Monthly Archives: January 2016

Connections

Have you ever thought about how you make connections with people? What was it that brought the two of you onto the same path and entered each others lives and then one day the journey has taken you another way. You are still friends, in a distance relationship and with social media it makes it so much easier than the days of a long lost snail mail letter.

I have numerous blessings in my lives, friends that come from all areas and walks of life, but have you thought about their story? Each of us has one. From amazing to awful, some good memories to ones we wish we could forget. How did that person connect with you?

I am thinking about each of you and some times it is a similar interest and sometimes it is through other friends but I truly believe it is destiny. It doesn’t matter where they are, you know when they are going through a rough time and it could be thousands of miles apart. You have a feeling, an electric bond or as a friend said this overwhelming feeling of emotion for the other.

We keep so many people at an arms length, so we do not get hurt or disappointed. Isn’t it time to let them into our whole bubble. The hurt we share, the laughter and build those relationships into more.

I feel the more I am starting to open up, they are too, and I am sorry for so many years I have kept my friends only in part of the know of my life. I was so scared that I would feel a betrayl and I know as I am growing, this is not the case. They are there to lift me up, for me to them and I am looking forward to experiencing more, Golden Girl years with them.

I have one life to live and it seems to have taken me 42 years to get it figured out and I intend to live it in with passion and authentically.

To my friends, thank you for how each of you have been reaching out. I appreciate it in more ways than I can tell you. Build your bond and ask what is their story?

I took great pleasure in a lovely scotch tonight with a cigar and Mr. Jones shared with me something I think is quite fascinating.

Instead of a quote I leave you with this tidbit to chew on. Ernest Hemmingway wrote at his typewriter standing up, naked and drunk. You can decide if I am! Enjoy, embrace and love.

 

 

Pleddy the Teddy

I am trying to kick myself in the bum tonight to try and get my spirits lifted. So after laughing at the Goldbergs I am thinking I have a few minutes before the blues hit again.

Today is the type of day when you wake up and wish you could just hit a permanent snooze button. It would just feel awesome to stay cuddled up under the heavy white comforter and not have to deal with the Jekyll and Hyde characters all day.

The exhaustion from it has put me in a mood, from the constant teeter totter of trying to balance something that I felt I had together the other day and was doing great and today I do not. I kind of think the exhaustion comes from the challenge of trying so hard to win the tug of war. One minute you are up and light, the next down, then you work within yourself to bring it back up.

As I sit and snuggle back up at the end of the day I make myself think of five things I am grateful for every day. Some days you feel like you are reaching, but it’s about making the effort in the mind and the connection with the heart.

So today I am grateful for, having an amazing holistic healer who works with me. I am grateful that when I snuggle into bed tonight I have my piggy and pleddy the teddy to hug. I will hug them tight! They see so much.

I am grateful for the fact that the Goldberg show is based off his actual life, it cracks me up. I am grateful that my kitties snuggled up with me. I swear they feel when a person is sad. I am grateful for Mr. Jones who seems to be able to handle the ups and downs in my world and lets me be when I just need nothing at that time.

So here is to a good sleep, one of happy dreams and no nightmares, to not waking up in the night and sleeping through and to waking up tomorrow feeling like a happier version of myself.

“Every night her thoughts weighed heavily on her soul but every morning she would get up to fight another day, every night she survived.” R.H. Sin

P.S Pleddy the Teddy and Piggy were my 15 and 16 year old dog’s teddies and they loved them lots. Even though they are no longer with us and crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I think of them often and keep their treasures close to my heart. Boys, I hope you are enjoying the all you can eat buffet in heaven. Mama misses you and loves you big.

Masquerade. Starring Me.

I was talking with a team member today trying to assist by listening to her situation in regards to how she suffers from anxiety. She described the freezing, the feeling in the stomach and many other symptoms. I said I understand; I suffer from anxiety. She thinks it is once in a while and nothing big.  She has no idea what is going on in my head and I do not share.

At one point she says to me you really have it together and I envy you. I just laughed and said you think I have it together, why? You seem composed, nothing bugs you, you deal with stressful situations and make it look easy. Wow! Please feel free to nominate me for my Oscar. I take a bow.

She thinks I look together? Maybe I should play poker.  I sometimes feel that I am walking into a store and everyone turns and looks at me. I always look down. Did I put my pants on for crime fighting? Yup I am good there, thank gosh, no breeze blowing.

I am sure that everyone can see the flashing neon sign above my head and instead of saying “Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse”, it flashes every emotion or trouble I have. I feel as if people have some super human ability to look at me and say yup she is dealing with depression. Yup PTSD on that one. Checkout her flashing sign, she has a bulb out. LOL I think I have more than one.

I had to say to her. Do you think I have problems? “Well?”

Just because someone looks together doesn’t mean they are. We have no idea if I or someone else is going through some rough times, illness or tragedy. She looked at me kind of funny and said I guess not and her spirit lifted. I spent quite a while listening and just providing some resources to her. Let’s hope they give her strength and she reaches out to them.

She wears her emotions on the outside there is no mask there. Her emotions are open and raw and I envy that. Maybe it is her who has it together and not me?

So tonight I bid you goodnight, I need to polish tomorrow’s mask, too bad I couldn’t wear a pretty costume swan mask from Amadeus for the changes in my life.

Oh well. Instead I will settle for laying my pants out just in case.

“She had blue skin, and so did he. He kept it hid and so did she. They searched for blue their whole life through, then passed right by and never knew.” Shel Silverstein

Donald Trump Wanna “Be”

I have to laugh today. The day begins positive and I think yeah I got this, I made it to the office. Little did I know all the disasters that would trouble and create my Monday Blues. It was absolute crap! The day was succumbed to endless issues, intolerant situations and I keep thinking who signed me up for this. It certainly is not like providing the punch table chaperone at the school dance. More Punch?

I felt like I just signed up for the army and they have you trying to scale the wall, crawling through the mud under the barbed wire course and instead of any type of actual manly equipment to protect yourself you are armed and dangerous, with a new bic pen, procedures and a voice? Picture it, I know you are getting a visual. Yes, that was me. I am bruised and scared from another Monday, but I endured. I flourished. I am alive. I didn’t give up.

Depressing hey? I couldn’t help it, I spent the day feeling at some point I would look in the mirror and see Donald Trump. My hair is better. Though he has more and constantly I could hear myself thinking who is that talking? I was unfiltered. I spend so much time really thinking and ensuring my communication to others is so politically correct and today nope, nada, nothing, zip. It was if all the years of holding everything back just spilled out in some way.

I kind of liked it. So now what. Tomorrow I go back to the analytical and reserved “The Thinker” look and personality or could I just adopt this for most days or take it out of my backpack when needed. Would that be too much?

The one thing I truly find now, is there is no rhyme or reason how you feel each day. One day you are depressed with PTSD, the next is like everything is great, the next you can’t handle people, unfiltered, irritable; the list goes on. It is challenging to explain.

So today if I use the listing of words they (the higher powers and therapists) use and a few of mine, I think today was a Hopeless Negative Isolated Rage Unfiltered Frustrated Startled Response day and tomorrow when others ask what happened yesterday I am practicing my little girl in the pig tail look, throwing her hands hands up saying “Don’t know!”

I made it home for a beer, not just any beer but a Guinness. Hallelujah!!!!! I am singing this at the top of my voice, or as Spook says more in my tone deaf voice. Who cares, she enjoyed her beer too.

Hmmm…maybe I should run for President.

“You can’t ride to the fair unless you get on the pony.” Cheryl Strayed (Love her quotes!)

Be-ing Brave Heart

I can picture the scene. My face painted, my arm in the air. I am the female Mel Gibson version yelling at the top of my manly voice “Freedom!”

This is the foundation of this year. A year of ultimate discovery and journey on such a sensitive and expressive topic. Moi! I know you are like why would I want to read about it? The answer is very simple. We are no different in many ways.

As a teenager we feel that no one can understand us. Our struggles are our own and if we talk about them, we deal with a sense of persecution in the eye of our peers. Our confidence changes, our peers get angry at a look we gave them and our secrets are thrown to the wolves and we feel completely raw. We then shut ourselves off. Off from the bond, that we could have with someone meaningful.

As an young adult, we still deal with some of the same, and in my world I was constantly thinking don’t let anyone know, they may think you are crazy talking or worse, again you are shunned by peers or so called friends. Again our lives take a twist and we continue to work on us and thinking in some way we need to fit in. But why do we?

So here is a big reveal, I am 42! Yes! I hit those magic digits two years ago, well not quite and am really been figuring out more in the past few years about me. I started a journey and it is that now, I am choosing to “Be-ing” Brave.

I come across as fun, laughing a lot and can talk to people well. This was part of my facade; a work facade I developed over the years to keep myself shielded from my co-workers, peers and judgemental arrows that a person gets from others. It’s quite sad as we teach our children to beat to their own drum, yet in some ways we are all conforming to someone else’s judgement of us. It starts as a look, a comment and adds to the fuel of our self critic.

In the past few years I started to find others like me. Others that are as twisted, comical, yet also exceptionally smart and gifted. (Spook is laughing as always. She has met them and thinks I am being, not truthful. Nuts is the word she is using.) They too, seem to be on their own journey and our lives come together at certain times. I feel I am starting to embrace my time of “Freedom” now and am riding into the plains armed with fury and enlightenment.

To my fellow nuts, thank you for being part of my life. I probably won’t tell you often enough but I am very grateful for all your quirks and the accepting of mine.

So my question to you today; is how are you choosing to “Be-ing” brave? I would love for you to share with me, as I think we are all on the same journey.

“There is a middle path, but it goes in only one direction: toward the light. Your light. The one that goes blink, blink, blink inside your chest when you know what you’re doing is right.” Cheryl Strayed

 

If I Could….

Do you ever sit and watch the world speed around you feeling as if you are the only one that is standing in the center holding your boom box up and waiting for something great to happen?

My world is like the endless montage of movies in my head and endless lyric quotes to each fun, loving, challenging and sad moment. Some days I believe when I walk I can hear the music as if I watching Pretty in Pink, or any other 80’s & 90’s  movies. (I am trying not to age myself too much).

The music starts and next is my amazing guitar solo, (yup tried playing and I am not talented there), so instead out come the drumsticks and I am tapping away, as if i just came off some world tour. (I have played with some greats, Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Billy Idol).  My thoughts swim endlessly in my head and the one question I constantly start with is if I could?

If I could, swim the atlantic, if I could play the guitar, if I could fly a plane (Spook’s laughing and says I can fly my broom only, it is the safest) what would it be? Would you take a leap of faith and try it?

While growing up I found the line, “You have to jump with both feet” it became my life’s motto. I made it my choice to jump and try some new challenges regardless of what they were. I was the first down the ski hill when everyone else was scared, I would just say ok let’s ride! My first’s , were amazing and looking back I am thinking WOW, now what. Somewhere over the years we end up repeating week after week, with our usual tasks; life in general gets in the way to our thoughts of if I could…..

So what would you say tomorrow when I ask you if you could… how would you finish that sentance? It is a question I feel that we need to ask ourselves more, because our “if I could”, instead turns into, “I am” or” I choose”. I think this triggered that it is time to revamp my life listing and decide if I could and make an effort to try. Someone told me once that it was not good enough to just try. Spook and I say, refer to track 4 of Bif’s; The Promise album title as my response.

We won’t be perfect at everything but at least we can see where our light shines through us again. What sparks us to that massive Anthony Michael Hall braces smile to get in touch with our inner self. I also encourage that you send your self critic packing during this time or you won’t get a moments peace.

You never know …..we may be in the same band together.

“If you could be anywhere at all, where would you be? Would you be somewhere else instead….?” (Bif Naked)

 

Open Mic

I have to laugh. I was talking with Spook last night as we continue to work on my self critic and she always knows how to keep things so light and fun.

Spook the jokester that she is, loves the movies, and had to recite from Harry Potter the tag line “Can anyone see me, can anyone hear me” I cracked up. She is pretty wise for 147- year- old witch.

Our self critic seems to take over the microphone at the times when we think we have things going right. The times when we feel invincible and then instantly, there he is, on the shoulder, in the back of the mind, holding the 1950’s microphone tapping it over and over to grab your attention as you hold your breathe waiting for what he will say.  So many days you want to run from him, you want to run from the way in an instant he can tear down the self esteem you have worked so hard to build up. I think in so many combinations it is every negative voice we have heard growing up,  and in adulthood.

You can’t do that, you are not smart enough, girls are not allowed and on and on. What a negative little voice but commands such power over us. As we were working with our self critic we looked for when and where he was the loudest and how can I stop him from being the mean little pion he is. (Just saying mine I think looks like a bearded leprechaun) Seems simple right? But challenging.

I decided to let Spook have a go at him, and if she turns him into a frog, maybe the beautiful sound of his ribbits will be more positive than before. To my self critic, I am choosing to take your microphone away. Open Mic is now done and no new shows will be performed. Now please be gone.

I guess if he does choose to come back, I think I will leave it to Spook from this point on. Maybe she can change him completely, I believe I still need a new painting for my room.

If you have any tips you would like to share on how we can aid in taking the mic away from our self critic, I would love to hear.

” Be-ing” Grateful

Each day we wake up and say thank you for another day to breathe, another day to see the sun rise or set and another day with our loved ones. I try to really focus on this area of “be”.

For many years like everyone I have had some serious struggles. Ones that have tested every fibre in my body till recently. That struggle I call the “dark ages” and unfortunately I would love to say I am through them, but each day I take it slow, as they try to creep into your every being.

Over a year ago, I experience a traumatic event, (I need to say this is one of many) one that every time I tried to work on healing someone or something would drudge it up like something from the bottom of the swamp. Questions, answers, finger pointing. All these events I had locked away in my cookie jar in my head and had done so well, or so I thought on not letting them escape. Turns out I didn’t run fast enough.

I eventually thought I was normal or my version of normal and then found the tears had started. I think I cried every day for over a year. Makes it challenging to keep going, but I tried. I spent time with family, I went on vacations, but no one knew that while I was in the shower, I would sit on the floor and cry. I would close my office door and the tears came, I would drive home and try to fix myself up before I walked in the door. I had the smile fixed on my face and would answer how fabulous everything was. My world was crumbling and the anxiety and heaviness in my heart made me feel like an anchor was pulling me under. Under the depths of the sea and I could not breathe. I didn’t sleep much and this added to it and the nightmares came as if there was a drive in movie on in my head and the events just kept replaying, night after night. My own ground hog day was taking place.  Just when I thought things could not get worse, it did. I found I started to lash out, I would shake uncontrollably when I was in an uncomfortable situation and I knew at this moment this was not living, there had to be something wrong. I wished it was over in so many ways.

I became brave one day and made a call, I know someone was watching over me and started my therapy. Can you believe that when I was told I was dealing with PTSD, the first thing I thought of, was thank God, I am not crazy. That was how it made you feel. I tried to continue working but the secret and the torture it was creating in my life was too much and thus began the time of me. At this point I had been dealing with this for 11 months. So this isn’t a woe is me story there is something I think great that happened.

When I met the most awesome therapist who was my savior, between her and the strength of my BFF listening, each week I struggled, I tried, I hid, I cried, I ran, I nightmared, over and over and over, and then one day I smiled. That was a beautiful day! Then I laughed! I realized she or me was truly in there and she was looking for a way out. Trapped underneath the layers upon layers of emotions, doom, sludge and blackness, she was still there. I worked so hard on every aspect and assignment that she gave me. I read, I sat, I listened to my inner critic (he is not a very nice one) and step by step I kept working with a new determination and drive I have not felt in a long time. I wanted to live and not live the way I was as it was taking my life before. I choose to live and live well. This took six weeks of hard-core no moment was unturned. Day and night. Grounding, tapping, self reflection and on and on. She said I was doing well, then very well, and then amazingly well. Stunned by the fact that as she would talk my mind would start to process the next task and I would be working and applying it. With this I ran, and ran and continued as I needed a way to stop the outlet of nightmares so I could heal. If I could exhaust myself,  I could rest. It worked, it caught up with me sometimes but I am still continuing it. I am working on training for my 5km run.

Ok so here is the part I know you are wondering why so grateful? I got back me. I can now choose to be and do what I want. I may stumble and fall and still am working on who I am becoming but I feel reborn. I am not the same person. People think I am, or think I see things the same way as before and I do not. I am different and this is really hard to explain as it is a feeling. I returned to work, but am still questioning this as I need things to still go slow. I may find the world too people-ly now at times and have to limit some things but I am trying. I am trying every moment of every day. I am trying to live and I am trying to live to the fullest.

I encourage you to reach out to someone who you know is dealing with PTSD or depression. Take a look at all the symptoms they may be experiencing and be there for them. One thing I found hard, was when every time people would see me they would ask how are you feeling? I know it’s because they care, but that question was one of the hardest ones to answer. Some days I still don’t answer it well, but I am not always saying fabulous, instead today I choose to be awesome!

Blessings in Disguise

It’s early in the morning and as I snuggle back into bed, Spook keeps taunting me with all the lists of things she has to say. She is overwhelming at 5 am and I am truly thinking I am not a morning person. But somewhere along the time I try to get myself comfy and warm again, and her continuous dancing, she has made a point. One that I have not thought about all that much.

 

When I was little Spook was an active part of my childhood but I didn’t know who she really was. She was my imaginary friend, with numerous names, someone who played cashier with me, would help play library and code all the books and make their checkout cards, play barbies and did the voices or take me outside to play tag when there was no one else on the farm to play with. She was truly my confident. The one person who I could tell anything to, but she was not real, or so I thought.

The years passed and time as any gets away from us, you go to school, university, get married, children are born, graduate and move away, you work long hours, you get sick and then you start looking at the time you have differently. The value of each moment, of each phone call you get, text, picture, birthday card, long conversation with your friends and dinner at the table with your husband. Your appreciation has grown so much more than that of when you were a child. Now Spook is the one steady here who keeps reminding me of a time I forgot. I forgot her, I forgot what she did for me and I forgot who I was. She didn’t. She has been a very persistent witch in every manner over the years and it was recently that I finally started to listen to her. It was probably to shut her up as her jibber- jabber is constant. Man, can she talk!

She started to remind me to take moments for myself to laugh at a joke, dream, start looking at a new future, whatever that may be, start remembering the fun, enjoy the mud puddles, the board games, the childhood classic stories, and make life simple, simpler than what it has been.

“Anything can happen if you let it” Mary Poppins, one of the best treasures has been saying it for years. Spook cannot seem to wave her wand, (I am questioning if it truly works), to grant any changing of the times, or letting me try again, but in so many ways she seems to have brought me back and for that I am grateful. Right now, she is sticking her tongue out yelling told you so! Yes, you did Spook, yes you did.

New Spook Year

Happy New Year!

Well everyone is busy prepping their lists of all the resolutions they feel they should complete, Spook and I are on a different journey. Unfortunately, we have been under the weather for quite some time but have had lots of days to think, ponder and “Be”.

Have you truly thought about what “Be” means to you? It was a question that is truly challenging to answer; it seems to be a feeling. After many days of thought and reviewing what we have been learning in the past while I had to ask myself, what does it mean to “Be”? Does it mean that I spend the time looking at my Facebook page, Pinterest, any phone apps? Does it mean I pick up the cleaning cloths and work on household tasks? Reading? What is it?

So this year 2016, is dedicated to learning the art of “BE”. To be present in the moment. To be engaged in conversation and listening skills. To be authentic and that is truly a blessing in disguise to learn. Not saying we are fake or put on a face, but what are the true desires of the heart that help us to be, what is our true passion and destiny. What can we learn from just being?

For Christmas I received a new journal. It is beautiful! Leather bound and feels special. More special because my husband bought it for me as a gift as he has been watching us unfold day by day and seeing what we have learned. So Monday I embark on a new adventure! One of passion, derogatory remarks and silliness. I like it! It is Spook’s style! We are learning the art of journaling and how to continue keeping it a habit. I thought this task may assist in the “BE” discovery. Along with that and two bags of books from Chapters we are now researching more on the mind, body and spirit to engage the “BE”.  What thoughts do you have on what it means to “BE” to you? I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.