The Fish or the Flop?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is FLOUNDER

Which brings to mind that old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Was the fish named because of its flopping, or was the flopping named after the flounder that flopped around when caught?

Inquiring from wise old Mr Webster, I learned that there was a FLOUNDER – the fish – before there was a floundering of anything else. However, the verb FLOUNDER is believed to have been a twist of the much older word, FOUNDER, or possibly a blend between FOUNDER and BLUNDER.

Your Daily Word prompt is SWAMPED
The Word of the Day challenge is NOTHING
These prompt words bring to mind one trial in my life, so I’ll share something about that.

FLOUNDER is a good word for me: I often feel like I’m floundering. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve all these “someday” sewing and writing projects that need finishing. My “Bucket List,” if you will. Most of the time I can keep my heard above water, but some days I feel SWAMPED by the need to deal with said mess. All these notebooks full of scribbled poem bits, now tossed in a tub awaiting future attention — to say NOTHING of the tubs awaiting attention in my sewing room.

It’s all about perspective, right? “Just pick one thing and get started,” several friends have told me. So, do I have a full-blown case of OCD or ADD that keeps me from sticking with a task, or is it all just a lack of self-discipline? Scatterbrained, the old folks used to say.

Have you noticed that some thinking can put you on a real teeter-totter? When I’m feeling down about this mess, the philosopher in me rises up and asks accusingly, “Which came first, the mind-set or the mess? What major changes need to happen in your personality in order to avoid this situation?”

Oh, help! I think I’ll go read a good book.

Then along comes another Monday. I’m so thankful for Mondays; for me each one is a new start, a chance to get my head above the waves again and start paddling.

cropped-cake-3163117_1280.jpgTogether with the grandchildren, I worked on some sewing projects last Friday and today I plan to continue that good work. And once I get my sewing space all cleaned up, I’ll throw one mega-celebration. Chocolate cake and ice cream and… 😉

Ah! Incentive, that’s the key. Or does the answer lie in just accepting the mess as is? What do you think?

Can A Popular Person Be Lonely?

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge today is POPULAR

This brings to mind a conversation I had twenty-some years ago: three other women and myself were having coffee together and in the course of conversation I mentioned that I was never part of the “in-crowd.” One by one all three of my friends responded with, “I never was, either.”

This was a shocker. I always was an odd kid, raised apart from my birth family, ridiculed by my foster dad and made fun of by my peers. I became a loner — but surely these three were exactly the types to be leading an in-crowd!

Lise, a French-Canadian nurse, wife of the town vet and mom to three, was as lively and friendly as they come. Same with Diane, also a nurse, the wife of a school teacher and mother of a son and twin girls. They could visit with anybody. Ruth, the United Church Minister’s wife, university-educated, outgoing, cheerful, also sharing her thoughts freely. I loved visiting with each of them and could imagine they’d have been the most popular girls in any school.

If these girls weren’t part of “the in-crowd,” who was?

Take comfort, those of you who aren’t so popular at school. Teens who are not part of the in-crowd can still become friendly, moxie people with active minds, maybe even more caring and sharing than those who agonize about fitting in.

Yesterday Pastor J S Park posted a great article: “LONELINESS, The Unnamed Pain.” He’s given me permission to reblog it, but for some reason that isn’t working as it should, so I’ll copy and paste. If you struggle with loneliness this is a must-read. And he says yes, you can be lonely surrounded by other people.

LET’S TALK ABOUT LONELINESS”

I’m not a therapist or doctor, but as a hospital chaplain, I’ve seen the terrible and awful effects of loneliness on mental health. The problem is that it’s tough to admit, almost embarrassing to say, “I’m hurting from loneliness.”

Loneliness is a double-bind in that in order to find comfort, it requires reaching out to people or for people to be near. But some of us have been alone so long, it’s unthinkable that we can connect with another human without risking rejection—which fuels more loneliness.

“WHY DON’T YOU JUST MAKE FRIENDS?”

The unhelpful reply I hear to “I’m lonely” is “Why don’t you just make friends?” But that’s like saying, “Why don’t you just get rich?” or “Why can’t you just go to the gym?” We’re already in deficit, a lap behind, because we fear connection in proportion to how alone we feel.

It’s difficult to make friends and keep them. It’s hard to have real friendships that are not just functional transactions. Even when someone is surrounded by crowds or well connected, they may be the loneliest people on earth, because all their “friends” are transactional.

“THE OPPOSITE OF LONELINESS IS COURAGE”

I don’t know the answer to loneliness. But I know what the answer is not: We can’t just snap out of it. We can’t just cure it with a party, a bar, a church, a dating app. It requires intentional investment and yes, the risk of rejection. The opposite of loneliness is courage. It takes courage to reach out, to enter each other’s orbit, to risk trust, and to be alone in our thoughts and fears.

Friends, this week may be lonely. This season can be brutal. They can remind you of all that’s missing. As trite as it sounds: You may feel lonely, but you are not alone. May you find the courage to reach out, to enter the possibilities of love in all its heaven and heartache.

Flourish.plainer
Many thanks to Pastor Park for allowing me to share his encouraging article.

 

Great Things To Come

I few days ago I wrote an article about mental health issues. More humane care has been provided and sufferers have been treated in various ways through the 1900s, with questionable success. Writer/poet/blogger Frank Prem, in his younger days, worked at an Australian asylum and has written a number of poems to capture the lives and feelings of the afflicted.

Now he’s excited to be launching his compilation of these poems. He says The New Asylum should be live on Amazon November 1st and you can pre-order it now. In mid-November he’s doing a local book launch — here are the details — and here’s the book cover:

The New Asylum: a memoir of psychiatry (Poetry Memoir Book 3) by [Prem, Frank]

His other poetry books, SMALL TOWN KID and DEVIL IN THE WIND, have gotten great reviews. You can read my review of this second book HERE.

Devil In The Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires (Poetry Anthology Book 2) by [Prem, Frank]