Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Things I Can't Live Without

I sometimes catch myself focusing on the things that I think I am lacking in my life.

To turn that around I want to take a minute to celebrate the things that I enjoy and that make me happy.
  • Music.  I'm serious.  I'm pretty sure that on some days, being able to block out the world and focus on music has saved my sanity
  • Books.  Total escapism.  I've never been a big TV fan because my brain comes up with much better stuff than any TV network ever could.  
  • Art.  I'm a member of the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) and enjoy going regularly.  I've always been drawn to visual arts purely because I lack any and all artistic skills. On Draw Something?  I rock the stick figure.  But taking a moment to just see something beautiful or thought provoking or creative just gets my brain stirring.
  • Tea.  I know I've already blogged about it but honestly, tea makes me happy.  It warms you when you're cold, it helps you when you're sick, soothes you when you're rattled.  Talk about comfort food.  It is literally liquid balm for my spirit.
  • Stupid People.  OK, hold on now.  I know you're thinking, "Really?  Stupid people make you happy?"  But let me break it down for you.  Whenever I see someone do something incredibly stupid or hear about people being stupid I always take a moment to reflect and think that no matter how hard I am on myself......at least I'm not that dude.  No matter how badly I screw something up, or how awkward I act, I now have a benchmark for stupidity that is constantly being updated by the fabulously stupid people I encounter on a regular basis.  It may be mean to use their misfortune to improve my mental state but it's not like I'm laughing in their face.  And if anything, they should be comforted that at least somebody benefited from their stupidity in a warped way.
Now I could wrap this up by saying that my friends and family are the most important thing in my life and that they make me happy but that's kind of a given.  Without support from our loved one's, none of us would really be anywhere or accomplish anything. But every once and a while, something simple or superficial just totally makes your day.

What makes you happy?

Cheers,

Ash
 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Drunk or Just a Spazz?

Have you ever done something so spazzy in public that you actually prefer that people just presume you are drunk?

So I'm walking through the subway tunnel on my way home from work while balancing my gym bag, my purse, my eReader and a bag of groceries.  As I'm walking I was nibbling on some mixed nuts.  While adjusting my grip on my various bags, I proceeded to loose my balance, trip on my own feet and spill some of my nuts in an inelegant wobble stumble kinda move that ended in me crashing into a garbage can.

I was so incredibly embarrassed that I just tried to keep walking with my head held high but I made the mistake of making eye contact with an older woman waiting for the next train.  She kinda shook her head at me and I thought...

Is she disgusted because I didn't pick up my spilled nuts?

Does she think I stumbled because I'm drunk?  Or does she just think I'm the worlds biggest spazz?

And then it occurred to me.  Deep down I kinda hoped that she presumed I stumbled, flailed and wobbled because I had been drinking versus because I'm just an uncoordinated mess. 

This brought on a revelation.

Why did I care what this random woman thought of me?  I'm an accomplished and respectable young woman.  Ok, so maybe I'm a little inelegant at times and more than a bit of a klutz but that doesn't give anyone the right to judge me.  And on top of that why did I presume that this woman was thinking poorly about me at all? 

I mean so what?  I stumbled and spilled some nuts.  It's not the end of the world.  And yet here I was, over analyzing what this perfect stranger was thinking about my actions and allowing it to impact my view of myself and that's just not right.

I had a bit of an "Ah Ha!!!" moment over the whole thing.  I mean, we all say that we don't care what other people think of us but deep down we all do.  We all wonder if people are judging us and finding us lacking.  It's part of human nature.  I've always thought that I left this kind of foolishness behind when I was a teenager but in those few minutes I found myself reverting back to a young insecure girl and I didn't like the feeling. 

I mean had the thought actually crossed my mind  that I would rather have this woman presume I was drunk in public that have her think I'm just a spazz?  How ridiculous is that? 

Moral of the story is that yes, I'm a spazz, and worse than that I'm guilty of allowing peoples judgement of me cloud my perception of who I am as a person.  And that is most assuredly not cool. 

So here is my promise to myself.  I will judge myself less and worry less about how I am judged by others.  Because the bottom line is that the only opinions who truly matter are my own, the opinions of my loved one's and maybe God.  And only Him because I figure if I'm going to hell, it's not going to be because I forgot to mention Him in my blog ;)

Thoughts?  Do you worry about what strangers think of you?

Cheers,

Ash

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Note on Phobias aka. Yup, Spiders Terrify Me.

I fully admit it.  I am terrified of spiders.

Every time one gets into my apartment I always have this running stream of dialogue going through my head:

How did it get in?

How long has it been here?

What has it touched?

OMG what if it crawled over me in my sleep?!?!?

Kill it! Kill it with fire!!!

Case in point, last evening I was having a shower. Now keep in mind that without my glasses I am blind as a bat.

While washing my hair I noticed something on the tile about 10 inches in front of my face.  Now because it was blurry I thought, 'Maybe it's a piece of fluff.'  Or 'Maybe it's a piece of hair.'

And then it moved.

NOTHING can make you feel more like a terrified child than being naked, covered in soap, partially blind and within a few inches of a huge spider. 

As calmly as possible, I grabbed a piece of toilet paper, smooshed it and quickly flushed it down the toilet.  But for the rest of my shower I was paranoid. 

What if it had fallen on my head?

Did it crawl all over my shampoo bottle?

Ewww it probably touched my soap!!

By the time I was done I had contemplated throwing out all of the products in my bathroom and scrubbing every square inch with bleach. 

After a few calming breaths I had talked myself out of this but I still remember the fear. 

Most phobias are totally irrational, and the great thing about having a phobia is that you usually KNOW it's totally irrational.  I've never been bitten by a spider, and where I live the spiders don't even get that huge unless you're traipsing through the great outdoors. 

Yet still, they terrify me. 

One of the biggest challenges when I moved out on my own was being forced to kill my own bugs.  I mean when I lived with my parents, the bug killing was always my dad's responsibility as my mother is equally terrified. 

You'd think that being forced to deal with them on my own would help me conquer my fear but nooooooooooooo.  If anything it has gotten worse.  I go into a little panic, my heart starts to race and I find the most sturdy shoe possible to protect me from what amounts to something the sized of a quarter. 

Ironically when my cat sees a spider in the house, he turns into a jungle prowler and stalks it until he can pounce.  This is both entertaining and horrifying to me.

Is it possible to truly conquer this silly fear?  I know it's fairly common but has anyone ever been able to get to a point where seeing a spider in their home doesn't make them spazz out just a little bit?

Cheers,

Ash

#1 Spider Fear: Having one fall on my head
#2 Spider Fear: Finding one in my shoe as I go to put it on.
#3 Spider Fear: Having one fall onto any part of my body.