writing

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. :)

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Unpack the Rat’s costume: a novelist

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I have fallen behind in my de-cluttering of useless stuff, the junk in the garage, etc…. and now I am about to write a novel.  I still have no clue as to what I am going to write, but it starts November 1, 2011, which is tomorrow.

I will be busy with that, and won’t have much time for Unpack the Rat.   I’m going to  continue my journey to living better with less for sure.  Unpack the Rat has been the best thing that ‘s happened to me in a long time!  I’ve learned so much.

Happy Halloween-from my friend Unpack the Bat

Clearing out the emotional clutter was is so incredibly important to me.  Well come to think about it, all the cluttered areas are equally important to me.  They’re all connected and they influence each other.  I never, in a million years, imagined that clearing out boxes and shoes would lead to clearing out everything else and re-inventing my life.

I have a long road ahead, more work to be done, but it’s not as overwhelming as it was before.  I hope to have some great accomplishments, tips, and stories to write about when I return to Unpack the Rat.  I am excited.  Life is good, even when it’s not. :)

Thank you for reading.  I’ll be back.

Until then I wish you peace and love,

Shirley Trevor

PostScript: I really value Unpack the Rat as a place I can unload my feelings, so I may not be able to stay away. This whole “novel” writing adventure is getting a bit intimidating.

Tip: “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”~John Lennon

Inspiration:

Every-day one thing: “Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino

Tree at the end of my street -fall color- nature’s incredible design. click for hi-res

I could be a drug addict.

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Magically, some how I was able to paint, raise children, work, clean, list paintings to sell, walk the dogs and go shopping, carpool kids, plan vacations, watch sporting events, join friends for lectures, belong to book clubs and enjoy social events, all at  same time.  I was super woman.

What the h*ll happened to me?

Devastation and deep depression.  Only the devastation was far less to be worried about, now looking backwards.  The depression, which I definitely categorize as pure sadness was so real.  Our business was struggling, my Mother became ill, my children were all leaving the house for college at the same time, a lifetime friend betrayed me, my other good friend died, and we couldn’t sell our house which had become to expensive for us.  And don’t even get me started regarding the IRS.  Dealing with all these issues was difficult at best.

So this is what I did.  I started a blog just for me.  I called it my sad blog.  I wrote how I felt.  If nothing more it provided an outlet.  Every morning I would sit down get coffee and listen to two songs and I would write as they played. Sometimes I  replayed them over and over again.

I played this one first:  the house that built me

Then I would play this one: you haven’t seen the last of me.

These songs brought me comfort and put a voice and words to my feelings.  However they also made me cry.  You see I  could  barely speak during this time.  Most times I would try to talk, tears would start flowing, all on their own.  Sad slow tears would well-up and peacefully roll down my cheeks.  I was a mess.   I wore sunglasses to work,  closed my office door, fell behind on everything I needed to do.  I stared out the windows or at the screen. There was no relief.  None.

During this dark period there were moments when everything was going to be fixed.  Once we were close to working a deal with the bank, or the time we almost merged with a company in Connecticut.   We were in final stages in both instances.  Hopes were high, everything was making perfect sense, everything look good, then boom.  Neither deal closed.  Up and down, hope and disappointment. Repeatedly.

I was broken.

I continued to do what I could, which wasn’t much.  Here is one entry from my personal  blog:

Sad but True

The best part of my day is knowing it will end.

Right now I can say I am better.  Much better.  I have listed some of the things and people who helped me to  pull myself up and out of my sea of despair. (btw- I am allergic to all antidepressants, so they ended up not being an option)

1.)  I joined Cross-fit. (thanks Libby ) That helped me with my energy level, attitude and it boosted my self confidence. Plus I got stronger. Even though it was really expensive it was well worth the investment.

2.) I started to get rid of all the useless stuff in my life.  Thus the birth of the “Unpack the Rat.” I was doing the work anyway and I thought I may as well write about it, so I could recognize my wins and grow though the process.

3.) I started to embrace ideas which I always admired but I never truly believed they could ever fit into my life.  I made room for new ideas.  In other words, I believe in possibilities once again.

4.) I started reading these bloggers – Thanks James and Claudia. Highly recommended.

5.) I stopped trying to prove myself to anyone.  I am what I am, either like me or not.

6.) I let go of any shame.  The financial disaster didn’t just hit our business  it was global.  Our business was categorized as “small enough to fail.”  (my choice words for the “selected” bails-outs sound like this @#$% ^%$@#%)

7.) I stopped pretending everything was okay. Then I identified what I could change and what I couldn’t change.

8.) I learned who had my back.  It wasn’t my siblings or in-laws.  I acknowledge that those family members are never going to change.  I stopped wishing for, hoping for and expecting something that never did, and never will exist.

9.) I looked to my husband.  I realized without him I am nothing.  He is the love of my life.  And he is my rock.  He has my back – forever and always.

10.) My children are among my greatest loves.  They are my  are super heroes, helping, never complaining, and always offering up the bright side of life.  I can’t even list how many ways they have supported and inspired me during my life.  I am so very proud of each of them.

The list could go on and on, so many other people deserve my gratitude.  Some of these people I know well.  Others, I don’t even know their names.

Anyway, time eventually ran out and  I had to tell my kids we were losing their childhood home.  I felt we let them down. I was ashamed to tell them we sold our house to the bank.  (We were lucky to do that, we  avoided foreclosure.)

My one son said to me, ” It doesn’t matter Mom.  Home is where ever my family is.”  I was stunned by his comment.  I will never forget his kind and wise words.

Perspectives from those I love and those who love me helped pull me through.  I take it one step at a time, and I still have a long way to go.  But I have faith we will get there some day.  And that “there” will be a place that we all will call “home.”

(I would like to add, this took me well over a year.  Maybe as long as 18 months, and still to this day sadness creeps in.  At least now I know I can somehow, some way, make it not hurt as much.)

Tip: Know who is your real family, and always keep the door open for new members related or not.

Inspiration: One of my daughter’s message of encouragement.

I woke up to this message, my daughter had primed the entire kitchen during the night while I slept.

One-day one-thing: Getting back to de-cluttering:  Sort your cosmetics, first-aid inventory and general bathroom supplies. These items expire, forget how much you paid for them, they are useless clutter.

PostScript: Just moments after writing this I was slammed with yet one more enormous disappointment.   I know why people turn to drugs, prescriptions or not.  I know.  I am growing so very tired of the fight, but I can’t give up, I’ve work too hard to get here.  I’m grabbing a beer.  And maybe I’ll read my own posts, how to stay up, and faith in not knowing  and then again maybe I won’t.

Cheers with a smile. :)

How many journals does it take to screw in a light bulb?

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The answer: zero.

A brand new journal sat before me.  I longed to pour my heart out on the pages so that some day I could see where I had been and how deeply I felt.  I wanted nothing more than to fill my journals with beautiful words that would read like a novel.  I created images in my mind of sipping tea and peacefully writing by candlelight, no less.

I was delusional.

Journal-ing became huge when my children were in grade school.  They started at the third grade level and I thought it looked like a good idea.  So I attempted it.  I think my longest consecutive journal-ing lasted four days, tops.

When I was a kid, I was given a diary and told, “Never put anything in writing that will come back to bite you.”   Well that wasn’t any fun, so I wrote in code.  A code that means absolutely nothing to me now, pure gibberish.

What I carried forward into my adult life from that was fear.  The fear of putting things in writing.  My fear extended into me sharing very little, being secretive and guarding my thoughts.  I admit, I am a very private person.  But maybe it stems from the intense code of secrecy I was taught to live by. 

( in all honesty I never even considered that before writing this – that’s the light bulb here)

The really funny thing is no one really cares what someone else thinks or writes, especially when it’s in their journal hidden in a drawer under lock and key. So write to your hearts content, tell stories, write about your dreams, swear, use slang, forget grammer – it doesn’t matter at all.

I have collected all my partially filled journals.  I am not even going to read them.  I am letting go, yet again.  Letting go of one more belief that held me back.  It feels good.

Cheers!

Tip: Question authority.

Inspiration: “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” ~Elvis Presley

One-day one thing:  Sort old documents, letters and cards.  Paper clutter is among the worse, because it lingers and grows when you are not looking.

Nanowrimo

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I have sign up for Nanowrimo.   National Novel Writing Month.

Why did I do this?  Well, I thought, why not?  I mean in all reality, TV is really crappy and it’s a waste of my time.  And what else do I have to do, besides get rid of all my stuff, work, and take care of our family and our dogs and cats, paint and exercise?

Why not write a novel?  I have never really ever even considered writing a book.  Why not try?  What else is there to do in November other than write about 1667 words per day?  In the end,  I will have something I didn’t have before.  I’ll meet some “writer” people and learn something along the way.  Plus it doesn’t cost a penny.  Sounds like a good thing to me.

I’m kind of excited.  I bought a WordPress theme called “Chapters” and I am almost ready to go.  Oh wait, I need a plot and a story to tell.  Hopefully within the next 22 days I can think of something.

Peace.

It’s Sunday, I shouldn’t even be writing this.

Tip: Write even if you only have 15 minutes.

Inspiration:  “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”  ~Sylvia Plath

One-thing one-thing: Un-clutter your day: Make a schedule for tomorrow and see if you can stick to it.