Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Voice from the Past

So, I found a voice recorder that I had been using a while back.  It was an interesting find.  I listened to myself from 6 years ago as I pondered life, cried over ex lovers, retold stories of new lovers, tried out comedy material, made lists of songs for mix tapes, and so much more.  It was heart felt to hear myself hurt and heal and I can remember this me.  I remember sweetly this time in my life and how I was affected by it all.

I was 34 and searching to find my strength.  I was learning to be mindful-I still am.  I was wondering about my future.  I was driving cross country back to my home in Pennsylvania.  I was wandering, but I was not quite lost.  

I miss that me as I miss all the parts of me through my progression.  Not because I was younger or thinner, but because there is something so sweet about riding the edge of self discovery and awareness.  There is something so great in taking HUGE steps forward in your life and growing as a person.  If that me were here right now, I would hug her-she certainly needed it then.  I cried a lot on that recorder.  I laughed some too.  It was somewhat painful to remember how sad I had been during that time of my life-over a boy who almost broke me.   Looking back, it wasn't a long period of my life, but living it seemed a heartbreaking eternity.   It was definitely beautiful to listen to me as I struggled for strength and dignity.  We are all looking for that.  I hope I never stop.  

Life doesn't happen the way we expect it to, but it does happen the way it should.  It reveals itself to us through chaos and calm and we make our own peace with it.  I have battled with my thoughts and my past, and I cannot say that I have won, because my life is a constant practice, but I can say that I have grown.  Listening to the digital recording of a younger me, I hear myself as I wax philosophical, "When times are hard, when life falls apart, when the unexpected happens, often times our first instinct is to run, move somewhere different, change jobs, get a new lover, call a friend on the phone, but sometimes the universe doesn't allow us the opportunities to run.  And we learn that it's best for us to just take a deep breath and settle in to the uncomfortable newness of an old situation...So in Prescott I stay to settle in, to see what the year ahead has to bring."

I am glad that back in July of 2009 I had to drive back from Pennsylvania to return to a job that I had been laid off from because of budget cuts.  I am glad that I picked up a skinny dog from the pound the day I got back in the 928.  I am glad that I made amazing friends like Paula and Jen and Rhiana.  I am glad that I found a love in Josh that is honest and hard and amazing.  I am glad that I found me, that I stuck it out.  I am a better person for it all.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Feeling Love on a Saturday Morning

Robyn and Josh
11/6/2014 - Lyzzard's Chili Bowl

I don't want to go all off on love for a few lines, but I am going to.  I cannot help it.  I am in love, and it is weird and hard and sometimes I am so frustrated, but it is the trust in the process that makes it so special.  Josh and I grow with each other; it's beautiful.  He gets me and there is no expectation for perfection, no fear of abandonment.

It hasn't always been easy; it isn't always going to be.  We are two very stubborn people, but we don't hold grudges for long.  Disagreements happen, but what is wonderful is the change that takes place within each one of us.  Inch by inch, step by step, we grow because of and with each other.

I have been untrusting of real love for a long time.  It has hurt me so much. Even being with Josh for 4.5 years I haven't spent much of it in that wonderful euphoric love state.  My last breakup broke that part of me I think.  Through those years though, I felt sparks of that feeling.  Little fires would burn in my belly and chest and I swear I blush just a bit.  

More and more though, that warmth radiates from me when we are together-at times even when we are not.  There is an electricity in us and in our home.  Oh sure, we still have disagreements.  That is part of the process.  We are still learning about ourselves and each other.  We both want to be together.  That is apparent.  We grow and love.  There is little more I want from a partner.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I live in the bad part of town...

Ok.  I feel very disappointed in someone... I will have to check with the roommate to make sure he didn't move my item, but I am pretty sure someone has stolen from me.  I am an amateur rock hound.  I love pretty rocks.  Have since a kid.  Called the white ones "lucky stones" and saved them for summer after summer.   Even found a few seashell fossils in the stone driveway of my grandparents summer home.  Now, I have big fossils, geodes, rocks of every color, large ones, small ones, some as big as your head.   Within the past week, I came across a sliver of petrified wood that was beautiful.  It was bright and delicate like stained glass.  It looked like amber had seeped into the wood; the thin growth rings were preserved in a rich honey brown.

(not the actual rock, but yeah, this is what it looked like)

I placed it with my other geological treasures.  I keep my rocks outside around my front porch area; so, I placed the amber there.  I actually did think for a second that someone may try to boost it.  What do I get for not going with my gut?  Someone did take the rock.  Someone who has visited my home in the past week took it right off my front porch.  Only lived here two weeks and already there is a crime spree :) I am sure I am deserving-Karma getting me back for my former klepto days; yet, I still feel sad.  I really liked it.  I hope that whoever has it, enjoys it.  I will work on letting go.  Que sera sera.

**Update:  The fossil has come back to me.  I am stoked.  As it turns out, a tiny friend had borrowed it for Show and Tell.  I told him, "Next time, you have to tell me.  As long as you ask, I will almost always let you borrow something."

I hope he understood.  Children are interesting.  Little people with their own personalities and their own way of doing things-reminding me of the way I used to do things and how I have learned.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Letting Go and Moving Forward...

Progress is at times more challenging than others.  The path that we should choose is sometimes muddled because of fear or love.  Though the choices maybe difficult, it is good to make a real shake up in life and change.  Change your address, your routine, your lover to seek better balance.

Change can be uncomfortable, painful even, but only because of the expectations that we have placed on ourselves and others.  We can hope that things will go our way, but must be ready to let go and move on when it doesn't.

Today is about letting go.  Today is about making scary decisions and taking a chance...on myself.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

21 Days of Happiness...

Our new counselor at school decided that a good bonding experience is a "21 Days of Happiness Challenge".  Each participant chose 5 items to do everyday for the first 21 days of May.  This is all based in the misconception* that it takes 21 days to build a habit.  Even though it looks more like 2-8 months for new habits to form, I am more than Happy to participate.  It is always good to start somewhere and I needed to start doing something.

The challenge lies in a point system.  For every daily "new habit" the participants achieve, a point is awarded.  We track our own points on a shared Google Sheet.  It is surely based on the honor system, but there is also accountability because we can all see what each person is doing daily.  At the end of the 21 days, whoever has the most points, wins.  What we win, I tuned out on that part, but the challenge to myself and the competition with my friends is what I liked about the idea.

I didn't choose easy daily tasks, but they aren't all that strenuous either. They all are for the betterment of my body and mind, which is how I get my Happy on.  Here are my 5 daily habits:
  • Walk briskly for 20 minutes, take a class at the Y or hit the gym for an hour.
  • Eat more whole and raw food and avoid white flour, refined sugar and processed foods
  • Drink a glass of water before and with every meal
  • Post or Blog daily progress or inspirational quote
  • Read / learn about something everyday
I already goofed on #2.  I made myself a cup of coffee this morning and put organic milk and sugar in.  I took one sip and remember my new endeavor.  I dumped the coffee.  I got to school and one of my students had brought me Starbucks with extra cream, a pump of vanilla and two raw sugars.  How could I say no to that?  I am drinking it currently with little guilt.  The universe obviously thought my morning coffee couldn't be avoided today.  No sugar in my coffee tomorrow then.

Yet, I am not completely off track my first day out of the gate.  I already checked off #5.  I was curious about this 21-days-to-form-a-habit concept and where it came from.  I found this article in the Huffington Post.  #LearnSomethingNew #changeisconstant

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stress in all of its manifestations...

I am for sure a high stress person.  There are reasons, and I practice daily to try and let go, but it's hard.  Over the years, my body has exhibited the many manifestations of this anxiety.  I find it truly a fascinating display of the power of the mind.  Worry, regardless of how it presents itself, is all in my head, and I have complete control of it.  Though, and I don't think I am alone here, I forget that, and the anxiety takes over.

I think the very first time that I realized how powerful stress is was during my senior year of high school.  I was brushing my hair, and my friend asked me about the back of my head.  Now the day before, I thought I felt something odd.  Asking my mother if she noticed anything wrong with my hair or head, she tells me no.  Grabbing a second mirror, I strained to investigate what my friend already knew.  I had a bald spot on my scalp near the nape of my neck.  The spot continued to grow.  I spent months and many methods trying to reverse what I came to know as alopecia areata.  It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own hair follicles.   I tried shampoos and stimulation, but in the end what worked were steroid injections at the site of the hair loss.  That first spot, the biggest they ever got, received about 90 injections per visit.  90 pin pricks on the nape of my neck.  That first time was torture.  After that first time, I checked my scalp religiously.  I suffered with flair ups from AA for many years.  Always around times of extreme or prolonged stress.  They never got bigger than a nickel before I would notice them.  Then one day, the bald spots just never came back.

No sooner had the hairless patches stopped that the bowels began to hurt.  During my twenties, ulcerative colitis was the face of my stress. Again occurring around the most stressful times in my life.  After I gave my Senior Dissertation for my English degree, I was waiting for my ride on the curb outside the doors of the ancient stone building in which I had just poured a year's worth of work, and the pain hit me.  It hurt so much, I balled up in fetal right there on the sidewalk.  I am not going into the details of how UC affected me, but yeah, if it was a symptom, over my time with the disorder, I experienced it.

I still have a sensitive stomach.  Stress and certain foods bother me.  As I am now in my thirties, I think I handle the stress better.  However, I don't always handle it all well.  When I fail to be mindful and it all gets the better of me, I now am privy to one of two side effects.  I now have anxiety attacks.  These began immediately following my breakup with my last boyfriend, and happen less to none now.  However, occasionally that familiar chest tightness comes up and I just try and remember to breathe.  I used to have a prescription for lorazepam, but I don't even need that anymore.  The other manifestation of my stressors is dyshidrotic eczema.  This is a condition where tiny, painful, blisters appear on the fingers.  For me they appear mostly on the side of my fingers at the joint areas.  It is strange and definitely annoying.

I need to treat myself better.  Cleanse.  Meditate.  Stretch.  Breathe.  I know that they key to my healing lies within.  It is easy to forget that. I practice patience and compassion for myself.  Stressing about it is certainly not going to help anything.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Weight ...

My weight is out of control. I look at myself in the mirror and wonder how I got here. It wasn't that long ago that I was fit and in great shape. I was proud of my body and its curves and tone. Now I am 50 pounds heavier and very sad. 
I go through this cycle often in my life.  And I don't know how to control it. 
Food is my comfort. When I'm stressed, sad, bored, tired, and hungry, I turn to food. It offers me some gratification, but the lasting effects make me sad-a moment in the lips and my hips will forever punish me. 
I have an appointment with a hypnotherapist today. I am hoping to get some motivation and will power out if it. In the meantime I'm on a liquid diet. I make soups out of everything. It's good. Lots of vegetables. Lots of shakes. Lots of water and lemon juice and cranberry juice and vinegar. I just have to find some control. I have to learn to take back my body. I have learned mindfulness when it comes to my crazy emotional mother trauma, but I just can't kick the food thing. 
Hopefully this week is the start of some change in my life. Wish me luck.