Muddled

Most of you who know me know that I manage my anxiety with over-preparation.  It is as if I think I can plan my way out of impending doom.  Clearly, planning and preparation is a good thing.  Clearly, it is good to take appropriate action to be ready for possible emergencies or disasters. However, life teaches us that, no matter how much planning and preparation we do, emergencies and disasters will still happen.  Life also teaches us that, sometimes, those emergencies and disasters are not as catastrophic as we fear in the grand scheme of things. All that planning and preparation can build them up in our minds to a more ferocious level than they merit. 

I get all that. These philosophical musings notwithstanding, I still tend to plan for every conceivable eventuality before I ever embark on a project.  Before I launched this blog, I pre-wrote about twenty posts to make sure that I would have new content each week.  This was my safety net against being torpedoed by crippling writer’s block. Ever since that time, I have always had at least three articles written in advance waiting to be posted.  I mean, the idea of a Wednesday looming ahead of me with nothing ready to post… appalling and unacceptable! Or that I might miss a Wednesday… that would be even more devastating.   Heaven forbid that I should get up one Wednesday morning and just write something!

Well, that day I have feared since I launched the blog nearly five years ago has arrived.  Last Wednesday, I posted Extraordinary Personship (http://www.terrilabonte.com/2020/07/extraordinary-personship/).  This was the last pre-written piece I had stored in my hopper.  And you know what?  Nothing very bad has happened.

It is not that I have run out of ideas for blog posts.  I have four or five snippets of ideas running around in my brain.  It is just that they are all muddled around up there in the attic- tangled and twisted and tentacled into a big mess.  I need to sort them out and get them to behave. Some of them have found their path and are running headlong down the way to completion. My typing is just not as quick as my brain.  Other kernels of ideas are flying around in my head, desperately looking for a point on which to land. Then there are some that are dithering about, dancing and jumping and making merry with no intention of settling down long enough to make any point at all.  Ideas can be like that.  They all have their own energy, their own path, and their own schedule.  They cannot be rushed.  I have decided that I should just slow down and enjoy the show.  It is kind of fun to embrace the muddle.

It may take me a few weeks to unravel the mess in my mind.  Ultimately, I am confident that the blog posts will get written and I will be satisfied with the evolution of the idea nuggets that are currently muddled in my brain.  Please have patience and bear with me.

I think you will understand.  After all, we all get a little muddled sometimes!

Does your mind ever get muddled?  What do you to sort things out?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can send me an email at terrirretirement@gmail.com

Have a moment of clarity today!!

Terri/Dorry 😊

PS Please do not forget about my book, Random (A)Musings. If you have not ordered your very own copy, please visit Amazon to become one of the many, many (well, 40) people who are the owners of this wacky journey into my brain.  I would really appreciate it. 

Shameless

I’ve never been very good at self-promotion.  It makes me distinctly uncomfortable to put myself forward and try to convince other people I am worthy of notice.  And yet, here I am, pitching a shameless plug out into left field of cyberspace!

Some of you will recall that I wrote a book a couple of years ago called Changing My Mind: Reinventing Myself In Retirement.  I published the book under my real name, Dorry Curran.  That entire process was an extremely meaningful and exciting experience for me.  While the book was never going to make any best seller lists, it did have some success in the market.  The real success, however, was in personal satisfaction.  I was so proud that I was able to accomplish this lifelong goal.

I thought that Changing My Mind was going to be a one-and-done. 

Guess what?  I have just completed my second book, Random (A)Musings by Dorry Curran!  Don’t tell me the quarantine cloud has no silver linings! Who says you can’t make lemonade out of lockdown?  The book is a wild ride through my brain, in which I muse about my bizarre personality, my aging body, my existence in the great state of Florida, my obsession with all things Disney, and other random topics. The book will be available on www.Amazon.com on Tuesday, 6/2/20.  Paperback ($11.99) and kindle ($4.99) editions will be available.  Please consider purchasing one or more of my books.  Okay… here is the absolutely most shameless moment of this blog post…. The book is awesome! I love it! It is super-fun. I think you will enjoy it.  I would also be grateful if you could share this information with all your friends and relations… your enemies, too… in the interest of creating some degree of buzz about Random (A)Musings. 

I want to be responsible and respectful in this time of social separation, so I won’t be having a face-to-face launch party for Random (A)Musings, as I did for my last book.  I may be able to arrange some sort of IRL celebration in the future, but it just doesn’t feel right to cram a bunch of people in my living room just yet.  HOWEVER…wait for it…. I am going to host a virtual launch party on www.zoom.com at 6:00pm EDT on Tuesday, 6/2/20.  I hope you will want to join me.  Please email me at terriretirement@gmail.com to let me know you want to come.  I will need an email address to send an invite giving you access to the party.

For my last launch party, I did incorporate a virtual component by using a conference call service.  A few family and friends who do not live locally joined through conference call.  Frankly, it surprised me (and disappointed me a little) that none of my blogosphere friends joined.  I am hoping that this time, with everyone getting more comfortable in the techno-virtual environment, some of you will zoom in with us.  I’d love to meet you! 

Happy Reading!

Okay… end of shameless self-promotion… I return you now to our regularly scheduled programming!

Terri/Dorry 😳

Will you read Random (A)Musings when it is released?  Why or why not?  You can be honest.  Feedback is a gift… or at least that is what “they” tell me.  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.comPLEASE REMEMBER TO EMAIL ME WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN INVITE YOU TO THE ZOOM PARTY!

The Reality Of Fake

A few weeks ago, I lamented the fate of my acrylic fingernails during the COVID-19 lockdown. When I wrote that I had been wearing the nails for over 30 years, something inside me blushed in embarrassment. How could I have been wearing fake fingernails for so long?  Time has been marching on over my lifetime. And it seems it has been marching past me with acrylic fingernails.

This epiphany started me thinking about what motivated me to pay someone to paint artificial material mixed with toxic chemicals on my hands every few weeks over the past 30 years. Arguably, the whole acrylic fingernail thing is a ridiculous notion. I have been embracing it for over half my life. How is this possible?

My journey towards three decades of acrylic nails started long before anyone ever even heard of acrylic nails.  I was a terrible nail-biter as a child. It started with thumb-sucking and escalated.  I could not seem to keep my fingers out of my mouth, no matter how hard I tried.  My parents didn’t make a big deal about it, but they tried to help me overcome the habit in every way they could.  They tried manicures.  They tried bribes.  They tried coating my fingers with various solutions designed to discourage me from putting my fingers in my mouth.  They put a rubber band on my wrist to snap when I caught myself biting my nails.  It was so bad that I often left myself with only nibs of nails.  Sometimes, I had to go to the doctor to be treated for infections because of the nail-biting. 

Most kids outgrow nail-biting.  I was not most kids.  As I grew older, I did lose the thumb-sucking habit, but was never able to control the nail-chewing urge.  I picked and broke and bit my nails well into adulthood.  My hands were always in shambles. I can’t count the number of times I tried to stop, but I always failed. 

Fast forward to 1989.  My ex-husband left me in 1988 and I was just starting to think about dating again.  This was long before internet dating sites (it was long before the internet, period). In those olden dates, the pre-cursor to match.com was the newspaper personal ads. I had no idea how to meet people. I think everyone I knew socially was married.  No one seemed to have any suitable gentleman friends with whom to set me up. I eventually met the first man I dated after my divorce through a personal ad. After a few phone conversations, we agreed to meet in person.

I was terrified. In retrospect, I probably had no business dating at that point.  I was still too broken from a bad marriage and divorce. Besides, I was almost 30 years old and had not been on a first date since I was 17.

The day we were to meet, my nervous system was in armed revolt.  To soothe my squirrely spirit, I went to the mall. Shopping is kind of my drug of choice when I need a little artificial serotonin.  As I wandered through the stores, every stress response in my brain pushed me to buy something.  I ended up buying some pretty underwear.  That didn’t really do the trick for me.  After all, I told myself, I had no intention of letting anyone see my underwear that evening so what difference did it make if it was new?  I kept wandering and looking for something I could buy.  I had already told my date what I was going to wear and, since that was the only way he would recognize me at the bar where we were meeting, changing that particular horse didn’t seem like a good idea.  As I walked past the beauty salon, I noticed a sign for acrylic nails.  That’s it, I thought, I can buy new nails!

Acrylic nails were just starting to become the rage at that time.  I didn’t know anyone who had them.  I just saw them as a quick and easy way to gain some confidence for the evening.  I knew that my date was likely going to be disappointed in my looks, so I thought that I could at least buy myself some pretty hands.  Honestly, if I’d known at the time that you had to come back every few weeks to have more acrylic applied to your fingers, I doubt I would have done it. 

I guess ignorance was a good thing in this case because I did like my new nails.  I guess I liked them a lot since I’ve been maintaining them ever since. 

My hands were nice.  They were way nicer than the guy I wanted to impress deserved, as it turned out. I dated him for about a year before realizing he was kind of a jerk and way more trouble than he was worth.  I broke up with him, but I did not break up with the acrylic fingernails.

Speaking of breaking up… or, rather… not breaking up… one of the benefits to the acrylics was durability. I can’t say that I completely stopped biting my nails when I got the acrylics.  However, the consequences of biting my nails were much more limited. They were so strong, I didn’t demolish them every time they got near my mouth. It was like there was more intervention time.  When I put my fingers to my mouth, I had enough time to realize what I was doing and remove them before I did any damage.                                                                                             

 All in all, once I had the acrylic nails, I couldn’t imagine not having them.  My hands, another shameful secret in my repoirte of unattractive qualities, were no longer a source of embarrassment.  I guess, overall, acrylic nails and I have had a decent partnership.  But 30 plus years?  That just doesn’t seem reasonable.  Still, I had every intention of starting over again once the salons reopen.   I figured, with the acrylic-related damage incurred by my natural nails and my uncontrollable nail-biting, I’d be lucky to have fingernails at all by the time we are released from lockdown. 

Surprisingly, though, my natural nails are doing fairly well after four weeks of freedom from acrylics. They are not in great shape and I’d love to have a manicure, but I don’t seem to be destroying them. The nail atrophy that I expected was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.  The nails are flimsy and rough but seem to be holding up against normal wear and tear and many, many hand-washings. Even more surprisingly, I don’t think I’m biting them.  I smooth the edges each day with a manicure block because they do seem to fray a bit, which also seems to help.

Maybe that the reality of fake is that I don’t need the fake after all!

What is the most fake thing about you?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com

Have a real day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

PS:  EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! My latest book, Random (A)Musings will be released on Amazon.com on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.  Please look for it and consider buying a copy… or several dozen!  The book will be available in paperback and kindle editions.