Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Passive Aggressive Notes

You just know it's going to be a great day when you come in to work and someone has left a passive-aggressive note on the workroom refrigerator.  Now, please understand I am not making fun of this person. I totally understand the frustration of going to get something of mine out of the fridge and not finding it. I got tired of my Diet Pepsis or Diet Cokes or whatnot being swiped, so I've taken to labeling anything I put in there. Sometimes that is enough of a deterrent, sometimes not. Other colleagues have combated the problem by keeping their own mini-fridges in their offices.

No, I'm sharing it because this note is so well-crafted, so biting in its condemnation of the offender, and so vengeful in its wish that illness be visited upon the thief that I find myself marveling over such wickedness from a person who is normally quite sane and calm. Ie, "You are NOT an esteemed anything; you are self-absorbed and stupid; you are a dishonorable thief and I hope you get sick. In any case, beware of stealing anything else from me, you pig, you."

I mean, it is typed and printed and perfectly spelled and punctuated and just marvelous in so many ways.

Take THAT, beyotch!

ps. I did not take the raspberry jam.

Monday, September 24, 2012

An Old Lady on a Monday

I have lost the battle. I have now taken to bringing a gym towel with me to class in the morning because I perspire like a marathoner. I don't think this problem will be corrected until I get on thyroid meds. Alas, I can't see the endocrinologist until some time in October when my new health insurance kicks in. So, I will just have to perspire for another month or so.

Even then, I'm told it can take as long as 6 weeks before thyroid meds start making a difference.

The odd thing is, after about 10am, the sweating drops off. It comes back in the evening and so I drench the bed as well. Last night I had to toss one of my pillows to the floor because I had soaked both sides of it. This is why I'd originally thought I simply had the night sweats of menopause, but no. I'm still making estrogen. I'm just not making much of whatever three thyroid hormones they test for.

I swear, even my legs get sweaty. I leave my 8am class every morning with my pants legs sticking to me and the back of my shirt sticking to me. It's embarrassing.

I may have to start sprinkling baby powder all over myself in the morning and at night before bed.

The irony, of course, is that I had no problems with my cholesterol and no problems with my thyroid while I was still drinking. Alcohol, it turns out, increases your HDL, and my HDL was always high enough to offset any scary levels of LDL. My total cholesterol has always been slightly high, but with my HDL ("good" cholesterol) dropping, this is now a problem. So quitting booze has had a negative effect on my cholesterol. Still, better my cholesterol than my liver, right? I met people in rehab who were fighting cirrhosis and esophageal varices, and I'd much rather have high cholesterol, especially since 235 isn't so high it's scary.

But since this has been going on for two years, the doctor was about to prescribe me Lipitor when he saw my thyroid hormones are way too low. So now he's saying, "Let's straighten out the thyroid first, because when that happens, your cholesterol may just well drop under 200 because you'll have more energy and might start burning off more calories."

So.... I sweat, yet get fatter by the minute, ha.

The only GOOD thing about all of this is that at least now I have a medical reason for why I can't seem to lose bodyfat. I can blame it on my thyroid, and it's not even a lie!

Still doesn't make me feel much better. Getting old is no picnic. Everything that runs in your family starts appearing in you. Next up: heart disease, diabetes, schizophrenia. I'll take problems with the ticker and blood sugar over mental illness any day. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Free Your Mind, and Your Ass Will Follow

I was looking at the box above last night and my gut reaction was to discard it as too dualistic, but the more I stare at it, the more it releases truths. I think I just want to change the last box to rid it of the value judgments good and evil. And change "order" to "peace of mind" and "chaos" to "dissatisfaction." Then it works for me.

Here's what I learned about myself when working Step Four. When I come at things from a place of fear, I automatically limit my own options. ("This won't work"; "that won't work"; "if I try that, this bad thing might happen," etc.) So, I would shut a lot of things out even though I didn't know for a fact that my fear-based predictions would be true. This is the willful ignorance of the chart. Confusion would result when other possibilities or other viewpoints or things not fitting my fear-based interpretation would pop up and throw me off balance.  To get rid of the confusion, I would naturally try to control things around me ("So-and-so can't know this or that about me"; "so-and-so needs to do this or that"; "if I do this, so-and-so's response will be to do that," etc). Ultimately, no one is able to control everything around them, so the result will be dissatisfaction, unmet expectations, feeling manipulated or persecuted--and the result of feeling that way is often acting out in anger and frustration. I would end up feeling even more fear than before, and so I would slowly but surely dig my own hole deeper and deeper over time, as my alcoholism got worse and worse.

So the key to everything is letting go of fear. Get comfortable with standing on the abyss. Sure, sometimes you might fall off and get clocked in the jaw. But you're not dead. Actually, seldom is the result that horrible. It's nowhere near as horrible as being continually dissatisfied. Truth is, more often than not, letting go of fear and stepping off the cliff leads to a pleasant surprise: you fly and didn't know you could. Openness allows you to seek out options and a bigger picture and to try out other possibilities, expanding your world. Self-mastery--continually checking in with yourself, examining your emotions, evaluating your actions in light of the many possibilities available to you--gives you a sense of total freedom. We are empowered to choose. No one is ever entirely in a jail: you always have options and choices. The biggest jail is our own minds. Once I understood that, I stopped even attaching value judgments to my own choices. This is because I check in with myself enough to know that I make educated guesses, act accordingly, and act with consideration towards my fellow human beings. There is no malice behind any of my actions. So I'm always happy with my choices, even if (after the fact) I realize I could have made a better choice. Then it's just a learning opportunity, no big deal. It's really easy nowadays to forgive myself. The result is general contentment and peace of mind, even in the face of the same enormous anxieties that used to drive me to drink.

The great mystery of finding happiness is this: don't look for it outside yourself. No person, no thing, no things, can ever bring you anything but a temporary rush. Happiness is a lasting state of being that has everything to do with what is inside of YOU. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hey, hey, what can I do, I fell in love with a hooker and she won't be true.

In a silly mood this morning, so I thought I'd play a silly song. Actually this may very well be my favorite Led Zeppelin song. I found the chords and lyrics at some website (in fact I'm trying to read it as I'm playing it, so.. you know...) and some things seem off.  I was just going to send this to a friend for laughs but decided instead to share it with the world. Because really we ALL need a chuckle right about now. The Middle East and Australia are exploding in rage over a stupid film some idiot posted mocking Islam. I humbly offer myself as comic relief.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Robin Williams on Alcoholics

His is a reasonable theory about blackouts--your conscience is vacating the scene: "Dude, you're about to fuck a hobbit--see ya!"

Some of the most ridiculous things I've ever done happened when I was in a total blackout.

I once asked a friend I had gotten--ahem, a little too friendly with--when I was drunk why she had gone along with it. "Couldn't you tell I was in a blackout?"

"No. I just thought you were drunk."

Leaving the preposterousness of that aside (how sexy is a drunk? Not very), I asked, "Was I repeating myself a lot?"

"Yes. Yes, you were."

"That's how you know someone is in a blackout."

And then you're stuck in the awful position of realizing you've just fucked your friend and when you're sober, you are about as romantically interested in her as in a whiteboard eraser.  It's a mess.

If this describes you, get sober.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Quick Hop Up to Yosemite

It's been about three and a half years since I visited Yosemite, so it was high time for another visit. I used to go at least once or twice a year. I always get re-grounded there. The granite walls of the Valley are so mammoth that I'm reminded how small I really am, how quickly my own lifetime will pass in relation to the millions of years it took for a glacier to carve out the Valley, how small we all are in relation to the whole--but together, the Whole becomes an Enormous Thing.

Seeing deer, coyotes, and bears isn't uncommon in Yosemite, but this time we were treated to a bobcat that ran across the trail.

Description can never do Yosemite Valley justice, so I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mandatory Pick 6 Payout with Carryover at Del-Mar

Well, you kinda have to play it, though hitting it will be hard. Here's where I landed. Three singles, but heck. These are so hard to win that I'm reluctant to dump much more than $24 into it. Wish me luck.

Race #5    09/05/2012
Del Mar
$2 Pick-6
# 5,6,7
WT # 1
WT # 3,11
WT # 2,10
WT # 3
WT # 2

Michelle Obama's DNC Speech 2012

If you missed Michelle Obama's speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, then you missed something worth seeing. She was inspiring. I said on Facebook that I found myself swallowing a big lump in my throat several times. This is just Part One of her speech, but the rest of it should follow on Youtube, depending on your settings. (If not, the rest should be easy to find. It's probably up on several news websites as well.)

She just comes across as so sincere, so genuine, and so likeable that even somebody as twitchy as I would feel comfortable around her.  Favorite idea, paraphrased: When you walk through that door of opportunity, you do not reach back to slam it shut--you reach back and hold it open for someone else.
I also liked (again paraphrased): Success is measured not by how much money you make but by how many lives you make a difference in.  And that most parents measure success by how many opportunities they create for their children.

Anyway, I can't possibly do her justice, so listen for yourself.

ps: she's got great shoulders

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Joke for the Day

A philosopher, a mathematician, and a physicist were walking along the craggy moors of Scotland enjoying a hike when they spotted a herd of sheep on a hillside. All of the sheep were white except for one black one.

"Wow," said the philosopher. "I didn't know there were black sheep in this part of Scotland."

"Don't be silly," said the mathematician. "What you see is ONE black sheep in this part of Scotland."

"Not really," said the physicist. "What you see is just one side of a black sheep in this part of Scotland."

Riffs on a Sunday Morning

I came across this on Facebook this morning and it honestly made me stop to think. Look at the state of the world today--the endless wars, terrorism, poverty, unflinching scary dogmas. Look at the fighting, snarking, and ranting already going on over the 2012 Presidential election here in the United States (of which I freely admit I contribute to... well, snarking anyway. I tend to not fight with people.) But I do grow more cynical with each passing year--and as George Carlin once said, "Within every cynic is a disappointed idealist."

We doggedly stick to this idea that humankind evolves--the history of humankind is the history of human progress over the ages; and, then I read something like the above and I have to wonder, "Really?"

I am continually trying to adjust my view, change the seat I'm in, rather than falling into the deep dark hole of fear-based and anger-based thinking. Raging against the machine may inspire some to action, but you're still living in a place of rage. I don't want to turn into a bitter old person.

Humor keeps me going--I thank the Creator I have a keen sense of the absurd. And really the world today is theater of the absurd. I have been known to stop and consider the fact that here we all have assigned Social Security numbers, for instance, which you must have--and yet we consider ourselves free.

What is civilization? What does it mean to be "civilized?"

The Indians had something we are sorely missing--a sense of community. Instead, what we continually experience is the result of a fractured community.

I was also thinking about poet John Donne this morning, and this poem:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee. 

So instead I remind myself of what I want and what I'm willing to give to get it. That's the law of the universe--focused mindfulness, getting back what you put out.  Do I sound crazy when I say I want to see the earth and humankind healed?  

And what I'm willing to give back is to do it myself, as much as any one human being can accomplish. The task begins with myself and my own personal evolution and transformation.

 The more of us who do so, the more we evolve and heal together.