stress

Mexican Squirt, listen and stop

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listen

Around the corner from where I live there is this Mexican Grocery store.  And right now I am enjoying a Mexican Squirt.  That’s Squirt made with pure cane sugar.  No high-fructose corn syrup in it and it is delicious.   I enjoyed being in the market.  The store clerk was friendly, ask me if it was my first time there, it wasn’t.  He was super kind.

They sell all types of peppers, homemade salsa, they even prepare fresh tacos during lunch hour, and they also sell cacti.  How do you even prepare cactus? I don’t know, but while I was there I felt like I was worlds away. Away from the normal unrelenting drone of this American life.  Yet, I was less than one mile from my house.

The point here is – I think I am suffering from too much.  Too much of everything.  Seeing too much, hearing too much.  Owning too much, and feeling too much.  Thinking too much.  Worrying too much.  I am officially on overload.

I need to shut it all off.  I need to shut it all down.  I need to try not to notice.  I need to listen.

I need to listen to that voice inside that has been screaming at me – STOP!

So today I stop.  I am really going to stop tomorrow,  I don’t know exactly what I will do, but it wont require me to worry, to think, or to rush here or there.

I am officially in the stop mode.  I don’t care if I don’t know how to be  a miracle worker right now…..I am stop mode.  If I don’t learn how to meditate this week, so what?

I already feel better just saying I am in “stop mode.”  Seems silly but it appears to be helping me.

I hope you can STOP also…..it’s awesome and I just started a few minutes ago. I guess it doesn’t take 40 day to stop.

Cheers!

didn’t make it pass day 3

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Little_Muslin_Voodoo_Doll_by_jazzy1453

So I didn’t make it pass day three of “May Cause Miracles.”  That’s right, it was so easy, I said.  A snap.  “I can do this!”

But life has a way of interrupting even the best of intentions.  I mean if all I had to do was to take care of myself, just me, no one else or no other creature, or no other anything, just maybe I could make it past day 3.  I don’t know.

I told myself I would catch up, or start over, I have not done either yet.  My plate of life is so full right now with……business issues, legal issues, my Mother is ill, my children aren’t settled, a house in disrepair, oh  and let’s not forget  the tax issues they just found from 2004!

There is even more than that, but that’s about all I care to put into writing.

I think I have done it all wrong.  I must have.  Everything. Wrong.  Since the beginning of my life I must have listened to the wrong people and taken in the wrong messages.  I don’t know how else I could have arrived at this place at this time.  Because how? Tell me how ?  One person can really want a better existence yet can’t ever figure out how to get it?

For the most part I have tried to do the right thing.  Even as a small child I knew not to belittle or mock others, I stood up for the underdog ALWAYS.  I would think, what would be best? What would be nice? What would be helpful?

Yet here I am, a struggling mess.

I can be sarcastic but only in fun.  You know a dry sense of humor….that alone shouldn’t have banished me to this place.

I eat healthy.  Food and weight isn’t my issue.   I do not long for material items.  I dont want or need the latest greatest anything.  I just want a simple peaceful life.

Maybe someone has a voodoo doll of me and they are sticking it with pins.  That’s about all I can figure, or I was a horrible person in another lifetime.   Oy Vey!  

Cheer!

Screwed up.

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So everything in your life is a mess, you’re stressed and wondering what you should do.  It’s easy to let your emotions take over at times like these, but that’s not going to help anything.

Here’s what you are gong to do about it: NOTHING.

Artist Andrew Myers, modern-day sculptor

Andrew Myers make creates portraits with screws.

Let go of your problems for a while. I suggest all day today, just don’t do or think anything related to any of the problems in your life. If you have to, put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you find yourself dwelling on some issue you can not control or thinking about an issue that has you worried or upset.

I plan on reading. I know I have a pile of books that are begging for my attention. When you read you learn. Learning is a sure way to take your mind someplace else. I may be going to a movie, by myself. It’s quite relaxing to go out without any company. I encourage you to try it.

If you are alone most the time, go somewhere social. Go to a museum and join a talk or a group tour. You’ll be with other people and share an experience, which is usually interesting if nothing more.

By the end of the day your life will still be a mess but you will not have wasted your Saturday worrying about it.

Your mission should you chose to take it is: Make your today work for you and not against you.

Cheers!

Tip: Leave the desk behind if you can this weekend and just live. It’s hard to slow down

Inspiration: “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” – Anais Nin

One-day one-thing: Enjoy something, anything, your choice.

“Do you feel lucky?”

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It hasn’t been much more than a week and already I am breaking retracting the contract on our new house.  I was ready for the experience to live in the city with everyone and anyone.  We haggled a bit and signed an agreement last Wednesday.  Over the weekend we checked out the yard because we needed to determine where the fence should be installed for our dogs.

Two days ago, I was at the property with my fence contractor.  He had to measure the entire perimeter, and as we spoke he began to discuss the area behind the garage.  We walked over and to my surprise I found this:

He said, “This is fresh, someone is sending a message.”  It could have been wet for all I know, I was too stunned to touch it.   The graffiti wasn’t there when we made our offer, it wasn’t there Saturday as we walked the yard.  No other nearby garage got tagged, just ours.

This little white girl raised in suburbia, isn’t fit for this.  I started thinking I would actually have to shoot someone.  Then my mind raced on, and I thought if they come in my house, I’d have to shoot them inside and all their guts would be everywhere.  My dogs would probably eat nasty thug guts.  Gross.  At that point, I decided its better to shoot when they are on the porch or when they step onto the property. Less mess.

Oh my God.  Am I going to live like this? I have never even held a gun in my hand, but you know what?  I am going to learn. And when I get good, I am getting the biggest caliber I can handle.  Peace,  love,  don’t f*ck with me.

I called the police, they told me to send the images to the detective unit that handles gangs.  I did that.  I will never hear back, because I am not buying that house. Ever. This is not going to be my problem.

I was only joking previously when I compared this house to the one in Gran Torino .  (awesome movie) Little did I know just how close I was to the truth about lucky house number #7.

However, I do still see the luck in this.  I was lucky to find the graffiti  before we closed and transferred the title.  We literally dodge a bullet or maybe two.  Call me crazy, but so many things lined up, it makes me feel like someone was watching over us.  ( I like to believe that is true, because it warms my heart)

I just sent off the mutual release form and hopefully that will be signed tomorrow by the sellers.  Back to square one, just a bit wiser and a little stronger.

Stay Tuned.  Cheers.

Update 2/24/2012: Seller says they will NOT sign the release.  However, we never signed or initialed the seller’s counter offer so there is no contract in place.  Hopefully now they will sign the mutual release.

Tip: Trust yourself.  I have said this before but it bares repeating, trust your instincts they will never let you down.

Inspiration: ” We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.” – Louisa May Alcott

One-day one-thing: Be grateful when something works out.

Barbie is a Hoarder

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I would not have believed it but I saw it with my own two eyes. Look at these storage containers that are for all her shoes, bracelets, hats, her books and her love notes from Ken. She is getting her containers this month, just like the rest of Americans. I hope she gets them on sale!

It took all I could muster up not to buys these, if as nothing more than a reminder, that out of sight is out of mind, and out of mind is out of use. I don’t need more clutter no matter how darn cute it is!!!

Just think how many ways she could use these storage containers – endless possibilities.

We live in a world where even the toys our children play with, multiply and eventually end up unruly and in desperate need of their very own storage system.

In my household it’s Lego’s and Brio Trains. I have them stored. It literally never ever crossed my mind to think of those “holy” toys as something I would ever consider as clutter. These toys belong to my babies, they are sacred. (I am kind of shocked at myself)

I have high hopes that one day I will have grandchildren who will like Legos. Is that far fetched? My realistic mind tells me I am crazy. I mean seriously – who am I kidding?  When I see little children now they are playing on cell phones.

I will keep these toys until the bitter end of my journey, because I can’t bare to think about it…..about any of it right now. That’s the truth.

The good thing , I like to let you know, is I didn’t buy the mini containers, and I only swore twice ten times today.

Life is hard. And life is cruel. Sometimes it’s okay not to be super productive.

(Barbie has all sorts of stuff it wouldn’t surprise me if she had a storage unit. )

Tip: Everyday write your current goal at the top of your to do list. This serves as an affirmation and helps keep you on the right track.

Inspiration: ” What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one? I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection! ” ~ Rex , Toy Story

One-day one-thing: Throw away something that is in your way. Just throw it away. It wont be in your way ever again. :)

Please watch before you make even one decision for 2012

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I am seriously finding my focus, after surviving the last horrid holiday season of my life. Spent Christmas eve in the emergency room, my Mother broke her arm in two places and she goes tomorrow to find out if it will need surgery.

We learned that no pharmacies anywhere close to hospitals are open on holidays at 12 midnight, and we met Johnny, the lone pharmacist. He was a double for the assistant on 30 Rock.

Once again, I am reminded that no one else will even consider helping with the care giving. It’s me and my family or nothing. Haven’t seen the siblings since Christmas day.

I am on a mission for change. I mean it. I know its going to be hard because it was hard before… but determination has a key role here.

I’ll catch up soon. Happy New Year – or else!

I get ticked.

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You know what is really difficult to do- besides change something?

It’s really hard to be up when you are down.  And I am not down as much as I am just exhausted from life.  I am tired of everything.  Almost everything, okay-okay nearly everything.

I don't even know what the universe looks like

Right now for instance the spell checker is underlining words that aren’t spelled incorrectly.  Why? ?  The other day I upgraded my OS on my iPhone and it removed my entire library of songs, except the few I purchased and those are greyed out and wont play.  These are little inconsequential things that do not matter one tiny bit, but they piss me off.  Why do they piss me off?

I’ll answer that:  Because the bigger issues in my life aren’t getting resolved.  So I find anything to rage against.  This isn’t how I like to be, but then again, if I pretend everything wonderful then I am being a  “phony.”

I don’t like pretending. I am what I am.  And right now I am ticked at the universe.

On a different day, on most days,(especially days I don’t have to deal with my family of origin) I am filled with hope, creativity and optimism, and it’s 100% genuine. “….So I got that going for me.”

I try to write from a place of  honesty, which caused this rant of a post to travel from my mind to the keyboard. I didn’t expect it to become a post I would publish.

I will take a break, because I need a break.  It’s as simple as that.  Driving to NYC will be a good break.

My favorite when I'm not down

I lose my appetite when I feel like this, but so many people out there do the opposite.  They’re happy to grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s watch a movie and chill for a awhile.  Not me.  I hate food.  Food is a pain in the @ss.  The grocery stores are awful. I dislike the carts and the people that leave them sideways in the aisle just so they can do whatever.

Besides that, the fact is that most food in America is jacked up on chemicals, hormones, pesticides and our eggs are hatch from hens that can’t even walk, who wants to eat that sh*t?  I am terrified to watch Food Inc, because I know I won’t eat for days after watching it.  I read Skinny Bitch through the chapter about meat and never picked up the book again. I didn’t eat meat much after that.

Suggestion:  if you eat meat at all, you owe it to yourself to read that chapter.

I am not a vegetarian yet, but the day is coming and coming soon.  I eat fish and eggs.  I eat those two animal products.  Sometimes milk, a third animal product – which is totally gross.   I’ll suppose I will become a demi-vegetarians.  They don’t eat red meat or poultry, but they do eat fish, eggs, vegetarian cheese, and milk-based products.  I may cut out the cows-milk.  I’ll have to buy my eggs from a person who lives south of here.  I remember driving past a house with a sign that says “fresh eggs.”

So what will I do to get out of this funk, starting now ?

1. Drink a glass of red wine.

2. Make a list of what I will do for the entire day Friday. Organized hour by hour, and in a logistical manner so that I will not back track –  (another one of my many quirks)

3. I will go to my office and light a red velvet cake candle and play really soothing music and work in peace.

4. I’ll come home and eat left over asparagus & pasta, then take a bubble bath.

5. Maybe catch up on Dexter episodes and sleep like a baby.

Getting out of a funk for me means- You have to take the time to take care of yourself.  Anyway you chose.

Thanks for reading, Happy Friday.

Cheers.

Tip: Listen to your feelings, they are there for a reason.

Inspiration:“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr Seuss

One-day one-thing: Be good to yourself, and if that means chocolate or ice cream go for it. :)

# years, are we there yet?

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“#” is representative of the number of years since you [I] decided that, well, you weren’t cut out to follow the herd. The # number of years that have past since the time in your mind when you said this or that is bullsh*t. Or the time you said, I don’t think this how I want to live, I want to live differently.

I am not there yet, not after many ## years..

It is kind of obviously from my tormented posts, and my ups and downs and my vacillation and creative rationalizations. I fall into the category where I can easily identify the steps anyone else, except me, should take to change their lives. I am excellent at telling others what to do. But I try to do it for myself and I try really hard, and I fail.

Each time I fail, I start to settle for less and then I begin to procrastinate. I justify my failures, and I rationalize them away with excuses as to why some thing didn’t work. This leads me right back to the place I was when first I decided wanted life to be different. That, I will tell you is why my posts are a roller coaster. There are many times I stop believing I will ever get “there.”

I read several other blogs, and I love them all. I see I am in good company with some bloggers. But there are others bloggers who were able to do the hard work and really change their lives. Success stories. Those people have moved on to bigger and better things expanding their lives and living their dreams. And they manage to make it all work out fine within the confines of the need for money, shelter, work, love and fulfilling responsibilities.

I enjoy reading them, especially the honest ones. But they have done it, they are “there.” These blog are inspirational in a way that says,” I did it, so can you.” But they are so far beyond the point I am, that I barely identify with their reality.

Unfortunately, I think I need to see the the process. (someone’s progress other than mine because mine sucks) I want to see how they made their choices, and what they would do differently and how they learned from their mistakes ( if they had any). I want to know how they balanced responsibilities with their dreams. If they ever felt like they were letting anyone down, or possibly crushing someone’s dream to get to their own.

I understand nothing is simple, and one size will never fit all. This is a difficult journey.

For the sake of a simple example; one small change I am doing, trying to do, is I am changing Christmas and it’s not going over well. And maybe I will change it back. But right now, it’s most unpleasant to be the one that stands up and changes something that effects others. No one talks about how they really feel and I am just plain worn out from the dysfunction and I want it to end. So I am ending it.

I will be viewed negatively, and be seen as the odd-ball who “just can’t get along.” I already have be given the silent treatment on my proposal. Zero acknowledgement that I even spoke the words. Nothing negative or positive. Nothing. What I said was so inconsequential, it didn’t deserve the most basic level of respect, an acknowledgement.

And this is why, people who actually accomplish anything challenging, who create change, are so incredibly awesome. Because it really isn’t easy, no matter what “advantages” you may think someone has. To create real and lasting change of any sort, epic or teeny-tiny is quite possibly one of the most difficult things in life to do.

The tide of time never stops and it makes me wonder if we will ever get there.

Tip: Some people are happy with the status quo, they rarely understand those who seek to live differently.

Inspiration: “The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.”- Oscar Wilde

One-day one-thing: Ignore your detractors, as best you can.

Santa’s not going to do this by Himself.

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I better get cracking.  My starting point: I have nothing planned for Christmas and I am mentally and emotionally spent.

In my de-cluttering mode I sold our fake artificial Christmas tree.  I had no place put it anyway and I figured we would get by with less.  Everything else for the holidays  is in here.

Just an fyi, if anyone is seeking a nice Christmas tree, Costco has beautiful real trees, cut, for 29.99.   They even tempted me.  They have short needles and are a good height and shape.  I think the tree is a good value plus you get that fresh pine scent in your house.

This year’s challenge is to make Christmas memorable,  fun and easy with low stress levels – without spending a ton of cash.

Unfortunately, it’s a super busy month even without the holidays.  First I have a business trip to Monterrey.  It will be beautiful, maybe stressful but maybe not.   Next I’ll be driving to NYC to chauffeur  two of my children home.  I’m not complaining at all, I love both places,  it’s just time consuming.

In New York I’d be happy to walk around with a coffee.  I like the sparkling silver star that hangs high above 5th Ave near Tiffany’s. ( if you go to Tiffany’s jewelry repair, 6th floor as I recall, you an get an awesome view of the silver star)   I also love looking at Bergdorf Goodman’s windows, they never disappoint.

We’ll play it by ear.  It’s not like my kids are teens and I can tell them what we are doing.  It’s more like they are mini-grown-ups, you know, with big ideas of their own.  I remember when I was their age, I went out partying all winter break, without my parents.

You know what?  I am going to buy that Costco Christmas tree and put it up. Why not?  Dress it with lights, garland and ornaments, and put some presents underneath.  Bake some cookies for everyone to decorate and make hot chocolate. Wow, a somewhat normal and simple Christmas.  So what if it’s in a basement?

That’s all it ever has to be….simple and real.   In my heart, I knew this all along.

Post Script: We lost the second house we bid on.  It was a multiple bidding situation once again.  Heavy sigh.  I feel like the world is telling me something, something like “stop what you’re doing- it’s not working.”

Tip: Concentrate on shared experiences instead of things.

Inspiration: ” Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.” ~ Noam Chomsky

One-day one-thing: If you’re giving gifts, wrap them as you get them –  it’s the only way.

Late to the Party

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Linus: “Life is difficult, isn’t it, Charlie Brown?”

Charlie Brown: “Yes, it is. But I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.”

I admit, I am a little late to the Charlie Brown party. When I was young I never paid him any attention. But now I love him.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I basically hate the holidays. Last year my friend died on or about Christmas day, I knew she wasn’t a picture of health, but I had no reason to think she would die. I didn’t get to say good-bye. Rather I had to call the police to do a “welfare check.” The next car to arrive was the coroner’s. My gift to her was returned to me by her brother and it sits in my office hallway still wrapped.

We moved out of that neighborhood. Her house was sold. One day I drove through the old hood, and her house was leveled. In an instant her house was gone, just like she was. Also last year, a high school senior who played soccer with my son committed suicide early Christmas morning. When I was in college my friend hung himself the night before Christmas. The Christmas before my Dad died, I was too sick to make it to the celebration. It was his last Christmas.

I’ll stop, because it’s too sad.

The holidays are brutal for many people. We have been lead to believe that Thanksgiving through New Year’s is some sort of never ending party; full of good cheer, and laughter and love. Everyone is in love, presents flowing and good times rolling , smiles abound, no worries, no real problems. We are bombarded with images and ideas that are unachievable for nearly everyone. Yet we still ooh and ah at these images.

When we don’t experience that euphoric holiday scene, we feel sad and we think somehow we are lesser people, we feel a sense of hopelessness. I don’t like it, I don’t think it’s right.

I don’t believe fighting over cheap sh*t from China has anything to do with the Christmas spirit. Nor does spending more money than you have because you are “expected” to be somewhere far away, or you’re “expected” to get everyone in your family a gift.

(btw : One of my New Year’s resolution this year is to stop swearing….)

My hope for this year’s holiday season is to get through it without becoming emotionally battered. The other night at Thanksgiving dinner, I was told (to my face) that a 3000 square foot house isn’t really too big for a single person, two people at the table agreed. Hence the can of emotional whoop-ass was opened and directed straight towards me.

Anyway, I know and I realize, I have to make it the best I can. I am grateful for so many things, and many more people. I have to be grateful that I am even allowed to live in my Mother’s house until we find a place. I’ll make it through, but I will be wounded and scarred. I know it, because it’s already started. It’s no wonder I dislike the whole season so much.

I have decided I will be donating chickens to needy families and put the donation the family names as a gift. Step one accomplished, make something good out of a crappy situation.

“………… I only dread one day at a time.” That’s pure gold Charles Schulz. Thank you.

Tip: Find a way to balance your mind and wear a Kevlar vest.

Inspiration:” Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

One-day one-thing: Smile and know this isn’t forever.