Saturday, May 1, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
I'm in one of my moods although I'm always in a mood. I have dysthymia after all. Subtle humor there, folks. Turns out I can make fun of myself after all.
From time to time, I dig through the internet to learn more about dysthymia and all the crap that goes with it our surround it. As of the late, the feeling of being lost has been present. Understandably so given that I’m burnt out from work, it’s been raining for nearly a week and I feel tired and unmotivated. Even though I feel all that and then some, I function. I’m robotic at this point but I have my moments where I work on a craft project and feel good. What I wouldn’t give to go wander the aisles of a craft store right now.
In my digging, I found this quote:
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.” - Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
The funny thing is, the book this quote is from is sitting in a pile in my office waiting to be read. I guess the universe decided to smack me upside the head. Sometimes it has to do that.
I have to admit that being in the “darkened forest" is a familiar place. It's okay to visit but not a place to stay too long. To give more context. I see myself sitting on a fence. On one side, the darkened forest where my depression, past suicide attempts and all the dark things live. The other side of the fence, is a beautiful meadow with a little cottage near cliffs by the ocean. The majority of days I sit on the fence and from time to time I'm either in the meadow or the forest.
As much as I want to be in the meadow feeling happy and good, it's uncomfortable at times. Like I don't deserve to be there. When I visit the forest, I feel at home. I recognize it and know what to expect. It's messed up but it's me and I know how to navigate this world.
I leave you with a Chris Joslin compilation of two runs he did in SLS. Enjoy!
Saturday, April 10, 2021
I hate this mindset. I hate the feelings that go with it. I do not want to be here. Seriously, why am I here? I have no reason to stay. I have no purpose and whatever purpose I can think of, someone else can probably do it better than me.
It’s tiring to be here. I occupy my time doing little projects to combat my “I give up” voice. I’m tired. I’m tired of COVID, I’m tired of the news, I’m tired of people being jackasses, I’m tried of the world. It’s exhausting to be in it. I'm tired of the daily battle I have with my dysthymia.
What happened? Is it me or has the world truly turned to crap? I don’t remember things being this bad when I was in high school and college and that includes 7 suicide attempts in there. Seriously, that sucked but what’s going on now in the world makes my suicide attempts seem like the best party to ever go to.
I try to counteract the doom and gloom but it’s hard. I try and find a way. I have been told I am resilient. I find a way to keep going even though I have some resistance. My motivation to do things is a struggle and yet I get up out of bed every morning and go to work. I do things but so often I think staying in bed and watching TV for an entire day would be more rewarding. I wish I had the disposition of skateboarder. They seem so chill, life is good, they all seem to be in a good headspace or maybe people in California are naturally that way due to all the sunshine. I have no idea.
In the past few months, I’ve tried to find the ‘chill zone’ and be better, be happy, feed my inner self, but I’m failing miserably. I have my moments, but it’s a struggle. Trying to find balance quite frankly is a real pain in the ass! This is my life, and frankly, it’s normal and I’m trying to rise above the standard.
Why can’t I be like Tony Hawk or Bucky Lasek? Seriously, they seem so chill and life seems pretty put together for them. Bucky especially seems to be in a zen like place a lot of the time in his videos. Life is good. I’m sure he has his moments where things suck but he takes it in stride. I want that! I want to be in a good place. I want to be in a place where my headspace is light and cheerful instead of dark and dreary all the damn time. I deserve that, right?
I would like to experience an hour or a day where everything is good.
Should I stay or should I go? For now, I will stay and take care of myself. I will continue to be resilient and find new ways to cope with things. I will find things that make me smile and laugh.
Let's end this on a high note. Kelvin Hoefler has become a new fave of mine to watch in skateboarding so enjoy a couple of tricks of his from SLS a few years ago.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Every week at work, we have a team meeting in my department and start off the meeting with an icebreaker. The most recent icebreaker was to name a woman who inspired us.
When it came to be my turn, I answered, "I don't have one."
There was silence. The question had been provided to us 15 minutes before the meeting but even leading up to the meeting and while in it, I drew a blank. I continued on and told the group I couldn't think of any one. I did throw out Betty White's name just to throw out a name. Who doesn't like Betty White? Admittedly, I threw out her name just to get the spotlight off of me. I reiterated to the group that I didn't have an answer. I went silent as that was my answer but it was clear they were waiting on me to say something.
My boss jumped in and told the group that I had the day off tomorrow and my mind was probably already there. I was thankful for my boss to move the session along. Even after the meeting, I still couldn't come up with anyone. Hours later, days later, I had no answer to the question to name a woman who inspires me.
I mentioned this to a friend who knows me well and they asked, if the question were to name a man who inspired me, would I be able to name someone? The answer - yes! If the question was to name a man who inspires me I could list at least 10 men. It got me wondering if something is wrong with me that I could not name a woman at all.
I racked my brain and throughout my life no woman has made a significant impact on me, enough for me to call up their name. In speaking with my friend, they said what they know of me it made sense that men have had a more significant impact. Only a small number of friends know about Sean and he made a huge impact on me. His impact has lasted with me all these years but there is no female equivalent.
My influences or the people who inspire me are reflections of the things I like. I have musical influences, skateboard influences, influences all over the place. I draw from each one a bit of something that gets filed away in the deepest parts of me. I call upon these wonderful beings when I'm struggling, tapping into their magic to help me keep going but they find their way into my everyday life too.
It got me thinking that maybe I have a code for who inspires me much in the same way I have a code for generosity. People do inspire or influence me in different ways. I think the label of what they mean to me is a little gray. I will admit that some of the people who inspire me, disappear with time. I suppose that makes sense as we grow and change through the years. Someone who inspired me in my teenage years, may have no significance in my life now.
It's been a couple of weeks since the question to name a woman who inspired me landed in my lap and I still have no answer. I have no answer. I don't know if I'll ever have one and perhaps, I don't need to have one. There is the possibility that I haven't met them yet and one day I will. Time will tell.
If you need some inspiration though, enjoy this clip from Tony Hawk doing a 540.
Sunday, March 14, 2021
The days continue on in my little world of isolation. The motivation to get up out of bed every morning and keep going has been a struggle. Every day is a struggle, a battle for which I participate in. My life was like that prior to COVID coming along. Through COVID I rediscovered skateboarding, started watching it and have finished two books - one on Tony Hawk, the other on Rodney Mullen. Both books resonated with me but in different ways.
I had planned to write about the latest adventures at work and our latest ice breaker activity but I'll save it for another post. My mind, my fingers hit the internet and found this little gem of a video from Rodney Mullen. It's true that skateboarders fall more often then they land when doing a trick especially if it's a new one. They fall repeatedly and get back up, scraping their skin, broken bones, twisting an ankle but they continue to get back up.
I think that mentality lives in my brain but it's not as dominate like it would be in a skateboarder. It might be due to not knowing the linguistics of skateboarding. I don't speak their language but I can get the gist.
Over the years, I suppose I have tried to pull survival skills from skateboarding. I think I've attempted to fill the void left by Sean. I look to lots of things to help me hold on, to keep walking forward, another day arrives and I'm still alive. Finding happiness, knowing joy comes in brief moments.
If watching Tony Hawk land a 900 or Bob Burnquist scoring a 98 or Shane O'Neill doing a Switch 360 Double Flip doesn't move you in some way, you are a robot. I often feel like one but those moments in skateboarding are ones that will make you smile, cry, bring you joy, have you cheer and put you in a good mindset. They are moments worth holding onto. The only way these inspiring moments happen is due to the endless hours of falling and getting back up again. Trying and trying and then making it. I may fall multiple times, but if skateboarding has taught me anything, it's that I need to get back up and try again.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
I have been trying to figure out my need to help people. It comes in waves where I feel I need to do something and sometimes do something like knitting scarves and donate them. Then the motivation goes away only to come back again.
There are lots of things I want to do but feel lost, stuck, unsure, defeated…at least I’m thinking about helping so that’s better than nothing. Part of what drives me is Sean. That friendship, that connection fuels the desire to help too. He’s not here anymore and doing good things like donating is a way that I can keep honoring him and our friendship. He gave me back my life and the least I could do is acknowledge it by honoring him in small ways. He's not around to help other people so maybe I can on his behalf…on our behalf.
Sean was in my life for about a year and he most definitely left a mark. A mark that has been burning bright since he died 22 years ago. No one has had an impact on my life like Sean. It was certainly life changing and one I’m glad I went through with him.
I'm sure I'll find a project or group to help out. It stands to reason that part of my code is whether or not the cause is something Sean would have approved of if he was still here. A cause that speaks to both of us.
I hope all of you find a cause of your own and that it brings you joy. Today's video is one I found by accident and it's pretty cool.
If you are interested in homemade scarves, a friend of mine has opened on online store: Handmade scarves by DeeListed on Etsy
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Sunday, January 3, 2021
I love to journal write but admittedly, my journal writing has been nearly non-existent in recent months. Dealing with dysthymia sucks but in order to combat the struggle I thought I’d share the things from 2020 that I’m thankful to have experienced or rediscovered. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means but I thought doing a review would put me in a better mindset and maybe it will inspire you to do the same.
1) Rediscovering skateboarding and my appreciation for Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek, Tony Hawk, Andy Macdonald and so many other skaters I wasn’t familiar with like Elliot Sloan, Kelly Hart, Chris Roberts and many others.
2) Designing a sacred cabinet, having a friend help me design it with the purpose to have a quiet place to decompress and connect with myself. Some people would call it a home altar, meditation cabinet or a blessing cabinet.
3) Having spent time with my friend Cathy when possible and being an outlet for her. Listening to her talk about her achievements and struggles with her new business, knowing she is happy and doing something she loves.
4) That I had the ability to write a 50,000-word novel for NaNoWriMo even when I didn’t have a story outline, no character names and only a potential idea three days before the event started.
5) That I am resourceful in finding a new way to change my mood and mental state when things went incredibly dark and I was hurting bad.
7) For being a music junkie and rediscovering my music collection and having the ability to listen to all of my 1000+ CDs.
8) Ability to bake and try new recipes in my slow cooker and discover new favorites. Pork Loin in the slow cooker – YUM!
9) Having the time to knit 18 scarves and donating them in time for Christmas for kids.
10) Having great conversations with the sales clerk at the grocery store, exchanging meal ideas and talking about how to deal with seasonal allergies.
11) Although I’m not a gamer, the ability to play Skyrim when I need to in order to get my frustrations out and kick some ass.
There are many other things but it would take me a while to list them all. It’s a start and like I said I’m thankful for a lot of things. The items above bring a smile to my face and maybe that’s the key to it all in making it through the rough days. While compiling this list my brain did it’s usual thing and pulled something deeply buried to the forefront.
Enjoy the music selection today folks – the theme song from The Partridge Family TV show. I loved this show growing up and let’s be honest, the song is pretty darn catchy.
Friday, January 1, 2021
I'm glad 2020 is over and 2021 has arrived. One can only hope this year is better than the last. I hope all of you enjoyed your holidays as best as possible. Mine holidays were quiet. Extremely quiet as I was by myself. Not one single person in my extended family - aunts, uncles, etc. called me on Christmas. I'm typically the one who calls people but this year I wanted to see if anyone would call me.
I have spent time my week and half off from work trying some new recipes, making food in my slow cooker and then freezing so I have meals ready to go. I'm still working on perfecting making homemade croutons but haven't quite found the right bread to do it with. I thought a baguette would do the trick but not quite. I did make a nice pork loin in the slow cooker with potatoes.
For 2021, I'm hoping to find more happy moments. That has always been a struggle for me. Find joy in simple things. I'm not making it a New Year's resolution because those always fail. It is something to do for myself and most definitely find ways to laugh more.
Although this was posted yesterday, I think it's a good way to start the year with a chuckle from Professional Skateboarder, Tony Hawk: