Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some days you feel out of sync. . .

Sick with the motion
too much commotion

like these gears. . . 
vertigo of the ears

just spinning round 
and counter~round
Definitely not idleness.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Topless Skull. Why topless?

Have topless skull ... 
Have moonroof ???
Give me your reason to have a topless skull
                    ,;~'             '~;,
                  ,;                     ;,
                 ;                         ;
                ,'                         ',
               ,;                           ;,
               ; ;      .           .      ; ;
               | ;   ______       ______   ; |
               |  `/~"     ~" . "~     "~\'  |
               |  ~  ,-~~~^~, | ,~^~~~-,  ~  |
                |   |        }:{        |   |
                |   l       / | \       !   |
                .~  (__,.--" .^. "--.,__)  ~.
                |     ---;' / | \ `;---     |
                 \__.       \/^\/       .__/
                  V| \                 / |V
                   | |T~\___!___!___/~T| |
                   | |`IIII_I_I_I_IIII'| |
                   |  \,III I I I III,/  |
                    \   `~~~~~~~~~~'    /
                      \   .       .   / 
                        \.    ^    ./
image from comment section of Diesel Sweeties through this link: 

Holiday Style. Classic. Vogue has competition.

love this.
From Kelly Lynne's facebook collection

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sleep renews the soul

Intermeshing gears in motionImage via Wikipedia
When you think of basic functioning what do you need most? Treasure most?

Among the most needed is restful sleep. When your head gears are whirring they need time to cool down and let the grit settle.

Remember the peace you felt on having a morning to sleep in  and not have the brain have to hit  the accelerator as soon as your eyes opened. When the day gets bumpy and the gears are not meshing TAKE THE TIME JUST TO RECONNECT WITH THAT FEELING AND THE SENSATIONS THAT SURROUND IT.

Value yourself enough to find your music box throughout the day. Crawl into it when the daily head noise is too loud and unwind. Raw thoughts kink up the gears. Accelerators are meant to go on and OFF.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Group Resilience

You must read this blog:

It describes a group resilience example from the book, Joker One, by Lt. Donovan Campbell. I don't want to summarize it. The article is too dramatic for me to limit the message.  All the more reason to form deep connections. We do need group resilience for survival. Got to get some buddies to cover my ____.

Campbell, D. (2009). Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood. New York: Random House.
Note: the book link has a video of Lt. Campbell.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What to do with Pain? When it is not just a 'Pain in the Ass.'

ШАРКОImage via Wikipedia
I am not a good physical therapy patient. When each step hurts so much more after physical therapy I wonder if physical therapy is worth it. I am asking if I am doing more damage versus building stronger support muscles like the therapist says. Even with taking increasing doses of  pain management drugs [gabapentin, a anticonvulsant] the pain is worsening... getting sharper like the joint is on fire. What do I need to do when it is not just a 'Pain in the Ass?"

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Why do we ask " Why"? Happy people do NOT ask "WHY?" Or do they?

When things happen in my life I am always asking "Why?"

Why do we ask "Why?"? 

What benefit does it give us that we need to ask that question? That little three-letter word. The people I know from Alanon and AA say that the happiest people have zero expectations. These PEOPLE DO NOT ASK "Why?"

Do I have too many expectations?  Absolutely!    Do I have too many questions? Absolutely!

Ok. Guess my overthink is in overdrive. Or maybe I'm just a closet philosopher... When  I pose the question of 'Why?' I am asking eternal questions that have no answers. Why do we need answers?  Opps. Another Why. I cannot get away from asking Why.

Is this just another excuse to overthink? I named my dog, LetGo, hoping his name would remind me to let go of my thoughts. But why let go? Opps. Another Why. Why do we seek answers. Gosh. Am I stuck on Why!

I like answers. Guess that is why I keep asking questions. I have always presumed that the normal folks didn't ask Why. They already had the answers. Now why is that? Opps. Am I a broken record?

Well, part of my thinking process is that I actually 'HEAR' myself thinking. Yep. I am talking to myself. So if I am thinking aloud to myself I am actually talking to myself. And when people talk they ask a lot of questions. Asking questions, asking "Why?" is this the norm or not the norm?  Hmm...

When you are thinking are you talking to yourself? Do you hear your own voice speaking? Where is the cognitive psychologist when you need her or him? Do I talk too much to myself? Is this really my 'overthink'? Wish I knew how other people described their thinking process.

If there is anyone out there in blogland, give a comment on your WHYs... and if you talk to yourself. Seems like I am just an echo. Any echoes out there?

Until I hear any replies I am definitely needing to unwind in my music box tonight. Will the music ever stop? 
 ** Below has some interesting comments on mental clutter. Nice to hear how other people think. 
 * Interesting. This site says 'thinking over' vs my 'overthink.' But I do think this link has 'overthunk'.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flowers are crying with frost tears. S.A.D. The jewelry box of flowers is closing. Heigh Ho.

The famous "Heigh-Ho" sequence from ...Image via Wikipedia
With frost comes sadness. True tears are like the frost on the petals. What does this mean? Could it be flowers are alive and now they are dying. No. It for me is the loss of color and form. Flowers and leaves provide visual creative form that I thrive on.

But what is amazing is that roses burst forth in blossom before the final freeze. Summer builds to a crescendo into the fall flame of colors.

If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder the last blooms are a depressive trigger that the dark time is coming. You sleep later. You are more pensive. You treasure the last jewels of every flower and leaf color and form.

The jewelry box of flowers is closing. I guess that is why I have been looking at my music box as more inviting for the winter snuggle. There are less cat whiskers to climb into my music box with. Even the cats are huddling in and holding their whiskers tighter.

The music box's tune is Heigh Ho from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This sustains me when the loss of the flowers cries like a loon on the lifeless glass lake.

There would be less to unwind of my day's frustrations in the music box if I could have flowers everyday.

Click here for the song & animation of Heigh Ho.

 Related articles

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pain is a four - letter word. Unifying Theory of Pain where are you?

Image from: http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/10/21/chronic-depression-may-be-related-to-brain-infection/19905.html

Pain is universal. You might consider it a four-letter word. Science, literature and religion study it. However, pain studies me and my reactions. When you have both physical and mental pain it is hard to define pain. It is more than a stimulation of nociceptors in the peripheral nervous system, or by damage to or malfunction of the peripheral or central nervous systems [as Wikipedia says].

The doctors at the University of Michigan Pain Clinic say I must first be on anti-depressant medication before I can begin their pain management program. However, they fail to realize this is a conundrum. Pain depresses people. I ask how can an anti-depressant reduce pain? Yet, a fascinating study just published by the University of California, San Diego, in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review, proposes a new theory that suggests that chronic depression originates from ancient mechanisms used by the body to deal with physical injury, such as pain, tissue repair and convalescent behavior.

If you think in an evolutionary terms this theory makes sense. An adverse life event prompts neurological processes that physically alter the brain. The neurons remodel in a wound-healing mode. When this adaptive response becomes a habit, pathways are rewired. So if physical pain and mental pain [depression] work on the same mechanism the researchers posit that chronic depression maybe be treated with analgesics.

So if the University of Michigan Pain Clinic says you must first be treated for depression they may be not aware that analgesics might be useful to treat depression that arises from dealing with chronic pain.

It is still a conundrum. When it comes to clinical practice science moves so slow. So what should I do? Until there is a unifying theory of pain doctors will continue to treat separate parts of the body when a holistic approach would be best. Unifying theory of pain where are you?

Here's the link to the Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review online abstract mentioned:

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

What do you do when you don't know who you are?

Ok. When nothing makes sense and you ask who are you what is your answer? Well, if you are an absorbent personality you won't know who you are. By absorbent personality I mean you act like other people think you should act. You even take on an accent of the people around you or their focus.

So if you don't know who you are you need to find out. How to find out? Very good question.

By Unnamed photographer in employ of National Photo Company [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you overthink you could write a book. But what if you really don't know. Then you need to ask critical questions. What kind of critical questions? Where do you start?

Who? That could be descriptive. It could be many things. But who is defining the questions? One could be influenced  by surroundings. So again, your absorbent personality could throw you off. It is like defining a grain of sand thrown about by waves.

One could ask what one wants to be.  No. There is no answer. When one is nebulous there is no who. One could define oneself by one's perimeters. How many children? How long married? Am I not more than these perimeters? Does anyone know who they are? Should the question even be asked?

If life is a a state of being who am I being? Being what others say I am? But if one is absorbent then is it not others who define me? When do I get to be me? If I have never allowed myself to express myself, then am I even able to be defined?

Too many questions. Problem solved. I cannot define myself. Is this just another evasion of knowing who I am? Complex. It would be easy to say I am so and so's daughter, wife, mother... Do I have to know who I am? Why am I asking the question? The world loves labels. Do I need a label? Labels stop thinking. Do I want to stop thinking?

Am I addicted to thinking? Answers don't come late at night. I think I will climb into my music box and unwind my gears there. I'll hold on tight to the cat whiskers. Maybe by observing the animals I can make some sense. No matter how much order I put in my life. The order gives no structure only a more fragmented illusion of someone others think I am. When do I get to be me? Maybe there is no me. Scary. That I am nothing but a mirror. Is life just a series of mirrors? That is sad. Time to stop thinking. If one is trapped by glass how does one ever escape?

Escape to what? Don't want to face that. If all is glass where is . .  .  .   .    .  me?

If you have found who you are describe the process how you got there in the comments.  And share if you care to. Learning is difficult when not shared.

Click here for Elise on Life who doesn't do labels AND quotes Eckhart Tolle.

If you don't do links here's the quote: 

Eckhart Tolle says, “Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die.You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem.  You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Miss My Waning Garden

Wish I could wind down like my garden. Yet at the same time have you ever seen the roses look so beautiful.  Each plant or person has special needs. When you are trying to figure out why you do what you do you think of needs. Basic yet not known. If you have knocked at a door for years and it did not open you go around it. You do not see the door anymore.

If you are unhappy, you don't see the door. Can a person find the door? I remember the phrase about knocking and it shall be answered. Who knows what you missed behind the door. You only know that now you are taking the long way around. Is it useful to look back? Maybe it is just better to see the roses bloom exuberantly in the moment. Waning gardens make one think too much. Guess the music box doesn't unwind completely. Where are the cat whiskers when you need a tickle to think on the roses? Cat whiskers do show the cat's mood.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

When heat included with rent you get Life

Well. Apartment news. Six federal marshals with 2 local police and the rental agent arrested a Ten Most Wanted  profiled young man this past week in my apartment complex. Two well known local ladies of the night moved in upstairs. Opps. Almost forgot the explosive youth who loves to throw glass bottles outside and likes to kick in mail room walls moved into my building from the  complex's other building. Guess it will be company for the brain damaged lady who lives next door to him. She believes the light in the refrigerator controls how fast her milk spoils and that the police department has a remote control of her furnace thermostat. Let me not forget the registered child molester who lives next door to me. Or the new college student below me who believes you enter your apartment and get pizza deliveries through his garden apartment window below my balcony. I think he watched too many Dukes of Hazard County reruns.
Yes, when heat included in the rent you get life. Amazing what you can observe while you take out the trash, sit on your balcony, or watch the people from 17 cars enter the window of the apartment below you. Yes, When heat included in the rent you get life. Life as in prison sentence?
 Image from TMCnet Bloggers, 4-13-09  Click here for their link

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why am I awake when the rest of the world is sleeping?

If you can set a clock, can you reset a body clock? When you wind the spring too tight during the day, guess it takes a long time to unwind. So I'm awake when the world sleeps. But does it? The world that is. There are always cars on the road. I live near a major road that feeds the expressway and the city Main Street.

How can I find the 'switch' to change this red-eye habit? If behavior occurs because it meets some benefit, what benefit does this behavior give me. Clarity because environment offers less distractions. I can focus better. But this is only a perception acquired because I allow myself to believe that it is a better time to focus.

So again I am having conversations with myself that justify this behavior. Like in the book, Switch, my rational mind says it is OK to stay up late. But it also says the following day that I need more rest. But the strength I need to see to make a change in habits is that I am blogging about my struggle.  So the emotional brain is getting some benefit. Balancing this brain chatter, this overthink, isn't easy. It is like picking up a car and turning it around to drive in the opposite direction. I think I'll drive over to my cat whiskers and climb in the music box. I really don't do the best writing late at night. . . . Cat whiskers indicate mood. . .Guess I'm pulling them back in a defensive mood. They also let a cat feel around in the dark like I do.

Click here for why cats have whiskers.

Here's an image of a cat named whiskers from http://www.catoftheday.com/archive/2006/June/03.html

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Awake and turn on 'Switch' to Change Habits

Since I have to make new habits I have found an unique book called Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.* It analyzes why change is so hard. Our rational mind wants to change but the emotional mind wants a safe known comfort zone. The book tells stories how people have changed by recognizing strengths not weaknesses. I think  their book presents a concise realistic plan for making transformative change .

An example is the story of a young man is given the task of reducing child mortality in a rural Vietnamese village. Given his placement is only for months he cannot realistically effect change by reducing poverty. Instead he observes and seeks out the few families whose children are thriving. He discovers some simple things they do different from the other families whose children are struggling due to malnourishment. These thriving families cook with cultural taboo foods and they make sure the children are not just present at the meals but they feed the children and make sure they eat.  Gradually by encouraging groups of villagers to cook together, to feed the children 4 times a day instead of two, and to introduce the previously excluded foods the young man was able to help 65% of  the village's children thrive.

So I don't have to create a new habit, I only have to 'switch' to see my strengths and expand that existing habit into the wider area where I desire change. It is provocatively simple. If my overthinking is immobilizing me then use this strength as a 'switch ' to turn on the area I want to develop or to form a new habit.

Could it be as simple as thinking about what I am thinking? I have to think about that. I am only just in the first few chapters of the book.  There must be more.  Ummm.  Am I overthinking again? Yes, this time it is a good overthink. Maybe my overthinking isn't such deficit after all...

Need to unwind into the music box now. The simple is complex. Did you know that cat whiskers have a smooth side and a very rough side when stroked in different directions. Got to uncoil this brain. The smooth side is what I feel when I slide out of the music box in the daytime. It is the rough side that I touch when I climb in at night. Nights are always rougher. Darkness is too vast an area for an overthinker to roam. Raw thoughts.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sugar can put you to sleep or anger you to stay awake.

If you want to stay awake, don't go for a 2 hour glucose tolerance test. You lose your ability to sit upright within 15 minutes. Give it 25 minutes more and you'll want  to sleep because it is too much work to breathe. You will drift off waiting for empty oxygen tanks to give you some chest expansion. But you'll not to get to sleep when very shaky paramedic hands try to put screwdrivers in your veins to start an IV drip. Wonder what med this paramedic is on. 

As this time elapses your body says OK enough of this sleeping break during the middle of the day and you wake up to wait for hours in ER to be told: No, you cannot have a sugar reading test. Anger builds up. You were supposed to have your glucose tested 2 hours after drinking this fruit punch with the wallop of a volcano. You may ask to have it tested so you don't have to go through this _____ again. But no the ER wants not to hear any requests. So you stew. Wait 2-1/2  hours more to be allowed to go to the bathroom and get a blood draw on their schedule. Then you wait another hour for blood work to come in. Sure, your reading is normal now. Sure, you want me to wait another three hours to perhaps see a doctor.

Sure I value your value of me, ER department. You take the blood results and decide to leave. The ER staff wants you to leave. Do they say any precautions? Nope. Sign here and leave. But the son says cross that off saying you were advised against leaving. Do they have the readings from the lab clinic that doesn't believe in oxygen belongs in oxygen tanks. No. Do they have the paramedic's report? No. All I have is some wonderful normal lab reading taken two and a half hours after it should have been taken.

Sugar can put you to sleep but it can wake you with anger. Now, do you wonder why I want to unwind in a music box and sleep among cat whiskers?