Tag Archives: joy

Reconnecting

My family has always meant a great deal to me.  I’ve managed to stay close to my parents and brother by calling them ever-so often and keeping in touch.  My extended family however is a different story.  Growing up overseas, we didn’t see each other for birthdays or mini-celebrations, however every summer we would fly to Kentucky and I would stay with my grandparents for about a month.  Those trips were absolutely wonderful.  My grandmother would take me to the library with her, my grandad would take me out for fish and chips.  My aunts and uncles and bunches of cousins would all hang out for appreciation and cheer. Looking back on my life, the summers spent catching fireflies and eating ice cream were the best. 
I haven’t been back to Kentucky to see my beloved family in six or seven years.  A few relatives came to Colorado when I graduated high school but the visit was rushed and I was a self-centered teenager who didn’t fully appreciate the gesture.  I feel like I’ve become the black sheep family member, the estranged girl that no one really knows any more.

With my parents moving ever farther away to Oregon, and the realization that my family in Kentucky is growing older, I’ve resolved to reconnect and once again be an active participant in the family.  I’m ready to strut my stuff and show my family how much I love them and truly care that they are a part of my life.
I’m going to Kentucky for the upcoming holidays and I couldn’t be more excited.  I have cousins I finally get to meet, other cousins who are getting engaged, and wonderful grandparents on either sides who I miss terribly.  On top of that, I will get back in touch with my roots.  I was born in Kentucky and spent my developing years there. I thrived on the green grass, ice storms, and as mentioned above, the lightning bugs. I finally get to return home.

It’s hard keeping in touch friends and family when separated by so many miles.  Having moved all the over world and never truly settling in one place, I understand how difficult it is to maintain relationships with people over the years.  But these relationships shaped who we are and have made lasting impressions, whether obvious or not.  I’m committing to honor these relationships and rekindling what I can.

I’m going to Kentucky to rehash relationships with family, but I also yearn to rekindle friendships I had overseas.  Luckily, nowadays Facebook makes this very possible, and little by little I am making moves.  I email old friends from junior high and still wish them a happy birthday.

Although separated by geographic distance, the memories created last forever in our hearts and our minds. 

That’s why I’m digging up these memories, and honoring the good times by reconnecting with people who’ve made a difference in my life.

Who do you wish to reconnect with? Who has made an impact in your life, and how do you honor it?

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How to be depressed

These past couple weeks I’ve been feeling quite depressed for no specific reason at all. I’ve been irritable with friends and generally impossible to please.  As a result, I’ve decided to compile a list of a few things that will teach you how to be depressed and cranky just like me.

1.  Drink a bottle of wine to yourself and watch a heartbreaking romance movie.

Not only will the wine make you feel loopy and completely alone, the movie will make you cry and sob your heart out over the lost love, the high school sweetheart, or the imaginary boyfriend waiting outside your front door that never shows up. Guarantees a headache, puffy eyes, and malaise for the entirety of the following day.

2.  Quit every healthy regime you’ve worked hard to implement into your life.

Screw going to the gym three times a week.  And chose the hamburger over the salad.  Skip the vitamins, skip the fresh air for a strong cigarette.  Drink multiple kinds of liquor in an evening at the bar. Forget showering and brushing your teeth.  Bask in filthy clothes and beer breath. Don’t get out of bed for anything.

3.  Harbor resentment.

Let every little thing that annoys you fester inside until your blood is boiling and you’re imagining great insults to spew at the unlucky roommate who doesn’t rinse their dish.  Dig up old drama with a friend and insist on always being right.  Bitch about everything and everyone who isn’t perfect just like you.  Read old diaries to stir up anger from years ago.  Blame parents, friends, ex-boyfriends for your piss-poor mood.

4.  Look at everyone else’s pictures online and see how much fun they’re having and how happy everyone is but you.

Your ex has a beautiful new girlfriend and they’re getting engaged! Yay!  Your girl friend went to a party without you and obviously had such a great time.  That one friend has lost weight and is so cute in her pretty little dress.  I wanted to buy that dress but it didn’t fit me…

5.  Don’t make any effort whatsoever to cheer up or engage with humanity whatsoever.

Don’t go out. Don’t even go upstairs to fry an egg. Stay right there on the couch or the bed and eat those cheetos. Don’t shower or put on a cute shirt. Whatever you do, do not accept an invitation to grab beers at a once-favorite brewery. Don’t even answer your phone. Don’t look at movie times. Going to the movies is your favorite thing so don’t even consider it.

6.  Do not investigate your sadness or express your sadness in a healthy way.

Don’t write a poem, don’t paint, don’t journal, don’t dance, don’t exercise. Don’t call a friend for comfort.  Don’t express any angst effectively. Complain, whine, and bitch, please.

There you have it. This is a preliminary list of things to do/not do to continue being a bitchy little victim of the evil forces in the universe. Now wipe off that smile and start crying, dammit!

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Dogs and Life

Today at the dog park my pup was injured.  He was slammed against a cement cylinder whilst running full-speed chasing one of his girlfriends.  I rushed him to the vet, who determined he either got a bad sprain or a slight tear in the dog equivalent of the ACL.

I’m ridiculously relieved that my pup didn’t fracture his hip or knee, and as he lays here next to me I’m grateful to have the resources and the heart to rush to him the vet for help.

With the stress and cost of the veterinary medicine I’m taught what a serious responsibility it is caring for another life.  This lesson is a harsh reality check but it’s made me more realistic and responsible in regards to serious matters of health and well being of others.    Without the experiences of caring for the many dogs, cats, rats, and sugar gliders that I’ve fostered at different times, I would not be nearly as conscientious of the emotional, physical, and financial commitments of being a caregiver.

I am a very maternal young woman.  I gain a unique satisfaction and love for the world when caring for animals or even people.  I believe many women get similar maternal urges when they get to their early or mid-twenties, and several women choose to get pregnant and start a family as a result.  I know a handful of women who have done just this, and that’s awesome for them.

Through the many experiences of taking animals to the vet, paying vet bills, dealing with dog-sitting, dealing with troublesome animals, worrying, feeding, loving all these creatures, I’ve learned the serious nature of being wholly responsible for another life.

For this reason, I’m waiting until I have money, education, and time to make human babies.  I want to have a child or two, but I understand how much of a commitment it can be.  If my kid has an attitude problem I can’t take him back to the pound.  If they get sick it’s horribly worrying and expensive, and we can’t just euthanize the poor bastards like many pet owners chose to do today.

I think it’s great that many women have found security enough to start a family, but I am not ready.

My heart pounded and I had to swallow tears because my pup injured his leg, and the vet put me out almost two hundred dollars.  If I didn’t have the money, or if I didn’t have a car or nerves, I would have been totally screwed.

It’s hard for me to imagine having a little darling baby, so fragile and precious, who may need health care right off the bat.  Not too mention clothes, diapers, education, food, housing…

Babies are no picnic!

I’m thankful to understand the seriousness of caring for another life and to have had so many wonderful animals to teach me this lesson.

I’m happy taking care of my doggie and taking him to the vet, and as a result I’m waiting quite a while to have a child.

Bernard, my love

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Good Things This Morning

So today as been surprisingly awesome so far.  And I should mention that having a good day that starts first thing when I wake up is extraordinarily rare.  Usually I wake up late, have to take care of a hyper-active puppy whilst getting myself to look presentable before rushing out the door cursing with a granola bar in hand.

Today was a lovely exception and I thought I’d share just because there’s no one else is here besides the pup to brag to.

So for today I’ll mention some More Happiness .

Note: A couple of these things occurred last night. I usually don’t drink in the mornings, not heavily anyways.

Happiness is…

Weird, captivating dreams.

Two, perfectly fried over-easy eggs and perfectly toasted toast.

Bernard (my doggie) when he’s not being a whiner, beggar, or turd-burglar.

A white russian and intriguing romance flick with a good friend.

Friendly neighbors saying hello.

Gorey, cheesy horror movies.

My Honda when it’s NOT making painful noises.

Two surprise tickets to an AWESOME Halloween concert.

Plans for pumpkin carving.

Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” while I apply mascara.

Good things happening in the morning.

Appreciation of those good things.

AND David Bowie, of course.

Dammit, I need to appreciate these good things more often.

This is how I usually feel in the morning

How I feel today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you’ve had a good morning too.  If it’s been a typical cruddy one, put on a record, read a poem, jump on the bed, or do all three! Have a good weekend folks.

 

 

 

 

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Finding joy

Today was a rough day. My dog woke me up after about four hours of sleep whining and attacking me.  After a urination and bite of food, he still insisted that I wake up and give him attention.  Thanks, Bernie.  And then the usual story follows, miss the bus, drive to school, cram for a test, yada yada yada.

I felt like I had a gloomy cloud hanging over my head.  I was worrying about my parents and the obstacles they’ve been facing, worrying about school, missing the a-hole ex-boyfriend and hating myself for it.  I was praying for something good to happen, some one or some thing to show up and save me.  Some reason to cheer up.  Needless to say, my Monday was shite. And nothing was going to make it better.

Late in the evening I began reading a new book though, entitled The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka and a passage grabbed my grumpy attention.  In the introduction by Wendell Berry, he discusses happiness and joy in the context of agriculture, but then he quotes a poem that could apply to even to my meager life.

William Blake once said,

He who binds to himself a joy

Doth the winged life destroy;

But he who kisses the joy as it flies

Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

Sometimes I try so hard to obtain something, I work relentlessly for a job, a relationship, for happiness.  I can almost try too hard and become attached to the idea of such a thing, and I suffer for it.  When I try so hard for happiness, I cannot grasp it.  I must let go and allow nature, in a sense, take it’s course. This is when happiness is found.

Goose Creek Falls in McCall, ID

When I apply this to my life I feel a mix of emotions.  On one hand, I believe in ‘fake it til you make it’. The idea that if one projects happiness and strives to find the good and joy constantly than joy will return to him/her.  I have long felt this way.  That if I keep smiling even though my insides are aching or laugh even though I’d rather sigh, that eventually the happiness would find me.  I found however, that no matter how many happy, positive movies I watched, or no matter how much I sought answers and happiness, sometimes this wasn’t enough.

Perhaps William Blake is right, that one cannot force such a wonderful emotion has happiness, and instead must be patient and then truly appreciate it when it comes.

I believe that having a positive attitude can help one to be happy, but it is not the source.  Happiness does not come when called. It is not something to be possessed, it comes and goes like the tides, and cannot be held onto or captured.

When I’ve been down in the dumps and searching for some thing to pull me out, I am usually left forlorn and lonely.  There is no thing or person that can bring happiness. It finds me, it finds you, when we detach and let the moments, things, and people come and go.

I have often hoped that a friend or lover would come along and save me.  Some sort of wonderful soul that could be my bright light, could teach me how to be happy.  How incorrect am I. While a good friend or significant other may bring good times, true happiness is found within, and like the wind it comes unexpected, and without a mechanism.

So perhaps instead of trying to fill a void, instead of trying to force something so fluid and ungraspable, I should allow myself to feel low, look inwards, and patiently observe the world and my inner workings.  When I have grown, the happiness will come.  I must appreciate happiness and bask in it while it lasts, for as we all know, life has a good way of throwing curve-balls.

Kiss the joy as it flies, and kiss my sadness as well.  Everything is constantly changing and I must let these emotions wash over me like the water of a bath.

Naturally, I could use a dose of my own medicine. It is a constant challenge .  The last thing I want to hear when I’m having a bad day is the whole “this too shall pass” spiel, but sometimes it helps to write it down and remind myself that all will be well.

McCall, ID

Photo credit given to my wonderful mother, Laura B. Pramuk

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