Shame

 

 

I’m tired. And I don’t believe I’ll get any rest until the damned election is over and done with. As we’ve got 27 days to go, I’m going to be tired for a while.

 

It’s stressful, this election season. That isn’t necessarily new. What is new is the ugliness. Oh, I suppose we’ve been headed this way for some time now. But it’s sad how far down in the gutter we’ve gotten. Each time I think we can’t possibly go any lower, well, you know what happens.

 

I’m not angry. Really, I’m not. Heartbroken, sure. And that may be what’s draining me the most. Although I did feel the repercussions after chugging every time the Human Cheeto sniffled during Sunday night’s debate. I was drunk after the first five minutes. Apparently I was the only one at our viewing get-together involved in a drinking game, so, my bad. But I digress…

 

If the ugliness was merely at arm’s length, maybe I could handle it a bit better. But I know people who are filled with bile and vitriol and they seem to be stirring their own shit, every chance they get. Frankly, now that they’ve openly declared their lack of humanity, I’m not sure how many of them will remain a part of my life. I’m not getting any younger, you know. I don’t have extra time to spend with someone I know to have less-than-acceptable values. And we are talking values, people, for as my friend Betro said, “A person’s politics are their values put into action.”

 

For the rest of this week (at least), I plan to step away from election coverage, as best I can. After falling down the political hole over the weekend, I need to step away. It’s too much. Or rather, we’re too little. We’re not living up to our potential. Not even close. It seems more like we’re doubling down on our ugliness. If that isn’t a shame, I don’t know what is.

Broke

 

 

Part of my website is broken. Specifically, the part that allows readers to “comment” is broken.

 

I am in the process of trying to rectify the situation, but it’s a slog. Even though I built my site, I’m not the most computer-savvy gal around town. And when a problem pops up, my face wrinkles and my stress sensors go into overload. It’s ugly, I tell ya.

 

For now, it’s just broke, broke, broke. I’ll keep after it, though. And with some help (and maybe some pixie dust), I hope to get everything running the way it’s supposed to. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise…

Love

 

 

I don’t think this will come as a surprise to anyone, but here goes: I love myself. I do. I love the way I try in life. I love that I create. I love that I love, for cry-eye!

 

But none of that means I think I’m without flaws. Oh, Lordy, no! I am well aware of shortcomings, mis-steps and general fucked-up-ed-ness. And yet my awareness of those things does nothing to lessen my love for myself. If anything, my imperfections only serve to endear me to me. For I care for me – actively. My joy, my health, my willingness to grow and change – those things are my responsibility. I carry them – gladly.

 

That being said – ahem – there are some parts of me that I’m none too fond of. One of those items is my tendency to lodge stress in my body. I mean really. When I’m feeling stress (and who isn’t), it settles somewhere in my person. And it isn’t predictable, either. Some stresses prefer my back. Some make themselves at home in my neck. And then there’s the latest Occupy Mikki stress encampment: my jaw. That’s right. I have now begun clenching my jaw in my sleep, and my jaw is hurting like a mutha. Yawning hurts. Chewing hurts. It sucks, I tell ya.

 

Anyhoo – I’ve seen my doctor and my dentist and now I’m on a course of anti-inflammatories. I am also doing some physical therapy exercises to strengthen and re-train my jaw to friggin’ relax.

 

I’m hopeful. I really am. Because I want to be healthy. Because I’m willing to do the work. Because I love me – screw-ups and all.

Deep Breaths

 

 

There’s a lot going on right now in my little world. First and foremost – my health issues. I’ve not fully recovered from whatever the heck it is that’s plaguing me, but I do feel the recent holistic methods are having an effect. The crazy stuff I’m doing seems to be moving the chains, so I guess I shouldn’t really complain. (As I’ve been unwell for several months now, I am well-acquainted with complaining.) Now the bills are hitting. I am grateful to have insurance, but this stuff still ain’t free. Oh, well. Bills will just have to get paid somehow.

 

And then there’s the stress of fighting city hall. As I said yesterday, I’ll share more about what’s going on with that at a later date. Right now, there’s quite a bit of work to be done on that front. So we and our neighbors have much to do. As the whole swirly mess revolves around our homes and our neighborhood, it’s personal. And emotional.

 

So how does a gal get through these things and vault over the stumbling blocks life throws at her? She deals. I deal. To the best of my ability anyway. A lot of the time I don’t fare so well. I disappoint myself (and probably those around me) in my absolute failure to rise to the occasion. My emotions get the best of me, then proceed to twist my best into unseemly behavior. Don’t believe me? Over the weekend we and our neighbors met with a representative of the very project we’re opposing. Before I knew what was going on, I had said – out loud – something about putting lipstick on a pig. After comments were made by the project rep, I may have gone on to say something about how a different shade of lipstick on said pig is still a painted pig. Oopsie. Now y’all – I did at least have the good sense to recognize I was losing it, so I forced myself to take a step back and did my best to shut my pie-hole. In that moment, it was the right choice.

 

Speaking of pie-holes – have I told you part of my healing process involves giving up sugar? I’m not a crazy-for-sweets person, so it isn’t the most difficult sacrifice I’ve ever made. Still – a little sugar now and then goes a long way.

 

Anyhoo – life continues. The layers of stress are, well, they are what they are. I’m doing my best to abide. More than once I’ve thought of the quote about knowing God won’t give one more than she can handle – and wishing God didn’t trust her so much. I don’t feel quite like that. But sometimes I do think the universe leaves me to my own devices a little more often than is wise. And speaking from my side of that experience, I would gladly accept more help. As I don’t exactly know what that help might look like, I guess I just have to keep my eyes open and pay attention. I mean – assistance could present itself in any form, any minute now.

 

Any minute now…

RCGLA 2014 – Day 4

 

 

Day 4. 4 reals.

 

After Day 3′s awesome Volunteer hang, I almost forgot that day’s challenges. Almost. But then the morning of Day 4 arrived and the residue of the previous day had to be cleared away. A re-set button was called for. And I hit it. It didn’t make the difficulties disappear. It didn’t mean there wouldn’t be more challenges. It just meant I decided to not let those moments define my experience. Good choice.

 

Vocals classes went well, with the vocalists all working on their bands’ songs and their individual performance techniques. The campers really brought their A-games and I was super-proud of all of them.

 

Band practices were crucial, as there would only be 1 more day to get those songs down. The band I’m working with pulled together and Finished. Their. Song. You probably heard my sigh of relief, no matter where you live.

 

The fun parts of the day were T-shirt Design and Screen Printing workshops. The campers are ridiculously creative and their T-shirts are spectacular. Some are simple. Some are complex. I was completely in awe.

 

Day 4 is hard-core. The end of camp is near. There’s a lot of stress. Breakdowns occur – for campers and volunteers. I don’t want to paint it all dark, however, as there are also fantastic moments. There’s a ton of joy. So many folks tap into their magnificence and experience beautiful breakthroughs. It’s a privilege to witness. Seriously.

 

I can hardly believe today is Day 5. But you know what? I still feel like I’ve got this. And I do.

Catch a Wave

 

“Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.”

Catch a Wave by The Beach Boys

(written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love)

 

 

Have you ever noticed yourself having the same conversation with several different people, all at different times? Let me clarify. Have you ever noticed a friend bringing up a conversation topic, when a different friend had just brought up the same topic a day or so before? And so on? And so on? I ask because I’ve had that happening in my little world lately. Once I recognized what was going on, I paused to study the subject.

 

Several friends (and I do mean several, y’all) have told me how they’re looking for relationships that are happy and fiery. All the time. As in, they seem to want to catch a wave and never come down. This has been expressed with statements like “I’ve been in a challenging marriage. Now I want to be in a fun relationship, all the time.” “Sometimes I feel passionate, but I want to feel that all the time.” “We have fun, but then she works a lot and I want to have fun all the time!”

 

Now, I’m keen on all those points. Really. But as someone who’s been married about a jillion years, I understand the ebb and flow of relationships. Even if I don’t like it, I know there are up times and down times. And because I’m not 13, I also know what I’m capable of.

 

I can handle fights. One of the greatest things Mister has taught me is to fight all the way through to the other side when arguing. There’s no stopping mid-fight. We hash it out, all the way, until that fight is done, y’all. There aren’t a lot of arguments, granted, but at least we know how to fight. And once we reach the other side, we can let it go. As Mister is fond of saying, we “kiss it goodbye.”

 

I can handle time apart. There have been jobs that have required separations. There have been trips and activities that have kept us apart. And while I prefer to be with that guy, I can handle the times when life plants us in different locations.

 

I can handle lulls. Earmuffs, kids. I am passionate about passion. It is one of the marvels specific to our species. I understand there are a multitude of factors in triggering passion – biology, attraction, hormones, nice asses, etc. I also know there are a multitude of factors that kill passion – age, health, stress, dirty dishes, etc. So when passion takes a nap and refuses to rouse or arouse, I can handle that because I know it will wake at some point, and be good to go.

 

There are stresses, bills, woes, life’s details and duties, and more and more of the world to deal with each and every day. So far – touch wood – I can handle all that, too. And the reason I can handle life’s troughs is knowledge of the crests. Those high points are beautiful, y’all! The times when you’re on the couch with your Schmoopie, laughing at something you recorded and are finally getting around to watching. The moment one of you walks through the front door after being away for a while. The instant you catch sight of that person – the love of your life – across a crowded room and you just start smiling. Because you know that when the music starts playing, you’re gonna dance with the one that brought you. And there isn’t a doubt in your mind about it. Nor in your heart.

 

I’m hoping all the people I know who are looking for love, will find it in spades. And I hope their every dream comes true. I also hope they learn to go with the flow. That life’s waves tend to surge higher and higher. That the low points simply cannot maintain, not with all that upward energy. That because we can handle so much, we are rewarded with so much more in return.

 

Here’s to sitting on top of the world.

Cookie Hips – Update

 

 

Remember when I shared my stress over an upcoming, unexpected physical exam? Well the whole thing went down the other day, and I survived.

 

I was so worried about it. That’s a bad habit of mine, worrying about things I cannot change. I lost sleep the night before, which is silly, but that’s how I can sometimes be. Mister wasn’t worried, so why was I? Because I’m not him. Because I’m not always together enough to recognize the obvious. Because of a lot of things.

 

In the end, the physical was just swell. On that morning, before it went down, I finally let go of my stress. By the time dinner rolled around, I was as happy as a denuded lark in a thistle patch. And the duck dinner I’d saved as my reward? Heavenly. Absolutely heavenly.

Thank You, Mr. Robbins

 

 

Dear Mr. Robbins,

 

I’m a lucky gal.

 

I’ve been dealing with stress. Skyscraper shaped and two-ton Tillied. I do not like stress, sir.

 

At some point, I looked over at my bedside table and eyed a copy of Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. I cracked the spine. In-between repetitive emails and blistering phone calls, I read sections of your book. And lo and behold, your wonderfully whack-job world took me right out of my own head. Hallelujah and pass the gravy. Excuse me, pass the Red Eye gravy.

 

Your work showed up just when I needed it most. So I thank you, Mr. Robbins. For reals. Not for play-play.

 

Later, gator,

Your fan, Mikki

Saying Yes

 

 

I’ve been trying to figure out what’s causing the tension in my neck. I have a lot to do, but it’s all do-able, so that’s not it. I could use a workout, but I can carve out just enough time for it, so that’s not it. I’m in the middle of an avalanche of contracts, but that shall pass (eventually). That’s probably part of it. I don’t know. I suppose it all adds up to “it” – whatever “it” is.

 

There are a lot of unknowns right now. And I guess that freaks me out. So much of my life has been established as routine. So much of my life is predicated on predictability. Straying from that sometimes throws me for a loop, which sends me running back to my little cocoon of perceived safety.

 

But is that really living? If I know exactly what each coming day will bring, if my routine is so managed as to be expected, is that a life? What about change? What about spontaneity? What about the damned monkey wrenches that get hurled around by, well, monkeys? Am I so afraid of the unknowns as to want to forgo them entirely?

 

I think I know the answer to that last question, but my frazzled nerves tell a different story. And that’s my conundrum. How do I calm the frightened child within while also challenging the lust-for-life junkie? How do I protect the girl who wears sunblock every day of her life, while also cheering on the gal who’s jumped out of an airplane?

 

Right now, I don’t have an answer. And maybe I never will. Maybe I just keep moving. Forward, hopefully.

 

And maybe it’s okay to be terrified of life’s dark alleys, as long as I don’t shy away from life’s invigorating street fairs.

 

For the honest truth is, I don’t want to miss out on this ride. I don’t want to say no to living my all-too-short life when I could be screaming yes-yes-yes!

 

The sun is trying to peek through – outside and in. I want to say yes to its rays. And so I clear my throat…

Saved By Faulkner

 

 

 

I’ve mentioned that I’m dealing with a bit-o-stress these days. I know I haven’t given specifics, and I don’t plan to now. But specifics don’t matter. Stress is something each adult human being understands. Sadly, some understand it all too well.

 

I’m doing what I can to counter my stress, because I care about my health. I’m trying to exercise. I’m trying to keep a balanced mental outlook. I’m trying to remember to eat actual food, and not just drink coffee. And, as I’ve written about recently, I’m trying to get some sleep.

 

The other night I was staring at the ceiling in the dark and finally realized there was no point. So I got up and tip-toed to another room (there are only 2 rooms in the hotel). I could have fired up the computer. I could have watched telly. But I didn’t do either of those things. Instead, I read. Faulkner. And you know what? Those lengthy, verbose sentences distracted my brain. My body relaxed. The only things I focused on were the painted scenes in my imagination. I could smell the morning fire in the old kitchen. I heard the dogs baying beneath the porch. I felt the rain as it dove over tree branches. I saw the blood strewn in the battle between beasts. I ached at the loss of a dear companion.

 

On that night, I was saved by Faulkner. And it was good. I’m still not finished with the story, so there’s a bit more comfort to be found in those pages. After that, I don’t know what I’ll pick up to read. Or if I’ll pick up anything at all.

 

I hope I do, though. Reading is such a gift. And lately, in my case, it’s also a calming balm for an unsettled mind.