Have You Met Yourself?

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with my age.  I will be 47 in May.  This is way…WAY too close to 50.  I don’t care what anyone says.  50 is a big number and I’m not happy with it; however, I want to be.

I want to be excited about getting older.  I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like aging can mean life is over.  We think a lot about our younger firsts – first time we ride a bike without help from Mom and Dad, our first kiss, our first date, our first home on our own and we wonder what’s left.  Somehow along the way I became convinced I would have no more firsts after a certain age.  I was wrong.

This recent (and disturbing) obsession I have with getting older is on the heels of my Daddy being diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure.  My rational self knows people live for years with CHF.  My irrational self will freak out and tell you this is MY Daddy and losing him isn’t an option.  Losing either of my parents is a thing that honestly is beyond my realm of comprehension but the truth is they are older, I’m getting older and I need to get gripped.

Our parents get older and drag us right along with them.  Unfair all over the place, isn’t it?   All of this obsessing over aging has got me thinking…more.

I’ve not been pleased with myself.  I waste a great deal of time wishing instead of doing.  I waste too much time dreading instead of embracing.  I also waste time wanting instead of getting.  This all MUST change.

Having had some time to contemplate what all of this might mean, I realized something.  We go through life growing up and changing…we’re children, teenagers, young adults and through all of this we meet new people.  We put an effort in getting to know people.  We talk to them, ask questions and want to understand what they’re about but how many of us have truly gotten to know ourselves?  How many of us have thought about or brushed off our own quirks, delved deep into our own psyche, paid clear attention to our own habits – good or bad or explored our own dreams and desires?

I’m wondering if you’ve met yourself?

Until recently, I don’t think I had.

Humans are a constant work-in-progress which, I feel, is as it should be.  To sit still and do nothing is a shameful crime we commit to ourselves.   I met myself and realized I’m a criminal. I’ve concluded I’m robbing myself completely blind and I’m ALLOWING myself to be blinded by fear, doubt and if I’m being honest (which is how I roll) sheer laziness has also gotten the best of me.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t hate myself.  Overall I think I’m a decent person and I have qualities that I truly love so my focus from this point on needs to be – WILL BE – reminding myself daily of the things I do love while changing what I don’t love and there is where I’ll find more firsts.  If I continue to move forward and continue to evolve there will always be new first moments.   There, in the midst of personal transformation I will find happiness and ultimately peace.

Today, I met myself and I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to meet someone in my life.

Just Be Yourself…

I’ve definitely gotten to a point where, finally, I am comfortable in my own skin.  I don’t feel the need to go on any crash diets because my ass might be too big, I don’t feel the need to own expensive clothes or shoes, I don’t feel the need to get the latest haircut so I give the appearance of being “modern.”  I mean obviously there are things I do not love about myself (refer back to big ass).  I can be a bit lazy and I love to sleep (to the point that if it were an Olympic sport you’d be reading a blog written by a Gold Medalist), I procrastinate because I can be lazy and I like to pretend I work better under pressure (which in some cases, really is true), and I don’t take care of myself the way I should.  Being a Gemini and battling two of me makes me conflicted and contrary (I was born contrary and will die contrary) so sometimes making firm decisions is a pain in my big ass, but all in all, I feel very little if any guilt about any of these things I don’t love about myself.  I used to.  I used to stress and worry and drive myself completely batshit crazy fretting on how to fix all of these things.  But not anymore.  I’m at a good place with myself and the good news is it only took 43 years to get here. 

I regret it took me so long to reach a place where I am, for the most part, accepting of myself – flaws and all.   The positive aspect to this is 1 – I’m not dwelling on the bad parts of me anymore (nobody wants to see me go totally batshit crazy…that just wouldn’t be pretty) and most importantly 2 – my daughter is young enough to absorb some of this acceptance.  I pray this will help her to not dwell so much on the things she doesn’t like about herself because I do not want her to be 43 years old when she is finally comfy in her own skin.  I hate the thought of her struggling with insecurity.  I mean, it’s gonna happen.  We all struggle with it from time to time, but I want her to KNOW without doubt that it’s okay for her to love herself and be happy with what God’s given her, whether she’s fond of it or not.  I worry about this a lot.  Our media insists on projecting images of girls who simply aren’t real and my daughter, like most kids her age gets caught up in celebrity/media hype.  I do a lot of damage control which is okay, but it’s important that my little girl realize it is okay to just be herself.  I desperately pray every day that she’ll grow up confident and secure and never worry about what others think or say.

Having said that, let me say this:  I don’t do well with fake.  People like this are so completely transparent and it boggles my mind.  It must take a ton of energy (which we all know I’d never waste on such silliness because I’m too lazy to do so) to pretend to be something you aren’t.  When did it stop being okay to accept ourselves for who we are and when did loving ourselves become arrogant and shallow?  And before I go any further understand I do NOT, by any means, feel I am perfect.  Sweet baby crickets NO!  I am way, way far from perfect but my point is I am okay not being perfect.  I don’t feel I need to live up to anyone else’s standards of living nor do I feel the need to fit into some kind of mold our warped society has deemed acceptable.  My message here is…JUST BE YOURSELF and BE HAPPY BEING YOU.

For fun, I thought I’d list some things here that I don’t do just because I don’t care what others think and because I don’t care what others think (did I say that already?): 

1.  I don’t keep up with politics.  Why?  Because I don’t give a rats ass.  There, I said it. I DO NOT CARE.  It bores the crap out of me to hear politicians drone on and on about  how they are going to change the world.  I don’t want to hear about it, don’t want to know about it.

2.  I’m not a social butterfly at work.  People all the time spout off about office politics and I truly from the depths of my soul do not give one iota about office politics.  I don’t feel compelled to attend office parties or sit around all day chatting about the latest soap operas or office gossip.  I go to work to WORK.  This isn’t to say I’m not nice at work.  I am.  I’ve made an effort to get along with everyone at any job I’ve ever had even if I do not care for him/her much, but don’t try to suck me into that whole “you HAVE to go to the office party or it’ll look bad if you don’t” trap because I’m not falling for it.  I will schmooze when it’s only absolutely necessary but otherwise, leave me alone so I can get my job done.

3.  I do not, not even a little, care to keep up with the latest movies, music, or celebrities.  Honestly these days I don’t know who half the famous folk are.  I hear music being made these days that makes me want to take something sharp and stabbed myself in the eardrums just to make the noise stop.  I’m not a movie person.  I’m a book lover.  I want to read a story not hock my shit so I can afford to pay exorbitant prices to go sit and stare at a screen for 2-3 hours surrounded by strangers who I believe are screened at the door to make sure they are the rudest & loudest people on the planet before being allowed admittance.  It’s just not for me.  Give me a book, 80s metal, and Lucille Ball anytime!  I don’t need the “new and hip” stuff to be happy.

4.  I’m a homebody and I want to be at home.  I want to be with my things, my family, my pets and I want to be comfortable.  I enjoy peace and quiet and barring a library, there aren’t too many places to go that offer this.  I do like to go out from time to time, but as a rule, I prefer home.  So don’t try to make me feel bad because I’m not constantly busy and OUT doing something.  That’s fantastic if it works for you and you enjoy it, but don’t pull me into it.  I’m not interested.

5.  Fashion…I’m freaking clueless.  I don’t know designers or the latest fashions trends and again, I do not care.  I don’t run around in velvet jumpsuits and white go-go boots, but I will run around in my leggings, flannel shirts, sweats and tennis shoes and if this offends anyone, don’t look.  I do not read fashion magazines or have any desire to wear dresses made of feathers or shoes modeled after the hooves of goats.  My look may suck but so does that trendy crap.

So there.  5 things I do not do just because someone tells me I should.  Pretty major things, too.  Our society is overrun with politics and an obsession with image.  Don’t let it get to you folks.  Wake up every single day, go to the mirror, take a good look at who you see and KNOW the person you see is OKAY.  Learn to love yourself, if you don’t already, and don’t give in to “peer pressure.”  It’s just not worth sacrificing your sense of self to be someone you really aren’t.

Comfort Zones…

You are reading a blog by the world’s worst Leaver of the Comfort Zone.  I am Queen of the Comfort Zone and I rule all that is comfortable and safe…for me.  Anything outside of my Comfort Zone is simply evil and must never be allowed in. 

What is a Comfort Zone?  Well to clarify, it’s simply a mental boundary we each set for ourselves.  It’s a place where we feel safe and secure.  It’s habit, it’s rut.  It’s sticking with relationships or circumstances that, while they may have lost purpose or real meaning (or so we’re told they have), we find comfort in them.  It’s that place where if we don’t leave it, people tell us we’ll never realize our full potential or make great things happen.  This may be true.  I don’t know.  I’ve not ventured out of mine long enough to find out.  Hell, just starting this blog and throwing myself out there for the world to see is enough stepping out to last me quite a while.  I mean, what you read is what you get when you know me.  I don’t hold back here and allowing my personal self to connect with the world is a giant leap out of my Comfort Zone, to be sure. 

I’m writing this particular blog because after yesterday’s rant over FJ and The Speech I began to think, really think about why I stay in this relationship.  I do love him.  That isn’t in question.  But lots of other things are and it hit me…I stay because I’m comfortable with him.  There is something in my brain that tells me I’m just too old to start over in a new relationship.  I’m not THAT old.  No reason to start digging a grave yet.  But I’m oldER and the idea of starting over with a new man, a new life seems quite taxing.  When I was younger that idea used to excite me and I had no qualms about throwing Dating Lisa out there and just going for it.  Now?  Eh.  I don’t want to have to “relearn” another man’s habits or quirks or speeches.  I don’t want to have to reteach mine either.  I can be difficult and bitchy and I’ve got some odd habits, a hard pill to swallow if you will, and the fact that I’ve a man in my life who didn’t run screaming is a big plus for me.   FJ and I fight something fierce sometimes but in the end we always work it out.  Always.  We’re good with compromise.  Once things settle we’re good at talking things out.  We’re honest with each other.  I value the hell out of honesty as I spent 11 years married to a man who could not tell the truth if his life depended on it.  Seriously…he could NOT do it.  His head may have wanted to but once his mouth opened, out spewed the most colorful and inventive stories I’ve ever heard.  So, I’ll give him credit for that…he wasn’t Uncle Remus but he could spin an intriguing tale like nobody’s business.  ANYWAY, as I was saying…FJ and I are comfortable with each other.  With that comfort comes happiness and safety, which I’ve not had in many years so why would I want to screw that up? 

My job…I love my job.  Both of them actually, but I do not strive to be a director or CIO or any of those high-powered titled people.  Why?  Because I’m comfortable with what I’m doing.  I’m comfortable with how my jobs fit into the life I have now.  I like the flexibility.  There could always be more money (I’m not going to stick in my current Poor Comfort  Zone if I don’t have to –  I’m not stupid or if I am stupid I’d rather be stupid on a nice vacation) but overall, I feel safe and secure with my work.  Why would I want to screw this up by stepping outside of my Zone? 

I keep asking “why would I want to screw this up?” because I’m not so sure that stepping out of our Zones is absolutely necessary to achieving happiness or realizing our full potential (I can say that because I’m happy and tucked away in my Zone right now).  But, those big giant leaps out of our Zones to bring on the major anxiety and discomfort?  Not necessary.  Life hands us opportunities to have to step outside our Zone almost every single day.  Does it not?  We get up each morning, we begin our routine, things go smoothly then BAM!  There is some unexpected Universe Out to Get Us Snafu that we have to cope with – outside our Zone.  So we deal with them and then continue on in our Zone.  Is it not more about our attitude and how we handle these snafus than it is about taking steps to disrupt or change what we’re already comfortable with? 

The truth is, and this may sound arrogant on my part although I don’t mean for it to be that way, I know my full potential and I know what I am capable of.  I can be or do anything I want (although a job as a contortionist circus freak is out – my body can’t bend that way anymore).  I know this about myself.  I’m confident enough to know if I set my mind to something I can do it.  Just because I don’t choose to go out and conquer the world doesn’t make me less of a person.  I’m happy where I am…I’m a Mom, a writer, a consultant for a major university, a part of management at Ghost Walk, a friend, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister…I’m all of these things and more, and I’m perfectly okay with it.  None of this has lost meaning or purpose and none of this is in danger of doing so.  If we’re truly happy, why bring on upheaval and discomfort…ON PURPOSE?  I just see no reason for it.

Now lately, I’ve been going through this THING where I’ve felt the need to get out more and ” party.”  I seldom go out just for fun anymore, just to do things for me.  So it’s been bugging me a lot lately.  Last night, I marinated on that, as well and it hit me that I’d convinced myself I needed to “fit in” with others who seem to be constantly out and busy.  But the truth here I don’t really want that whole party thing and I’m busy enough.  What I do want and need is to just start doing things for myself that have value and will add value to my already Comfy Zone.  I need to be spending more quality time with my daughter, seeing my Daddy more, reading more (bookaholic here), writing more, taking myself out to breakfast every now and then before work for some alone time, drawing (I SUCK at it but nonetheless I find it relaxing).  It’s these kinds of things I’m missing and need to be doing, not the whole partying and hanging out with a bunch of people.  Uh…that was SO 20 years ago!  So, let’s face it…I’m going against the grain here, bucking every psychiatrist theory that stepping out of the Zone is necessary and I’ll just add to my already existing Happy Place.  God, I’m such a rebel!

Personal Opinion:  It’s okay to stay within your Comfort Zone.  It really is.  Expect those Universal Snafus I mentioned earlier and remain calm when they happen.  Use those as a way to better yourself and let them be learning experiences for yourself.  Don’t feel you must leave your Zone to change things just because someone else tells you to.  If you’re happy then just BE HAPPY.  Isn’t this world tough enough already without making it harder on ourselves?  I think it is!  So to all of you who are happy in your Comfort Zone and see no reason to rock the boat…KUDOS!  This blog is dedicated to all of you who are comfortable being comfortable! 

We Are Our Own Worst Enemy…

It’s been awhile.  I’ve been slack in my blogging.  I’ve also noticed a change in how I’ve felt since I’ve not blogged.  I’m guilty of just not making time for it, plain and simple…it’s my fault.  Blogging, although I’ve been doing it a short time, has made a significant difference in my attitude.  After I hit “publish” I find I feel lighter, less stressed, my brain isn’t quite so full.  I know that for me, this process is incredibly theraputic and yet I failed to make time for it.  Yep, screwed myself out of some quality time with my blog.  I am my own worst enemy.

I think we all can be our worst enemy.  I’ve been thinking a lot about how we tend to sabatoge ourselves with our actions and/or with our attitudes.  Reading the Elder’s Meditation this morning that I am so very fond of, it says: 

The building blocks to knowledge and wisdom are constructed through the lessons of our character defects if we constructively review our conduct each day, asking where we are resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid. Remember, we need to review constructively, not destructively. Destructive review is when we ask, “what’s the matter with me anyway.” or “how could I be so stupid?” These question lead to morbid reflection or remorse and seriously affect our self esteem. In constructive review we ask, “what will I do next time?” With constructive review we progressively eliminate the defect and replace it with wisdom.

Which leads me to wonder…how much of my “stinkin’ thinkin'” is responsible for the outcome of each day?  Do I go to bed grumpy and just relived the day is over, or do I lay my head down at night able to smile and find the many reasons I SHOULD be grateful?  I’ve found my DESTRUCTIVE review can kill me on the inside and it is no one’s fault but my own.

See, we get caught up.  Life is tough, man.  No matter how much we strive to be positive, those destructive thoughts can crawl their way in and before we know it, we’re bogged down with a bad attitude.  We start to question ourselves in  ways that aren’t productive at all.  I do it, too.  I’m terrible with it.  I will often find myself thinking, “Lisa!  What is wrong with you?”  or “OMG, I’m such a dumbass!”  When really, if I’d just take a moment to get gripped and re-adjust the way I think then I’d find myself at the end of each day a bit more settled and a bit more grateful and yes, even a bit more wiser.

I feel that our destructive criticims can hamper our ability to see that no matter what happens or what we do, we have value.  Goodness, I can get so frazzled and sucked up into the whole “what is wrong with me” trap that I sometimes fail to realize there is very little actually WRONG with me.  Why is that?  Because I’m human!   One that will make mistakes.  Mistakes are okay.  Mistakes shape us and offer us valuable lessons IF we allow ourselves the opportunity to learn from them.  So maybe we should embrace our mistakes, our failures, and just the general crap life chunks at us instead of throwing ourselves elaborate and time-wasting pity parties.  Perfection isn’t a requirement and it’s not even achievable.  Le’s stop being so hard on ourselves, shall we?  It’s a thought.

The next time you find yourself asking “what did I do wrong?  how could I be so stupid?”, maybe rephrase that into “how can this situation be different?  what can I do to help it and make it better?”  If we find we can’t do anything to change a situation then for the love of all that is holy, ACCEPT THAT and MOVE ON!  Don’t dwell on it!   But changing the way we view ourselves (or a particular situation) goes a long way to improving our attitude and how we see ourselves.  No one should go through life feeling like they are worthless and unimportant.  Not one human should feel that way.  Every single one of us has value.  But if WE don’t see that, how can anyone else see it?  We control that, ya know.  Only we have the power  to control how we feel about ourselves and everything around us.  We should never give that control to anyone or anything…EVER.

And on a different, yet somewhat related topic – I’ve spoken before about negativity.  It’s important to mention here that negative thinking does in fact bring about negative energy.  Believe it or not, it’s true.  The more time we spend dwelling on the negative, the worse we make things for ourselves.  It does snowball.  We can absolulely drown in it to a point where we feel we can never get out.  So again, back to our personal power – ONLY WE CAN CHANGE IT!  It’s a conscious decision on our part to say to ourselves “Ok, this is it…no more negativity.  I will shut down this PityFest I’ve got going on and I will think positive thoughts.”   You might feel like everything in the world is wrong and your life is filled with misery and nothing is going right, but if we’d just stop and remove OUR negativity then we’d see that honestly, life isn’t as bad as it could be and by doing so, we’ll realize we aren’t as bad as we think we are either.   

NOTE:  Do NOT sit around waiting for someone to change it for you and do NOT sit around just waiting for life to get better without putting some work into it.   You do that and you are simply setting yourself up for disappointment, no doubt.

The truth of the matter is, the people who go through life with their destructive thought processes and negative energy aren’t much fun to be around.  There are folks in this world who just naturally have a sunny disposition all the time and that’s well and good.  I, however, am not one of those.  I am one of the bitchiest people I know (TRUTH) and so for me, to maintain a positive attitude and think constructively is WORK.  It’s not something I just get up and do b/c that’s how I’m wired.  I have to get up every single morning and make the deicison to do it then I spend all day putting effort into the process.  Most days I am successful and if I am not just downright cheery then I can at least maintain a balance.  But it’s not easy to fight our own inner demons when we have to constantly be exposed to other’s inner demons, as well.  Sometimes I want to give up the fight.  Some days I simply wake up not having the energy to do it.  I really don’t.  Some mornings I want to throw in the towel, say screw it, and just let myself wallow (and some mornings I’ve done just that) but for the most part, I get up everyday making the decision to be happy.  I do not want to live my life miserable.  Where is the quality and value in living that way?  I WANT to be happy and I have to make it happen.  So do you!  Know that if you are a natural-born Negative Nellie, your disposition and way of thinking won’t change overnight so don’t get discouraged.  Just take it one day at a time!

Now let’s get up, get out and make it a HAPPY day!

State of Denial – It’s a Great Place to Visit, But…

Good morning friends!

I’ve been slack in my blogging the past few days.  No real reason other than I’ve been so focused on my work with Ghost Walk’s magazine, Haunted Path, that I’ve left myself time for little else.  Notice how I’m throwing in links to this stuff?  Pretty sneaky huh?  Hope you all check ’em out – Ghost Walk does good work!  Oh, and just FYI – I am the Acting Editor-in-Chief of our magazine so if you have a good ghost story you’d like to share & possibly have published, hit me up!  You can send me an email to lsummerlin@ghostwalkproductions.com.

Ok, enough of that.  Let’s get down to the reason for this blog…

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs how I often find inspiration when reading the White Bison Elder’s Meditation emails I get daily.  Today is no different.  Here it is…

“If people are going to get back into balance, one of the things they have to do is seek the truth. They have to start really speaking the truth themselves, and that’s a difficult thing to do. The way it is now in the world, we don’t mind lying.” ~John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG

Oh wait…this is actually yesterday’s Meditation, but the date is insignificant.  It’s the message I want to talk about.

How many of us do this?  I could not be more guilty of it if my name were Guilty Guilterson.  Seriously.  To clarify, I don’t spend my time lying to others because it is a trait I despise, but I do lie to myself.  Which leads me to wonder – why is it wrong to lie to others but okay to lie to ourselves?  It’s not.  Not even a little.  If we’re going to live our lives being honest we might as well go whole hog with it and face up to it when we’re dishonest with ourselves.

There are things about me, about my life, about my habits that I don’t like.  And to be REALLY honest, I’m horrible about living in that great state of Denial.  I spend ridiculous amounts of time there and I think it’s because I just expect, somewhere in the back of my brain, that things will just fix themselves by some miraculous Divine Intervention and then I have to do nothing at all.  WRONG.  See, we can pray all day and night for our Higher Power to fix things for us but if we’re not willing to do the work and we’re not prepared to go through what it takes to get us to what we’ve prayed for then we can’t really expect a damn thing and part of that means telling ourselves the truth.

For example:  one of the things I do not like about myself is my lack of time management.  It’s a simple thing really and could technically be easily changed.  I’ve found myself so busy these days and I’m just going through life, whistlin’ a little tune (not really – I can’t whistle), thinking “Oh, it’ll all work out.  I’ll get done what I can.  Tomorrow is a new day. I’ve got lots of time.”  BIG FAT LIE.  We have no idea how much time we actually do have and since I’m no “Seer of the Future” what the hell do I know?  The answer to that is nothing.  So when I have those lucid moments of realizing I am lying to myself about being gripped, I go through this long mental debate about what I need to do to make the change and balance my time more wisely.  See, I’m a terrible procrastinator.  I’ve turned it into an art form, seriously.  If there were a degree for it, I’d  have a Master’s.  Probably even a Doctorate.  Lisa Summerlin, PhD of Procrastination.  That’s me.  What does all of this mean?  It means I need to STOP lying to myself about things magically getting done on time and I need to GET A GRIP.  I can sit here and look all kickass in this blog about how I’m facing the truth about myself right here, right now, but the actual act of not lying to myself about my terrible habit on a daily basis?  That’s the real kicker. 

My point in all of this is if there is something you don’t love about yourself or your situation, wouldn’t it be easier if we all just faced it, dealt with it, and moved on?  It’s not fun to live life not being honest with ourselves.  It’s a tremendous stressor, at least it is for me, so I wonder if it gets to everyone else the same way.  I’ve got heavy duty issues I’m dealing with right now as well that I am not facing up to like my divorce and this one is killing me. 

My husband left my daughter and me about three years ago.  No warning and no reason.  Just left.  I spent a long time convincing myself he would come back home.  He’d had a heart attack and he was just going through some of his own personal crap and when he felt better, he’d be back.  The truth of that is I still, to this day, have no idea why he really left.  I never will.  Only he knows that and because he’s a compulsive liar, I’ll likely never really know what went on in his head.  He and I talk often and he says he regrets it, but I’m looking around and I don’t see him here so…he must not regret it too damn much.  Yet, I am STILL struggling to make myself file the divorce.  Part of it is a money issue in the sense that I don’t have any and attorneys don’t work for free.  But then I find excuses like I’ll wait just a bit longer because he might come home for our daughter, or he still loves me because he says it so I’ll try and hang on to that.  LIES, LIES, LIES.  The hardest part of all of this is admitting to myself that I just don’t love him anymore.  I’m not sure when I came to that realization and it wasn’t some kind of mind-blowing, stop me in my tracks moment, but I know now that I don’t love him.  I know I can never trust him again and if we want to go a step further, I know now I could never really trust him to begin with.  So see, I’m facing up to some of it.  I’m being honest with myself about parts of this, but not all of it.  That’s what I mean about going “whole hog” with this honesty thing.  Trust me when I say I have NO trouble at all being honest with him about how I feel and what I think.  I’ve got a mouth on me that won’t quit, but when it comes to being honest with myself, I don’t quite have it all together.  Anyway, this year is my year.  I’ll figure out someway to get the divorce done and I’ll FINALLY move on with that part of my life.  No doubt when it is over and done with, I’ll feel a huge burden has been lifted off of me.

So, that’s my biggy.  What’s yours?  What is one thing you have been lying to yourself about that requires your immediate attention?  To be a tad cliche’, it’s a new year so it’s a time for new beginnings right?  Let’s all make a deal that we’ll figure out the one thing we’ve spent the most time lying to ourselves about and let’s just stop doing it.  Let’s face that Monster in our Mental Closet, unleash that beast and let him go!  Or her…you could be a dude and your Closet Monster could be a her.  Whichever – let’s conquer that thing!

Today is a new day so take a bit of time to reflect on whatever it is you’ve not been honest to yourself about and decide to face up to it.  We’ve all got something we must deal with so let’s buck up and deal with it!

Have a great Tuesday!

Freaky Friday…

This morning, I woke up to find that people I love are hurting and unhappy.  That’s not good.  So, I’d like to give them a moment to step outside of their sadness and imagine some fun.  I’ve decided to make “Bringing Spam Mail to Life” a regular Friday thing so in the future, that will be the title of Friday’s blog.  This is for all of you, feeling sadness this morning.  I love you guys!

Now, picture you are sitting down at your computer, coffee in hand (and in my case also with a cigarette), and you’ve just opened your email.  You go to delete the crap in your spam box but wait a minute…what’s this?!

O.

M.

G.

There are 12 people just in my area code alone waiting to meet me!  This is fabulous!  I can trade in these losers who are sucking the life out of me for all new friends!  Out with the old, in with the new!  Yes!!!

Well, my hardwork has paid off.  I’ve ignored those offers for  Viagra for so long I finally broke the bastards.  I can get it for free now.  SCORE! 

Absolutely my  lucky day!  My quest of gaming glory can now be fulfilled at a casino near me.  Finally, my moment has come…I will be the ruler of all casinos!  Or…I can stay at home, sit on my ass, and get some kind of bizarre gratification from Farmville like I’ve been doing for the past two years.  I mean my neighbors already revere me as Lord of the Plow and I earned my High Roller ribbon ages ago.  Decisions, decisions…

Wow, this is troubling indeed.  I’ve just been notified I’ve got over $4 million in tax refunds being held hostage by the Federal government.  Oh ya know I am NOT falling for this one!  The others maybe but I know good and damn well the government would NEVER hold my money hostage!  Sheesh, how do people come up with this stuff?!  Brainwashers!!

Awwww, I’ve been blessed by Sister Marie Hampton.  How sweet!  Wait a minute…who??? 

Damn United Nations is STILL after me.  This is borderline harrassment.  Seriously. 

Oh honestly, even the spammers of the world must know that ALL bras are EVIL.  Genie Bra my ass!  Try all day to convince me that man did not invent these contraptions as a means to torment women but it’ll never work.  I know the truth. 

Ok, back to reality…

I  know so many who are having a hard time right now.  Money, family,  relationships and just life in general – none of it is every really easy.  I also don’t believe it should be.  I can’t think of one single terrible experience in my life where I’ve not been able to look back and find a lesson learned, most cases an incredibly valuable lesson.  Now it might take some serious soul searching to figure out what those lessons are but if you do take the time to do it, it’s worth it and when you do figure out what positive thing you can take away from a negative experience – hang on to it for dear life. 

See, I feel those positive lessons in life are the ones that propel us through future negativity.  It’d be nice to say “oh this sucks about my life so I’m just going to change it right now.”  But being honest, how often is that an actual reality?  Most of us are in situations that can not change with a wave of a magic wand.  It takes hard work and time and more hard work and then more damn time and THEN we can make a change.  Since I’m serious lacking in patience (really, to the point where I actually get on my own nerves sometimes for not moving fast enough) I have to lean on my life lessons to get me through.  I count on those to help me continually see there is in fact a light at the end of what is sometimes an incredibly dark and bleak tunnel.  It’s like telling yourself that you’ve made it through crap this far, you can make it through any upcoming crap headed your way.  Remind yourself you are STRONG and you can do anything!  Focus on what you might be able to change right now (your attitude, the way you view things) and then make a plan for changing things that take time. 

And then keep in mind that, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself you decided awhile back to change your attitude and you will NOT bitch slap the  people that piss you off, you’ll just smile and nod and walk away. 

Humans are a constant work in progress.  Be grateful for it and think about how incredibly dull this world would be if we were all perfect. 

Hang in there guys because it will get better! 

The Elephant in the Room…

People hate to talk about this because it’s considered a taboo subject but if you know me at all, then you know there are few subjects I consider off-limits.  Especially those that are a part of life and can’t be avoided.  So here I go…

Our world needs to be a bit more educated about PMS.  Every single time I hear someone say “it’s all in a woman’s head” I want to slap them.  It’s usually a man who makes this comment so this blog is for the idiot men out there who don’t have a clue and have obviously never lived with or known a woman.  For those men who are educated and smart enough to recognize PMS for what it is – HELL FOR A WOMAN – and real, then I salute you!

Let’s get down to it, shall we?

PMS is real.  It is damn real.  It is so real that my family works hard at simply avoiding me all together for that 7 – 14 days during the month.  People are afraid to talk to me, to ask me questions, to look at me wrong.  It’s a serious situation.  Now, in a previous life I was medicated (God bless Prozac) and so my symptoms were not near as bad.  Throw in a little Xanax and I’m good to go.  But those days are long gone so it’s just me.  Me and my hormones and we aren’t friendly.  It’s not just the bitchiness either.  There is the bloating, the food cravings that us women find disturbing because it is this time of month when we feel the fattest and most unattractive, it’s the headaches (some get migraines – I do), and the need to be loved yet also being unapproachable at the same time…it’s a nightmare.  It’s the sadness, depression, anger and mood swings we can not control…and knowing we have no real control makes us even more sad, depressed, and angry and what do you know?  Here comes another mood swing!  It’s a vicious cycle, men. 

The truth of the matter is, this is not in our heads.  It is in our hormones.  They get all whacked out and trigger all of those symptoms  I mentioned, and for the record PMS can trigger approximately 150 different physical and psychological symptoms.  Luckily for women, after child-bearing years, this goes away but those 30-40 years of dealing with it can really take a toll on a person.  Think about that?  I started my period when I was 9 years old.  NINE!  I am now almost 44.  You do the math.  It’s a long damn time. 

What can we do about it?  Well, as I mentioned earlier, drugs help.  But not all of us have the means to get those so try natural remedies.  I’ve found that St. John’s Wart and Valerian Root work to get me through the hard times.   Exercise and rest and relaxation can also help with relieving some of the symptoms.  If you suffer from sleep deprivation during PMS, try taking melatonin.  Works wonders for a good night’s sleep. 

For more information, the resources on the web are endless but try choosing a reputable source.  I found Discovery Health website to be quite helpful and informative.

And for men, the ones who get it and the ones who choose to live in a state of denial, all you can really do is just accept it.  It’s here, it’s not going anywhere, and no matter what you do you’ll probably be wrong so just smile, nod, and walk away.  But not too fast because we might want a hug.  Of course, you’ll hug us and then we’ll get mad at you for it but that’s ok.  Just remember…this too shall pass and never doubt we love you, even when we don’t show it, because we do. 

I need to take a moment to apologize to Bret, my trucker.  He’s shown an abundance of patience and kindness this week that I simply did not know men possessed.  He has single-handedly restored my faith in men so thank you Bret…you are a really special guy.