Daily Prompt: Fearless

My name is ironic.

See, I’m Kasey, and one definition of that name is “brave” or, according to wikipedia, “vigilant in war.” I’m not that, either.

My parents might or might not have looked my name up in 1000 Baby Names or whatever it’s called; in the end all that mattered was the tribute to my great aunt KC. I’ve posted on this before, and mentioned that I really feel more like a Kate.

You could argue, though, that brave and fearless are not necessarily synonymous. In my head brave is filed under “being really freaking afraid of doing the thing, but doing it anyway because it needs or is worth doing.” I’m about 50/50 on that one. Sometimes I sit back and realize that the thing might need doing or be worth doing, but someone else can handle it because I am not equipped for that mess. Brave is finally telling my boss that no, I don’t want to go permanent at my job because I might very well be perfectly competent, but I’m just not satisfied enough to spend the next couple years plugging away at invoices just to keep my resume from looking like I drop jobs on a whim. Fearless is throwing caution to the wind and walking out at lunch like a coworker did a few months ago after a particularly passive-aggressive diatribe from our permanent coworker that was couched as constructive criticism; I was just as mad, but I’ve got bills and loans and a new(er) car to save for.

So maybe I’m not fearless. And maybe that’s a good thing. I do need to get on the bravery thing, though. My boss is waiting for an answer, after all.

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Daily Prompt: Easy Fix

Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”

I don’t trust easy fixes. Sure, some things in life are just that simple. But this is life we’re dealing with, and life almost never goes down without a fight. Sometimes that easy fix only treats a symptom rather than rooting out the real problem, and sometimes it ends up complicating things even more.

I might not trust easy fixes, but I’m lazy enough to appreciate the time they save me. So I’ll take them as they come and deal with the complications as they pop up. And all was right in the world.

(Except probably not really. But that’s not my problem.)

Resolving not to resolve

We’re entering the final days of 2014 — how did you do on your New Year’s resolutions these past 11.75 months? Is there any leftover item to be carried over to 2015?

I’m not actually a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. It seems like I’d be setting myself up for failure by picking something so grand and sweeping I’d chicken out and decide to forget about the whole thing. My New Year’s resolution every year is not to have a resolution; having one feels oddly limiting, like I’m taking all the potential that the next 365 days have and tunnel-vision focusing on one or two aspects of it.

I do better with bite-size goals: calling someone instead of texting (I feel kind of bad that the one person I’m the worst about that with is the one with whom texting is so entrenched as our method of communication that it’ll take several Christmas miracles to oust it and the prayers of minor saints); actually asking for help in a store instead of just standing around looking frustrated, hoping all the while that an employee notices. It seems like most people do better with these sorts of goals. Maybe it’s just human nature to go for the gusto and decide to look a hundred pounds or suddenly start eating better or run a 5k. (Mad respect if you’ve halfway managed any of those—or even sort of started and gave up. For any sweeping goal. Mad respect).

 

businessman-2015

 

image via pixabay

Daily Post: Life is Short. Life is long.

Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.

Sir Thomas Hobbs said, “the life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” My life? Not so much on the first four; I lucked out and happen to be a Western white girl—literally the only way this could get any better is if I were a guy. Or didn’t have a soul-crushing student loan balance.

Life is this weirdly liminal thing. It’s too short and it’s too long. I am everything and I am nothing. (Side note: is it just me that’s fascinated by the fact that the star of one life is a bit player in others’?) Life is too short not to love wherever and however much you can, but it’s too long to love or stay attached to something (or someone) who’s bad for you just to have that connection. Life is too short not to have that one last piece of the most amazing pizza ever, but it’s too long to have that pizza all day every day and expect it to be as awesome as it was the first time.

The seventy-odd years we spend on this mortal coil are the most solid, concrete, ephemeral things in the universe. We are dandelion fluff, there and gone in a blink. But we were there.

 

dandelion

 

dandelion via pixabay

Hand-me-downs and Heirlooms

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.

I still think of hand-me-downs with a shudder. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to all the teasing my brother and I didn’t tell our parents about. See, when I grew up my family clung to working-class by the skin of our teeth thanks entirely to a father who worked himself to the bone to keep food on the table and a mother who to this day is incredibly thrifty. Until I was in high school my mother shopped at consignment stores and accepted used clothes from who-knows-where because we just didn’t have the money for new, let alone the name brands that are absolutely crucial in a small-town junior high. I had clothes, and I was grateful to have them at all, but there’s something sticky and stinging about wearing a top the popular girl from Sunday school wore a few times before it ended up in a donation box. There’s something even stickier about said popular girl pointedly complimenting the top in front of everyone—the compliment could have been genuine, in hindsight, but that got lost at the moment (I’ve always read negative subtext into interactions with popular kids. It’s a habit I’m still actively trying to get rid of. And it’s hard).

I don’t like hand-me-downs.

But I have an old rosary that my great-grandmother sent to my mother, who passed it on to me, years ago. It’s huge and solid and not at all to my tastes—I like my rosaries delicate—but it’s precious because it’s all I have left of the feisty ninety-two-year-old who once reportedly lectured my father when he tried to cut up my spaghetti, because by god a two-year-old should get messy eating spaghetti; who crocheted everyone in the family a pair of slippers in our favorite color every Christmas; and who regularly sent my brother tins of persimmon cookies when we were little because he was her cookie monster. I don’t know how old it is, whether it’s been blessed, or even if it did more than sit on a shelf until some random impulse had her practically laminating the envelope she sent it in with tape. It’s the rosary I grab when I’m feeling sad or anxious or scared, because it was hers.

It’s not a hand-me down. It’s an heirloom.

The Future’s Too Fluid for Foresight. (And I’m potentially too lazy for this.)

You’ve been granted the power to predict the future! The catch — each time you use your power, it costs you one day (as in, you’ll live one day less). How would you use this power, if at all?

I think I’ll pass, thanks.

Plus, if I’m reading the prompt right, I’d run the risk of pointlessly playing Cassandra; plus PLUS, if many people can do this, what if my predictions counter someone else’s? Which future is it going to be? Will the universe pick a side or split the difference? And if I see something, is it going to happen naturally or is there some action required on my part to help it come to pass? Could I seriously screw with that future by inadvertently trying to make it happen? Mostly the whole idea reeks of suddenly having a knack for astrology or something like that–potentially really cool, but just too open-ended and subjective to be useful or worth it in the end.

I’m not crazy about the cost of the whole endeavor, either. Yes, life is precious and I shouldn’t waste a minute of it. But I’ve probably got some bad habits that are knocking off days left and right without my even being aware of it; no need to knowingly do so just for the chance to see who’ll win the World Cup in a few years or at what point we finally hit the big red button and cease to exist as a species. Yeah, I’ll definitely pass. There are more fun ways to lose a day or two.