Posted in Family, Internet, Uncategorized, Weight

Thinking Out Loud

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I was never particularly a girlie-girl, despite my mother’s valiant attempts.
You know the drill, cute, bright dresses and outfits (my Mom sewed), sometimes sleeping with curlers or rags in my long chestnut hair, and of course, hair decorations and thingamabobs (bows, ribbons, and remember that yarn in our pigtails?).
It didn’t take.
I wasn’t exactly a tomboy either.
Just a girl, who grew, slowly, into a woman.
My favourite colour now is black (yes, I’m aware it’s not actually a colour; black objects absorb all the colours of the visible spectrum and reflect none of them to the eyes, but humour me). My hair is a sexy (sure, ok) bob, though enduring the awkward process of growing out decades of hair dye. Not a ribbon or bow in sight.

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My friends were an intriguing mixture of girlie and not-so-girlie, but we all had one thing in common, we were obsessed with one thing: numbers. Bra size. When we got our first period. How long each period was. How many days between periods. Weight. Height. Phone numbers. How many boys you’d kissed, or wanted to kiss, or who wanted to kiss you.
Oh yes, and occasionally grades in school slipped into that all important number cluster. It was all a numbers game.

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From this angle, at this age, those numbers now seem adorable.
Reaching numbers in the 40s or 50s? You might as well have said I’d be driving a flying car, or getting my supper from a food replicator.
Those numbers were Sci-Fi.
Now they’re Non-Fiction.

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For decades I’ve ridden the roller-coaster of confidence.
High up, I throw my hands in the air, tasting the ripe plum of thrills; believing I’d made the right choice…knowing I could do anything I put my mind to.

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Big bro was stylin’ too.

Then racing down, down, down to  uncertain, overwhelmed, unsure.
My brain screaming, even if it never reaches my lips.
The sense that I could achieve being mercilessly pummeled by doubt.
Fear whipping cruelly at my hair.
Procrastination punching relentlessly at my gut.
The bar that should be protecting me from falling instead holds me in.
I chase challenges, but crash, tumble, fail to engage. The risks are too big. Too scary.
What if I disappoint?
What if I impress and can’t do it again?

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Does everyone ride this roller-coaster, or do they ride the Ferris wheel, a perfect circle of confidence, around and around? Maybe they’re just better at faking it.

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Groovy Christmas morning with Mrs. Beasley!

I don’t want to be the heroine or the victim in my story, just the writer. The writer who has snacks. Tasty snacks. Maybe a comfy chair or couch. And the ability to share her story.

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A writer and her tasty snacks.

The internet has helped spread that story. I love the internet, it connects people in ways never, ever imagined. And if you don’t have anyone to argue with, just express an opinion then…wait. And watch some cat videos.

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A feeling of lassitude, tedium, ennui grips me. The usual stuff isn’t doing it for me. I have battled the demons of depression and anxiety, unashamed; their claws rake at me, their teeth snap at me, bloody, but not broken, I go on.

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This seems like something else, could it be boredom? I hope not. Not my best state. It’s destructive. Causing zoning out, not caring, not engaging, or looking for routes to relieve that boredom, usually with negative consequences.

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Boredom doesn’t have to always be bad. It can cause ignition. Spark. My boredom doesn’t feel like a visit from apathy, or its twin, indifference.

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I’m not feeling particularly restrained or confined, no more than usual.

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I feel thoughts wandering to ways to ease this blanket of boredom. So could this be the searching type of boredom? Looking for something. Open to new possibilities, positive changes? Could anticipation, expectation be masquerading as boredom?

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My Grandma would’ve said I should pull up my bootstraps. But what if those straps are so worn, so frayed…just about to snap? She’d probably tell me to dig deeper and pull harder. I’m trying, Grandma.

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First and last time I looked like a bride.

Each person that crosses your path, friend or foe or otherwise, teaches you something. But what? That you should meet fewer people? Or the person that crossed your path, the person that taught you the most, should have been you. Maybe it was. Is. Should be.

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Posted in Books, Canada, Holidays, Uncategorized, Zombies

Who Loves Ya Baby?

1tidy4How many times
can you fall off
the planet before
you start to think,
hmmm, maybe I
need better
gravity boots.

My strange week began with me frenetically organizing and cleaning my house.

At first, I thought it was simply having finally read Marie Kondo’s book, the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and tidying. Really impressive, commonsense. Now my house looks like a poor woman’s Martha Stewart, with fewer prison ponchos (it’s a good thing).

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Then came the gut punch, the calendar explained my sudden need to keep busy – a year ago my 30 year friendship stopped, just as my best friend’s heart had stopped https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/06/goodbye-dearest-friend/ I wanted to do anything but think about my losses, all of them, before and after this one. I wanted to drown my sorrows in the bottom of a neatly folded and lined-up sock drawer. To gamble I could keep the traveling elastic bands and pens all in one place, just one more time.

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Even after everything was organized, sorted, recycled, and donated, my feelings of pain, loss, and fear still cluttered my house, heart, and mind. So I purged some of those feelings blocking me from respecting joy, hope, and love. I folded my memories into my life; if I keep hanging them, they’ll take up too much space in my emotional closet.

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We’re told we need to be smart, work smart, have smart things, but where is smart really getting us?

  • For example, if credit cards are so smart, why can’t they pay off their outstanding balances, huh?

  • If TVs are so smart, why do we have to spend so much time looking for something good to watch?

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  • Maybe we need smart pets that feed, groom, and even walk themselves.

  • I have a feeling if I got a smart fridge, I’d hear things like: “Are you here again, girl, get yourself a life!” or “What are you doing, Donna, this is highly irregular!”

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  • Why stop there? Smart coffee machines, ha, amateurs, how about smart coffee that changes itself from espresso to latte to whatever passes as coffee, depending on your mood.

  • Someday your smart car will hold you in contempt without a valid high IQ score.

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  • Smart wine that critiques itself so you can sound like a wine connoisseur, although then everyone will sound the same, so it will be just the wine talking.

  • Smart couches that tell us the best spot to park our caboose.

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War, depression, corruption, terrorism, anxiety, climate change, poverty, prejudice, ignorance, disease, political games, scams, abuse, addiction, melodrama, not to mention simultaneous epidemics of starvation and obesity – we don’t need a zombie apocalypse, we’re doing just fine on our own.

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We self-scan, aka us working for a store for free, while putting others out of work (and already over-paying), all the while supporting companies that destroy the environment, while using what amounts to slave labour. Really?

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And our complaints are many: my laptop is too heavy, there’s too much food in my house, my smartphone isn’t the latest model, my smartphone doesn’t have a long enough battery life, there’s too many movies/TV shows to stream/watch. I clearly have the wrong definition of ‘smart’.

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So I will try to be smarter.

I will thank my body for it’s hard work, especially my heart which has taken a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.

I will commune with my mind, who has respectfully stayed with me through thick and thin.

Everything in its place and a place for everything…as long as it sparks joy.

Happy Valentine’s Day…Who loves ya, baby?

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Posted in Autism, Books, Parenting, Uncategorized

There are worse things I could do

Spring has sprung, 1anxiety4
the grass has riz
and everywhere
the birdies is.

That was my Dad’s way of letting us know, it was Spring.

On this beautiful Spring-like day, I’m settling for the sin of cleaning.
Cleaning, sinful? For someone with Asperger’s, who like things a certain way and don’t like changes, it’s a terrible transgression.
It’s all how we see things – making things fresh and clean or adding lots of weird smells and moving things, possibly moving them out of order?
I clean less than Martha Stewart, but my son, the Aspie thinks I clean way too much. Which got me thinking about balance.1anxiety8

1anxiety1Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrum by Lee A, Wilkinson, PhD (Jessica Kingsley Publishers), was a timely book to read today when I borrowed the digital copy from Netgalley.com for an honest review.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help people restore balance, whether they’re on the Autism Spectrum or not.
It’s about changing your way of thinking.
Taking a bad, sad, mad, or scary thought and changing how you look at it.
It’s like taking a old, clean sock, soaking it in equal parts water and vinegar and using it to clean your blinds and windows so you can see more clearly.
Don’t forget to use the other sock to dry them.

There’s nothing wrong with being sad, mad, or scared, but how we handle those thoughts can be like washing a cast iron pan with soap and water instead of coarse salt and water. We want it to last and reach its full potential, so don’t forget TLC (for the pan, some oil).

CBT helps manage and overcome difficulties, in a straightforward way, making a complicated situation less so.
Like when you use your blender, helpful, but now it’s messy. Instead of taking it apart to clean, or trying to clean around the blades, potentially causing more harm, pour in hot water and dish soap, lid on, then blend. Just rinse, dry and store.
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Wilkinson is excellent at explaining the anxiety, depression, and isolation caused by social skills deficits and cognitive issues, and how they can be alleviated and managed through CBT.
Too often people with anxiety or depression are told to: just stop, grow up, smarten up, man up, or they’re defective or attention-seeking, etc.
Trying to clean a cutting board used for cutting raw chicken with only soap and water or bleach. Think that fixes the problem?
1anxiety7No, but a lemon cut in half with salt on it would do the trick.

So there are worse things I can do than Spring cleaning…if we find the right balance, there’s little or no anxiety for my son and our home is sparkling.

For now.

Posted in Family, Internet, Political, Uncategorized, Weight

So You’ve Ruined Your Life…Now What?

So You Ruined Your Life...Now What?You ruined my life!
My life is ruined!
They’re ruining my life!
People use the word ruin a lot,
I do not think it means
what they think it means.
Your life can be altered,
sometimes in extremely
negative ways,
perhaps even
screwed up royally,
but your life
can’t be ruined…
technically.

So what if you:

1. Shared a picture, tweet, post, status update etc. that has offended, disturbed, cost you a job, relationship, friendship, and/or caused massive backlash? Learn from it. People are complex, multidimensional, social media tends to be flat, a moment frozen in time which you have no idea how people are viewing or why, what their filter is, what their life experiences are, etc. It’s so easy to offend on social media, if I haven’t done so already, keep reading, odds are someone will be offended by this.

2. Stayed too long and put too much into trying to save a toxic relationship, whether with a partner, friend, family member? ‘Bad’ relationships can lead to low self-esteem, depression, resentment, fatigue – a waste of time and energy. You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em, that isn’t just in poker.

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3. Ate too much over the holidays? Spent too much over the holidays? Exercised too little? No use beating yourself up, accept responsibility and change.

4. Fell in love and fell hard…with stuff. It’s easy to do, shopping in stores, online, it’s exciting, it’s cool, it’s fun, everyone praises and envies your stuff; like any addiction you can choose what you feed it. Is the gratification worth the consequences?

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5. Believed things you heard or read or watched. We’ve all done it, but there’s a lot of bad or just plain wrong information, especially on the internet. Take things with a hefty truckload of salt.

6. Been complacent. You hoped governments and corporations had your best interests at heart. They don’t. They should. But they don’t.

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7. Forgot gratitude and took things for granted. I’m sure we’ve all done this, you get comfortable with people, things and you forget – they can all disappear. It’s so easy to accept, expect, and forget to be thankful. Broken record here, but learn from it.

8. Worried too much about what you say or do. Being yourself is so last year and what if you offend someone or they don’t like something you said or did? You can’t please everyone, so unless you’re hurting someone, this too shall pass. If they don’t like you when you’re really you, move on.

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9. Gave up on dreams, decided to settle? It may not be too late, at least to have a modified version of those dreams. Keep trying.

10. You’ve fallen and you stayed there…There’s no time limit on getting back up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, get up, dust off, you’re back!

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Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Robin Williams: His Last Laugh

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-his-last-laugh/Suicide isn’t a laughing matter. Neither is depression.

Have we lost the ability to see that line between genuinely mourning the loss of someone and using it to gain attention for ourselves?

Where to begin? The media are too obvious, they’re a well-oiled exploitation machine.

Social media is too often the Land of Shallow, where pictures, platitudes, Slacktivism, jokes, and memes are welcome, but anything of substance is frequently ignored or seen as annoying.

Yet it’s the memorials that confuse me the most.
What does wasting money on flowers, balloons, teddy bears and candles do?
Does it bring those lost back?
Does it stop the next accident, murder, or suicide?
No. It just mildews.
What a terrible waste.

Maybe it’s a form of pain behaviour. People need to show how much they care, show that they’re in pain.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-his-last-laugh/

  • Take the money you would spend on items for a memorial and donate it to those in need.
  • Help someone who suffers from mental illness get help or support.
  • Help someone undergoing cancer or other treatments with extra expenses.
  • Help society’s most vulnerable get enough food, shelter, dental care, eye glasses, medicine.
  • Do something useful. Wouldn’t that show you care? Ease your pain?

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Robin Williams chose to leave this world. I expect this loss is felt deeply by his family and friends, and to a lesser degree, by his fans.
If you’re actually upset about this, help someone who is struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, and other forms of mental illness.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-his-last-laugh/

Be kind.

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Maybe we wouldn’t need Suicide Hotlines or Kids Helplines or so many other band-aids if people would stop making so many hurts.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-his-last-laugh/
Be there to listen to someone (hint, turn off your cellphone while listening; seeing your head bent over your phone as you absently say uh-huh at maybe the right spots will probably just remind them of how messed up the world is).
Take the time to be in the moment.

I’ve been a fan of Robin Williams since I saw him as Mork (first on Happy Days then on Mork and Mindy).
I liked most of his work, funny or serious or seriously funny.

I was even one of the 10 (that number is an estimate, it might have been an even dozen) people watching The Crazy Ones, before it was cancelled.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-his-last-laugh/

It’s a distressinhttps://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-his-last-laugh/g incongruity that many comedians use humour as a mask, a shield, a façade…That while they are making us laugh, making us forget our worries, making us remember that life is worth living they are haunted by inner demons.

Robin Williams was a frenzied mastermind of comedy, or sometimes a serene, gentle man, or an alien, a genie, batty bat, toymaker, spinach-eating strongman, hologram, penguin, robot, a scientist, DJ, doctor, wax figure, dreamer, camper, dad, soldier, psychologist, or whatever he needed to be; he was an actor, an entertainer.

We watch people on screens and think we know them. We don’t.
We don’t know what is in their heart, in their minds.
We don’t know what haunts them, or drives them, sometimes they don’t even know themselves.

It is sad when talent is lost, but instead of fake monuments that will die, or mold, or rot, why not do something that will help people, not just give you a chance to be on TV, something to talk about or post on social media.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-his-last-laugh/

I know it’s not popular, but do something real (not reality TV real but real real) and meaningful.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-his-last-laugh/