4 Quick Steps to Reduce Stress in our Turbulent Political Climate

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Sensitive people are often caught up in current events a little too deeply. I know this because I’ve been accused of being too sensitive my entire life. Maybe you have too. Things get to us. It’s a condition that can leave us either isolated or spewing venom, sometimes simultaneously. This tends to confuse our loved ones. It keeps them on edge as they try to discern the penultimate symptom before they’ll be forced to call for emotional reinforcements. White jacket/hard drugs/cake/etc.

One could surmise that a new sheriff in town is the cause of all this angst, but that doesn’t solve the problem now, does it? It’s like going to a therapist for years to learn why you act a certain way when you’re triggered by some random similar event, but it does nothing to resolve the original issue. Secretly, this is my theory for how therapists stay in business, but I digress. The real question for us sensitive folks is how to best deal with the ongoing confusion and maintain some measure of sanity. As The Dude says in “The Big Lebowski,” “I’ve got information, man, new shit has come to light.”

The New Shit

1) It’s time to bury your head in the sand, Sensitive People. Not forever, just for now. There’s nothing to be gained by getting all worked up by the fact that our country is quickly running out of allies. This isn’t your shit to solve. I got a Fitbit for Christmas and noticed last night while watching mindless television, that my heart rate was 83. IN THE FAT BURNING ZONE. This, I think, might be a sign of stress.

2) Go about your business. Whatever that means to you. Don’t stop to check the news online. Whatever you do, Sensitive People, avoid any social media that has turned into a steaming pile of phony news, political rhetoric, and mean spirited people. What happened to all the cat videos? In the most recent political clusterfuck, I lost more Facebook friends than I ever had in real life, in my entire life. “Divided we stand” is the new black. Maybe we can figure out how to embrace it. But not now.

3) Love. Listen up fellow Deep Feelers. All we can do is show a little more love to others. Hold people a little closer, make an occasional phone call instead of texting, and remember that who you are in the world is the same person you’ve always been, and you are made of love. Sensitive people must remain wrapped in love or we wither. (Like everyone else). Say it. Share it. Wear it.

4) Puppies.

Now, what does any of this have to do with my blog about having 55 jobs? You tell me, maybe this is my job. I’m waiting to hear what you have to say, and I’m always listening. Love, People.

 

 

The Long Haul To Love Via Australia

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The first few minutes of the flight are exciting. It’s a struggle just to sit still in the seat. Nine months of waiting has finally landed with a big, fat thud on my cool new suitcase, that can split into two bags of exactly the same size so I can load it up with souvenirs, or, even better, a couple pair of extra shoes. This is how the “Trip of a lifetime” begins.

Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney, Australia, the second longest direct flight in the world. The Flight Tracker scares the shit out of me. Really? Halfway around the planet? Only 15 hours and 41 minutes left? All of it over the ocean? Xanax. Thank God for Xanax.

The trip turned out to be everything a good travel adventure should be: Fun, exciting, stressful, and full of wondering and personal discoveries. I could lay it all out here, but nobody would read it. A blog is too short a medium to share something as huge as a “Trip of a lifetime.” I’ll break some things down later, once I’ve digested a little more, and I’ll share it as I can. I used to do some travel writing, so there’s a chance I can string together a few sentences that summarize an event or two. In the mean time, here’s the rough cut.

Sydney-The Opera House-The Harbor Bridge-(Kick Ass Flat Whites)-The Blue Mountains-Uluru/Ayers Rock-(Reverence)-Cairns-The Great Barrier Reef-(Swimming with sharks)-Palm Cove-(Ahhh)-Rainforest-Melbourne-Cricket-Penguins-Koalas and Kangaroos-Sydney-Climbing the Harbor Bridge-(Wow)-Home.

Time Frame:                            Three weeks.

Air Travel:                              Six flights.

Tour Buses:                            Too many.

Miles Walked:                         50

Pair of shoes ditched:              2

Hotels:                                    Five, one of which was particularly scurvy.

New Friends:                          Dozens.

Questions about Trump:     Hundreds.

Magic:                                        Every. Single. Day.

Quick summary: Once you discover travel is simply a way of meeting yourself in other people in a different venue, (the simplified version) you get to experience the real deal. We are all the same. We are all love. Travel Safely in the new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap Party

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As the end of the year approaches most of us reflect. Some digress. You decide.

Still Writing

In 2016 I completed a book length project, and have been trying to find the right literary agent for the work. A difficult prospect at best, I’ve learned a lot about Social Media involvement, which is a requirement, it seems, for publication these days. Social Media has felt like living inside an ongoing episode of The Real Housewives of (insert city here). It makes me feel anxious and aggressive much of the time. Despite this, I have continued to write and post some blog content that is similar to the way I write, but not exactly the way I write, because I’m always worried some person I’ve never met who happens upon my words will leave a comment like the mean spirited, rude shit I see all over the Internet Every. Single. Day.

Twitter Love

My very first follower on Twitter was a group that publishes the work of writers who have mental illness. I should have known this would be the case.

Facebook

Ok, I know what FB does with their data, and they are seriously naughty. I’m late to the party on this one, but I showed up (albeit) kicking and screaming. Continuing to have a Facebook page is a daily decision, and not one day passes without me saying to myself, “Why am I here again? It feels like my brain is being sucked out of my ears. Where did the time go” It makes me think I should just go outside and play.

Post office

The United States Postal Service and I continue our uneasy relationship. I love to read, and so a plethora of books came to live at my house this year. Some were used, others new. Most were damaged because of the common denominator—my asshat of a mail carrier who shoved them into my mail box like he was a participant in a psychiatric study reinforcing the diagnosis that there are just some twisted fucks who will always try to cram a square peg into a round hole.

One year later, after multiple discussions with Station Managers, Regional Vice Presidents, and even a nasty gram to the Postmaster General, I’m happy to report, my guy is putting all packages, no matter the size, on the porch. Just at the edge of the rather large porch mind you, so whenever it rains, which is often, my packages are completely soaked, but they are not bent. It’s the little things, right?

Miscellaneous Shit

I’ve traveled some this year, which always opens my mind to new things and reminds me that we humans are all the same. We all want to be loved, and we all want to find home, whatever that means for each of us. Also, I use a lot of anti-bacterial sanitizer, or as I call it, “Hand Sauce” Some people call me a germophobe, but the truth is, I catch things easily and don’t recover as quickly as I used to. This naturally means that sick people gravitate to me. I’m the person most likely to be sneezed at, or coughed on. It’s like people with cat allergies that are kitty magnets.

I was with a family member when she died this year, and for the last three weeks of her life. It was the biggest gift I received in 2016. For me, the most precious honor is to be trusted enough to witness and bear another person’s transition.

In 2016 I stood tall and strong for my family. In many ways, I took charge when others couldn’t, and it showed me, completely, the woman I am and always have been.

Wrapping Up

Lastly, 2016 is the year I decide I’m no longer combing my hair, and this time I really mean it. Many of my friends know me as a “tender headed” kind of girl, but I’m sensitive all the way around. Luckily, I have my hair cut in a way I can mostly get away with this, but I am saying this for the last time. I am done combing my hair.

Finally

I do still have unanswered question about many things. Some cannot be answered, I know. Among those, how could our country have elected Donald Trump? It seems like a dream I might wake up from any day now, but alas, I think not. More important things weigh on my mind though, like how is it possible that I’m still unable to spell occasion without spellcheck? This is a big deal for a writer. I mean, come on. English major. Seriously. Also I wonder, if asshat and clusterfuck are one word or two. This is the shit that keeps me up at night.

Very Lastly

I wish you LOVE and an extremely prosperous new year, whatever that means for you. I appreciate your attention to my words in 2016, sincerely. Robin

 

 

Attitude Of Gratitude

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This is a really tough time of year for a lot of people. It often feels like the last ditch effort of the previous year to send a bunch of us off the proverbial cliff. Depression, for many of us, drains our energy and reminds us of the people we’ve lost. Others feel lonely and abandoned, less than. Excluded. This year, on the heels of the most divisive elections and the most intense seasons of ugliness, I’m choosing to “act as if” my life is bliss and just see what happens.

The only other thing that works for me is a gratitude list. It has the ability to quiet the damaging tornado winds of criticism and negative self talk, (A.K.A. bullshit) my mind tries to trick me with. So here it is. Feel free to borrow, or steal from this list if you’ve never taken the time to actually create a written list. Committing these thoughts to paper gives them more power than you can imagine, and who doesn’t need more power right now?

  1. My spouse. I am such a lucky girl.
  2. My friends. How could any of us ever manage our lives without the wonderful people      who love and support us even when we are assholes?
  3. My family. Exactly as they are.
  4. My dog. Get one and see.
  5. My Sobriety. I got sober two days before Thanksgiving 28 years ago. That’s a long time without a drink, but I got to live my life rather than die, and that’s an incredible trade off.
  6. My experiences. I am such a lucky girl. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned.
  7. My health. So many people have serious health challenges. Mine is not perfect, but I have nothing to complain about when I see others standing tall despite theirs.
  8. My passion, skills, and talents. Otherwise I’d sit in a closet all day eating stuff that wasn’t good for me rather than writing, growing food, and figuring out where to move next.
  9. My life. I am so over the moon grateful that the Universe took a chance on me. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
  10. Cake. And just like that…bliss.

Love, People.

Attitude Of Gratitude

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This is a really tough time of year for a lot of people. It often feels like the last ditch effort of the previous year to send a bunch of us off the proverbial cliff. Depression, for many of us, drains our energy and reminds us of the people we’ve lost. Others feel lonely and abandoned, less than. Excluded. This year, on the heels of the most divisive elections and the most intense seasons of ugliness, I’m choosing to “act as if” my life is bliss and just see what happens.

The only other thing that works for me is a gratitude list. It has the ability to quiet the damaging tornado winds of criticism and negative self talk, (A.K.A. bullshit) my mind tries to trick me with. So here it is. Feel free to borrow, or steal from this list if you’ve never taken the time to actually create a written list. Committing these thoughts to paper gives them more power than you can imagine, and who doesn’t need more power right now?

  1. My spouse. I am such a lucky girl.
  2. My friends. How could any of us ever manage our lives without the wonderful people      who love and support us even when we are assholes?
  3. My family. Exactly as they are.
  4. My dog. Get one and see.
  5. My Sobriety. I got sober two days before Thanksgiving 28 years ago. That’s a long time without a drink, but I got to live my life rather than die, and that’s an incredible trade off.
  6. My experiences. I am such a lucky girl. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned.
  7. My health. So many people have serious health challenges. Mine is not perfect, but I have nothing to complain about when I see others standing tall despite theirs.
  8. My passion, skills, and talents. Otherwise I’d sit in a closet all day eating stuff that wasn’t good for me rather than writing, growing food, and figuring out where to move next.
  9. My life. I am so over the moon grateful that the Universe took a chance on me. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
  10. Cake. And just like that…bliss.

 

Love, People.

 

 

 

 

 

WANTED: Home and Llamas

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It seems like no matter where I go in the world, I’m always looking for home. Not that I don’t have a place to live, I do. Currently, I reside in a great house, on a good block in a swell neighborhood. My stuff gathers there. My hats are hung inside. But it’s not home. It’s like a temporary way station until I find the real place. The place I finally put down some roots and refuse to yank them out again. Like I’ve done eight times in the last 10 years.

When I finally land, it will be in a house where I love waking up to greet the sun on the back porch. I’ll sit outside with a stellar cup of coffee contemplating the forecast of an amazing day. The kind of workday that keeps me busy enough to stave off any boredom but not so demanding it feels like a grind.

In the evening I’ll gather with friends who are likeminded and entertaining. People who like organic food and care about the environment. My friends are super smart and they laugh easily, but also care deeply. I never have to worry whether anyone has my back because they all do, and I reciprocate in kind. We often discuss serious issues, but instead of just complaining about the status quo, we all commit to take one small step to change our little piece of the planet for the good of ALL.

Some of us have different political views, but we love each other enough to listen carefully and respond thoughtfully. There is no blame or vitriol. Nothing ugly happens here.

My home will be the place I always think of when I’m away. The place I always long for because it’s where I’m happiest. Where my comfy bed lives in a large room just waiting for me to get horizontal and grab a good book. It’s a place where I grow some veggies and flowers so I’m always surrounded by living things and beauty.

Home. The scene where I laugh the most, and dance across the living room floor pretending I’m a rock star because, in my house, I am. Also, there are llamas in the yard, just because.

What says home for you?