Archives for the month of: February, 2012

I’m so insanely busy right now.  I’ve got a full time job for the first time in a few years.  I’ll be updating this blog with new stuff once a week, but until then, here is a vintage post.

My father was 48 years old when I was born.  He retired at 55.  He cradled more wisdom in his pinky nail than most other men in their whole lifetimes.

This was what he taught me as the route to happiness and contentment:

“Jen, all you need is a small piece of land with a fruit tree that will shade you in the heat of the day, under which you can sit and eat your one meal of the day.”

What is the best advice you’ve ever received about happiness and contentment?

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I’m so insanely busy right now.  I’ve got a full time job for the first time in a few years.  I’ll be updating this blog with new stuff once a week, but until then, here is a vintage post.

” I think I could turn and live with animals, they’re so placid and self contain’d,

I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,

They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,

Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,

Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,

Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth.”

-Walt Whitman

I’m so insanely busy right now.  I’ve got a full time job for the first time in a few years.  I’ll be updating this blog with new stuff once a week, but until then, here is a vintage post.

So, before this afternoon’s bag of chips and chocolate “trail mix”, it has been nearly two weeks that I haven’t eaten for any other reason than that I was hungry.  A funny thing happened when I stopped eating emotionally….I started FEELING all my emotions.  All of them.  The pesky ones, the silly ones, the crushing ones, the tortuous ones, the giddy ones, the mushy ones, the giggly ones, the soul-squashing ones have all come up through this silent place between my belly-button and my pubic bone like a geyser.  I always thought the “with every fiber of my being” phrase was a hackneyed one used by writers that need to rely on melodrama.  Until now….I feel all my emotions with every fiber of my being.

I can feel hollow sadness all through me.  It turns my torso, the columns of legs, the cylinders of my arms…even the tubes of my fingers, into an empty, echoing space under the drum-taut stretch of my skin.

Happiness gurgles through me like a cool stream flowing along the beds of my muscles, even the little ones that hold my ears in place.

Panic grips me at the waist and I can’t feel my legs, my bowels get cold and watery, my chest becomes a frantic metronome swinging my heart from one side of my ribcage to the other.

There is hatred, also, where my eyes lose their peripheral vision and get very, very focused.  Every vein strains against the pink inside of my skin, searing it all black.

Then, the rage.  Oh, the rage.  The rage that has been a quiet, steady, smoldering fire for nearly all the years that my memory can stretch back.  Except that without cupcakes, fried chicken, mashed potatoes with extra gravy, german chocolate cake ice cream, and salt and vinegar chips to smother that rage into my dearest friend, depression, I am finally looking rage right in the face.

And rage is looking right back at me.  And, for once, I am really seeing.

Depression was all that rage on a shock collar.  Each time that rage bared its teeth, bzzzzzzzzt, a shock was administered to keep it well-behaved.  A good girl does not get angry at others.  She punishes herself for thinking that she was even worth the trouble to be upset about what happened.

Depression tells me that it was my fault.  Depression tells me that there must have been something wrong with me.  Depression tells me that I had set my expectations way too high.  Depression tells me that I should be quiet, stuff my face so that rage doesn’t have a chance to escape.  Depression tells me that of course, no one can love me, I mean really, you’re always so depressed.

But, rage, dear, clear, searing rage.  Rage wants to destroy.  Rage wants to pull things out of their sick sockets.  Rage wants to burn hot enough to cauterize the wounds.

Rage yells: I was perfectly lovable and you didn’t love me.

Rage roars: I kept lowering and lowering my expectations until I had none and you couldn’t meet them.

Rage screams: You had no right to touch me like that.

Rage cries out: My body!  My body!  My body is SACRED.

Rage roars: Something was very wrong and it was not my responsibility to make it right.

But that gets pretty exhausting, so I had a bag of chips with a jar of salsa and several handfuls of chocolate.