Weird, Crazy, or Insane?

Nurturing has its challenges and we often call surprising actions weird, such as the green and purple streaks in your son’s friends hair when really we mean, “My how creative you are. What possessed you to be brave?” As nurturers we yell to the heavens, “This person (name is usually inserted here) is driving me crazy!” Or, “Call me crazy, I let my children eat marshmallows in bed.” (Not really on the last that would be dangerous). We even proclaim ourselves insane as we deal with stress and mess. Most of these classifications are in jest. Yet many nurturers truly suffer from various phobias, diagnoses, disorders and mental wellness challenges.

I confess, I spend many hours a day trying not to go round the bend and have to be carted off to a psychiatric hospital (I appreciate all the times my husband and children have not called in the guys in white coats, if they still wear white coats, maybe they have switched to leisure suits). It may sound like I’m joking so here’s me coming out of the mental illness closet: I deal with mental health everyday. I experience various symptoms daily around the year ranging from anxiety disorder, depression, and insomnia. My body has experienced chronic illness ranging from the above mental health issues to chronic digestive, urological, endocrine, fatigue, immune-including allergies and sensitivities, inflammation and others. I’ve had very dark days (which lead to nights where I could have sponsored midnight cat rodeos but I’m allergic to cats)and even months of heaviness and darkness. I’ve tried medications, nutritional support, herbal remedies and been to various health professionals. Lifestyle medicine (nutrition, holistic, etc) works best for me. I love neuroscience and all the ways our brains and bodies can heal if we support them. If I would have taken the traditional medical route exclusively I would be dead or institutionalized. I do not confess this to sell books (although that would be lovely if I could) or sell you a list of things to do to enhance and heal your life. I know there is no one size fits all. I say this because I am brave and God as blessed me with the courage to overcome the shame and guilt I have experienced for years in dealing with the Depths. I say this to inspire you to come out, feel the sunlight, take some steps into a new path where you can live with, manage, lessen, and even eliminate those symptoms (they are not diseases but symptoms of imbalance in the body and I’m not the only crackpot who says so). Play, create happiness, embrace the bullet train and ride it James Bond style into the unknown. After all darkness is just space with oxygen where you don’t have to wear a cool astronaut suit and I would totally wear that suit and hang out in space where there is that vacuum thing, but only if I have a protective shield so space debris doesn’t kill me, because that is one of my lovely phobias and I refuse to let it keep me from my Spark Joy space/Space. I also plan on hiking the AT (Appalachian Trail) with my fellow nurturer and friend MM(she doesn’t deal with diagnosed mental health issues she just has eight kids and is awesome). Now I can hardly go walking for a half hour in our neighborhood without needing to pee but apparently there are devices that MM and I are going to test drive next summer. Otherwise I may invest in a hiking skirt so I can squat where I want and still remain private (although I have a phobia about snakes. Have you seen City Slickers 2?) The other proverbial mountain is the chronic fatigue and dietary restrictions but I refuse to let this body keep me from a goal I’ve had since I was a teenager. MM and I have a five-year plan so I can find the best gluten-free, peanut free, antioxidant rich dehydrated food out there. I tried on a 55L backpack yesterday and I think I like carrying my kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/closet on my back. Call me weird, crazy, but not insane.

Insane is not fun and should not be joked about except by those who experience it. Insane is hardcore Depth living. I avoid attracting it by saying it even in joking (like in the Secret which I haven’t read because I’ve read all the reviews and heard interviews so I get the idea and so many others have written about the attraction theory that I’m not even going to link it here so google it yourself, ok?). I work hard to escape Insane and would appreciate respect by your not using it. Thank you.

I’m so grateful for all my symptoms, the path they put me on, and the people I’ve met (or read about so I think I could call them by their first name. “Hey Arianna.”). I’m so grateful I have friends who understand I may not communicate with them for months and family who allow me to drink green smoothies at the movie theatre. I’m grateful that I have a tribe to thrive with and I’m never alone (does anyone else have unexplained freezing spells after they eat?). I’m grateful for weirdness and bless me I’m crazy (but not insane because that would not be fun).

May you thrive in your journey however weird or crazy it may be.

Some books I’ve read lately you might enjoy:

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

A Mind of Her Own by Dr. Kelly Brogan

 

 

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Autumn’s granduer on your plate

This autumn detox  is great.

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Dirt Road Daily #14: Flourishing Better than Balancing

As a little girl I dreamed of becoming so many things. At a very young age, about 3, I knew I wanted to be a mother. By Kindergarten I believed I could be a mother, teacher, nurse, and space explorer. At age 9, after watching the movie Star Wars (episode IV), I had a profound-deep-in-my-gut-I-have-to-do-it-or-die drive to be a writer. By middle school I added scientist to the list. In high school dancer was added and awareness of the greater world led me to the thought that maybe I didn’t want to be a nurse after all. Besides mother-teacher-space explorer-writer-scientist-botanist-dancer would be quite enough work.

By high school I was told that all my ideas about becoming a writer and more than one occupation were nice dreams but would not leve me life supporting income. “Besides,” the doubters who thought they had my best interests at heart would add,” you’ll be too busy as a mother to do anything else.” As if they really knew what was best for me. Theatre and Dance became my passion along with writing and I decided I would go to college and major in secondary Education Dance with minors in Theatre and English. After challenges with math I gave up my scientist dreams but never gave up my interest. In college I switched Theatre to my major. Then I married my junior year, quit school to put my mate through and then we moved to another state for his new job. Fortunately we were in a community with a university but the school had no theatre or dance departments. So I earned a bachelor degree in Secondary Education English with good intentions to get some kind of accreditation in theatre and dance later on. During my student teaching I knew I wanted to be home with my children and fortunately things worked out to make that possible. I had one child before my graduation and then we move again while I was pregnant with offspring #2. My teaching license was no longer valid in our new state and I would have to re-certify. I had offspring #3 and then ten years went by. I didn’t want to teach in the public school, no desire to pursue that what so ever.

Now over twenty years have passed since I earned my degree. Some people made the comment that I wasted my education as a home based nurturer. I used it every day. I taught in scouts, church, special programs at the public library, and especially at home. My children are going to needed all the advantages of early education that I gave them and continue to assist and guide them to avoid the distractions and problems they will face in seeking employment and in nurturing. They may need a master’s or PhD to make an income nurture their family. So here’s what I learned in a rural public school that I still hold today and pass on to my kids: You always have something to learn. Keep Learning!  And I do. We have online classes from continuing education programs like Ed2Go, free library workshops, community programs, even your local public school may sponsor classes for parents in technology and parenting skills. You look, you find.

Over the years I have learned that being a mom I am a teacher, nurse, scientist, botanist, space explorer, actor, director, dancer, and especially a story-teller. No regrets living isn’t about finding balance which means I give equal time to all roles and tasks. It’s about flourishing. I flourish in my nurturing because it is more than a role to me. It’s more than a career. It is a passion and calling. Through my diverse interests and continuing education I apply and share what I learn with others.

I tell my kids, and if they haven’t heard me say it before, here it is again, that sometimes its ok to not listen to what adults tell them about what they can and should do. It’s ok to listen to their own inner self. Consult with your adults, let them know your plans, but ultimately carve your own path.

May you thrive as you nurture and flourish while learning new things this year.

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Dirt Road Daily #13: Smell the Roses

I have a strong memory of riding with my Grandma and Grandpa in the front seat of their pickup truck that had a camper and was pulling a trailer behind as we eased down a dirt road on our way to our campsite. My grandmother pulled out a pink bottle of lotion and put some on her hands and then offered me some. As I rubbed the soothing pink creaminess into my sensitive skin, the essence of roses filled my sense of smell with memories deep, soft, and cool. Emotions of love, peace, and comfort are so strong that any time I find fragrant roses I’m carried back to the moment in the pick up truck with my grandparents as we drove through the woods. For a long time I didn’t find any lotion or other products that were as fragrant as real roses and my grandmother’s lotion.

In recent years I have found several products I love with true rose essence. These are great for combatting winter blues, spring refreshment, summer savoring, or autumn adventures.

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses skin care line: the night cream is divinely creamy.

Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater: refreshing to spritz for dry winters or hot summers.

Pacifica Persian Rose Perfume: smells of exotic summer evenings complete with stars and fireflies.

May you thrive in your rosy ramblings no matter what the season.

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Gender Responsibilities vs. “Roles”

Source: Gender Responsibilities vs. “Roles”

Sometimes we set in stone things God did not intend and place upon ourselves unneccesary stresses and structures. Nuturers can find some great support in this podcast.

 

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Are You Suffering From Stupid Grit? « Michelle Mcquaid

When it comes to tackling our goals at work or in life, for many of us enthusiasm is common but endurance is rare. Let’s face it being gritty enough to see thin(…)

Source: Are You Suffering From Stupid Grit? « Michelle Mcquaid

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Are You Making This Common Parenting Mistake? | Live Happy Magazine

Who needs super parents when we can be good, happy ones instead?

Source: Are You Making This Common Parenting Mistake? | Live Happy Magazine

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