Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z IS FOR ZEE ME or ZOOM OUT (pick your poison)

My theme for A to Z this year is a wildly different, but very exciting, HERE'S TO YOU all month long. 26 posts to be precise. The most difficult part was narrowing down the 26. All of you deserve your own post. What you will find here is a post by the featured blogger, with traveling music chosen by me that complements said post, and two links. One will link back to the original post and the other to the main page. This year's A to Z is all about making new friends!

Everyone thought X was a tough letter. I am here to tell you that Z was the one that kicked my butt. So, as a last ditch effort, I looked through MY OLD POSTS to see if I had anything that started with the letter Z. Nope.

So, I am going to share with you something that I wrote that doesn't start with Z. I want to give you a chance to Zee Me as I used to be. I read this old post and thought to myself, "Oh my gosh. I don't recognize that girl. She was seriously messed up."

And I am so happy. Happy that I am not in that place any longer. Ironically, this post is about cycles. Seasons. How things always change. It is deceiving because things stay the same so long, or we grow out of one place and into another slowly.  So we don't realize how far we've come until we read something like this and think, "Holy tamole, I can't believe I wrote that. I remember my life being like that, but now it is better. I am better. Thank God."

For the record, less than 10 people were reading this blog when I posted this. I think I had 8 followers. (I believe I can see why;) So, Z is also for Zoom Out. It takes perspective that sometimes only time provides to see things as they really are. Or to pull yourself together. Whatever.

Cue the traveling music:

I wrote this back on March 4, 2010.  Buckle your seat belts.


Do you ever have those days when you really don't want to get out of bed? Well, I spent my first thirty minutes desperately having to pee but not wanting to move. It was a quandary. On my list of Things I Needed To Do was call my doctor's office and try to explain how I missed my appointment without sounding like a crazy person, which I think I am, but I am not sure I really want them to know. It made me cranky. And then I had a revelation about why old people are probably angry and bitter. People assume it's because they're old. Not so. Maybe it's because they forget stuff and then find appointment cards and realize they've forgotten stuff. I know it made me mad... at me. And that is lousy. It's always much better to blame someone else. Self-directed anger makes a person really pissy. Throw in a nursing home stay and I can see lots of anger issues. I started thinking about that instead of what I was going to say to my doctor's receptionist because I was still trying to divert my attention from my bladder. Finally the bladder won out and I got up.

Turns out the doctor's receptionist was totally cool about rescheduling my appointment for next week and that turned out A-okay. The other biggie on my plate for today was trying to get a copy of my vehicle title from Florida. This is a critical document that I should have. The crazy thing is that I lost it in storage when I moved from Georgia to Florida and had to go to the Georgia DMV and pay to get a copy sent to Florida. A person with their head screwed on straight would have filed it and not be going through this nightmare again. So, I am trying to order a copy online and have this resolved before my birthday at the end of this month. I have been fighting with the Florida website for a while now and getting nowhere. I tried using my stepdad's desktop today, instead of my laptop, and it did seem to go better, but it didn't recognize my VIN number. I am not sure how a mentally healthy person would have coped. I am fairly certain it wouldn't have been a crying jag followed by lying down on the floor with the dog. That was what I did. That doesn't sound so bad, except I was having a lot of negative thoughts during the crying jag. Bad bad bad.

People keep telling me that if you think you're crazy or you can identify the crazy, then you're really not crazy. It's when that line completely blurs for you that you actually are crazy. So, the truth is I know that I'm in trouble. Actually, I knew that when I woke up. I was dreaming about glazed donuts and rice krispy treats. Whenever I crave sweets that means I am STRESSED OUT and I am not a sweets eater. It's also a symptom of the chronic fatigue. So, I knew I had to do something healthy because my train was going nowhere good. I decided I could take one of the dogs for a walk. It was good for the dog. It was good for me. Sunshine is good. I could see no downside.

What caught my attention today were the trees. They aren't very pretty right now. They are all naked and exposed and barren looking. Winter strips of them their leaves, their adornment, their garnish, and they have to stand there and take it until spring. If a tree had feelings, I would imagine it would dislike winter the most, not for being cold, but for being so callous in denuding the tree of its glory. Of course, the tree has the advantage of understanding cycles and what some would call "the balance". Insomuch as it might loathe winter, its enormous love for spring wouldn't be as appreciated, if not for winter. That's what winter does for spring.; it creates a vacuum for spring to fill. Therefore, the tree doesn't resist winter. It accepts the seasons as they come and go.

I am like the tree in winter. I am naked and exposed and totally off my game. The difference is I am not accepting it. I am banging against it. A friend sent me this in an email and I couldn't wrap my brain around it in a productive way. I understood the theory, but it only WORKS when you USE it. She said this, "Here's the thing about the law of attraction that many people don't get: WE GET WHAT WE GIVE IN LIFE. When we want more of something, we have to give it to create a vacuum for more of it to flow toward us. Your reality seems to be a pretty closed system; send some energy OUT - give other people what you hope to receive physically, mentally, emotionally - and blessings will flow back to you." Let me put this another way, I knew that what she was saying was that I was going to have to leave my house and spend time with my friends. That sounds easy enough in theory.

The reality is that I am living on a schedule of popping pain pills every six hours, keeping up with it on my little calendar, feel like crap, and am really close to unhinged all of the time. I don't want my friends to SEE THAT. That is not sending good energy out, that is releasing a scary person that they haven't ever met into their universe. I don't ever want them to meet Scary Me. Scary Me is that denuded tree and it is ugly. Scary Me hasn't found "the balance" and doesn't know when spring is coming. Scary Me gets reprieves sometimes during the day and is able to make insightful comments on other people's blogs. Basically, I think that I have just said that the only people I can send good energy to are people I am not talking to face to face. Egads. In other words, I know what my friend is telling me. I get it. I understand it. I can see that for my life to be better I need to start doing those things. I have to be like the tree and create a vacuum if I ever want to see spring. Okay. Since I want to be lovely again, I will try.

A Time for Everything
Ecclesiastes 3
3:1 For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

After I read this, I realized that I am lovely again. Or much closer to lovely. I have walked a long road and didn't even appreciate how hard and far it was until this moment. So, zoom out everyone and look back at where you've been so that you can appreciate how far you've come! 

All I want is you to see me

Here I am
I'm new as morning
Here I am
Just like a sun
Here I am
Without one and I'm the one for you

Here I am
You still know me
Here I am
Take another look
Here I am
Same old story in a brand new book



  1. That was amazing, as always. You do a great job explaining and then expanding on how you feel and really letting us know how it feels, without it sounding self-pitying or maundering. (Is maundering a word? If not, I call dibs on it.)

    Sometimes I look at the trees, this time of year, and think they are beautiful. Sometimes I think they're ugly. It depends on how the rest of the world is lit up and where I can see things heading. The thing about bare trees in spring though is that they are at the end of the bad times and even though they're ugly today, tomorrow you'll blink and they have buds on them and the sky is blue again. That's what I keep in mind.

    Seems like you're doing better now than when you posted this? That's the important thing.

  2. Oh, did you ever get your title? (##(%&$ state websites.

  3. I just sent the link to this to a friend. She's been a little depressed so I think it will help her to see how much brighter it can get. Thanks for this, Robin, and I'm glad you are in a happier place now.

  4. I love to look back on old posts and see how different my life has become. Especially between my very first blog and the one I have now. That first blog is just pure rants and while it was good for me, and those who read it because they identified with it, I don't know if it was good for those who just stumbled upon it. They were probably traumatized by the foul language I used. Poor people! I had no blogging etiquette back then. =)


  5. ROBIN ~
    You may not have been in a good place mentally when you wrote this, but it's still well-written. And...'re done with "Zee Blogfest" - CONGRATULATIONS! - you made it...

    ...just in time to post your next 'Battle Of The Bands' installment.

    It just never ends, does it? [:-)}

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  6. Dear Robin
    If you see yourself in another place back then, you were working your way out through "therapy writing." I think it's a good thing to be able to write things down so you can recognize them later, just as you are doing now.
    Yesterday I was briefly chatting with the young-across-the-alley neighbor who still had her new-born tied to her belly. We were talking about the delivery people who give us good service. I admitted to younger years of being a snob when I took them for granted and accepted good nature as "part of their job.' As I grew out of my self-centered ineptness, I began to realize the extreme negatives they must go through to make a delivery..... harsh weather, congested traffic, unavailable parking and grumpy people. I began by giving them a monetaryChristmas bonus in a hand written thank you card. I smiled and wished them a cheery day when they handed me a package. That began many years ago and now the service people are my friends. They confide personal tid-bits as they would to a grandmother. They offer after-work service if I have anything heavy to move or lift. I have come to know service people as real people and my friends. I didn't actually write the things down but I had some serious thoughts about it while digging in the soil. It helped me get outside of myself and grow.

    1. It's hard to believe you ever needed to learn anything at all, Manzi!

  7. It does take a bit of distance for us to see improvements in our situation or just to see what we HAVE accomplished. That old saying, 'if it's to be, it has to be me' got me going and it's referring to change and how we have to be the ones to start the change, No one else can do it for us. Thanks for sharing, Robin. I enjoyed the excellent features you did on bloggers you highlighted. You should go into promotion. . .

  8. Though you weren't in the greatest of places, at least A) your writing has grown and B) you've grown. Both of those are awesome. Wear that loveliness with pride.

    We have a slew of text only posts from 4 years ago that all have about 5-10 hits total, and I'm perfectly okay not having to dig those up again. Most of those were angry rants, anyway... as opposed to now, where we still rant but at least there are color pictures to go with it.

  9. I think you expressed things rather well, back then....for a crazy person :P

    I can feel your pain on dealing with Florida and title cost me over $400.00 to transfer my title down here from Kentucky.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your theme and got to meet some cool new bloggers because of it....thank you!

    Also, thanks for dropping by and commenting on my blog during the challenge, I appreciate it.

    1. Somehow I missed this the first time through. Yeah, I didn't seem to have trouble detailing the crazy. Just living through it was the hard part.

      The thing that was so terrible about the title was that when I moved from GA to FL I went through this SAME DAMN THING and had to jump through hoops to get a paper copy of the title. Now, after all of that, for the love of everything that is holy why didn't I file it in the Important Papers file???? That is the kind of stuff I did all of the time because I didn't seem to be able to keep up with my right or left hand. So, when we moved back from FL to GA... Oops, no title again. I don't know how much money I spent driving up and down that same stretch of road. And that was why it was soooo frustrating.

      I enjoyed your blog very much this go-round! My pleasure:)

  10. I love that verse from Ecclesiastes. It's true. There's a time for everything. I'm glad you're in a better place, now! Congratulations on completing the challenge!

  11. Briane ~ I think we view everything through the lens of our experience. Oft times that means our CURRENT experience. At that time, I just felt naked, vulnerable, exposed and unable to get a handle of much of anything. Now I can look at trees in winter and appreciate their beauty and splendor, but that is only because I am in a different place. How we see things says as much about us as what we are seeing. Wow. That is something to ponder all by itself. And, yes, I did get my title, but I don't remember how. Isn't that strange???? It was giving me so much grief at the time.

    debi ~ Good. I think that is what blogging is about... how we can help one another. We all go through dark times and it always gets better.

    Elsie ~ Yes! I have no doubt that is true. You were working things out in your head by way of your blog. And you were mad. Rightfully so. If you go back and read those old posts, you WILL appreciate how far you've come. I guarantee it!

    Stephen ~ Well, thank you on the compliment. And, yes, I am aware that Battle of the Bands goes up tomorrow. And, no, I don't have my song selected. Ugghh. I am so happy the Challenge is over and I can get back to Real Life... whatever that means.

    Manzi ~ I have never done that for my Service People. You are talking about UPS, FedEx, the mailman, the trash guys... right? And it hasn't been snobbish on my part... I don't think... it just never occurred to me until you posted this in the comments.

    D.G. ~ Go into promotion... hahahahaha. Well, okay, I'll think about it;)

    ABFTS ~ I think anything you do over time is bound to get better. So, my writing was bound to improve. I blogged A LOT in 2010. Started and scrapped a novel and just finished my first rough draft. I go back and read that and cringe. BUT, that is a good thing. My writing improved from the point of the start to now. Wow. That is wonderful! Don't try to charm me by asserting the position that your writing isn't that great and is mostly ranting. I am not buying. I love your posts:)

  12. I do believe we all have our zoom out moments where we look back and see the positive growth. Big kudos to you for being in a happy place now. :)

  13. Well writ, Robin, and an interesting Z solution (although you quoted the Byrds' lyrics up there and gave credit to some dude named Ecclesiastes).


  14. It's wonderful and inspiring that you've managed to come so far from all the unhappiness you were experiencing and now feel more in control of your life. I hope you never have to go through anything like that dark period in your life again. Onward and upward! And congrats on finishing the A-Z!! :)

  15. Sherry ~ Congrats to you, too, on finishing the A to Z.

    Rosey ~ I think those moments are clearer for someone who journals. Back in 2010, this blog felt more like a journal.

    Larry ~ As a teenager of the 80s I cannot think of that passage without thinking of the movie Footloose. Oh boy. And you think of The Byrds. Yeah, I know the song, but I can still Kevin Bacon quoting this scripture in front of the town council. "... a time to dance. Dance." Ha!

    Lexa ~ That was a bad place, Lexa. Pain was a constant companion and colored everything dark. I can't say that we aren't still well acquainted, but it isn't the Soul Suck that it used to be. Onward and upward!!!

  16. You definitely have a lot more balance now. You just needed time after the move to find your groove.
    Congratulations on completing the Challenge.

  17. I'm glad your last post was about you. I'm so glad to know you can call you my bloggy friend. I hope you are comfortable in your place and the book you are now.

  18. It's fitting that the last letter belongs to you and I agree that it's good to look at where you're been and see where you're at and the progress you've made. You rock!

  19. Hi there, Ms Robin...

    I've written about my soon to be taken trip with Scooter... out West... to scatter his ashes...

    I am leaning towards the passages that you have cited... Ecclesiastes...

    I would love to know your take on this...

    I hope all is well, dear...


  20. You might want to give your friends a chance to see you when you're down. They may think of you not as denuded tree, but as one that needs a little time to blossom.

  21. So true to you, this just rings as honesty in another form. Maybe not as pretty, but honesty- and that's valuable.
    It is so appropriate that you ended this 'Here's To You' fest with a little love and respect for yourself. Definitely sounds like something you would have had trouble with 'back then'.
    I too can't believe who I was just a few years back, and especially 10 years ago. That person is gone and yet shaped who I am. I am learning to be thankful for how those experiences made me into the person I am and very much like now and stop worrying about all the time I wasted not being the real me.
    I will always love the fact that you are deep and introspective and yet manage not to dwell on the past. :)

  22. Alex ~ Definitely true. I really didn't have any balance then. I wasn't lying when I said that I was close to unhinged all of the time. It was not pretty.

    Susan ~ This life is a journey with many seasons. I was stuck in winter for a long time. Oh dear, I feel a Game of Thrones reference coming on. ::pushing it back:: And I know I will go there again. We all do. I just never want to stay as long as I did before. I am glad you are my bloggy friend, too:)

    JL ~ Yes, ending like this did turn out to be right. I really wasn't sure until YESTERDAY. Whew.

    Shoes ~ Definitely. I can see how you would be two stepping with Ecclesiastes right now. It is all about how there is a time for everything in our lives. "A time to keep and a time to cast away." Knowing when to hold on, knowing how to let go. This is another one of the seasons of our lives. I think you did a great job of holding on while Scooter was here (even though he challenged you) and now you are learning how to let go.

    cube ~ Yeah, the people who love you do get that...

    Jasmine ~ Honesty is often not that pretty. Have you noticed that? Unvarnished honesty often goes down really hard. I can see, with hindsight, that this experience was necessary for me. I didn't see that AT ALL when I was in the middle of the storm. I learned so much, though.
    Manage not to dwell on the past? Hmm. Not so sure on that one. I feel like I am only now with my tapping therapy letting go of all of those things in the past that held me down. Each time I manage to accept one of those things it is like a rock being lifted off my chest. I can breathe just that much easier. And when my migraines get worse, I now ask the obvious question... "What are you thinking that is stressing you out????" And there is always an answer. Pain in the most literal sense is just thoughts.

  23. Robin...

    "I think you did a great job of holding on while Scooter was here (even though he challenged you) and now you are learning how to let go.

    I had not thought about his actions necessarily being a type of a challenge... but you are so right... Hmmm...

    A very interesting approach to that...

    Thank you for this realization...


  24. Congratulations for gaining on a long and tough journey. This is where I look at my life verse and put up another stone that reads, "Thus far the Lord has helped us."

  25. Hi human, Robin,

    You have clearly demonstrated by putting up that archived article is that verbalisation, looking back on where you were and where you are now, can be a most powerful tonic. This demonstrates that despite it all, you will continue to move forward.

    The encouragement and interaction within the blogging community, the embracing of various pawsitive resources that are to the betterment of your mental and physical well being, keep you focused on that pathway ahead. Yes, there will still be potholes. The good news is that you get out of those potholes and the potholes become less frequent.

    That tree in winter thus blossomed with leaves of hope.

    With respect and goodwill,

    Penny :)

  26. Your genuine openness to growth and genuine makes you a gem, Robin. You've always been a very thoughtful, kind soul.


  27. Oh boy, I used to think the same thing about old people - until I got closer to their age!

  28. What a powerful post, made even more powerful by the stark honesty in it. And you are NOT THERE anymore. Victory! Even if it's a conscious, daily victory.

    The Ecclesiastes verse is such a good reminder that there are seasons, and they don't last forever.

  29. I love that post. So profound and true. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Yay!!! You finished the challenge!

  30. Robin, you are lovely. I know you are working so hard through things and can tell by your posts that life is improving for you...and I am so glad. You are clearly a smart, caring, sensitive woman, and all your readers are better off for "knowing" you. All the best to you, and congratulations on an outstanding A-Z.

  31. There were a lot of truisms on life in general in your blog, Robin. A time for everything says its all doesn't it?

  32. Shoes ~ Don't you think that all people are meant to teach us lessons? Some are good, some are bad, some aren't either one. Scooter taught you a lot in the time he graced your life. That is pretty awesome.

    CW ~ That is the truth!

    Penny ~ You are so right. This blog was therapy for me (hence the title), but I didn't even realize how far I'd come until I read this post. Lots of road in my rear view.

    Robyn ~ I think my willingness to share my despair with such honesty draws some people in and scares the bejesus out of others. ha!

    Marcy ~ I know. It's funny how your perspective changes;)

    Lynda ~ Oh wow. Did you nail that or what? A conscious daily victory. Not every day is good (even now), but I am not living on pain pills, a little calendar, and feeling like I am going to unhinge every other second. So... LIFE IS GOOD.

    Jay ~ I am a bit astounded that I saw the parallels between me and the tree. Hand to God, I was shocked when I read this the first time after four years.

    Liza ~ I am so much more lovely that I was. Wow. I was a wreck. And you were a part of that journey from unhinged to.... well, this. I thank you for hanging in there and never giving up, losing hope, or doubting that things would get better. You inspire ME.

    Sandra ~ A time for everything. Absolutely.

  33. very nice..and once again we are on the same wavelength...I blogged...came over and here it was. lol. I love your writing.

  34. You know... I think the time for everything post is very possibly the first blog post by you that I read....

  35. Christine ~ Well, that happens a lot. Now, I can't wait to see what you put up!

    Misha ~ That would be... odd... in a good sort of way.

  36. It is always cool to look back tat the places we were. I have gone through my blog a few weeks ago and some of those early post were interesting. I have really enjoyed your A-Z.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

    1. Thanks Brandon! Yours was a lot of fun, too:)

  37. That was lovely and honest and brave, Robin! I'm so happy you are feeling better about yourself and life, and I'm even more glad that we met through the A-to-Z!

  38. Robin,

    You have come such a long way. And much of your problems were stress and also the physical ramifications.... You are so much stronger, wiser, healthier, and dare I say, happier....

    You are blessed, you healed yourself and each day will be better and better. We all have our journeys mapped out for us by our fate. How we deal with it shows what we are really made of and how strong the human spirit truly is.... We may be crippled mentally, physically, or both, but our spirit can always soar....

    Be proud of the loving and caring person you returned to, never forget who she is....

    Sending you HUGE CYBER HUGS... You are so brave to share your story with us....

  39. I don't think you are alone in your feelings. I feel the same way on many days especially the days that I don't even want to get out of bed. There are many who feel the same way especially with stress levels. Love that verse here and especially a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. I hope you feel better soon. Great post!


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