street art in Penang Malaysia

Aw, man, I’ve been struggling this month. A lot of this is due to work. I have a great schedule this term, but I have a lot of lesson planning and preparation to do. I’ve also been in my head too much. Waaay too much.

// When I have had a chance to write, I haven’t liked anything I’ve said. I mean, not really, it sounds good enough when I start it, but then I knock it down for some reason. As a result, my desktop is littered with half-finished ideas. Time to archive!

// I have been making slow arduous progress on the book. But that involves mostly editing and connecting chapters. It feels like a big fat mess in the kitchen so far. And since I’ve been down this road before, I know after I get back editing notes from my friends, it will feel like an even bigger hotter mess.

// Lately, I have felt splintered between analyzing the past and fantasizing about the future. Aaaand this is not a good spot to be in. Yeah, I pretty much hate it. I’m in the ‘anywhere but here’ mode. Everything just seems to be rubbing my fur the wrong way. Fun!

// At first, I thought, yes, the period is coming. (No, okay, my first-first thought was I’m becoming pre-menopausal. Seriously. I think I’ve been waiting for it to pop out of the dark like a boogeyman and scare me into emotional hell.)  Whatever it was, I wished it would just get here already and after it did, the curse, I didn’t receive this great relief from my angry chatterbox mind.

// Now just because I’m doing the #365grateful daily practice on IG doesn’t mean being grateful every day is easy, cause I can assure you it is not. Friends have told me how inspiring I am. And that’s nice. But I know, I can sound like a goody-goody at times and I certainly strive to take the high road in my interactions, but man, is it a struggle. Behind closed doors, I don’t feel like wonder woman, I feel like weeping woman, angry woman, leave-me-alone woman.

// The good news is the morning routine that I have set out for myself at the beginning of the year is still happening. I meditate (and boy, am I the shittiest meditator), do yoga (just a little) and write in my journal.

// Granted the world seems to be angry too, and avoiding it religiously has made me wonder if I’ve just internalized it.

// Part of this comes from not wanting to say something regrettable. Words have power. This is laughable for anyone who knows me because face-to-face, I’m a different story. My friend Iz has come up with a formula for my speech patterns, “Every fourth sentence, Lani, you’ll take it too far.” I’ve tried to convince her otherwise…

// This is only because I want to make people laugh. In another lifetime, I would have been a standup comedian.

// Honestly though, I think I’m just going through one of those messy phases in life. The ones that make you wonder what you’re getting all worked up about. The ones that force you to think, I need to figure out a better way or go crazy.

// An old friend from my archaeology days recently asked me, “Does Cambodia rock?” and as much as it was temping to give this idea that my life is amazing overseas, I had to say, “No, it doesn’t. Living in a developing country is challenging at times.” But I also added that I knew I’d look back at this time with different eyes, with a head and a heart that was humble because I had experienced a different point of view.

// Then my bf sent me this video because it reminded him of the #365grateful thing that I’m doing.

// After watching this, I thought, holy cannoli, I really need to get out of my head. Just a quick dose of perspective is what is sometimes needed. It aligned with how I was already planning the day, but now I wonder if my inner struggles is part of a journey towards greater mindfulness, awareness of how we can be our own worst enemies and how much I need to let go of this idea of control.

One of these days I’d like to get out of this spin cycle. I started to step away yesterday. I hope to continue walking away today.

31 replies on “How to listen to yourself (or go a little crazy)

  1. I empathize on the writing. And on the meditation. I can’t seem to stop thinking, and most of my thoughts are either angry or despairing these days.

    I’d choose anger if I could. It feels more productive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm. Thanks. Yeah, for me feeling angry and frustrated doesn’t work. I feel hopeless and seem to just go around and around in my head.

      Having a partner can help counteract it, but sometimes we just both get angry and we end up talking forever about whatever we’re frustrated over.

      What is it that they say? The first step is recognizing you have a problem. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I emphatise with you on being in between and not fully in the now. There are days when I can’t believe some things are happening, but they actually are but my mind is elsewhere. My mind is not longing to not be in the moment, but it just…wanders….trying to plan for all that is to come.

    I feel you too on my writing, having completely stopped doing my book. At most the writing I do is for the blog and that already takes ages. It takes effort. Writing takes effort when we just want to sit back and relax and take it easy.

    I lol-ed when you mentioned pre-menopausal. Okay. It not really is funny at all because it is a real thing. But it is a sign in life that we are no longer as spritely, energetic and flexible as we used to be. Take care, Lani. Enjoy the term this year and soak it all up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I realize we all have a tendency to get in to our heads too much. It was just getting out of balance for me, and I needed to gain some clearer perspective.

      It’s such a tug-o-war between planning, being practical and just sinking into and accepting the moment.

      I basically have no idea what I’m doing. Hahahahaha.

      Writing is such a wonderful effort though. I’m just not in the sexy phase (is there?) and I always underestimate the work I have to do for teaching.

      Anyway…yeah, I think I’m still early for menopause, but I’m anticipating it like a mother-plucker. 😀

      Thanks for all your good thoughts and love! xxoo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are not alone. Oh wait a minute. Lily Tomlin said ” don’t forget, we’re all in this…….alone.” Shoot. I’m having a just shoot me day, too. But tomorrow fresh. S xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Lani, you do have such a way with words. While I could feel your burgling frustration inside, I was also chuckling because you have this ability to write such an amusing narrative. Well I can tell you from my ripe old age of going on 67,( gosh did I really say that out loud?) life does have its moments and as cliche as it may sound this too will pass. You are correct, these days will give you perspective. Keep doing what you’re doing. Big hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad that a 67 year old woman understands me so well. Truly. I think this is why I gravitate towards older friends, too. I’m also glad you laughed because I didn’t want it to be a downer. But I felt like I needed an update and authentic one as well.

      Thanks so much, hugs back!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know exactly how you feel, Lani. I blame the never ending winter for my current state of mind. Though, I secretly think it’s just me being me. 🙂 Writing a book isn’t easy. I think you’re doing way better than me. These days, I can’t even meditate (never been the best at it anyway) or practice yoga. Hang on!


    1. Absolutely. Thanks. Often when I write about something I have already let it go, you know? I’m on the upswing or at least balancing life out better. xxoo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Meditate? Oh, please! I can’t get all of the voices in my head to shut up long enough to remember what I was going into the next room for! Lol!

    Lately, I’ve been feeling premenstrual ALL the time. Which is sad and hilarious all at the same time since the menopause monster jumped out of a dark corner, grabbed me and leaped into a firery, burning volcano with me clutched to it’s sweaty chest about two years ago. Sigh. Fifty five and fifty six are not years that I will look back upon with any fondness. Fifty seven isn’t shaping up to be a fabulous year so far either.

    It”s hard to concentrate, write, meditate, be in the moment, be grateful, be cheerful when your brain is in negative overdrive. But, experience has shown me that this , too, will pass…… wish it would put on a little speed though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG. I hope the menopausal monster will be kind to me. I’m trying to ask around and gather intel. Hahahhaa.

      Hope things get better for you and the rough edges get smoothed over super soon. xxoo


  7. It is tough when you get inside your own head and it’s an incredibly dark and mean place, only you can’t find the exit. I’ve been there too. Take each day as it comes. Celebrate the good things, no matter how small they may be. You’ll get there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jaina. I’m already feeling loads better. My work has eased up and I knew it was coming just had to hang in there…of course, this is not to say that I don’t need the reminder – every day!


  8. Believe me, menopause isn’t all horrible for many women. I simply had short hot flash when I woke up in morning, maybe 2-3 times per month. My period gradually faded away.. That’s all. I cannot attribute my emotions at that time to menopause or pre/post. It is also a time of life changes for some women.

    You probably need a break to be somewhere in the world, to pamper yourself abit. In reading the U.S. news daily, it just isn’t pleasant. Meanwhile undocumented folks are slowly trickling across the border into Canada….


    1. I’m glad to hear that it isn’t all that bad for some women. I should stop dreading it. I just know if you haven’t had children then the likelihood of it happening when you are younger is greater.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t seen that latter statement elsewhere yet. Just hope you don’t heavier periods for a certain spell.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the humorous, oh-so honest way you write. I like the way you describe the state of being in your head too much. I guess I’ve had many years off-and-on of doing that. It’s like I wanted to see my life as a beautiful composition, all the important ingredients included. Just so. Meaningful. Now at 73, I just do what I can.

    I’ve never done a formal gratitude practice, but I’ve always thought that appreciation of the world and each of our lives is at the top of some list. Being an artist or a writer, we have the opportunity we take a closer look at the world, which is in itself a form of appreciation and gratitude. After my husband died, the prayer that came most naturally to my lips before I fell asleep each night was, “Thank you for life.”


    1. Yes. Someone told me to be thankful for each birthday that passes because not everyone has had that gift and I agree. It’s sobering.

      And thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. 73! You don’t look at day over 70. Hahahhaa. Just kidding. You look at least 10 years younger! No grey hair 🙂


    2. I so agree with this sentiment. Someone I admire very much once told me they never get sad about getting older, instead each birthday they think of the people they know who would have loved to make it to that age and didn’t get the chance. Already, at almost 30, I know people who didn’t get a chance to grow this ‘old’ and I try to remember that whenever I have a moment of freaking out a bit about age.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absoultely. I know too many friends who are younger than me or the same age who have passed away. I still find it unbelievable, but there it is.


  10. I was going to leave a comment the first time I read this …
    Life happens as they say. Perspective brings the important things in focus. You’ve got this, Lani. How do I know? You took time to write about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Everything just seems to be rubbing my fur the wrong way.”

    “Behind closed doors, I don’t feel like wonder woman, I feel like weeping woman, angry woman, leave-me-alone woman.”

    How dare you talk about me!!!…LOL…Kidding. Just saying, I feel ya, Lani…Didn’t watch the video as I have a suspicion I could get teary-eyed. I already have a migraine so I’m staying away from this vid, hee…

    Liked by 1 person

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