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New Year, sorta like the old one.

Field Notes In/On Transition

New Year’s Jump?

I mentioned in my last post how I have worked a more regular (and more fulfilling than endless journalling, morning pages, which for a long time was the only writing I did daily, and of course on facebook, etc) writing practice. I have turned it into a crucial part of my day, usually, ideally, in the morning, after my breakfast, coffee, emails, etc, I sit down and write a (self imposed) minimum of 1000 words. 

I time it so I have a few minutes break after about halfway (lately I do this less though) and then can finish up the day’s ‘chapter’ with time to make a sandwich and get my mind off the story and ready for work. On days off, like my recent staycation, or weekends, sometimes it’s later in the day that I get going on the writing. But every day, except maybe two or three, since  Halloween I have sat down and got my characters into their next scene, day by day. 

This practice makes me feel good for a number of reasons, but mostly because I feel like I am learning, and have learned so much just by doing what now seems like a snippet of writing each day. I wouldn’t say my writing every day has improved the actual writing all that much yet, more, I’d say my thinking about it has changed, matured, and it stabilizes my day in ways that I was in denial of needing. I’m so much calmer, in the face of everything in the world getting more expensive, and it gets harder and harder for non ambitious folks like myself to get by. I have no illusions that this thing I’m writing will ever make me a living. 

I’m just doing it to learn. Someday, likely, unless something dire happens, publish it myself. If a few of my friends read it and enjoy it, I’d be happy. I don’t mind working to earn a living to have the freedom to write in my spare time. But the world is leaving behind those of us who want to be able to subsist on only a lesser income, career track, so that we can do things like transition, and write that Sci Fi novel they’ve been meaning to write forever. It used to be that you could pay rent, maybe even have some savings working part time, if you didn’t have a house, car or kids. All the rest of the time, you could pursue your other activities. I can do without stuff. I don’t need power, or to feel like I’m a Professional. I just need to pay my bills, which really are not that bad. I don’t need to make a fortune. I just need a little luck.

Two weeks off, without going on any kind of trip is not quite the same as those vacations where you go see your family, or avoid everyone and go somewhere you want to visit. The ‘staycation’ at least for me, is not very directed. I made sure I wrote every day. I ate way too much ‘Christmas food’ pretty much every day, had a lovely Xmas eve open house, again with lots of food, sweets leftover for a week at most. A good number of Trans folk came to the party, and a few other friends, it was a nice grown up drinks and chat. the only kind of party i am into having, or going to these days.

It’s the New Year now, and while I don’t go for Resolutions much, since I’m promising myself stuff in that way every day already. New Year’s is no different for me than any other day that I resolve (and fail) to eat healthier, or whatever other thing there is that I’m working on. The hardest thing for me when it comes to resolve is getting past the regret of failure, everybody fails, all the time. Some of us give up too quickly when this failure happens. Sometimes we don’t though. Sometimes we get back up from being knocked down, dust ourselves off and get back into whatever it was we were wrestling with.

Resolve is hard. It’s hard to be a Trans person, or any other person who feels they have to qualify themselves. It would be so awesome if we could all see each other as human before we see gender,race, class or whatever other roadblocks hit, trying to communicate.  It’s hard to remember that you have to play the long game just to be seen as equal, most minorities in most parts of the world have to deal with thousands of years of entrenched nonsense about some boogie man ‘other’ who really is anyone who is ‘different.’

There’s a great quote that I’ve seen attributed to John Steinbeck among others that I’m paraphrasing I think; “Socialism never took hold in America because the workers don’t see themselves as the exploited masses that they are, they see themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” 

This is becoming true in every part of the world through the insidiousness of our current Capitalist economy. Money is the only god billionaires/corporations/governments believe in.

The Nestle Chairman thinks that water that belongs to everyone should be his to sell to us in bottles, with some crappy chemicals tossed in most likely.  Manufacturers used to pride themselves on making products that lasted a long time, until their kids inherited the businesses and realized they could make more profits by paying slave labour level ‘wages’ in depressed countries, and specializing not in the long term of their product, but by the planned obsolescence of their products. More is better right?

No, it is not. My wish for the world in 2014 is that the leaders of the world, and that includes the greedy businessmen all get visited by some kind of Scrooge scenario. I feel like there is no hope for the down trodden, those who have bad luck in their lives, those of us who don’t own houses, cars, private jets are made to feel like a criminal when we do something like apply for an insurance benefit.  Do the poor not deserve a little human dignity. Rich folks do not give a fuck one way or another. Sure there are examples of Bill Gates, blah blah blah. A few of these men could end world hunger in constructive sustaining ways, that are not handouts or charity! Without blinking. But they don’t. We are their sausage meat. 

Depressing crap, right? It’s only getting worse! Everywhere in my giant nation, except where I live, is in the middle of their coldest winter in generations. The planet is starting to get rid of us. I don’t blame it one bit. What am I doing about it? Whining here and on facebook, mostly. And trying everyday to work on my own ‘stuff’, to be a better person, a better listener, and a better writer, and artist. I don’t want to ‘work’ but I don’t mind. I don’t need a fortune, or the stress of the 3 job sixty hour week that barely pays all my debts. I want what I have, a decent paying, not quite full time gig that pays my rent, food, and maybe even helps me put a bit aside, or pay down my debt a little bit. I am not ambitious about anything other than my friendships and my real ‘work’ which is writing whatever it is I’m writing.

I can’t help the world if I feel helpless in my own life. I am only now at 47, amidst uncertain economic times not feeling helpless most of the time. I know I can get by on not very much in the way of financial success, but in the future even that modest success might be hard to come by.  Perseverance is my watchword for 2014.


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