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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Monthly Archives: January 2008

I started thinking about this post as I drove home last night. I got as far as finding the right image on Google and then my attention was diverted. Perfect! Perfect for the teeter totter subject. So many things I read talk about balance and juggling and keeping everything in perspective. I think overall though – even more than a juggling act – or a scale to balance – it is a big teeter totter. Things go up and down, there is give and take, and rarely, very rarely are we at equalibrium.

I think more about the teeter totter and what could be on each end. RL and SL obviously. Work and Home. Kids and Husband. Time for ourselves and everything else.

Before SL,(and my husband can atest to this),if I wasn’t doing something for our kids, for him, for our home, I was working. I take a lot of pride in my career and know it is essential that I care about my income and insurance source for the sake of my family. It was never easy to take my little ones to a babysitter – and each started out as early as 6 weeks in someone else’s arms during the day. The teeter totter was exhausting at that point. And – like a kid hearing recess is over and she MUST come in from the playground – I would jump from the teeter totter work end to let it come crashing to the ground – quick to launch into my mom role I was enthralled with. Was? Is? 🙂 Still am enthralled with.

After SL, I came to know a new side of myself… a side I had not faced on the teeter totter in years… maybe even ever. I jumped on this teeter totter thinking I wasn’t really interested. Heck, I could play PS2 and Nintendo with my kids anytime… (well when they let me have a turn) and I could Diner Dash with the best of em. I was also pretty good at Bejeweled if I wanted to just zone out. This SL thing… who would have thought…

All of a sudden I found a way to go out on the town (or SIM as it is) and really let loose. I could shop to my hearts content and have the most amazing body. Heck, Barbie look out!! These clothes cost pennies compared to what my daughter asks for 🙂 I could build. I could design island homes. I could be creative. And… what really captured my heart in SL was the friendships. All of a sudden I had people I never would have known ever in any other way cross paths. They have given me new things to think about and tested me in ways I needed to grow.

So.. it is still a teeter totter. I struggle to balance it and hop off in one big jump at my “SL bedtime.” I go afk alot as I multitask with my kids and do stuff around the house.

But…I have to say – I wouldn’t trade this teeter totter ride for anything.

Work diversion needed… look no farther than the blogs of the people I love in SL the most. Obviously they had found the diversion before me today 🙂

You Are A Little Snobby

And being a little snobby every once and a while is totally allowed.
Because if no one was ever snobby, no one would ever try to dress up or look pretty.
And while you do enjoy the finest things in life (that you can afford), you tire of superficiality.
You know there’s more to life than what’s just on the surface.

Then I think to myself… If Bigd, Crighton, Blissie & Joonie all decided to jump off a cliff, would I jump too? Without even hesititating, I answer YES. Doh! It is SL 🙂 we can simply re-log and be just fine. Bliss even told me I could count on wearing the same outfit fully intact! (See Gypsywoman – Decadent Desire)

I have spent a lot of time reading online the past few days. Many many blogs talk about SLove and Cindy Kessy in particular gives me reason to pause and think – about RLove as well. The heart is a complicated thing. Our head gets something straight and then our heart goes and mucks it all up. Our head reconsiders and then our heart changes it all again. I suppose perfection is achieved when the heart and the head can agree. Until I figure out that perfection… I’ll look for solace in some song lyrics and those closest to me. I’m so blessed to be in wrapped tightly in arms that love me.

Lyrics to “Love’s Recovery” by Indigo Girls…

During the time of which I speak
It was hard to turn the other cheek
To the blows of insecurity
Feeding the cancer of my intellect
The blood of love soon neglected
Lay dying in the strength of it’s impurity
Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together
They’ve all gone and left each other
In search of fairer weather
And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast
To the slim chance of love’s recovery

There I am in younger days, star gazing
Painting picture perfect maps
Of how my life and love would be
Not counting the unmarked paths of misdirection
My compass, faith in love’s perfection
I missed ten million miles of road I should have seen
Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together
Left each other one by one on the road to fairer weather
And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast
To the slim chance of love’s recovery

Rain soaked and voice choked
Like silent screaming in a dream
I search for our absolute distinction
Not content to bow and bend
To the whims of culture that swoop like vultures
Eating us away, eating us away
Eating us away to our extinction

Oh how I wish I were a trinity
So if I lost a part of me
I’d still have two of the same to live
But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal
As specks of dust we’re universal
To let this love survive
Would be the greatest gift that we could give
Tell all the friends who think they’re so together
That these are ghosts and mirages
All these thoughts of fairer weather
Though it’s storming out I feel safe within the arms
Of love’s discovery

I woke up this morning knowing I had to blog about this. The title for the post was clear in my mind and although the words weren’t as clear, the feelings and phrases had obviously rolled around in my head most of the night.

Most people have been touched by cancer in some way. Either by having it themselves, or helping a family member or friend fight their way through the disease. Far too many never win their fight. Far too many are left to slowly spend their last days in extreme pain, withering away, while their family and friends can only comfort and love the soul as they transition from this world on to the next. It is a situation where everyone involved feels helpless and must come to terms with the great sadness that comes from not being able to effectively find a solution to the problem. I have lost women who were very important to me – my grandmother and also a work colleague – to ovarian cancer. They were courageous every step of the way. But in the end, the cancer won.

I have also been blessed to know cancer survivors. My husband and my mom. Both in the last year have faced this monster eyeball to eyeball. Fortunately, my husband’s was quickly dealt with – skin cancer – and basal cells can be seen as predictable and removable all in one fell sweep. My mom was faced with colon cancer. She is one of the healthiest women I know – exercises daily, eats all the right things, and has done so for years. She faced breast cancer a few years ago and was able to fight it with out surgery as early detection allowed for alternative successful treatments. But… this colon cancer… it was a three headed scary monster of a thing. It required surgery. It required lots of prayer. It required all of us around her to have more faith than we ever thought we would need. It required us to expect supernatural things be possible. Her worst fear was that she would have to undergo chemo. As a nurse for over 20 years, she knew how chemo – as effective as it can be – slowly destroys the rest of your body along with the cancer. We were so blessed she had a very skilled surgeon who captured all the cancer and was able to reconnect her bowel to return her to “normal” when all the healing was done.

All the healing… an interesting concept. You see… surviving cancer… I think you never really heal. Not every part of you. There is always a part way back in the recesses of your mind that remembers and haunts you. It requires you to be extra vigilant in what you eat, how you exercise, and how often you see your doctor. As a survivor, you can never go back to the innocent mindset you had before. Knowledge is power of course. But with knowledge also brings responsibility. It becomes something you must never truly pack away or forget about because you might need to be ready for battle again if the cancer reoccurs.

Someone recently referred to removing friends or frienemies from their SL list feeling as freeing as successful cancer surgery. At the time, those words rang very hollow over and over in my mind. It wasn’t until this morning when I woke up, that I knew how I had to address them and why. No matter how much pain we may be in from friendships and love lost, there is no comparison to surviving or battling cancer. To say so insults all the millions who deal with cancer every day.

Life is all about perspective – both RL and SL. Surviving cancer and losing loved ones to cancer and remembering and honoring them reminds me of that perspective. I am so proud of those who have fought the battle courageously – even if they lost. It is the ultimate test of the human spirit – for themselves as well as their family and friends. Thankfully, SL doesn’t ever expose us to carcinogens that cause our avitars to have cancer. Perspective… it is all about perspective.

DISCLAIMER: Ok… time to lighten up. Find some posting real estate a little less preachy… Let me know if this does the trick…

Up until now I have been thinking about all the things that make us universally human – in SLife – and RLife. However, a colleague and friend of mine sent me this nugget in email today and it was TOO good to not share. He rarely sends things unless work related – so I knew when his name appeared beside a non-work subject line – it WOULD be good.

As you watch and laugh – think about how you wire your SL avi 🙂 Are you a keeper of a nothing box?

Click here – quick clip about men’s & women’s brains – in a not-so-serious way.

I had to include this picture from my SL travels because I believe it is me who has come to the Psychiatry Booth to find that no one is in, despite the sign. Maybe that is my cue to lighten up and just laugh. Laugher can be the best medicine!

SLife, as RLife, is far too short to not make amends. I have learned that you can only take responsibility for what you have done – not what others have done. You can offer an olive branch and hope that it is received. It is a skill we work on from the moment we learn that all the toys aren’t ours when we are 2 years old, and continually after that throughout our lives. Anyone who thinks he or she has all the answers and knows all the formulas is just deluding himself or herself. Apologies must be given from the heart. Also, one accepting an apology must have an open heart.

Apologies have been scripted by counselors for years as a way to assist those not able to articulate their thoughts effectively. It is disheartening when some feel heartfelt apologies must resemble some sort of Mad Lib. To those who author the real deal Mad Libs – I apologize for insulting your great resource for kids. To you who attempts to author “Mad Lib Apologies” in multiple genres, please move on. Let it go. Find another blogger to respond to. Hold up a mirror and ask yourself, “What in the world did I forget to apologize about myself? Maybe I should be exploring the best ways to put my expertise to work – with my preferred Mad Lib Script or not?”

I figured I might try to provide a little balance to yesterday’s entry. So… why is SL so appealing? Hmmmmm Before SL I had plenty of time to watch television, work overtime, and avoid housework. After SL came along, I found my kids could control what we watched on Disney, Noggin, and Nickleodian, and it really didn’t bother me anymore. Work decided to go through a major transformation and I still successfully avoid housework – but now I set mini-challenges to see how much I can do… BEFORE logging in 🙂 or… in reality… how much housework I can do to pay back the bank of time I spent on SL. (Please note I do find myself in housework debt 😛 )