Praise Be Friday!

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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

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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.

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Moody Musings

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I’m in an ugly mood. I think I went to bed that way, to some extent, which only partially explains my nasty mood this morning. I (almost) never lock my cats out of my bedroom, but when they started their petition to shove me out of bed around 5:00, I silently got up, put grain free food in their bowls, and as they both moved to their respective bowls, I shut my door. About an hour and a half later the little one started screeching like the world was ending. I let her back in to abate the crying and then ended up locking her out because she was trying to claw her way through me. When I haven’t slept well, there is no amount of annoying behavior that will push me out of bed. I also don’t want to yell at them because they don’t understand it and it’s traumatic for them. I simply cannot bend, touch my toes, or turn my head/neck at the moment. It’s upsetting to be in this much pain and not be able to take care of basic things, including myself.

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Injustice and abuse of power infuriate me. Alas, I don’t look good in orange, so going after a power-hungry cop, fresh out of the academy, who thinks his dick is as tall as he is, is probably NOT a good idea. With all the police issues in this country, I figure the asshole will eventually say the wrong thing to the wrong person. I have to believe there’s some kind of karmic justice at play here, and that I have to just take care of me and mine. However, factoring in that I cannot physically move and that I’m in excruciating pain, I feel like there’s some kind of evil joke at play here.

Several weeks ago, a church was firebombed in my area by someone who got early release after kidnapping two minors back in 2008. Tax dollars hard at work. <rolls eyes> Emergency responders were already in the area and able to handle the situation quickly, but $50,000 worth of damage was still done.

At the moment, there is a huge carnival going on at a different church. It usually lasts for about a week or two. Ever since it started, there have been break-ins ranging from small to large, even if people are already home and asleep. Whoever is doing it doesn’t give a shit if there are cars in the driveway, they’re still going to risk their lives for “stuff”. This is occurring not even two minutes from my neighborhood. It’s within walking distance. A woman walked into her house yesterday to find a man going through her things. She, in her infinite stupidity, asked who he was and what he was doing there! He hit her in the face and took off, but now it’s clear that it isn’t just one person. The various local police departments decided to let people know about all of this via social media. Every single person that responded said “I have dogs and guns, go for it.” I do not currently possess the strength to utilize a shotgun properly, so, God forbid, my only option would be something smaller. I highly recommend no one sneak up on me for a while.

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Are naturally perky people drinking too much coffee, on a drug I’m not aware of, or are they born that chipper? Are they simply “bright side of everything” types? I truly don’t know because I cannot relate.

95% of the time I wake up like a sleeping dragon. Unless I am able to go back to sleep or take a nap, I’m pretty unpleasant in the mornings. For quite some time I was up at 4:00 a.m. every single day. I was in bed early each night, it worked out well for me. But now I cannot seem to fall asleep and stay asleep. Being woken every morning at 5:00 a.m. is tiresome, to say the least. You’d think they were being starved, but the opposite is true. They like routine, but they were also thundering up and down the stairs after midnight. Where do they get the energy?!

Studies claim that people who wear lots of grey and blue are depressed, and people who wear bold colors are happy. Don’t we all get depressed at times? Who the hell lives the absolute perfect, trouble-free life? Even Fortune 500 CEO’s have problems, but everything is covered up beneath the shiny veneer. FYI: I wear a lot of grey and blue because they’re two of my favorite colors. I hate red, but that’s not exactly a well-kept secret.

In simple terms, I feel moody as hell today. I’m pretty sure it’s a 50/50 toss-up between life and…life. I am trying to pull myself together to run errands and not commit any murders today. As an introverted extrovert, this means headphones are going to be my best friend today.

I hope everyone has a calm, pleasant weekend to look forward to. Keep cool, don’t get too much sun, and remember to reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes, even if it’s cloudy out and you haven’t been sweating. Sun damage and sunburn(s) are things no one wants to deal with.

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

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Where The Hell Does The Year Go?

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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.

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The Need For Silence

Tomorrow is Samhain, which is Halloween for the uninitiated who can’t even pronounce what I just said. I’ve taken some time this week to be quiet, to look deeply within, and to give myself some space. Every year brings a new set of challenges, and I am hoping to embark on happier ones this time around. Simply put: I am sick of the crap. Every last ounce of it. I’m ready for positive change, happy change, and I am looking forward to putting a lot of unhappiness and negativity to rest.

My only plan for tomorrow is to try hard to finish the read-through I am doing, and catch up on some little things that need to be put in the mail. Beyond that, nothing. I want a quiet day, I want to light candles at dusk, and I want a night of quality sleep. I don’t need scary movies to “get into the spirit”. I’ve already seen Sons of Anarchy and Stalker this week, I’ve had my dose of gore and I’ve been thoroughly ‘creeped out’.

It probably seems odd for someone so young to be in such desperate need of silence, but it’s honest. I already bought sweets this week and they were for myself. Okay, so I shared, but you get the point. The actual Halloween aspect doesn’t reside in my home. Samhain, on the other hand, does. It’s when I honor my loved ones who have passed away and light candles of remembrance. It’s when I keep my cats close to me and SAFE. I don’t believe in having outdoor cats, I never have and I never will. That is a personal choice because I believe that if you are going to have any kind of pet, you should do what is absolutely best for him/her and their overall well-being. When you rescue, you should give them a safe home. Last year there was a lot of concern over black cats being harmed. I own an all-black British Bombay who is the sweetest, most laid back little girl, so it’s even more important to me to keep her safe and sound. I don’t ever want my cats to know “the street life” again, which is precisely why I adopted them. You save a life, but you also save bits of yourself in the process.

Also, I have a very dear friend in the hospital, and I want to make sure I say a special prayer for her recovery. I’m breaking out the big guns on this one! 🙂

So, if there isn’t another post this month, enjoy the holiday however you choose to embrace it and keep yourself and those you hold dear safe & sound.

Bright Blessings.

L

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

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Why Are Birthdays So Rough On Some Of Us & Happy-Go-Lucky For Others?

Why Are Birthdays So Rough On Some Of Us & Happy-Go-Lucky For Others?

I’ve never understood this, and maybe I never will. My birthday blues have hit me early this year, and they’ve hit hard. I’m days ahead of the actual day, and all I can think is “What’s the point? I might as well just stay in bed all weekend.” It’s a terrible attitude to have when a month or so ago, I was excitedly anticipating SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Lets face it, birthdays aren’t always happy.

I can’t remember the last time a birthday was truly joyous for me. I know it was under the age of 13, but couldn’t tell you for sure the who, what, when, or why of it all. I’m probably blocking it out for some reason (Most of my childhood should be blocked out for reasons I have yet to discuss here.). Generally, I remember everything on the long-term spectrum, I can tell you things about coming home from the hospital as a newborn (Crazy, right?), but as often as I’ve tried looking back on birthday stuff, I am a complete blank at the moment.

Was 18 a great one? No. It was the last one celebrated with my Grandmother before cancer fully took over, eventually taking her life a few years later. 21 was celebrated multiple times, because everyone was trying to top each other on the celebration and the gifts, but apart from coming out of the actual day with a new piercing, the day itself was nothing to write home about. Unless you’ve actually lived 21 years and have never touched a single drop of alcohol, it’s a ridiculous birthday to make such a big deal out of. I’ve never been a big drinker. I was given whiskey somewhere around age two by my Great-Uncle. Apparently that was much more satisfying to me as a toddler than my 21st birthday was because not only did I drink it, but with my discerning palette, I smiled and asked “More.” I was given more, until three appalled Jewish women lectured him on “giving whiskey to the baby”. It was cute and utterly hilarious while it was happening, and it’s still a funny story when properly told. The only time I drink it now is when I have strep throat, or a really horrific sore throat, and need to get rid of it fast. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve needed it for either, but I can tell you that it works. I have no idea why it speeds up the healing process, it just does. On occasion, I will have a drink or two. Hell, I might even have four, but it’s nothing to celebrate. I might just be pissed off on a Tuesday.

There are plenty of birthdays where it’s nice to spend time with friends and family, share a meal, and end the day with a cupcake. For the past six years or so, cupcakes have sort of become my staple. There is ONE company that makes the absolute best Triple Chocolate and Lemon Ice cupcakes. If you’re nice, I’ll even tell you who makes them and where to look for them. They’re amazing, everything else falls short, including the fanciest ones from a bakery. They come out about this time every year and you can find them until maybe March, after that, you don’t see them again until early Fall. There’s a flavor for everyone, but I’m addicted to the Lemon. I am going to look for both before “the big day”, in case I’m really blue and need sugar to help cope with my misery. 😦

I’m not an envious person, but even on the birthdays where I’ve intentionally gone away in order to be able to enjoy it, I’ve ended up waking up the morning of my birthday, growling in any direction, and going back to sleep. Or I end up sick and I never get to celebrate at all, which sucks.

In 2011, this happened while I was on vacation. I did end up going out with a family member later that day, in seriously cold New England weather with intermittent rain. I was an absolute unpleasant bitch, and it makes me cringe knowing how I behaved. After nearly a week of hitting up so many different places and great restaurants, we ended up someplace I would not have chosen off the top of my head, but had an amazingly delicious meal and great service. When we got home, there was Chocolate Raspberry Truffle cheesecake and Coconut Cream Pie cheesecake waiting. Too sweet to eat more than a few spoonfuls in one shot, but 100% worth it.

In 2012, I got sick and spent my birthday in bed. The next day, despite still being sick, I pushed myself out to celebrate. Two hours later, I was in a gun shop in the middle of nowhere. I’d been told it was a 20 minute trip, so by the time we reached the destination, I was pissed and in desperate need of stretching my legs. The shop owner told me to “just stand there and look pretty”. He’s lucky he was behind a counter, or he’d be missing a favorite body part to this day. Afterwards, I did end up having a great birthday meal and then spent some time at the mother-ship (Sephora). If ever you just want to get on my good side, throw Sephora gift cards or nail polish at me. No, I’m not kidding.

Last year, I forced myself to attempt a celebration. After a manicure and an errand, I was completely done for the day. I was exhausted, fine to be home early to enjoy seriously awesome Italian food as my reward for being born. Like most years, it came, it saw, it fizzled out before 8 PM.

Why is it so much easier for some people to go out, celebrate, and be thrilled on their birthdays? It can’t possibly be about material things or the people they’re sharing it with, can it? Is it all about gifts, alcohol, food you may, or may not, really want to be eating, and people you may, or may not, even like? Is it quantity over quality? Is it extroverts over introverts? If you know the answer to this, please step forward and spit it out!

My discussion this morning went something like this: “Mexican sounds SO good to me right now, do you want to go to…?” It’s a tiny little place, but the food is authentic and if you get there at the right time, the service is good too. “I’d rather stay local.” Mind you, the place I’m talking about is less than 10 minutes away, 15 if you hit traffic. “How about…?” Blank stare. And then I had a moment where all I could think was “It’s MY fucking birthday, douche bag! We’ll go where I say we’re going, and you’ll fucking deal with it.” Another suggestion was presented, probably because the look on my face showed that at any given moment, someone might need to sleep with both eyes open. Sadly, I’m just not feeling it.

Is it wrong for you to want certain days to have a special feel to them? I’m not saying you need a fortune spent on you, or that you need to spend a fortune, but on a special day, it shouldn’t just be “the same old shit”.

In the end, I’m leaving it all up to Fate. What’s meant to be, will be. If I wake up and I don’t feel it, then that’s okay. I’m sure someone will be more than happy to deliver.

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

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