This time of year is particularly hard for me. Not to go into any depressing details, because I know everyone shares having events, both good and bad, that change the course of a life.
I, for some reason, can not get past what is no longer. I am constantly reminded of the past. Perhaps better times draw me in at first, yet inevitably terrifying times and less-than-good choices creep in my mind. I used to be able to say I live with no regrets. I am not so certain I can say that any longer.
The new year is supposed to be the time for fresh beginnings and new starts, only I am not feeling it this year. Depressing right? I know I am not alone, and I know it is temporary, but nonetheless is real. I feel as if the good and the lightness of life is sitting dormant like the woods.
Right now my count is 13. Thirteen days I have wasted away without making one single ounce of progress. I quit on myself. I slowed myself down to a crawl into a perpetual holding patterned of procrastination.
Even this post took some real effort on my part to actually write. (and I don’t care if its good or bad. ) I had to write how I was feeling or I would just breakdown into nothing for another day. (trying to avoid day #14)
In my front yard, behind the tangled bare branches of two maple trees, I can see a yellow house across the street. I have nothing against this house. However, in the summer I can’t see it. It is completely blocked by lush green foliage It’s a depressing shade of yellow. Sun-bleached-sad from a constant west exposure, even that yellow house has had better days.
I have to stop! I have to stop these thoughts that are feeding an existing “sadness path” in my brain. This path was put there years ago and it’s a well traveled path. I know I need to stop myself before I send those negative signals. I have to replace them with new more positive signals. I need to create new paths in my brain and start walking them.
I know what I have to do. My problem: I find it difficult to do.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and my life is good, well good enough. It’s just some time a person feels low and these past 13 day that has been me.
Tip: Play music. Listen to it whenever you feel yourself slipping into a bad place. Skip every single song until you find one that feeds your soul.
Inspiration: “The past does not equal the future.”-Tony Robbins
One-day one thing: Take a baby step. Recognize that with every single step no matter of size, you create a path.
I am convinced that dogs have the world figure out. I know am not the first to say this, but I don’t care. When a dog barks he is not saying anything new.
Dogs can read another dog as easily as we can read directions on a cake box. Those direction are very clear and concise leaving no room for errors.
When dogs meets other dogs and there’s an instant positive vibe, then they are perfectly okay with that new friend(s). It’s simple. Dogs just trust their own instincts. If they don’t like what the meet , they bristle and let that dog know to stay the $%^# away.
Think of how many times you’ve gone against your own best judgement or a feeling you had but couldn’t exactly explained. We humans call that a “gut instinct” or ” intuition” but I really believe it lives as truth in the heart section of your brain. I don’t even know if there is a heart section of the brain, but I choose to believe there is.
I think we need to pay super close attention to whatever we tell ourselves inside our heads and hearts.
I have had some difficult times, we all have, and I have tried to fix problems I didn’t cause. ( May no good deed go unpunished)
I am here to say forget those problems. Whatever issue it is, if you in absolute truth can not control it, then it isn’t something to waste one once of energy trying to correct or fix. Don’t worry or fret, don’t ponder or gossip, don’t talk and re-talk, just choose live without it.
Shake it off. Wag your tail, take a walk and smell the air. Dig in the dirt. Be happy that you were fed today, smile and carry on.
Tip: Always put your keys in the same place.
Inspiration: ” We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” -Barbara De Angelis
One-day one-thing: Plan a picnic for the next nice free day you have.
There’s something out there that wants to take me down. I swear, I am doing all I can and bad sh*t keeps happening.
This morning, I was on my way to the dog park. I started the engine and I hear a thump, and when I backed out there was a headless bloody creature dead on my driveway. I don’t do well with gore, so a took the poop scooper, shielded my eyes and flung it into the bushes.
A little bloody organ remained stuck to the drive but I couldn’t stomach it. So I left.
On my way home, the AC in the van didn’t work. I thought that was peculiar, but things got worse. Every single service light on the dash was on. Apparently every working part of my car was in distress. Next the radio went silent, and then the car no longer let me know how fast I was going or how much gas I had. All the gauges went dead. Just like the helpless creature on the drive.
I was able to get home but a car was blocking the drive. I parked in the street, and that is where the car took it’s final breath.
This isn’t the only thing not going my way. I have a person who wants to sue me over not buyer their house. I never signed the counter offer, so to me there isn’t an executable contract. This doesn’t stop sue- happy people. This seller refuses to sign the mutual release and the real estate company is holding $1000.00 bucks of my cold cash. Needless to say I am pissed.
I could use that money right now to fix my car problem. ( most likely an alternator $450 -$500)
But hey, things could be worse, and most likely they will get worse.
As long as I am held in limbo, I can not buy a house. House number #3 or #4 is back on the market, we lost it before in multiples. This is a second chance for us to buy it. However I can’t, without being released from the non-contract contract, all because of her
threat promise to sue me. <heavy sigh>
One day: We are going to have our own place and I am going to tell all the fuckers in the world to back the fuck off. People who are mean, nasty and lie. They put all their twisted efforts towards getting something for nothing. They and the people that serve them, the pond scum lawyers, are repulsive human beings.
And that is how I really feel right now.
Tip: Don’t believe anyone. Especially anyone who is in a position to make money off of you.
Tip2: Don’t believe elderly people when they say they don’t remember or when they say they can’t hear you- they are lying.
Inspiration: “Lying is done with words and also with silence.”- Adrienne Rich
One-day one-thing: Get rid of people you can not trust, no ifs, ands, or buts. Just do it.
I have an issue with getting too close. I could explain it away based on many things, now that I recognize much of the baggage I carry. But that doesn’t change it, and I question if it even need to be changed? Or am I like this because I want it this way?
Yesterday I had this imaginary turn of events play out in my head that lead a friendship from casual and strong to really really close friends. And that’s when I noticed this “pull-back” inside of me, I could physically feel it. It was like – Oh, I don’t want to do “that.”
Mind you, in the past few years I have lost five different friends each by one of the following ways; two by way of death, one good old fashion betrayal, one from a realization, and one because of relocation. Also during this same time my three children left the nest for college. (Irish triplets; I knew this day would come, didn’t make it any easier) Feelings of loss are never easy.
In the beginning, Unpack The Rat was focused solely on material stuff, clutter and junk, but when some of that stuff made me cry I knew there was much more stuff stuffed inside me. I
realize that now, right now, is the time to fix everything the best I can. It’s been brutal a continuing challenge.
Another thing I have learned during my journey is, it will go on as long as I am breathing. Meaning no matter what happens, I will have to work at conquering my demons every day, or they will take me over. My demon, disguised as clutter, boxes and disarray, is actually negativity and all that encompasses.
Much like an addiction, I have to fight negativity every day or it will overpower my mind, body and soul.
So right now, I am going to come up with five unproven tips to counter my negativity. Maybe they will help you, me or someone we know.
Five Instant Tips:
1. Stop swearing unless it’s used in positive comment. Example: ” That’s so f*cking incredible. I am so excited for you!” Swearing when you are upset or angry only serves to fuel and intensify any negative emotion.
2. Do not allow yourself to get hungry. We are grown people, we know we have to fuel our bodies and minds. Pack a lunch box to take wherever you go, make a first aid kit for the hungries. Suggestions for your kit: carrots, fruit, cheese, nuts, crackers and water. Dig in before you end up in a sour mood or even worse find yourself driving through Wendy’s or the likes.
3. Remember those who are thirsty. The time you waste being negative could be time spent promoting Charity Water . I am signing Unpack The Rat up today. ( if I can do it this way) Of course what this really means is help anyone (a person, animal or plant) who needs help rather than filling your own cup with negativity.
4. Daydream about a ridiculous or fabulous adventure. If you want, go ahead and close your eyes for a few seconds and slip away. Envision it all as if you were really there.
5. Be grateful for having the ability to love.
That’s what I came up with. Now I am going to Charity Water and see if I can sign up.
As for getting too close, I am not going to worry about it for now. Not everything needs an answer the moment you think of it. Sometimes you just need to “be.”
I be being.
Okay, it worked…..Here’s the link to donate to Unpack the Rat’s Charity Water campaign.
Un-learning is a new concept to me. Because I always believed that information was power and that I should acquire as much information as possible. Mind you in this case , I am not talking about real text book learning, just learning from what I experience and what I am subjected to in my life.
I never looked at my intake as something that wasn’t good for me. I took it all in without much of any sort of filter. I think I could classify much of this particular information as pure clutter that clouds my reality. I passively accepted images and messages, comments and ideas. Just took them in as what? the truth? maybe not, but they each received space on the bookshelves in my mind.
Through my blog I seem to be learning more about the mistakes I have made instead of the my successes. This in of itself can be very over whelming. All of a sudden while putting the pieces together you may find the errors of your own ways. You think to yourself, “Wow that wasn’t very bright of me to do this or that.” It can make for a miserable realization. Looking back sucks. It sucks when you acknowledge your mistakes, because there isn’t a un-do button anywhere.
That’s why the phrase, ” If I knew then what I know now…” is so commonly uttered and grumbled.
My rapid assumptions are dangerous, and knee jerk in nature. Without even considering alternatives, in a nano second, my mind jumps to a judgement, but based on what? What was learned in grade school? maybe? learned from home? or what was learned at a first job? That’s insanity.
It is time for me undo many thought processes and beliefs that put me where I am today. I need to start growing again mentally. I want to be free of the useless bullsh*t clutter in my head. I want to live a more fluid life, in the present, without the burden old beliefs in my head stomping out new possibilities.
Stretching your mind beyond your self-imposed limitations is hard work, but I completely believe you have to get past any and all stale assumptions/beliefs that skew your reality or that are holding you back in any shape or form. Some times these thoughts/beliefs are like voices (doesn’t matter who originally said the words) they knock you down as to why you cant do this or that. It’s crazy thinking. In our own minds, you would think we could control this better. I am going to try.
Today and every day forward, this is one of my goals. I will write it at the top of my to do list. I am going to start asking myself, before I register an assumption or judge; “Do I really knows this to be true?”
Tip: Try to notice when others people make assumptions and ask yourself if you ever do the same thing?
Inspiration:” You do not define anyone with your judgment. You only define yourself as someone who needs to judge. ” – Wayne Dyer
One-day one-thing: Conscientiously choose to have an open mind all day today: repeat daily.
Nothing accomplished. December has become another month to just make it through. To handle all the crises that came our way and try to do it without total self destruction. Look at me, it’s only the 2oth and I am already writing the month off.
I am in New York, and last night hearing my son tell me he is never ever moving back to Ohio makes me wonder than why the heck am I staying here? My daughter would like us to move some where near the east coast, so she could visit more easily when she wanted. My youngest son just wants to have his own room again. Heavy sigh. (he just informed me, So Cal.)
I don’t know how to handle a situation I can not control. We are not in a position to move anywhere, except maybe locally. Do you know how scarey it is to have to sell your house, and it doesn’t sell? Fourteen months on the market, not one offer. I never want to be there again. I also am not hip on getting a house that requires a bunch of repairs, but we are limited by our budget.
I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know how other people do it. How do they just start over? That’s one of our issues, we can’t start completely over, because we have commitments and constraints. We hold certain cards, and without picking up a pair of aces I think we are working with a measurable handicap.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t change, it’s just means we have to plan around everything.
For about a week, for maybe 5 days, we thought we had an answer. We believed we made a choice. But now, I am no longer interested in that. Too far and too close at the same time…why bother?
Just got our yearly Christmas news letter from some relatives. I mean seriously, I had to read it twice to make sure my sour mood wasn’t clouding my judgement. Nope, it wasn’t, still as pretentious as ever. Most years I don’t even read it.
Why did I choose to read it today? Because I am an idiot, who feels bad, and wanted to feel worse? No. I think I was honestly hoping for a twinkle light of inspiration. Not to be.
Have I mentioned how stressful the holidays are for me? I swear, the biggest luxury for me would be to avoid the entire Thanksgiving to New Years Day season.
I want to move beyond my dissatisfaction, but it’s inside me tightly holding hands with my lack of clarity.
I can’t tell myself what to do anymore. I can read my own advice and that helps in certain areas, but not this “where to live topic, how to get there, is it the right choice” dilemma. So so complicated.
I am flailing. Holding myself together, with avoidance, denial, and distractions. My own personal brand of ADD. A mental cocktail of sorts. I highly recommended it for anyone, in a messed up situation.
About to go out to dinner…..it’ will be great, I will be in full ADD mode. Cheers!
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
Last week I handled sorting my belts after a little self-talk-therapy. I now own four belts total. There’s a fifth one hiding in a box somewhere, and when I find it I have no doubt it be long out of style. Which brings me directly to my point today; style and de-cluttering your closet.
Before you sort clothes you ‘ll need to define your look, your style , or lack there of. Don’t worry if you feel lost doing this. In the end, if you haven’t figured it out, your clothes will tell you.
I have little style. I love fashion, and I buy fashion, but I don’t wear it. I am a dog person- rain or shine, a dirt person-yard and garden work is fun and I paint- the paint always finds it way on to whatever I am wearing.
I love comfort but at the same time I love the discomfort of high heels and formal gowns, black tie type formals. How many “black tie” events have I gone to in the last few years? Zilch. I love wearing formal gowns so much, I often daydream about having a themed party for ladies only and making the required dress code an already owned formal or gown. Play-dress-up and party. (No one ever likes this idea.)
Reality: I wear jeans. I swear to God, I think I wear them ever day of the year. So how many khakis, and slacks do I really need? Answer: Two pairs of dress slacks for business. No khaki’s needed, I only bought them for the two weeks I worked at Target.
To succeed in trimming your wardrobe you have to be brutally honest. It gets easier the more clothes you toss, a sorting momentum takes over. It feels good. Remember everyone has different requirements for their clothing needs so adjust accordingly. For example some people have uniforms and dress codes. Just make sure those items are always kept current and in good repair.
On to the work. Here are some top questions to ask yourself as you look at each item of clothing:
1. Have I worn this in the past year?
2. Does this piece remind me of anything negative or bad? If there is even the slightest bad memory associated you must toss/donate immediately, no excuses.
3. Does it fit now? Not ten pounds for now, today- remember brutal honesty.
4. Can you remember when you bought it? If it was so long ago, you say you have no idea, then get rid of it. (unless it’s become “vintage” and it passes all the other requirements)
5. Do you feel good about your self when you are wearing it?
6. Is it part of a total look or is it a stray that never looks right with anything? Toss/give away the stray.
7. Do you have to tug at it? Particularly under garments, stop the suffering now-toss.
8. Is the elastic rotten? ( I tried on an old swimsuit and the elastic crumbled. Sad but true.)
9. Do not think about how much something cost. Actually erase the amount spent from your memory bank. It’s useless information.
10. Any progress is good, you an always come back to and continue this task as a “one-thing one day” action.
Some minimalist are extreme in the clothing area. I am not. ( Remember -I am only in the process to minimalism) I like this easy route for now. Concentrating first on raising my clothing awareness will help me immediately in two areas; I will only buy what I know I will wear and my closet will only house items I like.
It’s your turn now. Look at your life and how you spend the majority of your time. Once you have a handle on that, you can begin downsizing your wardrobe. Use the questions as a guide. It will be inspiring, easy and you might even learn something.
Tip: Look up shelters for homeless and/or abused women and fresh start organizations. These woman will really benefit from your donation.
Inspiration: “I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.”~ Katharine Hepburn
“I’ve been shopping all my life and still have nothing to wear.” ~Author Unknown
One day – one thing: Sort underwear, socks, and all your shoes, if you still have time tackle your clothes in the closet.