Saturday, February 6, 2016
Sunday, January 24, 2016
I've been thinking about what my perfect day would look given everything I have now.
-wake up before dawn
-drink my shake I am trying out
-pick up around the house; pick one area that needs a bit of a deep clean
-eat breakfast (have to wait at least 30 minutes after drinking shake)
-take a moment to pray and be with God (do this through the day)
-work or read
-time with God
-serve others happily through the day
-yoga after work
-read of watch TV
OMG. These are such simple tasks! Why is it so difficult for me to follow this structure? I'm going to give it a try...eek tomorrow. This scares me. What if I can't finish the tasks?
I thought just came to my mind. Do what I can and let God decide if I've have enough or give me the strength to finish.
I feel strong and complete-taskable. Ready for the day.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
I realized today that my best life I wrote about yesterday didn't include God. He didn't even cross my mind, nor did including anything that involved others. Yes, it's trying to live MY best life, but doesn't that involve community? Doesn't that include Jesus?
Monday, January 11, 2016
Saturday, December 12, 2015
I haven't decided what I'm going to write in the journal. But I want it to be the journal I take with me everywhere, jotting down random notes at the drop of a hat as soon as a person or thing moves me, inspires me, gives me some sort of idea worth writing down. And I want to fill up this journal, and another and another so that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can read my inner most thoughts, understand the real grandma. Many great writers do this same thing, carrying around a notebook or journal of some sorts. About writing...
I have a short list of items that if I don't do I'll regret. I just know that when I'm whatever age God decides to bring me to His home, some of my last thoughts will be that I wish I would have at least pursued these things. Here they are:
-Learn to play the piano
-Become a Marine Biologist
-Publish a book
That song "I've got hiiiigh hopes" just popped into my head. Piano - that's not easy per say, but it's within reach. The other two will take who knows how much sacrifice and effort...but won't it be worth it?
I expressed my dolphin dreams with my husband of one month and he wasn't opposed to it. He simply asked, "Then why don't you?" Damn his insight. Taking out student loans, or maybe taking as many classes as I can afford will be a challenge, either way. But I remember my great-grandmother saying shortly before she passed away, "I thought you were going to go out and save the dolphins!" Even as a kid I talked of this dream. And all it took was making a D in Intro to Botany my freshman year in college to compromise this dream and send me off in a different career direction. Who doesn't make a D in that class? With all this being said...
Where do I start? Piano because it's easiest? Or do I eat my frog as Brian Tracy says, tackling the most difficult item first? And then there's the whole being a mom thing. I do want to have a child, just one, and I am past 30...a high risk pregnancy is just around the corner. But a kid isn't on my agenda. Do I focus on what's on my agenda now, or do I need to look ahead to 2-5 years from now (not exactly sure just when we want to bring another human into this world) and take those desires into account?
There's only one solution I can think of...pray about it. But then there's God. He feels so far away. I once read that God is as close as you want Him to be. He's there, waiting. When people say "pray about it" I get what their saying, but I've never had the experience of God truly talking to me. But I haven't exactly done my part of the conversation either. So, I'm going to try.
I'll let you know the outcome. Until then...I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! -- Stuart Smalley (and my counselor).
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
I've been listen to Joel Osteen lately, and he has spoken about being in God's favor. To expect the impossible because nothing is impossible to Him; we as man just cannot imagine what God has in store.
Joel says we are in God's favor. We are his most prized creation. To think, this "up" lasting a lifetime, heck even through the end of this week, is currently not in my humanly realm of thinking. God's favor will cut through my negative thoughts if only I'll let him.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Sunday, October 4, 2015
"Sure. Is it good things or bad things?" -- Me.
"It can be either." -- Counselor.
I tell her that even good memories have something bad tied to it. Fun times with friends in high school brings back memories of losing those friends because of the emotional roller coaster I was on. Drunken nights. Fights. This continued well into college, and even bouts of this post-college. Embarrassing.
College graduation. A good memory, right? Still bad is tied to it. Graduated with my fiance, who just a few months later became my ex under terrible circumstances.
With the good always comes bad. A lot of bad. This is my timeline. I'm not trying to sound tragic or pitiful or gain pity. This is just my timeline. So, I can't change the little marks and scribbles of my past on that legal-sized document, but I can change how I remember those tick marks. Not naturally, of course. This will take effort. Once again, my life journey will take effort.
Okay, this may sound really cheesy but I just had this thought - I can't right my wrongs, but I can write my wrongs. Meaning, I can't go back. I can't make things right. But I can write them, shape them how I want to remember them, just like I'm doing now.
This lady I work with was walking next door to this deli next to our building one morning at work, and I offered to walk with her. I actually bombarded her and said I'd go with her, but I'm sure she didn't mind. She has given me advice on God and marriage, and I feel a connection with her, like I just want her to talk to me and tell me everything she knows. Well on the way back to our building, we were talking about God and how I feel like I'm slipping backwards and have been ever since I was baptized. I don't know what was said to lead this woman to say this, but she said, "And I've been through a lot. A whole, whole lot." I thought better and didn't ask her what, even though this statement made me so curious and sad. Is this where her wisdom and relationship with God comes from? I picture her timeline with a painful experience, and right next to that experience is when she found Christ. Another painful experience is coupled with meeting her husband. And maybe I'm even on her timeline somehow, because this conversation with her is a mark I'll make on my own timeline.
I've gotten knocked down so many times, and most of the time is was because of me. Choices I made, people I chose to have in my life, actions I took with those people. But, I always get back up. It's almost like I knock myself down just to see how strong I am, just to see how good my next comeback will be. Talk about exhausting.
Exciting things are going on around me, and it is really bringing out my anxiety. It feels like all these good things that involve me are circling around me and I'm not actually a part of them, just viewing them as an outsider. I'm definitely going to talk to my doctor and counselor about these feelings, but in the meantime, I must make some kind of change so that I can experience life and not just watch it go on around me. I want to talk to my fiance about this, but he doesn't always have the best advice or know the right things to say. He's a man and an engineer - sweet talk isn't his strong suit. But I'm anxious to tell someone this feeling of watching life happen to me, so I'll give it a shot.
My timeline is slowly developing. During my last two counseling sessions we worked on it, and it's coming together. I'm not sure how far we'll go with filling in the spaces around the parallel line of eternity, but for now I'm going to focus on writing my memories.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
I'd like to share with you one of my latest "scraps." It's theme is what I would tell my younger self, early to mid 20's, when I was depressed, drinking too much and completely out of control of my emotions with no self-awareness or self-care. It also hits home to my much younger years as well, when all of the above (except for drinking because I was like 14) was happening. I'm working on two more, which are extremely personal, and I have not decided yet if I will make those public. I mentioned my work on these two incognito scraps and she seemed quite pleased that I was doing "work" outside of our sessions. She also can't wait to see them.
Now, getting on to the picture. At first glance it may appear a hot mess, but it really does have a [somewhat] organized structure. I wanted this scrap to have more images, with just a few words sprinkled in. I did "cheat" and include a passage that I found in Oprah magazine, but it was just too darn good not to include. Now let's begin the tour.
We'll start with the picture of the lady lounging on the left side of the page. She is the center of this whole scrap--theses images and phrases are hers to both create, and to discover. She appears to be on a mountain looking up at the sky. When we look up at the sky, often we are looking up at the stars. You'll see that there is a star right next to her foot, which signifies that she is looking above to find the stars when there is a shining star already next to her. She's searching for what she already has.
Top left you will see my one "cheat," a full sentence clipping from O magazine. It says, "Experience Renewal. Discover the place where you can be at your best." Pretty self-explanatory. I also have the phrase "keep your years" because my younger self is wasting away her years being sad, beat down, drunk. Keep your years! "It's time," I add.
Bottom left is possibly my favorite part of the scrap, aside from the chandelier (I'm obsessed with chandeliers). In words it says "life is" and then there are two images: one is a shake and one is a cupcake. Put it together and you have "Life is Shakes and Cupcakes." Love it. What I'm saying here is that life is sweet. Yes, it's sour and gross sometimes, but when you look at the bigger picture (i.e., this picture) it's sweet as pie (or shakes and cupcakes).
Let's move to the right. I do include some silly images, just to add character to this scrap. There is a straw hat and sunglasses, an old-fashioned record, and a giraffe peeking his head out of a pitcher of "peace." You'll notice that the pitcher filled with peace has a butterfly coming out of it. Butterflies have been transformed from their past, and it is when you have transformed into the true you that you will find peace. I have the words "Respect Yourself" next to a cat. I think cats respect themselves. They are always cleaning themselves, walking slowly, taking in their surroundings, saving their affection for the right person at the right time. Top right are the words "love the whole you." Again, self-explanatory. In this instance, the whole "me" is this whole scrap.
Bottom right sums up what I tell myself now. Dear Pain, Thank You. I finally feel comfort.Without pain, you'll never know true, unconditional, down to your bones comfort. I'm still slowly discovering bits of it, adding these parts to my "comfort basket," but I can attest to this statement (mostly because I wrote it).
So, there it is folks. My childish hobby come to light. The thing is, childish or not, the excercise of going through magazines, meticulously cutting out images and words to form phrases and thoughts, is calming. I put on light music, and scrap away. It's my getaway, my release. And it's cheap, harmless, and not illegal. So what's the harm?
Saturday, June 27, 2015
It could be that I'm reading Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald by R. Clifton Spargo. I have a growing interest in the Lost Generation and have been reading a lot of non-fiction and historical fiction about this time period and the "stars" of the age. In my readings, I learned that Zelda went insane, having mental breaks, arguable schizophrenia with eczema creeping up her neck with every breakdown. It may sound far-fetched and book snob-ish of me, but I feel a connection with Zelda and her struggles with mental illness. Depression, anxiety and the likes have lasted generations and will continue to infiltrate the lives of those inflicted. It sounds so bleak and hopeless, but I'm finding hope where it seemingly doesn't exist.
While my great-grant parents couldn't "save" me from mental illness, they did save me from myself. I certainly had horrible episodes of depression, drug use, alcohol-induced rage, and a revolving door of relationships, but deep inside my soul, past my flesh and earthly organs, I always held inside a sense of security and acceptance because they provided that to me during my most impressionable years.
Despite changing schools and apartments every year and verbal and mental chaos injected into my veins by my mother, I always had them. I had the cookie jar super glued back together after I broke it, I had my great-grandma's house heels I'd clink clink around in, their big backyard with a tire swing and vegetable garden, with a workshop I would use to "build" things and a hothouse where I would tend to the plants. Memories of putting every pot and pan and bucket in the driveway when it rained, weekends at their modest lake house. These memories are planted so deep inside of me, deeper than depression and drunkenness can invade.
They are both gone now, my great-grandma for 9 years and my great-grandpa for 15 years. I miss them. I wish I could tell them thank you and hug them infinitely for their saving graces. But, I can thank them and honor them in the present by living my best life, not succumbing to mental illness, reading and writing -- two things they always praised me for doing.
I realize that I repeat my past, the negative parts of my past, the failing, the feelings of sadness and inadequacy, excessive sleeping to escape. Instead, I'm going to work on repeating the positive parts of my past, the excitement of catching fireflies and having fun watching my great-grandpa grilling the minnows I caught at the lake. And while I won't be putting pots and pans in my driveway during a rainstorm, I will find hobbies and parts of life that take me to happy places, where I am loved and accepted and good enough just the way I am.