All I’ve ever wanted…

What a world we live in.

Well, it’s nothing like a national tragedy to bring your life and your “problems” into perspective.

I woke up at 3:30 am this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. My love was lying next to me, sleeping lightly next to me making that funny puff sound with his mouth. I found the only man in this world who doesn’t snore. How lucky am I?

No matter how neurotic or dysfunctional I am, I know that I am blessed with love in my life. I fought for this for many years, through horrible, toxic relationships and heart breaking loneliness. The love that I have in my life right now is all that I’ve ever wanted. To bask in that love, to embrace it completely without fear, is something I’m working on. But this is all I ever wanted. Early this morning, lying in the dark, all I could think is how much I want to hold on to this. I want him lying next to me every night. I want to rest my head on his shoulder and breathe in his skin. I want to see the world with him. I want to grow old with him. Whether he goes first or I do, I want to be there with him, holding his hand.

And my daughter. My precious daughter. I didn’t know what love is until she came into my life. Parenting her while I am depressed can be difficult, and it’s a huge source of my guilt and sadness. But from the day she was born to 9 years later, she is the driving force behind me becoming a better person.

My wish for my daughter as she grows up is that she thrives in this world and is not afraid to go after her dreams. I hope she doesn’t inherit my depression or cynicism. That would break my heart.

I will keep working at it. Being the mom and role model she deserves. Letting go of my insecurities, self-sabotaging behavior that has held me back for far too long. Allowing love in my life to take root and blossom and grow into something much bigger than my human foibles.

I will never stop trying.

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Is it Laziness or Is it Depression? Part 1

My apartment is a mess. I’m typing this at my kitchen table, surrounded by envelopes I’ve scribbled notes on, 2 glasses of water, a hair brush, make up bag, and a pile of unopened mail. When I look up, I see my kitchen with a stack of unwashed dishes sitting on the counter, a cupboard door that hangs open and a clutter of vitamin bottles that is further fucking up the feng shui.

Seriously, how did all of this crap get here??

Seriously, how did all of this crap get here??

I don’t know why it is, but I have issues with putting things away. If I open a jar of something, putting the lid back on is a problem for me. Putting my clothes away after I’ve them is a painful task I avoid as long as possible. Case in point: last night I slept in my daughter’s room to avoid the stack of laundry on my bed. She was at her dad’s house, and there’s just something oddly comforting about sleeping in her room, but that’s another blog post.

I also never finish things I start. I vacuumed around the Christmas tree but the dust compartment thing is full. So the vacuum remains in the middle of my living room, plugged into the wall, waiting for me to finish the job.

Now I feel all itchy and irritated when I look around at this mess. As I type this I feel like I don’t want to finish this stupid post.

So the question is, is it laziness or depression? My mom isn’t the best housekeeper – she’s too anxious to throw anything away. My grandma’s house was always cluttered too. My dad’s side is completely different – clean house, plastic covered furniture, manicured lawn. Yet both families dealt with depression.

I know my messiness comes from being distracted and living under a fog of depression and anxiety most of the time. And let’s be honest, being so self-absorbed with what’s going on with me emotionally that I don’t notice the clutter accumulating.

(I can say this because I am a depressed person, but god damn are depressed people some of the most self absorbed people I know!)

I used to think that I needed to re-parent myself so I could acquire essential life skills that my more well-adjusted peers learned from their parents.

Look how manically happy these people are!

Look how manically happy these people are!

Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. Fuck it all! Gah, my fucking knee won’t stop itching now!

There is so much more I have to say about this topic but I am feeling anxious and moody and like I need to clean up this mess RIGHT NOW. And this is my cycle – I do clean up the mess eventually, and it’s usually because I’m feeling manic or I have company coming over. My boyfriend comes over tonight. I always tidy up before he gets here. He knows I’m messy, but he doesn’t know how messy I really am!

I am a slovenly pig and no one will ever love me if they knew the truth! I am fucking Pig Pen come to life. And I did something so disgusting just now…

I picked my nose. I flicked my findings in my cup of cold coffee. Blech!

Okay, I’m gonna throw out this cup before I forget that I contaminated it with my booger.

Why is the human condition so disgusting? And to answer the original question, I think laziness IS a sign of depression. No one in their right mind would want to live this way. That’s not to say that cleanliness is a sign of mental health either – I knew a raging narcissist sociopath who led a double life who was a clean freak. But that is an entirely different post altogether.

Dysthymia Chronicles

Half of my life is wasted due to depression. It’s closely tied to my menstrual cycle and I suspect it’s seasonal, as well.

The last few months I’ve been busy with a new copy writing job, which made me happy for about a month, and also dealing with intermittent bouts of depression. I abandoned this blog, but now I’m back to reclaim it, like a ratty old sweater left in the bottom of the lost and found box that no one wants.

I decided this blog will be about dysthymia and how I see the world as a person living with what I guess is a mood disorder.  For the uninitiated, dysthymia is chronic, low-grade depression and I’m pretty sure I’ve had it all my life.

To be honest, I’m proud of my dark sense of humor and cynicism. I am not perky and I never want to be perky. I love sad songs in minor keys. Allowing myself to feel sad and cry, makes me feel good, strangely. I’ve always enjoyed my extreme highs and lows – I used to be convinced that I was living and appreciating more of the human experience than most ever will.

Watching Ghost World will teach you more about the way my brain works then anything I could ever tell you about myself.

Watching Ghost World will teach you more about the way my brain works then anything I could ever tell you about myself.

But something has happened to me the past few years. I am too cynical. I am less hopeful. I am probably more self-aware of my limitations than ever. I see more of the big picture, and well, it’s depressing.

The other night, my daughter had a concert at her school. The elementary school band played first, and predictably they were out of tune and played like crap. Because they’re elementary students! A ten year old boy played his flute solo and he screwed it up. Everyone felt sorry for him. The band conductor gave the audience a little shrug when the boy finished, as though to say “Yeah, I know he sucks. Probably should’ve practiced some more but due to budget cuts we only meet for practice twice a week, and I’m not paid so well either so what more do you want? I’m a fucking elementary school band teacher! I had dreams at one time too you know!”

But at the end of the concert, this boy was so happy and excited. Probably part relief but also the excitement of doing what he loves – making music.

My cynical self thought “How pathetic this life is. This shining moment in this boy’s life is a shitty solo in an elementary school’s band concert – this moment will encourage him to keep playing – maybe he’ll get really good or maybe he’ll always suck. This scene is playing itself out in elementary school auditoriums across the country. A bunch of little kids who don’t play very well, their parents anxiously filming the whole thing on their iPhone to post to Facebook, a rite of passage that soon leads to middle school, where band kids are nerds and little boys who love to play the flute are ridiculed.”

Yes, I thought these terrible, dark things. I hate myself for that.

That same night, I unpacked Christmas ornaments the other night and noticed that last year, I just threw them all together in a box, including the glass ornaments from my childhood. Instead of wrapping them carefully in newspaper and placing them in a shoebox, I threw everything in one box – the ornaments, a tangle of string lights, with wads of newspaper placed on top.

I must’ve been in a fog of depression when I put everything away last year. Because when you’re depressed, putting things away is hard. I’ve not put away groceries before because the effort to do so is too great.

photo (49)

So much symbolism in this picture!

Anyway, only one of the ornaments broke, but I still feel terribly about it. It was my little sister’s ornament my mom made back in 1980, when my sister was only 2.

She’s now living in a different state with a man who is abusive and chronically unemployed. I’m 18 months older than her, and growing up people used to think we were twins. We hardly talk to each other now.

And that is why I get so damn depressed. Life is cruel. Children’s dreams for the future don’t pan out. Adults become cynical and sad. And then they’re just cynical. I used to relish at the ridiculous wonderfulness of life, the ups and downs, dreams and disappointments that we all experience. But now it just leaves me cold.

All that said, I am trying to change. I really am. Ironically, I am in a position where true happiness is well within my reach. I have love in my life. I have autonomy. I am figuring out how to treat my depression. I will go on a low dose of accutane in a week.

I also feel creative. So a tiny little life force still resides in what’s left of my soul . In spite of this life. Or maybe because of it.

Get Rich Eventually Scheme #1

My ultimate goal in life is to have a rich inner and outer life.  A billionaire Buddhist, if you will.  I know it can be done. Lookit Dr. Wayne Dyer.  Doesn’t he have a mansion in Hawaii and all he did to make his fortune was wake up early and read lots of Rumi poetry?

So I have a ton of ideas but I am lacking the ability to focus on just one of them and make it happen.  Plus, no one has enough time to devote to all of the crazy pursuits I am constantly dreaming of.  But why keep all of this brilliance to myself (erm, “brilliance”)?  Instead, why not share it with the internet and maybe someone out there will take the idea, run with it, and make all of their dreams come true.  And then I’ll find out about it, get this sick, sinking feeling in my belly, grimace, feel like yelling at someone, but instead silently berate myself for my failure to make my good ideas happen.  (Like what happened when I discovered a few months ago that MY idea for this url was snatched away from me; I literally wanted to buy the url for http://www.lifistooshort.com like a year ago and I kept hemming and hawing and when I finally conjured up the strength to find my purse and grab my credit card and buy the damn thing, it was bought by some asshole jerk face.)

I digress.  Without any further ado, my first Get Rich Eventually Scheme is this:  Life Coach/Dominatrix

I don’t have a business plan typed up yet, but I have a very vivid image in my head of how a life coaching/dominatrix session would go….I’d welcome my client in to a comfy sitting room area, very calm and serene and tastefully decorated. I’d wear a cardigan and loafers with my hair in a low pony tail and my Cole Haan glasses on.  I’d offer a cup of tea to my client – green or chamomile, something soothing and light.  I’d go through my questionnaire and gently prompt my client to give honest and complete answers to my questions regarding why he is here and what he wants to change about his life. When I am done with that I’d have him go through a menu of the types of dominatrix services he’d be interested in (outfit: black pleather, goal: pain/humiliation, method: being stabbed with a stiletto heel while  being ridiculed for never being promoted beyond middle management, etc.).  Then I’d demurely dismiss myself to prepare for the actual session.

He would sit there on the chintz-covered chair, sipping his tea, gazing outside the window at the container garden growing a variety of herbs, listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons quietly playing in the background.

My assistant would appear seemingly out of nowhere to politely inform him: “It’s time. Follow me please.”

She would lead him to the back, towards an unassuming, unmarked door.  On the other side of the door are unfinished brick walls and a narrow staircase leading down to a dimly lit basement.

Once he is in my dungeon, the door would slam shut.  He is trapped.  There is no where for him to go.

And that’s when I step from behind a curtain and basically go apeshit on him and tell him in no uncertain terms what I think of him and his problems.  For example: “YOU IDIOT! YOU SLIME! YOU WANT A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FATHER ACCORDING TO QUESTION #4?  WELL CALL THE OLD BASTARD UP ALREADY! QUIT BITCHING ABOUT IT!”  and so on and so forth.

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I want a mint green dominatrix/life coach outfit!

I think there is an untapped market for this type of service and that it could be quite lucrative. I am not in therapy anymore, but when I was, I always felt like I was talking myself into circles.  I remember wanting to hiss at my last therapist “Give me the fucking answer already!  Do I break up with Mark or not?” And frankly, the idea of yelling at some random guy and telling him exactly what I think kind of appeals to me. No woman will ever admit this but there is something exhilarating about yelling at someone and feeling all self righteous about it.   It would be liberating for both him and me.  I could help so many people.  I should totally do it…

Hi, I’m Rebecca and I am a self-improvement junkie.

As the proud owner of an INFJ personality, I put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly defining and re-defining the priorities in my life. In other words, I am a self-improvement junkie.

Current self-improvement tasks include:

  • Improving my job skills so that I may remain a remote worker indefinitely, including starting a blog so I may pursue freelance writing gigs.
  • Getting out of my cultural ghetto, and becoming a better read and spoken person by hosting a book club and taking classes through MIT’s Open Courseware.
  • Submersing myself in Rejection Therapy, repeatedly.  And then writing about it in this blog.
  • Devote a significant portion of my time towards creative and spiritual pursuits, including meditating daily, creative writing and making beautiful things.
  • Perfecting the art of grocery shopping by committing to weekly planning and using every last scrap so I am not wasting any food, time or money.

Some of my life’s goals include:

  • To make extra money doing what I love so I can travel more and save for my future.
  • To incorporate kale into my daily diet for the rest of my life.
  • To live on a boat.

As Marvin Gaye once sexily opined, “life is for learning,” and I get much satisfaction out of learning how to make things, creating better systems for living, and leading a more productive and fulfilling life. And what better time to be alive, because living in the 21st century is fabulous! We have a rich history to reflect upon and an exciting future of possibilities to dream about, and above all, we have the tools we need in the present to accomplish whatever we set our minds to.

Quite simply, the best of both worlds is here for the taking whether you are tech minded or nostalgic for the good old days of handmade goodness. This appeals very much to me, because deep down, I am an old fashioned person; my dream is to build my own 400 square foot cabin and spend quiet days writing, gardening and baking food from recipes found in the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook. Alternately, I am in love with my iphone and a Google fangirl and firmly believe in working smarter, not harder, to automate boring and uninspiring tasks, just to free your time for loftier ambitions like learning to make wine with your feet.

Unfortunately, at times my dreams surpass my ability to accomplish them, and this is where my self-improvement habit kicks in.  I am constantly looking for a better, faster, more awesome way to get things on my life’s to do list crossed off.  When I am super motivated, watch out!  I am a force to be reckoned with.  When I am not super motivated, grab a glass of wine and curl up beside me to watch cat videos and read trashy gossip blogs.  Thus, this blog which is my attempt to not only write about improving my life, but actually do it.