Taking a Break…My Thought for the Day…June 24, 2019

taking a break suzygoebel.com/blog
June 24, 2019

“Taking a break to figure some things out…”
-Suzy Goebel


Taking a Break

Just a little update to let you all know that I have decided I am taking a break from My Thought for the Day.  It obviously hasn’t been a daily thing in a while and has been getting less and less frequent over time.  I need to figure out if I still really want to do this or not.  I am sure I will in some form or another.

Part of the reason is in my recent mania.  I started another blog, crazydogmama.net and I became more focused on that.  Writing articles, creating doggy memes, and designing t-shirts.  But even that one has fallen away.  Unfortunately, this is ‘normal’ due to the ups and downs of being bipolar, I do apologize for this.

I am sincerely hoping the desire to create this sort of inspirational imagery does come back, but a part of me still has the ‘what right do you have’ feeling about it.  Anyhoo, take care and enjoy the summer if you live in the northern hemisphere!  And if you are not, take heart, you just passed the longest night, you are officially on the upswing now!

Walk Away…My Thought for the Day…June 17, 2019

walk away wisdom courage dignity suzygoebel.com/blog
June 17, 2019

“Knowing when to walk away is wisdom. Being able is courage. Walking away with your head held high is dignity.”
Ritu Ghatourey


Wisdom to Walk Away

Sometimes it is easier to stay in a situation that is not good for us than to cut our losses and walk away.  Knowing when to walk away is almost the hardest part.  Many times, you are throwing out safety and security in hopes of something better.  Much like our pioneering predecessors who gambled everything to come to America or any other colony in hopes for a better life.  Knowing when the time is right, that is hard.  Hopefully, we choose the time, and the time is not chosen for us.

Courage to Do So

So now you know the time is right to walk away, the next hard part is mustering the courage to actually walk away.  But you are 1/3 of the way there!  You at least have made that decision.  Now is the time to get your proverbial ducks in a row, of how you will get along after you have left if you haven’t already.  Once you have a solid plan, or any plan for that matter, the courage part is much easier.  It is not so much like stepping off a cliff then!

Dignity in the Aftermath

Now you’ve made our decision, you’ve made your plan.  Now is the time to walk away with dignity.  Even if you don’t feel it, fake it.  Walk away with your head held high and a smile on your face.  You will be ok.  New adventures and opportunities await, you have cleared the space for them to arrive.

Forward!…My Thought for the Day…June 12, 2019

forward
June 12, 2019

“Don’t let the past steal your present.”

-Terri Guillemets


Forward!

How do we keep moving forward when seemingly immobilized by the past?  Whenever I see this particular quote, I think of another, “Past performance is not indicative of future results.”  It makes me laugh a little.

But it is still hard to not be influenced by the past.  The key is balance, use the past as a tool to make a decision, but only as a tool.  Don’t let it overwhelm you where you are frozen and unable to make a decision.

I speak of this from extensive experience of being frozen and unable to make a decision.  Which I am finding is another symptom of Asperger’s.  And speaking of being frozen, the next quote I am reminded of is “Not to decide is to decide.” by Harvey Cox.  I can still see it plainly boxed out in a sidebar in my religion textbook from catholic grade school.  Funny it has stuck with me all these years; it must be important!

So how do we use the past simply as tool, and not let it steal our present?  I wish I knew!  Maybe simply being aware that this is a possibility?  Simply being aware when you go into that frozen state and realizing what is happening.  That you are being immobilized by the past, which is over, and really has no direct bearing on the now.

And finally, another quote I am reminded of, “Awareness is the first step…”  Yes, I suppose awareness IS the first step.  Only by being aware of our weaknesses can we move forward.

 

Fix the Environment…My Thought for the Day…June 10, 2019

fix the environment suzygoebel.com/blog
June 7, 2019

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”
Alexander Den Heijer


Fix the Environment?

So, I am intimately acquainted with this quote.  I have been in many situations where, I, the flower, was not blooming as I should.  And the remedy was always to fix me, the flower, rather than address the possibility that the environment might not be the best for me.

I have not had the easiest time in my professional life, or personal life for that matter!  I recently sought help from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.  DVR is a state agency tasked with helping people with disabilities find and keep employment.  I have a long history of major depression which makes me eligible for services from them, so I thought, why not?  Maybe they can help me.  I brought up to my counselor that I thought I might be bipolar, and I didn’t think depression was the only thing going on.  She agreed and authorized a comprehensive psychological assessment.

So, I have had these assessments before, but stupid me always lied on them, because, well, I didn’t want to be crazy.  So, this time, I decided to be fully honest and answer all the questions to the best of my ability, since I am not getting any younger or any better for that matter.  If anything, certain struggles are getting worse as I get older.

Results

Last week Thursday was my follow up appointment to get the findings.  Turns out, I am both bipolar AND autistic!!  High functioning autism to be clear (formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome), I sure didn’t see that coming.  But it does make a lot of sense.  It is unfortunate I didn’t find this out when I was younger so I could better address the issues and problems my conditions present.

I’m still in a little shock.  A little sad.  Ok a lot of sad.  I feel I have wasted my life at this point, just floundering on the beach like a washed-up fish.  A little scared too.  Not that this diagnosis really changes anything, I am still the person I always was, and it is not a death sentence.  But I am finally realizing I will most likely never be successful in the world of work and no matter how intelligent and how much education I get.  I am just not able to cope with professional situations the way most people are.

I can ‘chameleon’ for only so long, then I get exhausted and the masks come off. I need more time off than most due to this disorder, and most people can’t understand that.  Even my husband doesn’t understand my need for downtime, or I lose it and melt down.  At least I know why I meltdown now!

We all know meltdowns at work are never a good thing.  I believe the longest job I ever held was only due to the large amount of vacation time I had which I also needed to supplement with unpaid time off (FMLA).  Which obviously raised many an eyebrow and hindered my ability to move on to other positions.

Next Steps…

So, where do I go from here?  I am not sure yet.  The doctor said my DVR counselor is really good and can help me immensely, hopefully, this is the case!  Now, I will just start researching more about what it means to be on the autism spectrum and how to cope with that.  I will try to fix my environment because I guess there is no way to fix me!  And maybe have a drink or 3.

I also now know why I was bullied at school and at work.  So, to all the people out there that have ever thought I was off or weird, I guess you were right!  I am going to have to learn to be proud to say…

 

 

So suck it!

Worrying About What Others Think…June 5, 2019

Worrying About What Others Think suzygoebel.com/blog
June 5, 2019

“You are not responsible for what people think about you. But you are responsible for what you give them to think about you.”
Ritu Ghatourey


Worrying About What Others Think

This is a great quote by Ritu Ghatourey, who, unfortunately, I can’t find much information about. She supposedly is an Indian author and there are tons of quotes out there attributed to her, but nonetheless, it is a great quote and leaves me much to ponder.  Because worrying about what others think has always been a weakness of mine throughout my life, that I have felt I had no control over.

This quote sort of releases me. I can’t change what people think, but I can be more careful in what I give them to think about. This quote also encourages me to censor myself a bit, as I have always been very trusting and open, which has hurt me in the past. Maybe giving too much information that is not really necessary and turned out to be to my detriment in the end.

There is nothing wrong with withholding unnecessary information. I guess that is why they encourage job seekers to craft and master an ‘elevator speech.’  Then you have your appropriate canned answer right there, and you don’t ramble on releasing to much information.

I have always had my qualms about the authenticity of this, but maybe we save our authenticity until we know more about the people we are sharing it with.  Or, maybe we just need to be selective with who we share our authentic selves with.

And keep our ‘elevator speech’ for everyone else!

Find Your Gifts…My Thought for the Day…June 3

Find Your Gifts suzygoevel.com/blog
June 3, 2019

“The purpose of life is to find your gift.  The meaning of life is to give it away.”

-William Shakespeare


Find Your Gifts

Life is a journey to find your gifts and talents.  Few of us are lucky enough to have them appear early on in life and recognize them as such.  And most of us, not so much.  It can take years before we realize our gifts, if ever.  Maybe our gifts do appear, and we just don’t recognize them or give them enough value at the time.  Or maybe we are told to pursue other more ‘worthwhile’ pursuits.  Pursuits that will allow us to succeed in this world.

I recently came into contact with an old family friend who in her later years began to paint and has become quite good at it.  I don’t ever remember her having this inclination growing up, but here it is now, later in life.  It is really beautiful to watch it unfold as she posts her work on social media.  I find her an inspiration.  And she has stirred something up inside of me.

A constant theme in my life has always been artistic pursuit.  But when I was in a place to choose a career, I was discouraged from it, so I pushed it aside and tried to forget it.  I was also very sensitive to criticism and it really hurt to pour out my soul into a piece and be criticized for it.

But luckily with age comes the ability to not care so much what others think.  And there is no reason to not create for the sole purpose of pleasing myself.  And if it pleases others, great!  Making these graphics for this blog has been a great first step back into creativity.  And a way of giving my gift back to the world, even if no one ever sees it.  Maybe I will pick up the brush (or the pencil, or the stone chisel, or the clay) again.

 

 

 

Courage Is a Muscle …My Thought for the Day…May 31, 2019

Courage Is a Muscle suzygoebel.com/blog
May 31, 2019

“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day.  We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

Barbara De Angelis


Courage Is a Muscle

Courage is a muscle.  And like any muscle, it needs to be developed and used or it can go flabby.  When we survive a difficult time or challenge adversity, generally we can feel proud of that and it helps to grow our courage.

But what about the not so difficult times?  I have found in my life, as I have settled into my own comfortable routine, that my courage muscle has gone flabby.  Things I once wouldn’t have batted an eye at seem to scare me more now than ever.  I was talking to my sister earlier and lamenting how the older you get the goofier you get, and she agreed!

Challenge the Fear

So, what is the answer?  Well, you can stay afraid and hide in routine and safe pursuits, or you can challenge your fears.  I don’t mean skydiving or bungee jumping, but if that’s what you want to do, more power to you!

I am thinking more baby steps to start.  Identify a small fear you may have, be it going to a crowded store, or driving on the highway.  Then play it out in your mind, like you are actually doing it.  How do you feel?  A little anxious?  That’s ok!  Do you think maybe you could challenge this fear and go for that drive?  How about you set a limit, such as, ‘I will get on the highway and drive, but I will allow myself, no questions asked, to get off at the nearest exit if I need to’.  And see how it goes.  You might find you don’t want to get off, and that driving can be fun.

Either way, be gentle with yourself, the fears are very real.  And every step you take to conquer them are a victory, and should be celebrated as such.  If you can tackle one small fear a day, or every couple of days you will find your courage growing like the muscle it is!  And if not, again, be gentle with yourself, you will when you are ready.

What small fear will you conquer today?

Givers and Takers…My Thought for the Day…May 29, 2019

suzygoebel.com/blog Marlos Thomas givers and takers
May 29, 2019

“My father said there were two kinds of people in the world.  Givers and takers.  The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.”

-Marlo Thomas


‘Givers’ and ‘Takers’

This quote is by actress Marlo Thomas, the daughter of Danny Thomas.  Who was an actor and the founder of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes.  And St. Jude’s Hospital takes all children, with their families NEVER seeing a bill for care, housing or food, because St. Jude’s believes all the family should worry about is helping their child to live.

I remember when I was 9 or 10 doing a fundraiser, through school I am guessing, for this hospital and it just stuck in me.  I have always loved Danny Thomas since then.   And I am sure I didn’t even know the whole story as I do now.  But I think I could sense the goodness and the rightness in it all.  I would say the Thomas’s are definitely ‘givers’!

We all know some ‘takers’ in our lives.  They take without regret and give nothing back.  They take as though they are entitled to take.  I pity them, as they haven’t experienced the immensely wonderful feeling of giving and all that goes with it.

Life is meant to flow; energy is meant to circulate.  Like a convection current where heat rises, cools and then falls back down, only to be heated and rise again.  When you’re a ‘giver’ you experience a similar current, a similar flow.  It almost becomes self-propagating.

When you’re a ‘taker’ you do not, the energy stops with you, there is no ‘paying it forward.’  One day they will see, I am sure of it.  Once you get a taste of truly selfless giving you really can’t go back!


The Desire to Achieve…My Thought for the Day…May 22, 2019

 

The Desire to Achieve suzygoebel.com/blog ayn rand
May 22, 2019

“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others”
Ayn Rand


The Desire to Achieve

Interesting quote today.  I am never quite sure what makes me pick a particular quote.  I search for quotes and grab the ones that strike a chord in me.  Then I create the graphic.  Most often, not really knowing what it is I am going to write about.

So, I am not even sure what this quote means, I do know I like it for whatever reason.  I have never been much of a competitive person, I am more the cheerleader type, cheering all on to win or achieve their goals.  I have never taken pleasure in ‘beating’ others or broadcasting the fact that I won.

Does this mean I am a creative person?  Does it mean creative versus destructive?  Is the desire to beat others an ultimately destructive desire?

What does it mean to you?  I’d really like to know!

Look Fear in the Face…My Thought for the Day…May 20, 2019

Look Fear in the Face Riddikulus suzygoebel.com/blog
May 20, 2019

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'”

Eleanor Roosevelt


Look Fear in the Face

How do we look fear in the face?  Maybe it is the simple acknowledgement or recognition of the fear.  Then simply carrying on instead of letting that fear turn us into a puddle.  We can hardly compare the horrors of today to the horrors of the Great Depression and World War II.  But fear is just as real and relevant for us today, as it always has been.  Real or imagined, fear has a psychological power over us.

My favorite thing to think of when contemplating fear is from the Harry Potter books, the Boggart-Banishing spell.  A Boggart in the Harry Potter world takes on the form of your worst fear to defeat you or stop you.  The spell to defeat the Boggart is spoken out loud as Riddikulus’, thus rendering the Boggart into a ridiculous form that you can laugh at. Which is then ultimately powerless over you.  The idea is to laugh at the Boggart, laugh at your fear and the fear becomes powerless over you.

Most of our fears when we truly look at them are ridiculous, even if they don’t feel that way.   But facing them, acknowledging them is definitely the first step.  If you can go a step further and make them comical even better!

So, try saying it, or at least think it, Riddikulus’!!   I guarantee it can take some of the weight out your fear.