Monthly Archives: April 2016


It’s been a while. Again. A lot has happened… A lot of nothing has happened for the most part, but some things have happened too. 

My dog, who has a tummy tumor, no longer looks and acts sick. Yes, she’s a bit slower than she was in her youth, but she’s still moving, exhibiting joy, enjoying life. I’m back to believing that she could never leave us. 

I’ve decided to really focus on learning JavaScript for a while before I worry too much about trying to get a job. There is the slight problem that focusing is one of my most pronounced weaknesses, but I’m considering that something I’m working on in parallel with my JS studies. I got a promodoro app… Basically you work 25 minutes then break for 5, then repeat. Every 4th break you get 30 minutes. It makes it feel more manageable. 

I can’t describe what a relief it was to decide to properly learn JavaScript for a while. Suddenly, my path is clear, and doesn’t immediately involve job applications. Am I just procrastinating? Maybe. But I really will feel better if I can be confident about JavaScript. Sometimes I wonder if I will be good at it or if I just have no aptitude. I really can’t tell. It’s hard, but is it hard for most people? I don’t really know. 

My new comforting thought is that I’m average, a blank slate, and I can work at anything and be good enough at it. That may seem like a weak affirmation, but it really helps me. I used to be told by my parents and teachers that I was smart and talented. That led me to not work hard, to slack off, believing that I was just going to talent my way through life. So those talents, art and music and writing, are not well developed and I feel very uncomfortable trying to do anything with them. Then I started telling myself that I’m not good at anything, that I could never be. That also encouraged me to not work hard, because what would be the point? 

As an average person, with average abilities, I can finally settle down to work on myself, develop a couple useful skills, and someday get employed. I’m not so worthless that there’s no point in trying, but I’m not so brilliant that I don’t need to try. I’m as good as others. And that is good. 

In other news, I am trying something else that scares me and makes me uncomfortable. I’ve started a group on Meetup. It’s called “Happy Healthy Weight Loss, Berkeley” …maybe kind of a long name, but I had a lot to say. The first scheduled event was on Saturday. 11 people RSVPed that they’d be there, but only one showed up, 16 year old daughter in tow. So the three of us went for a hike and it was nice. I’m not going to pretend the attendance wasn’t disappointing, but she said I shouldn’t get discouraged, that I should keep trying. 

The reason I am so uncomfortable is that, based on the pictures, nearly everyone in my group is older than, and possibly thinner than me. I don’t feel qualified to lead. I don’t have any organizational skills. I don’t know what I’m doing. Really I don’t. I don’t know why all those people didn’t show up. 

I have these visions of making friends with people, playing soccer or other sports, hiking, having potlucks. Then I compare that to the group, which seems to be mostly mothers. Some are divorced. Some probably have careers that are interesting. Me? I have nothing to offer them, as far as interesting conversation. How do I relate to them? The one who came on the hike was complaining that her friends are too low energy. I am the lowest energy level you can reach while still (sometimes) being conscious. 

But a few people have thanked me for setting up the group, said it’s just what they need. And that feels great. I’ve met one other woman through this, and she was also very happy about the group. She was happy to have found a meetup that was for people who want to get healthy (and maybe aren’t healthy yet. There are already plenty of groups for healthy people to do healthy things together). So I’ve done a good thing. I’m trying to get some momentum going, trying to pry some ideas out of other people. I’m hoping someone will want to help me at some point. 

Any advice? Have you ever tried to do something like this? Have you ever participated in something like this?