Blogzie about England Trip Saturday June 20, 2009
This is our second week in England and I am quite sleep deprived. The other three main characters in this story; Michael, Chris, and Brian, they have been sleeping like, hmmmm, what would be a good example? Like… Well, damn, I’m not sure, I just know that they sleep for 8,9,10,13 hours at a pop, while I partook of about 3 hours of sleep last night, despite 2 Melatonin, 2 Sominex, 2 Baileys, AND being incredibly exhausted. By some joke of ’the big man upstairs,’ each of the aforementioned lads have a common trait. They ALL SNORE! In case you didn’t already know this about me, I go wacko when rooming with folks who snore. It drives me berserk, no matter how irrational that is. I could trace this disgust of all things snore back to the ‘TRAUMA’ of living with my Mom throughout my teen years, and no matter how many doors we closed or stopped up the bottoms of, no matter how high I turned the television volume, I could -still- hear her incredibly noxious snore. That is my psychological connection to the snore. (Freud may have said something completely different, maybe that I had breast envy and a childhood psychosis, but he ain’t here no more, HA!)
Anyway, that’s quite enough talk about sleep. Highlights, lowlights, honorable mentions from the trip so far: McDonald’s in the Amsterdam airport charging us £2 for ketchup packets, incredibly narrow winding, not lit roads which lead between the village our friends, Chris and Brian, live in, which has 900 inhabitants, and other nearby villages. These roads generally don’t have any lines drawn on the pavement and I would estimate that the width of the road, which is ostensibly two lanes, is barely bigger than one of our traffic lanes in the states. And the people, these wild English daredevils, speed down the roads and when they come upon another car, 9 times out of 10, do not even pull over to the side, as I am used to, to allow the other car to get through. OH NO! Not these stiff-lipped, bad-ass, village living English folks, they continue speeding toward one another, and the cars pass one another with only a couple inches between them. It takes a bit of getting used to, I have to say.
Double-decker busses are everywhere! In my mind, double-decker busses mainly or only drove within the London area, and there are few of them, because they are “just for fun.” Not the case at all, though I have yet to get on one of these busses, it is in my list of activites I hope to partake in before returning to Iowa.
Unlike Rick Astley, I have a fear of commitment. I have the opinion that if I don’t commit to this blog it will probably wither away and disappear, based on my tendency to start things and not finish them. And the tendency to start things, do them for awhile, forget for awhile, do them some more, forget, put it off, feel I “have” to do it “or else,” etc etc…
I also have the opinion that if I commit to this in a way that involves actually developing a good place for me to type, some setup that is comfortable and doesn’t create more pain for me, that will help alot. I suppose it makes some sense since if I have a decent place to “do this” I’ll be more likely to do it, right?
My fears connect to experiences where I have committed to something or someone and haven’t followed through, had to cancel, did half the work and didn’t finish, etc… Often unfinished projects and commitments in my life relate to my shaky, changes each and every moment, health. When I make plans to get together with a good friend, it’s because I really WANT to. I’m not a bullshiter that way; making plans that I may or may not do. When I commit to something with a friend and end up cancelling b/c a rash of stomach issues has suddenly come up, or a migraine hits, or udder exhaustion suddenly covers every part of my existence, or my back “goes out,” I feel guilty. Disappointed. Somewhat untrustworthy. Afraid that people won’t like me anymore because I don’t follow through. The fear opens up into scarcity issues, and I begin thinking that “no one will ‘really’ love me, that there is not enough of whatever I am focusing on at that moment to go along and I will be left without, overlooked, forgotten.
These feelings come up similarly if I’ve committed to an activity, a volunteer assignment, a regularly scheduled appointment or such. Do most people really grasp how shitty it feels to drop out of something that I’ve really wanted to do, something I really enjoy, something important to me, someone important to me? Well, if you don’t get it, let me tell you, it feels rotten.
A mixture of shame, disgust, anger, frustration, sorrow, lack of control over even simple things, lack of control over my body and what it decides to do when. A very basic and deeply rooted anger comes up regarding why I am not able to do things that other people do, or that I used to be able to do. The folks I know with chronic illnesses go through similar feelings, of utter devastation and sorrow when looking at how circumscribed our abilities have become. We remember when we were different, many of us, even those of us that have experienced pain and illness for years, it’s usually gotten progressively or suddenly worse in fits and starts, and we can look back a month, a year, 5 years, and see how incredibly different our abilities are now. Yes, we are stronger in ways. Yes, we’ve learned more about our abilities and limits. But damn, it hurts and can feel like a hot knife pressed to the heart, looking at what we were.
I am going off in so many directions with this post, that I’m not sure there is any cohesiveness to it at all. So I can put it aside, look at it, work on it, edit it, reorder my thoughts, make it make more sense, but the danger there is I over edit, cutting important things out, second guessing myself constantly,
So do I hit PUBLISH immediately or not? That is the question I am living with right now. Cue the tension filled music. Cue the smoke machine. Cue the camera shots of cup after empty cups of coffee, showing my decision making, my struggle. Cue the video of me wrinkling my forehead, scribbling, crossing things out, adding things. Cue a shot of the dictionary and thesaurus close by. Cue a shot of the person, never fully reaching out, never fully becoming, mired in their fear of what is, of change, of acceptance.
July 18th, 2012 Somewhere around 3 p.m. Iowa City, Iowa (originally written on REAL PAPER) 😉
The neighborhood I reside in has lost power. It’s been at least 30 minutes since everything went off and I’m already feeling grateful, after some initial feelings of fear and worry. This is Recovery Stuff. Before Al-Anon I could easily be stuck in fear for hours into days, only focusing on what might go wrong.
Instead I am feeling grateful for the fact that power is “magically” delivered to me the majority of the time. Grateful for the pureness of silence without electricity. No buzzing, humming, noise of the television or radio. What I hear instead is the sound of my pen across the paper, the occasional sound of the house settling, birds outside, cars going by…
Am I nervous, worried, scared somewhat? Yes, but while holding viable options in my head: go for a drive, go to a friends’ place, the library…Am I worried about my health and the lack of power? Yes. I’m concerned about being too hot and that contributing to the nausea, headache, and painful body I am already experiencing. The pain which is fibromyalgia, seeming to come from any and all parts of the inner and outer body: muscle, fat, blood, air, cartilage, bones…
All the while I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have shelter, window air conditioning, refrigerator and freezer, toilet, shower, sink, a big bed. Could I deal with this if I was homeless? If I was working outdoors? Walking back from the food bank with bags of food?
And the gratitude goes further, deeper with the realization that I am able to see and feel my gratitude and realize my good fortune and connectedness with the world.
I have a love for cheesy 80’s action flicks, the macho soundtrack – which is no longer macho – the blatant gun porn, the lack of respect for human life and the brutality.
The thing is these films are not only inherently flawed but they stick to a certain amount of clichés that weren’t really discarded until the late 1990’s. Even today as you pass the DVD shelf in a supermarket you see some terrible excuse for a film, possibly starring some nondescript WWE wrestler trying to make it like ‘The Rock’. These so called action films harp back to the wonderful 80’s but can’t quite connect on the level that their predecessors did. Usually they are badly written and poorly acted, they rarely have any room for tongue and cheek, which these films need heap loads of.
These clichés need to be called out, for the sake of current…
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Obviously, I like to write. It’s what I do for my day job and what I do in my free time (you know that because you’re on my site). It isn’t always easy, though. There are certain things all writers face at one point or another, so, my fellow scribes, I’ve distilled all your frustrations and neurosis into a handy five-point list.
5. Getting started
Much like going to the gym, your first obstacle is actually getting started. There are several things that stand in the way of getting started but, in my experience, there are two things that really keep me from working: distractions and lack of ideas.
Unfortunately, nowadays, everyone writes on laptops…which also have access to the Internet–probably the greatest distraction in human history. It’s easier than you think to waste half an hour watching music videos from the ’90s when you intended to get something done. But it’s…
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My first blog writing in years. I’ve kept a blog before, enjoyed it, and some other folks also enjoyed it. I’d like to get back in the routine of committing words to “paper,” to telling my stories, sharing my ideas, thoughts, hopes, jokes, pratfalls.
I hope to be like the man above as days go on and I continue getting older. I wish to retain my faith in Love, in being loved for exactly who I am, without having to hide. I want to live more and more with no regrets. I’ve learned what a waste it is regretting things, yet I still go down that path too easily. I want to share myself and my love, pride, joy, presence with the world, whatever parts of it will be interested; to continue to challenge people’s assumptions, ideas, and prejudices.
I often want to be more than I am, feel I should be doing more, achieving more, trying more, creating more, etc etc etc… When am I focused on me, right NOW, and being happy, satisfied, proud of the being I am? Not often enough. How can we be any good for the world, for other people, for ourselves without realizing the beauty of ourselves? Without truly believing in that beauty of myself, I continue to carry defenses, excuses, explanations. Without our appreciating ourselves and one another, we can slip easily into judgments of others, staying in our ‘comfort zone,’ not seeing and being involved with all that beats its’ pulse throughout life.
Appreciative of the air available to breathe, the water I can drink for free, the housing that shelters me, the food which sustains me, the animals that keep my belief in ultimate goodness going.