Dude, You’re Stepping On My Personal Space

I wrote this article for Patient Worthy on February 14th; since that day I got daily (sometimes twice daily) texts from this guy saying, “Good morning cutie” or “sweet dreams cutie.” The most recent ones – because he still won’t stop – say “Just got to my hotel” and “How are you?” For the life of me, I can’t figure out why he would bait me with the hotel remark because that one really came out of the blue. I haven’t traded texts with him since February 10th. Was the hotel text his clumsy attempt at a booty call? Or was it not intended for me, and instead should have gone to whomever was playing the part of his dirty little secret?

Dude, just…stop.

Boundary Waters and Dating Boundaries

Illness Army: “Diagnosis of Chronic Illness”

This applies directly. I got a diagnosis, so now what? This is a fabulous list of 10 items to remind me (and others) that the best things in life are free.

Indisposed and Undiagnosed

Diagnosis of a Chronic Illness…

At first, there is some relief. You think, finally I know what is going on. My questions are finally answered and someone actually listened. Now I can move on.

But sooner or later, depending on the person, realities of what the diagnosis means sinks in. For some, a little at a time, for others all at once. Sometimes triggered by events, sometimes by people, sometimes out of nowhere at all. Things will forever be different.

These times can be extremely distressing, exhausting, terrifying, depressing. But, the important thing to remember is you can still be happy. You can still do things, they may just be different things, or the same things but in different ways. With the right support, anything is possible.

Here is a list of 10 things you can probably still do:

  1. You can tell people you love them. You don’t have to…

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Dear Other Dude at the Playground…

We know enough now (or should) about what the path of exclusion, ridicule and shame leads to. Isn’t joy just so much better than just about anything else in this world?

Daddy Coping in Style

Dear Other Dude at the Playground on Saturday –

I couldn’t fight the need to write you about an incident between our kids.Remember me? I was the dad with the son wearing a pink dress.

Before he burst onto the playground, and as I parked the car, he was positively vibrating. I asked, “Now…you’re sure you want to wear your dress?”

He shouted in response, “Yes! Because I want to show everyone how beautiful I am in this beautiful dress!”

It was a big deal for him; and for me.

He hasn’t asked to wear a dress “out,” before. I didn’t fight it. Who cares, right?

Or so we’d like to think.

As you noticed, he couldn’t contain his excitement showing off the dress to the only two kids playing…your daughter and her friend. He skipped and twirled and chased them for ten minutes shouting, “Do you like my dress?…

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Healthy Living Update: Why Playing the “If-Then” Game Will Crush Your Chances of Being Happy

I don’t hide the fact that I’m a flawed, broken mess, and I’m okay with that. Instead, I find the little things – watching videos of babies laughing or kittens playing, or dipping my fingers into bins of endives (a la “Amelie”), or putting on a particularly comforting scent. Go forth and conquer, my fellow flawed humans. It’s a beautiful life.

Dream Big, Dream Often

I want to take a slightly different approach to today’s healthy living update.  I had a thought yesterday and decided to have a little talk about why playing the “If-Then” game will crush your chances of being happy.

2123046502_3ff1b36ce0_o.jpg image: Happy Dancers/Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

I lived a large portion of my life playing the IF-THEN game.  I was not a happy or fulfilled person and I felt like I was underachieving.  And this feeling of underachieving came from a place of unhappiness.  My feelings fed my thoughts which in turn created an insecure thought process, which created even more feelings of discontent; a never ending cycle of insecurity.  One continuously feeding the other in a symbiotic relationship of discontent.

I thought that IF I were to own my own business, THEN I would be happy.  IF I were to win a golf tournament, THEN I would be content.  IF I were to…

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The Bee’s Knees

I’m watching “Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man” on Netflix, and as always, he puts together thoughtful pieces about the things we should be concerned about as humans and consumers. I mean, I really enjoyed the episode from Season 3, “Morgan the Matchmaker” because, duh, dating; but there are others that really speak to my sense of responsibility to the earth and to other humans.

For instance, also from Season 3, Morgan explores trash in Episode 6, “United States of Trash.” I try not to create loads of trash. I recycle tons of stuff. But as careful as I try to be, I still generate the equivalent of a Walgreen’s plastic shopping bag of trash every week. I learned something new. Specifically, you can take those glass jars with the metal closures and rubber ring around the lid for a tighter seal to the grocery store with you and have the meat department deposit the meat IN THERE instead of packaging it, even if it’s “just” the paper. Guess what? There’s also less of a chance of cross contamination if it’s in the sealed glass jar rather than in the paper (which you might insist on wrapping in another plastic bag). Also, if you wash your glass jars in food safe dish soap, you aren’t going to pick up chemicals (like you do in containers that are half or all plastic). What amazed me the most was that the family of 4 saved 40% off of their monthly grocery bill by bringing their own containers.
I can no longer drive and stash my reusable bags in my car, but I still make it a point to bring them with me when I do my own shopping. Any time we can leave a little less plastic in the world is best, but even I know I must get better about my own consumption.

Season 3, Episode 7 is “Honey Bee-Ware.” I remember when the big study was put out about how scientists were really excited about figuring out why hives were dying out in great numbers, and they firmly believed it was the result of these little mites that were invading the bodies of the bees and then effectively decapitating them. Something about zombie bees, blah blah blah.

Really, the concern should have been focused on pesticides and herbicides. Morgan interviewed a Harvard researcher who had indisputable proof that the deaths were related to the use of (trace) amounts of neonicotinoids. The popular product “Roundup” has glyphosate, also known to cause just as many problems after being researched. When the European Union found out about the results, they immediately banned those chemicals.

The problem with the U.S. is that we allow ourselves to be guinea pigs for everything – food, cosmetics, cleaning products. We assume that our responsibility and our concern falls only within the U.S. borders, and we’ll take care of “it” later after a number of decades have passed and we suddenly have a large percentage of the population sporting eyeballs from their ears or some weirdness like that. But our trash is in the world’s oceans. We eat poisoned food, use 110 chemicals a day in cosmetics ranging from toothpaste to eyeliner to soap, and we leave smears of chemicals around our kitchens and bathrooms that we would never dream of putting in our mouths, but that’s where they end up anyway.

I mean, think about it: Would you put that Chlorox wet wipe in your mouth and suck on it like a pacifier? I’m guessing not, but somehow you have convinced yourself that it’s safe putting it on every surface you can find. Nothing is really clean unless it’s been passed over by harsh chemicals, right?

<sigh> This brings up the whole discussion about superbugs, but I’m going to think about that one a little longer before I cover it.

My new diet to combat my Lyme bacterial infestation has to be all organic (no chemicals, hormones, artificial anything), and I can’t have any dairy, gluten, soy or sugar. The “Honey, Bee-Ware” episode reminded me that there is a non-profit group in the U.S. that is trying to counteract the stupidity of the FDA and EPA and make us smarter consumers. Now that I think of it, I like the idea of not dipping my apples in a bowl of Roundup before chowing down on them. I try to buy organic when I can. I have already changed all of my cleaning products to be environmentally-friendly, and 90% of my cosmetics have been changed as well (I just have one eyeliner that I have a hard time giving up just because it’s the only one for me that doesn’t smudge, which is important to me because it makes up for the eyelashes I’m missing).

I made these changes about eight years ago after I wrote a paper and gave a presentation on the Environmental Working Group‘s database “Skin Deep” (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/). I still have a hard time convincing people that they can find great stuff for their teeth and skin and hair that isn’t going to give them cancer or screw up their hormones, but I keep trying.

I was thrilled to see EWG add a cleaning database about four years ago: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners

Lastly, EWG has a handful of databases dealing with food issues. Think of it as an adventure to be the best you can be, like you’re in the food army or something. http://www.ewg.org/foodscores
http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
http://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives

Change Your Password, Change Your Life

For about 20 years, I have not used easy-to-guess passwords, and I think it’s probably because I lived with a nerdy guy who introduced me to the world of computers and the world of corruption. I can still hear his voice in my head telling me to make sure my password isn’t easily guessed, and how he demonstrated the swiftness with which passwords were cracked.

I did the same thing as this guy in the article: I saved money for my European trip when I changed my password to one that reminded me to save money for my trip. I bought new shoes. I got rid of a bad friend. I got brain surgery – 10, in fact. I remembered my first loves and continue to date, because if I found love before, I can find it again.
So decide what you want, and then make a password to match it. My guess is that you will have to use it at least one to two times a day, and what better way to remind yourself of what you should put energy into than to punch in a password?

http://www.today.com/health/how-password-changed-one-mans-life-better-1D79878606

Senior Hours

I fell asleep last night somewhere between 8 and 10 pm, and that is as close of a window as I can get. As I said to one of my short bus drivers this week, it used to be a sign of weakness or a lack of social life if I ever changed to pajamas before midnight; now I think it’s a late night if I’m not comfy by 9:45 pm.

I’m turning into my parents. Maybe I even skipped a generation and went straight to my grandparents.

The trade-off is that I’m also not sleeping long or late. Most mornings now I wake up in agony at around 3 am because my right hip is burning (not at all fibromyalgia pain, so I’m thinking it’s the Lyme), or my left shoulder is angry. I had to sleep on my left side for three years because all of my surgeries used to be done on my right side, so I’ve got a nerve impingement that I’ve had to do shoulder rehab for twice already in four years. It’s not responding to the exercises I have memorized and it’s now doing a weird thing like it’s popping out of and then back into socket. I finally broke down and called my primary care doctor’s office yesterday to get set up with PT and pain management.

As I hunker down in the early morning with my cough drops and water and browse through my WP Reader, a thought strikes me: I no longer think in poetry. I can no longer bear to read poetry.

I think pain has rewired me so that I avoid the most descriptive and flowery words, or think of the significance of pauses and stanzas. I am in the economy car. I want the most efficient features possible for my money (aka time). I want to get in and get out.

And I want people to rethink their use of commas.

I hope that when I’m not being driven by pain, I can return to the imagery and thoughtfulness of poetry, because I know there is some fabulous stuff being put out there for all to read. I don’t want to forever close the door on that appreciation. (However, my stance on the proper usage of commas will never change.)