Cleaning Our Gunk

I’d put it off for a while. Longer than most people usually do, but I’m single and with that said there’s not anyone here to scold me or to please but me. I had a spare moment this evening when I opened the refrigerator, caught the awful whiff of the rotting unknown and decided to investigate.

It’s not that I’m untidy or filthy. Life had come at me hard like a WWE smackdown. When my sweet cat had become sick, I had some raw chicken in the fridge and pos some had juicehaf spilled or so I kept thinking. But I couldn’t face cleaning up. After Ms. Kitty lost her tooth, she didn’t get better. I realized she had a tumor which overgrew. A common thing in older cats and the vet couldn’t do anything. It was in her upper jaw near her eye. Within a couple of months, she passed in the night. I had her cremated.

I had been so busy and exhausted. My place was only partially maintained. I had a demanding Monday through Friday job as well as my writing. The weekend Ms. Kitty died, I had a Migraine episode. These are a frustrating fact of life. Take 3 to 5 days and toss them away. Can’t do anything. Body shut downtime.

I ignored my refrigerator. My house was quiet. I recovered. I grieved. Cried. I missed my cuddle partner. She’d been with me from the time I’d been divorced and through my kids growing up. Sixteen years is a long time to have a friend. I’ve not talked about her a lot. In my family, animals were for outside and you don’t cry over them.

I know what the stink was in the fridge– an old onion in a baggie. Ironically, it didn’t take long to clean once I started.

A couple of weeks after I had decided I’d stay cat-free, a lady I know sent me a picture of a kitten. You see where this goes. “Pattycake” had a sister also, Dottie. My place isn’t quiet anymore. They are adorable little furballs.

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Make Peace With Your Life

When I read self-help books, I feel all jazzed. They excite me, but I find them lacking in one aspect, application. I’m thinking of one type in particular, which refers the reader to visualize their perfect day, to help make it real. I picture myself waking up at 8:00 in the morning and eating a healthy breakfast. Work on my writing. Hmmm. Sure, I can do this.

I know a man who cleans floors for a living. He’s a janitor at a middle school in town and has been for many years. He’ll probably retire there. He sweeps, mops, waxes, and buffs those things until they shine perfectly. It brings him great satisfaction. He likes the solitude. And the immediate reward. His art is not the Mona Lisa, but it’s his. At one time he was a contract painter for a local business, painting walls. He enjoyed that also.

I’m missing the feels

Why do I mention this? Because I have to remind myself, there’s a reason for work. Am I working for big dollars? Or hoping for fame? (good luck for either of those) Truthfully, I long for the same feeling as that man, and the same as anyone who finishes with an end stroke, be it an ink pen or a sewing needle. Yes! I did it.

Being satisfied in life is vital. It brings joy and meaning into our life. Some jobs have no end in sight. The gratitude level is too low. You need outside support or the chaos becomes more than you can bear. How do we handle these things? If you’re a mother or caregiver, the work can overwhelm you. Where can you find purpose? A caregiver for an elderly parent is one of the most thankless responsibilities, and our society undervalues caregiving.

We can only live one life, and that’s our own. Each day is ours to choose and a new day to live.

Not Owned

People make crazy statements. Well, you have to take care of your job. I understand what they mean. It’s scarcity. They believe there aren’t enough office cubicles to go around for everyone. But this body, this person is far more precious. I can find another desk to roll my chair under, but who cares if I can’t mentally function anymore.

The same rules apply to relationships. You must take care of yourself. Don’t tell me how much that person needs you until you’re taking care of your needs.

You cannot hold me.

I am not concrete. I move. I change. You cannot use me as a prop to make your life easier. I am not property.

The breeze blows. Whispers in your ear. The air flows and you breathe, then it is gone. Did you expect more? It returned to the wind.

We are this moment. Play, work, struggle, holding our forms. But soon the body will be dust and ash stirred by the winds while in elation what remains flies on to further adventure.

J West

How’s your sleep? Did someone hug you recently and let you know you are worth loving? We must, must remember. Our worth, our innate value is not a luxury. Tell yourself. It sounds stupid, I know, but it works. Show the world you have value by standing tall, brushing your teeth, and getting a good night’s sleep.

There are too many who will nudge you off the sidewalk of life if you let them. Don’t. And by all that’s holy, stop apologizing for being in their way. You belong.

Don’t Quit

It’s not politically correct, but I didn’t follow all of the Mueller testimony. Not all of the six or so hours. I’m not sure I made it through one hour. I think it was the pretend outrage that made my nervous system feel like copper wires frayed from overuse. I switched to comedy. Yeah, me, the news junky switched off.

While I’m confessing, I put dirty dishes in my sink. They sometimes will stay there awhile. Laundry will sit in piles. Horrors! Currently, the two newest members of my household, female kittens, are sleeping beside me. I have a couple of projects on my to-do list. There’s a good feeling growing inside me about this weekend.

“If you can’t even clean up your (own) room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?” Posted by u/Bebo_Bags

Jordan Peterson

Remember the basics. I can’t be everyone’s savior. Nor can I be the savior of the world. Sometimes I do well to clean my own room as Jordan Peterson says, “If you can’t even clean up your own room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?”

Get up. Sunning on the sand is comfortable, but if the tide is rising, move your butt. And we can tell the tide is rising if we look around. I hate politics. It sets my teeth on edge, but I vote for improvement. I’ve been a voter since I was young, updating my party line when I felt my beliefs no longer were the same.

I live from my beliefs. One of them is humanitarianism. There’s more, but that’s for another post. Are You the Choices You Make? It’s important to know yourself and live your values. We lose our way otherwise. It drains us. Let’s live our lives, clean our room, and then we can find our joy.

To everything there is a season, so for today, I’m doing laundry.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Other posts to read: Lost, Forgotten, Ignored? Does anyone care? and How to Be Strong

I Am Home

Do you get stuck in one gear? Ever wonder about your strange whims? We all have them. Some are more noticeable than others. Many can be hidden or written off as normal behavior, but inside you know there’s a gear that’s broken. A rattling. This isn’t a fracture for a bone doctor to repair. It’s deeper.

I’ve been watching my repetitive behavior for a few years now. I also compared it with my mom’s. It’s similar. Some people drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Others overeat. I have a name for my continual urge. Nesting. It’s common when you move into a new home or if you have a new baby, but I don’t fit either category. Birds gather feathers and yarn for their nest in the spring. I shop on Amazon. I love my home. Finally, I had to ask myself why I continue decorating?

“I have arrived. I am home in the now. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell. What a loving place to be.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

The chaos and uncertainty that most of us experience makes it impossible to feel safe. We struggle with our place in society, in the workforce, with our family. We are like a puppy circling to find a comfy spot to sleep. Only we never relax. Circle. Circle. Keep moving.

I don’t feel safe. When I was a child, my home was chaotic and full of anger, so I grew up frightened. As an adult, unconsciously, I’m making a home for myself. My quilts, books, and pictures are only tokens. They are security blankets. Maybe I need them, perhaps I don’t. I’m trying to be patient with myself.

Bless you on your journey to wholeness.

Painting by Leticia Banegas, taken from The Girl God

Sunny Days

I have swallowed the sun⠀⠀
see how I shine,⠀⠀
large centered, huge hearted⠀⠀
The sky is mine. I ask and I shine

Art: Sol Sister © Janet Newton 2017⠀⠀
We’Moon 2019: Fanning the Flame⠀⠀
⠀⠀
#Janetnewton #womenwhopaint #womewhowrite #womenartist #sunflower #sunshine #junebug #womenempowerment #fightthepatriarchy #crowmagic

excerpt © Debra Hall 2017 ⠀⠀
We’Moon 2019: Fanning the Flame ⠀⠀
#debrahall⠀⠀
⠀⠀

Reposted from We Moon. www.facebook.com/wemoon/

Gaming Your Life

The guard in front of the dungeon, did you fight him? If you didn’t, you missed the keys he dropped. You won’t need them until level twenty, but man you can kiss freeing your Prince goodbye! And there was a jar of oil you lost in the game of cards. It was on level three. Oops! Might have been able to unstick the rusty wheels of the cart. <–old gaming style.

“Take the steps I place before you and use whatever I put in your hand.” Back in 2001, I had a nervous breakdown. My sense of reality was warped. I heard voices. Not scary, “kill yourself and your little dog too” types, but the ones where instructions are coming from invisible places. You hear similar stories of spiritual experiences if you study Nikolai Tesla or Saint Teresa. Also, there are others, unnamed and never heard from again, after long treks into the desert. I was neither.

The voices are less chatty now. Maybe I bored them. But, I’m in reality. I’ve mentioned it in a few posts before, Wait, Don’t Stop Trying. But I’ve learned there’s a clanking in the mechanism we call reality. Push at it. Play with it. Move it with your imagination. How? Use the What if? {module}. Or the Maybe it is or isn’t {module}, also called doubt.

Currently, I’m going back to the proverbial front of the dungeon to find things I’m missing. This game of life is not as linear as everyone taught me when I was growing up. I’m fortunate to be flexible and light on my feet. But there are lessons I haven’t learned. Life skills 101 and 102. One, life is not a battle. I must get past my warrior thinking. It’s helpful, but only for survival.

I’ve spoken with many who are terrified of letting go of the battle ax. If we stop fighting and become too tranquil, will we become complacent? And our children, with their flower laced hair, will they develop not fight muscle? Who wants flabby children? And if a murderous monster attacks, life will be over.

Will the human race survive? Or will WE CHANGE the game?

You might also want to read Power Up! or Tricky Rabbit

Drug Addiction is Not a Crime

Don’t be stigmatized. Shake it off. Be free of traditional labeling.

With the new Federal regulations, there is a tightening on pain medicine, even for those with chronic pain. The label I feel stamped across my forehead is Addict.

Yes! Pills. Give me drugs. Stop the pain. A friend’s mom is a pain med junky, according to my friend. It’s been a driving force for keeping my friend away from the treatments. Maybe. There’s the ex-boyfriend who called my friend a druggie when she took her pain medicine. Ironic since he once lived in the tunnels of Las Vegas because of his illegal drug use.

Stigmatism.

I’m uncertain of how to help since there is the of money. If the insurance paid for the medicine, it’s great. If we pay for Ayurvedic or other Holistic treatments, then it is all personal money. Most of us aren’t wealthy. I asked my new pain treatment physician what other alternate treatments meant since the Federal guidelines state doctors are supposed to phase out opioids into different types he said they include physical therapy, surgical interventions, and steroid injections. But these come with copays and deductibles. We are talking about $300.00 to $1000.00s of dollars per visit with no guarantee of any success. Thank you Federal government for your love and concern!

It seems that every TV show and podcast topic lately has a splash of bias, making anyone who needs medicine appear to be a drug seeking criminal. Honestly, if all the answers were found in nature, then our bodies would damn near heal themselves. Even on my favorite show, Joe Rogan Experience, it’s one I can listen to while I work, it’s long and doesn’t need constant visuals. The one I was listening to, #1301-Laird Hamilton, was a health-conscious episode. Mr. Hamilton and Joe were bandying back and forth about people they knew who did outrageous marathons such as 125k. Quite impressive. My annoyance came at their assessment of their source of health. With much pride and enthusiasm, the guest kept repeating that people wouldn’t need medicine if they would exercise (as he does?) Seriously? In all cases?

Be Lucky Like Him

Yes, these big, God’s gifts to the world, do irritate me. There’s a blind spot in their Narcissistic vision. Humility. Mr. Surfer needs a reality check. Genetics smiled upon him. But….

When you have all of the answers, why bother looking anymore? I work in medicine and see the opposite side of the mirror every day. There are babies born without a chance to every run 125k marathon. Babies don’t do a damn thing right or wrong. Many times neither did their parents. Life happens, and we pick up the pieces. It is a fools arrogance to assume we have such control.

I want to be grateful for the gifts I was given, for each day, each person in my life. I want to create a better world for tomorrow. And love my people today.

Here are a few resources:

Gabor Mate is an Author and speaker. He has excellant YouTube videos. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction-Gabor Mate

Richard Grannon is a therapist and speaker I’ve followed for several years on YouTube. He has multiple courses on trauma recovery and offers a free course if you sign up for his emails. Spartan Lifecoach

How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patients-Article

Talking Kitty Cat-Catnip Addiction HELP!! (Funny) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMnco5w7yeI

No Recall

I understand Dementia patients with stickie notes now. People forget. I overbook myself, run out of energy, then become frustrated when I fail. All along I should know better. But I’ve forgotten I lack the muscle I once had. Excitement rules for a time. If only the sheer exuberance could give me energy.

When we experience an event, we should remember it for the rest of our lives. It should remain prominent and be available for recall should we need it for use in our current moment. For instance, if it snowed today and I wondered if this the most significant snow, I would search through my memories to compare all the storms. No, there was the year I had a collie, and we played outside together. That was deep snow. It was 13 inches, I believe. No stickies, all memories.

Fail

Some of our recall fails. Or worse, we are in a state of mind which forgets to inquire. This has been my problem. Failure to recall. Too caught up in my own drama to see anything outside of the pain. I was under the blanket of snow.

Going back to a post I did called, Slowing Down To A Human Crawl, I spoke of the medication which I still take. I needed to remember that time. There was a reason for my exhaustion. I could stop searching for vitamin deficiencies and unique treatments. In the gap of memory, I lost the part of medication making me tired and looked for remedies. Which is similar to wearing your glasses while searching for them. Humans have a strange ability to stab themselves in the eye yet forget who blinded them.

History

Each generation of our humanity surrenders to the next its habits and customs. If we were to jump back 500 years in time to visit our ancestors it would be like visiting a foreign country. And the same thing happens if we were to hang around 500 years ourselves. It would be difficult to keep up with the changes.

What Scholars Think English Will Sound Like in 100 Years

Ounce of Prevention

How do we remember our weaknesses to prevent an unfortunate lapse in judgment? Know you’re fallible. Put the dates and names of your children on their pictures because, Yes! You will forget which adorable child it was in that picture. Label your medications. Remember your own death as the Buddhist instruct. One day you will be your legacy to the next generation. Have fun now, and don’t wait. Hug your loved ones without hesitation. All we have is today.

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.

Nelson Mandela

Illegitimate

What does it mean to not belong? It never mattered how hard I tried. I didn’t feel I was part of the family. Mine. Two brothers. My middle brother finally admitted to me a couple of years ago that he hated me as a child. From the day I was born. The odd thing- I had felt his resentment as I was growing up. Sadly, it only made me want his attention more. I adored both of my brothers. But I never belonged. I was the outsider.

Feelings

Belonging is a bone-deep craving you never escape. You dress it up or down depending on your personality, but it’s the snark as you reply to your coworker. Do they make more money? Get more time off? You hate. And you don’t know why.

Keep On

It keeps you on your toes, always jumping higher. Or you hide. I’m not an expert on the whole human race with its quirky ways, but I know how I feel when I’m relaxed and authentic. When I’m in my element, I smile from the inside. Finding these pockets of authenticity didn’t come naturally. Most of my life has been a walk through a jungle of emotions I couldn’t name. Confusion. Chaos. They call from the trees above. Tangled vines surrounded me and jungle snakes dropped in front of me, even preventing my progress when I tried to do something different. Stick with the familiar, the snake seemed to whisper. Yesterday’s action might be the answer, but I’d never change and I didn’t want to stay tormented forever. Daily life is difficult. Working through the jungle, untangling the vines was tough. How did I get here?

It’s Complicated

To most people, there are paths. Yes, life has problems, sadness, grief, breakups, and pain. There is a source for that pain. Emotionally healthy people can say, “I had a car accident.” Period. In the jungle of messed up folk, such as me, or those who have feelings of not belonging, a car accident is rarely just a car accident. There are tangled vines of doubt. “Was I speeding?” Guilt and shame. “I can’t face anyone tomorrow. That was stupid to rush this morning. I was going too fast.” This torment continues. In the case of my mom, who is 82, she is still chewing on thoughts from her childhood.

Understand

I created a story in my head as a child. I didn’t know why my brother pushed me away when I was three. Logic was not involved. Only a small child’s fear. And when he ran instead of playing, I didn’t understand it wasn’t about me. I wasn’t an adult who could reason this through. And my adults didn’t know to explain. I learned twisted patterns on how to relate to life, problems, and men. I expected difficulty and avoidance. Vines and snakes. And I got them.

Resolution

There’s a way out of the jungle. The vines have names as well as do the snakes. If you put signs on the trees, you create paths. An amazing thing can happen with this jungle. It might not be the family you were born with, but it becomes a world you create. You belong. Name the emotions you feel when they come to you. Don’t ignore them. Go deep into the jungle. If it’s sorrow, put a big stamp on it. SORROWS! Journal, write, talk to friends, walk in nature, play music, whatever helps you. We are legitimate.

Thank you for being my friend!

You might want to read Belonging or My People or Memories of A Childhood

Painting by Julie Gray