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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m not feeling particularly restrained or confined, no more than usual.
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?
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.
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.
As a writer I have to believe words have power. One of the words I dislike is hate (note I didn’t say I hated hate). It’s overused. People hate their life. Family. Weight. Home. Car. Cats (maybe they sense your hate). Government. Politicians. Job. Hair. Cake (you are so reading the wrong blog). Books. TV shows. Songs. Actors. Movies. Vegetables (how do you hate something plant-based?).
I’m tired of hearing people say they hate…I’m not sure they know what that word means. Hate should be reserved for really, really bad people and things, like: child abusers, rapists, murderers, Hitler, warlords, dictators, alien overlords, stuff like that.
1. Let’s review, do you really hate your life or just certain aspects? Your whole life is a big category with many moving parts, pick the right part to hate, let the rest roll on.
2. Standing in the middle of a room silently or loudly screaming, “I hate my life” or “no No NOOOO!” repeatedly will probably make you feel slightly better for about 30 seconds, but it’s not a long-term ‘fix’.
3. This is usually the point when advice-giver types tell you to change your life. That’s all well and good, but what if some things are beyond your ability to change? Should you just accept them, or rail against them, lay down and kick and scream until you feel better, or until someone offers you ice cream to stop, or threatens to call the authorities (and no ice cream)?
4. How much time do you spend each day ‘hating your life’, I suggest you cut that in half, help others with the other half, you’ll feel the hate drift away.
5. Take a deep breath. This probably won’t help you hate your life less, but hopefully you might get a nice breath of fresh air, or the smell of fresh-baked goods.
6. Do something, maybe something different, or something to help someone else, again, may not make your life full of singing and woodland creatures doing your housework, but it might remind you of the good things.
7. Take charge of your life, unless you wouldn’t feel comfortable having you in charge, after all, do you even remember where your keys, or the remote is right now?
8. Are you at least changing the things you hate about your life? You’d hate to get stuck in a rut of hating the same things for decades.
9. Check your birth certificate. Are you old enough to hate your life? There are some weird laws out there, you don’t want to be breaking any.
10. Write down what you hate, maybe there’s a great book, or movie or TV show, song, etc. in all that hate. As much as people say they love positivity, so many popular shows, movies, books, plays, songs, etc. are about dysfunction, hate, crime, death, destruction, apocalyptic worlds, and misery, including Misery.
Maybe the haters just need a nap. A nap always makes you feel better. I’ve been enjoying a tiny bit more sleep (even when awake) in the past week (new meds).
Fibromyalgia and sleep don’t get along, but as much as I can hate the pain it inflicts on me 24/7, the constant fatigue, feeling left out of life sometimes, there’s no point, it is what it is. I have a choice, I can choose hate and be all grumpypants, or I can choose love and keep enjoying what I have and hoping for better days ahead.
If I said anything wonky during my blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/29/always-on-my-mind-blog-party/ (still open by the way, drop by anytime and promote your blog, for free, yes, free – we hear that word often, but it’s rarely true, in this case, it is) – I’ll blame it on the drugs (totally legal ones). Thanks to all those who came out. Happily, my bed and I are back on speaking terms, for now, and we didn’t even need sleep counseling.
Haters gonna hate, so let’s bake them a cake…seriously, who can hate when eating cake?
Be brave. Be bold.
Choose love…and naps…and cake
(not necessarily in that order).
1. Reach 49.
2. Forgive. Doesn’t matter if they deserve it, you do.
3. Some people will be negative and hate, so what, what’s that got to do with you?
4. Learn your parents, family, and friends’ stories.
5. Ignore people who tell you to try surfing or skydiving or extreme sports if you don’t want to do it, they’re not going to spend the time in hospital or rehab.
6. Help someone who needs help and don’t tell a single soul you did it.
7. Learn to compromise.
8. Conquer a fear. Doesn’t have to be a big one.
9. Take the time to write that email, make that call, write a letter, visit, send a card, it may not matter, but what if it does?
10. Ask for help. Accept it gratefully.
11. Smile. Laugh. Often. Quit thinking about why. Smile. Laugh.
12. Cry. Into someone’s shoulder, a pillow, a cat or dog, a tub of ice cream, a gooey chocolate bar, but cry.
13. Walk. Look around. Walk some more.
14. Quit measuring. Your food. Waist. Accomplishments. What others have. Still measure before cutting wood, fabric, and when you bake.
15. Nurture yourself so you can nurture others. The world works best when everyone cares for someone.
16. Say yes more often.
17. Say no more often.
18. Do something you didn’t think you could do. Maybe you still can’t, but isn’t it glorious that you tried?
19. Read. Doesn’t matter what.
20. Laugh so hard it hurts and you think someone might call in help because there’s something wrong.
21. Don’t be too serious, it causes wrinkles and it’s no fun.
22. Believe in something, stand behind it, no matter what.
23. Find some magic, whether it’s in a book, a sunset, a blog post, a smile, a party, a kiss, a moment…Find it and keep it.
24. Belt out a song at Karaoke, especially one you don’t know or with inappropriate lyrics.
25. Watch the stars…sleep under them if possible.
26. Roll down a grassy hill with your friend (make sure there’s nothing in the way first).
27. Change your hair, not to follow a style, or to cover gray hair, or because someone tells you that you should.
28. Let go of hate.
29. Lay and watch clouds for a minimum of one hour. You’re welcome.
30. Sit alone in a restaurant, don’t hide behind a book or your phone or pretend to be engrossed in your noodles (they’re not that fascinating). Look around, be in the moment.
31. Make an unrealistic wish on a shooting star.
32. Have a huge crush that can never be returned. It’s freeing.
33. Follow a dream, even if everyone tells you it’s ridiculous, especially if everyone tells you it’s ridiculous.
34. Move forward. You don’t have a time machine.
35. Compassion first. Compassion second. Compassion third. You get the idea.
36. Be so completely wrong you’ll never believe how wrong you were.
37. Be so completely right no one will ever believe how right you were.
38. Visit Niagara Falls, really, any enormous waterfall will do. You will walk away with a million and half questions about the universe.
39. Don’t follow trends or fads, do what you want, your time is limited.
40. Be like your parents.
41. Don’t be like your parents.
42. The answer to life, the universe and everything. Use it wisely and sparingly.
43. Stop saying, ‘Life isn’t fair’. It never was.
44. Be happy with what you have and what you are – at least it’s real.
45. Have goals. Fulfill some.
46. Stop using the word ‘impossible’. Substitute ‘improbable’ if you must.
47. Spend a whole day just listening.
48. Spend a whole day telling the truth.
49. There’s no scorecard, so be yourself, quit trying to get points.
50. Life is too short to do someone else’s bucket list. Be your best you….at any age.
Last night, as I checked on my beautiful boy, now so grown up, I noted again that time has raced by yet he still looks like my baby when he’s asleep.
Having a child with Autism, those sleep times give you some much-needed downtime and perhaps, a curious understanding of time and dimension, hmm, or maybe that’s too many years of Doctor Who.
In this frenzied world, we need more compassion, appreciation, and hope; less rushing, lies, and bullying. Maybe we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but I hope we can at least notice the roses are there.
The best time to take a deep breath is when there’s no time. At the end of your life, I doubt you’ll look back and think, thank goodness I spent my life like a hamster on a wheel, that was sooo fulfilling.
Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. They happen. Learn from them. So you write or say the wrong thing. Fall in love with the wrong person. Press the wrong button and start a nuclear war, ok, that example is pretty much the worst mistake ever, try not to do that one. Time moves forward for a reason, so should you.
Don’t reject someone because you’ve had a bad experience either. That experience taught you something, it had a purpose.
Fall apart once in a while. You’re not always “fine”. Sometimes it’s fine not to be fine.
Trying to be someone you’re not is like trying to hide a dinosaur in your bedroom, it’s too big, smelly, messy, and extinct. Why be someone else, they’re already doing it.
If we have time to shop, play games, check the internet, go on vacation, go out to dinner, we can spare 5 minutes to vote. An hour to volunteer or help someone. We can’t make a difference if we don’t at least try.
Instead of thinking about what you don’t want to happen, think about what you do want to happen.
1. You notice people you care about seem to be taken from you way, way too soon, while those that make you miserable seem to last forever and ever and ever.
2. You hear and read words like friendship and love, they’re thrown around constantly, but you also know if you really feel them, you show them.
3. You begin to realize you can’t change people. You either accept them for who they are…or don’t.
4. You understand that no matter how we feel or what you’re going through, we’re still responsible for what you say and do.
5. You recognize that people look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. No two people read the same book, listen to the same song, watch the same TV show or movie, feel the same pain or joy, walk down the same path, or hear the same things.6. You feel how your heart can be broken into a million torn, anguished bleeding pieces, yet the world doesn’t stop for your sorrow or grief.
8. You realize no one is responsible for your happiness. Make yourself happy, then add people to your mix.
9. You appreciate that people are users, it’s human nature. Some use and are used for money, others for love, comfort, power, control. Just be aware if the using is making you sad, or resentful, sucking your energy, it’s toxic, move on.
10. You know you can keep going long after you think you can’t.