then and now.

[I post this at the risk of showing my age. But I’ll never confirm anything so let’s just forget all about that right now. Thanks.]

Let’s face it… this owl was kind of a dick. He totally stole that kid’s lollipop.


Life is hard for kids these days. And I hate it for them. When I was a kid, things were simple and fun and easy. It’s not like that anymore. Not for me or for them. [And for me, it’s not even just because I’m an adult (although I hate being one). It’s because the world has changed. And NOT for the better.]

Because really…

This was pretty much the worst problem I had.

But in today’s world, my daughter deals with knowing way too much about her friends, their every move, and when she has been excluded… because of social media. When I was a kid, if some of my friends got together and didn’t invite me, I didn’t really care because I usually didn’t even know about it (nor did I need to know). Unless they used one of these… and didn’t forget to get the film developed. Then sometimes I knew. But I still didn’t care.

My son, in 8th grade, already feels pressure to know what he wants to do with his life just in case he wants to go to a high school other than our town’s ‘regular‘ public school. I am useless in advising or guiding him as I never figured out what I wanted to do with my life. And I still don’t know. I’ve had a number of jobs, none of which ever really satisfied me, and now, I’m laid off and unemployed. I am not exactly the right person to guide him! And he is thirteen. Thirteen! Do kids that age really know what they want to be? Obviously, I didn’t. And I don’t think it’s odd that he doesn’t either. [And let’s not even get into the subject of college… (How the fuck can anyone pay for that nowadays???)]

So my son feels some pressure to know what he wants for his future. Already. Hell, a difficult decision when I was a kid? Choosing between fruit punch and whatever the hell flavor the blue one was.

Or choosing between the cookie-flavored and chocolate-flavored lip gloss. (Yes, I owned this and ALL my friends were jealous.)

I wish my son could forget all of that and just go outside and pop a bunch of these bad boys.

If they still existed (I don’t think they do…but I could be wrong), I’d go out and get him some. In my awesome car.

And then there are the 13-year-old girls. I don’t get a lot of information from the boy. He’s at an age where he does not want to discuss such things with his mother. But once in a while, he mentions something in passing. Like today. He told me he makes a joke and he’s often ignored. Some super-popular kid makes the same joke and the girls think it’s hilarious.

I suppose that’s pretty timeless. Not really specific to the 2010s. But still.

Shouldn’t the girls just be watching movies wishing they had their own Lloyd Dobler? 

Maybe this is why so many boys just hole up in their room or basement with their xbox. But that turns into social media in a way, too, doesn’t it? Constant contact is a bad thing. Maybe just spend some time alone or with the people who actually live with you. Who needs an xbox?

But I guess wishing for things to be like they were during my childhood is asking too much. I mean, let’s face it, you don’t even get a toy in your Cheerios anymore.

Okay… I have to go. I’m getting a call. I wonder who it is…

Oh, and by the way… then or now? Then is the winner. There’s really no contest.

 

©2018 what sandra thinks

         

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Posted in family, life, parenting, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 63 Comments

eleven things… plus pumpkins.

Today is Halloween. I haven’t written anything suitable lately, so I’ve decided to share something from long ago. From Nov 3, 2015, to be exact.

But before I get to that, I’ll share a couple of pictures I took today (along with zombie baby above that I took a couple of weeks ago).

I don’t think the Great Pumpkin is coming.


[Previously posted on November 3, 2015]

The series ended 12 [now 15… holy crap, I’m old] years ago, but it taught us some valuable truths. Read them. Heed them. And you can thank me later.

btvs spike and giles

11 things I learned from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  1. Never underestimate the power of a pointy stick.
  2. If you only see that super-hot guy you like at night, he’s probably a vampire.
  3. Don’t eat all of the fundraising chocolate bars you’re kids bring home.
  4. Spend an inordinate amount of time in the library.
  5. Adding Weetabix to blood gives it texture for a lovely breakfast.
  6. Don’t bring friends and loved ones back from the dead – it never ends well.
  7. Even in the worst possible situation, sarcasm and humor are always good ideas.
  8. Bunnies are to be feared.
  9. Always bring kittens to a poker game.
  10. If one is a British man, he will sound intelligent and sophisticated and God damn sexy no matter what he is saying. [Okay, I knew this one a long time ago…]
  11. You can face life by doing things the hard way or… actually, there’s just the hard way.

 

Happy Halloween. May you eat too much chocolate with no regrets.

©2015-2018 what sandra thinks

         

Posted in advice, humor, list, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

this time. #poetry

fading roses.

I feel it
starting to surface
the sadness
from inside
Maybe it won’t ruin me
at least not this time

[FYI: I’m sort of okay. I didn’t just write this. I’m still having writing issues. I found this in a ‘rejected poems’ file.]

©2018 what sandra thinks

         

Posted in poetry, writing | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

random things. #3

random - whatsandrathinks

I guess there really is activity in my brain. Although ‘real’ writing eludes me still…


Dum-Dums has a special limited-edition flavor for fall. It’s apple cider and it’s amazing. Yes, I eat lollipops. Occasionally.

It’s fall (depressing) and temps have already been as low as 30°F. I try to hold out as long as possible before turning up the heat, but we had to do it. As such, I have determined that I need a humidifier for my bedroom. I do see the irony… I, hater of humid weather, am looking to add humidity to my home. It’s fucked up. But I need to. And I truly hate shopping for things like this because I have no idea how to choose. I’ve read so damn many Amazon reviews that I’m even more confused now than when I started. I don’t suppose anyone has a recommendation? Needless to say, I don’t want to spend a lot. But I don’t want to buy a piece of junk either.

My husband can see a small local airport out his office window. Today he saw a plane with the Wahlburgers restaurant logo on it. He and his coworkers looked up the ID number thingy from the plane (which ended with the letters MW) and found out that it’s Mark Wahlberg’s plane. [Below: Not the actual picture my husband took. He was farther away… but same plane.]

Today, I’m actually having a good back pain day. I’m not naïve enough to think this is a permanent change. It’s probably only because I didn’t do much today… didn’t even cook dinner. Yeah, I was pretty lazy today.

The more coffee I drink, the better I feel. Do I have a problem?

Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you jealous of me for my coffee guy.

Here… how’s this picture?

Or maybe this one…

coffee - sleep when dead.

Okay, that’s enough of that. Moving on…

I love granola. I love it so much. I wonder if making my own would go well. I’ve never tried…

The Pinterest website is down. Thank god the app is working. I have to find a homemade granola recipe.

 

©2018 what sandra thinks

         

Posted in life, random, writing | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

in case you were wondering.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?

I cannot imagine anyone was actually wondering, but here’s an update on my back pain situation anyway.

How about a (not so) brief history/recap?

In October 2017 while at my yearly physical, I told my doc about my nagging lower back pain that I’ve had for years. I just figured I had to live with it, but I was tired of that. I had an x-ray which showed a small curve in my spine that no one would ever have known was there by looking at me. Hell, no one would know by my actions either. I hide that I’m in pain most of the time. Anyway, usually a curve like this would show up in a child, but I either never had it then or no one ever caught it. Yay me. (Sarcasm… in case that wasn’t obvious.)

My doc sent me to physical therapy. I went for about eight weeks before stopping because it didn’t help at all. [I still do the stretches every day, though. But they still don’t help the pain.]

I had an MRI before being referred to a pain management doctor.

For the next eight months, I tried everything he (and the PAs I saw) recommended.

A ‘test’ injection to see if blocking the nerves would help. Fail.

A PA (who I hated) suggested some vitamins, ibuprofen, and a muscle relaxer that made me so dehydrated that I got sick. Useless.

Same PA (who I hated) called and suggested an ESI (an injection). Which I had… but that was another fail.

A different PA (much better) suggested an ESI in a different location. I did that, but it didn’t help either.

The better PA then suggested another type of injection which I also had but… nothing.

Followed up with a third PA who suggested possibly trying one other injection in 4-6 weeks if my insurance approved. About a month later, I found out my insurance did not approve. The PA suggested a medication. I resisted at first but gave in and tried it anyway. It did nothing. She didn’t want me to stop taking it, but I was just done. I cancelled my follow up appointment and haven’t been back to the pain management office since.

Last month, I returned to my chiropractor. I had been seeing him for years but I took a break during all of the above. He had previously been mildly helpful with little things here and there, but nothing he did ever improved my lower back pain. Still, with new information about the pain, I figured it was worth a shot.

For reasons I cannot determine, my pain has been significantly worse since last week. I was out one day shopping (but not buying… seriously, what was even the point?) and I kept having these spasms. (I guess that’s what I’d call them.) I got this sudden burst of pain that made me take very slow, careful steps… and then it was gone. But it kept happening. It made me kind of gasp every time. That went on for five days. Then yesterday, it didn’t happen at all, but the pain in general was (and is) still worse.

Yesterday was also my next visit to the chiropractor. I was hesitant to keep the appointment because after my first visit back to him, the pain was worse. But I went anyway. I explained the spasm thing to him the best I could. I was pretty fucked up when he checked my legs… about a half inch short on the pain side (if you have been to a chiropractor, you’ll know what I mean). He did a few adjustments. The pain wasn’t worse afterwards this time, but it wasn’t better either. At least my legs are even now. Probably.

For now, I will continue to see him monthly(ish). For now. But it’s a specialist (higher) copay, and if it doesn’t make a difference soon, I’m done. I’m not hopeful. But I am out of options.

My mom doesn’t think I’m out of options, though. She thinks I should try yoga—a specific kind. I only found one place for it that’s close enough to me, and parking is a nightmare in that area. So I doubt I can do it anyway. Plus, I don’t have the ‘extra‘ money to pay for it.

Today I was at my new ‘regular‘ (higher) level of pain without any spasms. But I feel like I have to move very cautiously or I might have another gasp-worthy event at any moment. Tonight, by the time I was finished making dinner, I was nearly in tears because the pain was so bad.

So here we are.

It’s been a year and I’m not better… I’m worse. And my current ‘treatment‘ is exactly what I was doing a year ago before all of this.

It’s scary and upsetting because although I already assumed I would be in pain for the rest of my life, it’s much worse pain now. It makes my life horrible. It makes me sad and irritable and hopeless. I do my best to hide it, but I know I fail a lot of the time. I do what I have to do anyway, pain or not. But there are limits. There shouldn’t be limits. Not if I’m going to be a decent parent.

I was living my life at a 6 or 7 (on the above handy pain scale brought to you by Baymax). But now I’d say the average is 7 or 8… reaching 9 at times. Unless I do pretty much nothing. And what kind of life is that? I already don’t do enough…

 

[Sorry for the crazy length of this post.]

©2018 what sandra thinks

         

Posted in life, writing | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

emotional tagging.

I try to always tag my posts appropriately so they can be found easily by anyone looking for a specific topic. I assume that is how some people find this blog. I don’t think there is an ‘official‘ way to know (through WordPress, I mean) which tags bring the most visitors, but I’m sure they matter.

The thing is… one of my (unfortunately) frequent tags bothers me. I’m sure it shouldn’t, but it does. I don’t want to skip it, though, because maybe it brings people here… people who understand or who are looking for someone to understand them.

It makes me feel weak and embarrassed to tag my posts with ‘depression‘. [For some reason, using ‘anxiety’ bothers me less…] Every time I write a post where ‘depression‘ is an appropriate tag, I get sad and anxious about using it—so much that I agonize over whether to go through with it or not. I feel so pathetic using it. Maybe because it’s taking over my whole life.

Maybe the worst thing about this is that I am what I hate.

I have a problem with people who think that a person who has depression is weak or broken or lazy or pathetic. I don’t think that about anyone I know who has depression. But I think that about myself.

I’m sure this is yet another manifestation of the very word that haunts me—thinking all those terrible things about myself just for tagging with a single word.

So I guess I know why I feel this way only about myself. The question is how to fix that.

I guess how is always the question, isn’t it? You know, unless it’s something that comes with instructions. Like building IKEA furniture.

How To Give Myself a Fucking Break‘ Where do I find that?

 

©2018 what sandra thinks

         

Posted in anxiety, depression, writing | Tagged , , , , | 52 Comments

hello.

Hi friends. Remember me? Forgive me for disappearing. It has been ten days since my last post… 

I’ve had a lot going on while at the same time I’ve not had enough going on. Explain that? I don’t think I can. The best I can do is to sum things up like this: I lack purpose. I’m not happy with huge parts of my life, but what I’m not happy with is impossible to change so I need to learn to be happy with how things are. And I need to find something to give me a reason to be. This is what I’ve been trying to do. It’s not working.

I’m supposed to be trying the journal thing I mentioned a little while ago. I don’t know why I can’t seem to remember to do it. I can’t seem to remember a lot of things.

Often, at night, I come up with things to do the next day. I even write them down. But somehow, the next day, I pass right by that list… I don’t even notice it’s there… right beside my bed. Or… I do notice it… and I read it… and I am completely uninterested in anything on it. Yet night comes and they all seem like great ideas again. What the hell?

Always on that list is writing. But that’s (obviously) not happening.

I’m dying for inspiration. Dying. Everything in my life just feels… blah. Nothing is inspiring. It’s just… mundane, boring crap… or upsetting, difficult crap. [And now that summer’s over, I don’t even have those summer escapes to Mom’s.]

What I really want (among other things) is to be excited about some sort of writing project. But it’s just not happening. I think it’s because my life feels empty and meaningless. So much so that I can’t find anything inside me at all.

Prompts rarely (never) work for me. [God, I hate that word… ‘prompt’. Why does it annoy me so?] I need something more. Then again, ‘more‘ may not help me either.

I just want something that I want to write so passionately that I can’t wait to find time to get to it. Something I want to be working on all the time. Why can’t I get excited about anything? God, I miss that.

 

©2018 what sandra thinks

         

Posted in life, writing | Tagged , , | 64 Comments

late anniversary.

burnt: by the numbers.

My blog anniversary came and went last month… and I totally forgot. WP doesn’t tell me because I opened my account way before I started blogging… so when I truly started blogging isn’t the date WP thinks is my anniversary.

Anyway…

September 14th was the date. It’s been three years. I don’t really have anything exciting to say. I feel kind of blah about it because I feel like my blog is blah now. I loved it for a long time… but it’s kind of on life support at the moment. My creativity has left me… my mind is full of only dark things. It’s just… blah.

On the bright side, this is my third post in three days. Maybe I’m not totally dead inside.

To recap the last three years (in no detail whatsoever):

I have posted five multi-part fiction stories. [I think it’s five… but I could be wrong.] Plus a whole slew of smaller fiction pieces.

I have posted over 350 poems. [Yes, I counted… but I got lost around 357.]

I have posted too many times about my personal struggles.

I have [hopefully] made people laugh.

I have even posted a few recipes.

I opened a shop full of cool stuff.

I participated in the A-to-Z Challenge three times. [Technically four since one year, I posted twice a day with two different themes.]

And I’ve met many wonderful people.

Thanks for being here. Especially if you’re still here… reading this right now.

Time for some cake. I should celebrate, right? I mean, I have to. It’s only right.

 

©2018 what sandra thinks

         

Posted in blogging, milestone, writing | Tagged , , , | 45 Comments