Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Love -

Tom T. Hall sings a sweet song where he lists things he loves. It includes things like puppies and bourbon and rain and squirrels and more eloquently written sentences then anything you are about to read.  This is going to sound totally dumb, but I think its a super Tired Girl activity to keep a running list of things we love.  
I also love cardigans - not the sexiest
of  wardrobe pieces - but whatever - this one is old from J.Crew

The thing on the list are not the big things in life -  I wouldn't add my family to this list or my health  - this is just for the extra loves. 

It's fun when you come across something you love and since you are conscious of it, it's a happy and easy way to have a "moment," like a private reunion between you and something you love. An invisible tip of the hat of appreciation.  It really sounds stupid, but its a teeny way to enjoy the world  without any energy.

The list is not static - items can come and go.

I love dogs.
I love humans that love animals.
I love my doctor.
I love it when people keep the lights on their Christmas tree on during the day.
I love macaroni and cheese.
I love when people say "I know! Right?"
I love beautiful fabric.
I love Paris.
I love the commercial where James Earl Jones and Malcom McDowell use text lingo like "Amazeballs" and "Toats McGoats.  

Here it is - if you would rather watch 30 seconds of super clever writing than do anything else :

I wouldn't mind trying out
the life that goes with this cardigan.

That is just the beginning of my list.

I highly recommend you keep a running list of your loves, in your head atleast. In this new year add some things to your "I Love" list and enjoy the moment when you come across one of your loves. 

Happy New Year Tired Girls. 

One last thing - I unfortunately have the "I don't like" list also - I try not to be conscious of it, but it's there anyway. I don't like when people wave me on in a four-way stop when it's MY turn - they aren't doing me a favor by LETTING me go when it's my turn to go!!  That list is more complicated and eye-roll inducing, so I concentrate on the happier one.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to be good at grief -

Being good at helping other people grieve is, unfortunately, an important skill to have. 
When we witness friends and loved ones suffering or grieving we want to act and often we don't know what to do. The fear of doing the wrong thing in terrible situations is enough to cripple some of us from doing anything. 

I have several friends that have graciously shared their opinions about what helped them when they experienced incredible loss and trauma and I have combined it with my opinions as well.

For the record “grief” is anything that makes a loved one suffer. We all know it when we see it and feel it. We all know the hierarchy of grief – what is the worst compared to something not as bad. Grief is grief though, no matter how the world categorizes certain types of loss.

1) Act quickly – Our own sadness and our uncertainty sometimes gives us pause. A phone call and voicemail is not recommended. Chances are they don’t want to “talk.”  An immediate text, email, facebook or note in the mail is perfect.  Going to their home is important too and I’ll talk about that in number 3.

I once waited two days before going to a friend’s house when her daughter was killed in a car accident.  That felt soon to me, because I didn’t want to “intrude,” and it wasn’t soon enough.  Immediate is best.

2) Do not tell them anything, except:
- how much you love them,
-are thinking of them
-and are so upset for them.

I think things go wrong when people are “told” things – the person/animal is better off, not suffering, God has a plan, you will get over this, it will be okay, it’s not fair, they are with God now, you deserve better, it’s not your fault, etc.  Less is more. Their religion and how they choose to categorize the loss is up to them and maybe you at a later time depending on your relationship.

The goal now is to comfort them immediately, not define the loss. No matter anything about the loss – you are sorry, you love them, and you are here for them.  Period.

3) Go and see them if possible. 

- Go as soon as possible – even if it is to stop by their house on your way home, give them a hug and tell them you will be back in two days to help. Or stop by, give them a hug and leave. See them immediately if possible and physically hug them.

When we found out we were not going to be able to adopt the baby we had waited 8 months for, we were in shock.  A dear friend of mine came over to our house and practically walked in. She hugged me and wanted to know every detail. If she had called and asked if she could come over or just told me she was on her way I would have said “No, please don’t come.” I felt a mess and didn’t feel like visiting.  But having her just do it felt so good.  I had several do this when Ralph died as well, and it is weird to me how comforting it was to have people in my home. 

- Bring something and not food. I learned this from my friends who lost children.  They didn’t want to eat and there was so much food in the house.  I was told that everyday items were more help (which is our goal). Toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, Ziploc bags, etc. 

-Do something, don’t ask – If there is a key person at the house that is doing a lot, ask them, otherwise, feel free to wipe down the counters, take out the trash, pet and play with the pets. Hand them a drink, make sure they are sitting down when talking to other visitors, answer the door, etc.

If you don’t feel close enough to some one, then just go to the house, hug them, tell them how sorry you are, tell them you will check on them in a couple of days and then leave.

If going to see them is not feasible then mailing a note**/card/flowers/gift/something is nice. None of it will bring someone back or make cancer go away, but it could never hurt to make someone feel loved - in my opinion.

4). Follow up.  Checking on them each week or a few times a month, or a year, or every day, etc - depending on the trauma - is thoughtful. It acknowledges the pain and gives them a chance to talk if they wish.  If it is too painful they will say that too and you can move on easily and talk about other things - acknowledging  something significant and also a distraction are, in my opinion, two very helpful things for people to do. 

I typically deal with most things in my life with humor, but sometimes there is simply no place for jokes or lightening the mood. I hate those places!

** Writing a note can be REALLY HARD!!  Sometimes I just stare at my blank note card. I believe the best thing to say in a note is what I talk about in number 2. Don't say anything except that you love them and you are sorry and you are thinking of them and you are there for them. Death/Cancer/Loss/Divorce/Anything terrible - no matter what - just tell someone you are thinking of them.

What in the hey does this have to do with being a Tired Girl??  I don't know.  I just know that I have needed this skill a lot in the last few years and thought other people may too, so I saved up some energy, did some research and made these Cliff's Notes on how we can help friends and loved ones.  

Anyone have anything to add about this?

P.S.  Are you still reading this? The absolute worst thing to do is nothing. Our discomfort in the face of something terrible needs to be gotten over for the other person's sake.  And on the flip side we don't know exactly what hurts people.  I'd rather make too big of a deal of a break-up or the loss of a hamster than to neglect the hearts of people I care about.   

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Outfits that are too nice, but really aren't -

I often over think what clothes to put on each day. Yes, with all the problems in the world and decisions to be made about my career, my health and my fertility and I get stumped on which top to throw on to go to the store.  I did discuss one of my most lazy clothes plans here:  "Jeans make an outfit." 

When I taught school I was pretty good at it. I often started with my shoes to decide how comfortable I felt like being that day (eventually the answer every day was VERY, SERIOUSLY comfortable - I don't even care if I look like a monster) and as I was on my feet a lot as a teacher I liked to vary my shoes so I didn't turn in to a hump back or something that feels like an urban legend, but just in case I wanted to avoid. I am already off track. 

So when I taught school my wardrobe was mostly easy: 1) School clothes. 2) At home clothes. 3)  And being-out-in-public-with-adults-that-won’t- sneeze-on-you clothes (those are the really special items). 

Now that I work from home I strangely over-think the ol' wardrobe.  Though I like to share that I wear my pj's every day I actually don't wear them all day every day (except for lots of times when I  do – and then I yell down to my husband when he gets home "No Judgment - I am still in my pj's!"  

If I admit that I know it is wrong, then there is less chance there will be an intervention. And I am off track again. 

So when I put on actual clothes I make the mistake of SAVING my "good clothes" for some other imaginary event. Or I think “well it's 3pm - I am running errands and then to Publix and then I will just work some more when I get home and make dinner and hang out and go to bed, so I should wear some B team item of clothing.”  I stand in my closet and judge my clothes to see who is nice enough to go in public, but not nice enough to be wasted for some other occasion.  Eventually some "I like, but I don't love it" type top is chosen and I cruise around town in it with my jeans and feel the teeniest bit frumpy, but okay.

I have decided this is totally dumb and I am going to stop doing it. Life is too short or too long to wear clothes that make us feel like butt. 

So my plan: I will slowly and systematically eliminate the clothing that is not bad, but is not that great.  If I only have nice choices then I can only look nice, despite my best efforts to sabotage myself. I am not yet ready however to eliminate some of my less attractive pj's. A shirt with a hole and a stain and two sizes too big still has value to me. AND I am off track again. 

This shirt was initially deemed too nice,
because I am crazy. On a side note I am sorry
I stink at photo taking.
I have a good cause to donate my clothes to and so I don't feel bad - it's a great cycle of life.  A shirt that is perfectly fine and makes me feel 83 years old will be loved by someone else and will raise money for a good cause or whatever.  Sometimes I feel like I practically have to close my eyes to drop clothes in the give-away bag or else I will grab them out and think things like "well, sometimes it's nice to have a shirt that is way too small... oh wait no it's not - give it away!!"  Agh!

I have several pairs of legitimately good jeans that I wear almost every day - and I love them and they fit great and I don't think twice about pulling them on every day and not saving them and some day when they wear out, there will be a new style or my toosh will be a different shape or whatever, and I will buy NEW jeans.  I am trying to have this same feeling with tops and other items. 

So I am getting drastic with my closet, because I know my tendency to go toward the cheap and ill-fitting top, so if I no longer own that top I won't be able to wear it.  

As a Tired Girl I work to make my day and life run as smoothly as possible.  As you know - one of my favorite quotes - "When you look good you feel good, and when you fell good you do good," I wrote about that theory here : "If you look good."

 Eliminating the items that get in my way and I don't love makes this Tired Girl less tired believe it or not. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Robbed -

While visiting a dear friend in Atlanta this fall, I was robbed.  I made the poor choice to leave my purse in the back seat of her car while we stepped away for a few minutes.  In that time the jerks smashed her car window, swiped my purse and started the process of trying to make some transactions.  While my friend smartly called the cops (the police report helped me get on the plane), all I could do was stand there, numb, and think about how I was going to get on the plane in an hour to go home. I momentarily forgot that my whole identity was in that purse, and when I finally got practical I called my husband and he had all my cards, etc. shutdown in a matter of seconds. Go Joe!!

I made it on the plane after lots of stops through TSA. And was humbled by the fact that I didn't have any chapstick or even a dollar to my name to buy a water.  It was a real lesson to have NOTHING for a few minutes - not a real study, or view at how others truly live, but still thought-provoking to me.  

this happened - 

ANYWAY, my point in writing this is not to look for sympathy as it was my own dumb move to leave my purse in her car, but to share one small  Tired Girl tip. 

Make a copy - right now- of the front and back of your drivers license.  Do it.  Having a copy of  both sides of your license will enable you to order a new license online (at least in Florida) and not go through all the steps of having to obtain a new one.  You can also use the copy when the original is lost (or brutally ripped from your innocence).  Just to show who you are - just in case. You could also take a photo of the front and back and email the photos to yourself and then erase the photo off your phone. 

Without an ID or any credit/debit cards you are crazy screwed though. And as a Tired Girl the last thing I was interested in (while still traumatized) was making my daily routine infinitely more complicated with stops at every federal agency.  I was super effected by the vulnerability I felt after this criminal act.  I needed more time to plan my future agoraphobic lifetsyle and less time spent re-creating my identity.  The process to get a new license (if I couldn't have just ordered a new one) would require several different forms of ID - one of which is a Social Security card - which by bum luck I had just put in my wallet for another reason and not removed when I went to Atlanta. So I didn't even have that on my side. Passport was expired, etc. - you see where this was going. 

I won't bore you with the details of the tribulations of losing your whole wallet, but as you can guess it is no picnic.  I did have the presence of mind to call my doctors office to see if they had a copy of my ID in my file.  They did and I was on my way to simply re-ordering a new ID and then everything could follow easily. As soon as I got my new card I made a copy of the front and back as well as my husband's and several other cards as well.

A few months later I still have to remind myself that it was just "stuff" that I lost - but it was stuff I liked and valued and some of it is irreplaceable.  My poor friend's window part was more complicated then you would have thought as well and she drove around windowless for two weeks.  The two people that broke her window and stole my purse were arrested and in are still in jail as they had prior issues.  So what a lot of energy wasted for everyone. 

Oh one last teeny thing - I also went to buy new face powder and lipgloss that was lost with my purse and I had no idea what those two perfect colors were. Sand 2 and Beige 1 and Glimmer Glint and Bubble Blitz look surprisingly similar in the florescent lights of the store.  So, some day if you are stuck in traffic, or waiting in line or avoiding your work responsibilities then make a note of the items in your purse and their colors, etc.  And also don't put your purse in the back seat of a car and also just don't leave your house.

Anyone else have a happy tip after important items are stolen?   

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Really dumb -

This is incredibly dumb and the Katherine Grahams, Hilary Clintons, and Sally Rides of the world are disappointed in me right now. 

But, anyway. I pull the labels off everything I can, to make them look prettier. If toothpaste would cooperate I would do that too. It makes me less tired to be surrounded by beauty.  Some things will never be beautiful, but I do what I can.

yes, I photographed this.

Also dumb is this meme, but I like it: 

Judging my own self  - 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...