Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

I have always told myself that I am not a nurturer, (I'm not, I'm really not) this is why I don't have children see. Not a nurturer.

And one way this has always come out is that I "can't keep anything alive." I have no green thumb. Me and plants? Psssh. Hixx can't handle plants. Something. I don't know what it is.

So about a year and a half ago, our upstairs neighbor passed. Her name was Pam. She was young and lovely and she lived upstairs with her husband and she got breast cancer and she died. She died in October and there were plants and flowers around our place and on the stairs and stuff for awhile.

One plant was just out there in October and November, just...surviving. So we brought it into the house and we've been just kind of loving it this winter. We put it into my office, I have a great window.

I've been taking care of her - talking to her and feeding her and FUCKING LOOK WHAT HAPPENED!!!!

Can't grow anything?


Yes I can. 


Thank you Pam. ♥

Friday, March 03, 2017

My Weird and Wonderful Tattoo

I have four tattoos.

They're all kind of little. I have a toe tattoo, my zodiac symbol (Leo) hidden quietly away on my hip and the Thai word for "Laugh" on the back of my neck. And yes, it really does say Laugh and not "stupid white girl." I checked.

And last year, on my mom's death day, I got a tattoo I had been thinking about for awhile. I got my Buddha hand tattoo.

And I loved it the second I got it.

And then I didn't.

In fact, I didn't love it at all. I got a hand tattoo'd on my arm. Why did I do that? I also, for some reason, got it on an angle. Why did I do that? And, finally, it's basically a religious symbol for a religion I really know very little about. Why did I do THAT?

I actively even tried to cover it up last summer and was relieved when winter came because I didn't have to worry about it.

And then 45. Then President 45.

And suddenly my tattoo that is awkward and strange became so much more meaningful to me.

When I was getting it, the tattoo guy kept straightening it out while were figuring out where to put it, I kept turning it on this angle. He finally left it that way. The reason why it's on an angle I finally discovered for myself? It's so I can see it better. It was always so I could see it better.

And the reason why it's this hand and not the Buddha's face? First of all, don't put the Buddha's face on your skin, don't put it on anything really, not right.

And my mom had this hand in her house as I was growing up.

I never knew what it was until I was grown. But I had always been fascinated by it as a kid. Then once I started listening to my Buddhist podcasts and started meditating, the hand became more beautiful to me. I always connected it then to my childhood and my mom too.

Then we traveled to Buddhist countries, this is what I would pick out for people to bring home for presents. The Buddha's hand.

So sure, it's a religious symbol, but it's also a symbol of my mom. And of our travels.

And now, more than ever.



And suddenly my tattoo that was awkward and skewed and religious and strange, is what it was supposed to be from the beginning.

It is a symbol of peace.
It is a symbol of love.
It is a symbol of family.
It is a way to show you which side I fall on.
It is a way to show you I'll protect you when I can.
It is proof to me about what matters to me. What my priorities are.

Plus, I think the tattoo artist did a really beautiful job with it.

It's gorgeous.

And I'm not ashamed of it anymore.

I can't wait for summer.

Let's show everyone my crooked, beautiful, dogmatic symbol of peace.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Shift

It's been just 7-8 years since my last shift. You know, since something really happened.

7-8 years ago I lost my secretary job and started Chicago Elevated. But what really happened, was I learned how to be awesome. I learned initially from Chris Guillebeau (pronounced like Bilbo and when I met him in person I told him we called him Guillebeau Baggins and he looked at me funny, it's okay, people look at me funny sometimes) but then I learned how to be awesome on my own.

Starting Chicago Elevated was a big thing, I'm so thankful. Every day.

But it's been pretty standard since. Same apartment, same job, same same. Good, but same. There have been some great trips: Morocco, India, China, Vietnam, Spain....but same.

And then Remo dies and sameness ends.

And even before that, things were falling into different places - in a good way I mean. But Remo dying accelerated what may have been an already coming life shift.

Things are changing in my heart and brain. There's a synergy happening, something that's connecting my natural movement/health/fitness stuff to my financial stuff to my meditation spiritual stuff - it's all coming together that they're all kind of the same stuff and that it all goes together and personal mission statements and things are changing.

We'll be moving in the summer, not away from Chicago but downsizing for more travel in our future. We're talking about spending more time away, we're talking about living a different kind of life and that is all great with the synergy I talked about above.

I'm crying a lot - good crying (I had to describe this to a male friend, DO YOU ALL NOT CRY? Poor things), great hearty cries of frustration sometimes and more and more gladness and thankfulness that I'm the way I am. More and more I'm seeing what matters to me more clearly and it makes me cry. I just cry now, it's awesome.

But I'm also making sure at this really sensitive time in my life, what I feel is like, one of those important times in your life that comes every 7 or 8 years or so - I'm really trying to make sure I put good things in my head. Good podcasts. Good books. Good music. Less Tr*mp, less twitter, less FB, more finance podcasts, more business and Buddha podcasts. More books about Chicago and more walks outside.

More sleep. Less sugar.

I'm not achieving this all the time of course, but I'm trying hard, knowing that something important is brewing in my life here, that it's important to feed it good food somehow.

Write more. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

You Never Have To Do That Again

You never have to do that again is the wisdom and beauty of getting older.

And I think about mom and my dog and my stepfather and...

I'm so glad I never have to do that again.

I never have to do that again. I never have to take care of my sick mother, or watch my father retreat into nothingness. I never have to cry or weep at the pain my mom is in or the shittiness of where she is. I'll never have to take two trains and a bus to get to her. Granted, I'll never hear her voice or feel her hug - but I never have to witness the death of my mother again.

Or my dog.

I'll never have to worry about putting Remo to sleep or how I'm going to handle that. I'll never have to worry if he's okay or in pain. I'll never have to call a vet at 9:30 at night to put him to sleep. I'll never have to go through those first few really hard weeks of grief. I'll never have to come home that first night without him.

I'll never have to start Chicago Elevated again, or go through Polar Vortex winter (darn, because this lame winter sucks, seriously, no snow?? NONE???). I'll never have to witness an inauguration like this again and I'll never have to have my jaw broken when I'm sixteen again.

I'LL NEVER HAVE TO QUIT SMOKING AGAIN (praise Jeebus) this one is HUGE. I never have to do it again.

I know getting older is about losing things. I know this, people, friends, buildings, parents, dogs...essentially everything. That is the lesson of growing older truly, is that you will lose everything.

But only the one time.

And in that, I find great solace. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

On The Death of My Pup

First, let's just give all the fucking gratitude in the world for my meditation practice.

Seriously, thank god.

I couldn't do it yesterday, the first morning after Remo died, because I honestly didn't feel like I could leave John even for 20 quiet minutes. Not because he was broken, just because I knew waking up the first morning without that furry face was going to be the hardest.

But this morning, I came into my quiet office, 5:45AM. I had turned on all the heat and my extra little heater, it was still dark and I sat down. 20 minutes of quiet and warm, 20 minutes to drop it from my tense body and tense mind. There's just something about it, in the winter, in the warm, after my pup.


We've been waiting for Remo to die for 15 months.

He was supposed to be long gone, cancer, a cancer that is a killer, for most dogs when they're diagnosed, it's 18 days. Remo lived about 400 days longer than he was supposed to.

So, there's a lot of gratitude there. And those 400 days were him at full tilt, he was healthy and happy.

But the truth is, we put off a lot, we changed life plans. We settled into our apartment to take care of our pup for what we thought was weeks. Now there's a release there, a freedom that's hard to wrap my mind around. I can leave the house for the whole day, we could just take off and go somewhere, we're not tied to Chicago, to the apartment....

When something/somebody dies naturally, when they're supposed to, there's something easier about it isn't there?

Some relief.

And absolute and total loneliness.

I was expecting it. I knew it would come and I fear the worst of the dog loneliness is not past, but there's a fucking hole in this house, just exactly the shape of our 65 pound dog.

When you don't have kids, the dog becomes not your kid of course, but an equal for sure. Remo was as much a part of us as us is.

I lost my wedding ring last summer, lost it at the beach and John's wedding ring is falling off his fingers.

We have a jewelry maker friend who said he could incorporate some of Remo's ashes into new wedding rings for us.

That's usually kind of a gross thought to me, but here, in this case, I love it.

His death is a harbinger of change.

We haven't had a harbinger in a long while. As much as I'm going to miss my best friend, my greatest source of comfort and joy, there is something beautiful in harbinging.

Oh, I miss his little face. And the space between his eyes where I kiss him.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

It's snowy

My dog is dying slowly and in fits and starts.

And I've been working lately on being "receptive."

Ew. I don't want to be receptive.

I'd like to be closed off, alone, quiet, far away and not receiving anything thank you very much, just in case I need to return it back later when I'm not ready.

I've been working on a paradigm shift with money. I'm tired of it the way it is. And if Margaret wants to change something the way she does that is to educate herself about it. So I hive-minded on FB and got tons of suggestions of things to read and listen to and it's great, I already feel better, just moving forward with A plan is better than no plan at all.

But from the ritziest to the ditziest of all the things I've been reading - one sure fire thing is receptivity. You just have to believe that you deserve and can receive "abundance."

That you have to love and respect your money like you love and respect your own self. The more you shun it, turn away from it, ignore it, the worse it's all going to get.

And I know this to be true on some level because I've been working with this anyway, with my emotions and feelings, that you have to tune into this stuff.

And to think about honestly loving my money, that is really weird. That is one fucked up concept.

So I've been listening to Receptive meditations and stuff and it's really interesting how hard it is to open up to that. To be worthy. To stop telling the stories of how much "I hate being broke all the time" and "why is it all so hard" and FUCK IT. Christ. Fuck it. My conditioning is so strong and so silly when I can find a way to see through it.

Not that any of it matters because our dual wars with China and Russia are going to fuck everything up anyway.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Yoga Teacher

I'm still Switchin' To Glide everyone. Just in case you were wondering. Even with Tdjkals;dfjkl;mp.




This morning I told my yoga teacher how much I like her class. I just take dumb yoga at the LA Fitness. I know what kind of yoga classes I'm getting and really, I think most of the teachers have been great (there was the one who said he "doesn't believe in the mind-body connection," what? It's YOGA) but I know it's not like, serious yoga.

Anyway, we have this new teacher and she replaced a teacher I really liked and was bummed about her leaving, but our NEW teacher is FUN!

She's fucking fun and hilarious and she makes us all laugh and it's so nice.

It's so nice.

Humor man. So powerful.

Anyway, this morning, after probably 5 or 6 mornings of wanting to say something and not saying something, I finally said something.

And her face lit up and she was so happy.

I have to act on the kindnesses I imagine. It's Trfjkasda;jfdksl;fjmps America now.