Dare to go Bare!

A long time ago, I had closet gremlins. They shrank and stretched all the clothing in my closet – it had nothing to do with me gaining a bit of weight! 😛 Spring was quickly becoming Summer, and I discovered that I had nothing to wear in the all too near humid future. A quick trip to the shops made me gag – prices were sky high and it baffled my brain (and made my bank manager cry)!
Returning home back then, and seeing this on Facebook, made me laugh so hard I think my dog was considering having me committed.

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A few years down the line and I still have closet gremlins – but they appear to have expanded their business and are now in my drawers too. This time, while I was sleeping, they didn’t just shrink my clothing. This time, they came with religion and I discovered a few items that are now HOLeY.

Some of you know how very much I dislike shopping. Yes, last time I checked I was definitely female. I’m just not big on malls and endless hours spent in them.
I go, out of necessity.
And although not quite at emergency status yet, I decided to pop across to the mall close by which has ample parking, is never really too busy, and also sports some of the better priced options.

I’m a little shy to be admitting this, but I needed new underwear (those gremlins really were in my drawers 😛 ) And since I am the only one who actually sees me in my underwear, it should have been a simple visit. I know my size, and I don’t need anything fancy.

I have a young teen as a daughter, and so I am not completely oblivious to the variety out there when it comes to clothing, shoes, underwear etc. I am pretty much ‘kept in the loop’ as to which shop stocks what and what’s trending. Sadly this does not affect my fashion views – I have decided I am too old to wear what is cool, and I prefer to stick with what makes me comfortable.

(Side note : I am not old. Not really, anyway. But I like that I am at an age where I can use this as an excuse when I want to 😉 )

Thanks to knowledge gained from my kid, I knew where it was that I wanted to go.
So I headed straight there, walked in and found exactly what I wanted. Easy peasy. Looking at the price tag, not so easy. Seriously?!?!?! You want me to pay how much for this small piece of material? Is it sewn with gold thread? Have you hidden a diamond in the lining?

Clothing people, everywhere!
Hear my plea!
Perform a public service!
Drop your prices, please!
I need clothing, and underwear.
Spare humanity my nakedness!

Getting busy living

I woke to screaming, and sat up in a daze. Then there’s a blank.
It was difficult to open my eyes – the vision in my right seemed blurred. The sky was above me, grey, and I am sure there was a light drizzle (but that may be because before all this happened it had been raining). My friend was next to me, saying “Hold on, Meg. The ambulance is coming. Please be okay.”
I remember that my chest hurt – it was really sore to breathe. I tried to take in my surroundings, but it was just too much effort.
I remember gasping out, in stammered breaths, “It hurts to breathe. I think I’m going to go to sleep.”
The next 24 hours were a haze – very brief moments of memory that can be recalled when I talk about it. The rest? Things that those who were there have told me.
I was wearing all my favourite clothing items that day – they cut them all of me.

I had been asleep, on the journey home after a weekend away with my friends, in the back of a truck (under the canopy). It was four days after my 18th birthday. The truck lost control on the icy road – I was later told that it was due to driver negligence – and hit rolled a few times, landing on the edge of a cliff. For whatever reason, even after the canopy had been flung off, I had remained in the truck bed and was only thrown out just before it came to a stop. (Thinking back now, if I had been thrown out earlier, maybe I would have been crushed and dead, instead of very much alive, as I am today?)
My body was broken, my face cut up, and I was bruised all over – and yet the mirror in my bag was in tact. It hadn’t even cracked!?!?

I was in hospital for 15 days, and brought home in an ambulance because I still couldn’t walk. I’ve healed well, other than the scar tissue and pain that comes with cold and rainy days – and yet I LOVE those type of days 😉
I had a long list of injuries, but the ones that matter for the purposes of what I am actually wanting to share on my blog today, were the injuries to my ‘arms’. I broke my right collarbone in two places, and my left wrist. This means that on top of everything else, I couldn’t use my arms.
Still bedridden and healing up, I became incredibly bored. My pile of unread books  were calling me, but I wasn’t able to hold them or turn pages. So my brother provided me with a bunch of movies, the next best thing. Much to my mothers horror, in this collection was the movie Shawshank Redemption. And I watched it at least twenty times.

It’s a difficult movie to watch – so much sadness and a bit of violence, and scenes that leave you feeling a little ill to your stomach. But buried in that movie are so many little inspirational things that it makes it very much worth watching, if you can tolerate and get through the rest.

Let me set the scene for those of you who haven’t watched the movie – and refresh the memory of those of you who have.

Andy (played by Tim Robbins) has been convicted of killing his wife and her lover. Surprisingly, he’s probably the only man who winds up in that prison who is actually innocent. It’s not easy, and he definitely suffers. One day, out in the yard, he’s having a conversation with a new ‘friend’ he has made, named Red – played by Morgan Freeman. They start talking about what they would do if they got out, and for a man who has been institutionalized for a very long time, it is no surprise that Red fears that he may not survive on the outside.

It’s Andy’s part of the conversation that made an impact on me though.
He describes how he may as well have pulled the trigger – that he had loved his wife so much and yet pushed her away, and that had ultimately caused her to be in a place that had caused her death. He talks about being caught in the path of a tornado, and how he didn’t expect the storm be lasting as long as it is.
And then he begins to talk about his dream : one day, when he gets out, he’s going to go down to Mexico and open a small hotel on the beach – the Mexicans say the Pacific has no memory. And that’s how he wants to live out the rest of his days – in a warm place with no memory.

Bearing in mind that Red is pretty much his only friend in those dark, dismal walls; you’d expect his response to be supportive. But sometimes our reality is just so dark that we can’t see any light – and when we do see a light in a tunnel it’s usually another train coming.

So Red tells him he has a silly pipe dream, and that Mexico is out there, and Andy is in here, and he should forget about it.

Andy’s response is :
”Yeah, right. That’s the way it is. It’s down there and I’m in here. I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”

And that’s the truth. We can either truly live life, or just wait to die.

Sometimes life is hard, and it can feel like we’re imprisoned by its harshness, circumstances and negativity. My country, my town, my immediate surroundings are in crisis at the moment. It scares and saddens me, because I have a passion for people and I see past how things are directly impacting ‘me and my kids’. I carry a weight for those around us too. It’s not a burden that debilitates, but it definitely causes crying in my heart and soul, and pushes a button inside me to ‘act’. I don’t quite know how to explain it, so I may take some heat for the way I’ve said it.

I often joke that I am a ‘Prisoner of Hope’. I still have dreams despite the reality. And something inside of me constantly lives in hope. I don’t know what the future holds, and I have no desire TO know.

I DO know that every morning that my children and I can wake up and face a new day, things are good. Every moment that we get to spend, breathing and living and laughing, things are great. And every opportunity that we are given to help others in whatever way possible to us at the time means that things are fantastic.

For me? That is getting busy living. It’s living my best life.
Pursuing my dreams, living in hope despite our realities, and making a positive difference and contribution in and to other people’s lives.   
And enjoying the simple things – laughter, a good book, cheesecake, coffee and rainy afternoons 😉

How do you ‘get busy living’?

Dreaming in the Darkness

An old post, which I have slightly tweaked. A small reminder of the hope and beauty held in darkness.

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Darkness absorbed the passage way, making it seem endless. They had forgotten to leave the light on for me. Terror gripped my small body, and I shakily made a run for it around the corner to my parents bedroom, tearful and fearful.

That was me as a child.

Now I seem more inclined to pretend I am lead singer for Simon and Garfunkel as I belt out loudly, “Hello darkness my old friend”.

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Receive the Calm We All Deserve – Will’s Wisdom

Sharing this post today… a short and sweet reminder that technology is not the only battery that needs recharging! Smell the roses, my friends 😉

Tangible Triumph

“To share a moment silently with the universe is a lapse in time we all look for but can never find. The importance to meditation is far from a simple idea forgotten but rather, a monumental task all should abide by. To ground to the world and just be can set the tone for what is meant to be.Patiently waiting for the mind to disappear into the clouds of the sky unable to return until a later moment. Forgetting what is important and unimportant for the proper health of the mind.”

True but sad we all tend to forget to slow down from time to time. Having a daily ritual with meditation can keep that racing mind in check. With practice and discipline you can turn your mental capacity around to work with you, instead of against you.

Allow yourself a break from the rushing world of manhattan…

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Meandering Along in the Journey of Mediocrity

In an effort to find content for a speech I am preparing, I decided to look back at blog posts of the past. I vaguely recalled that somewhere in my collection, there were things that I had said that are applicable to the topic. And I stumbled on this.

Society has worsened since its first writing. And I suppose my life is still mediocre by all accounts. However, my journey to excellence is continuing. Where are you in yours?

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I’m not very good. But I’m not very bad either. If you compare me to many others, I will come across as average, bordering on inferior. According to most, I’m mediocre. I guess that’s the problem with comparisons – particularly when we’re comparing people. If you compare me with someone like Mother Teresa, for example, then every act of kindness I have ever done will suddenly seem so insignificant – and yet, in that moment of time, it was greatly significant to its benefactor, and it made me more than just mediocre.

Did you know that when we trace back the history of words, we can sometimes gain a whole new perspective on the particular word we are tracing?

In a society where everyone seems to be competing and comparing, and realising my inadequacy when I tend to do this to myself, I had a look at the word mediocre.

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emotionally easy and ghosting

“Sometimes you just have to stay silent because no words can explain
what is going on in your mind and heart.”
— Author Unknown

Some people struggle to explain the magnitude of emotions they are feeling, and think it is a pointless exercise.
I have always been classed as ‘not one of those people’. I guess you could say that when it comes to emotion, I’m easy.
Whether I am struggling with negative emotion, or bouncing off the walls in a state of positive euphoria, you will know. Because I will tell you. I’m honest that way.
And even when I have ‘no words’ ….given the opportunity, I will share many – not that my insights are always of great value. And despite the emotional verbal easiness, I don’t have to have the last word. But I also just don’t believe in silence.
How can I say care about, and have a passion for people, and yet not talk to them, hear them, communicate with them, be honest with them? Needless to say, ‘the silent treatment’ has never gone down well with me.

And so this new trend of ‘ghosting’ deeply concerns me.
Yet another breakdown in society – another replacement for the moral value of honesty.

Ghosting / giving someone the cold shoulder and silent treatment is not a new phenomenon. But the regularity and recent trendiness of it is – and although the association seems to be mostly within the online dating community, it’s filtering into everyday life too. And it’s doing a lot of damage. It doesn’t just end there – apparently there is also ‘soft ghosting’. This is where you don’t just sever contact completely – you give them the odd thumbs up, or like on a Facebook post or tweet – keep them hanging on a thread, perhaps?
(I have to mention here that cutting someone off after repeatedly communicating your reasons for not wanting to have them in your life is not considered ghosting.)
So here’s my emotionally easy view on the concept of ghosting, soft or not :

The above comes from the Urban Dictionary.
Another definition can be found at The Free Dictionary : Do not misbehave if you are unprepared or unwilling to accept the punishment. 

Online dating is not misbehaving (not generally 😛 ) and neither is the attempt at cultivating friendships and/or relationships. However, playing with someone’s emotions and possibly destroying their already fragile self esteem is.

The desire to seek out a partner for life, or to make a new friend, is not a crime. But unfortunately it does come with consequences and it will take your time.

Because any relationship is hard work. Investment is key to making it a success – in all aspects. And emotional investment means opening yourself up to not only a wealth of positive feelings, but sometimes negative ones too.
I am fortunate to have a handful of friends who have walked my road with me for more than twenty years. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t moments where they may still disappoint me, or say something that hurts, or bruise my ego. Because we’re all human and we all have our moments. We wouldn’t still be friends though if I chose to just cut them off. Communication has been the key to opening the door to a lengthy and fulfilling friendship with each of them.

I was recently ghosted by a new friend. Even as I type, I still have absolutely no idea what it is that I did/said wrong. What I do know though is that this particular new friend, by her own admission and in her own words, once said to me, ”I think I am a little bit emotionally immature. And I just can’t do confrontation. So if something upsets me, I rather just completely ignore it and walk away.”

So her ghosting me has come as no surprise. And although I am a little hurt, and completely dumbfounded as to the reason why, I understand that the crux of the issue is hers, and not mine. And this is an important thing to understand when you have been ghosted : it’s probably not personal and thus you should not own it. This is not always a reflection of your character, but most times a reflection of theirs.

In a world where ghosting and soft ghosting is trending, would it not be great to start a new trend? A trend of communication and honesty. A trend that says, “I will deal with you, and I see you, and I will tell you, because you matter!”

Because, ladies and gentlemen, all lives matter. 

Ducks and Squirrels

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Photo credit : Teepublic.com

 

This aptly describes life at the moment. I’m considering busting a few moves myself. If you can’t beat them, join them 😉

Although, to be honest….

I forcefully removed myself from the dark valley slump I was in, and last night I got myself organised in anticipation of the next lot of challenges that may be heading my way. There is a light at the end of the tunnel… and if it’s another train coming? My bag is packed and I am ready to ride!

I have a rather long list of to do’s that need to get done. My squirrels are gyrating on some long lost island for now, and I have ducks! Hooray!

But…..

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Photo credit : me.me

 

Yeah, it’s cool. I am okay. I’ve got this!

Do you have ducks, or squirrels?

Don’t worry if you have squirrels…. we all need to have a little fun every now and then – nothing wrong with a little techno trot 😉

Are you okay?

I suppose this can be considered my comeback post.
It contains no great literary excellence and would not be attractive to any magazine looking for new article writers, because this post has not been well researched.

What it does contain, however, is some truth.

Personal experience gathered through another series of painful episodes, and I have chosen to spew some of that experience here….because you just never know who needs to hear/read this truth today.
So if you’re reading, welcome to ‘my world’, as it is at the moment.

The last few months have been a mixture of negative emotions : fear, anger, hurt, worry, a sense of hopelessness fueled by unnecessary anxiety. And yet somewhere deep inside me there is this determination that refuses to just let me rest.
Because there have been moments in all of the above where I look in the mirror and think, “I just want to close my eyes and sleep forever”. I think I may have even said the words aloud on a few occasions. Whoops! 

Because, ladies and gentlemen, truth be told : Life sucks, for everyone. It never goes according to plan, no matter how successful you are – the merit of that success being whatever you base success on. We all have a vision for the way we want / wanted our lives to be. And nothing has gone according to plan. And guess what :

IT’S OKAY!!!!

I don’t remember who said it, or where I read it, but I remember in my early twenties that I came across the following statement ~ 

If life was meant to be easy, it wouldn’t have started with something called labor.

All the negative emotions of the last few months have deprived me of so much, mostly restful nights of deep, uninterrupted sleep. I’m exhausted. Because, truth be told, I am, for the most part, a positive and happy person. I have my moments, but they never last very long. Of late, they’ve lasted longer than usual. I don’t know how to handle the experience of such awfully draining emotions for more than a day. And it has scared me.

Anyone who has any influence over my life – and media in general – have forced the words ”suck it up”, ”it is what it is”, ”stop being negative” into my brain.

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(I don’t have a baseball bat, which I suppose is a good thing, all things considered)

Again, I repeat, if you find yourself in a negative space consumed by crippling emotions, IT’S OKAY. YOU’RE OKAY! 
People (the world over) want to force the beauty of life on us. 
Reality is that some days (sometimes for a few consecutive days) life simply isn’t beautiful. 

I mentioned earlier a determination that won’t let me rest. Guess what? You have it too. Somewhere deep inside you, it’s simmering. Because you’re still here. (And hopefully still reading this.)
We’ve all heard that life is a journey. Well…what journey is perfect? Your boarding pass gets lost, or your luggage goes to a different destination, or the weather doesn’t co-operate, or the hotel isn’t exactly what it made out to be online, or the food/travel made you ill, or……
There’s a multitude of ”’or’s” in life. Embrace them. Feel them. Experience them. Even if you’re there for a few days. 

My epiphany of truth yesterday was simple : I’ve had months of more than one bad/negative day. I’ve been in valleys of despair. But I haven’t pitched my tent and stayed there. Each time, I’ve reached a point (after a few days) where I’ve continued on….carrying a heavy load….but continued on, nevertheless. Slow, heavy, burdened progress is STILL progress!

And THAT’S why it’s okay, and you’re okay. If you’re still here, you’re winning.  

I’ve suddenly realised that it’s okay to say I am NOT okay, because that makes me okay. (That sentence makes sense in my head – here’s hoping yours can find the sense in it too!) There’s no shame in admitting that things are not great. And it’s probably my greatest achievement yet.
Life sucks. It doesn’t mean that I have to.
My life is going on…. and I am going to live it. Bad days and all.
And there’s no promise that the good will eventually supersede the bad.
But I’m sure as hell sticking around to find out…I’m a sucker for travel 😉