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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My Intentions

Here it is, on paper. I want to live in a state where there is much more sun

than there is rain. When the thought of Winter is a warm sweater or a light jacket. I don’t want to worry about sliding on the ice and breaking my bones, I can do without the word snow and wind chill for the rest of my life. Truly.

I will not miss the harsh wind howling through the trees and knocking furiously at my windows, tree branches attacking my house. I know that wherever I live there will be compromises I will have to make. There is always a trade-off.

Maybe there will be tornadoes that will scare me or hurricane season that I am certainly

not used to, I am pretty sure I would cower with one of those. I would want a safe room, stocked with canned items and a can opener and frozen bread I could defrost quickly, cereal and small boxes of milk.

It’s funny, when I pictured that I saw myself surrounded by my two little children but I don’t have little children anymore. Sometimes I miss that. My children are perfectly wonderful grown-ups and I am not thirty anymore. I am closer to sixty.

I probably should look for a town that has an active “Senior Center” (sorry, I just threw up in my mouth for a second) and good hospitals. It would be nice to be in a college town so I can be around all age groups.

The MOST important part is that I need to live by water, some coastal town. I don’t mean swimming pools, sorry hon, a desert town does not count. Anywhere along the coast

English: Beach at Sullivan's Island in Charles...

English: Beach at Sullivan’s Island in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

where it is warm (‘wrong’ Freudian slip.) I don’t want to leave my mom….but I will know when the timing is right. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, it can be in five years, we will work something out. I will FEEL when it is right.

Something will come up, something always comes up. Eventually. Deep breathing and mindful meditation. My heart is open to new things. I’m not sure my husband is as ready as I am but when he is, when we both are and the opportunity presents itself, we will know. Well, one of us will for sure, and the other one will know when he takes time to get more comfortable with the idea. There’s nothing wrong with that, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We have been married for twenty-six years,  we’re a team, we are going to stay that way.

waiting, waiting

English: Animation of a diaphragm exhaling and...

English: Animation of a diaphragm exhaling and inhaling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

waiting, waiting

fingers shaking

we haven’t even left for the CAT scan, hard to breathe.

i’m playing it strong for my honey, he would do it for me naturally i just need to work at it a little harder but i know deep inside I can do it. I am doing it and have been for the last what seems like forever.

trying not to play the what if game, but once in a while it sneaks into the cracks like a deadly snake, from behind with its rapid, insidious long tongue. hiss, hiss.

this is what a grown-up is, i’m sorry baby, there is nothing for you to do until we know something and even then, your life stays the same.

i’ve been trying to meditate, deep breathing, slowly in and out, but as the hands on the clock keep ticking, I seem to swallow more, it takes more effort to remember how. did you think I would disturb the test for an unknown? never. ever.

life is certainly not always about pudding and pastries, if only, right?

in two minutes, we have to leave, oh that’s now.

of course we’re early but good luck! they take him right away, in less than ten minutes, he’s back, bad news: no results for 24 hours.

we sit again, waiting, waiting. until tomorrow. trying to think that waiting is often better than knowing.

tomorrow comes, not that but this…

see a cardiologist, it could be this or that but not the other.

so we go on, we have no choice, once again. to do what we have to do.

my stomach is clenched, it hurts so much, tension begets tension.

all i want is for all to be okay and then we can breathe normally soon.

or can we?

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Plinky Prompt: What Bores You?

  • Yawn!
  • I live a boring life, but I say that in a GOOD WAY, not bad. I can’t complain much but I do wish it was more exciting and I had more things to do. My little chickies are out of their nest, we are what you would call “empty nesters.” We are in the in-between place, kids in college, come home for holidays but they don’t need us anymore, really. Sad, but true. You HAVE to come to terms with this or you will have a very sad life. I’ve decided to take a couple of classes locally to have SOMETHING to do. My vow of cooking gourmet food last year was a bust but we did find some good restaurants!! Do what you can, try to explore something new. Take an art class, or a writing class or learn to meditate or exercise, take photographs….the list endless. Sometimes, boring is really, really NICE. Settle into your favorite, comfortable chair with a perfectly adjusted pillow, lie back, close your eyes, Just think of the peace and quiet, the chirping of the birds, listening to the cicadas sing and keeping track of your own breath. Enjoy it, no need to fight it. This is your life too. It may be different than what you had before but it can be just as lovely.

  • meditation

    meditation (Photo credit: HaPe_Gera)

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*Woody Allen’s Other Sister

English: Woody Allen in concert in New York City.

English: Woody Allen in concert in New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was practically BORN thinking about my mortality. It is amazing to talk to people older than I am (and I’m pretty old) that go into a sudden depression realizing they are getting old for the first time. Did they not know this was coming? I was born to be old, born worrying, born afraid. I could definitely be Woody Allen’s little sister. *Relax lawyers, I KNOW I’m NOT but I am so like him, it’s scary. I’ve always been a pessimist despite years of therapy. I thought for sure I failed every test when I aced them and any irregular (or regular) symptom had to be cancer. Describing myself as a “worry-wart” is too kind.

I have tried prescription drugs to alleviate my stress and anxiety but nothing works all the time. Even with medication I still see gloom and doom. I was fortunate to hide it from my children when they were younger, I tried so hard and it worked. Why can’t I do it again?  As they got older, they knew me better and have seen the real me. Plus, it’s a more dangerous world now than it was twenty years ago. I can’t hide anything from them, especially my son, who picks up vibes about me with just a “hello” and vice- versa. (He got that from me). My mother used to call me “over-sensitive” a word which I have always hated. I may not have known WHAT was going on but instinctively I knew something wasn’t right. I can sense things before they happen.

There are some days where I wake up and automatically go through the Rolodex (Google it) in my mind. It can go from a doctor’s appointment, a friend who is dying to security issues (the world is coming to an end, pork has salmonella, don’t eat at any restaurant (did YOU see 20/20?) a plane crash….) I categorize them all under the umbrella of: Health and Safety.

I’m my own damn movie and I can’t ever seem to have a happy ending OR  when I do, I’m afraid I will jinx it. I always play out different scenarios in my mind. What if “my fill in the blank”_______ husband, daughter, son, mother, sister….dies? What if I die first? Will my children be alright, how can I do this to them, I’d feel so bad, and guilty too. I’m feeling pangs of anxiety in my stomach even writing this….just so you know.

The clinical term is  “anticipatory anxiety” it’s no fun but it doesn’t happen all the time. I can’t help it when it does but I do try; sometimes deep breathing works or focusing on something else or playing with my dog, even walking. If you don’t have it, consider yourself blessed. Try to be an optimist or as my dad used to say “Worry when there IS something to worry about, not before.” Try and look at the glass half full, as the expression goes, not half empty, cracked and overflowing with mold and deadly chemicals, like I do. You’ll be happier and have an easier life. Trust me, I know.

Plinky Prompt: What Stresses You Out The Most

    • So Stressful!
    • “You Worry Too Much” DUH.
      stress I stress myself out by worrying. Worrying about my kids, my husband, my dog, my mother, my sister, my friends, victims I don’t know and I worry about myself. I worry about sickness, death, and the flavor of the week on the news i.e. terrible shootings. Worrying about worrying. I “pre-worry” when I have absolutely NO CONTROL over any outcome. In psychiatric terms it is called “anticipatory anxiety.” What good does that do me? IT DOESN’T DO A DARN THING. Yes, I know this but sometimes it’s hard to switch the channel. I am too sensitive in both a good way and a bad. I am incredibly sensitive to others, compassionate and intuitive at the same time I take on other people’s issues to heart and feel for others. A lot. I have tried to change a million times with no luck. I have heard “You are too sensitive” so many times I could scream (especially when it is said by totally insensitive people) I KNOW THAT, I DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE THIS WAY. So, give me a break. I do deep breathing, I’ve tried all the tricks but this is who I am. PLEASE, TRY TO BE understanding, know I worry because I love and I care. Maybe I care too much but don’t you think that’s better than not caring at all? If I could be a cold-hearted, non-worrying-bitch I’d have a much easier life. Sorry, no can do. I worry. I care. And that’s okay.
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