Fruits of My Labors



Yesterday I decided to tackle some tasks, a little of this and a little of that. When the sun started to set, I realized I’d been at it for hours. And while I got quite a lot done, you couldn’t really tell from the looks of things.


I had pulled out a plethora of tools and was searching the interwebs for tips on things I had never done (re-keying a lock, for example). Based on all the clean-up I had to do, you’d have thought I’d rebuilt a danged wall or something.


Some jobs (and some days) are like that. You put your time in, and then you look around and you don’t find much to show for all your work. Don’t get me wrong. I love getting shit done. For me, it’s what I imagine a runner’s high to be like. I mean, I get giddy and excited and absolutely thrilled when I accomplish things. It just tends to help if I can see the fruits of my labors.


Oh well. I still got a lot done. And I’m still giddy about it. In fact, I may have done a little dance in celebration of all my work. Who am I kidding? You know I did a dance.




I finally finished going through all my receipts from my big filing project. The kept receipts have been filed and I am feeling pretty darned happy about it.


Sometimes a project is necessary, and that’s reason enough to tackle it. But I won’t lie – the sense of accomplishment is pretty danged sweet, too. It’s gratifying. And not only that, but I also know exactly where to look for a receipt, should I need it. That, friends, satisfies me beyond belief.


My inner dork is sated.

Fakin’ It



Earlier in the week at painting class, one of the regulars said something about my being smiley. He said I was always smiley. The smiliest! My response was, “Really?” I was legitimately surprised. I mean, I certainly want to be a smiley gal. I want to be happy, for cry-eye.


Lately I seem to be battling the blahs. I think some of it has to do with my lingering physical junk. Maybe most of it, in fact. And until I get that situation all healed -up, there’s not much to be done. So I’m tolerating these here blahs, y’all, but make no mistake. I don’t like it.


I remember listening to an old Beauty and Da Beast podcast. I’m sorry to say I don’t recall the name of the person being interviewed, but something he said has stuck with me. He was talking about a low point in his life and how he felt unable to pull himself out from beneath the weight of it all. He told how at night, he would try to think of 3 things he wanted to accomplish the next day. Some nights one of the things he listed for himself was to simply get out of bed the following morning. And he gave himself reasonable (for him) goals, so that he could feel some sense of accomplishment. As he began to feel better about himself and more in control of his life, he ramped up the goals. At the time of that interview, he was doing okay.


With that dude’s experience in mind, each night I try to tally 3 things I accomplished during the day. I do this silently, as it’s only for me. I’m not gonna lie to you. Some days my list is made up of things like “I washed the fruit” or “I remembered to put the trash cans on the street.” And as mundane as those tasks sound, I count those little victories. In the face of the blahs, getting through some days is quite an accomplishment, in and of itself.


I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with your own version of depression or not, so I have no idea if you can relate to any of this. I suppose the blahs don’t look the same for any of us. I also suppose that unless your name is Pollyanna, you can relate – on some level. For that, I am sincerely sorry. Depression is ugly. And I don’t wish it upon anyone.


In the meantime, I’m fakin’ it. I’m going through the motions of my life and doing the best I can. I’m either doing a damn good job, or I’m not as blah-ed out as I think, because a very lovely gentleman told me I’m smiley. The smiliest, in fact. And I’ll take that.




I’ve been working on a creative music project for a few weeks now, and I can finally see light at the end of the artistic tunnel. Ordinarily, I could take my sweet-ass time and finish when good and ready. But this particular project has a deadline – less than a week away – so there’s been no time to waste, sweet-ass or otherwise.


Deadlines aren’t evil. They can be daunting, sure, but for some of us (Me! Me! Me!), deadlines are necessary. Some deadlines incentivize us to earn money. Some keep us from feeling the shame of failure. Some spur us to do basic things like laundry and scrub the toilet, just so we have clean underpants and non-gross bathrooms. I don’t know about you, but I happen to be a fan of clean underpants and clean toilets. So “deadlines” for laundry and routine cleaning are okay in my book.


As for my creative project, I’ll update you on that front in a week or so. I’m still tweaking, but the tick-tock of the clock has done its job in pushing me toward the finish line. And making this particular deadline – which I’m sure to do – already feels like an accomplishment.

RCGLA 2014 – Showcase at the House of Blues!



First, let me say that yesterday was a major catch-up day for me. Load after load of laundry, shopping for food to fill empty cupboards and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I didn’t finish everything, but I made a dent. Not only that, but I must’ve been in the afterglow of Rock Camp, as people out in the world kept coming up to me to share some positive thought or another. At first I didn’t notice it. Then a little girl walked up to me and said she liked my shirt. That’s when I figured it out. And I smiled even more brightly. I may have even high-fived 10,000 angels. But that’s neither here nor there. The point of this missive is to fill you in on last Saturday’s Rock Camp Showcase…


Let me just say that the sound at the House of Blues was the best yet. I’ve always enjoyed seeing shows at HOB, and now I know why. The sound! The girls played their hearts out and it was awesome.


I spent most of the show in the audience, dancing and cheering on the performers. There were a couple of times when I caught sight of audience members expressing their shock at how good some of our campers were. To those (mostly dudes) let me say this: we’re not messing around. Chicks be rocking, okay? I mean, a few of those gals totally shredded and faces were melted. Seeing a shocked audience simply made me smile.



Just like every year, it’s incredibly rewarding to witness the joy of campers after they perform. Their accomplishments are monumental, y’all. Those girls show up on Monday and form a band, most likely with complete strangers. Over the next few days, they not only work hard to learn how to play an instrument, they also write their own original freakin’ song. Come Friday, they do a stage run-through and are then sent home. Saturday afternoon arrives super-fast and the next thing they know, they’re being introduced onstage to a crowd of 600 people. It’s phenomenal!


And it’s often life-changing. I’ve seen it time and time again. I suppose lives have also been changed and I’ve not been privy to that growth. That’s perfectly okay, too.


But I have been privy to my own growth, each and every year. I know that means nothing to the campers, nor should it. But it means everything to me, and I hold on to it more tightly than you can imagine.


After the showcase had ended, after our gear had been loaded out and our vibe had been removed from the walls of the club, we volunteers headed over to a Mexican restaurant for our decompression session. We were all pretty amped up, so there was a lot of clapping and cheering going on. There was also a lot of hugging and loving. Personally, I didn’t cry. I think it’s because I know that I’ve turned a corner with this group. In the past, I’ve doubted whether or not I truly belonged in their esteemed company. I’ve been self-critical of my skills and talents, and I’ve not believed I was worthy of their friendship. But not anymore. For the first time, I actually feel that I am with my tribe. That I truly belong. And I know that going forward I will make every effort to see these phenomenal women on a regular basis.


No need for tears. Just smiles. And occasionally high-fiving 10,000 angels.

P90-X – Check!



Well, I can hardly believe it, but Mister and I wrapped up our 3 full months of P90-X this past weekend. We did it. We actually did it!


In the beginning, I hoped to skinny-down. That didn’t happen, sadly. In fact, I weigh the exact same amount as when I started. If I were to focus intently on this, I’d be pretty bummed. But I don’t focus intently on it, because other benefits were gained. Benefits I hadn’t foreseen. You know, things like feeling stronger. And ease of movement. Increased stamina. Health.


I wish I could convey just how great I feel, physically. I’m amazed. When I went in for a physical recently, the nurse freaked out at how low my pulse was. I told her it was lower than usual because I’d done major cardio that morning. She was still concerned. When I saw my doctor, he didn’t seem worried at all, as he’s known I’ve been on this major exercise train. Finally, I asked just what my pulse had been. He answered: 58. Okay, that is pretty danged low. P90-X, y’all.


I haven’t gotten skinny, but I have gotten toned. My arms and shoulders are about the best they’ve ever been. And though I’m not wearing a smaller size, I am sporting a healthy swagger. And knowing I’m healthier somehow prevents me from judging myself harshly. For reals. When I catch sight of myself in a mirror, I don’t zero-in on this flaw or that. I generally respect what I see. I know I’ve worked hard and I know how very strong my body has become. And respecting myself is such a gift. I certainly didn’t see that one coming. Wow.


So now Mister and I are figuring out how to move forward in some sort of maintenance mode. Both of us actually like exercise (yes, we’re very ill), so we want to continue to take care of ourselves. We don’t have any answers yet, but we’ll get there.


For the truth is, we can do it. We can figure it out. We can follow through with our plan. I mean, come on! We just finished 13 weeks – 91 days – of intense, dedicated exercise. Honestly, I feel like I can do just about anything now. All I have to do is decide.