Saturday, August 15, 2015

Some Silent Observations

Normally, I am quite loquacious. I enjoy conversation and I consider it a job well done if I can help someone be more cheerful or laugh.

I'm actually an introvert but it's hard to tell due to my temperament type. I am talking about the Myers-Briggs temperament indicator (or Keirsey temperament sorter). I am an INFJ and we are a quirky lot as far as introverts go and we are BIG on conversation where other introverts tend to eschew it entirely. I get it. I'd rather stay at home myself. It's just I talk when I'm in the presence of others. It's hard for me not to.

This presents a kind of issue I'd like to overcome. I'd like to speak more mindfully and spend more time listening. So, I decided to go all Eat Pray Love and have a day of silence. I've noticed others have been doing this to good effect. I'd like to do it every week. Just a day a week.

Well, today was my first silent day. I think it went well and I have some observations.

First, my husband was not as patient as I'd hoped. He said he supported it but I think he was expecting that I just wouldn't talk to everyone ELSE. He got very impatient with me. He didn't like trying to figure out my pantomime and he hated reading little notes. Plus, he squinted a lot. I really think he needs to use readers. (don't tell him I said that, he seems sensitive about it)

Next, I noted that everyone, EVERY SINGLE PERSON, was exceptionally kind to me and understanding of my choice. I even asked a man to help me get a bottle of water out of a cooler at Target since it was on high shelf and way in the back as well. I caught his eye and crooked my finger to call him over and pointed to the water with a plaintive look (I hope) on my face and signaled that I needed two and he reached it right down and I signed "Thank you!" (I took two semesters of American Sign Language in another life long ago.) and he said I was welcome. I also signed/pantomimed to a woman that I liked her ink. It was beautiful. She smiled and said, "thank you" to me.

I found I could convey a lot with just my facial expressions and I also found I needed to convey little else that I actually had to write down.

I noticed things and people I would not normally. I noticed decorative touches I might like to try. I saw all kinds of cool people. I listened. Weren't many people interested in talking to me versus my non-silent outings. Apparently, I initiate a great deal of the conversations I have. I guess I didn't realize that.

Since I am back to talking tomorrow, I think I will try to minimize the extraneous talking and spend as much time listening as I can. I also plan to try hard to stick to what is necessary, truthful, and kind when I do speak... well, aside from pleasantries like "Please." and "Thank you." and maybe "Have a nice day!"

You are probably wondering how well I did with not talking. Did I slip? You bet I did.

 Late last night, I found myself talking to myself out loud. Once I realized I was doing it, I focused on not doing it and that seemed to put that to rest. I wasn't very pleased with what I heard myself say to myself. It wasn't very complimentary. I need to work on that. Hard.

After that, the only times I slipped up were talking to my dog about twice in a soft voice (to praise him) and once talking about my dog (Yes, he is a good boy!).

So, basically, I slipped up to put myself down and to praise or speak in praise of my dog. I never even yelled at the cat and she usually makes me want to.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Consent and Control

Let's be perfectly clear. It is NEVER okay to take a person's freedom for your own profit or pleasure. It's not okay to chain, restrain, beat, whip, flog, cut, or otherwise harm or hurt or have sex or engage in any sexual activity with a person against their will. NEVER. No qualifications.

This has bothered me for a long time. BDSM is not about imprisoning and abusing someone. It's about a person needing to give over control to someone else for a time for their mutual pleasure and/or release.

When you make comments about how 50 Shades of Grey taking place in a trailer park would just be another episode of Criminal Minds, your ignorance shows. It's not about wealth, it's about consent.

There are a lot of reasons a person might choose to be dominant or need to be just as there are many a person might want or need to be submissive. You'd be hard pressed to look at a room full of people and figure out who and why they might want this. It's not your business anyway.

Abuse, is everyone's business but it's very different than BDSM. A woman or man who is abused needs help. If you look at them with open eyes, it will be easy to see the difference. Abuse sucks your self esteem, energy and health away.

Neither person should be judged.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


My husband and I are crafters, makers... hands on people.

I do a lot with fabric, paint, concrete, wire and metal (on a very small scale) and sometimes beads. There's other stuff but it's minor in comparison to those.

Hubby does a lot of electronic stuff, works with wood sometimes, and is a great photographer. Oh yeah, and I like photography a lot too. He does a LOT of stuff on his computer and he is nuts about RC aircraft.

We are both introverts and REALLY non-traditional. In fact, he called me a "hippy" once because he considered it a complement.

Why am I telling you this? Well, we have an encroachment issue. Although, I'm not as worried about it as you might think.

Our living room has seating for about 4 or 5 people, theoretically. Realistically, only two people fit comfortably. That's because of all the supplies, and equipment (and the cat and tiny dog).

We used to make fun of how I always had my favorite chair set up as a little craft pod. All around me there are all the things I need to keep me engaged without needing to get up repeatedly. You see, the cat and dog think I am the place to sleep so every time I get up it's a whole thing. Mostly, I keep crayons and sketch pads and things like this close to hand. Plus, always have my chrome book close to hand... and a kindle and a phone.

Then, we set up some bookshelves in the living room too and I stowed a few of my craft supplies there... the ones I use a lot.

There's a small amount of overflow in the guest room but it's mostly just folded dyed fabric awaiting use. Oh wait, then Hubby set up a big workstation in there. Well, can't have that out where the cat can get into it and it's not like we have constant guests, right? Yeah, I mean, it makes sense. Harder to get to the ironing board though...

The dining room already is a craft room. It's mostly mine but we treat it as a communal space since I have a huge cutting mat and lots of nifty cutting and shaping tools and Hubby likes those. Plus, the workbenches make assembly easier. Sometimes it takes a month to get a table saw moved back outside even though it was supposedly just moved in there for the night but whatever.

Then, I turned into a giant harpy and got mad that Hubby didn't spend any time with me when he got home at night since he just went directly to his room to work on his stuff. After he decided that I might have a point, he moved his play desk to the coffee table in the living room. It's the kind that pulls up and forward to make it a good surface to eat on and stuff. Well, it turns out it makes a nice desk too. It's in front of the futon and so Hubby kind of has like the world's largest desk chair now.

I think you can see where this is going. We are gradually turning  the house into a giant craft space with a bathrooms, kitchen, and bedrooms. But here's the clincher: I don't care and I'm pretty sure Hubby doesn't either. Oh sure, we beat the chaos back from time to time and the paths between the projects get wider for a bit, but the fact is, we love our multiple craft zone dwelling.

It may not look like your living room but it's our natural habitat.