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Self Care Sundays: Killing Me With Kindness

In terms of practicing self care, there were about a thousand things I can think to do that would be nice to do for myself prior to Corona virus taking over the world; I could’ve book a massage or bought some new music or got my hair and nails done. Those things were ways of physically pampering myself, but I don’t know that they’re my definition of “kindness.”

To be kind, I have to stop being an asshole to myself.

What is the most miserable act that I engage in? Well, it’s something that creeps in, steals my happiness and ability to like myself, and makes me to worry about what I am doing wrong, but gives me no idea how to fix it.

What causes the most hurt is self-loathing. I question all my abilities. I compare myself to other people; people I have nothing in common with. I judge myself by television and movie standards. I beat myself emotionally when I don’t live up to those lofty goals.

The kindest thing I can do for myself is to practice self-acceptance.

In the Serenity Prayer, “we ask for serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

After many years (and God knows how many sessions of therapy) I have isolated a few things that I am going to accept about myself RIGHT NOW.

  • I am an introvert. I feel more comfortable alone or in the presence of just a few people who know me well. Sometimes, I feel downright overwhelmed in a big group. I will never be a socialite. I will never want to spend my free time with a ton of people, part of group or committee or (gag!) team. I was the kind of kid my mother had to force out the door to play with the other kids. I am not going to suddenly develop a big, loud group of friends to go out with, nor will I feel a need to invite them over for fancy parties.

And you know what? I don’t have to feel like an asshole for that.

  • I will never have a perfect, spotless, well-organized house. You know that button, “a clean house is a sign of a wasted life?” It’s kind of like that. It’s a total waste of time to fluff pillows and re-stack coasters when they’re just going to get messed up as soon as I sit down to relax. I don’t understand the need to have “everything in its place.” Sometimes, I mop my floors once a month. I only mop the bedroom floors once a year. I forget to clean the bathtub for weeks. I have piles of unread mail, toys and library books on every table. I only dust when I move something and suddenly you can see where the dust ISN’T.

And you know what? I’m probably not going to change. This is not about cleanliness. My house isn’t filthy. There aren’t piles of old food laying around or trash on the floor. I pick up and do dishes and sweep up crumbs. Occasionally, I wipe everything down. I do the basic things and keep the house from looking and smelling like a garbage dump. I have better things to do than worry about the dust bunnies under my bed.

  • I’m getting older and it’s okay. When I was 20, I weighed 90 lbs. I hated that I couldn’t seem to gain weight no matter what. I had tiny boobs and I wanted bigger boobs and a nicer ass. And I remember being 25, happily seeing that I’d filled out. Then came the baby…I turned 30, and now I cannot believe how easy it is to gain five pounds. All I have to do is look in the window of a bakery and my buttons start straining.

At 20, I didn’t need to exercise. I worked a lot of overtime. I ate a ton of fast food. I came and went as I pleased. I’d easily get up for work after being out all night. I was fine on two-and-a-half hours of sleep. I am not that girl anymore. Now, I’m in bed by 10 and still drag for most of the day. I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck when my kid wants me to chase her. I get nauseous if I eat too much junk food.

I am not going to get any younger. Those days are not coming back. It’s time to stop treating my body like I am still a 20-year old.

  • I am not a perfect mother. I am going to stop feeling neglectful because I didn’t make my own baby food. I don’t worry about organic produce and I allow my kid to play in dirt…OUTSIDE!

I never even ONCE considered not getting my kid vaccinated and I didn’t childproof my house at all. You want know why? Because I survived childhood. My parents never even CONSIDERED any of these things.

And guess what else? I bottle-fed my kid: COW’S MILK FORMULA. I tried the alternatives and she was colicky anyway! Everywhere you turn, there are people who “tsk tsk” at other parents for making different decisions than they did for their own kids. I don’t give a shit about that – I did what I think was right for my child and I will not feel bad about it.

When I was pregnant, I realized that Ben and I both had perfectly good childhoods; two totally opposite types of mothers. We each needed therapy anyway. I resolved try to do what I think my kid needs me to do. If what I do doesn’t match up with what the Mother Of The Year Committee thinks is best, that’s okay.

I am sure there are plenty of ways that my inner asshole will attempt to undermine my self-confidence. But maybe if I accept these things about myself, maybe the simple act of accepting and allowing my small imperfections, will empower that other part of me. The one who actually LIKES who I am.

I’m going to kill the self-loathing with kindness.

 

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Back the Fuck Off Us, Okay?!

Here’s the thing; mental illness isn’t a joke

Most of you giggle a bit when you remember my delightful – and very public – breakdown several years ago. On the outside, I’m sure it WAS funny and insane and who doesn’t get a tickle from watching a train wreck of a person lose their mind? PUBLICLY?!? Even better. In fact?

HIGH-larious.

Now I’ve noticed that several of my fellow OG bloggers are in the process of similar meltdowns and of course, blood is in the water and who doesn’t like to speculate about all of their life choices and make up stories to share with other people?

Gossiping is hilarious business.

Now before you get all, “whelp you put it out there, it’s clearly for public consumption”, remember that you don’t know a thing about what their lives are like beyond the screen. Or their lives AT ALL.

So before you go on about Kanye or anyone else who’s having a public meltdown, remember that it’s not really all that funny to the person having it or their loved ones. I know I wasn’t laughing.

I mean, throw your own life into the spotlight (perks or none) for the world to see. See how people pick apart yur choices. Presume to know a lot more than you do. Giggle. Laugh. Enjoy the speculations and the lies.

It feels fantastic to be critiqued! To be disowned by friends you’ve known forever! Too funny!

Soo funny!

But until you’re going to do that, allow the whole world to watch your mistakes, remember that mental health diseases are actual diseases and that you don’t get the chance to figure out when you’ll break down. If medication works for you. If you have a right to refuse it. Those aren’t up for speculation.

And honestly? Leave Kanye the fuck alone.

NONE of this is funny.

Mental illness isn’t a joke.

The Great Pandemic: Dispatches From Sweden

We at The Band Back Together Project are looking for your stories of what you’re going through in the time of the great pandemic. Please share your stories with us. You can use this to login, or you can send your story to becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com.

Please share this around – we are none of us alone; we are all connected. You never know who’s lives you’ll change with your words.

This post comes courtesy of an OG friend who lives in Sweden; it’s a good taste about how life is around the world, plus she promised to eat any mayo I send her way (I LOATHE mayo)

As for now, me? I’m not coughing, and I’m not REALLY sick.

Just a slight fever (37.9 in real money (degrees Celsius), which is what, 150 in your weird measures? or is that for baking muffins?), and a higher resting heart rate than usual – and way high as soon as I do something. Like go upstairs.

Takes me 10 minutes to catch my breath after such strenuous exercise.

I’m not all alone though. My daughter moved home a couple of months ago – bipolar and a masters in biology with remote studies didn’t really work out, despite how much she loves biology.

She’s got a slight cough, now and then, but again, not very bad.

We sent my partner to his flat in the next town over on the 12th of March and it seems like he got out before we got infected, thank BoB.

He’s 25 years older than I am (and I’m 52 soon), so he’s more at risk.

I’ve been working from home since the 14th, had some minor niggles last week, but the fever hit on Saturday.

So now I’m going to work a little less, I suppose, and nap more.

I’m so glad I brought my work set up home – big screen, keyboard, “mouse” which is a big stick in a holder that you spin and slide along… I think it’s called a Bar Mouse, which frankly is awesome.

Cheers, Mouse!

So that’s comfortable.

Only nuisance is that being 160 cm tall (5’3”? maybe?) and having a desk that doesn’t lower, means that the chair is at it’s absolute top level (at least I have that, right?) and a foot stool that’s the hight of my sofa to keep my legs from dangling.

And nobody there to watch how funny that looks…

And work… we’re in the medical device industry, but since no planned surgery goes ahead ANYWHERE, sales have tanked.

And for emergency/trauma, people can survive without our products, even if they’d benefit… So.

Management are cutting their salaries by 20%, and ask staff to voluntarily cut ours by 10%, for 3 months. You don’t have to, and you won’t be punished if you don’t. I like that they lead by example, and that they do all they can to not have to let anyone go, even if it’s going to hurt a little.

Nothing compared with the company going under though, and having a job to get back to when things return to normal is quite motivating.

I agreed to it.

I hope it helps.

Spring is arriving, with a surprise overnight snow, the other morning. So there’s that. Isa power-cleaned the patio during the weekend, it’s a whole new colour!

But today, she’s tired.

We don’t have complete lock down, our leaders trust that most of us are sensible, and follow the recommendations (stay the fuck home!), and so far, it’s not too bad. Anyone who can work at home does. No more than 50 people allowed in one place, which seems to work.

I see people about, but then I don’t really go anywhere. The shop is pretty normal. We have toilet paper.

I mean, if people ignore it, they will of course put stronger measures in, but so far, not terrible.

Well, except Stockholm. Those people seem to think they are above the rules, which shows in the infection rates… (3.5 x the second worst region).

But maybe they learn. They are also learning that no, you are indeed NOT WELCOME at your summer house, because a) you come from an infected region and x) DON’T TRAVEL and 19) it’s a sparsley (sparesly? s’Parsley??? few people.) populated region where they go, and the hospital has NO capacity for extras, let alone the locals.

And as in the rest of the world, low stocks of face masks, disinfectant, protective clothing. Someone figured out that you can use overhead projector film to make visors, but then some bureaucrat said, hey that’s not been tested and approved, so you can’t use them.

I say screw that, it’s better than a naked face.

Hum. This turned out long. Sorry for the ramblings. If i were a blogger, I might have posted it. If you want to use it for the Band, feel free. Or not. You know.

anyway.

Love, hugs, and I’ll be happy to rescue you from any mayo that comes your way!

Maria, way over in Sweden and all.

The Great Pandemic: The The ‘VID/The Flu & My Kid

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Please share this around – we are none of us alone; we are all connected. You never know who’s lives you’ll change with your words.

Last week (or was it 2 weeks ago – I’m not being coy – I honestly don’t remember) my dad called me, which is about as rare as me saying “I heart mayo” because I loathe mayo with the energy of a thousand suns. It’s not that we’re “not okay” or something, we just don’t have much to say to each other – he’s in California, I’m not. But, being alive in the Great Pandemic means you’re generally reaching out to people who you don’t normally talk to.

I’d expected him to say that either he or my mom had gotten The ‘VID because they’re old and they have multiple comorbidities.

I didn’t expect the words that spilled out of his mouth next: “we think Ben either has The Flu or CoVID-19.” I got the details, sparse as they were from them and tried, again, to reach my kid, but because he is a teenager, his phone is often off, which actually makes zero sense now that I’m typing it out, but that’s just the way it is.

ANYWAY.

That made his phone being off all the more concerning. But, I’m a good (wo)man in a storm and I’m all about fact-gathering rather than fear mongering or falling prostrate at someone’s… feet? Prostate? I’m not sure where I was going with that.

He’s in the same state, but not the same county, so I called that county’s health department and after I got through about 46 minute message telling me all the shit I already knew about The ‘VID (and pathogens in general), I was asked to leave a message. My guess is that that recorded seminar makes most people hang up, but I was in the car and had literally nothing else whatsoever to do.

I left my message and expected a return call about… let’s say NEVER? I figured they’d be hammered by everyone in the county to dispel some of the more outlandish things that Trump has said, so imagine my surprise when I got a callback.

Without having spoken with The Kid, I couldn’t really speak to what the symptoms he was facing were. His fever. His cough. But I did explain that he was safe and self-quarantined, and being a hermit and a teenager, had no thermometer OR desire to leave his hidey-hole. She sounded relieved.

When she was asked when he should get tested (this was when we all believed that we’d be able to get tested), she informed me – not unkindly – that “they’re not doing tests for “normal” people.”

Which is, I guess how another – WAY WAY WAY QUEEN OF BLOGS – blogger got herself tested twice (because two is better than one!!) and every asymptomatic celebrity who wants one can be tested in multiples. Me? I’m an OG blogger who’s been radio silent for years now – and my spawn aren’t special enough for a test.

But whatever. Only mildly bitter.

(lies)

The other nurse confirmed what I’d thought: stay in quarantine for 3 days after the fever broke (he doesn’t have a thermometer, I was thinking, but okay). Don’t go out until the cough is gone. All the other infection control protocols were in place, so yay. Oh, and the county hadn’t had a SINGLE confirmed case yet.

I wanted to yell “BECAUSE THERE ARE NO CELEBS AROUND THERE, ASSHOLE,” but it’s not her fault so I kept my grousing to myself. And, I guess, now to you.

Because I was unable to access The Kid for a couple of more days, my dad and I spoke daily – The Kid was on an upswing, then downswing, then up, then down. Finally, The Kid, Himself, called me. I told him what I’d learned from the health department (nothing I didn’t know EXCEPT that you have to have a platinum vagina to get tested). He said he’d called the hospital at one point a couple of days before, because he was coughing so hard he’d pass out.

Awesome.

The gist of it was “suck it up buttercup, you can’t come to the hospital with a cough,” which threw me through a loop.

AWEsome.

I’ve been texting with The Kid and he’s still got the cough and is doing a sleep-eat-play (video games before he passes out again) – cycle, which I’d been doing the week before. Whelp, without the video games.

He has his piano keyboard so he’s keeping busy, but he’s now, like the rest of us, falling pretty depressed. Like him (and I’d be guessing a good number of you as well), I’ve been struggling to even get off the couch. Today marks my first day back on the computer doing something other than watching the dwindling amount of traffic on the road and all of the incantations of My 90 Day Fiance – FOR THE SECOND TIME – which is just absurd enough to keep me from becoming a total slug.

(most days)

TL;DR

My kid sounds like he had CoVID-19 but was to normal, per the health department (who also stated that there were no confirmed cases in that county) he was too normal to be tested.

The hospital told him that if he had a cough – one of the dangerous-this-may-kill-you hallmarks of CoVID-19 – he couldn’t come into the hospital.

So my kid likely had CoVID-19, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever know,

He’s depressed now, I’m depressed, hell, everyone I know is depressed.

But, I dragged my ass to the computer to give you a taste of what it’s like in my world.

Now we need to hear yours: we are none of us alone; we are all connected.

Please, login here, or send an email to becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com to let us know what life is like in YOUR world.

The Great Pandemic: Funerals Are For The Living

We at The Band Back Together Project are looking for your stories of what you’re going through in the time of the great pandemic. Please share your stories with us. You can use this to login, or you can send your story to becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com.

Please share this around – we are none of us alone; we are all connected. You never know who’s lives you’ll change with your words.

 

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

If we are to believe in the afterlife, we believe that they are already in a better place, A place where the beauty of the flowers, the churches, and the songs pale by comparison. The love they feel far outweighs the love they feel from those in attendance of their comital.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

If we are to believe that there is no afterlife, then they are already gone. The end. Fin. They will not feel the love, appreciate the flowers, or hear the songs. Those in attendance will tell stories, feel the sweet release of a good cry, and maybe – just maybe – gain some semblance of closure. But those who have died will reap nothing.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living. 

Today, we gather to celebrate their contributions to the enrichment of our lives. We are there to comfort each other; to try to make sense of the loss of their light in our world. We fortify ourselves against the pain of their passing with hugs and sweet words of our loved ones, and words of our faiths.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

My aunt passed away today and amidst the concerns for the containment of CoVID-19, we are not permitted to attend the funeral. We want everyone to be safe.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

I love you, Aunt Netta, and I will always miss your light.

Love,

Tonya.