me to wave. It was probably my father’s parents. I was around 2 years old.

2.  If you dive, what was your first car?

I don’t dive… I dislike going in the water at all. 🤣 I drive though, and the first car I owned was a Renault.

3.  Do you prefer sweet or savoury foods?

4.  Before the lockdown, were you comfortable in a crowd?

I was okay with small groups of friends, 4-10 being the ideal number. I may never go to a fair or concert again because I can’t imagine ever feeling okay about a huge crowd, not that I liked them previously.

5.  Are you a night or day person?

Lately, my sleep schedule has been all messed up. I probably am most productive in the late afternoon and early evening.

6.  Favourite past time?

Writing and reading.

7.  What makes you laugh?

Wordplay mostly.

8.  What makes you cry?

Thinking about my mom…

9.  Compared to your school days, are you more or less creative now?

About the same.

10. What is you pet hate/peeve?

People! 😡

11. What kind of blogs interest you enough to follow?

I like eclectic blogs where the blogger writes poetry and/or short fiction, maybe has a prompt going on to share, and also talks about themselves a little. I don’t like blogs that link news articles (as a whole post) and/or blather endlessly about news in an impersonal way. I don’t want to read conspiracy theories nor will I tolerate even the slightest hint of racism or antisemitism. And if a blog is about selling me something, it had better be interesting and funny.

Timer at night

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Happy Color.

Good Things Come in Threes

3 fancy ice cream sodas

Well, bad things do too, or so goes the superstition, but this post is about good stuff. We need some of that right now, or at least I do. Today, three prompts go happily together:

  1. Fandango’s Provocative Question #72: “What is the one thing in life that you are most excited about right now? Why?”
  2. Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: “Gratitude.”
  3. And last, but not least, Trent’s Weekly Smile.

Yesterday morning I drove to Los Angeles to celebrate my granddaughter’s second birthday. I brought a giant bag of gifts with me. The original plan was to have a “distance” party in the park, but we didn’t feel safe outdoors, given the insanity, so we stayed inside. It’s the first time I’ve seen family in person since the beginning of March. We’ve all been very careful, so we decided to go ahead and spend a couple hours together. Oh my gosh, it did my heart good to be with this angel not to mention my own sweet daughter and son-in-law as well. We FaceTime’d with my eldest over a birthday pizza lunch too. I was so grateful for the opportunity to finally see (some of) my loved ones in person! There were smiles galore for hours… I left at 1:30 to make sure I was back in Orange County well before any curfews began. This little girl is an absolute joy to be around! I am so excited to spend more time with her very soon, maybe next week. 🙂

Birthday girl with Nana

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images credited to Bitmoji and me.

Sadje’s Questions

Bitmoji chameleon

The lovely Sadje tagged me for some Q’s. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite subjects! 🤣

What is your favorite time of the day?

Lately I’ve become an afternoon person. I don’t mean since The Thing, but gradually over the last decade or so. I used to love mornings, but I’m pretty achy when I first wake up now and it takes me a while to feel okay and be productive.

How strict are you with yourself, regarding health?

I’m good about not overeating, but I’m terrible at exercising. I’m good about eating veggies and not subsisting on Snickers bars like I used to, and I rarely touch alcohol.

Do you follow back a blogger who follows your blog?

Mostly not, unless they comment and their blog interests me. If they simply follow and like posts, I may not even notice them.

How do you deal with criticism in real life?

Depends who it’s from. If it’s from someone who is signing my paycheck or someone I gave birth to, I’ll take it seriously. Anyone else, probably not so much. This is different from writing critique when I’ve requested it, of course. 🙂

How do you deal with criticism in the blogging world?

Usually they get thrown in the trash. I am not obligated to provide a forum for jerks and meanies. They can post their crap on their own blogs. Way back in the day, I thought I should allow all comments to pass through, but why? This is my space. Anyone can get their own.

Any ideas about how we can turn the current situation to our advantage?

Yes. The auto insurance companies have reported a decline in claims during the past couple months since people have been staying home. This is obvious, right? Fewer miles driven = fewer accidents = fewer injuries and deaths. But really think about that every time you get in a car. It’s one of the most dangerous things we do. 😬

Are you a dessert person?

I used to be. I used to crave sweets and make a dessert my whole meal. I’m sure I still would if it was available. But I seem to have lost the intense cravings I once had, and I’m much more satisfied with healthy choices. 🥑

What colors do you like to wear?

I like a bunch of neutrals in browns, black, beige, white, etc. and then one thing in a bright color like pink or turquoise. Or on the weekend I might put the brighter colors together if I’m feeling whimsical.

What color decor you like around you, in your home?

Browns and animal print things. 🐯

What is your favorite place to write from?

Probably my kitchen table on my iPhone.

Do you like getting Blogging awards?

Sure! It’s nice when someone thinks of me. I hope people don’t mind if I only answer the questions though and don’t tag anyone.

~*~

Image from Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Seven and Seven

7 & 7

Rory wants to know 7 things that make me happy & 7 things that make me unhappy. Then he wants me to define happiness, save the whales, and cure cancer. Let’s get started, shall we? 😀

Happy Things. Here I’m going to put stuff that makes me personally happy, not stuff I might read about regarding others. Like I love when I see stories of firemen rescuing kitties from trees! Nuh-uh. That doesn’t count here. It’s not direct. We gotta narrow this thing down. Same goes for the next list, or else it’ll be full of all the bad news in the world and nothing about me.

1. When someone pays me for my writing or spends their money to read something I wrote. 🎉

2. When someone leaves a public positive review of something I wrote or my writing in general. ❤️

3. When someone says I’m funny (without hoping to get laid or anything like that).

4. When I spend time with my children. Meant to put this one first, oopsy! 🤣

5. When I have a productive day at work.

6. When I have a productive writing day.

7. When I write something particularly good (either poetic or funny or profound or whatever). 😎

Unhappy Things.

1. When I get nothing done. 😡

2. When there’s a lot of noise. 😱

3. When someone is a jerk on the road.

4. When people demand things of me (who aren’t related to me or paying me).

5. When I have a big f*cking migraine. 🤯

6. Spam, fraud, robocalls, and all that sh!t.

7. Things that don’t work right especially when they interfere with work or writing. Rawr!

So, I think we can sum this up by saying that Paula is happy when she can write and Paula is unhappy when things interfere with writing.

Not complicated.

Happy day Bitmoji record

~*~

Images from Google and Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Taboo [socs]

Beside me is a game of Taboo without a shoe. It has a mess of cards and a timer too. Does it have a buzzer? Let me look… No, no buzzer. Here’s a pic of the whole thing.

Wow, it really is messy! When I’m finished with this post, I will find a rubber band and neaten up the cards. All the colors should face the same direction, so you can play one set at a time. Idk why there’s no shoe or buzzer, but on the back of the box there’s no mention of such. I guess I got the cheapo version. 🤣

We were playing online Taboo last week, but the site had so many ads that some of us switched to our own cards ~ that’s why this box is sitting out. This is an easy game to play at a distance as long as someone else keeps the time (too hard to watch the time yourself when you’re giving clues), and you all pay attention to any “taboo” words you say inadvertently. I guess you could share your card with someone from the opposing team so they could “buzz” you, but we haven’t bothered to do this.

In the meantime, we found online Code Names, which is more fun anyway. It’s our favorite game at the moment ~ even my daughter joined in the other night. What a blast! Now, I have to admit something: this was more fun at a distance than in person because my daughter was there. She would not have joined us in person because she’s at home with her husband and baby. 💕

And another great thing about games from a distance is of course… NO DRIVING!

Tonight we’re going to have a big virtual game night with 16 people invited. We do this over Zoom paid accounts. It works out really well except (as I mentioned) the camera on my laptop doesn’t function. So, I will just use a static photo, no big deal. My phone loses battery too fast to Zoom on and it’s annoying to have to charge it during a game. Plus, it’s just better to use a laptop with all the features visible on one screen.

I know we’ll return to meatspace game nights as soon as we’re allowed to, but I really enjoy sitting in my own place, with the heater blasting, hot tea on demand, chatting into the night… and not having to brave the roads after with the drunken maniacs. The only issue is that some of our favorite games simply can’t be played online. Oh, and some of our peeps won’t play this way. 😢

Next week we start April A-Z, and though I couldn’t be bothered with the rigmarole of filling out forms and such, I’ll still be doing the thing on my own. My theme is games! They won’t all be board games. Hope you’ll be reading and participating. 😻

~*~

Image from my photo library.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF43: Trekkin’

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The post below is a reblog of a post I made almost 7 years ago (one day off). When I saw the title, and esp the alt title, I thought oh goody a dating post… my peeps will have fun reading this. But alas it is not. Sorry about that. 🙁

The Trek to Santa Ana

[Alt: Why I Still Get Valium Refilled]

I hate California ~ have I ever said this? Someday I shall retire to an idyllic place where there’s way less traffic and constant hassle.

So my dad had a checking account at Bank of America. As you may know, this is an institution with a ton of problems, but one thing they’re right on top of is freezing the small accounts of dead old people. I produced all manner of ID and stuffs, including a power of attorney, but none of that was good enough ~ I had to get his death certificate for them, plus then wait 40 days, for them to give me the money. If only I had thought of writing a check to myself for the full amount the minute I heard the news, right? But no.

The death certificate is available (for $16) in Santa Ana at the OC Health Care Agency, where it marinates for 60 days and then is transferred to the Hall of Records. Why is that? Because we need to have arbitrary rules. Dur. So, I left early Tuesday morning to go to the HCA, but the freeways were all messed up even then, so I arrived in Santa Ana at almost 8:00AM, and the streets were all crowded and miserable.

I found the building and saw the parking was all metered, natch. I had to drive around the block, and on the other side was the High School for the Performing Arts, mashed between all the gobblement buildings. WTF? Who’d put a high school there? Oh, and it was time for school, yay. So, I had to wait while all the budding Rembrandts and Lady Gagas ambled across the street, ushered by cops, and the mommies in their ginormous SUVs dropped off their preciousnesses. Gah!

OK. Finally I got back to my building, parked, found two quarters for the meter, and went inside. I was the only customer, whew. I decided to get two certificates, just in case. This was the easy part, figures. It’s always the driving/parking that stresses me out.

My grandmother’s middle name was Ann, like mine. I never knew. Strange to find out this way, after all this time.

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

A Bunch Of Nonsense

To distract myself from myself, I’m going to answer these super intrusive questions about myself from Melanie

1. Tell us how you met your partner. Please be specific in telling your tale.

I don’t have a “partner.” I’ve been divorced since 2011 and all my attempts at dating were documented disasters. Right now, it might be nice to have someone to be cooped up with though. Or maybe not.

2. What is your most romantic experience, again with details?

I have a post in drafts called Skyloft. It’s about the best first date I ever had ~ my last first date. I had a couple more first meetings since, but they don’t count as first dates. This man was also a disaster, like the others, but worse because I’d finally begun to trust again, and after him everything was impossibly shattered. The date itself was incredible. It was the hottest day of the year, and I was sick, had been sick for a month, which made the whole experience surreal. I felt I was in a painting, with all the colors and sounds and tastes and smells so exquisitely bright. When he touched me, I felt transported to another plane. Nothing was the same again… it still isn’t. He kissed me at the beach, with the turquoise waves crashing in, just like a dream. I will never forget this, no matter what he did later.

3. What is the most extravagant purchase you’ve ever made, and why did you buy it?

I have not bought anything extravagant for a really long time. I’m super careful. I’ve spent money, sometimes a lot, but on stuff that’s necessary, such as a car (a sensible one). I simply can’t think of anything. Oh! I know. My daughter went to Costa Rica several years ago and brought me some very cool artwork. I spent $400 to have it framed. But I love it. ❤️

4. What is your favorite swear word or expression, and when are you most likely to use it?

I’m an equal opportunity swearer. I try to give all the bad words a good workout daily, but I must admit that since I haven’t been driving they’ve been sitting in a sad heap on the sofa watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island and munching potato chips. 😢

5. What is your favorite kind of pie? With or without ice cream?

Ooh pie! I had the best pie up in Northern California ~ key lime with whipped cream and a thick graham cracker crust. That is my fave, followed closely by lemon cream and then cherry. No ice cream necessary.

6. While we’re on the subject, what is your favorite ice cream, and where did you last eat it?

Cookie dough! I don’t remember when or where I ate it last. I don’t eat ice cream often because I’m always freezing. 🥶

7. Who is your most unique friend and why? (May be someone from the past.)

My daughters are both brilliant and hilarious and totally unique. I love them to bits! My besties! 💖💖 (Why? Because I raised them! Duh.)

8. What is your most irritating habit?

Yelling at my cat to quit yelling. 🐱

9. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

I loved many of my philosophy and writing professors at CSUN.

10. Do you like being alone and if so, what would you probably be doing?

I enjoy choosing to be alone; I don’t enjoy this forced isolation and not being allowed to go to work. It’s super depressing. When alone, I read, write, play phone games, chat with peeps online, etc.

11. What is the most outlandish thing you’ve ever done?

Probably picked up hitchhikers and taken rides from strange men back in Illinois. Nothing bad ever happened even though this is a terribly stupid thing to do.

12. What superstition do you always follow?

I count things a lot, which isn’t really a superstition, but more an OCD, except not that much since I don’t do it consistently. I just feel things will work out better when there’s the right number of ’em.

13. What famous person or animal have you met? Tell us about the meeting.

Not really. I’ve seen various celebs in the Los Angeles area, but haven’t hung out with any. I don’t think celebs or royals are better than anyone else, and people ought to quit making such a fuss over them. 😛

~*~

Image credit to Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ62: Homebound

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What activities have you cut from your life since this pandemic started that you DON’T really miss?

Unlike some, I don’t see a silver lining in this thing for me personally although yay less pollution right now, so that’s great. I miss everything I was doing because I had my life the way I liked… work, family, pets, friends, hobbies, etc. Still have pets around. Everything else is online or not at all and geez I get tired of staring at screens.

However! There is one thing I’m not doing or hardly at all and I do not miss it because I hate it. Can you guess?

Traffic jam at sunset

God, I despise driving. It’s just the worst and I don’t miss it one bit. Wish I could resume a normal life without it, but I live in Southern California, so lol.

It was making me more depressed to keep documenting my days of nothingness, so I stopped. I’ve been working on Ghosted 👻 and playing games.

~*~

Images from Fandango and me.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

I Think It’s Tuesday #PoiMe

Pointless meandering

Warning: this is not gonna be one of those smell the flowers in the pandemic posts, but there are plenty of those around, so if you would rather read something cheery, move along now.

I’ve been doing my side work from home as usual but not my main work. It would be complicated to set up. The days blend in a haze of sleeping late, sweatpants, coffee, news, news, and more news. 😢

It’s depressing to live this way and never see any of my favorite humans. I don’t know when I’ll be able to visit my daughter up North again. Or even see my family in Los Angeles. Everything seems terrifying. But I’ve been staying indoors mostly and not even going for walks. I don’t like getting the mail because I never know if someone will stand too close. Today was okay. No one was at the mailboxes when I was.

The worst thing is reading these constant bits of news and feeling more horrified. But I need to know what’s happening! I live near a busy street and traffic never stops whooshing by… where are they all going? Why aren’t they staying home like they’re supposed to? Aren’t they hearing the same stuff I am? 😡

I’ve been cleaning a lot. I have nothing else to do but keep checking the mishmash of news. I read a book. Probably will read another. Been chatting with friends. I was gonna bake banana bread, but no one else is around to help me eat it, so I didn’t. No need to turn into a chubby hermit. Got bored with the phone games. I’m finally working on Ghosted. 👻 Luckily, I really like it.

I am grumpy and sad. I don’t find the beauty in this. Maybe if I had a partner? Then we could be having luscious sex and engaging in wonderful deep conversations and playing chess and watching lovely old movies and making lasagna and planning our escape from this mad mad world, but instead I just keep checking the cat boxes to make sure no poop needs to be removed.

It’s not that I mind being alone. I like to be alone. It’s the forced aspect of it. And it’s the constant uncertainty in every direction. Health, family, finances, job, future. What’s going to happen? Even if things tentatively begin to improve, will we be re-whomped with this, or a new version, next winter?

Sorry, I can’t put up some Hallmark card type of post. This really sucks. 🙁

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.