Cheese and Rats!


Funny thing. I’m looking at one of my seven (yes, seven—not a typo) calendars and trying to figure out this blog’s topic. Of course, it’s the last one of 2019, so a look-ahead-type thing.


Like everyone else is doing. Because I’m a still a bit thyrodic and the snark isn’t coming in its typical free-flowing state.


So I hopped over to my stock photo site.


Typed in 2020.


And so many images of these numerals are in…cheese? Well, that reminded me of Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. Liked that book. Have a copy or two around here. Had the children’s picture book that went with it as well. Thought I’d do a blog about that. May as well. The stock photos are abundantly, well, cheesy.


Who Moved My Cheese? is about adapting to change. Relinquishing control of outcomes. To find better “cheese” when your own supply of “cheese” runs out. Or gets moldy.


Or has thyroid implosions.


Whatever.


Adapting. Clearly haven’t mastered that yet, as hinted (read: screamed) by the half-dozen calendars. Calendars = control.


Calendars (the way I like to use them) do not necessarily equal organization.


Now before I get all kinds of “advice,” let me clarify the number of calendars: Half are from the year about to expire. One is a dry-erase wall calendar where I attempt to control my writing life. One is my standard “brain”—all things life and work and family go into that one. One is for the next five years. A little goal setting/dreaming tool.


So half of them will be trashed come tomorrow. One wiped clean. One only written in pencil. And one real-life “brain” calendar that I’ll lug and tug to church functions, doctors’ offices, vacations, and house-sitting gigs to keep me on track and let me know that I’m actually sitting in church, a doctor’s office, a hotel room, and that someone’s pooch needs to poo.


If Little Miss Muse had her way, all the calendars would be purple with purple ink and a discombobulated mess of “We can write fifteen novels and fifty shorts and take twelve new writing courses in 2020. Won’t that be fun?” When I remind her that she may not need sleep, food, or to do laundry, but I’m not so lucky… well, the pouting ensues afresh.


So I take my pencil and try to *realistically* schedule publishing plans for the next year.


As she sits in the corner and belly laughs at me. Because that planned worked so well last year. Multiple times. When every three weeks someone stole/moved/melted/molded/sold/shipped/ate my cheese.


Every. Last. Morsel.


And I’d have to get my palm-sized eraser out and rub holes in the months redoing the goals. Learning to write in pencil and not purple ink…


I’m a bit bitter. I’ll get over it. It’s a new year, right?


And a brand-new decade, even!


(Cue the massive pressure and the “I’ve got no clue where I’ll be in ten years” anxiety.)


But, seriously, what’s with all the cheese? And mice?


Help me out, Google.


Oohhh… Those aren’t mice.


2020 is The Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac calendar.


I now possess a fifty-second Wikipedia knowledge of this Year of the Rat. I’m not sure what “standard” zodiac sign my birthday lands in. (Morbid curiosity, and Google comes to the rescue—I’m the tail end of a scorpion, or something. Had the two-paragraph description of that sign matched my demeanor–or mentioned my office supply fetish—I may have converted to a believer.)


And the Chinese stuff looks vastly more complicated. Evidently, your rat could be metal, earth, fire, or wooden.


And sometimes rats need monkeys, and dragons can need rats… 2019 was a pig. Throw in a rooster and an ox, and you’ve got the makings of a dysfunctional barnyard family reunion. I believe we had this event in 2019 with my own family. Maybe more than once.

Morbid curiosity strikes again, and Google tells me I’m a dragon. Too bad. Was hoping to be a unicorn. I do get to be a fire dragon though…so that’s cool. However, I’m most compatible with a rat? Maybe that’s where my cheese went…


Or it melted. With all of my dragon fire.


It’d take me a tenth of a decade or more to learn the intricacies of the Chinese zodiac. If stars and planetary alignments are your thing, great. Whatever finds your cheese or floats your goat (the Chinese have one of those, too, if you need one).


It’ll take a tenth of a decade or more for me and Little Miss to jive on a publishing plan.


May take two-tenths of the next decade and twenty more calendars for my brain to accept that teens are gone. Long live (at least for ten years) the twenties!


Here’s wishing you all a joyous 2020, regardless of your zodiac critter.


Or whether your cheese is missing…


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