Friday, April 6, 2018

Invisible Danger

Almost as long as I have been old enough to understand such things, I have had a fear of things that are invisible or nearly invisible, but can cause grave illness or death. This fear includes things like toxic chemicals that can be found just about anywhere, radiation, mold spores, bacteria, viruses, tiny insects that can infect or bite, or even sometimes ghosts or demons. Most days I am like any other average person with few thoughts of these kinds of things. But on a bad day I can be consumed with thoughts and fears that make it nearly impossible to enjoy life or function.

I'm not sure where this fear came from other than the basic human instinct for self-preservation. I have learned to cope with it somewhat, but I am always looking for ways to become stronger. Sometimes I have to actually tell myself out loud to "be brave". Other times I have to listen to music or distract myself somehow. Other times I pray (even though I am not a particularly religious person). Most of the time I just have to tell myself that life in general is not risk-free. Everyone is exposed to things daily that could kill them sooner or later. I guess the trick is to not let those things keep you from living your best life. You can't prevent everything that could potentially cause harm to your body, and you don't know when your times will be up. So I suppose the best way to live is with as little fear and as much joy as possible. Putting that into practice is not at all easy. But if I keep working on it constantly, I think I will always be improving my happiness level. And that is all I can really ask for myself and for anyone else.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Left Behind

I've really been slacking on the blog posts recently. In my defense, I have had some major changes happening in my life. But that is a topic I will have to discuss at a later time. For now I wanted to write about abandoned places and feeling left behind.

This may seem like an odd thing to write about, but for some reason it has been an underlying concern for me for most of my life. As long as I can remember, I don't like being the last person to leave a place or feeling like I am left behind. It just makes me sad and uncomfortable, like I am somehow left with the ghosts of what happened there, which are never half as satisfying as when you are living through the real thing. It makes me sad for what is over and will never happen again. It also makes me feel like everyone else has moved on and I have been left behind to be forgotten about like the place. I know it doesn't make much sense, since we are always moving on from one place to the next. I guess I just have a harder time than most people letting go of a good moment when it is over.

Abandoned buildings make me feel a similar sadness to being left behind. In a way I feel the same loss for all the good things that happened in that place, even though I was never a part of it. I think of the abandoned objects inside these places that were once so important and now are forgotten. Just driving past an abandoned place can bring on a heavy sadness. I almost feel bad for the building even though it has no feelings.

Over the years I have tried to develop ways to overcome this irrational sadness. I try to think of the good things ahead instead of what is being left behind. I try to realize that everything is in a constant state of change, and nothing lasts too long. But mostly I just try to not think too hard about what is over and what has been lost. Because if you only focus on your loss, you will never see all the things that you have.

Friday, December 15, 2017


In today's modern world we are surrounded by technology pretty much 24/7. We use phones, computers, machines, cars, and all kinds of fancy gadgets that make our lives easier. For the most part I don't mind all the technology. My washing machine washes clothes in a fraction of the time of hand washing. My GPS on my phone makes it simple to get just about anywhere. The internet has news and answers to thousands of burning questions.

The thing that I don't like about all this technology is how everything somehow becomes linked, and for the life of you, you can't break or change these links. Your phone is linked to your computer, which is linked to your t.v., which is linked to you car, which is linked to your refrigerator (seriously), which is linked to your tablet, which is linked to your laptop, which is linked to the internet, which is linked to every online account you have ever created, which is link to EVERYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD! Ok so maybe not that far. But these links can become troublesome at times.

For one thing, because of these links, when I take a picture on my phone, it automatically knows when and where the photo was taken. It saves this information along with the actual photo to my phone. But the photo also gets saved to other accounts I may have created like Google Photo. Somehow, I seem to end up with about five different copies of a photo I didn't even like in the first place, and if I delete one copy, you better believe that the other four are still floating around out there to pop up at the most inopportune times.

This doesn't just happen with photos, either. Contacts, e-mail addresses, and all kinds of old information seems to get locked in a vault of "Things You Can Never Get Rid Of No Matter How Hard You Try". I have actually had my phone tell me that I can't delete something because it is linked to another account! How crazy is that?! This really messes with my nerves when my anxiety gives me the urge to de-clutter, but my electronics won't allow it.

All these links also make it hard to keep things separate that you want separate. What, you don't want your Facebook linked to your Pinterest, to your Fitbit, to your Instagram, to your e-mail, to your phone? Too bad! It automatically linked for you, and good luck un-doing that! No one anywhere will be short of information of what you are doing and where you are every second of the day!

I don't mean to sound like a grouchy old woman who wants nothing to do with technology, but sometimes I just get overwhelmed by it and I need my space. I enjoy browsing Pinterest or Facebook as much as the next person, but I don't want my every action to be recorded and shared with the world. I guess there is no getting around it, though. With more convenience comes the price of less privacy and more complications. I suppose all we can do is keep our accounts and our technology usage to a more tolerable level, and when you are feeling exhausted by all of it, maybe unplug and do something more tangible.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

You Do

Once in a while I like to go to fancy stores where all the employees have to dress like they are going to the opera, and almost everything is far out of my price range. I like to go to these kinds of stores mostly because they are fun to browse. They have unique and sometimes high-quality things that you can't find anywhere else. Once in a while I will even splurge and buy something from one of these stores.

But when I go to expensive stores, I also often start to wonder what it would be like to have enough money to buy anything, or as many things as I liked from one of those places. What if I could buy the finest of everything? What if I could have all the rooms in my house look like the perfect and beautiful displays in the stores? After thinking about this question for some time, I decided that I wouldn't want to be able to buy everything in an expensive store, and of course I have my reasons.

My first reasoning is that it would be a waste. I have most things I need, and buying more would just be wrong for me and for the planet. I don't need to cause more pollution and waste just so I can have a pretty house. Second of all, if I had that much money, I would want to use it for more productive things, like helping others, trying new experiences, or creating something that will help the world. I'm not entirely sure what that would look like, but if I had the money, I'm sure I would figure it out. I'm not a perfect person, but I definitely wouldn't enjoy keeping all of that kind of money to myself.

My last reason for not wanting the finest of everything is my most important reason. It's a lie. I think if you have so much money that you never have to think about the cost of anything, it is easy to get sucked into your own little world of imported linens, handmade soap, and the best cookware. You start to expect only the best, and you start to forget that there are people who don't even have a toilet or running water. Or at the very least you start to disconnect from how those people might feel. This is dangerous because if we only think of ourselves, we are actually unconsciously destroying ourselves and our world. It may not happen quickly, but if you neglect others it will eventually catch up to you. We are only as strong as our weakest link. If we refuse to share what we have with others, we are only making that weak link weaker.

I know not all rich people are bad and want to hoard their money. But I know that lots of money can often put a strange spell of selfishness and greed over some people. Don't let the money lie to you and tell you that you have everything you need. You need friends more than a new car. You need a planet more than a new house. You need love and understanding in the world more than a diamond ring. Believe me. You do.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Getting Far

When I am driving I will often see people who, for whatever reason, are walking down the street. Seeing this usually makes me think how lucky I am to have a working car. I think most people who have a car take it for granted that they can just hop in the car and be somewhere in a matter of minutes. If not for that privilege, walking takes huge amounts of time and energy. I try to always be grateful for what I have, but sometimes the ability to drive anywhere is something I take for granted.

Of course it is not always easy maintaining a car. I break out in a sweat just thinking about how much car repairs can cost. Gas isn't always cheap either. But compared to walking, the benefits of driving far outweigh the negatives. If I had to walk everywhere that I drive, I would spend almost all my time doing nothing but walking. I would be in great shape, but my free time would be gone. Also, the weather would be a much bigger issue. Dressing in the winter would be a matter of life and death if I had to walk everywhere. The rain would mean misery rather than annoyance.

I don't think this post has much of a point, other than to be grateful for what you have. It is so easy to feel inconvenienced when you have to drive somewhere, rather than privileged that it will only take a few comfortable minutes. If you don't believe it, just try walking everywhere for a day. You won't get too far physically, but mentally you will take leaps and bounds.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


There are times in just about everyone's life where you feel beaten down, not good enough, and overall worthless. Sometimes you may feel like this for no reason, but many times it's because others are telling you these things. They tell you you need to change. You need to do better. You are not living up to your potential. Your best just isn't enough. While these kinds of comments can often be well-intentioned, they can also be very discouraging, especially if you already feel you are at your breaking limit.

I think that many times in life people just don't understand how another person feels, or what they are truly capable of, and they try to ask of them more than they can handle. Of course the misjudged person can always say no to a request of more effort. They can even say they can't physically or emotionally push themselves any further. But that choice can sometimes be judged even more harshly than just continually struggling to try to do better. First of all, the person making the request probably won't believe you are really at your breaking limit, because they wouldn't have asked if they did. Secondly, if they do believe you, they could simply choose to discard you because you are not good enough. Third, you will always have the label of "the person who failed".

I do believe it is important to improve yourself and strive for better. But I also believe that, if you let it, the world will bleed you dry by continually asking for "just a little bit more". Finding the sweet spot between those two things can be difficult to impossible. When do you put in exhausting effort every day, and when do you cut your losses and try to move on? I'm not sure of the answer to that, but I do want to give some encouragement to those who are struggling with this -

You are a good person.

You are not broken just because you are different.

Your struggles and pain are real, even if no one else can see it.

Just because something is harder for you than for most people doesn't mean you are worthless.

Don't listen to everything other people say about you.

You are loved.

I get emotional writing those lines because I think so many people are needlessly struggling with feeling inferior, when all they need is some love and encouragement and less judgment. I know some people don't believe that. They believe in tough love and pushing someone to their breaking limit. But I believe people will bloom far brighter when they are loved and encouraged, than when they are pressured into submission. I hope everyone out there can begin to be less judgmental and start lifting up those who are downtrodden, because those who are pushed too far may break.....and not all fractures can be healed.

Friday, October 13, 2017

I Miss These

I have been doing this blog for quite some time now, and occasionally I find it hard to think of things to write about. So I have been saving a few writing prompts on Pinterest to give me ideas when I am in short supply. This is both a good and bad thing. It's good because obviously it gives me ideas. It's bad because sometimes it gives me too many ideas and I want to write about them all at once. But I will try to contain my enthusiasm and pick one topic at a time.

The topic that stood out to me this time is - Something you miss. I think this one interested me because I have been thinking about the past a lot lately and I miss many things about it. So I will tell you a few of them. Hopefully you will find them interesting, since people often enjoy talking about themselves, but others don't always enjoy listening.

- I miss my mom. I miss how sweet and loving and brave she was. I miss her tender kindness. I miss how she always made life fun for her kids. I miss how she made us dinner every night. I miss her love of learning and writing.

- I miss Bear. I miss her wet kisses and silent presence. I miss her little barks warning me that someone was outside, and her big barks warning me that someone was at the door. I miss her leaning on me every time I sat down and she wanted to be close. I miss her running in a field of grass like life was so wonderful she couldn't express her joy in any other way but to run at top speed. I miss her love and acceptance of everyone.

- I miss when I was a kid and my family would celebrate together during the holidays. It wasn't big or extravagant, but I always felt warm and close and loved and like things would never change.

- I miss being a kid. I miss not knowing the scary things in the world. I miss just laughing and playing without feeling judged or guilty.

- I miss my hair. This may seem like a silly one, but hair really makes a difference in the life of a woman. No I am not bald. However, my hair has changed dramatically from my teenage years due to health conditions and maybe just the stress of life. It is much more frizzy, thin, and unmanageable, and no amount of hair products can bring it back to how it was. I miss being able to brush it without it falling out at all. I miss being able to do certain hair styles. I miss not worrying about it clogging up the drain and the vacuum.

- I miss hanging out with my brothers more. We all grew up and life got busy and complicated, and in some ways we grew apart. But I often think about how we were as kids and how much fun we had together. I know it can't be the same now, but I wish we could get to know each other better as adults and enjoy time together now.

- I miss the first apartment I had with Mike. It was just a nice place with just the right amount of room. It was on the second floor right in the middle of the complex so I could look out the front window and see everything that was going on. I don't remember ever seeing a spider there, and it didn't seem to get too dusty like my current house. I didn't have to worry about mowing the lawn or shoveling the snow.

-I miss hanging out with friends. Just like with my brothers, life gets busy and there never seems to be time for fun. Yes Mike and I do hang out with friends from time to time. But I miss the spontaneous fun that happened with friends in high school or college. These days hanging out requires more of a laborious planning process.

- I miss not wearing glasses. They just get annoying sometimes.

- I miss having more energy. Once again life has taken a bit of a toll on me. I don't think I have half the energy I did as a teenager.

So there you go. Those are some of the things I miss most. I know they are mostly pretty sad, but it's not all doom and gloom. Just because I miss things from time to time doesn't mean I can't find time to be positive and look toward the future. In fact I make an effort not to get stuck in the past, because while memories can be enticing, there is no future there.