My Goals For 2014

Each year people make resolutions for the New Year. This year I am going to give you my goal list. We will see at the end of the year how much of this gets done. Here we go!

Personal goals

To find stable housing – Living where I do is detrimental to not only regaining my physical well being but my sense of self and belonging as well. Being where I am stinks, but it sure beats the alternative of being where I was clearly not wanted and not cared about.

To regain my health – Being hit by a car will teach you a few things. The first thing you will learn is what matters and what doesn’t. The next thing you will learn is that you need new coping mechanisms to survive. This can be easier said than done. My biggest goal is to live within my limits while continuing to get better.

To not live in fear – The past year has been one tough lesson after another. Several relationships have fallen by the wayside. My biggest goal is to not be afraid to live, love and laugh this year. I am terrified of being wrong yet again and being hurt in the process. I could lock away all of my feelings and never hurt again but what would I learn then? This is my big challenge this year. To learn to live, love and laugh without any hope of reciprocation.

Professional goals

Daily writing - This year, my goal is to continue my fiction writing. This means doing what needs to be done to accomplish this. One way or another, I will have a complete fictional work done by the time it is my birthday. August may seem far away, but I need a deadline if I ever hope to meet my goal of being a published author.

Greater commitment to social networks – For the past few years, I have not had the same presence online that I once did. My goal for this year is to change that. Bit by bit, I will regain my online presence. My Facebook will be more about close friends while my Twitter and Google+ will be about my writing. I will also get on LinkedIn again and a few other networks.

I will build a safety net – A few years ago, I lost touch with folks who could help push me along and hold me accountable. This needs to change. My goal for this year is to rebuild relationships where I can learn. Doing things by myself is great, but so is knowing when I need help.

Those are my main goals for 2014. Above all else, my main goal is to be myself and to learn that being me doesn’t suck.

What about you? Do you have goals for 2014?

A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

Let’s face facts – at one time in our lives, we have all been fooled by someone. To be fair, those who fool us may not even realize how many lies they are telling. Some people are incapable of telling the truth no matter how easy it may be.

There are other people who simply are born with no morals at all. They care very little about who they hurt as long as their needs are being met. It matters not what you have, or how pretty or ugly a person might be. To these individuals, all people are is a simple means to an end. All they want is someone to make their ego happy. All that is needed is your constant attention and validation. Love has nothing at all to do with this.

This person is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. At first they pretend to love you. This is an act. Essentially, you have been cast as their romantic lead, their foil, or even their sidekick who simply does the other person’s bidding. Fall into this trap and risk losing not only yourself, but your moral compass, your sense of ethics and your self-worth.

The trouble is simple – these people tell us exactly what we long to hear. Perhaps they are telling us words we have not heard in years. Everything seems wonderful when we are with them. They think every single thing we do is perfect. This lasts a few months. Then reality sets in. The wolf has us right where they want us. When we feel secure and protected, then it is too late.

That cute sheep transforms into a wolf right before our eyes. At first we are blind to it. Then little things become bigger things. Disagreements become power driven fights. Yelling becomes the rule rather than the exception. Unrealistic demands get made on an almost daily basis. The person who has been fooled wonders what exactly they did wrong. Many times by now, that person is too ashamed to go to family or friends for help. Who would believe them? Their other half seems so perfect in every way.

Are they? Or were they out for themselves the whole time?

Remember folks, when you hear the phrase “I would not use you.” or “I just need my space.” or my personal favorite line of shit “I miss you.” Run like hell! Do not look back. Please do not look back. If you do, I bet you that you will not see a sheep.

What you will see is a wolf.

The Opposite Of Love

The worst part about confronting someone who does not love you as much as you love them is simple – no matter what you do it is going to hurt. There may be no worse feeling in the world than loving someone who does not love you back. This past weekend, I went to see someone who I still loved to say goodbye to him. To say I was treated with indifference would be an understatement. Thinking back, it would have been easier if emotion of any type would have been displayed. Even anger would have been better than indifference.

They say the opposite of love is not hatred, it is indifference.

Thinking back on this relationship, I realized that all I wanted was to be loved. For that simple need, I was willing to go to the ends of the earth humiliating myself. There was no price too high for me. The desire to feel accepted outweighed my own inner voice and common sense. I knew things were wrong, yet I refused to see things in the cold light of day. Denial became a way of life for me. It became easier to make excuses than to confront him about how poorly he was treating me. Crying myself to sleep became the norm and not the exception. Not only were my tears resented, I was made to feel worse because of them.

Yet I wanted this person to love me. Why was that exactly?

This is a tough question to answer. The main reason is of course because I felt unworthy of love. I always wanted a happy home life and have never had one. There is a part of me that has been so badly damaged that is afraid to love someone for the right reasons. Shameful as it may sound, there is a huge part of me that fears love terribly. This latest episode has taught me once again that love is something to fear, not embrace. The only positive that can be drawn from the whole situation is the knowledge that I do deserve better than what I was given.

I will not accept anything less ever again.

What about you? Have you ever loved the wrong person?

No More Blaming Myself

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

This is nonsense. A normal functioning, happy relationship thrives on both parties freely admitting fault when something goes awry. The major problems often come when others will not only not admit their flaws, but attempt to blame others for the things they do. There are many times I have to look at something a few times before realizing how wrong I was.

When I realize the fault is mine I can do something. I can change my behavior or attitude. I also may start looking at things in a different light. I know for a fact I cannot be right about everything try as I may. I can however, treat myself with respect and walk away from anyone who is not right for me. There will always be those instances where we do not realize at first that a person is not right for us. Once we are able to see clearly, it is up to us to make a change. It is our fault if we choose to accept poor treatment from someone. That is on us, not on them. The person doing harm thinks only of themselves. Trust me, they are not thinking about you or how much this hurts you. All they care about is what they want.

The days of blaming myself for someone else’s poor behavior are over. The buck stops here. No more blaming myself. There are things that are my fault and other things that are not. Learning the difference and knowing when to cut ties with a toxic person is the difference many times between happiness and misery. The problem is that I always seemed to blame myself even for things that were not my fault. Those days have got to end. No more blaming myself for things I did not do. This is actually tough for me. It is so much easier for me to take the blame than stand up for myself.

Many times I have made excuses for poor treatment feeling that I deserved to be treated poorly. These days are over. Time and time again, it has come to my attention that not only am I not wrong, I am not to blame. The time has come to stop allowing others to walk all over me. No more blaming myself for someone else’s faults. It is now time to let others be accountable for the harm they cause. If that means removing them from my life then so be it.

What about you? Have you been guilty of blaming yourself for things that were not your fault?

This Is Bullshit!

Many of us deal with more bullshit in a day than we really need to. For many of us, we deal with personal problems, health issues, relationship troubles or all three. How we deal with these things is up to us of course.

There are always some issues that can be worked on. For myself, I can learn to speak up faster when I encounter total bullshit. I can make excuses for poor behavior all I want, but when it comes down to brass tacks, who am I kidding me or you?

If I want to be treated properly, I have to make myself my priority. This does not mean treating others poorly. In fact, it means the opposite. It means that I respect myself enough to not allow anyone to treat me with anything less than respect. There are many people who do not deserve to be treated badly who think this is all they deserve. They think they would rather be in a shitty relationship than be alone.

This is bullshit!

When you are sitting around waiting for someone to reply to your messages, do you make excuses for them, or do you get pissed off after a while?

I used to be one of those folks who kept saying “Oh they are just really busy.” The person in question may or may not be doing anything wrong, but how does it make you feel to be ignored? Do you like that? Does it hurt when you send someone a message and you hear nothing? Not even “Fuck you” as a reply so you could know where you stand?

Most people hate being ignored or feeling unimportant. The worst thing someone can do to me is pretend I do not exist. That hurts even worse than being angry at me. I can at least fix the problem if I know what caused it. Life is about learning to relate to one another even in hard situations. Even when you are tired and worked all day. Is it too much to ask to have someone show you that you matter to them?

Of course not. This is what we do when we love someone. We treat them how we want to be treated, with kindness and respect.

What if we are not being treated that way? What if we haven’t done anything wrong but are constantly ignored?

That my friend, is bullshit!

What do you say? How much bullshit do you put up with?

My Christmas Wish

This time of year is hard for many folks. When I was a kid, I used to write letters to Santa asking for new Barbie dolls and more books. As I got older I wanted albums. Now as a grown woman, all I want for Christmas is to be happy. That is really all I want.

My biggest wish in life has always been to be successful and to have a happy home life. On many years, it seems I get one but not the other. If I have learned nothing else this past year, I have learned that love is the one thing I cannot do without. Romantic love is great. Without it, life loses color and meaning. There are other types of love that are just as important to me. There is the love I have for my boy. I miss him more and more each day. Some nights I go to bed and cry because I miss him with every fiber of my being. There is the love I have for my friends.

My friends have kept me sane. When you get hit by a car and your world flips upside down, you will find out who truly has your back. Sadly enough, you will also find out who never gave a shit about you. Those situations cut both ways. There is no getting around that.

Last year was the worst Christmas ever. I cooked food that no one ate. There were no gifts, and worst of all, there was no happiness. All I could do was wish the day was over.

Christmas is not about getting things from people. It is about spending time with those who matter. Last year, I got no visits. I spent the holiday alone with a highly abusive person. No wonder Christmas sucked. There was no tree, no cookies, nothing. All I could do was wish I was in Jersey with my boy. I felt utterly alone.

This year, all I want for Christmas is simple – I want to know I am loved. I don’t want to spend the holiday walking on eggshells.

What can someone do if they don’t have a ton of money? Simple. Visit a friend. Let them know you care. Take them out even for just a few hours so they don’t have to be alone. Do something unexpected for someone. Trust me, the good you do will come back to you tenfold.

The New Normal

This morning I had to sit and tell a psychologist all of my problems. My anger, irritability, depression, insomnia, all of it. I had to tell her that I have never been this way before. Sure, I went to a therapist when my beloved dad passed away, but he dealt with grief issues. I have never needed to take anything to help my mood – ever. Part of me feels like a failure for having to do so mow at age 45. There is a larger part of me that knows this condition is not here to stay, it is simply part of “the new normal” that I have to learn to adapt to.

Being hit by a car ruined my life in many ways. In other ways, it has forced me to take stock of myself. If there was a choice, I never would have been hit in the first place. Going to doctor after doctor, rehashing my history time after time is inconvenient at best, aggravating at worst. The really difficult part is that I have no short term memory. Things that do not get written down do not happen. Texting me something works only about half the time. I have come to realize that I have to carry a notepad and pen with me at all times.

I have also learned that my fuse is now non-existent. I have no filter now. This is part of having post concussive syndrome a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

So, part of my new normal is knowing what I can deal with and what I cannot. Being honest with doctors and all the other specialists that I see helps. What also helps is that they tell me that what I am going through is normal. There are ways of coping. I am starting to learn them.

One of my biggest coping techniques is to go for walks when I get angry. The other one is to read. Getting back to my blog is my other big outlet. I only have a few friends, so socializing is not always an option. The hardest part about getting to my new state of normal is accepting the new me. I keep remembering a time when I could do several things at once, when I remembered everything I was told and could get tons done without breaking a sweat.

Those days are over.

When I get down about this, I have to remember that one of the doctors told me that accident could have been fatal. I cannot afford another blow to the head because of my fractured skull. Life is precious. Each day that I get up, I have to thank the universe I am still here adjusting to the “new normal.”

I Got 99 Problems And Some Of Them Are Dumb

This past week the internet was bombarded with posts about 99 Things We Love. The challenge was to type out 99 things you love in ten minutes. I tried this twice failing miserably both times. That is when it dawned on me. I have more fun being sarcastic. We all know people who are overly privileged who have never had to work a day in their life. We have all heard them complain and wanted to tell them to shut the hell up! So I had a thought about posting 99 Problems (some of them are dumb, you will see)

1. I hate having to take a shower in the winter because the bathroom is cold
2. I have a problem with the lack of Starbucks around here. Where else can I hear someone take five minutes to order a latte?
3. I need a free phone because I have no money, yet I see folks on welfare with smartphones. That’s dumb.
4. I wish I could find a way to smell again.
5. The store stopped their 6-8 am coffee deal. Where the hell am I going to get coffee for only 42 cents now?
6. I don’t like sleeping alone, yet I hate people who hog the bed and steal my covers
7. I want to be successful, but people usually don’t give jobs to people with major health problems
8. I have a sign over my head. It says “please tell me it is cold outside” because I obviously don’t have any idea it is cold out.
9. I like to read and I hate when I run out of reading material on a Sunday because then the library is closed.
10. I think folks who confuse Atheists and Satanists are stupid. How many times must I tell folks that there is a huge difference between the two?
11. I hate that people think I am cute only because I am short.
12. I hate being called “midget” I am not a midget. I am four feet ten inches. That makes me neither a midget or a dwarf. It makes me short.
13. I hate that my blog gets so many spam comments
14. I hate being lonely.
15. I hate knowing there are perfectly healthy people out there living off the U.S. while folks like me can barely survive.
16. I hate hearing people order fancy coffee drinks – you do know you sound stupid right?
17. I hate that the biggest person possible always sits next to me on the bus. Why is that? I bet I have another sign over my head.
18. I hate that some folks might take this seriously. If you are one of those people you need help.
19. I hate dealing with bureaucrats. Enough said.
20. I hate when I order a Whopper with cheese and ask for no onions and I get onions.
21. I hate that people spend more time texting than actually talking
22. I hate people who want to call me “Nance” after knowing me five minutes. My name is Nancy dammit!
23. I hate people who push and shove. One day, I will trip someone who does that.
24. I hate dirty old men. They make my skin crawl.
25. I hate women who flirt with my man and pretend to be my friend.
26. I hate when I buy a soda, open it have some and then forget about it. Then it is flat and nasty. Ewwww…
27. I hate that we have a huge homeless population here in the US that no one is doing much about
28. I hate republicans who want to cut benefits to those who truly need them
29. I hate that nail polish chips
30. I hate that I run out of instant coffee. Coffee is life.
31. Why must nail polish chip?
32. Speaking of chips, I like potato chips, but I hate that I want to eat so many of them.
33. I hate feeling the way I do
34. I hate that folks who are mean get ahead more often than those who are not mean.
35. I hate peas
36. I hate peas and carrots together, but I love carrots. Is that weird?
37. I hate mothers who yell at their kids for no reason
38. I hate when I feel stupid
39. I hate crying when I have no tissues. Then I have to wipe my nose on my sleeve. That’s gross.
40. I hate men who fart and burp right in front of me
41. I hate people who have great lives telling me how bad and lousy their life is. Wanna trade? I bet you don’t!

Okay, I said I was going to do 99, but you get the idea. This post is really all about perspective. Think about it. Is your life really that bad? I bet you have it better than you realize.

Here is the song that inspired the post. Enjoy it.

The Unobtainable Ideal

“I look fat in these pants” a woman in her late thirties announced to me yesterday. For the record, the pants she had on did not make her look fat. I asked her why she felt she was fat and her answer was not surprising. She told me she feels fat because her upper thighs touch when she stands still. “Models legs don’t do that.” She complained to me.

This is what Photoshop and fashion models are doing to society – destroying one woman at a time until we all think the height of beauty is being anorexic.

There was a time when women like Marilyn Monroe were considered the ideal. What is insane to me is that she would be considered a plus size model by today’s standards. This is appalling. Somehow we have got to do a better job of showing real people modeling fashions. Failing that, magazines need to be more accountable. Using Photoshop to make a woman unrecognizable via removing ribs, or even making something normal like upper thighs touching seem abnormal is the problem.

When are we as a society going to say “Enough! I do not want to live up to an unobtainable ideal!” Each day, I overhear women of all ages bemoaning their bodies because they see some celebrity who has access to the best clothes, lighting and makeup. We have allowed the media to control how we feel about our bodies and it is a shame. That is not to say all celebrities have it easy. Jessica Simpson got torn to shreds in the press for not losing weight fast enough.

The pressure on celebrities and on normal women to always be beautiful is incredible. So many women walk around having unrealistic expectations of what they should look like. I am fairly comfortable with my looks. I am forty five years old and have been through plenty. I am in pretty decent shape, but highly doubt any modeling agents will come knocking on my door. It has taken me a long time to like myself enough to not care about these magazines and their overly airbrushed images.

What would really be great would be more accountability. More realism, less bullshit. The best thing magazines could do for women is simple – stop putting women with imperfections down. Let us embrace ourselves as we are. No plastic surgery required.

Gratitude. Not Just For Thanksgiving

In the US, Thanksgiving was yesterday. For many others it was simply another day that ended in “y.” I have often wondered why it is that we pick one day to place an emphasis on gratitude. Shouldn’t that be something to strive for each day, not just the last Thursday in November? To that end, I am doing another list. Below is a list of things that I am grateful for every single day. There are also items on this list that I once took for granted. Almost dying will get you to see things quite differently.

Things I am grateful for

Being alive. This may seem simple, but when you get hit by a car and wind up with a fractured skull, you realize life is truly precious.
My son. Even though he is not in my life, not a day goes by that I do not miss him.
Being held. Yeah, something about being held always calms me down.
Laughing with friends. There is no better cure for anything that ails you. #thatisall
Being in love with someone who loves you back
Watching a baseball game. To me that is so much fun. I love going to Yankee Stadium. I also want to go to other ball parks around the country.
Eating a meal I cooked. I love to cook.
Looking someone in the eye because I am telling the truth
Strong coffee
Having some really good doctors and physical therapists who sugarcoat nothing.
My lawyer and his staff who are patient with me even when I am not all that nice.
My friends who say the word “wicked” all the time. Must be a New England thing. I will never get it.
Being from Jersey. It makes me automatically cool.
Having some quiet in the morning when I can have coffee and a cigarette without someone bugging me
Being random and silly.
Holding hands
Being hugged and kissed
Looking out at the ocean and feeling the breeze on my face
The art of writing.
Reading a story so well written I am reluctant to put it down.
The memories of my father
Writing something that touches someone else. That is the greatest compliment of all.
Having my limbs and most of my senses. I know many folks have it worse than I do.
The realization that there is so much I still can do.
Knowing that my first instinct is often right.
Knowing that above all else, love really is the answer.

So there it is. A list of things I am grateful for. I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season.

What are you grateful for?