This sums it up in a short and sweet kind of way. 🙂 Due to time constraints, and being sick this week (I’m not better, but it’s predominantly allergy-related, as far as I know.), what I originally prepared will have to be re-worked. It’s worth the wait, though, because it was fun to write.

Thank you for listening to me and being here, from one year to the next. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe New Year. Take care of yourselves and be well.

Much Love,

Praise Be Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!
What a rough week. I am so physically, mentally, and emotionally drained that I am finding it difficult to move. Basically, it’s like any other day, but there’s the emotional component to it as well. If it were possible to sleep for 24 hours and not get a migraine from too much sleep, I wouldn’t leave my bed at all tomorrow. Unfortunately, I get tired just taking my migraine medicine, Aleve, and the enormous PN vitamin that is supposed to “give me energy” throughout the day. I didn’t know “energy” equated to “really wants a three hour nap”. They should put that on their web-site, I’m betting it would put them out of business.
I have a lot to think about & do this weekend. I’ve got work which I am sorely behind on (a few focused hours will help me catch up though. Sadly, it won’t make the work any easier.), I have some things to relocate within the house, and I absolutely MUST remember to buy candles before Tuesday afternoon. In fact, I am putting a reminder note into my phone so I don’t forget because there’s no simply excuse. There’s only so much pathetic behavior I can tolerate from myself at the moment.
There are photos to take, research to do, but ultimately, I am glad it’s the weekend and that next week is split in the middle with a day and a half for a holiday. I’m not thrilled about the emotional component, but I have to be strong and do my best. And after next weekend, we begin the month-long countdown to the ultimate yearly celebration. 🙂 It’s hard to wrap my mind around, really. My expectations are in the dirt, so by all means, do what you will to shock and surprise me. I am also looking forward to Samhain. I’m not decorating or passing out candy, but I might roast a pumpkin for myself because I’ve been thinking about pumpkin seeds for months now and I think making my own would be a good idea. I can’t really screw that up too badly, but if I feel incapable, I will buy the seeds on their own. Or I’ll settle for sunflower seeds, we’ll see.
All right lovely readers, I am off for today. Or at the very least, out of things to say. Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the weather! Be well & safe.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Long Slow March Towards…More


Someday in the not-too-distant future, holiday weekends such as this one will have more meaning for me. They won’t just be about the “official end of summer” or hoisting the flag in a show of patriotism. No one should need a holiday to be proud of where they’re from. Unless, of course, Barack Obama is your President, is systematically destroying this country, and we’re heading into an election year, but I digress. Weekends like this will eventually be about family.

I wish I’d known ten years ago how fiercely I wanted the things I want today. I wish I’d known then that it was okay to pursue those dreams and goals, without fear. By fear I don’t mean fear in the traditional sense, more in the “How the hell am I going to do THIS?” sense. No matter how much faith and confidence you have, we all have moments of self-doubt. It’s normal. You can do every single thing in your life the “traditional way” and it can still go to shit before your eyes. I think people become consumed with honoring other people’s wishes, hopes, and dreams, and lose sight of their own.

When I said that I was going to make a career change, that in no way entailed the end of me putting ink to paper. It meant “I need more.”

I have a family member who is incredibly content to fill her home with rescued animals. And by fill, I truly mean FILL.

I was told, no joke, that I should feel “immense guilt” for not choosing to personally save more lives. I had to flat-out say that while admirable, I want my life to have more to it than that. Animals are wonderful, anyone who has spent five minutes reading my work knows that I love cat and kitten, but is that all I ever want to come home to until the day that I die? No. I respect her choice, but she cannot comprehend mine because she made her decision years ago. I find it simple: We want different things. That’s okay. It doesn’t make one person better and the other worse, it means we have different ideas for our lives, and she should be able to accept it and let it go. My life is not an animal sanctuary. Anyone who cannot understand that probably shouldn’t be a part of my life in any capacity.

Each of us wants different things in life. Some people might want the traditional life of a husband/wife, 2.5 kids (or no children), a dog/cat (or no pets), and the white picket fence. And others…we want more. It has nothing to do with material things and everything to do with depth. That’s precisely what I seek; Depth. Material things aren’t always yours “forever”, but the miracle of your own flesh & blood…that’s eternal.

In life, we all deserve the chance to find the things that make us feel whole, whatever that may be. Wherever you find your happiness, may it be the ‘more’, the depth, and the eternal truth that we all seek, whether we admit it or not.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.




Blank, Empty, Devoid


There have certainly been times in my life where I’ve been devoid of all emotion, except maybe anger. Sometimes rage fuels me to be stronger, better, smarter, faster. I worry sometimes that therapy weakened me, taking my strengths as a woman and turning me into a neutered puppy. But lately, due to serious concerns about my health, I am starting to feel devoid of so much. Not just emotion, but everything. I’m a pretty fearless woman, but when I’m sick every single day from stress and I don’t act on my thoughts because I know they will only result in broken bones, it distracts me from the goal at hand.

I haven’t said anything at all because this is not a personal place, though I think some would disagree and say that my writing is VERY personal. I don’t perceive it as being anything more than me being me, and allowing others to take it or leave it. But I digress; I am about to embark on a huge change in my life. It is going to take every ounce of internal, physical, and emotional strength I have left. It will not be easy. In fact, I expect it to be yet another bloody battle. I really wanted to get away from sword-sharpening and focus on my goals for the next few years, but all of that has been stripped from me, albeit temporarily. Now, all I am able to do is take things one day at a time.

Part of having Fibromyalgia to this extent means accepting help that is offered with a genuine heart. I’m finally seeing a few genuine hearts, as opposed to the kind that do something in the moment and then throw it back in your face at the most inopportune time. I’m shedding the toxic, negative people in my life and embracing the supportive, positive, loving people. I cannot deal with the bullshit or drama that comes with that constant negativity, period.

I will be slightly less present on here at times as I pack up my current life, weeding it down to the bare necessities, in preparation for the next phase. I will take time to mourn what I thought would be best for me, and embrace that which is new. Sometimes doors DO close, but dwelling on that is unhealthy. I have to believe that there is a different purpose for me, even if now, it simply feels like an immense inconvenience.

I know not everyone here is religious or spiritual, but if you’re the praying type, please keep me on the positive side of your prayers. I am sick, praying daily that I do not get worse, and that the change I am about to make is, overall, healthy and smart.

Nothing in life is perfect. Nothing in life is truly permanent, not even death. There will always be good things happening to bad people and bad things that happen to really good people. It’s twisted, it is senseless, but it’s unfortunately a part of life. All I can do is take each day as it comes and give it my best. If “my best” means staying in bed and asking for help, then so be it. I’m not here to compete with anyone and I’m certainly not walking around believing I am better than anyone else. I’m human. Take it or leave it, and if you leave, I really don’t care if the door breaks your tailbone on the way out.

I will check any messages sent to me and respond as soon as I can, but for now, I have no real answers. Each day brings different stressors and honestly, all I want is a problem solver. Alas, life does not work like that.

I pray that as this week comes to a close, I am able to solve the most pressing issues quickly. Wish me good luck. XO.


copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.





Where The Hell Does The Year Go?


Where The Hell Does The Year Go?

Every year I’m semi-amazed I’ve survived and gotten this far: Both in life and in the day-to-day struggle. I have a lot to be grateful for.

I’ve had an incredibly rough two years. The years before that were not perfect, some were horrific in their lack of kindness, many had their battles, but this past year has humbled me in ways I never thought possible. It is very easy to lose sight of what we have in life, basic things we should all have. It’s a little too easy to take those basics for granted, until they’re taken away for long periods of time.

I read so many things where people are going through difficult shit. I choose not to advertise my problems because I do have some semblance of privacy and dignity. I also don’t feel that’s what people come here for. I know I can bitch and be myself, but do I really want to dwell on that crap? No. I want things to get better, I want to be positive, and I want to move forward. By whining, you drown in your own crap. On top of being a disgusting visual, it’s also very negative and I don’t want that, for myself or for anyone else.

I am eternally grateful for being blessed with the ability to project my voice through the written and spoken word. As I watch so many people struggle with something that comes so easy to me, I can’t help but see the differences between art and mere words. I openly admit it leaves me frustrated with a lot of people at times.

The very small group of people that matter in my life: THANK YOU. You all know who you are. I am blessed with people who talk me down from my various ledges, entertain my insanity, listen to me, commiserate with me, support me, and are loyal with kind, caring, generous hearts. I respect and appreciate the lack of drama. I respect and appreciate your love, friendship, humor, and the things so many of you go out of your way to do to make me laugh, smile, and/or cheer me up. The thoughtfulness knows no boundaries. It is amazing to know that there are people who have my back, as opposed to those who would prefer to stab me in it. Please know how appreciated you all are. I have an outrageous amount of love in my heart for all of you.

It gives me an endless amount of professional pleasure and pride to be able to bring you “Poison In Lethal Doses”. Tomorrow marks 20 years of both my experience as an editor and the amount of time I have spent writing “Poison” pieces. It feels like it all just started yesterday. I’ve grown so much as a writer that I know time has passed, yet it feels surreal to me. What I used to do and what I do today are two very different beasts. The evolution is amazing for me to see.

2015 will challenge me in my personal and professional lives. I pray it is not quite as challenging for all of you because I would not wish aspects of my life on anyone, but I do hope it challenges you in positive ways that brings an abundance of happiness into your lives.

Ultimately, my vow is to be here and be present for all of you, and for myself. I vow to finish the unfinished and move forward with things that are of the utmost importance. On a smaller note, I am going to attempt to be 98% caffeine free by February. I would prefer to use it just when I have a migraine, as opposed to using it as a stress crutch.

Big things, little things, good things, bad things. No matter what, let us be grateful for it all and what it teaches us. Life is short. It’s not always easy, and it’s a very lonely place without someone in life to turn to that understands. Tonight, no matter what it is you’re doing or believe in, stop and say a little prayer for everyone that matters to you in life. It’s not about religion or belief systems, it’s about humanity. Once you lose sight of that, it’s all downhill, so I think it’s important to remain in touch with what makes you a human-being. While not the most friendly person on the planet, I still have compassion and empathy for others. I still make an effort. I am always present for those I care about, no excuses. Practice a random act of kindness, you’ll see how good it makes you feel as well, thus serving a dual purpose. That which you send out into the world comes back to you threefold. Make it count.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Seven Years

Seven years can change everything. 

I walked out of the house the other day and for the first time, I did not have issues about this moment. It’s not about ‘coming to terms’, but maybe it’s about ‘coming to a new place’. Maybe it is a sign that my soul has learned how to handle this from year to year. 

Seven years… It can change how you see the world, how you see yourself, how you see your relationships, and how you see the future.

I have hardened. I have softened. I have strengthened. I have focused on myself, and I have grown. I see how much growth from last year to today.

I have fought battles, and won. I have fought battles that weren’t worth fighting, and walked away unscathed. I have tended wounds, and worked on scars. I have loved and been loved. I have seen beauty, and I have seen the dark underbelly.

I have accomplished things people told me I would never attain on my own. I have risen out of the ashes, as the infinite phoenix of my own destiny. Most importantly, I have stood on my own two feet. No matter where life takes me, I know who I am. I know my worth and value.

In Memory of my father, who knows why these things are all so very important.

…May You Never Be Broken Again.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Portions of this are copyright © 2013 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

A Hard Week Ahead


A Hard Week Ahead

Seven years ago this week, my father passed away. He bravely battled various forms of cancer for 15 years. Eight years “clear”, cancer resurfaced. It continued to be a battle on and off for the remainder of his life, which ended at age 63. Way too young. From year-to-year, I have mixed emotions about the relationship I had with him and a thousand other little, and not so little, things.

On a whole, this is an extremely hard time of year for me. I know for some people, they bury a loved one and after a few months or maybe a year or two, they don’t think about it much. However, I’ve been burying people damn near my entire life. I have next to no immediate family left, and unfortunately two members of my family have really pissed me off over the past few weeks, this was exacerbated early this morning to the point of me seeing blood. Extended family pisses me off, period, but I’ll save that story for another day.

Some people have trouble with the word “No.” or, “It’s 12:30 a.m., I JUST fell asleep, I am in agonizing pain, LEAVE ME ALONE until later. Let me fucking sleep!” I think they’re simple, honest statements and requests, but apparently some people struggle with comprehension. If I tell a person at 8:30 PM that I am going to bed, then I strongly encourage them to leave me the hell alone unless their issues fall into one of the following categories.

A) You are bleeding and I am the only person within a 10 mile radius that can help save your life.

B) You’re on fire and need me to help put it out.

C) You need to be bailed out of jail, and in truth there’s not much I can do until morning any way, so leave a message and call back in the morning. Provide pertinent info, I will find you. Believe it or not, they DO allow you more than ONE phone call.

D) You are drunk and have no money for a cab. I will send one your way.

E) Someone has died, in which case, please leave a message because I really do need to sleep to be able to handle this in the morning.

I think those are pretty fair categories, but some people are anal-retentive and cannot listen to simple instructions. Consider what constitutes a TRUE emergency by emergency standards and proceed accordingly.


My second family issue is with a person not thinking before they speak, talking down to me, being disrespectful regarding someone they do not know, and making demands that I find over the top for someone who has not known me their entire life. Moreover, after well over 10 days of pure silence from my end, they call or e-mail acting like NOTHING is wrong, but they include an additional demand that just plain makes you want to smack them.

Generally, if I don’t respond to an e-mail within a few days, it probably means I am BUSY. I do work and I DO have a life, but in some rare cases, I am ignoring you for a while so that I don’t tell you exactly where to fly and how high. 98% of the time, it’s truly just the fact that I am busy. I almost always call people back if they’ve left me a message, BUT if I don’t call you back within 1-7 days and have repeatedly explained that I am not feeling well and that I am going through some heavy shit, respect that answer and stop shoving yourself down my throat.

Unless you are my brother, Aunt, or one of my dearest friends don’t EVER call me at 10:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and assume I am “spending the day all alone” because that’s how your day is going. I hate assumptions, you know what people say about them, so just DON’T. By the way, I was COOKING, so I didn’t have time to reach over and spend the next 7 hours “chatting”. I think my days of speaking to people I barely even like are 100% OVER. If I take the time to call someone myself, it’s genuinely because I want to speak to them, care about them, and like/love them. The list gets shorter by the day.

On an entirely different subject, it is starting to annoy me when people use languages I don’t speak as a means of “good wishes”. English is my first language. I am well know for saying thank you in Italian on a consistent basis, no matter where I am. I am also well known for answering the phone in Italian, Spanish, or Russian. These are simply things I do, BUT it’s not out of an attempt to annoy someone. In fact, I try not to do it all the time because I understand it can be annoying on the flip-side too. So why would you constantly do it to someone when you KNOW they don’t speak the language you’re using?

I have yet to decide whether or not to say something about it. In fact, the “demand of the day” is that I speak to the previously aforementioned person right about the time I plan on making dinner tonight. Mind you, I was not asked about MY schedule, simply INFORMED that she’d be calling between one time and another because that’s when she’d be home from all of her appointments today. I had a hard time not responding with “I’m NOT speaking to you right now.” I really want to tell her off, but I think it’s best said in a few weeks when I’m calmer. I really want to make a great meal tonight and do some Chanukah prep, so I definitely think pointing out all of these things is best kept for a post-holiday discussion. In fact, I think it’s good karma to rid myself of it before the end of the year.

If I’ve repeatedly said this is a hard time of year for me, you can either be supportive and back off, or simply let me know you’re available if I need to talk, but you don’t need to be a monkey on my back. I don’t respond well to tacky aggressiveness.

As we go into the holidays, do you have any family members that drive you absolutely insane and/or make crazy demands of you and your time? Or invite themselves over when you truly don’t want to be bothered? Please let me know how you deal with this insanity in the comments section.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.