A Couple of Sundays Worth of Smiles—on Monday

  • the color yellow
  • while trying to get navigational directions from my husband’s phone…the voice , aka Siri, stated , “I don’t know who you are”. Then we messed with the device asking all kinds of stupid questions. It’s the small things you know. We sat in the car laughing our silly heads off
  • pre-season football
  • having our daughter at home to hang out with
  • finished knitting another blanket
  • as always, that first cup of coffee in the morning
  • reminding myself that there is nobody in the house after my husband goes to work. It’s still an odd feeling
  • a visit from the grand puppy—well, my son too ;) of course he was here to ask for more money
  • a weekend of doing what we wanted – which was mostly nothing but knitting for me
  • my new cowgirl boots from Montana. They are so comfortable!
  • the movie, Turner and Hooch….again
  • an itty bitty frog – about the size of the end of my little finger. One of our cats went crazy because it was hanging out on the glass door

…..there was more, I took mental notes but moved on to the next bit of sunshine.

I hope you find something to smile about this week!

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Graduation

I’m proud to say that I have graduated to a monthly visit to my therapist along with every three months to the psychologist. I’m even tapering off some of my cocktail of drugs ever so slowly.

Progress!!!

I’m not saying life is perfect and I’m frolicking through a field of wildflowers, but I have a life in spite of clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

Each and every one of us have unique paths to follow in life and I stumbled on my path. Now I have hope and am learning my worth. I may not be there yet but I recognize how far I’ve come and that is what I’m choosing to focus on.

still don’t believe in the saying that happiness is a choice because some of us are robbed of happiness that’s beyond what we can control without professional help and perseverance.

To anybody struggling…

You are worth it, don’t give up on yourself.

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Social Media and Body Language

I read an article about body language and the nuances we make creating trust, or to show that we are being genuine. You know, like leaning in when listening to someone and nodding, or some sort of action to let the person know you are paying attention.

That is why Facebook is so offensive in my opinion. In a face-to-face conversation it’s pretty easy to recognize you may be offending another. If you have a point you want to make, it’s easier to tame your tone, to know when to clarify yourself, or change the topic altogether by paying attention to the body language of another. We don’t have to be experts in body language, most of it’s intuitive.

How does a person know that their writing is perceived as honest? A true part of their personality? We can’t see the author’s body language. For all we know the author can have eyes darting all over the place – a sign of not being genuine or truthful — or slumping in their chair – a sign of low confidence. Or many other signs we intuitively pick up on if we are showing respect to the person(s) we are speaking to and actually listening.

How do we convey our honesty through our words? Emojis don’t count. I can simply type something and it can be interpreted in any way according to what the reader knows about me if I’m posting about personal experiences and not writing a fictional story. If I were to write fiction, I would make a note of it, as I’ve seen others do. Some use social media for completely different purposes than I do, such as an outlet for their creativity, or non fiction. I have an opportunity to check facts and come to my own conclusions, and I have the ability to read a poem and interpret it how my leetle mind interprets it. (yes, I am aware I spelled little as leetle…but how do you know I’m not a complete idiot without the explanation?)

I don’t portray myself any other way than the way I am. I type the way I speak — well sometimes I use a larger vocabulary while writing than I do when speaking with friends…

…..but how do you know?

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….and the weed grows into a flower

I had the pleasure of another story, helping me realize how far I’ve come and that I have a lot of atta girls to give myself which are long overdue. I have truly grown…what type of flower I become remains to be seen.

My husband works in the corporate offices of a mega corporation. In fact, there are more employees in the building he works in, than there are in the town we will eventually move to in Nowhere, Missouri.

He works in an ugly, multi story building with its own parking garage, but he remains the same humble man I married. The one who knows what it’s like to start from the bottom of the bottom and work your way up.

Anyway, that part of the story is neither here nor there. This story is about control.

The stories he tells me about the characters he deals with in the microcosm of his compartmentalized area of the Company can be quite amusing.

Every year my husband and I perform a hold-our-breath-dance while the knuckle-heads at the very top play checkers with the jobs of those beneath them. Every year my husband gets a new boss and so far, every year, we let our breath out when we find he will continue to be employed.

But that’s neither here nor there except to explain that someone at the top disappeared recently, and now there is a vacant office. Apparently a very large office. An office which remains locked because the room has now been designated for meetings of the knuckle-head vice presidents only.

And there’s a Keeper of the Keys to the door of the exclusive room.

A woman who acts as I did in my younger years. A young woman full of self hate with intention to destroy herself by any means possible. (I’m not saying that The Keeper is the same, but I had the same type of character traits she appears to have)

My husband had to hold a meeting and couldn’t find a peon conference room available so he went in search of The Keeper of the Keys to the empty magic room—she wasn’t there. So he went to the next, much more sensible back-up keeper of the keys, and was let in the room.

The next day, the Keeper of the Keys chastised my husband for holding a meeting in the sacred VP conference room. Apparently there was a bit of trash in the trash can and someone had written on the whiteboard.

Oh. My. Gosh. The corporate world is going to pot because someone left behind a bit of trash and wrote on the pristine whiteboard. The worst being, she had to clean it up!

As my husband was sharing this story with me, the conversation in my mind went something like this…..bahahahahaha! how ridiculously petty! clean it up and move on.

That’s when the moment hit me.

I was like that woman.

I said a little prayer of thanks that I’m no longer that petty type of woman.

Besides, no one would make me Keeper of the Keys because I wouldn’t be able to find them anyway.

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Ha! What’s that you say?

Many aha moments have happened during or after my therapy sessions. Anxiety, and expecting to have zero anxiety, is one of my lessons of enlightenment. I have overcome quite a bit of anxiety–not all–but I can manage some situations I couldn’t before.

Progress.

The unhealthy mind can travel to many dark places. A world of fear, despair, and hopelessness is created, and it’s hard to find a way out. I have learned how to separate the feelings of grief from feelings of worthlessness. I have had a lot of grief intertwined with major clinical depression and they were feeding off each other. I wasn’t able to grieve naturally nor manage depression.

Logically I know I have thoughts that sound absolutely silly when I’m discussing them with my therapist. In fact, some of my beliefs make me laugh out loud.

So, why do I have them when I logically know my mind is filled with falsehoods?

I have spent over 50 years telling myself the same old crap. Words that childhood friends used which stung—I began saying them over and over in my mind. I believed their words to be my truth.

Recently I discovered that I could stand in front of a mirror and repeat positive affirmations all day, but I can never say enough of them because I don’t believe. They are merely words because I don’t love the one person who deserves my love the most—me. To love, I must emit love.

Okay, I’m not going to go all philosophical on y’all because that isn’t me either.

All I know is that I have an idea about myself that isn’t true. The idea sabotages my efforts to become fit, to eat healthy meals, to make myself presentable, to get out of bed, and brush my teeth. I doubt everything positive I’m told even though I know them to be true. Am I expecting to hear the same positive things over and over until I believe them? If so, that will never happen because I have a louder voice of negativity holding my thoughts hostage.

I’m not really looking for the why I do this, I’m looking for the how to change. I must conquer the Ms-Hates-Herself-And-All-That-She-Is because I have some tonnage to shed and some wild eyebrows to tame.

—-Please note, I’m not in a depressed state. In fact, I’m quite satisfied with life at the moment. I’m just thinking things through and learning that I am a good person. That it’s okay if I appreciate who I am and what I do. While going through the process of examining what I’m telling myself, it makes me contemplative and I kind of shut myself off from the world while I work through new thought processes.

All is good, I’m just using my noggin’ in a positive way by letting the words flow through the blog. And possibly I’m repeating but apparently that’s what I need.

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Paying It Forward

After the Connecticut school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, my daughter and I accepted a challenge to go out and do 26 random acts of kindness in memory of the 26 innocent victims. When I went out, I looked for ways to show kindness.

I was derailed three months later when I lost my sister—the world became dark to me. Years of struggling to climb out of the crap hole that kept getting deeper, finally broke me. I started staying at home. In psychiatric terms it’s called isolating oneself.

Recently my daughter and I watched the movie Pay It Forward. The little boy in the movie started a movement to pay it forward. He chose three people to help–hoping that his compassion would change their lives. His hope was that each of the three people he chose would pay it forward to another three. The three they chose would in turn, do something to change the lives of three more, and so on…

Pay it forward….random acts of kindness….being present when someone needs support, and doing something to help.

Have I performed any act, or said something which helped one person change the direction of their life—who in turn, helped another and another?

I have had many people help me put my life back together but I continue to isolate myself. Partly because I’m an introvert and constant activity—especially around masses of people— exhausts me. It’s more peaceful for me to simply stay home and avoid the discomfort. Also, isolating myself has become a habit….a bad habit.

It’s time for me to pay it forward.

My life was saved in more ways than one.

I may not feel that I could possibly have an impact on the life of a stranger, but the little boy in the movie felt the same way. He had no clue how many lives were changed by one of his simple acts of compassion.

One tiny drop causes a ripple.

I need to get out more often and make some waves. :D

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Can You Do Me a Favor?

When asked if I can do a favor for someone, I’m always hesitant. I answer with the drawn out yeeeah? I don’t know why because I would help anyone who needs a favor, I don’t have to be asked.

The other day my daughter and I were in the dreadful grocery store. Yes, that place some of you know I’m on a mission–get in, get out. Because of this, I have tunnel vision and don’t really pay attention to my surroundings. My focus is directed to getting out of the place as quickly as possible.

The grocery checker asked the question….

Can you do me a favor?

My answer……uhhh yeeeah?

He asked us to smile a little.

Well of course! I told him we were busy concentrating.

(We were also busy orchestrating our speedy escape).

That checker made me feel good.

Can YOU do me a favor? :D

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Letting Go–Just Do It (sorry Nike had to borrow your slogan)

Sometimes we simply have to do things.

Do them, not just think about them.

Anticipating or obsessing about a dreaded event is always worse than the event itself.

*******

Sometimes we simply have to let go.

Know when to let go before it becomes messy.

Know when to fight and when it is worthy of the fight.

*******

Sometimes we have to let go and do it.

*******

You may never read this but I shall miss you, my friend.

I’m letting go…..may you always realize the dreams you deserve, and receive love in return of the love you so freely give.

Friends come and go throughout our lives and a longtime friendship is hard to let go of.

But, I’m just doing it.

For your sake.

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A Family Vacation

Some of my favorite blog posts contain photos of areas around the world. I may never travel to a foreign country because of my phobia that I’m truly striving to conquer—flying in a tin tube. I don’t think I could breathe deeply enough or grab onto the armrests hard enough to do that over a vast ocean.

Anyway, I did travel by plane to another state, and I can say that I’m getting better with the dread of flying ….all the people traveling, moving here-and-there in the airports are a different story. Crowds….ugh….another trigger for me.

I thought I would share a few of the photos I took while visiting the state of Montana. We stayed among the hoard of people, and I wished I didn’t have a fear of hiking the back country. I love furry things, but the word grizzly isn’t included in the description. Oh! Moose is also another animal I don’t want to tangle with. Or, big cats–as much as I love them.

So, here are my photos of Yellowstone National Park…..hastily taken and not very much post processing. (I believe my camera settings were off the entire time we were gone)

The Gallatin River. This is the river the movie, A River Runs Through It, based on the novella written by Norman Maclean, was filmed.

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My look of accomplishment after the tumble I took when I realized I could have been standing in the spot a young, yummy looking Brad Pitt stood (he has gotten a little too scruffy for me these days)

……and that’s the story behind my fall, I’m sticking to it.

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We did not go to the ever-so-popular Old Faithful Geyser because – well – it’s surrounded by a gaggle of tourists. We stopped at an area named Fountain Paint Pots. I tried to capture the bubbling mud, but wasn’t successful – they weren’t very photogenic. This geyser was named Spasm Geyser. The smell of sulfur was very strong in this area. We walked through steam being released through vents in the earth.

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Stuck in traffic – nothing to photograph except the side of the hill.

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Mammoth Hot Springs. Again, we didn’t go to the top because of the gaggle of tourists. I would love to go to the park when it isn’t so busy but I don’t imagine that happens often.

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Elk in the middle of the visitor’s area at Mammoth Hot Springs. They didn’t seem to mind the onlookers.

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I hope you enjoyed some of Yellowstone. I wish we could have stayed in the park for days.

 

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The Happy in the World

Oh! I have so much that made me smile this last week, I don’t even know if I can cover it all.

Here are some highlights:

  • our daughter graduated from nursing school and is now a registered nurse. Our entire family was able to travel to Montana for the ceremony and our oldest son “pinned her”.
  • the bathroom in a restaurant that was filled with floor-to-ceiling mirrors. even though I laughed, who really wants to see that much of themselves while sitting on the throne?
  • our sons complaining that they couldn’t sleep because it was too quiet
  • snow in August
  • there is no cell phone service in Yellowstone National Park! Anybody really wanting to get away from work should go there.
  • I found food heaven at a place called the Cateye Cafe. The interior was packed with cat paraphernalia. The best? Banana bread French Toast. Oh. My.
  • names given to restrooms in restaurants. In one place the sign over the door to the women’s restroom said Premium–the men’s, Regular. At the Cateye Cafe, they called the restrooms Litter Boxes

The BEST….all three of our kids being together

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