Thursday, November 19, 2009
paying it forward

A very odd thing is happening to me.... not only am I becoming the happiest I can ever really recall being (thanks to a lifetime of depression) but I seem to have a compulsion recently to.... volunteer. It's just weird.

Ok, volunteering in of itself is not weird. I believe it's a very noble cause and I have always admired those who did. But for me it's weird. I think the only real volunteering I did was in Israel in 2005, where we did some painting, worked a soup kitchen, and I helped at an animal shelter (where I cried and cried because strays are treated with such terrible disregard in Israel). I am admittedly lazy and selfish when it comes to volunteering coz I want my free time to myself to laze about.

But last week I volunteered to take in an abandoned pregnant cat, named Blossom. It defies all logic as I have neither the space nor finances to do so, but I couldn't turn away from the fact that this cat was facing the prospect of raising her babies in a Home Depot. So I took her in and now I'm awaiting the birth of her babies, after which I shall endeavour to find homes for her kittens (won't be difficult) and for her (much more difficult).

And then in my ridiculously happy mood I decided to finally follow up on a promise I made over a year ago to volunteer in a soup kitchen. Not weird right? Now what if I said it was in a mosque? This all came about when I befriended an associate in a Home Depot who was very happy to meet me, especially upon finding out that he knew my brother from when he was a rep like me, travelling and visiting Depots. Whenever I visited this store my new Muslim friend and I would get into fascinating political and spiritual conversations, as only a Jew and a Muslim can. It was a wonderfully open dialogue and a real effort to bridge the gap created by world politics and fanatics making a mess out of things. We asked genuine questions of each and sought real understanding. I *loved* visiting that store if for no other reason than to see my friend.

He has since moved up in the Depot world and no longer works in a store, but in the head office. So I no longer get to speak with him like I used to, but we have made an effort to email each other once in a while. I decided this week that I am finally in a place where I am ready to give back. I have had one of the very worst years of my life and am happy to say that I am coming out the other side of it. And I am better for it.

I'm ready to lend a hand and help others who are still in that dark tunnel. And if working in a soup kitchen this Saturday in a mosque does that, then great. If I happen to learn and gain something from the experience, all the better. I just know that I am looking to practice gratitude for what I have and stop looking at what I don't have or have lost.
The glass, as they say, is half full.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009
people search for the damnedest things... and find ME!
I'd just like to give a shout to the individual who searched for "manurses wild gets eaten" and somehow, by the magic of Google, found me. And to think there were only two hits for that search, and I was the FIRST! What luck!

A second shout out goes to @fatlos4dummies for givin' me props/a mention on her Twitter page! Not sure how you found me, but thanks and welcome!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
If friends were flowers, I'd pick you.
A funny thing is happening in my life right now..... I'm making some really awesome friends. And there are few reasons why I find this interesting (probably more interesting than you will find it, but I'll do my best to weave this into an interesting story for you...)

Firstly, I have lost a couple of good friends this past few months. That is to say, I know more or less where they are, but for one reason or another they have exited from my life. I find this tends to happen when I hit life changing rough patches in my life; the last time this happened was in 2005. I ended up moving to Israel for 3 months while I sorted myself out. I had this epiphany that there were people in my life that didn't deserve my time and there were those that did and I wasn't giving nearly enough of it to. I examined my friendships, took note of the ones that gave back and the ones that didn't and weeded them out accordingly. For the most part it wasn't hard; the ones I let go were the ones in which *I* had to always make the effort to see them, so all I had to do was stop calling and trying to make plans to see them and it more or less took care of itself. I found this culling of the herd freed my time up to give it to those I really cared about and who really mattered in my life. I also found that ridding myself of energy vampires relieved me of a lot of stress and took a great weight off my shoulders.

Anyway, I accept that this is natural process in life and that it will happen many times over the course of my life. I have friends I have known for 25+ years and I have friends that I have only known a few weeks or months, and then they exited. People come and go in your life, and often leave when you have learned whatever it was that you were supposed to learn from them. I also find that you really do truly find out who your friends are in times of crisis, as I had been over the summer and fall. I just had one of my best friends of 15 or more years, walk away over a misunderstanding on Facebook. FACEBOOK, people! More than anything I think I was just shocked and hurt that a friendship that could last that long was taken down by something so silly as Facebook. I guess it wasn't the friendship I thought it was. And frankly, the timing couldn't have been worse as my stress level was just maxing out as I was closing up the sale of my house, fighting with my ex over finances (which will now go to court) and trying to get ready to move to a new home. I needed that friend's support at that point more than ever but somehow the friendship failed. *sigh*

Ok, I'm digressing. My second point on why this is so fascinating (that I'm making some awesome friends right now), is because it just isn't easy to make friends as an adult. When you're kids in a sandbox or in school, it's easy making friends. But outside of maybe work.... how do adults make friends? And it can be a very awkward thing...

Take my job for example. I am a sales rep, going in and out of Home Depot and Lowe's stores all day. I see the same people every 2 weeks or so and I get to know them very well. I know the names of their husbands, wives, kids... I know what medical tests they are having done.... what pets they have.... the whole thing. And they get to know me too. It's part of my job, but it's also part of my personality. I like my job because I have friends in pretty much every store (and I have 30 stores).

Then one day I was having lunch with one of these store associates and we were really hitting it off. During the course of the conversation she said she would really love for me to meet her husband and kids one day... and I said sure, that would be nice... in that "one day we will" kind of way. She then suggested that we do it that day after work, and I thought.... why not? Here is an opportunity to make a new friend and she is a really cool cat.... so why the heck not? But I gotta tell ya, it's sometimes weird taking it to the next level of friendship... outside of work. Now, I have successfully done this with one or two others before, but it's still weird seeing people outside a work environment. But how else do you make friends as an adult? As a point, I was also kinda employing the "Yes Man" philosophy at that point in my life and was forcing myself to say yes to opportunities I would normally say no to in order to open myself up to more socialization and experiences. As it turns out I had a great time with her family and I can happily add another fabulous friend to my roster. I can tell her anything and I know I have a good friend that I can fully trust. I love it!

And now I have two new friends that I am really enjoying. Both I met online, though one lives in Texas and is too far away to meet in person.... but I have a feeling we'll finally meet one day. And the other is another kindred spirit going through a similar rough patch recently as myself and so we understand each other quite well. We are both slow to warm up to people as we have recently had our trust put in a blender and shredded to bits. Trust comes slow to us both now, but since we're in the same boat, we understand and are patient with each other. It's awesome. I like watching the friendship slowly bloom as we take our time getting to know each other and to build the trust.

So there. I am makin' some new friends and it's making me very happy right now. How do YOU make new friends?

Will someone who is smarter than me please tell me how to fix my layout so that the damn bullets on the sidebar don't come poking into the main column of my blog? It drives me nuts and I have tried desperately to fix it, but html just isn't my strong suit. Where's My Big Gay Daddy?? You're smart like that!!

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Sunday, November 08, 2009
healing, from the inside out....
What a difference a year makes......

Last Halloween I was on top of the world; I had gotten engaged that day and felt ten foot tall and bullet proof. I had the world by the ass, and less than two months later my fiance and I had bought a house and were moving in. I thought my path and my future was set.

This Halloween was spent slugging boxes and moving all my worldly possessions into my new condo. Alone. Much has obviously changed, and I am world's different now than I was even 5 months ago. My heart no longer feels broken by the cheating and lying, just bruised and healing. The crying and sleepless nights have subsided, though I have not gained back the nearly 20 lbs I lost when I stopped eating for almost 2 months. I am in a different dimension from where I was a year ago but a funny thing has happened.... I have found happiness.

Had someone told me even 2 months ago that I would feel happy again this soon I would have told him/her that was simply was impossible. This has been one of the hardest emotional roller coasters I have ever been on, but when I moved into my new home I was reborn. I was so devastated that I had to sell my home because of the breakup of my relationship, but as it turns out, that home was keeping me in a pit of despair that I hadn't even realized I was in. In my new condo I feel energized and positive.... I feel like there are possibilities. A new beginning.

Now the hard work begins. It's time to figure out what it is I need to get things right with myself, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. I cannot let one person damage my faith and trust in people, but that is going to take some mental gymnastics to get past. I need to rebuild my health and wellness, as I have not been taking care of my body. Once fit and strong I now feel skinny and weak.... and vulnerable to illness if I'm not careful.

I'm not sure yet how to go about all this. I've started with a nice big delivery of healthy groceries; I am drinking my GreensPlus in the morning (which I swear by) and made an awesome quinoa-vegetable salad for lunch later. The trick with healthy eating is to keep it up... that will be my biggest challenge. I am *very* lucky that the condo I have moved into has a GYM, complete with Nautilus treadmill, reclined stationary bike, elliptical machine and weight machine! So I need to take advantage of it, especially since practically no one in the building uses it. Bonus!!

I also need to start doing things that are better for my soul.... I am admittedly very addicted to tv and internet. It's time to do some reading instead, and today I happened to stumble upon a blog post that named 10 inspirational books.... and as I read it I thought.... don't I have book #7 on the list? The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle? I went over to the cupboard where I had all my books stored and there it was.... my mother had given it to me *ages* ago to read and I never had. Seems coincidence is trying to get my attention, so I am going to sit down after writing this post and unplug for a bit and do some reading. See if we can't stir the mind and soul a little. Have a peek here if you're curious.

What are you doing to change your life for the better?

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