When Will It Stop?

Wow. Where do i begin? It’s been a bit since i posted but i haven’t been able to get focused enough to put all of the words and thoughts together. i will try.

If you live in the U.S. you know whats been going on here. Our last few months have been a nightmare. Dealing with this pandemic and the politics have truly been crazy. Our leaders fighting amongst themselves on all levels- federal, state & local. People confused and angry, economy in a state of uncertainty. But for those of you not in this country let’s add in the latest factor. A murder of another innocent black male by a police officer.

Personally, i know very little about ongoing issues of racism in other countries. I know it exists, and i have skimmed articles off and on over the years. So i don’t make blanket statements about worldwide situations regarding this. But our country has been a hot bed which it continues to boil over, time and time again. Mainly , it is a matter of “white” verses “non-white” .

I have no desire to get into statistics as there is plenty of online stat sites for it. But, in general, i believe that the U.S. stands near the top of the chart when it comes to crimes committed against non-whites by whites beginning with the treatment of our Native Americans and the importing and enslavement of Blacks. There are many other instances of racism here, of course, but these two stand out the most in our minds. The effects of them are multi-generational and run deep.

With this most recent incident, the protests began, as they have with similar events along with the inevitable rioting, burning of buildings and mass looting . It has spread from the initial community where the incident happened to the rest of the nation with continued outrage , destruction, and aggression. Online, there has been almost nothing else but heated discussions about the brutality of our police force, the unresolved racism issues and the continued destruction, which has affected multiple businesses , neighborhoods and innocent persons.

All of this is happening during an election year and amidst a worldwide pandemic. It is utter chaos, and it is scary. I personally stand solidly on the side of those affected by such racism, but i certainly do not condone the crime and violence that comes from the reactions . I do not believe any sane person would wish to see innocent people suffering and i do not believe additional crime should be used in retaliation. But the reality is, this is war. Plain and simple. And in war, these things do happen.And sadly, that the time of peaceful resolution has long passed here on this issue.

I believe part of the problem is that because our nation has been a super power for so long, most have not truly seen warfare up close and in person , especially within the confines of our borders in their life time. The civil war ended in 1865. Since then, most of our military has been involved in wars outside of the country. And, outside of the military, most citizens have watched wars solely via the news on TV and online. It is tough to accept that destruction of property and other horrible crimes always go along with it and can happen this close to home. No one really wants to acknowledge it as “war”.

With all of it going on, it is almost impossible to lead normal lives here. With every passing day, there seems to be another crisis to deal with- emotionally, mentally and otherwise. As much as i try ( and i am sure others struggle with this as well) i still have been unable to “get my shit together”.

In addition to this , my family , work, and financial issues have also grown. As a result, i have succumbed to smoking more often than i should and spending many days doing only what i cannot avoid to keep functioning. There has been no consistency externally and thus, none internally. I continue praying that things will get better.

Rest assured that I haven’t given up on myself or my goals. I still have not bought any cigarettes myself ( bumming off my roomie) or descended into any alcohol relapses.My bills are getting paid, and i am healthy overall. At this time, it is all i can manage.

So here’s to the Future….and some sense of normalcy returning.

Namaste.

Of Lost Cars and Lost Dreams( Relationships)

No reason- just love this scene

I once owned a car that had been owned several times before it got to me.I loved that car, even though it wasn’t brand new, because it was still nice looking and ran beautifully. For the first year or so, i took very good care of it- regular oil changes and maintenance , car washes, and interior cleaning/vacumming. I hung sweet air fresheners, bought some seat covers, played with all the options and was ecstatic that it got me wherever i needed to go without any issues.After a while though, i started taking it for granted. I started skipping or putting off maintenance, stopped washing and vacuuming it all together and over time, even started leaving trash in it and not emptying the ashtray.Really, i figured, it didn’t need all that much attention- as long as i kept the gas tank filled and it had decent tires and passed inspection- we were good to go.

Another year or so went by and occasionally it had a hard time starting or some minor problem , but i only dealt with it when i had to.As long as it kept running and getting me where i needed, i was content.One day it started harder than usual. I kept trying and trying and after about 8 tries, it finally started roughly and we were down the road..for the first few miles it seemed ok but then it started making funny noises, they got louder..i turned the radio up and tried to ignore them. I tried to keep my mind off the possibility that something was wrong because i really really really didn’t want to deal with it.

But suddenly a squirrel ran out in front of me. As i tried fervently to brake i realized that something was wrong– very wrong..i couldn’t stop..and as i pulled on the emergency brake too late the car smashed head long into a traffic sign , rolling over on its side . Scared the crap out of me.I was ok, but shaken and got out . I called triple A, then my insurance company. The police came , took their report, and i Ubered home. The next day i rented a car, had mine towed home.I was devastated, i prayed and prayed that the car would magically fix itself, or that some angel would just come down and forgive me and i would wake up to my car being exactly as it used to be.”i’m sorry, i’m sorry- i made a mistake”- i kept repeating . But alas i realized it wasn’t going to happen.Over the next few weeks i found out how much it would cost to repair, and how much time it would take..i didn’t have the time, and even though the money was doable i just gave up and went directly to a dealership and obtained another car .

The new car was great at first, even though i was paying a HUGE monthly payment and higher insurance. It didn’t really have all the cool, quirky features as my old one but it smelled nice, and all my friends ooh-ed and ahhh-ed over it. I kept looking at the old car thinking i would get it fixed.After about 3 months i realized that i could no longer afford the apartment and the new car so i decided to move and down size. the old car remained in the driveway and i cut a deal with my landlord to sign over the title in lieu of my last months rent.

The new apartment was only a few blocks from my old one, so i still drove by my old car almost every day, and for almost a year it sat there. Then one day, it was gone.I really didn’t think too much about it until i happened to drive by the apartment one saturday morning to see the garage door opened and there was my “old” car. I just about passed out. The person who lived there was outside sitting on the porch so i took a chance and stopped in.

I explained what happened and the man listened intently. I couldn’t believe the car in the garage was actually my old car. It looked brand new- new paint, lots of new parts and was running without a hitch. worst of all i found out from the new owner that it was a rare model and after a few repairs was worth thousands more than it cost to fix, and far more than i had payed for it.The man said he absolutely loved the car, he had had it photographed for magazines and entered it into some contests and drove it daily to work. He had even taken it on a few vacations. He was obviously so in love with it, i didn’t dare ask to take it for a drive or even touch it. I was humiliated, angry at myself, and depressed.And as i got into my new( now older) car, i felt like i was driving a bargain basement Chevette. I no longer enjoyed it or even wanted it. But i was stuck..with the payments, costly maintenance and repairs and high insurance premiums.

What amazes me about this story , is that it shocks me to this day how some people treat relationships in exactly the same way. They pay attention to it for awhile when its new , then start taking it for granted. They let maintenance issues go,dont put any effort into fixing problems, pray for forgiveness for wrong doings and just hope it all goes away without any effort, time or pay out on their part.They believe if the ignore it, and just feel remorse instead of taking action there will be no consequences and the relationship will still be there when they need it.They don’t feel like taking any responsibility  for any problems and even when they do, it’s only to say they are sorry.

Then one day, they wake up to find that relationship, like the car, has been acquired by someone else who truly cherishes it, spend time caring for it, and feels lucky to have found it.

If i am ever lucky enough to have a car like that again, i will certainly not forget the lesson i learned. I will not let it go, and i will do whatever i have to to keep it well maintained,running and happy.Because in the end, theres nothing more worth while than something that takes care of us as much as we take care of it, or them.

Let’s Take a Break

in and out

I don’t know about you, but i need a short break..Yeah, i know this may somewhat contradict a post i wrote recently. But ya’ll know what we need a break from : talk about the pandemic and politics. Not saying there is anything wrong with discussing current events, but personally, i am sick of it right now so….

I wanted to write a few words about some other things and inspired by reading a few of your blog posts tonight i figured i would start with some transparency .Transparency is soul cleansing and is one of my most valued aspirations.

The past few months have been extremely stressful for so many in so many ways. However, much of my own stress doesn’t even directly derive from the current world situation. I have mentioned family health issues recently , but allow me to add to that major financial issues that continue to crop up unexpectedly no matter how well i plan , save or budget.These are things completely outside of my control.

Additionally , the recent experience with a former friend reeking havoc in our community with very serious allegations/accusations and the repurcussions . These have been so deeply emotional for myself and my roommate that we have hardly slept and i have had such an intense headache since it started which is unresolved with the usual OTC meds.

But this post isn’t really about all of that. The list is too long, details too great and ..hell- i’m sick of hearing myself whine about it all.

My “transparency” is about the results of the stress.

It is a sense of irony to me that within days of posting an update selfie on my Facebook profile( May 8th) that i have “16 months sobriety, 5 months smoke free, Age 53” and also stating i completed one full year of being completely single that the worst stress of all had yet to come. It feels like a premonition now- of just how easily we sometimes must eat our words, step down off our little pedestals, and realize our own limits.And our coping abilities can be stretched beyond what we are capable of . In the past few weeks i have ..cough , cough… failed at maintaining some of those commitments.

To be precise: i had a night( last week) when i drank 4 beers. And i have been puffing a few( very few, but still!) of my roommates cigarettes for about 2 weeks now. Additionally i have been eating terribly, and have not resumed any kind of exercise.There, i said it. Out loud. And it’s a relief. I have been holding in the guilt and that has made it exponentially worse.

The stress of everything has been a major factor. Not an excuse, but a factor. We all have our limits and i am certainly not impervious to my own weaknesses. I have noted that others have succumbed to such things recently and thankfully have been able to admit it. We are not Gods, we are not perfect, and we are not without weaknesses. So, what can we do?

I believe the very first step , beyond admission, is to accept it without continued guilt. I believe then we need to take a step back and see a bigger picture , ask ourselves some questions, then buckle down with a plan. In my humble opinion, we need to be realistic about the when and how such plan will be viable.

For me, given everything going on, i am working on mentally visualizing everyday, what i must do to work towards recovering some of these commitments , while re evaluating the others. It’s an ongoing process, in which FLEXIBILITY is the most important component. Because , seriously, no matter how many times i have planned and said my mantras and reinforced that “yes today is the day i WILL__________” something totally unexpected has arisen and crushed me.Things that are completely beyond my control, which have drained me physically, mentally and emotionally in a very sudden and unexpected way.

For example : i have said “today i WILL being walking outdoors again” . Then, within hours an major issue crops up preventing this from happening . It has led to repeated , prolonged bouts of guilt, depression and anxiety. Not productive. So now, the solution is committing to flexibility , acceptance ( for a short duration) , and some prompt self care aimed at regrouping.

At this point, i have NO idea when this nightmare/circus/devils merry-go-round will end. Therefore, i will be kind to myself, take things one day/one breath/one accomplishment at at time. I have faith that i will get there. I believe in myself.

And you should too.

Namaste.

Fight? or Flight?

I have a decision to make. To fight or walk away. And I have decided to ask  for opinions here, totally outside of the situation so that I can get objective perspectives:

My roommate and I have run an artist venue for over 3 years now, holding events such as art shows, comedy shows, and poetry readings as well as open mics for area musicians and other creatives . A few days ago, one of our former friends and local poets publicly slandered us in a way that hurt us deeply and  contradicts everything we have stood for while building our reputation as a venue , accusing us of using our “white privilege” to “steal” a spot at a another local venue for a monthly event we have held independently for many years. Sparing the details here, I will just say that absolutely none of the accusations or perceptions held any truth , but rather a contrived cover story for her own lack of commitment and responsibility that prevented her from obtaining the spot. Long story short—She had asked us to help her, we did so, and then she failed to respond to any messages or attempts to communicate. After several months with no response, we learned that she, along with another local poet, had started monthly event elsewhere , and we moved forward with our monthly events rather than leaving the vacancy in the community.

It all came as huge shock that she would betray us after we spent so much time getting things set up for her and overextending ourselves when at the very same time frame we had anticipated taking a break from events as we purchased a home and were moving, etc. We anticipated having a good year to get the new home and venue potential in order. But when we were approached, we felt we should try to help, in spite of the added stress and financial burden.

It exploded suddenly first in a Facebook thread on my own page, then went to her page , and after posting a very nasty list of accusations we were immediately blocked from responding , clearing our names or defending ourselves. It left both of us angry, frustrated and vulnerable. We made the only decision that seemed viable in the moment and publicly resigned from the spot rather than being associated with and entrenched in an ongoing online drama . We really did not want the added responsibility in the first place, so not interested in reclaiming it.

HOWEVER:

On one hand , our lack of any further defense and hasty resignation may easily be construed as “guilt”. This could easily affect us down the road when we had intended to re start our own events and expand, especially in such a small community. On the other hand, the explanation is lengthy( I have tried to condense it, but it’s still 3 pages long), and involves other people such as the director of the organization , team members, texts, messages, etc. It has been several days and I am at odds as to whether we should publicly attempt to clear our names . We have an extensive proof that her story is completely false- including messages, event page posts, time frames and dates, etc.

It would be good to have some outside perspectives and advice on the situation. It is the main reason I have waited to address the accusations in any way, not wanting to react with anger or cause any further problems. We have invested so much time, energy and money in our endeavors, and it just seems so unfair that someone could get away with tearing it all down like this.

Anyone willing to make suggestions?? I really hate to ask, but truly am at a crossroads.

It’s Time …..

a kick in the pants

People , we have been asleep too long. In many ways, we must begin to understand that this pandemic has shut down the most important centers of our brains and lulled us into a prolonged numbness from which we must endeavor to escape.Why & how does this happen? And why is it so easy to slip into without noticing it? Because we talk ourselves into acceptance of self gratification( the stage beyond self care) I have noted that many ( including myself) -while initially vowing to use this time to be still, explore our creative side, connect with family and other virtuous behaviors– at some point began to slip past to positive outcomes of these things and into a “rut” of sorts. In other words, there is now a “diminishing return” on the investment of ‘relaxing’ .

I would love to say here that i only speak for myself . But i am not. In the past week or so i have noted constant posts in my social media feed bemoaning the results of a constant diet of comfort food, increased alcohol consumption,lack of regular exercise and a waning interest in creativity. I have noted many slipping into a deeper self imposed isolation, a depressive state, along with a desire to over sleep. A great deal of my artist friends are experiencing “blocks” , parents who have lost that feeling of “newness” associated with reconnection , and others beginning to avoid life in ways they never have before( even prior to the pandemic).I have even noted a tremendous decline in people blogging. Again, i am guilty of almost all of this. The numbness must not be allowed to consume us.

What made me super aware of it all this morning was spontaneously deciding to read some old blog posts on here. I went back to the beginning of my project ( started in July last year) and began choosing random ones. WOW.

I saw just how much the quality of my writing and thinking in a productive manner has declined. I believe it started in January when i returned to Facebook and my initial project was complete but perked back up a bit with a new goal. Since the pandemic, however, it’s been a disaster. It’s been a sh*t show. It’s been….embarrassing.

Yes, i will forgive myself and you should too. We waste too much time on guilt as it is. But no matter where you are in the world right now, or what stage of this crisis you are in, i do not feel i am stretching to say this…it is time to WAKE UP. The world needs you back . YOU need you back.

Now get out there and do something about it!

So, I’m a Lobster

I was nominated for the Leibster award a few days ago. I started out stressing because i wasn’t sure how to copy & paste all of it and about having to nominate others . My issue was really that i don’t really interact as much as some with other bloggers so would feel strange picking just anyone. And those i do know a bit better have likely already been nominated. Then , one of you mentioned i could just answer the questions and forego the nomination part( making me the lobster instead) so here goes nothin’:

The questions:

1.If you had the ability to turn back time, what time period would you return to?

Most of my life I have automatically  said” the 60’s” but with the wisdom of aging I think probably the mid to late 1800’s- so much growth and achievement happening!! 

2.If you could return anything you own and get a refund, what would it be and why? 

 At this point, my car.

3.If you could get rid of one vegetable or fruit in the entire world, what would it be and why?

Kale. Because it’s gross.

4.Is there an item that you find completely useless and it shouldn’t even exist in the first place?

Banana hammocks…for pete’s sake.. they hang from a tree, they don’t lounge at the pool side.

5.If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

In Heaven , of course.

6.What is your biggest fear?

Any addiction.

7.What is your favorite family vacation?

Rodanthe , N.C.- ( ocean front cottage)

8.What would you change about yourself if you could?

My impatience.. for sure.

9.What really makes you angry?

When someone who is obviously very inexperienced or not educated about a certain topic or issue starts to and continues to give “advice” on it.

10.What is your proudest accomplishment?

ALWAYS rising from the ashes.

11.What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?

I don’t go to movies. I only stream online. Never really dug the whole movie theatre scene. I get too fidgety , have to pee, and the prices are crazy!!! I usually just binge watch shows with lots of seasons, and it’s a variety. Mainly though I like documentaries….all kinds. And they all make me “think”…just about different things.

11 facts:

  1. I have many degrees and certifications including ( but not limited to): auto mechanics, personal trainer, diet & nutrition ,2 nursing degrees and hypnotherapist. I have  also attended school for law, psychology, and business management/accounting ( but never completed those).
  2. I have owned 4 houses in my lifetime.
  3. I am allergic to almost everything- animals, plants, foods, etc. Surprised I am not allergic to water.
  4. I am horrible in intimate relationships. Absolutely horrible.
  5.  I LOVE chemistry.
  6. I am a libertarian , by nature. I do not vote.
  7. I hate showers…they make me feel like I am being assaulted.
  8. I leave drawers, cabinets & doors open all the time..i just can’t seem to control this habit.
  9. I miss my youth but am glad to be older and wiser.
  10. I have never had a better friend than my current roommate. Hands down.
  11. It has taken me a very long time, but I am learning not to be as reactive, impulsive and defensive as I have been most of my life.

I hope others will continue this tradition. i apologize for my fears and not following the rules exactly..:(

Is it Time to do a Purge?

A short one here folks. Tonight i decide to go back and look through who my followers are, at least- the ones i haven’t connected with personally. Oddly, i found that at least 1/4 are “business” type blogs and by that i mean, promoting some sort of service or product. I was wondering…does anyone else get this? I am thinking of purging some. Not sure if they are “harmful” or not…any thoughts?

Also..good thing i checked..a few are downright unacceptable- men looking for sex..obviously deleted.. how in the world does that happen??? When i go looking for blogs i type in the tags- sobriety, menopause, etc..what would lead this type to my blog and how can i avoid it?

Namaste!