I see !!!! Icey

The first time I was asked, “what is different about you since you quit smoking?”  I was asked this question during an interview for a documentary on using mindfulness to relieve oneself of addiction.  My first thought was, “I am a nicer person.” Being interviewed by a professional interviewer type person, that answer was so not going to be enough. I continued on with, “i am able and willing to see other people better or clearer even.  i am more aware of how others might be feeling or what they could be thinking.” Stay Tuned on July 4th. link available July5th

I can see that the way others react or act is not a reflection on me.  maybe they just stubbed their toe 2 minutes before seeing me and it still stings the way i interact with other people is what matters.

So,

I quit smoking.  I have done it using a mindfulness app I ‘accidentally stumbled upon’.  I knew I had to/wanted to/needed to quit. I was in a fog wondering  how to go about it.  then One thing happened that led to another. that thing appeared to lead to another thing which led to another then another and another.  Today I am smoke free and grateful.

I feel as though I have somehow moved from using Mindfulness practice to quit smoking to  Mindful Living.

This was not My Plan.

My Plan was to use Mindfulness in an attempt to better control the ever powerful anxiety I experience.  I needed to get a handle on this monster and pills were no longer a viable solution.  I needed something better.  Apparently I was ready for something better.

Enter MINDFULNESS.  I should add the word Again to that last sentence.  I had my 1st introduction to mindfulness 28 years ago.  second exposure 15 years ago.  I now see that these experiences have prepared me for where I am right now.  Right Now! Right Here! Not worrying about a future that might never happen.  Not dwelling on a past I cannot change.

not the worst place to be!!

Changes…. not in any particular order and not a compete list.  Keep in mind these are not changes I planned. I did not sit down one night and make a list of things I wanted to change in me.  To be honest, i did not know i needed to change.  want to change?  Not even a little.

The only change I desired was to no longer smoke

to be smoke free.

  • i no longer have the need to get everything done right now.    for example : i want to finish writing this post. i am not going to die if i save it and finish it later.  last year or even last month, “ineedtodoit! doitnow! cantwait! mustgetitdonenow! nomtterwht.”  just a tad anxiety provoking from inside.  no outside trigger needed.
  • i smile more.  not because life is so freakin awesome and I have no reason not to smile but because if i smile, maybe someone who is lucky enough to see me smile will smile. then someone else might smile and then someone else….
  • i am calmer. inconveniences and other people’s stupid behavior that would have once throw me into fits of panic/anger/depression/disappointment affect me in a different way.  i am able to take a tad bit o time and breathe.  This breathing thing is not new to me.  People in my life have been suggesting it forever and a day.  Regular, consistant mindfulness practice got me to remember to breathe when I need to.
  • I am nicer.  i already talked about that.  I have always been a relatively nice person, but now I am even nicer and to more people.
  • i sleep better. not longer, Better. I wake up earlier, yet less tired. more refreshed
  • life is the same.  pleasant and unpleasant things are always going to happen. That is Life. That is not going to change, But…. i can change. I deal with life’s obstacles in a new way.  i am capable of dealing with the life stuff in a way that i was never capable of before.
  • i stopped biting my nails while I quit smoking  – it took me awhile to even notice my nails were growing.
  • i eat slower and enjoy what I eat.  quitting smoking definitely makes things taste better, but i enjoy that better taste more.  Food was always just something I ate so I didn’t fall down.  Now I take the time to savor every bite. I’ve begun experimenting with a variety of new recipes as well.
  • I am more capable of thinking before i speak.  I have always either talked too much or not at all.  Now when a thought flies into my brain I am able to stop, breathe, give myself a chance to decide if this thought needs to exit through my mouth or do I let it go.
  • I feel feelings.  this is a direct result of the mindfulness app I used to quit smoking.  The app suggested instead of fighting the cigarette cravings, i might try to really feel them.  Truly feeling the craving and seeing it for what it truly is. Watching it leave without my having to smoke, made my mind stronger, made the next craving a bit easier to deal with. Doing this over and over again helped me form a new healthy habit.  I am now applying this same technique to feelings.
  • I am able to feel what is going on in my body quicker.  i am a diehard jaw clencher. I always have been. Today I am able to notice my clenched jaw quicker than ever before.  Once I am able to identify that I am clenching my jaw, I am able to take steps to stop it.  My jaw, teeth,dentist, and head are grateful.
  • i worry less and Care more

Now, how to end this.  Do I even have to end this?  Do I want this to end?  The answer is so simple.  No.  I am on a new journey and I choose not to end it too soon.  I finally truly and completely believe that I am Going to be okay. No, wait, I AM OKAY!!!!

To summarize.  I exposed myself to mindfulness practice in an effort to relieve self of debilitating anxiety. An App that uses mindfulness to help relieve oneself of unwanted habits found me.  My desire to quit and the repetition of that App not only relieved me of my habit, it opened me up to a whole new way of thinking and feeling and living.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Coincidence or meant to be????

Hmmmmmmmm !!!! I wonder what is in store for me at the grocery store. Will I be wicked late or Right on Time?

dinosaur feet I say (kick ass)

dinosaur feet I say (kick ass)

I parked in a most unusual spot. I usually do this shopping thing with my husband, but today I decided to venture out on my own. We usually find the best parking spot together.

I’ve been doing real well with the mental health crap stuff, so I figured “Why not give it a Go?”

As I start walking toward the entrance, I spot a woman wearing my husband’s work shirt. I just assumed it was a coworker as no one has this shirt in this color.

I thought to myself, “odd, such a nice day why is she not at work?” I approached her saying, “Hi there, You must know Jax?”

“No, why did ask that?” she questioned.

“That is his work shirt. Where did you get it?” As obsessive thoughts kick into high gear in my brain, I completely forgot that she should not have access to this shirt.

livin' in America.  Like a King

livin’ in America.

Like a King

As the woman briefly looked down then back up to meet my eyes, she responded with “At the salvation army. I liked the color.”

“Do you have kids? Jax works there.”

“My kids are in their 30’s, but I have 11 grandkids.”

“As long as there is 1 under 12 you can get in. Jax works there. He is their favorite, he can get you in for free. It is a wicked expensive place. He is there favorite. Do you have a pen? crap! I always carry one, but not today.”

“I have one in my car.”

Yes I know, I am the star

Yes I know, I am the star

“Then, let’s go,” I smiled. Not realizing that my friendliness could be construed as total NutBag Material.

“Is Jax your brother?” She asked as it dawns on me. The Idiot i can be at times pipes up, with “the short hair and way I am dressed, add in the cough induced raspy voice and I look and sound like a teenage boy.”

“Jax is my husband. This is my number, I am Emily. Just call me when you want to go.”

“Wow thank you so much. I’ve always wanted to go there too. I just want to spend the whole day walking around.”

Please, please, please  I can eat no more.  just a quick nap and I am good

Please, please, please
I can eat no more.
just a quick nap and I am good

“No problem, it can be wicked expensive to go. My mom and I go all the time. We sit and relax there in the Adirondack chairs scattered about. The many animals come to us.”

“I am Darlene nice to meet you.”

When I got home I had more time to think. I saw it from my Husband’s work point of view.  No one has these shirts.  No one!!!! I need to call him. 

Then I started to see it from Darelne’s point of view. “Who is this crazy person talking to me about my t-shirt? I only picked it cuz of the color. I’m embarrassed, but I don’t know if this is a girl or a guy? The short hair, hoarse voice, the glasses could be female, bulky sweatshirt…. I can’t believe this is happening out of the blue. My son was just telling me he wished he could take his kids there, but it is so expensive. Now out of the blue, someone in a grocery store parking lot, I don’t even know is offering me free admission.”

“This is so not America 2015.”

Couldn't ask for a better life than this one I have here.

Couldn’t ask for a better life than this one I have here.

On the drive home, she thought long and hard over what just happened. I was just told the other day that I needed to learn to trust others. Maybe this is my test? Some real strange crap has been happening lately, maybe I should just go with it. If I don’t call, nothing can happen. If I do call; it could be a wrong number, or they don’t know what I am talkin about, or I get to splurge and take my grandkids to the Center. I think I know what to do. I don’t even have to think about it. I will make the call despite my hatred of phones. If they answer I don’t know what I will do. I can hang up, talk, or hopefully get to leave a message. Yes, a message would be best. I can do this. I can do this for my Grambabies.

And to think I was going to die tonight. I was ready to end my life. The Rolling Stones said it best, “But if you try sometimes you get what you need.”    

 

Household task? wicked funny question.

What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more.

This is such an easy question for me to answer.  All of Them.

Growing up the bathroom was my responsibility.  Yes, we had responsibilities when I grew up.  Every week the bathroom was to have a thorough cleaning by me.  Top to bottom and everything in between was to sparkle.  If my Mother had to ask me to do it, she only had to ask once.

My room on the other hand was a mess.  I just couldn’t keep it clean.  I lived in total clutter.   The beginning scenes of the original Odd Couple always reminded me of my room.  Oscar’s room was my room.  At some point my Mom gave up on me keeping in clean. It was an impossible feat.

Once a year, my room would be neat. I mean immaculate neat. One bedroom was small, one was big. So to keep it fair we swapped rooms every year.  I would spend 1-2 days going through my old room.  Sorting, finding, throwing, a years worth of stuff.  Every thing would have its place in the new room.  I would love the way the new room felt.  Eventually it slowly turned back into the old room.  I liked this too.  It felt comfortable.

Eventually I grew up.  I was responsible to keep my places clean and neat as I had roommates. I did the minimum.  My private room was my place.  It never got as bad as it did when I was a kid, but it was forever far from neat.

Today, my kitchen is clean.  The laundry gets done often. The rest of the place gets cleaned when I notice it getting dirty.  Chores are too much of a chore.  Dust bunnies must be present before I sweep. Sometimes I can not see the dirtiness.  Luckily my husband is around to notice when things might be growing in the dust.  At least he can find a bit of humor in my severe lack of motivation.

I do have a goal.  Make a list of chores that need to be done and cross them off slowly one at a time.  Eventually it will all get done and I can start all over again.

Has the Future been written already ????

Fact or Fiction????

DSC00320

I hope she shows her appreciation by getting me an oil change

My day started like any other. Using an ax to chop down trees while waiting for a tow truck to come jump my battery. Multi-tasking country-style I think it is called?  My baby is ten years old this year. I hope she is not going to start having issues.

The tow truck driver was not who I expected, but he did his job just as well. Jumpin’ the car did not work. My car would not start until he locked then unlocked my car doors. I always liked people who thought outside the box.

While he was here I got some great and much longed for shots of the beagle.

i am so happy i stayed awake for this

I never have my camera ready when he sticks his nose through the beagle proof gate. This time was different. He was so busy barkin’ at the truck that he had his nose through that gate for 20 minutes, I’d guess.

Driver’s orders for my Baby were simple: let in run for twenty minutes, take it for a ride, and if it doesn’t start again, play with your lock / unlock button.

What, take time to leisurely drive along back country roads on a beautiful day like today? With an open sunroof. Sometimes life can be so cruel. I took my little ride and ended up at the cemetery by the brook. As I drove through I noticed my Dad’s flag was ready to be replaced. I should do more here this year.

I drove by a grave where one simple thing caught my eye.

finding gratitude in a cemetery

Blowing with the wind was a balloon that said Mom.  Any normal person and that would have brought on the water works. Me? I became filled with gratitude. Not just regular gratitude, “wicked powerful fill me up gratitude”. Not only am I grateful I still have my Mom, I am grateful to have the best of all Moms.

My car is feeling better so I get back on track and drive to the neighboring town to pick up a prescription. As I drive to the store I am stopped briefly by a police officer. He is directing traffic at a cemetery. Funny. I didn’t think they used that one anymore.

Any who, I forgot my list so I decided to just get the necessities. Cookies and my script. It was a quick trip, but very good exercise. For my mind, body, soul, and car.

The way home was quite eventful.

And, the blue lights are behind me. “Hello Officer. Mighty fine day today.”

“That it is. Do you know why I stopped you?”

“No sir. I do not.”

“Is that an axe on the seat next to you?”DSC00316

“Why yes sir, it is.”

“May I ask why you have an ax on the front seat?’

“Well, Sir. I was in the yard with it when I got interrupted. I wasn’t done using it, so I didn’t want to put it away. I didn’t want it stolen, so I put it in the car.”

“No, I guess you can’t have it stolen. Thank you for your time. You may go.”

“Um, sir. May I ask? Why did you stop me?”

“I shouldn’t be telling you this, but as you drove by the funeral earlier, my dashboard computer was sent an alert. Big brother used your phone to warn us that you had an ax shaped item that could be used as a weapon in your car. Security at the store you were going to was alerted. You were watched by cameras, people, and satellite while you were there. After you picked up your prescription and cookies, we just waited here for you to drive by.”

“Why are you telling me all this?”

“Because it is going to happen to me too.”

Hope

I need this today.  Maybe you do too.

Around 1987 I was still battling my first major bout of depression. It lasted off and on for quite a few years. For some reason I was still capable of reading during this time. I read mostly horror type fiction. One book I read was called Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz.  There was a paragraph in that book that jumped out at me.  It not only jumped out at me, it took hold of me and never really let me go.  For this I will beHope forever grateful to Mr. Koontz.

It was Koontz’ description of hope.  It was exactly what I needed to read at that time.  This paragraph was so important to me that I wrote it down in every journal I had ever possessed since first reading it. In the last 30 years, I have reread this paragraph again and again. It has saved me more than once. I still wonder how something so deep could be found in a horror novel.  I recently unpacked a box full of old junk and came across an old notebook.  30 years after first reading Twilight Eyes, I was once again confronted by this paragraph.  I am a firm believer that you get what you need.  Not only is this paragraph fantastic, the whole book is great.  I have read it numerous times.  It is one of my “I need to get away right now books”. I do not possess a copy of the book Twilight Eyes right now but I have managed to save this one paragraph. So even if you are not into horror novels, at least take the time to read this one paragraph. You’ll be glad you did.

I have never read a better description of hope….  I had a paperback version originally and this paragraph can be found on page 183 of chapter 13.  May you find it as helpful/hopeful as I have for over 30 years. (damn I feel old).  It remains the perfect description of hope to me. And YES, I am obsessive. And YES, I think obsessive thought Tuesday will become obsessive thought Thursday.

As I said when I began this story, hope is a constant companion in this life. It is the one thing that neither cruel nature, God, nor other men can wrench from us.  Health, wealth, parents, beloved brothers and sisters, children, friends, the past, the future —- all can be stolen from us as easily as an unguarded purse.  But our greatest treasure, hope, remains. It is a sturdy little motor within, purring, ticking, driving us on when reason would suggest surrender.  It is both the most pathetic and noblest thing about us, the most absurd and the most admirable quality we possess,  for as long as we have hope, we have the capacity for love, for caring, for decency. —- Dean Koontz