elionwyr: (bunny)
I was organizing wrapping paper/boxes/tissue paper/gift labels the other day - consolidating, getting rid of stuff we won't use, that sort of thing - and pulled out a poster to show to Bones.
dr dusti

I'd been storing it in my gift wrap container for safety's sake..but that was a fail.  Parts of the glossy paper had become stuck to others, and it tore as  I unrolled it, leaving my image intact but destroying the areas around me.

"Well, I guess that's the Universe telling me to let it go."  And I threw it away.

It had been a gift from a fellow actor at a past haunt job.  He was a good friend; the poster, a sweet gesture; and while I've purged most of the things from those years of my life, this was one item I'd wanted to keep.

But it made me think about the things we cling to - the physical mementos, the 'wish I'd done that better,' the sadness of lost relationships.

I spent a pretty wonderful span of five days with Bones' family last week, watching how a functional family operates.  Part of that was watching how the mix of cousins interact with each other; that, in turn, made me think about my own childhood and lapsed relationships.

I grew up with cousins-by-marriage, older than all of them by a few years, and - as far back as I can remember - never really feeling like I was allowed to view them as family.  I didn't know how I fit in, and I wasn't given much of a cluestick to help me figure it out.  I loved them, and I appreciate all the good memories, but when I moved out of my father's house at 17, I lost contact with all of them.  I searched for years online and couldn't find them. They're some of the reasons I've striven to make myself fairly easy to find online if you really want to do so.  I've spent over 20 years hoping that someone would reach out. Now, they're on the Book of Face, and I've sent friend requests...and then canceled them after a few weeks.  Because although hope springs eternal..well, 20+ years is a long time to hope.  They know where I am.  Maybe someday they'll reach back.  I do have contact now with blood-relative-cousins, and that's not without its own bit of awkward.  We don't share a past, though we do share touchstones of family names.  In the end, it's the family connection I longed for as a child, and that means more than I ever articulate.

I watched a pack of cousins play and talk and laugh together this past week.  What a precious gift they share!

I watched, and I was tempted - so, so tempted - to write a letter to my three step-cousins.

But..ya know?  20+ years, man.  None of us are the kids that played in the back room of Grace's house, or explored the field behind her home.  We're all halfway through our adult lives.

I half-wrote that letter in my mind, and then I thought about that destroyed snapshot-poster.

Love doesn't go away just because you aren't smacking someone over the head with it.

Riki, Philip, Sarah - I love y'all.  I'm so glad you touched my childhood. I wish I'd had the tools to do things better. I hope Life has had more joy than anything else.  Part of me will keep on hoping, because that's who I am, but that letter's going to stay half-written in my mind, and that door in my life will stay cracked open just a touch, but one of the biggest things I've been learning is how to let things go.  Because there isn't much joy in angst, and my trying to force a relationship just isn't good for anyone involved.

As obvious as it sounds, I think Life is less about fighting with what is to make it what you want and more about listening and enhancing what you have.

So this is me learning about letting go.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Drama Free Thursday" is the brainchild of [livejournal.com profile] popfiend - visit here for all of his yeah-you-should-read-'em posts.

I'm doing one off schedule because it's been months since I've done one at all, so - la! - you get a surprise DFT.  :)

The goal of DRAMA FREE THURSDAY is pretty simple: These are posts that offer a different approach to stressful situations. Drama happens when we react without thinking, when we respond emotionally to a situation.

So! The first rule of DFT is - say it with me - "Your Mileage May Vary." What works for me may not work for you. And that's ok.

Second rule of DFT: YMMV. :)

Third rule of DFT: Discussion good. Drama? Not so good. Let's try to avoid it in the comments. Tell me you don't agree, tell me what the world looks like from your perspective, because I can guarantee you're gonna have something to say that I hadn't considered. This blogger's soapbox is only an inch or so high...so please, share your thoughts and perspectives on whatever is posted here. (That rule goes for my LJ in general, of course, but it makes sense to repeat it here.)

<3
elionwyr: (bunny)
A bunch of Once Upon a Times ago, people decided to give lovemaking a holiday.

It started out as Lupercalia...was rescheduled by the Catholic church and renamed for a sainted priest that married folks without the church's permission and had a secret love of his own..depending on which St Valentine you're reading about, of course, as there may have been several.

And then Hallmark came along and claimed V-Day as their own. Sell cards! Give people another candy-centric holiday! Make single people feel bad about not having a sweetie! Put pressure on couples to spend money to prove their undying love for each other! STRESS! DRAMA! AAAAAAAAAUGH!

Put down the panic button, folks.

Take a deep breath.

Now, believe you me, I've spent most of my VDays avoiding TV and radio nearly as much as I do at Christmastime. Saddest One Ever was the VDay in junior high...we had some sort of school fundraiser thingala that involved the sending of carnations to classmates, and for a tiny bit of money, you could find out who had sent it to you. I received a flower, and I was so sure it was done as a joke that I didn't want to find out who had given it to me.

With absolutely no data, I had built DRAMA around that modest little carnation.

...And that sad memory stays with me still.

Valentine's Day is the only day dedicated to the grand ideal of romantic love. People see it as the property of Hallmark, and they build up resentment and expectations around what they think the holiday represents.

But - as with so many things - the day is what you make of it.

I confess I prefer to celebrate VDay with my sweetheart, and we had our celebration in the dear saint's name without much concern for the date on the calendar. I still tried to spoil my guy on the actual date..and I've been spreading the heart-themed joy with my coworkers and my housemate and I guarantee you that I won't get to a fraction of the people I've been thinking about all day. The temptation is to dwell on the money I don't have to spend (drama) and the miles between me and all the people I love (DRAMA) and the failed relationships (DRAMA!)) and all the things I can't do for all the family and friends and loved ones I have (DRRRRRRAAAAAAAMMMMMAAAAAA)...and ya know what?

None of us need to 'should' on ourselves on a day that's about Love.

Love is bigger than that.

I hope, my beloved reader, that your day has been filled with only good stuff. Hopefully reminders-of-Love stuff. I hope you have found some sort of beauty, some sort of joy, some sort of Love on this day - and on every day.

Because you deserve nothing less.

All the 'should'ing we do on this holiday, on any holiday? None of that matters a tiny bit.

What matters is the heart.

I hope your heart is full of only good.

I wish you Love.

Happy Valentine's Day.

<3

~~~~~~

Hey! Have a present!

My friend [livejournal.com profile] s00j offers up this song from her CD, "Mischief." If you like it, you can go download it for free - or for whatever you feel like paying for the tune.

http://music.sjtucker.com/track/to-my-valentine

...the wild foxes danced when you laughed in your cradle
the magpies fell silent when you learned to sing
Imagine my luck, to be part of your fable
where you hold my heart like the fruit in your hand
the mockingbird sang when I lay in my cradle
the pipers all played when I rose up to stand
I'll walk all the roads 'til I'm no longer able
and treasure your heart like the song in my hand..


(And if you like her music, you can go listen to everything she has available over here.)

(You're welcome!)


______________________________________________

"Drama Free Thursday" is the brainchild of [livejournal.com profile] popfiend - visit here for all of his yeah-you-should-read-'em posts.

The goal of DRAMA FREE THURSDAY is pretty simple: These are posts that offer a different approach to stressful situations. Drama happens when we react without thinking, when we respond emotionally to a situation.

So! The first rule of DFT is - say it with me - "Your Mileage May Vary." What works for me may not work for you. And that's ok.

Second rule of DFT: YMMV. :)

Third rule of DFT: Discussion good. Drama? Not so good. Let's try to avoid it in the comments. Tell me you don't agree, tell me what the world looks like from your perspective, because I can guarantee you're gonna have something to say that I hadn't considered. This blogger's soapbox is only an inch or so high...so please, share your thoughts and perspectives on whatever is posted here. (That rule goes for my LJ in general, of course, but it makes sense to repeat it here.)

<3
elionwyr: (Default)
(This one's late - too many distractions today! - and it's a little unusual. Humour me?)



I sat in a stranger's living room last year - literally on the staircase, watching through the bannister rails - listening to Heather sing the above song, and it's possible I may have teared up a little. Or a lot.

Every morning
Choose to love something about him
Every day
Remember who I choose to be
Every evening
Choose to say the things that haven't yet been said
Then go to bed
And choose to love the man I'm with


Love is easy. We love STUFF all the time. We love our critters and our friends and then there are these others, the ones we love enough to want to walk with through time. That's love, and that's a choice, and we start choosing right then.

We choose to see our lovers as brilliant and strong, able to be all things and do all things. They are amazing because our love paints them as such, and because they are human..which is a pretty amazing thing, when you think about it.

Amazing, and flawed. Because we're all human.

So what do you choose?

Do you hedge your bets? 'I want you in my life for all time, but juuust in case...(fill in the blank.)'

Do you choose to see the whole of that person? 'You're nearly perfect...if you would just do (fill in the blank)..'

Do you respect your partner as well as your relationship?

If your answer is anything but 'yes,' you're flirting with disaster. And drama.

And it expands beyond that to how we handle ourselves every day. Every single day, we choose to act out a vision of our Selves. I've been feeling a little off at work lately. There are some days where...man, I just feel cranky and out of sorts and I just want to put on a pair of headphones and ignore the people around me and..

Wow. Who'd want to work with that jerk?

I'm not saying there's not things to be grumpy about. But..personally? I don't want to be a version of me that's miserable to be around. And I'm sure not saying, 'Hey, Grumblebutt! Put on a big ol' fake smile and be HAPPY, dang it!" Because..here's a secret: If you're putting on an act? People are going to notice that you're being phoney. *cue drama alert*

What I'm saying is this:
Every single day, you are given the opportunity to decide how to navigate your day.

Every day, you get to make a choice about what kind of daughter/son/mother/father/friend/coworker/sweetheart/artist you want to be.

Every day, you get to decide what version of YOU the world gets today.

That's pretty powerful stuff.

Go ye and be awesome. :D


______________________________________________

"Drama Free Thursday" is the brainchild of [livejournal.com profile] popfiend - visit here for all of his yeah-you-should-read-'em posts.

The goal of DRAMA FREE THURSDAY is pretty simple: These are posts that offer a different approach to stressful situations. Drama happens when we react without thinking, when we respond emotionally to a situation.

So! The first rule of DFT is - say it with me - "Your Mileage May Vary." What works for me may not work for you. And that's ok.

Second rule of DFT: YMMV. :)

Third rule of DFT: Discussion good. Drama? Not so good. Let's try to avoid it in the comments. Tell me you don't agree, tell me what the world looks like from your perspective, because I can guarantee you're gonna have something to say that I hadn't considered. This blogger's soapbox is only an inch or so high...so please, share your thoughts and perspectives on whatever is posted here. (That rule goes for my LJ in general, of course, but it makes sense to repeat it here.)

<3
elionwyr: (i heard that)
Listening. It's a really big deal. We all need someone to talk to, whether it be someone a loved one, a coworker, or a person we pay to sit in a chair, keep quiet, and LISTEN.

And I think DRAMA comes into play when the Listener doesn't really know her/his job description. Because listening is not always about fixing the Talker's problem. It's generally just about listening.

Being a Listener is a position of trust. It is, IMNSHO, an honour to be a confidante. I think we too often forget that. And it's wicked important for any relationship, be it work-related, friendship, family, or lover.

So! How do we taken on the role of Listener and do right by the job, as well as the Talker?

* Ask what your buddy's looking to get out of this conversation. Are you being asked for advice? Are you being a sounding board? Better to find out first rather than offer unwanted feedback and stumble into a big ol' puddle of DRAMA. :)

* Focus on what's being said...not on lunch, or your own stressors, or...anything except what's being spoken. Make sure the Talker can tell you're listening. (Eye contact is a great way to do this.)

* Not sure you grok? Repeat back what you think you heard. Studies show no two people see the same colour the same way...it shouldn't be surprising that two people don't always speak the same English! Don't assume you know what the Talker is talking about. If you're not sure? Ask, or repeat.

* Don't interrupt. The spotlight is on the Talker, until/unless the Talker says otherwise.

* Don't fall into the trap of responding in a way that sounds like you're belittling what was said. "Oh, you're upset because Penelope was found tied up on the train tracks again? That's ok. My neighbor's dog was tied to a tree by my car yesterday." Trust me. The "that's ok" response is NEVER helpful. It can come across as competition/one-upmanship as well as belittling, so let's just avoid that particular drama-puddle.

* Know your boundaries. Sometimes the Talker really really needs to vent about something that you just can't handle, or needs to talk past the time you're able to listen. It's healthy to let the Talker know you have to end the conversation, and why.

Now go ye and be awesome to each other!



______________________________________________

"Drama Free Thursday" is the brainchild of [livejournal.com profile] popfiend - visit here for all of his yeah-you-should-read-'em posts.

The goal of DRAMA FREE THURSDAY is pretty simple: These are posts that offer a different approach to stressful situations. Drama happens when we react without thinking, when we respond emotionally to a situation.

So! The first rule of DFT is - say it with me - "Your Mileage May Vary." What works for me may not work for you. And that's ok.

Second rule of DFT: YMMV. :)

Third rule of DFT: Discussion good. Drama? Not so good. Let's try to avoid it in the comments. Tell me you don't agree, tell me what the world looks like from your perspective, because I can guarantee you're gonna have something to say that I hadn't considered. This blogger's soapbox is only an inch or so high...so please, share your thoughts and perspectives on whatever is posted here. (That rule goes for my LJ in general, of course, but it makes sense to repeat it here.)

<3
elionwyr: (barefoot)
So, let's talk about the gossip-hydra!

(I'm calling it a hydra because I've talked about this blog post with varied people, and in every discussion we went from 'gossip bad' to 'well..but what about..?' and ended up having a great talk about a lot of opinions and definitions and use of gossip. So consider yourself warned, duck those teeth, and let's begin.)

Something happens, and GADS you just need to go TALK to someone because you're so full of WTF about what was said/done/witnessed, you've just got to get it out. That's human. That's healthy.

And that's gossip. And it can cross the line, if you're not careful.

There's a huge difference between, "I'm annoyed at what Penelope did," and, "Penelope's a bad person because she did such-and-such." There's also a difference between venting to a neutral party and venting to someone that is affected by the situation at hand. That right there could be not-your-best-idea. It almost always means drama...even if you can't see it, or didn't mean it to be a bad thing.

We generally see gossip as the spreading of lies, an attempt to hurt someone's reputation. But one of the reasons I say gossip is a hydra is that the word has varied meanings. The definition of the word is, simply, "a rumour or report of an intimate nature." Psychologically, gossip has been shown to be a way of creating social bonds, and it's possible that gossip is even a part of our evolution. At its heart, gossip is a relaxed way of sharing information about non-present people. As odd as it is to consider, gossip can be a positive thing. Telling someone that Penelope's aunt passed away? That's gossip. But if by sharing that information, you're increasing Penelope's support network and giving people the chance to pay their respects? That's useful.

So here's something to consider before you open your mouth and start talking about Penelope...

1. Is it true?
2. Will it benefit anybody knowing this?
3. Would you be willing to be known to all as its source?
4. Would you be willing to say it to the person’s face in public?
5. Is your motivation to help the person, or is it self-seeking?

Now, sometimes you can go through that list, decide 'yes I should say this thing,' and still have it go completely dramatastic because of the other person/people in your conversation. So I'd also add...

6. Can your audience handle your information?

(Personally? If I'm not sure, I'll ask. That's definitely a YMMV sort of thing, however!)

Another teeth-filled head of the hydra is that you can have every right to vent about something going on..but gossiping at work (or in any social circle) can add to tensions once Penelope catches on that something's being said. Which is going to lead to more venting. And we're back to drama.

So. Control what you can. Go through those six points above. Consider whether or not what you want to say really needs saying..are you going to get halfway through your rant and realize, 'Wow, this doesn't really need to be shared,' or, 'I have no idea why I'm letting this bother me in the first place'? And put up boundaries. Don't want to hear about Penelope? Say so. Being the person others vent to is an honour - it really is - but if what people are telling you is bringing you sadness, or if it's mean-spirited venting, you don't have to listen. You're allowed to say no.

And ya know what's cool about LJ? We have people like [livejournal.com profile] shadowwolf13, who posts things like her Confessional Box posts. If you have something you REALLY REALLY need to say and you can't find an ear? La! There ya go. :)




______________________________________________

"Drama Free Thursday" is the brainchild of [livejournal.com profile] popfiend - visit here for all of his yeah-you-should-read-'em posts.

The goal of DRAMA FREE THURSDAY is pretty simple: These are posts that offer a different approach to stressful situations. Drama happens when we react without thinking, when we respond emotionally to a situation.

So! The first rule of DFT is - say it with me - "Your Mileage May Vary." What works for me may not work for you. And that's ok.

Second rule of DFT: YMMV. :)

Third rule of DFT: Discussion good. Drama? Not so good. Let's try to avoid it in the comments. Tell me you don't agree, tell me what the world looks like from your perspective, because I can guarantee you're gonna have something to say that I hadn't considered. This blogger's soapbox is only an inch or so high...so please, share your thoughts and perspectives on whatever is posted here. (That rule goes for my LJ in general, of course, but it makes sense to repeat it here.)

<3
elionwyr: (barefoot)
I have a confession to make.

I'm a fan girl of [livejournal.com profile] popfiend's Drama Free Thursdays posts.

He's not done one of those for about six months now, and so I dropped to my pixelated knee and asked him if he'd mind if I started to post a few of my own. He graciously gave me permission to do so. (Yay!)

Please note, though, that this is MY interpretation of DFT. I'm the only one responsible for anything posted over here under the DFT header.

Got it?

Good.

Let's go be all non-dramatastic, shall we? :D
______________________________________________

I've been actively online since 1986, on all sorts of platforms. And yet I continue to fail at noticing when someone severs an electronic connection with me unless it's pointed out to me, or until I realize that hey, I can't see that person's account anymore. Which must mean...

...Oh. Oh.

It's not that I don't care.

It's that I frequently have the attention span of a gnat.

This past weekend, someone sent me an email to say s/he was defriending me on one of my social media pages. It was, hands-down, one of the kindest, gentlest, sweetest 'I can't be your friend anymore because of another friendship' messages I've ever received.

And I admit that, just for a moment, the Dramamonster poked his head into the room and asked if he could have this dance.

I'm proud to say I replied, "No, I'm gonna sit this one out."

"You sure?" He pulled out a bouquet of ZOMG SOMEONE HATES ME!! flowers.

I wavered. "No. No, I think I'm good. Thanks." I turned back to my computer, wrote a heartfelt "I wish you well" message, and hit 'send.'

Sure, there's a seed of drama in this defriending. A year or two ago, that's all I would have been able to focus on, and I'd have that hate-bouquet on my desk, poisoning the air.

But this is a good person, trying to do the right thing.

We connect with people in our physical world, or in our electronic life, for fill-in-the-blank reason. Sometimes we drift apart, for as many reasons as there are colours on this planet. I still think we do ourselves a disservice by calling it 'defriending' because I think usually it's not a matter of dislike. I don't think everyone that's ever 'defriended' me hates me. I know I rarely ever 'defriend' because of a negative impulse. Sometimes it's lost me a real-life friendship, which is a shame. But it's a choice.

You can choose to see it as drama.

Or you can choose to see it as something else. Maybe your interests don't match up anymore. Maybe you don't interact enough to encourage that electronic connection. Maybe it's an issue of privacy. Maybe you post too dang much and that person doesn't have time to read or look at every single one of your cat pictures. :)

But usually? It's honestly, truly, them and not you.

...Just something to think about



______________________________________________

"Drama Free Thursday" is the brainchild of [livejournal.com profile] popfiend - visit here for all of his yeah-you-should-read-'em posts.

The goal of DRAMA FREE THURSDAY is pretty simple: These are posts that offer a different approach to stressful situations. Drama happens when we react without thinking, when we respond emotionally to a situation.

So! The first rule of DFT is - say it with me - "Your Mileage May Vary." What works for me may not work for you. And that's ok.

Second rule of DFT: YMMV. :)

Third rule of DFT: Discussion good. Drama? Not so good. Let's try to avoid it in the comments. Tell me you don't agree, tell me what the world looks like from your perspective, because I can guarantee you're gonna have something to say that I hadn't considered. This blogger's soapbox is only an inch or so high...so please, share your thoughts and perspectives on whatever is posted here. (That rule goes for my LJ in general, of course, but it makes sense to repeat it here.)

<3

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