Friday, August 13, 2010

The Song of the Day....

Recently, my good friend Q and I have instituted a little ritual we refer to as the song of the day. We each take a week and email a song to the other every morning. We try to keep it upbeat and positive, but sometimes it gets a little bit crazy too. Like the day she sent me this completely crazy Irish drinking song. I don't know where she found such a thing, but I still haven't stopped laughing about it. Her song choices tend to be random and come from the craziest places. I tend to send her songs you can dance to. Those are the ones that get me going. And if one or both of us is already having a bad day, well that's when the classic punk rock starts to show up.

The point of this daily exercise is a simple one. To get us through another day. Sometimes the sheer boredom of everyday life can be a trigger for depression, so trying to keep yourself upbeat can be a challenge. But it is the sign of a good friend when you try to keep someone else feeling positive as well. And Q is a good friend. One who will seek out rare songs from your favorite band just to add to your collection. Or get you grooving on a Monday with a little reggae. Our shared love of music bonds us and is one of the reasons we have been friends for so many years.

I don't know how long we will continue to do this. Perhaps until iTunes runs out of music? Regardless, I will look back at all of those emails and smile, because my friend and I have not only bonded over music, but we have linked arms in our shared battle with depression as well. I hope she has enjoyed it as much as I have. And I can't wait for Monday when it is my turn again!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

So Sad, She's Gone Quite Mad....

Yes, dear readers, 'tis true. I've gone mad. Quite mad. Not Mad Hatter mad, not yet, but close. Examine the evidence and judge for yourself as to whether my self-diagnosis is correct.

Living in Indiana, you are faced with a problem every summer. Huge flying bugs. Everywhere. Especially if you live near the woods. Which I do. Or the river. Which I do. Every time someone opens the back door to let the dogs out, bugs come flying in. This is most annoying at night, when the bedroom light is on to attract them. Now for most people, this is nothing more than a mere annoyance. But for me, this is a huge problem, as I hate bugs and cannot stand having even the smallest pest in the house. So every evening before I go to bed, I walk around with a fly swatter, making sure I am safe to sleep without fear of attack from the bugs that may crawl on me in the middle of the night. Because that would be unacceptable. While this fact alone qualifies me for a closer look by mental health professionals, it is the events of the other night that, according to my husband, gets me entry into the "Officially Has Lost It" club. Here's what happened.

I had trouble falling asleep and lay awake reading a book for quite some time after my husband had commenced snoring. As I rose to turn the light off, I noticed a huge beetle like creature flying around. So I grabbed my weapon and commenced warfare. And I missed him several times. He was good at hiding, the little bugger, so to draw him out, I turned the light off and on several times. After missing him once again, he began to hide. Now this caused a panic in me as I tried in vain to fall asleep. What if that evil pest emerged from his hiding space and tried to bite me in the night? So I lay awake, eyes wide open, looking for movement or any indication that he had emerged.

And then it happened. The tell-tale green flashing of a lighting bug on the top of my husband's dresser. I sat watching for about 20 seconds before throwing the covers off of me and grabbing my weapon. This time he would die! I tip toed over to the dresser and swung with all my might. BAM! BAM! BAM! Was he dead yet? The light still glowed underneath a paper my husband had laid on his dresser. I cautiously removed the paper, only to discover that the bug I had so violently tried to kill was, in fact, my husband's bluetooth earpiece that was plugged into his charger.

"Are you kidding me?!" I whispered in frustration. I looked over at the bed. My husband hadn't moved and his eyes were closed. Good, he hadn't seen my humiliation. Or so I thought. A few days later as we got ready for bed, he calmly asked me, "Are you going to try and kill my phone again tonight?" Crap.

So there you have it. I've gone quite mad. Again.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Conquering The Blank Page

There is nothing worse for a writer than staring at a blank page. Especially when you are trying to tell a story and you know the middle bits and the end bits but can’t seem to explain yourself as to how you got there. I mean, it’s not like you’re trying to solve world peace or anything, but it is a problem. So you stare at the blank page or, (in the case of today’s modern technology) the blank screen. And you doubt yourself. Second guess what it is you are supposed to be saying. Think to yourself, will anybody really read this anyway? And will they like what they read? Will they agree with me?

And that is the first clue for a writer that you should get the heck out of your own head. And remember why you write things down in the first place. You see, I started writing things down as a way to make my life make sense to me. And I started posting these things on a blog as a way to explain myself to those around me who were trying to figure out who the heck I really was. It was an exercise in uncomplicating myself. (I am a very complex creature, and sometimes I confuse even myself.) So I write in an effort to make sense of everything around me. And then I started writing things down in order to pass along the things I was learning along the way to anyone who cared to read it. And people did start reading. That’s ultimately what threw me for a loop. And created the dreaded blank page. The thought that people were actually reading what I was writing. Oh the horror! My secrets weren’t secret anymore.

That is the crux of the problem. I wrestled with giving away the secrets of my heart. I sat for a long time and counted the cost of everyone knowing the thoughts of my head and the depths of my heart. You see, I can’t be what I term a “surface person.” I can’t edit out the tough things, the personal things, and the things that might be embarrassing or uncomfortable. I’m just not wired that way I guess. I’m the type of person to tell it to you like it is, even if it means admitting that I am the bad guy, or wrong, or slightly crazy, or selfish, or any of the things that most people don't want to admit freely. It would be insincere and not true to my nature to not be 100% truthful in my writing, because I am 100% truthful when you speak to me. It would be as if there were two Adrianna’s, constantly at odds with one another.

So if what is holding me back is the fear of what the reader may find out, or know, or disagree with, then I have two choices: To not write at all, or to conquer the fear. I choose the latter. I will hold my head high in the face of critics. I will not be ashamed or embarrassed for saying what I think and feel. In short, dear readers, agree or disagree, it shall not matter to me. For I write for my own artistic freedom. I write for the truth that I am constantly seeking. To combat the blank page, I will no longer edit myself. I will no longer fear readers not appreciating what I write. And it is for myself alone that I write these things down, and it is for truth that I will stand firmly by them.

The world once again makes sense. For now. Whew. Glad I got that off my chest. Now, to solve that world peace dilemma….

Monday, January 11, 2010

License To Drive Me Crazy!

So this post is a cautionary tale for all you parents out there who have now or will eventually have a teenager who drives. Never sleep late. Never.

So today is Monday, and like most people out there, I groaned when the alarm clock went off and hit the snooze button at least three times. So I rolled out of bed 25 minutes past the time I should have. I rushed to get ready and at 5 past 7, 10 minutes later than usual, but still having enough time to get myself and my kid where we need to be, I entered the kitchen and hollered for Max. "Come on, lets go!!"

Silence. Not unusual. He's probably upstairs. "MAX! Come on!"

More silence. No sound of feet stomping around upstairs or running down the stairs. Hmmm.

I started putting my laptop in my bag, which was on the kitchen table, and that's when I noticed that Max's backpack was gone. As were my keys and the garage door opener. That brat had left me. Stranded. Crap.

So I went back to the bedroom where my husband was still in bed and told him that Max had left me. His kind and caring response was to start laughing and say "Well that's what you get for not getting your butt out of bed on time this morning."

You got to commend the kid. He is never late to school.

He's going to drive me crazy. I think he already has. Never sleep late people. Never.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Life Worth Living....

It's that time of year again. The time when people reflect on the past year and resolve to do this or that differently in the next year. To be skinnier, smarter, more organized, make more money, spend more time with family. You know, in order to make their life better.

Now, I am not saying that these things won't make your life better. It's always good to be healthy and organized and have things in order. I am just merely noting the ridiculousness of making resolutions that many people break anyway. I think what would be better is to take a healthy, truthful stock of your life with a sober heart and mind. Because what I have found true for myself is that if you have a life worth living, then you have no need for resolutions. Because you are happy. Content. Fulfilled.

Hang on, don't click off the page, hear me out, because I have a point, trust me. You see, last year I decided to take a good sober look at my life, to see it clearly for what it is and not what it could be, or might be some day, or what it isn't. The key is to take your eyes off of what you don't have, and make a list of the things that you do, no matter how small. At first, this is very hard, because you will notice the things you haven't achieved or accomplished as well as the things that you want but don't have. These are always hard realities to face, when what we want is not what we have. But take a deep breath and look harder at that list. Chances are you have more than what you think you do.

One of the things I noticed was that I was surrounded by people, some good and some bad, but all contributing to the colorful nature of my life. I have an amazing husband that understands me so well that I never have to explain my crazy to him. I have some amazing children who love me in spite of my flaws and even if I don't agree with all their choices, I see who they are and how I contributed to that. I also have difficult people in my life, people who are friends but who lie and manipulate me. These people actually serve to help me appreciate those who love me with a pure heart. And they teach me patience as I wait for them to mature and deal with their stuff so they can become the friends and loved ones I hope they can someday be.

Yes, the economy is bad, but fortunately I have a place to live and food to eat, a car that is still running despite being 10 years old and I am thankful for those things. I have seen places in Africa where families larger than mine live, and trust me, I have more than enough in comparison. I haven't finished either one of the two books I am struggling to write and am now without a publisher, but that's OK. It will happen when it happens. Or not. Doesn't change the tapestry of my life much.

What is important is that I live a live worth living. I have made a difference in other peoples lives in small ways and big ways. Sometimes just by being me. Shocking I know. I still have the hope of someday feeding and caring for orphans in Africa, just not this year. But if it doesn't happen, I still say that I possess a life worth living. I suffer from depression and there is no cure. I still live a life worth living, even if some days I have to struggle to see it. It's not about the shortcomings, but the successes and I have lots of successes. My marriage for one. My kids for another. I'm also a pretty darn good friend, daughter and sister. And I can tell a good joke when I want to.

Do you see what I am getting at? We can make all the resolutions we want, but wouldn't it be better if we just turn around and appreciate the life we have, warts and all? I think so. I believe we would all be more happy and content if we would just take our eyes off of what we see as perfection and realize that our lives are perfect, because they are perfect for us. Tailor made for us in fact. If you could shift your mindset and wrap your brain around that, how awesome could that be?

So consider that, friends and loved ones. Embrace your life, because it is worth living. Not because of what you have or don't have, but because of the people in it who make your life rich and colorful. Yes, even the bad ones. Because even they serve to refine you. Even conflict is an opportunity to appreciate those who love you. And to learn to guard your heart and preserve it for those who need your love. A life worth living can be simple and boring at times, but it's wholly and completely yours. If you love it, then it's worth it.