When You Don’t Feel like It, It’s the Worst

23 comments

My late grandmother used to have a lot of sayings which I didn’t think particularly clever or relevant. As I’m getting old myself, surprise, surprise, I’m getting my grandmother more. A shame I can’t tell her. (Now I almost sniffed, which is ridiculous because I didn’t love my grandmother that much at all. Feel free to shoot me in my cold heart.)

The grandmother used to say, When you don’t feel like doing something, it’s worse than when you can’t do it. These days this resonates with me more than ever. To complete the picture, my favourite personal growth author writes to the effect that workaholics are the least efficient workers and that when you work too much, you can get yourself to the point when you’re too tired not only to work but also to relax. That’s all me. A shame I know it but do nothing much about it.

Irrelevant shit I haven’t posted yet

Speaking of grandmothers, I visited my late grand-grandmother’s grave today. She was my favourite family member ever. She was a fucking heroine. A shame I didn’t take after her. She was uneducated, simple but commonsensical and she was the bravest person I ever knew. She buried her husband, her grandson and her only daughter, yet she shut the fuck up, dealt with it and lived to 92. How could she do it? I’m only slightly over third her age and I can’t anymore.

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23 comments on “When You Don’t Feel like It, It’s the Worst”

  1. It may sound like a cliche, but it’s only when you are really tested that you find out how strong you are, and yet. even when you’re going through it, you feel as if you’re weak.

    The courage comes not from staying upright, but from getting up after you’ve been knocked down.

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    1. Cliches are cliches for a good reason: there’s usually something true about them! Thank you for your words, they resonate. Funnily, that’s exactly what I read in my personal growth book: being a hero isn’t that you don’t fail but that you get up again. So, you just confirmed it!

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  2. Both of my un-grandmothers were, frankly, hard black little turds (one is alive but the past-tense still sounds more apt- you can shoot me in my ice-water heart, too). However, my Swedish great grand parents provided sanctuary for me mum, who was growing up in a house of horror. They tended a scintillating, sprawling garden where she would get lost beneath umbrellas of spidering tendrils, lively green verdure and sporadic splashes of billowing flowers. She loved that garden and the laughter of her grandfather and the stories of “Home” that hummed around her, mingling with the thrum of insects. Both of my great grandparents had defiantly thick accents and pronounced me mum’s name “Yodi” rather than Jodi. That accent so influenced me mum that I speak with vestiges of that same Swedish accent myself, and I do not even know Swedish (despite my worship of Ingmar Bergman films, cliche cliche).

    Anyway, they inherited hardship with a tenacious unwillingness to lapse into bitterness, pettiness and hatred, like so many do. They were so brave, luminous and untouched. They had each other, though, unlike your great gran, which makes me revere her all the more, for her power and potency of spirit, to endure, without tearing others down as a result of her own misfortune and pain.

    Wait a minute, did I say one grandmother is still alive? Sorry, correction- both of my ungrans are still alive, I forgot, sheesh- I am atrocious, I know- my only redeeming value.

    -toad

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    1. Aw, it’s nice to having living grandparents – though I’m not sure after all if yours are alive or not, you don’t seem to be sure yourself 😀

      It’s an amazing gift when one manages not to lapse into pessimism and pettiness (now I sound horribly cliche and sentimental). My mother is a huge pessimist, which I have from her, but my only luck is the bit of humour that I have – my mother is dead serious about her pessimism. It’s dragging me down.

      On an (un)related note, it’s a shame you don’t blog much more often, you have a way with words I’m envious of.

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      1. I know how draining it can be to be around that kind of dedicated, paralysing pessimism.
        Both my ungrans spew(ed?) this kind of black tar- very insidious- on top of being directly malevolent. Both women were abused and disadvantaged, yet still my ice-water heart feels not a glimmer of sympathy. Maybe some empathy if I am not looking- I am not a perfect…sigh.

        I fear that sentimentality too, but it is quite true- it is a tremendous gift.

        Bitter complaining and back-stabbing pettiness are beloved sports in my past hometown. It runs through the culture of the area. I do not miss the place but I do sometimes miss having the occasional fellow dis-tempered bleak-head to snap-banter sardonically with while engaging in casual activities- such as body-spotting from the old suicide bridge on a grey day, or trespassing through dilapidated and crumbling farmhouses and barns, sifting through the decay of miserable and doleful lives long since abandoned.

        I will be blogging regularly, and picking up more as I go. Writing for me is an arduous task- it feels like a futile fight against a flaccid brain in the throes of long-term atrophy- but it is also a blasted compulsion that I cannot quite quash. I am very humbled that you find something to enjoy in it.

        I ardently enjoy your writing and look forward to each new submission- your humour is often just what I need, and is clearly the result of a sharp, creative and talented mind. I thank you for these delectably dark “sardoni-bites.” You dare to inspire others (certainly me) with your wit, reflections and beautiful imagery, and I deeply admire you for that.

        Enough sentimentality.

        Cheers.

        toad

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        1. Aw, thank you for your generous words! But as you say, enough sentimentality! I’m just glad you’re planning on blogging more. You should probably write stories even – not necessarily fiction, or half-fiction, half-memories – I’d be very interested for one.

          Small towns seem to be very similar everywhere. They have this small-townish mentality. I can see it in the place where I live and I notice it because I only moved recently from a larger town.

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          1. Working on one about a dead Halloween mouse- it’s decomposing right now and I am waiting impatiently for its skull to be cleaned, shined and pressed by the microbes. What is that damn quotation? “Nature never hurries but everything still manages to get done” or some rot- if only it would damn well hurry up in this instance- some of us are dying for some new and enlivening desk decoration…

            Yes, I was going to ask you about that. I thought you lived in a larger city but it seems you have moved somewhere in the past several months. Did you acquire a new job?

            I moved, as well, but not anywhere near as far as I would have liked…six miles. Although, the density of nature has dramatically increased even in that minute distance, which, in my case, is a good thing- more skulls to harvest.

            Cheers and happy Díade los Muertos,

            toad

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          2. How’s your Halloween mouse doing? 😉

            I moved from a medium-sized town to a small town, actually my native town, where I humbly returned. I’m a struggling freelancer, no new job, but lower rent was what brought me here. It’s a fascinating change.

            Six miles make a huge difference when it comes to it. Hope you’re not hating your new place too much.

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          3. The mouse skull is beginning to gleam through. I have a protective blue plastic cage around him just to be sure the neighbours know not to molest the corpse or try to do something ridiculous like throw it away.

            Very fascinating change. This explains the increase in nature photos.

            I love to wander through small towns as the creepy and unwanted stranger. I have strange habits.

            I made friends with a coyote who lives among the dunes across the street so the move has not been a complete shambles. I adore coyotes. His grin glows in the moonlight. He has lemon ball eyes. He is restless too. We pace the darkness together. He seems more amused about it than I do, though…

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          4. Your description of your coyote friend is charged with poeticism. You could write a coyote (and mouse skull) poem… It’s hard to imagine coyotes make friends with humans though! Of course, I wouldn’t know, we don’t have coyotes here.

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          5. Most scavenger-style creatures like coyotes are capable of friendship with man, I’ve found. Or maybe it is just something about me…They are fairly curious and not without a humourous side. I used to tail them on long treks across the prairie. When I was down by that same suicide bridge I’ve yapped about before, I saw a coyote bouncing along across the frozen river, headed toward downtown’s “homeless alley.”

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          6. I quite liked that film as a child, too. Wolves were a thing of worship for me, but long since driven from the prairies where I lived. I would beg me mum to take me to pow-wows where I could watch wolves being inked onto stretched-out skin canvases.

            I used to scare children away by brandishing some corpse I had found, telling them it was a “treat” for the pack of wolves I had trained to kill at my bidding. Children believe anything. The corpses, killed and abandoned by hawks usually, were just things of fancy for me. It was really just a bunch of silly coyotes that I used to prance about with for hours, usually in the long shadows of late afternoon, cast by the tall, shouldering grasses. I would scurry amongst tawny flocks of turkeys, too, and deer would come up close enough to sniff my nose. The prairie depicted in the film was very similar to my childhood playground. Of course, over time, it was chewed up with development, but parts of it still remain under protection.

            There is a hybrid species now that lives in the parks of NYC- a coywolf- obviously a blend of timber wolf and coyote. I would not mind meeting one.

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