Take Your Mark. Get Set. GO!!!!!

It’s an infestation of epic proportions. They’re everywhere.  No gym, weight loss center or health food store is spared.  Despite increased staffing and inventory, there will be long lines and empty shelves. The annual birthing of Resolutionaries has begun. Masses and masses of these single-minded organisms will be unleashed from their prison of self-recrimination hoping that 2015 will be their year for SUCCESS!!!

Come hell or high water, they WILL lose the 20# gained over the holidays. They will dust off that gym membership and show up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5am EVERY DAY. They will swear off caffeine, sugar and carbs. They will quit smoking. They will ‘eat clean’. They will don their pedometer and walk to work. They will quit cursing. They will take up yoga, meditate, and recite their affirmations every day.

Within two weeks, they will be blissfully driving past the gym – feed bag of donuts strapped in place, double-shot espresso coursing through their veins – with a cigarette in one hand, flipping off the moron going 5 mph under the speed limit with the other hand.

I, however, am a Rock Star. I’ve empowered myself to make the resolution to NOT make any resolutions. I’m set up for success. I will pull out that fresh, unsullied notebook and make The Master List. I will organize daily and weekly tasks. I will keep track of long-term projects. I will mark everything I’ve done – proof that I am, at the end of the day, completely awesome. I will be energized by my superior productivity. Who needs resolutions when you’re this amazing? Heck, I’m doing things that aren’t even on The List! I may take up scrapbooking to chronicle this enlightened new phase of my life!


  • Check expiration dates on all canned goods & refrigerated condiments, plan meals to use accordingly.
  • Flip mattresses
  • Create financial/budget binder with color coded tabs and receipt folders for daily update
  • Organize photos chronologically by year, organize each year’s photos by month
  • Thoroughly wash windows including the storm panes
  • Aerate, seed, and fertilize lawn
  • Have car detailed
  • Polish all furniture, touch up scratches with corresponding stain color
  • Re-pot all plants
  • Steam clean upholstery

Within two weeks, my list has changed significantly…


  • Check expiration dates on all canned goods & Look at refrigerated condiments, plan meals to use accordingly, keep anything not green or greenish-brown  CHECK!!!
  • Flip mattresses
  • Create Jot down financial/budget binder with color coded tabs info on sticky notes and receipt folders for daily place receipts in an envelope monthly update  CHECK!!!
  • Organize photos chronologically by year, organize each year’s photos by month
  • Thoroughly wash Spray windows with garden hose including the and throw away storm panes CHECK!!!
  • Aerate, seed, and fertilize lawn
  • Have Drive car detailed in rain  CHECK!!!
  • Polish all furniture, touch up scratches with corresponding stain color
  • Re-pot Discard all plants CHECK!!!
  • Steam clean Spray upholstery with deodorizer CHECK!!!

For the next 50 weeks, the long-term list will not change. I will glare with resentment at my lumpy mattress, disorganized photos, and dull furniture. My daily/weekly list will include tasks already completed – added to the list for the sole purpose of having something to check OFF the list… I won’t split hairs – a check mark is a check mark is a check mark!!! Maybe I didn’t write it out ahead of time, but these necessary tasks justify why I am, in fact, too busy to aerate the lawn.  Brush teeth. Check. Corral dust bunnies. Check. Do Laundry. Check. Collect loose change from couch cushions. Check. Buy batteries. Check. Reprogram DVR. Check.

Pretty sure next year I’ll be hitching a ride with the Resolutionaries…


The Very Awesomeness of Social Media

We all have that special someone.

The one who makes you laugh, cry, shake your fist in anger.  The one in whose life you are not simply a bystander, but an active participant. The one who doesn’t hide their feelings or beliefs, no matter what. The one whose children’s accomplishments are celebrated with abandon. The one who always has a witty word, inspirational quote or amusing video available at a click of the mouse. The one who encourages you to ‘elf yourself’, crush candy or build a farm.

The one you haven’t seen or spoken to in roughly 23.5 years…

Let’s face it.  Social media – when used properly – can be great. I think it’s nice to connect with people I’ve known in a past life, or keep in touch with those whose lives have spun in a different direction.  It’s easy to interact with family who live at a distance, or those I’d normally only see at Weddings & Funerals. Honestly, I enjoy the benefits of having a relationship with a minimal expenditure of energy.


Dealing with the nuisance-posters can be a challenge.  You know you have one.  They post photos of their dinner, with detailed descriptions. Every. Night.  They post a series of status updates on the progress of their toe-lint removal from start to finish.  They post how awesome they feel on the palezobiotic diet plan that has changed their life, and invite you to their page where you can buy the amazing kelp-fortified-acagojialgae-fairy-dust supplement at an introductory rate of $99.95 for a 10 day supply. They fill your inbox with invitations for every game available on the internet. THEY POST STATUS UPDATES AND MAKE COMMENTS WITH CAPS LOCK ON. EVERY. POST. WITHOUT. FAIL. They repeatedly repost doomsday-copyright-privacy-faux-legalese disclaimers without checking the validity – hoaxes exist!!! They post vague comments in hopes of eliciting equally vague yet encouraging responses.

That being said…

The group of most concern are the Over-Sharers. The ones who clearly did NOT get the memo that once it’s on the interwebs, you can’t get it back. You’d think the teenagers would be more inclined to make these mistakes, right? Nope. It’s adults. They post details of legal proceedings complete with bitter diatribes castigating the other parties involved. Drunken selfies with equally drunken friends whilst cavorting at clubs complete with check-in at said club AND the morning-after follow-up post on how useless they are at work?  Yup. Rants about how much they hate their job/coworkers/boss? Of course!!! Absolutely baffling. Perhaps the computer screen affords some people a sense of safety or detachment? That couldn’t be further from the truth.


If you think you might be an over-sharer, stop it NOW, because unfortunately a little goes a very, very long way these days. The below suggestions are relevant for both adults and teens. Everyone is watching these days, from employers (current and potential) to colleges & universities. Privacy settings will only take you so far. Things go viral in the blink of an eye, so pay attention! 

Social Media Self-Preservation

Hashtags, Status Updates & Tweets

  • Angry? Cool down first.
  • Controversial Topic?  Think long and hard on how important it is to you in the long run.
  • Emotional Topic? Use caution. If it’s better discussed in the cozy warmth of a therapist’s office, shell out the $100 and do it there instead.
  • Hashtags, Friend or Foe? It may seem innocuous to insert that cute and funny little hashtag in your Facebook status update, but it may actually be trending. Want an example of a well-intentioned hashtag gone terribly wrong? Enter #McDStories in the google machine – definitely one of those things that ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’.
  • Dirty Laundry?  Keep it in the hamper.  Seriously.  Airing things out in a public forum rarely, if ever, goes well for the one posting.
  • Legal?  This should be a no-brainer. Broadcasting on Facebook what an a-hole your soon-to-be ex is while going through break-up is ill-advised. Rolling in Anthrax-laced powder would be a better idea. Why?  Because you are still friends with someone who knows them, or someone who knows someone who knows them, and it will be used against you.

Posting Photos

  • Missing any standard articles of clothing?  Don’t get caught with your pants down.
  • Wearing any item that wouldn’t normally be considered clothing? Don’t, because a raw meat gown didn’t work out too well for Lady Gaga, it won’t be any better for you.  Plus, steak is expensive.
  • Clothing on non-corresponding body parts? Don’t, because underwear should never be on your head.
  • Called out sick from work? Don’t, don’t, DO NOT post pictures from the party you ditched work to attend.  Putting raw bacon on your face to do a Hannibal Lecter impression whilst drinking your beer through a straw seems funny at the time, but your beleaguered boss probably won’t appreciate it.
  • On disability? Don’t post that photo of the new trick you learned in your recent Trapeze Fundamentals training session.

‘Liking’ & Sharing Status Updates, Photos, Memes & Pages

No bullet points necessary here.  Just a word of warning. That little ‘thumbs-up’, smiley, or heart you select is like a signature. Your name is now attached, so you’re essentially posting it on your own wall. The pages you follow are visible to everyone. If you share a link to an article discussing the benefits of ear candling, expect the possibility that the ‘related articles’ may include information on colonic enemas and rolfing. That meme with the angry baby spewing profanities? Yup, that too.  Others can also see if you ‘liked’ a comment someone else made on a public post.  It goes on and on.


The average Facebook user has 350-ish friends.  My vote?  Go for quality over quantity.  People will hijack your status updates, may post questionable material your wall, AND have the ability to ‘tag’ you in inappropriate posts that you wouldn’t want your 76 year old mother to see. Thin the herd. Nothing good can come of being ‘friends’ with someone who is not A Friend.

I guess what I’m trying to say…

Have a good time.  Enjoy social media for what it is.  Don’t get so bajiggity about comments you don’t agree with, topics you’re sensitive to, or people who behave like wing nuts.  Be smart – that photo/comment/status update is NOT worth losing your job/reputation/relationship over. Above all else, remember – once it’s out there, you can’t get it back!

 It must be true!

Perpetual Seasonal Affectation

The upshot of Seasonal Affective Disorder – some time in the fall, you will be struck with a depression that won’t lift until some time in the spring.  Even better, with bipolar you’re not really out of the woods come spring, because manic or hypomanic episodes can kick in at that point.

<insert dissertation on melatonin, circadian rhythm, serotonin and their effects here>

So what are you supposed to do about it?

The most common suggestions:

1.  Light Box/Light Therapy/Dawn Simulators

Last year, my shrink suggested a light box.  I bought a ‘desktop’ model. Technically true if I don’t need my desk for anything other than the lamp.  The problem with light boxes is that you actually have to get out of bed and sit upright for at least 30 minutes whilst toasting.  But wait!!! Maybe a Dawn Simulator would help!  These fantastic alarm clocks are designed to naturally ease your way into the day by gradually increasing the amount of light in the room.  No jarring buzzers or loud beeping necessary! The only problem with that?  Nothing short of prying open my eyelids and shining a spotlight directly into my eyes would be effective.

Fun Fact:  The side effects of light therapy can include headache, fatigue, eye strain, irritability, and insomnia.  

2.  Antidepressants/Meds Compliance


3.  Talk with your doctor or therapist


4.  Spend time outdoors/Catch some rays


5.  Exercise

In theory, that’s a great idea.  I think about exercising a lot.  I’m often told exercise will help ease my depression and improve my overall mood. Serotonin, blah blah blah. It’s pretty challenging getting into a routine, especially on those days when simply getting out of bed is an accomplishment.

6. Take a vacation in a sunny place

Seriously. It was overwhelmingly one of the top 5.  Realistically, who has the time or money (once they’ve shelled out for their light box, dawn simulator, meds, therapy sessions and exercise videos)?

Some of my other favorites:

Participate in enjoyable activities. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Laugh. Paint your walls bright colors. Trim the bushes in front of your windows. Open your drapes. Avoid stress. Think happy thoughts. Meditate.

In all seriousness, a lot of these are common sense.  They’re the same things those with depression are already attempting to do. Unfortunately SAD adds an extra layer.  I haven’t quite figured out my magic formula.  For now, video clips of puppies, baby hedgehogs and the awkward recreation of Sia’s Chandelier music video by a slightly overweight, hairy man in a flesh-colored leotard will have to do.

Because my toaster

Toast is a very versatile vehicle for a vast variety of victuals. The process of toasting bread is pretty straightforward. A toaster isn’t a complicated appliance. Regular sliced bread goes in a regular sized toaster. Thicker breads go into a toaster oven. Push the button. Don’t touch the hot metal. Wait for bread to pop out. Slather, pile, or dunk as desired.

Today started out well enough. Had I stayed in bed, it would have gone great. However, I’m told it’s necessary to make my incomparable contribution to society. Get out of bed, they said. You’ll feel better, they said. Have breakfast. Most important meal of the day! I rumbled into the kitchen, opened the bread bag and found only 4 slices left – two of which were ends. No crisis there. I dropped my non-ends (early bird/worm) into the toaster, pushed down the lever, got out the butter and knife, and waited. I went over my plans for the day while I watched tiny wisps of steam escape from the bread.

I breathed in motes of nutty crustiness, and anticipated the triumphant extraction of golden-brown crispness. I heard the pop, and moved swiftly to remove the slices while they retained enough heat to melt the butter. I recoiled in horror as my fingertips grazed over the pale, raw landscape that marred what would have been the perfect start to the day. My bread hadn’t gone through the magical transformation into toast. The coils died somewhere between pushing the button and it popping back up.

It was prophetic. Today, I’m pseudo toast. Toast from a broken toaster. Broken toaster toast. A ghost of toast. I’m not real toast.


Because independence

noun in·de·pen·dence \ˌin-də-ˈpen-dəns\
: the quality or state of not being under the control of, reliant on, or connected with someone or something else


I can’t drive right now. Well, can’t isn’t the right word. I’m not allowed to drive right now for medical reasons, blah blah blah.

I really don’t mind being at home. I’m blissfully ordering some of the things I ‘need’ online, and delegating purchases of the perishables to others. I’m quite good at being a homemaker. I get to do all those little things that go down the drain when working outside the home. Vacuuming. Dusting. Laundry. Scrubbing. Cooking. Shoot, I’m even doing windows AND screens. All things considered, I’m pretty busy!


I can’t go anywhere without a ride. I don’t live in an area where public transportation is easily accessible. I have to keep asking people to drive me places. I can’t just get in the car and run my errands. It’s reallllllly hard to rely on others. My previous routines are shot. I have to schedule appointments based on when someone is available to take me. I’m stressing about getting places, because if my ride is running late, I’m running late. I hate being late.

I’ve been told I’m independent to a fault. That I tend to take on more than any one person should. That even when I’m at the breaking point, I would rather keep pushing than ask for help. I suppose that’s true to a degree. I take pride in my accomplishments. I don’t like to inconvenience people. I’m hyper-aware of the workloads of others, and I don’t like to add to them.


Good God. I can’t bake, because I ran out of sugar. I can’t repot my plants, because I ran out of dirt. I can’t re-screen the windows, because I ran out of screen. Could I be doing other things? Yes. I don’t want to. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I’m an adult. If one more person tells me this is a ‘teachable moment’, my head is going to explode.

I miss being in control.