2019-01-16 Mystery Solved – The 2 Year Blog Anniversary Post

Two years ago I started this blog and one of my first posts was titled “2017-01-15 The Riddle of the Middle”. It was one brief paragraph that posed the question, “How do you start something new when it feels like you are starting in the middle?“ I’m confident now, two years later, answering that question. It’s as simple as two little words – Just Start.

At the time, I was a broken human being who had just experienced the worst year of my life. My mind was a mess of jumbled puzzle pieces that no longer fit their frame. The colors were off and something big was lost which had left a sizeable hole in the picture.

Writing has always been my default go-to activity to sort out my thoughts and try to make sense of things that have gone wrong in my life. In 2016 I wrote hundreds of pages in my personal journal. So on that fateful day in January when I made a leap of faith to start a public blog and post my writing for anyone to read, one of my primary concerns was the fact that I was starting in the middle of a story. The story was that of my deteriorated mental and physical health, my stressful job, my broken heart, and my struggle with my purpose in the Universe. It Was and still is the story of my life.

I was 43 then and you don’t get that far without a lot of backstory. How then does one even begin to try and make that make sense for someone on the outside? The only people reading would be Perfect strangers who randomly visit and kindly take 5 minutes out of their day to read a day in the life of an anonymous blogger. As a writer, I was concerned about my audience, no matter how disconnected we might be.

As I stated, the answer is that you just have to start. It is a bit of a leap of faith. You have to trust that eventually the picture will come together. Obviously you could try and summarize, but there will inevitably be details that won’t make sense without more explanation. I can say now that that is not necessary. The details will come with time and if a person gets held back on such a technicality, that’s a shame. I tend to overthink everything and as it turns out my concerns were unfounded.

I’m extremely grateful that I did not let my worries stop me from starting this blog. It has been a key part of my healing process. My blog description accurately reflects the purpose and that is exactly what it has been for me for two years:

THIS STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS IS INTENDED TO BE AN UNFILTERED ACCOUNT OF MY JOURNEY TO FIGHT MY WAY TO A HEALTHIER, HAPPIER LIFE. ONE DAY AT A TIME, ONE STEP AT A TIME, ONE ORGANICALLY-GROWN-EMOTIONALLY-RAW BLOG POST AT A TIME…

And now, I’m delighted to report that I’ve arrived. I have a happy, healthy life and am cruising into what I’m thoughtfully calling “Maintenance Mode”. 2016 may have been the worst year of my life and it is only fitting that I celebrate the fact that 2018 was arguably one of the best.

All the choices I have made, and all the changes I’ve experienced are documented here and serve as both a reminder of how things were and also a blueprint for success. Life will always throw you curveballs that you are not prepared for, and if that happens and I find myself back in a tough spot, I will have this time to look back on.

If anyone is thinking about starting some new endeavor, no matter what it is, my advice is to go for it. As I have said a few times in the last two years “Today is a good day to start”.

Of course, being the numbers and stats nerd that I am, this blog anniversary post would not be complete without just a little WordPress accounting…

All time posts: 654

All time Views: 6220

All time visitors: 3233

Followers: 224

I’m grateful that I’m fortunate enough to be able to do the things I enjoy, like writing. I’m grateful for every person in my life, my children, friends, family, and kind strangers who take the time to read my musings. And I’m grateful for every day. Life is good.

Cheers to Two Years,

Love Always,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-17 Happy Blog-aversary

We’re over half way into January now and well past what my typical “reflection” time is for the previous year. I did a little, over December that spilled into January and recognize how far I’ve come in just one year, but there is one key thing that should not be dismissed easily and bears mentioning.

I briefly included this in my last “Sunday Status Update” for the year which happened to be on January 7th, but only so far as statistics go. What I am referring to is this blog and how it was a major contributing factor in my journey to live a healthier, more fulfilling life. It was my declaration from the start and not once have I gone back to edit that statement of purpose that appears at the top of every page.

Since the day I started, it has been, and continues to be a vital part of my journey. Writing for this blog every day has helped me see things more clearly. It has help me articulate what I am thinking. It has provided me daily practice in sharpening my craft and opened my eyes so that I can be witness to and report on the world around me, however small that is. It’s also helped me in some intangible ways that are difficult to describe.

Some day’s I feel as though I am talking to a dear friend and others I feel like I might be talking to a therapist. Some days I’m in the mood to rant about the world, and that’s OK, because this is my space to do that. I’ve carved out a little corner of the world and claimed it as my own. Some day’s I’m hopeful for the future and some days are just down-right miserable and no matter what nonsense or earth shattering revelations I decide to write about, it’s really just for me and I have no expectations higher than the satisfaction I get from writing and contributing to the collective consciousness of the world.

The day I started happened to be January 15, 2017. That first post is timestamped as January 16, because by default “Wordpress” was using the wrong time zone for my part of the world. At that time I really had no idea how often I would write or if I would even have enough to say. I never imagined then, how the story would unfold.

I missed the anniversary date of the inaugural post by a few days.. that’s a bummer. I like to celebrate anniversaries. I like to acknowledge the passing of time and look back and see the distance that has been travelled. It brings me comfort to see it and makes me excited for the future. A year ago, I never knew what things might be possible and so much has changed in this past year that I realize now that ANYTHING is possible.

So happy first blog-aversary to me and to anyone who tunes in to read my musings. Thanks for being a part of the story. Here’s to another great year to come!

Cheers,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-28 Switching Gears.. In 3rd Person

The post that is the conclusion of the “to be continued” previous posts on career and health and romance will be coming to the WordPress reader steam near you soon. However, at this time we are interrupting that regularly scheduled programming to take you to our world traveling corespondent, Miss SugarCookie.

She will be blogging live from sunny warm Hawaii at this time tomorrow. 

Follow along as she navigates the wretched adventure that is Air travel with two of our favorite allies tagging along to provide the Gen Z outlook on the situation. 

After that, it will be 7 days of tropical bliss to follow. You can expect to read about Haleakala and Hana and whatever other awesomeness they encounter. 

Check back daily for philosophical epiphany inspired by the beauty in nature and how it feels to be sleeping in and basking in the sun of 85 degree days in November. 

This destination is a lifelong, bucket list dream of our beloved Miss SugarCookie. You won’t want to miss it!

Time now to go finish laundry and travel prep.. her bags won’t pack themselves. 😉

Totally Stoked!
~Miss SugarCookie

(Oh yeah, I’m a blogging staff of one. Impressive right?!)

2017-08-06 On Blogging (That’s So Meta)

It was either the 20K steps I had yesterday or the two glasses of wine that did me in by like 10:30pm. Perhaps I should consider that I was up at 4:50am without much significant rest all day. I woke today around 5:45am, partially due to the pressure in my bladder and partially due to my kitten complaining about something. I chucked several decorative pillows at her from the bed, but she kept coming back making more noise. Finally at 6 I opened the curtains and the windows to get some fresh air in the room. It’s very overcast today.

Sometimes when I post things on WordPress I get likes and I end up going to look at what those people have written. Many times it’s some promotional site for some thing or other and I quickly navigate away. Sometimes, however, it’s a real human being who is also just posting about their life or opinions or short stories or poetry. I know some people get lost in an endless stream of videos on You-Tube these days, but I could fare about the same with the WordPress content that is available. I find myself most drawn to the other people who are writing about themselves. It’s fascinating and then I realize, hey, that’s what I’m doing.

I’ve had a couple of people inquire about my blog in real life and I have been quite leery to share. I very much appreciate writing under the presence that “nobody” is actually reading and then I don’t find myself giving much thought to needing to alter my words for the sake of any person. I know the tried and true rule about knowing your audience, and if I know I have an audience, then there might be some slight modifications because of that. That being said, there are a few people who do know what the site is, and I’m happy to say I don’t think it is affecting the outcome.

The first was a person I dated back in 2010 and we ran into each other late last year and then again early this year. That was very early in this endeavor and since I had not seen this person in so long, I did not think their knowing would change things. I honestly don’t know if he reads any of this. I mean, for real, who has time for that (besides me)?

The second person was my closest colleague at my last job. That one was sort of a happy accident I think. I don’t remember how the topic came about, but I eluded to the fact that I post to a blog and he took it upon himself to go hunting things out. He’s the one who discovered that my blogs were all listed together in the “Gravitar” section of my main blog including this one which I had wanted to keep concealed. I wanted this blog to remain somewhat anonymous and there it was, right under my picture and the three or four other blogs I have. Whoops. I’ve fixed that now, thanks to him.

I am not sure if he reads the things I write either. He also shared with me what his blog was and I subscribe to that and read those just about as soon as they are posted (I get a notification via email). His stuff is more retrospective but contain insight into his present state of mind. He’s a good writer and I enjoy reading his posts. I also get a little inspired to perhaps do more “backstory” posts or even deeper dives into certain topics that I think of from something that has happened, but for some reason I haven’t seem to do much of that yet.

I don’t ever seem to get past the “this is what I did today” stuff, which is quite dreadful really. I’ve even written before about the fact that so much of that is just repeating the same thing over and over. I mean, how much can one person talk about their sleep deprivation or achievements? Apparently in my case, quite a lot. I’m more than half a year in and still at it though so it’s definitely doing something for me. I don’t tend to think about it much, which is strange, but I do feel like my writing and this blog have helped me “dig out” of the hole that I had dug for myself in recent times. I really don’t see any conclusion for it anytime soon either.

So I’m going to go ahead and keep on living, and writing, and posting, and reading and we’ll see where that leads. I might be going no-where, but at least I have a great record of my ride.

Today is Sunday. I’ve long ago abandoned the idea that there is a formula for a perfect Sunday. I used to think if you did paint by numbers, so to speak, and practiced yoga and had coffee and sushi and cocktails and writing and listening to music and walking that you could not go wrong. It seems logical enough, but even doing all that may not guarantee a win for the day. There’s some magic ingredient that eludes me. Hopefully it is not sunshine, because it looks like we will be having none of that today. Very overcast indeed.

Just Keep Swimming,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-02-25 Welcome to the Weekend

It has definitely been an interesting week. Between turning down job offers and meeting up with my ex for “The Return of the Ring”, I’ve had my fair share of drama. I’m definitely looking forward to some “me” time this weekend. There are only a couple things I am putting on the “todo” list for this weekend because I’m wanting to leave it wide open for whatever comes up. If that “whatever” is nothing, then all the more time for me to veg out.

I do have plans today to take the kids to go have lunch with my Mom and I will probably also catch a Jazzercise class or two as well but that is about it. I’m actually on call for work today which happens only once every couple of months so I have to take my laptop if I go places. It’s easier just not to go places.

The weather was so nice last weekend that it feels like a serious bummer that we had snow yesterday and the temp is back down below freezing. It’s really easy to get used to those 60 degree days. But it is still February so I guess it’s to be expected.

Talking about the weather seems is a sure sign I literally have nothing else to say, so I’m gonna let go of trying to do any more writing right now.

Ciao for Now,
Miss SugarCookie

2017-02-03 On Grief

Life is complicated, you know, and human beings are fascinating and beautiful and strange. The body is remarkable and unusual and the mind is mysterious and wonderful. This seems like the perfect combination for a extraordinary existence yet, all the connections and unknowns and conflicts can cause chaos. We’re thinking all the time. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

Take grief for example. We start by trying to define a feeling. That’s probably the first mistake. Something has happened that is perceived as negative and it elicits certain consequences in the mind and body. We are sad or angry about whatever it is. We maybe think to much about it and don’t get enough sleep. We could become tired and unmotivated. It might cause us to eat too much or not enough. Our heart may even ache. Have you ever had an actual heartache from an event? I have and it was a very powerful experience. How do you explain that? How do you define it?

As beings with higher functioning brains we tend to do a lot of analysis on everything. We study a topic and apply what we know about science to it. We theorize and do experiments and draw conclusions. We use those conclusions in decision making. Those decisions are considered solid because of the process, but this is flawed. It is because the process is only as good as the inputs. We don’t know what we don’t know and if there is something we don’t understand, we dismiss it from the equation.

What we have concluded and not really refuted are the five stages of grief. As I understand it, these can be experienced in any order and for any duration and can also repeat and overlap. So that loosely translates as “whatever your situation is, it’s normal”. The five stages are: denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and acceptance. Like I stated, they can happen in any order but this “flow” makes sense to me within the context of things I’ve experienced.

As I look back at the last year of my life with respect to my relationship with Matt, I see a great deal of bargaining and denial. Even before we broke up for the third time I was going round and round with the problem of us. I recognized something was not right and I tried over and over to puzzle out what the right course of action was. Yesterday I posted about the flowchart, but that’s over-simplifying things. When it comes to real life, you can’t just ask “Are you happy”, then answer “No” and then turn left to change something and expect to fix it. I came to the conclusion that just not being together anymore was the right course of action. And then I had to deal with what came after.

That included less denial but more intense bargaining. I tried, in desperation, to make deals with Matt and with myself and when it did not work in either court I fell into a dark place I can only describe as depression. I don’t use that word lightly because I know there are folks with serious problems with mental illness and depression and I never would count myself among them. For a while, it was like I was in denial of just that aspect of my grieving process. But I believe with what I know now, that is exactly what I was experiencing. To some degree, I’m still experiencing it.

Lately though, I’ve been more angry than anything else and frankly that’s a huge relief compared to what I was feeling in October and November and December. At least anger is an energy I can channel into other facets of my life. I can angry sing and dance and exercise. I can jog a mile to a song that makes me want to scream for all the swell of wrath it elicits inside of me. I can jog that mile and it’s like my body never felt it. The elapsed time feels more like 10 seconds instead of 10 minutes. So at least there is something positive I can find in this stage.

I have to direct that energy into something besides the person I still feel is 50% responsible for the failure of that relationship. Unlike my bargaining phase when I had desperately tried to connect over and over again, I no longer have any window of opportunity to work with. There’s no real reason to meet and talk. There is no hope and nothing is going to change so it just doesn’t make logical sense to want that. I said yesterday I want to meet and talk and say what I have to say, but then I question my motives. If it is only to make myself feel better, then why can’t I just acknowledge that and dismiss the idea. Why can’t I just move on to acceptance? Why?

It is because life is complicated. Human beings are fascinating and beautiful and strange. I don’t have all the inputs and I don’t know what I don’t know. I can’t solve the riddle because I’m my own variable in the equation.

If that wasn’t twisted enough I can always offer up that this entire thing is based on the perception that what has happened to me was a negative event. If I shine a light on it, could I potentially see that it’s not negative, bit instead a positive? If I had come to the end of what I could learn or experience from being together and continuing on together was doing more harm than good, then going our separate ways was the best outcome. That opens up a whole different line of thinking which I’m not quite ready to accept yet either.

Good Grief!

2017-02-01 The Trapezoid

I’m stuck in a place where I feel like I can’t move on. I can’t sit still, yet I can’t move. It’s maddening.

I’ve got this logical brain, right? (it’s rhetorical but the answer is yes). Sometimes I see life like a flowchart on a piece of paper. You’re on a path and each time you come to a rectangle, you just do what it says. When you come to a diamond in the road, it has one simple question associated which has a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer. The question has to be simple. It’s already been broken down into the lowest denominator. You just have to decide. If it’s “Yes” then you keep going straight. If it’s “No” then you have to take a left. Then you move on and do what the next rectangle says.

You continue along the path like this. Each time you happen upon a diamond, you stop, decide, and move on in the appropriate direction. Eventually, you will get where you are meant to go. That’s logical.

Yet here I am at this fucked up shape. What is it.. a trapezoid? It’s not a decision. It’s not an action. Is it a process that needs to happen? Am I waiting for more inputs? Who’s the data entry person? How long do I wait? If I don’t get what I need am I supposed to skip this step? Is there some threshold or overflow condition that can get me off this step? I’m confused and it just doesn’t make sense. It’s not logical.

I told my friend at dinner I need to have a conversation with Matt and he told me I don’t. I told him I think I need some closure and he said I don’t. He said I can choose to just let it go and move on. And then he asked me, “do you want to move on?”.

This question kind of blew my mind a little bit. It was so simple.

Then I started thinking.. Can this be right? Is this really a diamond? Have my eyes been so blurry from all the tears that I thought what I was dealing with was was a trapezoid when all along it was a diamond? I’m trying to focus on it now… I’m trying hard to see it…and it IS a diamond.

And the answer is “Yes”. It’s a simple, glorious, undeniable “YES”. So now I can move again. I get to keep going straight and do whatever comes next. It’s feels like such a relief.

Now.. I sure as hell hope I don’t run into any real trapezoids. That would be seriously rotten.