If it ain’t broke…maybe it got fixed?

This post has been brought into the world because I went scrolling through Twitter & Facebook and kept coming across ridiculous criticisms about the way the U.S. is shutting down to slow and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic spread.

This is what all those complaints sound like to me:

  • My house didn’t burn down. Boy, I sure overreacted by putting out that grease fire on the stove before it spread!
  • The basement didn’t flood when it rained. Well, heck, now I feel foolish for spending all that money on a sump pump and improved drainage.
  • My car’s engine just never seizes up or overheats. The hassle of regular oil changes and maintenance visits sure feels pointless.
  • Didn’t get sepsis or tetanus even though I gouged myself on a sharp piece of metal.  Why did I bother washing out the cut and keeping it clean until it healed?
  • Totally got through that intersection on the green light without hitting anyone else’s car. HA! WHO NEEDS TRAFFIC SIGNALS ANYWAY?

I am a starry-eyed optimist. I still hope our societal seawalls will hold against the rising viral tide. If we have separated fast enough, we’ll stay below the terrifying threshold beyond which doctors & nurses have to decide who dies for lack of an ICU bed. If we keep the infection curve low and slow, we won’t see non-pandemic patients dying from a sheer lack of hands & supplies to treat their injuries & illnesses.

But if all these painful, terrifying, difficult, potentially-ruinous measures WORK, then as sure as stink follows shit, I’ll hear many more comments like, “Gee, that COVID-19 thing wasn’t so bad. All those precautions were pointless.”

And then I’ll want to punch someone. People’s inability to recognize connections between process & outcome just blows my mind sometimes.

Final note: Nothing about this post should leave the impression I’m asking for explanations or want to argue this point. If you think I’m wrong, go away and say so in your own virtual space, far, far from here. I don’t have a ban hammer. I have a ban phaser set on  vaporize.

I’ll try to post something more cheerful next time.

Until later!

 

 

Writer Reading Report: No Longer On Hiatus

I read a lot.  I have Opinions. Why haven’t I been sharing?

Therein lies a tale.

Here’s the story of why I haven’t been inflicting my reading list or any other media adventures on people for…about a year now? Yeah.

I stopped doing it when the sharing started hurting. That happened after I received one too many remarks meant (I think, in retrospect) as compliments. Things like “I could never read that much/you are always reading/how can you get anything else done/So many? I’m lucky I read a book a year/ how do you find the time?” Etc, etc.

I find admiration and envy difficult to parse through. A lot of it comes down to tone, and when I even suspect I’ve made someone else feel inadequate or envious, I have an unavoidable reaction.

I stop doing it. Sometimes forever.

Yeah. I know. Not rational, not proportional, but also…not negotiable.

I was taught many lessons at a young age about the awfulness of flaunting, bragging, or acting superior. So when I get a sense that anyone thinks I’m being a self-absorbed egotistical, conceited asshole about (whatever it is) I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut. Or the head. Or both.

It really, physically hurts.  And every time I think about the activity, it hurts just as badly, all over again. If I shut up and go away & don’t DO whatever-it-is, it stops hurting.

So. That’s why posts about Stuff I do when I’m not writing comes and goes in fits & starts, and why one of my original blog staples — lists of tedious daily life accomplishments–rarely get posted at all now.  (It was making someone feel guilty about not getting as much done, and that sucked all the joy out of it.)

So far, people still universally like hearing about the new house & baking things. That’s why those topics have taken over the blog.

Here’s a happy new twist.

Not-so-long ago I learned that not everyone processes idle remarks as kick- in- the- gut personal condemnations. My kind of reaction to perceived negative feedback is called “rejection sensitivity dysphoria,” and it skips along hand-in-hand with sky-high energy levels, an interest-based attention span, and sensory sensitivities. It’s a real thing.

It isn’t me being thin-skinned, overreacting or childish, it’s just wiring at work.

IT’S SO FUN TO BE ME.

(another fun fact: pair up boundless physical energy with chronic pain/fatigue and you get a result that looks like perfectly normal from average viewing distance! It’s nothing like normal from the inside, where I can feel exhausted even while doing a lot and hurt all the time but can neglect self care because (squirrel!) means I forget to notice. The pairing goes a long way towards explaining how I’ve flown under the diagnostic radar all these years.)

BUT I DIGRESS. As fucking usual.

ANYway. It’s been long enough that the achy, scrapey bruised pain about reading lists has dulled to a bearable level, and also I want to use this new self-awareness of my reactions to break free of the rejection cycle in the future.

So I’ll be giving it yet another try.  Next post, I’ll catch up on What I’ve Been Reading Since New Year. It’ll be synopsis edition, but IT WILL HAPPEN.

Until later!

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Prickles up, ready to face the world. (image: pixabay.com)

A bit of daily This & That

Mid-February is made of Gray & Cloudy

My brain is on rebound from extraverting all weekend. My Third Capricon was a BLAST, but experience will get its own post a bit later, after I’ve had time to sift through impressions and let them settle. Right now all I have to offer are a couple of Thinky Thoughts.

One observation gleaned from cleaning out my Facebook post closet: I use online media to micro-blog. That is, I post personal updates as a life archive rather than to build a public scrapbook. My review of past performance confirms Facebook used to be excellent for mini-blogging but has grown progressively suckier in that role on a curve sorta like this:

Screenshot 2020-02-12 10.38.38

I would be fine with my posts disappearing fast from public view if they were easy to retrieve and curate. I would be fine with posts being hard to curate and retrieve if they had enough visibility to compensate for the hassle.

Facebook wants me to pay for visibility AND makes older posts nigh-impossible to review and remove or search?

NAH.

I’ve been doing more here and shifting the more random short musings or angsty outbursts to Twitter. Pictures of neat things I see or food I want to share? Those post to both FB and Twitter via Instagram.

And book stuff? That I do everywhere. Revisions to Sharp Edge are moving along at a good clip now, so…keep fingers crossed for release or at least pre-orders by late summer.

Gen Con. I want books or at least something to put in people’s hands by Gen Con. I know someone investigating the idea of reading chapters aloud to post  YouTube. There’s something strangely appealing about this idea.

But that’s enough for now. Happy reading, and enjoy this springy picture.

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fluffy willow catkins against a black background.

Until later!