Tidbits towards Happiness- Taglines

We can never go back to change what happened but we always have a choice to be more present today and practice some new choices and behaviors today that can make our tomorrows better.    We all of us humans with feelings have low and challenging moments in our life. Talking with Jill earlier this week, she talked about having a personal “tagline” .  I know I’ve mentioned before in earlier writings that selecting a theme song can be an excellent way to think yourself into situations you find challenging. From the show Allie McBeal, each character had a theme song that would play in their heads in situations that were challenging.  I like this notion. Playing a song in your head like the Rocky theme song can help you feel brave in situations that are challenging.  Having a “tagline” can also be helpful. It’s a saying that props you up and makes you feel a certain way.  The shorter ones are easier to use, and maybe you have some of your own that you want to share (please do, in comments)   It’s a fun google search to look for “uplifting quotes” and try to find one that fits your life or challenging situation you’re facing. In the meantime, here’s a few you might want to try on:  (and in the meantime, don’t stop fighting bitches!)

“Just keep breathing”                                                                                                                  “Because you’re worth it”          (L’oreal)                                                                                      “Put on your big girl panties”                                                                                                     “What if I can do it?”                                                                                                                       “Just put one foot in front of the other”                                                                                     “Self confidence is the best outfit”                                                                                                  “If you want to change your life, the first thing that has to change is you”  (R. Fried) “Always believe something wonderful is about to happen”                                                   “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius  “Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth.” – Souza   Nobody can hurt me without my permission. – Mahatma Gandhi                                 “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. “- Obama                       When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion. – Abraham Lincoln                                                                                                                                         Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill                                        “All that we are is the result of what we have thought”  Gandi

#yoga #yogainspiration

Remember these sentences for the rest of your life.

Tidbits towards Happiness- Taglines

When fireflies in your bedroom start becoming your new pets…..

When I was little and away at overnight camp and already dealing with depression and loneliness, as at home when I felt that way I would hide out alone somewhere, so I retreated to my top bunk in an empty cabin to cocoon.  In the corner of the window near my bed was a spider and a web.  I think I named her Sarah, and it gave me some comfort to watch her and feel less alone.  Now, you might be shivering- ewwww- and I would have to be honest and tell you I really hate insects and spiders like most people, but Sarah felt like a friend and was interesting to watch.  I imagined her coming out and watching me, and I think I tried to feed her, but most of the time she didn’t take what I offered.  She certainly knew she didn’t need to be afraid when I was there.   She never hid.

So being without a dog for me is pretty unusual. I usually like to have two dogs, but I knew Addie would love being the center of attention and she certainly did.  But she’s gone and I find myself without a pet for the first time in many years.  Enter the firefly that suddenly started lighting up in my bedroom when I turn out the lights.  Now most of us aren’t afraid of fireflies at all, and they’re pretty beautiful at night.  This one is flying around the room and I’m finding myself looking forward to seeing her at night.  And I watch for her.  She’s been in my room for a whole week now, and Tuesday  night I woke up my husband to ask if he’s noticed her, and he had, and he’s been enjoying the light show too. Then on Wednesday night there were two fireflies in our bedroom.  I enjoyed imagining they were Mocha and Addie coming to check on me and give me some comfort.  Then last night again just one firefly.

So I’m taking these beautiful visitors to be visits from my sweeties, and them telling me I’m happy with a pet and it’s time to start that rescue search again.  Before I start talking to the spiders again…..and no one will come to my house anymore….ya think?

 

When fireflies in your bedroom start becoming your new pets…..

Random Meanderings of my ADD Brain

I haven’t written for a bit because I was mourning my Addie, my beautiful flatcoated lab rescue, and I was too depressed, like too depressed to work or want to be with anybody, which I totally understand cause that’s not new. But I was so depressed that of this led to thoughts of needing to get a divorce or go on disability and where was I going to live? And then what kind of surprised me was that I had a ton of fantasies about wanting to stab myself or cut. I had total control, but that seemed so weird, like I hadn’t really had thoughts like that in many years. And I really gave it quite a bit of thought. And that’s why Depression is alway the gift that keeps on giving!  It always comes up with new craziness to surprise you even when you think your brain has already been as weird as it could possibly be, Surprise! Gotcha again! Haha!

So last week I had my 45th High School Reunion. I had decided to go. For one, I’m inspired by Shonda Rhimes and her “Year of Saying Yes” even though I never read the book. And two, I made a friends at the last reunion that became close and one was a lovely friendhip that lasted 24 beautiful years before it got too painful and I had to end it. I went to my 20th Reunion because I was divorcing and wanted to make some new friends. I decided to go to this one, because with that best friendship ending, I thought , who knows? I could use some new friends. Another of my very close friends died a few years ago. 

So again the gift that keeps on giving, I had mini panic attacks all week long in anticipation. I hadn’t had panic attacks since I dated in my late 20s where I would shiver through the whole date and pretend I was cold. Yep- no second dates, you’re right.  So on the way to the Cubs game with 3 other people I’m joyfully thinking “please don’t throw up in front of everyone” and “please don’t pass out in front of everyone ” and “please don’t drink so much in front of everyone that you make a drunken idiot out of yourself ” because I couldn’t get any of the 20th reunion friends to go with. And yay, i went and had fun and reconnected with a few wonderful people I had forgotten about but honestly met new people I never knew in High School at all, because the secret of Reunions is that everyone feels awkward and nervous and will be incredibly nice to everyone they would have never talked to in High School so I highly recommend getting yourself to those if you need to make more friends. 

And then after that I had to see a bunch of family and was still fighting panic attacks and couldn’t wait to leave, and then today I wake up and I’m normal again. I feel proud for doing so many things that terrified me and I struggled through them. I feel happy about new connections I’ve made. I am grateful I got to spend real quality time with my High School crush and realize he is an amazing person and I’m so glad for what I’ve learned.  I feel good again and I feel like I’ve come home again where I’m grateful for yoga, and a day off work but relieved I can actually work tomorrow without pretending I know what I’m doing like I have for the last  two weeks, and I’m so grateful for RF, and SC, and IK and BK.  And so grateful to just be back. And I appreciate and love all your comments and support and knowing you are here in this with me. So thank you! Thank you for being here with me. 

Random Meanderings of my ADD Brain

“87 Year Old Woman Named Rose” a lovely story from Kindspring.org

87 Year Old Woman Named Rose

–by Monsieur, posted Apr 10, 2010

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose.

I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.

She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet.

I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this

whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with

regrets.”

She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

“87 Year Old Woman Named Rose” a lovely story from Kindspring.org

What Addie Taught me

Addie was a beautiful black flat coated retreiver mix we got when my chocolate lab/golden mix Mocha was diagnosed with Mast cell cancer in 2013.  When I knew Mocha was sick and didn’t know how long she might have, the idea was that having another dog to come home to would help me deal with the loss of Mocha.  I gave Mocha K9 Immunity Factor and she lasted almost another two years until she was miserable and I had to let go.  Addie came to us through a search with Petfinders.com.  We got her just from her picture and description of her foster mom, without even meeting her. She came from a foster environment of 7 dogs and 10 cats.  She adjusted well and let Mocha be the alpha dog.  Initially she didn’t listen to me well.  I did that thing I saw in a movie once, and I bit her ear to let her know I was the Alpha dog.  It worked, and she was a very good girl after that.   She was also very clever.  She could use her paw as a hand in a way I’ve never seen another dog do.  And when my husband left for work at 3:30 am every morning, she stealthily climbed right into his warm spot on the bed to be there when I awoke.   She knew she wasn’t allowed on the bed when he was there, and she climbed in the second he left the room.

Addie had been a wild thing. She had been living on the streets of Addieville, Illinois and almost hit by a truck, when her foster mom rescued her and she had her for two years.  She was the sweetest most loving dog ever, probably somewhat insecure, but very smart and very attentive. She was the only dog I ever had who could catch rabbits.  I had to dispose of many every year. Even two weeks before I put her down, she killed her last rabbit before I could stop her; she was that fast.  When I put down Mocha, I did come home and appreciate and love her up, but I also resented her for not being Mocha.  In some ways, while I grieved, I hated her for not being Mocha. Mocha was my dream dog. The two breeds I wish were breeded together more, and the mix I’ve never seen again.  But Addie didn’t give up on me. She just kept loving me up, and eventually I fell deeply in love with her.  That’s what she taught me. No matter what is going on, if you just keep putting out love, eventually the hardest nut cracks and things change.

In my very early career, before nursing school, I was an activity aide in a nursing home.  There was a very mean, cranky old lady there who yelled at you from the minute you walked in her room.  I thought, this woman is very miserable.  I must find a way to get her to trust me and open up.  I spent days and days going into her room and being pleasant no matter how she yelled at me.  At the end of the year, I had become able to bring another 5 patients into her room and do music groups in her room and she participated.  That was a huge transition for her. I learned something from this.

People and dogs don’t bite unless they’ve been trained to do so and abused.  Unconditional love, no matter what, if you’re very patient, can be transforming. Addie reminded me of that important lesson, because I was very bitter and broken without my Mocha.  I grew to love Addie. My husband says I took it worse than Mocha, and actually he did as well, even though whenever she did something wrong, she was “my dog” 😉

Life threw me a curve. My plan to have another dog so when I lost Mocha to Mast cell so it wouldn’t hurt so bad didn’t work.  A year ago, Addie was diagnosed with Grade 3 Mast cell cancer, a rare and much more virulent form of the disease.  My vet said he’d only seen 3 cases of this in 30 years.  My heart broke again.

But Addie taught me to never give up on love.  Just keep putting it out there to the world.  Love is the reason we’re all here, and we all need more of it.  Just keep putting out love to the people and beings we wish to have it from.  You keep putting it out no matter what happens, and surprising things can happen if you’re patient and never give up on hope.  You never know what, when, or how,  but if you never give up good things happen.  Sadly, she also taught me that there no way to avoid the pain of loss either, we have to be brave enough to go through it, and then be brave enough to love again.

 

What Addie Taught me

Doggie Love

Perhaps the second greatest compliment I’ve ever received, is being told by my husband that he wanted to come back, if reincarnation exists, as my dog.  My favorite compliment of all time was from a Shepherd breeder/trainer, who needed to find a new home for an amazingly gorgeous 5 year old black fully trained Shepherd.  My husband was still reeling from the death of our Mocha and he said no, but it broke my heart. The breeder said “I’m extremely careful about who I let take our dogs, but I know how much you love your dogs and I’d feel comfortable with you taking him.”  This precious animal, and this statement, was the greatest compliment I’ve ever received from any living soul.  We sadly didn’t get him, my husband was still too raw, and I needed to respect that.  But I will never forget the enormous amount of grace that was in her offer and this statement.

It takes alot of courage to be a pet owner, but especially a dog owner because they bond with us in a different way from other animals.  And the bonding and the love is very easy.  These precious creatures want nothing more than our love.  It’s so simple to give.  We spend a little time training compared to the years of the happy greeting when we arrive home, or the joy of knowing a walk is about to happen.  Addie, my current dog, jumps around in circles in glee.  You can’t watch that without feeling some joy yourself and smiling.  It’s the aging and the death that breaks our heart in unfathomable ways.  And even with her body being consumed by illness at this point in her life, turning away at what used to be her favorite foods, too weak to jump up on the bed anymore to join me and take my husband’s spot when he leaves for work- while it’s still warm,  if I go near the door or  leash, the dance of joy will still begin.   We would be so lucky to be dogs, to be made happy by so simple of pleasures, and feel joy with so little from others.  The amazing love of dogs is what makes dog owners courageously take that step again down the road.  It’s hard, for sure. Not everyone can do it more than once. I totally understand.  This little sign helps.

 

 

Image result for it came to me that everytime i lose a dog

 

Doggie Love

Has Anyone Seen my Big Girl Panties?

Have you seen them?  I can’t seem to find them anywhere.  I have notes all over my house telling me to find them but I don’t seem to know where they are. Do you know what they are?  I just found out what they were a couple of years ago.  See, sometimes it takes more than being old to earn a pair.  You can’t buy them anywhere, drats.  And know what else?  You really don’t want them.  Someone should be selling these somewhere, are you kidding me?  What a goldmine! Come on Victoria’s Secret!  Can’t you just see those stick thin runway models with their 9 inch heels and feather wings wearing panties saying “Big Girl Panties”!

A few years ago I was whining to a friend who told me to put them on.   It’s the idea of them that works.  She said ‘I have to tell you something that will be hard to hear, put on your big girl panties and deal with it’ and I had never heard that before.  But it’s pretty funny the impact those words have.  Just imagining them can make me feel more grown up.  My friend has passed on now, those are child words for harsh grown up life, but she did leave me this wonderful legacy of these words.  When we were little, we all wanted to be big girls.

I shared this with a patient a few months ago when she was at the beginning of a tough emotional journey.  Now she emails me regularly telling me of her struggles, but always that ‘she’s wearing her big girl panties’ and that this really helps.  And I’m glad it does. Just reading those words on those notes all over my house helps me too.

I never ever want to put them on.  I want to cry and scream and fight and numb myself to the pain of life.  But seeing those words reminds me to at least look for them and try to put them on.  Maybe it might help you too.

PS- There is nothing in the Big Girl contract that says you can’t eat a gigantic chocolate chip cookie the size of a planet along with a chocolate malt to wash it down for breakfast.

And because you’re such a big girl, you put two scoops of chocolate flavored green food powder in and now you’ve gotten all your veggies today.  Well done!

Has Anyone Seen my Big Girl Panties?