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Goodbye to a friend

My last year of law school I took a class on politics. Thoroughly bored with the law, I wanted to spend time in a class where I would enjoy the material. An adjunct professor, Peter Schalestock, taught the course since he had extensive experience in politics.

The very last class of the semester I had a presentation to give so I didn’t read the assigned material figuring I wouldn’t get called on. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. Instead of looking away while Peter was searching for someone to discuss the material, I looked directly at him. And then he called on me.

Rather than try to bullshit my way through an answer, I said, “I’m not going to lie, I didn’t read for class.”

He responded, “But you looked like you had something to say.”

“Oh, I always have something to say. It’s just not always relevant.” The entire class laughed, including Peter.

After the class was over, he and I got to talking. For an hour in the entrance to the law school. Six months later, he was at the campus bookstore while I was working in the office next door. I ran out to say hi. At the end of the conversation, he handed me his business card and said, “Now you can prove to your friends that you know a Republican.” I got a good laugh at that.

Eventually I did email him and we started hanging out. He was swamped that election season. He was an election law expert and there were tough contests across the country. Surprisingly he spent a good deal of time in Montana. I asked him why that was, since there were probably more moose than people there. That became a running joke for us and that year for Christmas we exchanged moose gifts. He got a stuffed moose from me and I got a moose shot glass from him that I still have.

Not long after he moved to the East Coast for work, but we stayed in touch. I got a RUDY card from him for my law school graduation (he worked on the campaign until it imploded). When he visited Seattle we got together.

I was sort of floundering my last year of law school. I knew the law wasn’t really for me, but worried about that since I’d spent three years getting the degree. He assured me that there were other things I could do with myself and that it was okay, even normal, for me not to want the lifestyle of a lawyer.

We stayed in touch through Facebook over the years, exchanging messages here and there.

I found out today that he passed away yesterday. He’d had a long battle with his heart, and it seems that it finally gave out.

The world lost a great man with his passing. He was genuinely kind-hearted, brilliant, and funny. I will miss him greatly. In honor of our friendship, I bought myself a new necklace. When I wear it, it will hang close to my heart.

 

1

It’s not really now or never

I feel a lot like it’s NOW or NEVER. Having read a bunch about ADHD in the past few days, this seems like it could be related to that. According to the books, people with ADHD have issues with time – basically only living in the present, with trouble making future plans.

I feel like a failure or like I’ve messed up my life so often because things aren’t happening for me RIGHT NOW. The reality is that I’m only 35 (soon to be 36), and that I still have plenty of time. There are people who didn’t start their amazing careers until 50 or later (I think Morgan Freeman didn’t get his first big movie role until then).

If I were to sit down, come up with some goals, and make a plan to achieve them, listing short-term goals out over a period of months up to a year, I might actually be able to accomplish something. The catch for me here is that I’ve always believed that if you can’t just DO something, without having to plot it out, you weren’t meant to do it.

In the real world that makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. I can’t think of any greats who didn’t have to WORK at it. PRACTICE it. EDIT it.

I need to work on retraining my brain with these thoughts. Starting to study and understand ADHD is a path to that. I’ve been researching ADHD hacks too to make my life easier. Between understanding it and implementing the coping skills I am really hoping to start do amazing things with my life. I feel that the potential’s in there. It’s a question of how to get it out in a way that I’ll actually stay with it and finish it (or keep it going forever, if that’s the thing).

Now at least I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I just need to continually remind myself that great things take time.

0

Layer by Layer

I’ve been working really hard this summer to try to learn as much as I can about my chronic health issues. As I’ve peeled back different things, I’ve learned more. One thing I believe I’ve learned is that I have ADHD.

Yes, I know, I can’t diagnose myself. No, I haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor yet. No, I wasn’t diagnosed as a kid.

It started with a Facebook post.

What struck me was “I literally cannot recall the words that just came out of my mouth.” That happens to me with alarming frequency. It also applies to text messages and instant messages on FB/Google. I’ll type things and have no idea immediately after that I wrote them.

However, it had never occurred to me that this was something that happened to other people. I always thought it was weird, but that was it. So I posted it and asked if it was really an ADHD thing. I was told it is.

Which led me to do some research on ADHD. It was then that I learned that I have a LOT of the traits: Inability to finish projects I start; delayed start on any project that involves a lot of thinking; impulsivity (mine is spending and eating); finishing people’s sentences when I can’t wait for them to do it. There were others, but these were the highlights.

I thought back to when I was a kid as well. I was never diagnosed, perhaps because I was always a good student. I LOVED school (until I hit high school). But, I was always a chatterbox. If a teacher didn’t re-direct my behavior I talked to other kids who were still working. In high school a Spanish teacher offered to just give me a B if I didn’t talk to anyone else in class. When something didn’t interest me, I didn’t deal with it. I stopped being a great student in high school because I was bored with school. High school was also when I developed a dislike for authority figures and was defiant.

I’m tired of being the person who doesn’t finish projects. I’m tired of being the person who can’t compete in direct sales because of my inability to make plans long-term for myself or follow through on them. I hate that I’m not controlling my spending and how it affects things I want to do.

I am REALLY tired of being distracted all the time. Of forgetting what I set out to do when I stand up. Of getting up to get water, and finding 30 things to do on the way. I want to be able to focus on things. I want to remember important things I need to do.

I won’t see my shrink again until September, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work on things in the meantime. I’ve borrowed books from the library on ADHD that include coping behaviors so that I can start NOW to do what I can to make things better for me. I have a planner that’s broken down into hourly segments so I can put myself on a schedule so I get things done. I’m using an app called Habitica to track my To-Do list so things don’t get forgotten (like paying bar dues). I’m going to start posting my goals where I can see them so I remember to do them. I’m very “out of sight, out of mind” and that’s a detriment.

I want better for my life. It’s going to take a lot of work on my end to come up with workarounds. But I’m tired of feeling like a failure, so whatever work it takes is worth it. I’d appreciate any positive thoughts you can spare and wishes of good luck!

How to make it work

I realize that a lot of adults don’t have any idea what they want to do with their lives. We can never know when our THING is going to spring up and grab us. I shared a post on Facebook the other day that shows just how many successful people didn’t find that success until later in their lives.

While I think that’s awesome and I’m happy to know I still have time, it doesn’t alleviate the anxiety I feel about not having a THING. I want whatever I do that makes me money to be fulfilling and meaningful.

When I was a freshman or sophomore in college I considered the convent. Yes, you read that correctly, I wanted to be a nun. I’m not particularly religious (or even Christian for that matter), but the idea of living in service to other people to help make their lives better was HUGELY appealing to me.

And you know what? It still is.

All I want to do with my life is help people find their amazing.

Then reality smacks me in the face (again).

How the fuck is that a job? What does that look like in terms of making money? How do I make that a thing?

I still don’t really have any answers. I’ve considered so many different things. They include: Life coaching, personal training, direct sales of various products, ministry, and probably some other things I can’t remember right now.

But this is really what I want for my life. In many ways, my life has never been and won’t really be about me. I was meant for a life of service. I know that. I accept that. More than anything, I LOVE that.

As I’ve been writing this something did occur to me. My life has been more than a little chaotic with all my health issues. Between the physical and mental health, things have not been so great. I sincerely doubt I would have been much good to anyone during that time, since I wasn’t really any good for myself.

Perhaps this is a period for me to find my footing. A time for me to plant myself and get grounded so that I can help others do the same. Cue The Byrds

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

If you have any ideas about how I can manifest my purpose in my life, I would really love to hear them. Sometimes I get mired in my own shit and can’t see things as clearly as I would like.

As always, thanks for reading <3

State of the Marital Union: The Exception to the Rule

Well, yesterday was our wedding anniversary. I have to say, I have no idea how 3 years has gone by so quickly.

The thing that remains true is that our marriage is easy. Life has thrown us some curve balls, but throughout all of it, our marriage has been fantastic. Our relationship has been so stress-free. We’ve had ONE really tense situation, and that was just because we hadn’t communicated well enough regarding a couple situations. We resolved it quickly too.

We were on our way to dinner with my mom and a close family friend (who’s like a mom to me) and they both talked about how marriage isn’t that easy. Again, it was pointed out how we are the exception to the rule.

I still find this amusing since I’m not sure what we do so differently than others that makes us the exception. I guess we’re just lucky.

We had lunch at The Melting Pot, which is a favorite of ours. At least we know which of the 7 Deadly Sins is likely to be my downfall. Yum, delicious GLUTTONY!

I hope we continue being the happy exception to the rule. I need the stability he provides in my life. He continues to tell me that I do something for him, though I have yet to figure out what exactly, LOL.

Hit by the Blargh

I’d been doing really well, posting every weekday. Then yesterday came along and I was hit by the Blargh. I was up earlier than usual, which should have meant extra productivity. Instead, it was like I hit a wall. I just didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to work on my puzzle. I didn’t want to read. I didn’t want to work. I didn’t want to chat online. I didn’t want to design anything. NOTHING.

That hadn’t happened to me recently and I have no idea what triggered it. I’ve been really productive lately. Posting online for all my direct sales endeavors, assisting in sales, writing, creating, etc. My emotional balance has been pretty awesome. I had one anxiety attack a little bit ago. My fibro has been under control, meaning the meds are working to keep joint pain away and my upper back hasn’t been bothering me. I have been sleeping a ton, but I don’t know that that will ever change. One of the anti-depressants makes me sleep a lot. But, at this point, given the emotional balance I have, I won’t risk changing it for something else.

So yeah, yesterday ended up being kind of a fail. Today hasn’t started off so well either. I woke up later than I wanted to. I had weird and disorienting dreams with effects that lasted past waking. I HATE those dreams. So much. I’ve been super uncoordinated too, spilling food in our newly cleaned apartment, nearly dropping things off counters. It’s like I’m not awake enough to be trying anything.

I hope that wears off as the day goes on since I have stuff I’d like to get done today and I intend to make Mr. Lyndsy take me on a date tonight! We’re going to see a movie we don’t really feel like seeing since nothing else is playing (they don’t generally release new movies during Ramadan) and have a dinner that neither of us has to cook or clean up after. That’s always nice.

Anyway, here’s to it being Friday!

2

My new word for 2017: Me

My word for the year was “determined.” Really, it was, “I am a determined unicorn.” A good friend of mine says that we shouldn’t pick words in an attempt to outsmart the Universe, but I feel like my choice of determined is sort of kicking my ass. It seems like what I did was invite challenging situations to show just how determined I am. Like my regular life wasn’t enough for that. Ahem.

When I picked “determined” I was thinking about my commitment to my growing direct sales empire and making sure that I’m doing the most I can to succeed. I have been making strides toward that though the first 4 or so months not so much. I got caught up in being overwhelmed and having situations sort of fall apart that made it harder to do. I didn’t have focus. Some of that was because I had no idea how to keep all the ideas that were flying around in my head coordinated. Y’all, I don’t know what the hell happens up there, but it’s like a party with a loud DJ and no chaperone to tell it to stop.

I also wasn’t on the right meds at the beginning of the year. My emotional state was a bit of a mess, though I felt a bit better physically. Now I’m on the right meds, but my body is sort of taking a crap on me. To really have things move along sort of smoothly, even a little smoothly, is that my body and mind need to work in conjunction a bit better. They both need to be sort of okay. I still have some anxiety issues and dips into the dark places in my mind, but it’s happened less often. My body though? Ugh. I seem to be out of a fibro flare that lasted a good long while, so that’s positive. I just wish my lady garden would get with the program.

That all brings me to the point that I still need to be focusing on ME. I need to focus on getting my body together. I need to be more functional. Less tired. More able to wake up and get going. I need to take advantage of the fact that my mental health is more stable so I can be creative. Creativity is how I know that I’m okay. If I’m not creating, something is wrong. I read a lot more when things aren’t great. It doesn’t require any effort on my part.

I have found ways to keep the craziness in my head somewhat controlled. I am working on systems to make sure I complete things I want to complete and still get to create. I need to get a bit better about it though to fully explore everything I’m interested in. But, I really need my body to get more with me before I can do that. I hope that happens somewhat soon!

Anyway, thanks for continuing to read along! I do hope to add some more sound to this at some point so you can hear me rather than just read me. Maybe even a video from time to time! And as always, I appreciate the kind and positive vibes you send me. I do think they make a difference!

Men do NOT get to tell women what makes them sexy

I got involved in a Facebook discussion about whether women should wear makeup. This is the original post:

I bet if women replaced their time putting make up on with push ups, squats, and sit ups, they wouldn’t feel the need for make up

Just no. That’s how I’m going to start this, just NO.

If women had sexier bodies they wouldn’t need to cover their faces with makeup? First, that doesn’t actually make sense. Bodies and faces are two very different things. Insecurity about one doesn’t necessarily mean insecurity about the other, nor does wearing makeup help if a woman feels insecure about her body.

Second, that suggests that women only wear makeup because they’re insecure. That’s just not the case. Most of the women I know who wear makeup do it because they feel like they’re highlighting their natural assets, or because they like color. As someone on the threat pointed out, there’s an ART FORM to it. Makeup, like the clothes we choose, the piercings or tattoos we have, are forms of self-expression.

Third, what a man finds sexy is IRRELEVANT. So many of the posts were about what MEN like. Um, here’s the thing. I don’t give a FLYING FUCK what men like. When I wear something it’s because *I* like it. ME ME ME. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m trying to be comfortable and happy with what I’ve got on. From head to toe, I’m doing what I’m doing because it makes ME feel good.

NO WOMAN IS ON THIS EARTH TO SERVE MEN. 

This is some of the most patriarchal fucking bullshit I have seen in a long time. Are you fucking kidding me? This is what you like so women should abide? Get the fuck out of here with that. If that’s what you like, you go ahead and find a woman who agrees with that. Don’t spread your shit like it’s the Gospel.

Are there women who wear makeup because they’re insecure? I am sure there are and that breaks my heart. I want women to be happy to be themselves. I hope one day they can find peace with themselves.

Men who say this shit think they’re HELPING. “Babe, focus on your body. Don’t worry about the makeup.” How about you step the fuck off? *I* control my body, not you. It is here to serve ME in this earthly life, NOT YOU.

Men, stop trying to control my body, my face, whatever. They aren’t here for you. I wasn’t born for your viewing pleasure. Worry about your own shit. Get a fucking hobby and leave me the hell alone.

Wiped out

This week has been long and draining. I have had less energy than the last few months. It’s made being productive an incredible challenge. Because I hate losing, I’ve been doing things I want to (since it’s on an app that asks me whether I’ve done things and I won’t lie to the app), but it hasn’t been as exciting for me to do.

I’ve accepted that pain and discomfort are a regular part of my life now. I didn’t know that in 2014, and for a long while I expected that everything would turn around and I could go back to my old life. Accepting it hasn’t really made life easier. I guess I don’t get disappointed as often. I don’t wake up and then get sad when I realize that my right leg still doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.

I think the real problem is that acceptance only covers what exists at the time you accepted your life. New problems don’t get factored in, particularly for things that never would have occurred to you. Perhaps that is why this week has been worse. I’m dealing with something new and mostly unexpected. Well, blah on that.

My life feels a little like Frogger. I’m darting around the highway trying to get to the other side while avoiding a collision with a car. (Side note, I’ve seen a frog get hit by a car and it is NOT pretty. Strangest thing was that the frog seemed to purposely jump under the tire.) Jumping around while the highway is packed is exhausting. You move forward only to have to move back. Then you jump sideways and realize you didn’t get anywhere, so you panic and jump without really looking first.

Argh. I’m tired. I hope this finds you better than I feel now.

I’m not fat. I HAVE fat

I have toes. I’m NOT toes.

I saw that posted on a meme today and I thought it made a great deal of sense. I mean, even if we considered obesity a disease, it’s not really something we should be saying “am” with. We don’t say, “I am lupus.” I say, “I have lupus.”

This is just another example of how we treat weight as something different than everything else. It’s just another way that we fat shame people. We associate the weight/fat/whatever with who someone IS rather than something they have.

It’s not really that different than disabilities. Society doesn’t regard people with disabilities as people either. It’s “I am disabled,” instead of “I have disabilities” or “I am differently abled.”

I guess the whole point of this is that language matters. Words matter. Generally we aren’t very careful with the way we talk and it marginalizes and belittles people. People brush it off, but it’s usually people who belong to the majority or what they consider the “norm.” It doesn’t matter to them how things are said, because they’re not the ones who are being shit on.

Everyone should spend time flipping things around, seeing how we feel when we’re on the receiving end. Or, when we’re ready to use choice words, imagine how we’d feel if someone else were hurling the nasty intent at us.

But I guess that’s another point altogether. People don’t seem to ever spend time putting themselves in anyone else’s shoes. We rarely stop to consider how our actions hurt someone else. Even when they’re at the end of a chain of actions.  We push our little black clouds onto someone else in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. The black cloud doesn’t stop raining just because it’s not hovering over us anymore. How is that fair to anyone else? I guess we don’t care as long as we feel better.

I suppose that also explains how it is that the United States managed to elect an arrogant, uninformed, self-absorbed asshole to the presidency.