Friday, October 25, 2013

You're Not Helping

I recently saw a popup ad for a workshop called "From Burnout to Brilliant!" and I need to vent a bit.

If you write this or sell this, you are no healer and belong in the "You're not helping" file. As a recovering burnout, I can speak with some authority, burnouts need rest not more pressure to be "brilliant". How do you think they burned out in the first place, genius?!

While I'm on this theme, here are some other words that are off-limits when working with people who are burnt out:

  • Achieve
  • Accomplish
  • Goals
  • Make it happen
  • Any derivation of "you can"
  • And any other achieve-y kind of word that comes out of the mouth of a motivational speaker
It's the achieving, the accomplishing, the goals (which are just a "motivational" way of saying "duties"), the making it happen, and the can-doing that turn up the heat until you burn out.

Here are the words you should use if you want to remove yourself from the "You're not helping" file when working with people who have burnt out:
  • Rest
  • Release
  • Acceptance
  • Limits
  • Boundaries
  • Delegating
Honest to God! Does this woman look sane?

Monday, October 21, 2013

This Medical Bill is Making Me Ill

So, I just wrote out a check for $105 to a medical center here in town. I went there for two visits back in March ... that's right ... March. To be fair, I received the first bill in September - however, that is a long time between bill and service.

When the bill came in September, I was so annoyed that I just couldn't bring myself to pay it. We've got to come up with a word for what that is.

Reason for late-pay: I had the money, I was just too disgusted to part with it.
Being a word person, I should be able to come up with something; I'm just a little too peeved for that right now. If you think of anything, please feel free to comment.

The $105 that I owe is not what gets me so peeved ... alright, that's a lie; there's a lot I could buy with $105 - like that patio furniture I've been meaning to buy since moving to Florida. Really, it's the overall total of $1,698.00.
Of which, my insurance paid $1,408.00.
You'd think I had surgery ... or something removed. I want something that used to be inside me floating in a jar of formaldehyde for that money.

So, what was it?

Two visits with a rehab specialist. That's right. Not a doctor or a nurse or even a nurse practitioner. A rehab specialist.

I have experienced something called edema, which is swelling, usually in the legs and ankles. I decided to finally go see what traditional medicine could do for it ... other than "elevate your legs."

I saw two rehab specialists who measured my legs for those compression bandages I would never wear and told them I would never wear. And a massage that helps drain fluid from the lymphatic system. I have had great results with regular massages, so I thought, "Why not get the massage designed to treat this condition?"

It must be so much better than a traditional massage by someone who fell ass-backwards into massage school and just rubs you around. Right?


Neither treatment did anything and I cannot believe that those two visits were billed at $1,698.00. People buy cars for that amount of money. Not great cars, but cars! An actual vehicular conveyance that is legal to drive could be purchased for the amount of money charged me for two rehab people who didn't even look me in the eye and seemed to have no idea what they were doing.

As I finished writing my check, I inevitably came to the Memo line. You know the line when you're supposed to write in what the check paid for. All I could think to write was, "Beats the shit out of me!" or "Damned if I know."

Something is really, really wrong with our healthcare system and it's not Obamacare. After the Republicans in Congress brought our country to the brink of default over the ACA - which is nothing more than a tax credit that enables the uninsured to buy health insurance at a cheaper rate - I can't help but look at this bill and recognize what a mess we're in. If it's this hard to even try to fix the system ... even a small part of the system ... God help us if we ever try to address the actual problem of medical billing.

The ACA doesn't even begin to address the problem of outrageous medical billing so thoroughly and astoundingly documented by Steven Brill in Time magazine back in May. His interviews on The Daily Show just skim the surface, but are still excellent.

In closing, I would really like that $1,698.00 back, but I would settle for the $105. I could buy a couple massages for that money.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Food Nightmare

I was just invited to a potluck at a yoga center. Can you imagine an event involving food more fraught with stress? All the special diets -  vegan, all the various version of vegetarianism (now that's the way to alliterate!), gluten-free, GMO free, and on and on - some masquerading as eating disorders and some ... with a lot more discipline than me.

Anyway, even thinking of what I would bring fills me with so much fear and anxiety that I couldn't even imagine going. And - even if I somehow managed to figure out what to bring - I'd be too nervous to eat. All that judgement and "observing."

Every time I lifted my hand to my mouth, I'd just brace myself for the description of what is in my mouth. And, while I can't talk due to chewing, I'll hear a litany of either what I'm eating or shouldn't eat and how it would regulate or de-regulate or otherwise affect someone's bowel movements...just as I'm about to swallow.

Christ! I'd covertly slip something into my bra and run into the bathroom to eat it. Who am I kidding? I'm such a liar. I would eat a burrito in my car - in another parking lot - before walking in

Friday, October 4, 2013


Look at these pictures of a study this young student did trying to grow a plant with microwaved vs non-microwaved water:
"The human body cannot metabolize [break down] the unknown by-products created in microwaved food."
This sure makes me feel better about the "coffee incident" which, as you may know, was brought on by my refusal to use a microwave.

Yep, I might be a high-functioning spaz, but sometimes I get it right.

I mean look at Day 9:

Now, in all fairness, it looks like a plant after nine days in my care ... even with purified water. However, the point about microwaves still stands.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

But-Less Gratitude

I'm going to be quick ... I know I tend to get long. I always intend to be quick and four pages later ... alright, I'll just stop now.

Last Saturday was World Gratitude Day. Yes, I know it's one of those made-up, Hallmark holidays, but gratitude is so very important for shifting your vibration towards the positive that it's worth pausing for.

While I was at an event, the speaker asked us to pause and think of things we were grateful for. This is when I had the epiphany I am passing on to you:
Think of things that you are actually grateful for.
I know, I'm a genius right?

Seriously, though, every time people do this in a group, people always say their family, their kids, their jobs. And it's always in that tone. That Hermione gets a gold star tone. That "Teacher, you forgot to give us homework." tone.

You'd think we were all running for student council.

Fortunately, the woman leading the workshop asked us to think of things we were grateful for in our heads and not out loud. I am happy to say that I rattled off a list of things so quickly that I was amazed and happy and wanted to keep going.

The thing was, they were things I really was grateful for:
  • the two matching, crystal lamps that brighten up my office
  • the new makeup kit from QVC that turned out to be so awesome
  • the soft, wet, cool breeze of Atlantic Coast Florida early in the morning.  
The problem with saying your family et al is that there's always a but.
  • You're grateful for your family, buuuuutttt they drive you crazy.
  • You're grateful for your job, buuuuutttt they drive you crazy.
  • You're grateful for your friends, buuuuutttt they drive you crazy. (Less than family, buuuuutttt you get my point)
When there's a big buuuuutttt in the thing you're grateful for, practicing gratitude is
  • Not going to shift your energy
  • Not going to make you feel better
  • Not going to bring you all the benefits you keep reading about practicing gratitude ... and that's just going to make you feel worse.
When you make a list of thing you're really grateful for, go Kosher--no butts!

Saying your grateful for your family, your friends, or your job is usually a bad idea if there are big butts in there. 
  • Pretty, crystal lamps (where I got a great deal) - no buts!
  • Awesome new makeup - no buts!
  • Beautiful breeze - no buts!
It doesn't matter how stupid, or silly, or unelectable to the student council your gratitude list makes you. No one has to see it. No one has to know.

The important thing is that you really feel the gratitude for whatever it is with no buts. Family relationships and jobs are too complicated and our feelings are too mixed about them to shift your energy quickly - even if you really are grateful deep down. In fact, when I talk about my day job, "I'm grateful to have it." is the first thing I say ... because I know I'm about to complain.

Now, soft-serve frozen yogurt in white chocolate mousse? All gratitude, no complaining, no buts.

Woohoo, the Water Bill is Here


Why woohoo?

Because I was right and I get to sit in my smugness ...  until my next screw up. And, after the coffee incident, I need as much self-righteous smugness as I can get.

From the day I moved into this apartment, I knew that something was wrong with the toilet; it shouldn't run that often. And I shouldn't be paying $70/month for water on a 600 square foot apartment. Even if holy water blessed by Jesus himself is coming out of my tap, that's too much money.

When I first moved in, I got the repair guy to try something at the beginning and then he said something I can't remember because it involved household repairs and tools. Whatever it was, it boiled down to "let's see how it goes."

Well, it goed and goed and goed. Every 25 minutes, I would hear it come on and shut off. I described this phenomenon  to every one so many times and no one seemed to get it. Sometimes, though, you've just got to let it go and focus on other disasters ... like getting laid off.

Getting laid off inspired me to bring the water bill up again. $70/month is a lot of money when you're living on unemployment checks from out of state. It's a lot of money when I got a job. Point is, it's a lot of money.

I got the same runaround/lack of follow up/ball of confusion then and dropped it so that I could focus full-time on just what the hell I was going to do with no job. Just kidding! Incessant worry was more of a part-time gig. After all, a girl's gotta sleep.

Every month, when that bill came in, I would get so mad. However, anger does not create solutions; it only manifests more anger. I am far enough along on my spiritual path to know that.

The further I go down my path, the more I know what works and doesn't work for me. I can rage all I want in my mind and to my friends (and hey, there's this blog thing I keep hearing about...), but when I vent that rage in situations like this, it never solves the problem and I just feel double-crappy: once for having lost it and twice for still having the problem!

Rather than raging, I would stare at that $70 bill each month and think,
"There has got to be a solution to this. Angels help me out here." 
Actually, I think it went from,
"WTF??!! Why don't these people listen to me?!" 
to asking Source in a progressively nicer voice with each passing month. From a roar to a sigh to a quiet determination to getting this resolved.

As guided, I started keeping the bills in a stack on top of my fridge. (Well, the fridge part was me, but you know what I'm saying.)

Finally, when the same $70 bill arrived for a month where I had been out of town three out of four weeks, I made another call. And another call. And another call. And a visit to the HOA wherein I discovered that they didn't even know I was living here. Sorting that out was fun. I also received an education on "flapper" technology from the maintenance man ... which is apparently something that flaps ... in your toilet. I tried not to think about it too much.

At this point, I was asking for help from Spirit, Angels, and any one else who would help me. I was very calm when making calls and visits and kept saying,
Which is all I say when I'm afraid I'll go negative. Honestly, when you've got this much sarcasm inside, going negative is easy ... and wordy. So, one word. They know what to do ... or should by now.

So, imagine my surprise, when sitting in my apartment one day, months after the last attempt to fix this, I get a call from the apartment manager about the water bill. Two days later, the fix-it guy shows up with a whole bag of stuff. I do my best to explain flapper technology to which he replied,
"Yeah, that's what I said before..."
Fist of death! Fist. of. death!

No, when you hear the word "flapper" in regards to a toilet, you remember it. No one ever said anything about a flapper...until I did.

Exhale. Slooooowly....

In any case, he fixed it, the leak, stopped, and I just got a water bill for $14 less than the last one. This water bill includes two weeks before the fix and two weeks after.

Sometimes, you just need to let your angels take care of it. The solution might not come on your time, but it will come and it will be so much easier than if you had pushed it.

I hope I'm learning to turn things over faster. The more I do, the faster whatever it is gets resolved. This whole process took 10 months, but it's done.

 I can't wait to get my bill next month.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Burner Busted

Spiritual guidance - you just never know how it's going to help you. And today it saved me from even more unforeseen humiliation regarding "the coffee incident" blogged about previously.

Even a friend had to say to me on the phone yesterday, why didn't you just put it in the microwave?


I don't do microwaves, OK? They freak me out and always have. Even when I was a kid and watching something cook in a microwave, all I could think is, "That's just wrong!"

I have no explanation for this other than my instinctual aversion to microwaves and microwaves food. Worst of all is microwaved water for coffee and tea and anything else. Anytime I go to someone's house and they ask me if I want tea and then put the cup in the microwave, I shudder, and then pretend to drink the tea, thinking, "Angel, cancel, clear, delete ... or something. I don't want to glow all the way home."

Is boiling water that hard? Well, I guess after this and this, it can be ... for me. And, I hope this explains why it would occur to me to put cold coffee in a microwave to heat it up. My microwave is full of saran wrap, tinfoil, sandwich bags, and other kitchen things.

Anyway, the continued fallout of the coffee incident is that there is no saving this burner pan:

And that's where divine guidance comes in. Months ago, I kept feeling like I should join Amazon Prime. At the time, I was unemployed and thought that that guidance couldn't possibly be right.

Well, I followed it, and boy! has it saved my ass more times than I have the time to explain here. Most recently, with the case of the over-burnt burner pictured above. Every time, I turn it on, I smell burning Lavazza and this will not stand.

Amazon Prime to the rescue:

Yeah ... that's right!

Amazon isn't just for ordering books you're too embarrassed to check out at the store - cough! Shades of Grey cough! cough! Now, it's for items you would too embarrassed to explain needing to a Home Depot employee.

Given my penchant for telling the truth and over-explaining, I would panic in the moment and just tell the truth ... only to fact that, "who the hell are you?" look I have seen so often in retail settings.

Lastly, through Amazon Prime, I bought a kick-ass convection oven that defrosts and toasts my bagels in three minutes. Take that microwaves!

And, I actually just thought, "Hey, I could put my coffee mug in there." Sigh! Some people never learn...