health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, writing

Reminder

I woke up this morning with words and phrases swirling around in my head. Conversations I’ve had with friends, words that were spoken out of haste or anger, from me and directed at me from strangers, family and friends. Snapshots of memories, past and present playing like an after school special. I’ve been reading more than one book at at time this past month before bed, jumping between Unfu*k yourself! – Gary John Bishop, The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson, Life will be the death of me – Chelsea Handler and Girl Stop Apologizing – Rachel Hollis, which is probably the reason for this morning’s array of thoughts, visions and emotions, all before 8 a.m..

As I shuffled into the kitchen for my first of many morning cups of coffee, I went to my “mug shelf “. Yes, I have a mug shelf. There’s just something wonderful about pretty mugs, or a mug that makes you smile or says something sassy or inspirational. Say what you want, side eye me if you will, we all have that something that we like. I like pretty things to look at when I start my day, because you never know what life is going to throw at you, so why not start your day your way. Enough about my mugs, As I reached for my “you did not wake up to mediocre” mug, a story that is not mine to tell popped into my head. Then another, and another. What I realized is all my stories and the stories from friends and family alike all had two things in common. #1 = Fear. Fear of not being enough. Fear of not being loved. Fear of not being able to love. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of the opinions of others. Fear of not measuring up. The list of fears is endless. #2 = we all have the same fears. Not always at the same time or to the same extent, but we all feel the same way. The sad part of this commonality? More often than not, no one talks about it. We all are guilty of acting like everything’s fine, everything’s great, nothing to see here. Instagram posts with the “fun in the sun” hashtag, but the fight before the picture and the silent treatment after the picture didn’t happen. The “love your spouse” posts on Facebook, all the while your husband is sleeping on the couch. I am not the guru on the mount, nor am I an expert, but I’ve been around the block a time or two, and in my not so humble opinion, everyone showing the highlight reel of their life adds to everyone’s fear.

Life can be easy, beautiful and wondrous. It can also be hard and a shit show. We cannot control anything or anyone but ourselves. Most importantly, almost everything that is happening in your life is not about you. Your boss is a jerk to you, your child is struggling with life, your parents didn’t hug you enough, your friend isn’t texting you back, plans are cancelled – whatever it is, more often than not, I’m sorry to say, it’s not about you, it just feels like it is. You are overweight and don’t like your body? That is about you. Your friend is overweight and doesn’t like their body? That is not about you. In the past, and sorry to say even in the present I have been and am guilty of making the reactions and words of others personal. Hearing their words and automatically thinking about myself instead of listening and thinking about them. I would hear the words that fit my mood or my fear if you will, to solidify my reasoning of self doubt and to prove my fear was relevant. In the end, all that was left was two or more people feeling frustrated, ignored and scared.

What I have learned and am continuing to learn is this. It is okay to have fear, it is not okay to let that fear define you. Let yourself feel it, then face it. If you can’t do it on your own, ask for help, from a friend, a coworker, a counselor, your minister – take your pick. We all make mistakes, we all fear making them. Mistakes are going to happen. You will stumble, you will fail, you will forget to pick your kids up after school, you will miss a deadline. It may feel like the end of the world, trust me, it’s not. Take a breath. Take a hard look at the situation. Assess it. Look to see where there may be another answer or room for improvement. Ask yourself “what am I to learn from this?” instead of asking “why is this happening to me?”. I know, easier said then done. Trust me, I know. I. Know. One other thing I know, you and I did not wake up to be mediocre.

 

 

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Fool on the hill

I woke up this morning with “The Fool on the Hill” by the Beatles in my head – so clearly that I actually checked my clock radio to see if it was on. (Yes, I still have a clock radio. It was my grandfather’s. He got it free with his “Maclean’s” subscription and when I saw it I thought it was pretty cool, so he gave it to me and it has been at my bedside for 25 years). Needless to say, the radio was off. I got up, made some coffee and the song still played in my head.

It got me to thinking about the past few weeks of my life, and the lives of those I love and cherish. You see, for me, most of my life is pretty awesome. I have been a ¬†guest blogger on http://www.salonmagazine.com . I have been invited to blog on another website – which one you ask? Well for that one you are gonna have to wait – it’s a surprise! I have a 16 year old daughter who still wants to be seen in public with me ( A HUGE deal if you ask me.) and I have the love of a great man, who has loved me for over 20 years. My lovely hubby is why I said “most” of my life is pretty awesome. You see, his health has not been the greatest as of late, by no fault of his own. Those familiar with my blog know that my love had a heart attack back in 2011. His heart is well on the mend, alas the medication to keep his heart healthy is not so nice to the rest of his body.The kick in the ass is everyday he feels different, he doesn’t know until he gets out of bed what the day will hold for him. Some of the medication makes his skin super sensitive to touch, some of the medication causes acid reflux and chest pressure – the latter is a another ¬†kick in the ass since chest pressure is how his heart attack felt. – AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL SEGUE! – not all heart attacks present with a pain shooting down your left arm and a red face followed with a collapse to the floor. If you are not feeling well, pain or pressure in your chest area/upper back that won’t subside, pain that goes up your neck into your jaw – go to the hospital. As the Doctor’s say to us – they would rather everyone come and it be nothing then wait too long and nothing can be done. Back to the tale at hand.

So, I looked up the lyrics to the fool on the hill, and as with any piece of music or literature everyone seems to have their own vision of what the song means, myself included. You see, I am an optimist. I can’t help myself. I always seem to find something good in something bad, it’s what I do. Many times because of this I find I am ignored or not listened to, and that is okay. It used to hurt my feelings, now I realize that it is either because I over stepped my bounds (which I know I tend to do) or that the person I am speaking to is not ready to be happy or ready to have hope – I have found that giving over to hope and happiness is one of the scariest things for people to do – it sure as hell was for me. So the lyrics, “but nobody ever hears him, or the sound he appears to make, and he never seems to notice, but the fool on the hill, sees the sun going down. and the eyes in his head, see the world spinning round” comfort me. They do. I saw myself in the lyrics – the woman who always sees the bright side of life and is seen as a fool on the hill.

I also found a new perspective about my hubby. You see, he looks fine but feels like shit most of the time. As with any health issue, when the person looks fine people don’t always believe you when you say you are not well, so you begin to feel like “fool on the hill” and begin to doubt yourself and how you are feeling. Another great compliment is when people doubt that he is taking his medication properly, or accuse him of not taking care of himself properly. This used to make me mad, but after watching a few episodes of Honey Boo Boo and some other so called reality T.V. shows, I now understand why some people are, well, assholes where the health of my beloved is concerned. (if you have seen the above – no explanation needed).

Here’s the deal. In the immortal words of Bob Dylan “don’t criticize what you can’t understand”. Everyone is going through something, or has a loved one on their mind. Sometimes it shows, most often it does not. If you don’t know what to say, say nothing at all. Be careful not to judge too severely, for one day you may be the fool on the hill…and I will be more than happy to sit with you.