A New Year – A New Beginning

I have neglected my blog for so long. I think part of the reason is that I felt like I wasn’t writing for many readers beyond those friends who really know me well and probably aren’t particularly surprised by what I write… and I have wrestled with the concern about being anonymous. I am not ashamed of who I am, but for professional reasons I think certain things should be kept anonymous. So I am going to try an experiment… I am going to start sharing my blog on Twitter. This is a big step for me… just ask some of my friends with whom I went back and forth about even starting this blog. But I’ve made Twitter somewhat more anonymous and protected as well… so here I go!

And so, just in time for this new year, I am committing to working on and sharing this blog. This year feels like a pivotal one. This is my 40th year. I will turn 40 as 2012 ends. That always seemed so old… such a huge milestone. Like when my mom turned 40, she was really OLD (of course, I was 10 at the time…) But I’m not old… I am still young and fun and edgy… and crazy, but that really has nothing to do with age, does it??

Do I really need a warning label?

Sooo… during this 40th year of my life I am making a commitment to work on this blog and make it a reflection of how this year plays out. So far, so good. I had a rough day on my birthday… holidays and such seem to be harder for me now that I am working on feeling the emotions and not just stuffing them. But I allowed myself to have a bad day, I allowed myself to hide away and feel the crap and then calm myself down and then sleep. And the next day was a new day, it didn’t have to be defined by the fact that the day before was crappy. And it was a good day. And I’ve had some more good days since.

Back to work tomorrow after being off for 10 days. For the first time, I feel like I got a lot out of my vacation but I am ready to get back to the routine and to being useful. I make a difference to people in my work and I enjoy that. That keeps making it worth it. So I will drag my ass out of bed go to work with a positive attitude tomorrow. It’s going to be a good year… because I said so! And you know what? I know that doesn’t mean that it will be perfect. I will have really hard days, it goes with the territory. But I am going to remember that there is always tomorrow.

“Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

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Listography – 5 random things I like

From Kate Takes 5 – Top 5 Random Things I like. Following this one word of warning – “random is not ‘I like chocolate’ – that’s just not going to cut it round here. However ‘I like chocolate sauce with my chips’ is getting a bit warmer.”

1. Spending a rainy morning in bed reading a good book and texting with my BFF

2. Having a reason to wear my prescription sunglasses, because I wasn’t able to wear sunglasses for so long

3. The smell of bacon cooking

4. Being able to figure out how to do something complicated on the website at work (even if I pull my hair out in the process)

5. Breakfast from McDonald’s (a guilty pleasure!)

Hey, It’s Okay Tuesday

Today I am using this idea from Airing My Dirty Laundry, One Sock At A Time – basically I make a list of things to be okay about. Here goes:

Hey, it is okay:

That I ate two brownies, three mini pecan pie-thingies (they are less than an inch in diameter), a cider donut and a questionably flavored cookie from our work pot-luck today.

That I read People Magazine and judge celebrities on how they dress

That my favorite breakfast food is McDonalds

That I have many pet peeves. The one that got me (again) today is PARENTS WHO ARE TOO LAZY TO GET OUT OF THEIR CARS TO PICK UP THEIR KIDS FROM AFTER SCHOOL CARE (no, your phone call is not more important than your kids!)

That I wrote “No Touchie” on my creamer bottle in the fridge at work

That I have to work this Saturday, because I have Friday off! YAY!

That my daughter is dressing as a male troll with horns for Halloween

That my husband is making dinner while I type this

Reflections

Today, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, is a day filled with reflection and remembrance and mourning. And this is so appropriate. And yet I find myself struggling with how I want to recognize this day, personally and with my family and publicly (like here, in my blog). I have made a conscious choice to not turn on the television. I have watched only two online videos related to the commemoration: one replaying “highlights” of the events of that day and one of a song being sung at the New York memorial today.

Roses at the 9/11 Memorial

Beyond that, I am choosing an attitude of reflection. Rather than dwelling in the past, I look to the lessons that can be learned and how we can live in a way that will somehow make some sense of those tragedies. Because, even in this case, I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe that reason was so that we would have a reason to go to war in the Middle East. In my opinion, retaliation does not solve anything. Truly, though, all I can do is find the lesson in this for myself and make my life mean something as a result.

Om Mani Padme Hum

This is a tattoo that I had done on my back on the last day of 2009. The meaning of the Buddhist mantra is not easy to convey in a few words, but the basic idea is that the recitation or viewing of the mantra will invoke the embodiment of compassion. And this is the lesson that I choose to learn… in all of my life, really. We can only accept people as they are and be compassionate for their position in the world. Yes, there are many who live their lives devoted to hatred and destruction. The roots of this hatred is deep rooted… and coming to some sort of understanding of that can lead us to compassion, even for those that cause such sadness.

Have I lost a loved one as a result of a terrorist act? No, I haven’t. Do I have a right to speak for how one should feel in such a situation? I probably don’t. But I do, in the need to find my own sense of understanding, have a right to my own feelings. And they are these: only compassion can bring this world to a place where there will be no more war, no more hatred, no more destruction. Without it, we not only hurt others, but we hurt ourselves.

“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Rocks In My Bra

Yep, you read that right. This is about the rocks in my bra… and I don’t mean the “boulders” that are supposed to be there!

My rocks are crystals… healing stones. A dear friend has recently introduced me to the power of crystals and energy healing. My collection of crystals has been expanding and I am learning more and more about the stones and their specific uses. Here is my collection:

Each day I let the crystals speak to me (not in a “I’m hearing voices” kind of way…) and certain ones will strike me as the right ones for the day. And it always seems to turn out that they are right.

Ok, so the thing is, I have been in the habit of sticking them into my bra. Even if I have pockets in my outfit, my bra just feels more secure… and close to my heart. But, as you can imagine, it can get a little lumpy. Oh, don’t worry, I have never actually tried to stuff the center quartz in there! LOL Anyway, there have been times when my daughter has given me some seriously strange looks because of the lumpiness of my chest… and then the one time that a stone actually fell out in the kitchen. Doh! I haven’t had any incidents of people at work suggesting a mammogram, tho (thank goodness!)

I finally decided, tho, to buy a pouch to carry them in. I found a woman on etsy that makes suede “medicine pouches” and ordered a red one (my favorite color, by the way). It came yesterday and it is pretty cool! The lumpiness is different… I may end up with some interesting comments (especially from my one coworker who is sure that I am going to hell because of my alternative beliefs) but at least my boobs won’t be lumpy anymore!

Oh, but that pretty pink flat one at the top, that’s a rose quartz, and it has a permanent home on my left boob. 😉

Bottles on my bedside table…

Yup, they are there. Sometimes it seems like tons of them. Here’s why: I have battled depression for what seems like all of my life. Since I was a teenager, really, possibly longer. That might explain why I used to come home from school and just go to sleep. In any case, it has been a long time. And since I have had what can be qualified as three major depressions in my life (actually 4 that I have had treatment for), I will need to be on antidepressants for the rest of my life.

Recently I had the worst episode – I’ve taken to calling it a breakdown – and have gotten a new diagnosis: bipolar (most likely bipolar II, meaning that I don’t have super manic episodes). And so extra meds have been added. Here’s what sits on my bedside table: my antidepressant, of which I take 4 pills each morning; my mood stabilizer, just one of those each morning (larger dose in one pill, to be truthful); sleeping pill, which I sometimes take a half of when I can fall asleep at night, but I am not taking that one as much; anti-anxiety med, which I take as needed… sometimes a half during the day and/or a half or whole in the evening (depending on my twitchiness/agitation); and the new med that is for keeping me asleep at night (the sleeping pill was only working for about 5 hours) and which is a complicated combo of mood stabilizer and antipsychotic that works well at low doses for treating insomnia. Erm, yeah, I am on an antipsychotic med.

The point here, now that I have spelled this all out and made myself sound a lot more crazy than I really am, is that although these pills help me (to not want to stay in bed all day, to not freak out and obsess about every little thing and to actually get some sleep at night), they do not define me. Because the important part of all of this is that the meds make me better able to live my life! They make me able to be true to *me* and not true to the depression or the anxiety. They make it possible for me to write this blog! Isn’t that to your benefit, lovely reader? So that’s the last that I will write about those bottles on my bedside table unless they seem to stop working… if you see me writing about them a lot in the future, please slap me around and tell me to talk to my psychiatrist!!

Ginger…

So yeah, I have red hair. It isn’t natural, but I get compliments on it all of the time… and it looks natural. It goes with my coloring. I love being a redhead… I once had a kid tell me that I look like “the” Celtic Woman

The Celtic Woman

Pretty, right? I think so…

So I had a thing with this guy that ended recently (that is a whole other post…) and when we broke up he was pretty angry with me because of something that I did (basically I told someone the truth about him… ouch!) His parting insults during his angry (and possibly drunk) tirade were that I am “fat, spiteful and ginger”.

Ok, I’m not skinny… and he isn’t Mr Universe himself… so the fat thing stings but it pretty much rolls off my back.

Spiteful? Sure! You push me, I push back!!

Ginger? Really?? Ginger??? Dude, I love my hair! I PAY to have my hair this color!

And I love this urbandictionary.com definition: “A ginger is, among other things, a person with red hair, freckles and pale skin. Some darker skinned or non-ginger haired persons feel compelled to denegrate gingers out of jealousy because a ginger’s look is unique. Men typically love ginger women.”

Yep, I bet that is what it is. He is jealous…. But, the truth is, he is British. Apparently British folk really don’t like people with red hair and calling them “ginger” is a big insult. I really think, though, that he should have considered his audience before lowering that boom… [insert exaggerated eye roll]

So, I leave you with an important message from the hysterical Tim Minchin on this sort of hair color prejudice:

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