Friday, April 18, 2014

Becoming Catholic Darya

Warning:  This post is gonna get all kindsa Catholic-y up in here. I know the Catholic church has hurt a lot of people and I do not like nor condone any of it--not one little bit, please believe that.

Because it is Holy Week and Easter, I want to say this now.  Because when something is missing and you actually have the knowledge of what that something is, oh hell, yeah, for sure, you are so far ahead of the game.  

If you are into Easter, Happy Easter!  If not, please insert whatever you have ever had the deepest in-the-very-core-of-your-being hunger for and insert it wherever I write the word Catholic.

I knew at a very early age--and I mean at a very early age, and I am embarrassed to say just how early because that will make me seem even less credible if that is even at all possible--I needed to be Catholic.

I just had to be Catholic.

Don't ask me how I knew; don't ask me why it had to be. And do not expect me to defend the Catholic Church because their shenanigans have been indefensible. Period.

My experience was and is about a faith that I have had my entire life, and a romance and a longing and a need--a deep, visceral in-the-core-of-my-being kinda need. It really is just that plain and simple.

I just had to be a Catholic.

At the age of twenty-eight as I was preparing to marry the second of my husbands, and after I had participated in two full years of instruction and I completed a "period of reflection, prayer, instruction discernment and formation" through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, I became a Catholic and a huge balled-up knotted part of me that had been holding all it's air in my whole entire life took a big deep cleansing breath and began to stretch and relax. Ahhh, home at last.
But because of some odd details associated with my prior marriage, I was not permitted to participate in communion at my own nuptial mass upsetting but not deal-breaking as odd as that may seem; however, I remained in full support of the Caveman's faith and life-long dream of marrying in his church and in his parish. This was a need of his that just had to be fulfilled. I did not ask him to explain it. He did not ask me to convert. The priest nor the church did not ask me to convert. I longed to convert.

And in all honesty, I do not do a house divided well.  I had tried to do it in another marriage and it was difficult beyond belief for me and disastrous for the marriage. I believe, that for me, all of my marriage and family oars have to be in the water and rowing for the same shore in the same rhythm. That is what our faith with the church's guidance helps us to do.  It enabled us to provide an education and a community and all the milestones of childhood to our son. Something the Caveman had growing up and I did not.  It was one item that would be checked off of the list of things that I would do differently with my child.  It was just something I HAD to provide.

Now, after twelve years of parochial education and catechism, the Hero says he does not believe in God that is not fair for me to say, maybe it is just the church that he takes umbrage with, I dunno.  That is okay.  If he does not, it is my suspicion that he will become a believer the minute his own child falls from heaven.  You just cannot witness that miracle and not believe in something greater--bigger--more powerful. If not, well, God gave him that same big beautiful brain to decide that important business for himself as well. We provided the tools, what he decides to build with those tools are completely up to him and his beloved.

As for the Caveman, most of  his communing with God is done regular foot on the deck of a 10-0  Bruce Jones longboard from Bolsa Chica to Huntington Beach to San Onofre. While surfing, the Caveman practices the art of gratitude--gratitude at Earth's gifts of immense strength and power and the graces it provides. In the water, straddling that Bruce Jones longboard looking at Catalina Island and the beautiful girls and the incredible sun and the sky above and feeling the warmth and the spray and tasting the salt and being with his dear friends and feeling the water cover his head as he duck dives under the swells to get to the outside sets, he gives thanks for the beauty of it all. He tells me that when he comes out of the water he is a new man. I believe he is living the sacrament of baptism each time he gets stoked.

This is Darya being Catholic.

Happy Easter and peace be with you. Namaste. Shalom. Aloha. All my love. And MWAH!

xoxo Darya

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Random Ramblings

Because this is April, and with April comes Spring Break and Easter and Palm Springs' White Parties, and also the two weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and because I am somewhat of a sheeple for whatever merchandising opportunity or inappropriately aged and themed concession that happens to pass by my grubby little fingers, I felt compelled to give you my Ode to Coachella even if I am too old for Coachella clever how I did that, huh.

I hear the girls this year have been inspired to braid tinsel into their hair, which made me laugh condescendingly under my breath as I did my 900th squat of the week to basically keep my ass from sliding down the back of my legs and on to the floor, because to me that just seems like it would look like grey hair. And I do some pretty high-flying acrobatics including Balayage and low-lights to keep my gray hair visibility down to a shout and a reasonable dollar amount. I know, I know, I take all the fun out of being young and ridiculous and carefree and I bring it all down to a harsh reality. Well, little girls welcome to your future. Ta da fuckingda. Do you think I was born this old and achy and sweaty and bitchy? Seriously. No, I was not. I was once a ray of goddamn sunshine in any man's life.

Speaking of harsh realities, and if you have been following my Facebook Newsfeed you saw that one of my two gray kitties, Josie, passed away very unexpectedly late Wednesday night from a "thrombo-embolytic event" basically, a blood clot. Evidently, cats, just like people, can suffer from heart disease. And she had starved a good part of her young life so that when she was finally able to have all the food she wanted that is exactly what she did. She ate herself right into obesity. We had to work very hard to get the weight off and to keep it off her. Unfortunately, the damage was done. And she sustained a blood clot that went to her forelimb and caused her a great amount of pain and if I live to be a hundred I will never get the sound of her cries out of my ears and it took her little kitty life from her right in front of my eyes.
As you can see, my poor little girl had a perpetually pissed off look to her. And in all honesty, she wasn't exactly the easiest of kittens to love, either. She was a three-pet kitty.  By this, I mean you got one, two, three pets to the top of her head and then she bit your finger or swiped away your hand or her tail started swishing or she walked away growling. It took a lot to love her. I always and I do mean ALWAYS had a deep scratch on my forearm or teeth marks on the little webbing between my thumb and index finger, but I didn't care. I really didn't. I knew where she came from and what she had been through, and I knew what it took for her to trust as much as she did and I was willing to take what I got. Sometimes, that is just me. Whether that is good or bad, I am willing to take people and pets and jobs and all manner of stuff as they are and take what they can give ::shrugging:: so be it. And that is all I am going to say about that because too many correlations and similarities can be drawn in my life to this part of my character, and right now my heart just swells up into my throat and my eyes just puddle up and they spill over and onto my face again.

As I write this paragraph, I am getting ready for the beginning of the work week. And, Tuesday, April 15th, will be my last day at this particular hospital. "My Blue Sweater Day" is done and I will begin to find a new sweater to fit me and I can guarangoddamntee you that the next blue sweater I wear is going to be a bespoke blue sweater--one that is tailor-made to just my specifications. One that fits exactly my needs and capabilities. I am not saying that I won't remain flexible because if I am to remain self-employed the main thing I will have to do is to remain flexible. I have learned a lot about what I can do and what I will do and what I should do to keep my self whole and happy and moving forward in this one life I got. I am super nervous for what will be coming my way and I am working hard to be sure that I have enough work to pay my bills and care for my marriage and my little family and my mother-in-law, as well as myself. That last part I have sometimes forgotten about. I ain't forgettin' about that part no more!

On a very happy note, this is the occasion of my mother-in-law's 86th birthday! It has been a very good day for our little family, and she has had more Facebook hits than just about anything else I have posted all year! We should all be so lucky to live so long and see so much and be so loved. I consider myself supremely lucky to have this opportunity to spend these years with this wonderful woman who gave life to the love of my own life!

Cheers! Salud! And many happy returns!

xoxo Darya

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Better Me Project, Part II

It is not so much that I can pinpoint exactly when "it" happened.  "It" was really more of a slippery slope and not so much of a running off the cliff with my legs spinning in mid-air a la Wile E. Coyote.

But I went over the edge nonetheless.  And on my way over the edge and right before I bailed-out, I ran my self-esteem and my motivation and my initiative and my finances, as well as my earning potential right off the road and into a ditch.

And from the outside looking in, everything looked awesome and in-control and totally like my shit was together.  Not surprising really because this is a skill that I have expertly honed to perfection--hair done; clothes impeccable not expensive or even especially trendy, but impeccable--big difference; face "on"; house clean; son sober; husband employed; mother-in-law NOT dead.

But the cracks were starting to widen and deepen and more sad eau de Darya would make a puddle on the vanity near where I sit with my feet in the sink to put my make-up on.  So, I had to go about setting my life straight.  I  just could not continue ricocheting my way through life like the little silver ball in a Pachinko machine because now I had my mother-in-law to take care of on a daily basis and a business to grow or at the very least make a decent living at and a marriage to keep fresh, exciting and new, which is no easy feat lemmetellyou.  Jesus, I am just lucky he is even willing to look at me twice after some of the shenanigans I have pulled or the spoiled demands I have made.

I decided that I couldn't be stuck in this same place for one more day.  Oh, hella no. So, as a promise to myself, I instituted The Better Me Project, Part I.  The Project is my promise to myself to become a more fully functioning grown-ass woman, which seems to be centered around me denying myself anything within my computer mouse's reach and the depth of my credit limit, which isn't really that deep so that really isn't that big a damn deal.  Trust me.

But there is more to it than that.

I am backing my life out of some of those ditches and treating myself honestly and with authenticity and more importantly with kindness. Because, I don't know about you, but I would never ever dare to speak or say out loud to someone else some of the crap I say to myself:  Stupid. Slow. Fat. Dumb. Lazy. Ugly. Bad skin and oh, God that hair. Stupid clothes. Too tall. Too old. Broke. Broken. Ungrateful. Egotistical. Selfish. Self-centered. Not thoughtful nor thankful enough. Disrespectful. Bad friend. Immature.  The list is long and boring and you get the idea.

There are a whole bunch of complicated rules:  Some that make sense to only me and some that people have already told me that they could/would never do, but because it appears that I have always had my shit together, it is of monumental importance that I get it back together and pronto, man.  At some point in your life, you gotta cowgirl up and you gotta pull the thumb out of your ass or the tit out of your mouth.
In addition to the previously mentioned no-shopping ban, The Better Me Project also includes:
  • Paying my bills on time and in full.
  • Saving 30% of my gross income as I am primarily self-employed through my own little company.
  • Being shit, showered and shaved and here's the tricky part, people out the door by 9:00 am on all days that require me to be outside of the home for my work.
  • Continue to work-out four to six times per week.
  • Getting my diet back to basics including but not limited to a daily protein shake, Paleo diet rules, proper hydration and vitamins.
I am eyeballing Good Friday as my shopping ban end-date.  No special reason other than I really do not have the wardrobe chops to go through summer without making some purchases and let's be honest, if I haven't learned that lesson by then, I probably never will and there really is no hope whatsoever for me.  I can be a fast learner when so motivated; otherwise, I have yet another subset of  finely honed skills, which includes being a lazy slug of a crappy person. But deep in the center of my being I do not believe that that is what it will come down to. I believe that I have learned a lot and I did find the root of most if not all of the evil in my life and I have already put in place corrective measures, as well as a new course of action.

So, there's that.

More on that later, like, after Easter when I can feel a little less ridiculous about gloating. It seems only right to hold the gloating down to a shout during Lent.

::whispering:: Go me!

xoxo Darya

Even if Facebook did ruin (((absolutely everything))) with their new algorithm, you can follow me at the xoxo Darya fan page, and if you are interested in creeping on me and whatever cockamamie outfit I capture in my 90-year-old office bathroom mirror, you can join my Instagram  @xoxoxdarya  but please don't forget the extra "x"--it's a long story