Category Archives: reasons to laugh

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful entrance into the new year. I actually wanted to go to sleep, but Jack stayed up, so I didn’t really have a choice. But we had a very enjoyable evening with the family.

I used to hate new year’s eve. It always reminded me that I wasn’t with anyone, which was always very lonely at the time. It reminded me I wasn’t where I wanted to be in terms of figuring out/following my career. I was really, really good at looking at all of the things that I didn’t do or didn’t happen for me in the past year, and assuming that the next year would be just the same.

It’s funny, because as I look back on it now, some of my favorite memories come from those new year’s eves that at the time I felt so lonely and frustrated in. I really did have good times with people I still love and have as friends today, though it didn’t always seem that way. But, I have had the fortune of having some really amazing new year’s memories since having Jack. But even moreso the past few years I have had a great new year’s because I was happy. Because even though I didn’t get to all the places I wanted to get to, and even though everything didn’t go the way I wanted, I was trying. I was trying to become the person I want to be. I was putting effort (flawed as it may be) and that made the difference. I failed, but I also succeeded. Even if the successes were small, they were real. And small steps when added together turn into giant strides. And looking back over the past few years, I have actually made much more progress than I thought I had. I’ve chased a few dreams, made a few improvements, made a few mistakes, and worked really hard. And it turns out that is a recipe for a good year. A year that has ups and downs, highlights and low, but certainly more good than bad.

So I hope everyone has the chance to do just that this year. Make some plans, chase some dreams, work hard, let the failures drive you harder, let the successes lead you forward and find your way closer to whomever it is you want to be. The you that makes you proud, the you that gives you hope that your future will truly be bright. That’s how you light the way for all who will follow you. And someone is always looking to you.

Happy new year everyone! Thank you all for your kind words and support, and I hope you feel the happiness and love I’m sending to you all!

“Superstition ain’t the way” Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

Stevie Wonder – Superstition via YouTube

It’s Friday the 13th! Well, there’s only about a quarter of the day left here. But, still. When I was little I used to love Friday the 13th’s because at school we would do fun different things, like color pictures of black cats or sing scary songs in music. And I decided that I liked the day. Which is strange, because I was always fairly superstitious. I didn’t step on cracks, except when I was feeling really daring, and I always had tremendous concern for my mom afterwards. I didn’t mess with mirrors, and when one of mine broke I was highly concerned I would actually have bad luck for 7 years. I wonder if the cell phone/ipod screens that show your reflection count? If so there are a lot of people who should probably be concerned these days. Maybe that’s what’s wrong now? My ipod screen has been cracked for the last 3 years. My point is, I decided I liked 13, because we had fun days at school, and at the time, I was really interested in becoming a teenager. Thirteen was the lucky number that was going to make me a grown-up almost!

Do you have superstitions? I really like learning about them. It’s fascinating how it just takes one time of great luck or terrible luck for us to form a superstition. We may never take a route again or we might always choose a route simply because of the outcome one time. But superstitions never work every time. Good or bad. And we may be missing out on the good things simply because we decided that route was a bad one years and years ago. Maybe the road has changed. Maybe things have improved. Maybe there’s an interstate now to get you to your goal sooner and you don’t know because you’re unwilling to try.

It’s so funny to me, because there are places I won’t go and things I won’t do a certain thing because people I know tried it and failed. And though it’s good to heed the lessons of others, sometimes we have to try for ourselves. Sometimes we have to overcome those little (huge) superstitions just to try it out and see. Simply to take that risk. Because you’ll never get anywhere great in life without making a few risky moves! So enjoy your Friday the 13th’s! I will be watching a comedy tonight, because well, scary movies scare me. So I don’t watch them!

A bit of good news I hope!!

The kindle version of my book is now just $.99! (it started at midnight, I am excessively uncomfortable with self-promotion!) Which is very exciting!! One of the reasons I opted to make a kindle version was to keep prices low. I think that we all have to pay attention to how and what we spend our money on, so I’m really excited that I get the chance to do this!

So, if you are interested in changing your life, following your dreams, understanding your relationships, sharing the difficulties of parenting, feeling inspired, motivated, encouraged, and understanding why you really are worthy of all of the wonderful things life has to offer and learning how to achieve them, it truly is a dollar extremely well spent. It’s a short read (it is 260 pages, but it feels so much faster, honestly!) It’s written in the same format as my blog. It’s like we sat down in my living room to have a conversation about everything worthwhile that I’ve learned in my years studying psychology and in my personal life. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (except those of you who are manly enough to hold it in, but you’ll want to), It’s a chance worth taking, and it costs next to nothing. Give it to someone as a gift. You don’t need a kindle to read it. So please share it with everyone you know. It’s time and a tiny bit of money well spent.

Between Fear and Love – Kindle

And I want to thank all of you for creating such a wonderful and supportive community here. It really is impressive, this blogging community. Thanks for letting me in, encouraging me, and helping me accomplish my dreams. I hope I help you all do the same!

I also want to thank the following people for nominating me for awards this past week. I appreciate the thought. It means a lot, because I really want people to enjoy this blog and to feel inspired when they read it. So thank you. Check them out:

http://smilesalot1969.wordpress.com/

http://voluntaryfiber.wordpress.com/

http://panichold.wordpress.com/

Getting there: It’s just like riding a bike (and promptly crashing it into a wall!)

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When I think of how many times I’ve had to restart my plans sometimes it feels like trying again is absolutely useless! It seems like every time I start to get going where I want to go, something happens that sets me back. Whether it’s a trip to the hospital, a refusal of help when I really feel like I need it, or a lovely company opting to “go a different route,” things constantly come up that force me to start back again down the road having to find an alternate route.

There are times when I literally think crashing into a wall would be a better option than this continuous struggle to get back up and find a new path. It happens so much with writing, because this is one of the hardest paths I’ve had to travel down. There’s so much life happening all the time that I think it gets to be too much. It’s hard to struggle to get to a place where Jack and I will be okay on our own. And I worry a lot that I’m not traveling down the right path for us. But I think the only way to teach him not to give up on his dreams is to not give up on mine.

In life I see person after person come to me about their careers. People ask me about their careers more than anything else. It’s frustrating to see so many people who want to accomplish their dreams, but have found it too hard to keep starting over. And it’s understandable. It’s hard to constantly try to find your way, and to see that every time a door closes there are other options and that you SHOULD take them. Everyone has a breaking point. And sometimes a break does allow for a chance to refocus. To find more drive and clearer direction for where we need to go. We have to determine what we can give up and what we can’t. The path is filled with introspection and action. Both have to work together.

It’s similar to a relationship. Which the title completely applies to as well! (at least for me!) Relationships have their ups and downs. Some relationships have to end, and we have to start again. It’s important to not make the same mistakes repeatedly. To constantly be learning and growing, so that we can find the person we actually want to be with, instead of the person like the others who it didn’t work out with. These paths are so instrumental to our happiness and well-being that their importance cannot be overlooked. We have to know ourselves well enough to know where we want to go, and who we want to go there with. We have to be able to get back on board and ride with fluidity, avoiding the bumps and holes and walls!

The nice thing about riding a bike, is once you get back on it, it has the capacity to get you where you want to go. From climbing the Alps to down along the shoreline. When we know figure out where we are going, the transportation is already in place. So even though it seems hard to jump back on, it really does get easier. We acclimate more quickly. We can maneuver more precisely with each time we choose to ride again. So even though there are walls, and we seem to crash a lot, we have the chance to recover, and get back up better equipped than we were before. Where there’s a wall, there’s a way around it 🙂

Day 11 – Cherish the moments, ever-fleeting as they are

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“They didn’t have you where I come from. Never knew the best was yet to come. Life began when I saw your face. And I hear your laugh like a serenade.

How long do you wanna be loved? Is forever enough? Is forever enough? How long do you wanna be loved? Is forever enough? Cause I’m never never giving you up.” Lullaby, The Dixie Chicks

 

There are certain songs I can’t listen to, because they make me cry every time. This song happens to be one of them. What I was lucky enough to learn from taking care of my nephews is just how quickly time passes. I remember the days both of my older nephews were born. My mother and I were at the hospital waiting. And from day 1, my heart had a new home. I remember with each passing year when I was in high school and entering into college thinking, “gosh I can’t believe it’s already been a year, two years, etc. “ They will be 13 and 14 this summer. Which is insanity. In just 4 short years I will have a nephew in college and one who is a senior in high school. There is nothing like having a child to teach you just how quickly time flies. And I tell all of my mother-to-be friends that. I feel a little lucky that Jack was born in December, because I get to sneak at least an extra 6 months with him, and I’m smart enough to know that I should take what time I can get.

When the world starts getting to me, including the stress of dealing with a preschooler, I have started to stop and remove myself for however many minutes I can, and I remind myself that all of this is fleeting. All of it is ever-changing. We are constantly moving, and I have to remember what’s important. It’s hard, because being able to pay bills, have food, have a car, childcare for Jack, those are all things that are essential to our survival as well. And sometimes the outlook gets a little bit bleak. It gets difficult to stay strong. It gets difficult not to give up or give in (I’m talking about jobs here, not life). So finding a path for us is extremely important.

But when I get those moments, and I get that chance to just be, and to look at Jack and know how much I love him. How much I care. And how quickly these times are going to pass by, I get a chance to stop and appreciate this time. I don’t appreciate the stress. But I get to stop feeling it for those moments. I’d appreciate the struggle more if I could see the outcome, but one day I will. And I’m okay with that for now. So in this post I’d just like to say, cherish the moments, ever-fleeting as they are that give us the chance to just know love. And I hope that everyone has something or someone that gives them a place of refuge. In the end it comes from within. A place where we know we are in the presence of something good. I know I’m in the presence of something good, because I am in the presence of love, and it is the love that I have to give and share. And I’m so very thankful that it is returned in the way that it is with my son.

Day 9 – Laughter makes the heart grow fonder (if you have a kidney stone)

Since one of the most important aspects of being in good mental health each day is laughter, I decided I would post a story that – once I got past the experience – made me laugh (and still does). If you have any fun stories to share, please do!

One day in the fall of 2007 I woke up and started to get ready for the day. I got in the shower and not too long in I realized my back seemed to really hurt. I waited a few seconds and the pain seemed to dull so I went on, and then suddenly there was an incredible, sharp pain that nearly brought me to my knees. No matter which way I moved, it hurt. I got a little concerned. I thought maybe I had somehow pulled a muscle while shampooing my hair. And knowing me I could have. The pain took longer to relinquish this time, so I crawled out of the shower. I figured I could just go back and lay in bed.

I was able to stand up and walk to my room, but once inside the door the pain was back. I tried to lay down, but nothing worked. I got dressed and the pain kept returning. I knew something was definitely wrong. I could barely walk anymore, so I called my friend. She didn’t answer. So I called our mutual friend to see if she was with him. She wasn’t, but he was in med school, as well, so I told him what was going on. He was too far away to come pick me up, but he called our other friend and told him I seemed to be paralyzed or something (not what I had said) and that he should come get me. So he did. Prior to his arrival, I felt it would be necessary to at least try to look presentable at the ER. Naturally I tried to put on make-up and dry my hair, eventually throwing the hair dryer out of anger, since I couldn’t use it without being in pain.  He nearly fell trying to get me down the stairs in the old house, so I walked my way down, and got into the car.

After a very bumpy ride to the hospital that was less than a mile or two from my home, we made it to the ER. We came in, and I was continually screaming in pain at this point, similar to when I was in labor (which hadn’t happened at that point in time). They took my vitals, and then annoyingly tried to get useless information from me like my name. Clearly they couldn’t see the pain I was in. Whenever they asked me a question I just got mad, because it hurt so much to think. She’d ask my name and I’d just scream. She asked for my phone number and I yelled “Ahhhhh! I don’t know! Oh my God!” So my friend was answering for me, and they planned to get the rest of my information later.

My friend I had originally called showed up and since I was feeling nauseous we went into the bathroom. I walked in, but while in there I ended up on the floor somehow. As we were trying to leave, I was still on the floor, and she said, “I’m not sure you want to be on the floor.” I remember thinking very loudly in my head, “If I had a choice I wouldn’t be down here!” but instead I just moaned. It hurt too much to talk. After 3 hours, I got called back, and since I was dry-heaving upon arrival they gave me some phenergen  and some morphine. I calmed down and stopped caring about the pain, and after an explanation that sounds exactly like I had a kidney stone, they decided to check to see if it was appendicitis.

So they brought in a gigantic thing of contrast for me to drink. I told her from the start I wouldn’t be able to drink it all, and towards the end when the nurse came back to check on me I said that I couldn’t drink anymore. She told me I had to, but I could feel it in my esophagus. No more was going to fit. I took one sip, and it all came right back up. And every time I threw up the lady in the cubicle next to me yelled, “Oh, Lord!” and “She needs a nurse!” The nurse came back, and the next time I only had to drink as much contrast as I could.

We did the CT, and I came back to my room. My parents called (or were called?) on the hospital phone, and I went to the nurses station area or somewhere to talk to them. They informed me that the nurse said she saw a black area in my x-ray similar to that of a tumor, and it looked like I had cancer in my stomach. (I’m pretty sure that was a HIPAA violation!) I was in a bit of shock. I hadn’t had any issues prior to that morning when I seemed to break my back in the shower shampooing my hair. Why was my pain in my back and not my stomach? This made no sense. It turned out that it made no sense, because the black spot in the scan was air. Not a tumor. I hadn’t eaten and had thrown up what contrast I had.

So, since it wasn’t appendicitis or a tumor, I was checked for cysts on my ovaries. Again, that natural next step…to diagnosing intense recurring pain in my back. Once this was proved false, they decided without doing an x-ray or anything like that that I did in fact have a kidney stone and had passed it while I was there. There was some necrosis of my right (or maybe left I don’t remember anymore) kidney most likely from where a stone had been lodged cutting off blood flow. They released me, and at 730 that night I went home and ate.

So what’s the moral of this story? There are tons of ways to have fun in the $40,000 price range, you just have to be creative about it. 🙂

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