๐Ÿ› Transformation Week III ๐Ÿฆˆ

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IT’S SHARK WEEK (ON THIS BLOG – AT LEAST TODAY)

So I can’t get shark attack survivors off my mind yet this morning. I was thinking about finding a way to remind myself (with an emoji) of this weeks stoic quote:

โ€œHow do you defeat terrorism? Donโ€™t be terrorized.โ€

– Salmal Rushdie

My first thought was “a shark” because I remember a surfer lost a leg, learned to surf without it, and wasn’t afraid of sharks after the attack.

I think it’s largely because he didn’t take it personally, it wasn’t “out to get him” even though it “got him” it wasn’t a safe scenario, but there was no reason to expect it to happen again. Unlike say loosing a leg in a terrorist bombing at a public place, which probably will happen again, but when?

I checked online looking for the news about the shark attack I remember from a long time ago. I found an article about shark attack survivors.

Actually there were five (it’s not only one):

  1. Bethany Hamilton, she was 13 years old, lost her left arm and back surfing the same month to become the world’s best female surfer laterโ€ฆ
  2. Mike Coots, punched the shark twice in the nose to get it to leave, but still lost his right leg and surfing again the same month, went on to be a shark conservationist.
  3. Brett Connellan, lost 3/4 of the left thigh took about two years to return to surfing.
  4. Colin Cook (from the island where I like to swim), lost his left leg to another tiger shark, a few years later winning the USA adaptive world championships.
  5. Ulu Boy (someone I’ve met), for some reason, I’m surprised he didn’t say anything about it when we met, which makes sense, you wouldn’t mention it every time you meet someone… but it feels somehow wrong to find out about someone you know in person on a new article.

I find it cool the nice man I met at a children’s birthday party, was viciously attacked by a shark, in the sense that it brings it home to me that these are not “far away people,” they are real people, getting through life in a very similar way to the rest of us. Not that I’m glad he got mauled, but I think it will forever remind me that we all have a lot of “scars” you don’t see and a lot of history that affects who we are. I wonder if it was more disturbing to have been mauled without being eaten? So what’s the sharks problem with you then if not hunger? Maybe someday I’ll ask, but there’s that stigma to not ask about horrible things… so perhaps that’s why we all feel like our horrible things are the only ones that happen…

I’ve always had a cavalier attitude towards sharks and been around many “non-tiger sharks” in the water (leopard sharks and reef sharks are little cuties), but I have a new awareness that they (tiger sharks) are around in the areas I’m most likely to take my kids swimming. But we just can’t not go swimming in the ocean, we are fourth generation Hawaiian culturally (though Japanese genetically), not swimming in the ocean is simply not a viable option for us…

Two of the surfers had to punch the sharks, so that’s something interesting when training a punch, that it may possibly be self-defense from a shark someday. The nose is sensitive like a dog. I once punched a dog in the nose. Before you unsubscribe, it was a bull dog, it bit me unprovoked and it wouldn’t let go… If you still need to go then go, but I think it was warranted.

I’m a big fan of sharks, when you see their eyes, kind of like dogs, there is some intelligence, when you see their eyes, kind of like cats, there is a lot of independence, but also I guess they are part of a world with different rules, like a tiger, they would possibly eat you if hungry, which is what we do to them. So if they are monsters, that makes us monsters as well, doesn’t it? I don’t think we are monsters, and I don’t think they are. I think I will go swimming again not far from two of those shark attacks, but I’ll also look for other areas of life I can choose not to be terrorized…

So after disclosing that I have a new mental relationship with sharks I can start transformation Tuesday.

live your best life
I’m not going to do it for you!

TRANSFORMATION TUESDAY

Monday I clean my house of clutter, Tuesday I try to focus on cleaning “me” of clutter.

Shaun Blokker started me on this journey so I’ll start with a vow from him that inspired me, Blokker turns down a bevy of business offers with a vow that he will only connect with things that are โ€œtrue to my soul.”

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Shaun T is My Hero!

I’ve been working out with Shaun T for years and years, after finishing P90X with still a gut, I wanted to see other people, and I found my exercise soul mate. His exercises met my really high standards, but his uplifting motivation began to fill a hole in my heart where a life time with no encouragement had left a void.

PHYSICAL TRANSFORMATION

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I’m on day 8 of COVID T25 but I’m pretty sure my abs are still the same.

For no reason at all (not fat, not unhealthy right now, not particularity motivated) I started exercising again with T25. I had wanted to do martial arts everyday, but it felt like too much of a shock to my body and my daughter as well, so we will do that Fridays for now rather than everyday.

One thing I’ve noticed about T25 is I don’t really look too much different, but I feel a lot different. I get much more patience, more stamina, more “pep in my step,” more optimism. I’m hoping this time is the exception and I look like Bruce Lee after I’m done, but I have a feeling I won’t.

I used to post my flabs on Instagram everyday, but they just keep looking the same for months, so I think the first day and the last day will be more than enough.

I’ve been struggling to think of a way to convey the benefits I get from T25 in a concrete way when there is very little that can be directly seen.

The only thing I’ve come up with is mental strength, measured by the time I want to quit and when I quit (I don’t quit). So for example day 1, I wanted to quit after 20 minutes and didn’t, so I spent 5 minutes mastering my laziness.

I don’t think it’s fair to compare stretch, abs or lower focus (none of which I wanted to quit), to total body circuit or cardio or speed (all of which I wanted to quit) so I’ll record which exercise I did, the time I wanted to quit and see if it changes over time. As I get fitter I will actually work harder, so the intensity will go up not down, so I’m not sure I won’t want to quit sooner than later, but I’m just looking for a way to try to find some data that shows the well being I get from exercise in some way.

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DIG DEEPER

So I’ve been putting off the book notes, because I only have the audible version (which I love) and I wasn’t looking forward to trying to get my bluetooth headphones to work.

The anxiety about trying to get the headphones to work was somewhat well founded, I couldn’t get them to work, they register with my computer, they pair with my computer, but they won’t connect to my computer. So, like a couple that went on two dates, but not three, that’s the end of that.

I dug around my travel bag for the complementary wired headphones Hawaiian Airlines provided me. I feel pretty proud of myself for that. Small tech solutions that may come easily to you are like fighting off and recovering from a shark attack for some of us…

10 points for self awareness

SIDE NOTE

You always invent a fantasy set of parents as a child, when you hate your parents right? But I was always on the look out for who I would want my mom to be if I could have picked, and today I realize it’s Shaun T, I like a very strong mom and now a days gender doesn’t matter for moms. Shaun T is defiantly my ideal imaginary mom for me, I can easily imagine working out together, being board in church with out grandparents together, being coached in boxing, being started at when I’m in trouble with a stern but caring disappointment that is respectful at the same time as clear in re-probation, I know he would have bought me donuts once a week and put my drawings up (if not on the fridge, somewhere).

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BACK TO T IS FOR TRANSFORMATION

Shaunt T congratulates me for making it to page 1 of the book, and I really appreciate that. It’s not, not a struggle to make it to page 1. Seriously, had to figure out the headphones, train my kids to solo play in the morning before breakfast (that takes boundaries and respect for their ability to survive without me – which takes humility), also had to semi-shame my husband into going running so he’s not interrupting me. He was planning to take this morning off because he got a massage yesterday, he didn’t want to “ruin the massage”, I pointed out most professional athletes get massages right before they keep playing at their sports and he decided to go run… is that shaming? I don’t know. It was his weekly goal, I didn’t ask him to run. Anyways, thank you Shaun page 1 is probably the hardest to get to.

The kind of fitness I care most about is inside you, it’s in your mind it’s in your heart, and both of those are great places to find strength, because you’re in charge there. No body else can tell you what to do, or who you are, or how strong you can be, it’s all up to you. Can you screen out the noise in your life and hear what you need to? Can you push away the people that tell you it can’t be done and decide for yourself what you can achieve? Can you trust yourself to handle the stress of change? Can yo believe in your ability to succeed now, even if you’ve fallen short before?

An Invitation to Transformation Shaun T

Can you screen out the noise in your life and hear what you need to? It’s a struggle, but I’m getting better here, yesterday my son fussed while I was exercising and I kept exercising, without feeling bad, because my workout is short and he needs to learn he is one of my priorities, but I’m also one of my priorities (mom lives matter).

Can you push away the people that tell you it can’t be done and decide for yourself what you can achieve? I read this and I can’t not immediately think about my husband, I feel bad for him, because I’m sure he criticizes himself a lot, he criticizes everyone a lot, if I had a dollar for every time he belittles me I would have a robust financial source… at first it didn’t feel right to push that part of him away, but I’m too sensitive to thrive if I don’t, so it became a necessity, and though our marriage didn’t get better, it didn’t get worse. There is that catch phrase that you should embrace all of your spouse, but it isn’t a viable reality for my life, if my spouse was a gambler I wouldn’t embrace it, if they beat me, I wouldn’t embrace it, so why embrace the constant criticism? I’m not going to. I pretty much off set the negativity with a Theodore Roosevelt speech called “The Man in the Arena.”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

I have a framed copy of this speech by the coffee maker, I look at when I make a morning coffee and allow myself to throw other people’s unwanted opinions into my mental trash can as many times a day as I need to…

Can you trust yourself to handle the stress of change? This one I’m just not sure about, I don’t feel like I’m good with change, but on the other hand I don’t quit transformation projects so it seems like I’m actually okay then?

Can you believe in your ability to succeed now, even if you’ve fallen short before? This is where I struggle, a lot. The slightest failure seems permanent. Which it is, each failure is permanent, in and of itself, yet failure is just part of learning,

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.

– Theodore Roosevelt

Failure is not the opposite of success – it’s part of success.

– Arianna Huffington

So, now that I have my wired headphones working, I’ll be able to go through the book again and that will be nice.

I still don’t know how much of myself I should be, which is something I reflect on Tuesdays. All day I want to say “Can I trouble you for a glass of shut the fu*k up?” to my kids and I never have. Should I? I don’t know, that would be being myself, it really would.

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Happy Socially Appropriate Drug Filled Morning to You Reader! โ˜•

Hope to “see you” next week, I review week 1 (when I was semi hopeless and overwhelmed) and week 2 (where I felt horrible) and I was surprised that I’ve solved most of the problems I had those weeks, but remain unsatisfied (damn you hedonistic adaptation!). Anyways stay alive! ๐Ÿฆˆ

๐Ÿ’ Mindfulness Monday III ๐Ÿ“ƒ

ONE DANGERS OF BEING MINDFUL YOU FIND UNPLEASANT THINGS

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Sorting Papers

But, life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all (Helen Keller) right?

I started today going to go through our papers, then I wondered if I should put my husband’s papers in a separate folder or together with mine (as they are), then I wondered if I should put myself with my husband or separate in life?

I’ve heard of someone else who was doing a KonMari clean up and discarded their spouse because they didn’t spark joy. It think I was a bit afraid it might happen to me as a minimalist, having less and less makes me so aware of what I do and don’t enjoy having.

Awhile ago I probably realized my husband was hurting me with criticism more than he uplifts or supports me, but I wanted very much to ignore that, not ask a question leading to an answer I didn’t want to discover. I tried to put it off, saying the stress from the pandemic is causing him to be a jerk, but eventually I remembered we all have a choice on how to react, and when he blamed my daughter for him hurting her face because she wouldn’t be quiet, I just couldn’t ignore that I hate living with him at times. Not because he lost his temper, not because he hurt her a bit, but because he couldn’t take responsibility for his actions. Because he at 40 blamed the 4 year old, rather than just say “I shouldn’t have done that, I was frustrated, sorry.” I think I can live with the anger and roughness, but I can’t live with the failure to take responsibility for the rest of my life. It’s going to go, or I’m going to go.

Looking at the stoic quote for this week I tried to turn it to my current problems (which is what I do with all the stoic quotes):

โ€œHow do you defeat terrorism? Donโ€™t be terrorized.โ€

– Salmal Rushdie

This is a hard quote to live by, I’ve done it in some interesting circumstances (when my son who couldn’t swim dove into the water – I was dead calm) (when attacked by knife point – I calmly took the knife and turned it on the attacker who ran away), but I’ve also failed at it much more than some of the other quotes.

I think it deals with boundaries and with assertiveness.

First is thinking it through intellectualizing, without people being scared a bombing is “a bombing” rather than a terrorist act. If you get shot with a bullet you are shot and suffer that, but if you designate it as terror than it may cause debilitating or troublesome mental anxiety above what the pain needs to cause.

What it comes down to is a look at fear itself.

“Nothing to fear but Fear Itself.”

– FDR

It sounds very impressive, taken from a real, not a fake, desire to fix the country when it was in actually shambles.

This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itselfโ€”nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

– President FDRs Inaugural Speech 1932

But I don’t know if that’s at all ethical to fear nothing other than fear… FDR was often cheating on his wife, he was a mixed up person to me, not only full of contradictions of his time period like Theodore Roosevelt (a war monger and a shade or two racist) but he also could care less about hurting his wife and probably for being their for his children…

Perhaps we should have more to fear than fear, perhaps failure to do the right thing or to act in a frightening situation should also be on the radar?

Since being in a the divorce mediator’s office years ago then deciding to forgo a divorce at least until my daughter is older, my marriage hasn’t improved much. It also hasn’t gotten worse, it’s always right on the fence between we should stay together or we should plan divorce for either now or when the kids are bigger.

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Should I Keep My Marriage or Let it Go? It Seldom Sparks Joy, But I’m Still Using It…

Perhaps I can let go of being afraid of divorce.

I still plan to attempt to stay together while the kids are young, maybe for a long time, but maybe since my husband doesn’t want to seek counseling or make an effort, I think I can just stop being afraid of the possibility we will get divorced someday and recognize that it’s a real possibility rather than a vague threat (40-50%).

I don’t prefer divorce, but it’s becoming hard to ignore that it may be a better life someday. I know financially it will be hard, I haven’t kept separate savings and still have a student loan, but sometimes being in a non-toxic situation is worth every ounce of financial hardship.

I won’t seek divorce, but I will think of ways to stop being terrorized by the idea of it, I’ll make a special bucket list of things I would like to do that I could do.

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It Wouldn’t Be Easy, But No One Would Stop Me from Trying to Do The Things I’ve Always Wanted to Do.

Divorce Bucket List:

1. Stay in Treehouse point outside of Seattle to Write Some Poetry
2. Take Photos
3. Perhaps Get a Nice Cell Phone for its Camera
4. Go to the Beach too Much
5. Walk on the Beach Looking for Seashells
6. Eat a lot more Waffles – Perhaps a Waffle at Each Meal
7. Eat $5 Pineapple Pies Sometimes for Lunch Like I Used to Do
8. Go on Picnics
9. Go on Walks in the Rain
10. Binge Watch a Show While Eating Chocolate
11. Eat the Whole Ice Cream With No One Complaining
12. Not Have to Store Words for Someone Who Want to Forget and Ask
13. Not Have to Map Someone While They Are Driving
14. Not Hear Someone Else’s Alarm Clock
15. Not Do Someone Else’s Laundry and Have Them Still Complain
16. Not Have to Hear His Complaints Ever Again
17. Earn What I Make But Be Able to Buy What I Want Without Asking
18. Not Care If My Skin Isn’t Aging As Well As My Husband’s
19. Not Care What My Husband Thinks About Politics
20. Not Hear News in the Background
21. Not Be Warned Not to Disturb His Phone from Charging
22. Not Hear Unattractive Ladies Badmouthed as We are Driving
23. Not Hear Fallacies and Excuses for Re-activeness and Temper
24. Have Way Less Yearly Family Events
25. Take a Snow Trip to Austria to Rent a Snowboard
26. Try to Volunteer in Africa or Brazil to Dig Wells or Equivalent
27. Have and Stick to a Budget
28. Visit My Friends Out of State Whenever I Can If I Want To
29. Stargaze Without Notifying Anyone I Will Be Out
30. Take Astronomy
31. Binge Shop a Used Book Store
32. Find a Job at a Cafe or Library
33. Learn to Cook Cuban Food
34. If the Kids Are Old Enough Get Another Motorcycle
35. Paint
36. See the Northern Lights and If Possible an Ice Festival
37. Perhaps Attempt a Mountain Climb
38. Maybe Visit the South-pole
39. Backpack the Sierra Nevada for an Entire Season
40. Take up Cowboy Trick Shooting

That really takes the edge off the terror of knowing divorce may happen to me.

My husband left to go running as I was writing this, he asked me what I was up to and I told him, I somehow doubt that he cares. Maybe we would both be happier apart, but we were both afraid of the idea of divorce?

Our kids are 1 and 4, I think we both feel trapped by the way the kids need us, it’s so much easier to raise them from the same household, no commute time, only one rent to pay, we both care for them so much, for their well being, for them being able to see us both on a daily basis.

That love for them is a bit of a prison for us, it makes us feel like we have to stay together, when we have both wanted to leave for sometime.

Yesterday my husband said that he very often wants me to leave and very often wants me to stay, it’s not a great way to live, but I am also that way. I get really tired of being criticized in my own home, not that I can’t forgive at all, not that I don’t understand no one is perfect, but I get really tired of trying something new and having him rain on my parade seemingly every time.

Today I told my little girl I won’t leave while she is little, but maybe in about 9 years when she is bigger. I was surprised she said “I don’t want you to leave when I’m bigger, I want you to leave when I’m little, because daddy is so mean to me when he is angry.”

That kind of threw me for a loop…

I feel better not being mentally tied to my marriage anymore, I won’t disrespect it while it’s ongoing, but I no longer feel the need to try to save it if my husband won’t meet me half way, I no longer feel I’ll be ashamed if it ends, I no longer worry about living a life without him if it comes to that.

I still prefer to wait until my son is older, so he can know his father.

And I’ll still stay if I’m happy and he’s happy in 9 years, but if we still aren’t, I no longer feel that “I have to stay”.

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I’ve Got a Plan and a Date, but No Certainty of the Roads Life Will Present Me.

I have a date now for when I would like to leave if we are still unhappy, October 26th 2030. It’s a long way off, but that will let my son enjoy his dad being close, I can start saving up, maybe get a part time job in the next two years if things are still heading this way.

I find it surprising that even though there is a 50% risk of divorce happening I was too afraid of it to make a plan in case it happens.

We make emergency plans for large Earthquakes, we fear drowning, we have insurance for car accidents, but most of us have no divorce plan or divorce insurance. How illogical we human are…

Already talked about it with my husband, who told me not to let the door hit me on the way out yesterday after I asked him not to be rough with our daughter when he was angry… I don’t know if we will or will not resolve what was once a happy relationship, but I no longer care (in a good way)!

If it works it works, if it doesn’t life will go on with me and I’ll be able to move back to the forest I miss so much (maybe outside Seattle, maybe Oregon). I’m now looking forward to life with or without my husband, it feels really good.

I know it will be hard if I get divorced from my husband someday, but unfortunately I know it will also be hard if we stay married.

I’m just at peace with an unknown future right now in a way I haven’t been since 2011. It’s a good feeling, being open the future and it’s nice that I’ve already had the conversation casually with my husband, not that he’s somehow lacking, but that if we aren’t both happy when the kids are mostly grown in 2030, I’ll be pressuring my life elsewhere, which means reassessing my finances in about 2 years so I’ll be able to save up a bit of moving funds.

I plan to move to Seattle and hopefully with roommates so I can travel to Hawaii part of the year without leaving the property vacant. Maybe I can rent to students near a college? I’m so excited for that future if it does happen, but not opposed to staying as a traditional family unit if my husband tones down the verbal abuse to a simmer and meets me half way by then. Like I told my husband on his way to work, I’m good either way.

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Fear can be good, but it can also be a prison.

NEW SYSTEM

I have a folder for the kids, for me, three for my husband (certificates in one, taxes and receipts in another an essay from college in the last). I separated our paperwork today, so if we ever do split, that’s one less thing in a stressful time, and if we don’t it’s not really a problem having different folders.

Papers I let go off:

  1. Interim driver license (real one arrived).
  2. Appointment card for last spring.
  3. Test screening denial form my copy.
  4. Vehicle/vessel transfer from two years ago 8-31-2018 haven’t had or needed a car since then.
  5. Old trial daily schedule now typed.
  6. Martial Arts role from class that covid ended.
  7. Tea Party notes. (Almost Kept Them)
  8. A page of notes from a dream.
  9. School Flyer (Because I Copied Relevant Information)
  10. 1 Page Game Notes

Kept: Certificates (birth, educational, marriage), kids ultrasounds and footprints, drawing of lock tess monster with monkey on head, kids birthday cards (for them), school flyers with our kids pictures (for them), son’s first drawing, hand prints from kids.

Usually I just shoot for discarding 5 things, but now with two kids, it feels like I have to get to 10 to make the same difference doing 5 used to make.

Showed this video to my daughter.

My son put all my papers on the floor so I just kept going through them, my daughter did so good letting go of count 1-20 workbook she didn’t need and multiple workbooks for letter writing she no longer needs. I did keep her old sketchbook, but let go of a ton of notebooks. Having too many means we don’t even use any.

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Thought I had almost no paper clutter, but filled up a target bag with it. Very little left this time, like 20 pages.

What I have left are some writing ideas, for either school, personal writing or mementos.

The first step in the Kon Mari process is imagining an ideal life, then examining ๐Ÿ‘’ clothes, ๐Ÿ“š books, ๐Ÿ“ƒ papers, ๐Ÿ”ช everything else and ๐Ÿ’Ž mementos. It’s an interesting process, I’ve done it a few times an it’s always surprising how much I have that I’m unaware I have and how much lighter I feel when the clutter leaves my life. ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ

๐ŸŒ  SEE THE GOOD SUNDAY โ›ฑ๏ธ II

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Swimming almost everyday… because of the kids.

Enter the dog days of late summer, yellow summer. I’m still practicing focusing on what was good enough rather than what was left undone.

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The reason this is the best year of my life, I’ve spent it with my son.

WHAT’S GOOD WITH THE FAMILY

Time Outs Helping.

Finding a way to live with the three of us together at home.

The kids bonding with their dad more, dad stepping up.

all the best
Kind of have to organize finally, ran out of excuses.

WHAT’S GOOD WITH ME

Enjoying Writing

Enjoying Harvest Moon with My Daughter

Enjoying Writers Meeting (Via Google Meet)

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Well, stay-cation actually…

COOL THINGS THAT ARE OPEN NEAR ME

Baby Beach

Cancun Juice (Tacos)

CVS (School Candy)

SOMETHING SUBTLY WRONG WITH MY LIFE

I’ve achieved many of my goals this week and this year, notably my resolution to stop yelling at my kids. But to be honest I find lack of satisfaction, is that hedonistic adaptation? Or lack of purpose? Or lack of direction? Or just normal?

I was grateful during the week with the small points of triumph, progress and improvement, but today, it’s as if they are stale… I feel like I want “more” but I can’t say more of what… perhaps I’m drifting from my values?

I used to advocate this strategy:

๐Ÿ’ก 1. THINK What good can I do?
๐Ÿ“˜ 2. DREAM How to live my values?
๐Ÿ› ๏ธ 3. PLAN What can I get done?
๐ŸŽ‰ 4. DO Celebrate where I am.
๐Ÿข 5. LEARN Something from today.
๐Ÿ˜ 6. NOTICE What to change?

๐Ÿ’ก 1. THINK What good can I do? Be open to find what’s missing in my life, despite having so much, doing so much, something feels so off kilter.
๐Ÿ“˜ 2. DREAM How to live my values? I want to build more teamwork in our family. I guess I felt like giving up on that today, because it was so stressful.
๐Ÿ› ๏ธ 3. PLAN What can I get done? I’m going to finish the Nanny 911 book, but I also need my husband to catch up, we do so many different things, but this needs to have solidarity.
๐ŸŽ‰ 4. DO Celebrate where I am. I worked really hard about switching our discipline which wasn’t working, it’s largely worked, I’ve done something very hard and it’s been great for getting back to learning together and enjoying the weekdays.
๐Ÿข 5. LEARN Something from today. Tonight we watched two Nanny 911 episodes and I noticed that my husband is very negative about the moms, it’s interesting how hostile he is (he wanted to punch one, called her annoying, when she hadn’t done anything particularly annoying). I’ve felt a weird hostility since we had children as if my husband loves me as a person, yet also hates me as a mom. Seeing how he is somewhat borderline misogynistic made me feel like maybe we have made a lot of progress compared to how things could have been. I don’t know why there is so much resistance to believing things could get better, but there seems to be a ton of baggage from his parents that he is bringing into our family and as much as I don’t want to pry, it’s not going to stay with my kids.
๐Ÿ˜ 6. NOTICE What to change? We still need to become a team, he needs to understand that even if his mom or step dad was abusive, it’s not going to be an option for our family, we don’t deserve and won’t take a repeat of his childhood, what exactly that means I don’t yet know.

When I started the Nanny 911 shift in our family I knew it would be hard to get support or appreciation from my husband, I did it without that, the kids came on board, I came on board, we are all happier, yet I’m still getting attacked and undermined and a general lack of solidarity and teamwork. My husband watched Youtube with the volume on while my daughter was giving a presentation at our family meeting today, to me that’s disgusting, and disrespectful. It’s been such a struggle getting my unruly daughter to work as a team with me, now I’m finding the larger challenge is still ahead.

It’s weird because it sometimes feels like we have so much mutual respect then all of a sudden a nasty comment or blatant violation of a family rule or boundary. I’m trying to be patient and understanding, but on the other hand I don’t believe in a 1 year old or a 4 year old being mistreated by a 40 year old who doesn’t want to grow up…

I’ve heard a lot of people either break up their marriage and go on well, or start with a good marriage and go on well, but I haven’t seen so many from a half way place like ours.

Is my marriage half shitty or half functional? Depends a lot on if your an optimist or a pessimist… I am an optimist.

I’m going to push forward no matter what, as I went through the Nanny 911 book and process it showed me how I wasn’t owning the responsibility of being an adult before, because it’s nicer and easier to be a child. For my husband to loose that facade of being entitled to being taken care of at the detriment of the kids is going to be harder than it was for me since his mother has always babied him. I grew up from a teen to an adult, he has to go from a big baby to a man, that’s going to be painful… I was so juvenile in my expectations if I was honest with myself, which I was, that I can’t blame my husband, even though it’s been really difficult parenting with him and really unpleasant quarantining with him, I think he brings his skills to the table and it’s not his fault they suck, just the as is situation.

When we had our first daughter we both sucked at parenting, I’m finally getting better, but that means changing everything important and even though it’s gotten wonderful results this resistance is extremely challenging for me.

Anyways when your going through hell, just keep going right? Teamwork or death (jokingly).

Why are problems a good thing? Because they are all opportunities to flip like Tyrannosauruses flip Ankylosaurus to eat their soft underbelly… the other sides of problems hold solutions, growth, a better life…

Going to try anyways. Always going to try.

๐Ÿ‘ผ๐Ÿป So Here is My Life Saturday ๐Ÿ’€

I’ve never seen the real “So Here Is Your Life,” but I have seen Sesame Street’s “So Here is Your Life (loaf of bread episode),” as a child it introduced me to the idea that lives were finite and multipotent.

I just chatted with a buddy from school, via Linked In (because I’m fun like that) and he had gotten divorced, remarried, moved across the country, got his dream job, and about to move again and hopefully start a family… it felt like we just had breakfast together in our school club.

It was 2012, so I guess 8 years had passed, it feels like 6 months to me…

In that time I also got moved, got a new job (hospice), got married, got a second job at the mall, quit my second job since I was too morning sick, had my daughter, worked with my daughter, quit my first job, moved to Hawaii, moved back to California, had my son, moved back to Hawaii, started writing in this blog more often, moved back to California, the coronovirus came, I lost the marital art’s class I taught on Sundays, I now attend a writers meet up on Saturday at noon, I got interested in fun-raising.

I’m 35 years old still, later this year I’ll be 36! Woo! I’ll be so cool then right?

Anyways, I’ve been trying to meditate on a stoic quote of the week each week this year, I got a little off track, but I think Saturday maybe a good day to keep track of it.

Last Sunday the week rolled over to week 31, and the quote for me changed to:

โ€œRegard [a friend] as loyal, and you will make him loyal.โ€

– Seneca

I disagree with this one, Cesar got stabbed multiple times by people he treated and regarded as loyal, and unfortunately myself as well, and I’m guessing you too reader?

So I’m going to replace that quote on the list I didn’t make, but have followed for years with my favorite one:

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

– Marcus Aurelius (I can’t find it directly, but translations vary so much)

Meditations is Marcus Aurelius’ (one emperor of Rome 161) journal to himself about how to live a good life. It’s the second journal I’ve ever read (Ann Frank being the first). People’s journals to themselves really strike me in profoundly a different way then books where people intend to sway others. This is a public blog, but I find myself talking to myself in it, we are all different, but maybe the core of humanity is similar enough that was truly matters to me, my struggles and solutions, may help others in some way? Maybe just to inspire others they can be the master of their souls? For all my failing and imperfections, I am the master of my own soul, I own myself with my errors and triumphs and you can as well. Everything can hinder you, but nothing can stop you in the long game.

Marcus Aurelius’ book is very old so you can get it for free. Meditations, my gift to you!

Book 2: When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The
people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful,
arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this
because they canโ€™t tell good from evil. But I have seen the
beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized
that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my ownโ€”not of
the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a
share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one
can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my
relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like
feet, hands, and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and
lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at
someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.

– Marcus Aurelius

I can’t find my favorite quote in Meditations, so I’m not sure if it was attributed or not, thought the sentiment matches Marcus pretty well.

Book 5: In he morning when thou risest unwillingly, let this thought be present- I am rising to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world? Or have I been made for this, to lie in the bed-clothes and keep myself warm?- But this is more pleasant.- Dost thou exist then to take thy pleasure, and not at all for action or exertion? Dost thou not see the little plants, the little birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees working together to put in order their several parts of the universe? And art thou unwilling to do the work of a human being

– Marcus Aurelius (George Long Translation)
literally dying

MEMENTO MORI

“Memento mori” remember you must die (an artistic or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death) it can be popular with Christians also, but it’s the calling card of the modern stoics (including myself).

Making peace with death became easier because I knew some cultures that were already at peace with it, certain native american tribes are calm about death, traditional Mexican culture was quite at peace about it, Chinese Buddhist culture was mixed about it, rather than totally in fear as most Americans seem to be… but for me it started with Sesame Street and also Tuck Everlasting (a fictional book about how potentially annoying it would be to live forever as others died around you).

So thought I wanted to replace stoic quote 31 with my favorite one, but since I can’t find it directly I’ll keep Helen Keller’s:

“True friends never apart maybe in distance, but never in heart.”

– Helen Keller

I think Helen Keller was quite stoic, but I’ll examine it further next year week 31 and move on for today because I want to exercise before the writers meet up at noon.

Thank you reader for joining me on this winding and twisted journey of life.

Many thanks
Looking for the rational behind carrying friends in your heart as a stoic? Albert Espinosa covers it better than I ever could in “The Yellow World” a very creative book about his time with cancer and the loss of his leg and adjustment to living in a new way. Where my yellows at? ๐Ÿ’›

๐ŸŽจ Fun Feelings Friday ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ

The History of Me and Feelings:

I had a particularly rough upbringing, when I saw a psychologist as an adult (looking for anger management) she noticed my mind was very similar to people with PTSD (she was a specialist in that). She told me anger wasn’t necessarily a problem to get rid of, it was like a wave that hits a high point then recedes as long as you acknowledge the message behind it. I believed her, but it was also a crazy thought because I had lived in fear of anger for all my life to think of it as a tool good for some situations and not others, a healthy feature of myself as a human, was quite a new idea, though it seemed true.

My mother was severely bipolar among other things, she with no outward trigger went into a rage and punched my face or choked me or threw me into a wall starting when I was five years old. For me anger was extremely dangerous, I wasn’t anywhere near with being comfortable accepting anger in myself after having it be such a horrible experience in my life with her. It was particularly horrible, because it wasn’t when I broke a rule, it wasn’t at night, it was completely unpredictable, so I was never safe emotionally. I didn’t have an interlude of peace until I no longer lived with my mother, and though homeless at 14, it was the deepest and most wonderful peace to be in less danger and be able to start acting like the master of my own destiny I always tried and failed to be when I lived with my mother.

It’s not that I’m ungrateful towards her, I am grateful for many little things, but not to the point I would allow her abusive presence back into my life. I’m not happy that is the way it is, but I’m at peace. I’m not a person with the skills that it would take to help her, I had wanted to constantly in the past and it drained me of being able to meet my goals or care for my health. In a way I don’t think she, as self centered as she is, would want me to want her in her life if she had the awareness of how much less healthy my life with her is than my life without her.

Anyways, it was so painful to feel, not feeling felt better and I made a habit of it. But that is like living half a life. So sometime in college, I decided to do self-work because I found I couldn’t “be there” for others that I loved. I had never “been there” for myself, so I didn’t know how for myself or others. I always “walked it off,” “made the best of it,” which I still think is great for some situations (the ones you can’t change), yet it’s disastrous for other situations I started running into and I really wanted to be a carpenter with more than one tool in my toolbox. Essentially I wanted to learn how to be nice, mindsight to notice how others were and skills to support them through it. I didn’t even have words for the skills I was seeking, mindfulness, mindsight, validation, acceptance, presence, empathy, compassion, coregulation…

Before changing anything, first it’s hard to even “see” what’s going on, so used to turning a blind eye to better ignore my feelings, it was hard to know how I or anyone felt unless they said so directly.

If you’ve ever been fishing you learn to see fish in the water, it’s almost like you can’t not see them… but for non-fishers they struggle to see them even if someone points at them. One trick is polarized glasses, that helps a lot to see fish. I was not opposed to finding tricks to get better at seeing feelings, but many of the tricks proved to be non-functional (like micro-expressions).

I just wanted to start by saying I was the worst with feelings, I was as crabby as any crabby person, but when I sought change it was possible, and my “trick” was using my “left” and “right” brain together. The right brain likes pictures, so simply organizing my feelings with bitmoji pictures allowed me to recruit that previously latent (somewhat cripple) part of my brain and like a bird flying with two wings, it worked remarkably better.

Bitmoji is a free app that has a ton of different cartoons of the avatar you make, but it’s also organized by feelings, a happy feeling, down feeling (angry and sad are mixed up), a friendly feeling, a loving feeling, and a meh feeling.

I take a very quick daily note of how I feel using bitmoji and sometimes make a calendar of the whole month strung together. I did it as an Emotional Diversity Project to see how I feel many different ways rather than always bad or tired or sick. Sometimes I may be tired or sick or frustrated and it feels like it will last forever, but seeing the monthly calendar was “evidence” that it wouldn’t. Which I needed. Over time my mindsight skills got better and better, it still takes a bit of searching to know how I feel though, which I’m guessing other people are able to be connected with in the moment. But it’s 100s of times better than before… so yesterday I hit a Eureka moment and got a gestalt picture of all my emotions somewhat as a whole and moved them onto 7 different sliding scales of well being. Below is just one of the 7 in no particular order:

This article was written this morning before the preface:

Exploring My Spectrum of Encouragement and Discouragement

Discouraging/Encouraging

Part of becoming older mature is parsing the difference between more and more subtle emotions.

I got married at the age of 30, but I realize now at 35 I was quite immature at that time. I didn’t understand the difference between a lack of boundaries and love, nor the difference between aggressiveness and assertiveness.

I had my daughter’s pregnancy immediately after getting married and I think that was the real growing up catalyst in my life. I think I could have gone on forever confused, entitled and self absorbed if I hadn’t have had children.

I don’t think my children “made me a better person” but they made me more aware of who I am and that allowed me to be a “different person”.

One thing I’ve noticed is it’s not possible to have more to give than what I have, that’s true financially, but also physically, emotionally and even mentally.

Rather than beating up myself for not being sweet after getting slapped in the face by my kids or having to clean up a pee accident or whatever it is, I now recognize that I have a certain amount of “sweetness” to give on a given day and it’s limited, so rather than want more than I have or hate myself, I’m trying to be smarter about how I use it.

One thing I’ve noticed is the tendency to associate with a temporary feeling holds me back from more easily shifting my frame of mind. If I think of myself as bitch rather than a person in a bitchy mood than I can be kinder to myself. In the first case, I would ruminate about why I’m that way, feel bad for my children and husband, but not do much to change it, I would remain a victim of my own mental prison. In the latter case, I’m not disputing that I get bitchy, I told my 4-year-old “stop fu*king lagging” the other day at breakfast… that’s not very nice. It’s not how I prefer to be remembered or the communication example I want to set. But rather than think I’m a horrible person and stay stuck there if I think “wow, I’m having a cranky morning,” I can examine myself for wounds and tend them, maybe a coffee could help save my day because I haven’t slept well in 2 years… or maybe I’m starving and need a snack to even attempt to be civil.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is drawing-9.png
I’m all of these things, I’ve noticed many of us are.

Rather than expect myself to be always validating my kids and husband, though I would like to at times, I’m facing the reality that as a human I’m going to run this entire continuum and receive this entire continuum from my loved ones as well.

Once my husband told me, “not everyday has to be perfect.”

I had never considered that before.

Because I know we are all dying I try really hard to make each day count, be grateful for it, squeeze the sunlight out of each dawn, but each day will be full of imperfection, human life is a quilt basted upon a background of imperfection, to ignore making peace with that is, in my opinion a mistake.

It doesn’t mean you can’t try for perfection or shoot for excellence, but it does mean don’t kill yourself why it isn’t perfect because that is how life is meant to be, or at least how it is over a long term period.

I remember being raised in a family with open hostility or stone walling: Remember kid’s “children are seen and not heard,” “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” “betterย to remain silent and be thought aย fool thanย to speak and to remove all doubt” (-Abraham Lincoln)?

I saw movies or TV shows with encouraging parents and assumed it was fake like special effects in Star Wars (gun shots don’t make sound in space because there is no air for sound to travel – so no pew pew pew sounds).

But then in my mid-20s I dated a guy with an encouraging family and I was like:

Bitmoji Image
Clientmoji

It didn’t work out between “that gentleman” and myself (that’s an understatement) yet I never forgot his mom, who was lovely, and the way when each family member got home everyone was happy to see them and encouraging to one another. It felt so warm.

My house felt more like a warehouse. There was no hello, not even a head swivel sometimes, people knew you came home, they just didn’t have a habit of giving a head swivel because essentially they were too depressed to care. I have a small family, one sister, one dad, and I, three people. 2/3 have depression and anxiety… so there best was nothing more than getting out of bed from work or school and occasionally eating or showering. I tried a lot for many years, but eventually, you get tired of being rejected over and over and over and over, so we all essentially lived separate lives that happened to occur at the same address.

I also remember a scene from one of the Wyatt Earp movies where one jailed man trusts his significant other to bail them out of jail using his money, and the other one is surprised the first one trusts a women with all his money, the first said something like “if you can’t trust someone that close to you, you don’t have anything at all.”

I keep the two guiding stars of trust and warmth as lights to guide me towards the family life I want to help build. But the more I accept our imperfection, the faster I recover from slights and insults both those directed at me and from me. Because we are all short tempered in my family. Some more and some less, but we are all on that side of the divide, so the more we expect something rude will be directed to us or we will lapse and say something we regret, it puts us in a better frame of mind to repair the relationship with some conflict resolution, set boundaries if needed and recover emotionally if needed.

Words can hurt, sometimes they don’t matter, like a stream of bullets, some don’t hit home, but most often the worst wounds are friendly fire from our own loved ones.

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Where are you in this moment?

I’ve read a lot of books that helped me transition from level 0 and level 1 to level 3 and level 4. I still fail to reach level 5 as much as I would like to… but it’s a lot of progress from my family being at level 1 for hundreds of years, sinking into level 0 when my parents divorced and making it to a solid level 2 as a whole now. Yes, we lapse, but I can feel the overall watermark has shifted. If your life still has tides of good and bad, it doesn’t mean you are a failure, it means you are a normal human being.

Bitmoji Image
There’s a book for that!

To Learn Open Hostility: (Didn’t need any books for that, it’s a family business.)

To Learn Stone Walling: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k, Never Split the Difference, You do You, Never Get Angry Again, The Obstacle is the Way, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.

To Learn Encouragement: Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better and Loving More, How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Four Tendencies, T is for Transformation, Boundaries with Kids, The Power of Habit.

To Learn Appreciation: The Pain of Challenges, The Confidence Gap, The Yellow World, Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.

To Learn Acknowledgement: Live Love Now, Permission to Feel.

I can’t tell you about learning validation, I haven’t been able to get there consistently, but I’ve very sure that these roads are open to everyone. Just because you were grumpy in the past, it isn’t you, you can be any of these that you want to, it may be the most difficult way to change for the better.

For me it was easier loosing weight, easier learning martial arts, easier to do everything else in life, than it is simply to stop being a jerk to the people I love… but I think it may be the most important thing we do as humans for ourselves, for the people we love.

Side note, I think this is why articles have so few likes, in my experience I like many that I don’t click like on (which I think is fine) because I think to like something is (level 3) appreciation, but (level 4) to click like is active acknowledgement (level 4) which some people never get to, while those of us who are often there are not always there.

The button says like, but to me, I feel like people click it when the material was especially helpful, funny, or inspiring vs when I actually liked an article I don’t always click that I did. Like doesn’t mean like for me, and I’m guessing it doesn’t for many people as well.

But it’s a good small exercise in authenticity, to like what we like and define what that means for us as individuals, it’s also interesting to wonder what it is about us that we like so much more than we acknowledge we like, more importantly with our loved ones, and less importantly (but more visibly) with articles or mod downloads.

If you use something it doesn’t mean you like it, but then why are you using it? Why not find the right thing? If you read something, you don’t have to like it, but they why not find another use of your time, why just be on the internet to be on the internet?

Any thoughts of where your family lies on this scale and where you would want it too? Or your workplace? Or your normal state of mind?

๐ŸŒง๏ธโ˜‚๏ธโ›ฑ๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐ŸŒž

๐Ÿฆ– Tech Talk Thursday ๐Ÿ’ป II

hey how you been
I sometimes wonder if my friends still care about me.

Waiting isn’t fatal, but it is a disappearing skill set…

Sometimes I feel bad because I see my friends on Facebook and know they didn’t get back to me yet…

Because it makes me wonder if we are still friends.

But today I got a message from my friend, it wasn’t the first time they got to Facebook that they responded, but when the response came it was beautiful and meaningful, just like the handwritten letter I have from them, just like I want to believe our in person friendship was as well.

petting mr. unicorn
“True friends are never apart, maybe in distance, but never in heart.” – Helen Keller

Things for me to remember, just because they are on Facebook, doesn’t mean they are on Facebook, sometimes the system says they are because there is an extra window left open, sometimes they are on Facebook, but they are at work (saving lives – my friends work in the medical field) or having a fight with their significant other (probably, I’m imagining that).

Also I’m the guiltiest of not responding, I only check Facebook every few months, once a very good friend had disclosed they are having their first child and I didn’t respond for months since I wasn’t even on there, since I don’t find I can motivate myself to be that social. So I don’t know why as the one who looses phones, doesn’t respond to texts while struggling with my kids and goes on Facebook only every season I take it personally when people don’t get back to me.

It’s kind of hard because the social dictates didn’t exist when I was growing up, the technology didn’t exist… so we all do our best to live by the “normal standard” but we all want different things.

One thing I think we all want is not to have to respond in our hectic life ASAP, not to have one more thing to rush about.

Yet ironically, I think we all want to know if our friendships are real or imagined, if connection exists or is fantasy?

My own sister didn’t get back to me for years at a time when she was in college, she wasn’t mad at me, just busy with her life.

So why not trust my friends that they are really my friends, that they don’t hate me, that I’m not the worst person to talk to… instead of worrying if I’m being a fool to think I have friends.

Why not look at the evidence.

I have three male and two female good friends, all but one are parents or expectant parents, so it’s super easy to imagine all of them being too busy.

I washed my phone on accident, lost my number, lost many of my friend’s numbers again and again, but we always reconnected. I shouldn’t over look that. If any of them wanted to be rid of me, they could have ghosted me. The fact that they reply when they choose should let me stop wondering if they care.

They may be busy, but they do care or they wouldn’t ever get back to me, and the one who was the least responsive was me.

The one friend who doesn’t have kids was dealing with the loss of her mother, who we both loved, and getting engaged and married during the time we were out of touch.

Sometimes when your low, you don’t want to complain and you just don’t have anything else to say…

Sometimes when you are busy you can’t spare the mental energy to think of the right reply even if you have hours of time and a phone or computer.

Sometimes it’s not easy to say the right thing, sometimes you have no comment about the last thing that was said, it’s so much more often an innocent silence than a malicious one or a huge betrayal (I think).

Perhaps we just aren’t comfortable with silence?

My most religousy belief as an agnostic is that God (if there is one) gives you your friends. I got most of my friends when I was neither a good friend nor a particularly nice person. I’ve noticed mean and nice people both have friends, some people with no friends are quite interesting and nice and some people with the most friends are horrible behind closed doors… so that there is no rhyme or reason I’ve found to how people make friends at all.

I’m agnostic, but I have an atheist, christian, Buddhist, Daoist friends. I think if I lived near Catholics, polytheists or Islamic people I would have those friends too, but I just don’t run into them in my area much, in college I did and we were friends. My friends run the entire political spectrum with absolutely no repeats, I’m the dead center as an independent, we all know each other’s views and as individual have no problem tolerating each other and being civil, so it’s interesting that the nation doesn’t do so on a larger scale. I value my friends so very much, but find it impossible to know how we matched up, it wasn’t by similar gender, similar personality, similar back ground, similar religion, nor similar interests, nor similar politics.

What it was I can’t define, but I’m grateful to have friends.

Tech Use 2: I Use Technology to Keep Track of My Real Friends

I use Instagram for one friend who like to post there (a runner).

I use Facebook for three friends who are already there (I took forever to finally start using Facebook).

I use email for family since I hate phones.

I use Google Meeting for my writers meet up post covid.

I break down and use text messages for my last friend who as far as I know doesn’t use other means of communication.

I have Word Press and Coach.Me for meeting new people and sharing ideas.

I really wish everyone was on the same system, but since we aren’t it’s more important for me to chase those I care about than to have things be simple.

I have the most trouble with Facebook, it’s so cluttered to my mind, I just go in, direct message my friends and that’s it. It’s weird to me that I like publicly posting on Coach.Me or on WordPress or even Instagram (owned by Facebook) but I’ve never been so into Facebook. It’s hard to even check in every months or every few months, but since I have 60% of my friends in one place I do.

Only on Facebook do I face the issue of needing to make peace with seeing my friend there, but not yet ready to reply to me… I read a very in depth answer that helped me deal with it better ever before:

I have experienced an unnumbered of circumstance in life pertaining to communication: whether it’s a friend, relatives, colleagues or an impromptu conversation with a stranger, the vast knowledge of conversing develops and empowers me to transcend into a proficient communicator. As of present, there’s something I would like to share and I believe that the information imparted to you would be as of great assistance in becoming a better communicator!

1: Chat whenever it’s Necessary.
– First thing first, do not commence a conversation arbitrarily (As in being random without a specific narration) as the convo may end excessively quick since you failed to captivate (Capture) the person’s utmost attention. Having said that, the only thing you should do at this point in time would be to only converse when you had a specific narration in mind (It could be a discussion, a request, and etcetera). Nonetheless, the best way to start a casual conversation would be a greeting. A greeting allows you to form a startling yet warm relationship with the person as he/she knows that you’re deeply concerned with what they’re up to in life.

Therefore, after a series of greeting, you may then proceed forward to your very own theme gradually. In the event that the discussion is getting extremely awkward (Cumbersome), do not end it aggressively instead what you could do in this circumstance would be to fare a healthy Good-Bye and that it’s extremely pleasant in the recent catch-up. “Let’s have a fun and meaningful conversation again sometime or sooner rather than later, love you xoxo”.

2: Your friends are busy.
– On an eventful occasion, we’ve to be considerate as everyone’s else is living a life full of chores and activities. Nevertheless, it’s a consensus that your friends may possibly have had a huge amount of tasks/stuff to deal with in life. Be that as it may, it’s common for them to be not ready to answer your chat, and yet do allow some time for them to get back to you soon. Talk again after a day or two if you’re really interested in the conversation. If it’s a notice or a short note, leave it as intended and go on with your day without caring too much whether the message is seen or delivered. However, if it isnโ€™t, prompt an apology for disturbing your friends and see if you could get a response from them.

3: You saw your friends actively engaging others but not YOU.
– Complementary to this, there are certain or you could say specific types of “friends/companions” that makes you feel less worthy. For some reason, I’m here to assure you that there’s no point stressing at this issue. In the event that you saw any of your friends doing this to you, for instance, conversing with others as opposed to answering your chats, know that it’s okay for them to do so because no one has an obligation to answer you 24/7.

Subsequently, do keep yourself reminded at all times about these mini tips here: Do not be frantic, worried, or to an extent admonish your friends. Yet, do not ask them about it too. Why? It’s very likely that your friends are not keen or a big fan of the ever-lasting conversation between you both, as there might possibly be other factors prior in which it could have influenced the relationship between you and him/her.

So, what to do next? Lay low and do nothing. If it stresses you to an extent where you need to reach out to your friend for an answer (Simply knowing that the conversation isnโ€™t highly prioritized), you may proceed to delete the conversation and move forward. You don’t have to stare right at it, killing time sweating for a โ€œwell-manneredโ€ response. To elaborate further, rather than causing another adversary by putting yourself in an inconvenient situation, be still, be quiet and be confident (Firm with your decisions) with your inner self.

4: Do the SAME to THEM.
– Few are uncommon and not many are rare. I’m not reinstating the fact that you should be ignoring your friends when they ignored you initially. I’m simply asking you to respect yourself. Knowing and coming to an understanding that your friends โ€œSHOULDโ€ be treating you as a true friend and not a โ€œpuppet in needโ€. Rather than helping them whenever a request โ€œdingโ€, let them do it by themselves. For that reason, do not lay out a perfect blueprint or handing yourself out in exchange for โ€œtimely attentionโ€. Respect yourself, know who you are to him/her, know what you must do and canโ€™t do in certain situations. You’re not a PUPPET, you’re a FRIEND.

5: Seen Message/Ignored Texts.
– Prior to this, whether your message is seen or disregarded, bold yourselves and converse with them once more. Do not allow or empower your friends to slaughter you psychologically (Your confidence) as this is your life, not theirs to begin with. Many would question themselves off the chart with unrelated worries. However, I’ll like you to sit quietly and ask yourself deeply these sets of questions: (Are the messages seen/delivered worth your worries? Is the seen messages a huge/major concern? Are they โ€œpresentโ€ at times when you needed them the most? Are you behaving like a friend or selling yourself out as a puppet in exchange for attention? Who and what did you prioritize more, a message or a relationship?).

Now, after a series of light therapy. Talk to them again like there’s nothing occurred in the first place.

6: Do not make an enemy.
– Conventionally, some friends may overlook (Ignored) you for a couple of reasons. These kind of shrouded information are recognizable when someone (A mutual friend or an unknown third party) had it discussed and share it with you. IF your FRIENDS are constantly talking shit of you behind your back, and are not truthful with you at present, CUT TIES with them ASAP. Nonetheless, ensured that your pruning session goes lightly and not out of touch (Too hardcore – bringing in newsworthy rumor in a campus/office/workplace, cut them off by setting up an invisible barrier not known to this โ€œfriend of yoursโ€. How? Create a distance between you and him/her invisibly. For instance, not texting – avoiding going out with them – and the most important of it all? >>> As opposed to making them a potential threat aka a new adversary, smile, act and move ON with life as if it doesn’t occur initially.<<<

Trust me, it helps so much. Instead of making an enemy, putting in the effort to fight back, channeling dramas. It’s the best for you to ignored or cut ties with them. They are attention-seeking acquaintance, and not a friend to begin with. Real friends, talk about your problems in front of you, and not behind your back by spreading inaccurate pieces of information that could defame your reputation in the long haul. Rumors are the worst I get it, but whatโ€™s worst? Pulling yourself low to โ€œproveโ€ that they โ€œare wrongโ€ which in turn??? Validates the ??? RUMORS. So, why bother ensnaring yourself in the prison cage they created? It kills you internally and externally (Psychologically & Mentally = Taxes you Emotionally). Remember, mental above emotions at all times.

7: Improved yourselves.
– Control the โ€œCommentsโ€ you see. How? You have got a brain and when you started thinking, it leads to? Perception. When I was younger, my dad used to taught me how to โ€œdifferentiate the good versus the badโ€. So, do your own version. Donโ€™t listen to the ?? Whiners, Naysayers, and Losers as their sole existence are to ??? Bring you down.

Nonetheless, do keep in mind that genuine friends are elusive these days as genuine friends donโ€™t come around your circle too often. Knowing that โ€œItโ€™s okayโ€ having a quality circle of friends than a quantity amount of unknown anonymous who would take you for granted.

However, if you are in need of a friend to talk to, Iโ€™m here to listen (Not hear).

Good Luck and Cheers to you!

– Xavier Tan (Reply from Quora)

I post that reply, though not mine, because it was so helpful to me to curb my e-codependance a bit and I thought it might be for others too.

I did it
I Stopped Worrying About Being Forgotten By My Friends! I Trust Them to Get Back to Me in Their Time (Why is This In All Caps?)

Especially step 4, do the same to them (but not in a bad spirit) was helpful for me. After reading that reply hearing my text messages beep didn’t make me stop what I was doing with my kids, I thought “I’ll get to it, in the right time for me” and I was in peace, no longer worrying about hurting their feelings by taking however long was the right amount for me to take.

Any thoughts? Are your friends scattered around like mine? Or is everyone else in the world on Facebook? Has it been a benefit or a curse in your life having social media replace the in person hang out that we used to know?

๐Ÿ”ฎ Word of Wordcraft ๐Ÿ“œ II

Today I fail again to establish a clear writing goal, but continue to seek who I am and what my message to the world is:

Woke up before 5 AM today, full of energy. Slept on the floor a bit, moved to bed and my shoulder popped into where it should be and felt good when I woke up, part of the risk of sleeping on the floor is that I sometimes wake up with my neck sore and a headache or one shoulder all messed up, or even both shoulders… Anyways slept well, woke up well, here with my coffee at 4:59 AM.

I probably don’t need this coffee, I’m pretty energetic right now, in the dark, in the silence, with the crickets singing into the summer night. But it’s one of the very few things I like about my day.

Bitmoji Image

I just checked out what the hot dog is (on the top image), it’s just a funny hot dog, it became popular, because you can filter yourself as the hot dog and it’s just amusing. If it has any darker meanings, I’m not posting it as such, but it does refer to our modern augmented digital reality.

I just realized I’m a lifestyle blogger… I didn’t know what that was, but a year later, I wouldn’t prefer just one topic of my life and though I discus faucets of my life, I mostly discus my life (write what you know? right?), so that’s defined as a lifestyle blogger. Or maybe I don’t want to tie myself down, I’m a writer, who is enjoying lifestyle blog writing, but I feel like I could do other types of writing (especially comic writing or educational writing) and I wouldn’t stop being me… So, I’m a writer with a lifestyle blog, I am not a lifestyle blog writer.

Historically people who could write, did write, people wrote letters to keep in touch with loved ones, I had a pen pal in Russia growing up and my great aunt as well. That changed to phones, email, texting, video chat, snap chat (never tried it) but I didn’t have it in my to change that many times…

dear dairy
Writing has always been a balm for my weary, sensitive soul.

Once nearly all of humanity were astronomers, all farmers depended on planting with the seasons governed by the planets… later many people were farmers, hunters, fishers or warriors. I see many families stuck as farmers (gardening more than farming), hunting (for fun), fishing (our family is a fishing family – we all hold other jobs, but can’t permanently leave the fishing behind), or doing boxing or martial arts compulsively that doesn’t serve a purpose in today’s society, but does serve a purpose in our souls.

I’ve gotten stuck as a writer and a warrior.

My daughter woke up to use the bathroom, I would have been irrationally mad, except I was already up! Waa haa haa haa. Then my son wanted milk, again, I would have been irrationally mad, except I was already up! Waa haa haa haa. I guess I’m pretty irrationally mad often. Correction, I have angry feelings often, but I am not angry (I am more than just one emotion – I am a person). I am the chess board, not the white pawn or the black pawn, my feelings move across me (I don’t know if the hand is mine or Gods? but I know I am more than anger or love).

Realization I have an anger problem still… or anger “opportunity” if you will.

My writing topic today is writing, so I can explore anything, because to me writing is a truly free world (also art and music are).

My value of the day is encouragement. I think I placed it there because I often hit a low point on Wednesday. Even though I don’t currently “work”, meaning I’m a stay at home mother, so I “slave”.

Isn’t that what it’s called when you do free work? Or is it volunteering? Can you volunteer to watch your own kids?

I think so, because my mother and my husband’s father both gave up volunteering… when my husband was about 1 his father gave up and took off on his three kids and wife. My mother was more back and forth, giving up many times before taking off for good. Though they didn’t provide us much beyond DNA, they did provide me the truth that I don’t “have to” watch my kids. It’s a choice. A choice I choose. So I am a volunteer, I do a ton of unpaid volunteer work.

It feels tongue in cheek, but it’s pretty true. It also feels tongue in cheek to call it God’s work, but I would argue if there is a God (which I’ve never been sure) God would probably prefer you to raise your children since if he did create nature and mankind he created that parental drive also… however maybe God likes parents to abandon their kids? I’ve never been able to figure out if there is a God if they control all things or just run an autopilot. Are messed up things happening because God doesn’t handle everything, because God has a way different sense of what’s messed up, because there isn’t a God, or because God does have the same sense of messed up things we have, but likes a little drama in his/her novella?

I have no idea, that’s why I’m agnostic, meaning I know I don’t know if there is or isn’t a God or Gods. It’s not at all atheist.

I know our human brains make connections where there aren’t any (like the constellations, that are not even actually groups – they just appear as groups from our position… so as far as astrology I think you can guess my opinion about that (amused but skeptical, did you guess?). But our brains also make connections when they are there, like the seasons working for farming and being reoccurring.

I often notice synchronicity in my life, so I don’t know if it’s God or coincidence every time, as is the life of an agnostic.

Reading Riki-tiki-tavi by Richard Kipling was both inspiring and also daunting. I can see why he got the first Nobel in literature, his wordplay is so unforgettable it’s been living rent free in my mind for 30 years. I think I’ll forget my husband’s name before I forget Riki-tiki-tavi’s red eyes and bottle brushy tail. It was about 5800 words. A children’s story about a mongoose fighting off two snakes to save a boy for those who haven’t read it.

It’s daunting reading an author that good, but actually I’m fine being worse than Richard. One thing I’m better at is being alive in the year 2020. I’ve been using my aliveness to boost my confidence, it may be silly, but it’s surprisingly effective for me.

Know who could write a book this year? It’s not Shakespeare, it’s not Richard Kipling… it’s me, because I’m alive!

If you’ve been following I watched a documentary with Indian street orphans recently (thanks husband for picking that) Mother India: Life Through the Eyes of an Orphan, though for some reason it didn’t make me want to help as did Omo Child: The River and the Bush, the orphans never leave my mind. If you want to have a depressing movie night One Child Nation would make a good trilogy to show you how functional your country is (unless you live in India, Ethiopia, or China… which actually most people do… but for the rest of us).

Anyways, the orphans never left my mind.

I’ve already watched a documentary about Mexican homeless orphans, so what kept me a little bit less depressed was the “fun” compare and contrast aspect of having watched two documentaries about homeless orphans.

The Mexican orphans slept in the gutters, on sidewalks and in abandoned buildings, the Indian orphans looked like they had trouble finding abandoned buildings and slept in gutters, on sidewalks and in open areas. Mostly they all slept on the floor. This got to me, even though I’m Japanese and like a floor bed best, it’s still a bed. When I was younger I often slept on the floor by preference, but as I’m older I find it makes me sore…

The Indian kids are skinnier they say sleeping on the floor makes them hurt, the Mexican kids didn’t complain about it, they mentioned wanting more chicken to eat and disliking being bitten by rats at night as higher priorities than pain management.

I have no idea why, but I relate to the Indian orphans more. I see myself in them. With the Mexican orphans I feel pity for them and am not driven to help them, maybe because I have two half Mexican kids at home? I’m already taking care of one whole Mexican kid, isn’t that enough? (Kind of joking). But the Ethiopian babies getting killed for having top teeth first, really motivates me to help… maybe because they aren’t drug addicts?

I don’t hate drug addicts, it’s just very hard to help them and I don’t want to do something very hard right now. It’s kind of soul crushingly hard. I know because of mom… I don’t have the resources emotionally, intellectually, financially or in any kind of way to be able to help my mother, we also don’t have contact. Nor do I want to… to be honest nor do I want to.

Anyways the Indian orphans were offered a seemingly nice home in an orphanage and they declined because they are already drug addicts used to the life on the street, it’s what they are comfortable with. That was interesting.

When they first explained why they shoot up “drugs” (they don’t even know what drugs) to get rid of the pain (which is why they mostly all have aids, plus the rape of 50% of them… and occasional forced prostitution in locked brothels which children are not supposed to be in “sad opps”…) when they first explained they shoot up, I judged them as being “bad” kids.

But then I thought about it, if I was subjected to those conditions, would I want to stay clean or would I want to shoot up? I hate needles, so I think I would either stay clean or huff correction fluid, but I’m not so sure. If my friends were all shooting up, would it just become like having a cup of coffee with your friends to catch up? If it was the norm would I care to actively opt out? Would I want to be weird and not shoot up drug? I’m not certain.

I don’t like sleeping on the floor, but I think I would hate the rape more, if I was raped, which is a 50/50 chance. Even if your friends see you taken they don’t fight, because if they fight, everyone gets beaten and still raped, if you go to the police they either beat you or steal from you (supposedly).

I really think I would stay clean though, as much as I could, simply because I hate needles so much.

Another thing that gets to me is that feeling of never being safe they have, because I grew up with that. With a wandering drug addict mom, you often don’t feel safe and sometimes are not safe. If any of my mothers drug sponsor/boy friends had felt like abusing me they could have, I would have tried to fight them, tried to go to the police after, but I don’t know if I would have been as strong fighting a grown man as I imagined in my mind.

I’ve been homeless before, but I was 14, it was like Disneyland compared to these Indian orphans. We both had money which is interesting. I worked at a doughnut store. The orphans beg on the trains. We both had money for food and clothes. So in the end I don’t know which is worse between extreme poverty and homelessness, because I’ve only experienced the one.

One thing it changed for me to be homeless is I never judge homeless people as “bad people” anymore. I don’t always give them money, often I don’t. But I judge them all separately as people. It’s still hard for me to do that for drug addicts.

Which is ironic, most of my friends tried drugs in college, I gave them a complete pass, no problem here. But when it’s older people, there is no pass, it’s so easy to see them as undeserving of help or compassion.

I’m not going to help drug addicts, I prefer to take care of my family and possibly some Ethiopian orphans, but I could spare some compassion at least.

It’s been nice sitting with my thoughts in the quiet morning, hearing my family snore, sleeping on a bed part of the night, with a feeling of safety (possible an illusion, but helpful for sleeping well), waking up alive.

It feels so good to get some of these darker thoughts out of my head, writing about them helps so much, because when I see these things, they do get to me, I am sensitive, and they kind of sit there until I write about them. I don’t forget after, but it takes the edge off. I guess I could say it really stings my heart to hear about children suffering so much, writing about it is like removing the stinger, then the wound can heal, the bees are still there and will still be there, but I can move on.

Writing can do that for me, heal me. I’m pretty sure it can do that for you as well, if you want it to.

I was just thinking a bit about racism, I’ve experienced it a lot, I think it’s a mix of fear and ignorance. People are naturally diverse, difference breeds fear sometimes, fear breeds hate.

“Darkness can not drive out the darkness, only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr

I can’t believe someone murdered that man who said that… If I had 3 “don’t murder that guy” passes, Martin Luther King Jr would have gotten 1. I think if he was alive, race relations in the U.S. would be in a better place.

He said, this isn’t about black or white, it’s about humanity, dignity of the human soul, judging one another by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin.

But the quite interesting life of James Earl Ray cut down Martin Luther King Jr’s and it seems like sadly people forgot the lessons he gave his life for…

If Martin Luther King Jr was alive it wouldn’t have been a “black lives matter” movement, he would have integrated much more cohesively the protests towards love and light and justice for all and between all races, which are integrated but with much misunderstanding and some bitterness.

I’m still on the side of the black lives matter movement, I wouldn’t ask anyone to sit still while being occasionally murdered, I understand it’s hard to follow the law when the law doesn’t also protect you… but it’s a bit like watching a toddler having an accident in public sometimes, you love them, you don’t shame them, but is it isn’t a particularly high water mark as opposed to “I have a dream.” I want success for civil rights, very much so, and I don’t think division will make it faster, I think it will make it slower.

More “happy news” Tulsa Oklahoma massacre mass graves are being excavated. May 31 and June 1, 1921, an estimated 150-300 black Americans were killed by white Americas due to a possible assault of 17 year old Sarah Page and besides the killing the whites rioted breaking stuff (estimated $32 million dollars of property damage)… so please don’t act like it’s only minorities that throw tantrum riots. These things are horrible, but they happen and will continue to happen. What can we do to be more mature human beings that this on all sides and break down the imaginary walls that divide us to begin with? In Rwanda in 1994 blacks killed blacks (100 days in 1994, some 800000 people were slaughtered) it’s much more about the imaginary walls we put between each other than it is about white or black. Whites genocide whites and blacks genocide blacks all too often. The solution would be tearing down the wall between us. And judging each individual by the content of their character, not “external factors”.

Okay solved racism, next. (Sadly, joking…)

What’s next for today? Maybe a COVID joke…

Whether black or white, COVID 19 kills your elderly with pneumonia the same way. (I can say it since I lost my grandfather, my grandfather died for me to be able to publicly make that joke.)

Okay, talked about orphans, sex slavery (of the orphans), sexual assault, racism, genocide and COVID already… I’m kind of procrastinating defining a writing goal for myself though. (Totally wouldn’t judge you for unsubscribing reader, I’m becoming a bit of a dark roast coffee lately… though you are welcome to stay as long as you like too.)

After clearing my mental plate of everything that is going on that somehow sneaks into my mind even though I don’t watch the news, like unwanted rodents… I’m experiencing a soft of bliss, the clear mind I had as a child.

Writing can be a meditation of sorts, a way to sort what you can control and what you can’t or won’t take on, a boundary setting exercise.

Writing can be a way to make sense of this crazy world.

Writing can be so many things, I’ve loved writing since I was about 6 months old.

I wanted to put a picture of me and my notebook, so you would believe me, if I find it I will add it (even though I’m shy/ paranoid about internet stalking because I had a bad experience).

For me writing is like getting a massage for my soul. I was intrinsically in love with the process, but over time I began to fear allowing myself joy, for me the actual process of writing is the reward in and of itself, all I have to do is allow myself to accept that joy.

But it’s not that simple, because I have a belief that says I need to help other and I need to love it “at all times”, but my truth is that I don’t actually love helping others at all times. It sounds simple, but despite knowing about it, I haven’t been able to change it. I feel guilty for anything I enjoy doing “just for me”, no matter how much I help others it’s never enough to make me feel good, because it’s not who I am. I’m capable of helping others, I’m reasonably ethical, but for some reason I idolize the Ghandi’s the people who “enjoy” serving others and I’m a bit stuck there, wanting to fill my own cup, be who I am, accept that I don’t love service.

I guess I believe good people enjoy helping others and bad people don’t enjoy helping others. I acknowledge that I don’t enjoy it all the time, but I struggle to not hate myself or try to fix it. People try to make me feel better by saying “if you had more help” you could enjoy it, “if you had more rest” you could enjoy it, but it doesn’t help validate the part of me that just wouldn’t enjoy it still. I’m overall a good person, I believe that, but I’m not someone who gets off on the process of helping. Which is weird because I like to help, but I like to help because of the end result of making the world better, not because I like the process. I declutter to have a clean house, not because I enjoy decluttering, that’s a bad example because I kind of do enjoy decluttering. I delivered my children because I wanted them delivered, but I did not enjoy the process, but no one expected me to, not I and not others, so it was fine.

I’m struggling with my own expectations to enjoy parenting, that haven’t happened and also of other people’s expectations (like my husband and daughter) that I would love to service their every need at every second more than anything.

Both they and I are disappointed with who I am and it’s difficult for me to set boundaries with them before even finding peace with myself in that regard.

Every time someone writes or says “you are a good mom” it sends me into a cognitive disobedience, I think they are mistaken, because I would rather hear silence than kids crying, because I would rather write than fetch a lost water bottle, because I would rather be by myself than bandage my daughter’s bleeding face last night…

I don’t even know what a good mom would be like.

I get mad at my husband for idealizing what a mother should be, but perhaps I also idealize a mother.

I’m sure my own ideals and expectations are burdening me more than my husband’s and my daughters, but I wasn’t really aware of what was bothering me until I let go of all the “noise of the world”.

I feel pressured by society to form an opinion about all these “goings on”, my husband often starts conversations about these “normal topics” that I don’t want to deal with at all… I wonder if I’ll ever be able to let that noise come and go without feeling that I have to respond?

I think that’s another level of proactivity. I try to protect my home, not buying soda or too much junk food, so it won’t even be a problem. I try to protect my body, not putting too many chemicals in, glass Tupperware, special laundry soap. But I have never taken an active role in trying to protect my mind, my mental space, before. Perhaps I need to, as a writer, in a way it’s my workspace and my sanctuary.

Writing morning pages is very much like the post I just did, getting clutter out of your mental barn, tossing junk mail thoughts out of your mind mail box, getting to inbox zero of your own brain, the only difference would be that it would be private.

I do it publicly for a few reasons, one is to introduce others to different things to do with writing. Another is that it makes me feel connected to the world. Like standing naked in front of the world in a socially acceptable way. Another is that I’ve been helped by people’s honest writing about everyday life, it’s made me recognize that we are all similar at the core, that we go through many of the same frustrations and challenges and if I can continue that simple, but still uncommon truth chain forward – I will.

We don’t suffer alone, we are all here together, but we create that feeling we are alone. I don’t know about God, not saying yes, not saying no, but 7,800,000,000 people, 900 million dogs, and 600 million cats here on Earth, we aren’t alone and we don’t have to suffer alone.

We can suffer together!

Clientmoji
I often hate parenting! I’m starting to be okay with that, it’s difficult, but I’m starting to “be myself”…

I like things best that are simple, clean and uncomplicated, that doesn’t have an exception for things I’m related to… that may be a hard road ahead, but it’s harder to walk with my eyes closed than with my eyes open.

Clientmoji
Happy Wednesday World!

๐Ÿ› Transformation Week II ๐Ÿ™€

โ€œItโ€™s such hard work to try and act like something that youโ€™re not that you should really just be who you are,โ€ Shaun says. โ€œItโ€™s okay to be vulnerable, and itโ€™s okay not to lie about who you are. Because the more you show of yourself, the more people are going to relate to you on a deeper level.โ€

– Shaun Blokker
The coffee stopped working today, is that possible?

Be yourself. Really?

I’ve been getting more done, but I don’t know if I’m biting off more than I can chew vs putting in hard work to make good habits worth making.

Bitmoji Image
Anyone remember the movie “Big”? I felt like that this morning…

It was a good week since the last transformation post, it was a good day, but at 7:22 PM I hit a wall of exhaustion. My daughter couldn’t find her water bottle, her brother scratched her and she was bleeding, and I couldn’t have cared any less. I referred her to her dad, since I had been with her from 7 AM – 7:30 PM, since she asked me for hundreds of things, answers, and acknowledgements already today, I couldn’t have cared any less at all. Maybe half an hour later I asked her father to get her water since I was feeding her brother, and he complained as he did it and asked about five questions before he would do it. I gave my daughter a bandage for below her nose where her brother had scratched and set a reminder to cut his nails tomorrow at 10 AM.

feel the burn
10 AM Don’t run from the burn, find the burn…
Day 1 of COVID T25

I wonder if I would have not gone outside if I would have been less tired, or if I would have not exercised.

Need coffee
7 PM 8 PM 9 PM I don’t even feel human right now.

What happened today?

7 Mightier ๐Ÿ˜บ I was fine.
8 Breakfast – Duo ๐Ÿ˜บ I felt really good.
9 School – Book ๐Ÿ˜บ I was fine. Didn’t enjoy the book choices…
10 Exercise or Kick Time ๐Ÿ˜บ I felt really good.
11 Lunch ๐Ÿ˜บ I was fine.
12 Play Inside Play Switched to Outside ๐Ÿ˜พ Did not like my daughter switching playtime to outside, it resulted in me missing my small break. She said she could watch her brother outside, I gave it a try to see out of curiosity, but missed my second sanity break.
1 Music ๐Ÿ™€ I was already kind of exhausted trying to power through it.
2 Mummy Time ๐Ÿ™€ Super exhausted, remarked about it to my daughter.
3 Swim Time ๐Ÿ™€ Remarkably exhausted, coffee couldn’t bring me up.
4 Dinner ๐Ÿ˜บ I was fine, got a second wind.
5 Aunt Time (ASL) ๐Ÿ˜พ Fell through with no head up, pretty irritating. Didn’t like the change, missed my third sanity break.
6 Mummy Time with Son ๐Ÿ™€ Didn’t go well, daughter got extra reading.
7 Dad Time ๐Ÿ™€ Didn’t go well, he was late and I was so exhausted. Missed half of my last break.

I still don’t know what to do to get enough breaks to really happen to feel really well, but definitely surviving and teaching a lot. So my life gets a C right now, I just know I can’t live everyday like today, but I’m still not sure what went wrong.

I dealt with two fits, not a lot compared to before… did four loads of laundry, vacuuming, extra exercise, school and swimming. It seems fair to be exhausted, but I just can’t put my finger on what was wrong with the day. Maybe that it wasn’t sustainable, maybe that I hated so much of it as I powered through, I really can’t say, but it definitely felt off.

It’s nice being at peace with my husband, other than the obvious benefits, it’s nice to rule him out at why the day bothered me so much.

I’ve come a long way as a writer, this year I’ve posted 60 posts, as much as all of last year. I’m both satisfied and lost with where I am, happy about what I’ve done (surprisingly since I’m a recovering perfectionist) and unsure where to head next. That feels good.

I thought I could write while my husband took the kids for an hour, but my son was with me when my daughter wasn’t, I usually do when my sister spends video call time with my daughter, but she didn’t answer today, so… perhaps the bad timing of just not being anything else than a servant all day.

It seems like everything has gotten better, the discipline issues, the school issues of adapting to dyslexia, yet as I’ve been more consistent with teaching and swimming I’ve robbed the unauthorized breaks that used to keep me sane without realizing it.

I like everything we are doing, but I’m exhausted, so hopefully it’s just a fluke, but if not… I don’t know what should go, maybe swimming with the kids, they are actually doing well enough I can life guard them without actually swimming (which I don’t like).

I think I do too many things I hate, I think reading books I hate to them drains me more than four loads of laundry… hmm.

I don’t know if I can reject my 1 and 4 year old wanting me to read books that are appropriate, but that I just hate? Of course I can, but should I?

I’m having problems with boundaries as a mother.

I compromise so much my soul gets smothered throughout the day and I hate spending time with other people…

When I was a kid I was an extrovert, I became an extreme introvert over time. Today two people text messaged me, and I though I like those people, hated the contact. I like reading emails in the morning on my time, if I want to, text messages seem too pressing, I feel pressured to answer or at least read them right away. I think I’ll actually turn the notification setting off tomorrow. Really I want to tell those people to email me, but it’s two people who don’t use email much…

Everything seems to be going well, except I’m grumpy, exhausted and hate many parts of the day, I guess it’s a lack of assertive boundary setting.

Sometimes I’m torn between knowing setting good habits will have a painful start up energy cost and knowing that my life balance isn’t good. I don’t know if I should push through or back off… no one would know except me, but I don’t even know.

It’s late and I’m writing, I’m not excited to meet a quota, I don’t make any money off writing, not sure I ever will or ever will want to, but I do gain sanity in being able to let my thoughts solidify a bit more than they can throughout the day.

It was a beautiful and productive day, yet I also feel so exhausted it makes me wonder if something isn’t still very wrong with my ability to prioritize breaks. Looking back a second time on the day, if I was a business operating in my state, the labor board would shut me down, for the way I overwork me. There are supposed to be micro breaks in my day at the end of each hour, from 45-00 minutes, I forgot about that! I’m also a little lost about what to do during my break time, but tomorrow hopefully more water, more breaks, watch the kids swim, but don’t swim.

Hopefully I’ll do some reading or research during those breaks I forgot to take tomorrow, I can’t do today again tomorrow.

dont forget
Breaks!

I read somewhere a completely functional parent is the best gift you can give your kids, not sure if it’s true, but I’ll go with it for now… That means more breaks tomorrow.

I also at 6 AM I made a list of all of the 100+ posts I’ve complied this past year on the newspaper in the main menu (here) and attempted to make the blog navigable again… the newest articles are on the Fresh Articles section under the newspaper (here).

Any tips for being accountable to yourself for break taking? I’m beginning to notice it’s a problem for me… ๐Ÿต

๐Ÿ’ Mindfulness Monday II ๐Ÿ“–

Today is going really well and I was just reflecting on what I have now that I didn’t have a few weeks ago, when it wasn’t going well (when I felt hopelessly overwhelmed).

  1. Right now I have a working day schedule Monday – Friday:

8 Breakfast, 9 Teach School, 10 Exercise, 11 Lunch, 12 Freeplay/Writing, 1 Teach Music, 2 Mum and Me with Daughter, 3 Outside Play Mum and me with Son, 4 Dinner, 5 Video Call with my Sister to Tutor Daughter so I can do ASL with Son, 6 Kids play together I relax, 7 Kids play with dad.

It took a lot of tries to find what works for us, also I had to discipline my daughter to follow without a ton of drama, which was helped by 4 things, 1. Time Outs, 2. Having a repeating schedule to create habits, 3. Prizes from Dollar Tree is she has zero time outs plus a “Jedi Training” book that is a planner which gets blue, green, yellow, or pink happy face stickers depending on the amount of time outs and 4. Mightier biometric brain training for her and myself to deal with our anger problems, that costs $40/month but was worth it.

Imperfect looking, yet magically keeps us all on the same page of what’s happening.

The working schedule helps my daughter a ton and myself as well, my husband didn’t like the idea, but he’s actually barely even home during the time it affects us anyways, and after it worked he came around to the idea, now he is the strict one about keeping my daughter’s 8 PM settle down and 9 PM bedtime strict on the weekends.

see you in class
Actually like teaching the kids, when they behave, but it becomes impossible when they don’t, that was doubly frustrating.

2. I have a list of my daughter’s values of the day and my values of the day, mine for Monday is Minimalism and hers is kindness. Embarrassing to admit, I can’t remember without keeping a Google Keep note. I try to live my values everyday, but remembering what they are is a huge crutch for me… since they do change. I find as I grow I don’t need to focus on the same thing to be a better person, or sometimes I see I’ve been neglecting something really important and adjust, or sometimes I try out a value that sounds beautiful, but I find it isn’t me authentically to live by it. I also like to encourage my daughter to pick and live by her own heart (not mine) so she has her own list of 7 values, that she picks once a year and reorders into the days of the week however she wants to.

you forgot didnt you
Yes… I forgot my own value of the day today, again, but at least I have a Google Keep note to remind me!
Google Keep Notes are My Favorite App (Bitmoji for the Pictures)

3. I know my personal sh*t going on. A. I have a working school schedule (via Google Keep Notes) for everyday (math spelling), B. a different note for material that happens just Mondays (Astronomy and Japanese for us) that way I don’t have to remember what multiplication fact we covered yesterday (we only do 1 a day, by the time COVID is over we will probably be done – small win) C. I have all my writing ideas on a separate section with a note on the unpinned section of my keep notes telling me which day I plan to entertain which topics.

This is the pinned section (excuse my French I was excited my schedule was working).
All my writing ideas are in one place, I can archive what I’m not interested in (or throw it away), also I have a list of what to do on what day (I don’t have follow it, but I can fall back to it if I want to). This unpinned section is under the pinned section, for me writing is second priority to my family which is the top pinned section.

A quick overview of my system, purple is for school and values (my main point as a teacher is live your own values on a daily basis).

Blue are my writings, light blue my reflections on stoic writings of others, aqua my feelings and self checks, yellow my casual goals, green my shopping list (instead of impulse buying I put whatever I want on my list and my husband lets me know when I can do the purchase), pink is about encouraging myself and also being kind talking to my loved ones (my number one weakness is being really rude to those I care most about), and red for boundaries and schedules (one records time outs, when they happened and why so I can troubleshoot my daughter’s ODD and also check if my expectations are reasonable, surprisingly they often are, kids can actually be out of line despite what most parenting articles say, sometimes it’s not me, it’s you).

I really love Google Keep notes, maybe not everyone has no idea what is going on without them, but I sure do, this has replaced that little student planner they give you at school to remind you about days off and homework (finally!).

They have orange, grey and brown, if you don’t like pink and your life probably doesn’t need a list of time outs, but I highly recommend trying out Google Keep notes your own way to take the mental load off the old prefrontal cortex.

Bitmoji Image
Nothing is truly free, I had to let go of somethings to get what I have now…

To get this “bad as* life style” I had to let go of some things, blaming my husband for not helping and just doing what I need to (then he did start helping weirdly, after I didn’t care), blaming COVID for me not having a home schedule in my home, I had to let go of my identity as a scatter brain and embrace my new identity as someone who just writes things down a lot… I found the time to think and experiment, and take notes because I cook really really simple things (sometimes even microwaved food! Yup) and don’t clean much, you don’t have to sacrifice those things, but you will have to sacrifice something what will you let go of to make space for clarity and mindfulness in your life?

Clientmoji
To get help easily, make it very easy for others to help.

4. I have a counterweight, my son was learning about excavators, they have a heavy digging bucket that breaks concrete ext so they need a really heavy counterweight to not fall over, my counterweight is my husband, but yours could be God or excessive cats, whatever it is, the motivation in your life to even try or the person who helps you do laundry so you can have free time is perhaps hidden, but super indispensable, and if you don’t have that person, consider that you are not allowing space for someone or being assertive about asking for help. We all need help, if you don’t have it, take a look at you… Even if you are an army of 1, make sure at least you and you are on the same page, sometimes it’s not that way, we can get in the way of our own success.

dragon pose
I forgot to mention my secret power…

For me minimalism is what makes my life work, if the kids made a huge mess I would be bitter, tired and mad, but I don’t own enough mess materials for that to happen. We have toys, don’t get me wrong, but not enough to drive me insane, I won’t trust them to have that many and clean them until they show me they can… until they clean them, we won’t have them, and I won’t go crazy. Minimalism is the lynch pin for me, without it, my life falls apart. But it isn’t the only lynch pin, yours could be karaoke, running, “a healthy social life,” “a thriving marriage,” two dogs, a pair of silky soft leggings, a secret Lego miniature world in the basement…

Bitmoji Image
I love books so much, but that doesn’t mean I love every book…

I was supposed to go through my books today, so I will, but I don’t have many. So, I had hundreds nearing a thousand when I lived at home (dusting them once a year was a pain), I had a few hundred in my first apartment (then Kon Mari happened), then I had a few dozen renting our first house (then Kon Mari happened about three more times), then my husband and I watched “The Minimalist: A Documentary About Important Things” on Netflix and it went to under 10, today I had two. 1. 14,000 things to be happy about. – Barbara Ann Kipfer and 2. The RIE Manual For Parents and Professionals. Edited by Magda Gerber.

I just wrote a post about the first book starting a wonderful habit in me of noticing the little things in life and having more joy each and everyday in result, but the book came from a little free library (leave a book or take a book) an I am so excited for the book to complete the journey back to that little free library, hopefully touching someone else’s life as well.

The second book I have I’m waiting to summarize for my husband, it’s not available as an ebook that I’m aware of, so we still have a journey to go through together.

So that’s it, two books down to one, one is set to go back to the little free library it’s in the closet “outgoing space” instead of my workspace basket…

bookworm

I’m a book lover with only 1 book, because I’d like to read new books rather than old ones and even if I do read old ones, I’d rather someone else read the books while I’m not and I trust I can find them again if I need to…

I didn’t force myself down to 1 book, that’s just what I need right now. It’s enough. ๐Ÿ“–

Clientmoji
Legally that kids stuff is mine, but for Kon Mari purposes it’s not.

Disclosure we have school books for the kids, the kids have kids books, my husband has two books, but they are not “mine” they are not “my books” they are teaching supplies. ๐Ÿ“˜

๐Ÿ’ Thanks for reading, it’s helped me be more accountable for my life posting publicly and just been much more fun in general having you along for the ride (sometimes it’s a very mundane ride, but thank you all the same)!

[โฑ๏ธ Time travel back to Mindfulness Monday I where I go through my clothes.]

[โฑ๏ธ Time travel forward to Mindfulness Monday III where I go through papers (not available until next Monday)]

Bitmoji Image
I think showing kids how to let go and really letting them own their own things is a wonderful gift, a little ritual goes a long way to make it make sense to them.

Tidying Books with a 4 Year Old

Helping my daughter (4) with her books: first we played a game with foam characters, mine was a book lover but liked to share books with others and let go of books when there were “too many”, a few hours later we watched Marie Kondo on Youtube:

Just Books

I put all my daughters books on the floor, my daughter asked if we were getting rid of books, I said “it’s not important if we get rid of any books, we are just checking their energy.” Then we knocked on them to wake them up and notice their energy, she said “this one has a lot of energy, this one has a little bit, this one has a medium amount.” She told me the ones she wanted to keep and the ones she wanted to let go of, I didn’t comment if she wanted to get rid of something nice or if she wanted to keep something I hated, it wasn’t about me or her books, it was about her process of letting go what no longer serves her and keeping what sparks joy for her. She kept 16 books and let go of 8, but I really think she made good choices for herself, she let go of a lot of Spanish learning books that she never cared for, and kept the ones that she enjoyed below, at and above her reading level. One book was awkward because we are kind of sharing it, it’s a children’s cleaning book that I’m referencing to rewrite and it’s her book to read as well, but she didn’t have to keep it if she didn’t want to… shared property tends to be the most awkward. When we were done I read to her from her favorite book “Dr. Dog” which I hate, I was hoping that one would be laid off today, but my two least favorite are still here… I’m okay with that at least all her favorites are still here. It’s cool that she knows herself, and her cousins (or others) will probably enjoy the books she let go. ๐Ÿ“–

๐Ÿ’ฃ Truth Bomb: I read more when I have less stagnant books around me, just having piles of books doesn’t make me want to read, my right amount of books to keep is just the ones I’m actively using. I love books, but they can go back into service to others rather than sitting inactive in my house (rent free). A lot of old books indicates a static world view to me more than a flexible and current mind.

๐ŸŒ  See The Good Sunday ๐Ÿฆ‹

Near my low point during this confinement period I found a book 14,000 things to be happy about. – Barbara Ann Kipfer from 1990 (the year I started kindergarten) at a little free library in El Dorado Park (I long to start one, but don’t own a home… one day) the book lifted my spirits, I started a Coach.Me (accountability app and website) habit called “๐ŸŒ  See The Good” it was a place to write about the three things I was actually grateful for in a given day, shamelessly of if I had fun while others were suffering, or if I appreciated the things that were PC, or if it was okay to be happy even though we lost my grandfather recently (at 101 years old, that seemed fair to me).

Barbara Ann Kipfer’s Adorable Website thingstobehappyabout.com
Coach.Me is a Free Community and Great Check List Accountability App

The book was so major in allowing me to feel good without being guilty about feeling good… it’s a great book, simple, but different than any I’ve ever read. It really stretched my mind to what a book can be and also came to me at just the right time in my life. I love the Little Library, you take books for free and leave books for others, my daughter loves it too. It restores my faith in humanity that there are still book lovers, still people thinking of others, wanting books to go read vs unread on a shelf… when I found the website I was amazed, it’s not 100% what I wanted to do, but it’s 90% the same as what I had wanted to build many years ago to post my drawings and writing. At this point I still haven’t got that far, because I want to code it myself and I didn’t code (but now at least I’ve started learning Java). Someday I want to have a website like that, I have a drawing of what I wanted before I saw hers, so it’s not plagiarism so much as synergy.

Anyways, another blogger Kiara McCabe, from Verity and Sage, has been inspiring me with great posts that cheer me up such as “Giant Teddy Bears Enforce Social Distancing On Parisian Streets” and as much my long time readers know I don’t shy away from the dark side of life at all, I also have hope in my heart and a lighter side I just felt like no one needed to hear about it… but in light of some of her words in “the Lighter Things of the World” post:

The world is a little scary at the moment. Weโ€™re forced to stay inside, we canโ€™t visit our grandparents and there is no way we can consider the possibility of travelling to NYC any time soon.

Plans, dreams and goals all need to take a back seat.

But that doesnโ€™t mean our happiness does. Tiny, joyous sparks of light are among us.

Here are some of the lighter things of the world for me.

– Kiara McCabe

I felt like maybe sharing the ๐ŸŒ  See The Good habit which is derived from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s notebook she kept for 20 years starting in sixth grade with a tiny spiral notebook. In her book 14,000 things to be happy about, Barbara invites you to “conjure up your own images – to reminisce, wish and dream.”

I hope you will find, as I did, that happiness comes from noticing and enjoying the little things in life.

– Barbara Ann Kipfer’s

So the book came to me, but more than that, the habit came to me, and has helped me, and I’d like to share it with you, maybe not for everyone, but maybe you know someone who would benefit from a new source of joy?

My entries are just quick, simple, free to be less than perfect, but honest and good memory anchors to the days I’m sure I’ll want to go back to someday or perhaps my children will come to know who I was in my writing someday? It has really helped me fight hedonistic adaptation and recognize that I thought imperfect, actually do enough in a given week to not be ashamed of my productivity.

Monday July 20th

๐ŸŒ„ Early Bird: Woke up early, it feels nice. Makes me feel more together, I don’t know if it’s true or untrue, but waking up at 5 AM seems like I am more grounded and centered.

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Our family is running smoother, we are starting to create a team vs a group of individuals, it’s not at all perfect, but it’s starting to be peaceful and fun. It seems like in order to enjoy life we had to get rid of free speech, that doesn’t sound nice, but neither is verbal abuseโ€ฆ but it’s a lot nicer to have less free speech than to be undermine by my spouse when I’m doing my best for the overall health of the kids ext. Free speech is a great thing, in the right place, but sometimes it will just degrade a relationship or situation, there is a dark side to free speech just as there is a dark side to censorship.

๐Ÿ‘’ Finding my place in the world as a writer and an educator. That’s where it has been, but I’m able to feel more like I belong, less of an amateur and impostor lately. I still want to know for sure what the right thing for me is, but at least I’m trying to allow myself to live without knowing instead of being paralyzed with indecision, I find myself here today, I’ll move on from here today the best I can. I’ll do what I can from where I am to make my world and the world better in my own small way.

Tuesday July 21st:

๐Ÿ‘ณ Having fun wearing a large scarf as a mask. It took me a very long time to stop resenting wearing the masks in stores when I’m not coughingโ€ฆ but wearing it in a silly way helps me hate it less.

๐Ÿ’ž My husband and I are spending more time talking now that both kids are asleep by 9 PM. We didn’t keep in touch while raising our two kids in the same house, it just wasn’t possible for usโ€ฆ so maybe we will like each other again if we aren’t always “on duty” with the kids, hopefully.

๐Ÿ˜ Learning my older child has a “special need” has really helped, because I always bore the weight of the issue, but before we knew I couldn’t make sense out of why it was so hard. Parenting is always hard as far as I know, but it was even more difficult to get any communication through. Now I’m more mindful that she needs more lead time from being told to hearing, that she needs discipline and clarity, that even though I want to give her a treat for not being in time out, she is going to be in time out, a part of her is feral, it needs limits that other kids her age don’t, but it’s our reality, and it’s to everyone’s benefits. I’m trying to stop seeing discipline as getting in the way of education and see it as important education in and of itself. I’m trying to discipline with love instead of impatience, knowing my daughter has a special need helps motivate me to have more patience. It’s been so helpful in me reducing my guilt, it’s not all about me, she doesn’t just mirror me or reflect me, she sometimes may, but often it’s not about me at all. I’m not the center of the universe, everything my kids do wrong is not a reflection of my failings (some of them sure are but not all of them). Everything is not “all” my fault. Just a challenging situation and I think I can handle it better by honestly addressing it as such, it may be “labeling” to some, but to me it’s the truth and recognition of the truth is the definition of “sanity”.

Wednesday July 22nd:

[No Entry – No Shame]

Thursday July 23rd:

๐ŸŽ‰ I cooked something hard for me, my husband complained, I didn’t take it personally. If I can keep not taking it personally, I can be a lot happier. Just letting it roll off like water off wax. Did tell him I didn’t appreciate the complaint because I don’t complain when he burns meat, but nothing more than a casual “I don’t like that.” Good job me!

Friday July 24th:

๐Ÿ† I finished 100 articles in response to Mark Manson’s advice to write 100 articles before tying yourself down to a niche as a writer. It felt really good to finish a writing project because it’s the first time I’ve beaten procrastination and actually finished a creative project.

๐Ÿฆท My son got a molar, I was upset he was fussing at night at 3 AM, I didn’t know why, I was very tired and lost my patience, but it was a good lesson that people fuss when they are in pain, whether I can understand their pain is different, but they are in pain. I really hope I remember that lesson. My son is such a joy in my life, I should have more patience when he needs me to be a joy in his lifeโ€ฆ but I know I won’t always be perfect or patient and that’s part of being human. When I saw his molar I was ashamed, my husband said he thought my son was in pain, but I thought he was just being needy. I guess both were true, he was feeling needy because he was in pain from the tooth.

๐Ÿค– I like coding, I’ve always felt like a tech dinosaur, but coding is starting to flip that identity for me, which in our digital world is probably vital or at least helpful.

Saturday July 25th:

๐Ÿ’Š Ibuprofen, I had a unpleasant headache today, rode it out most of the day (for no reason) then took one ibuprofen and I’m back to normal. I think it was neck stiffness that caused the headache, also didn’t drink much water todayโ€ฆ I did some coding just now that I wouldn’t have done without the ibuprofen. I also spent an hour beading with my daughter I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

๐Ÿ“… Our magnetic school calendar, it legitimizes my home school to me, that helps me stay on track day after day when almost no one cares if I were to be teaching my kids math or reading vs just binge watching movies all day.

๐Ÿ” Protein style burgers, we eat burgers for dinner in the summer, it almost makes life worth living all by its self. I eat semi-vegetarian spring, fall and winter, but summer I eat as much meat as I want and the combination has been able to keep my high cholesterol down, it’s always nice to know summer is coming, hate the heat, love the meat.

Sunday July 26th:

๐Ÿ’ž Thomas, the happiness nerd, inspired me to try to get my license back to Fun Raise: I love the idea:
https://thehappinessnerd.wordpress.com/author/thehappinessnerd/

๐Ÿž๏ธ Spent some time with the whole family at the park, sometimes life is so beautiful you know even in the moment you will look fondly back on the time passing by.

๐Ÿ‘’ I had writers meeting on Google Meetings, it was really great to socialize, I hate touching people so a virtual writers meeting is 100% fine with me. I don’t have to spend money at the cafe, nor commute. Not everything can be done online, but writers meeting sure can.

Not sure if I’ll continue next week, but this is just another way writing can be used to elevate the everyday life of the common man or common lady and I wanted to share it, hoping someone will try it and benefit from it as well! ๐Ÿ““

happy stroll in meadow
If your waiting for permission to be happy, you may wait a long time… there is enough bad in the world to suffer from without throwing away the joy that is served to your plate. That’s my opinion anyways. ๐Ÿฆ‹