In my endless pursuit of self-improvement, I listen to a lot of podcasts and read a lot of books. One of the key messages of almost ALL self-care/self-improvement media (whether it’s about weight loss, spirituality, unleashing your full potential, etc.) is not letting other people’s bullshit affect you.
If you want to test yourself to see what mile-marker you’ve reached on your “journey of self-improvement (puke),” go on a family vacation. Hell, go on ANY vacation with a bunch of adults of all ages and one male 17yr old. The male 17-year-old is not essential- like, don’t STEAL one or anything- but if you really want to challenge your zen level, I mean REALLY want to push yourself, I highly recommended incorporating one into your travel plans.
What did I learn about myself?
I learned I’ve made some good progress, but I still have a long way to go. I learned that if people are pissing me off, I tend to take it out on my husband- which is obviously not cool and needs work. I learned I struggle with wanting everyone to be having a good time and feeling upset when clearly one or two people are not. I learned that I am more able to recognize these feelings in-the-moment and do some self-talk to manage those emotions.
(We’re just gonna go ahead and use “they” here- lest I have people calling for my head on a platter)
- “They didn’t have to come along, but they chose to because they want to be with the family. So maybe they aren’t having a woo-hoo blasty blast, but they are content to be with the group.”
- “They are just not as go-with-the-flow are you are and that’s ok. Actually, it’s great for them! They probably have a better credit score than I do because of it LOL”
- “They literally just said 5 minutes ago they had an upset stomach- this is not about you- you lunatic.”
- “We are a loud, obnoxious family, not everyone is used to, or is into, that!”
I also learned I’m not sure what the end goal should even be. Are we not even supposed to have feelings when other people act in ways that we don’t like and just understand it’s their bullshit causing them to act that way and understand it has little or nothing to do with us? Are we just supposed to accept and embrace everyone for who they are? Most self-care media suggests surrounding yourself and spending your time with people who have similar goals and outlooks on life and avoiding people who drain your positivity. So are they suggesting you just “cancel” family members? I understand cutting ties with family members who have repeatedly shown they can’t be trusted; but what about the family members who are just not on the same wavelength as you? Or have very different personalities? Or perhaps some shit they should probably work on? Or just make you crazy? Are we SUPPOSED to enjoy all the time we spend with people and therefore only spend time with people who we enjoy all the time? Well, that can’t be it because I would be alone 100% of the time both because there is nobody I enjoy 100% of the time and FOR SURE nobody enjoys ME 100% of the time (LMAO)!
I saw this article posted yesterday in a facebook group, and it was a HOT TOPIC! Is anything NOT a hot topic anymore though? Really? The old saying, “Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one!,” has never rung truer. And actually, even that saying could spark a debate about it’s being exclusive to those who had anal cancer or some other issue that resulted in them being assholeless.
So, FIRST OF ALL- BRAVO to Macy’s because this is a BRILLIANT marketing scheme. Let’s all realize this for what it is.
2nd of all- The plates are just dumb. A plate of salad would put you “mom jeans” territory.
And of course, 3rd of all- the ultimate destination:
I thought a lot about the whole issue here, and for me, these things boil down to, “What message do you want to put out into the world to make it a better place?”
I think the world would be a better place if women weren’t judged by the amount of fat they have on their bodies or the amount of food they put in their face.
Therefore, I think these plates are sending an unnecessary message into the world. I think about people who own these plates and have little girls growing up seeing the message EVERY DAY that you should only eat that much food if you want to be “good.” Then add in someone who has boys too; little boys who grow up seeing every day that girls should only be eating tiny amounts to meet society’s standards but as boys, they can do whatever they want! I picture a 6yo brother and sister sitting at a table with these plates in from them and the messages they ate getting and think, perhaps, these plates don’t really need to be a thing that exists only to contribute to archaic ideas about what it means to be a woman?
But as we know, opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one and cares more about thiers than anyone else’s.
Sean came into the living room tonight to report there was a little yellow cat on the porch meowing, so he opened the door to investigate, and it chased into our entryway after him hissing and spitting and meowing. So I come out to see if there is even really a cat since you never know with Sean.
There is a cat. And it is indeed meowing over and over as it almost frantically walks around on our steps looking at me through our kitchen window. I open the kitchen door and, as previously described by Sean, the cat comes running into the entry towards me, hissing, meowing, and trying to get into the house (even with giant Piper eagerly trying to join in on the fun!). So at this point, we are trapped in our apartment by this cat that I am convinced is rabid or something. I have never seen a cat act like that.
As we contemplate our plan, the cat leaves our porch and walks down the driveway so we can’t see her anymore. Sean is satisfied to move on with life. I, of course, am not. I go outside to see where the cat went and to check in with our neighbors who are cat people (and I mean CAT PEOPLE- like run a feral cat rescue, cat people). The second I turn the corner the cat comes at me doing the same hissing, crying, meowing. I talked to her (because I speak to all animals like they are people), “What is your deal? Are you lost? Are you hurt.?” When she reaches me, she starts rubbing on my legs and standing up on her back legs acting like she wants me to pick her up, but hisses and backs up if I start to bend over. Repeat. Repeat. “Ok weird cat. I’m going to see if you belong to someone.”
She did. Our neighbor exclaimed, “Oh my god! She got out earlier, and we haven’t been able to find her, and she’s never been outside before!” He walked outside with me, and the cat immediately ran (meowing, of course) into his arms.
And that was that.
I just can’t stop thinking about that little cat and the emotional turmoil she was CLEARLY going through. So much so that I honestly thought she was rabid. She was terrified but knew finding people, STRANGERS, to help her was the only way to get back where she belonged. She had to trust in people when it was going against her natural instincts. A giant internal emotional battle inside a tiny yellow cat. A tiny yellow cat who let herself trust (as much as she could) and is now home.
I am at a 2-day training. “CBT for Suicide Prevention”
First of all. I should note I am bad at trainings, conferences, workshops, symposiums (I don’t know that I’ve ever actually been to a symposium, but I’m sure I would hate it). I hate them. I am that ADD 6-year-old boy in school wiggling in his seat, bugging people next to him, playing with anything he can get his hands on, getting up to “use the bathroom” over and over, etc. Think I’m kidding?
So yeah, I look miserable and like I am not paying attention, but I actually am taking it all in; which was the original point of this blog before I got immediately sidetracked.
If I ask you if you have ever thought about killing yourself, have I suddenly put the idea of killing yourself in your mind? Have you read this and now are suddenly thinking, “Shit! I never thought of that idea! You know what? Imma kill me today! OMG TYSM!” No. You aren’t. Yet we don’t ever ask the question even though suicide is one of our country’s leading causes of death. Every time we hear of a suicide, we hear things like, “We had no idea.” “He never said a word.” “She seemed fine.” “She seemed happier than ever!”
When the presenter was talking about this, I parallelled it in my mind with people who don’t want sex education in schools because then kids will want to have sex. Then I thought to myself, “What a great analogy to use with people! Just like sex education at schools doesn’t cause kids to fuck, asking someone if they have ever thought about suicide won’t cause them to shoot themselves!”
Then I remembered we are living in the Handmaid’s tale era and there are still a large majority of people who still think sex education causes sex.
Moral of the story: Ask the question even if it feels weird. You could save someone’s life.
Take it from someone who knows… I Jumped Off The Golden Gate Bridge
I was just sitting here on the couch when I suddenly thought “I should probably be working on that paper.” Then I looked around to see if anyone heard my stupid thought because at the same time I had the thought I remembered THIS IS NO PAPER! It’s summer break, DUMMY!
So now what? LOL Blog I guess? I could clean… But that’s crazy talk.
I am so used to being busy both physically and mentally that I have no idea what to do with myself in the absence of busy. I’ll figure it out, but for tonight I choose snacks and ‘Dragonfly’ -an all time fav that Lonnie told me he noticed was on Starz.
Thank god I have to work tomorrow.
Apparently spending the whole month of October on my death bed wasn’t enough. I’m sick again. For about 2 weeks now with 3 days of weirdly being perfectly fine in the middle there somewhere. I’m told this is “normal.” “Part of the grad school and internship experience,” they say. Freaking “they.”
Oooh…. you know what is part of my new common cold experience!? WHISKEY! I read that whiskey tea can be a more effective treatment for cold symptoms than drugs. So when I was sick in October, we gave it a shot (HA…. SHOT — see what I did there!?). Ok #1, DELICIOUS; and I don’t even like whiskey. And #2, it’s TRUE! My stuffiness and coughing are drastically reduced! #3 Even if they weren’t– I’m TIPSY; WHO CARES!? So yesterday at like 11am and hours of coughing, Lonnie suggested a whiskey tea and I said, “Honey… it’s not even noon. I think that’s illegal or something.” He assured me it was fine because it was MEDICINAL. And it was indeed fine. I even felt fair enough to get a little workout in because I ALSO read it’s good to sweat and get everything moving (lymph nodes and blood and shit) when you have a cold.
Summary: Grad school=stress and germs=drinking
Seems about right.
I am currently reading 4 books. It was 5 but I finished one. This goal setting thing is getting a bit out of hand! Toward the end of 2017 I thought a lot about reading and how I used to love it, but never did it anymore because I had such a hard time focusing on anything more than a chapter or a few pages before my mind wandered. So I joined Audible and listened to 10ish books in 2018! But I still felt like I was missing something by not reading with my EYES. It’s an entirely different experience. Studies have shown that for leisure reading, audio and printed word are quite comparable, BUT, when studying for learning, printed text read visually increases retention and comprehension, so there IS a difference! In addition, with all the writing I do, increasing my exposure to the writing of others increases my vocabulary and ability to write more creatively. Some of my favorite compliments are from those that enjoy reading what I write, whether it’s just a simple crisis contact note or a 10 page paper about the mental and physical health benefits experienced by homeless people who have pets!
This year I set a goal to read more books WITH MY EYES! And I am super happy with my progress! I am noticing an increase in my ability to focus and realized (from this experience, and from the 2 books about habit-forming I am reading), I didn’t lose my ability to focus, I just hadn’t been PRACTICING maintaining focus by reading! Wouldn’t it be cool if THAT spilled into the rest of my life and I could actually do ONE thing at a time… and like… FINISH stuff before moving on!?
…said the girl who started this post by confessing she is reading 4 books right now 😉