Convo With Myself, A (Changeable) Libra

I’m the first one to admit that I have often overlooked that I have options in life because I have been crippled with nervousness or anxiety. (Well, sometimes I have but not always.) Just recently, out of nowhere, the thought that I DO have a choice popped into my head.

(Apparently, this new thought has happened many times before) And, of course, I have written about this choice again and again.(Ad nauseum.)  I will try over and over until I get it right.(It’s not looking too good.)

It’s the toughest lesson for me to learn.( Really? I hadn’t picked up on that yet?)  I know it in a cerebral way it’s just not reaching my body.( oh please, what utter garbage, it hasn’t reached anything, anytime, anywhere.) Let’s face it, take the damn healthy drug.(Was there ever another option that worked?)

This may not be shocking to many but for me, it was an awakening.( yes, again for the umpteenth time.) Circumstances will change that we will have NO control over, that’s a given. How you look at those changes( I could seriously slap myself)

and how you react are things you can (hopefully) control. (slapping harder.)

After endless years of worrying, obsessively worrying, about the future past or present  it came to me in one clear moment,( I really doubt my sanity sometimes) out of the blue, (again) when I was not even thinking about it, that I can choose my reaction (sometimes, probably while medicated) how I look at my reactions given the same situation.

It’s true, I can choose to make something a tragedy or an opportunity, deal with it,  get hysterical or just let it sit for a while. (an amazing amount of bulls–t right here.)

I think meditation (last time I tried I could only do two minutes before I got antsy) and yoga ( during the class) and being aware of my breath has helped me, I try, (emphasis on TRY)  before I panic, to take a few, long, deep breaths. Inhaling slowly, ( now THAT really would relax me, oh just kidding) settling my brain, forcing it to neutral even if it is only for one minute has helped me (this part is true).

Believe me, I’m not saying it will never happen again,( ha, ha, ha) I may slip back into my old sloppy, slovenly ways sometime ( now) when I am deeply overwhelmed (as in half an hour ago) but at least now I know I have the capacity to make a choice, (once in a while) that it is up to me. I am not a victim, I am in charge of my life. (Yes, I should definitely be in charge, and NOT a victim -nice try) A trait known to many but unknown to the same amount of people, the worriers of the world, the anxious, the timid, the frightened.( I’m here, in the left hand corner with my peeps.) I can change my reactions or my ability to perceive the news( As if…) It’s not always easy, I’m the first one to agree with that but we do have potential to try. (Yes, we do have the potential …)

I take a class once a week called”chair yoga” which I absolutely love. It keeps me centered, it gives my body some exercise and gives me something to look forward to every week. Picture something relaxing to you if you need an image, anything that you think is relaxing or beautiful is perfect. It can be of your newborn baby, cheese cake with luscious strawberries on top, flowers, the ocean, anything you love that is peaceful and that brings you happiness:

English: A slice of Strawberry Cheesecake from...

Trust me, if I can do it, ANYBODY can…and

don’t judge me or anybody else…we are in this together.

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These Things, These Days

Tide Pool 003

Tide Pool 003 (Photo credit: Sunburned Surveyor)

A penny flipped mid-air,  the sound of dripping water from an old rusty pipe, white pistachio ice cream in an orange, ceramic bowl. Many, many things will happen during the day, most won’t leave an impression, but some will, things you may have not even have noticed consciously. What have you remembered in the corners of your mind?  The pop of very dark, red blood on my ankle after I cut myself, fixing the sink without asking for my husband’s help and my subsequent satisfaction, the texture and exquisite taste of lemon cheesecake swirling on my tongue.

Still not feeling happy but not feeling as depressed, it may take a while. Being on this plateau is fine with me, I am not complaining. I am trying to place the world in different compartments.  There are parts of myself I do not like, I need to own these. I am less patient than I used to be, I am unkind when pushed straight up against a brick wall, lately, I get angry more easily, sadder too; I am most definitely, flawed.

Relationships, each one, are so hard. Our age must be a part of it. We are the aging boomers.Is it our age? . Not so much peace, love and rock n’ roll anymore. Who has the time, the money, the stress free life? There are no relationship that are easy, they all need work and nurturing.  Just what is the right ratio? You only know when you have bumped up against it. Things hurt me more than most but that is something I can’t change, people have called me an Empath Intuitive, for what that is worth. I need to know more about this. Anyone?

I try to let things roll off my back but they get stuck. I am too sensitive, yes I know. I’m sorry. When people show coldness it feels like stabbing to me. Whoever said “karma is a bitch” first is so deadly right but that is how we learn, isn’t it? The lessons we need to learn usually come from within us.

I feel my mood slipping away, as if I were once again, caught in a tide pool of waves crashing around me. For all the majestic beauty of the ocean it can also be terrifying, disturbing and very dark. When I was a teenager I wandered away for a very long time, stayed away for hours, longer than I ever had, hoping that someone would miss me. Many hours later, I came back  waiting for the howls of relief that I had returned and the shrieks of “where have you been, young lady?” but no one had even noticed that I had gone.

Where is my energy, (not just because I have Fibromyalgia but even before the diagnosis?  Where was my fight, my determination, my drive? I feel like I’m a 33 record in a 45 playing world. (ask your parents!)

My red-brown dog, Lexi, lies against my legs, her show of affection, I still miss my first dog, Callie. You don’t forget love. You can’t, it’s impossible, If only it was that easy. Love lies in your memory and your heart, it reminds you of what you have done wrong and what you have done right. It shows us all that we are fallible and vulnerable. Live your life, but stop and tell the important people you love that YOU LOVE them. Now, before it’s too late while riding the ups and downs of life. I’ve always hated roller coasters. In life, we have no choice but to hold on tight.

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My Freckles Are Spreading, No Really

Ashton Kutcher at Time 100 Gala

Image via Wikipedia

I was in a small shopping mall last week and I passed a mirror and I thought, for a quick second, that I saw my reflection. No, that couldn’t be me. I must have seen someone else. Whoever it was, looked bloated, tired, pale and cranky. She was wearing a green shirt, and mom jeans with protruding stomach rolls, and she was frowning furiously that showed deep wrinkle lines.  That’s NOT me! Um, but I am wearing the same outfit and my eyes are green…..

Maybe the mirror I looked in was one of those funny mirrors that they use in amusement parks, or pranks!  I looked around for Ashton Kutcher because I thought I was being  “Punked”or at the very least, pranked. Ashton, however  was no where in sight and the only camera looking at me was a security camera following my every, suspicious move.

That old, sad, mad, fat person warily looking back at me made me want to weep and hide in some stranger’s musty attic or move to Canada or better yet, Italy. I can give good advice to others about positive body image but it wasn’t working for me today.  Today, I flunked the course.  I  ordered a chopped salad for lunch (appetizer size) and I had that lovely tiny slice of Italian cheesecake with the essence of orange, but don’t those things cancel each other out?

If big, cranky, frowning lady wasn’t enough I also saw that there is now something quite wrong with my skin. I’ve always had that pale, cream-cheese complexion but things are changing.  My freckles are joining together; I’m sure that’s what it must be.  It couldn’t be the dreaded old age spots, could it? This day just keeps getting better and better.

Just one more thing: I remembered the cashier at A & P  who asked me my age. I was so confused…..until she told me that Seniors, 55 and older get 5% off their bill on Tuesdays. It was Tuesday and while I am not 55, I’m really damn close. So, thanks for the discount but your people skills stink.

I know all the reasons why women gain weight in their, (cough, cough) mid to later years and I lend these pearls of wisdom to friends as easily as I would a  button-down blue sweater. My own body crashed with Menopause, followed closely by an Underactive Thyroid condition and an Auto-immune Disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. After that, I was diagnosed with  Fibromyalgia. But, today I’m just not buying it. I don’t care, I just know how awful I feel. Today, I am allowing myself to sulk.

Maybe tomorrow I will be able to put things in perspective. I will remember that good health is more important than weight, that I have a wonderful family and I am grateful for so many things. As for the cheesecake? It was worth every bite. The mirror? That, was pure evil.

Carrot Cake Was NOT Just An 80’s Thing, Was It?

Carrot Cake

Image by Pen Waggener via Flickr

Hubby and I went out to dinner last week and as we looked over the dessert menu (after all, isn’t that the reason I go out to dinner?) I realized that certain important items were missing from the menu. There was no carrot cake, cheesecake. vanilla cake. Or any cake except a dense, all dark-chocolate cake. No pies. Just passion fruit crème brûlée,  a brownie with vanilla ice cream, a root beer float (really? that is a beverage to me) and fresh fruit in season, (LOL) and Nutella in pastry shells. I have a big jar of Nutella at home in the closet and with a teaspoon (or 5 teaspoons) to eat right out of the jar it costs a lot less than the eight dollars THEY were charging. I had just baked brownies for my kids and husband so that was out of the question, vanilla ice cream was safely nestled in the freezer. I had been dreaming of carrot cake, cheese cake, vanilla layer cake, coconut cake but there was nothing.

Carrot cake, to me, is perfection. It is a blend of sweet, salty, crunch and creamy. I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese frosting but hey, its frosting and it is vanilla-ish so that works for me. My husband in his loud, convincing voice said: “carrot cake was just an 80’s s thing.”  Excuse me? I don’t think so but he kept telling me that we don’t see it on dessert menus very often and I just assume that we’ve been going to the wrong restaurants.

Was carrot cake a cult thing? Like a flash in the (cake) pan? Do I need to find my leg warmers and leotards and watch “Flashdance” on the, (gulp) oldies station? Look at denim, that’s been around a long time and I doubt that’s going anywhere. I don’t want to think that carrot cake is not available anymore and please don’t suggest I make it because I don’t have the patience or the talent for all the chopping, mixing and whatever 52 steps it takes to create it.  Also, it’s no use saying “don’t order dessert” because that is totally irrational.

If I can’t find it in a restaurant I really don’t want to buy a whole cake. I don’t want a whole cake of any flavor in my house, from a bakery or Costco or the frozen section of my local supermarket. If there is (non-chocolate) cake, I will eat it.   Please, don’t let me buy an entire carrot cake or cheesecake because I am the only one in the family that will eat it and I have given up on portion control or rather portion control has given up on me.  I will have to scour every bakery and grocery store to find a place that serves these delicacies by the slice. I’m just not sure if I can be trusted to only buying one.

No Cheesecake Left Behind (A Foodie Blog)

Last night, on IM, my friend described the delicious sounding cheesecake she bought at a store and I have been obsessing and craving it ever since. I have to have it. No, I do not want any kind of cheesecake, just the one she described in detail. It was a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, fresh fruit (sorry, I am drooling) and covered by an apricot glaze.  A sweet apricot glaze! Now, I need this cake. I must have it, I’m a foodie and proud of it. There’s just one problem, she ate it in another country and when she casually laughed and said “Gee, I should have saved you a piece” I did not take it lightly. Do not toy with my cheesecake and dessert emotions. Certainly you should have saved me a piece, in your mind if nothing else. Do not taunt me with tantalizing details of the sweet, syrupy, jam-like apricot glaze, or the lush richness of the cheese-cake itself. It’s not fair.

Do not underestimate me. Whereas I know that I cannot have that same cake, I am fully aware that there is a restaurant called “The Cheesecake Factory” that I will go to within a few days. Nothing can stop me. Why can’t people describe an amazing array of fresh vegetables, or a chopped salad with such enthusiasm? Generally, they don’t and I don’t blame them. I eat my vegetables because they are healthy and they taste alright but I would never describe them in detail or dream about having them the next day.

Sigh. It’s not right. Our home life and health are in total disarray so Sunday night is my time to look forward to. On Sunday night I always have to love (most times I have to downgrade it to like)  my dinner. It’s a 40 plus year tradition starting back to grade school. Sunday dinner was supposed to be fun, eaten at a cheap restaurant or getting take-out. Nothing was expensive but it was the excitement of every Sunday afternoon that was charming and in our family, growing up, extremely important.  When I was growing up, of course, we always disagreed but eventually we all would be happy in the end. Sunday night was the bridge to going back to all school years, then work, then life in general.  “I have to love my dinner” is a refrain well-known in my family.  It is the one time of the week, that special meal, as the saying goes “if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”It’s one for all and all for one (whatever the heck that means, I have no idea).

So, cheesecake friend, I will not go down without a fight. I will trudge ahead looking for that perfect cheesecake that is moist and dense and has fruit on top. As much as I am ready for the search, I know, deep in my heart, that I may not find that apricot glaze she mentioned in passing. That hurts.