There Is a Limit.

Grief isn’t always an honorarium.

Too prolonged, it turns into a mortifying dishonor.

It’s horrifyingly self-heart-breaking to have to admit this. I’ve been wrong.   

I accepted well-meaning, short-term advice as eternally acceptable; permissive and long term.

Took it with no intention of delving below the surface or coming up for air.

I haven’t decided which is the more appropriate analogy.

Doesn’t matter, they’re each tired in their own way.

I believed, because I wanted to. Justified by unlimited sources, repeating: there is no time limit on grief.

Day-by-Day. Hour-by-Hour, Minute-by-Minute were my only mantras. Which one depended entirely on the ebb or swell of absurdities; my stagnant situation, gladly perceived as permanent. It’s been quite the convenience; playing deeply into the dark places that have never scared me.

I’ve never been that Martina McBride “Happy Girl.” Although, I recognize myself at the start of the story. As much as I embrace it as a feasible concept, that won’t ever be me.

I used to take part, maintaining a purposely limited social life. Not because I enjoyed it, but because I was afraid I’d miss something big or a faintly-possible someone special.

Farcical charades, short spurts of semi-forced enthusiasm are easier to maintain than enduring the long-lingering disappointment of others and constantly being called on saying, “No.”

COVID’s been a bit assistive in this.

I’m not any lonelier than I was before, and that’s my enraged point.

I’ve lost almost 15 years to grief.

I’ve self-excused and self-approved my lack of future vision by embracing, without investigation, a kindly-offered axiom, as an exalted right.

There is most definitely a time limit on overwhelming sorrow and debilitative grief, and you’re the only one who can set it.

Moving On. The Challenge.

On October 13, 2020, I told you this: Last week, someone I don’t know said something that changed everything.

There’s been a change in the playlist.

The internet loves challenges like I love music. It thrives on them. It discovers dozens each day. But, only a few are worth it.

Mmmm. Like this one. #blueoctober #movingon #challenge .

I prefer not to start in the middle, but in this case, urgence of participation (gasp) makes sense.

I’ve had the wrong song in my #1 will-do spot for decades. Not my fault.

The right song hadn’t been written, yet. Now, it has.

Moved out of the first slot: I’m Moving On.

I believe in this song. For many years, it’s been an anthem excuse of self-promising, a someday in-waiting. Not an action wanting.

A melancholy sing along, every time, where I want the words to be real. A prelude to the reach, wanting lets me waltz. Feelings play along with well-curated reels in my mind. I can picture it, but I can’t do exactly that.

Now seen for what I really want it to be: the after, the explainer. Not every line is perfect. Some are so false that I’ll address them, later.

Moving into First Place: Moving On, though, is a rearranger – an artfully arranged mind-matter mover with an oddly perfect, happy melody.

Brought to me by Tuesday Night Recovery. Live weekly sessions hosted by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, featuring steps and music and supports.

Yes, plural. Discussions, viewer comments, one-day-at-a-time preaching. I have no idea how I got God-smacked into this mecca of inclusive anonymous help, where my anti-social not-group-joining self can join-in and be communed, but unobserved.

If it hadn’t been explained, I never would have though it to be what it is. To the writer, it’s not a love gone-wrong song. It’s a get-out-of -my-life I am never going back to (insert vice here.) It’s a sterner, angrier, get off of my life, pulling away from the surround, bursting my own bubble song.

Reminded me so much of this. Re-capping, quickly; a grief therapy session, where someone else said something that clicked.

Discussing my already 8-year-old grief. “Sometimes, I can’t keep it in.” I admitted. “It. Just. Wants Out.”

“Well, what do you want?” was the question, asked.

Firmly answered, “I want it gone.” “So,” he astutely concluded. “You and your grief want the same thing.”

I have to move on. I’m not saying goodbye to you or our memories or our friendships or him.

I’m saying goodbye to my crippling 15-year-old cloak in full-on ‘What Not to Wear Style’. It’s coming with a cost though.

An emotionally expensive fear, which I have avoided (or so I thought) until now. Because moving on is terrifying and de-cloaking is soul exposing.

I’ve taken advantage of grief to be comfortable, to exist in solitary. Guaranteeing no furtherly inflicted love or loss.

I have no faith that things will be different in six months.

I have faith that I will be. Different. In six months, when my grief turns 15.

This Week’s

Exploration Links:

Blue October: two videos, because something worth doing is worth doing, again and again. One of them will speak to you. I’m sure.

Moving On Live Tuesday Night Recovery Version

Moving On Fan Participation Video Version

And then there’s this one… Fear

Kelly Clarkson  I’m Moving On  False: “They’ll never allow me to change.” You’ve all always wanted me to change.

Another Another 30 Seconds

My first re-post, ever. Why? 

Because I needed it, I went looking for it. 

I guess because it’s kind of self-discouraging to talk yourself down from being excited about getting “up to 20 minutes,” 10 years after you were a 50-minute regular.

Upside – I’ve got a new 2020 playlist going, though. (a few links below.)

January 24, 2017: Another 30 seconds

The treadmill followed us to Adrian, where it sat in the den gathering dust.

Until late 2005, when it became clear Jeff would never be able to return to work. I think up until this time, he thought he’d be able to beat it.

Despite medications and injections, his blood sugar averaged 350. What we hoped was temporary neuropathy, turned into a permanent nightmare. Unhealable ulcers covered his legs, which were in danger. Poor circulation and deep wounds prompted one doctor to speculate on the future, citing potential, eventual amputation.

Jeff wasn’t depressed. I was terrified. Carrying 298.7 pounds on a 5’3” frame, I realized I was in no shape to help if it came to that. I wasn’t concentrating on taking baby steps. I didn’t have to. My body determined my pace.

It seems incredible to me now that one full minute was as far as I got the first day. Within two weeks though, I had achieved a regular, comfortable 3-minutes. I mean comfortable as in not gasping for breath, seeing little black spots or needing to chug a glass of orange juice to counteract my blood sugar drops from the exertion.

I’d been to my yearly physical, which I tried to avoid by only going every two or three years. I was declared obese, of course, and pre-diabetic which believe it or not was a shock to me. Wearing a size 28 should have been a clue, but that’s not how I saw myself, mostly because that’s not how Jeff saw me, either.

We developed an evening routine. I would come home from work, change my clothes and treadmill for 3 minutes, sweating horrifically. By the time I’d finished my shower, picked out my work clothes for the next day, Jeff would have dinner ready.

One evening, Jeff stuck his head through the kitchen pass-through.  “How many minutes do you have left?” he asked.

“I only have 30 seconds,” I answered.

“Well,” Jeff said, “dinner’s not ready, yet. You can do an extra 30 seconds.”

I might have still had my crabby pants on from work, but I took umbrage. There I was sweating my brains out, seeing the light at the end of the torturous treadmill tunnel and he thinks I’ve got it in me to go another 30 seconds?

But, what I said, was, “Oh, really? Another 30 seconds? You get over here and do 30 seconds if you think it’s so easy!”

Of course, there were a few things wrong with my response. Jeff hadn’t actually implied I was slacking. He hadn’t said he thought it’d be easy. And it was a ridiculously inappropriate suggestion since his feet were continuously painful and he had a great deal of trouble walking.

But, Jeff just laughed. He found it endlessly amusing when I became flustered or got feisty. He wasn’t at all offended . And because that distinctive laugh was unavoidably contagious, I ended up laughing, too.

As Jeff wiped the doubled-over, guffawing tears from his eyes, I glanced down at LED readout.

“4 minutes!” I shouted in astonishment. “See?” Jeff said. “I knew you could do it.”

Enjoy this Week’s Songs for Soul Survivors: (aka playlisting, treadmill time.) @ Knabble-Podcast: Knabble-Pod

Quote for the Week:

Lucia & The Best Boys:  Perfectly Untrue  (2020)

Michigander: Let Down  (2020)

Blue October: Oh My My  (2020)

2017-01-24-support-isnt-about-the-goal-jakorte
jdrf-2015

because, but, pride.

I’m the kind of person who’s reluctant to switch positions because a cat is on my lap.

Even if my knees are going numb. Or that stabbing shoulder pain starts up.

What makes me think I’m ready to switch anything?

Because, I want to.

Because, I’ve been thinking about it.

Because, thinking about it is half the battle.

The other side of that fight is dedicated to doing what you’re thinking about doing.

So, exercise seems like the best place to begin. Begin, again, that is.

I know I loved it when I did it. It’s an energizing / endorphin / accomplishment trifecta.

Walking the long way around to work grabs me 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the afternoon. But, that’s only two days a week, and those two are in a row.

On the days I camp out in my home office, my intentions are good.

But, not good enough.

The other day, I optimistically set my alarm for 6:15 am. Plenty of time to treadmill, shower and eat breakfast before wandering into my home work space.

But, I was on Society6 until 11:50 pm uploading art; fooling around with store set-up.

But, the furry fiends woke me up at 4:30 am; yowling like starving banshees.

But, it was chilly; a cup of coffee sounded good.

But, I sat to sip; deciding multitasking email deletion could be accomplished.

But, I clicked an email; clicked a link and clicked another link.

But, when I finally wasn’t interested in the next article; I scrolled to the time screen.

But, it was 7:40 am; and damn.

But, I’m going to do what I used to do; when I wasn’t sure I was going to do something.

Declare.

If I tell you, then I have to. Even if you don’t care if I do.

Because, someday you might think to ask, “Hey, did you…?”

Because, the tiniest threat of someone pulling that loose string on the hem of my sweater dress that could, in fact, leave me bare when it all unravels; exposed as a non-achiever.

So, I psych myself out.

I can proudly do what I say or embarrassedly concoct another confession.

Who says pride is always a bad thing?

Quote for the Week:

Last vs This; Starting Here

So, it’s been a week since I declared I wanted to be happy.

And I’ve had some interesting thoughts since then.

I’ve joined an art challenge group. I’ve been communicating with someone whose art I admire. I’m paying more attention to posts everywhere and more than one-click interacting. I’m using words. LOL.

Thank you for all of the notes, messages, IM’s and emoji support. In the past 7 days, I’ve gone from one-way communication to two-way comm. Before you start in with vibes of technical fouls, I’ll agree with you. No, it’s not ‘in-person’ or on the phone, but I’m saying it counts, because it’s more than I’ve had in a few years.

So, what was I gaining from all that walling off?

Not adding people to my life means I won’t be losing more than I know I already will.

The easy obliteration of as much drama as possible. I don’t need any extra help being dramatic. Odd stuff happens with cosmic commonness, and I certainly don’t need anyone’s ramp to help push me along. I can do that just fine by myself.

What else? Oh! Not dusting every week. Sure, a few times pre-planned times a month, someone stops by for a nice chat or an adventure. Everyone knows advance notice is more than appreciated. Since COVID March-ed in, there has been only one threshold crossing in 8 months.

And that’s only because I begged for an out of control coif shearing.  A few electric trimmer (with guard swipes) left the multi-color multi-length mullet behind and revealed my new ‘true’ hair color.  Which, interestingly, isn’t anything like the hair color I had gotten used to thinking was under all those years of hair dye.

Happily, I’ve got sparklies! Not Jamie Lee Curtis level, but a girl can dream, right?

I tried the ‘going-silver’ in salon route repeatedly without success. I’ve also tried boxing it with unusual results. Light pink -peach, brownish-watermelon, and one an entirely hideous seafoam green which hilariously garnered some not in the least subtle why’d-you-do-that comments.

It’s safe to say, I’ve figured out a few truths since last Tuesday:

My hair has stopped reacting normally to processing.

My body and emotions seem to be sharing the rebellious path.

Actually….

All of me is no longer responding in a biologically correct way.

Additional Thoughts @ Knabble-Podcast: Knabble-Pod

Thought for the Week: