Archive for the ‘Headspace’ Category

Truth

Posted: January 3, 2011 in Headspace
Tags: ,

Don’t be afraid to get lost. It’s a precursor to knowing exactly where you are.

Peace and chaos are self-created.

Sing. A lot. Out loud. It loosens things up in your insides that probably need loosening.

If you only ever keep your temper, try losing it. If you only ever lose your temper, try keeping it. There is liberation in both.

Take one single long, deep breath. Then let it all the way out. Chances are, you haven’t done that in a while.

Silence is an indulgence, and is hard to find. When you find it, be patient and still in it. Revel in it.

Homesickness is a gift. It means that you once lived in a place, and at a time, that was precious.

Grief is a gift. It means that you loved, and were loved. It means that a part of them became a part of you. The feeling you have in your heart isn’t a hollowing out, but a filling in.

Feel what you feel, with no excuses, no inhibitions, no guilt.

Hold close to you the things that make you whole, and let go of the things that don’t reflect light upon your soul.

There is strength in vulnerability, every grief and hurt and sadness builds upon that strength, and happiness is more accessible than it sometimes may seem.

———-

Now it’s your turn. Start up an entry, grab a notebook. What are YOUR truths? What are the things that you know, that you REALLY, deep down in your heart, know? Write it down. We all need reminding every now and then, even if we are only reminding ourselves.

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“We’re Extremely Fortunate”

We’re extremely fortunate
not to know precisely
the kind of world we live in.

One would have
to live a long, long time,
unquestionably longer
than the world itself.

Get to know other worlds,
if only for comparison.

Rise above the flesh,
which only really knows
how to obstruct
and make trouble.

For the sake of research,
the big picture,
and definitive conclusions,
one would have to transcend time,
in which everything scurries and whirls.

From that perspective,
one might as well bid farewell
to incidents and details.

The counting of weekdays
would inevitably seem to be
a senseless activity;

dropping letters in the mailbox
a whim of foolish youth;

the sign “No Walking On The Grass”
a symptom of lunacy.

— Wislawa Szymborska
(Translated, from the Polish, by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.)

The final poem from the collection View With A Grain of Sand: Selected Poems.

Do you think that happiness is a choice?

Ponder, comment, discuss.

“A Note”

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it’s not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble on a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

and to keep on not knowing
something important.

— Wislawa Szymborska
(Translated, from the Polish, by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.)

Hermity.

Posted: November 22, 2010 in bitching, boredom, Headspace, Music
Tags:

I’m feeling decidedly hermity. I’d be a total shut-in if I could convince my boss to let me work from home 100% of the time. Lately, it just seems like an effort of epic proportions to get motivated, get showered up, get ready to go, and then just GO already. My ass-spread is reflecting the total couch potato attitude that I’ve been infected with. If I could live in yoga pants and a sweatshirt I’d be a happy, if decidedly unattractive, lady.

Take today. ALL I had to do was get out the door and run an hour’s worth of errands. But even as I was pulling out of the driveway, my brain was making a “MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH” whine that almost amused me in its patheticness.

Then there’s all the crap around here that I also don’t feel like doing. Laundry. Mopping. The general degunkification of the entire dwelling. MEEEEEEEEEEEEEH.

I’ve got three pies to bake, a casserole to throw together, a veggie and dip plate, and a cheese ‘n crackers plate to prepare for Thursday. Low-key indeed, and a far cry from the hustle of having to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner. But I’ve got to go to the grocery store and get all of the ingredients… MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH.

Writing deadlines staring me in the face. MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH.

Blogkeeping that I’ve been putting off for far too long. MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH.

Books that are failing to hold my interest (GOOD GOD SOMEBODY CHECK HER PULSE). MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH.

I’m sitting here listening to country music (I know, I’m on a weird kick), sipping tea, and procrastinating fit to be tied. I just can’t really think of anything that would pull me out of this funk. Maybe go on a CD-shopping spree with Bill, make some killer mixes, and cruise around with the windows down. Take a walk outside, get some exercise and fresh air. Drag Amanda to go see Harry Potter.

I’m homesick. I miss my friends. I’m bored. I am, in general, rather depressed. For no particular reason other than, well, MEH. I feel like a big ol’ whiny suck baby.

(Queue Bill’s inevitable, “Walk it off, ya big pussy,” comment in five… four… three…)

However, this song makes me happy. “I don’t have to be hateful, I can just say, “Bless your heart.”” She’s so adorable you just want to carry her around in your pocket, dontcha?

On Kindness.

Posted: November 16, 2010 in Headspace
Tags: , ,

I went to the grocery store after work yesterday. I got my non-zero amount of stuff and looked for the checkout with the shortest line. Lo, there was a checkout with NO line, managed by one of my favorite checkout ladies. She’s an older lady that’s been there for years – always sweet, rosy-cheeked, smiling. As I pushed my cart toward her, I heard her laughing with the lady at the next lane, saying she’d been due a break for the last half-hour but the person who was supposed to spell her disappeared.

I paused and said, “I’ll find another lane if you need to go on break!” She assured me that she’d be happy to take me, so I started off-loading my stuff onto the conveyor. I told her it was very kind of her to take me, and she said, “You know, dear, it’s the most important thing in the world to be kind to one another.” I agreed wholeheartedly, and said, “Sometimes the small acts of kindness go so much further than we realize, when someone REALLY needs it.”

She was quiet, and I looked up. To my surprise, she had tears in her eyes. “Oh, what’s wrong?” I cried. She half-laughed and said, “Well, back when I was your age, I was really, really sick. I was alone with three small children, and I remember how my mother taught me how important it was to be kind. Even on the days that I didn’t REALLY want to be kind, or show kindness, I tried to, but it was hard. Some days, I was just so sick, and so tired, and so ALONE… well, I admit, some days I just wasn’t as kind as I should have been. I’m reminded today, just when you said that, of a person who was kind to me when I was rude to them. It was at a different job, and… well, I was kind of awful to him. Like I said, I was sick, and I was TIRED of being sick. Instead of being awful back to me, like I deserved, he was kind. At a time when I really, really needed it. He didn’t know about my life, I was as much as stranger to him as he was to me. He probably doesn’t remember it at all, wherever he is now, but I still do.”

I reached across the conveyor and gave her a firm hug, and told her that she was one of the kindest ladies I’ve ever met, and that her mother raised her well. She sniffed and laughed, and said, “I guess I just really need that break!”

Here’s the moral of the story, and your life lesson for today. When someone is rude or unkind to you, don’t assume that it’s their norm. Respond with kindness. Even if YOU don’t see the difference yourself, you’ll probably MAKE a difference to them.

You all know about how I write for Beyond Megapixels. Sometimes, rather than the usual tutorial or advice or product review, I encourage my readers to get thoughtful. Today, I asked them to consider, think, ponder, and navel-gaze about what their “best shot” (or shots) says about themselves.

Go ahead, go read it. I’ll hang out.

So, now I’m asking you guys. It doesn’t have to be about photography – it can be about any creative outlet that you currently enjoy. What does the result of your creativity say about the kind of person you are?

Food for thought on this happy Wednesday.

Hmm. I was perusing back through my archives for this past year, and I just came to a realization. I haven’t had a panic attack, or the need to pop a Xanax, in months. It seems to coincide with the first time that I stopped taking the pill as my method of birth control (I had to go back on it for a few months, and now I’m off it again). Does anyone know if there is a correlation between anxiety/panic attacks, and the pill? A brief Google search indicates that there may be.

Great. I tortured myself for YEARS, saw therapists, and tried various forms of medication, and all I had to do was go off the fucking pill. FIGURES.

———-

Do you suffer from little knots of pain right in the base of your shoulder blades? Do this – place your hands at chest level, palms together and elbows out, kind like you’re praying or are about to bow to your Sensei. Press your palms together as hard as is comfortable, hold for three seconds, and release. Repeat five to ten times. I don’t know WHY it works to relieve the pain in my middle back/shoulder blades, but it does.

———-

How many of you did that just now, as you were reading it?

———-

I just finished the annual enrollment tasks for my health and insurance benefits through AcronymCo. If I just plain ol’ die, my husband stands to be comfortably well off. If my death is a result of an accident while traveling on business, he’ll get over a million dollars. Like, $1.18 million.

Hmm. Maybe I shouldn’t have let him know that.

Note to self: Review Bill’s enrollment stuff. And sleep with one eye open.

(I KID! I kid.)

———-

And now we have a Democratic President, a Republican House, and a Democratic Congress. NOTHING is getting done in this country for the next two years, at least.

It figures.

Every time we watch Isle of Man race coverage on HD Theater, the travel bug strikes me big time. Notwithstanding the fact that it would cost us over a thousand dollars per person just to get ourselves there, it remains one of my top travel destinations. The primary reason that I want to win the lottery is just so I can travel as much, as often, and to as many places as I want to. I have a long, LONG list of fantasy vacations, some of which I’ve planned in as much detail as if we were taking off tomorrow. It’s a depressing thought that I will never see as many places as I want to in my lifetime.

Bill and I went to visit Grandpa Ed in the hospital last night. We got there right before they were planning on moving him out of the ICU and into a regular hospital room. He was asleep when we got there, opened his eyes and acknowledged us a few times, but for the most part was pretty much out of it. We talked to him and held his hand, but didn’t want to stay too long as he was obviously very tired. He’d been awake and talking for most of the day. He’s obviously still very ill, but moving out of the ICU is, of course, a very positive step.

According to Bill, we’re going to be motivated today. The truck needs washing, the house needs cleaning, and I personally want to clean up the back patio so we can sit out there and enjoy the weather without gazing upon clutter. I’m really hoping that we’ll take a couple of motorcycle rides this weekend – food destinations provide for an excellent reason to get out on the road. Joe’s Farm Grill is about ten miles away from us, and I’ve been wanting to head out and check them out ever since I read the review on Feasting in Phoenix. Then, of course, there’s Cien Agaves in Scottsdale, our go-to place for the best tacos on the planet. They’re about fifteen miles away from us.

Really, I just want to be out in the great weather, on the bike behind my husband. Any destination will do.

This is a photo of Bill’s grandfather, Grandpa Ed, at the Christmas celebration at our house in 2000. He used to read the story of Christ’s birth straight from the bible every year with all of the kids, young and old, gathered around him.

Grandpa hasn’t done that in several years now. His health has deteriorated at an alarming rate for the last few years. He’s been wheelchair-bound for quite some time, and he’s been in and out of the hospital a lot. A couple of months ago, when we took lunch to the grandparents’ house for a visit, he wasn’t looking well at all, and wasn’t really “there”. And then, last week, he fell and broke his leg in three places. He made it through emergency surgery, spent a few days in the hospital, and was moved to a facility for recovery and therapy. His first day there, he aspirated and had to be moved immediately back to ICU. He was placed on a ventilator and had to be resuscitated several times.

We were all told not to expect miracles, and that he had a 20% chance for surviving and getting well enough to move back to the recovery center, but that he’ll never live at home again. We kept expecting “the” call, all throughout the week, and mentally prepared ourselves.

However, the latest update from Bill’s sister is that Grandpa is off the ventilator, and is talking a little. We’re going up to the hospital tonight to visit him. Your thoughts and prayers for his comfort and well-being, and that of our dear Grandmother Claudine who is frantic with worry, would be greatly appreciated.

This brings me to talk about something that’s been on my mind, lately – quality of life. I think we all hope that we go out in a peaceful, or at least painless way, far into our elder years. The best I hope for is to die on my 101st birthday, while having sex with my 111 year old husband (hi, Bill) who goes out at the same time. (Oh, the poor kids, if they find us like that!) I would hope that I remain healthy all throughout my twilight years, though I’m only 36 now and sometimes I creak when I get out of bed. Still, I can handle a certain amount of discomfort as long as I’m mobile, of sound mind, and can still eat whatever I want.

I guess there are certain things I could handle, and certain things I could not. Of course, I wouldn’t know unless I experienced these things, but what if I go blind? Lose my hearing? What if I can’t walk, can’t feed myself, have to pee in a bag? What if I’m in and out of the hospital constantly? What if my spouse is home-bound because I can’t DO anything? What if he starts to resent the way I’ve hampered his quality of life? What if I break a bone if I so much as bump a piece of furniture? What if the only thing left for me is to sit and sit, and watch television? What if I start forgetting who my loved ones are, who I am? If it gets bad enough, will I have the courage to face my mortality in a dignified way? Will I be able to convince my loved ones to let me go, to not take extreme measures that force me to linger when I don’t want to?

There are a great deal of things to be afraid of, regarding getting old. We all know that no one gets out alive, so what should we hoping for as we approach the end? To just have more good memories than bad? A smaller amount of regrets than we were expecting? The best health possible right up to the end, but barring that, just one more day of consciousness? To not be alone?

That last one scares me the most.