What’s Your Excuse?

I generally do catch myself when I’m complaining or feeling sorry for myself… Honestly, I’d say I’m aware of it 100% of the time. I’ve learned that – though disappointed in myself for taking the whiny tack at that moment – that it IS okay to “feel.” The human experience of emotion is both complex and highly individual. If we didn’t fluctuate, I begin suspecting we were in some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare. No thanks!

But…

But. . .

I grapple with that concept because I don’t honestly believe I really have the right (or good reason) to complain. I’ve somehow had engrained that one person’s annoyance is another’s absolute dream…so perhaps my default is the cause of my inner turmoil. Still, I’ve never viewed complaining under any circumstances as a positive thing, so maybe it’s just flat-out disappointment that I’ve succumbed to the whims of my limbic system.

Whatever the case may be, I am ever-aware when I stray from gratitude. It has nothing to do with being a goody-two-shoes – I have PLENTY of moments of grumpiness, irritability, annoyance at others, frustrations etc… It is more that I sincerely WANT to follow a path of thankfulness – because I also sincerely believe I am blessed beyond measure. I don’t need moments of perspective to remind me. When one does come along – and it does often in the community I get to work with (children and individuals with disabilities) – I’ll be the one moved to tears.

One of the reasons I love the disabled community – and let’s be clear, I view them as uniquely abled, in fact – is that they just DO things. They get out there and they try, fear and anxiety be damned. There are countless examples of individuals with disabilities (physical, neurodevelopmental, intellectual and so on) who persevere in spite of adversity.

I took one look at the image below and really had to check myself – the amount of time I spend worrying about whether or not I’m good at something, whether I will come across a certain way, whether I will appear this or that…is RIDICULOUS! 

@therafininnovation and @supportadaptivesports!

I’d love to learn archery. Too many passions with too little time aside, I know deep down that I’d give myself a hard time while learning. There’s no good reason for that, just a life-time hard-on-myself M.O.. What the hell kind of excuse is that?!?! A terribly poor one (or, frankly, not one at all.)

I am so very thankful for the opportunity to work with a community that I both hight respect, and am ever-motivated by. The inspiration is endless and I am constantly moved by the adaptive, positive spirit these individuals imbue. They remind me to get out of my brain, forget the “what-if”s, and appreciate all that I do have…especially during a stuck-in-my-emotions moment. And I have to say…I, you, we…have A LOT going for us. 

I don’t really like the word “limitations” – to me that word pertains only to what we impose on ourselves. The challenges of disabilities are NOT mind-imposed – they are real…but they are not “limitations.” These fine gentlemen are a beautiful example of just doing things differently. No excuses, a whole host of adaptations, and unwavering, can-do attitudes.

Having a moment of feeling like everything is against you, or you (four letter word) “can’t?” Look at the image again. Take a moment to appreciate what you are seeing because it goes far deeper than just physical.

It’s 1,000% awesomeness saying “I don’t have an excuse. You don’t need one either.”

 

The Effects of the Narcissist’s Disappearing Act: Operant Conditioning and Learned Helplessness by Esteemology and Savannah Grey

I really appreciate this blog – Esteemology – and have for some years.  I turned to it during a time of (rather desperate) need, and found it not only enlightening, but incredibly comforting.  

This particular article touches on a subject that was, at one time in my life, my only reality – the act of disappearing was something I dealt with often with my then significant other.  Not once a week or once a month, but sometimes several times a day.  The situation as a whole was painful and terrifying – I don’t recall a single day without having a knot in my chest and fear in my belly.  It was, essential, like living in a perpetual state of flight-or-fright, panic mode.  If you have been there, you know how debilitating that is – the resultant dysfunction makes even simple daily tasks seemingly insurmountable. 

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The article talks about “learned helplessness,” a concept I am far too familiar with, and one that plagues codependents, empaths, and others in abusive situations – it is important to be discussed out in the open, as it is often misunderstood.

For me, the value of blogs like these is immense – they can, quite literally, change a person’s path for the better, when just about everything else has failed.  They provide a sense of community, understanding, and support when it feels like no one is listening, no one understands…or worse, like no one cares.  We don’t all have the luxury or money to be attached at the hip to a therapists – For me, I can safely say reading (blogs such as this) was a godsend.

 

The Race Of Gentlemen 2016

Summer has officially arrived, and with the season comes all sorts of outdoor get togethers and events to attend – have some fun and score some vitamin d while your at it, right?

I’ll get looks (not good ones!) for the admission but…I’m not a huge beach person.  What I mean but that is, I won’t spend the day there doing zero no matter how much fun it is to everyone else.  Slathering myself in oils to lay there and cook like a chicken doesn’t work for me…  But! . . . I do love being outside, being active, and doing something exciting.  

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This year, I had to good fortune to attend the Race Of Gentlemen in Wildwood, New Jersey, as part of the American Hot Rod Foundation crew.  One of the best parts was that my fiancé came along with me – how awesome to have him be a part of something my family is passionate about, and to have him meet the gang. ❤

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“AHRF” began back in 2002 in the hopes of preserving and promoting hot rod history. The founders recognized the dire need to document the pioneers of the hot rod movement, as many of them (at that time) were approaching (if not already in) their 80s and older.  The risk of losing the precious history and first-hand stories was far to great to do nothing about it – and so the Foundation was born.

We have sadly lost many of these pioneers in the last decade, but with over 100,000 photos (most of them also digitized by AHRF), 350 hours of original footage, and countless hours of audio, AHRF hopes to keep them – and their incredible contributions – alive.  

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The word “history” may seem dry – I can’t say that I loved most “history” as a student back in the day either.  But then the reality is that many of the kids today – generations removed from the pioneers in some cases – are endeavoring to be exactly what those guys were.  So learning the history gets them that much closer – it explains not only the birth of certain ideas, but the inspirations and innovations that may have led to them via, of course, the words from the men themselves.

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There are TONS of events each year, but we always try to hit the larger ones – Grand National Roadster Show, L.A. Roadster Show, and Hot Rod Reunion, for example.  We love having a presence when we are able – it gives us a nice landing spot to set up, talk to the awesome crowd, and (hopefully) infect a few more with the history of it all!

The Race Of Gentlemen was holding its fifth event in Wildwood this year, so while it definitely has amped up, it isn’t as overwhelming or enormous as others.  The benefit is that you can catch up with the people you are hoping to see, and have enough face to face with those who might have questions.  You can also get much closer to the races than you can at other shindigs (at the Roadster Show, you are often higher up in the stands – here, you were atop a mound of sand in a crowd, but pretty darn close.)

One of the key reasons TROG stands out is that it is run on the beach.  Literally.  The racers gear up and blast down the sand dragway, adding a whole other element to the (incredibly friendly) competition.  Of course, sand isn’t quite as quick and slick, but it’s certainly a lot of fun.

The community is one of the reasons I love hot rod events – super down to earth, interested, enthusiastic…respectful.  How about this trash can at the parking lot party the night before?!  Nary a bottle or can on the ground.  🙂

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It’s a great group to be around, and of course there is ALL sorts of amazing eye candy.  The innovations and creativity that go into the vehicles – bikes and autos alike – is something to behold, and always cool to hear about.

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I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to attend, but also to have been introduced to this crowd some years ago by my father.  It’s always a good time, and being outside on a breezy summer day made it especially awesome.  The rain held off the second day too – knowing, I think, that everyone was having so much fun.

 

Simultaneous Wounding and Complex PTSD: How Our Past Wounds Can Make us Susceptible to Toxic Narcissists

Abuse and trauma are far too common but there IS a supportive community out there.

Incredibly valid, meaningful post, touching on the “simultaneous wounding” than can occur at the hands of a Narcissist. Truth, and then some…

Self-Care Haven by Shahida Arabi

Ca5XPD2UAAAMdW-Simultaneous Wounding and Complex PTSD: How Our Past Wounds Can Make us Susceptible to Toxic Narcissists by Shahida Arabi

The idea that narcissists only bring up our own wounds falls short of explaining how they also manufacture new ones. This is what I’ve dubbed “simultaneous wounding” – a term that encompasses the complex nature of how narcissists can bring up past wounds, reinforce them and also manufacture new wounds simultaneously.

The oversimplification that toxic partners only bring up what already exists for us internally ignores a great deal of the complexity involved in how toxic partners can weave a manipulative web that connects both past and present experiences. Narcissists and sociopaths not only bring up past wounds – they compound them and add onto them, creating a chronic chain of stressors that can even result in Complex PTSD, the symptoms of which can include the regular symptoms of PTSD

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