Patriots Parade

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This was the view of the Patriots Super Bowl parade on Tuesday in Boston, from Copley Square. Me, watching the parade: “Who the hell is going to clean up this ungodly mess? There’s red, white, and blue confetti all over the place. It’s not like you can take a Dyson to it.” It’s amazing where my OCD goes these days.

Rules Of The Week

I hope everyone had a prosperous, happy week and weekend. Me? Not so much. I’ve been plagued by migraines at a near non-stop pace. The warmth of last weekend (which wasn’t all that warm, really.) gave way to incredibly awful Fibromyalgia pain during the past week into this weekend. The cold has forced its way deep into my bones, as if dry ice resides there. A pleasant feeling it is not. I cycle back and forth between being too warm and suddenly feeling as if I’m dying from exposure. All of this is indoors, mind you. The ‘great outdoors’ is a whole other ballgame entirely. 😦

I was lucky to spend Friday morning in Boston with my Zia. I’d like to thank David’s Tea (They have locations in the U.S. & Canada. Do not hesitate to shop here for all kinds of tea-related happiness. I’ve included the link to their website which includes free shipping for purchases of $50 and up, as well as specials for clearance items.) for the yummy tea goodies to be enjoyed. Seriously folks, Banana.Nut.Bread.Tea. Those are four words I never thought I’d utter in a sentence, much less type. It is delicious, but my favorite, for now, is the Organic Earl Grey. They have three different types of this particular tea, if you’re so inclined. Also, the staff is particularly wonderful at the Washington Street location. An enormous shout-out to Falafel King for inducting me into an aspect of Judaism I had not yet embarked upon. I am obsessed. I’m also hard-pressed to stay away! 😀 Also, thank you to Ten Thousand Villages where, upon browsing, we came across Spicy Hot Cocoa. If you know anything about me, you know I am a chili pepper dark chocolate fanatic. Mexican hot chocolate is made with cayenne pepper and cinnamon, among many other delicious things you tend not to find in regular hot cocoa. It is unmatched in its fabulousness. I can’t wait to make it! Here’s hoping it’s as sinful as it should be. 😉

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Saturday I spent some time in Swampscott, MA. I would have taken some photos, but other than low tide, there wasn’t much to see because the weather was atrocious. It was a grey, stormy morning with heavy rain and a period of slushy snow. Today I am grateful to be home in the warmth where I can recuperate, despite the 3-4 inches of snow that fell overnight. It was quite pretty until all the shoveling and plowing began. Now it’s only pretty in the backyard, though the wind isn’t helping. It’s bitter out there!

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Due to the rough time I had on all levels last week, the stress of the past few months, my Boston-induced injuries that suddenly manifested as I was getting off the T (I’m in excruciating pain, so bear with me.), and something in my personal life that I can only constitute as a form of passive-aggressive abuse, I bring you my “Rules Of The Week”.

I have decided that many of these are rules for life. Some of this is merely where my head is at now, and other things are more about common sense and how others treat you. If someone reads this and doesn’t like what I’ve said, by all means; Please say something to me about it directly. Try any day that doesn’t end in a Y. That will be the day when you’re right and I am wrong.

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1) I don’t care who a person is; If they’re yelling & screaming at you, or accusing you of insane shit you haven’t done; Walk away. It cuts down on the time you might have to spend in jail by staying put and opening your mouth in response…or worse.

It has never occurred to certain types of people that they are truly in the wrong, so let them rant and rave in their wrongness. When they finally realize they’re wrong (Eventually it may happen.), you will likely be blamed for it. You have big shoulders, you can handle the hypocrisy/stupidity.

2) No one has the right to question your pain or tell you that it inconveniences their life. They are NOT you, they are NOT suffering (Why isn’t stupidity painful? It should be.), they do not reside within your body, and quite frankly, they can jump off the nearest bridge and see if the landing is smooth.

3) If someone tells you that other people are in worse pain than you, it is more than okay to tell them off. In fact, it should be automatic. I nearly did tell someone off for it. I still might.

Realistically speaking: How the fuck does anyone know what my pain levels are? If it hasn’t been brought up in conversation then precisely how do they know that “other people are physically in more pain than you are” each day? Do they even hear what they say or how it is presented? And by the way, for the person that did say this to me: BITE ME, but please do so after living for a year in my body and then come back and tell me how other people are in more pain. Don’t denounce the pain you don’t experience. You do not have the right to that.

What I experience and endure could very easily happen to you. It is a life-sentence I would not wish on anyone, except Hitler, so please, don’t ever question how bad it is.

4) Just because someone says something in a blase’ tone of voice does not mean they are being disrespectful, rude, or sarcastic. It probably means they don’t feel good or feel burdened by their day/life/situation/physical pain, etc. Not everything in life requires a fireworks display in response.

People should know me by now. I don’t hide sarcasm beneath a flat tone of voice. I DELIVER. The way in which I say things is rarely, if ever, delivered in a tone of voice that denotes someone else’s perception. If I wanted to say something disrespectful and/or rude, I’d say it in a different tone than my normal speaking voice. I’m nothing if not a powerful speaker, and you can tell a lot by the tones I use, providing you a’re smart enough to realize something has shifted. Moreover, I’ve lost the ability to give a damn about how people interpret things. Buy a clue, stop being so anal-retentive, and realize that not everything I say or do revolves around you or has anything to do with you. Sometimes “Whatever.” really just means “Do what you want, I don’t have a preference.” Also, I don’t understand the double-standard of a person doing that to me, but disliking when I’m not feeling so great and say something similar. That’s not disrespectful. I am smart enough to know the difference.

5) When a person expresses extreme unhappiness, depression, and/or suicidal thoughts to you, it is NOT okay to act like that’s no big deal. NOT EVER. Don’t claim to love someone and then abandon them to their pain. I assure you, that is not love.

6) Do no harm, but take no shit.

7) It is a hell of a lot more powerful to destroy a person with words than to do so physically. I highly recommend the former, especially if, like me, you are gifted with words.

If you feel the urge to hit someone, it’s often better to hit back with the appropriate statement. If you’re a passive, non-confrontational sort, as so many people are, it’s okay to say how you feel in private and cut someone out of your life. It’s okay to write about it and get it out of your system. Don’t be afraid to rid yourself of the toxicity, and make no apologies for it.

8) Unfortunately, some people think they can say anything to you. They can’t. Their assumptions, presumptions, and idiocy need to be nipped in the bud. Much like the filter in a Brita pitcher, which needs to be replaced every 60 days, you might want to suggest they have their internal filter(s) checked regularly, lest they run into some form of ‘water-poisoning’.

9) Never disrespect the person that does the cooking. This is absolute. If you don’t like something and it doesn’t adversely effect your health, pretend to be deaf, dumb, and completely fucking blind, but by G-d, do NOT be rude and ungrateful. Also, call if you’re going to be late.

10) If you can’t say it to my face, you’re a fucking coward.

11) If you do say it to my face, be prepared for the outcome.

12) Don’t say shit in a text message or e-mail that you wouldn’t dare say to a person’s face. It’s cowardly, classless, childish, and a host of other things that just plain annoy me. If you’re going to show your true colors, I want to be able to see the vivid yellow stripe down your back.

13) Assumptions are the death of so much. They’re major relationship killers. Don’t assume things.

14) The people you may know who suffer from any chronic, debilitating illness and are on disability, privately wealthy, or work from home in some capacity are, in all likelihood, NOT “sitting at home all day watching TV”. Strictly speaking, I fall into the category of a disabled person who works from home, at least for now (the “work from home” part applies). If I’m “sitting”, it’s because I’m writing. I’m not “being lazy”. And NO, writing is not “some hobby I have”. Introduce me to the hobbyist writer who’s been doing it for 29 years. I have yet to meet one.

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15) Curb the douchebag tendencies. Curb the bitchiness. There is always a better, clearer way to communicate.

16) Sometimes a person doesn’t hear you, usually for an extremely valid reason. That does not mean they aren’t listening. It is not a tragedy to repeat yourself.

In situations like this, I remember my Grandmother, an absolute saint of a woman, who would patiently have the same conversation with one of her best friends sometimes a dozen times a day once this friend was stricken with Alzheimer’s. Never once did she tell her “We just talked about this five minutes ago.” or ever let on that they’d spoken so many times about any particular topic. She would patiently and calmly repeat what she’d said in the previous conversation, reassure her, she was always kind, and when the phone rang again, sometimes a minute or two later, she would simply repeat the entire process, and continued to do so as often as necessary. She NEVER complained about it. They do not make them like her any more. 😦 It baffles me how long she’s been gone because I feel like I just spoke to her yesterday. I am glad our last words spoken were of love. There are so many people who could take a lesson in patience and grace from her.

17) Take moments each day to enjoy something. It might be your morning coffee/tea, a long walk, the sun, the moon, the crystal clear sky full of stars. Choose something each day and let that be yours.

18) People are not predominantly good. It’s a simple fact of life. Be discerning in those you allow around you because some energy is so toxic, it can physically make you ill. If you feel drained in a person’s presence, they are likely a psychic vampire. Google it, I can’t make this shit up.

19) Unless you legitimately suffer from multiple personalities, there’s no need to go from on to off a hundred times a day, or more. Pick a personality everyone likes and stick with it. Your mood swings, be they due to an illness or not, shouldn’t blow so hot and cold that a person could take a shower standing next to you. Perhaps a trip to the doctor is in order?

20) When in doubt, treat people the way you want to be treated. We all have bad habits and idiosyncrasies, but are we capable of coexisting? Yes.

21) If you’ve had a bad day, just say so. It’s easier to say you need/want space and don’t want to talk as opposed to thundering in on someone and being so unpleasant that they cannot stand to be in your presence.

22) If you cannot empathize with someone, I think it’s best to keep your fucking mouth shut, as opposed to judging when you’re completely not “in the know”. That pisses me off. Judging situations you aren’t privy to is a secondary mistake. You can’t apologize once the judgment has come out of your mouth or been put in some form of print. Well, maybe you can apologize to someone who’ll accept it, but I won’t.

23) Just because I’m an introvert does not mean I am a negative, unpleasant person. Some of the most talented people on the planet are introverts. A great deal of them are wonderful human beings. In the right setting with the right people, I am always an introverted extrovert, but I do not respond kindly to negative people or toxic energy. Please refer to #6.

24) Sometimes I am incredibly silent, but that doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention.

25) Random acts of kindness are important. Do things that you’d want done if it were you, your siblings, or your children/nieces/nephews in a bad situation. Prepare a meal for a homeless person or volunteer at a shelter. It might seem like a small thing, but to someone else, it’s HUGE.

26) Choose a charity and do what you can, even if it’s not a financial contribution. Delete Blood Cancer is looking for plasma, stem cell, and bone marrow donors. I cannot donate because I have Fibromyalgia (I still plan on doing an event as soon as I am settled into this new community.), but if you’re healthy and can get swabbed (they send you a kit in the mail), you could very well save a life, or multiple lives. I’ve included a link, and if that doesn’t feel right to you, choose something that does. We all have causes that are close to our hearts, or at the very least, we should.

27) Don’t sacrifice yourself for anything and everything. If you know a person would sacrifice for you, don’t take that, or them, for granted.

28) It’s okay to say no or to admit you don’t want to do something. Being honest isn’t a crime…yet.

29) Choose your friends wisely. I have friendships that have outlived marriages, relationships, other friendships, and endured serious illnesses, the arrival and loss of children and other family members, etc. Treat your circle with the same level of love and respect as the circle treats you. Check in with people when you haven’t heard from them. I have a few friends with whom I always check in on. Not because I have to, but because I want to. It means the world to them to get an e-mail or voicemail message because they know my heart and they know I am genuine in my concern and love for them. I wish I had people like that in my life who were as loyal and loved with some fierceness, but when they made me, they broke the mold and beat the hell out of the mold-maker. 😉

30) Do not harm, but take NO SHIT. (Because it bears repeating.)

Basically, no one is going to flog you for your imperfections, so go out there and BE YOU.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Who am I to argue?