Grateful

The Typical House in St Lucia outside of the tourist area- from my Missions trip in 2010

So, it’s been a few days and my last post had only one comment. I suppose no one really knows what to do,or maybe my usual crew missed the post or perhaps there are just so many varying feelings about the whole thing no one wants to express anything.

So, let me take a guess based on some of the things i have been seeing people saying online related to it all ( not my post specifically- which they haven’t seen)

  1. “People should be grateful to receive a check during this crisis.”
  2. “People should be grateful to have a job when others are losing theirs.”
  3. “People should be grateful to not have to go to work”
  4. OMG..the political bashing and blaming…enough said
  5. “People shouldn’t be taxed on this check, it takes away the point of helping”
  6. ” I’m not gonna listen to any of it. I’ll do whatever i want, go where i want, when i want”
  7. “People need to stay at home.Period”
  8. “People need to stop panicking”

It goes on & on.

Here is my take. At this time, it is UNCLEAR as to whether the check will be taxable down the road. It is also UNCLEAR when we will be getting it. It is UNCLEAR if there will be any consequences down the road such as added items in the bill. We just don’t know. Hell, we don’t even know for certain if we will be getting anything , as individuals. So in spite of my previous rant, i will now acquiesce to letting things just run their course. I will not continue to make assessments and statements when obviously , ultimately- NO ONE KNOWS for sure where all of this- the virus, the longterm affects, the money, the jobs,etc.- is going. I have no crystal ball.If i get the money, i get it. If i don’t , i don’t. And whatever the end result, it is what it is.

My worries right now are just speculation. I worry about the reactions of those who are not in any way prepared for isolation. I worry about people getting desperate ( mentally, emotionally, physically).I worry about the alcoholics/addicts who are unable to get their fix.I worry about increased criminal activity due to financial or material lack. i worry about the entirety of what this will mean for the economy for years to come.

BUT

I cannot do anything about any of this. What i can do is go to work, pay my bills, stay healthy( sleep, eat, meditate). I can keep going through the motions and not let emotions take over. I can be grateful for the things i do have, and not ruminate about what i don’t. I am not in a third world country. i still have electricity, clean water, heat, food, a car, a job. Our country ( U.S.) in spite of all its cons , has a lot to be grateful for.Many countries do NOT have money for unemployment compensation, food reserves, or basic life essentials. We take so many things for granted.And when i see the immediate, knee jerk reactions to the day to day news, i can remind myself that things could be a LOT worse. The photo above is one of the typical structures used for housing on the island of ST. Lucia outside of the tiny little port/tourist area most of us only see. The is “home” for most families. It’s one of my own personal photos, not from google. The poverty is real.

I hope again that all of you are safe, feeling well, and have what you need. Big Virtual Hugs!

The New/Old Project

So, this is the needlework project i have finally gotten back to. I started it years ago then lost interest. Along with that loss, i also lost much of the transferred ink design( faded) so doing my best now to fill in what i can. It’s a bit of a break from watching Netflix and much easier to set up at work over the water color sketchbook art i was doing instead for a long time.

On another note, i wish i had the right words to say for everyone right now. This is a time of so many feelings ..some changing, some exaggerated, some unstable, some peaceful.There is no ONE size fits all. Depending on your past experience and current situation you may be experiencing turmoil in ways you never anticipated. I know i certainly am!

On one hand, we have a mess of rumors going around here in the U.S. on various levels of government , on social media, and in the local sectors . It’s tough to watch the absolute chaos and breakdown of basic courtesy at times.It’s tough to see dissemination rule over common sense . Its tough to see people not seeing the forest for the trees. On the other hand, i did not expect much else and don’t for quite some time. The dust has not even begun to settle. And we are living in truly uncertain days. It is war without the guns.It is mutiny without the ship or the captain. It is a time when some of the herd will congregate and some will wander off. I chose to wander off a while back, because i believe one can only think for oneself once we take time away from the pack mentality.And because of that, i truly understand what i need to do and CAN do for others now.

This does not, however , mean selfishness, and i believe that a good deal of those who are in forced isolation are one step away from forgetting that we exist to help each other. It is not dog eat dog. This is the MOST Important time to remember that physical separation requires a stronger emotional cohesiveness. Social isolation creates a desperate need for the exact opposite – “connection”.

Remember this from school? “For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.” You CAN be the reaction.

If i have any advice to give right now, it is this( and i do not say this lightly): After you take some time to begin adapting, start asking yourself what the end goal is. And i do not mean stuff like following the laws, staying safe & healthy, paying the bills, keeping food on your plates, and a roof over your head. I mean the real end goal. The example you set right now is so important- for your children, for your friends, neighbors and the world at large. Are you helping? growing and learning? or worrying? complaining?

Because when this is over the real question is going to remain…what did you do with the time you were given?

Namaste.

Helllllooooooooo ..( echo, echo, echo)

So quiet out there.After several days off Facebook, I went back on out of sheer boredom. On one hand, because of my previous hiatus my feed is quite neutral for the most part. But occasionally, a troll does pop up. I have kept my personal opinions  to myself (meaning not expressing them publicly). It seems as if so many are acting either out of character or have totally exaggerated their normal character and you just never know with all the stress when someone will explode.

I feel calmer making some statements on here. One being that I believe a lot of the knee jerk reactions will die down shortly, regardless of whether things escalate with the virus. The whole thing could de-escalate as well.NO ONE really knows at this point. Either way, I think we can all do our best to stay sane one day at a time by reminding ourselves that we are ultimately not in control of everything anyway. 

I am feeling grateful to have the low risk job in healthcare. Basically , a pediatric home care nurse will continue to work through whatever the crisis is because it is one on one with the same family. In my case the dad is a non-essential worker so staying home  and not socializing, mom is in administration and seems to be mainly working from home as well. The other kids are off from school so very little germs being spread. As well, being an essential worker during this time, I will not be prevented from working. The only fear I would have down the road is if insurance stops paying for home care due to parents being home. But that’s unlikely.

My roomie is laid off however and this puts additional strain on the finances because we don’t know how long it will last. I do rely on her rent to a degree as well as her contribution to some basic household items. But at this time, unemployment will mainly just keep her afloat with her own bills and I care more about her well-being than the loss of any income to me. Not seriously stressing but I am taking on extra shifts and cutting back as much as I can on personal expenses and groceries.

So, that’s the wrap here. Other than that just maintaining on the diet at 123-125lbs. Cannot justify paying extra for special food and running around trying to find things with such low supplies. Just eating what I have. Boredom is a huge factor as well and trying to find things outside of Netflix to do.

Hope everyone is holding up well. 

Namaste!

Common Sense

During times like this it is always helpful to take a look back through history. History is and always will be , our most useful teacher. So, in that vain, i give you the following from my own experience as a nurse, as someone who went through the last economic crisis, gas rationing( as a child- i remember it well!) and as a former city resident.

  1. Are your hands suddenly dry? With every flu season and epidemic, people start washing their hands like they alone hold all the germs on the planet in their palms and need to wash every 5 minutes. Thats fine..no one stopping you. But make it a point to carry moisturizer( along with the hand sanitizers) and use it each time as well. Cracks in your skin are open portals for infection. In fact, use it even more often than you wash your hands.
  2. Be sure to eat all of your perishable foods first. I know some of you know this but there are also some digging into the non perishables too soon. Think ahead. For me right now i want my comfort food and really have to discipline myself to eat those fresh produce items first so they don’t go bad. The frozen and canned stuff can wait till later.
  3. Watch gas prices. I expect them to rise over the next few weeks. I know this may sound pre emptive but again, you have to be smart and see the logistics. If you do have to keep driving for work, or even get to the store, be sure to fill up as soon as you are half empty at the latest. You just never know when it may become less available or a bigger expense.
  4. It is allergy season in many parts of the country. Chances are, your sinuses will be telling you somethings up. This does not necessarily mean you have contracted the virus or flu. More people are simply suffering from seasonal allergies. If you don’t have fever , you likely do NOT have the flu. Don’t panic. Try some OTC meds first.Also- don’t hoard flu meds.
  5. The medical field is overwhelmed right now and will become increasingly so. Try to be patient. Appointments will be cancelled if they are not dire. Surgeries will be rescheduled..and this IS for the best MOST of the time. Hospitals are petri dishes.. Better to wait if possibly can rather than risk unneccessary exposure.
  6. If you are a parent who has rarely ever had to spend this much time at home and alone with your children it can strain your nerves no matter how good of a parent you are. You don’t have to constantly entertain them, nor should you be spending hours neglecting them( example on your phone) OR yelling at them all day. Use restraint, take breaks for yourself and realize this is stressful for them also.Hot baths, meditation time, a small dessert alone( in a closet if you have to) or just keeping a routine helps.
  7. Don’t read this one if you are prone to panicking. This is a time when criminals are very much aware of the vulnerability. Dont fall for scams- they are on the rise. Be aware of your surroundings when you go out. Keep lights on outside at night, especially if in the city. Don’t tell all your neighbors or post online how much TP food or supplies you have. Be smart.
  8. Don’t be afraid to take care of others if you have weighed the risks. Many of the elderly and medically fragile need supplies, medications, etc. You CAN pick up scripts and items and drop off packages at their door -then text them when you have gone. People need gloves, masks, and hygiene products. DON’T HOARD.If you have the ability , health and means – try to do what you can for the less able. Check on your friends through text, messaging and phone.
  9. Be prepared for massive drops in your mutual funds, stocks, etc. We went through the bail outs before. If you recall the few years afterwards( housing market ,etc.) do as much as you can to prepare. By this i mean – save money , stop spending on things you really don’t need, and conserve energy. Don’t look to your neighbors and friends to do this, or spend any time judging what they do.. It starts with YOU.Be the example.
  10. And, finally- use this time wisely. There’s much being said out there about that and i won’t beleaguer it. ( art, reading, time with family etc). There are a lot of positives that can come out of this for our environment and our awareness of the human race in general. Strive to find the good.

Namaste!

Do Nothing

Many years ago i started my first blog on Blogger.com. In the intro, i refer to “sleeping in the arms of the dragon”. I know that unless people have seen Excalibur( the 1981 film version) , they probably wonder what the heck i am referring to. But the phrase has always had a major impact on my life. I first saw the film in 1986 and at that time i was sifting through many life challenges, and as a naive 19 year old, has SO many questions . Fortunately my Guru suggested i watch this and ever since, whenever i feel overwhelmed i go back to the clip as a reminder.

What is the dragon?Well, the dragon covers many things, as the clip expresses so very eloquently. Things we fear, the unknown, etc. And at the moment i would have to say the general panic about the virus. No matter what information you choose to believe , the feeling of the unknown can be overwhelming and sometimes we just need to do what Merlin suggests. “Sleep..rest in the arms of the dragon…dream.”

Side note: There are many magical and profound moments in this film. I often am re- astounded at the depth of the script. IMDb has a list of quotes here: ( for anyone interested) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082348/quotes/qt0376234

I hope everyone is well and using this time to reconnect with whatever you can- maybe a lost hobby, maybe your children, perhaps trying some new recipes, or watching old family videos. Prayers and hugs going out to you all.

Namaste!

Time for a Quarantine of My Own

So apparently i should listen to my conscience more often. I know i am unable to moderate anything. And, NO, i didn’t relapse with alcohol…i am talking about social media. I took 6 months away, back on in january and lately have been sucked back in by the toxicity and drama again. I have been checking every day when i get up and several times a night, getting upset …posting then deleting…i’m telling you- it’s just like alcohol– once i start, i cannot moderate. So, tomorrow deactivating for another time frame. No announcements, just- poof!.

I honestly believe i was much healthier mentally for the 6 months i was away, despite the loneliness and isolation. I also believe it’s why i haven’t been able to blog recently or stop my negativity and anger from getting the best of me. The hatred, the political crap, the virus crap- call me weak…it’s just too much. Peace of mind matters more to me than proving anything .

When i was offline , i got so much accomplished. I wasn’t swayed by the media. I wasn’t affected by opinions or emotional drama. I just did my thing. Now, i have been unable to ignore it and thus, post my reactions as well. Grr…when will i learn? Hopefully another break will help , at least until some of it dies down.And i can get back to normalcy.

I have also had the misfortune to notice that some passive aggressive posting that feels like nothing but jealousy. Did not expect that, but some people can’t just be happy for you.

So, anyway, hopefully i will be back to writing here again, focusing on my goals and the usual again. I miss everyone.

namaste!

Just Going Through the Motions

Been a few days since I have been on here. Just seems like sometimes lately I have very little to share. There are some of you who read mostly for recovery stuff, some who read for the life challenges/changes, and some for the diet/weight loss posts. I enjoy writing about each. I do also try to keep up with everyone else’s posts several times a week and I am grateful for this blogging space.

I guess I am in yet another space of time where I just feel like one day blends into the next. I am having no intense feelings about much of anything and am pretty much just going through the motions of work/eat/sleep.

Weight staying at 122 on average, no cravings for alcohol, and basically just sleeping  a LOT, and working as much a so can to pay off some debt. I am eating between 1400-1500 calories a day and not feeling deprived at all. I sincerely believe that sleeping so much has helped ( 10-12 hours without food each day), plus I feel less emotional for the most part, which as a side effect has benefitted me in every other area.. I never even feel rushed or under pressure any more. Hopefully I will be inspired to write more specifically soon and I hope everyone is well.

The Art of Remembrance

Lately I have expressed a few lightning bolts that have increased my self awareness. Most of these profoundly life changing. But some have just been subtle memories come to light, in a gentle reminding way that has smoothed out the edges of the others.

Today at my kitchen sink as I washed my dishes I allowed myself to remember some of the positive things about previous relationships. Like the time I was on the back of a motorcycle going 100 mph feeling the wind in my face and the beauty of the fall foliage. Like the time I watched snow fall gently onto a deck as a bottle of wine chilled outside for later. Or laying on a soft rug, listening to rainfall through a screen door as my partner snored quietly beside me. Or walking through the mountains together on a summers eve. And another time seeing my partner gazing at me through a window, adoring me silently and smiling without words. 

Yes, over the years there have been many positive times with my relationships, despite whatever they became. And while I am in this process of banishing those men from my memory for good for my own sanity and in order to move forward, I wanted to take some time to re visit the good times as well.

It is good to remember that no matter what happened, there was a time when I once loved each of them, when things were good and special moments occurred that I treasured. I am still trying to find a way to keep the good and forget the bad. 

Just my thoughts for the day…

Namaste:)

“But, You’re So Pretty….”

How many times have I heard this phrase, inevitably followed by:

“How can you be single?”

“Life is easier for you”

“You can’t have THAT many problems”

“If I looked like you , I’d_____” ( fill in the blank)??

More than I can count and it has always rubbed me the wrong way.

Tonight, I decided to go a little off topic. I don’t know how many other women have heard the above most of their lives, but I suspect too many. And when I say that I mean, the assumption of the person saying it is completely asinine and I truly hope no one reading this has ever said ANY OF THE ABOVE to another human being.

Now, mind you, I am older now and have lost some of my youthful good looks. I have gone through a lot with this and my own vanity in the past year. But , with the recent progress concerning my “innards” , I have also started remembering things that have been frequently said to me most of my life( this being one) and wondering “How has this affected my perspectives and views?”

Here are the conclusions I have come to. 

  1. Hearing that from a young age, especially as a female, immediately puts you in the frame of mind that your value is equal to how you look.
  2. Hence, you begin to feel like , that being what is valuable, it is something you need to focus on
  3. If you keep hearing it , it just reinforces that belief
  4. God Forbid you lose any looks because if you aren’t being “stared at” you have failed as a woman.
  5. After many years, it starts to seem like an insult, in that, you aren’t worth anything more. Like -no one cares about  or notices your intellect or experience or skills in other areas.
  6. One day, you also realize that there are actually people ( mainly other women) who actually resent you because of the way you look and use these phrases as an undercutting, jealous remark.
  7. Soon, you also realize that there are other people ( even men) who truly believe some of this.

 And then, Wow. Inside you just want to scream “ If only I had no problems. Gee, life is so f*cking easy- way easier for me than everyone else. Golly, if I could hand you a magic wand and make you see your own beauty, I would( then maybe you would have the “dream life “ I have). Of course I don’t need to work or prove myself or any of that- I just walk into the store and get all my food and stuff for free because I am “pretty”. How can I be single? Whaaaaat????? How do I even answer that question without sounding egotistical, bitchy, or narcissistic? It’s a trick question!”

So, we go through life not knowing what to say. Knowing, anything we can or do say WILL be held against us. We want someone to talk to about it, but we cant. We ,at times, try to look plain or even become invisible, just to avoid the insinuations. We feel BAD about ourselves, more than many can possibly imagine. What others see, is not what WE see in the mirror. We only see expectations, failures, and low self-worth. We only see struggling to maintain and the knowledge that we WILL eventually fail.

Fast forward to getting older. All our lives, looks have been our survival. And suddenly, they are fading. Many ,many women- including myself- go through severe depression and a loss of “self”. We try botox, spa treatments, expensive beauty products, more make-up, less make up, excessive exercise, dieting and the list goes on. If we do try to talk about it we hear “just be thankful you have looked so good all your life, and you still look good for your age.” OR “ You should just learn to be comfortable in your own skin” OR “That’s vanity . Looks aren’t everything”. Sometimes we hear those things, seeing the actual “gleam” in someone’s eye.. and we know that underneath of the statement is a sense of spite as well.( “Ha! Now you know how the rest of us feel! Good!”)

Do I say this for sympathy? Nope. But maybe for a little perspective. Because it’s not about the individual. It is about culture, society, and how we are “housebroken” by the media and our environment. It’s about the expectations of a woman not to ever age,or gain weight, or slow down- much less realize our own value as a person. And men, it isn’t even about you. Because you too , have been brow beaten by society to perform and appear in expected ways. But, I digress.

So, why DO I bring this thought forth? Because of the absolute peace I have made with it all over the past few weeks as I have looked at some of the beliefs and values I have held all my life, and of course, digging into where they came from. My statements above are probably nothing new, and I am sure at least the last half is common to women around the world. I say this because I want to encourage all women ( and men) to maybe think before they speak, especially when it comes to our children. Stop telling our daughters they are “beautiful” in a physical sense and start telling them they are “wonderful” inside & out. Stop telling our boys they have to “be a man” or “stop crying” or “Don’t be a sissy” and start telling them they are “amazing” just as they are. 

And for God’s sake, as an adult- stop saying these things to other adult humans. Because NO ONE is ugly on the outside. Ugly is only on the inside.

update: still get this sHizzle…one from friday..at least my personality was mentioned

Namaste!

Recovery Round Up

always deep in thought

( this weeks conclusions and thoughts)

Some of you have read my recent stories, and this isn’t a repeat of all that but rather just a brain summary for the week. i am now not only relieved of the burden i have carried for so long, but am feeling finally a sense of who i am( less scared about that!) and more importantly, understanding WHY i allowed alcohol to become the addiction it did in my life. I certainly haven’t suddenly become “cured” but i have a deeper sense of about why i tend to turn towards a substance to drown out things.

It was like, all those years i kept looking for and finding a space to bury things inside. I would dig deeper and deeper until one day i couldn’t find any space at all. Then , i found a different one. It was at the bottom of a bottle. Year after year, binge after binge, i would secretly stash all of those insecurities, fears, and anything i wanted to avoid thinking about in those bottles. The side effect of all of that eventually became waking up to those empty bottles- on the counter, on the floor, in the trash- glaring at me- screaming out their names and causing me endless anxiety, dread and depression. It seemed as if the more i threw them out, the louder they would call to me until i was unable to sleep from the roaring nightmares and waking in cold sweats. And no matter how hard i pressed my fingers into my ears and tried to scream back louder to stop them, they would persist. I had no more space left inside, and now i had nowhere to shove them away outside of myself either . I had no choice but to round up and face the demons, listen to their taunts, try to decipher their meaning, and figure out what to do. There would be no more hiding. There was nowhere left to hide.


The recovery started with realizing that the type of men who were now pursuing me were only the worst of the worst type. The predators, the misogynists , the wounded birds, the Peter Pans.THIS is what i was attracting- and that impact of that discovery was like a ton of bricks falling on my head. I started then seeing the other people i had surrounded myself with- the emotional vampires, the soul thieves, the users and takers, the eternal “victims of life”. I started looking at family and how my mother and father had affected me, as well as my mothers choices of partners. I even looked at my feelings towards my own children- my need to protect them from my life long secrets , while at the same time , being ashamed of being myself , lest they be embarrassed or worse yet- reject me and not speak to me again. I started looking at my “community” and how i viewed myself through their eyes to the point that many of my decisions were based on what i thought they thought of me, wanted from me, or at least what i assumed they did. And i realized- i had never made any decisions solely on what “I” wanted, what was good for “me” and what i actually needed. Only on what others needed or wanted for me.. MY WHOLE LIFE!!!! Like a bolt of lightning, i realized i no longer needed anyones approval or permission for ANYTHING. Much less, permission to be myself, make my own decisions, and live my life for ME.


But before i even realized the DEPTH of it all and really started processing my past, i knew i had to take some drastic actions to separate myself from the toxicity.First, i worked on getting and staying sober. After a few months, i knew i also had to break it off with my current boyfriend and remain single to focus on that goal and others.Next, I decided i no longer wanted a venue in my own personal space, and we made an announcement , followed by a decision to do our events at an outside venue. Then i decided to move physically away from the city and the people who had consumed my life for so many years. I bought a house in the suburbs. At the same time, i separated myself from the social media community of Facebook, delving back into blogging instead. A month after i moved , being close to a year sober, i quit smoking cigarettes. And finally, i decided to do an overhaul of my physical self, including losing some of the weight i had gained in the last year. In December, i decided to finally start the process of changing nursing agencies in order to gain better insurance , some PTO time , and other benefits despite taking a pay cut.


In between all of these larger goals however, the person i had been began changing in smaller ways as well. I gave up tanning, doing my make up and hair daily( deciding to go back to my natural color over the next few months), wearing “body flattering” outfits for anything, choosing comfort instead. I stopped attending some events, limited others and forcing myself to go to artistic get togethers which had become more of an obligation than anything i enjoyed. I stopped putting my work in shows i really wasn’t interested in. I stopped hosting extra events or participating in most that i had only done because i felt i “should”. I stopped forcing myself to do art at work every night, and just took time away. I cancelled my gym membership and began walking outside, mostly alone.While all of these things were necessary, the immediate effects were not pleasant.


Basically, the co component of all of this was isolation. I went through deep depression, anxiety and loneliness. I felt a lack of purpose, and after several rejections from men in one years time, i had such low self esteem it felt hopeless.I was also in debt with my new home. I was in the throes of perimenopause as well,and all that comes with it- most of which i hadn’t expected and it was devastating.
Throughout all of it, i have been learning though.

Even in the darkest moments. I still have no idea where i will end up, or how many things will play out. Will i ever get my debt resolved? Will i ever again have a partner and more specifically , one that will share my life and values equally ? Will we be happy together? Will “I” ever be happy? Every day i still get through on a wing and a prayer. I take lots deep breaths- so many are needed just to keep going. The best i can say at this point is that even though i may not be through the worst of it, i have made it through so far. And if there is worse to come, i will have to just take it one breath at a time as well. I put one foot in front of the other, suck it up, and move forward.
Namaste.