Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My presence is my present...

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year! 
Happy Season of GIFTS!
There are many important gifts this season. Gifts to be given, gifts to be received, gifts to be remembered, and gifts to be realized. I'd like to share a bit about the gift I have been enjoying lately and a little about how I came to realize it.
First off, I do want to acknowledge that it has been quite a while since you've heard from me. I want to assure you that it's not been for lack of working toward my goal of building a life worth living... Or out of a desire to keep to myself. I have actually thought of blogging many times since my last post. I was sure that fear or shame were behind my inactivity. As I begin to write this post though... I believe it’s more likely I just hadn't found the right words. Or possibly, I hadn't had the experiences necessary to put those words together and feel like they were correct and complete. Now that I have lived a little more and learned a lot more, I feel that I can express myself and be happy in the fullness of my expression. Now… I'm gonna express myself!
So, this gift I'd like to speak about… it’s a gift I was given the moment I was given life. The gift of that very moment. The gift of each moment
I don’t know at what point in my life I was blinded to it. Thoughts about my past or fear of my future began taking over my moments so early on that it is hard to find many clear and happy memories of my childhood or even adulthood. Years of my life were eclipsed by my inability to realize the moments available to me. What a vicious cycle…
As the cycle continued, it increased in its vigor and in its ability to obscure my present. I tried for years to overcome my pervasive depression, anxiety, etc. I tried several different therapists, countless psychotropic medications, self medicating with alcohol and other awful self destructive behavior… Most of these attempts at happiness or at least a life that was somewhat “livable” only opened the doors to more sadness, shame and most of all fear. 
I began weekly classes, aka “skills training”, in Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT) in December 2011. One major attention getter for me in my initial exposure to DBT was a silly little picture and description of the DBT House of Treatment. You can see a picture of it here. I guess what hit home for me most was all of the previous years in therapy that seemed to go nowhere besides the frequent downward spiral. DBT teaches four main skill sets ~ Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance. For me, these skills needed to be in place BEFORE I hash out all the old and try to plan for a healthy future. And, I would soon realize how polar opposite my conditioned responses were to (almost all) situations around these topics and the preferred course of action. But, what about this MINDFULNESS business? At least the other stuff, although so ridiculously embarrassingly simple, made sense. Mindfulness seemed like a waste of time. A really REALLY uncomfortable waste of time. Or maybe I should just say… It freaked me the freaky freak out! And I just couldn’t “get it” during the first 10 months of weekly “skills training” classes, additional weekly sessions with my “DBT coach” (still seeing my regular therapist 2-3 times a week). So, after several downward spirals turned into devastating cyclones, my family gave me an ultimatum. This ultimatum took less than a week to spit upon (very different language than I was spitting out at the time). When all was said and done (on this point at least), I made a decision to spend some time in California. Not “on vacation”. Not “visiting friends”. Not “taking some classes”. With the help of my family, I checked myself in to Clearview Women’s Center, a residential mental health facility. It was one of a handful of places where I could completely focus on what I needed to learn in an environment that was safe for me and a little restrained. At Clearview, which has built an entire program around DBT, I would finally come to understand the meaning and benefits of Mindfulness. I learned to breathe at Clearview. I learned to be a witness to my body and mind and not to run from this awareness. I was able to identify triggers for my extreme emotions and I began to notice the role of my physical self in relation to my emotions. I also got lots of practice looking at situations and finding ways to deter or halt my emotions or satisfy some need in a healthy way instead of losing control. I learned about expression through art. I began to see the benefits of healthy relationships. I began to see patterns… good and bad. I became a DBT cheerleader! During my three months at Clearview Women’s Center, I gained a better understanding of what I needed in order to finish out my “basement level” or Stage 1 in the DBT House of Treatment. And, though I was not ready to leave, the money was gone and insurance had denied a final appeal for coverage and I had to leave with no “roof” over my head. I did have a foundation though and it was solid enough to get me through the tumultuous times to come with the knowledge that a rainbow was on the other side of the storms.
If people asked, and even when they didn’t… I’d say that the Clearview Women’s Center had almost everything. The thing they were missing was some interaction with animals. Not just petting them or playing with them (although that’s always a bonus when around animals)… But, as I knew from experience with my sheep (and other animals in my life), the benefits to be gained by working with and around animals are just SO great.
Some examples:
1.The act of taking care of something besides yourself~ humbling AND empowering
2.Problem solving~ dealing with the unexpected
3.Learning new skills~ building mastery
4.Visible & tangible signs of progress
5.Learning how to ask for help
6.Teamwork~ working with others toward a common goal
7.Exercise!
8.Sunshine! 
(you know I'm not finished yet!)
Now that I’ve got you wondering where on earth this blog has wandered… 
My moments… Several months after returning to Texas and getting back into my weekly DBT class and therapy 5 times a week… I was still missing so many of my moments! I had been threatening to volunteer somewhere… probably something to do with animals… maybe people too… like therapeutic horseback riding… or blah blah flimsy blah no commitment blah no plan blah blah. Then another blessing shot through space from my DBT coach/therapist iPhone to mine. “Oh, you want to volunteer? I heard about this…”, “DING!” Oh yeah, and this happened while sitting about three feet from one another during session. No pretending I didn’t get that text! Ha! Kinda kidding… I was terrified but a week later I was at the volunteer orientation for a horse rescue/therapeutic riding center. The next thing I knew I was on the schedule and the last pieces of the Mindfulness puzzle fell into place and into practice. When I began sharing space with these horses it came suddenly and naturally. I didn’t lug in old baggage and I had no expectations. I was aware and willing. I was thoughtful and purposeful. I did my best. I was not ashamed or afraid. I observed, described and participated ~ and I did it non-judgmentally, one-mindfully and down right effectively. And, most unexpectedly, I accomplished all of these things even when humans were in that space too!
I just thought I knew how beneficial working with animals could be. I have a feeling I have only scratched the surface…
Stay available to your moments this NEW year!

Your faveOM~Les

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm RUBBER and you're GLUE...

And whatever you say in front of a 4 year old STICKS! Hahaha!  Thank goodness my sweet niece has only heard good things from me so far! Whew.

So, now that I've got your attention... I'll share the fun that Little Lou shared back with me! And quickly, cause I'm so very tired.

~ "Oh, I just love this piece of art work Aunt Les!"

~ "You should draw an elephant standing on top of a rhinoceros with a ..."  My reply, "I'm not sure I can draw all that."  And >>> "Well, if you don't think you can draw that... you can just draw them abstract!"

The grand finally was shared with me via my sister.

~ "Daddy, I am going to do some abstract art. Pull up a chair and let me tell you about abstract art."

On this note, I will say goodnight!

Goodnight!

Aunt Les,
Your Favorite Oxymoron

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How fast is a 2 legged turtle???

Well, I guess it depends on which legs still work... and if the other legs are still hangin' on (dragging it down... literally) or if they are just out of the picture...  And, does it count if it's moving backwards???  What if it's has the back legs and they keep dragging the tenacious little turtle in the wrong direction?  What if the turtle figures out how to get the head and the tail to work with the lonely legs to form a four appendage team?  Is the turtle allowed to buddy up and form a strange little sack race type stance?

Thank goodness I'm not in charge of the rules in that race!

I have no idea why this particular question is plaguing me as sit on my bed ready & willing to go to sleep at a reasonable hour (for the second night in a row! go me!)...  I know ;-) this... I feel like a one legged turtle around 50% of the time.  A two legged turtle? 75%... but, they are both on the same side... 

I guess a turtle with any appendage is better off than a turtle on its back.  Then all the legs could do is flail about... until it finally gives up...

And, this brings me to the serous stuff...

My aunt, Ada Lou, is sick. She in the hospital. She is my mom's oldest sister, a tough woman, who has combatted an array of diseases since an early age.  I'm talking an almost constant battle with one serious thing following another. What she will not be able to kick is (to me) scarier than any of the others... something I have seen take my Uncle Chuck and their mother... my MawMaw.

Ada Lou has Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's Disease is so ugly. It is so scary.  And, I think (at this point at least) that's all I want to say about it.

But, if you don't mind, keep my Aunt Lou and her family in your prayers.  And my mom, Betty, who has witnessed way more of the ugly than I'd ever wish on anybody.

Be gentle to yourselves and your families this weekend...

Goodnight,
Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DANG!

I can't tell you how many times I have told someone I love (and random people on the street... probably)... "Remind me of this when I forget!"

SO... if anyone actually attempted the gentle reminder??? I am sure I would spit fire! Who knows what could be turned to cinders... yikes

I've just been wondering... When you have so many things to remember and practice BUT they aren't things that come up on a regular basis... H O W D O (I AM CURSING MYSELF RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I JUST SAW MY ANSWER WRITTEN IN THE SKY!!! Metaphorically of course...)

PRACTICE!!!

SON OF AN UGLY DONKEY! I should have seen this one coming...

I'm gonna have to get back to you on this one though.  I've got to get up early and do my (orange) yoga practice.  Long story.  Need sleep.  And practice.

Nighty nighty!
Les,
Your Favorite Oxymoron :-P

Monday, July 8, 2013

opposite action... sometimes it's BACKWARDS!?!

Well, have I got a doozy for you?!?!?  I re-recognized this weekend that Opposite Action isn't always the "action" you think it should be!  Well... LA-a-ah-TEE-DA (as Grandpa always said)...  I really wish someone had written a rule book for me here!  Funny (aka SAD) thing is, I might have gone ahead and read it! I know I would have bought it! haha... Who knows if I would have understood it!?!?  [insert smiley face with one of those ptdhhhhhhhhhAHHH!!!s]  Well, I guess it's time for me to explain myself...

Sometimes... Opposite Action... is saying, "I can't.", "I don't understand.", "No thank you.", etc.

Maybe I am the only one who seems conflicted here?  All I know is that sometimes my immediate and SUPER POWERFUL instinct is to say... "Sure!!!", "I'm so glad you asked!",  "I'd love to!", "I'll get right on that!", "No problem!", and on and on and on and on... I have an instinctual feeling that I should DO.  Even some things that I am just not capable of doing.

It seems the mountain I am about to climb will sound more like... "I don't know if I have time.", "I don't know how that works.", "Are you speaking English?!?!?!" and my favorite... "NO!" 

So, this is one of the greatest quandaries of my life...  When to STRIVE for GREATNESS and when to say... "I give!"???

My example includes frustration, confusion, fear, shame, procrastination, hope, great ideas, trust, last minute cover my butt's, disappointment AND a lesson.  Unfortunately, the lesson is not my first and probably not my last on this particular subject. So, here goes...

I was asked, to my great honor, to create a picture for the front of my mom's 4th grade Vacation Bible School class.  The theme is ironically FEAR.  Ha!  And, I had HUGE ideas bubbling up in my head for a week or two!  Well, because I want you to keep on reading, I will try to be concise... I started way later than I should have.  I was WAY too detailed!  Just to give you an idea... I was trying to make the roller coaster car sparkle NOT with glitter (which seems so obvious now...) but by using a heat fusible fiber and shaping it to give dimension.  The greenery was made from the funny papers wadded up and smeared with green acrylic paint. And the sky needed wool!  I mean DUH!  Also... pictures of my nieces/dads hands enlarged and used to be lifelike. All of this was going to hang on butcher paper for a week and then torn down and thrown away.  I was sure I could do it. And I knew there was NO WAY. Oh, and do we think that I let anyone know what was going on or NOT going on with my door hanging? No... not until I had given up and sat staring... day dreaming about how it should have been and trying to figure out how I could make it work... and watching (almost tangibly) the panic build in me as I tried to figure out how to tell my mom that I just couldn't. When I finally got the words out (and tried like mad to not make my mom feel bad for asking me!!!) we were in to the final 24 hours before the kiddos would walk through that door...

Don't worry... Mom and Pops got their heads together and whipped together a perfect door hanging! And, I tried to explain myself. I was honored to be asked. I wanted to do it! I think I will be capable of doing something like this in the future. This time... I learned a lesson and got my butt saved again.

So, Opposite Action Day and Opposite Day ARE NOT THE SAME! The idea behind Opposite Action is to do the most effective thing possible. Effective Action Day just doesn't have the same ring to it...
:-P

Have a great Opposite Action Day!
Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Soylent Green! It's PEOPLE!!!

I have no idea how that title relates to this post... aside from the fact that I have been drawing some "people"... I think they are... "my people"... Sounds very science fiction-y/futuristic(?). ;-) I guess.  Maybe that is the relation?  (Soylent Green is an awesome movie by the way!)

Here be de peeps!
When You're Hot, You're Hot (soft pastel) 7/3/13
They are all named after songs so far... Although the songs have always come during the cropping of the pictures so they really have nothing to do with the creation of the drawing.  But, I thought you all should experience the songs that now sing along with them. :-) 

So... here is Jerry Reed singin' her song... When You're Hot, You're Hot

And now... The Archies singing... Sugar Sugar (i'm gonna make your life so sweet!)
Candy Girl (soft pastel) 7/3/13
I have one more. AND... I haven't quite decided if it's finished yet... look for it and possibly more (???) in the future!  Hahahah!  Future... I crack myself up.  Haha...

Hope everyone had a fabulous 4th!  The sheep and I were a little under the weather yesterday.  Today? Today I am just tired. They are about the same but I believe I have had a lightbulb about them!  Anyway, I am looking forward to working on the door decoration that my mom asked me to help with for her Vacation Bible School (VBS) class that starts Monday.  And, I have a very important art therapy assignment that I am looking forward to working on.  

Be careful out there!  It is a holiday weekend so keep you eyes OPEN on the roads.  Alright? Alright.  

Leslie Cooper,
Your Favorite Oxymoron ;-)

P.S.  I just named the "collection" (ain't that fancy???) Soylent Green! It is my first "collection" and for some reason that whole syfy theme fits with "my (alien) people" in appearance and in my own "alien" existence... berry berry eeeeenteresting...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ready for Departure??? NEVER!

Ahhh… Getting ready for a departure…

It is an event for me to get ANYWHERE, let alone in a hurry… and on time? Yikes! Mornings especially are not my forte. Haha. So, this morning as I tried to beat my mom to the punch on the "Are you asleep in there?" (the shower.) and the "Maybe you should start putting things in your suitcase?" questions... I thought of a couple of strange and very "leslie" topics. I thought I might share while I wait for the plane to board.

Does anyone else have trouble waking up in the morning? Does anyone lose track of time in the shower BECAUSE THEY ARE FALLING ASLEEP OR DAYDREAMING? (just to be clear.) I have a couple of strange tips for those of you who are not morning people.

1st ~ If you love a warm shower but it seems to hurt your chances of snapping out of a dream? You can… Talk yourself through the steps in a really goofy voice. Sometimes I use a combo of -ish accents. I'm talking British, Scottish, Irish. You know? Or you could go more vampire/French. Whatever your proclivity… ;-)

2nd ~ Again… If you love a warm shower but need to wake up… Nearing the end of the cleansing process try this:  Tell yourself, in your preferred dialect, "Now I will begin to start turning the water down in small increments." And every time you do adjust the water a tiny bit to the cool side... say it again! Don't get it TOO cold! If you do… there is a chance you will just jump back under the covers! A nice, gentle, cool temperature will do a body good. At least in the hot Texas summer…

3rd ~ If I had a third to start with the plane ride with the kid pooting next to mom and the sad girl next to me… I forgot. I'll let you know if I remember.

So, as I just revealed… I am back in my part -o- Texas! Hello Dallas! Hello Luby's Cafeteria! Hello Daddio and Sis and Bro-in-law and my GIRLS! I'm goin' to eat some of the best macaroni and cheese in America!

Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron
I can't let my girls wait on me now can I?  I am the fabulous Aunt!!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Who's your best friend?

Here at the NAMI National Convention I have seen a few therapy dogs.  I met one named Max (I believe) yesterday after a fantastic workshop.  He had been sitting quietly behind me the whole time.  Afterward, I asked the lady who he companioned if I could pet the precious pup.  And, I immediately fell in love... At one point when I took my hand back (because I needed it to talk! ha!) I looked back down and I saw the pup looking up at me.  It was a look I couldn't really describe but it has stayed with me.  So, I drew it...
I love a happy mistake! I got to make this cool collage!

After I finished the drawing I thought maybe, just maybe, it was a symbol of my experience at this conference.

I saw this pup and the pup saw me.  We connected.  We shared something.  I'd love to see him again... (be his Facebook friend?  Sorry, you know how I get when I'm uncomfortable.) Ok, seriously! (the ! was for me! and I'll get back to that!!! soon!!! ok... maybe next post!  gotta hurry now!!!)

So, this experience?  I have made wonderful connections.  I have met fabulous people!  I have connected and shared and would love to see and work with these people again!  Maybe I have met some new best friends?  Maybe I have seen my future somewhere in all of it?  Maybe I have been touched???  I know I have been touched.  And, I hope to spread the love.  I hope you feel it.  I can't wait to tell you more.  Now?  I need to change clothes and head to my last session.

Thank you for reading.  I really want to connect.

Gratefully,
Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bird's Eye View of My Mind RIGHT NOW!

And... so it is!
An oil pastel drawing I did at the end of the day today. And, like I told ya the first day of the NAMI Convention, I will try to post a picture of something AT LEAST!

I am blown away by the forethought and work that so many people have put in to this thing. I really hope to be a part of the innards ASAP!

And, here's to the last day tomorrow! May all have many insights to take home with them.

Thank you,
Good night!

Leslie Cooper,
Your Favorite Oxymoron

P.S. Any guesses on the type of bird'd eye this could be??? (Liz? any idea on the plural?)
;-)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Investing in me? I've been wondering...

I don't know much about investing.  Especially important kinds.  Today I saw a scene that collided with the incredible information I heard ALL DAY LONG... and, it got me pondering the pond.  Uh, I mean the river.
I was just wondering if the investing going on or in/off/whatever ;-) would be considered top-down investments or (the ever so similar... in appearance) bottom-up investing?

Or does it even matter cause I just wanted to put a picture of a duck-butt on my blog and we should all possibly reconsider???

Well, it probably means something more along the lines of:
I saw a duck dining on the river and really wanted to share it's unique posture on my fabulous blog... and it is quite late... and it was an amazing day filled with so much unbelievably good information and news that I couldn't possibly pick one to talk about.

Yeah, that sounds more like it.

Thank you for investing in me whichever way you look at it!  I am so pleased to be able to share these moments with you.  Even when I can't see which way is up!

Sweet dreams from Your Favorite Oxymoron!
Les

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Surprise!!! I am at the...

NAMI Convention
Yup, that's right!  My mom and I flew down to San Antonio, Texas yesterday (yes, we flew!) in order to attend the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  And... that is why my ears are ringing right now.
         I have been PLANNING and PLANNING and PLANNING to blog about this AND everything else!  I swear to you!!!  I have unfortunately added more incomplete posts to the list... I may just copy and paste all of them on one blog and write to be continued on them!  Ha!  That is actually sounding like a great idea!  

So, ladies and gents, guess what?  My ringing and mind-blowing pressure in my ears has subsided!  And, I thank you... But, I thank ME too!!!  I remembered how important it is to step back and use a skill!  Now, that I remember how freakin' FREAKY this kind of stuff makes me... I will be heading in to a Special Presentation on Advancing Recovery with PLENTY of distress tolerance skills (especially grounding!) at the ready!  

And, speaking of presentations... First, I will be attending REVIVING PALIN OLD THERAPY: PROMOTING MENTALIZING IN RELATIONSHIPS

I will try to post as often as possible!  Even if it is just a pic or a quick note!  I have a feeling that I am going to be pretty busy (and TIRED!).

Oh, and thank you to the precious girl who asked if I had signed up for the Young Adults Session Guide!!!  The cutoff is 30... :-(  They were so cute!!!  And, they thought I was one of them!!!  Love it!

Your Favorite Oxymoron!
Leslie

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Should you ever Opposite Action your Opposite action?

Alrighty... I have a very short time to tell you about a little issue I sometimes face.  I love people!  I love to play!  I love my family!  I love my friends!  I LOVE LIFE!

So, when I am not feeling "up to" an occasion... guess what?  My body takes over and I act opposite of my real feelings.

Today is Father's Day.  I LOVE MY DAD!  But, at this very moment... I am exhausted from the day I have already had!  So, what the heck?  My body goes in to overdrive and I am SUPER LESLIE! (and you should most definitely read that with that " da-da dat.da!" feel!)  Anyway, this SUPER LESLIE! can sometimes freak the blah blah blahblahblah out of people.  EVEN people who know me!  Even people who have seen it before!  It is confusing!  Heck!  It is confusing to me!  If I let it... it will completely take me over...  AND, I am there RIGHT NOW!

So, I am going to Opposite Action the heck out of my initial and absolutely programed and instinctual behavior!  And, I am going to try to act like a human being!

PLEASE!  Please, please, please... Please pray that I can pull this off!  It is one of my most difficult Opposite Actions.  It is automatic!  It is like I have no control over my spazzy body!  It is not fun for anyone!

Happy Father's Day to all of you daddio's out there!  It is a hard road for YOU!  A hard road to father a child... (for the rest of their lives!)  I thank you and encourage you to do the best you can, for that is all you can do.

Have a beautiful day!

Your Favorite Oxymoron,
Leslie Cooper

Thanks for EVERYTHING Pops!  I love you so very much!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I am a human being with Borderline Personality Disorder AND I have a lot more to me than that!

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?  check out this link for some information...
"
Please remember that I am human.  I am not perfect.  I was given free will.  My brain has been skewed by genetics and situations in my life.  I am constantly (even when it doesn't look like it...) working to be aware of my initial emotions before they take off without my permission!  Mindfulness.  I need a post about that.  I am sure I have started one...

Oh, and I have discovered a bit of a problem.  I will take suggestions or offers for assistance!  I think a tiny part of my issue with incomplete posts might have to do with a tiny issue I have with perfectionism.  Which I do know that perfection is pretty much impossible.  And possibly an issue I should work on a bit more.  But, one thing at a time people!  Come on! SO... (maria?) I am looking for an editor of sorts.  I would just like to have someone look over a post and point out obvious errors in grammar or punctuation.  AND I need someone who will not take the ME out of this... but possibly just keep a post more or less on the same subject.  Even a reminder that I wanted to expand on something I had spoken of earlier but cut off (hopefully) to get back to the point.  Huh.  What was the point to this post?  Seriously, I had NO idea the answer to that question until I reviewed the other text! haha... not funny...

Hope you are having a great start to the "Month AFTER National Borderline Personality Disorder Month!!!"  I heard in a movie once that it was good for a lady to be fashionably late...  I don't remember the exact parameters around the "fashionably" so I just stick with LATE!

Much warmth or cool (which ever you are in the mood for!) to all of you!

Leslie Cooper,
Your Favorite Oxymoron


Friday, May 31, 2013

It's not every day you run into the perfect gift...

Those of you who own iPhones or other smart phones probably know that you can set alarms and even add your own sound effects or songs to them.  (Someone I love dearly once gave me the gift of recording a humungous fart and setting it as the ring on my phone! One of my most favorite and endlessly emberassing gifts ever! Hahaha!) Anyway...

One of the AMAZING people who I met in California thought I was the funniest person ever for having an alarm set that said "Gitty up and GO girl!"

So here is the cheapest wedding present ever Lynn!
A gas station between the feed store and the barn... NO Joke! I LOVE IT!!!
 
YEP!  That's right!  Gitty UP!  And, when I saw that my last post was almost a week ago (and I thought I was on such a roll!!!) I was in shock.  It has most definitely been one of those weeks... But now?  It's time for me to Gitty Up! So, I'll work on a post tonight so I will have something for tomorrow.  

Hope you are all treating yourselves right!

And, if you aren't?  Guess what?  It's time to Gitty Up & GO! haha ;-)

Happy Friday!

Your FAVORITE Oxymoron,
Leslie

Saturday, May 25, 2013

They used to call me "Grace" because I am so graceful. Right...

I am exhausted today. Truthfully, this is all I can muster blog-wise. But, I want to try and be more consistent so... What about all those almost finished posts? I thought I could tune one up real quick but the words on the screen were unintelligible.

So, I thought I'd share a bit of my AWESOME video and editing skills! Hahahaha! I made the music and everything!

Filmed May 8th of 2012. My sister's birthday. Her first born, Leah, was directing a game of follow the leader which later morphed into "Follow the Leah" (a more appropriate name as you can see...).

Maybe I should go and run like Leah (or Phoebe on Friends) around the neighborhood and see if that will reenergize me? Anyone up for joining me? Hahaha

Have a fantastic holiday weekend everybody!

Stay safe.
Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron

Friday, May 24, 2013

funnest part about flappin your lips??? i'll tell ya!

Ahhhh... The wise advise giver!

I really can't remember if I have mentioned this before. And, if I have? It is obviously time for a refresher! Ha!

So, I am an AMAZING advice giver!!! And, I know it!

I have this patience and perspective (that I am always talking about needing!) when listening to other peoples' stories. Well, lately, it happens I've run in to a lot of people who don't have any trouble mentioning... "...YOU ARE SO GREAT AT GIVING ADVICE! WHAT'S YOUR STORY??? HOW DO YOU APPLY THIS?"

Do they call this technique "putting one's foot in one's mouth"?!?!?!?!

Anyway, I know that I have mentioned that I have many mini-revelations while writing this blog. Hence the avoiding writing anything for a couple of months. Well, the other day I GAVE THE MOST INCREDIBLE ADVICE! I mean to tell ya! I almost wanted to pat myself on the back! And then my lightbulb burst! Here is the lightbulb bursting advice I gave:

"Why don't you write down the story (problem/whatever)... Then, I will read it back to you! This way it will come from my lips... and YOU love me! So, YOU can tell me YOUR first reaction and what YOU would do 'if YOU were me'."

Burned.

And again, why I have not written much in the past couple of months.

When things spill out of my fingers on to this keyboard... Strangely, I am convicted to take my own advice! And, lately, I have been fluctuating between WILLING & WILLFUL so quickly it was making me dizzy! And my dizzy makes other people sick.

This moment.
This VERY moment.
This is a new moment.
This is a new moment                               .

Fill in your own blank.
I'll fill in mine.

Try to take care of yourselves.  I promise I will do the same.

Your Favorite Oxymoron.
Leslie

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I have 27 "almost finished" drafts in the lineup...

It seems that at least one person noticed... Okay, I'll take that back! Only one person called me out on it. I have an idea a few others will give me "some feedback" during our next converstations.

Why did I have to go and make an "Any Questions???" section on my site anyway??? Here was the Question for today: 

Why haven't I heard from you in a while? I haven't had anything good to read. Are you hiding? lol

(Oh and thanks, RD, for the addition of a compliment! Very wise of you! Hahaha)


The ANSWER??? That is a tough one. I am obviously struggling. I am obviously ashamed that I am STILL struggling.  

There is this song. I heard it first from Willie Nelson, but it was written by Paul Simon. It turns out many (many many) other artist have covered the song as well. It is a song I have wept with or to or because of and sometimes I've just listened to it when I knew I needed a good cry. It gives perspective. Perspective that EVERYONE has something to struggle with. The events in the recent past and most likely in the near future (as we are under a Tornado Warning right now)... remind me how much pain there is in this world. How much loss. Loss. Loss... It pains me just to type the word. Everyone experiences loss. The next step? That is the key! What do you do with the pain? What do you do with the empty space? Where do you go next? Who do you turn to?  

We ALL need community! You can't stand alone! In my Faith, I am forever blessed to have someone by my side. BUT!!! Even as I say that... I want to emphasize that (even my God wants this for me), COMMUNITY IS NECESSARY! Hiding or avoiding community is not a step towards ending the pain. You know what else is necessary? ASKING FOR HELP from your community AND if you don't yet have the "community"?  It's time to start building your own! And, RESTING when you are weak or weary is NECESSARY! That is on of the reasons we NEED community. We need people to call on when we are too weak or too lost! AND... Guess what? We need to be held accountable to others.  Treat ourselves as we would treat others as well as treating others the way you would want to be treated!  

So, yes. I let myself be swallowed up in LOSS. It is a deep place to get out of and takes more energy than I have at times. But, I am still working on it.  

And... My name is Leslie and I go off on tangents sometimes... But, that is why I haven't been finishing posts lately. I am not going to read this again until it is posted.  Otherwise... It could take another nudge before I post. Re-read once!  Going to try and limit myself from going over and over and over again!  Maybe I should just have y'all edit me? Just kidding!  I realize the time involved in that project! Hahaha! I am hopeful that this will get me back in the game!

Oh! And, the song I was referring to earlier! It is a beautiful song. A powerful song.  

I have links for a couple of the artists who have covered it... Amazing to hear the difference between each of them.

Simon & Garfunkel ~ American Tune

Paul Simon ~ American Tune

Willie Nelson w/ Paul Simon on guitar ~ American Tune

Indigo Girls ~ American Tune

Eva Cassity ~ American Tune

Darrell Scott ~ American Tune

Crooked Still ~ American Tune

Curtis Stigers ~ American Tune

Dave Matthews ~ American Tune

Anastasia Barzee ~ American Tune

Glen Phillips ~ American Tune

Storyhill ~ American Tune

Kurt Elling & Metropole Orchestra ~ American Tune

So... that might be more than a couple of versions? And a tiny bit of obsessive-ness showing... Anyway, praying for all of the LOSS being experienced these days. It seems like more all the time...

Next step? Shower and Therapy! Rain shower... and sheepish tornado preparation! Thank the Lord I didn't need to know what I was doing!!!

Good to visit again.
Your Favorite Oxymoron,
Leslie

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Say WHAT? (I think it's a good one!)

"Everything has been figured out, except how to live."
~Jean-Paul Sartre ~
French Philosopher 1905-1980

I don't (by any means) claim to be a philosopher, as Jean-Paul Sartre was.  Although, I'm pretty sure a synonym to the term is "thinker"... and by golly, I am always thinkin'!  However, having not studied much about the subject, I do not know much about Existentialism or how I feel about the topic.

Here is what I believe.  
We are born and genetically predisposed to some things.  Someone I greatly admire once said this to me, "Leslie, your brain works differently than anyone else's brain.  It is time to remove YOUR judgments about how your brain works.  Then you can start learning how to work with what you've got."  It was simple and profound.  And, it reminds me that I was born with all these parts.  Some work more conventionally than others. 

I also believe ALL of our surroundings and experiences have a HUGE impact on each of us.  (Again, personal belief, I'm no expert!)  Every night these days, I go to sleep listening to a book by Oliver Sacks, An Anthropologist on Mars.  In one of the chapters he is working with a man that regained his sight after over 40 years.  The strangest thing for me was to consider that this man had no experience seeing!  And, on April 3, 2013, as I looked into my beautiful NEW niece's eyes, it seemed so obvious!  She was seeing for the first time.  She was looking at lights and shadows and what babies look at.  She had no idea what shape my face was or the color of my eyes.  She will have to learn through experience and her surroundings exactly what she is seeing.  The man Dr. Oliver Sacks was working with had lived for many years learning about his surroundings, dealing with life's everyday and not so everyday experiences and a quick surgery changed his experience and flipped his surroundings upside down.  The combination of my two experiences got me wondering... HOW MUCH DO OUR EXPERIENCES AND SURROUNDINGS SHAPE OUR LIVES?  Or should I say, teach us how to see the world?   
  
Some people learn at a different pace and some are not able to process things at all.  Let's add faith, family values, societal rules and regulations, social expectations, social awkwardness, wanting to be accepted, different resources, and a whole mess of other things heaped on top.  And, the most unfortunate and beyond our grasp is the trauma some experience... (Are you kidding me???)

Let me see if I can summarize this.  We are all built differently.  We each experience different surroundings.  And, because we are all different, we may be in the same space at the time as someone else AND have very different experiences.  All of these things combined with CHOICE are what begin to teach us how to see the world and in turn begin shaping each of us.  Nature and nurture are just as flawed as we are.

I have already lived many years searching for answers.  Some questions that have plagued me? "WHO AM I?" "Why can't I do this right?"  "How does everyone seem to know how to play the game while I feel like I am on the wrong field?"

Sometimes in order to see the goal... you have to start running FIRST!  Which is why I couldn't see the forrest for the trees!  Also, your goal is your own!

I'll share MY answer now.  I shall quit asking someone to tell me how to do life!  I will do what I think is right and I will DRAW on my knowledge and experience.  I will DRAW on the strength of others!  I will DRAW on my God for wisdom and take His word as truth.  I don't have to have an answer to each question.  When something comes up I can DRAW on the support of my friends, family, therapist, and (a super exciting part!) even strangers!  I don't have to figure out HOW TO LIVE all alone...  And, I can only do one thing at a time.  

Did anybody notice my emphasis on a certain word?  
Another incredible thing I have learned is... I can DRAW or paint, etc. to express my emotions when I don't have the words or the clarity to see them.  I can DRAW to distract and keep my emotions under control until I have help.  Craziest thing?  If I find myself worrying about "How to live?"  I can DRAW something in the room to keep me in the present moment.  
Vincent Van Gogh painted self portraits. I draw Mr. Van Gogh's self portraits! This was one of the first things I have ever drawn... AND, I did it while under mega-distress AND... I got through my moment!  Now that's some crazy if I've ever seen crazy!
So, considering the vastness of humanity and (a bigger word???) for our personal experiences.  My best advice to everyone is to...  Pay attention to how things work and grow!  Try to do things.  Decide what you think is right and wrong.  Ask for help from wise people.  Use your faith as a guide.  Don't give up!!!  Cause according to this Jean-Paul dude... nobody has this "life" thing figured out!

Now, let's get goin'!
Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron

Monday, April 8, 2013

fighting to stay afloat...

It has been a long time since I have felt like giving up. Yesterday, I wanted to. Yesterday, I had planned my last post. Yesterday, I canceled my next therapy appointments. I was discouraged and exhausted and I wanted to walk away.

I am writing this now because I will not censor myself when it is uncomfortable. When I am discouraged I will express myself. I will not be afraid of what others think of me.

Today, I need to express that I am in pain. I am suffering. I am sad and lonely. I am so afraid. Today, I am walking, NO crawling, through these next moments when I must continue to learn how to protect myself. I must remember my rainbow. The promise of beauty that I will experience when I make it through this storm. And the next inevitable storms.

Today, I am fighting to stay afloat. Today, I am recommitting to fighting for the life I deserve to live. The life I deserve to enjoy and find fulfilling.

I will keep fighting. I won't stop. It will not always be easy AND it is my choice to continue. I must make it a life worth living. I will fight for ME. I will be stronger because of it.

When I was in California I was introduced to an amazing woman. She guided me through my first real experience with art therapy. I found her and this new and desperately needed form of expression and self discovery invaluable! The project I was given during our final session of 2012 was to somehow depict what I wanted to leave behind. I had never used acrylic paint before (I HAD NEVER EVEN PAINTED BEFORE!) and it turned out to be the perfect medium for this particular project. This is what I painted.
At the end of each session our small group would share our work with one another. This was always the point where I discovered how important what I had expressed really was. Now, I will do my best to explain what this means to me...

I have spent my life running. Running because I thought it was the only escape from my mistakes and from the fear, anger, and shame that burdened me. The problem with that is that I was running into a wall. And each time I hit that wall I ended up more broken and bruised and burdened. But, it was all I knew. It was all I could do. Because I had begun learning other ways to get through these things... the running was what I knew I wanted to leave behind. One of the girls in my group asked me what the thing was covering the bottom of the page. When I painted it I didn't see what I was doing. But, when I looked at it again... what I saw was HUGE! I had tried to cover up my mistake. I had never painted a leg! I just went for it. But, the feet really tripped me up. And I just started painting to cover up the mess. How VERY interesting! Not only did I run to try and escape... But, I hid just as hard. I didn't want anyone to see the mess. I didn't want anyone to know I didn't know what I was doing! I didn't want to look like I was an incompetent fool! When I discovered the significance of this project, I wept. These were the things I wanted to leave behind. I wanted to quit running AND I wanted to quit hiding! The only thing those two actions did for me was to cause me more pain and suffering. And, I wanted to quit damaging myself. I wanted to leave them in the past and try something new.

That is the one of the main reasons I created this blog. It should be pretty impossible for me to run and hide if I continue to use this blog to share my story. I need to share my successes AND my failures. But, considering how many years I ran and hid, I guess I should give myself a break if I get off track every once in a while.

Thanks for reading.

Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron


Monday, March 25, 2013

Nothing to do but fall behind...

I was about to start this post out with a "Why" question... but, before I could even type it out, I knew the answer! So, I'll switch it up a little... Why is it that laziness breeds laziness? I mean, why do you need rest to live AND if you take it one minute too far it will only encourage slothliness? I need to have an invisible electric fence line that will *ZAP* me in to action just before I cross it! Otherwise it's just too easy to k.e.e.p.. o..n... s-l-o-w-i-n-g d--o--w--n... I also know that this very fact-o-business is one of the greatest reasons that Opposite Action is something I believe in. And, if I could just remember the concrete evidence that I have not only WITNESSED but EXPERIENCED... then I wouldn't even NEED to opposite action my butt out of here!

And, since I don't have a fence and I don't have my own personal cheerleader, I guess I am just going to have to do this myself.

Situations are usually beyond our control. Absolute control anyway. Oh boy, I suddenly remember promising myself something (and posting it here with the unfortunate fortunate result of rubbing it in my own face of reminding me of things I've already learned. DANG blabbermouth!!!) Oh yeah! That was part of a sentence!!! Ok. I remember saying that I would pick up the pieces of any "mess" I found myself in and try to make something beautiful. So... I can do that. I can try anyway. So, shouldn't the regular everyday uncomfortable situations be easier to deal with? Probably so. I probably am just not as motivated by the mundane as I am the catastrophes. I am kinda hating that I just admitted that one. :-P

Ok, so, right now. What to do right now? Do I go "all out"? "Genitals to the wall"!!! ;-) (sorry mom! sometimes I just can't stop myself! i am sure it is part of my "condition"... bawhahahhahah! see?!?!?!)

No. No, I DON'T sabotage myself by trying to do a bunch of things that I absolutely CAN NOT DO AT THIS TIME! No, I don't. I start right now. I go from this moment forth! And, thanks J.S. for the rock solid advice! I think I shall share it with the masses... My wise friend said, "If there's anything really easy you can do, do that... at least you can check something off your list." Because, interestingly enough, the truth that this post was based on is ALSO true here! When you make progress... you WANT to make more! It is fun gaining momentum!

This moment. It is a gift. I want to make the most of it. (now I've said it on the blog and I can rub my nose in it look back to it if I need a reminder.) :-P AND... Bedtime!

Thank you and GOOD NIGHT!
Leslie,
Your Favorite Moron Oxymoron

stop!!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lookie lookie lookie what I found over here!!! ;-)

When I was diagnosed with ADD (almost 2 years ago now!) I read an article about SIMPLE simplifying. The idea was to get rid of things that were junking up my inbox. For instance, I could unsubscribe from all of the online catalogs and the things that I could GO "look up" when I was "looking" for something in particular. This might sound pretty obvious to you, but to me it was a lightbulb. I had subscribed to so many things because I didn't want to miss anything! And, can you guess what really happened??? I had TOO MANY! And I was missing EVERYTHING along with building an inbox full of around 2,000 unread emails... It was pretty unbelievable... I mean hundreds of emails came even after I thought I had hit them all!

There were a select few that were saved from the wrath of my unsubscribing frenzy. These were the things that I wanted to be reminded of and I hoped for informative emails from. And you have no idea how happy I was to get this particular "junk mail" in my inbox today! (Well, if you know me at all... you might have an inkling. If you don't, you're about to!)

One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE PEOPLE... She is an author and an inventor and a farmer and a scientist and an advocate and a teacher and a speaker and a philosopher and a philanthropist and a student of life AND on top of all that... she is an autistic woman with the most fantabulous western shirt collection aside from Roy Rogers himself!!! That's right! Dr. Temple Grandin is her name. :-) (I like her.) I have read almost all of her books... I came upon the first one Thinking in Pictures 17 years ago (OMG! that's a loooong time agoooo...), right after I graduated from high school. I was working at a summer "camp" (daycare) at my church. It was better than camp for me though! I fell absolutely and completely in love with the most fantastic little boy I had ever met! His name was Stefan and he changed the way I looked at things. He was pretty severely autistic and pretty hard to handle for some. I, on the other hand, lived to come to work and work with him. He returned my affection by trusting me. It was an amazing experience and I wanted to learn more! That's when I found this lady, Dr. Temple Grandin. She is autistic and thriving! And, she is an animal lover with a passion for and dedication to their welfare too! I found her story oh so riveting... And, I felt a kinship with her... I guess I did with Stefan too... I wanted to understand. And, I felt understood.

Anyway, I am happy to share the deal that dropped into my inbox today. ~ Read the wisdom that comes from perseverance AND (;-)) application of knowledge... Lookie lookie lookie it's eBooks for every device!!!

Dr. Temple Grandin Library





So, the even more exciting-ness that happened because of this strange chain of events I've connected here... Wait for it! AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! I found out that Dr. Temple Grandin will be speaking at a conference! In 7 days! Less than 30 minutes from mi casa!!! I almost hesitated to ask my boss/dad for another day off (if you only knew how much work I've missed this past year alone...). But, my dad knows that I wouldn't have asked for anyone or anything besides Temple Grandin or Elvis (and that would be under the condition that I KNEW I'd get to meet him.) ;-) So, extra fingers crossed for health and all that. I want to be clear and connected that day. And, maybe I will get to ask a question!?!? Or maybe I'll take her some of my own sheep's wool!!! Oh boy! I don't know how I will sleep for the next week...

Hoping for less junk and more exciting-ness in your lives as well!

<3 Love <3
Leslie AKA Your Favorite Oxymmoron

Friday, March 15, 2013

What is your highest level of education?

Q: What is your highest level of education?
A: Well, I have just completed my 35th year of living as a human, on Earth! You?

So... seriously, I know this question has shamed many people over the years. At least as long as formal education has existed... maybe before... I mean, I've even been side-shamed by this one! I once had a boyfriend tell me in an argument (trying to hurt my feelings...) that some girl had said to him, "She didn't even go to college!"

This particular insult never really bothered me. I know that I am an intelligent human being. I know that if I am interested in something I want to soak up every bit of information there is possible to discover about said interest! If I am not interested in something? Well, it's kinda like that something doesn't exist... not always a good thing. I did NOT do well in school. EVER. I barely made it through 2nd grade let alone high school... And, on my Facebook page, you will find "Napping" under the "What did you study in college?" column. I totally mastered that by the way!
Now, (serious again) you won't ever catch me saying that I have always made sound, thoughtful or brilliant choices... every time. That is a whole nuther story! But, college??? I don't have any desire to go and pay for the kind of torture school was for me... EVER AGAIN!

My school of choice? The School of Life! And, I can tell you I have learned some hard lessons. And it's a real good thing I had a chance to repeat some courses! Several times... Biggest lessons so far? Well, I'm glad you asked!

Lesson 1: Every action has a reaction. Everything that happens should have happened considering the circumstances proceeding it. (THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT I AGREE WITH EVERY HAPPENING!!!)

Lesson 2: I have a choice. I make choices that will alter my future. No matter the burden I feel to make a particular choice, I still have the power to choose.

Lesson 3: The exact reaction to my choice will be dependent on all choices all around the world at that moment and any moments preceding and proceeding my choice AND therefore I cannot predict my future. Neither can you! ;-)

My goal is to somehow make my circumstances work for me and to do the best I can with whatever comes next. I can't turn around and change ANYTHING! I can take my experience and make a new choice! My future holds so many possibilities. Possibilities beyond my comprehension! The exciting (and super scary) part is how each decision or choice or action I take, will continue to shape me. And, that is freedom. It will take hard work and guts! AND, I am worth it!!!

This past year, I began to appreciate the things in my life that make it more livable. In turn, I am living a lot more lovable life.

In no particular order, here are some things I would like to keep in my life or learn during the next and hardest "level of education" thus far...

~ continued learning and growth in my farming... I love me sheeps!
~ close relationships with my family that aren't "too close" a.k.a. "dependent on"
~ development of healthy relationships with those of you out there who are not genetically bound to me...
~ develop my yoga practice and find a schedule that meets (most of) my needs
~ ART EVERY DAY!!! art without judgment! experimental art! art with every emotion! art with "useless" objects! art to soothe myself. art to express myself. art with my niece, Little Lu
~ make yarn! find unusual fun things to do with wool/yarn!
~ to refuse to lie to myself and others about my needs, wants, goals or anything about ME!
~ to be aware of judgments and NOT let them rule me or any part of my life
~ to have a servants heart. to trust my Shepherd and trust His plan.
~ to be mindful
~ to enjoy every ounce of every moment possible!
~ to like myself, learn from myself, to live like someone I would like to learn from!!!
~ to break the rules I have suffocated myself with AND break the rules of having to be "normal" ~for whatever those are worth anyway!
~ stick to my values and morals even at great cost of looking (in some eyes) or feeling (in my own dad-gum head!) foolish
~ say stuff like "dad-gum!" and "boy-howdy!"
~ have a favorite bug! or a tie between two! aka. praying mantis & cicada... not locust... google... ;-)
~ continued expression of ME to YOU on this blog which I hope is a tiny bit helpful (every little bit counts!)
~ to forgive myself
~ to never give up
~ I want to show gratitude and to GIVE BACK!
~ I want to experience things that are in front of me AND beyond me!

And, I want to continue mastering the art of being me! There are four words I've found that pretty much sum it all up... **Remember most words have multiple meanings. I look forward to telling you more about what each of these means to me. :-)
~ DRAW ~ FARM ~ SPIN ~ LIVE ~

So, happy birthday to me! And happy day to you! Hope to see you around...





Warmly,
Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron

*BONUS FUNNY FACE SHOTS!!!*


*BONUS SHEEPY PICS!*

Friday, March 8, 2013

Why can't we all be 4 years old again?

When things were as simple as the following scenario:

My sister took my niece in for a flu shot. After the shot, Little Lu was crying. And here is the simple fundamental lesson from a 4 year old...

Sister: "It's all over now, why are you crying?"
Little Lu: laughed and said, "Oh! I don't know!"

(This made her giggle for days afterwards.)

Hanging on to suffering is not necessary. And, that's that!

Your Favorite Oxymoron,
Leslie <3

Monday, February 25, 2013

Anniversary Blog! & Say WHAT?

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~
(1884-1962)

My question: Which "thing I think I cannot do" should I start with?

So, today marks one month since the inception of this blog. And... it's possible I should give myself some credit. (I'm sure I'd hear about it if I didn't...)

I was terrified to start this though. Not only was I afraid of people seeing me, I was afraid of seeing myself. fail. again. And I was really afraid of what would happen next. That last statement includes what would happen if something really were to come of this! Win! Win! Fear... Ick...

But, when I look back to these few posts... I do recognize the strength AND courage AND confidence I have gained in such a short time. Each post has catapulted me through to the next post. And, I feel an excitement when I'm writing them! The fear is still great big and really ugly AND I bulldoze my way through it.

Someone once told me to "imagine what it would look like to use all that negative energy (anger, shame, and fear) for good". Well, if that's what I'm warming up to...
Everybody... WATCH OUT!
Because that is where over 30 years of energy has been building!

And, if you've ever met "The Hulk" you know what I'm talking about! Can I hear an Amen? AMEN! I thought so...

Well, huh. What's next? I did start Tweeting again... I'm @faveoxymoron . This is pretty exciting for me too. I'll tell you why another time...

Later!

Your Favorite Oxymoron,
Leslie

Friday, February 22, 2013

Better Get to Livin' (warning: lots of repeating myself for dramatic effect AND !!!'s)

What do you do when your life is so far from being where or how you want it, that you don't even know what "it" would look like if you were there??? Well, I can tell you what you shouldn't do! NOTHING... Cause nuthin' never got nobody nowhere!!! And I know all about that. :-/

I have a fine example for you. Let's go for a walk down ole' Memory Lane...

Once upon a time in a land Ahh, forget it! I guess it's more like Sedentary Street AND I am just now packing(?) or unpacking(?). Who knows? So many double negatives and the like I am gettin' CORN-fused! Anyway, I have been "temporarily" residing in my parents home for over two years now. (Yes, I said OVER TWO years. Oh, yes. I did...) The thing is, when I moved my boxes and my body into their house I forgot to pack my spirit. Probably because it had been beaten down for so long (I contributed to that, a smidge) that I thought it was trash and I dumped it.

Since "the move", I have literally been living out of boxes. Living - Out - Of - Boxes!!! But really, why would I unpack? I mean, it is NOT where a girl wants to live on her 33rd birthday! LET ALONE HER 35th!

So now, over two years have passed. I can't tell you nothing has changed. Things have changed! But, I still wasn't satisfied. And therefore, the way I spent my time didn't change. I still spent my time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future or other people and their problems and how I could help or how I could ignore or how I could have or should have blah blah blah! And I hid, behind people and things and situations and even sheep - whatever! And, for a long long time I wasn't even inching forward.

Just because I am not where I "wanted" to be at this point in my life or because I am "behind" in the race of life does NOT mean I stop living! In fact, the opposite should be true! (Wink wink.) Don't ya see?

I don't want to continue "residing" here, in this house, and I do NOT want to continue camping out mentally either. And yet I do reside here right this moment with my loving and supportive parents. What an opportunity! So, here's the deal, if I'm living in the moment AND preparing for my future there is no waiting until it looks and feels like I think it should. I've got to work and build that life worth living. And THIS moment, right now, I am making a commitment to myself that I won't stop. Even when the process seems futile. Even if I get hit by a tornado or two. I will pick myself up and collect the broken pieces and make something beautiful from them. And, while I reside in this house I am going to LIVE in this house. It will be like I am setting up a model for my future. Let's see what works! Let's take advantage of every moment and practice what works and change what doesn't. Otherwise I won't really know what the life I want looks and feels like. Will I now?

I'm starting out VERY simply... This is a corner of my "Big Room". Which is really the attic over the three car garage. And it is a great space for me! I've just got to use it. Which... I am!

I set up this little artistic space in the corner. That is my dad's 1st drafting table that he got in 10th grade! I hung some of my favorite art work I have done and one AWFUL attempt that might just be my favorite because of that very fact. haha. I wrapped a bunch of scraps from yarns I've spun around a broomstick and put it in the corner. I really like that for some reason... And, one of my very favorite possessions is getting some use again... my fantabulous gold velvet couch!!! I know... its quite a start... Who "nose" where this might lead??? ;-)

One more thing... Good ole' Dolly Parton has a song that summarizes this pretty well. It is called "Better Get To Livin"... how bout that? And, I tell you what, you should really watch this music viedo. As if Dolly wasn't enough of a character she recruited Amy Sedaris (one of my all time favorite famous people. both of these ladies actually!) to help out! What a couple of nuts! Like the best kind of nuts!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Judgement?

Oh, wait! Every day is Opposite Action Day! Not Opposite Day...

Well, then... (negative) judgments stand! And I won't make this fella/gal/demon possessed/fruit/nut stand alone... I drove at least a mile out of my way to try and catch this guy with his breaks, I mean angry eyes on. :-/ So, yes, he/she/it was not the only "nut" on the street. But, we already knew that, didn't we?

Have a great Opposite Action Day y'all! ;-)
Sincerely,

Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron!

ps. AND following "it" didn't even make me late to work!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I'm ALIVE post: FOUND

I'm ALIVE post: MIA
don't know what happened to todays post. trying to not get discouraged and just figure out a way to not have it happen again. i don't think i could duplicate today's post if i tried so i am unsure of what to do about it. i do think that it was an important one for me... and hopefully someone else... anyway, i'm gonna hit the hay ya'll.

sweet dreams,

leslie,
your favorite oxymoron

AND... IT'S BACK!!! THANKS BLOGGER FRIENDS!!! <3 <3 <3 oh, and the post is right here... I'm Alive!


I'm Alive!

I'm writing this post on the fly this morning... And, I'm writing it because the last time I was frantic and I wrote a post it helped. Big time! Oh maaaaaaan!!! Now, I am wanting to figure out why it helped so much! Ok, so... I am going to "shelve" that topic since it wouldn't be effective to think about it now. And... it's shelved.
:-P

Today will be my first day back in the office (during office hours, aka. when people are there.) SINCE 10/11/12. I will go more into the reasons why in a later post, when I have time to sit and contemplate my words. This post is reserved for going back. Now, most people probably know how it feels to go back to work after a few sick days. Right? Does anyone ever feel like people are judging them about "WHY?" they actually took the days off and have a tinge of guilt or shame about whether they were actually sick enough to NOT come in to the office OR if they really just wanted a day off? Whew! Let me catch my breath... Ok, so, does anyone know what I'm talking about? I have a feeling I am not alone here... But, a lot of times I am on a different "train" than most...

Well, my experience here, today, is causing a lot of shame to want to erupt... right on out of my mouth... And, I left all my buckets at the barn!

Anxiety is a KILLER! A killer of spirit and action.

And today, I MUST FIGHT BACK!

And today, I will celebrate the fact that I'm ALIVE!

I have a good job. I have a great family! I have my sheeps! I have a Holy Father! I have supportive friends! I have a future! I have goals and hopes and dreams!

I am going to "Opposite Action" my way right through that door as if no event or lack there of has happened between today and 10/11/12.

WOO HOO! Look at me all amped up to go to work! Hahaha! This bloggy thing is working already! ;-)

I do want to leave you on this blog today... with a song. I played this song over and over and over again the week I was planning to come back to Texas. And, I played this song for some of my friends and some of the ladies who helped me get to the point where I COULD ACTUALLY SING THIS SONG AND MEAN IT!!!

The song is titled "I'm Alive", and it moves me so to hear Willie Nelson sing it. I hope you will stop and listen to it too. My wish for everyone who reads this blog is, that you too can sing this song, and MEAN IT, with Willie and ME .

Here it is on Youtube:


With hope,

Leslie,
Your Favorite Oxymoron <3