Depression

Just last week a young man in my neighborhood committed suicide – Today I see a “need to know” story titled U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-year High – and I feel like there is something that people need to think about.

According to my doctor, Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain.  One that I’m currently working through myself and have had bouts of throughout the years.  My daddy passed away when I was 15.  He was my best friend.  There is a lot that he has missed in my life, both good and bad.  Then my mom passed about 12 years ago.  Again, so much she is missing in my life.  I’ve lost all my grandparents in between the time I lost my dad and now.  It’s hard.  Life isn’t easy.  I went to see a therapist who’s lasting message to me was “You are not an orphan.  Your parents didn’t choose to leave you – they had to go.”  Ok, I get it.  I get it.  I still repeat it to myself at least once a week.  But just because my head gets it, doesn’t mean that my heart understands.

When dealing with someone in a situation similar to mind, try to keep these facts in your mind.

1.) Yes, we know we have a support system and tons of people that love us and care about us.  We know we can lean on you for support, but you aren’t the person we are missing and we have to move beyond that fact before we can reach out to our support team.  It takes a strong heart to admit that we need help.

2.) Sometimes it’s not the hard things in life that make our life unbearable.  It’s the good things.  I’ve never been more down than when I want to pick up the phone and call my mom to tell her I got a raise or that my dog learned a new trick.  It’s not about being sad.  It’s about feeling sad and not sharing good news is just as bad as not sharing bad news.

3.) Being left alone can be helpful – It can also be the most hurtful thing.  I pull away.  I don’t like to talk about my feelings.  But I have friends that are relentless about texting me and making sure that even if I’m alone, they are always just a text, phone call or visit away.  I actually have several friends who check in with me daily.  Sometimes they are what keep me going.

4.) Talking about my parents is helpful if I choose to do it, but please don’t push the topic.  I loved my parents more than anything.  I’m an only child, so they were my playmates, study partners and friends.  Losing them feels like I lost a limb.  And it still has phantom pains.

5.) It gets easier – then it doesn’t.  That’s why I’m stuck in the cycle I’m currently in.  Like everyone else, we have good days and bad days.  I can go years without medicine and then one day something just switches in my head and I need help.  Thankfully, I have friends who can see this coming and they are there to encourage me to seek attention – I’ve been given the ultimatum to either see a therapist or go back on my medicine.  For me, that’s one of the most helpful things that could have happened at that time.  My friend could see the pain I was in and how I was able to cope with it better when I had assistance.  This approach wouldn’t help everyone, but for me…

6.) Something else that has been helpful for me is finding a way to reach out to others.  I love making other people happy.  It means the world to me.  I have a very giving heart.  I recently found a website called More Love Letters that encourages you to write letters to send to either people they email you about or just random letters.  I’ve found that I’m much more likely to do this on a “down day” since writing to cheer someone else up cheers me up.

Please note – I’m in no way a doctor and this is not medical advice.  This is just some of the things I wish more people knew about me.

Disney Cruise Line

One of our all-time favorite vacation destinations is Disney – Land, World, Cruise, Hawaii – doesn’t matter.  We LOVE Disney.  Starting about 10 years ago, we’ve made at least one vacation a year a Disney vacation.  We’re members of the Disney Vacation Club and love to share our knowledge and interests with our friends.  So, if you have any questions at all, please let me know and I’ll be happy to answer them for you!

This year our vacation will be a Disney Cruise.  We are going along with two friends that we met on our first Disney Cruise about 6 years ago.  Neither of us have kids and we thought it would be fun to see what kind of trouble we could all get into together.  One of the most fabulous things about the Disney Cruiseline is how they have everything set-up.  Part of the ship is mostly for Littles – Part for Families – Part for Adults Only.  Each group has it’s own pool and snack areas.  So if your kids are at the Kid’s Club (which most kids seems to adore) you and your spouse can go sit at the adult pool, listen to the live music and enjoy a drink.  But, if you want to spend pool time with your kids you can all go to the family pool and watch movies on the big screen they have there while you swim.

Disney also has fabulous dinner shows! This is one of the things I’m most looking forward to doing on our trip.  We always get 2nd dinner, so we see our show first, then have a little time before dinner.  I’m amazed at how they can pull some of these amazing shows off while sailing on a ship.  The costumes and make-up are totally up to Disney quality and equal or better than things you’d see in the Parks.

The best part of most Disney Cruises is the visit to Disney’s private island – Castaway Cay.  We’ve been on one cruise that sailed out of Galveston that didn’t hit this port of call and we really missed it – This year it’s back on the agenda!!!  The island is set-up a lot like the ship.  Areas for teens, areas for families and areas for adults only.  It’s super clean and the water is beautiful.  When we first went, one of the prop ships from the Pirates of the Caribbean was parked right off the ship as we docked.  I’ve heard it is no longer there…

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You’ll be hearing more about Disney from me in the future since it’s one of my favorite things to talk about and if you have any questions, please post them in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Air Brush Tanning

There are no pictures for this post – Just my honest opinion based on my experience.

Saturday I stepped outside my comfort zone and got my first ever air brush tan.  Now, I had the kind before where you step into a booth, hit a button, follow a pattern and you get sprayed – usually missing some large, random piece of your body that you can’t cover.  But this was stand naked (well almost – I had a disposable thong) in front of someone with a can of spray tan while they made sure to hit every inch of your body with glorious color.  I was terribly embarrassed and worried about this appointment, but I must admit that I ended up being a little more embarrassed by my super white, can’t tan skin.  So I did it!

In less than 15 minutes I went from glowing white to a glorious tan.  It was amazing!  When she was done, I was handed the spray hose and got to air dry myself off.  I had to wait 8 hours before showering and then they recommended that I only rinse off – That was helpful and got the remaining sticky off – Then 24 hours I could use soap.  I have to say – It was worth the 15 minutes of uncomfortable to look in the mirror and have a nice glow.  The chemicals really dry your skin out, so that’s one of the things I’m learning to work with, but overall, I feel like the experience was worth it.  I won’t blind half of the world when I go on vacation soon and need to put on a swimsuit or shorts, so I think 15 minutes a week is well worth my time – Next appointment is Friday night and I can’t wait!!!

Thursday Thirteen – Things I Want to Learn

This meme no longer exists but I’m bring it back on my own…  Thirteen Things I want to Learn:

  1. How to Cook… Or how not to be afraid of my kitchen knives
  2. How to Paddle Board
  3. How to enjoy healthy eating
  4. How to love a good, long run again
  5. How to believe in myself
  6. How to dress – I know my boss would prefer no more hoodies!
  7. How to take care of my nails – I hate them long and never have them taken care of
  8. How to read multiple books at one time – I can only handle one and gravitate to the one I like the best
  9. How to enjoy my life outside of the office
  10. How to enjoy things alone – eating out, traveling, etc.
  11. Texas History – Growing up I knew my Tennessee and North Carolina history.  I’d love to find a class to learn my Texas history since I call this amazing state home now.
  12. How to drive in Dallas – or any other large city
  13. How to go with the flow

What about you?  What would you like to learn?

Interesting Travel Experience – Part 2

Less than 2 months later, I found myself to be the odd ball out as an American visiting Hiroshima, Japan.  My friend took me to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.  Wow.  Just wow.  In that short time span I was able to view both sides of the WWII Pacific front.  The Japanese people were extremely hospitable and welcoming and the knowledge and memories that I brought home still percolate in my mind.  The educational part of the Memorial Museum is presented similarly to Pearl Harbor – War is war and people do what they have to do in wartime.  Neither location presented an “us versus them” style mentality, which I give them both extreme credit.  The Memorial Museum is also dedicated to education on the full effects of the atomic bomb and the abolition of the technology.  The Mayor of Hiroshima writes a letter to world leaders each time nuclear testing is performed – encouraging them to cease and find alternate ways to demonstrate power.  They also have exhibits that show clothing, toys, medical records and more of citizens effected by the fallout and blast.  It’s mind-boggling.

Inside

A tribute to the A-Dome covered in letters from the mayor of Hiroshima to world leaders each time a nuclear test is done.

Outside the main Museum is the Peace Park.  It’s a beautiful, reflective area – people were very subdued and respectful.

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Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims; the eternal flame and the A-Dome.

Children Monumnet

The children’s peace monument with thousands and thousands of paper cranes, which are sent from all over the world.

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The Bell of Peace

Hypocenter

A plaque commemorating the exact hypocenter.  It’s a powerful moment to stand there – I can’t imagine living and/or working there everyday.

Interesting Travel Experience – Part 1

Several years ago, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to see two amazing places in this world almost back to back.  In May, my husband and I traveled to Hawaii to spend our wedding anniversary at the Disney Resort there.  The true highlight of the trip for me was our visit to Pearl Harbor.  My mind is still blown.  On the grounds of the visitor center, they have a submarine you can tour, The USS Bowfin, and several exhibits you can explore.  This is also where you catch the boat ride over to the actual USS Arizona Memorial.  If you ever want to go, please go as early in the day as possible.  We had afternoon tickets and the ticket agent bumped us up earlier in the day.  If he hadn’t, we would have missed out because they had to stop the boats due to choppy water.  They did a fabulous job of presenting the facts of the Pearl Harbor bombing without a lot of emotion.  This was a major plus, since I was honestly shocked at the amount of Japanese tourists that were there.  They had school kids on class trips – Retirement groups – and then us bumbling mainlanders.  (Remember this…  It will be very important in Part 2)  After you watch a short film about WWII, you exit and board a small boat that is piloted by the US Navy and taken across to the Memorial.  You get about 15 minutes on the Memorial and then are taken back across to the visitor center.  It is an extremely peaceful location – They ask that if you have children that you keep them quiet or keep them in the entrance part of the Memorial.  The back section where they have the wall of names is supposed to be reflective and prayful.  It’s very moving. (Did you know that people that served on the USS Arizona and survived can be brought back to the Memorial and buried with their shipmates?)  The oil is still leaking from the Arizona and you can catch it bubbling to the surface while looking out over the water.

Arizona Memorial

Next to the Memorial you will see the USS Missouri.  To reach this massive ship, you have a catch a bus at the visitor center and ride around to the other side of the harbor.  It’s a quick trip on an air-conditioned bus and the time you get to spend on the ship is a blast.  It’s a great piece of history to see the Missouri next to the Arizona.  The Missouri still has marks where it was attacked by kamikaze pilots and is the ship where Japan surrendered at the end of World War II.  The Big Mo lets you experience what life would have been like on a Battleship – cramped.  But it’s a fun way to see history.  It also allowed me to understand better what my friends went through as they served their time aboard these vessels.

Surrender

What do I want to be when I grow up?

This is a loaded question for me and has changed so greatly over the years that it’s surprising I have become anything at all. Up until about the 7th grade, all I wanted to be was a Navy pilot and Astronaut. I could tell you anything and everything you wanted to know about the aviation industry and the aerospace program. Most girls had teen stars hanging on their walls. I had astronauts and airplanes hanging on mine. In 1989 on the 20th anniversary on the moon landing, my mom took me to the Huntsville Space & Rocket Center where we got to get up close and personal with the Apollo 11 astronauts. They literally rose from the ground right in front of us. I have pictures somewhere to prove this, but my memory has them forever ingrained in all of their heroism.

About the 9th grade, my focus shifted to music. I love music. I’m not great at it, but it’s a passion of mine than I spent hours focusing on to improve. I decided to see where I could go in the industry and found an amazing program at Middle Tennessee State University where I could focus on the Music Industry / Business side. This included concert promotion, copyright law, press, marketing, research. Everything I loved but with a music spin. I even got to work on a focus group that assisted Sony Music and the Dixie Chicks and interned at MCA-Nashville that had artists like Vince Gill, Reba and Marty Stewart.

After graduating with my degree, I decided that being married was more important than the degree I just obtained and I followed my husband out of the state – to an area where the music industry isn’t as prevalent. I lucked my way into jobs for a church music newsletter and an entertainment attorney, before I found my current home in the home entertainment field. Now I spend my days running reports, making sure we have inventory, keeping schedules updated and enjoying a field I never thought I’d love.

I’m perfectly happy here, but if I had to grow up to be something else, I would want to be a world-traveler. Or maybe a librarian. Or The Librarian (if you haven’t seen these movies / series you are missing out!) where I’d get to do both. So I guess I want to be The Librarian when I grow up.  (FYI – I never thought I’d get this answer when I started this post, so I learned something today too)

50 Questions

Ok.  Maybe not 50 Questions, but I don’t want to stop and count them all.  I borrowed this from Stacy because I loved reading her answers and laughing at how similar mine are.

HAVE YOU EVER:
Snuck out: No Need.  My mom always knew where I was going
Broken a bone: Thankfully no
Cried myself to sleep: More than I can count
Been arrested: No
Felt lonely: Yes
Been depressed: Yes

WHAT’S YOUR:
Birthday: November 19.  I have an Amazon Wishlist if you want to plan ahead!!
Biggest fear: Losing my loved ones
Dream job: Right where I’m at.  I love the entertainment industry.
Dream car: Mini Convertible
Dream house: Small, beach-front place located somewhere warm

DO YOU:
Like someone: Sure.  I have quite a few friends
Love someone: Lots
Have tattoos: Not Yet
Have piercings: Double Ears
Party: With a book on my sofa

FAVORITE:
Artist: Harry Connick, Jr
Movie: Zoolander, San Andreas
Song: “Good to Be Alive” by Andy Grammer
Netflix series: Making a Murderer
Book: Oh good grief.  I’m addicted and this is an unfair question.
Color: Purple
Animal: English, Black Labs

THIS OR THAT:
Twitter or Facebook: Facebook
Twitter or Instagram: Instagram
Facebook or Instagram: Instagram
Coke or Pepsi: Coke Zero
Tea or coffee: Sweet Tea, I’m a Southern Girl
Tacos or pizza: Tacos
Winter or summer: Summer

WOULD YOU EVER:
Get married: Already have
Have kids: No thank you
Swim with sharks: Heck, yes.  Bring it!!
Eat rotten food: No way on earth.  I toss it the day before it expires
Marry a foreigner: This is a strange question.  If I loved them sure.  But I’m not leaving my U.S. of A.

Wordless Wednesday

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Entertainment

I have really been enjoying my time with my To Be Read pile lately – I should, it’s large enough!!  I have several amazing finds in there that I just need to dig out and enjoy, but it’s so hard to decide which one will be next.

Currently, I am reading White Walls, which was recommended by Mayim Bialik over on Instagram.  I’ve had it a few weeks, but picked it up again over the weekend and fell in love.  Judy Batalion does a wonderful job on mixing timelines from “present day” to her childhood seamlessly.  You don’t miss a beat trying to figure out where she is or tie the story together.  It’s really interesting to see all the parallels that she has drawn.  I’ve found myself nodding along in agreement and chuckling out loud several times.  “White Walls” is very well done and so far, it’s on my highly recommend list.

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