Monthly Archives: September 2011

Whatever Wednesday: Learning to breathe

When we’re born, everyone waits for our first scream. Ironically, it’s the only scream for which most parents are grateful. The rest of them are more like nails on a chalkboard. A siren in the middle of the night, a replacement for the alarm clock, a signal which demands immediate attention.

But that first scream – it’s when we first prove our worth, our life, the functioning of our lungs. Every breath after that is involuntary. Heck, even that first one is but it’s translated as on purpose by those surrounding us on our original birthday.

So, why then, would we need to learn to breathe again if it’s something our body just does?

Stress. Anxiety. Fear. Trauma. Happiness. Joy. Surprise.  Life. Things which temporarily steal our breath. Moments during which our intake lasts longer and we must consciously remind our lungs to exhale and inhale. You know them – moments in which everything around you stops, slows down, swirls about you as if you’re stuck mercilessly in some sort of vortex.

For many, those moments are few and far between. For many, it may not happen at all. But for those of us who know these moments all too well whether they be for good or bad, learning how to breathe again can be an exhausting task. We learn how to breathe deeply in the face of adversity. To take in the air in front of us slowly and exhale it slowly. To take poisoned angry air and exhale it with joy. It’s not about literally breathing. It’s about forcing ourselves to continue to move forward with our lives even when all we really want to do is inhale and never exhale again because that next breath? Will be the hardest damn inhale we’ve ever had to take in our entire lives. Shattered, broken, crumpled, exhausted, breathing is last on our list of things to do. We flail, shudder, convulse, everything but gasp for air. Gasp for survival. We run away from it. The pain awaiting us with that next breath overwhelms us and we run. Even though we KNOW it’s not what we should do – that we should run headlong into that fear, toward it like a linebacker toward a quarterback about to throw a game winning touchdown. Tackling that quarterback is going to hurt like hell. But it will feel good. That quarterback? Is fear. Is anxiety. Is stress. Is trauma. We can’t let it win the game. Ever.

Run toward the quarterback. Knock him flat on his back. Scream at him the whole way. Fight for it. Don’t let him win the game. Because you? You know how to breathe. You’re worth it. And you? Have got this game in the bag.

A simple wish for @yaelsaar

Every so often, you meet someone. Not necessarily in person in this day and age, but still. You meet them. You get to know them. They’re full of passion, fun, love, compassion, drive, intelligence, wit, and everything else which makes other people awesome. Pretty soon they’re a part of your life. How or why you met fades into the background. Their presence is something for which you are grateful on a daily basis. If you’re lucky, you also get to see this person make a lasting difference in the lives of others because they’re also not afraid to dive into the deep end when others are struggling regardless of what’s going on with them in their own personal lives. Yet, even though they do this, they also keep themselves in the forefront, somehow miraculously balancing self-care with care for others.

A person like this is someone you NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED.

I met someone exactly like this about a year ago, I think. (Remember, I said how or why you met fades into the background? That applies here.)

Her name is Yael. And she is quite possibly one of the most amazing and beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure to meet. We’ve not met in person but I know one day we will and it will be awesome.

You see, Yael has this heart. This heart which carries her through every day and never quits. This heart which truly loves everyone in her life more than she could ever possibly tell you. And she lets her love spill out of her into you without hesitation. Through her website. Through her calls. Through her tweets. Through HER. Yael is an angel on Earth sent to bless the rest of us with light and love. There really are no words to explain properly the magnitude of her effect on the mothers she helps. On those to whom she reaches out on a daily basis.

Yael, I hope today, your 40th birthday, is filled with as much joy, light, and love as you bring to those of us who are fortunate to call you friend. You deserve nothing less, my dear dear friend.

Whatever Wednesday: Welcome to hell, courtesy of Facebook

Last night, I curled up in bed with a bilingual copy of Pablo Neruda. Snuggled under a wool blanket, two quilts, propped up with several comfy pillows, I read until I passed out. (Which took all of 5 minutes but I digress.) Point is, I fell asleep happy. Comfortable. Safe. A sense of order and bliss surrounding me.

This morning?

Ripped away from me in mere milliseconds after typing in


There’s some scrolling status update thing in the corner ABOVE the already annoying sidebar chat list.

And there’s no choice in what you see on your News Update now. It auto-updates. With what it THINKS you want to see the most.

Don’t get me started on the lists. Because really. Automatically added to lists via location or who FB thinks my closest friends are? Wow. Although this one hit me a few days ago, I’m still working my head around it.

I immediately set off to the Twitter. For help. For support. For… OW. Mah head. I may be blind. I may… there… but… wha?

Tech Crunch offered a solution. Change your language to English (UK) in your Account Settings. Didn’t work for me. It’s like I tripped overnight and fell into some massive rabbit hole which then landed me in one of Dante’s circles of Hell which then flew me via Oceanic Flight 815 over to the island with the boys from Lord of the Flies. GET ME THE EFF OUTTA HERE. PLEASE.

Ever seen Nothing to Lose with Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins? No? The clip below sums up perfectly how I feel about the changes at FB this morning.

“You’re driving on the sidewalk … people got to walk there!”

“I’m blind! I cant.SEE.SHIT!”

Thanks Zuckerburg. Thanks for the massive ass migraine. You’ll be getting a bill.