Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Okay, so this one's definitely about you

How Reframing Your Self-Critical Thoughts Can Help Ease Anxiety
By becoming more mindful of the stories running through your mind, you’re able to take an objective view on how those stories makes you feel, and then decide if they’re worth keeping around or not. If they’re not, choose to let them go.

Reframing, self-love, and compassion are the three tools I use to help guide me through anxiety and depression. It’s all a learning process, but I can confidently say that this has helped me so much more than self-medicating or trying to ignore the problem.
Trying to ignore the problem....

Here's the thing. People with anxiety issues cannot do things the same way as people who do not have anxiety issues. Depending on the triggers and the situations involved, sometimes it can happen. But the reality is, if you're unable something like how everyone else is doing it, then you'll likely always have trouble (to varying extents) doing that.

A big part of why I haven't gotten frustrated with life and walked away years ago was because I realized and accepted that fact - that no matter how much you want to do something, it just might be undoable the way that you want it done.

Trust me. It isn't fun watching or hearing about someone behave a certain way towards others and then not have them do that for you. It's very painful and hurtful, in fact, especially when you care deeply for them.

There's a whole litany of things that I've had to deal with on my end. The things that have literally gone through my head repeatedly: Why can you call that person, and not me? Why can you text that other person, and not me? Why can you talk to her, and not me? Why can you do all this stuff with other people, and not with me? Why does everyone else get your attention but me?

Every person wants to feel special, but not like that. "If he doesn't want to go out of his way for me like he apparently does for everyone else, then clearly he isn't interested in me, so I should move on." If it weren't obvious in other ways that there are anxiety issues going on, then yeah - that would be a big sign that it's not going anywhere. So I console myself with accepting the anxiety and believing that it's not done deliberately or on purpose. It's called having faith in others, I guess.

I suppose other women who aren't as observant would probably still think that he wasn't interested in them because of the lack of direct attention, frankly.

Regardless, that doesn't mean there aren't other ways to accomplish goals. The first step is accepting the elephant in the room as being there, and then figuring out how to work around him. Realize that there are ways to get what you want, but doing them how everyone else does them is just not going to work for you. And that's okay.

And this is why I keep harping on the fact that you're going to have to do things you hate to get the job done. It doesn't matter if you like it; it only matters if it's effective. But in order to be effective, you have to stop ignoring the issue.

You might be this close to getting it done, but then again, you might always BE this close to getting it done. If it didn't work the first 10 times, then it probably won't work the next 10 times. Stubbornness and tenacity are all well and good, but when taken too far, they're a waste of time and energy that can be better spent looking for workable solutions.

Frankly, there's not a lot of time to waste on dead ends when the clock is ticking and the sooner you do something the better it'll all turn out.

So, accept it: anxiety is a fact of life. Panic attacks are a fact of life. Doing something like how everyone else does it is not going to happen, which is also a fact of life. And all of that is perfectly okay, so long as you acknowledge it and then leave it behind to work on things you actually can do.

A method of communication - which I think hasn't been seriously considered, despite me having mentioned it a few times over the years - is a video message, where the link delivered (emailed or Twitter direct message) by someone else. Not necessarily Snapchat or Instagram, since those might not allow for enough time?

Anyways, I think videos can work; I've seen that, at least. And, they can be made private, too. The weak link in all of that has always been the delivery part of things, but I think that part may have been solved...?

And then, what I've also mentioned before: coming to find me in person, and asking someone to pass along messages. Again, maybe not an ideal way to go, but they're still doable. At this point, no one can afford "ideal", anyways, so doable it must be.

Nevertheless, the actual blogged linked to above is a good read for those who deal with anxiety issues. Self-compassion is never a bad idea for anyone, really, no matter what they're going through. So do yourself a favor and treat yourself better. If you wouldn't let a friend talk trash about themselves, then why would you do that to yourself?

Quote of the day

"Strength is a matter of a made up mind." -John Beecher

Monday, March 27, 2017

You do you - it's all good

As I said on Twitter, I haven't seen hair this big since high school. I'm not saying that it's bad...but I'm also not saying that it's good, either. It just is, and I think it's rather hilarious.

Probably the last time big hair was fashionable for men was during the 1970s....

Of course, I wouldn't recognize most hockey players on the street. Mostly because I just see them on the ice during games, for the most part. And if I happen to catch pre-game, post-game, post-practice interviews, then they're usually all sweaty with wet hair and / or have a hat on. A guy all cleaned up and, say, at the mall I probably wouldn't recognize unless he came up to me and introduced himself - especially if there was big hair like this involved.

But, you know, I've never been one to tell someone how I think they should look. I'll give advice or an opinion when asked, but that's about as far as it goes. Unless it's something that really doesn't work for them, then I might step in and say something.

The frizzy hair thing I'd talked about a while back, well, that was all about me and my hair. And I found something I finally like to fix that for me. Although, strangely, my hair isn't quite as wavy as it has been - maybe because I still need a haircut...? Could be the water here, too, I suppose.

And, as for the curly hair thing, half of my family has curly hair. My dad's hair was curly, and he was also bald and got haircuts every three or four months or so, so upon occasion he had some Bozo the Clown kind of hair going on. Although, to be fair, by the time I was around his hair was definitely auburn and going white than a bright red.

My sister Joey had dark red curly hair from the time she was born - and hated it. She'd brush out the curls until it was this frizzy blob of hair. Unfortunately, she still does that although now her hair is pretty much brown.

Then my sister Pam's hair got curlier as she got older. Her hair also weirdly got more red as she got older, too. It doesn't usually work that way for most people, tho. However, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure how wavy her hair originally was when she was younger, because she spent an hour curling it every morning so that she'd have that perfectly feathered Farrah Fawcett hair.

To round out the rest of the family, my mom, Jill, and I have / had various levels of waviness (mine wasn't hardly wavy at all growing up), while Spring's hair was and is stick-straight.

Speaking of hair.... I was out with a couple of coworkers at lunch last Friday, and both of them are black women. Anyways, on our way back to work, one of them suggested that I get an afro wig to wear. I told her that it probably wouldn't be a good look for me, and she agreed but said it'd be funny. I couldn't argue with that.

Song of the day

The lyrics are almost secondary in this song for me - I just love the overall sound. But then,  power ballads are usually not happy songs, after all. Of course, this was the sort of thing I grew up listening to, and this was one of those slow dance songs at the dances I'd go to as well.

Quote of the day

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." -Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Song of the day

It's not always about you - and I mean that in the nicest way possible

Kaikoura: 'Most complex quake ever studied'
Starting in the South Island's North Canterbury region, the crustal failure moved eastwards and northwards along the coast to Marlborough Province, before then petering out offshore. In the process, the quake managed to straddle two major fault networks.

The behaviour challenged some long-accepted ideas. One of these is the notion that ruptures cannot jump large separations between individual fault segments.
A problem with scientists is that they simplify things down so they can better grasp what's going on, but then fail to re-add the complexities they took out to get a bigger picture of what's going on. But I suppose that's a human nature thing, when you get right down to it. The majority of people, I've found, aren't good at grasping the bigger picture of things in life.

Which is why you get climate change deniers, for example. They just cannot see how their little part of the world fits into the bigger overall picture. These are the people who say things like, "But it's colder here where I live in the winter than usual, so how can the world be heating up?"

Just because it's colder in your particular town doesn't mean that it isn't hotter in many other places elsewhere to offset that, silly people.

Anyways, I was just thinking about this yesterday with the San Andreas Fault Zone. You see, the mountains between San Jose and the Pacific Ocean are the San Andreas Fault. I've had people tell me that in some places, you can supposedly straddle the fault itself and have one foot on the Pacific Plate while the other's on the North American Plate.

Well...maybe. But probably not. It's not exactly that simple. The fault itself isn't a clear line that goes from top to bottom of the plates at the boundary - that's why you can't find some faults until after an earthquake happens, because they often get buried at the surface.

Image taking two colors of clay or Play-Doh, and forming them into blocks. Then smash those blocks together along one edge and let them dry a little bit. After they're good and stuck together, as well as a little crusty, try sliding one past the other and see what happens.

You're going to get chunks of one color of clay stuck to the other as you try to move past the other, that's what will happen. It's not going to be a clean break between the two types of clay - unless you didn't push them together very tightly. It's going to be a very messy transition between the two sides.

Also, you're dealing with an interconnected and moving plate system - that's why there are faults in the first place. Why in the world wouldn't they jump "large separations between fault segments"? If you shift the ground a lot in one place, regardless of the faulting, it's probably going to offset the ground elsewhere, right? Seems like common sense to me.

I know the thinking was probably along the lines of the faulting dampening the earthquake's power so that it wouldn't interact with another fault system, but that sounds more like wishful thinking than anything else.

Of course, I didn't take structural geology in college, so I'm sure there are some physics equations that goes into that assessment. But even physics gets things wrong sometimes. And if your model isn't accurate to begin with, then you're going to get inaccurate results. I realize that modeling fault zones is difficult, because you can't find all of them, but still - you'd think common sense would play into things somewhere.

I kind of think that geologists aren't very good big picture thinkers, either - better than most, but still limited to the event they're studying and not keep how it fits into the bigger picture in mind. Plate tectonics is like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle, and I feel like they seem to forget that a lot. They get so caught up in this particular event that they're studying that they don't realize that it interacts with the rest of the world, on some level. You push at one thing, it pulls at another, after all.

But then, most people aren't good with cause and effect, too. Especially when it comes to how what they do affects others - what the consequences of their actions are. I guess that's a whole 'nother story, though.

At least they're willing to take new information and change how they look at things - which is a lot more than some people can say.