Can We Ever Learn to Say No?

Amy Winehouse, singer, dead at age 27. Part of her life spent with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. A talented singer, at least that’s what I have read. Didn’t really keep up with her career nor was I a fan of her music. I only knew her by name. There are judges out there criticizing her as she lies stiff and silent, most likely saying, well, she got what she deserved. No one asks to be an addict. Maybe pressure got to her and she needed a release from it. Unhealthy as it was, she chose the wrong kinds. Sad to think that she needed chemicals that kill to feel better, to escape the pressures of being in the public eye. To feel better.

Wasted talent, wasted life. My heart goes out to the family who has to live with the loss of someone they loved. We all deal with losses in our lives. It’s comforting to know that when Ms. Winehouse was found, there were no drugs nor alcohol near her. Kinda reminds me of other celebrities who have died similar deaths. John Belushi, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley. Sound familiar? They all needed something to make them feel better, comfort in the crazy world called stardom. Where they could be somewhere else where demands weren’t put on them. Chemicals were their answer, deadly ones at that.

They were expected to be something larger than life, more than human, able to do more than we can, to always be there for us. To do the bidding of agents, relentless and some greedy. Not caring if their star was rested or fed, just as long as the money kept rolling in. Stars have to be careful of whom they aquaint themselves with. Not everyone is genuine, not everyone likes them for themselves. Some have motive for money and want to leave when they get it. Some just want prestige by sayiign yes, they knew so and so.

When one is never left alone, when you are always publicly hounded, and everthing you do is recorded, it’s hard to be an angel. The pretend personalities that some portray I’m certain are not always true, I’m sure they just want to be the real person, the one who can mess up sometimes, the one who can be shall we say, human? It’s such a shame that society feeds on wanting to know all the details of other people’s business. Why does everything have to be known? Can’t any fact be kept to oneself? Do we have to know everything?

Camermen and women following the public figures like they have never seen them before nor noticed that they too can do grocery shopping, they too can take their kids to the park, add to the depressing epidemic. Blows the mind, doesn’t it? And this world of pretend, of false happiness and hallucinations, seems to be one of the most popular escapes for those who don’t know any other way. If we could just say no…


The Lists

Read a list of goals I had set for myself a couple of years ago. Nothing too extraordinary, just reachable, not too frustrating tasks that could be accomplished. So far I have met some of those: eating better, working on being organized, working on  my crafts (I design my own cards and like to draw). Feels good to know that I kept my promises and didn’t let myself down. I can pat my back and walk taller and accomplish the rest of the list.

Joshua also has a running list, although his list isn’t about working on improving oneself. His list is full of Disney characters, restaurants he wants to visit and movies he’d like to have. An entertainment list, now that’s a cool idea. He’s on to something. Most of us are stressing out over work, over finances, over whatever is enough to be bothersome. Joshua just wants to relax, laugh, and not worry. Joshua wants to experience the fun he can have, enjoy the food he can eat, get some visual idea of the  characters he likes to watch in the movies. Just ask him about going to Disneyland Resort.

Self improvement can help lower one’s stress level. You feel like weights are being lifted off your body, allowing you to move without the restriction of “you haven’t finished what you started”. Breathing becomes normal, no smothered  thoughts of being overwhelmed with where does one start? Will I make it to the imaginary finish line and claim my prize of satisfaction and pride, knowing I have done well?

Maybe if we give ourselves obtainable goals, ones that we can accomplish and thrown in a challenge every once in a while, just to mix things up, that finish line becomes more visible. Organizing our ideas into uncluttered row that can be read again and checked off when done. Just like eating a healthier variety of foods, an assortment of goals can be added and subtracted to add some intrest. No room for boring here. The reward? Feeling lighter, with a medal of confidence to wear daily.

Talk About Confidence

Joshua taught another lesson to his mom and dad. He recently had to endure a twenty-four eeg. Doctor’s orders. He was hooked up to the machine and sent on his way. Most of us might not want to go anywhere after having wires and glues attached to our head, with the extra bonus of special gauze to hold everything in place. Joshua is not most of us. He’s his own person, a unique indiviual who happens to have autism. For him, his world involves the company he keeps at the moment. Josh doesn’t look to see what the strange faces around are thnking.

After being sent on his way, we treated Joshua to Applebees. Cheeseburger with the works and a diet soda to wash the calories away. Hey, guy’s gotta have some kind of reward for being so tolerant in an uneasy situation. Right?

Joshua entered the restaurant with a big smile on his face and an eagerness to chow down. What young man doesn’t like to eat? He was great company for myself and his dad and a staff member from the group home he resides at. Enjoyed his meal, talked, got spoiled by the waitress and afterwards went back to the house he rents with two other young men and that was his day, his experience.

Joshua is a heck of a teacher and I hope I can keep up with the lessons.