Friday, June 27, 2008

My Bike

Today I picked up my bike from Marty's Bike Shop.  Two unfortunate incidents occurred last year that put the bike out of commission: flattening of the tires and an attempt to steal it.  When it was stolen, it was ridden down the block and then dumped in a neighbor's yard because the tires were flat.  Now there is a new wheel and it's tuned up and ready to go. 


With my Cateye bike computer, I can keep track of ... my bike riding (as soon as I learn how to use it!).  I also found a great site for logging everything I do: figuring out mileage of my rides, looking at maps - it works for walks and hikes, too.  MapMyRide will even find riders in your area!  It's almost as fun as riding!  So far, I've been taking easy rides.  Slight hills are work for me right now.  Trips down the street to the drugstore, etc. are now made on my bike.  I will save drops of gas by the gallon! 

If you are thinking about or just want to read about riding, my inspiration came from Zen Habits: Commuting by Bike. (one of my favorite blogs).  Happy Trails!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Rule of Four

I'm working on my thoughts about the 30 Essential Truths according to Dr. Gordon Livingston, author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, posted recently on Alex Blackwell's great blog The Next 45 Years. Some of them hit very close to home. This post is about the Fourth Truth. From Alex's blog:

4. The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas. For some, childhood was pleasant, almost idyllic. But for others, when there has been serious physical, sexual or emotional abuse it is important to recognize this and process this with a trained professional. No matter your past, change is the essence of life. In order to move forward in life we need to learn to live in the present.

This one hit closest to home for me.  How long can a situation that existed 30 years ago haunt someone?  Oh, about 30 years or so.  A professional can guide the process of recognizing past traumas.  To recognize is to identify the event(s).  This is different than describing - most of us know what happened to us.  In order to explain our past, we need to look at it through the eyes of an observer.  Why?  Because our vision is clouded by memories and stuck on rewind, playing the same tape over and over without alteration.  There are many other facets and by looking at them, we start to break up our tape.  Once the past is recognized, we are supposed to process it.  (put it in the blender and hit whip)

Progress; passage: the process of time; events now in process. To gain an understanding or acceptance of; come to terms with: processed the traumatic event in therapy.

An example: Mom has schizoaffective and bipolar disorders.  She has been hospitalized and medicated, received shock treatments and therapy, attempted suicide numerous times and spent days if not weeks in deep depression, locking herself in her room.  We were kids.  I was the oldest.  Sometimes she was manic, staying up all night playing the piano or rearranging the furniture.  On other manic occasions, she would go out drinking and playing cards (for money).  I remember feeding her, calling an ambulance when (and only if) she was unconscious, having holiday meals in the psych ward, seeing her restrained with leather straps, trying to take care of the four of us kids when she couldn't and having babysitters, nannies and grandma come before I was old enough.  I grew up picturing her funeral.  Every day.  For the next 30 years or so.  My psychologist pointed out many things that never entered my mind such as mom being extremely manipulative.  My dad would tell me that there was nothing I could do, releasing me from the burden of the responsibility I felt to make everything better.  A self-help book said that people learn good coping skills (as well as poor) growing up in an unhealthy environment.  When I began to hold on to ideas such as these, my mental recording that had been stuck on the previous description started to break up.  Just when I noticed that I was feeling better....

After living on her own and being stabilized as much as possible, mom fell and eventually had to stay in a nursing home.  When I go to see her, she is angry and says many of the things I heard as a child:  you kids don't care about me; I don't want to live anymore; I'm in so much pain, etc.  This took me back so fast, I physically felt the rush to the past.  Only this time, I wasn't a child who didn't understand.  Now I see much more and know that things will not change and that I should not feel guilty.  What I know and what I feel are quite different.  But this time, I know how to get help processing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Truth #3

I ran across the 30 Essential Truths according to Dr. Gordon Livingston, author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, on Alex Blackwell's great blog The Next 45 Years. Some of them hit very close to home. This post is about the Third Truth. From Alex's blog:

3. It is difficult to remove by logic an idea not placed there by logic in the first place. By nature, we are emotional creatures. Often we live and react based on feelings, not logic. Feelings are wonderful, but when we become tied to a particular thought or belief we tend to ignore the fact that change might be necessary. If a negative behavior is driven by an emotion, then we must find a way to still satisfy the emotional need while putting an end to the destructive behavior.

Have you ever had an idea, feeling, past hurt, resentment, envy or emotion that you just couldn't shake?  Are you still mad about something?  Is your reaction to an event or person different than the reaction of others?  A very common example is former significant others.  For example, because you hate/hated the fact that your ex did _________, you dislike anyone else who _________.  Envy creates ideas that are not logical.  My ex would not visit a BrandX gas station because I had had a boyfriend that owned a BrandX gas station.  Now realize that we crossed the country a few times and he refused to stop and get gas there no matter what.  That's an extreme example, but to test your logic, try it on someone else.  Picture a friend having the same negative behavior that you experience based on your logic.  Seems silly, doesn't it? 

But how do we satisfy the emotional need that drives this thought or belief?  First, identify the original event.  What feeling or thought is tied to this event?  What caused these ideas?  Let's say the event was a perceived slight and the feelings are embarrassment and hurt.  What emotional needs drive those feelings?  A need for self-esteem, comfort and understanding.  How can these needs be fulfilled in order to remove this idea?  Identifying requirements that satisfy these needs varies from individual to individual, but an example will help:

  1. A perceived slight causes feelings of embarrassment and hurt.
  2. Whenever we are in a similar situation or around the person who we feel slighted us, these negative feelings occur again.
  3. Deciding to fulfill the needs of comfort and understanding, we find something that fulfills these needs.
  4. Take a course of action which may be something like: a mantra saying "I am not who this person says I am"; a soothing activity such as a walk to clear your mind; a talk with a friend who understands; picturing an eraser clearing the idea, etc.
  5. Now decide on a new positive thought to replace the old - use it when you are reminded of the past:  "I choose to feel good about myself"; "Others' opinion or view are not my reality"; or my favorite - take the old and replace it with the opposite.

Leave a comment on how you've overcome a negative thought or behavior!  I would love to hear from you!

Monday, June 09, 2008

The 200th Post!!

Congratulations to me on my 200th post!! Umm I think this one is the 200th, but it may be the previous post. Somewhere around here! Other news: My better half has started a blog and his very first post is great! Check it out at: Right of Center Ramblings.

Nickelodeon Parents Picks

The Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library's Children's Department has been nominated for TWO Parents Picks awards: Best little kids Public Library and best big kids Public Library. Here's the info:

What does it all mean? Well, from May 19 - June 30, your business--along with all of the other Parents' Picks Nominees--will be featured as our "top picks". All of our members will be encouraged to vote to determine who wins the official Parents Picks Awards! Visit and select a city to see a list of the nominees.

Not only do we have a great library, but our online resources are great too. Visit the SMFPL website and check out the Children's Department! Go to and vote - I did and so far the results show SMPFL in the lead!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008