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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Hand-Me-Downs.”

i am the oldest of 3 daughters. i usually did not have to have hand-me-down clothing the way my sisters were stuck with. sometimes, my mom or grandma would bring home garage sale clothes, but i can only remember wearing those clothes as play clothes. maybe i wouldn’t be caught dead in garage sale clothes.

i want to smile thinking back. i would never have worn used clothing to school. when i became a mom myself, i started frequenting Goodwill and other thrift shops because my own daughter was growing so fast, buying her new clothes would have broke the bank.

I still shop at thrift stores for her. Usually i can find something that still has a lot of wear left. thrift stores are also good for finding great stuff to repurpose for Hallowe’en costumes.

I still have a mental stigma about wearing used clothes. I do buy some clothing items from Ebay, but even those I just wear around the house.

I guess I’m a snob.

I think my sisters did not like to wear hand-me-downs. They had plenty of new stuff too. Clothes were cheaper back then, relatively speaking.

My home is currently cluttered with hand-me-down knick-knacks from deceased relatives. I have been learning to let them go and bless others, little by little.

There is so much sentiment, though, in knick-knacks. i remember certain items and where they sat in my grandma’s house. i wish i could go back in time to see how the item looked one last time.

My mom gives me books that she’s read. I sell them on half.com, or list them on bookmooch.com, because she prefers mysteries, and they are not my favorite genre. But they take up space in the house I don’t really have room for.

Maybe that’s why I struggle with hand-me-downs: I don’t have room for the baggage that can come along with such “gifts.”

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Treat.”

Beautiful fall day today. I cannot believe it’s November. Even though I stay inside mostly all day, I love the sun and the warmth.

Last weekend, I treated myself to a haircut and color, and some new makeup. I know that is pathetic; people get their hair cut every day. But I go a very long time between haircuts. It had been at least a year since I had been to a salon.

I forget that I do deserve to look nice–that I can look nice. Depression robs a person of caring about appearances. It’s so easy to just give up caring about anything–even getting out of bed.

But some of the not caring is just being in a habit, too. A habit of the same thing day after day after day… everything the same. So you do the minimal to get along in life.

You sit in the salon chair, making small-talk with the stylist, telling her how you’d like your hair cut, choosing a color, discussing¬† a few other things, like the weather perhaps.

The stylist mixes up the color and starts to apply it. It’s cold on the scalp, and it can slightly sting. I close my eyes and let the stylist do her work.

Then comes the itchy part, as the color sets and activates.

Finally, thirty minutes later, I get my rinse. Warm water massages my scalp as the stylist works magic.

Then it’s back to the cutting chair where the scissors snip-snip, removing a good two or three inches of hair.

Then it’s the final touches, blow-drying, flat-ironing to bring on the shine.

I look in the mirror and barely recognize myself.

It takes a minute to get used to the new look. Do I hate it? I’ll get used to it, eventually. When the color fades just a bit, and the hair grows just a bit, it will be perfect.

I should treat myself more often. I almost always feel amazing after a color and style.

The first day of NaNo is always the hardest.

Do I have a plot? Do I have a character? Do I have something to start the first paragraph with? Do I have somewhere to go with the bare bones of a story or an idea?

I look at the NaNo forums to try and get some idea, if I have nothing. I really like the adopt a title and adopt a first line. This year, I am looking at all kinds of ideas in the forums in order to spark some kind of revelation to my imagination.

So far, I do have a character, title, epigraph, dedication, opening line, and possible closing line.

Where does the idea spark come into play?

It’s like two ears but no brain/head in between.

I have only another 2 and a half hours in this day to get a journal entry completed, and 1667 words for NaNo day 1 completed.

Sigh.

Oh my faculties are so rusty. I have not written solidly for several years. I gae up on my paper journal. Depression sucks the life right out of everything–especially one’s creativity.

I used to pride myself on my journal-keeping, and on my writing. But I gave up. It became so hard to put pen to paper. I started so many blogs and gave up on those also. Now I am free to write again; i mean I feel free to finally START writing again.

Faith is not enough. I have to put my pen to paper.

I have to exercise a thought muscle that has not been used consistently for several years.

How sad it is when I open my most recent paper journal, and see that I’ve barely written anything since 2012, when I used to be able to fill a journal in a month or two, depending on length of the journal.

There’s a whole section of 2013 when I wrote nothing. What did I do then? I no longer remember.

So I’m keeping this journal for its original purpose: daily writing practice. I have to do something. I have to. The muscle must be exercised.It has atrophied from disuse.

Even figuring out what to type here is exhausting. I want to give up, to do something else (wash teh dishes, clean the counters, take out the trash), but I have to keep going. I have to find the strength and courage to just keep going, no matter what.

So now I must get back to the window that holds the current work-in-progress. I have a lot left to type, and not so much time left in which to do it.

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