New Normal

What even is normal anymore? I’ve seen so many posts discussing this in light of the current Presidency and staff or in light of living in a COVID-19 world. We discussed it in depth after 9/11 when I was in college. I have to admit, it’s wacky listening to those younger than myself criticize a pre-9/11 story revived from the depths of someone’s forwarded emails. They say “that’s not even possible because airports don’t work that way” and I see the second plane hit the tower in my head again. I just kind of… check out… right there.

I can relate, little fox.
pic from Reddit

The thing is, we’ve been encountering “new normals” all our lives and I want to maybe take some of the scary out of it. When we went from staying in the same classroom all day to changing classes, that was a new normal. When we started dating we suddenly had to wonder if eating tuna for lunch would be too gross for kissing later. New normal. Some of us got braces and had to brush or mouthwash after eating. Temporary, but still new, new normal. After a diagnosis of a medical issue- new normal. Someone we love dies- new normal. Get married or move in with someone- new normal coupled with the discovery that they are not nearly as normal as you imagined… and maybe you aren’t either…

Humans are remarkably adaptable when you get right down to it. But there’s this weird thing where we don’t talk about it much. It’s like taxes. When you reach the time where you need to start doing them you’re expected to either just figure it out on your own or to pay someone else to do the hard parts for you. (Seriously, tho, capitalism has really schnookered us into this. Taxes do not have to be this hard. There’s an issue worth voting on.) So because we’re out here just slugging it out most of the time, thinking we really should have learned it along the way and wondering which day we slept through class that they taught this particular thing, I want you to take a well deserved moment to gain perspective.

Especially for those of us who are creatures of habit, adaptation is hard. All those earmarks of success that tell us we’re doing ok are suddenly missing. Maybe you can’t even handle what you used to consider the most basic human functions. Maybe, even though you could handle those functions, the loss of your routine is making it difficult for you to even remember what those were. (This was particularly true during the wild and wooly shutdown for COVID-19 earlier this year- an endless sea of Saturdays…) Whatever is standing between you and what you remember as normal…just set it down and remember the fox above.

What is he doing? Himbs best. What iz u doin? Ur best.

I want you to remember that when you’ve walked into the same room for the umpteenth time and realized that you’ve just walked a circuit between 3 rooms for the last 10m because you were trying to get something done and just ran into a series of obstacles. I want you to hear it in your head when you drop the toilet paper roll and it rolls across the room and out of reach of your crutches. I want you to think of it when you run your tongue across your teeth and feel the fuzz (you know what I’m talking about). I want you to replace your anxiety and despair in this moment with a fox meme. Because you are himbs and you are doing himbs best.

That’s enough. Your best is enough. It’s one of the things I really love about actual Japanese flavored anime: “I’ll do my best” is all over it. Even when someone fails, the important question is “did you do your best?” Hold onto that. Wallow in it. Marinade if you prefer. Because your best is enough. Even if today’s best generates less desirable results than yesterday’s.

And if you’ve got someone in your life that is a “fixer,” you feel free to tell them to put the Coldplay down and, if they just REALLY need to be that guy, this tree is the best audience to apply that song to. There is a short in his wiring somewhere and I need his lights to guide me home. If you can’t send them my way, send them to a local spay and neuter center. It’s not creepy at all to sing, “I will tryyyyyyyyyy to fix you” there. As for you, you don’t need someone hovering and overwhelming you with suggestions. It’s ok to set boundaries on how and when someone is allowed to help you, even if the how is “don’t” and the when is “never.” Your life. Your choice.

Time for me to close. I cannot tell y’all how incredibly peaceful it was to log in and not have a bazillion spambot comments on my Phys Rep Wings tutorial post. I had to turn off comments on that post entirely to shut the bot down. I hope someone spills Coke on its motherboard.

So if you’re trawling through my posts and have a question or comment on that particular post, feel free to comment elsewhere and I’ll get back to you. Sorry for the inconvenience. I didn’t need a medical dissertation posted one comment at a time and interspersed with ads for snake oil cremes and what is most likely sugar pills on my tutorial.

Sleep well, kids! Mama Goat is hopefully back more regularly for good.

Masters of our Fate

Tyrel is done with your talking...

Tyrel is done with your talking…

As a role player you get a perspective on life that’s generally inaccessible to the masses. You get to explore aspects of your personality that are being squelched in other areas of your life, find out what would happen if you went with your gut instead of with the crowd, take that chance on being a hero instead of hiding in the back of the battle and you learn exactly how little control you can have over an outcome.

At a recent game my ex walked right into a trap set for the inquisitive mind and sprung it by asking too many questions. The results were rather devastating to his character. It made me question my deep seated need to understand the world around me. Do I ask too many questions?

Anxiety is a terrible thing to live with day to day. A little fear now and again is good for the soul. A lot robs the soul of its vitality and its luster. “A life lived in fear is a life half lived” according to Strictly Ballroom and I’m watching this play out in my own, but without all the humorous moments and the wise asides by children. I’m also severely lacking in sequined costumes and men who dance as though David when the Ark returned to Jerusalem, but that’s a post for another day.

The price of understanding is knowing the answers to the questions and realizing that the bad results number far more than the good. Our world is not, in fact, set up for us to be successful. Too often the fear of those undesirable outcomes cause us to bring them to pass, which feeds our anxiety and creates an emotional maelstrom of a world to try and navigate. I don’t want to be like this anymore. My body can’t take it and my mind can’t handle it and my soul is aching from it… so what does one do to change their little world?

I have begun by rethinking my way through my entire worldview. Not the place most people begin, I know. Who is God? What is He to me? What do I want Him to be? Where am I going with my life? Is that really where I want to go? Is the music something I’m meant to do or something I’ve latched onto as personal therapy and naively believing that it will help someone else as well? What of the art and the clothing design/construction? I love them but should I be doing these things? Why am I here? What is peaceful to pursue and what is selfishly annoying everyone around me? Am I lovable? If presented with romance again, would I want to pursue it? Am I EVER going to own my own house? Should I? Am I, as I so often feel lately, in desperate need of being rescued or is this something I’m capable of doing on my own?

And then it hits me: I’m asking too many questions. And I am paralyzed.

Please, God, make me a stone… with a sweet nougaty center. In the above picture I might look like I can take on the world, but I assure you that my insides do not match my outsides.

My mother taught me that you eat an elephant one bite at a time, so tonight I am doing math. Tomorrow I will do paperwork and maybe move a thing or two. As I make these decisions and I actively choose one fear to face at a time, perhaps gradually my wings will grow lighter so that eventually, I’ll be ready to fly again.

Blessings on your new year regardless of your faith, religion or creed. My best to you all.