Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Becoming at peace

In the end, I guess it doesn't matter. I've known that I would end up here for two years. I just didn't know how or when or what it would entail in the end.

I've been so butt-dumb vague for now that this probably doesn't even make sense to most people. And to those that it does, it's either understandable or it's not, and I couldn't do anything about that anyway without betraying myself.

I genuinely don't want anyone to be disappointed in me. But I want to be disappointed in me even less. I can only go down my own road, even if I'm the only one on it.

And I'm afraid that sounds all mad and defiant - but it's not. I've just realized how it has be, and am striving to be at peace with a different direction.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Leaning in

I've tried not to hurry through this. Brene Brown talks about leaning into the discomfort -- letting yourself feel it, not skipping the grieving in order to get to the healing.  I think that I do that a lot. My logic brain kicks in (though my husband would probably argue that my logic brain doesn't show up very often), and I rationalize the grief, the sadness, the disappointment until I will myself to just move on.

I'm a good "shove it under the rug"-er.

But I think you rob yourself of something when you hurry through the discomfort.  Healing has to be better than avoiding and pretending. So, though I'm not very good at it, I've tried to let myself hover a little bit.  To take my time, to let myself be sad, to let myself feel the regret, to understand the disappointment and what it is I'm disappointed in.  To allow the disappointment to exist without trying to run in and fix it.  To admit that it isn't really fixable.

While that's been slower... I think it's made it easier to let go of.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Self-Blame vs Disappointment

Back in January, I was reading a book, and it was talking about the difficulties that some people have in letting go of relationships. There was so much in this section of the book that felt familiar to me.  The author described how many times, instead of leaving, you find reasons to stay -- particularly by taking up residence in self-blame. If you can make you the problem, then you can fix the problem.  More or less.

He went on to state something that I've found myself thinking about a lot, off and on, ever since:

One way you can liberate yourself from this kind of self-criticism is by confronting a feeling you've probably come to fear more than you realize: disappointment.

Disappointment doesn't seem like much at first.  The first time I read it, I almost skimmed past it.  Anger and hurt and resentment sound like more important emotions -- like their immediate potency makes them more valid. Disappointment sounded like a throwaway.  But as I read on, I returned to it and let it sink in.

I would rather be angry.  If I'm being honest. Anger is protective and eventually burns out... disappointment has to be faced and accepted and dealt with.

That has been harder.

Rethinking Narcissism, Dr Craig Malkin

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Don't be disappointed in me

For a good number of years, the well-meant advice was to not open the box. It wasn't a good idea, I'd regret it, it wasn't a healthy thing to do.  But I was stubborn, and I thought I wanted what was in it, and so I merrily went about opening it anyway, but with a litany of reasons to explain of why I was willing to ignore the advice, why I was willing to accept the risk, why I wasn't an idiot.

Because, I think, more than anything...  I loved those people who gave me the advice, and I didn't want them to be disappointed in me.

Fast forward a few years, and I shamefully admit that they were probably right.  It wasn't a good idea, it wasn't a healthy thing for me to do, what was in the box wasn't as great as I thought it would be.  I'm carefully trying to put the lid back on it and set it in the corner, but find myself with a similar need that I had before. I want to explain because...

... because I don't want anyone to be disappointed in me.

Maybe because I'm a little disappointed in me, too.  For which thing, I'm not entirely sure - or maybe it's for all of them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Currently: August 2018 edition

Current Books: Let's see...  I'm reading "Everything Trump Touches Dies" by Rick Wilson, who is a Republican strategist I started following on Twitter a couple years ago who makes me laugh often.  I'm slowly reading "When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times" by Pema Chodron, which was recommended to me by my friend Lesley. That one requires a slow read...  there is much to be chewed on.  I recently finished "America's First Daughter," which I really enjoyed - but am now in search for my next fiction read?

Current Playlist: I actually just added a ton of songs to my phone -- about 800 -- with plans to separate them into playlists for myself.  It's pretty much everything I own that I like (with a small exception)...  but there is a lot of Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert, who have been my go-to artists for awhile now.  A lot of Shawn Mendes and Jacob Whitesides (my favorite of Alicia's music interests).  A lot of Christina Perri and Meghan Trainor.  Who else... Ed Sheeran. And a couple new-to-me-right-now-but-owned-a-long-time-ago musicals. :)

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Ok, we were just in Vancouver, BC last weekend and stumbled across this ice cream joint called Earnest Ice Cream. Oh. My. God.  I got the "Oatmeal Brown Sugar" flavor, and it was basically like someone turned oatmeal cookie dough into ice cream. Somehow.  It is very good that I do not have one next door.

Current Colors: I'm pretty sure my colors are generally always the same. :)  Blues and purples and greens...  with a smattering of yellow on game days. 

Current Food: Man, I don't know.  I've recently gotten myself back on-plan... so my breakfasts have been a lot of yogurt/berries/granola and lunches a lot of chicken salad wraps.  I had a fried twinkie at the fair, that was different. Not really good. But different.

Current Drink:
Daytime: Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte, if I'm at Starbucks. Nonfat/half-sweet Cafe Stefano at Five Stones
Evening: Joel's had me all over trying out beers this summer, and I have branched out a LITTLE from my normal comfort zone of porters and stouts.  Porters are still my favorite drinking beer, but I had a lager and a belgian white and some of his kolsh.   I even sipped a bit of one of his IPAs and didn't hate it.

Current Favorite Favorite: Mostly I am just enjoying my summer with no guilt. We have been busy, but doing all fun things.  Alicia and I are finishing up the summer with a very fun week before she goes back to school. Ed Sheeran concert followed by a week in Ireland followed by a hop to Liverpool for the Fusion Festival featuring Shawn Mendes before we fly back for the start of school.

Current Wishlist: Right now? Right now, I'd say my wishlist is mostly just for healing and peace. Broken friendships, sad children, a new school year.  I don't really need any things... but healing and peace would be a good start to the new year.

Current Needs: Sleep. Determination. Follow-through. Time and distance. Patience.

Current Triumph: Restarting my writing habit -- even if it's not great at the beginning.  I'm happy to be giving myself the space to do it again, and I'm happy to have a little bit different focus and aim.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Wildfire smoke!!!

Current Celebrity Crush: Oh, y'all. That's easy.  --->>>>

Current Indulgence: One small bowl of Doritos/Cheetos/Sunchips/pretzels snack mix in the afternoon.

Current Mood: "On watch."  We had a pet death in the family, so I'm sort of in "counsel all the children" mode.  Which means I'm taking the time to soak in the quiet of this morning.

Current #1 Blessing: The ability to go do fun things.

Current Slang or Saying: "Choose what gets your investment."

Current Outfit: It's summer. Comfort all the way.  Mostly capris and tank tops!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Words I Needed

I used to think that affirmations were sort of silly.  The whole standing in front of the mirror, repeating positive "You can do it!" sort of messages to yourself.

I mean, I grew up on the mockery of Stuart Smalley.

But maybe I was wrong.

The other night, my mind just wouldn't shut up. You've had those nights, haven't you? I'd read something online that had made me feel criticized for a super hard and personal decision I'd come to, and my mind immediately jumped into hyper-defensive overdrive.

Of course I'd read it approximately 90 seconds before heading to bed, which meant that I was lying there, trying to go to sleep, my heart racing and my head composing everything I "needed" to say. Every defense, every reason, every everything -- all the while, interjecting every so often, "OMG, stop thinking. You have to go to sleep!!" which didn't stop the overthinking at all, just added to the cacophony of noise in my mind.

I have so many people in my head sometimes. Stern but Sensible Me suddenly spoke up with authority. "Listen. You do not have to choose for anyone but you."


"No, you're not hearing me. No defending is needed. No excuses are needed. No one has to agree. This is for you. You do not have to choose for anyone but you."

And as that sunk in with all the other voices in my head, I could physically feel the anxiety leave my body. My mind quieted.  Not all it once... it took a few more repeatings as the stubborn ones tried to pick up the fight again. But over a few minutes, it worked.  I slept in peace.

So, maybe a few affirmations in your back pocket aren't the dumbest thing ever.

Friday, August 17, 2018

A Writer's Return (I hope)

I miss writing.

I miss doing it. I miss closing my eyes, setting my fingers to the keyboard or the pen to the page, and letting whatever come out of it come out.  Even when it isn't anything like what I planned and surprises me that it was sitting there in my head at all.

I miss the art of cultivating words into thoughts. I miss how I feel when it's done and the thoughts are out on paper. I miss the relief that comes when they're not just swimming inside my mind, making me crazy.

I've been having a hard time settling my thoughts enough to even begin. Perhaps it's just that I haven't done it in earnest for so long that I'm afraid to begin out of a fear of ineptitude.

I spent the day making myself a little cheat... a jar filled with hundreds of prompts that I've pinned and forgotten about over the last several months.

So you may be hearing from me more... or at least I may just be writing more.  You don't have to read it. Maybe I'm scared that you will. That I'll say something that will make someone mad or that won't be understood or that someone feels they need to argue with.  And that no one will understand that that isn't the point.

But I'ma do it anyway.  Because I need to.  Because I am better when I do.
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