Tag Archives: stress

How YOU Doing?

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It’s Day 3 of 2020 – how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? I only set one…and I’ve already broken it. The fact that I broke my one resolution in the first week of the new year kept me up last night (or maybe it was all the coffee I drank, or my ever changing hormone levels). In any case, on this third day of the new year I am both sleep deprived and overly caffeinated – a combination which sends my ADHD into overdrive.

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Image courtesy of btechfilms.com

Then again, maybe it’s stress that’s keeping me awake. My husband is “in-between” jobs, and my brain keeps asking me “What if he never finds a job? Age discrimination may be illegal, but you have to be able to prove that’s why you didn’t get hired.”  I’ve tried taking a deep breath and responding with “We’ve been through this before, and things always work out” which is when my brain switches to “He’s lost a lot of weight – what if he has a tumor?”  My brain is an asshole.

And so I find myself wide awake at 3AM (almost) every night. My New Year’s resolution to be as kind to myself as I am to others should probably have included “get more rest” and “worry less” but, as I mentioned before, I have a hard enough time keeping ONE resolution, and I didn’t want to set myself up for failure by creating a never ending list of things I want to change about myself.

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With all the “New year, new me” posts out there (as well as the media push to brainwash us into believing that we’ll finally be happy if we are thinner/stronger/have a new car/different shoes/different clothes/remodel our houses/spendspendspend and BTW you don’t have enough in savings and will never be ever to retire) it’s no wonder that most of us have a list as long as the Jolly Green Giant’s arm.

 

Which is why I liked this 2018 “New year, same me” post by Kathleen of JustKISFI HATE the saying, “New Year, New You”. Really, I do. I despise it. And every year at this time, you see it EVERYWHERE! Why do you need a completely new you? Is EVERYTHING about the old you just wrong? Is there not ONE thing you like about yourself?? I doubt it. Sure, we aren’t perfect, and we have things we don’t particularly like about ourselves. Honestly, I’d be worried if there wasn’t something about yourself that you’d like to improve. But a whole new you? I don’t think so.

I’m going to make 2020 the year where I ignore what society/advertisers/the media tells me I should be, and just be my best self. I’d love it if you’d do the same. Let’s start a Be True To You revolution (meetings at 3AM nightly).

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The Game of Life

th5I’ve done it again – allowed the four letter word known as Life to knock me off the writing track. It’s not that Life is a bitch (and not just in a strong, intelligent independent way), or that she cheats when we play her game. Life is a rollercoaster, and getting off track can be bad. Nobody wants to ride the coaster off the rails, especially when you’re rounding the top corner.

My life has been busy, and uneven, but no more so than usual – so why did I stop writing? (And, right on cue, the EIC pipes up with “Because you’re lazy!” Thank you so very little, Evil Inner Critic).

I blame S&H*. Stress and hormones melted my brain and kept new ideas at bay, caused me to lose sleep (boo!) weight (yay!) and hair (boo!). They also caused me to crave beer, salt and sugar, but that’s neither here nor there. Whatever the cause, I found myself spiraling, once again, into the pit of despair.

I spent a long time trying to figure out what “caused” my depression, and then it hit me. My life hasn’t changed, but our world has. I know that change is inevitable, but things do not appear to be changing for the better. This election (don’t forget to vote!) has brought out a level of hostility, racism and sexism that knocked me so far off track I thought I’d woken up in the past and found myself trying to collect green stamps again.

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I used to say that I was raised to be color blind. I’ve been assured by several people that “color blindness” is just not possible, so I won’t say that, but I’m not sure what else to say. I was raised by parents who chose to focus less on the external (race/sex/sexual orientation/religion/career) and more on what type of person the individual was. I was raised to believe that every person is entitled to an opinion, and that everyone’s opinion is valid, even if it differs from mine. I was raised to believe that we should be able to discuss and debate our opinions in a respectful manner. Yes, the debate might get heated, but it should never get ugly.

And it has. Our world has become an ugly place, filled with ugly people saying ugly things to each other. It breaks my heart. I could blame the media – in the race for ratings, they have chosen to focus on images of violence and hatred. I could blame the election – this race this year has been particularly nasty. I know that politicians are human (although it’s entirely possible that they’ve been replaced by the aliens from They Live), but I believe they should be held to a higher standard than most. The name calling and chants of “Make American Great Again” or (mockingly) “Make America Hate Again” do not inspire respect for either candidate. Mostly I blame myself. I blame myself for being naïve.

My parents raised me to believe that the world was becoming a better place – that people were overcoming their perceived differences and uniting in a way that gave me hope. Hope that my mixed-race daughter wouldn’t have to deal with the hatred my mother witnessed as a teen in the south (please note – my mother was Caucasian, so racism didn’t necessarily have a direct impact on her life). The violence and hatred she saw caused her to caution me against having children. I assured her that I had no intention of having children, but that, if I changed my mind, racism was “a thing of the past”.

I am no longer naïve. I am broken hearted, angry and sad, but not naive. The hatred/anger/prejudice that I believed was long dead is alive and kicking, like a cockroach that somehow managed to survive a visit from the exterminator.

Make America Great Again? I agree with Amanda Blanc – Let’s try making America kind again instead (image credit to Amanda Blanc)

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*Stress and Hormones, not the green stamps we collected in the 60’s

So tell me – how do you write when your brain has melted or is filled with fog?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry New Year!

imagesCA5RG2LUI know, I know, it’s been a long time since you read a post from me, and you were hoping that they’d stopped have been missing them.  Well, just like the spirits in Poltergeist, I’m baaaaaaaack. Hopefully (unlike the sequel) I am entertaining.

 

I meant to welcome you to 2016 yesterday, but it didn’t happen. After being derailed by the events of 2015, I planned on starting 2016 with an early morning hike, some cleaning, and a brand new post. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions – and if that’s true, then hell is a warm bed, the entire Hobbit/Lord of the Rings series on the DVD player, and a set of supersoft Christmas PJs. The first day of the year was spent snuggling with my family and feeding my imagination with elves, dwarves, dragons and hobbits. Hell is a pleasant place to be.

The past year has been challenging. TBH (look at me, learning to use acronyms – yep! I have a teen!) the past four years have been less than pleasant, and not only because I have a teen. You know that phrase “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” Well, I am an Amazon queen! We’ve had challenges (work and health) and scares (our year started with my husband almost-dying in a car accident and ended with him almost-dying in a hospital stay). We’ve had frustration (why do all appliances break down at the same time? How do they know?) and heartbreak (even my cell phone misses Jackie and keeps dialing hers at random moments). Mostly, we’ve had moments of hope and joy, glimmers of goodness and tons of support from friends, family, coworkers and strangers. I’ve learned that life is a rollercoaster – with ups and downs, twists and turns. All you can do is sit down, strap in, and try not to throw up on the person next to you.

Work has lived up to its reputation as a four letter word, but I have kept myself from running with scissors or stabbing people with pencils, mostly because I took 3 months off to recover from ACL surgery. 12+ years ago I finished tearing my ACL. The ortho told me “Don’t have surgery until you absolutely have to” (actually, he said “We don’t normally perform surgery on people your age”, but he was kind of an a**). I gave up refereeing this past year, because my knee hated it (or because I hate soccer parents. I forget which). When my knee began sliding at random moments, I thought it might be time for surgery. The good news is that there’s no arthritis and that my bones no longer slide in different directions. The bad news is that I am no longer twenty something and the healing process is slower than I would like. I am trying to be patient (but mostly I am just Trying). I had planned on using my time at home to clean, paint, and finish my WIP. I managed to do a little cleaning, a little reading and a LOT of napping. Not sure if that was because I was recovering from surgery, or because old people nap.

I know we are not the only family that has had a rollercoaster year – I am hoping that this post finds you healthy and happy, and that 2016 treats us a little more gently – people our age aren’t supposed to ride rollercoasters.