October 6 Mini Rant

This CNN headline is so fucked up: “News Alert: Inside the Las Vegas massacre” – WHY WHY WHY do we need to live others’ horror as a form of entertainment? It’s an article where someone tells one victim’s experience line by line. And we eat it up.

I just watched the first episode of the new season of NCIS and I was horrified. They basically depicted one of the main characters being waterboarded in real time. I have never been so disgusted. I think my summer of British drama has really changed my perspective of good storytelling. American TV is just fucking brutal, gory, and lacks nuance. Fuck.

Tuesday Musings – Taking Stock and Staying Sane

Getting up at 4:45a to go swimming, while not an easy feat, has given me the advantage of some time to myself before the day really “begins”. The hope is that I will eventually remind myself that being a morning person is all around better for me as a functioning being.

The topics of the day have filled me with a growing sense of dread. While yes, I can get triggered by the abundance of fear-inducing current events, even more I’m starting to feel a calm and growing certainty that in the next several years, we will see world and life-altering change that we do not expect and may not be able to prevent once it starts.
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As I was driving home from the Y, I had that premonition feeling – you know, like in the post-apocalyptic films and they have a flashback to their “before”. I was feeling like I was watching the road with that “before” vibe. Maybe that’s just called “taking stock”, but today I’m consciously absorbing my surroundings and feeling exceptionally grateful. Gratitude seems to change me from within. So I’m attempting to notice all the positive things I typically whiz by in my day — the soothing whoosh of a functioning air-conditioner, the click-a-click-a-click of Sabian’s nails as she does a patrolling round of the house before schlumping onto my foot while I type.

There’s quite a bit to become alarmed by lately. And there’s a lot of garbage and outright lies. As much as I can find plenty to trigger my righteous indignation, I’m wondering what good it is to point it out to others. I am getting tired of kvetching. If pretty much everyone is just pointing to horrible things to say “that’s bad!”, does anything get better? Is there a tangible thing (or things) I can do to sow seeds to heal the world around me?

I’m going to brainstorm here a minute for things I can do right now:

  1. Engage with others in conversation. Listen, validate, allow time and space for processing (both for me and them). Not allow fear to push me out of stepping fully in.
  2. Recognize that in general, a difference of opinion indicates a difference of personality in circumstance. There’s no rule that either one must be “right” while the other must be “wrong”.
  3. Take the time to discuss in an age-appropriate way, all of the current events we see happening, with my son. Not only is it helpful to him, but the act of summarizing thoughts is mentally clarifying for me. Sometimes I don’t even know what I really think until I hear myself telling J5
  4. Periodically and regularly take the time to create “in this moment” space to breathe, resettle my mind and spirit into my body, and recognize the good in my life. Just “being” is good. Very good.
  5. Continue to do “good work” on whatever is at hand — laundry, meal prep, customer service, driving, parenting. All of it.
  6. Write. I don’t think I have anything better or worse to share than the next person. What I do have is a need to find a healthy response to the chaotic political and social atmosphere here in the US, and in the world. There are a LOT of things happening that are red flags to continuing the way of life as it is today. Maybe with some writing and sharing, and maybe even some conversation, I can find clarity. Clarity is sweet. It’s a high unlike others I’ve experienced.
  7. Continue to share the good stuff via Social Media. If I’m going to contribute to the noise in the world, at least it can be a song I enjoy.

Funny

  • Mad by Poorly Drawn Lines

Thought Provoking

Enjoyable

Friendship

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What does real friendship look like?

This week’s recurring topic seems to be “What makes a person a ‘friend’?”. Just because someone has had the “friend” designation in the past, it does not mean they automatically keep the title for life. “A friend from High School” may not just identify when we became friends, but it could also indicate the lifespan of the friendship.

In my book, a friend:

  • asks you how you are doing, then they actually wait and listen for your answer!!
  • says “hey” once in a while, just ’cause
  • casually interacts with you via social media (if they partake), no drama needed
  • doesn’t think of you as a “one stop pep talk” and then go back to their “real life” when they feel better

The old saying, “The only way to have a friend is to be one”, rings more and more true with me. Friendship is a two-way street. I am under no obligation to be a friend to “needy” people. (Please note: “Needy people” are quite different than people who need a friend.) Needy people don’t recognize that genuine friends (those who listen, support, and love) might actually want a friend in return.

While I don’t want to be too “transaction-al” in friendship, I am closing up the 24/7 friendship pit-stop for those who show up, take my time and emotional energy, and then disappear again.

Guess I’d better spend some time considering whether I treat anyone in my life that way too…that would really suck!

Toodles!

Religion, Food, and Freedom

I’ve been going through a time of letting go. Some pretty hefty dropping of the baggage. My friend Beth refers to it as a “wiping of the chalkboard”.

My thoughts aren’t clear, but some correlations are appearing. If I wait until I have exactly what I want to say, I’ll probably be on my deathbed, so…bear with me as I start to make some sketches.

I’ve completely let go of religion. I don’t consider myself affiliated with any religious institution whatsoever. A few weeks or so ago, I would have said I’ve let go of Christianity and even of a belief in God. That may be the case, but I think it would be more accurate to say I’m solidly in the “I don’t know” camp regarding God’s existence.

The joy of being me is that I can change my mind at ANY TIME I SO CHOOSE. I have been so afraid of speaking my mind on these things, for fear of others’ opinions and views of who I am, and what my changing thoughts are, that it was affecting my exploration of my own heart and mind. Not good.

So for now, I’m going to share my thoughts without regard to you, the reader. [If you are worried for my soul, please don’t be. If you are ok with hearing me tell the truth, feel free to ask questions – just don’t feel the need to try to persuade me from my current path. You aren’t me. And I’ve decided to stop “looking for myself outside of myself” 🙂 . That’s not to say I’m not interested in hearing about you, and what you believe, and why — but I’m just not open to being “schooled” or “witnessed to” or “saved” from anything.]

Moving on.

Food. What a long and sordid history I have had with eating, and food, and dieting. It actually parallels my struggles with belief, and spirituality, and religion. In a lot of pretty intense ways.

I am currently reading (and listening to) Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

What I’m coming to see / feel / understand is that I have had an inherent distrust of everything I do. Somewhere along the way, I picked up this idea that if it comes from me (a thought, a desire, an instinct) that it’s likely wrong, or selfish, or sinful. Time to shed that too.

I am seeing correlations between a legalistic mindset in religion and pretty much all diets. And to add insult to injury, I managed to be very visibly, but painfully temporarily, successful using a religious diet plan that REALLY screwed me up regarding God and food and me. It had just enough of a nugget of truth to resonate with me, but then such an insidious message of our worthlessness that I ate myself right into hell.

What I am feeling most right now is relief. A sense of freedom. Hope. Hope that I can stop this conflict between me and myself. Hope that I can build some trust. Trust in my ability to listen to my heart, listen to my body, listen to my mind and make good choices based on what I hear. Sounds simple doesn’t it? I think it is. It’s time to disregard the fear and say “HUSH” to the critical voices that used to drive me to perfectionism. To let go, and listen, and trust.

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Jewel/Osco – No Thank You

I am a fan of my personal space. I don’t like to be encroached upon. I get claustrophobic easily.

I also don’t like confrontation. I don’t like feeling trapped in situations.

Today was not my day.

I had to run by a grocery store for a bunch of items I neglected to pick up on grocery day. I decided the place with the best selection for what I needed was Jewel. It was on my path home from work, so I just ran in, nabbed a cart and zipped through for my 5 or 6 things. I go through the checkout line quite smoothly, but then as the bagger is about halfway through loading my things, the manager says something to him and he starts to follow her. I thought it was strange, but I just figured he needed to ask her something. No biggie.

So, I grab the last couple of things on the counter and cram them into the bag, toss them in my cart and head out. Then I hear, “Go! Go! Follow her!” I turn to look and he’s headed right behind me. I turn around and look at the manager with a definite “WTF?” look, and she says “He has to go with you to your car.” I say, “No thanks! I have it just fine!” And she says, “He has to. Corporate wants it this way.” I continue to give her the incredulous “You’re kidding me, right?” look and she says, “Yeah, he’ll just follow you and bring back the cart. There can’t be any carts in the lot.”

NoThankYouI’m shaking my head and the poor bag guy is still following me. Once I get out the double doors, I just turn, tuck my cart into a spot next to a ton of other abandoned carts, and say “That’s ok. I’ve got this.” and grab my 2 bags and hoof it to the car.

Totally creeped me out. What the hell is the point of that exercise? I can only imagine what sort of business meeting this birthed from. Someone tries to figure out a way to make their store a good old fashioned premium service store with “cart to car” service. I guess? I’m really struggling to come up with how this could be a good thing. Am I supposed to tip the guy? I don’t WANT the service, why the heck should I be forced to:

1) Have a stranger follow me to my parked car, and
2) Have said stranger either arrange my bags in my trunk (a process which I am a bit particular about) or
3) Have stranger just lurk to one side while I do the work until the cart is empty and s/he can take it back?

Is this supposed to encourage good feelings between me and the poor bagger? Maybe I’m supposed to be cultivating feelings of pity?

Anyway, as an introvert, this is a nightmare in the making. It’s bad enough I have to make polite chit chat with the checker and bagger in the checkout line as they “ring me up”. I don’t need to extend the painful banter all the way out to my car and throughout the unload. I honestly DO appreciate the offer of “help out to your car?” being made on a regular basis, though I decline the offer about 90% of the time. For those times when I’ve had back pain, or purchased something particularly heavy, I gratefully accept. Why mess with a good thing?

Bottom line, I will now go out of my way to NOT shop there until I know it’s safe…

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