Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Greatest Showman


My mom and I saw this movie yesterday in the theater.  And we loved it!  Everything about it was great, the music, singing, dancing, and acting.  

I especially loved it because I could relate to some of the characters.  I know what it's like to be different, a misfit.  It is not easy in a world that judges you based on how you look.  They had a place here, a job, a home, a family, at a time where there were no social services for them, little health care, and belief that people like us did not have a right to live a life as fully as possible.

I even dreamed of running away to join the circus as a child to be a trapeze artist.  I know that was terribly unrealistic, but I fantasized then that I was normal, and was famous for singing and dancing.  I loved to perform.  I loved being a part of something bigger that brought something beautiful to the world.  Even in this what some would call an ugly little body.  When I sang in the choir or danced on stage, I didn't feel ugly.  I felt beautiful.

I know the critics don't like this movie.  But movie goers do.  And I am one of them that thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a feel good movie that is sorely needed in Hollywood.  

I think critics don't like the same things we like is that they have no joy and want to share in their misery.  We seek joy when we go to the movies, listen to music, or read a book.  We want to be entertained.  And the critics are jealous because these movies are successful and make a lot of money.  Where the critics' favorites make little money, are not successful, and only win stupid awards.  

About the animals, there were only elephants, the lions were computer generated.  Maybe they were elephants rescued from the real Barnum and Bailey Ringling Brothers.  Although I hate that there were wild animals in these circuses, they are now not there, and hopefully are back in the wild or a well run sanctuary.  Since my niece is in the circus, I have heard that the circus has saved some from a worse life..  Some are immigrants from another country and were given an opportunity to come here for a better life, and they are grateful for that.  So again, this is not a black and white issue, but one fraught with grey.  I think if we open ourselves up to trying to understand others, we may learn something, and we may appreciate that which we didn't  understand before.

So I highly recommend the movie.  The music is so great I bought the soundtrack and am loving listening to it!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Update


It has been about 6 weeks that I wrote about my falling off the sanity wagon.  I am back on, I think.  So here is what I had to do to get back on.

First, I went to my psychiatrist and added a medication for anxiety.

Then I did an joined an online anxiety/depression support group.

Then I did an online workshop free from my health insurance: healthpartners.beatingthebluesus.com.

Finally, I read some of my favorite self-help books: CHANGES THAT HEAL  by Henry Cloud, and EMBRACING THE FEAR, LEARNING to MANAGE ANXIETY and PANIC ATTACKS
by Judith Bemis and Amr Barrada.  

I also decided to try something new for my arm and hand pain.  I went to this website: www.medi-dyne.com, and tried some exercises and bought a wrist brace.  I don't know if the exercises are helping, but I think the wrist brace is.  I wear it all the time at home.  

So there you are with an update.  I have been busy working as not only am I doing my regular Tuesday and Thursday night teaching, but also Monday and Friday night for the teacher on maternity leave.  I also plan my lessons at home as I don't have time during my work shift. I am enjoying teaching and planning.  

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bella


On Veteran's Day, I adopted Bella from PetSmart/Angel of Hope.  She is 7 years old, and a sweetheart.  All she seems to want is attention, and to be scratched and petted.  She doesn't bother me in my sleep, when I eat, or when I am busy.  She loves the couch and the rug in the living room, where she likes to roll and around on her back.  She doesn't play with the few toys I got her, but, I just got the minimal what I needed until I could figure out what else she wanted.  She sleeps a lot, but she just came here from Georgia, and has a wound on her right ear, so who knows what she has been through.  I guess when I first saw her and her wound, I thought, she needs me.  Then I thought, I need her.  She has been a great comfort for me.  It's like I ordered the best cat ever.  

I am truly thankful to God for Bella.  It was three years ago when I tried to adopt, too soon, I guess, after Chocolate.  Now I have a job, which I thought I'd never have again, and a cat, of which I feared I would never have again.  I am thankful to God for both.  Maybe I just needed time re: the loss of Chocolate.  And maybe I just needed to find something that I liked and was good at, re: the job.  I still worry about the job, for worry that I won't do a good job or that people will not like me.  But I guess all I can do is take it one day at a time, get help for myself, of which I am, and just be thankful.  

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I'm Not Normal

I have been struggling with my new job. I started it last month, working 10 hours a week, with about 3 extra hours of planning time.  Now with my co-worker having her baby, I am filling in her 10 hours, no planning time, her and my  boss decided she could plan and send to me.  I am also having to do a training starting in a few weeks that will last to the summer.  I also feel like I am disappointing the lead teacher I am working with.  I think she hoped I could help her, but I feel like I can only do my job and nothing else.  I have had bouts of insomnia and IBS.  At least the sleeping pills I got from my psychiatrist are helping.  I don't know if I am going through perimenopause or what.  I also wonder sometimes if I have Asperger syndrome or ADD, as I can't multitask, remember things, or manage my  time well. I usually don't like to talk about this as people usually just try to give me more work to do to "solve" my problems.  I have been able to manage my IBS, but it is worse lately, I suppose due to stress.  I have always struggled with insomnia, the pills help, but I don't want to be dependent on them.  I have figured out what I can eat and cannot eat to lesson the IBS, I am on anti-depressants/anti-anxiety for my anxiety and depression, which usually helps.  And I am on birth control pills to lesson and regulate my periods, as they were so heavy I was so dizzy and weak, and had terrible cramps.  I have tried homeopathic remedies, but they have  not helped.  I get tired of having to defend myself, my diet, my lifestyle, etc.  Yes, I get up late and go to bed late.  I am not a morning person.  And yes, 10 hours doesn't seem like much, and it isn't, but add 10 more and all the other stuff that goes with it, and I get pooped, physically, and emotionally.  So I am very thankful that the teacher who had her baby was willing to help me out.  I hope she can continue to do so.  I get so sweaty at work. I do know I can't do high impact exercise as it makes my heart rate too fast. I learned this in college.  I assume it is because I have a heart murmur.  Also, since I can't breathe through my nose, and one of my lungs has less capacity due to scoliosis, I can't breathe as deeply either. 

I sometimes forget I am not normal, and I want to be normal.  I don't want to be a burden on my parents.  They have been through so much already.  I don't know if what I am feeling is PMS or what.  I just know I want to be happy and at peace again.  I am sorry for such a depressing post, but I needed to vent.  Thank you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Stop the Insanity!


Last week was hell for me.  I had insomnia, an IBS attack, and hot flashes due to perimenopause.  I felt like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I was so anxious and depressed, I lost all desire for my job.  Which was weird as I love my job.  But I was anxious about some things, and my work schedule was not its usual schedule.  It just seemed like the Bermuda Triangle to trap my mind in a helpless, hellish state.  This doesn't happen very often, but when it does, wow.  And there is nothing I can do about it. I just have to live through it.  No pill, no prayer, no meditation on Scripture can stop it.  I just have to live through it.  It is hard to be patient though, and I freak out at times, making rash decisions and feeling like a failure.

I struggle with this as in some Christian circles, they don't believe in psychotropic medications, or don't believe that Christians can have mental illnesses.  It's almost like the Scientology way of thinking.  But I am living proof, and many others, that meds can help, therapy can help, and Christians can have mental illness!  I have always had these episodes, which usually only happen once a year, but I am thankful I have my parents to help me through it, and that I don't have to be institutionalized for it.  Not that I don't believe that institutions can help, they can.  But if you have a family or friends to help you through it, and a safe place to do so, so much the better.  

Some people might think that I am being blasphemous for saying that no amount of prayer or scripture can help me.  I'd like to tell them to walk in my shoes.  Then they will see that I am not lying, nor am I rebelling against God.  I am just human.  I am like Paul who asked God to heal him of some weakness, but God instead allowed it to continue, saying that His power is revealed in our weaknesses.  I think that is what happens sometimes.  I know I forget how much I need God, and I start to feel prideful and judgmental, thinking, yay, no more problems!  And bam, there they come like a hurricane.  And like hurricanes, you have to live through them.  And after a while, life gets better, life gets more normal.  The hurricane doesn't kill me, but reminds me of my immortality, and reminds me of God's love, and that His love is fierce.  


Monday, October 16, 2017

Bad Stadium


My mom had knee surgery 2 weeks ago.  Even so, she did not want to miss the match up between the MN Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.  My mom and my sister have had MN season tickets for years, so they have great seats near the front at the end zone.  But there is only one handicap area near the top, and near outside doors that for some inexplicable reason were left open yesterday.  You can use the handicap seats for a game at a time for a temporary disability, so they did, not knowing what they were really like.

The MN Vikings website said that they were ADA compliant.  I wonder if any of the people who designed this stadium or supposedly ensured that it was ADA compliant had ever had to use these handicap seats.  Not only wads there no elevator, but apparently there were no working handicap doors.  At least in the Metrodome, one could use an elevator if they needed to as to avoid the long flight of stairs.  Now there is none.  I guess they figure that if you want close seats, that is the price you have to pay, to climb all those stairs.  I remember the stairs at the Metrodome.  By the time I got to the top, I was panting.  And the security kept trying to get me to move out of the way.  I just glared at them.  They could arrest me for trying to live.  I wondered about this new stadium, why there is no elevator.  Don't they have to have a freight elevator to transport thing up and down?  Herberger's even let me use their freight elevator when their elevator was down and I am afraid to use escalators.

I suppose some might complain, well, at least they have seats.  So what?  So elderly and disabled people have to accept less than what they want?  Do the powers that be figure that oh well, they already have a disability, what difference does it make if they are cold?

It's like when I was a student about 12 years ago at the U of MN.  They had handicap access doors, but they were where people were allowed to smoke.  And sometimes the elevators didn't work.  I suppose the U figured oh well, they already have a disability, so what if they also get lung cancer from second hand smoke?  Right after I finished my program there, did they finally work on those problems.  

I guess I get disgusted when the elderly and disabled are ignored.   We are in such a PC culture nowadays that every one is demanding their rights.  What about our rights?  We don't have a celebrity voice.  We are not cool, and are rather representative of something that most people don't want to think about, having to get old, or having a disability.  I don't say this for myself, as I am relatively able bodied.  But I see what is happening around me, and what is happening to my parents as they get older, and it makes me sad.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

I am 50


Tomorrow I will be 50.  It seems unreal that I have lived that long.  When I was a child, 50 seemed so old.  But now that I am almost there, it really doesn't.  I still feel like a kid sometimes, maybe because I have none of my own.  But it's good to feel young, even though my body tells me everyday that I am getting older.

Here are some things I learned in my 50 years of existence:
Life is too short to get upset about the little things.
Friendships are worth more than politics.  
Being a parent is an awesome responsibility.  One not to be taken lightly.
Marriage will not change your spouse for the better, but will double your problems.
People are not perfect, don't expect them to be.
I am not perfect, don't expect me to be.
I wouldn't be able to survive this life without Jesus in it.
Life is hard.
Everyone has problems.
True love doesn't try to change a person.
What is inside is way more important than what is on the outside.
One can always tell cosmetic surgery or toupees to try to look younger.
It's OK to play with Barbies!
Animals are lot easier to have reciprocal relationships with than people.
God is the best One to have a relationship.  I can always count on Him.
Good parents teach their children right from wrong, and set limits.  Kids need that.
Marriage is a mutual sacrifice. 
Relation is not what makes a family.  Love is.
School prepares you for nothing.  Life does.
This is the only life you have.  Don't waste it wanting something you will never get.
Stand up for yourself.  No one else will.
Don't wait for help.  Get it.
Money does not buy happiness.
Beautiful people also have problems.
All the degrees in the world will not make you smarter.
It's OK to be weird.  It's better than being boring.
Life is beautiful.