Moods and Cravings

Earlier I was feeling a bit morose. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Actually, it has been for the last several days. Janet had private a pity party. I didn’t stay in that state because I know that it doesn’t help. I prefer to find the reason for my mood and do something about it. Most of the time, my moods come and go without lingering. This time my emotions and I seemed to be playing peek-a-boo. That’s why I realized that this could be important.

Not hiding

I stopped swiping them to the side and just looked. Yes, I missed seeing my children since they’ve grown up. I missed reading their cute little books to them and watching the cartoons they enjoyed. Their squirmy bodies would curl up next to me on the couch while we watched The Lion King or 101 Dalmatians for the thousandth time. Memories and grief are normal and usually don’t last. This time I realized it wasn’t just those instances that were absent. I needed to wake up and notice what was lacking in my life.

Cravings that linger

It reminds me of food cravings. Most foods that I crave are an impulse. I read about brownies and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with a craving for brownies. The same happens with coffee or popcorn or any other food. But other times a food craving lingers and I realize I’m craving something my body needs at that moment.

Using the same logic for my emotions, I must need something that I was getting during the time I was spending time with my kiddos. I’m sure that you’ve analyzed this and you are shouting at your screen how obvious it is. Sometimes I am a little slow when it comes to my emotional needs.

It happens most often when I am trying to fill an idealized version of myself. Much like looking at a picture in a magazine of a living room. It’s decorated so perfectly. All of the books stacked and the table is free of clutter. Shoes are out of sight and obviously, no one has a throw pillow on the floor or a blanket nailed over a window to block the sunlight. My living space is real and as much as I want it impressively decorated and ingeniously designed, it isn’t.  My house fits me with its galley kitchen and old refrigerator. The place is close to the highways I use and the cost of maintaining my place is minimal. No fuss and that’s how I like it.

This is where I live

This body of mine is a real body. It is my living space. I have to treat it in the way that helps it work the best. If I over stress it with high expectations or overwhelm it with too many activities, it will start throwing alarm switches until I listen. This last week my body has started with reminding me that frugality is admirable but stinginess is cruel. My washing machine quit working a few weeks back so I had been “making do” until I could save enough to buy a new washer. While that sounds wonderful, I realize I was not being frugal for a purely financial reason. There was a huge chunk of ego that wanted to boast how worthy I am! Quite a laughable thing once I realize what a tricky thing our psyche is. After taking a step back and looking at the situation I went to a local home improvement store and financed a washing machine. True, I could have waited, but it was stressing me unnecessarily.

Herd of trolleys
Herd of trolleys (Photo credit: Joe Dunckley)

Have you ever tried to push a shopping cart with a twisted wheel? That’s how it felt. I kept going, kept trying, because that’s what I do. I keep pushing because I know I can. I’m strong and capable, right? When I took care of my needs I realized how tiring my enduring had made me. When I stopped trying to push the broken cart down the aisle I could release the burden I was carrying.

What was I talking about? Pity party?

So, back to my pity party. What is your estimation of my mood? Was it because I really missed my children? Or maybe I missed the moments that seemed carefree? To me there were no better moments in my life than those when I could just sit and be there with my boys. Them and their little boy TV shows filled with whimsical characters and superhero outfits. I feel better now. Revived and refreshed. Somehow just taking the time for myself to remember that part of my life, the joy of it, has brought a smile to my face. I am no longer sad that I can’t have those little guys as a part of my life anymore. They are a little big for Power Rangers. I can now come back to my present moment and I can spread a bit of the whimsy to today. I realize I had unrealistic expectations of myself and I wasn’t allowing myself to live in the moment.

  • I choose not to kill my soul with harsh criticism and unrealistic expectations.
  • I choose to let joy and life flow through me, so that when the time comes I can also bring joy to others.
  • I choose to be a part of life in the now and not above it. The future is sometimes frightening and I don’t want to face it but there is always a way. There is always a simple step. It’s not always the boastful, shiny, impressive way, but there is a solution.
  • I choose to glean the joys of yesterday and like seeds in the garden, I will sprinkle them with honor and watch them blossom.
  • I choose to honor myself, as I am, even all the jiggly parts.

Jiggly Juicy Parts- That Vital Spark

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Limitations, Boundaries, and those cute Picket Fences

mskittyshoulderSometimes when I’m in the bathroom my cat will sit on the floor and stare at me. It’s annoying. You may ask why I don’t lock her out. I feel guilty. She is home alone all day so I feel I shouldn’t limit my time with her. So I resent her stare.

Games we play

This is the game we play and you may recognize it. She stares and I feel guilty. I pet her and allow her to rub around my legs, until. There’s only so much I can take with all that attention. We both mean well.

The funny thing about it is, when I am with her overextended vacations, she still meows when she doesn’t see me in the room with her. If I step outside to take out the trash or go run an errand, it’s no different. She still wants the same amount of attention as she did when I’m only home for a few hours. So in my great reasoning, I don’t think it’s because she misses me.
I read somewhere that a cat’s memory is only a few minutes. She doesn’t know how long I’ve been gone.

This guilt I feel is just empty guilt. I am projecting how I would feel in her shoes (paws).  So why am I feeling so miserable? What do I really want? I like it when we snuggle up on the couch together. I like it when she greets me in the morning. Even when I come home. The time when I’m in the bathroom and she’s staring at me is my fault. I let it happen. If I really want to be alone at that time I need to close the door. A simple thing really.

picket fence
picket fence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How often do we do this? We yell at people unnecessarily instead of metaphorically and physically closing the door. Have you ever told someone “Yes, I’ll do that for you,” when really you feel like vomiting at the thought of doing it? We go along with things when we have other plans. We say yes to their idea even when we disagree. It’s not necessary. We think we’re being kind. All we’re really doing is building up a reason to hate someone who we would normally love. That’s what resentment does. It builds a wall of hate. Get enough resentment built up and what happens? We yell. We scream. We blame. We walk away in anger. Is this what we want? Is it inevitable?

Kids need boundaries

http://www.examiner.com/article/why-children-need-boundaries
In the study with a group of children on a playground, the children without a fence around them did not play close to the edge but clustered towards the center. The children that were in a fenced area used the entire playground to play. So it would seem that if you place boundaries in your life and those around you, you are actually giving yourself freedom. Ironic isn’t it? I know in my life, I feel freer creatively, if no one is around to disturb me and there are no other pending appointments. When I know my creative time is short I feel pressure, which goes against every creative bone in my body.

Right here and now

I have the right to close my bathroom door so that I’m not stared at by my cat. I have the right to not answer my phone if I’m needing to work. I feel so much freer knowing that I can put a fence around my time and declare that this is my time. I can put up a fence and stick my flag in the ground. This is my time! Right here and now. Kings do it, presidents do it, astronauts do it in the name of their country, and so can you. If it helps, you can make yourself a flag and put it in the middle of your room or outside your closed door. Name your kingdom. Just remember, you are the enforcer. Even if your best friend calls or your mother, you have to let them know that you will have to call them later.

If this has not been a part of your life before, people may not honor your boundary. But if you continually tell them, eventually they will learn to respect your fence. With cats, children, spouses, or parents, it’s no different. They learn what we teach them. If we teach them that it’s okay to call us names and hurt our feelings (by allowing it), then that is what we will get. Some people in your life will need retraining. But that’s okay. Think of it as an experiment. Who is the easiest to teach? How long did it take? How did they react in comparison to a different person? Be firm, but not rude. repeat the same line 30 or 40 times if necessary. “I can’t talk now. I’ll call you at 5:00.”  Don’t explain. Don’t vary. I’ve used this technique several times and it’s like magic, but you have to state it firmly and without emotion.

What works for you? Leave a comment.

How To Live Your Life as a Novelist

David Oscarson - Valhalla
David Oscarson – Valhalla (Photo credit: s.yume)

One of the first things you learn in the craft of writing fiction is how to develop your characters. You place your characters in a setting as a child would place his toys. They are ready for their lives. Each one with his or her own agenda, wants, and desires. Let them glimpse their future. <insert evil laugh here>

 

Their winning is there for the taking. You can see the lust for the finish line twinkle in their eyes. When they are almost there, thwart their efforts. Weather, family, or disease. the evil novelist rules the world.

Sometimes it seems our lives are like that, like some malicious author is blocking our moves just to develop our character.

 

This is character development by chaos 101.

 

Welcome to class. In front of you are your notebooks and pens. grab the funky pen or the bright-colored one, I don’t care. Begin.

 

What’s your dream goal? Happiness? Hmm, I can’t work with that. A job? Simple enough. A spouse? That’s possible. But we all know that just any ol’ job won’t do. We want a powerful or high dollar job, right? Or a glamorous job, with flashing camera lights maybe. High dollar shoes and high dollar cars. And the paparazzi following your every move. Am I right? Well at least until you get those things. What do you really want? Write it down.

 

Truly we all want something different. You might want the bright lights and the paparazzi. Some want the money so they can afford more fuzzy slippers. And pajamas. Who doesn’t want to live in their pajamas.

Me? I want to feel I’ve helped someone. That I will always be brightening other’s lives all through my existence. How about you? fame? money? health? children? Whatever it is, what is in your way? Time? Are there not enough hours? Maybe it’s just a clear idea of how to get there.

 

Change, It’s What’s a Happening!

We outgrow things.
Shoes and clothes. Styles and winter coats. Our hair gets long and we cut it short. We file our nails and then have to file them again.

Sometimes it seems endlessly tiring, all of this change. Wearing the clothes, washing the clothes, mending the clothes. Folding them and then unfolding them. But this is the cycle of our lives.

We outgrow teachers. We outgrow friends. We leave our parents and then we meet them as adults. We don’t normally see the exact start of change, but change flows through our being just as the seasons flow through the trees and the earth.

There’s no sense trying to stop it, as if we could. Greet it as a friend because we are no match facing it as an enemy. No gun will make it scare away. No stalling will hide you. The growth, the change, the leaving, these are the only things that are consistent.

We are all agents of change as well as the ones being changed. Below, I have a video for you to enjoy. It’s called the Fibonacci in Lateralus.

The Fibonacci in Lateralus

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

In a small town, not far away, lived a boy who could only paint. He could not chop wood, the ax was too heavy and it fell out of his hands. When he gardened, the plants always died. The cows ran from him and afterwards would only give spoiled milk. He could not weave or spin. The yarn would always tangle around his fingers.

So his family and the people of the town decided to leave him alone to do what he really liked to do.
The boy who could only paint loved to paint. He would often paint pictures of children playing and pictures of parents smiling while watching their children. He would paint with blues and greens, browns and pinks too. There would be kites in his paintings with blazing colors as they soared high in the bright blue sky. There were balloons and parades and fairs with dancing and fun everywhere.

In the middle of the town there was a wall that had a picture on it. A picture of destruction, war and gloom. A prophet had come through the town one day and predicted war, destruction and a sad end for the town and its people. The town’s people believed the prophet – he was a very wise man. They trusted this man who spoke great wonders and painted them on their wall. Believing the prophet’s tale, they busied themselves working hard to secure their town from unknown horrors. Walls were built, towers for storage and other strong fortresses for safety were made. The town stored food and clothing for such a dire day ahead. Not knowing when or how that sad day would come they worked harder so all their hard work wouldn’t be lost.

Now on a very normal day, as the people ran and busied themselves with their work, the young boy took his paint and brushes, looking for something to paint. His family had finally quit trying to make him useful, so he was alone. He walked into the town, looked around and spotted his next place to paint. First he took out blue, a nice soft blue. He covered that sad picture on the old wall. Green was next. His trees were green and they were strong. Brown was for the trunks and the roots that grew into the ground. He painted a sun and some birds and a boy with a wide smile.

One by one the town’s people stopped what they were doing. The man with a wagon load of corn, the lady with her milk cows, even the girl with a basket, full of eggs, stopped to see what the boy had done. As the crowd gathered around, they didn’t know what to think. Should they be angry with the boy who could only paint? He’d destroyed the prophet’s work. But no one could quite remember, what had been on the wall before. One gentleman thought it had been a building. A young girl remembered a crow. Out of all the people no one remembered the prophet’s message.

One lone man walked towards the boy, took the paintbrush from the boy’s hand and grabbed the small can of paint. With tears in his eyes, he walked towards the wall of doom and destruction, dipped the brush into the blue paint, then added his paint to the newly painted wall. One by one the people came forward and painted a spot onto the wall while the boy who could only paint now could only watch.

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms…Muriel Rukeyser. What is your story?

I’m not sticking my belly out

This is from the writer of “Formerly Hot

This is the lighter side of being not so young. I really wish I had her good humor about it. And I do have to check out this book. Looks to be funny!!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Sharing


I remember a movie called “Conagher.” Katharine Ross plays a lonely widow on the prairie whose only form of expression is tying notes onto tumble weeds and watching the wind take them.
We as people have to express ourselves. Sometimes it’s in the way we dress or the color of our car, but in some way you have to tell your story. Whether anyone listens is irrelevant. Yes I know, it is nice when people agree, but we can’t be too affected by others agreements. Whether people listen or not, we must tell our story.

A word is dead
when it is said
some say.
I say it just
begins to live that day.
-Emily Dickinson
VI. A Word