Friday, September 30, 2016

Getting organized and getting ahead

It's one of those weeks where I don't have the entire week to do my daily tasks. So what do I do? Well, first I freak out because that means an interruption in my routine. Then, I calm down (sort of), climb down from the chandelier and realize I can do this. I can plan ahead and leave a clean, organized house and come back to things planned for after I return. 
Instead of taking the weekend off, I will count it as part of the week. Please note that while in theory, this is calming, it's also anxiety producing because it's not my routine. And I don't like that. But I shall soldier on. 
Saturday: Kitchen
Sunday: diningroom/desk
Monday: livingroom
Tuesday: Bedroom
Wednesday: bathroom/back hall

Plan two weeks of life, work, and whatever else and take those "extra" days away and have fun!

Hopefully, this works. I need it to work. I'm worried and anxious and crazy over it. I am looking forward to going away and having fun, but I need everything in its place before I can breathe again.

I have no idea what this even means, but it has the word "song" and it's purple. So it's perfect! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dusting myself off

I'm dusting myself off, digging deep to find that confidence I once had, and going for it. I have decided to kick down the wall I built around myself and put myself out there. I may get rejected but I can't say I didn't try. 

And no, I'm not talking about dating. Because that's not happening. I've sworn off dating. People are strange and never who they say they are on those online dating sites (yes, I've tried them all) and besides that, I attract people who can't commit. Except after I break up with them and they marry someone else. So yeah...whatever. But that's not what I'm talking about here.

I'm talking about singing. Yes, singing. I'm dusting off the old confidence and singing like I used to do when I felt every emotion as I sang through the phrases--even those I never believed. I found something in the music or the text to hang my emotions on. And I sang like I never sang before. Where did that confidence go? I let something crush me and I should not have allowed it. So, I'm getting up, and I'm going to go out there and SING. I'm going to sing like I mean it and if it's not appreciated, then fk 'em.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Keeping routines from being mundane

As I have said a million jillion times, I like routines. I like predictability. I like planning. But....I don't like boring. So how do you reconcile the two? I mean, if day after day, you have routines that are planned and predictable, don't you get bored? And doesn't life become mundane? I don't know the answer to that question. Sometimes I want to go out and do something different--change it up a bit--but then I come back to my "safety net". My routines.

I think today I will declutter my mind and my apartment. It's a routine and it will change things up as I will get rid of things that no longer need to be taking up space. But first, I must do my real work. 

I want to be in this picture with all of the purple.

Friday, September 23, 2016

In celebration of, not in spite of

I got a great piece of advice today. I was bemoaning the fact that being on a committee with people who are (surprise!) not type A and don't plan and can't make decisions, was at best, troubling and at worst infuriating. I was about to explode. I had been trying to find that middle ground where everyone would feel warm and fuzzy but things would be efficient. I never got there. And it bothered me. I found myself in the place between "F*ck you, I'll just do it my damn self because it's easier" and "F*ck you, I QUIT!". After talking for a while, my friend suggested I look at this another way. Without belittling or invalidating my feelings, she reminded me of someone who would be so proud of where this group is now and of all the things that happened since she died. She wanted nothing more than for this group to thrive, grow, flourish, and keep excelling even after her death. And we have done just that! So this year's celebration is in her honor. I will honor her spirit as I know she would have loved to celebrate with us, this one-in-a-lifetime milestone for a group such as ours. Even if I have to "do it my damn self" I'm still honoring her and remembering that she shaped this group into the community we are and gave us the tenacious spirit to move forward. We haven't lost that--it may be hidden beneath the drama and other things, but it's there. I'm dusting off my tenacity and my love for what this group is at its core. And I'm doing this for her.
xoxox, my friend. I miss you every day.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Learning from Routines

I've learned a great deal about myself and also about what happens when we establish routines in our lives. Even if yours aren't as (ahem) rigid as mine, you can still have routines or plan your day/week in some fashion. Anyway, I have learned a few things along the way in my "getting organized" journey. 

1. It IS possible to get everything done in a week if you plan it out. For instance, designating each day to cleaning a specific part of my apartment has ensured that by the end of the week, it's all clean. And it also means that there is no single day when I face hours and hours of cleaning in addition to the rest of my daily tasks.

2. Planning when to do certain tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying always means that you, again, don't have a day when you stare down a mountain of tasks all at once. They get done on their designated day and you move on. And quite frankly, it's a lot less intimidating when I know I only have ONE task to complete rather than 4 or 5. I'm less likely to put it off or decide to move it to the next day when I know it will only take me less than an hour at most.

3. Careful planning and staying organized means more free time! Who doesn't want more free time? Time to do what you love whether it be watch your favorite TV show, read a book, play games on facebook, watch YouTube videos, or go do things with friends. 

4. Everything doesn't have to take hours and hours. I used to think cleaning my apartment and getting rid of things, decluttering, and donating/tossing/giving away meant an entire day's worth of exhausting arduous work. Not so. With a plan in place, doing a little at a time means no exhausting arduous days. Yes, it takes discipline to stick to the plan, but once you get going and becomes habit, it seems rather mundane and you "expect" it. It's not a surprise or something you put off until it absolutely MUST be done or you'll have no clothes to wear. (laundry).

5. I've discovered the art of multi-tasking. One chore and one fun thing. I can listen to a podcast while I fold my laundry. I can watch my favorite TV show while I wait for the kitchen floor to dry.
There's, of course multi-tasking with two chores--while waiting for the laundry, vacuum the carpet. While waiting for the floor to dry in the kitchen, clean out the closet or take donations to Goodwill or wherever you donate them.

All of this not only saves me time and anxiety, but it keeps me feeling safer somehow. Safer as I fly through this chaotic world in my Type A way. I'm still working on things both Type A and not, but it's a journey and it's worth taking.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Late Night Musings of a Type A Person Trying to Make it in this World

Seriously, I'm struggling. This world is not a place where I fit in. I'm not talking about clothes, and keeping up with Joneses or whatever--I'm talking about being a person who wants everything in its place, neat and tidy, and clean. A person who wants --no NEEDS--for people to answer their email/phone call/text in a timely fashion when it pertains to work or something for which I am responsible. Nothing irks me more than being held up on doing my job because I don't have an answer from someone. And then I wrestle with how much follow up is too much? Is 2 days too soon to send a "gentle reminder"? Is a week long enough? That "gentle reminder" is really more like ANSWER ME NOW OR I AM GOING to EXPLODE AND FURTHERMORE IF I DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU I WILL ARRANGE THINGS MYSELF AND ASSUME YOUR OPINION IS NOT NEEDED. But that's not how the world is and as soon as I were to do that, I would certainly get an answer back. I just don't know how some people get out of bed in the morning and go to work. I don't even know how they keep their jobs! UGH.
So if you don't mind, could you get it done by yesterday? Thanks. I'm now going to lose sleep over everything that is out of my control. #TypeA #OCD #Perfectionist #worryisme

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Invisible or obvious to everyone?

People say they would never know of my penchant for keeping to a schedule for cleaning, organizing, and even feeling better when I plan what day I will do laundry and errands. They say they wouldn't know these are some of the things that plague my sleep at night and keep me feeling short of breath or on the edge of sanity. People seem to think my "issues" are invisible. It's not that they do not believe me when I tell them, but they say it wouldn't have occurred to them if I hadn't. 

Yet, I feel quite the opposite. I feel like every inch of my being screams OCD!!! TYPE A PERSONALITY!! RIGID!! INFLEXIBLE!!! HATES CHANGE AND SURPRISES!!! I feel conspicuously tied to routines and the safety of how they "need" to happen when I schedule them. Sometimes I'm proud and sometimes I'm ashamed that I get fidgety and anxious when I have to go to a meeting before I've had time to do my daily cleaning/organizing. Or the fact that I cannot CANNOT go on with my day before riding my exercycle. (not that it shows in my fatness (no I didn't mean fitness), but that's another story). 

I feel trapped and yet I feel safe all at the same time. I don't feel "normal" but what's normal anyway? Some say it's a setting on a washing machine. I've always wanted to fit in (or so I thought) but I never did and I know I never will, nor do I want to--not really. I mean, hello, I have purple hair. (with a few unintended pink streaks...)

So am I invisible or completely obvious? That is the question.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Things to remember

I know these are cheesy quotes and probably unoriginal, but they ring true for me at the moment. I made some hasty decisions that I can't say I regret, but that perhaps were not worded well or handled in the best way. Hindsight is 20/20 they say. (who's "they"?) Anyway, I'm trying to forgive myself and knowing that I wouldn't change the action, just the way it was executed, makes me feel slightly better. I tried but as I have said before, it takes two to tango (or tangle) and this time my partners walked away. So I let them. I just can't be taken to task on every small thing anymore. I need my energy to do good in life and I can't spend it on the critics. 

I'm back to cleaning, organizing, and generally trying to keep up with life's little tasks so they don't pile up into a giant monster staring me down all at once. Today's goal: get work done early so I still have time to relax later when my energy sinks. I can do this!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Addendum to the last (then back to regular programming)

I am not alone. I am surrounded by friends, family, colleagues, and other people in my many circles. Yet, here I stand in the midst of all of these people, feeling alone. Insignificant and unimportant, I feel as though I am looking in from the outside. Inside, there's jollity and warmth. I'm just outside the window as the snowflakes fall silently from the dark sky. I don't know why I feel this way. I have no reason to feel this way except my inner critics tell me I'm not more than a blip on the radar of life. I'm nothing to remember. I'm there, but I'm not. 

Maybe it's that time of year when Summer has ended and the dark time coming upon us. Days are shorter, the nights are longer and the dark more intense than before. This is the time of year when people die. When things go wrong and the unexpected comes to haunt me. It's always been a time of year when I feel alone--ironic since this is the time of year that begins the holidays and the emphasis on "togetherness" and "love". It's also that time of year that makes me panic thinking "where has the year gone and what have I accomplished?" WHY CAN'T I THINK OF ANYTHING?!

Sigh. Deep breath. It's all in my head. Maybe. I don't know. Maybe I don't WANT to know. Time to find new hobbies. Time to forge new paths. Time to rest and relax and remember those who DO love me and ... I don't know what the "and" is. Ok, we're going to return to regular programming. This is sad.

Next up: something about the importance of routines and keeping structure in my life. Stay my favorite key of A-flat. (haha)

Monday, September 12, 2016

When something you love becomes a source of stress

I love to sing.  Singing always gives me life and energy and it allows me to express myself in a way that's seemingly impossible through any other medium. I'm able to access emotions I never knew I had. I'm able to be someone I didn't know I was or never knew I could be. It's always been my escape from myself so to speak.

Lately, I've not found joy in singing. I shun it--I find other things to do. When I do sing, my inner critic immediately starts telling me I'm no good, why even bother, everyone else is better, so stop trying. Get another hobby. My inner critic says that about a lot of things. I suppose if I listened to everything my critic tells me, I'd basically be under my covers for the rest of my life. Or worse.

What happens when we burn on out something? Is it too much of a good thing? Is it time to figure out how to do that very same thing in a different way? In my case, that would mean where else can I sing that is different from where I am now? What other avenues are there? Are there untapped places where my talents might be appreciated and loved? Should I do some research? Or should I deal with the root of the problem which may not be singing at all--but something inside me that feels unworthy or anything?

I wish I had more answers than questions. I wish a lot of things.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Why am I still awake?

I promised myself I'd be in bed 30 minutes ago and yet here I am surfing the internet, scrolling through facebook, twitter, and youtube, and now writing this blog entry. I can't make my brain turn off. It's hard to unwind after a busy day. I guess I never found a routine for that. I'm thinking perhaps I should. By nature, I'm a night owl which doesn't bode well for the days when I must rise early (and attempt to shine!) to go teach eager students about the wonders of music.

I remember a phone call I was supposed to make, an email I was supposed to send, a visual I wanted to use in class tomorrow. It's all so unnerving and not conducive to relaxing. 

I need a routine. Any out there?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Seasons change and people change and things change. Sometimes I wish the changes were easier to swallow. Sometimes I wish the changes were things I long for like more happiness or more money. (yes, I said it). But then there are those changes that come along suddenly, unnoticed until they are complete and you stare at them wondering how they managed to happen even though you thought you were watching the whole time. Those are the ones that hurt inside. They rattle me and make me question my beliefs and the way my striving to "save myself" with routines and planning can still not be strong enough to hold up against these changes.

I reflect a lot on myself--how I think, how I work with others, how I interact, and how I always try to be kind but sometimes my kindness and support is not perceived as such. I used to pride myself on my ability to convey my feelings in the written word, but now I fear it's just that kind of communication that gets me into trouble. But why do I always think it's MY fault? How can it be only me? Doesn't the other person play a role too? I think they do. Not to dismiss my own faults (and I have many) but it takes two to tango, as they say. Or in this case, two to tangle. Everything is tangled and I cannot unravel it. 

Sometimes you have to walk away even if only for a brief moment, to collect yourself and decide what you can and cannot accept. After soul searching, I have decided what I can and cannot accept in friendships, relationships, colleagues, and people in general. My list may be different from yours and maybe my list changes just like the seasons. Change is hard. But I can conquer it. I just have to look at what good comes of it in the end. I remember that saying about a caterpillar who becomes a butterfly after being trapped in a cocoon. It grows wings and flies. I want that kind of change. 

Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You're a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye

-Elton John

Monday, September 5, 2016

Being found and praying to a deity in whom I do not believe

Ok, so I've been found here. I don't know how that makes me feel. Suddenly I worry about whether this blog is even worth reading or just a silly excuse for me to spew out my inner thoughts whenever I please. I don't edit, I don't even try to write well--it just all comes pouring out somehow. I look at the titles of my entries and many of them harp on the same thing and then there are those rogue posts that have nothing to with anything. Is that ok? Is that a thing? What re the rules and regulations of blogging anyway? Oy.

Speaking of oy, I am not at all religious. I do not believe in "the man upstairs" or whatever. I was advised to pray about something and all I came up with was this:

Dear Goddess of all things purple and sunflowers and Italian ,
Please grant me the serenity to deal with my colorful family. Please grant me the wisdom not to strangle them. Please grant me the fastest getaway car if I do. 
Amen. Ahem. Alleluia. Ave Maria. Haysoos Kreestay 
Kyrie Eleison
Barack Obama at a Adonai elohenu ahem 

And this

Barack Obama Adonai Eloheinu Watermelon hamentaschen. A---(chow)mein.

If there is a hell, I'm going there. Hopefully, my friends will join me. Probably, the curtain will drop and blackness will ensue and I will never see, hear, think, or be anything again. That's truly what I think. And this too:
Unless there is a the possibility of haunting someone. Because I would totally do that.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

If You Really Knew Me

If you really knew me

1. you'd know I suffer from extreme anxiety and constant worry.
2. you'd know that telling me to calm down induces the exact opposite reaction.
3. you'd know I love purple, sunflowers, all things Italian.
4. you'd know that a piece of my heart is in Italy and another in Argentina.
5. you'd know I'm extremely emotional and sensitive.
6. you'd know I am a master of seeming to have my act together even when I'm boiling with anxiety inside.
7. You'd know I wear my heart on my sleeve.
8. You'd know I always have the best intentions even when it doesn't turn out that way.
9. You'd know I'd rather be happy than right.
10. you'd know I'm uncomfortable with conflict.
11. you'd know I'm on the edge of OCD.
12. you'd know routines make me feel safe.
13. you'd know that I like to know the plan--and in fact, I like to MAKE the plan.
14. you'd know that I find it easier going into a new situation when I have some information and know a little bit about what to expect.
15. you'd know surprises scare me
16. you'd know I hate saying no.
17. you'd know I'm filled with guilt about many things.
18. you'd know there are things I will never speak about.
19. you'd know that when you yell at me, I cry inside.
20. you'd know that I am easily intimidated.
21. you'd know that I thrive on order.
22. you'd know I can't stand spiders.
23. you'd know I hate dirt.
24. you'd know I've seen/felt the presence of ghosts.
25. You'd know there are people I miss so much it hurts.
26. you'd know I always want to be the best but I'm afraid to admit it when I am.
27. you'd know I'm more proud of other people than I am of myself.
28. you'd know that I've never fit in.
29. you'd know that my feelings are hurt when you blow me off.
30. you'd know sometimes I need to be alone.
31. You'd know I'm judgmental to a fault. (mostly of myself)
32. You'd know I'm not sure if I'm more afraid if someone reads this list or if they don't.
33. You'd know I can't stand that some of these start with capital Y and some start with lower case y.
34. You'd know I miss Boston and the Sox and the seasons.
35. You'd know my favorite time of year is Fall but only in New England where the fiery colors of the leaves burn bright in the crisp air. Otherwise, I'll go for Spring.
36. You'd know I hide behind humor.
37. You'd know more about me than you should.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Off Topic #socialmedia #cesspoolofhate

Youtube has become a cesspool of hatred lately. So many people find it impossible to disagree without name calling or demeaning another person. Instead of simply saying "I disagree" they call people stupid ignorant, tell them to go fk off and die, etc. It's really sad. I used to enjoy watching lots of different youtubers who make videos about their lives, but right now I'm sticking to the ones about cleaning, organization, and friendly topics where hate doesn't thrive. It's so much calmer over on those channels.

I've found the same on much of social media lately. Why are people becoming so angry and mean? Is it the world events (elections, wars, terror) that makes us feel bigger by making someone else feel less than? I don't understand. 

I guess it all proves that sticking with routines and learning more how I can live my life in this crazy world, is increasingly important. 

Let there be peace on earth...and let it begin with me.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Routines are my Friend

I've watched way too many videos about having routines, being organized, planning--everything from using a fancy planner complete with stickers and colored pens, highlighters, etc to scribbling a to-do list on a post-it note. Whatever works, I guess. I'm somewhere in the middle of that. I have a planner but I can do without the stickers and color coded whatever that takes more time to create than actually writing down everything that has to be done so I can move on and DO THE THINGS.

What I have realized over and over is that routines are my friend. They make me feel safe. I know what is going to happen and everything is predictable. Everything has its place. Except when it doesn't and I have a meltdown. But let's not go there. #perfectionist

Having a routine for everything from what happens when I walk in the front door, to what room I'm cleaning that day, and when I'm doing laundry is important to me. I need to see it in front of me. Work tasks, Chores, outside obligations, friends--everything. Planned and put in a place. 

This week was rough. My routines and carefully planned days were turned upside down. Things got rescheduled, moved around, canceled, changed...and none of it was a huge deal, but all of it together threw me off the edge. I hate when I get that way. I want to be even-keeled. I really do. But I'm not. #klonopinhelps

I don't know where this is going, but I'm looking forward to a long weekend to recharge my batteries and re-establish routines. Again.