Category Archives: outside the box

Why are we all so STRESSED OUT?

It gives me some small comfort that pretty much everyone I know is on drugs.  Prescribed medications, of course.  Mostly.  I even joke that we should have someone at the door where I work, standing to the side like a WalMart greeter.  I envision them holding a platter with colorful pills of blue, yellow, pink and green, offering whichever flavor the incoming customer prefers.  It would just make everything so much easier if EVERYONE were on medication.

That said, when did we all become so stressed out?  Mental illness has been around for eons and ages.  People have been axe-murdering each other since forever ago.  But I have to wonder if it wasn’t television that gave us all the big boot into modern day neurosis.

From what I’ve read and in my own non-professional understanding, back before World War II we didn’t all realize that the guy next door could potentially be a serial killer.  We were all sort of content to smile at one another and believe the best in our neighbors.  Once war images started being televised, society realized that there was some ugly stuff going on in the world.  Not that we were really oblivious to the dark side of life, but maybe not aware of its reality on such a large, worldwide scale.

Nowadays it seems everyone is on something just to handle the craziness of everyday life, and social media isn’t making it any easier to maintain one’s sanity.  Seems like any stupid thing you do might be subject to millions of viewers on YouTube if you happen to be in the vicinity of someone with a cell phone, which – let’s face it – is pretty much everyone.  And the constant play by play of a life can wreak havoc on the mental condition of anyone.

My advice in a crazy mushed up world?  Think about what you WANT, and remember what you’ve already DONE.

* Think of the best case scenario for the day and hold that image in your mind.  Yesterday, for example, I was feeling punky, and I imagined myself out on a lake, just floatin’ on a boat.  Improved my mood immediately!  Did I get to go out on the lake?  No.  But seeing myself there made my body relax and set my mind at ease, so that I was better able to deal with what was right in front of me.

There are waayyyy too many of these kind of lists:  “I should have”; “I ought to”; “I didn’t”.  We all beat ourselves up over the littlest of things, because there are always so very many things to be doing.

* Keep a journal (I use an old unwanted book someone was tossing out, and use colorful Sharpie markers to write all this down) for your new lists.  In one column or page write the things you’d like to accomplish for the day:  Grocery Shopping, Pick up Dry Cleaning, Wash the Car, etc.  In the other column or page, write down what you actually accomplish that day.  Include little things like: Treated myself to lunch on the river.  Took the dog for a long walk.  Finished that short story I’ve been putting off.  Washed some dishes.  Took a long bath. bubbles 3

We tend to berate ourselves for things we DON’T accomplish instead of praising ourselves for the many things we do without thinking about it.  Try to remember and include all the awesome things you took care of today.

Will this increase your performance and efficiency?  I don’t care!  The fact is, being nice to yourself will probably give you a longer life expectancy than beating yourself up over a less than perfectly organized house.

Just my thoughts on how to be Accidentally Happy with just a little effort.

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two cents

i’m in America; the elections are over, and after arguments, debates and ballots have been cast, i still feel the wake of it all.    i’ve read a lot of comments on gay issues on people’s ‘social media’ sites recently – twitter, facebook, etc.  – as well as doom and gloom from people who are unhappy about the outcome of the election.  i feel the need to press my two cents into cyber space, for some reason i can never explain.

this is mostly about gay issues, prompted by conversations and opinions from various people on a friend’s wall;

i am a liberal Democrat, if you must know, and voted accordingly.  i support same sex marriage, as well as a woman’s right to choose abortion.  having said that, i also support opposite sex marriage, and a woman’s right to choose NOT to abort.

America isn’t about homosexuality, or religion, or health care for everyone, or abortion.  America is about FREEDOM.

a few years back i stopped going to a restaurant i consider to have excellent quality foods and service, and completely delicious dishes.  why?  well the owners are Christians. but that isn’t WHY.  i stopped going because the owners blatantly promote their religion.  there is a huge electric sign that stands in front of the restaurant glaring at me and quoting me Bible verses that are supposed to make me want to convert or confess.  there are Bible verses on the menu, and a cardboard box on the counter for prayer requests.

i don’t have anything against all of these things in particular; praying for others is awesome, and having a guideline to follow in life is both helpful and respectable.   i DO have a problem with trying to come in for a meal and being bombarded with someone else’s religious leanings.  if i wanted to get a good dose of guilting i could go to church; what i really want is the big summer salad with extra cheese and nuts, and a side of that Amish bread please.

but all this is true on the OTHER side of the coin.  if i go into a coffee shop for a latte, i want a latte.  i don’t want someone to shove their views of gay marriage down my throat.  i am FOR gay marriage, but the appropriate place for this kind of discussion is NOT in a coffee shop through signs, or clothing messages, or cupcakes named after famous gay people.

i’d like to see things swing back to center slightly.  i’d like for people to remember what respect and freedom are about.  my right to support gay marriage is as equal as someone else’s right to OPPOSE gay marriage.  my decision to be a liberal is no better than someone else’s decision to be conservative.  we should have the FREEDOM to choose certain things in our lifetimes, but that necessitates that others have the SAME freedom to choose oppositely.  we all just need to grow up, stop name calling, and accept the fact that we will always have differing opinions; that is what makes us great; that is what makes us interesting; and the freedom to have these differing opinions is far more important than what the actual opinions boil down to.

 

not hoarding…CREATING

i get crap occasionally for being too much of a hoarder … errr … COLLECTOR.  well, sometimes there is a method to my madness.  (more usually, a madness to my methods)

this for instance:


this is Herman.  found him at a thrift store for maybe .39 cents.  one day he seemed to need a tie, so i found this ribbon i’d been holding onto for probably seven years.  then my sister got rid of an old game of “ants in the pants” from when she was watching some little tyke.  now, the game sucks if you are over 2.5 years, and/or can do small mental tasks like reason out the name of yourself.  but THE PANTS!  so i stuck Herman in the pants, and he is so very dapper, he has to stand next to the TV now and show himself off.  truly adorable, and very entertaining to boot.

it’s a bird!

last monday, while my sister and i were out antiquing, we spotted a seldom seen bird!  get out your bird books, because i snapped a shot of this rare beauty!!

Easy steps to a magical life

My sister Tobie found a nose the other day while she was hanging around.  Now don’t go all “Dexter”

on me and call the FBI to apprehend those in my household ~ this was a Polar Bear nose.  Of the Stuffenad Animaleus genus.  I made a display at work that was meant to encourage volunteerism; stuff like joining Habitat for Humanity, or World Wildlife Fund, or the Nature Conservancy.  That kind of thing.  We have all kinds of books on volunteer vacations and I thought it would make a good display, so up went all the endangered toys: leopards, wolves, and polar bears.  I put up a few super heroes and tried to imply that you would gain massive mystical abilities by serving your community.  I’m pretty sure no one was fooled by this chicanery.  While preparing at home for the display, the nose popped off the polar bear, so I just had the mamma bear cleaning the baby bear at work, and no one was the wiser.

Except my sister, when she found what she thought was a random dog nose laying around the house.  Now I know there are people in the world who would just say to themselves, “dang it, my kid broke another toy” or “ackk, the vacuum will NOT like THIS”.  And yes, these things are logical responses.

But having a life full of wonder involves re-thinking your typical responses.  Yes I can just pick up the nose and throw it away, or put it and the broken bear in a bag to give to a charity, or set it aside to mend.  But life is so much more magical when I take a moment to reflect, and look at the nose on the carpet and ask myself:  what kind of boogers would come out of a carpet’s nose?

summer lovin’: ideas for keeping cool

well it’s another hot scorching day in the States.  which is wonderful, because it’s not winter!  but if you don’t have AC at your location, here are some recommendations for keeping cool:

1.  Go to your local library!  Not only should your local library have loads of good stuff to read, listen to and peruse, they should have AC as well!  Do what our patrons do and enjoy the cool spell for a while as you play Farmville on the web.  Or nod right off in one of the fluffy chairs.  It beats passing out on the sidewalk and getting a concussion from heat exhaustion.

2.  Go mall walking.  Malls are full of AC.  And consumerism.  And pretzels.  So then walk a little more after that.

3.  Hit the theater.  Summer blockbusters don’t even have to be interesting, because they offer popcorn and AC for a few hours of the day.  Who cares what’s playing?  But if you can still catch it, the Avengers is worth watching back to back for multiple kick-butt enjoyment and extended AC play.

4.  Bug someone in your family.  Surely someone you know – family member, friend, ex, or foe – has air conditioning you can siphon off for a while as you return that old lawn mower you forgot you had, or the old jean jacket that went out of style twelve years ago.  Or maybe you just want to patch things up with someone you’ve had a feud with, because that will be sure to take about three or four good hours of crying and cooling down.

5.  Go to Red Robin.  Not only do they have the best most delicious burgers EVER, they are coooool.  Not sure what the maximum stay period is, but you can stretch it out by ordering desert, refills, and asking for a coloring book.

6.  If all else fails, lie in the tub!  Pour a tub full of cool water, sprinkle in some mint leaves if you want refreshing scents, and hop in with a good (disposable) fiction read.  Be sure you bring in something you don’t mind tossing out, just in case you drop it in the water.  Magazines are great for this, and comic books if you aren’t an avid collector and worried about the mint condition.  You may find yourself slightly pickled after a few hours, but just think of all the telemarketers and mothers-in-law you will avoid by not hearing the phone!

why i don’t do drugs

i’ve mentioned before on here – several times i’m sure – that i’m sort of a foodie.

not the rich and knowledgable kind.  i can’t tell you much about truffle oil or where the best foi gras can be found.  but i do enjoy food, and eating, and the process, flavors and experiences that go with all things food.  well…maybe not ALL things food.  it’s likely i wouldn’t enjoy prison food too much, even if it HAD truffle oil in it, which i doubt it does.

anyway, i’d much prefer to be having this today:  as it is overcast and breezy out, and seems like an ideal lunch for today.

but i would be happy with this as well

because i am happy to eat Mexican food any day of the week.  and sometimes more often than that.  however, what i would NOT like for lunch is the topic of this post.  i heard from my sister last night that a man was found in Florida, eating the face off another man, while he was still alive.  now, i’m not implying that this man was also a foodie, and wanting to sample other delicacies he had not heretofore attempted.

he was, apparently, on drugs, and i guess got the munchies and didn’t have enough change on him to pick up a snack.  seeing as how he was NAKED and all.  and while i find it unappetizing to be munching on someone’s face, i am also perplexed about his clothing selection at this time, and why he felt it necessary to be in the buff for this situation.

but this is why i do not do drugs.  at least other than opiates.  because while i might find some men handsome enough, and i might kiss them with a fervor that LOOKS like i’m eating them up, i don’t actually wish to consume anyone.  it’s a personal choice.   cannibalism; not cannibalism.  maybe it’s a degree, like homosexuality.  some people are gay, some people are homophobic, and others fall in the middle somewhere.

so maybe: some people are vegans, some people are cannibals, and i would rather eat Jimmy John’s.

flea market finds and thieving husbands

i loved this pillow so much.  i saw it at the flea market where i got the booze bottles, and it had a small chewed up hole on one corner.  obviously someone’s dog thought it was charming too.  🙂  they sold it off for only a quarter, while the woman yelled at me that insulators are for receiving lightning so your house doesn’t burn up. OK!  i mean, she actually yelled at me.  i should have made her drop the price to a dime just for being rude.  but it was hot out, and her table was directly in the sun with no tent or awning, so i’m sure it was the heat that was making her bitchy…errr…enthusiastic.

i cut an Ikea shopping bag in two and made the halves into ‘purse pillows’ cause i thought they looked so cute together.  now she looks like a thoroughly distressed shopper who just missed the sale of the decade.  or discovered her husband left her and took her favorite Kate Spade purse on accident.

(by the by, the chair – though not well pictured – was also a steal.  found a set of them, old parlour chairs, at a Goodwill for only 6.00 each.  i plan to redo the fabric.  you can’t see how cute the shape is, but they are CHARMING!)

slightly dyslexci

my age – as of today – in dyslexic years

crooked eye view

i like my weird perspective; my ability to see things that aren’t things, and notice expressions that are barely there on the face of the person next to me.  i have an uncanny ability to see hidden objects in movies, or ghosts in the window of an old house.  most people just look at me with a weird look on their face when i tell them about these things.  “off to the Funny Farm with you”, they seem to be saying to me with their wild, surprised expressions.  just because i saw a face in a tree?  or claim that i have faeries in my room playing Yahtzee? 

well even the small of faith and linear of mind should be able to see that i’ve found a mummy lying right next to one of the characters from Nightmare Before Christmas!!