Archive for category Spiritual but not religious

Flu Daze

I’ve been down and out with the flu since Sunday evening.  Bleck.  This is disgusting, but I am feeling much better.  For awhile I felt like a giant fireball who could not extinguish my raging skin fire.  I’m back now mostly, but here are just a few of the week’s observations…

  • Cough syrup does not equal breakfast, even if that’s all you feel like eating.
  • Yes, Gatorade is terrible for you, but when I’m feeling sick, nothing can stop me from the power of lemon lime.
  • I live with a 28 year old man who does not know how to read a thermometer.  Yeah, this was news to me, but I think I got him straightened out now.  Except he’s the one needing the thermometer, so that’s a bad sign.
  • Whitney M was a saint for taking me to the urgent care and for driving my car in the snow.  Her first time ever driving in snow, and thankfully she didn’t tell me that until we got there.  Thank you, Snitzel!
  • Coughing is going to make my abs look ripped in a few days, especially since I lost a few pounds (part of a catalyst that just happened to conform with my new years resolutions).  Yay me!
  • Gossip Girl is freaking amazing, but only if you are delirious and drugged up.  Come to think of it, so are the characters, so that’s probably why I can relate.
  • The test for the flu is almost as painful as the flu itself.  I didn’t realize that a cotton swab could actually touch my brain if they push hard enough.  Whit and I both cried during our flu tests.
  • Smartrip cards do not make good ice scrapers.  An extra Virginia license plate wrapped in plastic found under your seat will work much better.  Just a tip to save you from a broken Smartrip.
  • I’m a pathetic baby when I’m sick.  But if you know me, you probably already know that.
NOT an ice scraper.

NOT an ice scraper.

I’ve cleared my social calendar for the next day or two so I can get more rest and definitely join the land of the living soon.  I still have more Gossip Girl to watch, and hopefully Corby is joining me now that I’ve caught up to her.  And my new Kindle just arrived in time for me to go to work.  Actually, it was delivered to work the day I got back, and that made it totally worth it!  Now I get to play all weekend with my new toy.  Any suggestions for reads?  I may or may not be trying out the Twilight Series.  I need to load up before the Australia trip.

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Virtue: Happiness

I have been reading a ton recently about happiness, what it is and how to get it.  Seems that it has taken me down the minimalism path, if in text only.  One of these days I will act on what I’ve learned on all the blogs about getting rid of your stuff, but that’s not today.  It started a few weeks ago with an article about Happiness in the New York Times.  I’ve since followed Tammy Strobel on her Rowdy Kittens blog which led me to other people discussing happiness and limited stuff and living for today.  All those things I would like to believe that I live, but my hypercritical self says I have a long way to go.

I can hardly believe that it was only seven years ago that all my belongings fit in my Jetta and I took off across country.  One car’s worth of stuff has now turned into a house filled with stuff.  What happened in those short seven years?  And in looking back, living poorly with Sins and Shins in K-town was probably the happiest time in my life.  I had nothing, made nothing (financially at least) and still lived the dream.  My sister lived nearby, I was meeting my new best friends and creating memories in grad school and loved exploring the west coast.  I was absolutely happy, but still missing the east coast, which I realize now is just a way of saying that I loved the east coast as much as I loved the west coast.

Happiness to me is being surrounded by friends.  That’s what I have and that’s what I cherish.  I depend on my friends more than most people.  These last two weekends have been so great because I’ve spent quality time with people I love.  I keep talking about “returning to reality” and how sad I am about leaving these fun memories in the past, however, it occurred to me one morning that I still have these friends everywhere…they just aren’t sharing a cabin with me!  I grew up in a houseful of people and had frequent visitors after school.  I like to think that we have built that same spirit in our home now with our friends with weekly SubCo practices and drop bys to watch the game.  I also know that I’m happiest around people because I get lonely easily.  I’m a baby when I’m alone!  Not that I can’t entertain myself or enjoy quiet time.  But having friends around makes life so much sweeter.  I can enjoy their happiness, too.  I love that.

Is happiness a moment in time or is it a lifestyle?  And do I really mean enjoyment instead of happiness?  We’re seeking happiness, doing what we think will make us happy, but do we really know?  What are we chasing?  Ultimately, happiness is being honest with yourself and doing what’s best for you, even if it hurts in the short term.

Some people make happiness look easy.  They beam.  I’m thinking of a particular friend who is so freakin’ happy in love that she just glows.  But I think about what she had to do to get there.  She has taken some risks, she’s not necessarily been honest with her family (understandably) and it isn’t something she’s ready to share outside her inner circle of friends.  However, in my presence, she is genuinely happy to the core.  The crap she’s been through is not the stuff that is advertised though.  Facebook and “update emails”  and Christmas cards and – gasp! even this blog- give you the good stuff.  They announce marriages, babies, job promotions, etc.  No one sends the bad stuff.  I don’t get divorce announcements or termination emails.  Not happy stuff to spread.

With all these good things going around it’s tough to see that people struggle.  I don’t hear about fights and people sleeping on couches (quite frankly, I’d be happy to hear from some of you about ANYTHING because the communication can tend to get one-sided with this blog, ahem).  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in projecting such a happy image (everyone’s doing it, what’s wrong with you?) that we forget it’s okay to feel otherwise.  For example, I was in a crappy mood this morning.  Just icky all over and over-thinking very simple things on my walk to work.  Couldn’t get it out of my system and I needed an attitude adjustment, stat.  Friends to the rescue!!  I have surrounded myself with some awesome people, and I know when to communicate to those specific people that I need help.  And they respond because they are awesome.  They listen, talk me through it or take me on a bike ride to clear my head.  Hopefully they know I would do the same for them.  That’s part of the friendship deal.

A piece of advice I got this morning was that it was okay to feel icky.  Accept it for what it is.  It’s telling me something and I should listen and really feel it.  Quit trying so hard to get rid of it and just be.  Once I was, it left.  So now I’m back to happy.  Or rather content.  Content is where we should be most of the time, saving happy for special occasions like bike rides.  Happy is to “!” as content is to “.” and we should stay in the “.” zone most of the time.

What’s the takeaway here?  Call your friends.  Ask for love and attention if you need it.  Feel and be icky if you gotta.  Listen to Poker Face on repeat.  Not everyone is always happy, and if they are, they are not being genuine with you.

Thank you, Mood!!

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Booze Free

I’m still “Booze Free for 33”!  Yes, I had two glasses of wine in July, so maybe I’m a bit of a cheat.  But, I haven’t had a drink since July, so I guess I’m “Booze Free Since July”.  Regardless, this has been a fantastic experiment.

I quit drinking because I realized I had some concerns.  The spring was a very stressful time for me and it seemed I was drinking for the wrong reasons.  I wanted to avoid the stress of moving, dealing with tough communication, handling a mini home remodel, and other things that seemed hard to deal with at the time.  I’ve never been much of a drinker anyway, so more than a couple a week is a lot for me.  Now, I wasn’t consuming tons and tons of alcohol, rather, I was using it as a crutch during troubled times.  Then I really couldn’t stop.  Anything to take me away from reality.  And I did a few embarrassing things under the influence that I wish I could take back, but nothing too troubling or concerning.  I spent my entire birthday under the influence.  The entire day.  Who does that?  I quit drinking because I saw where that was headed.   Once I made up my mind, it really wasn’t that hard.

The side benefits have been awesome.  I lost those extra five pounds I had put on, my bank account is not draining as quickly, and I generally feel healthier.  I’m back to my old self.  I don’t need a drink to feel relaxed or talk about my feelings.  I have mental clarity.  I hope to keep this up for as long as I can, though I’m writing this post because I’m conflicted.  This weekend will be a challenge for sure, but as my parents taught me, there is a time and a place for drinking.  Hanging out in the woods around a fire playing poker with your best buds may just be that time.  However, I enjoy not drinking, too, and feel like having a bit of sweet tea vodka is cheating.  It’s what I would feel like if all the sudden I started eating red meat again…who and what does it really hurt, other than my conviction (and a dead cow)?

One thing I have noticed, probably because I’m more sensitive to it, is how people react when I say I won’t have a drink. They look at me funny.  They try halfheartedly to convince me.  They ask why, how long has it been and for how long do I intend to keep it up.  Most people drop it after this light round of questioning.  (Note: I had a killer date on Sunday who didn’t even blink an eye.  Very supportive of him, and I’m definitely going out with him again.)  Happy hours are not the same, but I still have a blast.  But think about what happy hours are…an hour dedicated just to drinking.  That’s odd, right?  An hour dedicated to putting toxins in our body to cloud our thinking.  Was the day really that bad that we have to do that to ourselves?

I’ve picked up on a lot more of how society tells us to have a drink when we are stressed out, too.  It is all over the media, often used as silly sitcom jokes or around the conference room at work.  I’m trying to think of better examples for the way society uses drinking as a go-to for jokes, but I’m coming up empty.  Saying you don’t drink is like a woman in her late 30s saying she doesn’t want kids.  Or like seeing two men in bed together in a mattress commercial.  These things are part of normal life, but not mainstream life.  Women don’t want babies, men share beds and there are people who don’t drink.  I consider myself to be pretty open minded, yet I still have stereotypical reactions to some of these things, too.  How have you reacted in the past to something not so mainstream?  Have you caught yourself reacting as society would have you react or reacting the way you really feel?

See what I mean?

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Nice Weekend

This weekend was nice, wasn’t it?  Although I hate Mondays that leave me more tired than Friday, but so it goes if we pack our lives of full adventures.  Part of me thinks this is okay; part of me thinks I need to slow down and minimize some activities in my life.  I’m having a bit of a “minimialist crisis” if you will.  I’ve been reading about how to simplify your life for happiness and learning to say no to crap and reducing your belongings to 100 items only.  Uh, excuse me?  Yeah, no way I could get down to 100, but I really want to rid myself of a lot of stuff that I have.  It is mentally clogging my mind and physical space.  Now that I’m settled, I know what I need and what I don’t need.  Which reminds me, I’m selling my couches so if you know anyone who is looking, let me know.  I’ll take any offer.

Point is, I had a “free” weekend this past weekend, but it quickly filled up with people and events.  This is definitely NOT a complaint.  But it does cause me to question when I rest.  When do I unwind?  When do I do nothing?  I got a little bit of nothing in on Sunday afternoon, but the bathroom built-in construction was looming (and still is).  And now I have 30 minutes to get the sawdust out of the living room floor before SubCo comes over for practice.  It will take 45 minutes at least.  It’s a lot of sawdust.

And yet again, every night this week is filled with activities after work.  I promise I don’t mean to do that and schedule so much.  I have commitments, most of which are fun extra-curricular improv stuff, but people depend on me nonetheless.  And can I pause for a moment to discuss people who flake?  If you can’t do something, just say that!  Flaking has been an issue more so recently and I try to keep my flakiness to a minimum.  On the receiving end, it is very frustrating.  Enough said about that.

Part of me wonders why I feel the need to schedule so much anyway.  In thinking back, maybe I’ve always been like this.  I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t programmed for some after school activity.  I over did it in high school, and a little bit in college, but that never dropped off after graduating.  Actually, my Atlanta year was pretty miserable, but even then I was looking for things to do after work to keep me entertained.  Do I need these activities as entertainment or am I running from something?  And not in a way that implies I’m running from a terrible childhood (definitely not), but what happens if I sit still and think?  Am I afraid to know what I think?  Will the voice inside my head actually be heard, and I’m scared to hear what she’s saying or what she thinks of me?

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TUT Sharing

I get those Notes from the Universe…daily reminders to my inbox about the powers of infinite possibilities and dreams and the like.  Check it out at http://www.tut.com.  I just had to quickly share today’s message:

You are the right person, this is the right time, you’ve paid your dues, you’re thinking the right thoughts, you’re doing the right things, and this very moment, you are exactly where you’re supposed to be… poised for the happiest time of your life.

Dang, Megan!
The Universe

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