March 30, 2015

Adventures and Delusions

Art: George Grie (via wikimedia)

By Crabby McSlacker

Life is getting way interesting again lately... and most of it is pretty fun to think about.

And yeah, this is one of those "meta" blog posts acknowledging that as life gets more eventful, the blog will continue to slide into further slackitude. My contributions are already getting more sporadic and weird, and I'm relying more on generous guest bloggers to keep this thing going.

I ain't ready to commit blogicide just yet. But be forewarned, its going to be kind of up and down for the forseeable future and may have sort of a "Dear diary" tone to it, plus more travel pictures and on-the-road type posts.  Even worse is the unforgivable failure to engage as much as I'd like with beloved readers and other bloggers, a state of affairs that makes me feel really shitty.  But I'm hoping at least some of you will keep hangin' in there.

By the way, HUGE THANKS to all you folks who keep visiting and commenting no matter what the state of the blog. I especially love those of you who reply to other's comments and foster such a feeling of community. Lately I've totally sucked at that. (Though while I don't always pop in to reply, I never miss reading a comment!)

And an additional huge thanks to the very cool site Healthista, which is hip and full of great content and speaks with an adorable British accent. It's got the feel of a major media outlet in terms of shiny professionalism, but manages a fun down-to-earth tone. Plus, how can I not love a site quirky enough to include Cranky Fitness in a "best health blog" sort of list? Be sure to check it out.

Anyway, so here are some of the things coming up on my calendar... how about yours?  What sort of adventures, quests, chores, ordeals, long-shot dreams or sensible goals are you looking ahead to?


First up:

Relocation and  Logistics


photo: pixabay

Divesting Ourselves of Worldly Goods: As I write this, I really should be sorting through drawers and cabinets and closets, making donation piles and trips to the thrift shop, scrounging up boxes, researching storage facilities and truck rentals and carpet cleaners and handymen.

We've decided to lease out our San Diego condo for 18 months, unsure whether we'll come back and inhabit it again, or sell it, or continue to rent it out indefinitely. Lots of reasons for the decision, but it's a good thing, not a bad thing.

However...Have I mentioned I hate chores?

Turns out when you attempt to clear out of 2-bedroom place you've been occupying on and off for a number of years, there are a fair number of tasks involved.

You know that feeling where you look around your place and whatever object your eyes rest upon, there's some sort of decision, dilemma, or prospective headache it conjures up? And yet you can't start on that particular chore yet because something else needs to be done first, which can't happen yet because of something else that hasn't been decided, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc?

Well, that's where my head is right now.  The Lobster, my patient spouse, is of course all confident and optimistic and efficient.  Which is awesome in the practical sense, but the contrast does serve to remind me that at heart I am a neurotic easily-overwhelmed stressmonkey no mattter how many hours I spend on meditation or other self-improvement endeavors.

And along with all that comes the prospect of...

Finding and Securing a Winter Rental for Ourselves in 2016!

More about this later.  For those of you who aren't regular readers, my wife and I are both California gals and certified weather-wimps who fell in love with Provincetown MA and became bicoastal. Neither of us are the hardy types who can thrive in a nearly deserted freezing ass cold New England small town over the winter. So while we'll be staying there more of the year (8 months), we'll still continue to bug out for 4 months. We could go back to San Diego... but this might make an excellent chance to have an adventure somewhere completely different.

Where would you go to spend the winter (if somehow you could ditch all geographically-bound responsibilities), or do you already live there? 


(Note: I have not quite reached the point where I can use the word "winter" as a verb, at least not with a straight face.  Please shoot me if I ever do.)

More  Imminent Travel!

We'll be heading off again in about a week to a couple of exciting international destinations. But I'll leave those as a surprise for now.  You will no doubt be subjected to travel tales and pictures again, sorry!

Then a few days after we get back, we pack up the car, and for complicated reasons involving my wife's employment, drive partway cross country, fly the rest, and hit P-town in the beginning of May. We will soon thereafter go to NYC and there are other possibilities on the horizon as well.  Life ain't going to settle down any time soon.

So, that was the "adventure" part, what about the "delusion" part?

Totally Impractical But Nonetheless Irresistible Creative Endeavor!

So periodically I've been dithering around with a couple of major projects that I couldn't decide between: one was a self-help book, with a broader focus than just fitness.  The other was a wellness coaching workshop, starting online and then, I hoped, expanding to IRL locations.

I'd get started on one of these, I'd get overwhelmed thinking of all the research I needed to do and logistics I needed to handle and then suddenly the other one would seem more compelling and then I'd take that up, but then get distracted again and lose steam.  Lots of great ideas to explore with both, some of which I'm quite passionate about!  Yet not so passionate about the work involved. I kept revisiting over and over, but I never fundamentally made my choice and committed.

And so a couple of months ago I told myself: JUST PICK SOMETHING DOOFUS AND DO IT! More futzing ensued, of course, but yay, I finally made a decision on a project, and with that, a commitment to see it through. I've made some headway, and feel enthusiastic, but there's still a long, long way to go.

So which one did I pick, the self-help book or the workshop?

Neither: I'm writing a novel!

OK, Maybe Not This One.
book cover via wikimedia

This makes totally no sense at all for so many, many reasons. A few of them:

1. My only "platform" is a health and fitness blog, which is perfect for my other two projects, and probably means squat for a novel.

2.  There are approximately eleventy billion other would-be novelists out there. In fact, if one were to pick out the most classic delusional narcissistic quest, writing a novel that anyone else will ever read besides one's best friends and relatives has to rank right up there at number 1.

3.  It takes a lot of time and motivation to finish a novel at all, let alone a good one.

4.  I already wrote a novel, probably about 10 years ago by now. I got a good agent, which was awesome, but I couldn't sell it.  So I can't harbor the lovely fantasy I started off with, that went something like: "Gee, I'm my own toughest critic! If I write something even I think is pretty good, other people will have to think so too!"

And yet, I can't seem to help myself. The characters have taken up residence in my brain, and the story seems to spin along whether I'm even paying attention to it or not.  To get lazy and fail to do the work necessary to bring this quirky imaginary world to life seems like a form of betrayal, though whom or what I might be betraying is a mystery.

The Novel vs The Blog


Bennett Sisters photo: wikipedia
So yeah.  That's a problem.

There's only so much time in a day, right?  I have coaching clients and family obligations (not nearly as many as those of you with kids, I have NO idea how the hell you guys get anything done), plus all those annoying "self-care" things like exercise and meditation, and as outlined above, life is pretty busy with other odd distractions as well.

Even with copious caffeine consumption, there are but a few precious hours when I am alert and productive enough to string words together with any sort of coherence.

A Thought:

What if I only permit myself to write a blog post if it's a week in which I've written a sufficient number of words on the novel?  (I'd still be allowed to put up guest posts).

I haven't fully committed to that yet, but am pondering. It's scary: this blog actually has a few readers, whereas no one but me gives a crap if the novel every gets written.  So my first instinct is to make sure I have at least one blog post up, and it feels backwards to put a speculative project ahead of poor old Cranky Fitness! It needs more attention, not less.

You'd think as a life coach I'd have figured out some sort of perfect answer or formula for how to work with Far-Fetched But Strangely Meaningful Quests. I've been able to help other people on theirs, but alas, I haven't quite got my own formula down.

Anyone else got chores, adventures, or goals? Or advice on where to spend winter? Or tips on how to chase after Possibly Impossible Dreams?

54 comments:

  1. Novel! Yay! Crabby, my only advice, if I may presume to give it, is do as you will and enjoy the hell out of it. Please keep up with the blog as you can, but go ahead with the novel.

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  2. MAUI. I'd winter in Maui (there, I verbed it for you), I'd summer in Maui, I'd Spring in Maui, I'd Fall in Maui.

    I love that you're going to write a novel, and I also love your idea for getting a blog post written. I make similar deals with myself regarding things I have to do vs. things I want to do, and it works pretty well for me.

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  3. Cayman Islands for a winter retreat!

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    Replies
    1. Angela, I have to say I know nothing about the Cayman Islands except that they sound cool! Must investigate!

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  4. Ooh, I'm loving these suggestions!! You guys are fueling my fantasy life bigtime...

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  5. Death Ride GrandmaMarch 30, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Ok, Crabby, I'm a grandmother, so I get to talk like this: Treat yourself the way you'd want your life-coaching clients to treat themselves! Your vacation pictures and tales are tons of fun for us commenters. The idea of having gotten to know someone who could actually write a novel is really cool. You write fun posts - and attract great commenters I wish I could actually meet. Give yourself a little slack! Write that novel!

    And having said that...I hope you manage to get the requisite number of words written regularly so we can continue to follow your intriguing paths and plans. I always enjoy seeing you here.

    I don't think I even need to say what I keep planning to do and not quite getting done. My commenter ID says it all. And I am now getting perilously close to the intense phase of training for attempt number 3. You know what? It's ok. Traveling to your goal is at least as important as reaching it, yes? At least, if it is a big, challenging goal, I hope that's true for most of us. It would be too bad to be spending that kind of time and energy if the going-there was not (almost) as important as the getting-there.

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    1. Thank you DRG! And so you're going for the Death Ride yet again? You are amazing!

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    2. DRG, as always, you inspire me!!!

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    3. Awesome! *chants* DRG is Number 1! DRG is Number 1!

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  6. Hey, I actually got here early enough to be worth commenting for once!

    Crabby, you may be a neurotic easily-overwhelmed stressmonkey, but you're our neurotic easily-overwhelmed stressmonkey. As long as you keep coming up with phrases like ... for example ... "neurotic easily-overwhelmed stressmonkey", you can turn Cranky Fitness into a gardening blog and I'll still keep it sat there in the RSS feed.

    Looking forward to the novel!

    Lucky "I came for the fitness, I stayed for the cranky" Duck

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    1. Seconded!

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    2. Aww, Lucky Duck so glad to see you here! You and Mary Anne are also so kind and thanks for putting up with these sorts of posts, you are real troopers! Or is it troupers? Hmm..

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    3. I never went away, I just tend to be so far behind with my reading that the posts have gone yellow and curled up at the edges by the time I get here! #8-D

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  7. I'm with Shelley - winter, summer, spring, fall - all in Hawaii!!!
    And, I'm so excited that you are going to write a novel!! I can't wait to get my copy!!!

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  8. Two books come to mind -- Start and Quitter, both by Jon Acuff. Both talk about making your dreams into realities.

    Winter in Hawaii sounds great to me, but it's expensive, and might not work out for your IRL work.

    Enjoy the novel writing, because if you don't get these characters down on paper, it will haunt you.

    As Lucky Duck says, i stay for the cranky. Your personality is what carries whatever you post, so post when you can, and i'll enjoy it.

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    Replies
    1. THank you messymimi, and I'lll have to check out those books!

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    2. Well shoot, I need to look up these books myself!

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  9. I nominate spending winters beach side some where in Florida. If you don't like
    any cold weather you will have to go further south than Vero Beach.
    My husband and I say we don't live far enough south just yet
    we are thinking Key West maybe hopefully they don't EVER get any cold
    weather I hate the stuff in case you couldn't tell!!

    I agree with the others
    your personality comes through your blog its what brings us readers back.
    How exciting writing a novel! I think you should go for it sounds like you
    are truly passionate about it and you do have a fan base just go for it!!

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    1. Aww thanks for the encouragement Susan, and hmm, Key West does have a certain appeal! A funky town not unlike provincetown and I haven't been there in ages.

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  10. If the characters want the novel written, the novel must be written! You+words=goodness.
    I would invite you all to spend the winter in central Kentucky, but on the "freezing-ass cold" scale we fall somewhere in the middle between New England and San Diego. I put up with winter here because I belong here. And I have a wood stove.
    My current goal? Survive spring pollen.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  11. (Also: yay for more travel posts!)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. Hoping for a pollen-free spring for you Mary Anne! Or some medical breakthrough that makes it irrelevant.

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    2. Good luck with the pollen, Mary Anne!

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    3. Thank you. [sniffff]
      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  12. Born in Los Angeles, living in San Diego, I'm afraid it would be a difficult adjustment for me to move ANYWHERE for ANY season! For me, this place is Just Right. I could maybe autumn and spring it somewhere, those seem to be pleasant times for places with more extreme weather.

    Thankfully one of my goals is saving for retirement, and I'm hoping that we are being sensible enough about the whole process (I'm pretty sure we are) that we could be bi-locational if we really wanted to. I'm just hoping we don't have to wait forever to get there. (It's probably wrong to be wanting to retire ASAP when I'm only 41.)

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    1. It's true, OTF, you can't beat the weather in So Cal, and there's much to love about San Diego so I have no doubt we'll be back. And fingers crossed for your early retirement!

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  13. If I hated winter (I love it - native Vermonter!) I would totally go to New Zealand or Australia for the Northern Hemisphere winter, which is of course the Southern Hemisphere summer. Hiking, healthy living, ocean, not too many people, they sort of speak the same language as Americans, etc... Good luck with the novel! -Mary

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    1. Southern hemisphere... excellent idea Mary! Sydney is awesome, and NZ is beautiful. And New Zealanders are pretty much Canadians in terms of being easygoing and friendly, so that's a plus!

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  14. I would like to live on my own island in the Caribbean please! Oh I see you only said I could ditch geographic responsibilities not monetary.
    I have been getting sucked into a lot of charity work lately regardless of how much I struggle. I am kind of excited about a new group that I am in that is trying to get more cheap to free access for seniors to fitness facilities. I was shocked to find that many places have no senior's discount including my YMCA.

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    1. That's so awesome of you Cindy to be leading the charge for senior fitness. Go you!!! You deserve your own Caribbean island, I'll see what I can do...

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  15. Florida Keys!

    Hemingway will inspire you :-)

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    1. Plus bonus Dr. J: cats everywhere!

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  16. I'd winter in Italy, Somewhere around Rome. Just cold enough for boots and a sweater but not cold enough to suffer Turns out I don't like cold either!

    Write that novel no matter where you end up! And happy travels; we'll be here when post and get back :)

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    1. Ah, great idea Genie, Italy sounds like a wonderful winter destination, and probably a lot less touristy and crowded than during the summer months. And the food... !!!

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  17. I quit my job in February, so one of my goals is to find another job. I can look at it as a chore or an adventure…that is up to me!

    I hate winter and can't wait to win the lottery so I don't have to suffer through snow and ice ever again. I love Miami Beach, but WHEN I win the lottery, I am headed straight for Turks and Caicos. I am thinking I should go to Miami Beach very soon. I hear the ocean whispering my name. Might be going to Las Vegas in May too (the Grand Canyon calls as well)…but I wouldn't want to spend an extended period of time there.

    Regarding impossible dreams, my advice would be to just keep chasing them…I hear they tire out after awhile and you can sneak right up on them!

    Looking forward to reading about and seeing pictures of your travel adventures…and to reading your book. Wheeeeeeee!!!

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    Replies
    1. Congrats Kimberley on forging a new path! And yay for a few adventures before you get corralled into employment again. Have fun in your travels! And hmm... adventures + break in employment = Cranky Fitness guest post? (A crab can dream....)

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    2. Thanks!!! I could never compete with the fabulous guest posters you have…I am boring! LOL!

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    3. Boring, Kimberley? Hardly!! And you have so much insight and humor!

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    4. NOT boring! NOT!
      Voting for guest post, here.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    5. Thanks for your kindness, Crabby and Mary Anne!

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  18. Dear Crabby,
    Wow, I wish you the best on your novel, sounds exciting! I hope you'll publicly publish a teaser, like a chapter or two. :)

    We are also downsizing big-time! We've sold some stuff and given away lots. Our house is pretty fit and trim right about now. ;) We are considering several new locations.

    I'd be delighted with any blogging you do, of course, but I hope you get the proper time you need to finish what you need to finish!

    All the Best, Dave

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    1. Dave, can't tell you how much I appreciate you stopping by here, always with a kind word or funny poem or great insight. You are awesome!

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    2. Aw, but you're AWESOME in all caps!!!!!! :-)

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  19. WOW!!!!!!!!! If I lived closer to SD, I would ask to rent your place! :) We have had not the best landlords so hesitant to move but we want to...

    You have a lot going on & is it bad to say I am jealous! :) I think your options are endless cause you are so talented AND I would read here or your book!

    Lots of good things in store for you!

    I wish I was in Hawaii right now escaping from the stress! :)

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  20. Oh yes! A Crabby novel would be wunderbar! (I do hope Otto Correct doesn't turn that into underwear.) the world /needs/ to read your story!

    I like the idea of spending the winter in Maui or New Zealand. I'm working for kiwis now, and they are indeed the antipodean equivalent of Canadians.

    But please come back and update us on how the novel is doing and when we can read it!

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    1. Crabby McSlackerApril 1, 2015 at 9:56 AM

      Merry!!!! Lo, how I have missed thee since the days of yore when you brightened these virtual pages so!

      Sheesh, where the heck did that come from? Was so excited to see you here and got to thinking' of the old days and blew some sort of brain gasket.

      But yes, you are so much missed and I hope the kiwis are treating you well. And be careful about mentioning the Crabby novel or you might someday be forced to pretend to read it!

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  21. OMGIAMSOEXCITED!!!!!!!!
    I demand you email me :-)

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  22. Am happy to read here whomever, whenever. As for winters, perhaps central Calif. coast, or somewhere in the western Sonoma County or in Mendocino County; great weather, hiking & outdoor stuff, wine & breweries too.

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    1. Crabby McSlackerApril 2, 2015 at 1:45 PM

      Hey thanks Cathy! And great ideas; those are all EXCELLENT spots with tons to do! I suspect we will be having quite a few winter adventures and hope to include a stay in one of them.

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  23. Holy crap, YES on the novel! I will sign up and pre-order that thing, so get to it! We will be here when you get the chance to blog, and I'll always help out with a guest post when you need one. :-D

    My current goal is to get another paying gig. The economy is not my friend lately and the tax man is looming extra close thanks to last year's uterine escapades, so the goal is dough. I'm also working up another short story to follow the last and starting to outline my project for this year's NaNoWriMo, so that's fun.

    As for winters, my experience is rather limited to mostly freezing-ass cold locations, but my two years in the Pacific Northwest were pretty amazing. We had the windows open in February up there and the redwoods were just... cosmic. I highly recommend checking it out if you've never been!

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    1. Heather, I LOVE your writing so if you ever get a spare minute, guest post! guest post! guest post!

      And it cracks me up that your winters are such that the pacific northwest winters seem mild by comparison. I love that part of the world, but the rain gets to me; we tend to visit in the sunnier times of year.

      Good luck on the gig-hunting! Hope you find one that's fun and lucrative!

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  24. Go for that novel! I have actually promised myself to get back into writing classes when the CPA journey is over. I miss writing a lot, and blogging is different. I always dreamed about writing a novel. I have no idea if I ever will or even try, but I am supportive of the dream. :) Sam

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    1. Crabby McSlackerApril 5, 2015 at 1:21 PM

      Oh QD, I do hope you start your novel as I would love to read it! And I do hope there'd be at least one heroic doberman among the cast of characters? :)

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