Things About Hunger

"What's a little bit of hunger? I can go little bit longer." She fades away… every time I hear the words to this song they resonate so deeply with me. 

I'm a big fan of food. And eating in general. Hunger is one of the least favorite sensations that I have experienced and if you know me, I'm all about sensations.

 But there's hunger, and then there's hunger. And being an expert on the other kind of hunger: emotional hunger, and the ugly neediness that rears its head out of this, I'm here to tell you it's not a good thing.

So here's what I'd say to my daughters, my friends, my sisters – don't go hungry. Feed yourself. Find the fuel that keeps you going. Fill the empty tank up. Fill it with poetry, books, movies, music, friends and anything else that makes you feel full and happy. Don't wait for one man. Or 12 men (you know who you are, Denver). Or a town or a nation or a religion or a movement or a cause. Feed yourself. Don't fade away. Be full. Be happy. Don't go hungry.

We are so keen on pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We're so intent on being tough and strong. Sometimes we forget the beauty of needing things without being needy. Sometimes we forget that we are animals requiring sustenance. And sometimes we forget that this sustenance is within our grasp. We don't need other people. We don't need to wait. We can eat. We can be full, we can be happy, and we can even feed others. It's up to us.

I've spent the majority of my adult life being emotionally hungry. I've let that become neediness. I'm pretty serious about changing that. I'm pretty keen on feeding myself and being someone that's full and happy. I'm pretty intent on being a complete person so that when I love someone, I give them a whole, and not a part or a shadow. Because I am a whole. I'm not a part. I'm me, and I'm 100% percent. And it's up to me to feed myself.

Things That Are Wrong

1. not correct or true.

2. unjust, dishonest, or immoral.

3. in an unsuitable or undesirable manner or direction

Some days are just off.

Some days, even when the sun is shining and really everything is Just Fine, something is wrong. And some days, you just can’t quite put your finger on what it is.

Maybe it’s that tiny bit of a headache left over from the cold you so valiantly fought off. Maybe it’s some weird fringe of guilt from something you forgot to do, like the opposite of deja vu when you feel like you’re repeating actions. Maybe your shoes fit a little oddly today or the seam of your sock is rubbing on your pinky toe. Maybe you feel a deep-seated regret that the last kiss goodbye should've been a little sweeter. Something is off.

I ran home during a break at school, where I am subbing for the history teacher again, and took some ibuprofen to see if that fixes the problem. I also chased one naughty hound off of the couch and yelled at the other one just for good measure, and held a Very Needy Wiener Dog for a minute. The Ibuprofen hasn’t kicked in yet but I don’t think any of that fixed what is wrong.

But I can’t tell if something is not correct or not true. Or if it’s unjust, dishonest or immoral. Or if something is headed in an unsuitable or undesirable manner or direction. But something's still wrong. Maybe I had a bad dream last night that I can’t remember but is still troubling my subconscious.

It's on days like today that every little trouble seems larger than life. Every hangnail is ominously sinister. Every song is suspiciously annoying. Every teenager is definitely out for trouble.

It’s on days like today that I feel like I must owe everyone in the world an apology for something.  I just can’t think what. And then I have this weird hunch that if someone delivered a basket of deep fried cheese curds and a cherry coke to my classroom that all would be right in the world again, which almost makes what’s wrong seem like a hangover…

Things About Learning

I am supposed to be the history teacher today, but as with most days when I am superimposed in a position of quasi-authority, I find myself being taught much more than the ambivalent students under my tutelage. This morning I have learned the effects of freezing rain on ice-covered snowberms. Through a carefully planned exercise in scientific calculation I was able to quantify, with great personal significance, the velocity acceleration factor of slush covered ice on poorly chosen foot placement. Lucky for my makeup endeavors (which are always fabulous, right?) I didn't do a faceplant. But it wasn't a good morning to take out the garbage. That is all.

I also learned how to confiscate multiple cell phones from one student. To be fair, I had some experience in this field already after a three-phone commandeering last fall during health class. Interestingly during the three-phone ordeal, all the devices belonged to one obstinate student who came prepared for the inevitable consequences of her cell phone additction. Today was a little different in that one of the devices I apprehended actually belonged to the perturbed boyfriend of the offending party, as well as her own device. Some kids apparently learn on the same curve as me, which is to say, slowly.

Another fun lesson today was how to play Ping Pong, or more correctly, how to lose efficiently at Ping Pong. It was 'rest day' in the weight lifting class I was subbing for and I guess Ping Pong is restful. I would protest this, since every time I missed the ball (which was every time someone hit it to me) I had to bend over and try to catch the light-as-air, elusive little thing that would just flitter off into a dark corner and make me chase it. So I don't know about the students, but after 726 Ping Pong ball retrievals, I felt like I had accomplished a workout. One of my kids (who shall remain anonymous but whose name begins with Aiden) thought it was funny to see how many ways he could beat me. I recollect left handed, behind his back, hitting with paddle handle only, full-spin-before-hitting and blindfolded before I quit paying attention to how he was dominating me at table tennis.  

Speaking of slow learning, after an enlightening discussion with my eldest child, wherein I was intructed about MY failure to remedy her self inflicted phonelessness, I quickly threw down two impromptu rules of adulting, which I probably need to learn by heart myself. Adult rule #1: You can not depend on other people, ever. It's up to you. And after she explained the pickle she was in that made everything impossible, Adult Rule #2: Pickles happen when you make bad choices and they pile up on each other. I have been known to be in a pickle or seven myself. Truth is, I am pretty bad at observing both rules, but it's never too late to learn, right? 

Someday when I write my book on Poohology, you will all understand what I mean when I say that I am a Tigger and all of my learning issues spring from a certain Accidental Bounce  that gets in the way of absorbing things. I am seeing this more and more clearly in my lack of intuition and the plethora of communication breakdowns I run into in my relationships. The Accidental Bounce tends to get ahead of the Actual Reality, and somehow off the track and wondering Where Everybody Went, when it's really just me that is lost. I would like to say I am learning to recognize the bounce and quell it before it tsunamis over the top of a relationship and leaves me beached and confused, but I am not sure if that is true. It's just so hard to remember that everybody isn't a Tigger, even when I know that I Am The Only One. Learning curve. It's a wide one for me. 


Things About Tomorrow

For a long time, I have refused to look Tomorrow in the eye. Tomorrow has always been a shifty, low-down bully who is bossy and mean. Holding heavy threats of overdue bills, undisciplined children, mountains of laundry and, if the past is any indicator, a collection of dead end streets. Every Tomorrow that I have met has been another day that I put off All Of The Things that I didn't want to do in the Todays that came and went so quickly. Every Tomorrow was the possibility of another Yesterday. Every Tomorrow looked like just another chance to fail.

But something about Tomorrow is changing. It certainly isn't that I am facing fewer responsibilities which I will likely fulfill with the exact same lackluster underachievement that has characterized many of my undertakings. And it isn't that I have made Enormous Plans which are guaranteed to unfold successfully as a reward for all of the defeats of the past. But Tomorrow is suddenly giving me the sneaking suspicion that it might be the Best Day Ever. Eckhart Tolle said that "The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment." And maybe it's the choices that make every Today a little bit better that give every Tomorrow a little more promise.

There's a little piece of my mind that wonders if Tomorrow is looking less like a mean threat because Yesterday has faded in importance for me. Instead of whispering in my ear the possibility of being repeated, Yesterday has become an annoying little tickle in the back of my mind that only surfaces when I have to face the financial or physical reminders. I am beginning to enjoy the taste of freedom from my Yesterdays. But it's the things I do in the Todays that are liberating me. And not having Yesterdays to tell me what tomorrow might be is a little scary, like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane with only the parachute of Today strapped on my back. But it's a good scary. Yesterday has no power over me or my Tomorrows any more, because all of my better Todays stand between them, and that's a little bit exciting. And it's exciting that my Todays are better because I can imagine a Tomorrow that doesn't look a bit like yesterday, but it's full of the Daring Adventures and Passionate Kisses that I have decided to find in it.

I have always had a hard time living in the present moment. Mostly that's because I was angry and hurt by Yesterday and scared of Tomorrow. The more that I work on making Today amazing, the less I care what Yesterday did to me and the more I think Tomorrow might be awesome. Spheres of influence, people! We can't change where we aren't, and we will never be in Yesterday again, and Tomorrow will never come, because Today was Yesterday's Tomorrow. So I will thank Yesterday for the gifts it gave me and the lessons it taught me, and I will make Today the best one that I have had yet, and I will look Tomorrow bravely in the eye with anticipation for the adventures beyond my wildest dreams.

Things About Starting

So here's something new: A GUEST BLOGGER! Wherein I get someone who knows way more things than me and is WAY better about writing these things to share words on my blog. How lucky am I??? Pretty much the luckiest, but all y'all already knew that. This first guest blogger is extra special because she's ACTUALLY WRITTEN BOOKS. In fact, she's something of a hero to me in her discipline and writing practice, in addition to a real job and All Of The Excuses that we all have. If you haven't checked out the Books of the Between, or my personal favorite, Dead Before Dying by Kerry Schafer, or more recently, Closer Home, by alter-ego Kerry Anne King (I am not sure which one of them wears the cape...), now would be an excellent time to do so. I am sharing this post of Kerry's because it resonated deeply with me, and because I like the part about the string.

Here's a little about Kerry from her website (, where you can also find the following post on her own blog, which is worth a follow:

Kerry Anne King lives with her Viking in a little house surrounded by trees, the perfect place for writing books and daylight dreaming. She spends her days working as an RN in a clinic, spinning her tales early in the morning and in the evenings after work. She believes passionately in the idea of the "whole self" and is ever in pursuit of balancing mind, body, and spirit. She also writes fantasy and mystery novels as Kerry Schafer.

Kerry Anne King

Decision making is not my strong suite.

I can hear my Viking snorting as I write these words, even though he's not even in the house at the moment. He's all about making decisions, and they are generally good ones. For him, the world usually flows in direct lines from cause to consequence. He's boggled by my difficulty.

My Meyer's Briggs temperament type is INFP. Some of you will know what that means. If you don't, let's suffice it to say that my brain prefers to ponder the whys and wherefores of the universe rather than the common sense realities of the world around me.

Making decisions? I'm like a kid in the proverbial candy store. So many choices, and I'm never allowed to choose them all. Making a decision is like closing a door on possibility.

Big door. POSSIBILITY in all caps.

Take this blog, for instance. I've been meaning to blog regularly here for months. But every time I sit down to blog my brain immediately goes into the realm of POSSIBILITY and I give up and walk away to do something other.

Maybe I should blog about books

Maybe I should blog about my own, personal, day to day growth

Maybe I should have guests.

Maybe I should blog about mind, body, spirit health

Maybe I shouldn't blog at all, because my life is already hectic and maybe nobody will read any of this and my time would be better spent elsewhere.

Fortunately, I've developed an ability to compensate for my indecision over the years. I function well in my day job as a clinic RN, making decisions as I go and getting my work done. At home, I manage the day to day household operations just fine. And for other stuff that feels too overwhelming, I've developed a mantra:

Just start somewhere, and take it from there.

Getting started is the hardest part. Once things are in motion, it's easier to keep them going. It feels a bit like a game I used to play with my older brother when we were in boring situations (like driving for thousands of miles in a car. Or at least it felt like thousands of miles.) He would take a long string and tie it in a ball of knots. And then I would untie it. The hardest part was finding the right end to get started; after that it was all a matter of time and patience.

So, today, I'm starting somewhere with this blog. I have some ideas I'd like to implement. Mondays as personal growth days. Wednesdays, guest posts by writer friends. Fridays, information about various aspects of whole health. Maybe these things will happen, maybe they won't.

One way or another, it's time to take the ideas out of my head and start putting them on the page.

What about you? Do you like decisions made or to leave all those doors of possibility open?

Things About Power

There is a certain power in suffering. There is a particular energy gained in persevering through obstacles that seem insurmountable. I am more and more convinced that it is the negative, destructive and painful things in our lives that actually lend us more effectiveness in life than all of the happy events. It's really only after we have survived things that we didn't think we could survive that we know the depth of our endurance, or better yet, learn new depths of endurance.

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about resilience and mental strength, and what makes some people so perpetually buoyant, even in the face of the greatest adversity. I want that resilience. I want that strength of mind and heart. I want to know that all of the things that have happened in my life have been exactly for the purpose of removing the fear of the Next Big Thing.

Nothing makes me feel as powerful as remembering the things that I have overcome, accomplished, faced and mastered. All of the sunshine and rainbows and introspection and happy days and self-care can't hold a candle to what a good, hard kick in the ass can do for my empowerment.

I hate running. As in, I really don't like it at all. It's uncomfortable. It's not fun. It's All The Things I Don't Like. It's symptomatic of being a grown up, when you aren't running to play tag or kick the can because of the exhilarating FUN factor of chasing and being caught, you run because you are fat and lazy and slow and you made choices in your life that demand you run without destination other than a number on a scale or so you don't die from eating too many donuts. It is safe to say that running is my chief enemy in life, which could work out really well if I take out all of my frustrations by tying on the shoes that I loathe and beating the hell out of the pavement to cure my anger. Running is my whipping boy. It's where I conquer my tastes and find forgiveness for the things I can't control. It's where I face my darkest enemies. I've set off in the bitter cold to run off the sneaking suspicion of an anxiety attack, and it works. It's powerful. And I come home feeling like I have what it takes to look the other enemies in the eye. The Fear. The Worries. The Grown Up Things.

Anyway, all of this rambling to say: I am going for a run. Catch you on the flip. Find your power.

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