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Dictionary of Whimsy: Flogic

Flogic, Verb+Noan

  1. Fuck Logic or F*** Logic, but in one handy word which most people do not understand, so they can’t scold you for swearing.
  2. Basic premise where a feeling or impulse may not have logic, or be awfully useful, but needs to be dealt with somehow.
  3. Phrase uttered before a person does something that is logically a terrible idea. Something like eating foods that sicken you, or spending heaps of money on a useless pretty thing, or cheating on a partner, or being a dick, or calling a dick.
  4. Phrase uttered situation when one is very upset, or angry, or emotional in another annoying way that is incredibly frustrating. These emotions do not improve the situation or experience, but need to be dealt with, or else the become festering emotional ogres.

Examples:

My sister is in hospital, and I know crying will not make her better, but flogic, I will cry.

I should not buy that dress, but flogic, I will because it has sequins!

Comment:

There is a thing called alexithymia which means severe inability to deal with feelings. Feelings can hurt. Suppressing them will hurt more in the long run because the act of suppressing them means you cannot feel the good ones, and they say it can make depression, and erratic behaviour too. Deciding to put logic above feelings is neurologically unsound as well, because the feeling bit of the brain actually starts working after the logic bit. So being over logical is neurologically illogical.

Dictionary of Whimsy: Wummer

Wummer, noan

(1) Wellington Summer*

(2) Weather in Wellington that is fine with little winds or light winds, little cloud or no cloud, and a temperature over 15 degrees celsius. This weather normally lasts for a few days, but may only last for a few hours, or even sometimes last for a week or two. During this weather pattern, people have been known to wear sunhats, and sunscreen and short skirts. Generally, this weather pattern encourages Wellingtonians to congregate on the waterfront and eat ice cream.

(3) Weather that goes from fine and sunny to cold, windy in wet in a short amount of time during December, January and February. Technically, these months are summer, but in reality, they may consist of weather from any season, and may completely be dominated by cloud, mists and rain.

* These two words are potentially an oxymoron

Hello low FODMAP diet

For many years, I have had Irritable Bowel syndrome. I will spare you the stinky details.

This does not really mean anything medically apart from the medical people knowing that something is not right with my tummy. They are not quite sure what. But I should take my meds and behave myself, even though these meds often cause side effects that make things worse.

Well, since finding out that health professionals have been so wrong about the pain I have had in my shoulder for years, and a number of other things, I have developed a determination infused with skepticism and curiosity that means I will keep seeking answers. My body must be telling me something. I am the one who had to live with this stuff, and it is rather annoying at times, and at times, pretty painful. There is something in my diet that causes these troubles, which may be linked with the inflammation from the CRPS

So I sought out a dietician, and after examining a food diary, she has put me on a low FODMAP diet. I am not going to explain what low FODMAPs are. Many others do that quite well.

I am NOT happy about cutting out mushrooms, milk, and some other marvellous foods, but I intend to focus on what I can eat rather than what I am not able to ingest. I hope and pray that it is the answer, and that it will improve my life quality.

I am going on a shop today. I am happy that I can still eat blueberries, dark chocolate, and rockmelon. Hopefully, this will be the answer.

Dealing with the Grumpies

Chronic pain makes me grumpy

I am only now beginning to realise the impact that chronic pain has on my mood. Pain is always there, so it is my version of normal. It is a bit of liquid in the glass meaning that the glass is more likely to overflow when more water liquid is poured into it. I would notice if it came and went, but it is there all the time, so I don’t. I would be less grumpy if I did not have chronic pain; I am certain of this.

For me, it is worst when:

– I am stressed

– I do not get time to do lots of moving

– it is cold

– I am suffering from a fever

– I have not eaten enough

– I have just woken up

My pain, my responsibility

Ultimately, this pain is my problem, and no one else’s, so I try not to get grumpy with others when it strikes. This can prove difficult. I got very grumpy with a guy I dated last year. His inability to respect me or treat me as an equal played into this, but the pain did make me blow up at him far more that I should have in ways that I am not proud of. I will do better next time.

There are things I can do to reduce the pain as well, and I need to keep doing some and get better at doing others.

In terms of attitude, I try very hard to be positive, but this is not my default setting when my muscles feel like hot acid is pulsing through them, or even in general. But when I see the world as a better place, things are less painful.

How I deal – general stuff

In terms of all points but the last, when my schedule allows, I usually isolate myself from most people until I am less grumpy. I do not like spreading the grumpies.  My mind is harsh and judgemental at times, and when I am grumpy, the part that filters harsh judgemental thoughts stops working. My ability to deal with negative or toxic people also collapses, so I try to keep away from them as much as possible.

Specific things

Cures for the temporary grumpies which work for me are listed below, but everyone will have different triggers and different cures:

– Spending time with people who I love, and who can deal with me when I have the grumpies. I love these people more than I can say.

– Chatting people online who answer to the above description.

– Moving, which often involves dancing to obnoxious popular music in my own bedroom.

–  Forcing myself to go out and do stuff. This needs to be carefully calculated stuff *

– Eating lollies (yes, I know this is bad)

– Big fake smiles (Pavlov is a thing!)

The short of it

Managing this condition is my responsibility. A huge part of it is self-awareness, especially learning what makes things worse and limiting them as much as possible. In the end, this will not kill me, and it does not stop me from doing things I enjoy. I am lucky in that, so I keep doing the things I enjoy, and the stuff the professionals tell me to do. It works pretty slowly, but it is working a little. I will get there.

Challenging the idea of relaxing

From an outsider’s perspective, my life is pretty crazy – and anything but relaxed. I am at the not-gym* five times a week. Rehearsals are three times a week, and there are two more nights of singing on top of that, plus the practices I do at home. I also  like to get some dancing done. Then maintaining a social life, and a job as well.

I do not really do the standing still thing – and when I get home, I still don’t stop unless I am napping or sleeping. As lovely as my flatties are, I am reluctant to socialise with them. I want my own mental space, because even when I am at home, I cannot stop. If I am watching a movie, I am usually browsing a magazine or the internet as well, or I am planning/writing a blog. If I am cooking, I am also trying to fit in some stretches or exercise around it.

Part of it is the chronic pain. I do best when I am moving (yes, singing is moving, and an ab workout, and lots of oxygenation to boot). On a day when I do not exercise and do things, I get very grumpy, mainly because my whole back will rebell. So there is a mental element to my need to move. Sitting in front of a television will hurt me, so I do not see the point of it.

There was one time when I was asked by a health professional when the last time was that I was relaxed. I was speechless**. My posture, coupled with the cycle of pain and inflamation made relaxation very difficult. This is still a problem of sorts.

I guess part of the issue is that some see relaxed as sitting by a pool with a disgusting cocktail that tastes like pot pouri in one hand. I would not be beside the pool. I would be in the pool. And if it were a tropical beach, I would be on the beach frolicking — or actually charging through the waves and body surfing, laughing at myself every time I managed to ingest a mouthful of sand.

For me, there are many types of relaxing:

1) Those dances where I am completely transported into the music and dance experience

2) Classes at the not-gym where I am in a position which is releasing the tension in my body

3) Singing a song where everything is working and my body is filled with the music.

4) Moments when I am hanging out with friends, being myself, feeling happy, laughing lots.

I am subverting the meaning of relaxing, I know, but I find I can only relax by doing very active things and finding the joy in these. This is not because I feel guilty about not doing other things. It is because my body and mind are happiest when I move.

* Definition is coming

**Trust me, this is not normally a thing for me.

Relationship Entitlement

This blog is a little late because I was trying to work out where it was going. It has been in the works for ages!

The shooting in California will bring out many issues: gun control, mental health care, but for me the big societal issue is male entitlement. I read Elliot Rogers’ manifesto. He sounded like many things, but one thing in it stuck out of me. Elliot Rogers thought that he was entitled to have sex with beautiful women.

In my opinion, there are rights that people are entitled to have, but the right to have sex and relationships is not one of them.

Elliot’s sense of entitlement is one that he shares with many men. We may want to deny it, but I see it all the time. In the city at night, men go to nightclubs looking for sex. I have had many try to hit on me and get annoyed when I reject their advances. I do so politely – I am never rude. Yet I was still hit with a scarf and angrily growled at when I rejected invitations for drinks and dancing during the period of my life when I did the nightclubbing thing (this has passed now). Women are sometimes considered to be arrogant and fussy if they reject the advances of men who are interested in them. I have been told to continue dating men who I am not attracted to just in case a slow burn spark ignites because he is such a nice guy, and he deserves a girlfriend.

Then there is the conversations I have with lovely women in the world who tell other lovely women that they deserve more than they are getting in their relationships or deserve nice partners. I am told I deserve a nice boy. I disagree. I was dating a guy who was treating me like optional used horseshit last year, and I was told that I deserved better. I also disagree with this. Some of you, my friends will be angry when you read these sentences. Read my reasoning below.

There are two assumptions I have problems with:

1) the assumption that men want sex, and women hold back

2)  the assumption that every person deserves a partner, male or female, whatever works for them, for whatever purposes (sex, relationships, games of Twister…).

Assumption (1) is wrong. If I could have sex with someone fun, I would. I like it. My one beef with being single is that I get no sex. It is awesome, ok. There is a lack of people that I want to have sex with. In fact, there are none. But do I want sex. Yes, ohhhhhh yeessss, oh god, I do. I feel a need to link this scene… it will not go away. Am I entitled to it? No. No one is entitled to anything from anyone else without them wanting to give it – these things are about hormones and above all, what people decide to do.

As for relationships, well if someone finds a relationship that really makes them happy, well, the world has given them a gift and they should savour it, because thinking of it as an entitlement is maximum silly.  Of course, I hope that one day I will meet a lovely bloke, but I do not think I deserve it. I do not think that the world owes it to me. The boy from last year was dumped, but that was not because I deserved better. It was because I decided to dump him (despite a severe hormonal reaction to him). I know many people who have had or who have relationships that make them miserable. Many of them are superstars, and do not deserve what they get. They chose it, so they get it.

For my part, there have been a few other auditionees, but none of them have made the cut. I define what I want from a relationship. If someone cannot provide what I want, they find themselves in my rear vision mirror or friendzone. I may get a lovely relationship and I may not. If I do get a lovely bloke in my life, I want to ensure that I keep honest about the realities of the relationship, and if it is a good relationship for me, I do not want to go around thinking. “I deserved that” because that will mean taking it for granted, and getting annoyed if someone does not match up with “what I deserve”.

If I end up dating someone, it will be about him deciding to be with me and the other way around. It is really that simple.

Summary: Relationships are about choices that people make in relation to each other, with a bit of luck about meeting people and attraction and not falling in love with serial killers. Not fate, or destiny, or people deserving things. That is bollacks, my friends.

Physical Issues

I have had pain in the right side of my body for years. At first It appeared – which the health professionals later called ‘episodes’, and then it went away again, only to reappear during times of stress. An especially stressful time emerged caused by a less than wonderful relationship, career issues and other stuff meant that it was terrible for about two months, and no physios could put a dent in it. 

Then one day, I contracted glandular fever. This was painful in itself, but once I recovered, the symptoms of pain along my right arm stayed, and my whole right side stayed painful too. It became part of my new normal. I accepted it since I had gone to multiple physios, who had not managed to help me, or who had told me that I was never going to get better. So I just kept doing life as best I could.

The job changed, the relationship crumbed. The pain stayed, and I looked for help with it more than once. The excruciating episodes happened about once a year. It stopped me from learning to drive, sitting, sleeping. I was lucky though. I have rarely needed to give up the things I have enjoyed.

About a year ago, a man told me that my posture was terrible. He has since apologised for being too frank with me, but he was quite correct, and I have never been angry with him for telling me this. I am currently on a journey to change my posture, but this does not tell the whole story. I will blog more about posture later.

Earlier this year, I was also diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Thankfully, I have avoided the worst of it.  CRPS can leave people bed-ridden and unable to do the most basic tasks, which means that they are not able to work. I am lucky not to be one of those people. I do not take any pain drugs on a regular basis – and exercise more than most people. In fact I am one of the busiest people I know. Some friends intimated that I should stop dancing with this diagnosis – but my osteopath told me to do the opposite. I dance whenever I can, and I love it. 

Throughout last year, I looked for help from many medical and exercise professionals. Now, I feel like I have the perfect team behind me. This part of my blog is about my journey to getting better and my experience of medical and exercise professionals, and what works for me. It goes without saying that something that works well for me may not help other people.

Dictionary of Whimsy: Fridge Tetris

Fridge Tetris, verb

Act of attempting to fit all things that need to be refrigerated in all the available refrigerator space. This will often involve rearrangement of items, taking out things that smell funny, working out whether bottles can be stacked on their sides without spilling them, figuring out whether things can be stacked on top of each other without tumbling down* and generally hoping that all the things will fit.

Causes can include:

  • Organisation of house-parties, which can include the necessity to store many bottles and various foods (that will end up getting stacked on their sides)
  • Large numbers of people sharing a disproportionately small fridge
  • People you are living with who acquire** lots of things which they keep in the fridge but do not (always) use them

*this is dangerous

** acquisition of things can be through buying, and through diving into dumpsters (which can have a negative impact on fridge smell)

 

Classifications of Conversations

Do you ever find yourself in situations where you know that your foot has entered your mouth?

Do you find yourself in situations where other people inject massive amounts of awkwardness into a situation, like when your boss talks about his sister’s career as a porn star*?

I have thought long and hard on a solution to this and here it is below. My classification of conversations. When you find yourself talking with others, you cannot always say everything that comes in your mind, but there are some places where this is possible more than others. I am lucky to have many people in my life where my conversation level can be five – although having level five conversation for a long time will be draining. Or you can just ignore this and talk about farts a lot**.

1. Formal conversation – avoid anything that can be seen as remotely dodgy which leaves little to talk about but weather, work, and possibly furnishings (although, this may be going too far). Ideal for: Job interviews, chats with strangers that can be encountered in elevators or shops or other public places. Understanding nods in lieu of conversations are also acceptable***.

2. Polite conversations – politics, religion, sex, emotional baggage, relationships and bodily functions are no-nos. You can chat about most things, but you cannot have an opinion on them. Ideal for: workplace chit chat (at the coffee machine, with people you may encounter once a month, who you barely know the name of), chats with people you have just met.

3. Casual Conversation – Conversations that can include pretty much all of the above, but you can express opinions. Politics and religion can be mentioned with caution here as well. Earthquakes are acceptable where the only damage was to mascara and nerves. Unless you know your colleagues very well, this is probably the conversation maxima for a workplace. Ideal for: First dates, the family dinner table, nice dinners with friends, within team workplace chats, or workplace chats over a couple of wines.

4. Familiar Conversation – Anything goes here, apart from the truly icky. Opinions can be expressed, and religion, politics and sex can be discussed, but not too much. A bare minimum of bodily function conversation is allowed. Emotional baggage can be discussed, but not too much. Ideal for: chats with close friends and family when food is not around.

5. Icky conversation – conversation that should be confined to chats with doctors and other health professionals,  close friends (even then, it is a push). Definitely not dinner table fodder.

* This is a true story

** Then you will have something in common with the three year old son of my cousin.

*** The exception is job interviews – because in these scenarios saying stuff is a good idea.

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