Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Reflections

It's been two months since anyone posted any comments to my blog, and before that, another two months. I guess I've lost my readers, but I still love writing and it's been very enlightening for me, so I'm going to keep on going. After all, I'm writing this for me, right?

I'm in a pretty good place right now. My anxiety seems to have subsided for the time being and I'm hitting the treadmill several times a week. I'm eating healthy and I feel pretty good. I can't control the actions of others and I'm focusing on myself. If I continue to do that, the rest will fall in to place.

I'm determined to have a good week.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quotes I Like

"Please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it's my least favorite quality."

-Conan O'Brien

I couldn't agree more. I refuse to surround myself with negative people and their poisonous negative energy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's In That?

A couple of days ago a discussion came up at work about food. Of course this is a common occurrence, we all love to eat, but something interesting came from it. One coworker was telling a story of how she once attended a pot luck where everyone brought a dish that was commonly served within their family. One Vietnamese girl brought a traditional Vietnamese dish which looked quite unappealing to most of the people there, so no one ate it. She went on and on about how disgusting it looked, how it was watery, and no telling what was in it.

The more I think about this, the more interesting it became to me. I wonder how our "Americanized" dishes look to people from other parts of the world? In this country, most of our meat is mass produced at farms where the animals are pumped full of antibiotics and steroids so they will be larger and mature faster, thus getting them to slaughter three times quicker. Some chickens can't even stand up because their legs can't hold their gigantic, steroid filled bodies. Most of the other ingredients we put into our delicious casseroles and appetizers aren't even real food, but edible processed substances and chemicals.

Within the last 100 years the way Americans eat has changed drastically and we are paying dearly for it with obesity related illnesses and Type 2 Diabetes. Even though our grocery bills may seem to be getting higher and higher, the percentage of household income spent on food is actually lower than it's ever been. Ironically, the percentage of household income spent on health care is higher than it's ever been. Not too difficult to figure out that the less we spend for our food, the unhealthier we become.

"Cheap and convenient" is killing us.

So in the grand scheme of things, maybe the traditional Vietnamese dish wasn't so bad after all. Instead, maybe everyone should have been turning their noses up to the loaded nachos and the hash brown casserole.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Mom

As always, this is a true story. Transcript of a phone call my mother once made.

City Call: City Call, may I help you?
Mom: Yes, this is Mrs. Bailey. For two days now I have been calling to tell you there is a dead cat in the street in front of my house. You keep saying you'll send someone to get it. I'm calling to tell you that if it isn't gone by tomorrow morning, I'm going to scoop it up with a shovel, drive downtown, and sling it into Mayor Smith's front yard.

The poor cat was gone within an hour.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Does This Mean I Don't Have To Cook?

Let me begin this entry by saying that the extent of my involvement with astrology is usually limited to glancing at my horoscope for fun if I happen to see it laying in front of me in a magazine or newspaper, but this was just too bizarre to overlook.

This morning I was scanning through Facebook and I noticed my cousin, whom I haven't seen since childhood, posted something to the effect of "What's up with everyone's appliances breaking? Seems like everyone I know has a broken microwave, stove, or television!". This made me think of how three different people I know have had a broken stove just since Christmas! Then I remembered something else. Back in the early 1990's, I worked with a lady who was very much in to astrology, and for some reason it popped into my head that she once told me when Mercury goes into retrograde, you will notice lots of appliances will break and things will be in disarray. I had no idea what that actually meant, but for some strange reason, it stuck with me.

So after thinking of all the appliances being out, I did a quick Google search to read up on this subject. Imagine my surprise when I discovered Mercury has been retrograde since December 26, which happens to be my birthday. I still wasn't sure what that meant, so I decided to read more. it seems "a planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. This traditional concept arises in the illusory planetary motion created by the orbital rotation of the earth, with relation to other planets in our solar system. It's a bit like travelling on the road watching another car beside you: when the other car slows down, or you speed up, it looks as though the other car is moving backwards. So planets are never actually retrograde or stationary, they just seem that way, due to this optical illusion".To make things even more interesting I read that since this retrograde occurred during the Capricorn period, it would affect those born under this sign even more drastically. Of course I found that interesting since that happens to be my sign, this began on my birthday, and I've been in an unexplainable state of high anxiety for the past few weeks.

Not to worry, I'm not going to change anything I do, and I'm not going to start following astrology; I just thought this was kinda strange. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go make sure my stove is working.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Storm Clouds Are Clearing

I am happy to report that I love walking on the treadmill and the excercise has done wonders for my stress and anxiety. I feel so much better after a half hour walk/run, followed by some free weights and crunches.

Now I just have to work on getting some exercise clothes. I look ridiculous.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hurricane In My Head

It's been a rough week for me. Although I believe I've looked completely normal on the outside, I've struggled all week with a hurricane of irrational thoughts swirling about inside my head, excessive anxiety, and some periods of depression. This is nothing new for me, it happens from time to time, I'm just not always positive what brings it on. This time, I think it's a whole series of small things attacking me at once.

As before, a week of this anxiety has taken a physical toll on me. I've had heart palpitations, chest pain, and loads of odd little twitches and spasms in my head and scalp. Thursday night, a vessel in my right temple began to throb. It throbbed so hard I was able to see it in the mirror.

I tried Dr. Eve's relaxation and breathing techniques this week and they didn't seem to work. I have purchased a used treadmill from a coworker and am anxious to get it delivered and set up. I'm hopeful that some intense exercise may alleviate some of the stress I have been internalizing.

If you've never experienced the kind of anxiety I am describing, you probably think I'm crazy. Hell, sometimes I think I'm crazy. I'm not sure if my symptoms are hormonal or mental, but one thing is for sure: they are physically debilitating.

I got a very good night's sleep last night. I believe fatigue may also be a factor. Now that I'm well rested, I'm trying to sort through each issue I believe may be weighing on my mind. I'm making baby steps and hope to be out of this cycle very soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quotes I Like

"The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there."
-Betty Grable

Monday, January 11, 2010

We Don't All Get Three Strikes

As most of you know already, one of my coworkers was killed yesterday, when a drunk driver hit her car head on. If you read this journal, she was probably your coworker too. It was 10:30 Sunday morning and she was on her way home from breakfast. She was killed instantly. The man who hit her was the same age as me and had three prior DUIs. He's now facing murder charges.

A couple of days before Christmas, I noticed a memorial at my neighborhood grocery store. It had the picture of a teenage boy on it; an employee of the store, and read "We will miss you". When I inquired about what happened, I was told the boy was on his way to work at 10:00 one morning. He was sitting still at a red light and a drunk man with three prior DUIs slammed into his car and killed him. He had already clipped a tree and a mail truck, but kept going until the boy's car stopped him. I'm thinking that boy's mama did NOT have a very happy Christmas.

It's easy to think about what bad, pathetic people these killers are, and how they should never have been allowed to drive, but not all drunk driving deaths are caused by repeat offenders who are drunk out of their minds. Today my boss was telling me about the son of one of her dear friends. He killed someone while driving drunk and never had ANY prior arrests. It was his first time.

I guess my point is this. We don't all get three strikes at drunk driving before we kill somebody. I don't drink and drive that often, but I do drink and drive. And I'll be the first to admit I do not always use good judgement in how many is too many. I may tell myself I'm only having two, but once in awhile two turns into a few more and I drive anyway. Even if I feel like I'm okay to drive, the fact of the matter is, if I am in any type of accident and I am over the limit, I am going to jail. I don't want to go to jail....jail doesn't work for me....neither do murder charges.

No one ever sets out behind the wheel of a car intending to kill someone, but it happens; every day. I'm sad that these two tragedies happened, but I'm determined to make some kind of good come out of them. Instead of focusing on how bad these two killers are, I'm going to turn that finger back around and point it at myself and make a real effort not to drink and drive. Getting my drink on is just not worth it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The End of Kiss and Tell......For Now, Anyway

G and I dated for 3 years before we married in 1995. Of course a lot of water has rushed under that bridge since then. We've had good times and we've had some bad times. We've had some down right hard times. We have two children together that I would not trade for anything in this world. Although I don't get poetry much anymore, I know G loves me, and I love him too, very much. It would be hard to imagine life without him.

I guess it's time to wrap up the Kiss and Tell series; at least for now. In this series I've Kissed and Told about a lot of people. There were even a few I didn't mention for one reason or another. I learned a little from every one of them, and I guess they all learned from me too, because since I began writing this series I have reconnected with several of the Boys of Summer, through the magic of Facebook. Oddly, two of them introduced me to someone else as their former girlfriend. In my mind I wondered how I fit in to their life's Kiss and Tell series, and thought it ironic that in mine, they fell into a well of nameless people who were all grouped together in one category. In theirs, I may have had my own chapter! As pointed out in my favorite movie "It's A Wonderful Life", every person we meet touches our lives in some way, and vice-versa. We may not realize just how much at the time.

I've been in love a few times in my life, but truly loved four; both my husbands, Chris W, and Michael. Mike Brown gets honorary mention in this category, even though my love for him was always secret and one sided! While I can honestly say I have no love at all left for David (my first husband), Chris W and Michael will forever hold fond spots in my heart, and I will always love them both.

I'm not proud of it, but in my life I've been involved in every aspect of the cheating ring. I've cheated with, cheated on, and been cheated on. I know now there's no way to win in any of those roles. As my friend Mark once told me, "If someone will cheat with you, they'll cheat on you." Also, people rarely actual divorce their spouses to be with their mistresses and lovers. Never go in to a cheating situation thinking you are going to win.

Regrets? I've had a few. But then again....too few to mention. If I allow myself, I become very angry at wasting some of the best years of my life with David. For years that ate at me, and was really my biggest regret in life. I guess it still is, but I've conditioned myself not to be so bitter about it. I've learned a lot from every life experience I've had, and in some ways my experiences with David made me a stronger person. Other than David, no regrets really.

I've enjoyed writing this series so much. It's enlightened me and brought back some very fond memories. I hope one day my kids will have this memoir to read and they will have a deeper understanding of their mother because of it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Will You Rub This Stick of Margarine on My Back?

It's very, very cold outside. It snowed today too. Unlike most people I love winter, but for some reason tonight my mind is drifting to a different place. I was remembering being a teenager and swimming in my friend Sammy's pool (Boys of Summer 8/5/09).

Sammy and I were young and invincible. In desperate attempts to obtain the perfect Hawaiian Tropic tan, we'd rub anything we could think of on to our skin (with the exception of sun screen). At the time we hated our bodies and thought we were fat. I'm pretty sure I speak for Sammy too when I say we'd both give $20,000 to have those bodies back today!

While we floated on rafts in that pool we talked....alot. We talked about boys we liked and boys who liked us. On a lucky day I might catch a glimpse of Mike Brown pulling in or out of the driveway in his black Mustang.

In those days, Sammy and I couldn't wait to grow up and get out on our own, away from the rule of our parents. Now she lives two states away, and I rarely get to see her. I miss her alot and I hope we can keep our goal of getting together sometime this year. We had a lot of fun in that pool, analyzing life, love and anything else we could think of. I sure wouldn't mind life being that simple again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Big Goals

Yesterday I was talking with a friend who told me something interesting she observed about herself. I decided to do a little research and found this information on the subject. I think it hits the nail on the head. This friend is a "Detach" reader. I hope she will read this.

The idea of laundry piling up until one is able to reorganize the entire closet is an example of "all or nothing" thinking. People like me, who use "all or nothing" thinking will often criticize themselves and think they are not as good as others. The reason behind this is they have created a different set of rules for themselves. They are much harder on themselves than they are on others. For example, "Unless I go into work early and stay all day and get caught up on all my work there's no point in even trying. I may as well lie in bed". This same person may say "I have to go on a strict diet and lose 50 pounds by spring. That's 5 pounds a week! I can never do that. I may as well eat a doughnut." That same person would support and praise a friend for even the smallest accomplishment. We often set the bar too high for ourselves, making our goals unattainable and unrealistic.

In the book "Feeling Good", Dr. David Burns suggests we write down our "all or nothing" thoughts just so we may realize how unrealistic they are. Then we can set reasonable, attainable goals for ourselves that allow us to feel good about ourselves when achieved. When we learn to judge ourselves on the same scale we judge others, the playing field is equal and everyone has a chance at success--including us.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Quotes I Like

"People always call it luck when you've
acted more sensibly than they have."

-Ann Tyler, noted novelist

I love this quote for so many reasons.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Overwhelming Yourself

If you are a regular reader of "Detach", you probably already know that when it comes to tackling a large job, particularly when it comes to clutter, I tend to walk away from the job because it seems too large to tackle. I'm aware of how crazy this sounds, but I let a pile of clothes build up in the floor of my closet for months because I kept thinking "I just need to take everything out of this closet and reorganize it. And there's no way I can do that until I have a week's vacation. When I'm able to completely overhaul this closet, that's when I'll move these clothes."

Dr. Eve and I had more than one session about this problem. This article repeats some of the methods taught to me by Dr. Eve, but I think it's a good one, and it can be used for anything in your life that seems overwhelming, not just the clutter in your closet or kitchen counter!

Overwhelming Yourself
There are several ways you may overwhelm yourself into doing nothing. You may magnify a task to the degree that it seems impossible to tackle. You may assume you must do everything at once instead of breaking each job down in to small, discrete, manageable units which you can complete one step at a time. You might also inadvertently distract yourself from the task at hand by obsessing about endless other things you haven't gotten around to doing yet. To illustrate how irrational this is, imagine that every time you sat down to eat you thought about all the food you would have to eat during your lifetime. Just imagine for a moment that all piled up in front of you are tons of meat, vegetables, ice cream, and thousands of gallons of fluids! And you have to eat every bit of this food before you die! Now suppose that before every meal you said to yourself, "This meal is just a drop in the bucket. How can I ever get all that food eaten? There's just no point in eating one pitiful hamburger tonight." You'd feel so nauseated and overwhelmed your appetite would vanish and your stomach would turn into a knot. When you think about all the things you are putting off, you do this very same thing without being aware of it.
-Feeling Good
David D. Burns