Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Just Be Kind.

"Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You"

I wrote an entire blog entry about kindness.  How last year, this community came together as one and helped one another and now that bond had shattered and people are capable of being assholes again.  I wrote about how hateful people are now (the majority of people on every side of every issue) and how people's actions speak a million times louder than their words.  I touched on the amazing and downright worst invention in the history of the world: the internet.

But, I deleted it.  Why?

Because, I would be told I am wrong.  It would only be proving my point but at the same time, I have found that it isn't good to write when you're angry.  Yes, that's their opinion and they are allowed it, because I am human and allow people their feelings. But, it doesn't help anything.

Instead, I shall write this.

Be kind to the people around you. Don't be so quick to judge them based on whatever reason you have decided to judge them.  Acknowledge that we are a planet of billions of people who are different in every way and yet, the same in every way. 

We are human beings at the end of the day.  An amazing creation that can come in many different colors, shapes, sizes, and with this incredible ability to speak and think and create and love and improve on things we do, every single day.  We can create good in this world but, instead, it seems that the world rather ride the waves of hate and hurting people however they can.

Anger and hatred only lead to a dead end.  Nothing good comes from it. Do you know where the good comes from?  Human Kindness. Respect. Acknowledging our differences and realizing that we need those differences to grow.

Your actions to your fellow humans, family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers ... that speaks louder than your voice.  People remember when you hurt them.  There's a lot of talk in the world today about inclusion.  People get very upset when they are left out of things they feel they should be a part of ... and then do the very same thing to others.

The next time you want to say something mean and hurtful, because you'll feel this rush of superiority if you say it ... stop and think.  Does it do any good in the world beside give you a feeling of superiority? Does purposefully hurting others actually do any good at all?

No.  It doesn't. 

So, please, just be kind to one another.

Monday, October 8, 2018

It began as any other day

One year ago, the people of Sonoma County went about their day like any other.  It was a warm, breezy Sunday. People did what people do without any indication that after the sun set for the night, everything about their lives would change.

I certainly didn't because I made flippant remarks about not coming in any earlier because I was tired of working. Many times in the last year I wish I could go back and not make such a statement.  It wouldn't have changed anything but I feel like it was such a dumb thing to say.  A moment of allowing a temper tantrum to get the best of me.

I am one of the lucky ones.  I emerged on the other side of that month of fires unscathed. I have my home, I have my life still intact, and I am not changed other than the fact that I am a lifelong member of Sonoma County saddened by the devastation and loss that we experienced. My heart broke repeatedly that month but not for the reasons of many others.  My heart broke as a spectator who felt helpless at what was happening all around me. I did all I could do, I hunkered down ... and I worked.

I might be a little more anxious at times as was mentioned in yesterday's post.  But, I've been an anxiety riddled worrywart for my entire 38+ years on this planet.  I have grown as a person in the last year.  I am more patient with people, I am not as quick to anger as I used to be. I embrace the blessings in my life and acknowledge my struggles as blessings as well. I've always had this thought in my head that things could be worse than they are and October 2017 really sent that thought home and cemented it for all eternity.  Things could always be worse.

That being said, there isn't a single part of me that doesn't wish that we could go back and never have that happen. I wish all of the people affected ... weren't. Homes still standing, lives still being lived. Businesses still where they were, continuing on like any other day ... like they were on the afternoon of October 8th, 2017.

It is often said with the grieving process that it isn't until the first anniversary that you can finally start to feel any sort of healing.  Not forgetting, not moving on completely, just that it is the first year  is down.  Not having lost anything, I don't know if that same thing still applies here.  I can only hope for those affected that it is true.

There are homes being rebuilt all over the place, but that doesn't mean that the events of last October will ever be forgotten.  I am merely an observer and won't forget what was observed.  It probably won't be for dozens of years that people feel any sort of normalcy again.  And, who knows if they ever will.  Not to sound like a Debbie Downer but emotional scars take far longer to heal.  People experienced absolute terror and no amount of house rebuilding and regular life living will ever take that away.

I pray for those still facing their personal battles whether it be still sorting through the red tape of having a home rebuilt, putting the pieces of a fractured life back together, or fighting against emotional battles that may not be outwardly visible to those around them but are not any less real to those having to put up the fight.

We learned last year that we are all members of this Sonoma County community.  It seems at times that we have forgotten that lesson.  In honor of those we lost and the events of that night, I hope that we can come together and feel like one community again.

I hope wherever you are today, you can find some tiny moments of peace to get you through the memories of a year ago.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Thoughts can sink ships

Guess whose back .... back again ...

The world that is my life got a little topsy turvy since I last wrote.  Some of you who know me may look at me and go "How do you figure?"

You see, my friend, things are not always as they seem.  It's like the image of an iceberg.  Cute, tiny, little white triangle sticking out of the water ... GINORMOUS trapezoid with sharp edges under the surface.  Now, I am not saying there is anything about me that is cute and tiny. It's just an analogy.  Kind of like a duck on the surface of a pond.  It appears they are floating along but their little feet are rapidly paddling away beneath them.   I may smile and continue working 80 hours a week, but it doesn't mean that all is well within me.

Because, it isn't.  It's better now, but it was very bad there for a bit.

I can't exactly pinpoint what it is.  It could be a mash up of my life experiences and past traumas and emotional dings that I never dealt with finally becoming a roadblock I couldn't just breeze past. All I know was it was one moment, I was normal-ish and then the next, I wasn't.

My mind wouldn't shut the f*** up. I was quite literally in a state of panic about losing my house, my car, my dog, my husband, ... my job ... you name it!  I was fixated on whether or not I was making enough money so that the above losses wouldn't happen.  Even though I work plenty of extra hours (understatement of the year) and was in no danger of losing any of those things.  I believe, in the only logical way I can, that I felt this way because it seemed like money was something I could control.  I could work more if I needed to (please ... not anymore than I am right now!!!) It is the only thing I can control in this world.  Need money?  Work more. 

I wouldn't consider myself a control freak but when I look back on my life, alllllllll the way back to when I was but a wee child, I have worried about things that are out of my realm of control.  My parents being alive.  I freaked out about that on the regular.  It was something I was afraid of and I felt that if I worried enough, it would never happen.  Well ... I guess I didn't worry enough. 

No, I am not so naive that I truly believe I could have saved my parents.  I couldn't have.  What happened to them is a part of my journey and I wouldn't be the person I am if they were still here.  Because I was a bratty-ass teenager.  Could there have been a different life lesson to turn me around?  Sure, but God chose this path for me and that is what happened.

Anyway, I was literally blinded, hobbled, and crippled by my anxiety.  I needed to be at home when i wasn't at work.  I felt safe if I was at home at night.  I was with the husband and dog the house, etc.  But, I lost something in that time.  I wasn't going to the gym. 

Ironically, CrossFit is what pulled me through some of the heavier bouts of depression that would bloom and I wasn't going to do that.  I was going straight home from work and hibernating inside.  Even though, my little voice in my head was telling me what a loser I was for missing the gym AGAIN!  Then, when I'd eat something bad, oooh boy she really liked to lay into me with the fact that I was eating like shit and not working out. 

My inner voice is a bitch.  I hate her. 

Miraculously, during this horrific, self-loathing, self-hatred, anxiety avalanche of struggle and depression, I found a way to fight it head on.  Because we live in a world where people like to attack others for their choices, lifestyle, or anything that people disagree with I will keep what it is to myself.  But, it helped me ... tremendously.  Am I 100% better?  HAHAHA, that's funny.  But, I am able to fight this. 

One of the favorite things I have read in dealing with this was this:

"Just because a thought exists, doesn't make it true." 

It's a thought.  It's like the internet, it can have whatever your little heart imagines up and can make you think it's true beyond a reasonable doubt.  It can make you absolutely lose your ever-lovin' mind ... and for what? Does thinking something make it true? 

No.

I still find myself struggling from time to time with various different things. But, I also think I, and my favorite co-pilot, are getting a better grip on the reins and I am sitting more sure in the saddle. 

I am learning a lot about myself in this battle. I am realizing that I cannot fix what is wrong on the outside of me if the inside of me is jacked up.  I tried that.  I become obsessed and even more judgmental of myself than I should be because I haven't stifled that inner bitch.  She needs to shut her hole before I can have a healthy view of life.

I'm starting to get CrossFit back into my routine.  I've gone once a week for the last two weeks.  I'd like to go 3x this week but I won't beat myself up if I go twice.  I have to allow myself some wiggle room.  I am not a failure if I don't go.  Just don't give up, right?

I have a better perspective on a lot of things but I am not perfect.  I have a LONG way to go and may never be perfect. Is anyone perfect?  No.  Remember, appearances can be deceiving!!

If you are thinking bad things, just remember, the thought isn't exactly true just because it is there.  I know this is easier said than done.  I know this and I know there are people who have entire planets of struggle in their path and it won't just be gone that easily.  It's just something I like to use to help me sort through what I do need to worry about and what I don't. 

There is so much good in my life.  I truly am blessed ... I just get blinded sometimes.  It happens and it will happen again I am sure.

I hope you are well.