Forced Relaxation and the Silence of Flying

We’re two hours and twenty-one minutes in. At least, I’m estimating from the time we were scheduled to take off. 5:10 p.m.

I need an outlet.

I keep glancing out the window, but it is darker than dark. We’re not close enough to Springfield yet (the next landmark on my in-flight progress map) for the pinpricks to shine through the velvet.

My palms itch. My hands tingle. I. need. an. outlet.

I haven’t yet caved in to the siren’s song of the turned off seatbelt light. I am sturdily buckled in, nylon webbing firm across my hip bones.

This chair can’t go to upright. Not completely. I’m at a perpetual 10° angle, which my back is thrilled about.

I had “I’m Leaving On a Jet Plane” (the Peter, Paul, and Mary version) humming through my head for the first hour. Then it was the end theme to the movie Wreck-It Ralph.

The ice in my drink is 80% melted. Will it get to 100% before I finish it?

I need an outlet.

I could read. I already started the book I stowed in my purse.

I can only troll through Facebook so much. I’ve checked my email over 30 times now.

I need an outlet.

I punched out that quick stream-of-consciousness over the course of a few minutes. This is an example of my brain at work — a constant stream of GoGoGo that makes me wonder if my blood has been swapped with jet fuel somewhere along the way. But we learned in Family Guy that using jet fuel does not mean you can fly. Except I am flying because I’m in a plane so… I guess I win?

The point is, relaxation is seen as an art. Rarely is it addressed that relaxation is also a freaking trial. An endurance trial, at that. It requires a process of letting go that, for some of us, no longer feels natural. The drive and deep need to DO has been programmed into us over years and lifetimes and generations of constant “DO IT NOW” ness and less “it can wait” ness. Longer work hours, the internet, smartphones… all distractions from that every so scary question.

What now?

What do we do when we’ve relaxed? How do we know we are relaxed? What is the quantification? How can we measure it?

We are terrified of uncertainty. We work enough in every other arena, don’t we? Why should we work for relaxation? And don’t fool yourself — for the DO addict, doing nothing is work, if only in that you have to work to silence the constant chatter.

Relaxation is an art, it’s true. But Art is work.

Embrace the art. Practice the art. Perfect the art.

My ice is melted.

We’re over Oklahoma now. My previous concept of darker than dark is now updated.

Breathe in, breathe out.

“Wreck it, wreck it, Ralph, as fast as you can. You know you can do it with your colossal hands…”

Nobody is perfect.

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

How to Stop Punking Out on Your Life…Today

“Punking out” (Verb): To be intimidated to the point of retreat., which seriously has everything you never needed to know

When I hit the pause button on the site over the summer to focus on some bits that were frustrating me had become an Indeterminable Blob Representing All My Failures Ever (in my mind), I did so with the intention of returning with a happy “check out my new stuff!” post and life would go back to normal. Riiiight. You know what they say about intentions, don’t you?

Continue reading How to Stop Punking Out on Your Life…Today

Truth is an endangered species

I can think of at least 10 idioms involving truth that I’ve heard regularly used:

  • In vino veritas (In wine, truth. AKA delicious honesty)
  • Truth is in the eye of the beholder (Best get that out before it scratches)
  • A grain of truth (Was this in the beholder’s eye?)
  • The moment of truth (As opposed to the others that are all lying liars that lie)
  • The naked truth (Which lost its clothes in a fight with the other moments)
  • The gospel truth (We’ll take it from here, darling)
  • Stretch the truth (Otherwise how will it go running?)
  • In truth (Because I lie to you every other sentence)
  • Truth will out (It’s REALLY tired of the closet y’all)

And my  absolute favorite:

  • Truth is stranger than fiction (No snark here — absolutely correct)

Why do we have so many ways to express the conditions of honesty? Is truth such a rarity that we have to define a language structure around its occurrences?

I say yes.

First off, what IS truth?

From Merriam-Webster Online:

  • the real facts about something
  • the things that are true
  • the quality or state of being true
  • a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true

True is defined as “agreeing with the facts; not false; real or genuine.”

Ok, most of these definitions suck. Let’s try something else.

An “archaic” version of the truth definition (according to MW):

Sincerity in action, character, and utterance.

(Doesn’t that sound classier?)

Here’s the kicker though — truth can change!

For example:

How long it would take to get from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia 200 years ago (too dang long) is much different from how long it would take today, yet both those times are “fact.” They are known quantities, relative to their time period.

See that?

Relative to their time periods.

Truth is relative.

Relative to your time.
Relative to your friends/family.
Relative to your experiences.

Your truth does not equal my truth. My truth does not equal your truth. And that’s ok.(Tweet Me!)

Let me repeat.

It is totally freaking fine if our personal truths are not exactly, or even remotely, same.

There’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

Your truth may not equal my truth. I respect that difference, and I will still respect you.

My truth may not equal your truth. I hope you respect that difference and continue to respect me.

The system breaks down when I am obligated to hold to a truth that causes me to go against mine*, or when I oblige you to hold to my truth as it is going against yours.

Truth is becoming an endangered species.

We slowly let truths die in the face of opposition, judgement, and fear.

Our truths wither as we fit ourselves into predefined boxes, crying out for room to stretch and grow.

At core, you ARE your truths. They define you. Your truths are an integral part of who you are. The more you bind yourself with the truths of others, the more you stifle YOU in favor of playing someone else.

What can we do about it?

Stand up for truth.

Voice it. Own it. Live it.

After all, if you’re not going to champion your own truths, how can you expect anyone else to?

I’d love to hear your story! Tell me about one time you’ve defended your truth in the comments.

*This does not include violence to others or to my/your self.

Why Iniquity Makes You Want to Sh*t Your Pants

**Hello my lovely little darlings, have you missed me? Cuz I missed YOUUUU. I got smacked with a nice round of the flu, but I’m back and better than ever!**

I think most of us would agree we were raised to be ‘good’ children. Brush your teeth, eat your peas, do your homework, get good grades… the whole nine yards. This carries into adulthood. We receive performance evaluations where we’re regarded, rated, ranked, and required to agree with our manager’s assessment, sign on the dotted line please and of course there’s nothing to worry about because if you were doing poorly we would be working on it already.

I don’t know about you, but hitting the life repeat button year after year like it’s a semi-amusing YouTube video gets boring to me. Sometimes, I want a treat. Sometimes, I want a little spice.

I want to be so close to the game winning shot that my opponent can smell my breakfast piña colada as he tries to stop me. I want Wednesday water balloon fights. I want to sneak  crayons to work for lunchtime color breaks (or meetings, notes in purple and green are SO in). I want to rock my New Year’s finery any day of the week I choose.

There’s just one tiny problem.

Breaking the mold? Is effing TERRIFYING.

Remember that good child behavior that Mom or Dad (or Grandma or Aunt Sue or Cousin Johnny) so deeply ingrained in our brains? That behavior habit (voiced by your own inner  doomsayer) convinces you SOMETHING HORRIBLE IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF WE TOE OVER THE LINE HOLY CRAAAAAAP.

And that feeling? Can keep you from doing all the crazywonderfulamazing things your life can offer. It’ll try to convince you that the risk isn’t worth it. That your life could be utterly ruined by making this change, taking the step, trying so very very hard to find your freedom.

But there’s no magic wand, no wish, NOTHING outside of YOU that is going to break you out of the cycle of boring, painful complacency. On the one hand, it’s all on you kiddo. On the other hand, it’s all IN you. No one’s gonna do it for you; they’re all too busy freeing themselves.

What is more spicy, more wicked, more cheeky than flipping the bird to your “normal” loop? (Tweet Me!)

It’s not about being a douche. It’s about breaking the mold. Taking your hipster boho chic outfit and adding a goddamn clown nose so you laugh every time you look in the mirror. Didn’t you know bozo geek is TOTALLY in this season? It’s about taking the expectations box, and not just thinking outside of it. Light that thing on FIRE.

Bye-bye, expectations of others. Hello, wickedly sassy you.

So tell me: what is one thing you’ll do this weekend to spice it up?