Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our Brains

I'm listening to an audio book called, "Change Your Brain; Change Your Life" in the car. I'm not finished with it yet but it fits in with much of what I've read in the past 10 years about brain research as it relates to emotions and behavior. The information is based on various kinds of brain scans that have been developed in the past ten years.

The author says that our brain's limbic system (commonly referred to as our "reptile" brain) is where emotions are processed and where threats are handled. The interesting thing I've learned is that the limbic system, unlike other parts of our brains, does not interact with our frontal lobes (where our rational mind is) at all. It just sends signals to our bodies without our having an opportunity to think about it at all. It's a survival mechanism, of course. Under threat of a tiger getting ready to eat us, there's no time to think over what the best thing to do is. But since most of our perceived threats don't involve tigers, but rather threats of hurt feelings, etc. from other people, it's no wonder that we act without thinking and then have to clean up the messes we make. Hmmm.

Also, he says that women have much larger limbic systems than men. The limbic system also is where bonding with other people takes place (without going through our rational minds either). The author believes that this larger limbic system in women is why women bond so easily with others and why men seem to be more detached. He also believes this is the explanation for why women stay with abusive men - they are bonded to them emotionally in a way that has nothing to do with their rational minds.

The part I'm listening to now regards the automatic (and irrational) thinking that our limbic systems come up with. Unfortunately our automatic thoughts come from a part of our brain that has no way of interacting with the truth. Therefore, most of our automatic thoughts are negative, untrue and based on automatic reactions to threats. Examples of automatic thoughts - I'm so stupid. My boss didn't say hello so she must be mad at me. My spouse is acting strangely so he/she doesn't love me anymore.

The author says that by becoming aware of and challenging these thoughts - which, by the way, is a tremendous amount of work - we can eveuntually change the way our brains actually work! More on all this later.

Friday, February 26, 2010

More on Sloth

In talking to people who know me well over a long period of time (almost 30 years in one case), it seems to me and to them also, that the role sloth plays in my problem is small. It's hard to actually isolate it from all the other things so I'm just handing the whole mess off to God. I feel much more at peace. All I can really do is be as active, organized and focused on what's really important on a daily basis and leave the rest alone. Some days what I can do is small. The word that I heard a lot was, "surrender." That used to be a bad word for me but not any more.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Didn't post this in January because I couldn't remember what it was. Now I remember - a passenger on the plane to Austin took this picture for me of the sunrise from the window of the plane where he was sitting. Love it. "Sloth is the thief of time." Drop the Rock.

The book study we're doing on "Drop the Rock" inspired me to do a 4th Step on sloth.
I'm tired of trying to figure out if I'm lazy, ADD, dissociating, depressed or just plain crazy. So, I'm just calling my problem with erratic sleep patterns, excessive tiredness, and erratic ability to function, "sloth" and working the steps on it. I've done two million things to deal with this problem and I still have it and it still interferes with my life and pisses some people off. For some reason, it's never occurred to me to work the steps on it before which is totally amazing. Just shows I still need a lot of help. So, anyway, the 4th Step is finished - 8 pages of single-spaced self-examination. One of my sponsors has read it and we'll talk on Thursday (5th Step). I'm kind of entertained by the idea that once I've been through Step 9, I will actually be in the hands of God and things will change or I will change according to my willingness and God's plan. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

365 Project

Me cracking up because I'm a blonde with Judy my long suffering hairdresser.
This was dinner before it was roasted. It looked pretty good after it was roasted too.
This didn't come out like I hoped but it's still interesting. It's actually the view from one of the few really big hills in Tulsa.
2010 Collage. Interesting how much repeats from year to year. I still long to be outside more. Time to do something about that. I have spent a lot of my life outside but since the wreck, I've been inside WAY more than I want to be.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I have a lot more fun when I wake up in the morning thinking how I can make the world a better place in a small way, or how I can make my life better, or what I can do to exercise my creativity. I wish I could think of a way to make that my first thought instead of what I usually think - "What do I have to do today." Actually, none of us HAVE to do anything. I remember telling my mother that when I was around 5 or 6. She vehemently disagreed and pointed out a bunch of things we HAVE to do like eat and go to the bathroom. I still thought even those things were a choice - of course, you would die if you didn't do them, but it was still a choice. Gee - I had the secret of life all figured out before I was grown up. I just am impaired in putting it into practice. Maybe I should tape an index card to my forehead so when I wake I'll remember that the day ahead is all my own choices.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blondes Have More Fun

I'm never satisfied with how my hair looks. The only time I liked my hair was in the 80s when I had a perm and my hair looked naturally curly. Once it started turning grey, it looked crappy. So, of course, I dyed it. But then an perm wouldn't take and I had to make a decision - crappy color and perm, or good color and unmanageable hair. That was around 25 years ago.

So for 25 years I've been messing with my hair, trying to get it to look decent. Recently I decided I'd like to see what color it really is and maybe be able to get a perm. Got a perm anyway and boy is my hair ever damaged with color AND perm. So, I decided to grow it out and see what color it is. Judy, my long-suffering hair dresser, suggested we lighten it a bit so that the contrast with the grey roots wouldn't be so great. Well, it's lightened more than a little bit. It startles me when I look in the mirror - I'm a blonde! And I look terrific!

Hmmm. Should have done this sooner and gotten a boob job too. Then I could have ruled the world. Wait - Marilyn Monroe had all that; Anna Nicole Smith too. And look how they ended up. Well, I still intend to have fun but not end up like that!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eric's smoothie

My friend, Eric, (who by the way is a doctor) came up with a solution to the fact that I don't like salads or eating a lot of raw vegetables and fruits. Actually, he was working on a solution for himself. I've been using it for awhile now and it works. By that I mean, I get all the raw fruits and vegetables I need in a day's time without a lot of effort and the discomfort of eating something I dislike. In fact, I like it and it's no trouble at all. I think there's about 2 1/2 servings of fruit and 2 or 2 1/2 servings of vegetables in one smoothie - the quota for the day - plus the other ingredients.

Half a banana, half an apple, handful of blueberries, handful of spinach, handful of carrots, cup of hemp or rice milk, some hemp oil. Blend and drink. You could also add grapes, bell pepper, raw beets. It looks kind of weird but tastes good. Eric likes Jalapenos in his but not me.

I feel very healthy and righteous after I've had my morning smoothie!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


At the Alanon meeting I attended this morning, one of the pages read was about the commitment it takes to be responsible for our own happiness - how easy it is to fall back into the belief that if only the people in our lives and the circumstances of our lives would conform to our wishes, we would be happy. The truth is that our best teacher is our awareness of death - hardly anyone would say on their deathbed, "I wish people would have treated me better and that I had always gotten my own way." Most people's regrets are probably going to be along the lines of wishing they had treated the people they loved better and that they had appreciated the gifts life gave them more. The trick is to remember this truth, moment by moment, one day at a time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

365 Project Bec's birthday celebration

Waiting for Aaron and girlfriend at Red Hot and Blue BBQ - next day celebration and Valentines day.
The next day celebration at Red Hot and Blue BBQ - Aaron and girlfriend Sofi.

A couple of outstanding decorated cupcakes.
Some of the decorated cupcakes.
Fred (dad), Josh (boyfriend) hiding behind the cupcake decorating friends.
A great honor for grandmothers to be invited to sweet 16th birthday celebrations!

Monday, February 15, 2010

365 Project OLD pics

The view coming up the drive to the horse ranch where Bridget rides.
Paul, Susie and Nadine at El Chico's. Fun catching up on the news.

Yet another snowstorm!

Eric's partner Jax's picture with the men in his family.

Eric at his going away party (grrrr).

One of the bridges on the way to Eric's house.

The pond at the horse ranch where Bridget rides.
Another snow storm..

Snowdrift mixed with the birdseed on the ramp. Took this a month ago and don't remember why.
People who have been to my house will recognize this. When I was in the wheelchair, I simplified stuff leading to all my underwear and nightwear being piled on the dryer. My friend, Sharon, got these shelves for me to put things in order. I should have taken a "before" picture to contrast with this one - which is of the shelves after I finally straightened them up.

This is the room in the clubhouse where we do our book studies.
Not a lot of pictures for the time lapse. However, I'm giving myself credit for not giving up. I need to go to better places so I can get better pics.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

365 Project Austin

This is ? I took a picture because it was an amazing array of whatever.
A cool way to see the sights in Austin
Here I am outside after we'd seen the exhibit. A very small but classy art museum.
Dee and I at the University of Texas at Austin. (The tower behind us is an historic site where Richard Speck shot people many years ago)
Prayer flags in the back yard of the Hindu temple just down the street from where we stayed.
View through the window of the new Hindu temple
Ceiling of amazing Mexican restaurant where we ate.
Downtown Austin
Texas State Capitol
Ceiling of the Texas State Capitol.

Great trip. Great memories

Monday, February 08, 2010

Grain of Salt

Where have I been in my life, anyway? I'm just now learning something I already knew at a superficial level and am now learning at a very deep level: A whole lot of the time we have absolutely no idea what people actually mean by what they say, and they have absolutely no idea what we mean either. I'm having weird experiences where I say something that seems incredibly easy to understand, and what is heard is something not even remotely like what I meant. I am also experiencing troubling examples of not understanding what people mean. All of which makes me remember other examples of misunderstandings in the past that were based on misreading of communication. Several people in my life have told me that they know for a fact what someone meant and what his/her motives were. I listened but disagreed that they knew for a fact...I could think of several other possibilities. So, right now I'm taking everything I hear with a grain of salt and asking a lot of questions about what the person meant. I'm also asking what people think about what I'm saying and getting some interesting result from that. Hmmmm.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Here's the explanation for being a blogger out of touch - first I went on a four-day vacation. I came back with an upper respiratory that put me on my butt. For the first time in four years since the wreck, I couldn't get it together to post. Today, for the first time, I'm feeling pretty well. Yay! But now I've probably lost all my readers. Phooey. Well, it's time to start over.

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