April In My Mind

April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.
― T.S. Eliot

TO what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only underground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Strong Women Are Molded by the Hardships They Endure

Life, as we all know, can be painfully difficult at times. Many women just can’t seem to endure all the hardships. Some, however, are molded by the challenges and have found a way to deal with things. Strong women never let hardships define them and bring them down. They don’t get hurt by the fire – like a phoenix, they rise up from the ashes and are reborn.

Strong women learn from their mistakes and see them as challenges that will ultimately make them stronger and wiser. They are an example to follow and the inspiration we seek. The strength these women radiate is living proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

They believe in themselves and use pain as a shield. Unlike the rest of us, strong women do things differently in life. They are created by the storms they survive and have amazing traits that define them. Here are some of those traits we can’t help but admire:

They Don’t Fear Emotions

Many of us are afraid of our emotions and showing our vulnerable side. Not strong women, though – they are human after all and not afraid to show it. These women are not afraid of emotions – whenever they’re hit by hardship, they get off the ground, dust themselves, and move on.

They Believe in Themselves

Strong women know who they are and know what they want from life. Their inner voice guides them and they believe it. That’s how they know they’re on the right path.

They Seek Respect, not Attention

A strong woman is not interested in the limelight. She doesn’t want attention, but she surely seeks respect. You’ll never see these women beg for something – they are only interested in respect. They will never ask for it, of course. But don’t give them the respect they believe they deserve and they will walk away from you.

They Always Tell the Truth

No matter how hard it might be too hear, strong women will always tell the truth. Their hearts are always in the right place and honesty is a policy they live by. If the truth hurts someone’s feelings, they’re OK with it. They’d rather say it than spreading lies.

They Wear Pain As Armor

While we all live in fear of pain, strong women use it as armor. These women are survivors and will never give in to fear. They are brave warriors that stare in the face of fear and relish the challenge. Failures are stepping stones for them and that’s exactly what makes them so different than the rest of the crowd.

[Source: QuotesGate]

There is an ocean of silence between us and I am drowning in it.

The sad part is, that I will probably end up loving you without you for much longer than I loved you when I knew you. Some people might find that strange. But the truth of it is that the amount of love you feel for someone and the impact they have on you as a person is in no way relative to the amount of time you have known them. ― Ranata Suzuki

The Pursuit Of Happiness

Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experiences. A hurt is at the center of all addictive behaviors. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper, and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain.

– Dr. Gabor Maté

And what if one doesn’t have an addiction? Just a momentarily diversion that dwindles over time and starts again in another form?

I have that with things… One day it was shawls, another week bags, could be pizza also or smoothies. Then I get tired of them all and forget. During my wildest years, I used to drink ten screwdrivers on a Saturday night but never had a craving during weekdays. It went on for at least eight years or so and then from one day to another, I just woke up not wanting to touch alcohol anymore. No reasons, no purpose, just like that.

My momentarily “addiction” always starts with “liking” the taste, the touch, the looks… Then I want to have more of those. But no matter how hard I tried to be addicted to anything, I always get over it after a time without trying. The novelty disappears over time and it always never comes back.

Perhaps my addiction is (if you can call that an addiction) probably books. I can’t live without. And taking long walks and discovering new places. I become agitated if I can’t go out there and wander. And writing of course. I have got to write. I will go crazy if I would not be able to express my thoughts in writing.

For the rest, like a butterfly that flutters from bloom to bloom, I will continue to dance from one fleeting interest to one fleeting interest savoring the momentarily pleasure that the experience gives.

Till it is time to move on again___

when I lost the enjoyment.

The difference between a drinker and an alcoholic is; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day. ― Gail Carriger

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Infinite Jest

“If by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility, you will acquire many exotic new facts […] That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. Then that most nonaddicted adult civilians have already absorbed and accepted this fact, often rather early on […] That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused […] That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That gambling can be an abusable escape, too, and work, shopping, and shoplifting, and sex, and abstention, and masturbation, and food, and exercise, and meditation/prayer […] That loneliness is not a function of solitude […] That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt […] That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness […] That the effects of too many cups of coffee are in no way pleasant or intoxicating […] That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz.
That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused […]
That it is permissible to want […]
That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.”

― David Foster Wallace

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We all matter – maybe less than a lot but always more than none.

The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

What this mean? If the sacrifice is lesser than the damage is it okay? Or it’s the other way around?

Oh, I know…

Care!

It’s about how important is something to you. Personally.

The value of something increases when you attach importance to it.

Yes!

That’s it!

Am I right?

Understanding Addiction

“I understand addiction now. I never did before, you know. How could a man (or a woman) do something so self-destructive, knowing that they’re hurting not only themselves but the people they love? It seemed that it would be so incredibly easy for them to just not take that next drink. Just stop. It’s so simple, really. But as so often happens with me, my arrogance kept me from seeing the truth of the matter.
I see it now though.
Every day, I tell myself it will be the last. Every night, as I’m falling asleep in his bed, I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll book a flight to Paris, or Hawaii, or maybe New York. It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as it’s not here. I need to get away from Phoenix—away from him—before this goes even one step further.
And then he touches me again, and my convictions disappear like smoke in the wind.
This cannot end well. That’s the crux of the matter, Sweets. I’ve been down this road before—you know I have—and there’s only heartache at the end. There’s no happy ending waiting for me like there was for you and Matt. If I stay here with him, I will become restless and angry. It’s happening already, and I cannot stop it. I’m becoming bitter and terribly resentful. Before long, I will be intolerable, and eventually, he’ll leave me. But if I do what I have to do, what my very nature compels me to do, and move on, the end is no better. One way or another, he’ll be gone. Is it not wiser to end it now, Sweets, before it gets to that point? Is it not better to accept that this happiness I have is destined to self-destruct?
Tomorrow I will leave. Tomorrow I will stop delaying the inevitable. Tomorrow I will quit lying to myself, and to him.
Tomorrow.
What about today, you ask? Today it’s already too late. He’ll be home soon, and I have dinner on the stove, and wine chilling in the fridge. And he will smile at me when he comes through the door, and I will pretend like this fragile, dangerous thing we have created between us can last forever.
Just one last time, Sweets. Just one last fix. That’s all I need.
And that is why I now understand addiction.”

― Marie Sexton

Pushing The Limits

If you lose someone you can’t live without your heart will be badly broken. You will never completely get over the loss but they will live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ― Anne Lamott

POOR MARCH

It is the HOMELIEST month of the year. Most of it is MUD, Every Imaginable Form of MUD, and what isn’t MUD in March is ugly late-season SNOW falling onto the ground in filthy muddy heaps that look like PILES of DIRTY LAUNDRY. ― Vivian Swift

Well, I don’t agree. Especially now that almost everything becomes evergreen due to global warming no doubt. Even deciduous trees and plants somehow failed to shed their leaves entirely. The photo above and below I’ve taken both in February 2015 and look how beautiful they are. And there is no snow this year aside from occasional night frost which right away disappear in the morning. We had more foggy days and nights though that linger compared to other years. The temperature now is in most days double-digit which is on its own very alarming but who noticed? In my experience, December and January are the most depressing months of the year. Cold, wet, windy and dark. By February the days get longer and the garden is starting to wake up. No, March for me is okay. That is when I start pruning the roses and from then on, the work never stops.

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The Joneses Don’t Deserve Your Attention.⁣⁣

Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you. That’s what it means to be true to yourself.

I am my biggest critic. It’s me I have to please, no one else. If I am not satisfied with anything, I will continue to work towards improvement regardless of what others think or say. It is my life after all. It is me that has to live with myself till the grave, day and day out. I have to be comfortable in my own skin before I can be any use to anyone. Same with designing your own space. You are the one who is going to live there not other people. So why should you try to impress others when it’s not even their own abode. Do what you like, follow your feelings, decorate according to your taste, design according to your needs, dress up according to your personality and live the way you see fit. As long as your not harming anyone by being yourself, who cares?

Let them judge and let them talk.

It makes me think of something I’ve read somewhere. That coins make a lot of sounds while paper money is silent or something like that. And bells ring hard because they are shallow or something along those lines. What it is that Steve Jobs said:

Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice and our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. 

Isn’t that great?

We are all born terminal. We are all going to die sooner or later. We are living on borrowed time. Don’t you think we better spend it on experience than accumulating earthy possessions? I remember what my then friend M. said to me a long time ago. She said: “With all that money you are spending on globetrotting you could have been a millionaire by now.”  I just looked at her because I didn’t understand her point of view and I didn’t bother to explain mine because she would not understand, and I mighty glad I did what I did because with my current condition and limited situation if I did not follow my heart and invested on experience, I will not have something to remember and fall back on when the going gets tough. Those cherished memories keep me sane and I’m grateful for that. I said to myself then: I don’t want to lie on my death bed wondering about ifs and what could have been. At least now I could honestly say to myself that I’ve been there done that twice over and back. No regrets.

Oh, I know, some people are hard-set to accumulate material things for the sake of legacy. To leave to their descendants, to give them a fair start in life as my aunt used to say. Granted. But I personally believe that the best foundation you can give to your own children is the gift of one thing no one can steal and they can never lose: education. Coupled it with a decent upbringing and nuggets of wisdom here and there, proper morals and values and they will be okay. Earning and finding their place in the world has to be the fruit of their own labor, not yours. They will follow their own paths anyway no matter what we told them to do. I, for one thing, don’t want my children to live up to my expectations. I rather that they live up to theirs. I will never live through my children. I don’t want them to make my dreams come true. I want them to realize their dreams no matter how disappointing it is for me because it is their lives. As long as they are happy, I’m happy. Isn’t it what love is all about, seeing someone happy?

The bottom line is:

We have just one life, why not live it the way we see fit?

Live and let live.

So forget about image and keeping up with the Joneses because:

After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.

Pick The Ax, Chop Off The Anger; Burn The Pieces And Bury The Ashes.

“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding— certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.” ― Jane Austen

Wabi-Sabi

asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy.

quirky, understated, withered, unique.

interesting, fascinating, beautiful.

imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

In short, we are all wabi-sabi.

Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

How’s that for a starting point for tolerance and acceptance?

Flawed. We all are.

Respect to unpredictable limitations of imperfect reliability, limited mortality and inevitable changes.

Wisdom in natural simplicity.