Review: The Fundamentals of Caring

We were looking for a feel-good movie recently and after scouring the internet for what to watch on any of the streaming services, this little gem came up as an option. Starring Paul Rudd, this movie is about Ben Benjamin, a new caregiver dealing with his own life trauma trying to help care for the typical ornery disabled teenager—though ornery for good reason I suppose.

At first, it seems kind of sad for a feel-good movie, but we continued on as Rudd is his typically lovable self, even if a bit depressed. Ben (Rudd) is inexperienced, but our disabled teen, Trevor, chooses him (likely to harass him) and the journey begins.

There’s a lot of truth in the film, as I think many people go into fields like therapy, care-giving, etc. to fix themselves more than to help other people, and Ben is no different. Though he claims to just “need a job” I think his underlying motivations is to somehow do enough good in the world he can perhaps forgive himself. It’s great when there are these subtle motivations that a movie hints at and never really spells it out. I feel like many movies these days practically shout the motivations to save time or because of lazy writing or both.

It may be obnoxious to some that they don’t tell us right away why Ben is so broken, but instead give us little bits of flashback until we finally uncover the traumatic event that led him to care-giving. I really like when a filmmaker takes time to set up the story instead of bludgeoning us over the head with some kind of point.

The bro chemistry between Ben and Trevor works so well, too. Trevor harasses him at first as a means to control his own life, but when he realizes Ben can see right through him, and treats him like a human being instead of a broken boy to be pitied, you can see the change occurring. That’s some great writing and some great acting.

I know Hollywood is all about the superhero movies these days or anything that can make them money, and I feel like we have too few slice of life pieces like these. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Marvel universe, but it’s nice to just have movies about every day people in every day life.

I highly recommend you see this one, though it’s a bit more mature, so probably not for younger kids. We watch these when the kiddo is in bed.

Rating: A+

What to Blog About

I think a major part of the problem of not paying attention to my blog is I wasn’t sure what to write about. A lot of what consumes my life right now is being a mom and I didn’t want this to turn into another mommy blog, much as I love my kiddo.

But you have to write about what interests you or it won’t happen. And then the brain fog that has settled over my mind since the kiddo was born lifted briefly and I realized I could at least talk about TV/movies and books that I’m consuming. And maybe even get in a few scribbles.

So please look forward to upcoming reviews. I’m getting excited for the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series and the Doctor Strange movie that’s just around the corner. But I’m also interested in older movies on occasion, too. The hubs and I like to get the most out of our streaming subscriptions.

See you again soon!

Making Progress

Now that baby boy is getting slightly more independent and I’m getting more rest, I’m working on things. I’m still not great about reading books, but I’m determined to keep on trying. It’s hard because some of them are good, but not great. For me, it’s hard to find a book that really enthralls me. It doesn’t even have to be the best well-written, just if the story is good and moves well. So if you have any MG recommendations, throw them at me.

I’ve started writing the sequel to my “Tower” book. It’s a MG Fantasy. This series has been crazy, it’s like it possessed me and I wrote outlines for several books. I have been editing the first one, but that gets a little humdrum after awhile, so I decided to start writing the second one. I had planned to do it for NanoWrimo, but it just didn’t happen. But I’ve realized I’ve got to spend time writing, even if just for my own mental health. You feel really cut off from the world as a SAHM. Especially in our covid times. It’s hard to keep reaching out when it’s not reciprocated.

I don’t blame them, it’s hard enough to reach out in the first place as a mom. Kids really take over your whole world. And it could be they have family in town, whereas we really don’t. So it gets lonely. But somehow crafting stories can help fill that void.

I just wanted to brag a little about making progress. And I’m submitting a small portion to my writer’s group again. They are so good with helpful feedback. We all critique each other’s stuff and make each other better writers and it’s so great to have that.

How are you doing? Are you meeting writing goals? Or maybe just having fun? What kinds of books are you reading lately?

A Lost Friend

For decades gone past and decades thought to come, but not now. Why? An offense. Perhaps, but seemingly small. Something so small to throw it away for. And yet, to her family, the same thing she does because alienation is somehow comforting.

Olive branches abound, but without result, and I’m left wondering: why? Is there more to try? More to abandon? More to know? But silence doesn’t yield many answers in the bitter cold. Occasionally my mind searches for clues it can’t find. Give up, give up, give up, counsels the other side of me. So mostly I do.

But every now and again, like a perfect sunset, the voice whispers again to try. How many olive branches must I send? How many olive branches do I want to send? In me old feelings rage for revenge, but pointless they truly are. After all, bitterness is merely drinking the poison you meant for another and it damages only yourself.

So, for now, I have to let it go, let it sink to the bottom, let it disappear. I hope for a better future, rooted in the reality of possible permanent loss. Too bad. Too sudden. To the next time.

Have you lost a friend due to their choice and not yours? Do you have a voice inside encouraging you to reach out every now and again? Or have you let it sink to the bottom for good?

I didn’t know what to write for a blog post. And to be honest I haven’t known what to write, so I thought I’d practice expressing my feelings for events in my life. Not always sad, but today this came to mind. I actually sent this friend a Christmas card after having not reached out for several months. The parting was this year. She’s pretty stubborn, so I think it may be a long while. And it may be that this is the end, but to quote Kermit the Frog, “Life is made up of meetings and partings; that is the way of it.

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Writing When You’re Busy

Most of us will reach a point in our lives when we feel like we’re too busy to write. Whether it’s a challenging job, parenting, or other life events, it’s going to happen. So how do you squeeze it in? I’d like to hear from you. Here are things I do to make time.

Outlining on My Phone

I’m a plotter, at least in the sense I write an outline before I write the actual story. I don’t have to have all the details ready yet, but I like to get a bare bones idea of the story before I really flesh it out. And it is writing. You’ve got to get those ideas out sometime.

Now I don’t always write on my phone. I prefer the ease of the keyboard vs. swiping ad infinitum. But sometimes you don’t have time to sit down and type. I do find myself waiting, especially in our pandemic world. Maybe it’s waiting for a pick up, or the flu shot, or a really long shopping line. So why not make the most of the time and get a few ideas down? That’s one of the many reasons I love Google Docs. You can sync up what you’re doing from anywhere. That way you can continue your idea at home, on your computer if you like. Or perhaps you’d like a long soak in the tub? Keep going on your phone (just be careful not to let it take a plunge, lol).

I don’t think I’d get as much writing done if I didn’t employ this method, because I also…

Editing on My Phone

Already have a story written? Time to polish that bad boy up. And no better way to do it than… you guess it, your phone, haha! Seriously though, I’ve heard many editors say it’s good to change up the way your story looks to edit it. What they meant was font change or print out. But I think that can apply to your phone, too, because the page spacing will be different. I’ve caught many errors that way.

And editing still counts as writing.

Setting Aside A Specific Time

Setting a goal of ten minutes a day or even 30 minutes on Wednesdays is another way to make the time. You can get a lot more written in ten minutes a day than you think. And ten minutes a day is more than 0 minutes a day. So is 30 minutes on Wednesdays. My husband is an exercise science major and he always touts the “better than zero” plan for exercise, which is even exercising 5 minutes is better than zero.

I think the same can apply to writing. Maybe you can only get that one line out today. That’s still one line more than zero. It would be nice if we could all take the time off to write the great American novel. Even many published authors will tell you they still have to keep a day job, which means time is limited. So do “better than zero.” I’m honestly saying this to myself as much as anybody.

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on making time for writing? Have you got any tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com