Lovin’ It! Follow me . . .

Standard

circle-64

Follow my blog

Here’s another way to follow my blog!

Advertisements

My Dirty Secret: And by dirty, I mean I didn’t clean.

Standard

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I don’t have my sh*t together.

Now, I’m not talking about one of those Facebook-posting, croissant-baking, ornament-making, got-a-casserole-in-the-oven-at-4am people who suddenly confess that they haven’t done laundry in two weeks and are recycling underwear at this point. Or that their desk is so messy an archaeologist is required to find the remains of last month’s bills. They basically have it together but stumble every now and then.

No, I don’t have my sh*t together pretty much 24/7. At the store, I look at the 20 choices of breakfast cereals and toss (read: lob) a box of generic Cheerios into the cart. When I get home to unload the groceries, I toss (read: hurl) the stuff in the fridge even though there’s mac and cheese from two weeks ago still taking up room (but hey, couldn’t I make a delicious mac and cheese soup with those leftovers?). I then plop down on the kitchen chair and stare into space for a few minutes . . . or hours . . . while my son watches YouTube videos at a decibel rate that should be outlawed. Shouldn’t I be doing laundry? Does my son have anything to wear? Does he need to take a shower? Do I need to take a shower?

Then I glance at the kitchen. Hmm . . . those dirty dishes that piled up while the water main was being repaired seem to still be there. Huh. Oh, yes, and the coffee I spilled yesterday morning is still there, too. Okay, the kitchen is too depressing. Let’s look at the living room. Oh . . . yeah . . . there’s my son’s dirty dishes from the Cretaceous (Crud-aceous?) era, and drawings and pencils and tissues on the floor, and did I vacuum last week or . . .last month?

Bedroom! Bedroom! That’s got to be better! Okay. Bed made (sort of) – check! Clothes in hamper (sort of) – check! Furniture dusted (sort . . . no, you got me. Not even close). Okay. So it’s not pristine but it’s not bad. Okay! We’re on a roll! Office next!

Office? This – is an office? Okay. Okay. Hear me out. There’s desks. And paper. And pens. And pencils. And colored markers. And paper. And folders. And – what the heck is that? And paper (I didn’t say that yet, right?). So okay. Maybe the office could use a little work.

Where in the world do I start with all this? (Did I mention Christmas is around the corner?)

But wait! What am I thinking? Let me get out my trusty planner and it will tell me what to do! Oh, it is so pretty with all those colors denoting various aspects of my life. Let’s look at today, shall we? Today’s date is eerily silent on dishes and laundry and showers. Also mum on cleaning rooms and vacuuming and dusting. However, it does indicate that I should be working on: “bills”, “schedule doctor appointment”, “change router time limits so that son doesn’t watch YouTube until 4:00 in the morning”, “write a blog post”, “organize my blog”, “monetize my blog”, “make my blog pretty”, “print math worksheets for homeschooled son”, “try to get homeschooled son to do math worksheets”, “try to adhere to new and improved schedule”, and “re-do this planner so it works better”.

For some reason, I feel strangely (familiarly?) unmotivated. Maybe this calls for some yoga! Why isn’t that on my planner? How could I forget something so important? Oh, that’s right! It’s on my bright green reminder list hanging on the wall because I don’t want the things I should be doing daily to clog up my planner. I mean, duh. And, you know, I’ll see that bright green sheet when I first walk into the kitchen in the morning! Wow. I’m exhausted now. Think we’ll do yoga another time.

Now I think – why am I so exhausted? Is it that time of month? Is it that time of life? Maybe there’s something wrong with me. Perhaps I should go to the doctor. Actually, I’ve been feeling this way for weeks . . . months . . . years. Aha! It’s my depression. That lovely companion who manages to suck out what little pleasure I might find in doing, well, pretty much anything. I forgot about you momentarily, old pal! But, like any good buddy, you don’t let me forget about you for long. You come around when I most least need you. So, thanks for that. It’s nice to have a fiend friend.

I almost forgot! I have another fiend friend that shows up almost every minute. We’ve been friends for a long time but recently she’s taken it to another level. Stalker-like. Rather uncomfortable. I like to call her the ol’ ball-and-chain but most people call her “Should”. See, when I get lonely looking at my planner or thinking about things that I’d like to be doing, that might make me feel, I don’t know, fulfilled or something, Should pops up in my head (see, I told you she’s a stalker) and says things like “You should be doing the dishes” (it’s really creepy how she talks in the third person) or “You should be spending time with your son.” Sometimes she gets really in my face and complains that I “should be stronger”, “should not be such an introvert”, “should be able to handle things like any other adult”, and while I’m at it I “should figure out what my gosh darn problem is with everything.” She’s a little demanding and kind of a downer. I actually don’t like her much.

So, after I’ve finally convinced my two friends to go out for coffee and donuts, I wonder to myself: Am I crazy? Am I the only one who feels this way? Does anyone else have friends like this? And does anyone else struggle the way I struggle with everything? No . . . I certainly must be the only one. No one could feel the crippling inertia that I feel when trying to decide what to do at any given moment. No one could feel the relentless tug-of-war between the ingrained Puritan work ethic voice and the New Age “do what makes you happy” voice. Do you see those two guys sitting on each shoulder? Puritan guy says “Go get some work done, ya’ sissy! Be a man, er, a woman!” Then New Age guy says “Don’t listen to him. He is just angry at the world. Be at peace. What do you want to do?” Whoa! Did I just find two more friends? Must be my magnetic personality. Or maybe it’s just schizophrenia . . .

Rant? Done. Takeaway? Here goes: How much of the stuff that we do in this life is really necessary? How much have we been programmed to believe that busy-ness, productivity, and, yes, “responsibility” are badges of honor in our society? Yeah, we have to wash our dishes and do our laundry but these tasks are not what makes us “good people”. I know this is not an epiphany for most. But it is a constant, daily, hourly struggle for me. I have to continually convince myself to either “suck it up” or that it just doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. My counselor likes to tell me that the dishes just “live” by the sink. It’s okay to not put them in the dishwasher right away. I mean, I don’t have a bug problem so what’s the big deal? My struggle comes from the societal “shoulds”: if your house is dirty, you are a bad housekeeper and therefore a bad person and lazy. If you can’t handle the pressure and keep up with your responsibilities, then there is something wrong with you and you just need to “buck up” and “get your act together.”

Sorry I don’t have the answers yet.Who else is struggling with this? How do you get past those awful “shoulds”? Please share your thoughts and feelings. I’d love to hear from you!

-Sandy

Today it’s finally over . . . or is it?

Standard

So, I’m going to alienate some of you here, I bet.
I did NOT vote today.

No, it had nothing to do with voter apathy or the lack of choices or general disgust.

Really.

Yeah, the playing field is pretty grim, but my issue is larger than unqualified, undesirable candidates.

My issue is: why any?

Yeah. Why anyone at all?

We talk about how fed up we are with politics as usual, greediness, unethical behavior, blah blah blah. So . . . maybe the answer isn’t better candidates. Maybe it is:

No government at all.

Ooooo – I know. Radical! Treason! But, I think (for the time being) I’m still protected by the First Amendment. So, hear me out.

Government is, in the grand scheme of things, a fairly recent invention. And, yes, we in America think we have it pretty good with our “democracy”. But where did anyone say that democracy is the end-all be-all of governments? Is it possible there’s something better? Is it possible that humanity could actually exist peacefully *GASP* without government?

Okay. So the first picture in your head might be total mayhem. People will just go crazy, start rioting, stealing, and killing each other without government, right? Because, I mean, the only thing that’s keeping us all in line right now is the threat of jail if we do those things. Hmm? Because I’m sure there are people sitting around just wishing that they could break into their neighbor’s house but the only thing stopping them is that its against the law.

Really? I think not. If humanity is just barely restraining itself from mass chaos because of the fear of jail, then we have bigger problems. I would also suggest that, if that were the case, that our religions aren’t doing such a great job instilling moral principles.

Do we really believe that this is what would happen without government? Do we have such a low opinion of ourselves (or just everyone else) that we think we need to elect other people to tell us what to do and keep us in check? We really haven’t got the brains and the desire to find other solutions? We’ve just bought into the “this is the best there is” or “this is the way it is” cop-out? This is IT? Game over?
I could go on. In fact, I think I’ve gone on long enough. Let me leave you with this:

Just for a moment, consider that there is the possibility of humankind living peacefully and harmoniously, living authentic lives, becoming self-actualized, being happy, and coming up with their own ways to do things that don’t include government.

Just ponder it, play with it for a bit, before discarding it as pie-in-the-sky, Pollyanna thinking.

I thank you for picturing what that could look like.

Waking Up

Standard

I am amazed and encouraged to see other people changing their lives and questioning how they’ve lived their lives previously. I’m part of a group of women who are trying to lose weight this summer but also trying to lose other things that weigh us down as well. This is a strong bunch of ladies who are trying to reconcile who they are told they should be with how they would like to be. Their candor and their commitment is awesome! They are treating themselves respectfully and learning to let go of expectations, both their own and society’s. 

We regularly chat in a Facebook group about what we’re working on, struggling with, and successes. We cheer each other on, offer encouragement, and sometimes comiserate. We have learned a lot from each other; each of us has had different journeys and yet all the journeys share common threads. As women, we feel the pressure of performing at a certain level in many different areas: motherhood, being a partner, work, housekeeping, etc. Some of us are struggling with performing equally well and at 100% in each of our roles. Others have decided that it’s okay to not achieve that 100% in every area, that we are more than just our roles. We are people with unique souls that want to bring our gifts to the world in our own way.

From what I have been reading about the return of the Sacred Feminine and what I have witnessed firsthand in my group, I think that our world is on a path that will see the old fear-based systems crumble and a more harmonious, love-based way of life take its place.

To all you women out there (and to the Sacred Feminine aspect in the men), remember that you are strong, unique, powerful, full of wisdom and caring. Our future depends upon your ability to move past fear and its creations and to come from a place of love, gratitude, contentment, abundance, and peace. I say this to myself as much as to you!

How are you “waking up”?

Still alive . . .

Standard

3132773336_88df70fa81_qOkay.

So, I’m still here. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Trying to catch up after my son’s camp last week and now we’re at another camp this week. Far enough away from home that I’m “stranded” during the day. Another college campus this time and although its bigger and more prestigious, it doesn’t have the ambiance that the other one did. And not nearly as deserted and peaceful.

I had this really great thought for a blog post yesterday and lo and behold, I have forgotten it. This seems to be a theme for me lately. My mind is fuzzy and somewhere else, I’m exhausted, I’m klutzy, and just acting like a total airhead.

Maybe my purchases from a new age store will help with this. I’ve been delving into this kind of thing for a few months now and decided I needed some help. Since I was in a large metropolitan area, I was able to find a store that had what I was looking for. However, I felt like such an imposter! I wanted to get some crystals but forgot what I wanted to get. Plus, I wanted to just look around and see what was there. The employees were very nice and helpful but I just needed to absorb all the stuff they had. I got a couple of crystals, a heart chakra candle, and some sage sticks. It’s funny how I felt like such a noob buying this stuff. I wish I didn’t judge myself so harshly.

I also feel fraudulent in my life. I feel like I’ve been awakened so to speak, at least on a basic level, but I’m not able to put into practice what I now believe. I’m reading like crazy, surfing the ‘Net, journaling, doing yoga, but somehow unable to fundamentally change my mindset and my behavior to “vibrate on a higher level.” I think some of the problems I’ve had/are having are directly related to this inability. Low vibrations? Karma? I don’t know. I tend to be negative and critical and overreact when things don’t go my way. But, did I make it that way? Am I reaping what I sow?

I’ve been told that I live in my head too much. I am very analytical and although I sometimes dislike being that way, I chose to view it as a strength. However, it hasn’t served me very well. When you try to make decisions using only your mind and ignoring your heart, soul, and intuition, you tend to make logical choices, not good ones. And usually those logical choices are what society wants you to do, not what is in your best interest. So, the crystals and heart chakra candle are supposed to help me with this.

At some point in my life, the joy went away and I started living in my head 100% of the time. I know now why I feel “flat” and unenthusiastic. I have let myself become this way. Society says that doing your own thing is selfish, that you must think things through before taking action and that you must do the responsible thing. Again, this way of thinking hasn’t served me well. It has caused me to make many bad decisions. One of my former bosses, and also a good friend, once told me that if you aren’t scared when taking a new job, then you aren’t going to grow or enjoy the job. It was great advice and really applies to anything in life. What is the point of being safe and secure and comfortable if you aren’t living the life you want?

Of course, upbringing also plays a huge factor in the way I deal with certain things. I don’t mean to complain or criticize but being brought up in a way that prefers safety over exploration, conformity over rocking the boat, and doing what one “should” over doing what one wants doesn’t create an adult that is comfortable in their own skin or able to determine what they want out of life. My parents weren’t brought up this way either.

Isn’t it unfortunate that so many of us have to come to these realizations so late in life?

Where are you at in your life journey? Are you living the way you want?

Checking In . . .

Standard

Thought I’d check in and let you know what I’ve been up to this week.

My son had a summer camp at a small community college this week so we’ve been driving 30 miles each way every day. He’s having a lot of fun and I’m enjoying this really beautiful little campus. There are lots of nice gardens and places to sit outside – something I don’t do enough of.

Funny story about getting outside. I packed all sorts of projects to work on since I am “stuck” here while my son attends camp. I found a nice place to spread out my things inside and it was nice and quiet. However, two other ladies had the same idea but were not being very quiet! So, I packed up my stuff and headed outside. Found a lovely little table by a fountain where the birds were singing. Lo and behold, 30 minutes later the ladies came along and sat behind me, continuing their very loud conversation. So, I packed up again and walked to several other places before finding another fountain with NO ONE AROUND! Long story short, I’m trying to get in 10,000 steps a day and by 10:00 am I’d already gotten in 3,000! (That’s a feat for me.) So, a bad situation ended up being to my benefit. I just need my solitude! 

I have really enjoyed being outdoors this week. The weather hasn’t been overly hot and there’s a nice breeze. Wish we had some more camps to attend here! We’ll be going to another college campus in a couple weeks for another camp; hopefully it won’t be blazing hot. I’ve gotten a lot of reading done this week and just basked in the quiet and beauty. It’s been good for me – I’ve been a bit depressed this week and this has been rejuvenating and made me forget my worries for a while.

Anyone else enjoying the outdoors this week?

Sandra

Wow, Thanks! and a “Manifesto”

Standard

2374305597_26e8736286_qGee – I never thought I’d get so many likes the first time around. Thank you so much! It means a lot just to have some people even aware of my blog!

Obviously, I haven’t been very good about getting those posts out there. I feel like I have so much going on in my life right now and while I want to blog, I make it less of a priority compared to other things. My current challenge is fighting my son on screen time and trying to corral his usage. Its getting difficult. Even when I turn off the internet at night, he will use our data plan on the cell phone. I think he even found an unsecured wi-fi that he could tap into. Mind you, I don’t think this is necessarily delinquent behavior; I just think he’s addicted!

Anyway, maybe a little bit more about me and my reasons for blogging would be in order.

As I said, this is more a personal journal for me. I have a very real need to “talk” about what is going on in my life to people who aren’t my family, friends, or paid to listen to me! I’m currently separated. I took my son out of school in late April to homeschool because he was having such a hard time there. My Mom has been in a nursing home for a year and a half after she had a stroke; before that she had a bout of cancer. My son, while I wouldn’t call him a “special needs” kid, does have some unique needs that we are trying to work on.  Plus, I have my own motivation and depression to wrestle with each day and some days it feels like too much.

I know a lot of other people are going through their own stuff. Everyone’s stuff is different. Many times I feel like I should be able to handle what’s come my way because I see other people handling stuff that’s much worse than mine. But I can’t compare myself to others; I just have to learn how to deal with what’s been put on my plate.

So, in trying to figure out what to do about feeling pulled in many different directions and also being unsure about 99% of the time what the hell I’m supposed to be doing, I’ve come to a few realizations about myself:

  1. I reject the life that society tells me I am supposed to live. I will no longer accept that certain things are “good” or “bad” or judge my success or failure by what society has traditionally told us those are.
  2. I will no longer feel guilty about not living up to those societal expectations because those expectations come from a place of fear.
  3. There are alternate ways of living one’s life that are authentic and true to one’s soul. If one does not live true to one’s soul, then I believe depression (at the minimum) will result.
  4. I must start living in my heart, rather than my head. My head wants to analyze everything and make decisions based on whether the pros outweight the cons. That hasn’t served me very well so far.
  5. I will trust my intuition. If something does not “feel right” to me, I will not feel obligated to adhere to it.
  6. I accept that I have been blind and that I am waking up. There is way more out there than I ever realized and it’s not necessarily bunk because it’s “fringe” and scientifically unproveable.
  7. I want to share these beliefs with my son.
  8. There is a disconnect between what I value and how I act.
  9. My life will be confusing and scary while I’m going through these changes and making these choices.

I think I could go on, but you get the idea!

The thing that is tough about all this is having close relationships with people who don’t yet understand my new way of thinking. It’s one thing to take on society as an abstract entity, but taking on real people who have your “best interests” at heart is daunting! I am getting a pretty good support system, though, but need to find others who share my new outlook.

Wow. This was way more serious than the first post! Sorry if I disappointed anyone.

Thank you again for all the support and advice on the first post. I really appreciate it.

Anyone else going through similar things right now?

Thanks for listening!

Sandra