Archive for January, 2018|Monthly archive page

IRL Friends Rock

I may have indicated in prior posts that I don’t have a lot of friends in my daily life (“in real life” or IRL). Tons of friends online (whom I’ve sadly neglected since quitting social media after the Dark Day In November better known as the US Presidential Election of 2016), but only a scarce few whom I see day to day. So IRL encounters with my (mostly) online friends are rare and special. 

Last week, while traveling on business, I was lucky to get to spend time with a couple who have been wonderful friends to me, especially in their support during my coming out. Not only did we have a great meal at a cool place in the community, supporting an LGBT local business, but the sheer delight in seeing their smiling faces, hearing their news and sharing real experiences together was truly enriching. 
Then, later in the week, they graciously welcomed me into their home to be a part of a fun cultural experience. It was Robert Burns Night and I was privileged to partake in my friends’ first Burns Night supper hosted in their new home. Yes folks, I ate “haggis, neeps, and tatties” and enjoyed it very much. I also listened to two Burns poems recited in an authentic Scottish brogue by a genuine Scotswoman, geeking out appropriately. The food was delicious. The company was outstanding in their gracious hospitality and festive spirit. The experience was a once-in-a-lifetime joy that will bolster my spirits through the rest of this dreary, cold winter. 

In a setting as lovely as Southern California in January, and with the kindness of friends with whom to share part of the week, I could not fail to have thoroughly enjoyed my trip. In addition to these festivities, I found time every day to sit outside and soak up a little sunshine, storing it away for those grey, chilly winter days to come. The sunshine and friend-time made an otherwise tedious business trip, filled with demanding sales people, bearable. 

Here’s to IRL friends and stolen moments in the sunshine!

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5 Things

Here’s a quick list-y post to keep my posting streak alive. I’ll do a more substantive one soon, but don’t want to miss my weekly target. So here are 5 things I want you to know:

  1. A chance to get some sunshine and a break from snow and ice is a welcome reprieve in mid-winter. I’m lucky to be enjoying a week in San Diego for my company’s Global Kickoff and have found at least 10 minuets each day so far to sit quietly and enjoy the sun.
  2. Apparently quinoa is real food and not fake food. I had some today and didn’t die. Or puke. Second time in my life trying it, I think. Feels like an achievement.
  3. Even straight guys appreciate a well-tied bow tie. I’ve only been asked to teach or tie one for one person this year. Maybe my annual Kickoff bow tie tying tutorials are finally paying off!
  4. Never trust an event planner when they tell you not to worry about preparing remarks because you won’t have to speak on stage this year. You always have to. Just assume that before you go to the event. Avoids the crushing disappointment of getting called to the stage at the last moment. 😅
  5. Friends who encourage you and support you and bravely offer to help with even the most delicate issues without a concern for their own embarrassment or discomfort are rare and awesome. I’ve been blessed with such friends. What a lucky Butch I am!

Vanity, thy name is Butch

Ok, here’s a quick one…

I believe the old adage that confession is good for the soul –  it builds character to admit to weaknesses and foibles. So here’s my confession:  I froze my head today out of sheer vanity. 

The middle of January in the American Midwest means it’s coooooold outside. Not just chilly. Frigid. The kind of cold that goes bone-deep and stays there. Windy, cutting, painful cold. That’s why I normally bundle up, with a hat, scarf, gloves and leather coat. 

But I had a great hair day today! Most days the best I get is just ok hair. But today I had stylish, shapely, awesome, quintessentially butch hair. Paired with a crisply pressed dress shirt and a rockin’ bow tie and Levi’s that are just the right shade of blue and new leather boots…I had the rare experience of feeling truly dapper, authentically Butch. 

I just couldn’t bring myself to crush that great hair with my stocking cap. So my head and ears froze and ached most of the day. But, man! I totally nailed the dapper thing, so it was worth it. 

I’ll wear the vanity label if it means I get a chance at another great hair day. 😎

Something 

So I told myself that posting something, anything, once a week is a realistically achievable goal. Then…life happens. I’m still technically on time, seven days since my last post. But I have nothing composed and profound to say. And I still, inexplicably, have the notion in my subconscious that I have to have a substantive, meaningful, professionally-composed something to say in order for a post to have worth. 

I know this instinct comes from a good, well-meaning place. It comes from a strong work ethic. It comes from respect for myself and for my readers. It comes from the belief that leaving a place (even a virtual place) a little (tiny) bit better than you found it is a blessing and a duty. It comes from a desire to be a better me, a better writer, every day. 

But all that pressure to be erudite and profound inhibits spontaneity and, to a degree, creativity. So instead of posting something genuine and fresh from my mind, I either get boring and pedantic, or talk myself out of it altogether. 

I don’t want to fail in my weekly goal on the second week, so this is my post. It’s…something. 

Starting Small 

The blogging goal I set for myself last year (post something at least once a week) proved too ambitious for me to meet. I beat myself up quite a bit over that failure. But that self-criticism isn’t productive. I’m going to call it a good start and start over. 

It’s now 2018. A new year and a new chance to be a more productive and consistent writer. I’m going to try again with the weekly goal. But im going to be even more generous with what “counts” as a worthy post. I figure if I’m not as hard on myself about posting late or just a quick list or some random thought, I’ll be more likely to actually do it. Guilt, especially self-imposed, is a mighty de-motivator. Hopefully, permission given to myself will be as powerful a motivator. 

So, I’m starting small. Baby steps, as it were. I set myself a small, achievable, finite goal for today (I’m taking a couple days off work to rest), something that has a tangible outcome. I promised myself that I’d start decluttering my bedroom, starting with my underwear drawer. I got rid of every worn-out, ill-fitting pair of undies and socks, and old bras and under-shirts. There was a surprisingly big bag of trash afterward. 

I’m glad to have completed the task. I feel a little conflicted about the trash – feels a little excessive somehow. But it’s a start.

Next I’m going to tackle the top of my dresser and chest of drawers. Gotta make room for the watch box I received for Christmas. Again, a small goal but with a finite outcome. Achievable. An outcome I can visualize. 

Next blog post isn’t finalized in my head yet. But a post of some kind next week, even after going back to work after a few days off, is achievable.  That’s a small, finite goal. I can do that.

I hope you had a great holiday season and find ways to achieve all your goals this new year. 

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