MonkeyThoughts

Purveyor of Fine Awkward Moments

Reiki Energy Tea

A February Reboost

I don’t feel that January was quite the start that I needed for this year. Stress knocked me down for a bit, making me sick, exhausted and just drained of all motivation. Even with my best intentions, I became a little too wrapped up in things that didn’t matter and that sucked up my energy. Then I found this article shared in my Facebook feed – “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck“. I’ve read it, re-read it, and read it again. It resonates with me. There is no point in getting worked up and caring about shit that doesn’t matter, especially when it just bring me down in every way. I’m working on that. It’s a process. It had me frozen from writing anything for a while, but writing provides a therapeutic release for me at this point in my life. Even if it’s just a private post that no one but me will see, getting my thoughts and feelings sorted out this way helps.

The last time I met with my therapist, I had to admit to myself that I’ve been avoiding dealing with some of my feelings. It’s hard to deal with the negative self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, so I have been pushing it back for the time being. At some point I need to address it head on. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about getting into a more positive mindset and how we attract what we put out in the world. I can see that happening so much in the past few months. I have had so many amazing people enter my life and feel like I’m constantly learning from them. I know that these negative feelings I’m pushing away originate from the ego and not from what is present in my life. Many years ago, I was suffering depression and was constantly being swallowed by self-doubt. The person I was dating at the time, who was an ass for many other reasons, would call me out on it and tell me he couldn’t stand to be around negative people, and needed to be around people that made him feel good. It sounds incredibly selfish, but there is definitely some truth there. Negative people breed negativity. I don’t like people prone to manufactured “drama” around because they try to suck you right up into their shit show with them.

This is a wonderful article to read – “A Take-No-Shit List for Your Well Being“. I try to incorporate so many of these steps into my life but I still have so much more to take on. If I can just keep my focus and stop letting stupid thing bother me, this will be an awesome year.

Conversations with Peanut, Part 2

Him: “Samuel L. Jackson was born in the 1940s. Can you believe that? He does not look that old!”

Me: “Not at all. I would have guessed him to be in his late 40s.”

Him: “Yeah…it’s kinda like Lindsey Lohan. She’s in her 20s but has the body of a 50 year old man.”

I can’t even with this kid.

Conversation with Peanut

Scene: Sunset. Listening to the radio in the car. U2’s “Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around the World” comes on.

Me: “This is one of my favorite lyrics ever. Shh..listen.”

And a woman needs a man
Like a fish needs a bicycle

Him: “What? That doesn’t make any sense. Fish can’t use bikes.”

Me: “I KNOW.”

Him: “Ooooh. I get it. Kinda like how Adam Sandler doesn’t need Kevin James, but Kevin James needs Adam Sandler.”

Me: “Wut?”

I wrote a serious post and ruined it with a weird gif

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to see come out of this year. I plan on pushing myself in every possible way just to see what I can accomplish. The hard thing for me is not dwelling on any sort of negative noise or feelings. It would be very easy for me to allow self-doubt to consume me and for me to just spend my time hiding from everything. I can’t allow any negative thoughts or people to snake their way into my life.

Lately when I’ve been pulling my Oracle cards, the reoccurring theme is “Forgiveness”. I’ll admit it, I tend to answer that with an unenthusiastic “OH, COME ON!” That’s because I was thinking of forgiveness in the wrong terms. As a friend explained to me, it didn’t have anything to do with anybody and had to do with my needing to release the feelings pent up inside of me. That makes perfect sense, and was a lot easier to swallow. Anger and such are never good emotions to be left brewing for too long. They block creativity, happiness, peace – all the things that I want in my life.

One thing I need to stop doing is tiptoeing around the truth for the sake of someone’s feelings. It does not maintain my integrity to not be forth-coming with my truth. I need to be more assertive in those situations and state the facts. Time and time again I’ve tried to soften the blow to avoid conflict, but I’ve realized that even if conflicts erupts I can chose to not participate. I’ve come to terms that with some people, I will always play the villain. Maybe at some point I would have cared about such things but now I see it is futile to waste my energy trying to convince those people otherwise. How they perceive me bears no impact on my life or what I hope to accomplish.

When I look back on this part of my life many years from now, I will be more interested in seeing my growth and my resolve than any gritty details of what I am going through. The details no longer matter in the grand scheme of things. I have to deal with things that seem to be rooted in emotion with a business savvy. If it adds no benefit to my life, it needs to go.

bidness

I would have preferred an Ice-T gif there, but while looking for one I stumbled upon this monstrosity (or glory, depending on how you look at it) and I lost about 10 minutes of my life that I will never get back:

I…don’t….even

What was that I was just saying about things that serve no purpose? Whatever, this gif definitely serves a purpose. Perhaps to haunt my dreams. That’s still a purpose.

How I Started the New Year

I may have reveled a little too much on New Year’s Eve. It wasn’t until 8am that I was crawling into bed.  The problem with late nights with pets and kids is that someone or something will eventually wake you up way too soon. I mean, WAY too soon. I was only asleep for 3 hours before the dogs were waking me up to go out. While I was awake, I glanced at my phone and saw a message from a friend asking me if I was free to look at dogs at a local shelter to pull for the rescue. That sounded a lot more appealing than sleeping away the first day of the new year, so I was up for it.

The shelter is relatively new, as there was change of hands in the administration. The old group left and the new group was setting up the space. They weren’t opened to the public just yet, so they had a small amount of dogs available (and chickens, but that is a whole other story). We walked through, eyeballing dogs to pull out for rescue, which is never an easy choice to begin with. The desire is to save each and every animal, but that has to be balanced with the realities of rescue. Is there an available foster to take the dog? Does the dog have a good temperament? With the rescue I foster for, age is irrelevant. We’ve pulled pregnant moms and seniors alike. As we browsed, we stopped by the kennel holding an absolute bear of a dog. He was a lab/rott mix with beautiful amber eyes. He watched us as we read the little bit of info on his crate. Almost immediately we knew we’d pull him, but whether or not it would be that day or a following day after a foster was found was yet to be decided. We had the shelter pull this dog, who was named “The Hulk”, and a white bull/pit mix named Oreo (?) to see how they handled each other. Each passed the temperament test, and my friend turned to me and said “What do you think about taking him?”

I had to think for a minute. When Phoenix was a toddler, I had a rott mix named Orion who was a gentle and sweet dog. He would curl up in my arms and watch cartoons with me. My experience with the breed has always been positive. My neighbor has a rottweiler who tends to leave the yard when he feels like it, and since I am the “dog lady” on the street, I will retrieve him and bring him back to his home. He’s a sweet goofball. I also needed to factor in my three dogs, the foster I already had and whether The Hulk was cat-friendly. (There were no cats at the shelter so this last one would require a gamble on my part.) I looked at The Hulk and thought of him sleeping another night in the shelter or starting the new year in a foster home. I agreed to take him. There is something about pulling a dog from the shelter to go into a foster home. It’s almost as if they know. Not to anthropomorphize dogs, but then again I have entire conversations with my animals, they get this sort of gleam of hope in their eyes.

We brought The Hulk back to my house to get him settled. Introductions needed to be made with my dogs. Thankfully, adult male dogs are not an issue for Sable; it’s usually just other adult females. She still bosses everyone around but there is a better chance of her liking a male dog than female. Puppies don’t have that affect on her since she can successful herd them around. She is an odd dog. The Hulk met her approval though, as well as Juliet’s and Bella’s. Bella took a few minutes to acknowledge The Hulk’s presence because she’s much more interested in human visitors.

One of the things we noticed about The Hulk was that someone had taken the time to train him. He sat for us and gave his paw when asked. When I gave him a treat, he took it very gently from my hand. In stark contrast, my uncivilized dogs tried to take my fingers off with the treats I gave them, and they definitely know better. He’s gotten used to the routine already. He’s become my shadow and tries to sit under my desk when I work, but he hasn’t realized that he is easily 100lbs and not a tiny lap dog. The cat introduction also went smoothly. Colt tends to avoid new fosters for a good week or two, or forever if it’s a herd of puppies who can overtake him. He walked up to The Hulk and rubbed up against him, purring. I have joked that it’s a solidarity thing with him; either it’s “us guys have to stick together” or “I’m a large cat…you’re a large dog. We just became best friends.”

Of course, The Hulk needed a new name. The nerd in me was content to keep it as is, but the realist in me agreed that a 100lb dog does not need a name that suggests rage issues. Nothing seemed to fit him. Teddy/Bear would be way too pedestrian and any mythological name still suggested daunting power. I came back to my first rott, and thought about what a gentle being he was. It was an easy decision.

Meet Orion.

Orion

Orion's glamour shot. #adoptable #fosterdogsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #rottweiler

A photo posted by Justine Meyer (@dangermonkey) on

 

Oh, and as for the other foster pup (named Andy)? He was adopted this weekend!

 

The Civil Wars

If there was a breakup in 2014 that bothered me as much as my own, it was the dissolution of the band The Civil Wars. (That was a joke. I’m adding levity to a painful situation.) I had just gotten into their music during the year, but there is a pattern with me where I like a band and it either broke up already or on the way to breaking up. Or, in the case of the Ink Spots, they are from the freaking 1930s. So I’m used to this happening, and really it was inevitable with The Civil Wars given the past few years of tension. There have been plenty of jokes about how aptly named they were.

Regardless of my inability to ever see them on tour, unless they hug and make up, I still have several songs of theirs on repeat.

First off, “Poison and Wine”, which is a relatively new listen for me. As a song that explores the complexities of a committed relationship from the rougher moments that require a little more effort to keep it together (“I don’t love you, but I always will”), it is a hard listen for me sometimes.

 

And as long as I’m depressing myself, “Dust to Dust” is so painfully beautiful.

And finally, “From This Valley”, which is surprisingly not depressing.

I wish I could have seen these two perform live. They have such an amazing chemistry together and their lyrics are just so beautiful and powerful.

hope

It was nice knowing you, 2014

What is it about New Year’s that seems like the finale of a chapter? It is a day, like any other day. The sun rises and sets just like it always does, and yet, on New Year’s, it brings relief, hope and a flood of other emotions. I can’t say 2014 was bad, nor could I say it was good. It was a year of tremendous upset and change. I read it best from a numerology post:

Last year was deeply emotional and/or confusing for you, but it enabled you to answer many questions about who you really are and why your life is as it is. It had to be that way so you could know what your needs really are.

Which makes sense when it’s put that way. I know I accomplished a lot in 2014. I traveled to new places, tried out new experiences, met new people. My biggest obstacles were ones I placed in my own path and, with the exception of a few mishaps here and there, I feel like I overcame those obstacles.

I don’t know what’s in store for 2015, and if I’m being completely honest I feel somewhat scared and unsure about how it will play out. I am still adjusting to this new life of mine and still feel like I’m trying to get my footing. But I can’t look down. I have to just keep moving. When I push aside the feelings of being overwhelmed, it’s actually very exciting. I could accomplish even more this year if I just stay focused.

In the meantime, I’m also toying with this site’s layout again. Not sure I’m 100% on board with this template I’m using. I wanted to go for simplicity and I feel like I went in the opposite direction. At least I didn’t spend 10 hours of my life staring at fonts this time.

 

Adulting – Christmas version

It just occurred to me that this will be the first Christmas in which I will have to play “Santa Claus” solo. (I mean the part about putting out the presents for the kids, of course. Weirdo.) That just seems strange. Not good or bad, just strange. I also feel like I may have overcompensated with the gifts this year.
It’s a weird feeling, this being our first Christmas as a family of three. I spent Christmas Eve baking cookies to gift to my family to keep myself occupied and my mind from dwelling too much. It worked. I try so hard to remold “normal” for my kids. I’m almost relieved that we didn’t have set traditions to rebuild, as that could have been potentially awkward and painful. I am just hoping that my kids are happy. And that I don’t have some sort of emotional meltdown. I think I’ll hold up though.

cleanse

Feelings Watch 2014, Day 155

If you would have asked me last Thursday how I am doing, I would have told you that I was fantastic. I felt the worst was behind me and I was moving forward. I was comfortable with where I was emotionally. I hadn’t cried in days…weeks even. Maybe a month. It was good.

Then last Friday happened, and forced all my feelings that I thought had gone away right up to my face to glare at me. Why was this happening? I had made progress. I was pretty sure I was through all the stages of grief and onto acceptance. I was looking forward to what was in the future.

Now for the past week, I have cried more than I have for the past two months. It was like dealing with the heartbreak all over again. I was once again in a million broken pieces trying frantically to pull myself together. And for what?

I hate feeling like someone’s fallback plan.

And that’s how I felt. I didn’t feel like I was worth coming back to because of love, but because I was some sort of safety net. That doesn’t make a person feel all that great.

I pull Oracle cards on a regular basis for direction and guidance. It’s kind of like tarot, but not the same deck or set up. One card that comes up time and time again is the one entitled “Cleanse & Detoxify”. I pull it any time I am neglecting myself in some way – not eating right, not getting enough sleep, overworking myself. This time, I believe it was referring to the toxic situation I was putting myself in. When it comes down to it, I have two very clear choices: continue to be miserable and wallow in the place I’ve fallen in, or refuse to stay down here and continue on the path that I had begun foraging. I’d be a fool to stay miserable. I’d whine about it being hard to pull out of it, but I was slapped with some truth talk today from a friend – “KEEP TELLING YOURSELF IT’S HARD AND IT WILL BE.” I pointed out that this advice could also be used for men suffering with ED, as it is almost impossible to have a normal conversation with me.

I can’t help but feel lost regardless. I feel like some progress slipped away from me and that I have to work back up to where I was. A few weeks ago, I was told to flip open a Book of Answers for some direction on what to do next. The page I opened to said ominously “Mishaps will occur.” At the time, I felt dread, but I was reassured that I just need to take the mishaps, learn from them, and move on instead of beating myself up over everything thing, which is good advice for anyone unless your mishaps involve some sort of crime or something. Or if you’re the type of person that just looks for something to blame other than yourself. That could be a bad mix. “Oh, sorry I slipped up and stole money out of your wallet. Mishaps occur, amiright??”

I have a trip coming up in a few days, and getting out of town always seems to be the perfect bit of detox that I need. I’m trying to stay focused on that an not allow my mind to go back to wallowing.