“A rose by an other name” – or Life Doesn’t Actually Suck.

I haven’t been writing much lately – but I have been thinking a lot. Getting older gives us the perspective of standing on the the hill of our “history” and looking at things from a different perspective.  As we get older, we definitely need a different perspective. In the immortal words of Bette Davis,”Old age ain’t no place for sissies!”

Especially in this age of full disclosure, the internet, and a new disregard for our own privacy – an onlooker of facebook or other social media might think that most people have the fairytale life. First of all, that’s a whole other post….what exactly is a fairtyale life? In my mind, growing up, it meant an intact, loving, family, a comfortable house, a security in our families, streets and leaders.  So we actually have a dichotomy here, because what we see on the news and on social media is either the perfect or the tragic. I have news for you, life is both for everyone.

I usually consider myself a very sympathetic and empathetic person, but I am human, I get caught up in my own worries and challenges, just like everyone else, and I drop the ball on peope I love the most ( I try not to) Sometimes I feel forsaken myself….but that’s just human nature. We are all struggling in what is becoming a more challenging environment to live in.

I have done a lot of soul searching and reading and listening to different opinions of all sorts of people, trying to use my time effectively while I am in an autoimmune flare. In the end it all doesn’t matter, to me anyway. I figured out that after a half a century on this planet, I’ve been right about some things and wrong about lots. Not until I stood on the hill of my own history and looked at it like a painting did I begin to understand the truth. It doesn’t matter about other people’s lives – their suffering is no more or less than yours – nor is their joy. They don’t need to look at my “art,” I do, and with a different eye.

Guide posts used to be the tragedies; “oh, that was the Christmas my Dad died.” I no longer want pain as the markers on my map. When I look back, I want to catalog life by the joy, not the sorrow, because otherwise all we begin to see and feel is pain. This is not who I am, but it was who I was becoming.  A lot of it is directly related to the pain and loneliness of living with autoimmune disease. The rest is just from being “battle weary” Life is exhausting for everyone. However, it is also exhilirating. Find the joy and focus on that; on the now, because that is truly all we have. Better to make the best of it than become bitter.

What the hell does this have to do with roses you might be asking right around now. 🙂 I’ve been bedbound quite a bit the past two years. I miss a lot of things and it frustrates me. I was speaking to my sister, who has boundless energy and the ability to push herself no matter how exhausted she is. She raised three wonderful women and at sixty works three jobs. I was telling her how I feel robbed by this illness; that there are so many simple things I want to do and can’t….for years. She replies “you’ve done a lot of things.” This annoys me for a moment from the woman who has traveled all over, been married a million years to a great guy, seen amazing shows, met incredible people. “She totally does not understand the enormous value of what she has” I think with an eyeroll.

Well, she actually gave me a huge gift, and besides that, she was right, (something which is excrutiatingly difficult for this baby sister to concede). I took out my painting/map whatever you want to call it, and started seeing all the things that I DID do. There is so much joy that I lived, that I never want to take for granted. I had blessings that I didn’t understand at the time; being sent to Brazil for 4 months when I was nine. I was excited to go, but I didn’t realize then, that those four months brought me closer to my family in Brazil, and was the beginning of a bond that would last a lifetime and beyond. Many, if not most of my joyfull moments were spent there, or with them. And those unions molded who I am today. My amazing God sent friends who have stuck by me, laughing, singing, dancing, crying through the decades; Concerts, beach days, hugs from little arms and hands, unexpected kisses, flowers popping up after a brutal winter are all blessings never to be taken for granted.

Another thing I’ve learned is, that although relationships wax and wane, they are all there to teach us something – “life is a series of hellos and good-byes” : Billy Joel. But if you peruse your own life’s painting,  you will look down and understand things in a different way. You will see unexpected deep unexpected lifelong soul connections, passing strangers who evoked something important, kindnesses from acquantances at a time you really needed them. Don’t look for the people who disappointed you – look for the people who surprised and delighted you. Suddenly you will be flooded with beautiful memories and you might even be reminded of a single rose – a memory that is so old, you don’t know how your aging brain has retrieved it. And then, thanks to the wonder of technology a “hello Charlo” will appear on your screen after ten years….(only ONE friend ever called me that). The years melt away and it’s like we talked yesterday. It makes me smile, a deep heartfelt smile, alone in the dark with my dogs.

If you are lucky you will realize that nothing is all black or all white. Life has it’s ebbs and flows, and some of them are almost too excruciating to bare.  But try to remember, when we are feeling our most alone, there is someone out there who remembers you, who’s life you touched and many more who continue to love you every single day. If we are paying attention,  we will also see that life doesn’t suck – well at least not all the time!

 

PHOTO CRED Your Own Life – great site – great article

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How 2 Keep a New Car Clean – (when you have ADD)

The title seemed so innocuos until I added the parenthesis!! Thought you were going to get a list full of common sense tips and maybe a few hacks? No no no. To an ADDer, How to Keep a New Car Clean might as well be, “How to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.”

This is my first new car since I moved near the ocean. It is also the first vehicle that I’ve owned since I finally accepted my diagnosis of Adut ADD, after almost a decade of denying it. So now, at least, I know what I am up against. My scattered mind has moments where it feels like a skip in a record. This is how it SO easy for me to lose things. I will be so focused on not scratching the keys against the paint of my new beauty, (hyperfocus I guess) that my mind misses the steps it took to get out of the house and into the driveway. I locked the door, clearly, because my keys  are in my hand, but did I take my phone? Do the dogs have water? I always wondered why I hated the actual act of walking out of the house. I always had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something, and if people rushed me, which they invariably did, I would. Hell, I do anyway. Continue reading “How 2 Keep a New Car Clean – (when you have ADD)”

How 2 Get Healthier, Made Simple

Here are some easy to implement tips for a healtier you

  • Up your fruit and veggie intake (mostly vegetable and the green kind, not the startchy kind like potatoes and carrots)
  • Up you activity level – start with small things – park farther away in the parking lot so you take extra steps – work up to 15 minutes a day of some sort of activity – walking – stretching – yoga
  • Up your water – at least 8  8oz glasses a day will keep your body nice and hydrated, as well as help to flush toxins out of the body – most people do not drink enough water – personally the only time i lose weight is when I am drinking that much water a day
  • Get 10 minutes of sun on your face a day – no shades on – let it shine on your face – this gives you vitamin D – which since the incrased usage of sunblocks and other factors, many people are short on – it also is a MUST if you struggle with anxiety.
  • Make sure to brush and floss daily and get at least one cleaning per year. Studies are linking good dental hygiene to increased health
  • Learn about supplements – research and see if there is something that might be useful to you –

These are just suggestions – if you have special health concerns, always consult with your doctor.

How 2 Detach with Love

I am trying to catch up on my writing, so I am not quite sure why I picked this difficult subjuect matter. I can’t really give a quick tutorial on how to detach with love; there are so many variables. I can tell you, that in my life, this has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

We all encounter toxic people in our lives, unfortunately sometimes they are our bosses, our teachers, or even our parents. Sometimes they are friends we picked when we were young, with different priorities and ideas. They can be emotional vampires, manipilators, guilt mongers or shit stirrers, and as we grow up, we start to recognize them for what they truly are. The catch 22 is that by that time, we’ve grown to love them or, in the case of family, we’d never consider the option of detaching. We can love these peoplle, but sometimes, conitinuing an unhealthy relationship to keep the peace, is not at all peaceful. It’s a hard decision to make. Continue reading “How 2 Detach with Love”

How 2 Use Meditation for Sleep

I have been literally tortured by difficulty failing asleep since I was a little girl. A born worrier, with a chatty mind, sleep has eluded me for over half a century. I have tried natural sleeping aids, acupuncture, homeopathy, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, and alcohol. You name it, I’ve tried it. It is frustrating beyong words. If you are one of those souls who glide easily into slumber, I genuinely envy you. I don’t generally feel envy – but in this case – I might even hate you! Continue reading “How 2 Use Meditation for Sleep”

31 DAY WRITING CHALLENGE – HOW 2 … random solutions to challenges I’ve encountered.

I have recently discovered this incredible 31 day writing challenge that I am really thrilled to be participating in. As an ADDer, challenges can really get my creative juices flowing. A deadline can really motivate me and snap me out of inertia, so even though I am a last minute addition I accept the challenge.  I have selected the topic,  “31 days of How To… ” My posts will be random and eclectic, and probably, totally unrelated. Let’s see how this all turns out! I am very excited to join all the other bloggers who are taking part in this, and am grateful to The Nest for coming up with this wonderful, thought provoking idea!!!

You can take a look here at all the great bloggers participating and see all the different subject matter. 31 Days

I will add my posts here and link to them as I write them. –

  1. How 2 Start a 31 Day Challenge on the 4th Day
  2. How 2 Use Meditaition for Sleep
  3. How 2 Get the Most Out of Internet Purchases
  4. How 2 Detach with Love
  5. How 2 Wreck a Romance
  6. How 2 Get Along with the Opposite Sex
  7. How 2 Get Healthier, Made Simple
  8. How 2 Keep a New Car Clean
  9. How 2 Jump Start a Diet
  10. How 2 Lose Anything
  11. How  2 Do Something Great That Feels Great Too!!
  12. How 2 Set Yourself up for Failure
  13. How 2 Make Peace with your Invisible Diseases
  14. How 2 Write More
  15. How 2 Make a Blogger Smile
  16. How 2 Use Social Media for Enrichment
  17. How 2 Invest with $250 to Start
  18. How 2 Find Joy
  19. How 2 Beauty Hacks for an Upcoming Event
  20. How 2 NOT Be Late (the curse of ADHD)