I found an old hard drive and inside was a treasure trove of poems I wrote in 2008 (or, at least I last opened the doc in ‘08, eep)! This is back when I still used double spaces after every sentence and had an AOL account. Crazy how time flies. So here’s what little me thought poetry was all about.
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The last panic attack of June is pretty ho-hum. Almost embarrassingly so. I’m kind of rooting for it, to be honest. “Go out with a BANG,” I say, “not a whimper.” I truly expected better from the last panic attack of June.
If I had to pick a Hogwarts house for my panic attack, I’d toss it into Hufflepuff. It’s not strong enough, nor cruel enough, for Gryffindor or Slytherin. And due to its utter lack of brain fog, Ravenclaw is out. So it gets the leftover house. But when you’re a panic attack that resembles a lukewarm ham and pea soup, you’re lucky to get anything at all. It’s a letdown, really, this last panic attack of June.
If this panic attack were a dinner guest, he’d (yes, it’s a he) spend the whole evening picking his teeth with his not-so-clean fingernails and then flicking his treasure into the thick fibers of the shag carpeted floor when he thinks no one is looking—but, of course, everyone is looking.
If the panic attack were a lover, he’d be the type that struggles to unclasp your bra. He’d leave his socks on while you’re having sex. He’d still refer to sex as “doing it.” He’d be 43 and aspire to work as a CPA. Right now, he doesn’t work because reasons. You don’t want to hold his hand in public—or in private. It’s all very disappointing for the last panic attack of June.
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My therapist is constantly trying to get me to be less polite.
She says I need to open up, be more emotional, let it all out. I tell her she should hear me address a server after I’ve waited an hour for my food and it comes out cold. Or the screams of frustration when a customer service representative puts me on hold for the 10th time. That’s bad enough. No additional innocents need be subject to my wrath.
But she insists. And it’s been a theme in our chats for a while now. “What if you just let go,” she asks, “and tell me what you really think?”
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Having a will is a GREAT idea—even if you don’t have a lot of money—in fact, especially if you don’t have a lot of money.
That’s because, if you die unexpectedly without naming your heirs, your money is going to get tied up in litigation, and lawyers are expensive. No matter what amount of money you have, some of it’ll be wasted on fees if you don’t have a will. Plus, your family won’t be able to easily access it to, for example, help with funeral costs or medical bills.
Then there’s the potential for in-fighting over your stuff and the burden of figuring out logistics. Do you really want your family to spend time dealing with your finances and assets when they’re still grieving? And who gets your cat? your dog? your goldfish? These are all things that can be easily, and relatively painlessly, figured out with a will.
How to Write Your Own Will
Getting started was overwhelming for me. This WikiHow link was helpful when it came to understanding the terminology I wanted to use in my will—and how wills are written in general.
Some states have a state-provided boiler plate will so Google search with site:.gov and see if you’re one of the lucky ones! I live in Virginia, which doesn’t provide a boiler plate will *sobs. But my state does subscribe to the Uniform International Will Act.
What’s the Uniform International Will Act, you ask? Basically, a bunch of countries got together in the ’70s and said, “Hey, we should have a universal will so that way people moving around a whole bunch don’t die and leave court systems/their families with a lot of headaches.” That’s in layman’s terms. Since we’re getting technical here, this is a write-up on its actual requirements. The act goes a little overkill on signatures, but it’s pretty easy to fill out once you get going.
Now, the Uniform International Will Act isn’t for everyone. Unfortunately, not all states or countries accept the act so if you’re planning on moving, make sure you’re still in accordance! This is a good blog post explaining the act and its other pitfalls.
Because my will is very uncomplicated, I will be using this act. However, the act alone isn’t a will. So you either have to write your own language or borrow from someone else. I used the California boiler plate will because I like it and then I updated it to suit my needs. Here is the finished product for free in a GoogleDoc so you can use it, if you like.
NOTE: The will must be filled out in your own handwriting. NOT on a computer. The will does not have a section that refers specifically to pets, but I made sure to add a line that leaves my cats to a friend who has agreed to take them in should something happen. I would hate for them to end up in a shelter!
How to Write an Advance Medical Directive
Make sure to tell your family members where they can find copies of your will and your directive in case of an emergency! And, for extra bonus points, write out a funeral plan and keep it with your directive. It won’t be a legal document, but it will help your family in a BIG way. They won’t have to guess what you would’ve wanted, taking a huge weight off their shoulders.
Yeah, this is all a pain in the behind to think about—not to mention actually follow through on. But, just remember, you’re doing a good thing for your family, and that makes it all worth it.
MOST IMPORTANT NOTE: I’m not a legal expert, and none of this should be taken as legal advice.
Photo Credit: Melinda Gimpel
I hate working out. It’s SO. DAMN. BORING. and fraught with social interactions I’d rather avoid.
I tried running. I really did. I got the phone apps. I got fitted for the shoes. I joined training programs. It was multiple-exclamation-points-terrible.
Running around outside makes me feel like an idiot. I’m dripping sweat in a ratty T-shirt and shorts that are probably too short as I pass office workers heading into the city with makeup and expensive suits. Or, running at night, I end up as fodder for the scourge of mosquitos that follow me around in a cloud as soon as I step outside.
Jogging on the treadmill at our apartment’s gym is almost as bad. Thank god for climate control and the absence of insects, but dear lord, it’s just so monotonous, and there’s only so much a workout music playlist can do before it becomes completely useless.
So that leaves an actual brick-and-mortar gym. And, for a long while, I was a gym rat. I went every day for at least an hour. But, the problem with going to a gym that frequently is that you start to make friends.
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