Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Last night. Well, last night continued my "wreck" of a day (see previous post).  I spent about 3 hours trying to scratch the surface on a Psychology paper that isn't even worth ten percent of my final grade. It should have taken three hours to finish total.

Driven to tears and a searing headache, I finished my preliminary research and closed the computer. I marched myself downstairs. I gathered supplies. I nestled into the corner of the couch and raised my weapon of choice ominously. And with that shiny fork I devoured a piece of chocolate cake. Psychology needs chocolate cake. And for good measure, I chased it down with a buttered piece of bread, and milk.
Then I went upstairs, put on my silkiest pajamas, and curled into my heated bed. I was frustrated. I was filled with frosting. I knew I'd have to pay for it tomorrow. But man did I look good.   And Marie Antoinette would have been proud.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Buttoned Up

My button says "I'm a wreck." It's totally true. And today, it is what I love about me. I love the mess I will have to clean when I get home. I love the fact that I'll probably groom my dog instead of cleaning. Or that I should be researching, but I'm writing instead. I'm a wreck about everything! I am in between now and forever, consistently on the precipice of disaster and enlightenment.  And it feels absolutely wonderful. Like the wind that whips ahead of the storm, cooling off the hottest of days, bringing with it the power of an unseen force and an unknown storm. Since I do not know what is heading my way, hurricane, tornado, northeastern, there is no way I can effectively prepare. It is entirely out of my hands. (This is a BIG deal. I am a very planned and efficient person.) But it feels great! I have come to understand that I do not need to white-knuckle my control onto every situation. Some things are entirely out my hands. I am not at the wheel. But I can feel the wheel.  Just like I can feel the wind. And that is control enough. And I am a wreck. And I have never felt more attractive in my life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's All In the Shoes

Today was going to be hard. Normally I pair my outfit with a quirky hat to off set or distract everyone. But not today. Today I put my big girl boots on.

No, literally. I put my big girl boots on. I knew I was possibly up against ignorant people, entering with a fuse that is already awfully short to begin with.  I didn't want to attract attention with a hat or have a brim block the fire that was ready to shoot from my eyes. I slipped on my shoes and headed out the door.

Perhaps the universe thinks twice about messing with you, when you get up and immediately put your boots on. I didn't receive a single snide comment, resentful glance, or other various outcomes I am accustomed to upon returning from an unknown absence.

Instead I had more people acknowledge I was alive and well, with happiness and concern, than I have ever received.   I entered the morning guns loaded, ready to prove I don't need no-body, cuz ain't no-body gonna give a damn about me, only to be pleasantly surprised. I'm going to say it was the boots. And I'm going to say I've discovered what they mean by going out with your boots on.

Friday, October 21, 2011

When You're On Top Everest

There are days worth screaming over.  In pain. Anguish. Grief. Frustration. It's like you are from a whole different planet, and no one seems to notice why you are screaming. They are merely annoyed at the disturbance you are causing them.

In many ways that is the relationship I have with my health. An infuriating balance game that I thought I was momentarily winning.  Enter the screams. And being a boisterously busy and outgoing person, I don't want to have to deal with any setbacks. Any symptoms, any pain, anything. I'm tough, I handle it. But I'm overcritical with my body and the expectations it has recently failed to exceed.

In a fit of internal screaming, I exploded to one of my mentors and healers, "I have exams, homework, classes, two jobs, friends, laundry, a brother, a dog, a fish, and a whole household's sanity to worry about. And I can't handle it on top of my health!"

She paused thoughtfully, and replied, "Well, you know there is really nothing you can do about it."  It sounded like a smart aleck response, even though she didn't mean it that way. I stiffened, hurt even more by her lack of compassion.

Smiling at me knowingly, she said, "What I mean is, well think about it this. Say you are climbing Mount Everest. You reach the very top of the world, the very top. What's the first thing you think about?" 

She smiled at me, making sure I was listening. "I'll let you in on a little secret. It's not anything you listed before. Nobody gets to the top of Mount Everest and starts worrying about their laundry at home. No one."

If you can't do anything about it right that second, right that day, why are you using your precious heart and energy worrying about?

My health is just like any journey. And some times, it will feel like I am forced to the depths of this earth to find relief.  But it is a journey none-the-less. And no one gets to the top of Mount Everest and worries about laundry.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sign You Weren't Meant to Get Ahead (Manatees)

Every now and then one of those comes along and just knocks us off our feet. Because if we had seen it coming, oh say in this form, we might have found a way around it.

No such luck. Here I am at the drawing board of my life again, and I find myself erasing, probably senselessly, all the things I see disappearing. But it's okay. My excuse: I wasn't meant to get ahead. And for the next few days that's how it will be. You don't just get up and waltz away from one of these wrecks. There are vertebrate and self-esteem to make sure are intact.

I suppose if I were to muse on it, the wreck I find myself in is probably my fault. Shouldn't have been in cruise control, applying lipgloss, singing to the radio, and arriving promptly at my long awaited destination looking marvelous.

Maybe I didn't see the signs. Maybe I didn't count my blessings. 

Or maybe this is a good sign. If I had flown by this in one piece, I might have missed the manatees. Sure they are not the cutest of creatures but HEY people used to think they were mermaids. And that's a good luck sign, right? And if I missed the manatees, I might have missed the dolphins, limbo happy hour, and who knows what else?!

It'll be a few days until I see those harbingers of good news, those manatees. Right now I'm busy at the drawing board, futilely attempting to reconstruct myself. There's not much else I can do right now in this ditch I'm in.  But perhaps once the rain eases, I'll be able to see the silver lining. And a rainbow? That's the best time to see manatees, so I've heard...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ten More Minutes

It was one of those mornings. I thought all I wanted was ten more minutes.

To be precise, I wanted ten more minutes to continue the dream I remembered having.

And then it was ten more minutes to feel better.

Ten minutes more to find the strength to get out of bed.

45 minutes later, it was one of those mornings. My cell phone, which doubles as the only alarm clock that can wake me up, glared evilly at me.

Today I want those ten more minutes.  I can think of countless things I would enjoy ten more minutes of! Ten more minutes of enjoying my coffee.  Ten more minutes on the sofa watching HGTV. Then the hot shower. And I'm not just talking ten more minutes of things today. I'd love ten more minutes of mediation daily. Another ten in a handsome someone's arms. Another ten on the phone with my best friend.

But we don't always get ten minutes. We are called to get up, keep going, and find the time later to reflect on those ten minutes we would have spent differently if we were allotted them. It is a sign we are growing, if we want those ten minutes. A sign we have things worth savoring.

While the insight didn't stop the siren's call of my pillow this morning, it did put things into perspective. There is so much to be grateful for. And so much more to do. So take ten to reflect and remember that. Just don't let your cell phone see you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

It Takes the Shirt Right Off Your Back

Life has some pretty high demands of me of late. But it's okay, I rise to the challenge.
One of the birds at my job forgot about the invention of glass, and how it isn't even slightly semi-permeable to birds.  She tried to fly through it with atomic force. In a stunned panic and unable to fly, she proceeded to scream and try to bite everyone around her. Knowing full well she could get hurt or stepped on, I raced over and tried to grab her. She wasn't able to fly to get away, but she was able to bite and yell. Knowing I couldn't leave her there, and seeing the crowd going, there was only one thing to do.  Off came my shirt (now everyone knows I like lacy purple undershirts and sharing secrets with Victoria), which I bundled the bird in and raced off to radio the biologists.

Sometimes life takes the shirt right off your back.  Sometimes there aren't any other options. Sometimes it is the only thing you have left to give. But I'd rather be without my shirt, in public, having done the right thing.  Perhaps there is someone watching, wearing two shirts, and ready to do the right thing as well.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

You Were Meant to Do This

I sat there listening to you, helpless through the other end of the phone. I lit a candle for you. And I waited.

Photo courtesy
 Staring desperately around my room, a Post-It note caught my eye. In a fit of my own despair, I remember writing that note. Positioned above my bed, it simply reads:

How do I let what I have work for me?

I could answer that for you. But how dare I take the journey away from you? The strife, the hardship, the success, the glory. They are all part of it. I could hand you a road map. But you'd refuse it. Thankfully, this is your journey.

I wish I could tell you how much you were meant to do this. I wish you would take a second to find the light inside you, find what fuels it, and hold on for dear life. It is a nearly tangible emotion, full of the passion and conviction I know you have. Because I have it in you.  I showed it to you.

Your inner dialogue is so loud you can't begin to find that light. And you call out, but can't hear me.

So here are some signs for you.

--To those who wait, time opens every door. Chinese proverb

--It's all right to hesitate if you then go ahead. Bertolt Brecht

--It was a high counsel that I once hear given to a young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do." Ralph Waldo Emerson

--Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Albert Einstein

--If your aim is to make the kite soar as high as possibly can, you need to master the art of holding firm as well as the art of letting go. Papemelroti

--Small town people from Ohio didn't believe that humans could ever fly. But two dreamers dared to move beyond. Two dreamers dared to believe they were meant to do this.

You too are meant to do this.
And so am I.