Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

OK. First of all, I know it's not New Year's Eve. :) My birthday is tomorrow and I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my life and my future. So I thought this would be a good day to fire up the Mapsco of my mind and chart a direction for my new year's journey. To that end, here are my resolutions:

1. I will live life with more juice and less fear.
I have been trying to pinpoint where fear began to rule my life. Apparently I used to be h-e-double-toothpicks on wheels; my mother used to tell me when I was a baby, my brother (22 months older) would climb into the playpen to get away from me. *lol* Maybe it was my tricycle going out of control down a hill and crashing into a neighbors yard, maybe it was falling down the wooden steps to the concrete floor of my childhood home basement, maybe it was that dream of getting pulled into the wall by a Star Trek alien, maybe it was moving to "the big city" when I was 9 and having to find new friends ... the list could go on for HOURS.

The "juice" reference, of course, is from Sark. To me, this means living life like you were opening a just-right ripe orange. You dig your fingers into the rind and peel it back, and a wonderful aroma fills the immediate area. You peel off those last little bits of rind and flick them into the compost with the rest of the peel. (Of course, you can make an "orange crown" from the rind and let your kids run around with it on their heads for a while first. *lol-LOVE that childhood memory*) . You stick your thumb into one end of the orange and begin to separate the slices and in doing so, some sweet juice squirts out on your fingers...and it's "no biggie" because you can lick it off. And then you stick the slices into your mouth, bite into them and savor the flavor!

2. I will be healthier in mind and body...and finances.
By this time tomorrow, I will be 47 years old. Thirty years ago, my father had a stroke when he was 47 and passed away a week later. He hated his job, but he did it because he was good at it and it paid the bills. Although I didn't smoke in young adulthood, as he did, job-wise I find myself in an eerily similar situation. I am a patient aide to adults with MR/DD (mental retardation and developmental disabilities). The work is physically and mentally challenging, but can be very rewarding as well. The troubles come from teams of "experts" making up programs for our people, when these experts do not take the time to get to know them as individuals.

For example, we used to buy "puff corn" as a snack for some of the ladies in my home. It was recently the target of a blanket ban, with the experts saying it was not in the ladies' dining plans, either by consistency or calories count. We asked, what about "C", who bought it every time we went to the coffee shop? The "expert" told us that she would be unable to express her desire for puff corn ... because she couldn't talk! (Neither could we when we heard this, because our jaws had collectively dropped to the floor.) We're really stuck between a rock and a hard place. Again, I could go on for hours on end, but that is fodder for another post at another time.

As a result of the job stress, I took up smoking. Not healthy, I KNOW, but preferable to drinking or putting my fist through a wall. I am not a violent person. I would rather run from a conflict than come to blows. But there comes a time when we must turn and fight ... the "why" is different for each person.

In addition to the stress, I struggle with depression...and have for nearly three decades. Right now, I take Cymbalta. Over the years, I have found there is a LOT of prejudice against people with mental illness issues, and I used to hesitate to mention my depression in public - on- or offline. Now, even though I'd rather NOT be having to take medication for depression at all, I do it because without it, I am like a diabetic without insulin.

So, I resolve to find other ways to deal with stress and depression - like walks in the park, maybe a nice massage or two ... you get the idea. *BIG SMILE*

As far as the finances go ... well, I'm just tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I'm tired of my family doing without ... and I THANK GOD FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS who have helped us out from time to time.

I don't want this post to be about commercialism. But to the point of padding the family paycheck, I have begun selling Mia Bella soy/vegetable candles. I'd love to give you more information if you would like. And, with a nod to Forrest Gump, "that's all I'm going to say about that" ... for now.

Thanks for reading. :)


  1. You are so honest and have such a positive attitude that I know you will succeed in your endeavors. I have the fear thing and take Zoloft myself for anxiety. Everyone has something-most people just don't want to admit it. The fact that you can talk about it shows that you are ahead in the game of life. Happy Birthday to you!!

  2. Happy Birthday! As always, a great post. However......Depression is an illness, just like asthma, diabetes, COPD, and a host of other diseases. Like these diseases, it often requires the use of medication such as an anti-depressant to allow the individual to maintain a stable lifestyle. There's no shame in having a disease---it's time the stigma of depression is lifted and we accept that using antidepressants isn't a "crutch" but a necessity for wholesome living. I wish you well in the coming year.

  3. I'm an October baby, too! My birthday was on Saturday!!! Happy Happy Birthday! I always look at it this way too - this is the beginning of MY new year. Lots of reflection and lots of goal setting in general.