Tuesday, January 31, 2006
From the bottom of a meeting agenda:
"One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people."
- Dick Gregory
This is that thin line between helping and sacrificing myself, but still helped me last week
My fortune cookie from lunch:
"All progress occurs because people dare to be different."
The way I'm feeling right now is definately different.
From Eileen's blog
"A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. " - Jean de La Fontaine
That one really made me think. I think I've been trying to be all kinds of things but just myself. Time to let that go I guess.
* * *
Still have to work on the habit of beating myself up. I guess I have to replace it with something else.
I started to dress up a little more. I'm hoping that will convince my brain that I like myself. Its a start. I remember a few times in the past several years of people saying I used to dress sharp. My wife said that even when I wore t-shirts and jeans I used to make it look like I was dressed nice. And I used to wear rock tees with the sleeves cut off!
Other than that, I'm just trying to stay in charge of my life and try not to sacrifice myself. (Things I noticed recently.)
Still going for the six-pack by November. Wish me luck!!!
Monday, January 30, 2006
Compared to sedentary older adults, older adults who were regular exercisers experienced faster healing of their wounds -- up to 10 days faster -- in a recent study. In addition to faster healing, regular exercisers also enjoyed increased strength and physical fitness. So get moving to turn yourself into a faster healer and a healthier person.
RealAge Benefit: Exercising regularly can make your RealAge as much as 9 years younger.
I also got to go running over the weekend. Its hard for the first time, but I noticed that if I keep up the running it gets easier. Also, I really need to burn some calories.
* * *
Getting to notice the fine line between helping somebody because its a good thing to do and then this other things that is kinda like self-sacrificing myself. Also noticing where its such a habit that other people can't always differentiate and stop me. So I'm kinda on my own on this, but breaking habits is tough. I'll get there.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Today is ARM day!!! I will also try and get some running in over the weekend.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
* * *
On the emotional front. Trying to change some habits. First one is to dress a little nicer. The second one is to let someone know when I'm feeling like crap instead of holding it in. Also my bro told me I looked good last night, and I just couldn't accept it, I had to down play it. That's a habit that's gotta go.
My Grandmother's funeral was delayed due to lack of money. Then people were grouchy and my sister's were worried about me losing it so it was a little scary.
What ended up happening was that I was basically a counselor for much of my family. Some aunts and uncles and cousins cried on my shoulder. I spoke at the services about honoring my grandmother's love for all of us by loving each other. Then after the services we hung out at her house and drank. I ended up talking with a lot of my cousins, and my brother who had just gotten out of jail, about how we need to learn to love our dads. With all of their imperfections and such. And how we all got messed up by them, but maybe they got messed up by their dads. And it was interesting to see how many people were impacted by someone else's dad, but were themselves short changed.
Part of me wants to move back and help them, but I think I'd be pushing myself too much by that. I'd have to be involved enough in some rough things to keep my credibility and that doesn't seem worth it. At least for the kids anyway.
One of my cousins girlfriends told me as we were leaving that it was important that I was there. That I was a leader in the family. I guess I just gotta figure out how to live with that.
Overall, I found that the role I do as helper, counselor, and healer is important. I just need to retrain myself to be happier, and to take breaks once in awhile.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Fair and Square
But a suggestion from RealAge that struck me as good for this blog.
"Are you getting what you deserve? Speaking up for yourself could be good for your health.
In a recent study, people who felt they typically received fair treatment at work were much less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease in later years compared to people who felt they never got a fair shake. Speak up and present fair solutions whenever you feel an injustice has occurred."
RealAge Benefit: Taking care of your emotional health and well-being can make your RealAge up to 16 years younger.
I plan on lifting tonight after music rehearsal. Did a walking video with my wife this morning, that was nice.
# # #
Emotionally, I'm sad today so far. My wife seems a little detached. It makes me sad. Its probably hard on the kids too.
I'm sure something will work out.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Not much working out last week. I figure I may start tomorrow with either a leg or arm workout. My shoulder is feeling better. If its feeling good on Sunday, I'll start my old routine back up on Monday. This time I'll change it around. Monday will be bench day, Weds. will be squat day, and Friday will be deadlift day. I may start again on Monday and just keep things light so I can recuperating. A co-worker gave me shoulder rub and said there were a lot less knots in my shoulders than before. Also said there was more muscle - wooo hoooo!
I'll start running again this weekend too.
# # #
As for my mental well being. I think I'm doing much better right now. The roller coaster of feelings has reduced. I'm thinking that I'm letting go of some things.
I'm also learning about people better. Including myself. I think I've been resisting who I am. Just like accepting my body helped me to workout better. Accepting who I am inside will probably help me deal with life better. One thing is to quit resisting my leadership and helping roles in life. That's who I am. And I might actually become OK with it.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Still did some running and lifting over the three day weekend.
* * *
I'm also letting go of some emotional baggage.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I don't think I'm a genius, but I'm creative sometimes.
* * *
I'm exhausted. I'm sleeping better. But still having crying spells, and serious mood swings. Days feel insanely long.
Starting to feel like I must appear "pathetic" to those around me. Though I do have a good team of people around me. A friend of mine is trying to get me to go to Seattle for a week of counseling. I don't see the point of taking off now, and maybe not for awhile. A whole week is a long time. The way it works is that you 4 hours of counseling a day. Also, it would be a week off of work time. I don't want to use my leave that way.
Things seem to be getting better on the home front.
Going to be on CCC27 today with the Wild Bunch. Hopefully that will cheer me up some.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Did a walking video with my wife this morning. Slept much better. Things are looking like they may calm down.
Shoulder is better today. Might do a legs workout tonight.
* * *
Talked with the kids because my sister was worried that my nephew was stressing around my brother-in-law being sick. He wouldn't really respond and all the kids were together. Then I asked them what its like that all 4 parents are stressing out and they talked a little about that. So then I got more specific and asked them about me. They opened up more.
They said it was hard watching because I am usually the happy and stable and not asshole parent. They didn't want to tell me they were worried about me. So I told them its all good and that I may still be stressing for awhile but its alright and that I'll always be around for them.
Well, I'm away from the computer the rest of the day. I'll check in tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
1/10/06 Workout Update
1/10/06 Brain Update
- Jimi Hendrix "Manic Depression"
"Quisiera llorar, quisiera morir, de sentimiento"
- Lyric from Cancion Mixteca
I've always liked those painful Chicano songs. I guess I understand why. It's a form of Chicano therapy. Even when the words are sad and painful they are often performed as happy dance tunes. But it usually allows us to express things that if we said directly or sober would be hard on other people.
The last few encounters have been like getting kicked in the teeth. Things like coming to the realization that you have been preparing your best friend for you checking out, and your best friend being prepared - actually thinking of what needs to happen in such a case - really kicks your butt. Having another best friend tell you that you'll never get it together; that you'll never feel good enough. And realizing that this statement has accuracy. The exact statement was, "you could become Mr. Olypmia and you wouldn't feel good enough, you could play right next to Steve Jordan and you wouldn't feel like a good musician. No matter how many cards or letters your kids do for you, you'll never feel like you did good enough." And then letting you know that you can hear it because you love this person and they know you may get pissed at them, but they aren't leaving your friendship. That they can tell you the hard things because they know you'll listen to someone you love.
I got this quote last week, let's see if I have it off of the top of my head. Something like Be who you are and say what you have to say, the people that matter won't mind, and the people that mind don't matter.
The hard part is the break in logic. Its hard for me to get that people care enough that my having a hard time matters to them. Or that my checking out would be hard on them. But of course then I feel like I'm making it hard on them and want to check out. It may suck but I'll probably be checking out mentally. I still have enough sense to know that checking out physically is not the right way to go.
Two of my best friends have told me that its hard to watch me go through this. So instead of going, "wow how cool" my brain goes into "see, you're making life harder." Luckily there's times I know that's crap.
I'm slowly getting a team of people to help me through wherever I'm at. Still having crying spells. Still feel bad about telling people about that. Still think its funny when people try to tell me to try and control the crying spells - they didn't get the "uncontrollable" part I guess. LOL
There are things I know won't happen in my life, and part of me has decided to still want them anyway. Part of me wants to just be happy with what I've got. That contradiction, that tension is what I've decided to be.
Well, I'm off to meetings. Thanks for reading.
Oh, in case you thought I was ALWAYS this bad, I do have things that I am thankful for. See http://cuerpoaztlan.blogspot.com/2006/01/happy-06.html
Monday, January 09, 2006
Did a killer legs and arms workout on Friday. Will probably do arms tonight, legs on Weds. and arms again on Friday.
* * *
Had a great time rehearsing with the kids yesterday. I talked with them about how much I love music, that Jimi Hendrix saved me as a kid, and all of the other wonderful things that music is and does. We worked on the blues changes in E, we have been working in A up until now. And we worked on a Miles Davis song called Freddie Freeloader. My daughter expressed her dislike of jazz, so I'll change the focus, so we have one jazz tune, one English song, and one Spanish song to work on each week instead of just jazz. I'll also focus on less jazz stuff at home, but use some of the stuff about jazz practice that seems useful to me - working in all 12 keys, etc...
I'm going into the studio tomorrow night. That should be fun. Trying to put a song called Ramona out before Valentine's Day.
I'm still not sleeping worth a crap, my shoulder still hurts, and I still have crying spells - or at least the urge to cry. But I'm less irritable.
I'm more at peace with things than usual. I've expanded one relationship in ways not expected. By just saying my peace I was able to let someone know that even though we're usually short with each other I liked this person and wanted to continue working on being better friends. The other person was in a similar place.
One of my best friends has been listening to me a lot this past week. And had told me she was at peace if I decided that I couldn't handle things and left in any form. We talked yesterday and I told her I'd rather she help me fight to stick around. She agreed, she told me that she'd rather do that but wanted to respect me and my decisions.
Anyway, my Dad always harped on the idea that men in our family didn't make it past 50. My grandfather died at 49, as did his, and my Dad died at 45. Luckily his older brother made it past 50, I think I internalized this message and so I need to let it go.
Anyway, enough for today.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Check out THIS Senior!
As you grow older you have choices in life. To enjoy life to the fullest on one hand, on the other hand, sit down in your rocking chair waiting to die. The secret is making the right decision.
This guy gives me some inspiration, maybe for you too!
KEEP LIFTING and have a great weekend!
I'll try an arms and leg workout this afternoon. I'm exhausted and just need to keep pointing my brain in a positive direction. For my home relationship to work, I need to figure out how to lean on my wife.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
1/5/06 Accepting and Letting Go
I'm still going from very happy to crying out of nowhere. A friend of mine told me about a similar experience. He said in some older cultures having what we today call "psychotic breaks" are part of the process of finding our true selves, or "enlightenment." I'm able to control the actual crying now, but it still seems to come out of nowhere.
But the happier moments are stronger and clearer than before. I even started feeling motivated about work. I've been out of that for awhile. I don't feel overwhelmed or bugged as much when someone suggests I do something. It probably doesn't mean I'm ready to be my "old" self, but it seems like I'm getting closer.
Music is sounding clearer. It lifts me better. I could tell that it wasn't doing as much for me as usual. This is nice.
I'm going to do an arms and legs workout tomorrow, just curls and extensions. I'll try to go jogging with my wife over the weekend. And hopefully Monday I'll feel up to doing my normal workouts again.
My mental process this week has been very intense. It feels like a long time ago since Monday. I've been bitching for at least ten years that I remember feeling great when I was younger and now just feeling different. I realize as I write this that this feeling is emptiness. Something triggered me bringing back an old part of myself. To some degree it feels like I'm fighting with myself. There's a very serious part of me that evolved to "growing up." Part of all of this is that different people know me by different names. Its almost as if each name has its own personality.
I'm exhausted. But I'm also noticing that I'm accepting my life as it is. There are things I wanted to turn out different. There are things that I just wish were different. And instead of resisting and resenting them. I'm just letting them be. My wife woke me up this morning with some very scattered thoughts. This usually irritates the hell out of me. But I was able to listen and be supportive, and not feel bothered by it at all.
I'm looking at my mortality dead in the eye and not feeling bothered by it much.
I was able to notice and feel connected to my co-workers this morning at our staff meeting. Realized that I liked them a lot. There's one person that people are scared of, partially because she's management. She looked at me once during the meeting and I thought, "wow, she sincerely cares about everyone in this office." I could see it.
I wasn't AS self-conscious as I have been in the past. For a long time I was feeling like a farce and thinking that everyone sees THAT. But people seem to think that I'm good at what I do, and it seems that they want me around.
Last night I went out to binge and friends and family pulled together and got me to accept my first ride home. It was great to have a team thinking about me, and for me to respect their thinking. It's not that no one has ever said "maybe you shouldn't drive." It's just the first time I was accepting it, and the first time that it was a team effort. A caring that just blew me away.
Accepting that is a big deal. I'm letting go of some of my "frozen" expectations. Some things just didn't turn out how I wanted them to. Its fine. Some things won't turn out how I want them to, that's fine. I actually feel lighter than I have in quite awhile.
So there's this process going on that on one hand has made me think I was losing it really bad for awhile. And on the other hand things keep getting brighter every day. A little, but enough to be noticeable.
Letting go of the things that I can't change seems to be lightening me up also. Not clinging to my anger, hurt, and sorrow is definitely liberating. I'm far from a "finished" product, but I don't think we ever get there.
Most importantly I'm accepting me. I'm actually believing that I'm alright, just the way I am. I did that for about one second once. I never got back there. Now it seems that I'm able to hold on to that idea and feeling for longer periods of time. I guess I'll have to retrain my self to keep that!
I'm sleepy and need to eat lunch. But I have to say that acceptance and letting go seem to be sides of the same coin. I know this may be "off topic" with the rest of the blog, but such is life, que no?
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Positive Thinking Article
A nice article on positive thinking and change, with the addition of hot flashes!
Expect the Best
According to research, older people who expect their health to decline with age may be less likely to try to stay physically active. This lack of exercise may in turn set the stage for illness and decreased energy. Look forward to the years ahead and plan on being active, no matter what your age, to promote health and vitality.
RealAge Benefit: Taking care of your emotional health and well-being can make your RealAge up to 16 years younger.
I wonder if that counts if you use beer to keep you emotionally level? Freakin things that come in the email while I'm trying to be grumpy. Go figure. Thanks RealAge, now I'll have to try to grump tomorrow! LOL
I decided around 6pm last night that I need a couple of binges. The thinking positive thing swung all the way back. Its hard for me to think about my parents and growing up it seems. And the frustration of not being as good a musician as I'd like to be gets in the way sometime. The hobbit watcher sent me a nice article about that and I'll post it when I get around to it.
So I was up 'till about 1am, wife couldn't sleep and woke up at 2am, she went into the living room to watch tv about 3am, at 4:30ish I get the call to go to the airport.
One thing I worked through yesterday is that things aren't always fair. That sometimes you'll give more, but sometimes you get more. It just sucks sometimes. I figure that if I keep waiting for things to be just right before being happy, I'll be a grumpy f*** for a long time. My life is just what it is and I figure if I can't try and be happy about it I'm screwing myself.
I've also realized that even though friends are good, and we all need people to lean on, sometimes you just gotta deal on your own.
So I guess after looking at my list of thanks this is the best goal to go for.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
I don't always follow my own advice, but I'm gonna try for today at least. I got an email that said "don't have resolutions, but do set goals." That was easy, but then it went on to say that before you set goals you should make a list of things you are thankful for. THAT is a little different. I'm gonna try it here and it will likely be a little incomplete. But consider it a work in progress!
My family first off. I have a great wife. She has lots of challenges and sucks at the "housewife" thing. But she's a good friend and has made it through lots of hard things in life. She's a good model of a survivor in the truest sense of the word. When I can step back and see her for who she is, it gives me strength. Yesterday I got to reaffirm my commitment to be with her as long as she wants to be with me.
My kids. Freakin' A. They're just great. And they play music. My son gave me a home-made christmas card with his graffiti art on it. It was really special, and I don't know if he knows how much that freakin card means to me. My daughter started writing a song for me and wrote me a letter. Part of the letter talks about how she appreciates all the work I do in trying to teach them (her, my son and my nephew) to be musicians. Very nice. Tear-ing me up just thinking about these gifts. And these great kids. Sure I worry about them and they bug me sometimes, but I'm sure I bug them too! Their awesomeness is keeps me going. Don't think they know that.
My nieces and nephews. They all show me they love me. Even the ones with big problems. I do my best and always wish I could do more for them, but I know always that they are gifts in this world. One of my nephews was with his dad and he sent me a picture of a black panther from a nearby zoo for Father's day. He knew I'd get a kick out of that. He sometimes sees me as a parent figure and that's sweet.
Sisters and Brothers. Where to start... I have too many to go into much detail here. I have one sister from my Mother. She's great. She almost always initiates contact. Even though I think she worries too much about who's "biological" and who's not, she still loves me pretty openly. Thanks Mija.
I have lots of brothers and sisters from my Jefito. I love all of them but am not good at reaching out to them. I'm the oldest and pretty much just want to know they are OK. Got to talk to one of my brothers on the first for his birthday. He's a good guy, but overwhelmed because he spent 35 years being a single child and then one day there's a whole bunch of us. My sisters kinda avoid the other brothers, but all show me pretty much how much they love me. I've got great brother-in-laws.
"Steps" and "Adopted" family. I have tons of these too. They are all good. Even though I'm sometimes the "outsider" because I've grown up separated from most of my siblings I love them all very much. Not being good at reaching out doesn't help here either, but they are all good people. Some of them show me they love me more than others, but they all love me - even if only a little bit. I don't like to make the "step" and "adopted" distinction, but its confusing to everyone else but me if I don't do it. LOL* I have some really cool sister-in-laws and bros from this group. People who accept you as you are. Thanks M and S.
Best Friends: I'm one of those fortunate people to have more than one best friend. My first best friend I met when we were 3 years old, but we lost touch after he refused to go to my grandparents funerals. My next best friend I've known probably since first or second grade. She's bossy sometimes, which is a stress that she doesn't think is stress and I think has some to do with her health issues, but she's also solid. Things get tough sometimes but I know she'll always be there. I'm pretty convinced that she would do pretty much anything for me. We've been through a lot together. And looks like we'll be through a lot more together. Thanks VT.
MM has been my best friend since college. She's sometimes distant but always there when I really need her. Lets me cry about stuff and sometimes lets herself cry. Always there and always supportive.
MR is my music brother. Helped me a lot when I was getting back into playing music. Doesn't realize how much positive impact he's had. And a great singer too. One of the only brothers to tell me he loves me just because - no beer necessary. Truly a good man. Gracias Carnal!
MG is a good buddy. She's taken me nudie bars to cheer me up after people die or something ruff happens.
LG is a great guy a good listener and always supportive.
Boo is my Raza Unida brother. Always wanting to do more than he can, but always assessing what is realistic. A good friend that I don't see enough of.
Parental Units. I've had three sets and a couple of extras. My grandparents raised me and they were my first parents to me. They had me since I was 6 months old until they went to the rest home. Gracias por todo 'buelitos.
My mom and dad did the best they could. They had lots of crap going on that was beyond me. He died at 45 and she at 55 just so you get an idea of how hard life was for them.
I left home at 15 and was "adopted" by my "adopted family." Moms passed early but pops is still around. They did a lot in supporting me through tough things. Moms couldn't figure out why I still loved my bio parents, but she loved me a lot and it always helped. Pops is still there for me, he's the last parent I have left.
Other things to be thankful for.
*The assistant principle cancelled the long-term suspension hearing for my son and sent him back to class - TODAY!!!!
*The Simpsons allow me to turn off my brain and laugh for 20something minutes a week.
*Blog buddies who have made this a good experience.
*Club Rhythm and Blues - closed now because the owner was a dealer, but its open mic was my first bar performance in about 20 years.
*Mezcla Latina got me back into being a performing musician.
*My home gym has helped me push myself and start getting myself healthy again.
*Wild Bunch- who else could get me into a red Zoot Suit!
*A steady check! Without which life would probably suck more than I bitch about already! LOL!!!
*Women, even though its sexist, I still like to look at women. Sometimes that distracts me from problems.
*Apparently I'm still attractive to women (at least to a couple), and what the hell, I'm gonna be thankful for THAT! LOL
*I have lots of good friends across the country.
*Music. I'd probably be dead if it wasn't for music. Jimi Hendrix kept me alive as a teen. And playing now keeps me from hurting people. If someone would pay me to do it fulltime I'd be on it.
*Co-Counseling is a place where I get to dump some of my issues and come back feeling better. There's a lot of good people who I consider friends there.
*Cousin Lis who just started reading this blog. I love my cousins! And this one is also very special to me.
*Mezcla Experience is the band that I play in with my kids. Its just a great thing. There's days I would kill to be able to play again with my dad or listen to my uncles. I don't think its the same for my kids, but it grounds me - even with the stress of encouraging them to practice. It is truly one of the best things in my life.
Some people have said this blog is a little revealing. Oh well, I figure that's what its for. I don't say everything I think because some people know me and my family personally. And some people are co-workers, but overall its pretty open and I'm gonna keep it that way.
*LOL = Laugh Out Loud
Trying to get back to my message. OK. Shoulder is hurt so I'm gonna work around it. I'll probably focus on leg and arm workouts with very minimal chest, shoulder, and back workouts. I'll see what aggrivates the shoulder and avoid that for awhile.
I'll probably step up the running in order to burn fat while I heal up.
I decided to break up the non-workout post from this for today