Saturday, May 9, 2015

I think I over slept

Most of us have those day when we just go deep inside, take a look at what it is, what is not, what we have, what we want, what we've accomplished, what we have not, and most of all, days in which we get a little caught on how all of that feels. They aren't necessarily bad days, one can even argue that they are not necessary days at all, but yet they happen. At least to me. I hear it far too often: "you don't have to analyze it  all" or "you think too much", funny as it seems, days like those I do not think much at all, instead I get pushed up and down in a whirlwind of emotions I sometimes cannot define. Sometimes I just don't want to, to be honest.
A day, a plain and common day when I get sucked in the routine and the rushes of the hours and chores one after the other. A common day on my happy uneven weeks would go pretty much like this. The thoughts and emotions come as they please, the facts and the experiences are always rich, sometimes more, sometimes they are just devastating. 
The alarm wakes me up and I look at the clock, I can't remember when I had a full night sleep, I use to look at it at one, at three, at five a.m., when I wake up, put the kettle on, take a fast shower, wake up the girls and dressed them, half asleep. I prepare their pieces of fruit to school, check the school bags, fix breakfast, comb their hair, brush their teeth and repeat over and over again that they have to hurry so we don't miss the 06:07 buss to school. I rush to work and get the day going. I tried summarizing how a day at work is, but it is not possible since however hard I tried it always looks organized on paper. It's so hard to explain! Every task is executed at the same time as two or three others. Short on staff, getting  patients admitted before the other ones were discharged, having them on the couch for a few hours.  That does not say much, because you cannot see them, because you have no clue that that guy on the couch waiting for the resident to discharge him has just heard that his life is fading like a candle. It really doesn't matter, because how hard I try words don't show the sadness and the desperation in his eyes, his uncertainty, his resignation, his pain. It really doesn't matter because the screams don't sound with my written words, and the wounds don't smell through the blog, and the trembling hands taking mine and begging for help do not get real for you. And all those stories of life, suffering, hope, miracles, sadness, desperation, light, love, kindness, anger, death, struggle, victory and defeat get all lost in the bureaucracy and the documentation, they slowly fade in the runs to get to the practicalities of the day done, they become the background of the problems to be solved. And so goes the day, the doctor screams and yells at me once more, he is frustrated and so am I. The relatives complain, I'm not enough, I did not do enough... they are right.  And the day goes by at work, and those little words of kindness spread here and there, those warm touches, those sincere "thank you", those unbelievable caresses to the heart make it worth it, sometimes. 
I run to get the girls, they are tired, they complain, they are wining, they are hungry. I make dinner, we make homework, they take their baths and the clock gets 8 p.m. We cuddle and read a story, I sing to them and kiss them good night and see how they sink in the land of dreams with those lovely tiny peaceful smiles of satisfaction on their lips and I get filled with love and pain. Pain because they won't be here next week, because the house will be quiet and alone, because I will not sing or kiss their foreheads and whisper in their ears how proud and happy I am to have them, to see them grow, to see how wonderful they are. And I go down and do the dishes in the silence, and think about the day, what I could have done better, what I did right, what that patient said, what the other meant. I think about them and their lives. I think about the responsibilities, the bills to pay, the supermarket list, the laundry, the cleaning, what I will make for dinner tomorrow, and yeah... housewife's worries, nurse's worries, mom's worries... I make a cup of tea, take a look around and sit in the darkness of the kitchen. The silence hurts, it hurts because it's there no matter what I do, it's always there.
I go upstairs and look at them in their beds, still with the tiny peaceful smiles, sleeping like angels, so innocent and so small, so pure and so perfect. I lay my head against the wall and as an unwanted tear falls down my cheek my thoughts betray me "I need a hug right now".
I pick up a book and go to bed, and as I slowly get lost in someone's words my heart aches and goes "I need a hug so much"
I thought about my mom today, when I saw the girls laughing and screaming of joy at the theme park. What would my mom think of me if she saw me? Had she ever imagine I would be the one I am now? Had she ever picture me so lonely? Had she ever imagine I would feel like I do today? Would she be proud of me? I know I'm not. I'm happy and thankful I've made it this far, I certainly am, but proud? proud I am not, pride does not fill the vacuum, it does not build bridges over the holes in my soul. I've made it this far, I've built up this life I enjoy and am thankful for but I was a dreamer, I believed in happily ever after, I thought it was true that you get what you give, I hoped and dreamed and the alarm went on and somehow I feel I've over slept.

Friday, January 9, 2015

When good intentions come out wrong

You know when you try to cheer someone up and it just gets worse? and then you try with something else and it all goes down the pipe? We've all been there, on both sides I guess. We mean so well, we don't want the other one to hurt, we have this needs inside to just take away all those troubles and crazy harmful thoughts and feelings and help them shine again. We do certainly mean so so well... but whatever we say just makes it muddier and instead of spreading the rainbow of hopes we just awaken a thunder storm.
That happens to me often, I am not an easy person to cheer up, I don't think that works at all with me, it upsets me even more! I happen to feel what I feel and I am OK with that, if I am angry, I am, no need to pretend I am not, if I am sad as hell, I am, it is my fundamental right to feel whatever it is I am feeling, isn't it? My dad is one of the few people who actually gets me in a better mood, how? he just kicks my sentimental ass and hits me with the sharp and poisoned arrows of reality. And that works with me: plain, simple truth. Please do not sugar coat it! If I'm getting crap, no matter how much icing you pour on it, it won't taste any better. The thing is, I am as resilient as a little child, I get over it on my own time, dust myself off and go on, but please do not rush me through it! I forgive and forget, and when I forgive I do forgive, for real, no harm was ever done, erase and start again kind of forgiving. And if we forgive each other, do not bring that up ever again! It's gone, it's passed, it's forgiven. We messed up, we learned, we are better people now. Done!
So why am I posting this? Because seriously, please I really know you all mean well, but please... do not tell me I have to take care of myself, I do that! who else otherwise? I am healthy, I am working, I keep my personal appearance as good as it gets, I am clean and well groomed, eat, sleep, look for medical advise when I need it, get over my emotional problems and set backs, enjoy life as much as I can and go on... Who does that for me? my mom? my dad? my sisters? my imaginary husband? I do that! and I am quite proud of how I do it.
Focus on your kids... Don't I??? do they lack something? don't I take time to play and have fun with them? educate them about life and give them moral values? teach them right from wrong? do recreational activities with them? see that they are well dressed, clean, healthy, that they eat healthy nutritious food, that they can be kids, that they build up their sense of worth and self esteem? that they cultivate a good sibling relationship? I do all that the best I can, and every week they are not with me there is not a minute I don't think about them and feel my heart breaking to the thought that I don't see them 6 months a year. Because I don't! I miss my children six months a year! six months a year I don't get to kiss them good night, or cover them in their beds, or prepare breakfast and say good morning, or hear what happened in school, or blow on their wounds, or sing "Mary's lullaby" before the last kiss of the day... SIX WHOLE MONTHS A YEAR! please do not tell me to focus on my kids! I do that, all day long... but those six months without them I have to survive, I can't let those thoughts of despair get over me, because I have to take care of myself!
Good things come to those who wait? no, not really, life sucks and if you want something you gotta pull up your socks and roll up your sleeves and work you soul out!
Time heals all wounds? I am a nurse! don't come out with that please, I know exactly what happens with wounds that are not taken care of, they rotten! they get infected, they grow and eat up the flesh and bones! You have a wound? take care of it! NOW, even if you have to scrub it and brush the shit out of it with a steel brush and then pour alcohol on it! Time heals NOTHING!
Everything will be fine? No! It won't, it's unrealistic to expect that! no wonder people are frustrated and disappointed all over! Everything is never fine, there are always problems and trials and crap along the way! Life is not meant to be easy, it is not meant to be perfect and all joy and laughter... Get real! shit happens, all the time! Accept it and move on...
I could go on and on, but I think I've made my point... Life is not as complicated as our sentimental brain half thinks it is.
Love someone: say it, show it and for the love of God do not sit like a martyr getting less than you need and deserve! Fight! And get real, love! Go for it! 
Miss someone: get in touch with them!
Can't live without him/her: Cut the crap! of course you can!, sounds wonderful but, really? what is he/she? oxygen?
It's stressful at work: Well, do what you can, fix what you can and leave the rest to whom it may concern!
People treat you badly: Do not hang out with them! you teach people how to treat you, right?
Want to lose weight: eat less calories than you use during the day, or use more calories than you eat, your choice.
Want to eat that cookie: do it!
I think I'm getting old...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas season has arrived

It's bee a while since I last post something, guess I didn't have much to say. No way... I always have much to say.
Christmas is coming, it's the first advent today and here i Sweden people put up the decorations and lights on their windows. Not me this year, probably during the week, when the girls are here.
I have always loved Christmas, the glitter, the tree, the ornaments, the carols, the smells, the presents, the cards and all of that. 
When I got kids on my own things got even better, you probably think I am nuts, and you are most definitely right! But the Christmas stress people talk about, well, I loved it! Big time! Rushing to the stores and buying presents, wrapping them, making cards, and angels and stuff like that, spending the whole day cooking and cooking and baking and baking a little more! There is something about it that fills my spirit with joy. I guess it's all the giving, feeding loved ones, making things pretty, sharing... I really have no clue, I just loved it.
I somehow lost it last year, when I worked on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and it has not come back, I'm afraid. 
Things are not always the way we wish they were, and I am good at making the best out of situations, so I'll fix a Christmas for my girls, just hope the long loved joy will come back, I have 24 days to make it happen. Ideas anyone?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happily Ever After

Perhaps because I am a hopeless romantic, too sentimental, a dreamer, maybe because I never seem to kill hopes completely, or because I see the good in everything even when I try to focus on the bad, or maybe because I am a control freak... maybe because of none of the above, I have been looking around, thinking, over thinking, who knows. 
On my way to work today I thought about the huge difference between falling in love and being in love. I think it's not the same, although so many times we think they are synonyms. 
I think they are two very, very different things. Falling in love is a matter of attraction, something catches our eyes, physical appearance, intellect, personality (or some part of the vast mixture of drags that compound it). Falling in love is strong, it's fast. It's butterflies in the stomach, is not being able to keep our hands out of each other, is passion, is thinking about the other, wondering, giving a too big space to uncertainty, to the unknown, to the expectations. Falling in love is the heart speeding up, the blood rushing to the cheeks, the involuntary smiles, the puppy eyes. It is that weird thing that makes us smile with a text message and walk into a lightning pole while reading it again and again. It's fun! Falling in love can make us wake up singing that horrendous cheesy song over and over again. Falling in love is magical, it's making believe we are about to finally get our happily ever after. It's seeing a prince, a knight, a queen, a lady.
Being in love, on the other hand, is something very different. Happily ever after is not a sparkle that keeps on and on forever more. We sometimes hope the feelings of falling in love will never fade, but they do eventually. They do fade because the surprises are over, because we don't wonder, because we don't expect, because we know. Far too many times I hear that couples break up because the sparkle is gone and I can't but wonder why is that so bad. That should be a good thing! sparkles don't last! they can't last, they are not meant to last. Sparkles are ephemeral, they are there to catch our eyes, they are there to invite us to see deeper. Sparkles are hormones rushing to our limbic system if you want it put like that. Being in love is not!
Love, the one that lasts, the one that leads to a happily ever after is something we do. Love takes time, sacrifices, compromise, nurturing, it takes a lot of work and patience. I know it is a cliche but love, real love, the kind that lasts, is no wild flower that just grows by itself among the weed. Love needs to be taken care of. I was cutting the dead pansies from my plants, so the new ones can come beautiful and strong and thought that love is a little bit like a pansy plant. We will see flowers die, disappointments come, we make mistakes, the loved one makes mistakes, we misunderstand each other, we argue, we find out differences and we face disease, trouble, economical problems, trials, routine... All that after the sparkle is gone! And I think that it is then when the time comes for us to cut the dead parts in the relationship and the dead flowers in our significant other, and nourish the good ones through forgiveness, patience, hugs, laughs. Love takes time! I think it's sad we sometimes think we have to be living in the "falling in love stage" to stay together because I think loving is so, so different!
I thought later about how I love my girls, I forgive them, I love them the same if they make a mistake, I understand them if they treat me bad sometimes, because they are learning, because I have to teach them how to treat me. I forgive them because I understand that they make mistakes and don't mean wrong, or sometimes they do, but there is always a reason beneath that anger and rage, a reason I am eager to find and understand, because I love them! We grown ups are not much different from kids, we make mistakes, we need to learn how to treat each other, we teach each other, too; we do our best and instead of being patient, loving and understanding we judge and reject. 
Love takes time,  sometimes it blooms into a magnificent, beautiful strong thing, sometimes it doesn't despite our efforts, but it won't grow if we don't try, it just does not build up out of nothing. Being in love is not the possessive feeling we might feel when falling in love. Being in love is, for me, caring even when angry, smiling even when in pain, being there even when we don't want to, making time for each other on the tightest schedule, going the extra mile despite being exhausted,  wanting the other to be happy even when that means letting them go. Being in love is having seen deeper and accepting their imperfection, their mistakes, their screw ups. 
I do believe in happily ever afters (I am that naive), and I do believe they take a lot of work, a lot of walking through the darkness and the storms without letting go of each other's hands, it takes fights, nights of not wanting to see each other, going through the rough path of life with the determination to never, ever stop nourishing each other, cutting away the dead flowers to see the pretty ones, to help them grow, to make each other better. 
Some think that there is a little bit of resignation when being with someone takes hard work. I don't think so. I think that expecting a love based on the sparkle that catches our eye, on hormones set into motion, is  rather foolish. But what do I know? I just think, I believe, I dream. I'm also learning. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Oh my! I'm vintage!

Some people have this theory that babies come when their time is right. They say that our spirits wait somewhere and that nobody can actually control it, maybe delay it a bit, but when a baby's time has come, it has come. I'm not so sure about that, it's more a matter of biology but if that was the case, then I really sucked at maths and made some very serious miscounts. 

Last night I was out for the first time in many years. We came in, order something to drink and just looked around. Women came one after the other in dresses three sizes smaller and skirts shorter than my tank tops, really! All of them very pretty with their sparkling eyes and happy smiles of course, but why do some obsess with looking like a very unfortunate sausage? 

I looked around at the guys after, what is wrong with the world? Why do people need so much alcohol to dance around and have fun? Don't misunderstand me here, I am not judging any of the people I came across with, I just don't understand them. I felt all the time like something was extremely wrong with me since I could not feel I belonged there. I am so thankful I didn't leave the girls with a nanny to go out because I wouldn't have been this calm and reflective today if I had. 

I must have been born way pass the time I should have. What happened with gentlemen asking some nice questions, starting a small talk and inviting one to the dance floor? Or maybe getting closer while on the dance floor. What happened to music? Why can't I move even a little to the "pum chi, pum chi, pum chi" sound? 

The thing gets worse I'm afraid. I am so, so weird it's starting to scare me and make me question my sanity. I have this retro idea of a man's courtship with smiles, dinner out, a long walk under the sunset, a dance (not a pum chi, pum chi one!), a little note, a day at the carnival or the zoo, the movies, a pic-nick in the park, opening the car door, giving the lady his coat if she is cold... I dream on courtship! I am totally insane! I try so hard to understand and somehow imitate the way things apparently are nowadays, but since I truly don't get it I end up doing things so wrong it's scary! 

I'm happy I finally got myself. I am so happy I finally understood why things go so wrong for me sometimes. I am vintage! Ladies and gentlemen (if any left in the pure sense of "men of good and courteous conduct"): I quit! Society will have to deal with the fact that I am aunty Lorena, no more trying to fit in, I don't anyway! And to be honest, why do I make such an effort to fit in when I don't feel comfortable? In a way, I am trying to put myself in a dress three sizes smaller and end up looking like a very unfortunate sausage. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Breaking Beliefs

I had a rough week. You know when you start asking yourself, "Ok, what on Earth can I screw up now?" Well... I had all the answers! The thing is that in most of the cases, days, weeks, months, years after and with a lot of stumbling and falling and getting up, I come up to the sad truth, "What the heck was I thinking?"

As it usually is the case when animals get hurt, humans also use to take a defensive behavior. Tears are meant to show helplessness and make us look less dangerous, when we cry we rise up the white flag -at least according to Dr. Vingerhoets, although we can't really put an end to the crying discussion- After tears, or together with them, or sometimes without them even when the heart is broken, or maybe just because of that, the defensive behavior is very commonly adopted. We hurt, we are wounded, we have been reminded of our vulnerability and weakness, we have to protect ourselves from the world. And in that stage I was all week, probably still am.

Watching House MD, my favorite TV series in the history of my life, I came to the thought that I was going to try to be like him. Not a chance I can. However, it is interesting to give this antisocial, narcissistic, brutally honest and extremely intelligent character a little place in how we see, project and interact with others by deflecting, avoiding, sugarcoating our "cruelest" thoughts and all that we do in order to function in society and getting along just fine, and in order to take "logical" decisions.

A part of this sugarcoating, deflecting, avoiding habit is our fear of hurting others, and in that hides a little bit of pride. If our feelings can hurt others, we have somehow taken us to the position in which we believe that, for the other one, we mean a lot, a whole lot! When I was doing my practice in psychiatry I had a lot of trouble getting to talk to and interacting with the patients, who were severely ill and had diagnosis like schizophrenia, borderline disorder, psychosis, and so many more. In my first evaluation I explained to the clinic adjunct what the reason to this inability to connect was, I said "I am so scared I say something wrong, or I say something in the wrong way and then I hurt them and make them get worse! How could I live with it if I put one of them in distress just because I don't watch my mouth?" She looked at me and smiled with a deep understanding of what really was going on inside of me and said "You are not that powerful. If something comes out wrong, or is interpreted the wrong way, you say I'm sorry and move on" This fear, based entirely on a belief affects our decisions, this shapes our behavior in some circumstances. 

I came across this great scientific investigation about human decisions and how most of them are not based on logic, even though we swear they are. That was pretty interesting to me, it's nice to feel one is not really that much of a wacko.  But  why do we end up taking illogical decisions? I think the answer is beliefs! We humans need to believe! We rely on our beliefs, they are a part of who we are. I am not talking about religious beliefs only, they most certainly play a major role in how we conduct ourselves in life, but we have other beliefs which I think are stronger and more powerful than religion. Let me define "belief". A belief is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof, and the key lies in the last part: without a proof! If we have a proof then we know, if we know, we do not need to believe. So in order to be a belief it has to be based on faith, trust, ideas, thoughts, imagination, call it by the name you prefer, as long as you do not know of its veracity. Just as religion can be the opium of the masses, our deep, intimate beliefs can become the "opium" in our lives. We construct a system of beliefs, we believe we are A or B, we believe that we deserve H or F, we secretly and intimately believe that we will or won't achieve our goals, get where we wanna get, what we wanna get, how we wanna get it. We humans rely on our beliefs and our hopes. We take decisions based on them, we get the consequences based on the decisions we make. We, in a way or another, in one or other aspect of our lives -call it romance, love, parenthood, social life, career, economy, whatever- get what our beliefs state that we will, because we work on it, because we make all those illogical decisions (so analysed, and thought over, and evaluated) based on our most intimate and private opium.
So what now? let the defensive state become one where all my beliefs are put under the microscope.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

If people can't do something...

My dad i s a very wise man, sometimes his wisdom can be mistaken for cruelty, specially when you haven't come as far as he has in the way of life. He is a kind man, the nicest man I've met. Never saving nothing, everything for his family, he gave everything to my mom, to us. No phone call is too late in the night or too early in the morning, it's never too much of a mess to pick up someone with the car or drive someone somewhere, it never takes too much of an effort to help someone. He saves nothing, he's a giver. But he's wise and as much as I, the rebel daughter in the middle, wishes to prove him wrong, he hardly is.
He used to say: "If people can't do something, they shouldn't do it" Hearing that as a little girl stopped me from fighting and trying and making my best effort in, for example, sports. It put a tremendous pressure on me for getting things right, specially if I enjoyed them. It got me a little screwed up, to be honest. He never meant wrong, and now I know what he was talking about all this time. 
As I grew up my desires to prove my dad wrong grew stronger, being the stubborn butt I am. I tried to do things I sucked at, over and over again. I didn't get any better. I have spend time collecting a bunch of experiences that could prove his theory wrong. I have been cursed with a sensitive heart, a very developed right hemisphere, feeling way too much empathy, reading people's body language to the minimum detail, feeling the unity and energy around me in a very strong way. At the same time, my left hemisphere, the analytic, logical one, steps in and tries to decode all those impressions with the scientific method. So I analyse, over analyse, think it over, make experiments, connect all those impressions as they were numbered dots in a kid's activity book so I can get the picture clear. You can't make logic out of feelings! One of my hemispheres has to die! When the right one is in charge, people take me for a stupid Barbie girl, when the left one takes command, people take me for an insensitive, arrogant, know it all. Why am I not seen as the complex screwed up human being that I am? 
I have been looking back at my life since last Tuesday afternoon. People shouldn't do what they can't do. I can study, studying is easy! You read, you remember. As simple as that! You don't know something, you look for it in a book and you learn it! Science is easy, you don't need to feel, you don't need to deal with emotions, you only need to connect factual dots. I am good at that!. So I am going to do what I'm good at, and I'm going to hit the books again. No University because I can't afford it, but some day I'll get my PhD in medical science. 
I can cook, I can craft, I can give and serve. I'll do that then, no emotions attached. Giving your life away can be such a distraction! 
 If people can't do something, they shouldn't do it, and not being able to do something is no reason for being unhappy. Get happy with what you are, enjoy what you can do, see the good in that, just stop trying so hard to make up the life you can't get. Get real!