Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hello Again!

Well, it's been quite some time since I have ventured here to write a bit. The past year has been busy with all sorts of adventure. We have bulldozed our yards, adopted a new dog, and traveled on our first cruise. We have had some ups and downs and all arounds.

I'm hoping to write more regularly...not that many people even read this. But it's a good way to get out what I want to say. No matter how random.

Stay tuned. :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Conflicting Thoughts, Closure & The High Road

As the news has come out about the death of Osama Bin Laden, I am equally fascinated and scared of the barrage of comments I have seen on facebook. facebook is where I first heard the news and it was blowing up as people rejoiced in this death, hailed the troops and alternately applauded or criticized President Obama.

My first reaction was interest and a thought of "Finally, they found him. He is dead. What will come of this?"  But, I didn't have that rush of joy and celebration that so many seem to be having. Perhaps it is not part of my make up to celebrate death and murder. Any death or murder. We all see news stories and video clips of terrorists celebrating the deaths of American soldiers, celebrating when America has experienced great loss - for example the Katrina disaster. Video of them burning our flag and such hatred in the celebration.

Do we want to look like that?

I have seen comments of outrage that we treated his body according to Islamic Law. Cries of protest that we didn't drag his body through the streets as a show our victory.  This is the exact way terrorists have treated the bodies of our soldiers, of UN workers, of reporters.

Do we want to act like that?

By honoring Islamic Law, I think we took the high road.  And, lest you think me naive, I'm sure it was also a political decision to ward off the predicted threats of retaliation to come from killing Bin Laden. These events are sure to happen and if we stave off the intensity or amount by treating his body with respect, I can live with that.

Closure is a concept that I don't believe in. I don't think that a traumatic event in a persons life can just magically be "closed", put to rest, or wholly make sense as a result of another action. As we grow and learn and change, these events mean different things to us. As we go through the grieving process and acceptance, these events effect us in different ways. Closure just doesn't happen.
I speak from experience. A dear friend of mine was murdered several years ago.  I have gone from shock to anger to grief to just plain missing my friend everyday. If they find the murderer will I feel differently - I don't think so. I wouldn't be consumed by a sense of peace. My friend is still gone. Would I feel like some justice has been served? Yes - I think I would.

I hope the families effected by the tragedy on September 11th find peace throughout their whole lives. Perhaps this event helps them. I don't begrudge them that.

A post I saw on facebook reminded people that this event means different things to different people and that we need to respect each persons response. I can get with that. Why? Because we live in a country where we can all have our emotions, opinions and thoughts. Without the fear of punishment. That is America. That is freedom.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Take THAT, Anxiety!

That's right - I am an anxious person. There, I've said it, it's out there and I can't get it back. Not that I want to. I have learned that I am better off just admitting that I experience anxiety. Hiding it just makes it worse.

I have spent a lot of time working on this particular aspect of my personality. Sometimes I think I should be a lot farther along than I am, and then I remember that I could be stuck in my house and too afraid to leave. That is sooooo not an option, even though it seemed like a good one for awhile. At times, it still does.

Every couple of years I do something that completely challenges my anxiety and throws me for an utter looper. It makes my anxiety shoot through the roof and feels horrid while I'm doing it. My goal: to get out on the other side, still alive, proud that I didn't let my anxiety stop me.

A couple of years ago my big challenge was a two month long improve comedy class at Comedy Sportz. This was done after a therapist asked me to come up with two of the scariest scenarios I could think of. I came up with sky diving and improve comedy.  Then she told me to pick one and do it. I picked the improve comedy because I really do think falling out of a plane might give me a heart attack. Peeing my pants on stage, while embarrassing, wouldn't kill me.  I made it through the class without any serious melt downs (there were some serious headaches), didn't die and was really proud of myself. 

I should note that we built up to this activity. I literally had to start with simple tasks. Like the time my home work was to make 2 phone calls before my next session. Sounds simple  - for those with out anxiety - it isn't always easy for me.

This past December I challenged my anxiety again. I decided to try a new kind of interpreting: video relay. I had successfully avoided VRS interpreting for years. Dedicated to my decision, I let everyone know that there was no way in HELL, I would EVER do VRS. Ever. Did I say ever?  Why you might ask? I tried to convince myself that I just wasn't interested. It wasn't my thing. Blah blah blah.  A smidge true, yes. But mostly:  I was freaked the heck out!  Due to FCC rules, I had no mental image of the environment due to never seeing the environment/call center(ya, that doesn't help the girl who wants to know what everything is like before she goes/does it.). Oh, and I heard all sorts of horror stories. Again: not helping.

So, last December a couple of friends told me they were going to do the training and hey, wouldn't it be cool if I joined the group? Crap. Double crap. TRIPLE crap. I decided to check it out, and promptly regretting making that decision. Long story short: I didn't pull the plug on my decision. I didn't want to be a quitter and I have to say through the years, the feeling of "I am not a quitter" has kept me going when my anxiety wanted me curled up in the fetal position crying. 

Of course getting through the training was one of the most stressful things I have ever done. I know the others in the group knew that I was freaked, but there is no way they knew the extent of my anxiety. They had no idea when I was light headed, sick to my stomach, dizzy, experiencing an anxiety head ache. They didn't know that I could barely sleep the week of the training. Or the amount of deep breathing I was doing. OK, they did have an idea with I was close to tears - can't really hide that. But, they encouraged me and had my back. I almost emailed them and explained why I was acting a bit odd, but never did.

I feel good that I made it through. If I hadn't I wouldn't be having the fun I am having now. I wouldn't be working with some really great people. Best of all, I don't have the regret of not doing it. Taking on this challenge ended up being a great decision. New people, new skills, and a new notch on my "screw you, anxiety" belt.

Anxiety is still a part of my life every day. That is just a fact. But, I try to not let it stop me. The therapist who helped me with my anxiety asked me one session, "What do you do to combat your anxiety?"  My response: "I get up and go to work. I keep interpreting. I book jobs even though almost every time I do - I have an immediate impulse to cancel. I didn't quit the interpreting program back when I was in school and my anxiety was through the roof along with a digestive disorder that was made worse by the anxiety. I take jobs that challenge me. I stand in front of people and do my job. That's how I deal with my anxiety." It's true.

So, I have a couple of years to ponder what my next anxiety challenge will be. Hhhmmmm........I have no idea at this point. But, I'm sure I will figure it out. In the mean time, I will continue to feel anxious. I will continue to fight it. I will continue.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Me? Slacker? Maybe Not.

Ok, so I started out the Lenton season with high hopes of giving something up.  I was going to give up Facebook and then a friend of mine texted me with a plea: "Please don't give up Facebook for Lent. I need you in my virtual life."  Well, crap.  Ok, since this is one of the very few people I have known since first grade, and she lives out of town and we don't get to chat, I decided to find something else to give up.

The point of Lent is to focus on your faith. Taking time to sacrifice in order to better understand your relationship with God.  So, while I have yet to figure out what I am giving up - I have taken time to ponder.

Candy? Sugar? Eating out? I feel like I have done these things before and I don't actually learn much from them.  So, I kept thinking and thinking and thinking.

I have yet to come up with anything.

But perhaps I am not a slacker after all.  This season I have been more aware of spiritual issues. Without going into too much detail, I will tell that that I was raised in a church, still feel connected to that church but also have serious SERIOUS issues with my home denomination and with most churches in general.

Over the years I have come to learn that many people I know who are strongly into their faith are also some of the most close minded, judgemental people I know. I find that very sad, as I don't equate religion/God with hate but with love.

Anyway - I wrestle with religion daily.  I believe, yet I believe in my own way. I did catch a lot of flack from "friends" about giving something up for Lent. Some friends I can joke about with this and others I know are not really joking but like to lump people who believe (whether it be a little or a lot) in with the morons of the world. Now, that's not really fair either. I don't judge you for not believing anything. Really I don't care what other people do or do not believe. Oh, and I am not a moron.

Recently a book has come out from a well known pastor. The premise of the book is basically the discussion that perhaps we all end up in heaven. Really, this is controversial? He asks in the book, "Is Gandhi in heaven?"  I'm amazed at how many people, who call themselves Christians, answered no to that question. "Well certainly he isn't, he wasn't Christian."  Oy, people, get a grip. I plan to read this book, but at this point I am hold #57 out of 80 hold at the library, so it will be awhile. I don't typically read this type of book, but this one is calling to me.

So, maybe I am not a slacker. Who knew?

Oh, and the photo? It is beautiful metal work above the doorway into a Catholic cathedral in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ok, Already! I know! :-)

I know I have been seriously lacking in the blog posting department. But, having my DAD say "You haven't posted anything in a while" seriously drives the point home.

Ok, Dad and everyone, I will get on the ball.  Ideas anyone?  I need a theme I think to get myself in gear!

I am now open for suggestions.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Madison, You're Pretty Dang Cool!


We have been in Madison, Wisconsin the past 5 days and WOW, I must say - I could easily live here. Of course that's being said without experiencing the Wisconsin winter. This place is beautiful. Trees are changing color everywhere.With the absence of pine trees, the color is even more concentrated.  Add in the fact that Madison is situated on an isthmus between two lakes, and I love it even more.  I could never be land locked, and while the lakes are not the ocean - it's still a body of water.
Another upside - this is a college town! University of Wisconsin is here and gives it a great vibe. Fun, funky, intelligent, and open minded. There is a lot of cyclists, restaurants, and space to stretch out and be active.
The past few days have been a blur of wedding activity as we celebrated and prepared for Leah and Marks wedding. We've all been busy, but having fun. And food has been a prime activity. Their wedding went off without a hitch and a good time was had.
Tomorrow we head back to Milwaukee to catch our flight and return home. Getting back to the grind will be ok, but I have to say I will miss this place and look forward to coming back.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Busy as a ...


Life feels frantic these days.  Mid August was the beginning of the "mad dash to October 11th" That is the day we fly back from my being in and interpreting my friends wedding in Wisconsin.  I'm very excited for the trip, but also excited that as of that day - my life will calm down.  The whole wedding thing is actually no biggie, it's the rest of my life that is nuts.

Weddings, employee retreats, planning meetings, coordinating workshops, out of town trips, everyday work....all of this has been at mach speed lately.  I have one weekend free until I fly out for my friends wedding. ONE!  Granted some of what I have been doing is fun, but at this point a little sitting on my back end would feel great. 

I miss my friends. I really want to meet up with two friends for a long talked about, but not accomplished dinner together.  I want to clean my office, get organized, and get ducks in rows.  I want to ride my bike. I would like to chat on the phone. I would like to respond to a text with "hey lets meet up" not " on my way to/I'm just walking into/am in a meeting/job/workshop".

I need to ssslllllooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww ddddddoooooowwwwwwnnnnnnnnn!!!