My Favorite Things: #1 Caffé

I read somewhere recently that if you want to find your true calling, you need to identify what you love in life.  Sounds easy, but when I sat down with paper and pen, I could only think of family, friends, exercise, and my dog.  It took me some time to think past the obvious loves to understand the small joys I experience.  It took some time, but eventually I had a page full of small, everyday things that bring happiness to my life.

Since blogging was one of them, I`ve decided to dedicate Friday to not only my poetry day, but also my `Favorite Things List.  Each Friday, I will dedicate a post to something I enjoy in life — in no specific order.  Today I write about the Caffé.

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I absolutely love going to the caffé.  Alone or with friends, it doesn`t matter.  There is one in our downtown centre that I frequent the most.  I know all the staff, and they know my order before I even reach the till.  One 16oz almond milk latte please!!!!

When I walk into the caffé, all my senses are awakened.  I am visually stimulated by the warm decor and soft lighting.  Beautiful photographs donated by local artists are carefully hung above the dark wood panels that stop mid-wall.  I breathe in the rich aroma of espresso and the sweet scent of baked goods coming from the kitchen.  It smells like Sunday morning at mom`s house — comfort.

The barrista greats me with a friendly smile “The usual”, she asks.   I laugh with a wave of my hand “Of course”, I reply.  There`s no need to wait at the counter for my coffee;  they will call my name when it`s ready.  I pay with a tap of my debit card, and I claim one of the oversized cushioned chairs in the back corner to settle into.  If alone, I will have with me a book and my glasses.  I set them neatly on the table leaving room for my cup and saucer.  They call my name — my coffee is ready.  I walk to the counter and see that they`ve topped my latte with a heart — how pretty.

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I touch the side of the oversized cup to test the temperture.  It’s perfect; I wrap both hands around the cup, so not to spill as I walk across the room.  The warmth spreads from my hands to my whole body.  A shiver of pleasure spreads through me.  I walk back to my table, sink into my chair, and I take everything in.

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My ears perk to the sound of jazz music playing softly in the background.  Not too loud, but loud enough to enjoy.  There is laughter and happy conversation all around me.  Small children roam freely to the baked goods display or to the toy box.  Parents watch with amusement.  The morning run club has pulled a few tabled together at the front of the room.  They are buzzing from the high of their run.  The room is alive.

The steam from the cup tickles my lips, as I take the first sip.  I let the hot liquid linger on my tongue for a few seconds.  The complexity of flavours have my tastebuds dancing with delight.  At first, it’s nutty, bitter, then naturally sweet.  It finishes with a slight chocolatey aftertaste.  Simply delightful.

In this very moment, I experience a spiritual sense of belonging… I belong to this world and with these people.  Something as simple as my weekend trip to the caffé makes up one of my favorite things in life.  Because here, I am tucked safely away from anxiety and loneliness.  Here — I am free.

 

 

Money, Love, and Gum

There are three main things in my life right now that I am focusing on: Money, Love, and Gum.  The first, and most important, is money.  I have a love/hate relationship with the dollar bills, and it is the number one trigger for my anxiety.  There never seems to be enough of it for one.   I’ve been pretty careful with my money since purchasing my condo, but since the move, I’ve had a $1500 car expense, a $700 income tax bill, and now I need $450 for new glasses.  I simply do not make enough money in this very expensive world we live in.  But I’m doing something about it.  I’ve talked with the owners of a new gym coming to town, and I’m going to pick up a couple of classes a week for some extra CASH.  I don’t really want to work more, but we’ve had a wage freeze at my work for two years, so I need to find alternative income methods.

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LOVE…. hmmm.  Well I think I want to find love, so I’m making an effort in this area too.  I’ve recently met someone — it hasn’t become romantic yet (not even a kiss), but I think it has some potential.  This is the first man I’ve met in years who seems to be decent.  He wants to find something serious, and he’s willing to take things slow.  He’s 6.5 years older than me, which I like.  He’s in good shape, and his one and only child is 25 years old.  Works for me.  It’s way to early to guess which way this is going to go, but so far so good.

 

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Lastly, I’m trying to rid myself of a terrible gum habit.  This may seem ridiculous, but I seriously can’t stop chewing gum.  13 years ago, I quit smoking.  Over the past 13 years, I’ve been on and off nicorette (nicotine gum).  Last year, I decided enough was enough and I forced myself to give up the nicorette.  YEAH me… but not really.  I’ve now got myself a “regular” gum habit.  Mentos gum to be exact.  I chew it all day long.  When I try to stop, I get restless and anxious.  It’s pretty much driving me crazy.  It’s also embarrasing — for real… who gets addicted to gum.  Image result for money love and gum

Anyway I’ve been trying daily affirmations for all three areas of my life I’m working on.  Every morning, when I write out my food journal, I write out my daily affirmations…

“I am a magnet for money… Money comes easily to me…”

“I deserve love and respect….”

………………And then there’s nothing.  I have no affirmation to help me overcome GUM — my nemesis…….. One day my sticky little friend – one day.

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DOOM — An Unfamiliar World

An overwelming sense of impending doom — a fine characteristic of generalized anxiety disorder, and one that I have been plagued with as of late.   More specifically, I’ve had this feeling ever since I tore my calf two months ago.

I remember the feeling entering my body the very second the injury took place.  It was a heavy, dark emotion that over took me.  I felt completely powerless to it, and I have yet to figure out how to shake it.  My anxiety levels were already high, so I’m not surprised by the affect the injury had on my mental health.  What does surprise me is how I have been unable to get past it.

I have a general feeling that everything is wrong.  Life feels strange — foreign.  This unease is what finally pushed me back to medication.  I had my third visit to the doctors yesterday to discuss my progress on my new meds.  Here’s where I’m at:

  1. I have not had any panic attack since the first week after starting the meds
  2. I’m generally calmer — I haven’t cried since the first week after starting the meds
  3. I’m extremely fatigued
  4. I cannot drink alcohol at all, as it makes me feel dizzy and weird
  5. The world seems different and I have an overwhelming sense of doom

The doctors response:  We need to up your medication to the maximum dose.

Well.  Not what I expected.  In all the years I have been on anti-anxiety medication, I have never been put on the full dose.   Wait — that’s not true.  I was on the maximum dose of Paxil during the time of my divorce.  Besides that very traumatic life event; however, I’ve always been prescribed a low dosage of medication.

Maybe that is why I never felt medication helped that much???? The doctor will be increasing my dosage every 2 weeks until I reach the maximum dose of 200mg.  I’m currently on 100, so I will reach the max in 6 weeks.  I’m a little scared that the max dose will have me feeling like a zombie.  I fully intend on monitoring myself over the next bit.

I’m scare, but hopeful.  I know better than to hope for a cure for my anxiety, but I really need to find some stable ground.  If a maximum dose is what it will take, then so be it.  I’m tired of navigating life in this unfamiliar world.

Let There Be Wine – A Poem From The Vine, by Ms. SG41

Here we’ve come to another weeks’ end, and I for one, could not be more pleased.  Some weeks fly by, and I feel a sense of purpose.   Others, such as this week, drag like a fishing line stuck in the mud.  I felt meloncoly all week, but my mood has elavated some today.  It’s amazing how something as simple as “FRIDAY” can turn my frown upside down.  On that note — here’s my weekly poem to start your weekend off right!

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Let There Be Wine

I don’t much care for rum and coke;

No rye on the rocks for me.

I’m not tempted by a whisky shot;

Just because it’s free.

Don’t bother with a lemon drop;

Or a flamming fire ball.

Pour me a glass of Chardonnay;

Quick now before last call.

There’s nothing better in this world;

Than the sweet taste of good wine.

A generous glass of a chilled sauv blanc;

Is sure to sooth this girl’s anxious mind.

 

 

 

 

Adding a Healthy Dose of Nerves to My Anxiety

Have you ever wondered what it is like in the mind of another person.  Maybe you are watching someone as they talk to you, and you think to yourself, “what’s going on in their head?”  I do this all the time.  It actually bothers me that I will never know what it is like to be someone else.   All I will ever know of this world is how I see it.   We have such a restricted observation of life.

I’ve always been fascinated by the human mind and how it works.  Primarily, how each person’s mind functions so uniquely.  Some minds are brilliantly creative, while others are analytical and logical.  Some minds prefer quiet reflection, and others need an abundance of external stimulation.   How does the mind decide it will experience empathy or apathy?   What makes us uniquely us?

I tend to do some deep thinking when I’m nervous.  Today, I have to sneak out of work before 11am to attend a job interview.  The job has the potential for a much larger salary, but I’m scared.  I don’t even have the job, and I’m already feeling sad about leaving where I’m at.  It would be great if my anxiety would leave me be for just today.  I want my rational thoughts to prevail over my fears.  First, I don’t need to leave the job I have if I don’t want to.  Second, it is good to look at new opportunities.  Third, I might actually like something new.  Finally, this is only an interview — I don’t have an offer yet, so my worries are premature.  Today is just a meeting.

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My anxiety is increasing by the minute.  I have an uncomfortable warm tingling sensation running through my body.  My stomach is turning, and my shoulders are wrapped tightly around my ears.  Thank goodness I’m able to hide my emotions fairly well.  To the naked eye, I’m strong and confident.  I will put on my smile, give my warm but firm handshake, and then I will sit down and tell them all the great things I’m able to do for them.  When I’m done, I will walk out the building with a sigh of relief.  Proud that I was able to step out of my comfort zone.  If by chance an offer comes my way, I will prepare myself for the next step.  Right now, however, all I need to do is breathe.

Anyway, I have one hour to go, so here’s hoping I don’t fall flat on my face or freeze up like a popcicle.

 

 

For a Travelling Gipsy I’m Not

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Easter Monday in Canada is not considered a stat holiday unless you work for the government or a bank.  However, a large majority of people book the day off as a personal holiday.  I, of course, did not.  I only get two weeks vacation, so I save my days for when I’ve reached maximum burn out.   I split the weeks up: one at the end of summer and one over the Christmas holidays.   Needless to say, I’m stuck at work today with only a handful of other poor suckers.  Most of the offices are empty — it’s eerily quiet…. WHY am I here?   Oh right — money.  What I wouldn’t give for a little freedom.

Freedom from the shackles of modern day life.  No money worries or job stress.  No list of errands that must be done or bills that need to be paid.  Carefree for just a spell.  That’s right, I’m not asking for an eternity of freedom.  All I need is a brief moment of my own life that belongs to me and me alone.   I want to press the pause botton on life and take a little me time.   I envy people who have the ability to put their lives on hold to travel the world and find themselves.  I don’t have the financial means to embark on such a luxurious self-discover journey.  My self-search has to be squeezed in between board meetings and spin class — no wonder I’m still navigating my life with such aimless abandon.

I know that if I truly desired a life of worldly travel, I would be globe trotting as we speak.  But that’s not me.  I don’t have it in me to make that happen.  I’m a person that needs a level of stability and security, and wild abandon does not satisfy those needs.  A girl like me with a heavy dose of generalized anxiety must understand her own personal limits.  I could change my life completely, but it would spin me around so violently, I wouldn’t enjoy myself.  I push myself and take moderate risks in life and really that is all I can ask of myself.

A structured life is my destiny, for a travelling gipsy I’m not. — Ms. SG41

 

 

Long Weekend Mind Trip

I feel like a literary slug right now.  I want to write and be creative, but my brain has other ideas for me.  My brain is adjusting yet another medication dosage increase, so it’s struggling to function as it should.  I’m guessing it will be a few days before the fog and spaced out feeling subside.  At least that’s my hope.

Since we are heading into a long weekend, this is pretty much a Friday to me.   So on that note — here’s my weekly poetry attempt.

 

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MIND TRIP

Once upon a winding road;

Head dazed, confused, and slow.

The mind of many anxious thoughts;

Had no idea where to go.

It took a right down memory lane;

But distraction changed it’s course.

Now it’s stuck in nowhere land;

Disconnected from the source.

It sent a desperate S.O.S;

In hopes it would be found.

But can’t you see the fog’s too thick;

For coherent thoughts to come around.

Please don’t worry mind of mine;

For you will settle and adjust;

Let go and let things take their course;

A little patience is a must.

                                                                                               – Ms. SG41

 

Happy Easter Everyone — I hope you enjoy time with family, friends, and pets.