Perspective is interesting.

I was reading through this article (go read it) and it talks about how things are improving on a variety of axis throughout the world. We see so much negativity. Read this. Think about how far we have come as a species. Feel a moment of pride. We aren’t completely a shit show.

Then read this about history repeating itself.

Having human beings be my religion means that whereas Christians can say “Sometimes God works in mysterious ways” I can say “Sometimes we need to fuck up real bad before we can learn enough to stop doing a particular fuck up.”

It’s basically the same thing.

Tribalism has been the driving force behind so much violence and anger. “My culture says that if you look at me I should hit you for disrespecting me.” Oh. But you think that the hitting is “teaching” not violence. Just the looking was violent. Why? I don’t understand that dynamic. That is… bizarre to me.

Because my associations with violence are based on my personal experiences. In my experience, looking at someone can be provoking but it isn’t violence.

How do we come to peace on issues like this as larger cultures?

I read a lot about “violent speech” which I put in quotations marks not because I think it doesn’t exist but because that’s the search term I use a lot.I use it in combination with lots of other words to try and see when it comes up in relationship to other topics. I usually put those in quotes too. Not to denigrate them.

Man, scare quotes ruin everything.

I read a lot of points of view because I don’t know for sure what I think yet. I’m still taking in information and I don’t know. It’s big. It’s complicated. For some people violent speech is when someone screams streams of profanity, usually including specific insults. For some people violent speech is about threatening physical harm. For some violent speech is about a man having a strong opinion in front of a woman. I am not trying to be a minimizing asshole. I’ve read a rather lot of people that believe that men have no right to be forceful in front of women. To be fair, such women usually opine that I’m not allowed to speak forcefully to them though. It’s not straight up misandry. Also: these folks usually tell me this quite forcefully which leads me to believe that they can’t hear themselves or that they think that only their authority is allowed to be forceful and no one else.

Thing is, I didn’t sign on to an agreement where I had to abide by such behavior. I can totally see how it comes up for you based on your experiences though.

But what about consent for behavior between people? How do we negotiate it? That’s a problem. I’m an ask-not-guess person. I mean, I’m not always good at advocating for what I really want but mostly I’m good at asking for needs for other people and asserting how I want to behave. Even if I don’t advocate for all of my needs, I do assert how I will behave and what I will do.

It is fascinating to me that folks will hear me, disbelieve, tell me that my behavior is totally cool and acceptable and they are looking forward to it…. and then blow up because I did as I said I would.

Yo, truth in advertising, babe.

For reals. What do you expect from me? You expect that I will all of a sudden stop behaving how I said I would and instead start behaving submissively towards you and your culture?

Bwahahahahahaha

No.

I know I’m an asshole. I wouldn’t be alive if I weren’t. I know I can bully people. But I generally announce up front, “I have very strong feelings on this topic and I can be kind of a bully. If I start making you uncomfortable tell me and I will shut all the way up. I’m not good at being moderate on this topic.”

But there are an awful lot of bullies on this planet. Often the only way to get them to leave you alone is to show that you will bully right fucking back.

The first example that comes to my mind is on the road trip when someone wanted to spend time denigrating home schooling, tell me opting out of the public school system is just about evil, and women who stay in domestic violence are poisoned by their estrogen.

Guess what? I argued until I got folks to look at the floor in dead silence. Then I left.

All the nope in the whole wide world.

Yup, I can seriously be a bully. Yup.

I’m not only ok with that but sometimes it brings me great joy.

I never cowed.

I did not give an inch.

Did it matter? No. Not really. I don’t hate the people I was talking to and in other circumstances and other environments I can have conversations without an ounce of bullying. But pick up some of the topics that touch my life and I’m not going to let you win one god damn inch of conversational space.

Nope.

It’s part of the reality distortion bubble I live in.

I’m going to paint today. I’m going to try and work on spring and see how far I get with it. I would really love to finish the cherry tree today. Maybe add some sparkly butterflies to the room. I feel like maybe somewhere in the grass there should be a nest of animals. A mama and a daddy and a nest of babies. I haven’t picked what species yet.

I should ask my family.

I think the current construction company has decided that the best way to handle dudes shit talking me is to not send them to my house any more. So now this one dude toils alone. Progress has of course slowed down like whoa. He only got through 20%ish of the floor yesterday. He didn’t even finish summer, let alone do the autumn/winter room, shower floor, or spring.

So ok, the floor… will probably not be done till next week. That’s fine. Maybe I will have time to completely finish spring before the beautiful tiles are on the floor and I risk wrecking them. *phew*

I’m nervous about painting on top of the tiles. I’m going to have to in order to finish the willow tree, I’ll be careful. But it’s going to go sooooo sloooooow to be careful like that. Oh well. Oh, I should start with the ceiling in autumn/winter first today. He’ll get to that pretty quickly and the greenish stuff up there… can’t be the only color. I’m not going to cover it completely. I’m going to blend an icy blue, and a good cloudy white, and a nice grey together over it and let it shine through in places.

It’s going to be the start of a beautiful morning on the crux of autumn falling into winter.

Just wait and see. Invigorating and bracing.

With a heated floor. Ahhhhhh.

And it is electric so comes out of my solar panels instead of using gas. Hippie win.

I have room on my roof for 8 more panels to be just plugged in. All the wiring and bracing is in place. I feel like I should investigate battery options someday and see how I could possibly store more of what I make. Or I could just put way more back onto the grid to share with my neighbors like I do now.

We’ll see. I’m not doing that research this year or next year.

Oh goodness. Speaking of what I need to do this year… dunh dunh dunh… financial review. Ew. It’s going to take three days to get through all of the nuts and bolts of it. Fucktastic. Not today, Satan.

But… probably next Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Shit. (I need a break in the middle so I don’t overload my brain and get to the point of being ANGRY FULL TIME. I find money to be very stressful. This year was… expensive. I’m going to have big feelings. Plan for them.)

2017 is going be so much cheaper. It’s going to be a better year for me for just that reason.

Even with having a damn baby. (We hope.) That says too much about 2016.

Good grief. I started out thinking, “Maybe I don’t want to bother with cloth diapers this time. The drought. The time. The constant energy to deal with it. Maybe… I’ll use a different option.” Then I looked at how much it costs to use any other diaper option. Uhm, spend that much money on stuff that is peed or pooped on once then thrown away (or washed by a service or composted by a service or whatever other hippy-dippy option)….

I’m not sure I can do it.

Oh god.

You pay more money over the long run to evade labor. I can’t handle that trade. Not with diapers. In the scheme of my life this is stupid. My time… could be more productively used. By far. I know.

It’s an existential thing. I just can’t fucking spend that much money on diapers.

It freaks me out.

I just went and looked at a cost estimator for how much I will spend on the first year of having a baby. It didn’t include “pay for hospital” so uhm, that’s low. But it says around $6,000. It’s not including the diapers (many of which I resell, to become nearly cost neutral) or the hospital. So, closer to $15,000-$20,000depending on how the birth goes. Cheers. That little detail needs to be accounted for in next year’s budget.

Because it’s a hospital for me this time. It’s a little weird living in this little drama where all three of them periodically say spontaneously, “I’m glad you are going to a hospital this time. It’s important that you be here after this baby is born.”

It’s fucking weird. Because everyone in the house says it to me. Youngest Child said it yesterday as we were just doing random chores. It was… interesting.

It is going to be interesting to try and develop a relationship with a doctor. I am nervous but I feel up to the challenging. This is going to take a liberal application of all the charm I can come up with combined with a specifically and carefully chosen list of specific traumas that have happened and why they will complicate our relationship.

I come into this with a lot of wounding and difficulty trusting medical providers. Let me talk to you about why and tell you what I need from you in order to build a relationship of trust. Because you haven’t earned any yet.

Hi. I’m Difficult Patient. Nice to meet you.

But I’ll make it up to you by expressing extreme gratitude that you are getting to know me as a person.

I know I’m a pain in the ass. Thank you for putting up with me.

I’m thinking about folks from the past. Folks who were absolutely integral for my healing but whom I cannot know any more.

The layers of building a person are so complicated and layered. Do we take in parasitic ways? Do we give back enough?

Not many of my relationships are strongly mutually supportive. Most have a flow of energy. Some change over time, but in most there is more of a receptive or a giving feeling on my end.

I can’t say for sure how it feels to the others involved.

I acknowledge that I’m an energy-sucking vampire for lots of people in my life. Hopefully I’m only taking in a way that benefits you though. Like symbiosis. I’m good at encouraging people to talk about themselves. I ask good questions. I make connections and listen hard. But I get so much out of it that… yeah… I’m receptive here. I know it.

People have to pour energy into me in order for that to happen. It is like blood sucking. But hopefully more like a barnacle on a whale than a mosquito. Or maybe more like an orchid, which grows on a tree but doesn’t hurt the tree…

The circle of life is complex. Where we all fit on it… is hard to see. That in particular is what I’m good at giving back to people. Perspective. I see you in ways you can’t see yourself. You exist in this shining schema in my head. That’s kinda an awkward turn of phrase but I’m an awkward sort of woman.

Last night two of my wonderful people came over. It was great to talk to them about what it means to be alive right now in this time and in this place.

There are a lot of levels to think about. Which ones do we focus on, why, for how long, with what intensity?

Speaking of which, more fuckery on the arbitration front. Now there’s another two week delay. Because stuff. Oh the post I shall write when this story is over. Search Engine Optimization for the win.

Any minute now I should get off my ass and go work in the bathroom. Because dude is arriving in another hour and I should finish the part that will be near his head first and then I can work farther form him when he’s here. Be polite about the small space and all that. Preplan.

Time to press go. Motherfucker. My body hurts. I’d like to just… kinda lie around and rest. I’m still tired. But there are miles to go before I sleep. And art work to create before I rest.

When I hit the end of this run, I plan to be very very lazy for a long time. I’m even going to suck it up and pay someone to clean my house. Because I need a break.

I will not stop until my house is back to being a yes environment. That’s the end goal. I can’t keep doing the art in drips and drabs. It has to be done and put away. It creates too many ‘no’ zones. I can’t handle that for the next few years. I can’t handle the mental strain of coping with it.

I need a yes house.

I’m working on it about as fast as I can. There are pieces that are out of my damn control.

Today will be a work day. Today I will produce a lot of permanent change with my hands. I’m going to take that kind of seriously. The kids will work on academics sitting on the floor near me so we can talk as they work. Then the glorious baby sitter will come over and play with them for hours while I work. I will probably barely break till bed time. Then I will sleep. Then I will wake up and paint all day.

Christmas is going to be interesting. I am going to participate… and I’m going to paint. But it will be all Minecraft all the time for the afternoon. Eldest Child wants some group Minecraft play (I have to sit with them and give opinions and directions for a while) and then the playroom will get painted.

I will have a playroom by Monday. This is my happy face. The furniture will be out of the living room by Monday. Oh I am so happy. You cannot possibly understand.

My shoulders are dropping. The end is in sight. Soon I will be done working on painting the house for a few years.

It’s not that I’m done painting the house. Goodness no. But I need to take a few years off. I need to save money for the next round of fixing stuff. Which will include insulating the remainder of the house and updating the flooring.

Not in this round of work. Can’t. I’m losing my mind.

I hate remodeling. But it is inevitable if you own a house. Sob.

I hate it and I love the results. Kinda like how I feel about painting. Painting sucks. I hate painting. But I have these things I see in my head and I need them to be real and painting is one way to do that.

It is a way to share what I see of the world.

Sometimes I feel like typing is my true native language. Painting is becoming a secondary one. Then there are those pesky words out loud.

That’s so much harder.

Go. The sun is up. There is work to do. Move.