Thursday, November 29, 2012

Depression, Let's Talk About it!!!

Enough....ENOUGH ALREADY!  I wish I could program every brain in this world to understand that CLINICAL DEPRESSION is NOT the same as discouragement.

Discouragement is a condition that is situational and CAN be treated through counseling, and behavioral training.

CLINICAL DEPRESSION is a MEDICAL condition.  It is literally when for whatever the reason (usually some trigger like severe illness), causes a body to stop making the three chemicals that we need to feel sated.  The three chemicals are Serotonin, Neurepinephrine, and Dopamine.  Usually depression is caused by a lack of Serotonin.  This severe condition is usually treatable with a broad choice of medications. 

If an insulin dependent diabetic stopped taking their insulin eventually (and probably sooner than later) they would die.  Why don't people understand that if they stop, cold turkey, from taking their anti-depressant medications they will die.  What is worse they may die by their own hand!

Clinical depression is a liar that tells you, "You're a waste of space, you NEED to die, you're a burden on your family, YOU MUST DIE!"  When I battled my clinical depression (for 4 long years because I was too foolish to take anti-depressants) I finally reached a point where the world had all turned gray.  I could not get out of bed to go to the bathroom (4 feet away).  I was frozen in a gray world where every single activity was excruciatingly hard! 

I found out today about a friend of a friend who attempted suicide.  The person was convinced by a caring partner to quit taking all psychiatric meds....all at once.  Gratefully they survived.  There are so many that DON'T SURVIVE!

For one thing, let's start talking about it!  My whole life these types of things have been spoken about in dark whispers.  "Did you know that her Father killed himself?"  I was astounded when the famous actress Katherine Hepburn spoke openly about her beloved brother killing himself.  It took great courage for her to share that vulnerability in her life that happened when she was still quite young.

Now let's speak of the children of those that kill themselves.  Medical science has shown a hereditary link in families to clinical depression.  Even without that burden many children of suicides kill themselves out of desire to be with that beloved parent, or out of imprinting.  Imprinting is when someone critically important to our sense of identity behaves in a certain manner and we find ourselves behaving in a like manner, even if we don't consciously wish to behave that way.

I wish every single person that battles clinical depression could open their door and hurry outside, or into the hall and scream, "I want to die.....HELP ME!"  Then I wish that people would actually find help for those people.  There IS help.  There are many wonderful organizations that exist specifically for helping people who are a threat to themselves.

If you have a spouse, parent, child, friend, acquaintance that is suicidal PLEASE GET THEM HELP.  Do not be in denial, until you discover your beloved hanging from the ceiling or lying on their bed dead from overdose.  GET HELP!

I wish that I could NEVER hear one more time in my lifetime that someone has killed themselves or tried to kill themselves.  I wish that we would begin to find ways and means to reach out to others.  I wish that we could start a dialogue and keep it going about effective ways to fight depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders.  Oh wait....WE CAN!  Let's all make a goal to quit whispering about these things and speak openly....let's educate ourselves, and our family and help anyone that needs that help.

Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 25 years for trying to create freedom for his people in South Africa.  He eventually ended apartheid, and became President of his County.

There can be great power in one....and even more power when we unite with others that have the same goals and dreams!  Let's quit hiding from this plague and help each other.

Slow down you Move Too Fast

If you remember that title chances are that you are 40 years of age and above.  The words are, "Slow down you move to fast you've got to make the morning last just kicking down the cobblestone, do, do, do do do, feeling groovy!" such a well groovy word.  Early in my childhood the word groovy was added through popular culture.  Other words from that era are cool, neat or neato.  In the 60's there were Beatniks, in the 70's there were hippies.

Language in America is ever changing.  In my lifetime these words have been added to my vocabulary, "Sick," and in case you're confused this type of sick is GOOD.  Radical, decent, lol, jk, and all of the new acronym words invented for texting.

I feel sorrow for the immigrants trying to master this fluid, flowing language.  It seems that just about the time I begin to learn to speak well the language has changed.

I knew that I was falling in love with my husband when he admitted that he read the dictionary as a kid because he was fascinated with words.  He also LOVED to wipe others out when they were playing Boggle, and his all time favorite SCRABBLE.

I also had a constant love affair with words and had read it at great length over the years.  At college my roomies gave me a quote that said, "Women who try to become walking dictionaries should remember that reference books, are NEVER taken out!"  Here is where I will use one of those acronym names.)  lol

BTW, I LOVE language, linguistics, and studies about the development of language.  I have often wondered why our language has so much in common with Italian, Spanish, and French.  For example Hola is quite close to Hello.  There are many words that are pretty much the same but spelled differently.

I found out a fun fact from my daughter as we traveled in Europe.  Did you know that Merriam Webster change the "English" language to make the "American" language different.  He wanted our countries speech to be as different as possible while still allowing the Englishmen and the American's to converse.

So to sum up this discussion pull out a dictionary and start reading.  You'll probably be surprised by much you enjoy yourself.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude

I have NOT counted my blessings this wondrous Thanksgiving season.  That is an error I intend to correct IMMEDIATELY!  So listed below are my blessings in order of priority.  I would LOVE it if some readers would share THEIR favorite blessings.  They can be sublimes or's just delightful to hear what others hold dear.

I can't separate faith and me they are one and the same.  That is not to say that all those I love as family agree with my religion.  They DO agree with my desire to worship God in the way that I see fit.

I also can't separate friends and family.  I am blessed indeed to have friends that are family and family that are friends.  I have a HUGE family!  I have over 70 first cousins.  I only have one brother, and one sister, but they both wisely married terrific people that I'm glad to count as a brother and sister as well.

I'm also EXTREMELY grateful for my husband's brothers and their wives.  They have supported Nyle and I literally and figuratively through some incredibly difficult times in our lives.

I must say that I'm grateful FOREVER for my faith that Nyle still lives!  He HAS lost a lot of that he's invisible to my mortal eyes.  Yet I feel his presence oh so often.  I KNOW that he still loves the girls and loves me.  This knowledge gives me hope to keep living the best that I can.

I'm so grateful for two amazing daughters.  Our girls bless my life each and everyday.  They treat me as a valued friend not a burden to put up with.  Their examples constantly inspire me to live better, BE better!

I'm also so very grateful for the many "part-time" children that we have gathered over the years.  Amanda, Chris, Christine, Colby, Teralyn, Andrew, Erin Jane, oh so many that have enriched my life, and still do!

As Thanksgiving transitions into the Christmas Season I wish to express my sincere thanks for my belief in Jesus Christ.  I have had the privilege of knowing about him, and serving him to the best of my ability in this life.  It makes very little rational sense to believe in a being that being half God lived on the earth, taught, loved, and then died an unjust death, to rise again from the grave three days later.  Yet that is the very belief that I hold close to my heart.

Many would call Jesus Christ a "mythological" creature.  I'm grateful for my faith in Christ, and my experiences of his love.

Now to end this post I will segue from the sublime to the ridiculous...I'm grateful for chocolate!  Chocolate fills an empty spot in my soul right now that Nyle used to fill.  I'm certain that he would laugh if he thought that I was replacing him with chocolate.  He's IMPOSSIBLE to replace, but chocolate makes me smile for a little while!  I agree with the book title that says, "Hand Over The Chocolate and No One Gets Hurt!"  I could not eat chocolate the first 15 years of my life due to severe allergies.  Seriously the best thing that puberty did for me was to let me grow out of that allergy!!!  Ahhhhh.....the soothing properties of chocolate.

So...please tell me the things that provide your heart with gratitude.  If you have the time be specific and elucidate.  I would LOVE to hear from you!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happiest of happy Snurffle Days!

About the fourth Christmas of my married life with Nyle he began to participate in what he called, "The Grand Christmas Tree Hunt."  This consisted of going to a government building and purchasing a "Christmas Tree Permit."  That gave him permission to go to certain mountainous areas and chop down a Christmas tree.

We purchased a four wheel drive vehicle and a couple of years he almost died in his pursuit of the PERFECT tree.  He and I decided that we would develop a tradition of celebrating the Friday after Thanksgiving when we would get our tree and decorate for Christmas.

The tradition developed through the years.  It was Nyle who designated it "Snurffle Day."  I have no idea to this moment where the name came from....well actually I know that it came from his brilliant, creative, talented mind.

When we moved to Portland we discovered a Christmas tree farm about 40 minutes from our home.  It was called "Sleighbells."  It was owned by a large family.  We would go drink free hot chocolate, then they would give us a ride up a steep hill to where the Christmas trees were waiting to be hunted.

We would relish the intense beauty of the Oregon world in late fall, early winter, and find the most beautiful tree on the hill.  Nyle loved Noble or Grand trees.  I loved Douglas so we would rotate every other year. 

Then as the girls grew older we added the fun of buying new jammies (Ardis and Sarah like theirs to match...STILL).  We'd come home from Sleighbells, put on our comfy new jammies, and decorate for Christmas.  JOYOUS!

When we moved to Utah we changed and rearranged the details, but Snurffle Day is proudly, joyously continued.  This year we are missing the mischievous joy that Nyle brought to the time but we still feel him close.  I know that he doesn't want us sitting around crying all day.  Instead he wants us to love, decorate, and create beautiful new memories.

There probably will be some tender crying in the missing of our beloved hubby and Papa, but more celebrating of his life, and contribution to ours will be enjoyed today more than tears.

HAPPY SNURFFLE DAY TO ONE AND ALL!  Create a tradition today....drink hot cocoa, or possibly MEXICAN hot cocoa...which is to die for!  Or call someone that you haven't spoken to in too long, Or just know that I love all my family and friends with great happiness and gratitude.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Act Don't React

Way back a million years ago when I first got married (OK it was only 27 years ago, it just feels like light years away) I read an article in the Reader's Digest about a man who refused to let the negativity of others determine his behavior.

I was so impressed with the article (which I can't seem to find anywhere on the internet) that I used it in a training and development seminar that I taught the phone operators that I supervised. 

The story is still vivid today.  I just wish I could find it to give the writer credit.  I can't so I'll reconstruct the ideas with my own example.

I worked in various forms of customer service for over 30 years.  In addition I've worked with all sorts of business situations just as a regular human being.  (Purchasing subscriptions to magazines, or newspaper, working with creditors, or debtors...etc. etc.)

When I worked as Switchboard Supervisor.  I often would receive phone calls from people who had been offended.  Whether their complaints were real or imagined, I would do my best not to let their rudeness, or irritation become my reflection towards them.  I worked sincerely to help them in such a way that they ended the phone call with a smile.

Oh I wasn't always successful.  One phone call left me in tears.  Yet, through that work I learned a great principle that as I move through life is repeated again, and again, over, and over as though perhaps it were important to my personal development.

Act DON'T REact.  Three simple words, right?  Yet our ability to conform our behavior to those words can change our lives.  There is an excellent quote that says something to this effect, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."  This means that we actually choose to let another's actions impact our lives.

I hear someone say, "It's too hard.  I can't do that."  I have a one word response to that comment....NONSENSE!  It takes practice and it IS hard, but it's amazing how much better you feel when you do not let your mood or actions depend on the actions of those around you.

So today, when that car cuts you off on the freeway blow them a kiss.  That's what my handsome hubby did a lot.  When someone was annoyed at him for something rude THEY had done (in a vehicle) he would simply blow them kisses.  One man saw Nyle's reaction and started to chuckle. challenge today, ACT DON'T REACT!  Try it.  Then send me your stories about this idea.  Please send me comments...I LOVE to hear from others, and know what things are happening in your world!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Random Act of Auntiness

I was excited for a low key night managing our little hotel.  My parents were the "official" managers.  I was just a little substitute.  The evening was quiet and I was enjoying watching a bit of television.

Then came the frantic call from the babysitter.  "Your nephew Adam has stepped on a fish hook and it's pronged, we can't get it out, and it's bleeding, and all the kids are crying, and what do I do?  I told her to call the family doctor, that I would find someone to substitute for me, and then I would come get him and take him to the clinic.

It was around 7 pm on a Saturday night.  My parent's brother and his wife (Adam's parents) were in a special meeting at the church.  This was long before cell phones became commonplace.  I had no way to reach his parents, or my parents.

I called a friend who is exceptionally quick at learning new things.  She also had lots of secretarial experience.  She came immediately.  I gave her a 10 minute tutorial on managing a motel.  Then with a prayer in my heart for her, the hotel, but especially Adam I drove off in a fury to get to Adam.

When I got to the house everyone was remarkably calm.  Adam was joking with the babysitter.  This while he literally has a four pronged fish hook sticking out of his toe.  You couldn't push the nasty thing through, and you couldn't pull it out.

I don't even remember the drive to the clinic where Adam's family doctor met us.  I just kept saying to myself, "If you are scared, then Adam will be scared."   Somehow I managed not to share the information that I was one big shaking mess.

Adam was a champion.  I can't even remember how the doctor got the nasty thing out of Adam's toe.  I do remember that Adam was quite calm about the whole thing.  I don't think he was even 10 years old yet.  He and doctor were joking back and forth.

Adam was quite proud of the grisly trophy.  Then came the news that Adam had to have a tetanus shot.  This young lad that had not shed one tear during the drive over, or the mini-surgery to remove the hook finally reached his saturation point.

I held him with big tears in my eyes while he cried as the shot proceeded. 

Afterwards I took him home.  I was in awe of how quickly this boy bounced back from the trauma.  When I left he was regaling his older brothers with his experience.

I went home, and proceeded to shake for two hours.  Adam....he was a brave lad then, and he's a star now!  LOVE YOU ADAM!  (I have TWO nephews named Adam.  One of them is on my husband's side of the family.  This nephew that I'm referring to is on my side of the family.  The good news is that I ADORE both Adam's!

One can never have too many wonderful men named Adam in their family!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Musical Movement

Ten car accidents left me with LOTS of back issues.  (I'm a TERRIFIC driver, but have ridden with some really NOT TERRIFIC drivers).  I was a dancer...I LOVED to dance, I LIVED to dance!  I still feel the same thrill when I hear a song with a singable lyric, and an excellent rhythm.  Sometimes I dance in a chair....sometimes I can dance on my mini-trampoline....but for me I MUST find a way to keep dancing.  My favorite quote of all quotes is, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the RAIN!"

Many years ago I learned the secret that opened the world back to me....WATER AEROBICS!  Glorious joy, I climb into the warmth of a heated pool, and feel the silken embrace of the water.  I can  move as though I am 20 and have NO back issues, NO bad knees, no anything else negative of any type.

Magical movement pours out of my body, the same old magical movement that I used to feel dancing on a stage.  When I'm alone in the pool I also sing at the top of my lungs (great acoustics).  It's a terrific way to practice singing.  You REALLY hear the best and worst of your vocal abilities singing in a huge indoor pool.

I grab a noodle (long, styrfoam tube)  I sit on it and ride like I'm a kid again racing all over town on my bicycle.  For those of you who are older, do you remember the thrill of movement that bicycle gave?  I pretty much only got off of mine to eat, go to school, or sleep.  I have proud permanent scars on both my knees that can attest to the hundreds of hours I spent either riding, or falling off my bicycle.

What do you do that gives you a rush of adrenaline?  Sometimes eating delicious chocolate gives me the same rush (but then I crash and burn....still lovely for a little while!)  Singing, riding a bicycle, jumping on a trampoline, dancing, swimming, or playing in a pool?  I used to jump on a pogo stick....loved it!

We all NEED to exercise.  I'm not convinced that it will extend our lives.  I AM convinced that it WILL make the lives we live better and healthier.  So everybody get up out of your chair, and find a way to move that brings back the innocent joy of your childhood, and infuse the rest of your life's journey with it!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

This has bee a delightful 11/11

It has been a delightful 11/11.  Thinking about my sweetheart and the life we shared together has kept me joyous and warm all day.

I had some visitors, new friends from my church group.  That was a lovely, unplanned surprise. 

I sent some messages to those that loved Nyle, that he loved so much, (not everyone, there aren't enough hours in one day! :>)  

So to all of those that love Nyle, thank you for the contributions you made to his life.  Thank you also to all of you that love and help support me as I make new plans and go forward into my new life.  Nyle is still my rock, my anchor, but I just can't see him as well.  That's probably just as well because it's harder to quarrel when you can't see the person that you would like to quarrel with.

I didn't like to quarrel with Nyle, but I LOVED to make up with him AFTER the quarrel.  I hope that all of you are blessed enough to have a love in your life that inspires you to be the best that you can be....Nyle did that for me, and he still does.

Happy Birthday???

Desperately ill my husband spent most of his days and nights in bed.  He was unable to get up and sit in a chair for five minutes.  Benign positional vertigo (there was NOTHING BENIGN about it), a stroke, and Sarcoidosis had taken my sweetie from Law Professor, Associate Dean of Career Services to bedbound.

I had lost my business, Harmony Home.  I had a thriving childcare business in our home.  After Nyle became so ill I fell and ruined my back.  I could no longer handle the physical demands of caring for infants up to children ten years of age.

So, we had gone from a comfortable two career income to nothing, not one penny coming in.  Unfortunately, lots of pennies needed to go out. 

It was the night before my birthday and I was filled with hopelessness, and despair.  I saw no joy in our future.  I saw only the empty half of life's glass, and even the contents of it were spilling out rapidly.

I went to bed exhausted in every way possible.  It seemed a cruel joke that the next day was my birthday.  Birthdays had ALWAYS been very special in Nyle and my family.  They were also special in my family growing up.  Even if there was little money, there was ALWAYS lots of love.

When I awakened I smelled something extremely floral.  I jumped out of bed and ran to the front room.  Then I had to sit down quickly in a chair in shock.  On the dining room table was flowers, of all kinds and varieties, brilliant colors, soft colors, sweet roses, soft orchids, the sensory thrill was overwhelming.

I ran back to Nyle and climbed on the bed next to him.  I threw my arms around his neck crying.  (I cry when I'm happy almost more then when I'm sad).  "How, when, why?  Were the almost incoherent questions that tumbled from my lips.

He said, "After you went to sleep I was so sad.  I just couldn't let you have a birthday that was awful.  You do so much for all of us around here."  (He didn't know that just those words were a HUGE gift for me....the affirmation of my value to our family).  I had to do something.  We have no money, and there weren't any stores still open except Winco.  I walked up and down the aisles desperately trying to think of anything, anything that I could buy with our limited funds that would make your day special."

 "At the florist section I saw that they were about to get rid of many, many cut flowers that were still lovely.  I asked how much it would cost to buy the entire lot.  They named a prize that we could afford.  I had a hard time carrying them to the car, and back in the house there are so many.  Happy Birthday Sweetheart!"

Happy Birthday indeed, for you see the present that he DIDN'T mention was the sacrifice it took for him to just get dressed, get in a car, drive to a store, and then walk up and down the aisles for a long time.  He probably had to stop and throw up a time or two for he would cough really, really hard, and that would trigger the nausea.

Knowing that I was loved, and loved like that, the world was suddenly lovely beyond compare.  Hope was everywhere that I looked.  Our two girls came squealing in to our bedroom with birthday wishes for me, and my joy was complete.  We didn't need money as long as we had each other. 

Even now that Nyle's mission on earth is finished and he's received a "transfer," to a different place of service, I feel his love around me.  Especially on this day 11/11 that is so precious to me.  Thank you Nyle for love, hope, and faith, ESPECIALLY in the darkest times of our life together.

11/11 - a special time and day!!

Soon after Nyle and I married he informed me that 11:11 was the only time in the day that all four digits were the same.  He decided that we should hold hands at 11:11 if we were together.  We did this little ritual for 27 years.

Sometimes we weren't very happy with each other for reasons that we thought were important at the time.  Strangely enough if we held hands for that one little minute while we were unhappy with each other things changed.  Our love returned and we were able to work through the things that divided us.

Today is 11/11....I will celebrate the gift of love that Nyle brought into my life all day today.  I will do that by blog, wall post, and connecting with beloved friends that also celebrated and loved Nyle.

I am ever so grateful for my belief that Nyle is NOT far from me, our two biological daughters, or our many part-time daughters and sons (that includes you beloved couple that Nyle called "the kids, you know who I'm talking about!)  If I believed that I would never again share the loving relationship that Nyle and I had....well I don't know that I would have courage to keep facing forward and walking into a future that is completely unknown.

Yet with the belief, the reality that Nyle continues to live only in a different dimension, format, or time, I know how proud he is of me.  He wants me to succeed in every way imaginable.  I want to succeed for HIM, but also for myself. 

Soon after we married I asked Nyle's advice on a question that was specific to me.  His response shocked me because in our LDS culture many people believe that the husband should always have the last word.  He should be the guide, and the wife and children should abide by his advice "In righteousness." 

Nyle believed in a modified version of that credo.  He believed that he AND I were co-equals.  His response to my question was, "You have a very good mind, and I'm certain that you will make the right decision."  HUH?  He wasn't going to make the decision for me?

Nyle's way of husbanding, and parenting was not to make random decisions.  We did often discuss together things that affected our entire family, and rarely did he make decisions regarding our family WITHOUT consulting  me first.  I loved that about Nyle, that he didn't set himself up as some sort of benevolent ruler of our family.

Thank you to all of you who contributed to his life, and to mine as well.  After twenty-seven years of sharing life in all it's ups and downs I will feel connected to my beloved through the rest of my life, every 11:11 that comes along, whether it is in the time of the day, the month and day, or any other time that I see four 1's in succession.  On the other hand I don't need those numbers to remember my beloved.  Thanks for listening today as I share my life with Nyle.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rants and Raves

I know that you can't see me, but if you could you would see the "soapbox" that I'm about to step on.  I started this blog initially with the express purpose of creating humor, or inspiration, something positive in the lives of others.  Not too long ago I realized that wasn't enough.  I am a very passionate person.  My opinions, likes, and dislikes are rather intense.  (If you know me that's no surprise.)

So today's rant.  I live in a lovely apartment complex.  I think it looks a bit like the town of Florence in Italy.  My oldest daughter thinks it looks "Disneyesque."  So apparently I live in an Italian Disneyesque apartment complex.

I have an adorable dog named Rolly.  His other name is EXERCISE MACHINE.  His need for doing "business," in the great out of doors every few hours keeps me from being any type of potato person, whether it's a couch potato, or whatever type of furniture I'm "Potatoing upon."  Never knew that a potato could be a verb did you?

Today as I was on a strolly with Rolly I walked past the dumpster.  I stopped in my tracks.  In that dumpster was a perfectly lovely, still working babies swing....barely used.  There was also a kitchen set of furniture, two chairs perfect, one needing a little care, and the other in many pieces (but pieces that could be put back together and VOILA you would have a lovely dining room set of furniture.  The table top was also in the dumpster, I didn't look to see if the legs were there as well.

This type of waste literally makes me sick to my stomach.  I have known want in my life.  Oh not the I'm starving and living under a bridge type of want, but the, we're going to lose our home, and go through bankruptcy, and not be able to pay our bills kind of want.

In addition I have two amazing parents who lived through the Great Depression, and World War II.  My parents would NEVER have left perfectly good furniture to waste.....NEVER EVER!!!  They would have cleaned it up and found someone who needed it and given it away.

Why did I not do that?  I am "differentially blessed," as one of my Mission President's described physically challenged.  Refurbing furniture and selling it online is not within my realm of abilities.  I couldn't even load it in my car today and take it the the thrift shop that is LESS THAN A BLOCK AWAY!"  My daughter and I car/share and it's her turn today. 

So... the people who tossed all of it in the dumpster, why? .They had so much money they didn't need the furniture anymore?  They were going to buy all new because they were tired of the old?  Whatever the reason, recycling makes all the sense in the world....especially since we're less than a block from a place that would be THRILLED to receive them.

I don't always eat like I should,  I don't always exercise the way that I should, but I will NEVER, EVER, waste something that could be reused, repurposed and put to good use.

As a child when I didn't want to eat something Mama would use the common phrase of my parents generation, "There are children in China that are starving."  The stark reality is that there are children, RIGHT HERE in the United States of America that are starving.  We don't have to reach so far away to find need.

It's almost Christmas time again...."A time when need is most keenly felt..."  (The Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens)  Look around at the assets that you possess.  Then look at the good folk around you.  Don't EVER throw away something that could be used by others. 

Rant finished, I will now climb down from my soapbox (it's kind of high so I will climb carefully)