"Peopley"

If you’ve followed and read my posts for a while – or know me from there – I routinely spend some time in the same social media platform daily, often with the same crowd of people. I enjoy their give and take of banter and chuckles, and most of the time, I’m pretty much of an extrovert there.

My week hasn’t been overly “peopley” in real-life terms. It included only a hair appointment at an owner-operated hair salon and a routine doctor’s visit at a small medical practice. Of course, there was the run to Walmart, which I’d put off for about 3 weeks because there was nothing urgent on my list, and Walmart is not one of my favorite destinations. I purchase my coffee and paper and cleaning supplies there, so when I am getting low on something, I go there and purchase some of everything I buy there so I don’t have to go back for a while. I didn’t even stop at the Dollar Tree store next door, even though I usually shop at both when I’m there. Heck, I didn’t even make my usual weekly run to the grocery store!

And yet, I feel “peopled” out this week. I whizzed through my morning visits on the social media platform, but just didn’t feel the positive vibes hitting me. I even visited – on the same platform – some places yesterday and today that I seldom get to visit. I just wasn’t feeling it!

Unless I am under the funk of the dreaded depressed mood, this is a bit unusual for me, and I’m not sure what to think about it! Just as my brother, Brad, looks forward to his morning coffee-at-the-diner with his group of peeps, I look forward to this time to socialize with my peeps. And it’s not because I have some pressing chores or the like that I think I should be focused on instead!

Do you ever have days when you’re just not feeling it, but don’t know why?

"Patience is a Virtue"

Patience is a Virtue meaning: The ability to wait for something without frustration. It is a useful skill and a good aspect of one’s personality. The proverb patience is a virtue means that it is a good quality to be able to tolerate something that takes a long time.

Patience has never been one of my more ‘virtuous’ aspects. And, truth be told, I am much more able to practice patience while waiting for some THING, but I admit to being completely lousy with having patience for some ONE. This is something that definitely applies to me:

Word!

Mostly, I have little tolerance for people who behave in chaotic and insensitive ways. I mean, we all have our moments where we unintentionally say something insensitive to someone, but it is usually to someone we love and feel safe enough around to be human. When I see someone behave in a rude way, for example, being so lazy as to leave their shopping cart not put in a return carousel or returned to the store (one of my triggers!), I say something intolerant in my head, but I would never say it to the actual person. I think most of us have experienced road rage of some kind, and say things in our heads or out loud inside the safety of our vehicle, but we don’t openly display that rudeness.

But put people behind the anonymity of a computer screen, and some people have no trouble saying rude, mean and disrespectful things. My dear friend, Will, always shows the most amazing patience with these people, suggesting that these people try to pull other people into their chaos because it’s their only way to express themselves. He reminds me often enough that we don’t know what is going on under the surface of their behavior that is causing it. He has the patience of a saint in trying to speak to them in kindness and hopes to pull them away from the acting out. I, on the other hand, am quick to give a warning that the behavior is not appreciated and that there are consequences if it continues. And trust me, I am not making empty promises to them about the consequences!

I am not at all behind the theory that some parents try to treat their children like their best friends. That is not a part of parenting! It is a parent’s responsibility to teach proper behavior, and to provide consequences for failing to behave in a proper manner. I grew up with many rules of conduct in how to treat others, and I didn’t turn out too bad. There has to be a boundary to the idea of the Golden Rule where we just ‘turn the other cheek’, right?

When I really think about it, I have to wonder if why I struggle being patient with these kinds of people has to do with my empath traits. Perhaps I see the chaos in the behavior and act quickly in defense to protect myself from actually being pulled into it emotionally? If that is true, it’s completely on a subconscious level; on the surface, I just get angry that people get away with that kind of negative behavior without consequence which, to me, condones the behavior.

As much as my friend Will is trying to encourage me to gain patience with people in this regard, for the most part, I suspect that we are going to have to agree to disagree about it. I’m simply at a place in my life where I have chosen to step away from chaos and negativity. I’ve ended a couple of friendships recently in order to move away from that, and I’m certainly not willing to let complete strangers get away with what those friends could not!

And that is just another thing that I’m going to accept about who I am!

This is why, because this just happened…

I’m standing at the Keurig, listening to its gurgle as it makes me a fresh cup of coffee.

My mind drifts, thinking yet again about how divided my country is because of politics.

My mind questions if maybe we need another 9/11 event to rejoin us as Americans.

I think about the casualties of that event, people who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I feel a tad bit guilty for even thinking that thought about a reoccurring event.

I then think about our armed services personnel, who have entered into battle to defend this country, and how, for them, it must have felt to have felled casualties during a violent battle to do so. Innocent human beings who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I feel ache in my heart that these brave heroes should have to live with that guilt.

And this, dear readers, is why I titled my blog “Ramblings and Ruminations”. This is how my mind sometimes wanders in a path far from its original thought in a short time frame.

Welcome to a clear view of my struggles….

A racing mind never gets anywhere no matter how fast it goes!

Valentine's Day Ruminations

This begins the week where talk circles around this ‘upcoming’ holiday. As single by choice, I will not be an active participant in all of the activities that many couples take part in. No fancy dinners out, no bouquet of flowers delivered to my door, no mushy greeting card, etc. Honestly, I’m really okay with the lack of all of that – preferring, instead, to make it a day of self-care and garnishing love upon myself. For me, that means cooking myself a good dinner and letting the dishes go ignored. It means relaxing with a good book or movie. It might mean staying in my PJs all day. It will mean ignoring any chores that are waiting. For me, it is a day where I get to shower the love and attention that I give away so easily to others on myself for a change.

I heard some folks talk about their plans, and I could tell by their conversation that either they are very young or I am very old (or a combination thereof). One spoke of taking his fiancé to a hotel overnight. Another, when asked what he was doing for Valentine’s Day, said, “I’m doing my girlfriend.” Those kinds of comments got my mind thinking – – did my generation, back when it was that young, focus on a booty call as what the holiday was worthy of? I didn’t then and I don’t now.

Other conversations from a slightly more mature crowd focused on what HE was doing for HER. Listen, I 110% support showing the woman in your life some spoiling, and if you need a holiday in order to do that (the question is, why don’t you do it more often?), have at it. But what about the guys? Do the women also find ways (beyond allowing the booty call) to shower their men with love? I always did – I always thought of the holiday as a two-way street.

Of all of the years when I did have someone in my life with whom to celebrate this particular holiday, I remember two distinctly. One was the time, in my 20’s, when my beau brought me a half-dozen black roses. Black roses have always been my favorite flower. Okay, they were actually 6 white roses spray-painted black, but it was a huge deal for me! The other one was when I was in my 40’s and my partner cooked dinner for me at his house. I’m not going to knock that it was lobster tail, which I adore, but he could have made mac and cheese and I’d still have been happy just to have someone cook for ME!

I’ve also talked to enough couples with a lot of years together under their belts to realize they do very little on Valentine’s Day, if anything. I’m not suggesting anything big, but a small token of romance doesn’t seem to be like much to ask! Again, I go back to my suggestion in my previous post that “little things mean a lot”. Make a favorite meal – invest a few dollars in an appropriate greeting card – let them sleep in – take them coffee in bed in the morning – do a chore that usually falls on that person to do – – – again, the list is endless! To completely act like it’s a nothing holiday feels wrong to me.

I also talked to someone who is assistant manager at a restaurant/bar about my idea that someone should create a “Singles Only” event for Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve. These are the two holidays when singles are shunned from available events at which to celebrate! It almost makes me feel like a “less than” because I don’t have the opportunity to attend an event for those holidays as a single person. I am quite certain no restaurant is going to accept my reservation for a ‘party of one’, knowing they can get two people at that table and make twice as much profit!

So if you’re single, either by choice or circumstance, consider treating yourself in some way and acknowledge that self-love is okay. You are special because of who you are, not because you’re part of a couple. Eat some chocolate – buy yourself a bouquet of flowers available at almost any grocery store – go bold and look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud, “I love you.” Think about how relaxing it is not to have the stress of having to think up and act upon plans to make someone else feel special!

Fill your own cup full of love so you can nourish others with the overflow!

Little Things Mean A Lot

The title of this post is also the title of an old song whose first line is “Don’t throw bouquets at me…” I don’t recall the rest of the lyrics, but the story told by them are that fancy displays of gifts don’t hold nearly the value as the little ones. As a romantic, I’ve always said that I’d rather have a hand-picked bunch of wildflowers than a dozen of the finest roses. My philosophy behind that is that anyone can take a few minutes to call a florist and order a flower delivery with a typed card, but a hand-picked bunch of wildflowers delivered by the giver shows effort and time. In today’s world, our time is one of the most precious commodities we can give to another, after all.

In my last post, I talked about an emotional meltdown I had just gone through. In the days afterwards, I got a sense of what people with bi-polar disease go through. I was on a roller coaster of up moods and down moods and couldn’t seem to get my feet back to solid on the ground. Well, it was more like I was either super-up or numb, to be honest. A few days later, someone I know from an online place I hang out – whom we call “Monergy” or “Monster” – started showering me with online roses. He had no reason to do so – he wasn’t aware of what I’d been going through – but he did it just to show me he loved me. And yes, I started crying again!

Those tears, though, were entirely happy tears! Amid all of the self-doubt I’d been feeling, here was this person who had no incentive to show me love showed it to me openly and ten-fold! It was a “little thing” but it was the “biggest thing”! My heart swelled with that outpouring of simple love!

I share that with my readers to remind you that you, too, can make a difference in someone’s mood by doing little things! For your family, your friends, even strangers….. a small gesture that shows your heart may – and probably will – make an impact! I’ve said before that I’m an ARK rider – acts of random kindness – and the smile I get from the simple things, such as taking a grocery cart from someone who has just emptied by their vehicle and returning it on your way in always gets me a smile!

And for your loved ones, especially, shower them with little things! A sticky note for them to see, a text message that says something like “I’m thinking of you”, an extra hug to a child with a word of encouragement on test/exam day – an a million more – does so much!

I encourage each of you to think of a list of ways for you to encourage your family and friends and everyone else you come in contact with – and then DO IT! Get aboard the ARK with me!

Shaky but Surviving

I haven’t added a post here for quite a few days. That’s partly because I haven’t really thought I had anything important to share. The other part of it is that I was letting myself take advantage of the almost constant “napping” that my body wanted as part of the physical symptoms of a bout of depression.

Until Monday, I hadn’t been consciously feeling any of the mental stigma of depression, but I found myself quickly becoming defensive with someone, which I later realized was that I was feeling attacked. This morning, for whatever reason, I got ‘attacked’ emotionally from several angles and it broke me. I had a pretty major melt-down and a good cleansing cry.

Sometimes, when I’m struggling for whatever reason, I often think that a good cry would make me feel better. My female readers will probably understand that and have probably felt that way at times. Growing up, as I expressed in a previous post, I was someone who would cry at just the simple saddest thing. I can remember crying over mushy Hallmark card commercials, even though the commercials were full of happiness. For some reason now, I have to almost WORK at making myself cry. I’ve pondered that from time to time, undecided if I just want people to see me be strong or if I’ve conditioned myself in ways to actually BE that strong. Either way, it’s not something that comes easily for me.

But earlier this morning, I broke. I won’t go into details – most of you wouldn’t understand – but I had a meltdown and the tears just came. At the time, I felt defeated but now – now I feel like I needed it to happen! I mean, it’s not a pleasant experience, but it did it’s job of cleansing me and the weight I felt like I was carrying, so I don’t regret it.

I share this because I’m hoping others will realize it has to be okay for you to not always be the one others see as strong and invincible! I share it to help you realize that sometimes just letting it express itself is good medicine! While I’m still a little shaken from everything that caused the meltdown and the experience itself, I have no regrets for it. I’m calling letting it all come out a form of ‘self-care’ and it’s obvious I needed some!

So, my point is – sometimes it’s okay not to be okay! We are all equipped with a myriad of emotions, good and bad, and I’m sure it’s impossible for us to live in 100% good emotions all the time. But hey, if you can do that, please share your tips!

Letting Go

I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but this poem passionately fits who I see myself to be at my core. Enjoy!

commonsensiblyspeaking

She holds onto the pain like it’s a gift

A repeated sad and sullen refrain

Her joy on a blackened sea now adrift

The hurtful words echo inside her brain

When her eyes close, she still sees the faces

The home for eyes filled once with so much love

Now on them she cannot find the traces

Of what she thought was sent from up above

Where is the hope that scarred heart will mend

Is it unseen in the clouds of despair

Wasted is all the time that she can spend

Continuing to breathe in poisoned air

The wrongs worn like a proud badge of honor

So others will know just how hard she tried

But the darkness that they cast upon her

Stifles her from seeing the other side

Let go of these old wounds, let them be past

Let light break through on her darkest of days

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