Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've never really understood Lent. Not in the way that most people celebrate it, anyway.

In my Catholic elementary school we were taught that Lent could be about three different things: breaking a bad habit, beginning a good habit and strengthening one's relationship with God. In the sixth grade, I quit biting my nails during Lent. Three years ago, I prayed the rosary every day for those 40 days.

So it has never made sense to me that people give up things like chocolate or coffee or television when they'll only be going back to it after Easter.

To me, Lent has always been a time for self-assessment. Am I on the right path? Am I doing my best to be compassionate and kind? Am I a good friend? sister? daughter? Am I happy? etc. If the answer is "no" or if I feel like an area of my life needs work, Lent is the time that I set aside for that. I usually choose a "bad habit" to break. I focus on my relationship with God, and I try to work on the parts of my life that suffer whether it be my relationship with others or a more personal issue.

This year, those questions were harder to answer. The smaller things in my life are still so shadowed by the loss of my brother, that it was more difficult to pinpoint any one thing that I could change to put a more positive spin on my life. So instead of choosing a habit to break, I'm beginning something new.

I'm starting a feel-good habit. Everyday I'm going to do one thing that is good for me. Simple things like go to the yoga class I love or take a long walk on the beach. Anything that will allow me a little bit of "me time" in which I can relax without being judged for enjoying myself or overwhelmed by grief.

I'm also going to write everyday. Even if its stupid and I don't post it. I haven't had the energy to do very much lately besides crawl into my bed at the end of the day. I miss my friends, and my life. But I really miss writing. I miss the heady feeling I get after I've finished purging my spirit. I miss the lightness I feel when someone reads my words and says "Yes! Exactly! I get that." Maybe that's a little selfish, but I think that right now I need a little more selfishness and a little more validation in my life.

Lent is my time to reclaim my life.

Posted via email from Rather Be Social

Mardi Gras

Just when I feel like I'm starting to get a grip on things something else happens that throws me off balance again.

This time its Pumpkin. I'm incredibly irritated at him for the events of the past weekend. He's being immature, and isn't apologetic in the least, so I expect the irritation to linger for some time. I've never really been angry with him before, which is frustrating in and of itself.

Yesterday was gorgeous, so I escaped to the beach beneath The Cliffs with SkinnyBitch and AirborneRanger and a friend of theirs. I'd only ever been to that beach after dark, the last time involved scary mutant sand crabs. I loved it. The sun was shinning and the ocean was so very blue. I always go to the beach when I'm feeling troubled. Something about the waves and the enormity of the Pacific speak to me in the most intimated, elemental way. Nothing ever relaxes me like the ocean. Skinny and I were incredibly cliche and lay on our towels drinking Cheladas and reading Cosmo most of the day. Eventually, we were coaxed (thrown) into the water by the boys and a splashing war ensued. I hadn't played and been silly like that in such a long time.

Something about SkinnyBitch is comforting. She's shallow and silly, but that is part of why I enjoy her so much. Her gossip and petty judgments distract me from the painful things that others unwittingly remind me of. Ok, she's not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed and she has the emotional depth of a wading pool, but she's a genuinely nice person. She's harmless, really. I think, in a way, she takes me back to simpler times when my biggest worries were what color toga to buy or whether my shoes clashed with my party top. You know, before it all fell apart. She may not be a lifelong friend, but she is so refreshing.

AirborneRanger is much of the same. We bonded over our his-and-hers Sperrys and our mutual love of tequila. He's leaving for some sort of Army training soon, so he's wrapped up in a whirl of good times and good-byes. Its easy to allow myself to get wrapped up in the Mardi-Gras atmosphere that his company brings.

So, for now, "Laisses les bons temps rouler!".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Suspended- Animation

I've been static lately. Passive.

I come home and go to bed early, exhausted. I don't have the energy to write or go to yoga class or do any of the other things that I enjoy.

I tell people that I'm fine over and over until I want to scream from the monotony of it all.

I've been forcing myself to be active, social, engaged. Its so hard. I catch myself staring into space or losing focus in the middle of a sentence.

I trail off and trail behind so often.

I went to four Super Bowl parties last Sunday. I wanted to be busy. I wanted to be happy. Just for one day. I saw all of my friends, old co-workers, new co-workers. They're all people that I have loved or do love. People that I wanted to see.

The best part of the day was watching TV with Puddin after the game.

It was quiet and vaguely... soothing. There was no pressure to share or to be ok.
For the first time in awhile, I could just... be. No one stared at me. I didn't have to suppress tears or muster fake enthusiasm.

I started grief counseling yesterday. I don't know if I'm ready to go down that road. I've come so far from the rest of my... everything, that I don't think I can go back there. I might not be ready to talk about Justin. Its all too closely linked to my father and all of the other things that make it hard for me to function.

On Sunday, I just want to stay in that quiet simple moment. I want to freeze myself right there on the sofa- just for a little while. Just long enough for me to get a grip on my world. Its all spinning so fast and so out of control.

I can't seem to catch my breath.