Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Wow. I've been a little busy I guess. I have at least been thinking about blog posts though. This blog has been purely selfish lately in that, I mull over what I want to post around 11:00pm at night before I drift off to sleep. I never get around to writing, but at least my thoughts get organized.

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in the new year. But first, let's look back at what I learned in 2009:

1. Things cannot bring you happiness (except when they do). Mostly I am referring to my new home. Once I moved in, I was a little disappointed that I didn't suddenly become the perfect person I thought I would be when I got a nicer home. But I soon realized that that sort of change had to come from within. Also, this single material thing (my home) has brought me more joy than I can imagine. The extra room, the nicer amenities, the neighborhood, the layout has all really impacted my life. But I know that this joy is mostly from the appreciation I now have for my home.

2. I have almost no control over anything. This may sound depressing, but it actually is quite freeing.

3. Perception makes up about 90% of life. Attitude is everything.

I'm sure there were many more things, both trivial and ground-breaking, that I learned this year, but those are probably the top three.

Now, for 2010.

I like to make resolutions. Virgos are the masters of self-improvement, therefore making resolutions isn't something I take lightly. I make resolutions monthly (if not weekly sometimes), so it comes rather naturally. My favorite New Year's resolution (or perhaps the only one I can remember) was made the year after Finn was born. I resolved to put more effort into my appearance. I'd spent too many years being embarrassed at myself for leaving the house in sweatshirts, yoga pants and a ponytail. I still get lazy sometimes, but I think back to that resolution and it bulks up my motivation.

However, I am beginning to think that I spend entirely too much time thinking about myself and my short comings. I think it would benefit myself and others if I quite navel-gazing and starting thinking about other people and their problems and what I can do to help them. Therefore my official New Year's Resolution for 2010 is:

Think more about others than myself

That's it. I have some amazing, giving, charitable friends and family whom I can use as mentors. And the thing that I look forward to most in 2010 is spending time with them.
What did you learn in 2009, and what are your resolutions for 2010?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I am increasingly amazed by what wonderful living conditions (most) humans in the United States live in. At what other time in history could you be perusing the local shops, hear a man cough 20 feet away and instantly put a magic slimy goo on your hands to prevent getting whatever it is that he is spewing? To the Ancients of 500 years ago, liquid hand sanitizer is essentially black magic. You rub your hands together and, voila! you are protected from (once again, most) bacteria and illnesses.

Protein Bars. Oh how I love protein bars! They come with chocolate in them, yet they still aren't considered a candy bar (at least not by me, anyway)! Anywhere you are, just unwrap and enjoy the energy boost. You can pack a hundred and they would probably sustain you up Mt. Everest. It's brilliant. I embrace the day that we all eat little flavorful pills like in The Jetsons. Protein bars will do for now.

It's true that you turn into what you are most afraid of. In my case, that is a person who cannot function until she's had her morning cup of coffee. Most mornings, I find it very tedious to fill up the water, throw out the old grounds and refill with new before pushing the little button and waiting for the pot to fill up. But when I really think about it, the coffeepot is another little bit of magic for our time. How much more grumpy would I be if I had to start a fire, go down to the river for water, and then grind my own beans before enjoying a cup of joe?

Finally, I wonder how ancients got rid of their trash. Did they have trash collection 500 years ago (Bring out your dead!)? And if they did, could it possibly have been any easier than what we enjoy now? Drop the bag in the can, push it to the curb and forget about it. Of course, I only forget about it until I read an article about how much we pollute, but still, pretty darn easy.

There you have it. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for hand sanitizer, protein bars, coffeepots and trash men. And a multitude of other modern magic that makes my life simpler. Thank you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Be

Have you ever tried to meditate?

You sit there, free your mind of all thoughts and "Just Be."

I've always been the type of person that thought I was doing something wrong when I meditate. If I could just lock in on the right mantra, I was sure I could stop all the thoughts whizzing through my head long enough to get to the perfect "Be" state.

Now I realize that it's okay to let your mind wander while meditating; it's supposed to be unstructured play time for your mind. A pure thought-less meditative state is really just icing on the cake. However, it still bugs me. I think the reason I have a deep obsession with sleep isn't because I'm tired, it's because I crave the ability to be out of control of my brain.

I am beginning to think that the concept of "Just Be-ing" is somewhat of a crock for women (or at least women like me). It was very simple as a girl: I believed in the notion that women could grow up, have a fantastic, exciting job and successfully raise a loving, close-knit family. And I know that many women can both. However, I am beginning to think that they are the exception and not the rule.

This may sound cynical, but it's not. I think that either choice can be very fulfilling and I am happy with the choices I've made. But every so often I peek over that fence, check out how green the grass is, and think, "What would it be like if every day weren't filled with cooking, cleaning, and disposing of other people's feces?" (I'm sorry, I know I reference feces way too much, but it really has become a large part of my day)

A major part of life is accepting the things you cannot change. And I am now accepting that if I want that lovely, close-knit family that I dream of, I have to do some dirty work. That is just the mother's job. Cook, maid, chauffeur, tantrum-tamer, and fecal-waste collector are all just a part of my job description. In order to let everyone else in the house "Just Be," I (and also my husband, who probably does a lot more housework that I should be letting him) have to take on the taskwork.

And maybe some day, when my minions can do these things for themselves (okay, probably not until they move out altogether), I can get my turn to "Be."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Magic of Wonder

Today, I introduced my son to The Wizard of Oz. I began by getting him hooked on "Follow the Yellow Brick Road." Once that was firmly stuck in his head (and he had done his rendition for all the fellow consumers at the quick oil change place), we came home to watch the DVD.

I cried. I cried when Miss Gulch tried to take away Toto. I cried when Dorothy was stuck in the tornado (and what? They couldn't hear here banging on the darn shelter door?). I cried when the Munchkins set her off down the yellow brick road. I cried at just what a great actress Margaret Hamilton was.

Nostalgia and joy combine to create a certain force, that, when it hits you, all you can do is cry. I answered F's non-stop questions about the movie between great gulping sobs. Thank goodness my daughter was sleeping! If she had been at all delighted while Dorothy danced around, I'm sure my happiness sensors would have burst and I might possibly have gone on a marathon movie-watching schedule of Oz, Mamma Mia, and White Christmas for the next week. I would have been discovered as a sobbing wreak who could only mouth showtunes.

What is it about sharing something from our childhood with our offspring that makes us so joyful? My theory is that, while a bad mood spreads quickly (misery loves company and all that), so does a great one. Evoking the warm fuzzies through movie nostalgia brings about a truly great mood in me. Perhaps some of the best I've been in (Rosemary Clooney is my official therapist). It's one of the best ways for me to show my kids my happiness. And after seeing a million tiny Storm Troopers this Halloween, I think I'm not the only one.

What are some of your favorite movies or music that you like to share with your kids?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Forward Motion

"Take advantage of your generation's technology"
Have you ever just really, REALLY wanted to get some work done (like writing a new blog post!), but your kid won't play quietly with his puzzles and leave you alone? That's about the time that I turn on the good ole telly and let it babysit my kid for awhile. No sooner have I turned my back and started walking back to the computer than that familiar and grating voice in my head starts chirping: "That's not how they did it 100 years ago!"

You know the one.

It's the same voice that says "They didn't have anti-depressants 100 years ago." No, they didn't. They had cocaine.

It's the same voice that reminds you "There were no cartoons in the Middle Ages." No, there was Black Death to keep everyone entertained.

It's the voice that makes you ashamed of using technology. Ashamed of taking advantage of modern advancements. And why should you be ashamed? Are you not as good as the people that used to (and still do) make their apple pie from scratch? Maybe not in the area of baking, but in all other aspects, you are.

How best to get rid of this voice? For me, it's to proclaim it's uselessness in the loudest form I can access; i.e. this blog. Therefore, annoying nay-sayer: Pack up. You are evicted. I have no shame in doing things better, faster, stronger than my ancestors.

Two quotes for your brain to chew on:

"The past is another planet"--Glenn Reynolds
This is not to say that the past is so remote that you should neither learn from or remember it. But it is so remote that it shouldn't dictate your daily life.

"If the people from the past could see us now, they would think that we were gods"--paraphase from Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol"

In addition, you will see that this quote has earned a rank in my "Life Lessons" list at the right on my blog. I want to explain that this list isn't a guidebook for me (I've given up trying to find that), and it's not a list of commandments that I must obey. It's just a way for me to collect and display things that I have found to be true. And, that, of course, is what this blog is all about!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Godly Things

I just finished the new Dan Brown novel, "The Lost Symbol," and I found the message completely amazing. I won't give anything away, but here's a hint:

Don't you know that you are a temple of God, and that God's Spirit lives in
1 Corinthians 3:16

Those that know me know that I never go spouting Bible verses, but this one is resonates with me.

It's all about empowerment. We are the people that we look for in the heavens. We have the power to do miraculous things, and we have done them. Inside us is the Creator and the Creation.
(side note--I'm beginning to really wish I had majored in Philosophy. But that would probably be about as useful as, say, Geography, huh?)

Despite all the mediocre reviews I've read, the book is fascinating. I suggest anyone who wants to do a little soul-searching (you don't have to search far) to pick it up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life Lessons

While reading the many magazines I accumulate each month (seriously, why did I subscribe to so many parenting mags 3 years ago? Just how insecure was I? I was literally at the point where I got about 10 a month. I haven't renewed in 2 years, but they just keep coming) I often go on info-overload. How am I supposed to do EVERYTHING that they say you should? And, of course, I have to do EVERYTHING--magazines are the mecca of human knowledge. Not taking every supplement or making every spinach-infused smoothie for my kids perpetually added to my aforementioned guilt.

And then on top of that are the news programs (which I almost entirely skip unless I'm waiting in a doctor's office). AND the commercials telling you which probiotic yogurt you should be eating this week to make you stop farting.

It's just too much.

Then it hit me: LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Not Dr. Oz's. Not the editor of Parenting or American Baby. Not even Jamie Lee Curtis' (although I'm sure her bowels are spotless).

You are the only person that is ever going to live your life. Do it however you want to. There are no rules (although I've spent 26 years looking high and low for them). You are solely responsible for whatever your life turns out to be.

On the grand scheme of things that's huge news. You can live where you want, be what you want, be with who you want. On the smaller scale (where I usually reside), it's also big news. I don't have to follow the guidelines provided by those that want me to buy something. I CAN eat the more tasty, non-organic, sugar-ridden, higher-fat yogurt I like. I can ignore all the advice to get my baby off the bottle at the moment she turns 12 months old. I can even drink tap water with no fear (we all have to die sometime!). I can do whatever the hell I want.

"Live YOUR Life" has become a mantra for me. Especially at times when I compare myself to others. I am not my neighbor. I am not my friend. I am not Oprah. And that means I don't have to live like them either if I don't want.

These 3 words are slowly evolving my life.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guilty as Hell

In the last few years (and certainly since I became a mother) guilt has been a major roadblock on my path to happiness. I frequently get consumed by it, even to the point where I have concluded that my family and friends would be much better off if I was not around.

A few months ago I decided to take a vacation from my problems (thank you "What About Bob?"). I decided I could go one month without feeling guilty for all the things that usually fill up my brain. I had a lot of doubts. What if I completely let loose without all the guilt to weigh me down? What if I go on some sort of crazy spending spree because I don't feel guilty about maxing out my credit card? What if I just sit around and eat bon bons all day (remember when that used to be the stereotypical stay-at-home-mom thing to do?) because I don't feel guilty about the calories? What if...?

Trust in oneself is incredibly underrated. Seriously, what was I going to do without guilt? Go on a murdering rampage? Of course not. Buy a hot tub, plasma TV, and a case of caviar? No. Let my kid watch too much TV? Probably.

I let go of the guilt and I trusted myself to not make bad decisions in the meantime. And you know what? I didn't (not any life-altering ones anyway). I found out that I am inherently a responsible person. I didn't need the guilt to keep myself on the straight and narrow.

Sometimes on this blog, I want to end a post by asking what my readers think or how what I write relates to their lives. I feel like this sounds like I think of myself as a guru or something, which I don't really know if I can pull off. But I would love to hear how you overcome guilt, or about things that you have taken a "vacation" from and how that worked out for you. And I encourage you to face down your worst fears about yourself. You never know what you'll find out!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tick Tock

Lately I have compared my life to living inside a clock (an apt analogy if you know my obsession with time). Most of the time I am hanging out, checking the time, just living life. But every so often, I get a foot stuck in the gears and suddenly I am pulled in, turning round and round, getting pummelled by the clockwork. And all I can do is just wait and watch the time go by until finally, for no specific reason, I am spit back out. I am free again, and it is glorious. For a time.

The point is, at this moment I am footloose and fancy free. I feel good and there just really isn't that much going on inside my head. So, I apologize for the lack of posts these last few days.

But give me a week.

Tick tock tick tock...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just Do It

Did you do something fun today?

Even if you risked looking like an idiot?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In the Dog House

Have you seen or read Marley & Me? If not, let me catch you up:

Couple gets married

Couple buys dog

Dog becomes their "baby"

Couple has real baby

Couple hates dog

Now, there is much more to the story than this, including redemption of dog and the couple finding that he has been a very special and important part of their life. There were many ways that I related to this story, and judging from what my friends have told me, other people can relate as well.

My husband and I bought our beagles, Captain & Admiral, shortly after we got married. Like so many other childless couples, they became our "children." Captain was the smart and tortured one, as evidenced by his aggressive but intelligent nature. Admiral was the lovable doofus. I always equated him to the stupid football jock. Beautiful, but dumb as a rock.

We took our dogs everywhere with us for the first couple of years. We had puppy playdates and got a lot of mileage out of their travel carriers. Then I got pregnant. I thought about buying a cd of baby noises to get the dogs used to the sound. I read that you should rub a blanket all over your newborn and then have your husband take it home while you were still in the hospital so that the dogs could get used to the scent. As my due date got closer and closer, I stopped searching out ways to prepare the dogs and became more focused on preparing myself.

The day I came home from the hospital with my son, F, I remember stepping into the house and thinking one thing: Get these disgusting slobbering vermin away from me and my child! I put up baby gates so that they couldn't enter the nursery to shed even one disgusting dog hair on my son's floor. The needs of two dogs and one baby was too much for me.

Over the next few months, my husband no doubt enjoyed many frantic phones calls from me, crying and ranting about the horrors of cleaning up dog feces while trying to warm up a bottle. Around the time F was 6 months it was clear: one dog needed to go.

Now don't judge me too harshly. On Captain's bad days he would rip into Admiral for just walking in his breathing space. I knew it was a matter of time before F became a victim. We found him a new home, became a one-dog family, and the hating continued. Admiral had a new nemisis now: Me.

Of course, I am sure he didn't see it that way. He probably just wondered why his mommy was suddenly yelling at him so much and when's dinnertime? I'm ashamed to admit to the way that I've treated my dog in the last 3 years, but that's the way it goes for weak-willed, easily overwhelmed people like me.

On the flip side, Admiral has done his fair share of food-stealing and carpet-ruining. He's barked at completely non-exsistent noises and woken up babies more times than I can count. If you even look him in the eye he takes that as an invitation to splay himself across your lap and fart. But he is by no means a "bad dog" even if I do treat him as such. So when now 3-year-old F started asking me in his childlike innocence "Is he a bad dog?" a couple of months ago the realization of what I was doing hit me like a truck. Like so many things, I began taking small steps to change the way I speak and treat my incredibly sweet-natured pup. It seems that the added stress of having kids was what drove me to treat my dog like a mooching vagrant (still no excuse of course), but it was also what was going to make me clean up my act.

Baby steps. Not calling him an imbecile for barking outside. Not batting him away when he claws up my leg for a treat. But the big breakthrough came last week. Ready for it? Here it is:

I don't hate my dog. I just hate the added responsibility.

Profound stuff, right? Seriously, this revelation has made it so much easier to be nice. Once again, it's the things I can't control (like when Admiral swipes my dinner) that are making me crazy. And when I realize I can't control it, I put it in the "Don't Sweat It" box of my brain (also filed there: the weather and my son's inability to eat a vegetable).

I know I'm turning around because when I woke up to discover a puke present next to Admiral's bed the other morning (the result of one too many swiped dinners), I didn't yell at the dog for being an idiotic glutton. I didn't even stick him in the backyard for the day so that any further puke presents would be lunch for the flies. I just grabbed the bottle of cleaner, picked up a towel, and told F, "Poor Addy. He's sick today."

To all the stupid mangy mongrels out there: Thank you for being so forgiving.

Friday, September 25, 2009

News Flash

Gretchen Rubin just wrote me an email!!!! And not one of those "check out my new blog post" emails either. A 100% authentic, original email. To ME! She asked people to tell her whether or not they would come visit her on a book tour. I told her I not only would attend, but I would tie up all my friends and relatives and drag them along in a flat-bed truck! She replied!

Ok, I am breathing normally again. The only other experience I've ever had with a writer is when Dave Barry sent me a "thanks for your input" postcard after I wrote to him about a column he wrote on Red and Blue States. Not all that exciting, but when I licked it the ink ran, so I know he actually touched the card to sign his name. (I'm pretty sure if I was ever in Hollywood I would have a panic attack before I could even take a picture of any celebrity).

In all seriousness, Gretchin is doing exactly what I want to do: making a living writing and talking about how to find happiness in simple ways. In fact, the only editing I try to do on this blog is to make sure it isn't too much like hers (that, and my use of exclamation points). But I encourage everyone to check it out. She is great at giving daily doses of simple wisdom. That is something I am definitely on board with.

From the Inside Out

(Once again, another post that was written for my other blog. This is actually the one that got me wanting to make a new blog, thus "Collective Reasoning" was born).

This has definitely been one of those weeks where I completely question what I am doing with my life. I'm consumed with envy just watching the teens on Gossip Girl as they barhop, sleep around and get ready for college (three things I don't really want to be doing anyway--OK, barhopping doesn't sound so bad on the days my kids treat my house like a toilet). The point is, I am jealous of fiction. "There has to be something more!" I keep telling myself. This never leads to anything good. It's only a short downward spiral into me breaking something just to make sure that I can still influence anything in my life.

I haven't done that in many months though. It's gotten better. And it will continue to get better, I know this. Tonight, after shedding a few tears at my inability to get my one-year-old to eat even a noodle of macaroni, I remembered that I do have the power to change something (and I didn't have to break anything to prove it). I can change the way I was thinking. Why is this so difficult? It's a completely inside job. I rely on no one but myself to change my attitude. Also, why has it taken my 27 years to figure this out? I can't even count all the "Attitude is Everything" signs on my grade-school walls. Why is my ego working so hard against me?

I used to think that there were just certain things that couldn't be done. For example:

  • I can't just not count every single minute of television time that my children get and agonize over every single one (BTW Finn is watching Wubbzy as I write this)

  • I can't get less than eight exact hours of sleep and still be in a good and energetic mood the next day

  • I can't not tell myself what a horrible imperfect slob I am everytime I want to sit and watch FRIENDS at 5:30 in the afternoon

And so on. But you know what? I decided a couple of months ago that maybe these things weren't set in stone. I thought, maybe, just MAYBE, I could try to NOT freak about these things for one month, (hell, even just one week!) and I could wait and see if the world fell apart or the sun went spiraling out into space. And, as I'm sure you know, it hasn't. In fact, life has been a lot better when I don't agonize about all the little things that I SHOULDN'T be doing. And I thought of it all by myself (although Robert Holden has been a huge influence)! Is it possible that I could LET myself just be happy?! Amazing!

So, tonight, after eating all the leftover macaroni straight from the pot (with big spoon and all), I reminded myself just how great I am. I have a master's degree dammit!! I worked hard for it! And I do things! I go to the zoo on rainy days just to get out. And I enter writing contests! I work at things! And, most importantly at the moment although it REALLY doesn't feel spectacular, I am there for my kids. When I am daydreaming about running away to an ashram in India, I remind myself that right now, THIS is where I need to be. I decided to bring them into the world and they need me. This thought usually keeps me from climbing the walls. Let's see them make an episode of Gossip Girl where Blair trails two toddlers all day (without Dorota's help!). Her Manolo's would be stubs by lunchtime.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go pry Finn away from Noggin...

Faking It

(Once again, this is a post previously made in my other blog. I want it to be here where it belongs)

Not to toot my own horn, but when I meet up with people that I used to go to high school with they always seem to remember me as "the smart one." I admit that I derive a secret pleasure from this since I do try to represent myself as educated (have I mentioned I have a master's degree?), but often it's not much more than that--a representation. I'm not even sure how good I am at this anymore since a work friend of mine told me yesterday that in high school I was probably "the bully." Guess I am picking up a few new tricks.

I think this is a very interesting exploration however. We all have roles that we use to define ourselves--mother, spouse, employee, butt-wiper, etc. But what sort of attributes (real or wishful) do we cling to about ourselves? And once you take inventory of this, how many of these are actually positive? In a brief personal assessment, "educated" (although I'm not really sure how accurate this is--I'll admit the only thing I know about the health care debate is that it sounds REALLY expensive) and "children-oriented" are the first two positive attributes that come to mind that I try to throw out there about myself. Whether I am these things or not, it doesn't really matter as long as I reinforce them in my words and actions.

I represent myself negatively too. I come off a lot less confident than I should a lot of time, usually when it comes to child-care. If I say "I just don't know how to handle this situation!" then most of the time I DON'T have to handle the situation. Get it? Calling yourself a doofus outloud lets you off the hook a bit.

One thing that I have never identified myself with is a profession. Not even "geographer" although I have two degrees in the field (have you heard?). Now, in my life I have wanted to be many things--including a vegetarian veterinarian, but that is neither here nor there--but one thing I continually come back to is "writer." It's arguable that I actually already am one. I have written a couple of things, including a blog and an 80-page thesis (for that master's degree that you may not know about). I'm curious, just because you say you are something, does it make it true? Am I a writer? Am I educated? Am I a moron? (I believe you can be all three of these things at the same time. My evidence: college professors) Is what we are what we reinforce?

My answer is split and I'm afraid it's also going to get a bit touchy-feely (all you cynics out there watch out). I think everyone has a bit of a war raging within them between their brain and their soul. Now I know that the "soul" has gotten a lot of press for being the victor of all that is good and right; the direct connection with whatever force created the universe and all that. But I don't think it should always be in command. The brain, for all it's bullying and control issues (see which one is winning in my head!) has it's place. For if we didn't let the brain make up roles for ourselves and push us to be what we want, where would we be? And if our soul wasn't there to tell us to quiet down and just chill, I think some of us would never break our insomnia.

Ultimately, I DO think that we are what we act like. But it is never set in stone. The great thing about having a brain and a soul is that they are always pushing the other to evolve. It's like having a built-in personal trainer for your thoughts. They always try to even each other, if you can just shut your brain up long enough to let them work it out. And when I finally do, they both tell me that I am none of these things that I make up. I am Elizabeth. And I can be whatever I want today.

What Was the Question Again?

(This is a post previously seen on my other blog. I apologize to my friends who have already read it, but I wanted to be here where it belongs)

Let me invite you into my brain. Somewhere between 10-50 times a day I ask myself this (about many various and random things):

"Am I the problem or the solution?"
Why do I do this? Because I am a crazy Virgo that feels I must perfect every action of my being from tooth-brushing to fish-feeding (Note that I say action. If you have seen my house you know that I don't care too much about perfecting my possessions). I never have an answer; it's just a little bit of self-torture that I love to cram into my already over-processed brain.

But I'll tell you what I do know. Change takes a long time. You take little baby steps until one day you forget why you even started. At which point I usually find something new to carp on.
I want to say that each time I torture myself that I will instead remind myself that "Change takes time!" I want to say that I will be vigilant in my inspirational statement until I forget all about that annoying question that I so frequently worry about. But, for some reason I don't want to let go of this one. Perhaps there is some way to marry my perfectionism with a degree of moderation? With some sort of sympathy for myself and my lowly imperfect state? I've been trying to become a happier person (another quest for perfection!), but does that mean I have to turn my back on crazy Virgo tendencies?

Once again, way to many questions with no answers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Know Thyself

I think one of the major reasons for misery and depression come from not knowing yourself well enough. It's your body's way of telling you to stop doing something it doesn't like, but the problem (for me at least) is that I don't always know what that is. I think that happiness is something that you can tap into anytime anyplace. It's a part of your natural state of being. But I think it's much easier to tap into it if you aren't standing in your own way. Therefore, knowing who you are is a major stepping stone on the way to a happier lifestyle.

This isn't something I have mastered. In fact, it's something I have just figured out. The real irony of it is, people change all the time. Keeping tabs on yourself has to be a regular exercise, a practice that you take part in everyday. Like I don't have enough to do!
Most of the time when I'm caught in a depressive state, I search desperately for THE KEY. The magic thing I have to do to snap out of it. I've tried screaming, exercising, eating, and just putting on a smile. It mostly never works. Forcing the issue just doesn't seem to bring about what I want. Dr. Robert Holden says that when a new emotion arrives you must treat it like a house guest. Tend to its needs and try not to wonder why the hell it's staying so long. Just learn what you can and go on with your daily routine. This analogy just doesn't work well for me because I like action. I like to take bold steps that make things happen faster, sooner, and hopefully easier. But I'm trying to take what I can from it.
The best action I've found to take is to just listen to myself. If something is continually popping up in my head, it's usually just looking for a way out. Perhaps I am unintentionally imprisoning my house guests. Maybe that's why I feel the need to start a blog about my thoughts. The only way they can break free is if I put them on display.
Realizations like this put a smile on my face. That's how I know they are true--because they make me happy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This isn't a project. This isn't a journey. It's not even really a journal. It's just a place for me to collect my thoughts. Somewhere where I can take a break and think about all the things that bounce around my head all day. Once in middle school I had to list three words that describe myself. The first word I thought of was "thoughtful." Not because I frequently thought about the needs of others, but because my head was just always full of thoughts (the other descriptions probably had something to do with not being very good with vocabulary). The only problem was that I have never been really good at sorting out all the things that keep buzzing around my brain. Now that I have two small children, the background noise has only gotten louder. I want this be a place where I can take a break, collect my thoughts and reason them out.

I like to write. I'm not really into fiction or op-ed. Blogging is more my style. I've been caught in the late-twenties-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life snare and the only conclusion I've come to is that I would like to work on my writing. It's a hobby. It's therapy. It's a break from the day.