I didn’t realize quite what I vein I tapped when I asked for your best resentments. OMG — you’ve really made this awarding a mug thing difficult. It’s like trying to judge the Pain Olympics. I am so sorry for the plague of cheating, narcissistic fucktards out there and I propose that we begin shuttle service to Planet Narcissist immediately. (The only solution is a some kind of cosmic penal colony, preferably on a freezing planet with very little oxygen.)
But some of your posts gave me an idea (TimeHeals and Stephanie, I’m talking to you) — tell me, since DDay, what have you done for YOU lately? We’ve got over 300 comments of resentment — I want to hit just as much inspiration now, or more. You guys write to me off site and I know a bunch of you have gone to school after 40, gotten new degrees, lost weight, learned a skill, made a new friend.
It doesn’t even have to be awesome — don’t get competitive. Your only benchmark is YOU. If you’re in the early days and your big accomplishment is you fed your kids and took a shower — you’re in. What are you proud of? What’s been hard won? What fantastic indulgence are you enjoying now that fucktard is out of your life? Tell your fellow chumps.
I’ve mentioned it a few times here already, but I did several thing in my early days that helped a lot.
1) I found a job. Not an easy thing right after DDay, having only lived in that town a few months. I was steadily freelancing, but now I needed a gig with benefits that I could support myself and my son on. There’s not a lot of publishing work in Amish country, but I found a job at a farm newspaper and loved it. Even though it paid less than I made working for Jesuits 20 years earlier, I took it. Having a deadline, a community, and a steady pay check made the next couple years so much happier for me. I had a place to throw my energies, folks who appreciated me, and work and travel that kept me so busy I didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on life’s suckitude.
2) I bought art. Right after DDay, my parents surprised me with $500 at Christmas. I bought a piece of “outsider art” with it from a local gallery. It’s a carved stone head. I love that thing. I would never just plunk down that kind of money on an object (especially when you’re making less than what Jesuits pay), but I did it anyway. I still love looking at that head. It gave me such a thrill to buy it.
3) I learned to weld. (That’s me up there in my welding hat.) After I moved out, I took a local course on metal smithing, which for that semester was welding. The first class was all about how not to kill yourself. Later I did nearly that when my piece wasn’t properly grounded and electricity shot through my hand and cauterized a neat hole through the fleshy skin above my thumb. (A HOLE — clean through my hand!) Or when I nearly singed my eyebrows off trying to apply a patina. (It’s a crazy process that involves noxious chemicals and a blow torch.) It was totally kickass. You haven’t lived until you’ve used a plasma cutter to cut steel. Once you get over the intimidation factor, it’s exhilarating. My cure for the infidelity blues is to find your welding class, whatever that is. Makes some friends, injure yourself in new and interesting ways, and find your creativity.
So tell me, chumps, what have you done for you lately?