Lapsing

Lapsed. I’m lapsing. I’ve lapsed. From nearly everything.

Lapsed seamstress. Lapsed writer. Lapsed knitter. Lapsed runner. Lapsed cello practicer. Lapsed student. Lapsed lover. Lapsed homemaker. Lapsed housecleaner (Actually, this one gets many lapses in one: Lapsed duster, lapsed bathroom scrubber, lapsed dishwasher, lapsed vacuumer, lapsed mopper, lapsed ironer). Lapsed makeup wearer. Lapsed friend caller. Lapsed snappy dresser. Lapsed reader. Lapsed photographer. Lapsed French and Spanish student. Lapsed cook. Lapsed popcorn-maker. Lapsed wit (I’d like to think I’m a lapsed half-wit because that would imply I was getting smarter). Lapsed activist. Lapsed memory. Lapsed. Simply lapsed.

I can’t really call myself a lapsed sleeper because I’ve been insomniac for two decades now, so it’s a permanent condition. I could only say I’m a lapsed insomniac if I were to start sleeping regularly. I also can’t call myself a lapsed laundry folder because I’ve always been abysmal at that too.

Thankfully, I have not lapsed in tooth care, keeping my body clean, or playing with my children or dog, although sometimes I wish I could lapse on these things too. I skipped a shower yesterday, and could barely contain my desire to jump in the shower this morning. An itchy scalp makes me bananas. I hope I’m never a prisoner of war or part of some other catastrophe that keeps me from being able to wash.

Maybe it’s my hair that has me so stuck, so unalive, so lapsed. I heard someone say in a movie that you should not keep the same hairstyle for decades, but I have not followed this rule. I’ve made forays into other hair places, but I always veer back because the texture of my hair is so inflexible when it comes to hairstyle variety, at least if I want to look moderately presentable, that I end up drifting back into blow-dried straight, shoulder-length hair. It doesn’t do well with layers, mainly because it’s really actually curly and layers turn me into a square head, which is so unattractive. Bangs. Those stick out straight in front and I look like I’m giving trailer girls circa 1985 a run for their hairstyle money. Again, it’s because I’m mostly curly. That’s the other thing. I’ve tried Gresham…er…curly, but I think because I blowdry straight every other day, some of the strands have become straight, so I end up with some parts curly, some parts bent funny, and the rest frizzy. Ugly. Ugh. Hence, no hair style change. Most days, it’s in a ponytail. I look the same all the time and this is boring. Just like me.

Tag: Motivation, lack thereof. There isn’t one of those, but perhaps there ought to be.

Simply Not Motivated

Ooooh! September 7 I got 25 reads! How exciting! Harumph. I used to get 100s a day, back when I wrote a lot and tried to be funny. I don’t even care if I’m funny anymore. Is this apathy a signature of aging or is it just me? I realized while driving to work this morning that a lot of life seems so much effort. I used to be on top of it. Bill needed paying? I paid it. Dish needed washing? I washed it. Shelves needed dusting? I dusted them. Something broke? I fixed it. Never a wait. Never a pause. Just get it done. That was my motto too, get it done and then you won’t have it staring you in the face for weeks on end. Now? It stares me in the face. Oh yeah, I need to sew the hole in that pair of trousers. And then I don’t do it. I might even wear the trousers with the hole, that’s how little I care these days. It isn’t like I’m using the time for something more valuable either. I’m not. I did paint my kitchen, but the paint tape is still there, a week and a half later. I’ve been removing it gradually. Oh let’s see, I think I can reach this piece. Oh, I have to climb on a chair to get in this cupboard and get something, I’ll pull off a couple of more pieces. But I still haven’t fixed the places where the old paint is on the white woodwork because the previous painters sucked. I’ll do it, eventually. I’m AMAZED I remodeled an entire house by myself. Where did I ever find the motivation? I thoroughly lack motivation. What is this? I’m not depressed; not at all. I really just don’t give much of a shit anymore. And that’s probably not so good. I’m kind of in a zen mood, letting some things be as they are. Maybe someday my Type A-ness will return. Type Anus. Oh dang. That made me laugh. Silly, silly stupidity. The things that make me chuckle.

I think I’ll go have some hot chocolate and mull it over. I’m not motivated enough to write anymore.

One More Word on the Page

It is very hard to remain motivated to write when I continuously feel that I am simply not good enough. I realize the issue becomes one of what “good enough” actually is, but I’m constantly reading other writing, always reading so many books, and I see where I lack, and it isn’t a stretch to believe that I’m not good enough. I wish I had known in college what I know now. My participation in creative writing classes would have been so very different. I seemed to get the analytical writing thing pretty quickly, and still feel strong about my abilities in this area, but not so much creatively. I just have nothing against which I can compare except what I read in other books. I know part of why I suspect my fiction writing is not very good is that I’ve given it to many of my friends to read, all of whom are intelligent, capable women, and none of them have said a word. Silence is quite the communicator, and I hear it. Also I’ve submitted some of it for publication or to contests, and have been rejected and have not won anything. It’s disheartening.

I have asked myself why I feel the urge to write and I just can’t come to any simple answer. I just need to, that’s all. This is not helpful. Even when I decide I’m going to give up and never do it again, not much later I’m thinking of something to add to whatever I am currently working on, or something to revise. Maybe it is just habit, but I can’t seem to stop any more than I think I’m not that great. Maybe I’m like the character in the movie Mermaids who wanted to paint, even though his paintings were pretty terrible. Except painting seems more fun than writing. I don’t know.

I wish I could find an editor or some other such person who knew what they were doing in that arena and could tell me how awful my fiction really is. I go to conferences or writer groups or whatever, and it is all about how to persevere through rejection, that J.K. Rowlings was rejected a dozen times before someone discovered her. But at the same time, I have also known people who really are not any good at all and persevere and it seems really pathetic. I guess if the point is to write and not to publish then being terrible doesn’t matter, but as with any artist, I desire an audience, so my quality matters to me. I don’t want to put any more crap out there. The world is so full it already, why add to it?

Anyway, this is my constant struggle. It is always there. I’m not John Irving or Joyce Carol Oates or Stephen King or any of these other writers who can rattle off fabulous book in a matter of months. No. Not me. I have completed one that I know is terrible and needs work, and I am in the middle of another and it doesn’t feel like it’s what I want it to be, and I’m tired. I need motivation, but I don’t know how or where to get it. This is actually a theme in my entire life right now, except for parenting, so maybe I should not be surprised. I just keep plugging on. I don’t think life is supposed to be just plugging on, but it has been that for so long, I accept that thinking it should be something else is perhaps magical thinking. My life has not been like a movie, but I don’t expect it to be.¬†I’ll keep putting one more foot after the other, typing one more word on the page. I’ll finish and then it will be something else.

Maybe I should hire a cheerleader.  Craigslist ad: Needed, cheerleader to come to my house and say rah rah rah, sis boom bah. You can do it!

On second thought, no.