Thursday, March 10, 2016

Drinking the Poison

"Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

Who hasn't heard this one?  And, while its true enough, I would venture to guess that many people hold on to anger way too long.  I, myself, ... work in progress.  I mean, just when I'm feeling all kinds of Zen with my life, along comes a person/situation that just blows up the peace.  This may be why I tend to spend a lot of time hanging out alone ... but, that is a whole other topic.  I mean, what is it about certain people or topics that causes me to mentally go from zero to sixty in a second?

I really, really try to respect others and their opinions.  I also really, really try not to force my own opinions onto others and I would dearly love to be treated in the same manner.  I have enough friends at this stage in life who I truly love and respect that it matters not one whit if they believe differently than I do about things.  And, if they feel the same way, we are good.  Don't get me wrong, we can have friendly discussions and even agree to disagree but, if you are going to blow a gasket because I won't change my mind ... well, you are crossing all sorts of boundaries.  Leave out polite discourse.  No one has a right to tell me what to think, believe or feel.  Nor do I want the responsibility of making those decisions for others.  If something I say or hear resonates that is great but, that is all that needs to happen.

So, the gist of this is that I don't get mad if you don't agree with me but, if you are going to get mad at me for disagreeing with you ... well, we are going to have a problem.  This brings me back around to anger.  I know well enough that people are going to push my boundaries in all kinds of ways.  They will push my buttons.  So, when they finally go all the way with angry outbursts, that's when I reach my limit and I get mad.  Well, this isn't the way I want to react and I think it is a perfectly useless response so, why do I do it?  Its knee jerk, its a gut reaction and I am trying so very hard to not feel that way.  I mean, I can remain outwardly calm but, my insides are experiencing anger at the highest level.  I hold it in, I fret, I think of all of the things I could have/should have said.  I dislike this about myself.  I dislike this 'for' myself.  I don't feel good about it.  So, I need to find a way to 'let it go' quickly ... or just not let it get there in the first place because anger is an insidious, destructive thing ... mainly for the person holding on to it.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


I ran across a humorous quote on Facebook today.  It said, "If my life were on GPS, I would constantly hear RECALCULATING."  I literally LOL'd.   Humor is never more funny than when it is true.  And lately, this is definitely true in my life.

I have bounced around more, both emotionally and physically, in the past five or six years than I did in the previous 25.  Some of that was by choice and quite a bit was not.  I am a firm believer in 'looking for the lesson' in the things that happen to me.  I make conscious decisions to find the take away from negative experiences.  If not, then I feel I'm destined to keep repeating that type of thing until I 'get it.'  And yet, I'm more a creature of habit than I am an adventurer.  So, why does life keep tossing me these challenges?  What is the lesson or lessons?

I believed for a huge part of my life that one should choose a path, work hard and go responsibly down that path.  And then .... life skidded off the path ... RECALCULATING.  I had to make peace with the realization that what I had thought and believed might not actually be the path I was intended to walk.  I made changes.  I made a new plan.  I got stuck in a rut.  RECALCULATING.  So what now?  Do I turn off that inner GPS and explore new paths?   I'm inclined to think that my plan is to have no definitive plan, which is not to say that I won't have goals.  But, if my short term plans and long term goals don't feel right anymore ... well then, I'm okay with RECALCULATING.  Maybe that was the lesson.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Down the Rabbit Hole

I'm not ashamed to admit that occasionally throughout my life I've dealt with a little depression.  Its not to a level that medication is required but, it definitely crops up when life gets difficult.  And, when is life always perfect?  So, when that happens, I fall down the rabbit hole.  I lose my spark, I can't get motivated and I just don't seem to be able to remember what I'm about.  When I'm in the hole, it feels like all efforts to crawl out are met with people stomping on my knuckles or kicking me in the teeth .. metaphorically speaking.  In other words, my focus goes to a dark and negative place.  And the very worst thing about this situation is the reluctance to ask for help or to just simply admit it.  But, here's the thing.  There are lots of people (best friends especially) who are ready to help.

It finally dawned on me the other day that I was in the pit ... again.  This has not been the case for quite awhile so, I failed to notice I was going there.  I finally threw the thought out there to some good and wise friends and just doing that, started my climb out of it.  I realized that maybe some simple herbal remedies might kick start my efforts.  I was reminded by a good friend that if I started each day with an intention, it would help me get out of bed.  And, just the simple act of talking it out helped immensely.

So, today I set some intentions.  I figured if I managed only a fraction, that would be a good thing.  I have been checking them off.  The most important of intentions is self care.  Drink the water, eat the healthy food, go for a walk ... you know the drill.  Then there are the intentions based on accomplishment ... at least make your bed.  Do one thing toward a goal that seems too huge and overwhelming.  And finally, intentionally find a little joy.  Its spring ... there are blooms galore (at least in my neck of the woods).  Do something creative ... you don't have to be Rembrandt.  Even if you work full-time, try to fit in some 'me time' because, as I've found out, no one else is going to take care of me if I don't.

There is one more thing I very much want to address.  I am no spring chicken.  My peers and I are aging baby boomers.  We are part of a generation where the sky was the limit.  Now, we are empty nesters and retired or nearly so.  And yet, we are so much healthier and youthful than previous generations of the same age.  It sounds great to retire or be done raising children and be able to go and do ... but, for many of us, we lose a sense of purpose and, worst of all, we don't feel needed.  It is hard and it may sound silly but, it is not for sissies to reinvent your life at this age.   So, if a little depression creeps in ... try to recognize it and get help in one form or another.  As another very dear friend put it "We are on a short runway."