Caring for Others, Part 2

I have a few more thoughts on what I wrote about yesterday.

When my grandmother taught me how to not be a little ungrateful jerk when I was offered those horrid bananas, she also taught me another lesson: care for yourself.

I have to admit that I am just becoming more practiced at self care, but I suppose a few decades late is better than never.

My grandmother didn’t force me to eat the banana. In fact, I don’t remember being forced to do much of anything as a child. I was encouraged to have an open mind, but never forced into anything.

I think that was an important part of my development into a somewhat carefree kind of person. I understand the importance of not forcing anyone into any thing, which makes me pretty hands off with people. I’m not the friend who is going to ask you to have just one more drink. I’m the friend who doesn’t give a shit when you willingly decide to do so, for yourself.

That little lesson from grandma also means that it’s important to not put the expectations of others before your own wants and desires, if you’re not hurting anyone. My grandmother cared more about me being a nice person than being an obedient one.

Thanks grandma.

I also have to truly thank my mother, too. She reinforced those same values in me. Sometimes she had to counter balance my natural propensity to constantly “Do my own thing” by teaching me the importance of making friends and all that hootienannie. But, I’m very thankful for those lessons, too, mom.

Until tomorrow my friends…

It Doesn’t Matter

Do you ever feel like no one understands you?

How you feel? Your humor? Your off putting affinity for skulls? Your not so secret desire to live on an island?

Do you ever feel so alone?

Maybe you share some of those feelings and maybe you have some quirks of your own that make you feel ostracized sometimes.

I can relate. Some days, it feels like “Ostracized” is my middle name.

I don’t regularly do the two seemingly most common American activities: drink alcohol and watch tv.

If I had to guess, I would say that on average, I have about one martini every 8 weeks and watch about 1-3 hours of internet videos a week. I watch no regular tv shows, even though I do plan to catch up on “The X-Files” soon.

Do you know what these facts make me? Well, they make me almost a social pariah.

People are so strangely uncomfortable when I tell them I don’t drink much and I watch almost no television. They think that I’m odd, and technically, they’re right.

I feel odd and I feel misunderstood.

I use the examples of television and alcohol as somewhat light hearted examples, but I’ve also often felt deeply misunderstood, sometimes even telling myself that I will NEVER find someone who understands me.

Well, here’s the thing: IT DOES NOT MATTER. So the f*ck what?

Recently, I was listening to an Eckhart Tolle talk and he addressed the ongoing need that we can sometimes have to feel understood. And of course, when our version of understanding does not come, we make ourselves feel miserable. We tell ourselves horrible things, like no one will ever understand, or we are terrible for being so odd, so on and so forth.

But all of those things are unknown. Maybe you’ll find the jelly to your peanut butter. Maybe you’re just a singular, delicious nut spread.

Regardless, the better focus is on understanding yourself. There’s so much focus that we can develop on what other people are giving us that we neglect to give ourselves anything.

So, maybe your family thinks you’re nuts? You might actually be a little weird. Maybe no one does understand you.

SO WHAT?

Do you, who has the most access to you,understand you?

No?

Then you’ve already got enough things to do.

So many, in fact, that you might not have much time to watch the tele.

Until tomorrow my friends…

Free Advice for Sale

I was just scrolling through Facebook, and I saw an ad for a weight loss and exercise program. Yes, ANOTHER ONE.

I get why there are so many programs. Each one has an approach that will help their target group of consumers.

And people respond well to certain personalities and styles. I, for instance, enjoy the female badass vibe of Jillian Michaels and the humorous antics of Tony Horton. I also love the no talking style of Tracy Anderson.

I’m not paid to endorse any of those people and if I were, it would be a shame because I’m still fat. But you get the idea.

But the Facebook ad made me think about all the advice we can buy online, in the form of training programs, books, etc.

While exercise and nutrition training programs are great and useful, there are some simple things that you can do to get you started on the right track. I’m going to share some of those things with you here, now, totally FOR FREE.

1) Try to move around during the day.

Do you know that it’s kind of difficult to get in 10,000 steps a day, if you work a desk job at least. Start with trying to get 3,000 and then challenge yourself to take just one more step each day thereafter. Just noticing how sedentary you are is a way to change your behavior.

2) Eat something that is a green vegetable at every meal.

Today, I ate Thai takeout leftovers (don’t judge) but I steamed a small head of broccoli florets to go with it. Getting in your veggies can be hard, but if you develop some awareness of your lack of vegetable intake, you’ll likely improve.

A friend of mine once showed me a tray of vegetables he kept in his fridge, with the goal of eating them all in a week. I looked at the tray in horror! But I’m pretty sure he’s healthier than I am. He would just open the fridge, see the tray of vegetables, and sometimes just eat some raw, right then and there. Can’t get much easier than that, right?

3) Cook at least 75% of your own meals.

I can personally say that doing this has a good chance of helping you get healthier and lose weight. Not only will you consume less weird shit (you probably don’t have Blue#3 sitting in your cupboard waiting to be poured into your food, right?), but you will likely eat things that are simple to make and have fewer courses.

When I go out to eat, I usually have some bread (it’s free and delicious, so of course I eat that shit, nom nom nom); then I have a main course and wash it down with soda, and of course I don’t want to be rude to the waiter and not order dessert! What am I? Some kind of rude skinny person? No, of course not!

But, when I’m at home, even though I’m an accomplished baker (humble brag), I do NOT bake bread and brownies to have with my dinner. I eat the dinner and go do something else. Calories saved.

4) Keep going even if you screw up one day.

This is the one I struggle with a lot. I am still working on telling myself to just keep going and trying, but I often fall off the wagon.

5) Stress less.

Stress is an agent of the devil! The devil in hell and the devil of your mind, whatever you believe in. Stress is a bad thing!

My body has reacted to stress in the craziest of ways, including insomnia, hair loss, etc. Stress screws up your hormones and screwed up hormones mean FAT FOREVER. Don’t do it, boys and girls…dont even get me started talking about how delicious a brownie is after dealing with Tom in Accounting all day. Uh, go away TOM! Avoid Tom and stress as much as you can.

6) BONUS: Go to sleep

Guess what you’re probably not doing when you’re asleep? That’s right, eating.

There you go. Some free advice that you could have paid someone to give to you and I just delivered it, like an angel of sarcasm.

What’s your best healthy living advice? Leave a free comment below and tell me.

Until tomorrow my friends…

Sleepy

I don’t have a whole ass to devote to a post tonight. It’s been kind of a long day and I’m sleepy. So here’s my half assed post.

The one thing I will say is this: when you wake up tomorrow, promise yourself that you won’t let anyone or anything steal your joy.

Wake up with joy and commit to keeping it throughout the day. Pretend that it’s “your precious” like the gold ring in “Lord of the Rings ” and protect your joy, fiercely.

Love to you all.

Sleep for me now.

Until tomorrow my friends…

Getting Beat Up

Today I went to visit my elderly uncle. I’ve written about him before and today he imparted some more wisdom that I would like to share.

He’s 81 years old and is very gentle in nature. As long as I’ve known him or known of him, over 30 years, he’s always been the same. He’s not the guy who was a jerk before who became gentle. It’s just his nature.

Today, I talked to him about the challenges of entrepreneurship and having faith in myself.

He laughed very heartily, like I had told him a very funny joke.

“Do you know how many people have been beat up, so many times? And they just kept on trying. That’s what you will do.”

He said it with a level of confidence and surety that I honesty don’t always have about being an entrepreneur. Wait, I’m just kidding. That was an understatement. He seemed sure and I feel the exact opposite. But I’m still trying anyway.

I talked to him briefly about the often times crippling fear of uncertainty.

Again, he laughed, this time louder, and said: “You ever sit around and think about how every time you thought something was so messed up and some kind of way you figured it out?”

MIND. BLOWN.

No, my dear, ancient and wise uncle, I do not sit around and think about my successes. I have too many failures and near misses to think about!

That’s what I wanted to say, but I realized I was/am a silly worry wart and my uncle was right.

Trying is hard. Change is hard. Trying to do something new is hard. Failure is hard. But, for me, so is wishing for something different or settling for mediocrity.

Nowadays, I have no idea what’s going on in almost any aspect of my life. Everything from my health to my paychecks have big ass questions marks floating around them.

But, I’m doing it. I’m making it. I’m unsure, but I’m not dead yet. And if I wake up tomorrow again, not dead, then I have another opportunity to figure things out.

Take it from an 81 year old man: you can do it and it’ll be better than you thought, if you try.

Good luck…

Until tomorrow my friends…

Love, love, love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you had a great day, celebrating it, or not, however was enjoyable for you.

No one cares about my love life, so instead of writing about myself and what I did today (spoiler alert: I did nothing related to Valentine’s Day except wear a pretty red dress which garnered three compliments), I want to share some quotes about love that I found by doing a Google search. Don’t judge me.

Oh, KKW! I have never watched a single minute of any of the Kardashian shows, but I don’t judge anyone who does. To be honest, I watch so little tv that I often times have nothing in common to talk to most people about .

And even though I know almost nothing about KKW ‘s life, other than she’s rich and pretty and maybe broke the internet once, I agree with her on this quote.

I believe in love always because there are always indications of it everywhere! Not just romantic love, which is often times fleeting and falsely identified, but true and genuine love, the kind that you see when two people are actually listening to each other or when you can tell that an old couple still likes each other. Those types of things give me hope in humanity, not just in the lofty idea of love that the media regularly tells us we should have. I believe, always.

I also know almost nothing about Amy Poehler, other than she was on SNL and she’s a great television writer.

I like this quote because it makes me think of the Eckhart Tolle book that I am currently reading.

Really, the first step to attaining a thing is to give it to yourself. Want happiness? Surprise, you can give it to yourself, right now. It’s in you and no one can take it away from you. It’s like the adult version of when your magician uncle pulls a quarter from behind your ear and tells you that it was there the whole time, except in life, you really can develop the mental skills to give yourself happiness pretty much all the time.

I feel the same way about love. Love from other people is very important. It makes us feel less alone and more valued. But, without self love, we can’t even begin to fathom or accept the depths of the love that comes from others.

For a very long time, I used to say to myself, “I wish I had someone to love me”, meaning in a romantic sense. But one day, through lots of reading and developing a greater sense of self awareness, I suddenly realized that I needed to love myself and then I could feel love in all its forms from other people. My mind exploded and I haven’t been the same since.

My advice is not to get too caught up on external love, the kind you might get from other people. Even if you’re perfect towards them, people are flakey and a lot of them are really screwed up in the head unfortunately.

You might be screwed up in the head, too. Join the party of almost everyone on planet earth.

But, you know what you can count on when the mister leaves or cheats or the missus wants you to be something that you’re not? You can always count on the love you have for yourself, if you have some.

If you don’t have any, then your homework tonight is to love on yourself.

Don’t neglect your partner if you’ve got one, but take a moment at least and say: I love myself.

You deserve it.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

What It’s Like: Medical Visits Alone

Have you ever been to the doctor all by yourself? Maybe for a check up or for something more serious?

In my opinion, it’s not the greatest feeling in the world, but it’s one that I know very, very well.

I can’t remember how I felt, as a child, when my momma would take me to the doctor. I am willing to bet, however, that I wasn’t as grateful as I should have been.

Going to the doctor for any reason at all kind of sucks. I am very thankful to have easy access to medical care, but is there a place I can go get easy access to the emotional support that I sometimes need before or after an appointment?

The obvious answer is to ask a friend or family member, but who wants to be a big ass whiner and ask for company to go to the doctor? Especially when you’re old enough to drive yourself and have the funds to pay your own co-pay?

Today, I went to the “doc in a box” to get my insect bites checked out. Thankfully, my foot did not fall off over night and the doctor said I was fine and sent me on my way with some itch medicine.

As I sat there, just looking around, trying to read the pamphlets without actually touching one (because flu season), I realized that I wasn’t feeling sad or lonely. I felt like I was doing something routine by going to the doctor alone.

This realization made me feel an odd mix of relief (yay for not feeling lonely) and concern (have I lost touch with a part of my emotions? Is another one of my interpersonal needs slipping away?).

I was called back into the examination room before I could figure it out and I still have no idea, as of this entry.

What do you think?

Until tomorrow, my friends…

A Dirty Word

I finally know why I hate the term “introvert.”

I’ve never liked it, even though many people like me identify themselves as an introvert.

I have introverted qualities.

I don’t particularly enjoy the company of other people, usually, and I’ve always been like that.

The people I do usually enjoy are people like me, who also don’t really enjoy the company of other people. As you can imagine, mostly liking people who don’t like people while being a person who doesn’t like people can make relationships very difficult, to say the least.

I like quiet. Aside from blasting music from my stereo, I strongly prefer if almost everyone and everything was quiet all the time. Unnecessary noise is absolutely maddening to me. Perhaps this is why I hate small talk? A person making unnecessary noise is one of the most terrible things that can happen, in my opinion.

I love animals. I go to parties and immediately find the animals more interesting . I’ve told people not to take it personally, but frankly, to hell with it, the honest truth is I do prefer your dog or cat to you, most likely.

I could go on, but you get the point. But, whenever I have been called an introvert, I have to admit that I arrogantly denied the claim and laughed it off in a cynical manner.

But if you see a duck, and that duck quacks, if the duck is waddling around, waiting for you to throw the crackers on the ground, then how dare the damn duck not just accept that it is, in fact, a duck?

Because I’m not just a got damn duck.

Because I’m not just an introvert.

Because to hell with yet another label. Because to hell with me applying a label to myself. I have the rest of the world to stick labels on me.

I’m a dynamic being. I’m not shy; I’m selective with whom I choose to spend energy. I’m not quiet; I’m just genuinely not interested and I’m preserving my energy by not fawning interest.

I’m not an asshole; I’m frank. This is something that is not always appreciated.

I’m not callous; I’m apologetic when the sorry truly comes from my heart.

I’m a dynamic speaker. I’m funny. I’m a storyteller. I’m a listener. I’m engaging. I read people; I’m on the same plane as them. I am blessed with an admirable ability to coax secrets from strangers.

I’m a lot of stuff.

You’re a lot of stuff, too.

I say to hell with labeling yourself as something because as soon as you do that, you remove the possibility that you could be, and likely are, a lot of other interesting things.

You, like me, are dynamic. The dynamic nature of your humanness means you will be this and that, both now and then.

You’re awesome.

And I’m amazing.

I’m not an introvert.

I’m Nicole.