Friday, December 31, 2010

Change is inevitable..... progress is optional - Jack Welch

I found this old journal entry cleaning out to make space for the new.  It's just Good Feng shui.    The message is clear.... don’t get too caught up in any particular moment... it will change and it has.... Praise God.... for the lessons, (I've learned a few), the progress, (self-awareness and acceptance), the freedom (from the anger, resentments, and self-pity) and a return to serenity (even in the midst of so much uncertainty)!  It's pretty personal, but its only through sharing that we resonate with the heart of another. If you are having "one of those days, or weeks, or years"  rest assured, it will change, and it does get better!  Happy New Year! 

Big smiles in Rome two years ago
Journal Entry Dated October 24, 2009
This has been going on about a week now; the butterflies beating against the lining of my stomach and a spirit so saturated with sadness, it’s heavy, and difficult to move it along the path of life.   There’s that, and the fact, that I know I have piled on at least 10 pounds during this past year of the drama... “Nightmare on Becky Street”.  It isn’t enough to watch my rapidly growing ass spread across the back of my lethargic, relatively immobile body, but to contemplate the need for  anti-depressant medication, a side affect being weight gain.... Ugh.  It may be the pharmaceutical feather duster I need in clearing the cobwebs long enough, while God works his magic in helping me uncover the joy that's still there... somewhere... buried way down deep. Seriously, I believe it’s going to take a back hoe to dig out the piles of manure others shoveled into my life for several years now.  I know my signature zest for living is there somewhere.  I look at pictures of me, hardly recognizable, from last summer, in Europe, and see glimpses of deep gratitude, serenity and joy memorialized in those Kodak moments. 
Let’s just keep it simple......GOD, PLEASE HELP ME!  
This depression is quite different than what I experienced before.  I don’t cry all the time or feel anxious and obsessed.  That could be because I am all dried up.  A desert of a human being, barren, and stripped of any emotion.  I do know that isn’t entirely true.  If I want to smile, I just need to stop by and visit three of the most fabulous, happy, authentic, little divas in the world... my granddaughters.  I spend the majority of my days seeking answers and trying to drench my soul in those little girls joy, memorizing wise quotes, reading insightful books, and meditation; if 5 seconds of respite from my monkey mind qualifies.    My bookshelves look like a psychiatrist’s office! So many attempts at piecing together this puzzle named My Life.  Or, maybe what I am really doing is using a bit of advice from a former boss who said to me, “If you throw enough shit up against a wall, some of it’s bound to stick.”  There's certainly plenty there to throw. Maybe that philosophy is at the core of my piss-poor ongoing life choices, too much shit sticking, because rather than stopping and getting still for awhile, getting acquainted with me, and just accepting and being, I am always throwing more up against the wall trying to find something to make me feel better...... And, the compost pile grows.    My personal library houses authors running the gamut of M. Scott Peck (I sure as hell feel like I am on The Road From Hell Less Traveled) to Sylvia Brown (C’mon my dearly departed husband, throw some crumbs from heaven for crying out loud). A wise friend said to me once when I used the crumbs from heaven line, “How about tossing yourself some crumbs?” I wanted to tell her, shut the #@%$ up, but I knew she was on to something.  Truly, I could start my own self-help colony here. It might behoove me, this time, to find some like minded people genuinely seeking enlightenment to hook up with, rather than picking the same dysfunction over and over again and expecting different results.  

Symbol courtesy of my friend and
phenomenal artist, Tim Gorka. He
posted it on a Holiday float entry
he created (Noel). Clever!
I saw it in a different light.
A sort of sign...  Perfect! 
I need to recognize when I see the "L" written clearly 
all over a face, it DOES NOT necessarily mean "Love".  My therapist actually chuckled at that "sic" joke. He's a good guy... He agrees.  He says, "No more scum bags".  I argued that slur with him in my typical nicey, nice, codependent manner.   I told him everyone has value and is just working through their own stuff. Ick.  Disgustingly martyr like of me.  Giving everyone, but myself, a break.   His response, 
" Maybe so, but if the bag fits my dear, let them wear it." His style of sarcasm, wit, and humor mirrors mine and somehow it makes me feel healthier to see that.  I tried to squelch it for awhile, to please others, believing it to be a serious flaw.  I've discovered, I kind of like my tarty tongue.  It serves me well in coping with how ludicrous life and folks (including myself) can be.   My shrink has this same twisted, humorous, confrontational style.   We get along well.  This great guy with the framed artwork verifying his knowledge and accomplishment decorating his walls, and those impressive PhD initials after his name, simply ended our last session saying, "F--- him... he is not even close to worthy of you."  That's why I love him.  He keeps it simple-gets right to the point, no fancy-smancy physcho-babel. 

It has just recently dawned on me that perhaps, my desert of the soul, can be turned into  a positive process. In Ann Lamott’s book Plan B, she talks of the beauty of the desert.  Many of her spiritual friends find stillness and refreshment there in its barren starkness.  To spend time there is an exercise in quietly searching for the cactus in bloom, despite the scorching sun and heat so intense it's difficult to breathe.   Maybe I need to just change my therapeutic mindset. Stop reading and seeking.  Endure the heat for awhile. Just be still, develop some gratitude for the black hole I’m feeling now, knowing it is really through spiritual emptiness that we can be filled.  Maybe in reality, I am doing what I always do, the perfect addict that I am – trying to cram all these feel good words from The Sages, down inside to make the pain go away.  Could it be through the pain, just by being still, I will come to move beyond this daily “joyless ride” and begin to see a certain beauty in the reptilian desert feelings?  And, maybe.... just maybe, someday, notice the small, brilliant flower nestled inside the thorns of that prickly, unapproachable cactus? Just observing non-judgmentally and accepting?  Perhaps I can begin to view those people who hurt me so deeply this year in that manner, God’s creations, cactus flowers... beautiful simply because they too are the essence of God.  To be observed and admired, from a distance; not worth the price of reaching out to touch only to be painfully pricked each time.   I do know that every time I touch, and  the cactus flower does, what cactus flowers do, there is another healing involved that seems more difficult than the last.  I am just human and our fragile bodies can only take so much suffering. After awhile things just don’t heal like they used to.  They scab over a bit, but the tiniest little bump produces howling new pain.  Eventually the scabs become scars, but they look hideous, and obvious, and scare others away.   
A segue here....I became a blonde again, sort of…  Another attempt at fixing the outside up in the belief that the inside will somehow improve. Ha! I think that somewhat lends to my melancholy today anyhow.  I was looking for something “different” rather than the same old pure, white blonde "hooker hair". So, I told my stylist to go at it and turn me into a ravishing new creature.  Well, lets be honest, you can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, and I have been feeling pretty “sow like” lately.  But, being the adventurous soul that I am, albeit a depressed explorer, I told her to do whatever she wanted to do.  She too, felt my Blondie look was  becoming a bit much, and so inserted swatches of color.  The swatches of color, she called “strawberry blonde” are really a gentle word for RED- American flag RED.   Imagine bold red streaks on my white blonde locks.  When she swiveled me around in the chair, my horrified expression was enough to make her say, “Give it a day or two and several washings and if you don’t like it, call me, and I'll do something different next week.”  Great, not only do I have an ugly aura of doom and gloom, and a bigger butt, but I now look like I am costuming as an old rock star; perhaps Lady Ga Ga at 60, for Trick or Treat.  All I need is a pointy bra and some fishnets. I could have cried. Reactions were mixed.  My son-in-law just said, “Hey, I rarely notice hair. I’m a guy.”  My three little angels said, “Oh, Mimi, you look rockin!”  Rockin? Red flag word (pun intended)....The final nail in this “new do’s” coffin came when the teenage cashiers at the video store stared, wide-mouthed at my hair and said, “Cool.  We like your hair!”  They were about 15ish.... maybe.  I’m sure they were in awe that someone as old as me could be such an adventurous (or stupid) old soul. Old Queenie Becky was a silly old soul, a silly old soul was she.  She called on her stylist, she got hot pink hair, which made everyone roar in glee!    I am sure it will come up in the middle school cafeteria next week.  “Hey, you should have seen this old lady that came in to rent a movie Friday night.  She had pink and white hair… really.  I didn't ask for her ID, but I'm pretty sure it was Grandma Strawberry Shortcake.” I am really not into any more controversy or further reductions to my self esteem these days. Foolishly handing my life over to the whims and dysfunction of others these past years has given me enough of a dose of  misery to last several lifetimes.   My health and immune system can’t take too many more of the Rum Raisin ice cream breakfasts not to mention the entire wheel of Brie cheese for lunch, and the candlelit Potato Chip (the large bag mind you) dinners. The more I try to stuff that gaping hole inside with instant gratification, the wider the gap on the zipper of my jeans. Way too much comfort food, falling down on its task to comfort.   And, in actuality, those kinds of fixes tend to stretch out the hole inside even more.  I've tried to fill it through the years with alcohol, drugs, work, men, compliments, exercise, and now crackers and cheese. Good God.  What's next?  Maybe stuffing it with prayer and a good God?  What?  You say He's already there?..... Time to try a lot more of this?  How?  The prayer.... simple.....just keep repeating this mantra- please help me, please help me, please help me....OOHHHMMMM...... His response.... Shush..please listen, please listen, please listen.
Time to head out on the adventure road
 in 2011 and LIVE my examined life!
Please note the dashboard... BYOTP!
(Bring your own toilet paper)
God bless us everyone.... Joy in 2011!  And, thanks so much to all of you who have supported me, my endeavors and my cathartic blog this past year! Many, many,blessings.