Be the Cat's Meow

Posts Tagged ‘family

It is that time of year again. A time of empty resolutions and promises made to be broken- the beginning of a new year.

New year means a clean slate, right?

UHm, nooooooooo.

Let me break it down-

A year is just a unit of time. A unit measured by the time that it takes a planet to revolve around the sun. 

We are humans and use “years” to indicate our numerical (because some people are mentally younger..)age or to track time.

Years come and go independently of our existence. A change in the year does not automatically create a change within. Did you feel something happen within you at midnight on New Year’s Eve? 

Maybe you felt bloated from too much champagne and cheese dip, but nothing mentally changes automatically.

So why don’t you just change for the best whenever possible? There’s nothing wrong with deciding to make a resolution on a day other than January 1. Why the hell not?

Last year was the BEST of my life…to date. I was ecstatic to go into the Holiday season cheerful and stress free. As luck would have it situations beyond my control took place and I had to deal with someone else’s problems. I didn’t have to, but what else do you do when someone you love has had a traumatic series of weeks?

Don’t get me wrong, of course I want to do everything I can, but I have yet to understand why some people feel change is beyond their control.

If I decided I want to change my attitude am I supposed to tell my friend, so they can fix it for me?

Frustrated beyond belief I had to continuously reiterate being positive works wonders. It is what it is, so you can be pissed off and do nothing or you can find the silver lining. It is truly about attitude and accepting that some things are beyond control. Her excuse was, “only people with good lives are positive.”

I call bull. Some of the most positive people I know have lived through unimaginable crap and you would never know. I’m not saying to be ignorant or oblivious, but understand that your attitude is something that can always be changed- AT ANY TIME.

Obviously, I realize some situations are harder to deal with and that makes it difficult to stay positive. If you just try I guarantee it will help. Even if it is the slightest bit, but it beats being miserable right?

All I am trying to say is stop making excuses or stop waiting for Jan. 1 to make a change. Start with yourself now! You are the only person that can take care of yourself. Sure you have loved ones that can also care for you, but only you know and feel what you truly need.

Nothing is perfect. Nothing is easy. That is okay and it helps us shape who we are. Just grow some balls and take action to change what you don’t like. Nobody can help you unless you start to help yourself first. 

 

 

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These days I feel like I am turning into Carrie Bradshaw- or should I say I am getting Carrie-ed away?

Sorry, I had to go there…

Winter’s entrance indicates the rapidly approaching holiday season. A time for cheerful decor, cozy clothing and, of course, plenty of festivities. I’m all for celebrations, especially those that involve eating and drinking, but I don’t understand why all these gatherings have morphed into couple events. 

I thought the holidays were about spending time with those you love? Wouldn’t this imply that you don’t necessarily need a plus one? After all, you can love someone that isn’t necessarily your lover.

I guess I am just tried of getting invites and being told, “you can bring a date.” 

…Hmm….

Okay:

1) I am not dating and anyone that knows me knows that.

2) Why the hell would I drag a first date to some holiday party where even I don’t know everyone there?

3) Do you think I would use a holiday party as an excuse to find a date??

Maybe I am just being bitter after being overloaded with seasonal stock images such as:

Image

 

or even this older couple frolicking on a grassy knoll:

Image

 

I want to frolic too..is that too much to ask? I guess I should say, I want to be able to frolic alone without people feeling sorry for me.

In closing, I have one Christmas wish for all the couples out there,

…of course I still have wishes for the masses- world peace, happiness, the norm…

anyways, my one wish for couples:

Can you please embrace us single folk as we are and simply let us be solo at your holiday events? We obviously love you if we show up as the lone ranger at your party, so let’s leave the dating discussion for another day or, say, never.

Christmas may be over, yet tis the season that continues to linger.

In honor of this I would like to pay homage to the holiday of FESTIVUS.

Yes, I realize I mentioned Christmas, but, really, aren’t Festivus & Christmas one in the same?

Traditionally, Festivus is the “non-commerical” version of Christmas and another way to celebrate the joyous season. According to the story of origin, Seinfeld writer Dan O’Keefe created the holiday in February of 1966 with his current wife. Festivus was thrust into pop culture oblivion on December 18, 1997 with the Seinfeld episode The Strike and the always lovable Frank Costanza quickly became the poster child for the new holiday.  The rest, my friends, is history- or should I say a FESTIVUS MIRACLE.

The key events during the celebration of Festivus (December 23) include the dinner, “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength.” The dinner should consist of a ham or turkey and a Pepperidge Farm cake decorated with M&Ms. The “Airing” takes place immediately following dinner. The speaker should begin, “I got a lot of problems with you people-” and continue with the specifics of how your loved ones disappointed you the past year. The finale, “Feats,” forces the household head to challenge a dinner guest to a wrestling match. Festivus is not officially over until the head (challenger) is pinned down.

The Festivus pole (in lieu of a Christmas Tree) is the key decoration. The aluminum pole, with a high strength-to-weight ratio, is to be unadorned. Tinsel is distracting, according to Costanza.

Coming from a Catholic family, we do not participate in the aforementioned rituals-  at least not in a formal manner. I have also realized the same can be said about others that celebrate Christmas. Bright colored lights & trees adorned with tinsel are the main defining factors that separate those that celebrate Christmas over Festivus.

Christmas is supposed to be a magical time filled with love, family, miracles and, most importantly, presents. People are expected to be more generous than usual and everyone to be obliviously happy.

I’m not sure about you guys, but I have yet to see a “magical” Christmas had by anyone.

Every year it seems as though everyone forgets about the other unavoidable events that conflict with Christmas. Let’s start simple- the weather. The holiday season means colder weather. The holiday season also inevitably means dealing with more people than usual. These two factors combined mean a) you will be sick all season long or b) you will be sick for half of the season. Long story short, you will most likely be under-prepared with presents and/or baked/cooked treats and you will also be even more exhausted, stressed and, most likely cranky.

I tip my hat to those that brave planes, trains or buses this time of year. You are dealing with an ample amount of cranky people with a shared goal to reach their final destination in a timely manner. Those that don’t wind up sleeping in airports or being re-routed an unnecessary number of times. This Christmas eastbound travelers got to deal with the unforgiving blizzard and those attempting to leave the coast were stuck. Definitely not a stress-free situation.

Going to any form of a store (grocery, tiny hats, etc.) is a disaster waiting to happen. Black Friday marks the beginning of the end for any sort of shopping. Feel free to go, just remember you may get stampeded over an Xbox 360 or the last pack of unsalted butter. Don’t forget all the lines, LInes, LINES either- there is no such thing as a quick shopping trip. To top it off costumers & store clerks are generally less than jolly, so happy holidays to you.

Spending extended periods of time with anyone is a cause for catastrophe. Yes, I did just say that. It is important for EVERYONE to step back, breathe & have some alone time once in awhile. During the holiday season, this is virtually impossible, but it is absolutely necessary! There are always more Christmas parties than you can handle and, the worst part, tis the “holiday season,” so you are morally obligated to go no matter how much you don’t like the party host or hostess. Family events can be just as bad since everyone is on edge and more alcohol is involved than usual. If everyone is stressed enough beforehand your dinner will resemble the traditional Festivus dinner.

All of the above factors combined will most likely lead to an impromptu (or series of) “Airing of Grievances.” When you are running from fumes after cooking giant feasts, dealing with crazy shoppers, recovering from the flu, having little or no sleep, etc. etc.,  something is bound to erupt. You will call your crazy Aunt Sally a drunk and then she will go off on the gluttonous Uncle Bob and he will yell at your mom for being a nag and on and on. Depending on the physical nature of people this may very easily lead to “Feats of Strength” challenge(s) and viola, you have Festivus (under the guise of Christmas).

Who knew that most of society has been honoring Festivus all along? Festivus may not be as pretty as Christmas and forgets about the baby Jesus, but doesn’t it capture the heart of Christmas? Both holidays bring people together for a brief stint only to bring some of those people to blows. Let’s be honest- would it really be a Christmas without your mom yelling about how stressed she is and just yelling at you for whatever else she sees fit? No, it would not. Why not consider formally celebrating Festivus then? Save your money and forgo gifts, decorations and extravagant meals and maybe even save some stress. More importantly, you will still be able to air grievances, but in a tame way. On that note-

I GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE!


My how the time flies.

It is bittersweet to be considered an adult. Responsibilities now dictate how to live and boredom is no longer an option. As opposed to the days of adolescence when you were unwillingly dragged along wherever and you were forced to develop more ways to play with dirt (okay, so maybe the dirt part is only applicable to my childhood).

Unfortunately, during adulthood, you get so consumed in the motions of living you sometimes forget to live.

I know, what a hippie thing of me to say, but honestly, are you living the life you want? Are you doing what makes you happy? My life may not entirely be what I want at the moment, but I sure as hell am trying my best to fix that. You can wish for your dreams or you can work for them. Wishing is easier, but nothing ever comes without a little work.

I have been taking advantage of the simple things that give me pleasure and at the same time saving money to either further my education or my worldly travels- OR even better finding a way to achieve both simultaneously!

Reverting to life on the budget of a poor college student did not sound fun at first. In fact it still does not sound “fun.” I feel silly skipping shows that cost $10 or forgoing an outing to a restaurant. Naturally, I set aside some money before everything so I can partake in those events that happen rarely. This has definitely forced me to choose my outings wisely. Rather than going to every event I can just because I appreciate the ones I do go to.

Meals have become more rewarding too. One of my favorite and most rewarding  rituals is making a nice dinner. I don’t care if I am cooking for one and fill the sink with pots & pans. I cooked exactly what I wanted for cheap and I get to enjoy it in the comfort of my home (and with my cats).

I’ve been trying to go on more runs and walks, but rather than just focusing on my physical activity I also take in the sunset, smell flowers or stop to take a closer look at art along the way. It feels silly doing it and, in fact, I feel silly writing about this, but it has definitely helped me appreciate the little things.

Sure, I miss being able to go out whenever, dinner dates with friends or splurging on new seasonal clothes, but I am doing just fine without that. Plus, I don’t need to spend money to spend time with those I care about.

Sometimes I wish I could freeze time. Just for awhile. I guess that’s what makes it so precious- the fact you can’t control it and you never know when your time will run out.

Do something silly today. Do something you have never done, but have always wanted to do. Fuck it if you look stupid. Fuck it if it isn’t “normal.” I’m tired of behaving the way that society expects me to and I’m sure as hell you are too.

Live a little. Live a lot. Do what you love. Make your life into your own. It takes some time, but that generally means it will pay off in the end.

Whatever you do- just make the most of your time.

I forget how lucky I am.

You probably forgot how lucky you are too. The fact you are sitting here reading this makes you incredibly lucky.

Fertilization  in itself is amazing. You were brought into this life by some sort of biological luck. All the gametes and microorganisms proved strong and you were the single cell lucky enough to survive.

It is easy to forget this. Once you are alive it is easy to take the concept of life for granted. With everything else you experience you forget where it all truly began. You forget about the complexities of the human body and the inability to control its inner workings.

I had forgotten about all of this until I heard some of the saddest news I have ever received.

A woman I have worked closely with on many occasions lost her 12 year old daughter to cardiac arrest. The girl was perfectly healthy and had even completed soccer practice just before this happened. It is one thing to experience a death of natural causes, but to see a life end before it has truly begun is devastating.

This made me re-examine my own life and realize how lucky I am. My body has been pushed to many limits. I have definitely made some reckless decisions and am lucky to be alive and as healthy as I am. However, luck can only take you so far.

Take a look at your own life. I am sure you have had your own “lucky to be alive” moments. Even if you haven’t consider things like your physical or dietary health. Are you a fast food junkie? Are you too good to exercise? Feel free to stay that way, just don’t be surprised when you find out your cholesterol is too high and/or you need a quadruple bypass. Unfortunately, there are genetic circumstances that may cause such situations, but why not do what you can while you can. At least you know you tried.

I will get off my soapbox very shortly, I promise.

I just want to reiterate how lucky you and I are. Sure, life can be pretty crappy at times, but don’t the good times make up for it? At least you can experience life. You made it this far, so why not continue to go farther?

We can’t control everything, but you can sure as hell do your best. Do it for your loved ones. Do it for you. Do it honor of those that never got to experience life to the fullest.

You are one lucky bastard. Never forget that.

F U FB

Posted on: 10/15/2010

I knew this day would come.

It is impossible to put a mass of people together in a confined space and expect perfect harmony. We are all human and conflict is, therefore, inevitable.

Funny because it's true

It is even more difficult when the mass consists of hundreds of millions and they are confined  to a virtual space- an INFINITE space beyond what we ever thought possible. Hopefully you have realized I am talking about Facebook. If you did not then please refer to the graphic above.

I was part of the lucky generation that got to experience THE Facebook (before they became cool and dropped the “the”) and the ingenuity of being a site strictly for college students. It was the perfect way to network with classmates and reconnect with old friends. The site was simple yet efficient and was the mature equivalent of myspace. You didn’t have to worry about younger siblings or older relatives seeing the photos from your recent night of drunken debauchery and you didn’t have to watch your language. It was great and you were simply among peers.

Naturally, you could still find people like this guy:

I'm too sexy for my shirt

But we all know that guy is everywhere in cyberspace.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED.

Facebook became a global phenomenon. It was open to more than just college students and suddenly everybody had an account. Poop.

Then the Zynga and similar groups started up with the addictive games (I admit, I succumbed to Mafia Wars for many months) and then there was an app for everything (“What Type of ___  Are You? ) Getting bombarded with requests and seeing all the Farmville updates in newsfeed every few seconds became annoying, but it was easy to block and ignore such things.

Okay, problem solved.

Too bad it seems that more people than ever have an account- not to mention family members from your 5 year old cousin to grandma. Well, that’s also fine. Just watch what you say.

This will all be fine. How can Facebook get worse?

Wait a minute. Every month it seems there are layout changes and new “features” added. I mean, do you really want to display every freaking location you go to. Do you really want to announce to the world “I AM IN A DRUNKEN STUPOR ACROSS TOWN- PLEASE ROB ME.” I also liked how FB assumed you would want to make you phone number public. I mean really? Let’s give everyone the ability to bother you at any given moment. Give your crazy ex a chance to blow up your phone- we love that.

I mean I am aware you can set privacy boundaries, but, of course, there are those that don’t and they provide every last detail of personal information down to social security number.

Is it really so hard to understand how that is dangerous?

Well, those guys can deal with it when they come home to an empty house or find a stalker passed out on their stoop.

Then you have the people that don’t know what their personal FB boundaries should be. Like the couples that seem to think we don’t feel awkward and slightly dirty when they publicly and passively fight through wall posts?

Gotta love the people that go off on everyone after a bad day and leave a trail of curse words in the newsfeed. I mean why would I feel dirty when I see you dropping f-bombs all over your mom’s page?

And no I don’t want to see a picture of you on the toilet. That is not comedy- it is disgusting. And for the love of god, please don’t post a picture of your bizarro tattoo on a place where the sun never shines.

Get this as a tattoo and post a picture to your FB if you want me to never speak to you again

The creme de la creme are the new political pages and apps popping up everywhere. Let’s just add fuel to this fire. Since politics are notorious for bringing large groups together. I think everyone is free to their own opinion, but, quite frankly, it scares me when some of you go off on your propaganda rampages. I avoid discussing politics in certain situations for a reason.

Then who can ignore the posts of obvious misinformation? The fabricated truths that stir people up, but, for some reason, by chance, you certainly know the story is false. It can be anything from a news story to I saw you-know-who at you-know-where. Obviously, it is difficult to argue with the majority, so you eventually let it slide and it will snowball out of control on it’s own.

All of these scenarios have caused me to push away from FB for periods at a time and now I am even contemplating killing off my page.

I have definitely realized that some things are better kept to oneself and that things like relationships should be private for a reason. I know I am better off without reading status updates about the giant crap you just took or about the anonymous person you banged in the bathroom at Denny’s.

I’d be lying if I said some of these things don’t secretly amuse me, but sometimes it is just a weeeeeeee bit too much. Afterall,

I try to avoid the whole PSA thing, but I feel like suicide is something worth mentioning.

Unfortunately, the reason I decided to write this was due to the recent suicide of someone very close to a friend of mine. Yesterday I was with her when she received the call that her friend had taken his own life. I had seen him pretty recently too. He had an adorable baby and seemed to be in a happy place, but you can never know for sure.

I have been fortunate to never have somebody extremely close to me commit suicide, but I have known many that were once friends of mine who moved away and/or we had gradually drifted apart. This past summer 2 people I met through the party scene ended their own lives. Both seemed to have started life on a fresh page- one had even just returned to the states after being deployed to Afghanistan. I remembered talking to my friend while he was overseas and he was overjoyed when he knew he was to return soon. We made plans to meet up again to celebrate his return, but that never happened.

I have struggled with depression and I know one of the hardest things is admitting you are in a dark place. You don’t want to be the downer of the group. Not to mention all the people that respond with, “That is your choice to feel depressed, get over it.” For the record, sometimes we can’t help it and your negativity only makes us feel worse. It makes us feel flawed and even more of an outsider.

Here is my advice to those that have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts: even when you feel unloved and worthless remember that at least one person in this world loves you. In fact, chances are you are loved by many and when you take your own life you break many hearts. It reminds me of one of my favorite Sylvia Plath quotes (which she unfortunately did not take to heart or took it to well):

“To annihilate the world by annihilation of one’s self is the deluded height of desperate egoism” –Sylvia Plath

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Nothing comes easy and that only makes the journey more fulfilling. When you end your life prematurely you are giving up. Don’t give up. Don’t let the world break you down. Fairytale endings don’t exist and there is a dark side to everything. You just have to make the best of the current situation and work towards what makes you happy.

Here is my message to those that may know people that have been suicidal: it is okay to reach out to help. In fact, they are quietly looking for anyone to hold on to. They may be reluctant to open up at first, but that does not mean they are pushing you away. Just give them time and constant reminders that you care about them and will always be there. Just don’t bombard them with questions and tell them they need to get over themselves. It may take some time, but really they just want to know you care.

This concludes my PSA. I hope some of you take this to heart- and I mean from both ends of the spectrum. Too many lives are ended to early because of suicide and I feel this is something we can work towards changing. I admit, you can’t save the whole world, but it means the world for those you do save.

Resources:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Information About Suicide & Support Group

Info & FAQs About Anxiety Disorders


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