Thursday, April 22, 2010

All You Can Eat Buffet

Was listening to a song the other day – a song from one of my favorite movies 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The song was a Dream Academy version of The Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let me Get What I Want."

Oh how that song made me smile.

"...Good times for a change
See the luck I've had
Can make a good man turn bad...

I'm actually not a man, and damn, life is pretty frickin' great. I certainly am happy in the majority of areas in my life. I have a wonderful career, I work for a bitchin' company, my children are happy, well-adjusted and healthy. I have a home and a car and beautiful friends and family that add joy to my heart. I think I've had quite a good run of luck lately and so cannot complain...

"...So please, please, please
Let me, let me, let me
Let me get what I want this time...

...Haven't had a dream in a long time
See the life I've had
Can make a good man bad..."

I've had lots of dreams, and some have even come true. My life has been rich with adventure, heartache, laughter, love, solitude and faith.

It's that whole begging "please, please, please, let me, let me, let me, get what I want this time" part that drives to the heart of me. If God gave me everything I ever wanted I'd probably be in big trouble. I know acceptance and disappointment build character and being grateful for what you have is a direct spiritual path to God. I've also gotten a few things I thought I just had to have and found the disappointment and pain far outweighed the anxiety of the wanting.

Have you ever wanted something so bad, so madly, that your entire mind – your body – aches for it? You want it, it's there...sooooo goddamned close and nope. Can't have. You can smell it, you can taste it. You can close your eyes and FEEL it right there with you. Your mouth waters, your body shakes and your pulse quickens, and you still know you can't have it. The more you can't have it, the more you want it. It's like you're starving and you're standing outside the window of a buffet knowing they won't let you in to get what you need. You know you should just walk away from the would be so easy to turn, step and keep moving away. But you do not, and you stand rooted in your purgatory.

It's insanity, I tell you. It's maddening, frustrating, exhilarating and laughable, all at once.

I'm laughing right now.

Because I understand the principle of "Letting Go."

If you let something go...honestly let it go...then no matter what transpires in the future, you're good to go. Cuz you let it go. Ta-da! (BTW, spare me the "if you let something go..." poem. Read it a thousand times...)

So, if in the future that something turns're good. If in the future that something turns're still good. Cuz it's been "let go." Bye-bye. Doesn't affect you anymore. Likewise, if in the future, that something makes a u-turn and you're again face-to-face with your erstwhile desire, well, hey now! That desire must have been meant to be. That's the icing on the cake, cuz you let it go – either way, life proceeded happily up to that point because you moved on and weren't enslaved to a maddening desire.

Understanding "letting go" also makes it easy to recognize the consequences of not doing so. Discontentment big time. Mingled with self-deprecating laughter and head-shaking.

So, then, why is it sometimes I make a conscious decision to hold on to something? Why, why on Earth would I ever choose to say "I cannot have this thing, however I shall romance the notion of having it, regardless of the fuck-upedness it causes in my brain."

* Aside: Fuck-upedness is now officially a term. I have coined it, therefore it is so.*

When I look at the facts and I am not glorifying or romancing anything but can see facts boldly in front of me and STILL say, "I choose to not let go" I have to sit down and think about what in the hell is going on with me that this mule-headed craziness serves a purpose of some kind. Is focusing my energy on something I can't have keeping me from opening up to other opportunities? Is it safer to invest thought and emotion and energy into something that isn't real, than to risk something that IS real, but has a possibility of disappointing me?

Believe me...I WANT...oh, so want to be willing to just let it go. It is such a crazy struggle. Still laughing. Laughing at myself and my ridiculousness. The daily arguments I have with myself in my head are hilarious. Someday someday someday either I'll get what I want (and then what?? Will it be a good thing or a bad thing?) or I'll get so tired of this cast-iron grip that I'll finally just give up and let it slip through my grasp and blow a kiss as it flies away in the breeze. And I'll turn, take a step and keep on moving. I wonder, too, if there's a third possibility...a balance to be achieved. A full acceptance that the gnawing hunger may always be there, never quite completely satiated.

Still laughing.

*sigh* It's a hell of a predicament. Sometimes the clear and simple choice is not so easy to make as it seems.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

To Whine or Not To Whine Redux

I originally blogged this on Facebook the day before my trip was scheduled to begin. With one eye on the telly and another on God, I had hope the flight would be allowed through, but it was not. And all for the best as I don't wish to be among the first guinea pigs to experiment with flights to Europe. Let those who have an exacting need to get to and from there first crack. I'll wait, thanks!

So, I chose a positive-thinking attitude regarding the whole "dream trip to Ireland" thing. This is all quite interesting and, like everything else in my life, has set me contemplating.

First of all, I could choose to be pissed, hugely disappointed, cry, stomp, yell...argue with airlines, and whine.

What a pain in the ass that would be. And what would it accomplish?

Or I could choose a different mindset:

1. The flight was cancelled, and I took the full refund because they wanted another $553 to book the trip in September. So, instead of getting their $553, they got nothing. And I'll stash that cash in the bank and lurk about to find a better deal. My trip isn't cancelled...just postponed. I admit, once I hung the phone up after taking the refund, I did cry. But I think it was other things going on that got to me and the cancellation simply broke that shaking wall keeping the tears at bay. Now I have the opportunity to save more money for the trip, and perhaps even tack on a few extra days to see more of Ireland, or, even better, visit friends in Scotland.

3. I am a firm believer in "Everything Happens for a Reason." Therefore, for whatever reason – and I may never, ever know what the reason is – I was not supposed to go on this trip right now. I have been thinking about my experiences at home with a new perspective since they wouldn't have happened/be happening if I had gone to Ireland as planned. The conversations I've had, the moments I have cried about, laughed about, the hugs I received from my daughters that I hadn't planned on seeing for 11 days...the books I found in my favorite bookstore...all of these were fresh and new. And what about the experiences to come? It's all very existential to think about them in this way..LOL.

4. A huge part of this trip was the excitement and anticipation! How cool is it that I get to continue that experience for a little while longer?

5. So, I miss the Dropkick Murphys in Ireland. Who knows who'll be playing there when I go later.... The Pogues?? Flogging Molly?? Gogol Bordello?? Volbeat? :) That's just another surprise in this whole grab-bag situation.

5. To throw a temper tantrum would be like believing this entire Iceland volcano eruption was a totally personal affront: "What about the money I scrounged to take this trip?" "This is my DREAM TRIP I've waited 25 years for!" "It's not fair!!!!" "Doesn't that effing country know who I AM?" Really? Wow, the ego is a crazy thing. What about all the people here or over there who are stuck away from home? Maybe they're running low on cash...they miss their family...they have jobs they need to get back to. What about the people in EU who are going to be impacted by this economically if not physically? What about the crops and livestock affected by the ash fallout? What about the people who depend on the travel industry? Wow. One airline passenger's dream versus hundreds of thousands of OTHER people's dreams, hopes and livelihoods. Makes my "problem" a blessing. Makes it easier to temper the disappointment too.

Like I said, things always happen for a reason. And sometimes we have to wait for what we want. If it's supposed to be, it will be. Sometimes events/situations just get in the way of what we plan...(my plans ALWAYS make God laugh) and we are (ME..I am...) forced to practice a virtue called "patience." Which I'm just not too good at! :) Apparently I'm supposed to be practicing it though, because I keep getting people, places and things in my life that I need to be patient with. Oh, and let's just throw compassion, gratitude, acceptance and faith in that mix.

To all my friends who have encouraged me and rooted for this dream becoming a reality, thanks!! I really enjoy sharing hopes and dreams with you all, if it wasn't for these friendships, the journey would not be an adventure! (I'm not just talking about the trip you know!)

By the way, the very fact that I'm blogging about the philosophies of accepting the cancellation of an international vacation...cripes. Let's just say, I am exceptionally blessed in my life. I have NOTHING to complain about. To do so would be amazingly ungracious.

Besides, it's not the trip that has been the main purpose of this process which began in January. The very fact that I stopped talking about going and actually took action to make a lifelong dream come true...THAT is the real gift in this. Does that make sense? The trip is the icing on the cake. It's the personal changes that occurred through this process that are the biggest deal to me.

Life is all about the adventure. Sometimes the greatest adventures are the ones that happen right in our souls.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sexy Is As Sexy Does. What Is Sexy?

I don't typically do two blogs in a day (it HAS been done, though)...I just came across this while cleaning up some word files. I wrote this almost two years ago. I find it all to be quite as true for me today as it was then. My circumstances and relationships have changed and I initially wrote this as an Anthem spouting against my ex, but now I see it more as a guideline to remind me what I want (and don't want) in a relationship:

Self confidence is sexy. Arrogance is not.

Self-reliance is sexy. Having "be my mommy" syndrome is just plain sad.

Strength of character and emotion is sexy. Most men don't realize that has nothing to do with muscles.

With that said, muscles ARE very sexy and working out to be fit and healthy is wonderful...but there's a line that sometimes gets crossed where it becomes a complete ego-fest. Then it's a TOTAL turn-off.

Having goals and working hard to accomplish them is sexy. Cheating and taking short cuts to get there faster is repulsive and pathetic.

Facing problems and finding solutions is sexy. Avoiding truth is not.

Living life to the fullest is sexy. Doing it at the expense of hurting loved ones is selfish.

Knowing when to compromise is sexy. Prideful obstinance is not.

Action is sexy. Very sexy. Laziness is not.

Passion is soooo sexy. Obsession is not.

Understanding passion isn't always a sexual thing is also!

Outside is sexy! The couch is NOT! (Welllll....sometimes the couch is QUITE meow! ;p )

Rising to challenges and having determination are sexy. Quitting when the going gets rough is definitely NOT.

Romance is sexy. Vulnerability in the name of romance is wonderful! Neglect is deadly.

Dancing is sexy. Seriously...if more guys knew the power of taking a woman on the dance floor, every man in the world would be cutting a rug 24-7!

Goofiness – or, more, the freedom of having fun for fun sake and not caring who's watching – is so sexy.

A kooky sense of humor is sexy. Thinking you're too cool for school is not.

Shyness is also quite sexy. Maybe because I have always been shy (I cover it up with gregariousness! lol!!!). Just don't let it stop you from getting what you want. Or who you want.

Education is sexy. Ignorance is not. And I'm not just talking about college degrees.

Reading is sexy. Because knowledge is sexy. I like a man who enjoys reading a good book.

Respect is sexy. Control is NOT. I've had enough control. There is NOTHING you can do or say to change me.

Acknowledging other's feelings is sexy. Apathy is NOT cool or sexy.

Taking the time to learn something about your significant other to help you understand them is SEXY. Shouting, degrading comments, and acting like there's no problem is NOT.

Acceptance is sexy. Fixing isn't.

Honesty, even if it hurts, is sexy. Lying is pitiful.

Smiles are sexy. Scowls suck.

Cuddling and affection are VERRY sexy. Groping isn't. Grow up. Don't be a pig for God's sake.

Truly enjoying the smell and taste and feel of skin is soooooooo sexy. Sensuality can never be overrated...scent and touch is God's natural aphrodisiac. Cmon...a heartfelt caress...or massage...where the energy and focus comes right through your fingertips will leave me shaky for days! :)

Appreciation...Letting the world know how much you love your girl and want her and that she is special to you is sexy. Possessiveness is cuckoo scary.

Walking through life side by side is very sexy. Walking through life where one is leading and the other struggles to keep up is not.

Sweat from honest work is soooo damned sexy. Sweat from getting off the couch to get another beer from the fridge is NOT sexy.

A man in a button-down shirt, tie and slacks one day and in jeans and tee-shirt the next day is very sexy. A guy who always looks like he's off the skater-circuit is not. Cmon! Dress up sometimes! And LOSE THE BAGGIE PANTS! Leave 'em in the prison system, please. It's time to give up the bag.

T-Minus 8 Days

I have exactly 8 days and two hours before I touch down in Dublin airport. I've gone through terminal maps for JFK and O'Hare airports to make sure I know where I'm going when I connect to/from my Aer Lingus flights...I've packed and repacked my little carry-on with my "if it doesn't fit in the bag it doesn't go" necessities...I've even weighed the damned thing to be sure what I'm taking will fall under the weight-restrictions for carry-ons. Today I fax the Arlington Temple Bar (since apparently they don't respond to emails) to confirm my reservation. I have my itinerary, my pass vouchers, my concert ticket...I have my Euros and I have my passport. I have everything. I'm ready to go.

What I don't have (yet) is butterflies in my stomach. I find it odd that – after 25 years of planning and wishing and talking and dreaming – my emotions and anticipation are almost muted today.

Is it because I'm actually a wee bit nervous about doing this alone and don't want to focus on those negative feelings? A shocking amount of folks I've spoken to have expressed surprise that I would go alone. That I'm "ballsy" "bold" and "beautiful" (Ha ha...I threw that last one in there...).

I guess it is a bit daunting to take your first international trip somewhere alone, but it's not exactly as if I'm doing it to Siberia for gawd's sake. I'm going somewhere friendly, English-speaking (not that that's a prerequisite...please don't saddle me with Ugly American Disease), cultural and moderne....not so much of a leap for my first trip. It's actually a pretty safe and sane choice to go to Dublin. I think a lot of folk still misunderstand the difference between "Free Ireland" and "Northern Ireland" (sorry, my little bit of political commentary in that naming protocol). So to the people who think I'm cuckoo for going alone...I say, "pfft-ish." I could make it a big deal if I wanted, and worry and fuss, but why? It's FUN!! EXCITING!! AN ADVENTURE!! Focus on that. Not on the "scary parts." I could just as easily be going to Boston or New York alone, right? Would anyone think I'm all those b-words if that was the case? Besides, I like the idea of my first trip abroad as unfettered by people with their OWN agendas. I like being a free-spirit, I like doing things that I want to do, when I want to do them. Don't like to be tied down... Well, figuratively speaking of course... ;) Ok, ok, I'm just kidding. Really... (why do I ALWAYS go to the gutter??)

Actuall, this lack of "oomph" so close to my departure is, I think, because I am trying to NOT focus on the fact that I will be spending almost 20 hours doing the airport/flying thing. THAT's what makes me deflate a bit. Have to be at LAX at 8:30 a.m.on the 18th...flight takes off at 11:30ish a.m...arrives JFK 8:00ish p.m., switching to Aer Lingus and leaving the states around 10 p.m. Arriving Dublin "the next day" at 9:45 a.m. *gack*

*Focusing on THE ADVENTURE!!!!* :)


Maybe it's simply because I've dreamed of this for so long that I won't believe it'll be happening til it happens. Maybe even then I won't believe it. I don't know. These are just random thoughts in my mind right now. Pretty tired. Have only had 1 mug of coffee. Don't ask me to be profound or scholarly or philosophical this early. BTW, speaking of philosophical, let me just take this moment to say I think Jean-Paul Sartre, in all his glory, was way too puffy in his writing. Just get it out man! I am not impressed with your verbosity.  There. That's been on my mind a long time since beginning Existentialism and Human Emotion. *sigh* Don't even ask me why I brought it up here. Consider this blog free-thought and basically nothing more than a quick insight into how my brain works early on a Monday morning.

So. 8 days. Will you check back here throughout that week to see what I've written about my bold, ballsy travels? I promise not to be too verbose. Stupid Sartre. *grumble....where's my coffee?*

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Venus Trines at Midnight

"Close your ears to the sound of my voice and through the thunder of a thousand cannons you will hear it calling your name...
Blind yourself to the light in my eyes and through the blackness of eternal night you will feel them piercing your soul...
Insulate your body against my hands and through blocks of ice it will tremble to my touch...
Turn your cheek away from my breath and through layers of rock you will feel it against your lips..."

From "Venus Trines at Midnight", by Linda Goodman, found at the end of the Leo Woman/Sagittarius Man section. Oomph. This still packs a punch for me.