Posted in four letter words, life lessons, motivational mondays

On “No” and the Power of Ants, part Duh!

thCA2PFOLH

A few months years ago, I blogged about the power of ants, and the danger of C-word.

I’m a bad/non-practicing Jew, but I have friends and family members who are Orthodox/Torah-observant who pray to G-d. Although there isn’t anything in Jewish law against writing out the word, they believe his name is holy/has power, and choose to treat the English version with the same level of respect as the Hebrew equivalents.

I feel the same way about the c-word. C*nt isn’t holy, but the word has power – and I refuse to use it any longer.

What? No, not THAT c-word – I mean, that word is (extremely) offensive, but it wasn’t the c-word I was referring to….

Oops. Color my face red.

embarrassed-emoji-1640463

I missed an apostrophe. I’m talking about c*n’t, not c*nt. Let me be clear – the c-word I’m referring to is cann*t.

Sorry for the confusion – let’s just agree to call it “c” to avoid further embarrassment. Lower case, to avoid having it confused with “the big C” (I don’t want to use THAT c-word either. Nobody does, which is why people always whisper when they say it). What’s so bad about “c” you ask? As I said in my original post, it’s the filthiest four-letter word I know, which is saying a lot (in case you’re new to my blog, I swear all the time). “‘c’ is a dream killer and soul crusher. It’s the EIC (Evil Inner Critic) run rampant – the voice in your head telling you that you’re too old, too busy, too female, too sleep deprived to take a chance and try something new. The voice that makes you question yourself before you even know that you want to try. The voice that sounds like you, whispering the dreaded “what if” in your ear. “What if I fail? What if people laugh? What if I hurt myself?” The EIC is a liar, and he/she will use the n-word and the c-word and anything with not in it to prevent you from achieving your goals.”

I know what you’re thinking – haven’t we talked about this already? Why am I rehashing an old post? Don’t I have anything new to say?

Wait. That’s not you – that’s the EIC. Evidently he didn’t like being called a liar. He’s been quiet for a long time (probably because I haven’t been writing), but he’s back in a big way. I’m letting him have his say, because letting someone speak until they “run out of steam” is just one of the techniques I’ve learned in my mandatory “effective communication” class. He’s the one in red.

I have to admit, he has a point. I have talked about this before.

Repeatedly.

Yes, thank you EIC, I’ve talked about this repeatedly – because it’s important.

To you.

Yes, to me. It’s important to me – but it’s important to other people too (at least I hope it is). I want to know/understand what stops you (not you personally, although I would be interested, if you’d like to share). I want to understand what stops people from pursuing their dreams.

In my pursuit of answers, I started listening to the Hay House You Can Heal Your Life Summit 2022. Full disclosure – I’ve tried listening to their podcasts before. “Tried” being the key word. I am a Full blown Cynic, so I have a hard time believing that the millionaires are offering their programs for free (and many times, they ARE simply plugging their products). I also find it unlikely that any of these one-percenters could relate to the struggles we’re going through.

BUT (yes, it’s a big but)

I was listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer’s episode today. He was talking about his Excuses Begone! paradigm. Some of what he said (ok, a lot most of what he said) is very “new-agey” (as are most of the Hay House episodes). I disagreed with some of this viewpoints, or at least they way he verbalized them. He believed we are all 100% responsible for our trauma – that it’s not the trauma, but our reaction to it and that if “other people didn’t respond to fighting with fear” it’s our fault that we did. I believe that we are not responsible for the traumatic events in our past (blaming the victim is not helpful) but we ARE 100% responsible for our healing. I’m working on mine.

but (smaller but)

He also said that we need to change the way we talk to ourselves (are you listening EIC?). He said that when we talk about something (losing weight, ending addiction, finding/ending a relationship) being “hard” we are MAKING it hard. Not to be too “woo-woo”, but basically G-d/the universe/our higher power always says “yes” – so when you say it will be hard, it becomes so. Dr. Dyer instructs us to change our thinking habits – that when we hear ourselves say “I c*n’t”, we flip it. “I c*n’t afford it” becomes “The money will come” and (in my case) “Finding a traditional publisher is difficult” becomes “The right publisher will love my book”. He reminds us that words have power, and tells of to be mindful of the messages we hold on to. The stories we tell ourselves shape our lives.

Or, to quote my younger self, “The next time the EIC whispers “you can’t”, tell him that there’s an ant in “can’t”, and ants can do amazing things, including lifting ten times their body weight.”

Then get out there and chase those dreams, because they won’t chase you back.

Tell me – what negative message do you need to let go of?

Posted in Weird Wednesdays

High There

mask
image courtesy of mary janes hq.com

Have you heard the news? Marijuana cures Covid!

That’s a lie. Have you forgotten already? I know I’ve been MIA for a while (well, more than a while in blogging days, less than a while if we’re using football time), but I’ve said it (repeatedly) – I lie, a lot. I can’t help it. I’ve been “telling stories” since I was young. 

According to a recent study by scientists at Oregon State University and Oregon health and Science University, smoking Marijuana won’t keep you safe from the plague Covid19, but hemp compounds appear to be the latest alt-remedy in our fight against Captain Trips.

As reported by multiple agencies including the New York Post, the study indicates that two acids present in hemp (CBGA and CBDA) prevent the virus from replicating. “These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” said lead author Richard van Breemen of OSU’s Global Hemp Innovation Center. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans. And our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-Cov-2.”

Don’t light up just yet. Van Breeman disputes claims that smoking marijuana would have the same results: “The benefit for preventing viral infection of cells must come from cannabinoid acids, which are heat sensitive and must not be smoked, or it would convert them to CBD and so forth,” van Breemen said. “So that wouldn’t work for the antiviral effect.”

Is anyone surprised? The CBD industry is flourishing, with claims that it can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. A December 2020 article from the Mayo Clinic states that “a prescription cannabidiol (CBD) oil is considered an effective anti-seizure medication.” You heard that right – Epidiolex is being used to treat epilepsy! Scientists are also exploring the benefit s of CBD to treat hepatitis C Kaposi sarcoma and multiple sclerosis.

I have to admit, I’m getting a little tired of wearing a mask to the gym. I’m “of a certain age” and not in the best shape (hey, round is a shape) so breathing during cardio is hard enough. Making it more difficult to breathe gives me yet another excuse to avoid the gym. Popping a pill is definitely preferable – especially one which won’t give me the munchies. I’ve already gained the #Covid15, I don’t need any help.

Look, Cannabis might not bring an end to the pandemic, but I’m glad that scientists are continuing to look for answers. I miss people (which is weird, since I’m not really a people person)

On a lighter note:

joke-the-cure-900x508[1]

So tell me, what weird news do you have for me?

Posted in 2022

Screw You January

no-resolutions

How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

My New Year’s resolution was, once again, to write on a more consistent basis. I also resolved to eat right and exercise regularly, to get in shape (hey, “round” is a shape) and to spend more time with people I love.

So of course Covid numbers are on the rise, and I have no doubt we’ll be shutting down again, and the only time I’ll spend with people is on the dreaded zoom calls. I know, I know, zoom is better than nothing – and I wouldn’t hate them if I had better lighting (and a hair and make-up team).

Working from home means that the fridge and stove are too close for my waistline (hello #covid15) and the “Here’s what’s bad and sad today” (aka the news) has me powering through chocolate and chips. Seriously where’s John Krasinski and SGN when you need him?

Which is the long winded way of saying that it’s January 17th and I’ve already failed in my New Year’s resolutions. The EIC insists that I’m a failure, but I know better. Failing does not make you a failure, it makes you human. Failing means that you are trying something new and/or difficult. I’m listening to We Can Do Hard Things as I write, and Glennon just said that when we make resolutions we are setting ourselves up to fail – and that her current attitude is “Screw You January” (yes, I swiped her attitude, because she totally rocks).

So, instead of setting New Year’s resolutions, maybe we should set New Year’s goals. My GOAL is to start blogging on a more consistent basis. At this point, blogging more than once every six months would be a start.

If you’ve mis-stepped in your new year’s resolutions, we can start fresh any moment, as this cutie reminds us

Posted in days of the week, Thursday

Happy Thor’s Day

Chris_Hemsworth_as_ThorGood morning!

I am trying to get back into the habit of posting on a regular basis, and once a week is regular, right? (side note – if once a week is the only day you’re…mmmm…”eliminating” please seek medical attention).

I couldn’t think of anything to say (not that it’s stopped me before) so I thought I’d share some interesting facts about Thursday. Yes, there are interesting facts. Well, “interesting” might be pushing it, and I’m not sure they’re actually “factual” so….

ANYWAY – Here are some Things about the fourth day of the week (or fifth, if you start on Sunday):

According to live science, Thursday, “Thor’s day,” gets its English name after the hammer-wielding Norse god of thunder, strength and protection. The Roman god Jupiter, as well as being the king of gods, was the god of the sky and thunder. “Thursday” comes from Old English “Þūnresdæg.” (please don’t ask me to pronounce it)

Thor is the son of Odin and Frigga. Wednesday is “Odin’s Day” and Friday is “Frigga’s Day.” Seeing that Thor’s birth mother is actually Jörð, (or Gaea) it makes sense that he should come between them. BTW, the fact that this goddess chose to love and accept Odin’s bastard son makes her my hero.

On non-Thor news –

Thanks to the fact site, I learned that there’s actually a post-hardcore rock band named Thursday. I’m not a fan of hardcore rock, but you can check out their video “Understanding in a Car Crash” here. TBH the only understanding I’ve reached from a car crash is that whiplash sucks big time, and that some insurance adjusters are asshats.

asshat
image courtesy of Penelope Jordan

I also discovered that “In some American high schools during the 1950s and 1960s wearing the color green on a Thursday would lead to people believing you were gay.” Really? Green? Rainbows are so much more inclusive.

In case you didn’t know, Jupiter is the Roman equivalent of Thor. In Latin, the possessive case of Jupiter was “lovis” which means that the Latin name for Thursday was “lovis Dies” which my brain insists on translating to “love dies.” Look, Odin was a cheating bastard and Frigga was “forced” to raise Thor as her own. Is it any wonder that love dies?

Sorry, I just can’t seem to get away from Thor. Although Chris Hemsworth is NOT a redhead, he’s still very pretty, and I can totally relate to his version of a stress eating sorrow drowning Thor.

FAT THOR

In my search for interesting facts about Thursday, I discovered that you can buy a Mjölnir lamp and now I want one. My birthday is this month #justsaying.

Thor - Hammer Mjölnir - decorative wall lamp - Lamp

And that’s all there is to print (until next Thursday, at least). Enjoy your Friday eve everyone!

And tell me…do you have any fascinating facts to share? (or pictures of Chris Hemsworth?)

Posted in life lessons, mental health

The Stories We Tell

GirlTalking“Are you telling stories?”

I have a clear memory of being asked that more than once while I was growing up.

Ok – maybe not a clear memory. It’s slightly hazy. Or not so slightly. Geeze Louise people, weren’t you listening when I said that I lie?

Which brings us back to my opening sentence. “Are you telling stories?” was my family’s gentle way of asking if I was being 100% honest, or if I was “telling tall tales.” Full disclosure – I told a lot of stories when I was young. The pendulum swung way to the other side as the years passed, and by my mid-twenties I was brutally honest (TBH I was kind of an asshole).

Somewhere along the way I realized that although honesty may be the best policy, white lies don’t make people cry. But I still like telling stories. Not “tall tales” or “white lies” I mean stories – rambling “get to the point stories” about my day/the news/a social media post. I enjoy sharing stories about my life. My favorite story is the one that kicked off my blog – the story of how this happy anti-suburbanite DINK (Dual Income No Kids) became an Accidental Mother. I have to admit that my stories have gotten longer as I’ve gotten older. I blame hormones – menopause has kicked my ADHD into overdrive, and every thought triggers a new one.

My stories hold no risk. That’s not true – but the risk is small, and not life-threatening (at least I don’t think it is. If it kills me, I’ll pop by to let you know. I might also rearrange the objects on your dresser or turn your lights off and on, because that’s what ghosts do). The greatest risk with me telling stories is that I’ll ramble on and on and on so long that eventually you’ll lose interest, or that I’ll get so far off track that I can’t remember my point and eventually just trail off into an uncomfortable silence.

The stories I tell others are (hopefully) amusing and light, short and to the point. I aim to entertain – sometimes I miss the mark, but at least my stories won’t put you in danger. Some stories will. It’s hard to believe that stories can be dangerous, but it’s true. Not the stories we tell others (unless you tell them where you hid the body/treasure) – I’m referring to the stories we tell ourselves.

my story

I’ve been hearing a lot about the dangers of the stories we tell ourselves lately. Jen Sincero dedicates a whole chapter to the subject in You Are A Badass, the subject has come up several times in my favorite podcast, and Brene Brown spends a lot of time talking about our Stormy First Draft:

“When something happens that triggers strong emotions, we often immediately create a story to make sense of what happened… a SFD is our brain’s way of making sense of something when we don’t have full information. We are a meaning-making species. In the absence of data, we make up stories because having complete information is a self-protective survival skill. But these stories often magnify our fears and anxieties.”

The universe kept nudging me, but (because I am an obtuse magpie) I didn’t pay attention until it came up yet again in my women’s circle. In all honesty, I didn’t realize how dangerous these stories could be until I heard theirs.  

I know what you’re thinking (I do – I’m psychic! No, wait, I’m psychotic. Dammit I can’t remember which) – “How in the H E double toothpicks can stories be dangerous?”

The leader of our women’s circle explained that the stories we tell ourselves keep us stuck in an endless lifecycle loop – we keep repeating our story until we learn from it. Or, to paraphrase Jen Sincero – “If the story you tell yourself is that you cannot find a good life partner, you will continue to date a string of losers people who are the less than perfect match.” 

In her book Rising Strong, Brene Brown tells us that “The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worthiness. We must reclaim the truth about our lovability, divinity, and creativity.” She goes on to say that the first SFD “may be the most dangerous (story) of all….Just because someone isn’t willing or able to love us, it doesn’t mean that we are unlovable.”

The women in my circle are amazing. Smart, talented, articulate. We vary in age, and our backgrounds and personal histories are differ, but the story we’ve told ourselves is the same.

“I’m not worthy.”

I’ve been telling myself that story for fiftyish years now. It kept me in bad relationships and stopped me from pursuing my dreams. I have no doubt that my story gave life to and continues to feed the EIC. I’ve finished that story and am starting a new one. Jen Sincero makes it sound easy. She says that we need to recognize that our story is “how we survived as kids but it doesn’t serve us anymore” and that we need to “Bust yourself in your own tired old broken records right now so you can set about rewriting your stories and create the kind of life you love.” Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Wish me luck.

I am grateful to the women in my circle for giving me a much needed wake-up call. I owe a debt of gratitude to my long-time friend Dawn “Bambi” Taylor for suggesting that I “check out” Brene Brown. I want to thank Jen Sincero for reminding me that I am a badass. Mostly, I am grateful for all y’all for listening to my rambling story. 

So what’s my new story? Not to go all Stuart Smalley on you (and yes, I realize I’m dating myself with that reference – my husband won’t let me date anyone else), but I’m starting with something familiar:

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

P.S. – for those of you who are interested, I came across an excellent TED talk from Dr. Colleen Georges on how to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves. You can check it out here

So tell me – what’s YOUR story?

What-story-are-you-telling-yourself-1
image courtey of sharonhuges.net

Posted in life lessons

I’m a Bad Penny

bad pennyHey look who’s back! Yep, just when you thought it was safe to return to your news feed, it’s the bad blogger. 

Ugh. I’m trying to avoid negative labels, but I’ve already failed. That’s okay – you know what FAIL means, right?

First

Attempt

I

Learning

It really should be First Attempt At Learning, but that would mean that I was FAALing, which is far too close to falling – and at my age, falling is something I need to avoid. Failing, however, is different. Failing is important. I know, I know, it seems counter-intuitive – we (as a society, but especially women) view failure as proof that we are unworthy impostors. We are proud of our successes and embarrassed and ashamed by our failures. Don’t believe me? Take a quick glance through your social media feed – do you REALLY think that all of your friends are living perfect lives?

We need to change how we view failure. By stressing the importance of success, we are teaching ourselves (and our children) to fear failure. We are quite literally failing our children by teaching them not to fail. There are plenty of TED talks on the importance of failing, but IMHO the most important reason is that failing means that you are moving out of your comfort zone and trying something new. 

ANYWAY

I’m back bitches! 

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA (again). I was going to blame it on Covid/stress/life or the fact that Time is a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey thing, but then I remembered what they* say – “When you point a finger, there are three more pointing back at you.” 

Yes, the pandemic and stress and work and grief and life contributed to my writer’s block, but I have no one to blame but myself. I have been going through stuff, but hasn’t everyone? Actually, I’ve been going through All The Stuff. I have spent the past 6 months organizing and getting rid of things. Boxes of books and clothes – donated. Old papers – shredded. Pictures – all stored in one bin (OMG digital albums are so much easier). I haven’t exactly morphed into Marie Kondo, but I have been purging. If I could just stop binging all the beers I’d be able to lose the Covid15.

covid15

But that wasn’t my point. Yes, I actually have one. Once again, the train has gone off the track. TBH not only has it gone off the track, the cars have rolled down the hill and into the lake.

ANYWAY. I’ve been wanting to write, but was having a hard time coming up with a topic. The longer I went without writing, the harder it was to begin again. It bothered me at first, but I found ways to avoid looking at the empty page (empty page? HA! I didn’t even bother opening the notebook). It’s amazing how many things we can find that “need” to be done when we’re trying to avoid doing the thing we should be doing or the one that scares us (Hey, writing is scary. So are spiders).

I started listening to audiobooks at work (I know this fact seems completely random, but hang in there, it will make sense in a minute – or maybe it won’t. Hang in there anyway). This week I am listening to Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. I love her – not only because her shows are AMAZING, but because she is a strong, powerful woman who admits that it is impossible to do it all (no matter what Cosmo magazine says). She begins by telling us why we should say “yes” to things:

“Saying no has gotten me here. Here sucks. Saying yes might be my way to someplace better. If not a way to someplace better, at least to someplace different.”

NBC news listed the top five lessons from her book. The first one resonated. That’s a lie (for those of you who are new here, I lie and swear – alot). It didn’t just resonate, it shouted my name and slapped me upside the head:

1) Say ‘Yes’ to Using Your Voice

Rhimes confesses to hiding her voice in her Grey’s Anatomy character Cristina Yang, allowing Yang to say all the things she wasn’t brave enough to say in the real world. But when Rhimes accepted that the real world could benefit from hearing her actual voice — that she could stand up and speak out on important issues and actually affect change — she swallowed her fears, wiped off her sweaty palms and began to speak.

Being Rhimes-level successful isn’t a prerequisite for using your voice. The single qualifier is that you’re a person on earth. You inherently matter and so does your experience. Whether it’s on a stage or through your Twitter feed, you have the power to impact your corner of the world for the better by swallowing your fear, standing up for what’s right and speaking out in love. You never know how your voice can change a person’s life.

One more time for the people in the back:

You inherently matter, and so does your experience.

Writing is scary. Speaking up is scary. Spiders are scary. Hell, just living is scary. It’s scary enough during “normal” times, and the times we are living in are nowhere close to normal. 

Swallow your fear and start to speak. Someone needs to  hear your story. 

2863836-Neil-LaBute-Quote-Everyone-has-a-story

*Who are “they’ anyway, five little men on a hill?

Posted in loss

Griefball

grief like an ocean
image courtesy of whatsyourgrief.com

Editors note – Griefball is kind of like dodgeball, but not as painful. Or more painful, but without the giant red balls (if you or someone you love has giant red balls, please seek immediate medical attention).

Well, it’s Wednesday again – and my attempt to reboot my blog with theme days (Motivational Monday, Weird/Wacky Wednesdays) is not working for me. I’m not surprised. I’ve always been more of a “go with the flow” hippy/dippy chick (which irritates my inner Virgo no end). Plans are good, but we need to make room for all of Life’s surprises – or, as my Jewish grandmother would say Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht (Man plans, and God Laughs).

Which is just a long-winded explanation excuse for why I’m not sharing news of the weird. 

Can I be honest? (does anyone ever respond to that with “no, please lie to me”?) I’m not in the mood for weird and wacky. I tried being light and funny, but Tears of a Clown started running through my head (yes, it’s an earworm – if I have to suffer, so do you). 

Today is the deathaversary of my brother of heart. It’s been a rough week. Last week was his heavenly birthday, and today marks four years since he “shuffled off his mortal coil.” It’s weird. It feels like forever ago, and yet, it feels like I just talked talked to him yesterday. It could be because Time has been melted by the Pandemic, or that he keeps popping up in Facebook Memories. Then again, if The Sixth Sense is to be believed, it’s because he talks to me when I think I’m dreaming. He’s one ofthe many friends and family members who pop up at inopportune times (i.e. when I’m dreaming of fruity rum being served up poolside by cabana boys.)

I used to think that there was a time limit to grief. I was wrong. I also thought that there were stages to grief. I was wrong about that too. Or maybe not quite. There are stages to grief, but there isn’t linear progression from loss to healing. Sana’s post explains it better. “Grief is hard to understand as it entails so many different emotions and looks differently for each person.” Her post includes the perfect image for how grief works.

griefball

So today is a grey day. As it so happens, it’s grey outside too. I love the rain, but the fact that the sky is reflecting my mood is weird, which means this is the perfect post for a Wednesday after all.

So tell me – how do you deal with grief and earworms?

For those of you who are younger than dirt, here’s Smokey:

Posted in motivational mondays

Love, Me*

motivational-monday
image courtesy of blog.terrificwords.com

It’s Motivational Monday. To be perfectly honest, I’m not feeling very motivated. But as I said earlier, I am trying to be a better blogger, so I am learning to write even when I don’t feel up to the challenge (yay me! Um…yeah. Even that small attempt at a boost failed to make me feel any less Meh.)

I could blame the environment (literal, political, social – take your pick) or the fact that this time of year SUCKS ASS (too many heavenly birthdays and deathaversaries) but it doesn’t really matter. To be honest (albeit not perfectly) it’s entirely possible that I’m just a Bitch (I’m sure my housemates would vote for the last one. After 14 months of quarantine, we’re all shopping for white oleander).

The why is not important. What matters is that I’m writing even though I don’t want to – because it’s Monday, and it’s the first day of a new month, which means it’s a good time to begin again quick reminder – you can choose to begin again at any moment – now is as good a time as any). I also got a nudge from Love Yourself Infinitely:

How To Move Forward In Life » Love Yourself Infinitely

“Life is not a bed of roses. We all learn this truth one day, in one form or the other. There are times when we feel alone, face setbacks, and end up feeling stuck in one place. This fear of failure or disappointment leaves one stagnant. Sometimes it is lack of motivation, positivity, or mere courage that holds us back from getting up and moving forward in life.”

I’ve been watching the replay of “Becoming Unstoppable: a 1-Day Live Confidence-Building Virtual Event” lead by Jamie Kern Lima. She created the event to celebrate the release of her book Believe It. The book tells her story of overcoming doubt, fear and haters (“No one is going to buy makeup from someone who has your body”). Her story is amazing, as were the guests who showed up during her event. So much love and support from so many incredible people. You should check out her video, book and website

I was going to share some of the advice from the event, but my husband has been binging Fringe for the umpteenth time (seems random, but stay with me, I have a point).. If you haven’t seen it, you should check out the first season at the very least (writing, cast and story are superb). I love Walter, and on Friday he said something that resonate. Something I want to leave you with. 

“I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. You have no idea how extraordinary you are. If you embrace that, there is no end to what you can do” – Walter Bishop, The Last Sam Weiss (S3 Ep21)

*Quick note – grammar is important “Love, me” is completely different than my original title “Love me?”

And here’s a little Walter Bishop for your entertainment

Posted in 2021, Weird Wednesdays

It’s “Meh”day*

meh

Actually, it’s not. Today is Wednesday. It is. Trust me. I know that the pandemic and lock down has messed with our minds and that time has become a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, but it’s Wednesday. I think. I mean, I thought yesterday was Wednesday, but (checking calendar) yes, today is Wednesday.

Wednesdays are usually dedicated to News of the Weird, but today is also my brother’s birthday. This may be confusing to those who know me, because I only have one brother, and he used to be younger than me (now that he’s 50 he gets to be the older sibling). I’m talking about my other brother.

Mario was not my brother by blood, but he was my brother of heart, and today would have been his 63rd birthday. I miss him more than ever and I’m just not in the mood for weird and wacky – which is funny (ironic?) because Mario worked really hard to make people laugh, no matter how much pain he was in.

Mario had health issues which made it difficult for him to stand or walk, but it didn’t stop him from doing..well, anything. He just didn’t let it stop him. Period. He still drove to and hiked in his happiest place on earth (Yosemite). He still went to hockey games and worked 60 hour weeks and stood up when people entered the room and rolled around on the ground with his furbaby.

I know that the past 14 months have been hard for everyone. I KNOW that we’re tired of being locked in – that we miss our friends and family and movies and plays and travel and school and restaurants and all the things that made up our “normal” lives. I also know that (for most of us, at least) we are very lucky. We can still call or zoom or skype or facetime with those we love. We can order food from our favorite restaurants and stream movies in our living room. We can hike (thanks to the lockdown, the girl and I discovered a whole slew of trails close to our home) or “sweat to the oldies.”

It is in our nature to mourn the things that are missing and moan about the things we lack. It takes a conscious effort to appreciate what we have – but if we are to survive this year with sanity (somewhat) intact, it’s what we need to do.

I used to laugh when I heard people talking about “gratitude journals” and “the power of gratitude.” I thought it was a hippy-dippy mindset, and that the uber rich celebrities pushing the practice couldn’t possibly know how hard my life was. Trust me when I say the past 10 years haven’t been a cakewalk (side not – have you ever been on a cakewalk? Weirdest game ever).

This is hard for me to admit, but I was wr…

I was wro….wrrrrrrr….

Huh. I thought I only had issues with the n-word. Guess I was wrrrr….(OMG let’s not start THAT again).

I was mistaken.

If we are to survive the quarantine with sanity (somewhat) intact, we need to shift our focus from what we CAN’T do to what we CAN. We need to stop wallowing in our worries and start wondering about what we could do to help our friends and neighbors. It’s weird, but research shows that “In helping others, you help yourself.” 

Huh. Wednesday turned out to be weird after all. 

One last tip to holding on to your sanity – remember that this too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.

Also, furbabies make everything better..

mario

*In my search for a “meh” photo, I found this incredible shirt. Someone needs to buy it for me. I would buy it, but I’m feeling “meh.” 

meh shirt

Posted in mental health, motivational mondays

Labels are for Food and Clothing

label

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I had every intention of Getting Things Done, but the Universe had other plans. Of course, the EIC insists that I am making excuses, and I am just lazy. The EIC is an asshole, and he is constantly barraging me with a slew of negative labels. Lazy. Stupid. Bad. The good news is that I am getting better at ignoring him. We shouldn’t believe labels, but if we’re going to use them, we should pick the ones that are empowering and uplifting. Confused? Let me explain. Ugh. Now I have The Princess Bride running through my head.

Back BM (Before Motherhood) I was an actress. When I first started out, I had horrible stage fright. HORRIBLE, as in “I’m pretty sure I’m going to pass out or throw up on stage.” Fortunately, I had an incredible acting coach, and he gave me some important advice: Nervous and Excited feel exactly the same – the only difference is the way you label it. 

Sounds simple, right? It’s simple and effective. When I stopped labeling my butterflies and sweaty palms as nervous/afraid and started seeing it as “excited” I had a huge breakthrough. Changing the label changed my mindset, and I was able to use the energy to fuel my performance. 

Let me be clear – labels are useful for clothing and food (especially when you’re gluten sensitive, like the girl) – but other than that, they’re at best useless. AT BEST. But if we’re going to label ourselves, we need to choose carefully.

In a “There is no such thing as a coincidence” I came across a live event featuring Mel Robbins (thank you Facebook). In case you hadn’t heard of her (I hadn’t) she wrote The Five Second Rule, and she has a YouTube channel. She spent most of her time discussing about the negative narrative that runs through our head and the fact that we need to stop treating ourselves badly. 

I’ve spent too many years listening to the endless loop of negative voices telling me what I’m not. The good news is that it’s a new year and a new week which means it’s a good time to begin again. Then again, you can make a fresh start at any moment.

I won’t say “Have a great week” because that’s a lot of pressure for those of us who are people pleasers – instead I’ll say “Have a week.” Stay safe, and please be as kind to yourself as you are to your friends.

kind

 

 

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