Casually Casual

Beloved made the causal observation today that society has become a little too casual in what is acceptable public behavior these days.  There was a time, he pointed out, when personal grooming habits would never take place in public.  Nowadays we are blessed with watching people shave, do their hair and put on makeup while driving their vehicles.  

Just today he witnessed a person eating cereal while navigating the roadways.  ThIs person, Beloved pointed out, was supposed to be paying attention to the road, not the milk dribbling down his chin.  Of course Beloved was also annoyed because this person was chewing with an open mouth.

He also was blessed to witness another indivudal do some excavating of her nasal cavities.  Granted he did not need to watch this, and yet like a person going past an accident he felt appalled and amazed that someone would do this.  In a coffee shop.  A public coffee shop.  

Between these images and his description of people’s underwear (they were displaying them through holes in sir clothes or low riding pants) I am wondering if maybe we haven’t gotten a bit too casual about causal behavior.   Or am I just getting too old?

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Attitude, Belief, Lupus and Me

Over the course of my life I have heard that my attitude makes all the difference.  When I used to hear this kind of stuff I’d chalk it up to my parents or some other authority figure trying to control me in a way I didn’t want to be controlled.

When I got a little older I took some courses in psychology where I was taught that you can trick yourself into believing things that aren’t actual facts yet, at least when it comes to yourself.  For example if you dont feel confident but you keep telling yourself you are a confident person and pointing out the things you did accomplish with confidence, well you’d wind up believing in yourself when it comes to confidence.

So I would try these little tricks of the kind when I was feeling the effects of a flare.  I’d tell myself I did have the energy for a shower and getting dressed and my follow thigh would happen even if it was a huge struggle.  And I’d basically carry on with whole day by breaking it up into little bits.  Sure there were some things that became too much to do, but I would wind up the day by feeling really pleased with myself and all I had accomplished.  I’d even feel proud when other people marvelled at how I pushed myself on despite being in a flare because I was in charge not my illness.

Here’s the rub though, I never enjoyed any of the time I spent pushing myself so hard.  In fact I barely remember most of what I  did and why I had to do it at that time.  I just remember it felt like I was pulling myself through thick mud and there wasn’t a helping hand in sight.  The reality is there were tons of helping hands, most of them trying to pull me out of the mud to rest when I had expected them to get into the mud and push me through.  Truth be told, there was no real need to push myself so hard because the only person I had to prove anything to was myself.  What I should have been doing was being more compassionate towards myself, caring a bit more about my health and less about how I could push through and beyond what some of my health coworker’s were doing.

As a result, my disease would flare horribly out of control and end up doing permanent harm to myself.  Which I would then shrug off as I pushed through something else.  It was a pretty regular routine in my part, until recently.  You see I acquired a new member of my medical team and he put it to me like this:  “why should I bother to put in time and effort to keep you alive and healthy if you won’t put in the same for yourself ?”  He also told me that all my accomplishments in my personal life and my work life wouldn’t mean much if I ended up stuck in a hospital.

What I had realized was this man had listened to me talk with other lupus patients about the importance of rest and self-care while I refused to do the same for me.  He wondered why I disliked myself so much that I saw no value in me as a person.  And he voiced all of this and much more during one of my appointments.  It’s not that I dislike myself or devalue myself (although I am my own worst critic), it’s that I felt that if I could push back at lupus id win the battle. I have since tried to shoe myself the same compassion and understanding I share with others who have a chronic illness and I must say it is a huge relief to not have to do more than I feel I can do.  It’s nice to accept that some days having a shower and getting dressed is a huge accomplishment and that is perfectly fine.  The only thing that has changed, and it’s such a small change with such a huge impact is that I’m allowing myself to be a woman who sometimes must stay within certain limitations, but those limitations do not reflect on my impact.

Bring On The Heat…On Second Thought Maybe Not

I tend to be more of a warm weather kind of girl.  I know there is something lovely about a crisp autumn day and I’ve seen the beauty of a brilliant sun shining across dazzlingly freshly fallen white snow added to the backdrop of a blue sky.  But in the end, I’m just a warm weather kind of girl at heart so try as I might, the lack of heat always make me less comfortable.

Heat, is a wonderful thing, it envelopes you in a nice warm hug.  It helps you learn to slow down because with the right about of heat everything slows down! 😉  You appreciate things more with heat, such as the gentle caress of a breeze; the delicious sensation of condensation on a glass coating your fingertips and how marvellous the delicate darkness of shade plays against the brilliance of the sunlight.  Yes the heat is just a wonderful thing!

Bring it on I say, but in the most figurative way only.  Not as in 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Certainly not against delicate, tender human flesh.  And certainly not against my finger.  Let’s just say that even I have a limit to heat.

I thought I’d try my hand at a new recipe for Christmas cookies.  Now I know what you are thinking, remember the last time when everything looked good and yet turned out inevitably bad.  But today was a so-so lupus day with a complete clearing of all brain fog.  So cookies shouldn’t be too hard.

As I was placing the cookies into the oven, the doorbell rang, startling me.  A smarter person would probably wear oven mitts anytime she is reaching into the oven.  But not this girl.  This girl likes to feel the blast of heat against her skin when she opens the door and places those raw little dough balls inside the oven.  So no mitts for me.  I’m also instituting a rule of no doorbell or phone ringing while I’m playing on the oven from now on.  Because burnt flesh is no fun.  However the cookies turned out well!

Lost Lessons

When I was a young child one of the lessons I remember being taught, one that was “very important” mind you, was about how I won’t always like everyone I meet, but I still need to be able to get along with them.

this was a lesson countless people were taught and had reinforced while in school.  So I’m not sure what happened, or when it happened.  I’ve tried to out my finger on it, but it slips off into a hazy blur and I’ve no answer for it.  What the heck happened?

How did we get to the place where it’s okay, acceptable even, to resort to lethal violence against those people we don’t get along with?  When did we stop seeing people as people and instead just objects that can be removed if they cause us issues?

What gives us the right to end another’s life and at the same time destroy the lives of those left behind?  I understand that when we fear something we demonize it.  Once we can demonize something we justify, to ourselves at least, certain actions.  I just don’t understand how we go from deciding we don’t get along with a person or people to taking their lives as a means of getting our voices heard.

Perhaps as adults we all need to revisit the lesson of getting along.  If not perhaps our weapons/toys should be taken away until we can learn to behave.  Maybe we just have seen enough innocent people killed yet simply because another person didn’t like something about those s/he killed.  Maybe there is some magic number that turns it all around…we just have to wait until we reach that number.

Maybe once we reach that point ever life will matter again.  Maybe then we will be able to agree to disagree without violence.  But I’m not holding my breath.

Limiting

My father once told me that every single person on the face of earth has a limit, a limit to what is tolerable and what is not.  He said it was important to understand this, and understand that it’s different for each one of us, so that we can act accordingly.

What my father never told me is that some things have a different rule to them, that is they are intolerable end of story.  There is nothing more to it.  Just the thought of the abhorrent things makes me shudder.  And the thing is, for each of us it is a little different.

Pperhaps my father should have also told me that each circumstance alters how far that limit can be moved or held fast.  My father never told me that because I loved someone, I would make excuses and rationalize for something that is wrong.

My family has never been  one that tolerates violence and yet I justified it repeatedly, when I wasn’t covering up or trying to find a plausible reason for a black eye or such.  Black eyes, deep bruises however were not my limit.  Broken fingers and toes?  Not my limit either.

But I reached my limit and I fought back.  And I have my limit on silence too and friends I’ve more than reached my limit in silence years ago.  And thanks to support and caring from Beloved I won’t be silenced.

You see friends, I cannot sit back in silence or have a far off limit when it comes to abuse.  Not for women, children, men or animals.  Just cannot do it.  I guess daddy was right about people all having limits, but is having a no tolerance level a limit?

A Learned Experience

I don’t know what we were thinking, probably we weren’t. I blame tv and perhaps a sense of inflated ego. I mean if those people on tv could do it, we should be able to do it too.

The problem with ego is that it’s a false sense of confidence. It started with watching a few home renovation shows. Everything on these shows goes swimmingly and of course it’s all finished nearly within 30-60 minutes. Not really though and we knew that. We also thought that two well-educated people could follow the directions provided to us without too many issues.

It seems, at least to me now, that the problem with people like Beloved and myself is that we over think and over analyze everything. That plus over question. This in turn will not only slow down the work, but create roadblocks. Okay it also creates an excuse for breaks! 😉

Still, as Beloved says, one must give it the old try before one knows if one can do it. So try we did. And learn we did. We learned renovations aren’t easy. There is a reason why some people do this for a living. There is also a reason why we don’t do it for a reason. As educated people, after a few days of leaping from disaster to disaster, I mean demolition, we opted to hire a professional and, well get the job done. 🙂

How Much

How much is too much? Can you really have too much of something? Is there a set number or limit that once surpassed becomes too much?

No one ever says they have too much money or too much love. I guess in these cases there is no amount or number that clearly define the level at which something suddenly is in excess.

I’ve heard of too much food, too much rain etc. What about books? Can you ever have too much of those? I’m asking for a friend, well and me too.

I’ve discovered that I can pretty much build a house with my books, if I put them in boxes. Granted this house of books isn’t large, but livable. I have no clue how you’d get running water, plumbing or electricity to work in a house constructed of boxes filled with books, but still…

Add to my collection of books, Beloved’s collection and we suddenly have a large house and a she’d, all made out of boxes filled with books. A friend informed me that this is basically hoarding. I prefer to think of it as collecting, but I do realize that at some point a collection can become a hoard, but where that is I don’t know. And I can’t see how anyone can hoard books. Collect yes, but hoard?

I also have no idea how much would be too much when it comes to books because they are so magical. They can transport us for a short period or a long period of time out of reality to another place. They are simple in packaging, yet complex when you consider that they tell us a story and in turn you can see the story you tell by relating to the book. I just honestly don’t see how you have too much when it comes to books because I still don’t have enough! 🙂