He won’t lead her, perhaps doesn’t know the steps, so she she takes over. She takes the lead, tries to guide them in the right direction, but he balks at her steps. They fumble over one another, stepping on each other’s toes, messing up the dance of life.
A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked,
“How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.
The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
“And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden. So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.
Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:
* Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of reading it.
* Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
* If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
* Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
* Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
* The second mouse gets the cheese.
* When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
* We could learn a lot from crayons…
Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
i wandered on over to fears departing to comment on his most recent topic, and didn’t realize i would have quite so much to say. (pause) well, upon reading the question(s) he posed, i did anticipate. here is my response below:
I’ve never dreamt of changing the world. Even though I know great things can come from individuals, I’ve never thought of myself as one of those great achievers. Yeah, I know you don’t have to be a genius or anything to affect change, but I don’t think I have enough of what it takes – confidence, self-worth, intelligence, etc. Even though I’m sure I don’t excel at it, I enjoy making a difference in my own little world – helping someone out here, being a good friend there, doing the best I can do at my job and in my home or whatever I’m doing. I myself know that the littlest things can mean the most. It’s like when you’re having a bad day, and a smile or kind gesture totally turns it around for you.
I am extremely discontent with my life, and for that I feel worse, because I know I’m truly blessed in many ways. The other day, I was driving home from yet another day of work, and it occurred to me (yet again, as it often does), that much of life is geered towards getting a job and making money. We go to school at a young age, not only for a rounded education, but to hopefully get a good job one day. After school/college/whatever we’re on a quest for the perfect job, and it seems forever after we’re looking for a raise, promotion, whatever. I know there are exceptions, but mainly we HAVE to make money to SURVIVE in this world. I wish I could just do what I wanted and not have to worry about these mundane things, but it’s part of living. You need to contribute to society, and if you’re not doing something to contribute, you’re mooching. And no one wants a moocher.
Now, there are those that mix in plenty of what they enjoy, or they just happen to enjoy their jobs, and that’s great. Even if I loved my work, there would still be those days where I would be doing it because I had to, where I would be sick of the routine. If you were a millionaire, would you work for the sake of working? I wouldn’t… I would pursue some endeavors I enjoy, because then I wouldn’t be pressured to bring in “x” amount of dollars to pay off all the bills. Like exorbitant healthcare – that’s the business to be in, I’m telling you.
If life is about having a job and making money – which I think the world itself is about – then I know I’m failing miserably. I didn’t go to college and don’t have a degree, I don’t make a lot of money and I supplement my PT job by cleaning all the time. And such domestic chores are SO TIRESOME. I’m sick of cleaning up other people’s messes. Now, I know money isn’t the be all and the end all… it really isn’t that important. But to be comfortable in this life, you have to have it. And you have to keep making it. I find it hard to balance making enough money, and still have the time and energy and happiness to pursue some of those things that make it worthwhile.
I find it hard to be passionate about any one thing, because I feel so limited in many ways. In my time, energy, resources, finances, etc. I know there are some people that can quit their jobs and sell their homes and find fulfillment following their dreams – but I think not having the security would scare the shit outta me. I think I’m afraid to take some of those risks… however exciting and successful they may prove to be.
It is extremely hard for me to avoid feeling sorry for myself, because even when I’m actively engaged in something, my mind is running a mile a minute. Sometimes I’m so exhausted, just from the mental battles going on. Other times I am successful, usually by way of diversion. Lately, I’ve been exercising a lot, which kills two birds with one stone… because I also want to change my physial appearance. It makes me feel productive, and helps me lose weight. In more recent years, surrounding myself and spending time with family and friends who care about me have made a big difference. But also putting things in perspective, that can be huge. In the long run, what the hell does it matter? Sometimes, just sitting outside watching the sunset, sitting out on the beach and watching the waves roll in… I think of how puny my “problems” really are, in the grand scheme of things, compared to what’s going on in the rest of the world, etc. And at those times, I also imagine that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Carpe diem, if you will.
I struggle a great deal with my spiritual life. But lately, I’ve been going to an evening service at a church nearby. It’s put together and led totally be 20-somethings, and it’s a great time of worship and reflection. They put the lights down low, light candles, play music, use powerpoint to project inspirational quotes/verses/images. I look forward to this service all week, and it’s a great way to end my weekend, kick off another work week. Just sitting there for that hour, reflecting on the short message, on the words of the songs… I have to constantly remind myself of some of the greater, more important (in my estimation) things in life. It can be hard mustering up self-worth on our own, believing that there’s anyone out there that could love/accept us or whatever… I don’t think I will ever fully grasp and appreciate the presence of God in my life, but I know He’s there, and I do take comfort in the knowledge. And just like the sunset or beach scene… there are times, reading Bible verses or singing praise songs, when the things of life are put aside, however briefly. I’m humbled, sometimes fearless. I wish I could bottle that feeling and drink it whenever I pleased. I suppose that’s part of being a “mature” Christian.
I need love and acceptance. I mean, I know I can survive without it, but unhappily so. I don’t necessarily need acknowledgement, a pat on the back for what I do – I don’t mind being behind-the-scenes – but I want to mean something. To take care of and to be taken care of. Someone before me said they didn’t necessarily need to be loved, but they needed to love someone – I need both. Or I strongly DESIRE both. Sometimes, I’ll be watching a cheesy romantic movie… part of me will be shaking my head, but another part of me wants those same elements for myself. At the times when I’ve felt most loved, nothing else really mattered – it didn’t matter if I wasn’t perfect, wasn’t beautiful or accomplished. I was accepted for who and what I am. Or so I thought.
1. 10 years ago what did you think you would be doing now?
oh gosh, nostaliga time. =deep sigh= i always thought anything after 20 was old. or, rather, not old, but adult. i guess i figured i would be grown-up, have more of a clue what i wanted to do with my life. *laughs* i at least envisioned my own apartment with plants in the windows, a cat or two, having possibly graduated from a cool career school (photography, culinary arts, cosmetology, something like that). i never would have imagined the reality that is.
2. Where do you think you will be in 5 years from now?
beats me! i’m just full of surprises, guess. actually, i have the sinking feeling that i will be in the exact same place, wondering where the hell all the time has gone by, thinking – shit, i’m 30, and i thought 20 was old! i hoped that my house would be finished after a couple years of marriage, but i don’t even have that. and the prospects for a family look even dimmer. the only thing i feel i can work on is myself, my job. how selfish and pathetic. but there you have it.
3. Do you live life one day at a time or look to the future.
both. i mean, i can only live one day at a time, but in doing so i think about the future. i hope, plan, pray. i also tend to look towards the past, wonder about that “what ifs” and all. it’s not healthy, but old habits die hard.
4. Do you wish you could go back in time and undo something in your life?
ah… i don’t know about “undo,” but definitely “do over.” even though i don’t necessarily think i’m “wiser” (i still make the same stupid mistakes, end up in the same vicious cycles, never really make any progress, etc.), i wish i knew then some of the things i know now. as [the proverbial] they say, “hindsight is 20/20.” i guess some of the fun is not knowing how things will turn out, and of course not everything will turn out perfectly… but sometimes it feels like the little things make all the difference. one wrong turn, and you’re suddenly off in the wrong direction.
5. If you could send a message back in time and give a younger version of yourself some advice, what would it be?
i don’t know. anything. everything. nothing? would it matter. if that younger version of me hadn’t experienced any of this, would she even listen? when we’re little, people tell us to enjoy the time we have, because it won’t last. do we listen? no, we just want to grow up and be adults. i don’t know why – i hate responsibility, having to be all serious and stressed about all the things in the world.
just the other day, i was thinking about caramel cremes, and how when i was a little girl i gave one of those flat packages of caramel cremes and a penny to one of my older brothers as a gift when he was in the hospital for a broken leg – and it was such a great gift! i was so proud of myself. how naive. but how simple and heartfelt. i forget the line – nikki, maybe you can help me out – but in “little women” jo is lamenting the fact that everyone is growing up, changing, why things can’t stay as they are. sometimes i wish time would stand still, and i could live in that little sliver and not worry about deadlines or calories or weight or trying to please everyone and clean the house and make money and get all my shit together.
i don’t know that i’ve successfully learned any lessons worth imparting, even to a younger version of myself, but i would definitely persuade her to enjoy life to its fullest. and for goodness’ sake, high school is just one big phase. some of the things that could be considered trials turned out to be great learning experiences, so i don’t know how to extricate myself from those without learning those valuable lessons. but… i wish i could lighten up in many respects. dance-in-the-rain kind of mentality, belt your favorite tune no matter who’s listening, who’s watching. i know it’s just a saying, but cliche oftentimes rings the truest – “carpe diem.” take those chances. i care(d) too much what people think.
your heart will always hurt – you were right, you can’t really trust anyone. (pause) well, those that you can are few and far between. but precious – hold onto them. don’t lose touch with special friends… they matter too much, even if the relationship can survive the hibernation. no matter how many times you’ll shed tears over the future, you won’t believe how many more you’ll shed over the past if you fuck it up. don’t waste your time wishing for things that won’t bring fulfillment. try to derive your happiness from outside yourself, or it will never happen.
you are not a doormat – say it with me. you. are. not. a. doormat. louder! just because you want to make people happy, doesn’t mean you have to go along with whatever they want. you can say “no,” and it will be okay. they’ll live, you’ll be just fine, the world will keep on revolving. don’t let people take advantage of you – you’re better than that, even if you don’t like to admit it.
learn a foreign language now! take some of those classes while your parents will pay for them! hehe. i know, i know, the thought of more school sucks royally… but you’ll regret it later on if you don’t. and if, after all this, you still end up in the same place at the same time with the same circumstances… well, you tried. if you meet him… take your time. but there’s never enough time to begin with, is there? i’m still learning, too.
inspired by the friday five
back in september of ’95, charlene gave me a blank journal. it’s very plain and simple, and has a claude monet painting on the front; it even came with some free monet postcards in the back, but i never used them. as much as i love to write – especially when things aren’t going well, as they so often are… er, aren’t? – it took me a while to fill the pages. perhaps because my written attentions were otherwise directed to my online journal, as well as to handwritten letters to various friends and acquaintances.
in any case, there is only one blank side of a page left, and i am wondering just what those last words will be. i went back to brewed by myself over the weekend, and sat for about an hour or so in one of the leather chairs, listening to my mp3 player, sipping a spiced chai, and jotting down my thoughts. i could have kept going, i suppose, but my wrist was aching and i didn’t feel like dwelling on those particular things anymore.
as painful as the process can be at times, i really enjoy flipping through the pages of this old book. i’ve always loved collecting/using stickers, and the front and and back pages are absolutely covered with a variety of them (added to as i came upon another i liked or someone gave me). interspersed throughout the text are colorful bandaids (unused, of course), drawings, inspirations quotes, pictures from magazines, articles, poems, haircut ideas, notes, unsent letters, postcards, tickets stubs, and even a story i started writing a long time ago. if it were put together in a more organized fashion, i would say it makes up an interesting little chronological scrapbook… but it’s so messy and haphazard, as it reflects my state of mind.
among the articles saved (and protected with leftover book covers from junior high) include one about the death of princess diana, and one about the passing of christopher letournea (jane’s cousin). it’s so odd to look back on these things, and vividly remember the day of the event, remember saving those items and what i felt at the time. brrr – makes me shiver.
it’s so strange to look back and see how i have… not necessarily “grown,” but “evolved,” as a person. so many things remain unchanged, but now i see things through the eyes of a slighter older, slightly more experienced person.
here’s my first-ever [extremely pathetic] entry:
september 23, 1995 – well, just today i got this “multi-purpose” book from charlene… charbug is such a sweetie! :) well, it’s about 9:30 p.m. on saturday, and we in fact just got off the phone with charlene! and just a couple seconds ago i started crying, because i miss char so much. whenever we all talk on the phone, i never know what to say and it’s just not the same as when she’s here in person… you know? i also feel terribly bad because char challenged me to read a proverb a day… but i always find a reason no to. it’s weird… i <3 god so way much… but when it comes to reading the bible and going to church, i, well, feel so guilty because i just get a “go away” attitude. i know that if i wanna change i have to take the initiative; but it’s so much work and i start getting lazy and don’t want to bother, or sometimes i feel like being kinda bad. does that make sense? well… i’m gonna go. gosh… i’m sure having a lot of stress about school (biology!) these days! oh well.
and a few more tidbits:
4.1.97 – i just feel so lonesome & hopeless, like there’s no way out! i know i could take a hold of my life, but it would take so much work & effort! i don’t wanna start & just end up quitting again! :P =sigh= i can still identify, although i might use a different set of words.
3.3.98 – i hate myself. filled a whole pages with this, over and over and over… and in a cool pattern!
02.24.01 – haven’t written in this thing in ages; oh gosh, more than two years, to be exact. one might assume just start a new journal, since i’ve essentially started a new life, but i just assume fill up these pages first. (pause) even tho so much has happened over my silence, i am at a loss for words, for so many things have not changed, and that’s a sobering, scary thing. you would think that as one gets older, she would dismiss her petty worries and focus on things that really matter. but, unfortunately, some things never change. i am still me at heart, and that means a never-ending struggle with myself (my existence, importance, appearance, etc.) and god. =sigh= i am so sick @ heart for who and what i am, and the lives that are affected by that. (pause) i can see myself heading off into this exhausting, never-ending analysis of my issues and all that happy nonsense… but i do that all the time, every day, and it’s all i’ve done in the past, every day, and in this journal, every page… and how come i can’t reach a conclusion? perhaps i’m just scared, because i know the answer and don’t want to face it. but no, not more analysis, okay? i’m sick of it. karla is sick. of everything. and things will remain that way. for whatever reason. i still don’t understand. never will. still hate myself and wish i were dead, but it’s not that simple. ohmigod, how i wish i could just disappear. what’s the point, what’s the point?
11.06.05 – wow, i thought i had written in this thing more recently, but i guess not. i know i always say it, but how time flies. sometimes you think you won’t make it through the day, the week… but then a week becomes a month, and a month a few months, and before you know it, another year has gone by. and yet i still feel pretty much the same, maybe worse for the wear, but definitely not wiser… i am very unhappy and discontent at this stage in my life… i guess i’m doomed to forever feel this way. what a fucking waste… i don’t know how to be happy – “joyful” – while enduring these negative things… ironically, one of the only things that seems to be going well these days is my job…
the final page actually isn’t at the end up the book, since i started pasting postcards and other various items from the back of the journal. it will feel odd writing in this for the last time, and it will take a while and some searching before i purchase another paper journal.
charlene and her boyfriend, jon, announced recently that they [finally!] got engaged, and since they’ll be having a little shindig at their providence apt. before heading off to cali (for good??), she was on my mind, and i thought it would be neat reminding her of her gift ten years ago, and letting her know it’s been put to good use. *grin* (yeah yeah yeah, that was a major run-on sentence.)