another view of the tatoosh range

face off

i’ve had a bad habit in my life of letting my bring-me-down emotions, my dirty dozen, control my life. fear would breed fear which would breed more fearand and so on. anxiety would breed to more anxiety which would lead to even more anxiety and so on. anger would breed mor anger which would breed to even more anger on so on. this pattern, would entrap me and i would seemingly get caught in an inescapable vortex, spiraling out of control heading for a nearly inevitable visit with depression.

a couple of months ago, i found myself swimming in anxiety, an 8 out of 10. I simply noted how anxious I felt. I stopped and spent 15-30 seconds with my anxiety, not giving it any more power. i went forward with my day. a few minutes later, i noticed the anxiety had left. cool! another time since, i left my anxiety behind by acknowledging the anxiety, spending a few seconds with it, not giving it any more power, and moving on.

You might remember my brush with my “friend” from a few weeks ago. i did the unthinkable act of expressing anger to a friend. that would have been unthinkable, just a short while ago. they ended walking out on me. i convinced myself i had done nothing wrong, which is true since all i did was express an emotion, a perfectly legal and legitimate act to take. i’m not giving the situation many spare cycles; they walked out on me. they haven’t tried to contact me btw. unfortunately, i don’t think i’ll hear from them ever again. their loss.

a couple weeks ago, i was dealing with one of those emotional dropouts, you know, when every seems to be going well them boom! the bottom drops out. Where the hell did that come from? while doing a brainstorm with a friend on how i could handle something like that, I doubted any good would come of it. One of my suggestions was to just be with the drop, not giving any more power. I moved on from what seemed be a lame exercise.

later that day, it finally dawned on me the parallels between how I handle anxiety and how i proposed to handle the emotional drop outs. because of the discovery, maybe the brainstorm exercise wasn’t so lame after all. a few minutes later, another revelation happened. Why can’t this method be used with my dirty dozen; anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, frustration, feeling judged, feeling less, abandoned, lonely, criticized, rejected, and stressed? would that be a dream? yes it would. if it would get an upper hand on my dirty dozen, it’s worth the old college try.

last night, i had another one of those most enjoyable emotion dropouts. i tried my new method. i acknowledged i dropped out, had a few moments with it and tried to move on. Is mostly worked, not as well as my try with anxiety, but i still felt i recovered more quickly. and after going through the process, i felt less controlled by the dropout. i went to bed hoping to held by Mary to finish my recovery. she laid there in sound asleep. i didn’t get my hold, my recovery completed before falling to sleep, though.

today, i went cross country skiing for the first time this year. even though I had skied for over 25 years, today i just couldn’t stay over my skis. after brutal wipeouts, and, god forbid, taking my skis off do go down a couple of hills, i had myself convinced that i had skied the last time for the year. i noticed how frustrated i was. i acknowledged i was frustrated, spent a moment or two with it and moved on. the energy quickly dissipated and i went on with my day. The topper? by the end of the day, i actually had a fun and good time. the frustration which would have sunk my day many times before, became barely a blip on the screen.

maybe there is something to, for lack of a better term, not fighting my dirty dozen. when they show, i treat them like the obnoxious guest at a cocktail party. i’ll give ’em a nod from afar, and move on to people i’d rather talk to. in the analogy, that will make for a much more pleasant cocktail party and for life, a little less tumultuous journey. the would be a good thing.

hang in there…a little tree hangs on to a rock

changing the definition of late

i hate dentistry, brought on by 3 out of 4 bad dentist. isn’t the dentyne ad? 3 or 4 dentist recommend dentyne for their patients who chew gum. if not, it’s some where close but reversed. for that reason, it has been about 20 years since i stepped in a dentist office. tomorrow is root canal time. i’ve had one root canal done by the 1 out of 4 dentists who actually knew how to practice dentistry. supposedly i have a good dentist tomorrow. we’ll see. i’m still not looking forward to it.

Mary, knowing of my dental anxiety, announced she is taking the day off tomorrow in support of me. do you think i could put her in the chair instead of me? just asking. that would be great support. wouldn’t improve my mouth, though.

last week, with her statement of support, also made the gleeful declaration, “since i don’t have to go in early i can stay up late! which brings us to tonight.

Mary said she was a little bit tired. that might of been a bit of an under statement. her eyes closed for good at quarter to eight. even though sherlock has been up and down a few times moving between the couch and the floor, there still is no movement.

so, by the power in vested in me by no one in particular, since Mary gleefully wanted to stay up late, and since she was asleep by quarter to eight, i officially change the definition of late to quarter to eight. please adjust your clocks accordingly.

thank you.

note: 3 out of 4 people who appreciate off kilter humor will appreciate this post for the humor that it is. 

clouds and sunlight

coming to terms with the thing that imprison me

have you ever noticed the spinning cycles of depression which seem to be there whether in cycle or not? I surely have.

sadness leads to sadness which leads to even more sadness. sadness seems to become an all encompassing self-fulfilling struggle.

fear leads to fear which leads to even more fear. fear seems to become an all encompassing self-fulfilling struggle.
Continue reading

hang in there…a little tree hangs on to a rock

roaring one little roar at a time

last week, i developed the idea of roaring or standing up for one selves. people who didn’t learn to roar, like me, sometimes run into troubles standing up for themselves in adulthood. after these discoveries, i decided i was going to locate my roar, to stand up for myself. here’s a couple of my roars.

Continue reading

fall on the way to kendall catwalk

learning to roar

the lion don’t sleep tonight
and if you pull her tail she roars
ya say, “that ain’t fair”
ya say, “that ain’t right”
ya know what i say, “up yours!”

audrey ii little shop of horrors

imagei talked to a mom friend of mine. she has an eight year old daughter getting shunned on the playground. one instance, she wanted to play with a friend. her friend was playing with someone else. the third girl said, no, i’m playing with her. the friend’s daughter walked away alone.

not surprisingly, the daughter struggles with self-esteem. mom asked me what she  could do. (we’re going somewhere with this.) i said the daughter needs to learn to stand on her own. mom asked, “but how?” in that moment, i had an epiphany.

Continue reading

seattle japanese garden panorama

sink…sunk

no, i’m not trying to conjugate a verb…
about a month ago, i notice our under the counter mounted kitchen sink starting to separate from the counter. i figured we’d have a while before things would get serious, so i just let it be. Mary noticed the gap and I told her we’d have to do something about it.

i did some research and under mount sinks. when mounted correctly, there is silicone to fill the gap between the sink and countertop and then clips to hold the sink in place. the thing is many installer, like ours, leave off the clips. then, when 7-10 years go by, it’s way past any warranty and the sink drops.

i woke up to the hopes and expectation to watch the rose parade. instead, i woke to, “stephen, the sink has completely fallen!” I when to check and indeed the sink had completely fallen. well, there goes the rose parade. I had done some research, so I went about the business of remounting the sink. i emptied all the stuff from under the sink and disconnected all the plumbing and freed the sink.

i wondered if maybe the sink got bent in the process of falling. yep, on the long axis it got bent about 5/8 in. holding in the center and pulling up on one end, i got the bend down to 1/8 in. try as i may, i couldn’t get the 1/8 in bend out of the long axis. i didn’t expect any bend in the short axis but i checked anyway. it too had an 1/8 in bend. since there would be no good pivot point on the short axis, there would be no way to bend it back to true. with the bend in both directions of the sink, even after i got it remounted, it would be always pulling away from the bottom of the counter. inventually, the continued pressure of the bend could cause another gap. the sink was toast.another $300 later, i had secured the same model of the sink. i wasn’t going to be like the previous installer, so i went about finding fasteners to physically attach the sink to the bottom of the countertop. a little bit of internet search and i discovered my options and went about finding the clip. on news years day, the existence of those clips turned out to be far less than a dime a dozen. maybe i just checked the wrong source but by the ned of the day, i hadn’t found any clip.

so, at the end of day 1, i have a sink, a hole in my counter were i want the sink to be, no way to physically and properly attach it, with the hope i’ll find it the clips at a local plumbing supply store. in absence of that, i know of a source of clips but i’d like to avoid the hour and half round trip, especially since jimmy has also earned a trip to the vet today.

day 2: after a grand total of 9 trips to different stores, i had secured clips. Mary got home late, so we’ll reattach the sink tomorrow.