air_n_darkness: (unfortunate soul)
This is National Eating Disorders Week, a time to raise awareness about the damage done by eating disorders, what causes them- and how prevalent they are, especially in children. Despite the cyclic attention such disorders as anorexia and bulimia have received over the years, there is never enough emphasis put on what drives children to adopt such attitudes. There seems to be this idea (and I base this on conversation and observation, not actual studies) that eating disorders are the weakness of teen girls and models, and attempt to correct poor self-esteem or achieve an industry standard through body manipulation. While not untrue, perhaps, this is merely the start of such attitudes, and eating disorders are certainly not the exclusive purview of those groups, nor limited to only those two diagnoses. More commonly, eating disorders fall somewhere in the middle.

40-60% of elementary girls (age 6-12) are concerned with becoming too fat )
air_n_darkness: (Default)
I detest silence.

Not the silence of the outdoors, mind. Nature has a music all its own, a different movement unique to a time and place. It is not Silence, void of warmth and heat. No, what I can't stand is the absence of background, of music, of melody and rhythm.

Admittedly, we are never in true silence; there is always something, but often that something is noise, a discordant cacophony of random input, not even white noise. It is why if I shop at Target, I shop quickly and with purpose, for example. They don't play music, so there is no underlying melody to drown out or unite the assorted mishmash of sounds from shoppers and cashiers. It unsettles me.

I have had music in my life from an early age. The first song I clearly remember singing along with? Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys. I was six, and we had it on reel-to-reel. It seemed there was always music playing in the house, usually the radio, or a favorite artist of my mother's. We had vinyl, 8-tracks, cassettes, the aforementioned reel-to-reel, and later CDs, of course. But there was always something. Music played as I got ready for school, while my mother made dinner, whenever the TV wasn't on.

I started playing piano in fifth grade, a truly random decision made on a whim. I enjoyed it, but dropped it for band the next year; we could only afford one or the other if I wanted to continue art classes, and many of my friends were in band. Plus, band replaced the dreaded PE, where I was always the subject of ridicule. My familiarity with the piano prompted the director to place me on xylophone. I wanted to play drums, but 1) there were already too many drummers in beginner band, and 2) my mother was highly opposed to the idea. This didn't stop me from learning, however, and I was often called out for having better rhythm than the boys drumming. I loved percussion, and stayed with band through high school, though I was never a "proper" drummer. I remained a bells and xylophone player to the end, though I became very adept at juggling a lot of secondary instruments, especially in orchestral band. In middle school, I fell in love with metal, largely because of the driving percussion and how it was juxtaposed with melody and lyric. From there, industrial and darkwave captivated me as well, for a similar reason; the relentless backbeat of the percussive line, regardless of how it was produced, could send me into myself in a way that meditation could not.

Now to what prompted the post

I've not ever been without music, and there are very few genres in which I can't claim to like at least a song or two. But I somehow... lost it. Oh, there have been artists that grabbed me, music that caught my attention for a short while, but I enjoyed it and moved on. I seldom allowed myself the true bliss of sinking into the music anymore, lost the desire to search out the new. It became nothing more than background noise, silence that wasn't silence, a little death of spirit so subtle I didn't even realize it.

I've been rediscovering music again over the past year and a half, thanks to a couple of dear friends. Specifically, I've rediscovered metal, fallen in love again with the genre and fascinated by it's evolution since the days of my youth. Some bands I've was loosely familiar with before (Nightwish, Leaves's Eyes) but others were unknown, now welcome additions to my music library. One album in particular demanded my attention, speaking to me deeply: Kamelot's latest Silverthorn. (Mind, I like their older music as well, especially Ghost Opera. But Silverthorn clinched it, and that likely has to do with their new singer as much as anything.) It has roughly 300 plays on my iTunes, as I often leave it on loop while I sleep. It captured me enough that once I was shown a video of the group performing live, I decided I really wanted to see them in concert.

I've always talked myself out of going to concerts, no matter how much I want to see a group. The last "big" concert I attended was Rush, on their Counterparts tour; that album was also one of the last albums to grab me as strongly as Silverthorn has. The crowds trigger my social anxiety issues badly, and I usually require a seat. Just the idea of standing room was enough to send me into panic. But I greatly enjoy live music, and missed the experience. This time, I had someone to go to this concert with, someone who intimately understands my issues with crowds (which meant he could hopefully talk me down if I freaked out), and was also a big fan of the group. I was determined that I would not miss this event, that I would make it through to the end of the concert without bolting- even if it was standing room only.

I expected to enjoy it, to have an amazing time. I didn't expect a bit of spiritual epiphany.

It hit me during the drummer's solo spotlight. We were only a few rows back from the stage. The acoustics of the space caused the music to surround me, and the wooden floor vibrated to the beat, sending it through my body. Combined it made me feel as if I truly was one with the drums, with the music, and the feeling continued through the rest of the show. I can't remember the last time I truly let go and felt music, not like that, let my guard down and just rode the pulse of it.

I hadn't realized how much I missed experiencing music like that- or how much I needed to do so. I'm already planning more such concerts.

There were people at the concert who spent the whole time with their phones in the air, trying to record it. I feel sorry for them. Sure, they have a nice little personal record of the event; however, how much of their experience did they sacrifice to get that record? How much more could they have felt, how much more memory would they have made if they had put the phone down and just listened, banged their head, clapped their hands, screamed themselves hoarse (as I did) when prompted?

Music isn't background noise to me. Music is vital. I need it in my life as much as I need air. How did I forget it's importance? Thank you so much, my friends, for helping me remember this.

Mrf

Jun. 9th, 2012 02:13 am
air_n_darkness: (maleficent- witch please)
Today was a pretty good- albeit mega-high on the pain scale- day. Still, I find myself inexplicably melancholy.

I have the oddest feeling that I'm missing something. Missed something. Uneasy, distracted. There's been an obvious change, a shift, and while I can identify the results, I can't identify the cause. It makes me wonder if I erred in some manner, made a misstep. I always look at myself first for such things.

Walls where there were none.

I find myself murmuring that walls were made to be torn down.
air_n_darkness: (sidekick)
I would just like to say that despite my slightly depressing ruminations of earlier in the week, this week in and of itself has been a very good week. Socialization (the human contact kind, not the instant message kind) can do wonders for one's mood. I still wonder if I'm not being terribly pushy or needy or imposing, but that's what happens I suppose when you've essentially avoided all but necessary human contact for four years. Perspective gets skewed.

But yes. It's been a good week. And in two weeks I will be at Botcon with other good friends who I see very rarely. The store passed its Secret Shop, and we are off to a decent start to the quarter, which hopefully means a turnaround there, as well.

On Stuff

Apr. 8th, 2012 11:15 pm
air_n_darkness: (goomi)
I went digging through my storage unit this morning, looking for items to toss on ebay. Botcon is the end of the month, and too many Major Issues in a row plus the Diamond thing mean I have not nearly enough saved towards it. I'll admit, I went into the year expecting that I'd also have a work bonus to put toward it and yeah, well. No dice. I'm at that point where I am seriously questioning by ability in regards to my job, but that isn't what I'm in the mood to write about right now.

I will say I am thinking about skipping Botcon next year, just because it seems that every year, Things Happen that make it more of a financial stress for me than an enjoyment.

Anyway- to my point.

I have a lot of stuff. When I moved last year, I was able to downsize to a storage unit half the size of the one I had, that is I went from a 10x10 to a 5x10. My apartment is stuffed to the gills (and still full of boxes, BTW), but I did manage that. Really, given that the unit goes up eight dollars every year, I need to seriously see if I can figure out getting out completely by this time next year. So it isn't just Botcon that prompted me to go digging through it.

Half of my unit is taken up by very large totes full of action figures. I believe there are between fifteen and twenty totes. Admittedly, these are almost all figures that are still in their boxes, and some of those boxes are very large. That's still a lot of figures. Also in the unit are mu holiday decorations and several expensive statues, as well as all my movie posters and such. In short, it's a bunch of random shines that once made me happy. I discovered today that most of them do still make me happy, even though I manged to cull about a tote and a half out of the unit to send away.

The problem comes down to this: I value these things enough that I have paid quite a bit of money to keep them in storage for nearly four years. Not that I ever intended to keep them in storage this long, of course.

Why do I keep these things? Stubbornness, I think. Also, my OCD problems. There are two totes full of Monsieur Bome figures. There are about three totes of Transformers, maybe four. There are three totes of McFarlene Dragons, and I'm still debating on them. The reason I still have them is that those would sell for so little as to be not worth my trouble, and I do like the sculpts on them quite a bit. Then there are the random imports, the amazing Lovecraft figures, my old school Ghost Rider Collection... so many things that made or make me smile. Really, it took me longer than it should to go through the unit because I kept pulling things out and grinning and gleeing over my stash. Of course, I packed it all up again and walked away, leaving it in boxes in the dark.

So why keep them for "later?" I get no real pleasure from these items when they are packed away. I've paid close to five grand over the past few years to keep my things in a safe, climate controlled storage. For what? So that one day, when I have a "real" home I can have those things out and look at them. Except that the things I have brought out of storage are still sitting in boxes or shoved to the side, because I don't take the time to live in my space rather than exist in it.

All of the above just to say I really need to reconsider the priority I give to stuff in my life. Knowing and doing are two different things, and I'm aware enough to know that a lot of the issue is the security I get from Stuff. Belongings have always been more constant in my life than People and ultimately have given me more pleasure and less pain. And I am an obsessive-compulsive who focuses her compulsions through collecting things. This is why I have three years of unread comic books in boxes, among other things, because I couldn't make myself stop buying even though I was no longer reading. I'm better about those things than I was, but it's still an issue.
air_n_darkness: (PoOrose)
Goyle passed on last night. At least I was more prepared for this. He was an old cat, right at fifteen years old. I can't help but feel responsible though. He'd been losing weight and I had scheduled a vet appointment for him on the day Yin died. Obviously, I didn't make that appointment, and since he seemed to be eating and putting weight back on after, I didn't try and rush it.

He was not doing well at all when I woke up yesterday morning. He was very lethargic. I took him in and he was severely dehydrated, so much so that they couldn't take blood. Lab work came back that he had a severe UTI. However, the hope was that we could take care of it with antibiotics, and he was responding well to fluid therapy. He had eaten something as well, which was good.

He did not make it through the night, however. I can't help but feel if I'd gone ahead and taken him in the day Yin died, he might have survived. I'll add this to my shoulda woulda coulda pile of life failures, I guess.

It hurts. It doesn't hurt as sharply as Yin death. Partly, this is because Yin was my favorite baby. Partly this is because I felt in my heart that when I took Goyle in yesterday, that I would not bring him home again. I hoped I would, but I did not believe I would. So I was prepared for this.

So it's just me and my old man Pepper now. He's thirteen. I think he knew Goyle wasn't coming back, too, based on how he acted last night. I don't know if I'll get another cat again while he's living or not. I'm so used to having multiple balls of fur to snuggle with.

Goodbye

Jan. 31st, 2012 03:40 pm
air_n_darkness: (PoOrose)
Today, I said goodbye to my gold-eyed baby. I boarded Yin at Gentle Care as I usually do when I go out of town; I was to pick him up this morning. I received a call this morning that when Dr Blackburn came in at 630a to open(he is always the first one there), he found that Yin had a seizure during the night. He was barely alive when they started working on him. He was responding to treatment, but never fully regained cognizance, and while his blood sugar had stabilized, it was not consistent. From the sounds of things, it sounds like his blood sugar dropped for whatever reason, and he might have had a stroke on top of that. When he started to crash again this afternoon, they couldn't save him.

I got the call at 1pm.

I thank whatever power was keeping me safe on the drive there and back because I had at least six near miss moments where by rights I should have been hit.

I am going to have him cremated. I have to rearrange my budget, but I have the funds to do it, thanks to a very kind friend. He'll be cremated and then I will bring him home.

The Buddha Cat has ascended. May his next life be free of pain. So Mote It Be.

bleh

Dec. 30th, 2010 11:37 pm
air_n_darkness: (my weakness)
I am feeling more like I am tolerated by most folks rather than liked lately. I know this is not correct and that this is a depressive response to the various shit that has been happening lately. Doesn't change the fact that right now I can't find very much evidence to the contrary to use as a salve for my anxiety.

Next week: making doctor's appointment.

Today...

Nov. 17th, 2010 12:17 am
air_n_darkness: (Default)
was pretty much a great big pile of suck.
air_n_darkness: (maleficent- witch please)
aka Cyn's rant about job-seeking idiots.

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to some aspects of the retail work force, I am considered "old-fashioned." I believe that if you are working front of house, on stage, whatever you call it, that you are keep personal conversation to a minimum, avoid discussing internal business where customers can overhear, and that you maintain an open and friendly demeanor at all times- even if you're doing busy work because no one has walked in the store two hours. I do not ever think it is appropriate to lean on a counter, take off your shoes, or ignore other customers for your friends/relations. I feel that if you work in an environment that has hardline specced personal sales goes as a corporate policy, that you should work your ass off to meet those goals and not snipe sales out from under people who did work their ass off.

I believe that when you go out to look for a job, you dress up. I don't care if you're just picking up applications. You dress well. I can make allowances for a nice pair of dress jeans with a business casual top when picking up apps, because some places allow dress jeans as working attire now. I believe that you dress in business professional attire for an interview. I don't care if you're interviewing at freaking McDonald's- wear office-appropriate attire. You damn sure don't wear jeans, flip flops, and a sleeveless tops. Yes, you look cute, and your clothes are actually nice clothes for an afternoon out. But they are not interview appropriate clothes.

It's sad that all of the above is considered old-fashioned or conservative beliefs.

Everyday right now I have people come in looking for applications. I have had people pick up apps in everything from three-piece suits to ripped, dirty jeans. I have had people who otherwise are appropriately dressed ruin their chances when they open their mouth and say, "yeah, I just want a job." Recently, I assisted with seasonal interviews. There were some good candidates, including one we hated to turn down; however, she was simply physically incapable of meeting the job requirements. We also had one no-show (who made a point of mentioning on her app that she had 26 years of retail exp, BTW), one late (who got us mixed up with another candle store and was on the wrong side of the mall), and the aforementioned jeans/sleeveless/flip flop combo. What makes matters worse is that almost everyone under the age of 35-40 that comes in to apply for a job? They seem to think that they are entitled to a job. They give off the vibe that they don't care what job they get as long as it pays them something and doesn't make them work too hard. When someone says, "I just really want a cashier job," or "Selling candles can't be that hard," I want to smack them.

Begin sidebar rant/ Retail is hard work. It is only slightly elevated above the levels of hell that includes such jobs as food service, convince stores/gas stations, and custodial. It is not an easy job. People who do not or have never worked these jobs form the instant opinion that you are obvious an idiot or a loser because you can't do better than sales. Never mind that if no one worked in sales, if no one worked as cooks or servers, or at gas stations, or cleaned toilets, these snooty housewives and professional folk would be most put out. /end sidebar rant,

You are not guaranteed a job just because you are a warm body and it's coming up on the holiday season. I would rather work by myself for a few hours on Black Friday then hire someone who gives off the impression that they don't care. If you can't sell yourself to me, why the hell would I think you could sell my company's products?

You want to me to hire you? Wait, I'm not the SM. Let me rephrase- you want me to call you back for an interview, then deem you passable to move up to the SM for consideration? It really isn't that hard, even with my standards. Just do the following:

cut because I get verbose )

A job is a privilege, not a right. If you project an air of indifference or entitlement when you apply, if you don't care enough to put forth your best effort, why should I care that you've got two kids at home, late rent, a junker car, and medical bills? If you can't at least pretend to care about the application process, why would I even think about trusting you to sell my product?

tl;dr People need to be taught how to firking apply for jobs in person. I don't care how much places are going to online apps. So long as we have service jobs, people skills are still a requirement, and being able to sell yourself to a prospective employer is important.
air_n_darkness: (my weakness)
Things would be so much easier if I didn't care so much. Just sayin'.
air_n_darkness: (shockwave tops)
[18:01] CallMeWingus: Recipe for Dinobot Hotwings - Get Seekers. Set Seekers on fire. Nom wings off.
[18:08] akaLadyBoss: *dies*
[18:09] akaLadyBoss: My brain insists teh Fallen is behind it, like a demonic Colonel Sanders
[18:10] CallMeWingus: *SPORFLE*
[18:10] CallMeWingus: Oh lord.
[18:10] CallMeWingus: That just makes me think of a primarily white repaint that talks like Foghorn Leghorn.
[18:10] akaLadyBoss: BWAH
[18:11] akaLadyBoss: but he still must be ON FIRE!
[18:11] CallMeWingus: Of course.
[18:11] CallMeWingus: The Fallen - Buffalo Style.
[18:11] CallMeWingus: COLONEL FALLEN'S BUFFALO-STYLE SEEKERWINGS!
[18:12] akaLadyBoss: ranch-flavored oil for dipping?
[18:12] CallMeWingus: YES!
[18:12] CallMeWingus: Oh god
[18:12] akaLadyBoss: you need to draw this ad
[18:12] CallMeWingus: *SPORFLE*
[18:12] CallMeWingus: I cant breathe
[18:12] akaLadyBoss: you dom the pic, and I'll write the copy
[18:12] akaLadyBoss: *do the pic
[18:12] akaLadyBoss: dom the pic is too kinky
[18:12] CallMeWingus: ...
[18:12] CallMeWingus: That just leads to papercuts.
[18:13] CallMeWingus: I DON'T WANT PAPERCUTS DOWN THERE
air_n_darkness: (boo~)
The USPS has made a big push in recent years to encourage people to print their postage online. The discount between printing your postage yourself and taking it into the counter is actually significant, especially if you ship items regularly. Admittedly, you can only print Priority or Express postage from their website, but that's really not an issue for me, as I can print First Class or Media through Paypal on the odd occasion I need to do so.

Now, most PO's even have the Automated Postal Centers, where you can print your own postage, including stamps, instead of having to stand in line with the masses. I'm a bit surprised the one here in Millington doesn't have that, but eh, many small town PO's haven't gone there yet.

Previously, I have always just had my carrier pickup my packages. However, Trudy does not have a porch to speak of, and I'm just not comfortable leaving a few hundred dollars worth of items on the stoop. This means the postal carrier has to knock, come in, process the packages, yadda yadda yadda. He's a nice little old man...but he's a little old man. He'd never even had to do a pickup or scan a Priority Package until I moved in there. What with Yin deciding that he simply must dart out the front door to roll in the clover every chance he gets, I try to limit the number of pickups I have.

Which means I drop off my packages at the PO quite a bit. Most are too big to go in the package drop, so I just take them to the counter and leave them at an unoccupied window; this is what the very sweet ladies at this PO told me to do. No waiting in line, no worries. Except that I get the mother of all Dirty Looks from the people standing in line. Which frankly annoys me. It's a minor thing, totally unimportant. But it annoys.

Really, I understand that not everyone has net access, or feels comfortable paying for things online, or what have you. But don't get pissy with me because you can't or won't take advantage of the other options.

And that concludes our interjection. We now return you to your regularly scheduled LJ.
air_n_darkness: (my weakness)
I hate being the bad guy.

I do. I really really hate it. It hurts to have to jump up and down and rail like some crazed devil at someone I love dearly just to get through. Just to motivate them past their depression and self-pity and personal hangups. It hurts because I know that I'm making them hurt. The fact that it is for their benefit, that they need to have someone stop coddling them and just letting them go about things however they wish does not help! It does not make the brick wall I am butting my head against any softer. It does not make my heart ache any less.

I've been acting as the Reality Check for too many people over too many years, from my sister forward. It's getting harder and harder to be diplomatic in my delivery. Or perhaps I am realizing that diplomacy is simply not the appropriate choice anymore. I have offered diplomacy and ways to cope, relaxations and options and innumerably other things and they are turned away by the wall of darkness with which people have enveloped themselves.

We create our own reality. If all we believe is doom and gloom and OMFG I can't handle this right now and this can't work and there are so many obstacles then guess what? That's what you're fucking going to get. I know this for fact, not some new age mumbo jumbo feel good shit. I know this because I have been through this. I have seen what happens when we stop being a stowaway wallowing in the baggage car and start forcing and pushing our way up to first class. And guess what? First class feels pretty damn good. The seats are a helluva a lot more comfy, let me tell you.

Because godsdamnit everyone fucking hurts. We cry, we suffer. We have pains in our body, in our hearts, in our minds. We have people we have to take care off, people who need us, people who hinder us. Humanity as a whole is a walking talking sweating pile of pain and anger and we still get are arses up every damn day and go to work or school or family or the nursing home or the doctor. Why? Because no one is going to do that shit for us, or take away our pain. There are options! There are ways to cope. There are people to lean on.

Take for example, my personal health. I am 238lb at 5'5". I am overweight. I have been overweight from day 1. I am genetically pre-disposed to accumulate extra weight. I have degnerative arthritis, in my knees, my lower back, and my neck. I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome, and even if I wanted children I could not have them. I have the same chemical imblances and adult onset breathing issues that my mother had. I have allergies the likes of which one finds in legend in song. I have OCD and social anxiety. I am as one blind without my glasses and my eyes are getting worse every year.I have bulging disks in my back and neck, planter faciatus and bone spurs in my feet.

I wake up in pain. I go to sleep in pain. I take no less than five drugs every morning and three to five others every night. I do not have insurance, so I have to save up for doctors visits that I need. I have to budget $300.00 every month for medications. I am a walking, talking mass of hurt.

Every. Damn. Day.

I have had my heart broken. I have lost people I love to death or time. I have judged and been judged. There are times I wake up crying, and times I cry myself to sleep. There are times I say fuck the world and decided that I am going to cocoon for a day. And sometimes, when I am smiling my biggest smiles and chattering happily away, I am really envisioning doing something really, really horrible to the bitch who is letting her child tear up my store.

Every. Damn. Day.

I get up, I take my meds, I go to work. I work my ass off to ensure that I am not an expendable member of staff. I buy better shoes and inserts so that I can make it through an eight hour shift on my feet. I am reading up on nutrition so that I can change my diet in such a way as to help alleviate some pains. (Aside, plants related to the nightshade, such as potatoes and tomatoes, can actual increase ones arthritis symptoms, for example) I may not be practicing the knowledge I am gaining as well as I should, but I am learning. I am working toward goals. I come home, I do more work. I work on my space. I work on ebay. I look at my budget and have to think really hard about buying something frivolous because if I buy it, I have less to but toward X, Y, Z fund. I put all the shit and pain and hurt and emotional distress to one side because i have no other choice and I am the only one who can take care of me and my life!

Every. Damn. Day.

If I have a problem, I get help. I may have to plan/budget/sacrifice to do it, but I get the damn help. I don't have insurance and I don't know what to do. and I was never taught how to handle this type of stuff." are not valid excuses when the bodies hit the floor and the feces hit the oscillating device. You damn well learn what needs doing, and what options you have, and where you can go; you don't sit there and wait for someone to come and bail you out. No matter how much you may want to hide. You have to take care of you, adn those that depend on you.

Every. Damn. Day.

We. Create. Our. Own. Reality. We do it, not some god in the sky or earth or some magic fairy godmother or some devil in a business suit down the way promising quick fixes and new days, just sign your soul on the dotted line. You have one life. One life to live and fight for and cherish and cry over. One single solitary life. And you are the unchallenged captain of that life. People argue with me that if such is the case, why does such shit keeping happening? Simple. Life is not stagnant. It evolves. And one cannot have evolution without challenge or strife or need. But you can choose how you face those challenges, if you break or bend, crash upon the rocks or find a safe passage through.

Your choice. Yours and yours and yours and yours. My choice. Mine to make and mine to accept and mine to lament if it was a poor choice. But by all that every god and goddess holds dear, by breathe and rain and thorn and sun, there is a choice!
air_n_darkness: (Default)
WotC's new Gatherer sucks dead donkey balls.
air_n_darkness: (!@$# humans)
I hate to be cold. I'm fine as long as I can keep my hands and feet (especially my feet) warm. So long as that's covered, I can run around in rather few layers, even in the depths of winter. But once I actually get cold, it takes hours and hours for me to shake the chill. Having arthritis in my hips and knees also makes the coming of the cold a thing to worry about.

That said, I do not have a full-on hate for winter like so many seem to have. I love breathing in the crisp air, watching the land go to sleep, resting and replenishing itself before the arrival of spring. I love snow- though I do hate driving in it. Too many people here do not understand how to properly drive in snow and/or ice. And yes, here in Memphis, winter is a very drab affair. Gray, lifeless, and things have this...film of dirt that no matter what you do, you can't seem to get fully cleaned off. But I still enjoy winter as much as any other season.

I do wish our falls were longer, though. There is nothing quite so lovely as the sound of leaves crunching under foot, the colors of the trees as the season moves on, the rustling of branches as a swift wind rushes through them. Fall can last a few weeks or a few days here, depending on the year. Which is why I feel no need to run around destroying the signs of fall in my own yard.

I like to see my yard covered in leaves. I enjoy the feel of shuffling through them as I dart to the mailbox or come home from work. The leaves don't harm anything, and as they are broken down and crunched up, they become natural mulch for my yard, such as it is. Now, if I had tons and tons of leaves, enough to threaten the grass if they piled up too much, I'd see about raking the yard. But with what we have? I'd rather let nature do it's thing.

Everywhere I look, though, people are constantly raking and bagging. Our neighbors across the street have their yard done every week. Then they have people come and spray the yard with who knows what to "promote growth and keep the yard green even in the winter." I don't get it. Yeah, we live in the city. But we are lucky enough to live in an area that hasn't been stripped of its nature. Why remove any signs of nature as it changes? Have we really become so removed from the land, from the world, that we can't accept the realities of nature? Or is this insistence on controlling our environment, eradicating the signs of time passing, a way of ignoring our advancing age?

Personally, I think most people just don't give a damn anymore. If it's an inconvenience to them, or worse an eyesore, then it must go. It's sad. Very, very sad.
air_n_darkness: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] beckyh2112 asked me "What does detoxing entail?" Her question plus a few other comments and questions have prompted me to make this entry to explain that, what my detox will entail, and the purposes behind my going through the process.

A detox can mean a variety of things to different people, and often has negative connotations in a person's mind, since it does often involve radical changes, deprivation, and other unpleasantness. It can be taken to an extreme, like any eating or behavior, and if one does this, it can be harmful. Detoxing can cover everything from switching to a vegan or raw diet for a period of time, smoothie or juice fasts, or even water fasts. It can also simply involve removing an addictive substance from one's diet, such as caffeine, sugar, nicotine, alcohol, etc.

As for why I'm doing this- I'm not embarking on this journey for the purpose of a quick flush and fix. I'm looking to make some long term changes, not just in my eating habits, but in my life. It's not just about flushing the congestion out of my body; it's about clearing the congestion around me as well. That includes physical congestion such as clutter, as well as mental, spiritual and emotional congestion. This is not going to be something that happens overnight; I'll be making baby steps. One positive change at a time.

For me, this is a Life Detox.

Some of what I will be doing as far as my body detox is concerned is as follows:

- making sure to drink plenty of water, at least 6-8 glasses/portions per day
- shifting away from refined sugars, not just in cooking but in prepared foods
- decreasing and eventually hopefully eliminating my consumption of prepared/processed foods
- increasing my intake of veggies, fruits, lentils, and non-wheat grains
- decreasing my sodium intake
- decreasing my intake of OTC medicines.
- beginning an exercise regime, centering around core strength and flexibility.

Other items on my Life detox list:

- decreasing clutter, and hopefully my dependence on Stuff
- establishing a cleaning routine that is easy to upkeep, versus having to spend one whole day cleaning a week.
- setting aside a period of time each week to make art
- getting finances back in order
- switching away from chemical household cleaners and utilizing more natural cleansers. This will be difficult, since I always associate the smell of Clorox with Clean, since that's what we used when I was a kid.
- establishing a sleeping routine
- reading every day
- reconnecting with friends
- reconnecting with family

That's the overview. Those lists aren't all inclusive, of course, but that should give y'all an idea of what I'm aiming for with the process. I'm hoping to start the first of September with the food/body detox. I'm already starting on some of the other aspects.

Questions? Comments? Smart remarks?
air_n_darkness: (Default)
Bullet points, because I have a ton of stuff to do that does not involve posting to LJ.

- Still soda free. Had about three days of hard withdrawal (and I do mean hard) but not as bad as it could have been.

- I am now noticing a change in palate since stopping sodas. I'm finding myself less and less inclined toward sweet drinks of any sort, or sweets in general.

- Carbonated water tastes awful to me now.

- Ani Wreck-gar is nesting in my head, and fighting with Ani Blackarachnia for dominance.

- I do better on my To Do list when I write it in my notebook Vs. creating a list on the computer

- I am apparently not working Gen-Con this year. Thanks soooo much for not letting me know that, even though I scheduled time off since I've worked it for the past six years, guys. /sarcasm EDIT: I'm still not working it, but I do know why now, and apparently the e-mail about it was eaten by the net.

- Zoo pictures good

- work gripe\ Do not mark something off as done on the damn checklist until you physically do it. I get annoyed when I see something checked off, but find it undone when doing a pass of the floor. / work gripe

- work gripe 2\ We are a casual place to work. That does not mean you lean all over the counter or run around without your shoes on. Yes, I know I'm not a manager. Yes, my feet and back hurt, too. I don't care. Put your damn shoes on! /work gripe 2

- Tea straight from China, along w/ other goodies. [livejournal.com profile] darkfire_blade rocks!

and....I think that about does it for now. TTFN!
air_n_darkness: (craxy-cheshire cat)
I've given up drinking Cokes. Cold Turkey.

Started yesterday. So far, no withdrawal symptoms. I've been drinking water (lots), decaf tea, and juice. I had one Black Cherry soda water yesterday as a splurge, because I really prefer to have something with flavor to drink w/ my meals.

I decided that every time I felt the urge to reach for/order a Coke, Dr. Pepper, etc, I would remind myself that I can use that stuff to clean the battery terminals of my car. Seems to be working so far!

Also, I've realized something: I've become my mother and my father all at once. I am clinging to Stuff because it is Stuff and I want it and it gives me some sort of small thrill/happiness to realize in have This and no one else can get This anymore. It is special and cool and sparkly and why shouldn't I keep it? I'm using my wall of Stuff as a barrier to hide behind because I have my Stuff and I can stay home and look at my Stuff or play with my Stuff and not have to deal with People. So, from now on, I'm thinking very, very hard about purchases before I make them. And there will be much Stuff that will be leaving the house in various ways, including several figures and comic books. It will be hard though, I know. I am a packrat from a long line of packrats.

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