My World

No pictures. Just sentences.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


There's reality TV and reality checks (mine have been bouncing lately) and even virtual reality. My reality right now is that I'm struggling with my depression, I'm wondering if my meds have stopped working, and the holidays are coming. Oh yeah, and my parents both died around the holidays. (which probably has more to do with my feeling about my meds)

Yesterday I did not go to work because I couldn't function. Today I went and was faced with the reality of too many absences. I feel silly trying to get FMLA because of my depression, but the reality is that I probably should do it. That way if I have another day like yesterday, I won't be forced to face the reality of unemployment.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


No, not that scale!

I was thinking tonight about all the cool things we've done in the past for Christmastime. The treats that we made--mom's fudge, great Aunt Zenith's fruitcake, microwave peanut brittle or whatever came along that year-- or the other traditions such as Christmas Eve Pizza, Secret Santas for local families in need, buying and wrapping toys for Children's Hospital, all had their season and all were special.

When Mom couldn't make the goodies anymore and I'd moved away, Dad started making them. As we got older, the scale of the holiday went way down. I actually found the scaled back Christmas more enjoyable because I wasn't chained to the kitchen as much and I actually got to spend time with family. There was also the ones where I didn't make it home and I started to enjoy the quieter holidays, being able to think about why the holiday was there to begin with.

The memories are great. Nostalgia makes for a good snack.

Sometime I'll feel more like I actually want to create new memories. Right now, I just want to remember folks that aren't around anymore and the great times I had with them. I want to be able to remember them fondly and without the pain of their absence. The time will come someday, just not right now.

Monday, November 28, 2005


It's finally getting cold around here. One thing I do like about Albuquerque is that it doesn't get super cold and snowy like it does further north. However, it does get cold and gets some snow. It's a more temperate climate for as I get older.

Fall is my favorite season because the air gets crisp and the weather flirts with coldness. It's the kind of weather I can drink hot chocolate in (or Starbuck's caramel apple cider), curl up under blankets for natural heat, work on the craft projects that summer doesn't really allow, and know that spring's just around the corner with the promise of newness.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


It's been a wild week. Through it there is one who never left my side. He always made sure he was somewhere near me, even if I wouldn't let him touch me or lay on my lap. He tried to help me with some needlepoint but realized he'd be better off if he didn't help after all.

I think that he senses things have not been right with me and so he's been a real sweetheart. He hasn't done some of the things he normally does that get me angry. As long as he can see me or touch me he's fine.

He's quite the pal and I'm glad he's in my life. He's my cat, Sput.

How I came to have him is a strange story. I had to leave for California in the fall of 2003 and Cookie, the cat I then owned, was staying with a friend. While at my friend's house, she ran away. My friend felt so bad when I got home that she gave me one of her cats. She made it really hard for me to say no and Sput's been in my life ever since.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Answers come when you least expect them, so it pays to be listening.

I've been wondering why my subconscious remembered what happened last Thanksgiving and it took me days to figure it all out.

I was watching an episode of Starting Over on tape. Jessica, one of the housemates, lost her mother 9/11. Rhonda, her coach told her that when it first happens, our bodies don't anticipate anything because we have no cause to believe anything bad's going to happen. However, when the anniversaries come up, the body remembers and anticipates it. You could have knocked me over with a feather! That was it! Mentally, I try to put this stuff aside because life goes on, I've got things to do, etc. However a part of me remembers.

I remember when my dad had his cancer, I would tell him and Mom "It's going to be OK. I just don't know what OK is." That's how I feel right now. I know it will be okay, but I'm not sure just what that is or what it looks like right now.

On another subject, Marianne had a book signing tonight. I tried to get her to sign my book "To EBay winner, Love Marianne." She wouldn't do it. Actually she almost did until I told her not to. She still has plenty of pens and now she's got books too! How cool is that!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Figuring it out

I have a tendency to go for a while feeling low and not understanding particularly why. I've been this way about Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays and just not getting it.

Late last night I had a realization. It was one year ago, Thanksgiving weekend, that I got the call from the hospital about my mother being in ICU. She did not leave that hospital alive, even though she hung on for just over a month before she died.

I remember being asleep, not answering the phone or not hearing the ring. It was midnight Saturday to Sunday and the message was left by an ICU nurse at the hospital. After that I can't recall if I picked up the phone mid-message or just called her back, but it was the beginning of a wild ride that led to my mother's death. Her in California, me in New Mexico.

I do not know why my subconscious chose to remember that memory and not others about this time, but that is what happened and this is the year of all those firsts that nobody really wants to have to deal with.

The first Christmastime after my father died, a local hospice put on a "grieving through the holidays" workshop and it was a lot of help to me. I'm hoping that there's something like that again this year if possible.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy day, Turkey!

I'm not sure exactly where I got that phrase from. Usually people either give me a glazed look and say "that's nice" or get a bit offended. All I did was exchange a couple words.

I said it last night and I finally had the right crowd. Cynthia has sent me Thanksgiving e-mails ever since and all of them have said "happy day, Turkey!"

It was fun because it made me smile. It's been hard today, but I must say I'm thankful for 2 things by name. I'm thankful that the Wal-mart super centers were open when I had to get out of the house to go somewhere and I'm thankful for friends who make me smile when they know I'm having a rough time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I was listening to Glenn Beck on the way home tonight ( and heard him do a monologue about the Norman Rockwell thanksgiving painting. Okay, so it's not really called that. It's part of a set of 4 paintings that were inspired by the Four Freedoms speech of FDR during World War II. As Glenn was talking, he mentioned what was present in the painting that we don't see as much today and what was missing from the painting.

The gist of it was that as much as we want to idolize and romanticize the past, it's pointless to do so. Things today are very different and some things are better that we have now and other things we probably wish we didn't have to deal with.

When I went to my last high school reunion, one of the table favors was a list of things that we have today (then) that we didn't have the year of our graduation. It amazes me to think how blessed we are but with that comes great responsibility.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Even amidst my trials I realize that I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The waves

I've noticed that my significant feelings come in waves. They ebb and flow like the tides.

I know this has been a rough patch for me, but it will get better. In fact it's starting.

I set an intention today that I am willing to look for things that bring me joy. I may not be there yet, but I'm willing.

I came home from work today and checked my e-mail. Someone sent me something that said some nice things about me. I wasn't expecting it and to receive it really made me feel good.

Thank you for reading this today.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Monday

The Mamas and the Papas said it best. "Monday Monday, can't trust that day."

Not that it was a BAD day per se, but I can also say I've seen better. The upside is that it will be a short week. That's a nice thing about holidays.

I don't have anything profoundly deep tonight. I do know that if I skipped a night solely because I couldn't think of anything substantive to say that it would be too easy to skip another night and another and so forth.

I love the cold and the crispness of the autumn air. Time to lay old things aside and prepare for the winter season.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Desperate Housewives

It's funny. It's one of those shows I didn't think I would like. However, I find myself doing less of the casual watching and more of the sit down and watch type watching.

There is a storyline about one of the characters just having a miscarriage. Tonight, some really scary looking guy comes to her house, camps out on her front porch and keeps goading her about going shopping instead of grieving her loss. He said something about "shopping the pain away."

That is how I was last night, wanting to use "retail therapy" to avoid feeling pain. Anyway, later on she mistook him for a kidnapper when he took her to a park and then he went to get something out of his trunk. It was a balloon so that she could have a little ceremony for the baby she just lost. It was really sweet and rather surprising considering who it was coming from. (if you saw the show you know what I'm referring to)

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to share that even though I know what I do to avoid feeling pain, sometimes I find myself doing it anyway. I know that's what I did last night. I'm not sure that I know how not to avoid feeling the pain, but I'm willing to try and isn't willingness one of the first steps?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tough day

I was so sure that I could handle Christmas this year. I went to Hallmark to pick up that cute little snowman that plays the piano. You were supposed to get a big discount if you bought 3 cards. Well, I looked at the cards and I couldn't even walk near the Christmas cards for family members. All I could think about is "no, I don't need to buy a card for parents who aren't living anymore."

I was going to get a card for an aunt in California, but I just felt worse and worse as I stared at those Christmas cards.

I know that it sounds silly, but I've learned that you never know where grief will turn up.

I got the snowman. He makes me smile. The rest of the night I've been kind of down. If I drank, I probably would. If I did drugs, I probably would. All I've got that I can do is eat and shop. I did a little bit of each and it didn't make me feel better and it didn't make the sadness go away. Actually if I had a compulsion to clean when I felt like this, at least it would be something constructive while I was trying to avoid feeling.

I know, the feelings we refuse to feel will run our lives. That's a Rhonda Britten quote, and it's so true.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Happy Birthday Mickey!

Seventy Seven years ago, animation history was made. Mickey Mouse made his debut in Steamboat Willie, which was the first cartoon with synchronus sound and talking. (the sound fit the scene and wasn't just background music but talking and sound effects)

What isn't mentioned (because a proper lady doesn't reveal her age) is that Minnie shares that birthday.

Okay, enough about the mice and on to what I really want to talk about!

Walt Disney once said about all his achievements that it all started with a mouse. This was a man that when technology didn't exist for what he wanted to do, he made it happen. He created the predecessor of the DOLBY THX and all that when he created Fantasound. He developed a multi-plane camera to aid in the animation of Fantasia. He created a major theme park when he saw that most of them were dirty and grimy. Disney has mastered the art of crowd control. They also know how to throw a party.

Not everything to do with the mouse is wonderful. I've been critical of a few things here and there, such as when they started cranking out animated features way too fast and weren't as concerned about quality. Nobody's perfect, and that doesn't discount the great things that were done by Disney.

What's important is to remember how you felt when you were a child and saw Mickey in person for the first time, or saw your first Disney animated feature, or even the first time you were able to introduce someone else to the magic.

Happy Birthday, Mickey. And many, MANY more.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

One at a time, please.

There's an old question I've heard a time or two in my life. "How do you eat an elephant?"

First, who would WANT to eat an elephant? I don't think the meat would be that tasty. It would probably be tough because of all the muscles and it would be incredibly hard to cut because the skin is so tough. Besides getting in trouble with all the environmental groups isn't something I would like to experience.

Okay, so nobody really wants to eat an elephant. So why is the question asked?

The question is asked because at many times in our life we are faced with something large and seemingly insurmountable and the only way to get through it is to break it down into manageable pieces. The answer to the elephant question is "one bite at a time."

There are so many versions to this, from Confucious "the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step" to Bill W. "just take it one day at a time."

My friends will sometimes ask me how I'm doing on a project that is down the road and I will tell them the truth: I haven't thought about it yet because I'm working on the project that's due next week.

A bite at a time, a step at a time, a day at a time, it's all the same. One at a time, please.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


My Grandpa lost the top part of one of his right thumb when he was an older teenager. I never did hear how he really lost it until a speaker at his funeral said something about it. From what I remember, I believe he was trying to stop a runaway car engine with his bare hands. Not a wise move, but I guess he thought he was doing the right thing at the time.

What was really funny was that he would show it to children who sucked their thumb and tell them that he lost it because he sucked his thumb so much that it just fell off.

Sometimes when trying to make a point we will take our circumstances and create a new story about it that might fit, is just ridiculous enough to be entertaining and gets the attention of our audience.

There's nothing wrong with living your object lesson. However, if you start to believe the lies, there is a problem.

Many years ago, there was a church leader who was a great storyteller. Everybody loved to hear his stories and he used them to preach scriptural principles. Well, some of the stories started having variations, and people who knew the characters in these stories started asking questions. Others were checking around and found out that many of these well known and loved stories were either embellished, borrowed from other peoples' lives, or just plain fabricated. He was reprimanded and asked not to preach anymore. Not long after that he died.

No, his death was not related to his storytelling, but had he been honest in his storytelling, his life might have ended in honor instead of being known as the guy who made up stories to teach true principles.

Don't believe the lies you tell yourself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Then comes the fall.

No, literally. Morning fell, or more accurately I fell this morning. I was coming back to my bed after turning off the alarm and of all things, my big toe got caught in my pajama bottoms and down I went.

Of all the times I've been afraid to do something because I'm afraid to fall and it ends up happening anyway, when I'm not doing anything worth falling for.

I guess there's a lesson in that somewhere. Besides the pain that I'm in (and will probably be in tomorrow as well), there's the silliness of the whole thing. It's not a great story, such as "I fell while skiing", or "my foot slipped while climbing mount Everest," or "I was wrestling against The Rock."

I guess I need to realize that not only do small things produce major results, but even when you live a life safely, so that you can't fall down and go boom, sometimes it happens anyway.

Monday, November 14, 2005

writers block

I don't know if it's the Monday blahs, Mercury in retrograde, or what, but I honestly can't think of a thing to write tonight. I know I need to keep up the habit, so I guess I'll write about what to do when I don't know what to write about.

I've had this problem in my Toastmasters experience as well. I could be scheduled to give a speech and the afternoon before the meeting I'm scrambling to find a topic to speak about because I just can't think of a thing.

I know that some suggest keeping an idea/story file so that when they're blocked they can flip through it and see if something catches their attention.

Others try to quiet their mind hoping that something deep inside will finally speak to them now that they're listening.

Others sit around and complain about how their ideas won't flow and they seem to be blocked, needing a laxative to get those ideas moving again.

Me? I do a little of everything, however I mostly distract myself hoping that will get me thinking again. Not a run-away distraction, but just working on my crocheting or needlepoint--something repetitive and not too difficult so that I can lose myself just a little yet still be present enough to notice when inspiration hits.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

a reluctant! hero?

The question mark is on the hero part because I doubt that what I'm getting myself into is heroic. It's just something that needs to be done.

When I was at the Toastmasters conference in El Paso, I knew of a future task that needed to be done and the thought actually came to me to do it. Circumstances did not allow me to commit at that time, and on the drive back home I came to my senses and realized just how bad an idea it would be to manage this task at this time in my life with everything else I've had to do.

Well, a "friend" relayed to the one in charge that needed the role filled that I had come up with this idea. I'm using quotes around friend because usually a friend is someone who has your best interests at heart. I question this greatly right about now.

Anyway, someone who has authority to make this decision loves the idea of me filling this role and every attempt I've made to say no has backfired on me. There is a part of me that really wants to do it, and I guess I'm just going to have to have faith in that part of me and work on the task at hand. Hopefully the rest of me will catch up and get with the program.

Rhonda Britten talks about things in our life that are a stretch, a risk, or a die. A stretch gets you a little bit out of your comfort zone, a risk takes you further, while a die breaks your limitations and redefines a lot in your life. I'm thinking that this task is definitely a die. It's also a little karma for me talking about my confidence muscle yesterday. I guess I'm in for quite the workout!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

my confidence muscle

We all have a confidence muscle. When we take risks or do something we didn't know we could do, we are exercising our confidence muscle. When we change our habits, we exercise our confidence muscle.

The neatest way I've been working on mine is by learning to accept compliments graciously and sincerely. I work hard on a project, whether it be coordinating a program for a banquet, coordinating a training meeting, or giving a speech for my Toastmasters club that takes me WAY out of my comfort zone. Why shouldn't I be able to hear the feedback I've earned?

I've been getting some good feedback recently. Okay, I've gotten good feedback a lot, but only recently have I been able to listen to it and enjoy it without getting all squirmy and uncomfortable and without wanting the attention that comes from a job well done.

And that, dear people, is progress!

Friday, November 11, 2005


Linda Dano's a great actress, but more importantly, she's a classy lady and a good person. I remember with fondness her days as Felicia Gallant on Another World. In fact, not only was I a fan, but my mom AND EVEN MY DAD! (the man would never confess to watching a soap opera in his life except when she was on)

If you've only seen her act, you've missed out. She's hosted a talk show, written about style and trends and in more recent years, attached herself to causes that had meaning for her. Her mother (and I think her father) dealt with Alzheimer's for many years, and then not long ago her husband passed away. When something affects her life, she attaches herself to that cause.

Most recently she found out she was suffering from depression and she is now working on depression awareness. Depression is an insidious thing. Ignorance about it is even worse.

If we attach ourselves to causes that have meaning to us, we have the passion to work on them, and the meaning keeps us going when the passion wanes. Find something that has meaning in your life and attach yourself to its cause!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hey Marianne! Gotta pen?

I have a friend named Marianne. She has her own website and her own book at She has something else that I tend to need a lot of. Pens!

Of course now when she's around I don't bother looking in my own purse for a pen. I usually say "Hey Marianne! Do you have a pen?" and she always gets excited and responds "Of course I do!"

I'm supposed to "forget" the pens when I go places so that she gets some advertising. However, they usually end up at the bottom of my purse, used only once or twice. That's because the next time I see her, I repeat my ritual and get a new pen.

There are some folks in my life that I know I can count on to give me something I need--a smile, a hug, a happy thought, or even a pen.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Today at work everything went out. Just not all at once. The phones had their problems on and off all day. Some issues we could work through, others we could not. Working in a call center requires more than good communication skills. It requires working equipment.

Later in the day, the lights went out. Actually all the power went out, but most of us had some sort of box that kept the computers on so we didn't notice that all the power was off. Eventually all the glitches of the day were fixed and it was business as usual. For those with the power boxes, it was business as usual, only without the lights.

Something keeps us going when things go awry in the world around us. It's not a big black box, but there is a power that keeps us going. Find the source of that power and you may dim now and then, but you will never go out.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The tree is dead, long live the tree

When I bought my new house earlier this year, it came with a nicely xeriscaped front yard. However, amidst all the drought tolerant, desert type plants was a small pine tree. The pine tree didn't fit in and I forgot that it might need a little extra care because it wasn't drought tolerant.

Well, about a month ago, it died. It was only a couple feet tall. I probably could have put some tinsel and lights on it at Christmastime if it had survived. Last night when I came home from work, I noticed my trash can was a little fuller than it was when I left earlier. Today was trash day and it was so dark last night I couldn't figure out what was making the trash can so full. Finally I grabbed a flashlight out of the car and looked around the front yard. One of my neighbors thoughtfully dug up the tree and disposed of it. I know he did it because he was tired of looking at it, but it's okay.

That little tree had a purpose. There used to be a time that I would be offended if someone did something nice for me. I would think it was because they thought that I was incapable or somehow unable to do it myself. I thought it was a reflection on me. I'm learning that when someone does something nice for me, it's a good thing. Pay it back or pay it forward, it doesn't matter. The fact is someone thought about me and put that thought into action.

I used to feel like that. Somewhere along the way things changed. I became more reclusive and more self-sufficient. Sure it's a good thing to be able to rely on yourself, but not at the exclusion of others. We all need each other. All of us. Even you. Even me.

Another lesson I've learned from dead plants is that if they die, it's all right. I can take care of them and they will die, I can neglect them and they may thrive. It's a reflection on the plant, not on the caregiver. I learn that the next time I don't want to leave it where it gets so much sun that it sunburns. I learn that some plants are hardier than others. I learn that I have no control over what treatment that plant gets when I'm not around. I learn that even if the plants LOOK pretty together, they may not be compatible with each other and they may not survive as a group.

Interesting what I can learn from dead plants that I haven't quite learned about people yet.

Monday, November 07, 2005


My mom died 10 months ago. That was the only way the universe could help me realize who I really need to be. Sure I'm sad and I miss her, I even love her, but I remember when I first found out she died I felt free more than anything.

You see my mother was abusive and controlling. As I got older, she did less and less and I ended up doing more and more until I had the sense to leave home for good. She had a way of sucking the joy out of my life and making me feel less than. A lot of it had to do with her weight and the fact that as her world got smaller she attempted to control mine.

What reminded me of all this was watching Starting Over this morning as I was getting ready for work. One of the houseguests, Allison, was talking to her mom and her mom was really working on sucking the joy out of her daughter and making her feel guilty for trying to take care of herself. When Iyanla, Allison's coach, kept saying "what do you want?!", I was screaming at the TV "LOVE! say LOVE!"

We just want to be loved with no strings attached, without having to constantly prove ourselves and our loyalty, without having to feel we can't be honest with ourselves and our emotions.

I tried to get into the Starting Over house this past summer. I went to a casting call. They didn't want me. I did hope that I'd be able to see some stories dealing with abusive mothers this season. There are currently 3 women in the house who are struggling with some sort of abusive, controlling mother. I can sure relate. I've been there.

I'm sorry that I wasn't able to resolve all my stuff with my mom before she died, but part of getting things resolved is having two willing parties. Mom wasn't willing. I can't change that. Now she's gone. Where she's at she will have to deal with how she treated me, and I'm still here on earth, left to clean things up.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Time to Begin

Perhaps this will get me back into journalling. I enjoy writing, why not a blog?

I've got a lot to talk about, but I won't try to overwhelm myself. I just want to be able to tell whoever cares to listen to me what I'm thinking.

This year I'm planning to do Christmas up big. I know that whoever knows me might be surprised to hear that. It's my first year in my new house and come the end of the year it will have been 1 year since my mother passed away, the last of my immediate family.

I do have aunts and uncles and cousins, but it really isn't the same.

I also have not finished with my unpacking from the move (last march--I know I'm such a slacker) but I will do as much as I can and then deck the halls as much as I can.

After my father died in 2001, I went to a workshop on grieving during the holidays. One thing they said was if you don't feel comfortable with existing traditions, make some new ones. Fact is, I haven't decorated for Christmas in many years, so I'm thinking this will be my new tradition for the season.