42 and counting…

As this year comes to an end I reflect on my 42nd year of life. It has had a lot ups, but mostly downs.

Due to recent mood downward changes, I have contemplated suicide since the summer, lost interest in all things I used to do and have in general avoided human contact where possible. The upside is I have figured out how to balance my finances a little bit more and have also come to the realization I might have a lottery scratch off problem. The very act of scratching helps relieve stress but also funds unfortunately. I used to play a max of $5 and stop reinvesting at a two digit win. Now I just play until no more cash. It feels almost like I am punishing myself for something, however I can not quite figure out exactly for what. It almost feels like I feel somewhere deep down, that I somehow I don’t deserve to have the peace of mind of cash.

Maybe it is a mid-life crisis but I have been bombarded with thoughts of moving. It has been ten years since I last moved and have less to consider when it comes to a new location. My child was underage back then but now is 21 and living outside the home. Any consideration is solely based on what I want/need. The downside is I take myself wherever I go and some days not even I want to deal with myself. I have nothing holding me in NJ and could easily move anywhere. The connections I have built here I can rebuild anywhere. I worry after the newness of the place, will I be compelled to move again? If I don’t have peace with myself I will not find peace, at least not for the long haul, anywhere, I worry. I wonder if maybe the places I have lived are not a good fit for who I am. I have picked places or have simply lived places because they are places that were familiar to me. NJ I was born and raised and FL is where my immediate family lives but if you take those two things away, I wonder do I really enjoy the places? Florida I can say with utmost certainty it was not a good fit and living in NJ has been better for my more adventurous side(have wheels, will travel side).

Any new place I consider has to have the following.:

the 4 seasons, an active downtown but a nice woodsy retreat nearby, lends itself to easy day trips to other states and a mindset focused on quality of life versus quantity of things to be had.

Things I look to for 2018 and my 43 yrs:

A sense of hope that this too shall truly pass.

That I can find the affections of someone who loves me, so I don’t always have to be strong. It would be nice to know someone has got me during the more difficult parts of life.

A resolution to my work doldrums and maybe find a place I feel more appreciated and valued.

Improved health(mentally and physically).

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Stealing- Back to School

This month, kids from all over will be going back to school (if they haven’t already gone back).  I thought it might be fun to look back at our own school days, some of them more recent than others.  I couldn’t find a meme to steal, so this was cobbled together from a bunch of “questions to ask students” sites, and a couple of my own ideas.  Have fun!

 1.  What kind of school did you attend (Big? Small? Public? Private? Specialty? One-room schoolhouse?) Catholic school for most of school and then the last two years I went to a public high school
2. What did you wear to school (uniform? dress code? Whatever you wanted?)
Brown and yellow uniforms…it was lovely
3.  How did you get to school? Usually just walked to school
4.  Who was your favorite teacher?  Why? English teacher always encouraged my active imagination
5.  What was your favorite subject?  Why? English as everything was open to interpretation and was the only diagrams I understood
6.  What was your least favorite subject?  Why? Math just because I was  not very good at it
7.  Did you belong to any clubs? I joined a lot of clubs just never really stayed with any one thing
8.  Were you a picky reader? Nope
9.  What did you do in your free time? Overwhelmed with my active imagination
10.  Did you get good grades? Depended on the year
11.  Did you like/participate in sports? Hahaha…If soccer counts then yes but I was technically the score keeper
12.  Did you have a boyfriend/girlfriend in high school? A specific one ? No … a few here and there, nothing official
13.  When did you get your driver’s license? At 18
14.  What kind of kid were you?  (Popular? Class clown? Shy?  A nerd?  Teacher’s pet?) Awkward kid by most accounts
15.  Who were your heroes? I had none
16.  Were you ever bullied? Yes because I was awkward
17.  Did you learn how to touch type? I am not sure what the question is
18.  Who was your best friend?  (Are you still friends today?) Nope neither of the two.  The first was the better of the two and their family really embraced me. The second was a recent loss when I realized who they had become. It was entertaining as a teenager but as an adult it is not a good look for anyone.
19.  What is one thing you regret about high school? Not taking it more seriously. I was so affected by my feelings that I ignored the more practical life building elements, like grades
20.  What were you most proud about? That I graduated

 

Bonus:  Did you like high school? It was a simpler time but I was too immature to realize that.

Ramblings…

In the last few months I have made a friend with a friends husband, I will refer to as the Texan. He is a great debater of all things political, existential musings and all things of fifty shades of grey inclined topics. With all the crazy things happening in the world and more specifically the United States, tensions in our conversations have been almost hazardous to our friendship. For example, I am a northerner in most of thinking processes. I have issues with discrimination, the confederate flag and what it represents, and the direction this country has taken. We do not see eye to eye on most of these issues and I am ok with agreeing to disagreeing. As long as we are respectful of our differences we will continue to be in good standing. I really do like the talk through the logic approach of most of our conversations which makes me think about my beliefs and where they are truly rooted from.

Work has been an added stress. I am happy to have it and for the progress I have made in my six years. I do wish I was more appreciative of it on my bad days. I was recently given feedback to be more measured on how I present to the universe, specifically my work environment. A work in progress for sure. I need to be more mindful of the feelings of those I work most closely with and how my mood swings affect them.

Note to self: I am mildly succeeding in parenting an adult. I have made blunders( old habits die hard) but I recognize my role now is not to make their decisions but instead give them guidance when I think they need it or when they ask me specifically for it. I have to accept they will have to live with their choices and whatever comes after.

Lost of interest in life in general is a daily struggle. I have to remind and push myself to get out and engage. The meetup groups have been great in the past and I need to actively revisit them. I need to accept those invites instead of finding seemingly valid reasons to decline. Tonight was a step in that general direction since I hosted a game night with a couple of co-workers. It was a low key event, to say the least, but the two hours were interesting enough.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Stealing- Art History

1. Do you look forward to the spring? I love the mild seasons…
2. Which area of the sciences do you enjoy the most? Parapsychology
3. If you could own a classical statue in the form of any figure from myth, religion, or even modern fiction, who would you choose? Xena Warrior Princess
4. Do you have a good relationship with your mother? As I have gotten older, it has improved dramatically. I appreciate her more than I did when I was young.
5. What is your favorite mythological story? Hades
6. If you put on a big feast, what would you serve? Skirt steak and roasted potatoes
7. How do you have fun? (What is your favorite ‘Earthly Delight’?) Taking scenic walks
8. Do you often look for hidden messages and meanings? Sometimes I look, sometimes they find me
9. Have you ever received an award or special position? If mothers day cards count, yes
10. If a revolution was about to happen in your country, would you be part of it? No. I would move to Canada and hope for the best
11. Have you ever planned an act of revenge? Yes when I was a kid and pushed down the stairs by older sister
12. What is the most dramatic thing you have ever done? I moved to a place where I had no immediate family and raised my kiddo alone from when they were 12
13. Do you care about your weight? I care to point of trying to be healthy
14. Is your life moving too slowly or too fast? Depends on the day
15. Do you prefer to stay in the shade? Yes. I went to the beach recently and accidentally fell asleep. The end result was not pretty or painless.
16. If you could have any mural on your ceiling, what would it look like? Zeus on a cloud
17. Do you enjoy the countryside? I love it
18. Are you a romantic? No. Most definitely not.
19. What is your favorite historic subject?  The origin of the printed word
20. Do you prefer landscape paintings? I like all paintings and I think landscapes are nice
21. Are you interested in social issues? Yes!

Sunday Stealing- Make a difference

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on  

WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. You may have heard the expression, “honor among thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we try to credit the blog that we stole it from, if possible. We also provide a link to the victim’s questions in our “Previous Victims” widget. (It’s our way of saying “Thanks!”) Sometimes we edit the original meme, to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, to select the best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from recently asked questions from a previously post. Cheers to all of us thieves!

 

These questions were on a site by Debbie Hodge, which apparently once had more blog content, but now seems to be mostly devoted to scrapbooks — content, supplies, etc.

The artwork is by Picasso.

1.  What is the favorite piece of art you own. – A house I painted the week my grandma died
2.  The most expensive bill you paid last month. – My cell and cable bill but full disclosure I was months behind paying
3.  What’s the last thing you apologized for? I haven’t done anything to apologize for recently.
4.  If you could do today over, would you change anything? Yesterday was a good day and today has just started so nothing to change
5.  What is the largest TV screen in your house? I don’t know the size of my tv
6.  What did you buy today? Nothing
7.  I wish I had ____ the winning lottery number
8.  How many photos did you take today? None but yesterday I took 4 with NYC and a nice sunset in the background
9.  Last thing you wanted and didn’t get. – The $500 scratch win
10.  What was the last new thing you tried? Cooking a dinner for a non-family member
11.  Who is your hero? My mom
12.  Today I feel really secure knowing ____ I will not contemplate suicide for a while longer
13.  Whose life did you make a difference in today? Yesterday I did a reading for a friend
14.  What would have made today perfect? A good time at the wine festival I am going to today
15.  Did you thank anybody today? I thank the universe I woke up today

Road trip 2017

Around this time last year I also took a road trip and considering what I just recently lived through I suspect I was going through something back then to. Last year I drove to Toronto and this year to Florida but in a more roundabout way and got to visit places I had never before. Visiting places I have not been to before is one of my 2017 goals that I set for myself at the beginning of this year.

It started with not being sure if I could afford this recent trip and technically I could not. Sometime back in March or April I had reached out to a childhood friend that I had not seen in years( turns out 29 yrs to be exact) and said I would probably do a road trip in the summer and would love to pass through to say hello. I was surprised when he suggested it was a great idea and that if I wanted to I could even stay at his place. I didn’t think much of it at the time( turned out to be the best thing). Sometime in early July or maybe late June my older sister was in the area visiting and before she left I gave her a reading. I was spooked by what feeling it gave me about our mom. I think about that time I resolved I had to make it happen, the road trip. A couple of days later my mom casually mentions that the tumor she had in her 30’s has come back and my first thought is she is not healthy enough for surgery due to her heart condition.

I hemmed and hawed over timing, financing and whether considering my financial pitfall made it a bad idea. I immediately came to the conclusion it was a bad idea that had to be done. I had also resolved that this would be my good bye tour with my loved ones. I wasn’t sure how I would do it, but I felt at the time that I needed to end my pain and reasoned they would be better off without me. That specific thought gave me a sense of peace and joy.

My first stop was in Chattanooga and I have to say the place is beautiful and inexpensive. The house I stayed in was amazing and as was his family and I particularly liked his wife. She tolerated me despite my northernisms and the slight awkwardness in the air. They were amazing considering that for all intents and purposes I was a stranger despite having childhood and familial connections. At best we are like cousins, once removed.

I drove through Atlanta and got just a slight taste of their traffic nightmare. Timing is everything. I eventually made it to Valdosta and met with an old co-worker. She bought me dinner and I recounted in my colorful way my travels up to that point. My second destination was Orlando with one of my many assorted siblings. She and  her husband were, as always, amazing hosts.

The following day I drove to my final destination, Miami and tried to get to my moms house before she left for work but had just missed her. I instead made rounds with my last standing elder, my grandmother and saw a sleuth of assorted relatives. When you come from a family of eight kids it is a godsend when you get to see them in bulk.

The trip as a whole was a success and after seeing my mom and her condition I realized I could not do that to her. I could also not leave my child unprotected as she still needs me, at the very least emotionally.

It seems this trip helped me reset, which is great. It also haunts me the sense of relief I felt at the idea of suicide.

When being sane fails

So in the last few weeks things have gotten very dark for me and I have contemplated suicide. I got this sense of relief when I felt I had made a decision. There was no timeline in place or method in  mind. I just wanted the pain and suffering to be done. Then the leader singer of Linkin Park committed suicide via hanging. The first thought was it was so sad he would leave a young family behind. The second thought was why did he do it so messy ? Why couldn’t he make it look like natural causes? Did he not think of the person who would have to find him? My final thought was how were his family going to make sense of this ? Then I realized that  suicide was not something I could follow through on on a whim.

I  have taken steps to help right my mindset. I do not want to die and I don’t know how much more I can take. A road trip was born. Driving has always been therapeutic and so far it has worked. I have reconnected with a childhood friend and they have graciously let me stay at their place in Tennessee. Two 2017 goals have been realized, reconnecting and visiting a place I have never been. In the next couple of days  I will make it to Miami, not before visiting a sister in Orlando and a friend in Valdosta GA and hopefully reconnect with family.

My hope is that this trip helps me feel loved, connected and the driving clears my clouded thoughts.