14 March 2015

Three Blessings Challenge

I made this up myself. Well, sort of. Actually, it's not that far of a stretch from any other three-day, 7-day, 30-day challenge, nor did I think up the idea at all. I just assembled two other people's ideas - other challenges I've seen (and some I've completed) and this article about training your brain to be happy; and figured I would turn them into a challenge for myself.

Challenge is a word that seems to draw more ambition out of me than say, "diet" or "excercise routine" and, well, the article linked to above was just the last straw, the last kick in the pants I needed to get back into blogging and/or journalling. I love writing. I've missed it. But I've also learned that moving out of a small, cramped town still does not remove the absolute necessity of discretion in subject matter and composition style, so I'm pretty much flooped as I like to bitch about things.

But that's where we are. The constant struggle to refrain from negativity. I've waffled between the worlds of positivity and negativity since before I even started this blog and still I struggle. This blog was initially meant to be a vehicle for that struggle and venting in a safe place. But unfortunately I learned that as audience-less as this blog is, it has fallen - more than one time - upon the eyes of just a few right people - or wrong; and it's given me occasion to step back, become more chompy and bitter and figure out what I need to do differently.

While reading, rereading, and more reading on every morsel of discerned piece of advice that I could possibly acquire in the segmented fractions of time that I have to do so, it has finally sunk into my brain that I do, indeed, need to do more positive thinking exercises. At last, there is no way around the very central fact that 1) I need to do this and 2) it's okay.

Heavy sigh. It's okay. It's actually OK to do this. It's ok.

It's. OH. KAY.

To go through the motions of an exercise that earlier in my life I would have written off as cheesy, bullshit garbage.

Because of the following reasons:

1.) I used to think counselors were bullshit, garbage fluffballs of do-no-good, help-thwarting la-la land dwellers, (some really are)

2.) I thought I had too many and too deep of a problem to get anyone to understand; beyond what any fluffball piece of sugary anecdote piece of crap advice could hope to inject,

3.) When I finally started to see their good and had the beautiful opportunity to talk to a few really good ones, I thought I had WAY too much stuff to work out - way more than the average life - that it would take time and committment that I just didn't have or want and was absolutely irate about having to schedule in appointments to order to continue,

4.) The idea that I couldn't get myself through something, anything, of the trials I'd been through, irritated the piss out of me. Surely the way I survived was the kickassest way. It was the Cazares way. It did just fine, thankyouverymuch, and wasn't I kickassy enough for everyone to see that?

 5.) My dad confirmed that counselors/therapists/psychologists were just bullshit, too, when I young. Before I even took my first step into the real world or had my first real taste of obstacles, I wasn't going to stand a chance in hell of resembling anything close to a healthy adult.

And... why, I wonder, was I so negative?

The problem is and has been for a lonnnnnnnng, terribly long, time affecting just about every. single. relationship. I've ever been in.


Since the history of Amy Maria Cazares.

Huge and apocalyptic defensiveness. To seed and seep into every pore and vein within my tentacle grasp. Write the word "defensiveness". Circle it. Now draw all the branches out with the names of every perceivable consequence of that word written on each branch until you're blue in the face or exhausted or both. There. Now you have some idea of the havoc I've wreaked on people. And, consequently, how I've distorted the SHIT out of everything with every single emotion I've ever tinkered with.

From the Old Amy to the Now Amy, I'd like to think I've moved my way from thinking like a cavewoman to a smart person, with more fully formed ideas and logic, rationale, common sense (REAL common sense, not the relative common sense.) But it's still there. That urge to growl, snap, force those I love to cow down before me, lash out. I might as well be the hunter and the gatherer.

But all those reasons for thinking help, getting help, or seeking out help was so "cheesy" are also exactly why, finally, now it's okay. I finally read enough articles, talked to enough people, and struggled enough with my stupid, damning pride through plenty enough years to finally get it through my stubborn, super thick skull that I can see that, yes, these are signs. Signs that point to the need to do something to help myself. To practice what I cannot preach.

So with that, just like with any routine of discipline, much like music lessons or sports abilities, you have to practice what you're not good at with steady rigor and patient repetitiveness. And since I've got that going for me (the ability to play piano), which is nice, I am ready and able to practice what I'm not good with. Being positive. I am taking the advice of the above-mentioned article and turning it into a challenge.

Three Blessings Challenge - 3 Things That Went Well Today and Why

1.) I got the house clean

2.) I got to blast the kids' music in the car

3.) I finally got back to blogging


1.) I felt accomplished. It got cleaned the way I like it. It was nice to move around and feel relief that piles weren't running rampant and taking over. And Trevor was home to enjoy it with after.

2.) It made the girls smile and be surprised. I got to be the cool mom for a sec. I got to be "that" mom for a moment. The weather was the most beautiful day of the season thus far. And it took me back to being a kid wishing she could drive and jam to her music. And I got to do that for my kid self, but also garner my daughter's smile.

3.) I enjoy writing and I love being able to put myself into my work and now I have something I can put all of that excitement into in a constructive but unhampered way.

Why It Happened

1.) I had an EDO today. I had time. God blessed me with a government job after much heartache in other jobs.

2.) I just got in the car without balking about gas. I just enjoyed my car, used the sound system, revved the EcoBoost that gives it balls, took corners a little too fast because my car maneuvers like a dream, picked up Ce's friends all over town to take them to a cute little get-together. I wanted to make Celia and her friends happy and at ease.

3.) Because I finally bit the bullet. Because I finally paid attention to signs that were so evident and clear that I could no longer just shirk them away. God was more persistent and stubborn than me. PRAISE IT!


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