Menopause Redux, Part I

Note: For today, I had planned a post about the opening of a new restaurant in Hollywood. That will have to wait until next week. Events of the past two weeks have made this post even more timely so I will do it now! This post is pretty personal and I share these things to help other women who are also in this transition. This will be split into two posts.
Menopause, but you are so young?
I am now 42, soon to be 43 in July.  I have always felt very young for my age. My muscle tone was firm. My weight and measurements were the same as they had been when I was in high school.  Luckily, gaining weight was not an issue due to my off the charts metabolism.  I had few wrinkles. I had copious energy. I will stop there so nobody gets mad at me. That, has all begun to change.
Suddenly, in mid Feb. 2006 at the age of 37, I was hit with a reality that I did not expect to face until a decade later. Peri-menopause. I had just spent a year unemployed. During that year I did a couple of half-time volunteer jobs, rode my bike daily, took Capoeira classes and focused on my spiritual development. I had not watched TV for almost a year. I felt amazing. I looked better than I had in years. I even met a creative, passionate (read sensual), funny and spiritual man to share my free time with. That is where things took a quick turn.
I can only share what seemed to start the Peri-menopause ball rolling for me and do not profess to speak for one single other woman. But, I can’t imagine this has never happened to another woman out there. Continue reading “Menopause Redux, Part I”

5, Mostly Random, Books from the Shelf

Today’s Blogathon theme is:  My 5 Favorite Books on writing. Since I have technically only read two, I have grabbed 5 books from my book shelf. Some are favorites, some are must reads.
In random order:
#1: The Power of Now
by Eckart Tolle c1999
“To make the journey into The Power of Now we will need to leave your analytical mind and it’s false created self, the ego, behind. From the beginning of the first chapter we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where one breathes a lighter air, the air of the spiritual. Although the journey is challenging. ” – Inner Book Sleeve: The Power of Now
Being a fairly eclectic woman, I have explored many ways of interacting with the world. I am cautious about self-help books and “new age” type gurus. However, Eckhart Tolle is fairly brilliant in my opinion. The Power of Now cuts through all the layers of bull… uhm crud we pick up throughout our lives and whittles it down to this just moment. If you have ever felt burdened by your past or spent way too much time hoping for a better future this is the book for you. Pondering life’s past lessons and setting goals are very important. But, if we learn to live for the present moment, we get out of our own way and just live fully in the Now.
Eckhart Tolle has some Free Content at his site, but charges to watch his online TV show. If you search on Youtube there are plenty of his talks to enjoy.
#2: Shakspeare(sic): v. III  Much Ado. Twelfth Night. Love’s Labours
Handy Volume Edition: Published by George Routledge and Sons, New York c1850s
Ah, the illustrious Senior Shakespeare. How do I love thee. Well, I will share with you my love. When I was in college I took an honors colloquial on Mr. S. I had not yet read King Lear, although I has long since been a “fan” since my early teens. We read the entire work out loud in class, student by student, passage by passage, then watched  a filmed version of the play. One passage I got to read was so packed with wisdom that I expressed my belief that when look at as purely literary books of wisdom, this play is on par with the highest(non-dogmatic) lessons extolled in the Bible. Continue reading “5, Mostly Random, Books from the Shelf”

Running Late Roundup

*phew* Busy morning. Learned a lesson today. I learned that I should write my posts late afternoon and schedule them for early AM. Had 20 page hits this morning and no post for them to read! EEK! So…what to do…what to do… I have a fab post planned for tomorrow and an even fabulous-er (sorry) post for the next day(hint: BBQ).
I know! I will do a post roundup of a few old but interesting posts from the last few years.
In the next month I will write a bit about growing up as a blue eyed woman of mixed heritage. Over the past couple of years, I have written about my views on prejudice and racism.
MultiCulturalism:  In Nov. 2009, in order to start to address the topic, I posted another author’s article Beyond MultiCulturalism, which drew a large number of heated comments on my Facebook note. It is a very interesting article and well worth the read, although long. It is one of only a very few times that I would ever post another writer’s work in it’s entirety. Continue reading “Running Late Roundup”

More than Enough You to Cover the Whole Loaf

Ever feel spread too thin?
I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago and realized that I do a lot of different professional, volunteer and personal activities. Then, I had an epiphany. I almost never feel overwhelemed or spread too thin.  Seriously.
Don’t you hear folks say things everyday like,”I just don’t have enough time in the day to get things done.”  When you ask a friend how they are doing they exclaim (often with a huge sigh), ” Busy. Overwhelmed. I need a vacation!”
Why don’t I feel the same way? Isn’t my list of duties and activities as long as anyone else’s?

  • I Blog daily( at least this month)
  • I build and manage several websites a month.
  • Up until recently I taught cooking classes to preteens once a week.
  • Menawa and Brigid, my two cats,  need love, feeding and attention.
  • My 20yr. old son, who lives on his own, still  needs my love and energy.
  • I live with my partner(the testosterone filled one) and maintain a relationship.
  • Running my own business calls for working 6-10 hours a day, plus at least a couple of hours on the days I choose to take off.
  • I work on non profit strategy.
  • I write grants.
  • I have volunteer commitments to 3 non profits.
  • I cook dinner 6 out of 7 days a week from scratch.
  • I find the time to do copious tenant’s rights research and act on it.
  • etc…etc…etc…

Why don’t I feel overwhelmed?
Glad you asked, because I have a theory.  Shortly after I realized I don’t feel like I am spread too thin, I thought back to a time that I DID feel that way. My son was 5. I was going to college full time (until 1pm), working part time as youth coordinator at a health center (2-6PM) and then working as a personal care attendant evenings (7-9PM). That was tough. There wasn’t even enough of me left to spread on a piece of melba toast!
Continue reading “More than Enough You to Cover the Whole Loaf”

2011 WordCount Blogathon Kick Off

Fiddlesticks! Is it may 1st already?

As I drank my morning tea and joked around with the testosterone filled being that I live with, I knew there was something I was supposed to be doing. I took yesterday off, mostly, from using my computer to do any work. I typically do some work on the computer each day, but needed a break. I guess it only takes one day for me to lose my momentum. Sheesh!

As I mentioned in my last post  HERE , I will be participating in a challenge for writers called the 2011 WordCount Blogathon. The goal is to write and post a [singlepic id=52 w=220 h=140 float=right]blog a day for the entire 31 days of May 2011. Admittedly, some posts may get written ahead of time if inspired. I expounded on the benefits in the aforementioned post, so I will not repeat myself here.

I will, however, speak to my fears and personal challeneges in reaching this goal so I can set them aside and rise above them.

The Scary Stuff

Ok. I am not really scared of this task like I am of whatever still lives under my bed. Hey! Stop looking at me like that. But, for a woman who has blogged about once a month for the last few months, this is a daunting proposition. My biggest “fear” is of forgetting to post a blog on any given day. I don’t think that writing them will be a problem. I have plenty to say.

My other fear is that nobody will read my blog posts and they will languish in the vast reached of cyber space. Having said this, I know that a few of my fellow Blogathon writers will comment and at least one already has already.  So, I will now set that fear aside and be confident that people want to read what I will write and my frineds will answer the call as well. Continue reading “2011 WordCount Blogathon Kick Off”

Blog Revamp and Blogathon 2011 Preparation

I have begun the process of revamping, not to be confused with vamping, my blog here at Blue Eyed Monkey Eeks!
re·vamp (r-vmp)

tr.v. re·vampedre·vamp·ingre·vamps

1. To patch up or restore; renovate.
2. To revise or reconstruct (a manuscript, for example).

n. The act or an instance of revamping; a complete reorganization or revision.

Monkey Sitting on a Steel Fence_Lavoview
No more Monkey on the Fence

Why Revamp Now?

Well, you see…  I recently reorganized  my blog, upgraded my theme, added countless plugins, began the long process of looking through the 73 pages of posts (12 on each page) that need to be hidden or reposted, etc. I have almost 2000 posts to manage, mostly posts from back in the Livejournal days(2004 to 2008). Back on LJ I posted several times a day and it was everything from song lyrics, to Memes, to rants and raves. There were, however, quite a few “critically acclaimed” blog posts which need to be revived.

The whole purpose for all this work? I want to get serious about blogging and start to broaden my online reach, so to speak. All of this was greatly inspired by a client and good friend, Taylor Grant, screenwriter, copywriter and marketing guru. In the midst of working on his brand new site, which is a top secret project to be revealed this summer, a fire was lit under my…uhm…seat.

The other half of my inspiration came from a divinatory reading I had a few months back.  In this deeply profound and on target reading, by a well known Santa Monica tarot reader Madame Pamita, I was told that I had wisdom and knowledge that people would want to read about. She said that I should start a blog or write a book. Funny thing is, I have had a blog for half a decade and my procrastination gene has been overriding my just-do-it gene when it came to getting serious about it. I have been thinking about it, tweaking it and just generally sitting on the fence about it for many years. Story of my life!

Continue reading “Blog Revamp and Blogathon 2011 Preparation”

Volunteering vs. Consulting

I have a few hand picked volunteer positions… Multicultural Americans of Southern California and being two of them. Otherwise, I can’t afford for my time and skill to be given away. Who can? I know quite a few freelancers and this is a widespread issue. I do recall a certain incredible seamstress I know having this issue in the past. “You want me to make you a dress that takes me 50 hrs. to make at materials costs only? You are kidding right?”
When a friend asks for a quote for my service I feel respected and want to help. It means that they understand that a person’s skills, including their own, are worthy of compensation. Would you go to an office 9to5 for thank you’s and accolades only? No.
The reality is, and those who do business with me know this, even in paid positions I always end up offering some extra time or giving seriously reasonable rates for services other’s would charge double for. Why? Because as a consultant it is all about relationship building. I will be successful if I a) have ongoing clients who look to me for several projects b) get referrals from folks who think my work is exemplary and who feel they get high value when they work with me.
I am grateful for the opportunities that Creator lays in my path. I look at each one as having promise and merit for me as an individual beyond payment. It is fairly easy for some to see this and take advantage of that. Or attempt to anyway.
I am blessed in that my friends who have chosen to hire me for their projects are fair and amazing to work with. I pray that this pattern continues and will pledge to stand up for myself when the rare individual tries to leverage my compassion and friendship. I will lovingly refuse the work and meet them for coffee!
Have I told ya’ll lately how much I truly appreciate everyone’s support and encouragement? You all are the reason I am still pushing forward.
Blessings and love….

Competitive: The Other "C" Word

1 : of or relating to a situation in which people or groups are trying to win a contest or be more successful than others
2 : having a strong desire to win or be the best at something

Lately, I have been thinking a bit about how I feel about competition. I truly feel that the need to compete with others in our daily lives can get in the way of happiness and peace of mind.
I am not speaking of a soccer match or a game show. That type of competition serves itself well and many friends and family have enjoyed competitive sports and such in their lives.
Although I have not played one in a long time, I used to play several role playing and card games at game conventions and  friend’s houses. If and when I would win, my lack of competitive spirit sometimes ticked off those who were disappointed to lose. On more than one occasion some guy would stomp away or pound the table if he lost and instead of gloating at my win, I shook my head at his need to get so angry about a game.
I played the games for the fun, companionship and some intellectual stimulation. I never played with the intent to merely WIN. Not only does that prospect bore me to death, but I don’t think I grew up with an inherit need to compete. I just didn’t. More on that later. I competed and sometimes won, sometimes lost. Both felt equally satisfying as long as I had fun in the process.
Our Capitalistic society is founded on the concept of competition and we seek to win in education, commerce and world power.
The type of competition I want to write about today is none of the above.
Continue reading “Competitive: The Other "C" Word”

On White Privilege in the UNITED STATES

I have been led by recent discussions on my NOTE in which I posted an article that proposed intellectual discussion of “whiteness” and whether their is something Beyond Multiculturalism. It was food for thought. It was originally posted by my father.
As a follow up to my own writing about being fed up with and taking action against prejudice as well as the article about the sweat lodge deaths that became a discussion about racism, my posting of this article got varied reaction from a very diverse group of folks. A half white/half Latina, 2 black men both with some Native American heritage, and two white men.
In the next few months I will be developing my ideas for getting back in the mix of anti-racism and anti-prejudice education of children in my community. I truly believe I am being led back to this work which was originally a big part of my career and life’s work. I feel that the Creator has challenged me and allowed me to see that when I start this work again I will need to be weary of preaching to the choir and make sure I am prepared for the backlash from those with opposing views, which is inevitable. But wait, there’s more