Charting life's circuitous path

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Tilted Smile

What is almost depression?

Alone Oil by I. Mudrov

Alone Oil by I. Mudrov

It’s the dark day smothering your eyes, your ears and your mouth.
It’s a suffocation from the inside pouring out with tears, wet and hot.
It’s wanting, knowing, desperately hoping to be happy, to be content,
but only able, capable, of so little, so slowly.

Walking a fine tightrope of light and chaos.
Shaking for fear a tip to one side, dark and silent,
Continuing to baby step slowly and carefully,
but not strong enough to sway towards the embrace of love.

It’s stuck within a grey fog, unrecognized.
Fear of a diagnosis, but failing to gain validity.
The horror of a downward spiral speeding towards oblivion
And not being able to justify it either to oneself or to a doctor.

Screaming for help, but only hearing “think positive”.
Looking for answers, but only receiving pamphlets and hollow reassurances that you’re not really depressed.

It’s a half turn, step to the right of a chasm gaining breath,
even as your own get shorter and shorter.

What is almost depression?
It’s real.


Life, meet peace.

Consider a flat tire.

Perhaps you’re on your way to get groceries.  The early morning is sunny and mild.  Your car runs over something sharp, suddenly puncturing the supple rubber, and your car bumps and jars until you stop.

“Oh!” you exclaim as you pause in confusion.  Did I just run over something?  Did the car break down?

It isn’t until you feel the thwump, thwump of the deflated tire that you realize your quick trip is now a long, tiring journey.

Now imagine you’re on the same road.  The skies are blue, the sun is shining and the breeze pleasant.  You’re riding your bike, a bit uncertainly, and a bit carelessly – why not, you think, the day is beautiful!

You come up to a stop sign and stop.  A car approaches, but you think you’re at a four way stop so you begin to accelerate.

The speeding car trundles down at you and you swerve a bit to avoid a collision.  As it passes, the driver looks directly at you and angrily shouts “Stop signs are for bikes, too!” and keeps on going.

Flat tire, meet angry man.

For the rest of the day, I couldn’t get the shouting man out of my head.  I knew I was in the wrong and could have been seriously injured.  I immediately learned from that lesson and treated the roads as if I was driving a car and not like I was 9 again.  However, even with all of that self-culpable admittance and correction, I couldn’t shake it off.  It was like the thwump of the flat tire, reminding me of his anger and my powerless response every time it rolled around.

Sometimes I could “patch” it and forget, but then my mind would drift back and I’d be right back at the intersection, watching ineptly as the car drove away.  My hurt feelings, my near death experience, my shock would ball up and make me want to just eat and eat and eat.  Ever notice how it isn’t the nice, ripe pineapple but the box of cookies you want to grab when upset? Hormones!  😐

I was letting him, letting that blink of an eye anger filled moment, rule me.  I was giving him more power to make me even more miserable.  I had already “fixed” my behavior, but I wasn’t moving on.  More than likely he had just blown off his steam and was sitting down to dinner having forgotten all about it while I was still morosely trying to resist the food in my pantry and grumping at my (also not happy) hubby.

But then, driving into work, I remembered something I used to have my students read.  It was a section from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (Bird by Bird btw is so worth reading, even if you don’t write) about dropping all of the critical voices into a jar and capping it silent.

So, I imagined a tin jar (because I honestly didn’t want to see him again) and stuffed the imaginary man into it and stuck a stop sign painted cork over the lid.

Man, meet jar.

I didn’t need him to rule my life, ruin my mood and make me miserable.  I didn’t need to give him the power to make me stuff my face and make me feel worse.  Life was too short and too precious to give him more valuable time.

Learning to let go isn’t easy when all you really want to do is track him down and have your belated say.  However, when you finally do, it’s like going back to that beautiful day with the blue skies and the bright sun.

Life, meet peace.


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Mobile Freedom

I’ll tell you a secret – I really hate Facebook.

You either have Friends that deem it their life’s work to post every thought that crosses their minds or you have those that craft witty posts which make anything you might take days to come up with seem piffle (or at least, based on the avalanche of likes their posts receive vs the possible one or two of yours).

In all honesty, Facebook can sometimes make me feel like a complete berk.

Like when you finally voice a real opinion (in less than 150 characters), but you’re immediately slapped down by the friend of your friend whom you don’t even know.  Why I even bothered when a “real” conversation isn’t even possible on Facebook, is my own fault.  But seriously, why is it that people feel comfortable being so rude?

Or when you realize that very few of your friends actually share your interests and you start to morosely wonder about the state of your friend-less life and how sad that no one gets your Dr Who ravings. (Why on earth am I friends with these losers anyway? pfff! 😉  )

Personally, I prefer the openness of Pinterest.  Words aren’t usually exchanged and the amount of “likes” doesn’t turn into the high school equivalent of “Voted Most Popular.”  Your pins are there for your own viewing and if they give others something to look at, then fine.  It’s all good. 🙂

Recently, the hubby and I have bought new smartphones.  I’ve been wanting our own phone plan wp8_04since being 30 somethings but still attached to my parents’ phone plan was making me feel silly.  So, during the holidays, we were able to snag a couple of free HTC Windows 8 phones.

I did consider the iphone 5, but went with the Windows 8 phone when I saw how compatible it was with the rest of our systems.  Plus, it was free. 😀

I LOVE it.  Completely.  It’s bright, it’s really easy to use, versatile and it’s made my life so much more, well, mobile.

Before, I would spend a good hour of every morning checking my emails, reading blog posts, and looking at Facebook.  That hour might morph into two and before I knew it, life would be slipping away through a grubby filter of social media.

With my new phone, I can enjoy a hot coffee and a stack of strawberry pancakes without having turned on the computer.  Being able to check my mails and scope out the weather in only a few minutes means more time with the hubby looking out the porch window and cooing over our cute resident chipmunk as he stuffs his cheeks with seeds.

WP_20130410_001It also keeps me from all of the posturing on Facebook.  I’m only tempted to reply when I have quick access to a proper keyboard.  Take that keyboard away and suddenly I don’t really care what people are going on about.  Instead, I spend my time engaging more with my family, my surroundings and myself.   I might be more connected than before, but in a strange way, I’m less tied down.

There are days when “ignoring” your “friends” is a good thing.

(And no, this post wasn’t sponsored by HTC or Windows.  Instead, it was motivated by being foolishly suckered into responding on Facebook and face-palming my way out again.  🙄  )