Friday, December 5, 2014

33 And I Don't Look a Day Over 40

So today is my birthday.  My 33rd Birthday.  I think that is a good number. 33 sounds like a lucky number if I ever heard one.  33 is the number of manifestations of Avalokitesvara. Avalokitesvara decided to make an appearance on my mantle this year.  3 days before Bodhi day.  My hubby decided to bring me a long desired Quan Yin.  Yes yes, take away the desire, but alas I have long been coveting a particular statue.
It looks like Buddha Claus will be visiting my house this year,

I Ching:
33 is heaven over mountain.
General: It is not an admission of defeat to retreat from an unequal fight.
Love: Take the time to strengthen your position when considering engaging in a fight with your partner.
Business: Rethink your position and strategy before reentering negotiations. Do not compromise just because it is quicker to do so.
Personal: Don't ignore issues but formulate an effective strategy before attempting to deal with it. Avoid destructive confrontations.  

Tao Te Ching Chapter 33
Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self needs strength.

He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.
                   -  Lao Tzu 

The Tao de Ching and I ching seem to believe I should learn to chose my battles wisely. I agree.

32 has been a crazy year. If you know me well, you know why. There have been rescue puppies, holes in my walls, fights, kisses, hugs, rainbow loom bracelets, Judy Moody, new friendships, lost friendships, old friendships.  I have been attacked and held hostage in the woods, sent to the ER by my employer, lost my job because of it, gone back to school.  I have played D&D and hosted a BBQ. I have crocheted snowmen and beards and sewn robots and unicorns. I celebrated my first anniversary, watched a meteor shower over my sister's wedding, captured a giant water bug, and well, stuff. Lots of frigging stuff.

I have not been the greatest friend this year.  To be honest I suck at friends regardless of the year. I don't mean to. I love so deeply that I am terrified of conflict. I often care so much I am terrified to admit how I feel and lose friends for not allowing them to ever know how deeply I care. It would be a laugh to pretend I am not a bitchy kitty, that I don't give too much information, distrust strangers, fear emotional conversations. I am imperfect at best, more insensitive than I should be.  I'm not always there for people when I should be. I have to be told that I am needed, because why would someone need a loser like me.  I especially suck at hugs.  I really suck at hugs. I am the one armed pulling away hug girl. I know this.  It involves touching.  I suck at touching.  I have to consciously create touch time with my partner. I have to make myself aware that a child needs cuddles. I have to remind myself to pet the dog.  I am a space alien walking among people wondering how they make friends, and open up, share their true feelings. I doubt I will ever truly understand. I sometime want to open up, to be honest, to know what it is like to be close to someone, open, free.  I really suck at that.  And I accept that about me.  I wish I was better at all of the things, but other people aren't my strong point.  I suck at being loved, I suck at accepting compliments.  The people that love me know. And they tell me when I am needed.  I like that. I like being needed.  It means I can show my love through acts of service to those I love most! Thank you to the people in my life that have not been afraid to say "Hey bitch, you have to show up! This is your job today."

Ok so in light of Bodhi day, In light of Mindfulness day.  In light of the light of enlightenment, wisdom, compassion, love . . .  Here today are 33 things this bitchy kitty is grateful for:

1.) My family.  I was something of an orphan. Kinda. I married a man, and in so doing married into the kind of family I dreamed of having when I was a child.  I have cousins and aunts and uncles. I have teachers that have offered to adopt me. I have Carol Kurtz and Deb Goro.  I have a family that grows with every passing year.  They are what makes me strong.
2.) Strong women. Strong women like Maya Angelou, Ellen Degeneres, Kathie Dunbar, Belinda Thurston, Christie Cohen, Sarah Hillman. Women who change the world by existing.  The sheer strength of Character, the depth of their hearts . . . Laughter that fills your heart with strength.
3.) My ridiculous ability to save for later and run under a budget without trying.
4.) Dawn. It's pronounced Daw-hn. She is my devils advocate. The single person that loves me enough to argue no matter how right I think I am. If I ever question my true motives, I run it by Dawn and if I still feel the same after our conversation, I believe myself.
5.) My daughter. She has taught me strength that I never knew I was capable of.  She taught me to be a pillar, a fortress.  I am capable of so much more than I ever believed and if it weren't for her, I would never have known.  I'm not the best mom.  I'm not perfect. I don't manage to simultaneously bake cookies infused with extra vitamins and whole grains and broccoli extract while encouraging her to exercise daily, love her body, and tutor her in math.  I have t.v. days, craft days, bike days, sleeping late days, christmas decoration days, library days, every days, real days, mad days, happy days.  But every day is an I LOVE YOU SO DAMN MUCH day.

6.) Petty Tyrants. I am grateful for Petty Tyrants because they have taught me strength in the face of adversity, to stand up for what I know is right, to believe in myself despite the smoke and mirrors. ( I highly recommend looking up this concept: Petty Tyrants, Carlos Castaneda.)
"My benefactor used to say that a warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one."--Don Juan
7.) Jack Off Jill, Fiona Apple, and Stabbing Westward. They have seen me through every fight, every break up, every relationship of my dating life.
8.) My Dogs. They tell me life could be worse every day.  EVERY DAY.  Every day I laugh because dogs. No matter how many costumes we stick them in, they still love us best.

9.) Sir Terry Pratchett. This man has saved me from the darkest moments of my life. Many many moons ago, this book appeared in my house. No one knew where it came from, It didn't belong to any of my friends.  I put it away up stairs, it appeared on my shelf downstairs again. I put it upstairs, it ended up on my coffee table. After 6 months I said aloud, "Fine I will read you!" And I laughed out loud so many times. I have since read almost every novel he has written.   I have had the fortune of sharing this love with my husband and daughter.  Who wouldn't love a Nac Mac Feegle.
10.) Buddhism.  I have never believed strongly in anything. God is like Cheese. If I know it exists, what the hell am I going to worship it for!? Buddhism has brought me close to the faith I abandoned at 13.  They told me I was a sinner because of the original sin.  Buddha reminds me that we must walk the paths for ourselves, individual accountability.   Jesus came to teach us to live like him. Tolerance, acceptance, kindness. Buddha has reminded me of the love I once had.
11.) Painting. I am not the best painter, but it feels so wonderful. I will never be the best painter.  But it is like meditation for me.  I reflect, feel, learn while I paint. Each painting has its own lesson, its own soul.  I love painting/ Regardless the outcome.

12.) My mother.  I don't speak to her, but I am grateful that she has taught me so many lessons in this life.  Every fight, every sorrow, every hardship, every unrequited love has combined to make this person I am today.  I will love her every day of my life even if I don't speak to her.
13.)  Nate K.  My closest and most frustrating friend for 2 decades.  Thank goodness he finally learned to internet.
14.) Britton G.  The oranges to my apples. The polar opposite same love. The person in your life that makes you jealous while never being able to be jealous because you love them so much and are just so different.  She has put up with me for 20 years now and that is an amazing task.  She is truly a beautiful woman.  Every day I envy her life and love her for living it. I am so glad to have met her beautiful self.
15.) Christie R.C.  This girl has my back when everyone else tells me I am crazy.  She can love me and call me out on bull shit and support me when I need it. Christie is strong and beautiful and as kind as she is ferocious.  It is so wonderful to meet people that are true and honest Christians. People that love, understand loyalty, and don't judge you for hard times.

16.) Mary Wilson Dittbenner.  My grandmother was one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. She was loving in a way that I can only aspire to be, I hope that in time I am capable of loving as deeply as she was.  She loved me at my greatest and she loved me at my lowest.  When she was very old, the last time I saw her before she passed away I asked her many questions.  One of the was whether she had ever hated anyone in her life. She admitted to hating her mother in law. . . But what did I witness in her treatment of this women she allegedly hated? When this woman lay dying, my grandmother was there daily to cook her meals and change her bedding.  She will forever be the woman I aspire to be.  The first female graduate from Daytona Beach's Techinical, Institute.  A seamstress, a single mother in the 60's, a business owner.  She will always be my hero.
17.) Netflix. I can not find anything I want for $12 a month instead of $120.  All the most terrible sequels need a place to live, don't they?
18.)Lake Superior. As a little girl my Grandmother,  Mary Wilson Dittbenner,  would read to me a story about Hiawatha.  "By the shores of Gitche Goomee , bny the shining big sea waters." My husband took me camping on the shores of the same lake my grandmother read of 27 years and almost 1500 miles away.    My husband, my daughter and myself walked through water falls, explored beaches, collected rocks, and watched the sunset.  I bought that kid's story for my daughter but I can't make it through without giant walrus tears.

19.) My uncle Dale. When I was a kid, my mother told me he hated me every time I saw him. Maybe he did. I don't know. But since I have become estranged from her, he is the only one of her siblings to remain in contact with me.  I was probably a dick to him in my teens and I may even apologize one day. He is far deeper and more caring than I gave him credit for at 16.
20.) Captain Morgan. 'Cuz every girl needs to kick back with her drink of choice once in a while.
21.) My Sister Emily.  She always gets me the coolest stuff, makes me giggle like a fool, and is just the most wonderful lady.
22.) Coffee. 
23.) The mouth that always gets me in trouble. Yep, I think it is what makes me me. I wish I could lie, not say exactly what I am thinking every minute but . . . I can't. Verbal diarrhea? I have it.   But it is me, and while I might be a bitch, I don't lie. I have not said things I don't believe in in the last 16 years. Unfortunately I have said things that have been painful for other people.  I have said things I shouldn't have.  But I am me, and I love, and I love.  But I suck at it and I am sorry. But I wouldn't trade the tounge that stabs me in the back for a million golden tongues that kept me out of trouble.
24.) Sex.
25.) My Husband. He manages to put up with me. I'm not sure how. I loves him. He is really good at naming the things, all the things. If you want a goofy title, ask him.  We laugh we shout we fight. But we love. It's almost like a fairy tale when all is well.

26.) Cute girl socks. Yep. Just do. I smile every time.
"I have vague feelings about whatever."
27.)  Science. It is making the world a better place one day at a time. Computers, clocks, machinery, television, time, birth control, cameras, fabrics, space . . .
28.) Teacher who care. Have literally made all the difference in my life.  Russ Plein. Frau Graham. <3 p="">
29.) Bleach. Bleach is amazing. If you don't already know. Learn.
30.) Pre packaged grain products. I can't even imagine life if I had to make all my own pretzels and bread.
31.) The means and capacity to learn new things.  For fun my husband and I have decided to learn Thai together. I have returned to school to tackle engineering because psychology was a bore.  I learn to create new things, design new thing, program new thing, and well the truth is without opportunity to learn, life would be unbearable.
32.) Bipolar Disorder. Say what?  Am I kidding? Nope.  I don't have a rapid cycling super insane version of this. I have something called cyclothymia.  While the depression and the lows and the bitchy kitty, terrified to talk to people, can't come out of her shell self might writhe in agony, I get to experience a high that most people don't. I get to firmly believe the world is a beautiful place. i get to see nature, humanity, sex, relationships, family from not only the worst places, but also the best.  While I have to sulk around pouting, I also get to feel completely warmed by the sun, one with the wind, high as the cliffs, and low as the brush.  I  get to feel as beautiful as I feel ugly. I get to feel as high as I do low. It is amazing.  I wish the rest of the world could feel as at one with the sand as I can at the right times.
33.) Yoga. I'm not an expert by any means but the peace I feel and tranquility after yoga are unmatched by any other activity. It requires both  the mind and body to be used fully.

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