Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Can See The Light...

...At the end of the tunnel!  WG goes back Wednesday, and LG a week from tomorrow!

I am DEFINITELY feeling the effects of summer vacation.  I'm looking forward to hopefully-fingers-crossed-keep-a-good-thought having a solo vacation at the end of October.  Details to follow if it actually comes to pass.

In the meantime, "Doctor Who" premiered, of course, on Saturday, and this girl was NOT disappointed!  In a couple of hours, in fact, I'll be heading out to our local cinema to watch it again, this time on the big screen, with a prequel, surrounded by my fellow freaks-er-fans.

Honestly, if you'd have told me back in 1982 that it would reach this level of popularity, I'm not sure I'd've believed you.  It was such a fringe, cult show at the time, in the U.S. That weird thing shown on PBS on weeknights with the bad special effects.  Those of us who DID watch it were considered TRULY odd.
And now?
Well. Just go on YouTube and check out footage from the world tour.  It's HUGE!!!!!!!

Which makes me very happy.
And I'm just gonna say, Peter Capaldi: Rock star!

On the more mundane side, I'm down 14.5 pounds.  At least, I was last week.  This week is PMS, so who knows?  I'l find out tomorrow.

OK, I'm back from the theater.  And I'm just gonna say it again:  Peter Capaldi is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's one thing to go darker with the character, which has been discussed a lot and is (IMHO) absolutely the right way to go.  But to do that AND make him funny AND make him achingly vulnerable all at the same time is no easy feat.  But he makes it look easy.  I'm so blown away by his performance.
And it's only the first week!

And, in other good-news-for-inspirational-stuff, "Sherlock" won a bunch of Emmys.  Including Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Stepehen Moffat!
So it's been a good night all-around for artistic stuff.

And on that note, I'm off.
Good night!




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Well...

Last week was...rough.  All-around.  Not so much in the way I'd figured.  The kids've been great!  But with everything that's been happening around the country and around the world, well.
Just, well.

Had another personally rough, emotional day.  I think it was, in part, a delayed reaction to Robin Williams' suicide.  The world is a much sadder place now.  And with the events in Ferguson...

Sometimes it's all so overwhelming, isn't it?

But here we are, at the start of a new week.  My mom is in town, as is a friend whom I haven't seen in 20 years.  :)

And we are 6 days away from new "Who."
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In 2 weeks and 2 days, both kids will be back in school.
Not that I'm counting the days or anything...
I adore them, of course.  But It'll be nice to have those few hours to myself again during the weekdays.
Although it IS hard to believe that LG is going into 8th grade, while WG is going into 6th.
Where are my little toddlers?!?!?!?!

As of my last weigh-in, I'm 13 pounds down.  I'm looking at between 8-13 more, and then we'll take stock.
Working on the meditation, and keeping up the tapping.

I just finished reading a book called "10% Happier" by Dan Harris (who's a correspondent and anchor for ABC news).  It's about his experiences with meditation, after having had a panic attack on air, and I really enjoyed it.  I found it inspiring and very helpful, as well as really funny.  Definitely worth a read if you're interested in meditation.

Finally, trying to find the courage to go into the darkness that is at the root of everything.  The cause of the anxiety, depression, and feelings of worthlessness that crop up now and again.  And to dare to be unexceptional.  To not worry that I'm not "important."  Because I am to the people who matter.
To just be kind, loving, patient, and accepting of my own human-ness and frailty, and of everyone else's.

But I will say this:  Remember that letter I wrote back in March?  I kinda wish I knew for sure that the person I sent it to got it and read it.  Because I think it's important to know when you've inspired someone as much as this person has inspired me.  Just my opinion.

Anyway.  I'll try to go on the assumption that they did.  And hopefully it made them happy, even if only for a few minutes.

OK.  Gotta go to bed.

'Night!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Heck Week

And so it begins.

Hubby starts rehearsals tonight for his new show, so he won't be home much for the next 10 weeks.  The kids, of course, are still on summer vacation.  I'm pretty much on my own this week.  Next week my mom's here, and staying at a hotel with a nice pool.  Thankfully, we still have access to the other pool, as well. And tonight, I'll be taking them out for a walk and some ice cream.
Well, they'll have ice cream.  I have my WW weigh-in tomorrow.  :)
The weight loss continues on apace.  Granted, a slow pace, but that's OK.  I'd rather lose it slowly and keep it off than shed it quickly only to gain it all back (and more) again.
Hubby took a picture of me while I was working out the other night, and I'm just gonna say it; I think my body looks pretty darn good!

My face, on the other hand...

Isn't that always the way?  We focus on one thing and then, when that starts looking/feeling better, we notice something else that's "wrong."
See, I think I look old.  But many people, when they meet me, think I'm in my 30's.  Which isn't bad for a chick who just turned 45.
Besides, getting older is a GOOD thing!  Beats the hell out of the alternative, right?  And I'm MUCH happier now than I was was 10 years ago.  Let's not even talk about being 20-something.  URGH!

I'm kinda loving my 40's, overall.

It's true that women tend to become invisible, as far as our society is concerned, once we hit 40.  But I think it's also true that we don't care as much.  Would I like to see more 40-something women in films?  Hell yeah!  Especially paired up with men in their 40's.  I won't start ranting (again) about how many 40-50 year-old men are romantically paired up onscreen with women in their 20's.  Like in the new Woody Allen film.  Although, in that case, I think it has less to do with Hollywood norms and almost everything tho do with HIM...

Do I mind not being catcalled on the street?  Not. Even. A. Little. Bit.  Do I miss the days of being groped, followed, called names, and harassed?
NO WAY!

See, the nice thing is, once you reach a "certain age," you not only get more confident and less self-conscious, you start focusing on the things that matter.  You start doing things to please yourself, to give yourself that sense of accomplishment, and do them less for other people's approval.

So while we may be invisible in the eyes of society at large, we are very much visible to ourselves, and to the people who really matter.

And I realized something else.  The other day I had a REALLY difficult time.  It was one of THOSE days, in which not only was everything going wrong,  I fell into one of my deep, dark, dank, dreary, dungeon-like doldrums.  I was quite, quite down, to paraphrase Ophelia.  :)
By the following evening, however, I'd rallied.  And by the NEXT day, I was perfectly content.  Because I learned some things.  I won't get into all the details, but it made me recognize that, for one thing, NOTHING is permanent.  Not happiness, not sadness, not anger, hunger, life, etc.  And that going through the bad stuff helps one get to the good stuff.  I felt the sorrow/depression/anger/jealousy/hopelessness/fatigue of those couple of days very deeply, which allowed me to get over it and feel the gratitude/happiness/faith/love that followed. And to feel them all deeply, as well.

I've long thought of myself as a depressed, anxious person.  But I'm not.  Not really.  I am a person who has some depression and anxiety.
And that's COMPLETELY different!

When I talk about my kids, I don't say they're autistic, I say they have autism.  Because "autistic" dismisses them, whereas "they have autism" describes a part of them.  So if I think of myself as "anxious" and "depressed", I'm dismissing MYSELF as someone who just has a bunch of symptoms and isn't worth the time or effort.
Except that I AM worth it.  I'm a whole lot more than a bunch of symptoms that rear they're heads every so often.  I'm also funny, good at puns, passionate, talented, loyal, loving, honest, and (mostly) kind.  Why should ALL THAT be overshadowed by the "negative" stuff?

And, as it turns out, a bit to my surprise, I am perfectly capable of being genuinely happy for someone whose dreams, very similar to mine, have come true, while mine have wasted away.  It's just that I have to wallow for a bit in my jealousy, get it out of my system.  :):):):):):)

Because the "negative" stuff doesn't go away just because we want it to.  Ignoring it only makes it stronger.  If my kid is having a meltdown from sensory over-stimulation, I need to hold him/her and soothe.  Because it's not done for attention.
If I'm feeling badly, it's because something needs to be dealt with. The sooner, the better.

I think I'm finally starting to get it. On more than an intellectual level.

And, hey, it only took 45 years!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Day 1

Of having both kids home for summer vacation at the same time.  So far, so good, knock on wood. I managed to corral both kids to the grocery store AND the coffee bar without any meltdowns.  The it was 2+ hours at the pool, a picnic lunch, and home.
Soon it will be mid-afternoon baths while I squeeze in a workout, then maybe some arts & crafts-y-type stuff before dinner. After dinner, once Daddy's home, a walk to the playground.

Hubby is home in the evenings this week.  Next week he starts rehearsals, so it'll be mostly me taking care of the kids.  My mom is coming in for a week on the 17th, so at least that'll be 1 more pair of eyes, even if it IS exhausting, lol!
Then WG goes back to school on the 27th, and LG on September 2nd.

And, bien sur, "Doctor Who" returns  on August 23rd!!!!!!  Then I'm going to a cinema screening on the 25th.  :)
(Did you know that it was a year ago today that Peter Capaldi was announced as the new Doctor?)

Tomorrow is my weekly WW meeting.  And, given that it is That Time of Month, I'm anticipating a bit of a gain.  Which is fine.  Because it's nothing compared to feeling like you're carrying around the entire Pacific ocean IN YOUR UTERUS!!!!!!
I am bloated beyond belief!  I swear I hear swishing every time I move!  And don't get me started on the cramps!

I enjoy being a girl...

I'm just glad I didn't get it last week.  'Cause having your period on your birthday REALLY sucks!

Alrighty then, I must sign off.  Au revoir, mes amis!  Talk soon.




Monday, July 28, 2014

We Deserve Better

I'm very lucky.  In a lot of ways.  I don't live in an area that is being bombarded by shells and explosions.  My family and I don't live on the streets.  I don't have to cover myself from head-to-toe, or be accompanied by my husband whenever I venture outside.  We're not in a refugee camp, and our water still flows out of our tap (for the time being, anyway).  We have food, clothing, and shelter. My husband is gainfully employed, as I hope to be, sooner or later.  Our kids are physically, emotionally, and psychologically healthy, and we have a great support system in place to help deal with the challenges their autism can bring up.

However (ya knew that was coming, right?)...
For most of my life, I feel as if I've been Making Do.  Getting By.  Not asking for more because I've been so afraid that by doing so, that bare minimum I DO have would be snatched away.  That the Universe would basically say "What are YOU complaining about, you selfish bitch?!?!  Oh, you think you deserve more, do ya?  Well, let's see how you do with LESS!"

Honestly, I think a big part of it is growing up an East Coast Jew.  Truly.  I don't mean to denigrate my people (or anyone else), but fear and guilt are a HUGE part of the culture.  Add to that the Irish-Catholic guilt from my mom's side, and it's a wonder I didn't crumble into a pile of angst-ridden dust by the time I turned 18!
I spent many of my formative years (and beyond) gravitating toward people who treated me like crap, because I didn't know better.  I let them blame me for all their sh*t because I thought I WAS to blame.  I had ZERO self-confidence and esteem.

But I deserve better.  I deserve MORE.  And so does my family.

AND SO DO WE ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was listening to the news on BBC radio, and they were talking about Israel and Palestine.  And I FINALLY sat up and wondered WHY DO WE PUT UP WITH THIS?!?!?!?!  Why do we EXPECT and ALLOW our world leaders to act like 6 year-olds?!?!?!  "They started it!" "Nuh-uh! THEY started it!"  "Did not!" "Did too!"
Except these 6 year-old have weapons, and they're killing people!

What's worse, we not only accept and expect, we seem to WANT them to behave this way.  The more childish the behavior, the higher the approval ratings.

Are we masochistic, or just brainwashed?

One of the ways I've been trying to practice non-attachment is by not commenting on things I see on Facebook.  Well, as much as I can restrain myself, anyway.  And to remember that I have no power over anyone else, (nor should I!
I can disagree without hate.  I can have empathy with those I don't necessarily understand.  And the best part? I don't HAVE to have empathy.  I don't HAVE to love my "enemy."  I can choose to ignore them, and not give them a place in my thoughts or, indeed, my life.

On a more personal level, it's NOT selfish of me to want more than the bare minimum.  It's OK to want to do more than Get By.  It's OK to want MY DREAMS to come true!
I have worked long and hard for them.  It's about time they started paying attention to ME.

Ya here THAT, Universe?  "I will not let thee go but that thou bless me!"

I DESERVE blessings.  I deserve to live outside the Box O' Fear.  I deserve!

And so do you.

Blessed be, all!

       

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blessings

Friday night, Hubby and I went to the California Shakespeare Festival for the first time.  It's a BEAUTIFUL outdoor theater in Orinda, in the East Bay. Very woodsy and lovely.  We'd been meaning to go for a while, and finally went to see my friend play both Antipholeses (the Antipholi?) is "The Comedy of Errors."
This is a fella with whom I was in "Hamlet" 20 years ago.  The last time I saw him was 1999, when he did "Metamorphoses" in Berkeley.  He lives with his family in Chicago, so, needless to say, we don't see each other often, lol!

The show was AMAZING!  There were 7 actors in the cast, and they were all brilliant.  3 of them, including my pal, have a strong background in Clown work, and that was abundantly on display in this show.  The Hubs and I were so amazed and inspired by it all.

We almost didn't get to meet up afterwards, as we'd taken the train and there was only one shuttle going from the theater back to the station.  Luckily, he called me and we were able to meet up in Oakland at a cafe, where we bought him dinner and chatted until after midnight, when the staff turned off the lights and kicked us out.  :)

This man is an absolute mensch.  Even more inspirational as a human being than he is as a performer/teacher, and that is really saying something.  I'm so glad we got to spend time with him while he was here (the show closed Sunday).

And it got me thinking: I sometimes get depressed because my life feels so small. I'll see one of my heroes onscreen or (if I'm very lucky) onstage, and get down because it is highly unlikely that I will ever have the chance even to meet them, let alone work with them.

And then I meet up with a friend.  I get to see them do their thing, and to spend time with them, and I am reminded how very lucky I am to have so many good, loving, kind, talented people in my life.  People who inspire me, and who also believe in me. People whom I can go 20 years without seeing face-to-face, but then contact and immediately fall right back into our rhythm with, as if no time has passed at all.
And there are MANY folks who fit that bill!

A couple of weeks ago, when I was preparing to teach that acting class, I messaged another such friend.  I asked him if he had time to give me a quick rundown of a class we both used to teach, but I haven't done in a very long time.  He took the time to give me a full description, despite having worked all day and then having to drive for over 2 hours.

Another friend and mentor once spent over an hour on the phone with me describing his work as a director with patients in a mental healthcare facility.  It was after midnight where he was, and he'd already put in a full day.

Another friend runs a Shakespeare festival AND is raising 2 young twin boys (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but always, ALWAYS has time for my (often trite and silly) questions.

How did I get so lucky?  And how is it that I sometimes forget these things?  (OK, yes, to be fair, regarding the second one, I often forget my own name, so...)

I am so very, truly blessed.  And I need to remind myself of that.  Particularly during that time of the month, when I'm feeling misanthropic and downright homicidal.

And remind myself, as well, that maybe, just maybe, there is a reason why they are still in my life. That maybe they get something from our friendship, as well.  Otherwise, why would they hang around for so long, eh?

Talk about a change in perspective!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pity, Party of One

Sometimes I see, hear, or read about something wonderful happening for someone, and I get depressed.  I'm glad for them, but the Wonderful Thing that has happened, in these cases, is something I dreamed up for myself.  I thought of it, nourished and nurtured that dream, imagined it, tried to make it a reality.
and it worked!  Just...for someone else...
This has occurred more times than I like to think about.
Usually it's something small, nothing earth-shattering.  Just something I would like to happen.
Over the years I've told myself many things: That this is a Life Lesson, that I shouldn't look for validation outside of myself, that I should learn to be happy with what I have, and not always be wanting more.
All of which are true, and good to learn.
Up to a point.
Because I've also berated myself for being selfish, for not DESERVING these things, for being such a total f*ck-up that OF COURSE I'm NOT going to get what I want!  Why would the Universe reward ME?!?!?!
Of course, seeing some of the folks the Universe DOES reward makes me rethink that last bit...  I mean, REALLY?!?!?!?!

So it has me wondering: WHY does this happen over and over and over?

Because I BELIEVE I'm unworthy. I always have.
I know I've been over this before, but this is becoming much clearer in so many ways.

I was taught I was unworthy by people who believed THEY were unworthy.  It wasn't malicious, it was their way of trying to protect me.  When they told me I'd never make it as an actress, I believed them.  And I think a part of me was afraid to prove them wrong.  So when I DID make it, it was only for a short while.
Because I sabotaged myself, in many ways.  I made choices that pretty much guaranteed failure.

So many of the choices I have made in my life have been based in fear.  And that makes me really, really sad.  Of course, at the time, I didn't know any better.  I had NO IDEA I was living in constant terror, I just thought it was Life.  The way Things Were.

I'm still afraid.  SO much of the time. Of big things and small.  Stuff that often wakes me up in the middle of the night.
When I remember to, I tap on them, and they're not so big and scary anymore.

An issue for me is coming to terms with my fear and anxiety.  I first tried to ignore them, pretend that I wasn't fearful and anxious.  And depressed.
Guess how well THAT worked?  :)

Then I tried to get rid of all of it.  To become someone who had NO fear/anxiety/depression.  I thought if I faced it all head-on, it would eventually just Go Away.
Nope!

The fact is, this is a part of how and who I am. There's no shame in it.  And there ARE ways of dealing with it, so that these emotions don't overwhelm me and take over my entire existence.

Maybe if I think of them as well-meaning friends: Y'know, they come along and say "But what about...?" or "Be careful of..."  and instead of ignoring them or shutting them down, I can put my arm around them and say "Thank you for pointing that out.  I know how much you care, and it's all going to be OK.  Better than OK.  You've made me aware, and now I can deal with it. Thank you!"

Because the fear/anxiety/depression has been trying to tell me something all these years.  And I think, maybe, FINALLY, I'm getting the message.

Go forward.  Take the risks.  Just know that there are dangers.  Be aware, but also be bold.  Make mistakes.  Fall down.  Pick yourself up.  Shit happens, but your track record for surviving it so far is 100%.

GO! BE! HAPPY!

Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.
Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.
Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid!