Catching 400

After my little Housecleaning venture, I realized what a fool I’d been – Though I follow many, I do have favorites and it occurred to me that it’s very simple to go to my “Blogs I follow” list, clicky-click and work my way back through those I love and hold dear – –

Meaning, some of you have already had to log in and see umpteen Likes/Comments waiting approval from TamrahJo – I imagine a scene of sighing and eye-rolling, “Why can’t she just keep caught up?” you exclaim in frustration!   My bad, yet you all are so talented, you trigger memories, quotes and such that I, in my childlike state, simply must share about!

This is a blanket apology, I guess…. If you haven’t logged in to find me cluttering up your notifications box yet, count your lucky stars and know your day is coming – – 🙂

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I started sweating what to blog about earlier last week, when I found life quiet enough to once again take frequent sojourns here in WordPress land and discovered I was nearing my 400th post mark – – for those of you who are frequent posters, you are free to laugh  – – for those just starting, truly, it’s no big deal since this coming August, I’ll have been blogging for 4 years – – or, more accurately, I’ve had a WordPress account for 4 years – – which breaks down to less than 10 posts per month and is by no means anything to brag about – since I quite frequently do 60 posts on one day and go deep undercover for months at a time – –

Here’s the Highlights:

Apparently, if I ever want to take blogging seriously and establish a niche, I really should limit myself to reviews and How-to’s as they are my most consistently popular posts – I”ve decided against taking this seriously because reviews and how-to’s require remembering to take pictures before/after – hours spent in Photoshop labeling parts and different stages of construction step-by-step lists and really, just what could I say I was an expert in, given my God-given nature of flitting from one brilliant idea to another with no time spent learning the fine art of mastery on any of them….

Since first starting my blog here I’ve moved from writing about self-help/healing and social/political causes to nattering on about all the different perspectives, observations and silly nonsense that is catching my attention this week, day, nanosecond.   A friend once laughingly said to me:

“You know, in various circumstances, it’s appropriate to say, “That’s so last year” or “So last season” – For you, you’re safe in saying, “That’s so one minute ago”

Since BallyBin’s inception, I’ve moved 4 times (only once due to my own planning and volition) navigated a divorce and recovered from a stroke.    I’ve gone from a workaholic to someone who celebrates when I can work 4 hours at a time without needing to rest.    I’ve shared the heartbreak and distress over the loss of my son/dad which precipitated the 7 years of massive changes and challenges (I started blogging mid-way in the journey).

I’ve spent countless hours in front of my computer, discovering other bloggers and chatting at all hours of the night because I wasn’t well enough to work or confident enough with my stroke Elmer Fudd voice to socialize in person – those of you who were my only social contact during this time kindly refrained from pointing out all the typos my right hand made during my stroke recovery process, offered your support and ideas when I struggled with an obstacle and made me feel not so alone and despairing as I watched many of you deal with your own struggles and come up with some really awesome solutions –

Over the past 4 years and 400 posts, I’ve made friends in countries I didn’t even know existed – I’ve learned to be very grateful for where I live and to understand even more fully the strength of the human spirit –

I’ve virtually visited and seen sights I may never get to in person, through your talent with a camera and willingness to share.

I’ve learned that my story, as rocky and unsophisticated/un-enlightened as it is, seems to hold value for some – that what I get excited about is a shared passion by others and reminds me there are always, always some birds to flock with when you’re feeling alone and out of sync with the rest of the world.

So I guess, instead of attempting to write some in-depth analysis of our current economic system, or plumb the depths of the human soul, or tell you once again about building a Garden of Eden in my backyard, I’ll simply make my 400th post about you –

Thank you from the bottom of my heart – I may have made it to this point intact, anyways, but not as inspired, comforted and joyful as I did by being allowed to share in your journey.

Happy 400th to all of us.

Devil’s Advocate

If you follow my blog, my recent post, Cliff Jumping may have seemed to contradict what I said in Heads I Lose, Tails You Win, in regards to my stated desires of pruning judgmental personages from my life and then turning around and admitting that I often try to explain myself to the satisfaction of others.

I’m an A1 Devil’s Advocate – take any side of an issue and I’ll take the other, just to see where this mental game leads us.   I do so with myself and if you approach me with an idea, followed by anything other than an absolute statement of, “I’m doing this, ain’t no one stopping me and I don’t care what the neighbors think”, I’ll be happy to play the part for you, too.

Play to your strengths, is my motto and taking the opposite side to help you make a decision is one I think I’m good at.

I never ask anyone’s opinion if I already know I’m going forth and doing no matter what they say anyways – why waste their time?  And isn’t it insulting to ask someone their opinion when you know if it doesn’t correspond exactly with yours, you’re going to ignore it anyways?

So I foolishly think if someone asks what I think of planned action, they are searching for more perspectives or information before making their final decision – and I’m happy to delve into every perspective I can think of, especially the ones I don’t like – – those are where our comfort zones and ignorance butt up against an opportunity to expand our horizons – so I spend time in territories I don’t always like, just to make sure I haven’t missed a gem of opportunity.

Hence, I have the reputation of picking fights….

Yes – it surprised me, too.

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I’ve learned from my own experience there is always another story that would serve me better than the one I’m currently telling.  Sometimes I’m ready for an upgrade and sometimes, I just need the time and space to wallow in my current one – – I don’t want to miss any jewels by racing through a less-than-pleasant chapter.

Here lately, I’ve been playing Devil’s Advocate regarding the work I’ve been doing with the Anger portion of my grieving journey.   For now, my story is still, “Anger is sometimes what keeps me from laying down and giving up – – from giving way to Apathy.   So for now, Anger is the healthiest choice for me.”

I’m playing Devil’s Advocate for myself because there is not much support in our current culture for Anger.  I believe it to be one of our greatest survival instincts, but the reality I live in supports everything it can to suppress, ignore or medicate the emotion away.

There’s an insidious myth that slinks around the “Self-Help” world that if only you can become enlightened enough, you won’t ever experience anger – because you will see the perfection in everything and hence, no reason to be angry.

I call it a myth, because I believe that to be dangerous thinking – it leads to apathy and non-compassionate behavior regarding broken systems we’ve built, are maintaining to the great detriment of many and need to change, but instead choose to blame the Universe for.

You’re free to check back in a year or two to see if I’ve changed my tune.

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As for Anger – I’m not talking about the irritations that occur over daily things – like running late, traffic jams, spilled coffee and crying children in the movie theatre – that moment in time where you say, “WTF?!?” and then move on, with little or no residuals.

What I am talking about is the Anger that comes from deep within – the messenger that says, “This isn’t good for you – – this must change or you must leave.  You are about to be destroyed – let me help save you.”

That kind of anger sometimes comes from single moment in time – one event that kicks all your survival responses into immediate overdrive.

More often, it comes after years of placing ourselves in unhealthy lifestyles, jobs and relationships.    It creeps up, trying to protect us, trying to pull us away from the lion’s den – steadily compiling a little more strength each time we suppress it, vowing that next time, it will be heard and acknowledged.

Until the day we realize we are angry all the time -that spilled coffee and losing a loved one get the same explosive blast of Anger.

At that point,  we must choose between being Anger incarnate or heed its’ advice.

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I’m not done with Anger, quite yet.    I’m still learning.   Now that I’m listening – Anger, like Grief, is nicer about the times and places he chooses to show up – – we spend less time blowing our top in public places and more in conversation while I sit in the comfort of my own home with no one around to be hurt by the resulting shedding process.

I’ve also found those who have had their own walk with Anger and now they sometimes hold my hand and offer their perspective when Anger shared some pearl of wisdom with me I don’t quite get.

They play Devil’s Advocate for me, because they know that’s what I’m asking for.

Soon, I’m hoping Grief and Anger are satisfied I’ve gotten the main points I needed to.   I live for the day they will take a vacation, because they trust me not to burn down the house while they’re gone.

They’ll leave emergency funds on the counter and say it’s okay to have a few friends over –  – they’re proud of me and they can trust me.

I’m going to call Joy, Faith and Hope first – – they’re always a fun crew to hang with…