Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What to do with this blog?

My blog has been around for a few years now. After moving here from "typepad" in 2009, I wrote a total of 239 posts. Come to think of it, that's really not that much, considering that seven years have passed. Seven years during which I have lived what seems to be a full life and then some.
This blog has been everything during this time. I wrote about every day life, about writing, about nutrition, then circled back into every day life, and at some point I felt like I was sitting in my living room with a bunch of friends gathered and we were discussing kids and food and all things discuss-worthy. And I won awards that I proudly displayed all over my blog (like the one here on the left!).

Nowadays, my blog is more of a quiet place literally: no more lively discussions with all my bloggy friends, and figuratively: I come here to write about things that move me... occasionally. It has become more of a public diary for readers I don't know. I know you're here. The stats are telling me that I have hundreds of visitors each week, but none of you say anything. No, I really don't mind. It's merely an observation.

I've asked myself multiple times what I want to do with this blog. Do I keep it? Do I continue to write about things that I find interesting and moving? And if so, am I doing it for me alone (in which case I might just as well write a private diary) or am I doing it in hopes that someone out there gets something out of it? Obviously, I'm not making any money with it, so it really is just for fun. I suppose the question is the same as why one would share every day thoughts and feelings on Facebook. Although, the truth is that I post mostly pictures on Facebook and nutrition related things.

Did you know I'm a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner? Say what? Yes, I really should focus more time on filling my blog over on my website with quality content. I should post about food, and weight loss, about acid reflux, and the brain gut connection. Check out my website if you feel so inclined. It's right HERE. I have truly found my calling in Nutritional Therapy. I work with loads of people and one of my biggest accomplishments is that I helped a man with type 2 diabetes avoid his insulin shots. All he did was change his diet according to my recommendations. Hot damn, right?

I digress. Back to my blog. I've considered quitting the blogging game. But the truth is, I love this blog. It's a little bit like my baby. You don't quit your baby. Maybe it's time I actually wrote a bit more to make that baby thrive rather than to just survive. And if you're here and reading this, leave a comment and tell me about your blog, so I can start following you as well.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Toys! Toys! Toys!

I was invited to a party at a friend's house. Not just any party... it was a toy party! You know the kind... the ones you use by yourself or with your significant other in the bedroom. I have been to such a party once before, but it's been a while, and let me tell ya, I was a tad bit surprised at all the, uhm, toys on the market. For a few minutes I thought, "Seriously, does anyone really need this stuff? I mean, what happened to good old touching?" I mean, we have bodies, right?

Well, and then the consultant started talking. And she did a great job. She was funny and knowledgeable, and she did something that I haven't experienced in many years of living in America. She spoke about sex like it is normal! Not dirty or shameful, but fun and playful and something to look forward to. I suppose I'd forgotten about that a little bit lately. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy intimacy. But for some reason I stopped talking about it, and I certainly stopped thinking about it as a fun pass time. It was more of a chore. A nice chore to be perfectly clear. But still sort of a chore.
So I sat among this group of women, all of whom had just one thing on their mind: sex and how to make it more fun and how to be more desirable. We cracked jokes, drank wine, and tested lotions and potions, some to sniff and some to lick (the lickers were sweetened with sucralose.... ewwww).

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and what's more, I came to realize that women (even American women) think about sex, talk about sex, and like to have sex. Please forgive my ignorance, but to me that just didn't go together and the only excuse I have is that sex is such a taboo subject in the States... even though it is the very thing that made our existence possible to begin with! ;)

Of course I ended up shopping, too! No, I will not tell you what I bought. But I'm planning on hosting a party and see if some of my other friends also treat sex as a beautiful, normal activity. It will certainly give me a much bigger appreciation for the gorgeous ladies all around me!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hello, Sunshine!

Life is a funny thing. Through ups and downs you navigate ever closer to the person you hope to be. I just watched my wedding video last night (boy, was that some bad quality video! We have come so far in 16 years!). On the morning after our wedding my husband and I sang What Matters by Edwin McCain together out on our deck.

As I'm going through the lyrics in my head I find it still holds true to this day. Every situation we found ourselves in, every mistake we made, and no matter how much or how little money we had at any point, what mattered most in the end, was that our hearts were still in it.

I have made a good many mistakes in 16 years, and quite possibly some that "can never be repaired" as Edwin McCain sings in his beautiful song. But then, I believe that I am the person I am today because of the journey I have traveled and the decisions I've made... good or bad. I own them. They're mine. I have no excuses to make, no responsibility to try to hand off to someone else. I'm the captain of my own little ship, and I am solely responsible for my actions. How's that for a realization?

Okay, I did have a little help from my therapist, who gave me permission to suffer, to cry, to resolve, and to move on. Yes, I know I don't really need permission, but sometimes you just need to be reminded of these things, because you are so angry and upset with yourself that you just don't think you deserve it.

I have had some dark clouds hanging over my head for quite some time. But I think I may actually see a ray of sunshine coming through those clouds, and I'm happily welcoming it back into my life. Life is about self-improvement. As long as you continue to improve you can't get stuck. Heck, even if you do get stuck for a little while, know there is a way out.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I want out of this box

I woke this morning staring at the painting my husband's grandma painted many years ago. It is of a house one might find in a small town of Germany, surrounded by luscious green, a small fence, and a blue sky above. We talked about the house, what it would be like to sit on a bench outside taking in the sights and sounds and breathing in the warm and sweet summer air.

This painting is yet another reminder of my desire to break out of my box. When I left Germany, I left behind the only place I would call home. I uprooted myself, and I can't imagine there being another place in this world, where I feel the way I do in Germany. But, it seems that with this move came a Wanderlust, that I cannot explain. Even within Germany I moved around during my early 20s, like someone who just cannot rest. In the States I lived in Arizona for 6 and a half years. It was mostly the weather, that drew me and my family to Oregon. But, when we packed our bags and hit the road, that old familiar feeling of Wanderlust just washed over me.

And here I am, 10 years after settling down in Portland, and I feel stuck and unhappy... never really belonging anywhere. Sure, I made friends, some very, very good friends, whom I would miss if I left. But this feeling of being stuck remains. And what's worse, I feel stuck in society, stuck with the expectation to do my part, to raise children and send them down the same path I took. After all, why are we here if not to take our place and keep this machine running?

What if we just left "our place" and just did our own thing? Who would notice? And really, who would care? What keeps us from truly pursuing our happiness as we see it rather than what we are told to see? Won't we be looking back some day wondering what the hell we did all our lives? And how much regret will there be?

Or, and this is what really worries me, will we be so numb from the daily grind, that we quietly accept our place inside this box, and will that be our "normal" that will not be questioned and therefore there won't be room for regrets?

Why do we wait for the next phase of our lives rather than to pull ourselves out of this rut that is our reality? Why hope that someday all will be well? What makes it all well? It is for US to decide, not for us to wait it out and see what happens someday down the road.

I want out of this box.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Teenagers have entered the building

Teenagers, I'm convinced, are a different species altogether. They pose as humans, but they are really some sort of alien species, possessing the bodies of our sweet little angel kids with the sole purpose of testing parents how much aggravation we can handle. Naturally, this is the time, during which we as parents grow our most grey hair, our need for alcoholic beverages increases by 500%, and we question our own sanity on a daily basis.

I have two teenagers in my home nowadays. Remember those days when I spoke about the Blue Eyed Boy and the Toothless Fairy. I made the decision not to name them right now. I shall refer to them as T1 and T2 from here on out.

T1 is 15 and I swear I don't know this person. T1 will take ANYTHING you say and turn it around on you and you won't even know how it happened. Case in point: we sit in the car. T1 talks about rough skin on chin and thinks it may come from the acne product she uses that dries out her skin. I recommend using coconut oil at night. T1 states that coconut oil doesn't work. It dries her skin out further. I reply, "Okay." I am calm, relaxed, driving. And now watch, as this situation escalates and shit hits the fan.
T1 snaps, "You don't have to use that tone on me." I'm sitting, grabbing my steering wheel a little tighter.
"T1," I say, "I simply said okay."
"But it's the tone you used. You're being so rude."
"I was perfectly calm, T1. I said okay. You decided you didn't want to use coconut oil. So be it. I just made a recommendation."
"Of course! It's all about you, isn't it! God, Mom, why do you have to make it about you?"
"I don't understand the problem. Why are you yelling at me?"
"Oh, right, now I'm the bad guy. I'm the problem child. Geez!"

Here is where I'm making my crucial mistake. Instead of being quiet I point out to her, that she was the one to escalate the conversation, and that I was completely unprepared for what just happened. Now, T1 flips out. She is convinced I'm being condescending, mean, rude, and I don't take her problems seriously.
I swear, I feel a hair going grey right now, this instant, as I'm grabbing my steering wheel with sweaty palms. I have the desire to go home and pour a glass of Bourbon and curl up in a ball.

Of course there is a reason for this behavior. And that is, why I as the adult have to be... well... the grown up in the relationship and wait it out. Want to know more about the teenage brain, click here and here.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


I never thought I'd need therapy someday. I always considered myself one of those happy go lucky kind of people. Well, sometimes life throws you lemons, and instead of making lemonade, I have been unable to dodge the damn lemons. They hit me hard and left their marks, and well, when the world looks grey and bleak and you just can't pull yourself out of it, regardless of the gorgeous Portland spring weather, then maybe it's time to go get some therapy.

What's interesting about this experience is, that I instantly liked and trusted my therapist. There was not even a moment at the very beginning where I thought, no way, I'm not telling her the story of my life. No! As a matter of fact, as soon as my butt hit that cushioned chair and she told me that no matter what I'm telling her, it will stay between the two of us, I started bawling my eyes out and talked and talked and talked. I felt completely safe, and perfectly happy to talk about my life to this woman I had just met. My hour passed too quickly, and I only scratched the surface. There is so much to talk about, so much to reflect on, and I'm already counting the days until I go back.

I'm not sure what the outcome is going to be ultimately. I expect I'll be meeting this woman a lot in the next few months. I'm guessing she'll ask a lot of questions, I'll tell a lot of stories... But what comes next? Will just talking somehow make it all better, make it all go away? Will she have a magic trick up her sleeve that will help me put these things behind me? I really don't have a clue. All I know is that I want to go back and cry some more. Something tells me I have a lot more crying in me.

How does a psychologist do this, I ask myself. When I walked in, she was with another patient, when I walked out, the next patient had just arrived. How does this woman listen to all of these stories all day long and manage to show just enough caring support to come across as though she really cares without caring so much that she takes all of this baggage home with her at night? I have to admire people like her, and I am truly grateful to have found this particular person for me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

R.I.P Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey's family posted this on their announcement of his death. How beautiful and fitting.

“It’s Your World Now”
Written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin
From the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden album
A perfect day, the sun is sinkin’ low
As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
The time we shared went by so fast
Just like a dream, we knew it couldn’t last
But I’d do it all again
If I could, somehow
But I must be leavin’ soon
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
My race is run
I’m moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You’ll be alright
It’s your world now
Even when we are apart
You’ll always be in my heart
When dark clouds appear in the sky
Remember true love never dies
But first a kiss, one glass of wine
Just one more dance while there’s still time
My one last wish: someday, you’ll see
How hard I tried and how much you meant to me
It’s your world now
Use well your time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
It’s your world now