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5.30.2014

TALLY MARKS DON'T MAKE YOU AN AUTOMATIC WINNER


Age brings wisdom in lots of areas.  That's a good thing to help compensate for all the cuts, nicks and scraps we have gotten through the years.  Kids lack wisdom because they just have no comparative background.  It leaves them with the short stick of understanding but rich on the side of curiosity, risk, and pleasure.

We get conditioned with living.  We learn cause and effect.  We come to know probability and statistics.  We know there is a cost to failure.  Kids do not fully get any of those things and because they don't, they are big minded and open hearted.  They take risks, they push boundaries, they explore.  Their world is both small and open.

I miss that mindset as I incline with tally marks in life.  It takes deliberateness to be that way now.  I have to consciously turn and train my heart and mind to small (overly engaged in now) and open (free to think and be and explore).  Then, I have to focus to stay there for a suspended length of time before choosing to be swept back out of it.  It can at times frustrate the hell right out of me!

In my childhood I tried all kinds of things that maybe I wouldn't now.  For instance, I combined my three loves into one activity.  At 8 or 9 years old I decided that since I loved books AND riding my bike AND playing with my doll, I would connect them all together.  It was a ginormous failure, at least that method was.  That disaster really didn't dissuade me from other attempts at all.  To me, there is always a way.  Always.

In my adolescent years I picked up hitch hikers [my parents probably still don't know that]. In my young adult years I invited a few transients to dinner at my house.  I have a mad love affair with hearing the stories of others.  I find people's choices and lives very interesting.  There is a thread of good in almost everyone and I love to find it. 

Kids love big too.  They seem blind to flaws in others, free to see just the heart and keep a fairly short list of grudges. 

I can't change tally marks one iota, even with plastic surgery!  I can though play again on purpose with my mind, spirit and heart.  I may even re-try my reading/biking venture:)

5.29.2014

THAT UNDETERMINED PLACE OF LOST


I have pondered as of late why we must lose things from time to time.  There really is a plethora of things we lose in our lifetimes.  Though lose and loss are similar, one is a verb more or less, and one is a noun of sorts.

In the bottom of my Baggallini black purse, usually slung across my junior high school sized chest for ease of arms free carrying, lies a black hole.  I lose my keys in it constantly.  I have two sets of keys; a small 4 keyed ring with building/loft keys on it so when I run or walk I have a way back in, and another set with a key fab for my car, a jeep key, my office keys, and two rewards cards that irritate the snot out of me.  They fall to the bottom constantly and I have moments where I think they are lost.  It's just temporary though.  If I dig long enough through the chaos within, I can find them.

I lost my wedding ring for an entire year.  It, slightly too loose for my finger, fell off somewhere.  Where, I did not know, or I would have recovered it - rescued it from its lost state.  Lost really means - not able to be found again.  Usually, that is. 

For one year it remained continuously lost.  At some point I didn't think any more about ever finding it because I knew the chances were nill to zilch, so I was forced to move on.  I couldn't change its lostness or retrace where it may have gotten lost at.  At first it was with sadness that my lost something of value created a loss for what it represented to me.  My husband quickly got me another ring to takes its place.  It was not my first ring though. It was different, had a different significance, and filled a double venue; the original meaning of love between he and I AND, a new ring design not meant to be the exact same of that which was gone - it was replacing lost and binding the loss.

One year later, 4 seasons separating the lost ring, it appeared in our landscaping rocks. By then I had a new ring that had taken its place.  I couldn't remove the current one and wear just the original one because now they both had significance.  One was not better than the other.  They were different in size, shape, and came at differing seasons in my life.  So, I now wear two on the same finger with my two wedding bands soldered to each diamond ring.

I am finding my way with lost things again....... separation from things that make my heart sing.  I have been an empty nester for some years now.  It's not new territory for me at all.  But, kids and grand kids have their own lives to live.  I feel lost to know how to connect to them, at times even how to let them go - how to find a balance between living my own life fully and wanting to give them all something lasting that close proximity offers.  

I know that lost things are not always found.  Sometimes, something new and altered will be garnered by losing something.  My head knows that.  My heart doesn't always. 

5.14.2014

I WONDER IF A SPRAY OF PAM WOULD HELP?

Food gets stuck in my throat a lot.  Lots of different sorts of food; chicken, peanut butter, bread, steak, crackers, etc. I'm starting to get a bit paranoid from it.  It really doesn't fit my previous M.O.  My parents called me guzzler as a kid, denoting the fact that I could down anything in a glass faster than anyone in our family.  I still can.  It really doesn't matter what the liquid in the cup, mug or glass is, it is finished off long before anyone around me is half done with theirs.

I don't know if you've ever seen the "30 Rock" episode where the always single Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) chokes in her apartment where she is yet again alone?  Later she comments that she has a fear of choking while alone in her apartment.  I have a bit of a fear of getting food stuck in my throat without a bottle of water nearby.  Actually, it happened just the other day, again.

We live on the 3rd floor in a condo loft downtown.  As I dumped my crap from work on the counter the other day, I reached for 2 saltine crackers to eat as I walked back down 3 flights of stairs to the mail. [You might be thinking, why don't you have the key with you so when you pull in the garage on the first floor after work you can just get your mail BEFORE you go up!  That is far too lazy.  I want the added climbing of stairs so I purposely leave the mailbox key in the loft.  This exercise concept might be foreign to a handful of you, especially my dear friend Big D.]  Who would think one would need water with them to just walk down some stairs while eating two saltines. 

I took a bite of the first cracker as I hit the first flight of stairs down.  Though not a kid starving after school, it was after work and I was a bit hungry.  I chewed and swallowed but it didn't go all the way down.  I was hungry and naively thought maybe the other half of the cracker might force the first half down. [Don't panic Nancy.  Just swallow.  Pool some saliva to create moisture.  Did I not drink enough water today?  Am I dehydrated?  You know better than to not have water with you.  This isn't the first time!]  I really did try to calm the rising tide of panic inside that was battling against my Zen-ish self-talk.

If I had an Adam's apple, that thing would have been moving up and down like the pump handle of a well. I kept swallowing hoping that just the mechanism of repetitive swallowing would take over where the lack of spit and moisture had failed me. 

There is a bathroom across from the mailboxes in the lobby of our building.  I flew down the stairs hoping to unstick the cracker pieces that seemed stuck to the walls of my throat. OCD or not, I needed water!  There was a brief fleeting moment where I wondered what I would do if I met up with one of our neighbors in the stairwell.  I quickly decided I didn't have time for those thoughts and went back to panicking over dry crackers in my throat.

Water dribbled down my cheek and neck as I attempted to turn my head to get my mouth under the sink faucet.  I guzzled in as much water as I thought dry stuck saltine crackers needed to dissolve.  My panic subsided.  I looked down to see the second saltine cracker still clutched in my left hand.  Was I hungry enough to risk it again?   I waited to put it in my mouth until I landed back at the top of the third set of stairs.  Water was nearby.

5.13.2014

THE QUEST FOR THE MAGIC POTION

I am really not a potions and lotions sort of girl.  My beauty routine is relatively simple;  eyebrow pencil (I don't have many eyebrows so if I don't color em in a bit I look sickly), mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.  I slather my face in age defying (it's a marketing lie but I bit!) retinal A cream, layer it again with two other moisturizers and then finish up by dipping all the remaining skin on my body into a fifty gallon barrel of moisturizing cream. I am addicted to brushing my teeth.  But I never wash my face before bed.  Ever.  I'm just too damn lazy.   

I do though however read about anything I can get my hands on in regards to health trends when it concerns vitamins, food, disease research, theories, and bunk.  It is interesting to me.  I view the human body as amazing.  I whole heartily believe it was created by God to operate at optimal levels by learning it better.  I try to know my own.

I have a great relationship with my family physician.  He was a great support for me during my divorce and single period.  He not only cares about my health, but my life.  I am constantly throwing theories I read at him concerning my own health.  What does he think about this?  Could this be affecting this in my body?  He laughs at some, says there may be validity to many, and then reminds me that sometimes knowing will not change or remove the disease.  YES, I say.  Yes it changes something!  It changes my engineering mind from a pure state of wondering to knowing a piece of the puzzle.  I like to know.  Always I like to know.

Really, I should back up.  I'm not a potions and lotions sort of girl when it comes to beauty things.  I am though when it comes to health.  As my dad says, "You can eat well and run till the cows come home, you are still going to die someday!"  I tell him I don't want to rush it.

My potions problem is that there just isn't enough time to ingest all the minerals, supplements, vitamins or concoctions that would be beneficial.  I take a dirt product.  Yes, it has actual dirt in it for the beneficial enzymes soil holds. Read about it.  You take a very very small amount mixed  with water.  But because it tastes like pure dirt, I had to find a product to mix with it just to get it down [BTW, vast improvement in my digestion with this soil product.]  Since I have intolerances to a great many foods, I am overly conscious of what is in something - including the protein powder I wanted to mix with my soil.  Potions are costly, and time consuming!

When you have chronic auto immune health issues, your health becomes connected to all things.  External things affect it or exacerbate the malfunction of your precarious autoimmune system.  So, you try to limit those bombardments as much as possible.  I have been known to get a bit radical in my quest to feel better, do less damage to my internals, and live as healthy as I possibly can within a disease structure

To my dirt I add a protein powder.  It can't have much soy in it, no dairy, no food dyes, no artificial sweeteners, only a small amount of sugar, no whey, no gluten, or preservatives.  And, it has to taste good.  That becomes a virtual impossibility at times.  What am I going to sacrifice to get most of the things I want. 

My grandmother and great grandmother were vitamin-a-holics.  I can remember staying at their house and sitting at the breakfast table as my grandmother took a whole handful of vitamins with one swig of water.  Unfortunately I did not inherit that pill swallowing ability.  I still struggle to swallow one pill at a time. 

Once at an alternative health clinic in Mexico, I had to swallow 50 pills a day.  Panic would rise in me three times a day as I sat with a mountain of supplements and minerals in front of me designed to flood my system.  They sat in my stomach like a lump of clay.  Mostly I felt water logged as I had to consume huge amounts of water just to swallow a pill at a time.

I attacked my husband's high cholesterol with red rice yeast, niacin, flax seed oil, and vitamin d.  It came down 100 points.  He hates taking those 4 supplements a day, but he can't deny the results.  There can be great health benefits in potions. 

I want to find the root of anything in my body, mind or spirit.  I don't want to leave it in a compromised state.  If a natural potion can help, I'm all in!   You might think it's hogwash or bunk.  I say it's positive movement in the right direction, and hope. 

5.10.2014

NOT A MELODIC TOOT

It seems as of late that I am surrounded by those that toot their own horn.  If that is hazy terminology, toot your own horn means; you are the marketer and conveyor of all things self to all those around you.  Simply put, you tell people in overt and self-absorbed ways that you are amazing.  You do it in first person tense and you do it unabashedly and constantly in very inappropriate ways.

If you have to constantly say your own bio to those you come in contact with you diminish your capability cred (credibility).  It's like being your own counsel, your own attorney, representing yourself as the defendant.  It mutes, negates, and cancels out the anything you are tooting about yourself. 

I am not speechless most of the time.  Loss for words is not a place that is familiar territory to me.  Need a quick comeback, an off the cuff or even perfect timing response, that would be me.  I actually flourish in those situations.  It is oxygen to me.  But, on several occasions recently I have literally found myself with the words sucked right inside.

Here's the deal; you are who you are.  We all are.  You don't need to brag and neon sign point to yourself about who you are.  It can be clearly seen by most people you come in contact with.  Now the issue becomes, is it that those horn tooters don't assume people are smart enough to pick up on their wit, intelligence, or traits that make them who they are without them telling you?  Or is there a root reason they "toot" - quite possibly to feel better about themselves or get validation from others?
 
Either way, it prickles me, saddens me, irritates me and down right disgusts me most of the time.  Who says about themselves to some one in conversation, "I am very smart, brilliant even, that's why I can get this concept more easily than others."  Who the hell says that out loud.  If I am brilliant, do I refer to myself that way even in my own head?  If I do, there is a bit of narcissism at play. 
 
Whatever I am and however aware I am of it, is it self-healthy to be overly conscious and consumed with it even inside my own head!  Now, that doesn't mean I think lowly or self-degrade myself.  Just the opposite, I know who I am, what my capabilities are and that alone gives me enough. 

Any spectacularness that I MAY have will be seen and/or discovered in your interactions with me, reading what I write, watching how I operate in real life.  I mean, though brilliant, the funniest person in my family and quicker than a herd of wild elephants, I don't have to keep telling you.  Or do I?

5.08.2014

EMILY D, WISH I COULD WRITE LIKE YOU

You cannot put a Fire out


You cannot put a Fire out—
A Thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a Fan—
Upon the slowest Night—

You cannot fold a Flood—
And put it in a Drawer—
Because the Winds would find it out—
And tell your Cedar Floor— 

Emily Dickinson


I want to write like her, but hell to the no on wearing that blouse:). 

 

5.05.2014

THE LILY PAD OF ANGER


....No use being angry over what you can't change.

I liked it when I heard it so I jotted it down so as not to forget the power of that phrase.  Its poignant message resonated inside of me.  I knew it to be oh so true.  I also knew though there might be no use in the anger, it comes to sit a spell till we make amends with the unchangeables.

And there were, at differing points and seasons in my life, things that could not be changed, undone, redone, taken back, made right, vindicated, given back, recovered or expunged from where I currently sat.  No matter what I did, it was set in concrete.  Which, is what usually takes me, and probably you as well, to the anger lily pad.  We tend to hop there when, faced with nothing we can do to change a damn thing, to sit alone suspended in anger.  

Anger it seems for me anyway, keeps me isolated and circular.  It wrecks the continuity and delineation on the line of my life.  It sucks movement forward right out of the picture.  I do it anyway at times though I know in my head the result - a dead end, a still unmoving unchangeable now coupled with anger.  Now I was frustrated with the unchangeable and the fact that my anger consumed my mind, spirit and emotions.


It can be hard to live with things that fit into the unchangeable category.  They are uncatalogable.  It's a never ending repeating song - anger over what we can't change.  I both loathe that song and yet don't always want to take it off repeat.  I don't always choose or want to trust that what I cannot change might be there for a purpose.  That possibly I need to learn, and re-learn and re-learn again the soul changing enigma of focusing on what I can affect not what I seemingly cannot. 

I had a list of them.  I suspect you might too.  I wondered just how much time I had collectively wasted on anger over things I could not change over the course of my lifetime. 

Those things are like the pins in a pinball machine.  I am the pinball.  Maybe I need them to gain the skill of letting go, of focusing my energy comparatively against them on what is good, changeable and moldable.  In that context, unchangeable things do hold the power to change - me.