Why Can't I Simply Be Like "They"?

"They" come in smiling and laughing. "They" greet each other with lots of how-are-you's and introductions. "They" giggle when they mess up on their name tags.  "They" hug people who were perfect strangers five minutes before. "They" take a seat right next to each other and pay close attention when the speaker starts. "They" don't need anything to fidget with in order to make it through the meeting. I'm nothing like "they." Today was a huge example of this. I guess it started last night. My husband and I had a big fight that I'm "not his boss" (though I kind of am currently since he recently joined me in the freelancing business I've had for about 7 years). Add to that, it's been a rough morning. Things that should have only taken a few minutes took much longer. When I washed my hair, I pulled out one of my earrings - into the murky water of my bubble-bath-infused tub. There were a co

Faith and Fear

I'm a very analytical person. I analyze problems to figure out the best solution; I analyze things that are good to see if they can be made better; I analyze myself to try to understand why I do the things I do. The subject of this post relates to the last example.  I'm 55 years old. I've been through a lot in my life - some really, really good experiences and some really, really, really bad ones with some mundane ones sprinkled in for kicks and giggles... ... and I sometimes feel like I've analyzed every single one of them either at the time or even years later. One thing I have realized about myself is that when a big problem comes at me, I immediately go into figure-it-out mode. I begin mobilizing. I start working on a plan.  I try to decide my next step.  At that point, I'm usually not afraid. It's later - after I've been mobilizing and planning and deciding for hours or even days when the exhaustion hits me and the fear comes at me. And boy, does it com

What I Wish I Had Done When I Was First Diagnosed

Receiving a diagnosis of a chronic and/or mental illness is life-altering. It's tough to think about the future, especially if you have had undiagnosed symptoms for a while and have put all your energy into simply surviving each day. This is true whether the diagnosis is for you or someone you love (as long as that individual is someone who relies on you for even a small part of their care). As someone who is a partial caregiver for my parents, husband, adult daughter... and myself, there are several things I wish I had made myself do from the time any one of us was first diagnosed. Sometime in the last decade, I realized what I should have been doing all along - and I started. Then during COVID, when we were all stuck at home, I continued. Intrigued? What I realized was that if I had simply kept up with my medical records on an ongoing basis throughout the years, it would have made it a lot easier now. I do recognize how hard that is... but trust me, it's very, very worth it.

Do Churches Practice What They Preach?

Many church websites say "come as you are."  Yet, when you get there, you see the pastor in a suit (though nowadays not usually with a tie) and the others on stage as well as the congregation in business casual attire. Some churches are a little more lax. In them, sometimes the men wear jeans and you see very few women in dresses. Instead, the women are wearing some type of dressy outfit - slacks and a really nice shirt. It is very rare in most traditional churches, at least in my area of the country, to see women in jeans on Sunday mornings - and I have yet to see a female on the stage showing up that casually. This has been a big deal to me since I was a teenager. I had a friend whose parents never attended church. She started coming with one of our mutual friends. She wasn't poor to the extent that she didn't have food or housing, but she did have a limited amount of clothes, especially dressy options. In fact, she owned literally only two dresses. Now, this was al

When Fears are Realized... At Least for Now

One of the main fears I have (excluding all of my phobias and the common fears like having a child die or becoming paralyzed, etc) is not having health insurance - or having it be so expensive that I can't afford the copays. My husband of almost ten months had said he would never get married before we met - and even the first four years of our relationship. Like me, this wasn't his only fear, but it kept us from taking that next step for a long time.  He was afraid he wouldn't be able to provide for me. Well, it ended up that he got fired from the job he had most of our relationship. He had been at that job for a while but a combination of developing an auto-immune disease that would flare up occasionally, a change of management, and having to work from home due to COVID, his performance went downhill. Then add nervousness about the possibility of being fired and he was a wreck - and continued to do worse. Even though he had been there 10?, 11? years before this happened, w

Disappointing Others Due to My Invisible Illnesses... "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

I'm a people pleaser. It's something I've worked for years to overcome... to no avail. I worry way too much about what people think - even from people who I know love me "no matter what." This can be a huge issue with my work. I can be so paralyzed with concern about the product - photos or writing - that I'm producing for a client, that sometimes I will edit and edit and edit before I'm done. Or I overthink what I need to do so much that I can't even get started. This is something that I think pretty much everyone deals with to some extent at some point in life. When you add an invisible illness to the mix, it makes it much worse. For example, lately, I've been going back and forth a lot between physical and mental junk (at times both at once). I feel horrible when I have to miss or cancel an event because I know it could disappoint or inconvenience someone else. The thing is, I am able to attend some of the time. Out of those times I actually mak

Reaction to an "I Heart Intelligence" Facebook Post about Choices

I rarely scroll through Facebook posts. I have too many things I can get caught up in... I don't need one that also makes me feel bad because it can portray everyone else as having it all together when my life is most definitely not. However, today I needed to update some selling I'm doing on Marketplace and I ended up scrolling and reading the top few posts. I came across this post from "I Heart Intelligence."   I have loved "I Heart Intelligence" and their posts for years now. I'd never seen one I disagreed with... ... Until today. This was my comment on the post: As someone with several mental and physical chronic illnesses, everything is NOT a choice...  1 - My husband left me. I tried for a year to get him to counseling and tried everything I could to keep our marriage together. He left anyway.  2 - I'm obese. However, due to many circumstances out of my control, "getting fit" isn't a choice. I can work out, eat less, and do everyt