Category: life


This post may be troubling to my group of friends who lost an amazing person recently.  It discusses the circumstances of her death in relation to how society reacts to such events.  And, there’s a lot of anger and hurt for our loss in it as well.  As such, I let you choose whether to read the rest of it or not by clicking below for the rest of the entry.

But I want this part to be public.

No matter who you are, if you are in my life, you are very important to me.  Even if I don’t know you and you stumble on this blog, I still am asking you this.  I am going to ask each and every one of you for something big.  If it’s the only favor you ever do for me, I will be forever grateful.

If you ever, EVER, feel like the pain in your life is unbearable and you cannot go on, please PLEASE PLEASE make one phone call. (One phone call where you actually talk to someone. If you have to dial several people, DO IT.)

If you have my number (I have a google number on my Facebook, or email me and I’ll send you my number), call me.  OK, I am horrible at answering unknown numbers. Leave a message saying who you are and why you are calling (mention this promise if you want) and I promise to immediately respond! Any hour, any day, any time.

If you don’t have it, or don’t want to call me, call your closest friend or relative.  If you can’t or won’t, then call 1-800-Suicide (1-800-784-2433).

That is all I ask. Thanks.  (Click “more” below if you wish to read further.)

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Unless you just got online yesterday, I’m sure you have seen an example of classic internet forum discussion turned argument, usually aided via “trolls” just trying to push buttons and cause reactions.  I’ve seen it often and participated (sometimes honorably, sometimes stooping to the levels of others in blame/accusations) rarely, but only once in a while is there one that really gets under my skin.

And I actually find it fascinating, even when my blood is boiling and my patience is tried.  Every time it turns into a circular discussion where it’s obvious neither side will budge or admit any wrong doing, and the tactics are often the same low blows whether the discussion is religion, discrimination, politics…

I’d like to share some facts and analysis of one of these that occurred yesterday/today (and may still be ongoing).  The subject matter is really irrelevant, as I want to discuss (rationally) some of the tactics used by both myself and the other participants.

It’s long – I can’t figure out what to cut out of it now so I’ll put it behind a link.

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Thursday Randoms

(no there aren’t multiples of my fiance. luckily there’s only one and he’s mine :P)

Welcome to my stream of consciousness update.  If I keep waiting to write the perfect entry I’ll never blog again.

The iPad. Name sucks.  As Leo from Zen Habits said on twitter – “Important: the iPad is for consuming info, not for creating. It’ll help separate the two, which is wonderful for creators.”  I don’t know about separating the two, but I don’t need an oversized iPhone when I already have the tiny one.  If they get to the point where you can be more creative with it, use a stylus to take advantage of the tablet to sketch/use photoshop, then they’ll be getting somewhere.  I’ll want one eventually of course.

State of the Union.   Missed first part of it, I started off not very enthusiastic about it… He started promising huge things which made me question his ability to get them done, then he says if he fails it’s because we all failed.  Niiiice.  He’s the most human side I’ve seen in a president, and I really hope he/we CAN get all those things accomplished.  I’ve been horrible about following politics since the election except for what Random tells me he heard on NPR.  So I’m not really in a position to judge what’s going on but those are my thoughts on the speech.  He really is a great motivational speaker and appealing to the humanity in us rather than party lines will – I hope – go a long way.

Snow.  F that shit.  I usually love it but today it pissed me off.  The roads were horrible, and then Random was too busy at work to tell me he got there safely, so cue panic attack.  Didn’t help that around the time the overactive imagination starts, my ears clogged up and hurt and I had no decongestants with me to help.

Health.  I need to join a gym, at least until spring when we’re outside more.  I HATE GYMS.

Weddings.  I’m a bridesmaid in one that may be on TV.  SEE ABOVE.  (This is how much I love you M…. I would bail if I didn’t.)  Ours – planning is coming along fine, just need to spend more time on not-fun stuff instead of playing with graphics for the website redesign and invites.  Had another day of dress shopping, and I think I know where I’m going with that but not 100% sure…

Blogs. Gonna move the wedding blog from wordpress.com to hosting on godaddy.com and using wordpress the software.  I know they mean well but really, the same name for both things is so farking complicated.  But yay on full customization, and maybe I can move this blog there too.   Oh yeah – go read the blog to see our awesome logo!

PEX.  Doing the volunteer running yet again, and expanded duties to running a database of people who are available before and after for set up and clean up.  They wanted it done Tuesday, except for 5 names I’ve emailed everyone twice and called them once.  Still lots of no replies.  I feel like I’m letting them down because I didn’t get to do much on it over the weekend, but I don’t know if anything would have been done if I wasn’t helping.  (Oh yeah. Heartburn. Feb 13. Buy tickets NOW, they will sell out soon.)

Borderlands.  Over the worst of my addiction since we completed the game once and the zombie island, still another downloadable content to get and I’m thinking tonight or tomorrow night would rock for that.  Random wrote up a review of it.

Stuff. There’s so much going on, people I haven’t spoken to, things I should do…. and I still want to hibernate from it all.  I do what needs to be done, mostly, but ugh.  I know the pace will get worse and this year is gonna fly by, so I’m trying to just do what I can.  I don’t do resolutions on the new year but I like the idea of a word for the year, the only one that came to me so far is PRESENCE.  Being present in the moment.  Yeah it looks like that’s an excellent focus point as it will be a challenge this year.  Speaking of new years, holy fark where did January even go???

Tomorrow.  Friday.  THANK FARKING GODDESS.

* not as huge a BSG fan as much as I am a fan of the word fark and not actually swearing in public (as much).  Especially with ankle biters around. There was that one time I was swearing up a storm in a supposedly empty parking lot only to turn around as a woman walked her three small kids right by me.  Oops.  And repeatedly saying MILD swears in front of M’s nephew.  😛

On Creativity and Compassion

Inspiration of the day – my friend blogged about artist Merce Cunningham who passed away, and it highlights several artists who helped re-define what art is.  My favorite part is the last sentence, but had to quote the entire section –

It was their relationship of the creative life to all life that has drawn me into their work.  They would focus on bringing the creative process into what are often times considered “non art” activities….they would have festivities in a moment’s notice, carry with them a feeling of always creating something, of everyday adventures.  They believed in living out loud in front of others so the world would wake up and see that the smallest things in life can be a celebration.

That is how I choose to honor Merce, to continue to live my own life with that kind of imagination and authenticity, and to encourage others to do the same.  We are ALL artists, constantly creating.  No matter what our medium..even if we don’t have a definable medium…it’s the way in which we author our lives that is so important.  Art is not to dazzle others as M.C. Richards, a contemporary and friend of Merce, once said. “It is to reveal the secrets of our hearts so that others seeing that witness, will have the courage to reveal the secrets of their own hearts.”

This is the path I’ve been on as well – while I’ve always loved doing creative things, this way of looking at art, how we live, and how we express who we are really started at Burning Man for me.  I was always drawn to it, but never found it in such abundance until then.  And I’m still struggling to do this, as lately it seems not much that I do is very creative.  Lately I’ve been absorbing inspiration, but it’s just kinda sitting there building up.  But to figure out exactly how to put this inspiration and energy to best use is challenging, and I feel like there’s never enough time in the day.

However her post reinforced in me that it’s a 24-7 thing, even if I’m not creating a tangible piece of art.  I just need to remember that.   And when we are tapped into that realization, and live with intention, I think that’s being in the flow.

ETA:  Excellent timing, universe… a friend just linked to this on facebook.  Great video, but stay for the end credits and story!!

The past week has also had an emotional journey.  A man went missing, and I followed the story on facebook as I know someone who is a close friend of his.  As I reposted messages from friends and family, asking for prayers or help with the search party in California, I learned a little about him and his life.  But the message that touched me was one that was related to his mother through a psychic.

If you do not generally believe in such things, I dare you to just suspend those thoughts and listen to the message.  Just for a moment think about what it would mean to embrace it and make it part of our lives.

Elias says repeatedly that what happened was like an unfortunate accident. It shouldn’t have happened. The person involved needs compassion.

Elias is adamant that he wants everyone to react with love and compassion. He wants a circle of people, whoever is capable, to hold space at the same time every day for compassion meditation and to let him know what time that will be so that he can join us.

He does not want so much energy put on what happened. Put energy into love and compassion. People are digging, he says, seeking with too much frustration to find out what happened. Surrender and allow it to be revealed. Taking action is good, but don’t focus too much on seeking.

He says that this whole event is a lesson. He wants us to learn the lesson! If we focus on the wrong things we may not learn the lesson.

He is grateful that I am open to allowing this lesson to be learned. He wants us to show love for all – not just him. And to have no vindictiveness. He wants there to be complete forgiveness.

Elias wants us to proceed with compassion every step of the way.

Emotions need to be released, to be honored and allow them to flow through like a stream, but don’t let them constrict you. So the key is to honor your emotions without holding them inside.

He wants to raise the vibration. Use less intellect. Keep returning to the love or we will miss the lesson. The lesson is about love.

(excerpts – for full text see here)

At a time where you can imagine his friends and family are frantically searching for him, hoping he is still alive, full of fear…  His main message is of love and compassion, not for him but for those who did this to him.

I know most of us hold grudges for far less serious offenses.

I don’t know if I can have love for those who did this, but looking at the faces of three men arrested in association with this case, I tried to hold compassion.  I wondered what happened in their life that led them to where they are today.  Was it an accident?  Or, had they been hurt so badly that they only know how to hurt others? Were they even the ones who did it?

Lyrics from a song by Kristin Hoffmann called “No Love” run through my head – she ponders what hell someone went through to get to the point where they abuse (or do worse) to someone else.  “there`s no right or wrong to decide just the cause and effect of life”.

The mystery of Elias’ disappearance is still unsolved.  Police are treating it as a homicide although his body has not been found.  While I hope anyone found guilty in the investigation is charged and serves an appropriate sentence, the message of being open to all possibilities has stuck with me.

Elias (through the transmission) asked his mother to choose a Sufi poem, and she shared the following.

A poem of Hafiz

When
The violin
Can forgive the past

It starts singing.

When the violin can stop worrying
About the future

You will become
Such a drunk laughing nuisance

That God
Will then lean down
And start combing you into
His Hair.

When the violin can forgive
Every wound caused by
Others

The heart starts
Singing.

So yeah.  The dance continues.  Love and compassion.  Creativity and authenticity.  Intention and celebration.  Heavy thoughts for a Monday, but then Mondays when you are stuck somewhere that is the opposite of many of those things need this sometimes.

I may have posted this quote before, but want to post it again…  and upon doing so I realize that “art” (the kind of art discussed up top) could replace the word “faith”.  I’m trying to embrace this fully – as well as exploit it as a reference that nowhere does “clean house” or “laundry” appear on the list…   😛

This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs:
to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, argue, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.
To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.
~Terry Tempest Williams


And so I leave you with this tribute to the lives of those who affect us, and may we remember that how we live each day is the message we’ll leave behind us as well.

Quiet, yet not.

I’ve been quiet for a while!  Wasn’t really on purpose.  I got a head cold, and I’ve been very spacey/introspective for the past few weeks. I needed to slow down, to remember to prioritize and say no… I feel overwhelmed in the summer with the crazy schedules, but yet most everything (except work) is something that I want to do, something that makes my heart sing and refuels me.  But I need to have enough down time to recharge or I’m running on empty.  No idea where all these gas metaphors are coming from 😛

Not long after I posted about flow, my love posted as well, and you should read it.  😀

Two weekends ago, we went to Dexcon same people who run Dreamation, the game convention in February.  We are truly lucky to have this in our backyard, and took full advantage of the weekend this time.

Friday night, at the last minute, we dressed up steampunk and stopped by a LARP that was created by someone I know – called Brimsteam.

The Dexcon gathering of Brimsteam

The Dexcon gathering of Brimsteam

While we weren’t there for long, we had an amazing time playing Maddy and Clarke, on a scientific expedition from the University to study plant and insect life in undiscovered lands.  Clarke learned to gamble, successfully, and we had a small expedition in a hot air balloon for some sport hunting of astral jellyfish.  Yeah, I know.  But it was FUN!

Steampunk Self Portrait

Steampunk Self Portrait

We then went to the vampire LARP that we played in February.  You know, vampires really aren’t very sociable, especially when you are enemy clans… but we enjoy dressing up and pretending to get along with all the others, and well, the costumes are half the fun 😀

The next day, we went back for board games.  Gloom, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and something else… Then we were dragged into $300 Pyramid, where I did better than I ever expected to and won $6 in credit at the vendors room!  Played a game of Poison, then went home to change and returned for the continuation of the vampire LARP.  (Photo above is from the second night.)  Despite staying up late both nights, we returned Sunday – Nate for a game of Magic, and me for something that was overbooked and had no room.  But we were roped into a game of Puerto Rico, and then headed out to get to Philly for practice with our fire performance group for Burning Man.

Insert boring long work week, with being sick and lots of unpleasantries.

I was worried my health would prevent it, but I recovered in time for the weekend and on Saturday we caught up with the next playtest of Brimsteam.  This time, there was actual Danger! and Excitement! as I got caught in my first gunfight (and hid. yup. I did. Not ashamed to admit it.  I AM playing a sheltered intellectual 😛 Not to mention wearing heels in a dark area with steps, I thought I’d kill myself before a bullet could.)

Brimsteam Beta 026

Kaylee and Maddy

12 hours of character creation, game play, fights, downtime with refreshments and gambling, and lots of mystery and mayhem.  I can’t wait to do it again.  (While I don’t mind the vampire LARP, this is such a different experience and more suited for me personally!)

Brimsteam Beta 041

Kaylee turned out to have a similar education to myself - here we are investigating a bio-luminescent fungus attached to moss that was a key clue to a murder and sabotage plot!

Brimsteam Beta 063

And Clarke gambled. And gambled. And drank and fought and was shot and unconscious for a bit. And gambled.

Unfortunately we are missing the first full weekend of play, as we’ll be out in Reno for Burning Man.  But we hope to make it to the one in September, and I only hope it’s not during my cousin’s wedding! 😀

So that’s two busy weekends, with lots of work and rest in between. My added stress is having to significantly purge and reorganize my apartment before some electrical work needs to be done – luckily the date is postponed, but I’m not sure to when, and I have to keep up with it while the crushing pressure is off.

This weekend we’ll be traipsing around south Jersey, seeing some of my love’s friends and family, another conclave rehearsal, and at some point seeing my brother for his birthday.  Hope you all are enjoying your summer!

Self Assessment

A compilation of my alter egos and costumes over the past 4 years since my first Burning Man (compiled for my unravelling e-course)

For all the navel gazing I do, you’d never know that filling out my self assessment form for my annual review at work sends me into a panic attack.

I used to take it seriously, I thought hard about it and poured my heart and soul (as it relates to work) onto a piece of paper.  But it’s grown to mean nothing, it’s just stuck in a file somewhere, and my true thoughts – I don’t dare voice those even here, let alone on that form.

(Though, I took a risk and set one of my goals to be increasing awareness in the office about recycling, as I just dug through the trash can to pull out cans that were thrown away. One was in a can NEXT TO THE RECYCLING CONTAINER! UGH! Our office also stopped recycling waste paper – I’d like to encourage individual efforts in reduce/reuse waste paper, and get a petition to request the office recycles it again. Obviously I’m much more excited about this than anything else at work.)

So I figure, I don’t object to this task, I just can’t say what I want to say and no one is listening anyway.  And even though it’s not New Years or any other time when people traditionally re-evaluate their life, I’d like to do a self assessment on everything BUT work.

Review of Previous Period’s Objectives/Goals

Since this is my first time doing this, I don’t have a previous list of goals.  But a few ones that I have met over the past year:

– Take a hooping workshop and fire hoop for the first time

– Make a hoop video (I did this last night!)

– Create interactive art for Playa Del Fuego

– Help run an official Theme camp at Playa Del Fuego

– Cohabitate with my love 😀

– Perform fire in a group at Burning Man (wasn’t for conclave, but our dress rehearsal was a performance.)

Major Responsibilities/Accomplishments

Well, my accomplishments are listed above.  Responsibilities? Hmm. What are my responsibilities outside of work?

– Take care of my kitties (check. though they need brushing and I can’t find the brush, they are happy and healthy!)

– Pay bills and stay on top of finances (eh still struggling but I’m mostly responsible here)

Seriously? Those are the only “MUST DO” responsibilities that I can think of, but if I get into “SHOULD DO” I can think of more. This is brainstorming, not necessarily all of these were accomplished, but they are all things I’m working on.

– Responsibilities to self:  Eat in ways that sustain me and improve my health.  Get some movement in, every day hopefully.  Get enough sleep.  Spend time doing things that nurture and sustain me, and improve/educate myself.  Be aware of needs, desires, and boundaries.  Learn to say no to things that will only cause stress, and yes to things that scare me but are good for me.  Keep home a cleaner, nicer place to relax and rejuvenate.  Make sure financial basic needs are met (pay bills on time, keep roof over head, improve credit rating).

– Responsibilities to family/friends:  Love and care for kitties.  Love Random, spend quality time together, work on mutual dreams and goals.  Call and visit family.  Often.  Spend quality time with friends/family of choice, be there when they need support.

– Responsibilities to community/world:  Participate in life, don’t just spectate.  Contribute discussions, time, art, and effort to events that matter to me and to issues of importance in the world.  Improve my “green” efforts.  Bring joy and awareness to those around me.  Help create things/movements as a group for larger reaching efforts.

Strengths

I have great ideas.  I can help others make their ideas happen. I have a harder time making my own ideas happen 😛

Love learning and experiencing new things.  A sense of adventure.

Curious mind, always wanting to know how things work and how to do new things.

A sense of responsibility to community and the planet.

Willingness to look like a fool in public for the sake of fun.

Never underestimating the power of fun, camaraderie, good food, or good sleep.

Development Needed

Knowing and trusting my strengths.

Making decisions.

Balancing what goals I can set and accomplish on my own to improve my life, and what ones I should set and work on together with my love.

Incorporating my passions into my job/career.

Pursuing bigger picture adventures without getting bogged down with the daily grind.

Simplifying.

Balancing responsibilities and fun time.

Incorporating good ideas and lifestyle changes permanently.

Being gentle with myself for doing things poorly or not at all.

Watching where I spend/waste time.

Next Period’s Objectives/Goals and Target Dates

In the next month/s I shall:

– Make progress on cleaning/simplifying our home.  (Make a game plan with my love, figure out what we can do together to do this.)  Two weeks to a garage sale, so the incentive is there.

– Bring/create some joy into my work life, even if it’s tiny ways.  Be more present and productive at work.

– Set some short and long term individual and mutual goals with my love, and figure out ways to keep part of our efforts focused on them.

– Enjoy every moment of summer while it’s here.  It goes so fast.  Be present in the moment.

– Continue to increase healthy habits and decrease unhealthy ones.

– Increase calls/visits to family.  Decrease guilt about it never being enough 😛

In the next year I shall:

– Find a way to enjoy my job or find a new one.

– Relocate (if/when it suits both of us & our jobs).

– Have a routine to keep our home simplified, cleaner, and more green.  Reduce the amount of things I own and use/enjoy the things I do own.

– Leave time/space for unplanned adventures and spontaneity.

– Explore my creativity in old and new ways.

– Contribute time and energy to the groups that matter to me – PDF, PEX, fire community, etc.

– Whether through the above or not, work on creations/artistic acts that make a public impact in some way.

– Never stop growing or improving, but always allowing me to be gentle to myself when needed.

– Focus on what matters most.  Release things/people that don’t matter, that are more harmful than beneficial, whose time is just past.

Comments/Questions/Ideas

Ack.  OK.  This was quite the onion peel.  I had been thinking I couldn’t afford an acquaintance’s new ecourse, but after seeing this I think I should sign up (I only have today left to decide 😛 I also worry about the workload, as I finish an e-course that I fell behind on, and summer is a crazy time…)

I’m going to turn this around to you.  Questions or ideas for me?  Did this raise any thoughts of what you can do in your own life?

I have a million ideas but can never decide on ways to implement them.  I find tons of amazing resources online like the happiness project (I even have a starter kit to start a group), creative every day challenge, joy rebellion, 29 day giving challenge…. Too many to choose from and commit to them all.

Do you want me to share more things like this with you? Would you be interested in a virtual or in person effort to pursue one of these things?  If you are anything like me, you may say YES! and even pick one, but without serious commitement to it, our efforts will fall apart.  And being spread too thin over many efforts does the same.

I’ll continue to share these things in case they strike a chord with you, but if you think that you and I should start a new community effort and you are willing to help, let’s talk.  Maybe it will be a slow start, being summer and all.  Maybe we can create something amazing.  Maybe we’ll just have some amazing brainstorming and go on with our lives better for it.

I’m not feeling like LEADING this at this moment, but I look for those who want to CO-CREATE with me.  To conspire with me.  Or hell, just to console and have a cocktail on the rough days.  I don’t know.  If you are already in my life chances are you already do one of those things at least.  I’m just planting a seed, and seeing what comes from it.  I’m focusing on that which I want to nurture in my life, and I need some people around to support and remind me of that so I don’t get too far off track.

So – now that I wrote this huge ass post on my own time and just finished posting it during a brief break at work (*wink wink*) I should get back to my real task at hand.  Which is of course, procrastinate and plan for the weekend trip!

Mixmatched Baggage

IMG_6053

I am having a hard time separating other peoples’ baggage from my own lately.

In case you think you recognize you/a situation below, know that:

1) I’m not writing this to slam on anyone or complain about what I know – and please don’t let this stop you from sharing things with me in the future!  Really!  This is my issue, not yours.

2) this is coming from several (at least 4) directions – so it’s not just you! This is just me processing, that’s all.  I don’t even need a response as much as just a chance to clear my thoughts!

Maybe it’s the part of me that wants to be neutral, like Switzerland.  I want everyone to still like me.  Unless I don’t like them.  (And sometimes the jury is still out on that…)

Maybe it’s that while I can consciously try to stay out of drama, when someone does something hurtful to a friend, I take it personally.

I should give people a chance, before I make up my mind about them based on someone else’s opinions.  But then, if someone I respect was mistreated, and I have limited time for my already dear friends let alone making new ones, maybe we should let the chance at a friendship pass by?

The truth is usually somewhere between the stories on both sides, and I often only know one side of the story.

I listen – to broken hearts, to friendships torn asunder, to offenses of the past, to drama and grudges where sometimes there is no longer any reasonable basis for such….

At what point should these affect my individual relationships with the speaker, with the main players, with the people on the sidelines, with those whose actions I disagree with but I see the hurt emotions behind it, with those whose actions I disagree with because they have no reason to bear grudges for others (continuing a vicious snowball effect)…

When I’m in the middle and friends with both sides – I do my best to support them both. It’s all I can do.

When I have almost no relationship to someone who caused my friend pain, do I give them the benefit of the doubt, and get to know them so I can decide for myself? Or do I just choose to be amicable at the rare times we interact and not put any energy into creating a new friendship?  What if I see the person often instead of rarely?

I do not have to hold grudges on behalf of my friends.  And I know no true friend would ask me to.  But when I’ve seen their pain, and know their story, it’s hard to be objective about it and not remember that.

I guess it boils down to the mama bear syndrome.  My drama? I can choose when to nurse it and when to let it go.  I can let it be their issue, not mine.  Drama shields can be raised.  But when my friends are hurt, I want to protect them and get defensive towards anyone who caused them harm, and rather than drama infiltrating the shielded zone it comes from inside of me.

The people I already know, the people I am friends with or in routine contact with, I am doing my best to forgive (not that it’s even my place to forgive sometimes) and forget and move on, but I can’t help feeling awkward at times.

For those that I barely know and see, it’s easier.  I don’t fret (much) over the offenses of the past, but I don’t put energy into deepening relationships with them, unless it ends up coming about naturally.

I don’t necessarily like doing this – conciously not becoming friends with someone, but I’ve developed friendships before despite many warnings as to their nature, which all turned out to be true and so much worse than anyone thought.  Sigh – when is it smart to listen to the warnings and when does someone deserve another chance?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m missing out on some great opportunities, but as I said before my time and energy are limited as it is, so unless something happens naturally to move a friendship along…  I don’t know.  I know my guard will be up longer than usual even if I am not intentionally letting it affect my actions.

(The sequel post to this may be about turning down new friends when you are too busy for the ones you already have… That’s a whole nother can of worms!  And yes, I’ve heard of at least one story where someone met someone cool, and was told that they had no openings for friends in their life at that time.  Urban legend?  Who knows.  Kinda hard to google for it!  I’ve gone from years of constantly making new friends to a point where I worry that more would take away time that I should spend with those I have already. Ayeayay…)

Back to the main point….

I’m going to try to let this go.  I’ve honored my friends by listening to them, by offering advice, giving them comfort.  Holding on to the energy of the past is not doing me or them any service.  I’ll ask advice of those who seem to stay calm in the midst of chaos, friendly with all sides.  Next time something comes up that brings up OPB (other people’s baggage), if I’m not directly involved, I’ll breathe deeply and release it, it is not my struggle.

(This does NOT mean I’ll put up with people talking shit about anyone I care for.  But I will be mindful about when to defend a friend and when to ask that they just don’t say those things in my presence.)

And if you catch me getting caught up in OPB, please remind me of this.  Whether it’s gently saying something or smacking me in the head.  This has been too much of a pattern in my life recently – gotta love my dysfunctional family of choice sometimes! 😛 (and I really do!!!) but the only thing I can (and should) do is change my own actions and behaviour.  I have enough of my own baggage to deal with – I can support and encourage my friends without carrying their baggage along with mine.

Whirl

First:

Save the date: July 1 – First annual unofficially official joy rebel day.  Do you dare to be a joy rebel? 😀 Blog parties from July 1-8 as well.

Second:

From the loveable Jen Gray:

Third:

PDF? Indescribably awesome. Photos? Coming. But limited in number.

Life

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I planted my balcony container garden by porchlight this year, after sunset. I didn’t have anything last year, too much time spent on the road to have plants die out when they aren’t watered.

My love bought me the herbs and flowers (and tomato plant) rather than buying cut flowers for our anniversary.  😀

Every time I plant out there, I remember the one spring. When in the middle of planting, I got the call from a dear friend, who lost the baby she was carrying. I stopped to talk to her for a long time, and finished planting the flowers with a deep sense of loss among the fertility of spring and new growth. I recall that day, and I think of her now, with her son who was born a few years later in late April.

Here it is almost a month late and I forgot I owe him a birthday present. But her and her family are always in my heart every spring, as I plant my flowers.

Thursday Randoms

Too ADD for an on-topic blog post today! 😛

Zen for the busy? Check out Leo’s post “The Mindfulness Guide for the Super Busy: How to Live Life to the Fullest“.  Even though I’m not dedicating 30 days to it I may print it to hang up at work.

This head-bonk photo keeps making me smile. But I have to post both so you see his gorgeous eyes – half golden retriever, half chow.  (Not my pup – a online friend from a forum just adopted him!)

headbonk

puppy

No hoop/poi jam tonight – I’ll be celebrating Beltane around a fire with friends! But we’ll be back at the Morristown Green next Thursday.

Do you have pig flu? Try checking here.  And people, the CDC even says you don’t need a mask unless you are taking care of someone who IS sick!  Wearing it in public just identifies you as the paranoid freak you are.

And I would go on about fear, as it ties into several things, but I have too much blood in my caffeine system at the moment.  It would include an anecdote about how I’ve dyed my hair bright blue (just in the back – still need to take a good pic…) and no one at work noticed/said a damn thing.  Wearing it down, it’s hard to see, but I just put it up in a twist expecting comments, none yet.  Hmm.  Maybe I CAN get away with doing it all blue!  😀

Weekend plans:  not entirely sure.  Possible hang with someone friday, possible party saturday.  Conclave on sunday.  In between, car shopping, cleaning the bedroom, possibly a bottle of wine at the laundromat, and maybe even buying some soil/plants for the balcony.   *goes back to first link*  #3. Do less.  Hmm.