Meant to be you and me questionaire

At what point does a reason stop being a reason and start being an excuse?

For example, I have hormones currently regulated by mother nature and let’s just say that the old broad ain’t so consistent in either timing or intensity.  This is the reason for my periodic and sometimes drastic mood swings – not because I am a loser or a bad person or an untimely bitch.  There is plausible proof of some internal body electrical misfires.

I may or may not have consciously known this over the course of my thirty years dealing with an “electrical” cycle.  However, since having my “junction box” removed last year while retaining my “generators”, the whole issue has been more in the forefront of my daily cognitive functions.  (Please note:  blogger apology for the crude metaphor – I didn’t want to scare off the men who may possibly be reading this with words like menstrual, uterus, or ovaries – ;o].)

Do I still have reason to let these power failures affect me now that I am more self-aware?  Or do I use them as an excuse for my behavior thereby circumventing the implementation of actual adjustments in my life – regular exercise, strict diet, and possible HRT resulting in a more than moderately different person?

Like I said, it’s been thirty years – surely I am supposed to have dealt with it by now, right?  What if it were a different ailment – one not so illusive with more apparent physical signs and reactions like cancer?  Would the deadly ramifications offset the attitude and thereby provide some leniency?  Or MS?  Are those complications severe enough to warrant a hall pass on likability?  Or leprosy? Could the skin lesions alone grant me access to Barbara Walters’ ten most fascinating people regardless of my sporadic inability to be kind?

What if the malady was even more slippery and less socially acceptable to discuss like MPD?  Could I continue to blame the evil Mary Kate for my tantrums and outbursts indefinitely?  What about alcoholism?  Which program step is it that forces me to stop attributing my behavior to the drinking or alcoholic tendencies?  How about a deeply painful and repressed sexual abuse from childhood?  How long could I continue to live my life in reaction to such an abuse before the universe tells me to get over it?

In other words, to morph some extremely tired cliches, when do I stop sitting around calling a spade a spade and pick up the damn shovel to move enough dirt to turn the freaking mountain into an oasis?

Would that depend on the inherent caliber of person I am or am perceived to be in the greater era of history?  Who and what decides that?  Would I let it affect the person I am meant to become?  Or would I become that person because of it?  Which came first – the saint or the miracle?

Would Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu have become Mother Teresa had she also had to battle cancer her whole life?  What if Gandhi were an alcoholic?  Would he have become the humble giant of peaceful leadership we still hold in highest esteem today?  Suppose the Buddha was a leper?  Would the isolation have hastened his reach to Nirvana or prevented it?  How about Jesus?  What if he’d been abused before a section of humanity realized he was their Son of God?  Wouldn’t he have still grown up to be the Messiah for the two billion Christians in the world today?

My hormonal swings are clearly dwarfed by these larger and possibly offensive comparisons I have attempted to develop but they are currently my albatross with which I have to decide how much longer I am to let choke me.

The list is long of people in history, religion and our everyday lives of those who have eclipsed these seemingly minor to literally earth shattering situations to become luminaries, spiritual centers and generally happy individuals.

Am I willing to join them?

Are you?

Pinter and the practice of pause

It has been a long time since I studied Harold Pinter’s work in a scholarly fashion and yet I was saddened by his recent death.  I love the seemingly simplistic dialogue in his plays that were anything but simple.

Pinter had the miraculous gift to put ordinary people into misleading situations that often brought about emotionally brutal results.

And, of course, the pauses.

Cannot help but love the pauses.

When I was an actor, interpreting the air and being alive during those pauses was more than an exhilarating challenge – it was akin to  becoming a prima ballerina.  To get it right could take years of experience and training and yet it needed to appear effortless to anyone watching.

It could be as basic as letting the directed time pass until your next line or it could be as difficult as thinking of the eight million things you want to say until the sound of the scripted words makes the journey from the bottom of your diaphragm through the saliva pooling at the back of your throat where it finally escapes through your possibly trembling lips.

Those are the pauses I remember.  Those are the pauses I have more experience with in my real life.  I have never, ever been even remotely adequate at allowing time to pass without marking every second with a blistering bombardment of questions waging gangland warfare on my conscious state.

Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older and have less time in which to participate in these paralyzing games, the previously determined pauses are fewer and their duration far shorter.

The unexpected pause, however, still, well – gives me pause.

A comment from one of my kids that pierces my sternum because it comes from someone too young to couch it behind anything but the truth.

A pointed remark from someone I had believed was not capable of tossing them out at me especially when it is repeated and shared with others.

The extra wrinkles, continuous pain from a distant surgery, and rapid mood shifts that I was not warned about occurring so early in my aging age.

The moment unimaginable news is delivered about someone I love that absolutely alters my cellular makeup.

The intensity and reason for the pause may have varying levels of degree and importance within whatever hierarchy the linear part of my brain has placed on my life while the pause itself reverberates the same Pinteresque array of colors in the other.  Together, they create an internal conversation akin a stage play performed by extremely talented actors without an audience.

Voice on the Phone
You know, it was our anniversary on Monday.

Pause. [Me thinks “oh, shit” what do I do now?  How mad is she? I really did mean to call – even picked out a present but just ran out of time to get it done.]

Oh. Yes. I am sorry. I forgot.

Pause. [Me thinks the Voice on the Phone is thinking, I cannot believe you didn’t call – what does that say about you?  What does that say about your relationship with me?]

Voice on the Phone
Yes.  Well, I almost forgot, too, until he reminded me.

Pause. [Me thinks well, crap, you forgot my birthday more than once.  I didn’t realize we were keeping score but now that I know we are I guess it’ll have to be game-on.]

Well, I am sorry I forgot – Happy Anniversary.

Pause. [Me thinks I don’t want to fight with this person.  I want to love this person and have this person love me without conditions like I thought it was supposed to be.  Will it never be possible?]

Voice on the Phone

Silence. [Me thinks I won’t outlive this one either.  It will be added to the ever-present grade-book that I don’t know where it is hidden nor the grading system in which to get a passing grade.  I guess that’s okay as long as I remember the rules I was never told.]

Okay.  So, I’d like to order a large sausage pizza with light sauce and black olives?

Voice on the Phone
Will that be for pickup or delivery?


It has come to my attention that all of my posts have one major concern – Me.  I write about My feelings, My desires, My fears, My angst – pretty much, if it has to do with Me, I’ll write about it.  I’ve written about childhood humiliations, mid-life crises, relationship joys and woes, every kind of female “issue”, and parenthood challenges – all from behind the very specific Kathleen-focused pinwheel of topics.

Honestly, I did not set out to write a blog with an all-you-can-eat buffet of my emotional stew du jour.   I have some indication that I am a bit of a decent writer with a solid ability to express myself in ways that engage other people.  I intended to marry this expandable skill with the numerous social, economic, cultural and world-wide issues that face the human race, thereby bringing about a crisp commentary from one of the ordinary class of humans – middle-middle class working woman with a husband, two kids, a dog and a mortgage.

Instead, I have a series of blog posts filled with metaphorical anecdotes concerning my hormones, insecurities and day dreams.

Is there something wrong with this?

I must have decided there is not since I continue to write about these things that fill my ever shrinking cognizant capacity.

Clearly, even in this confessional opus, my number one concentration is My inability to write about someone other than Me!

However, before I toss my garbley goulash into the pig trough and start writing about other subjects where I have some great authority like the best ways to get cinnamon gum out of a washing machine, or how to collect old baby food jars until they overflow into the outdoor shed, or remain at a job you don’t like for nearly a decade without literally jumping out the window – I should like to state that I don’t believe any one of us can truly write about anything other than our own experience.

Even if I were to write about the life and times of Mickey Mouse, it would be colored with my intense personal impression of said rat based upon everything that has occurred in my life up to this point.  Suppose Mr. Mouse and I differ in opinion on how to bring about peace without using violence?  Would it then be possible to write objectively about Mr. Mouse’s career in which he engaged his country in not one, but two extended wars?

Maybe a better human than me could, but I am pretty sure I have given up trying to be objective.  (Especially where Mickey is concerned – don’t even get me started on a grown mouse who has a clubhouse full of perky sidekicks who only know how to sing his praises.)

So, I’ve decided – if anyone is 1) actually reading this and 2) in a place of even remotely caring about it – that I am going to continue to write about what I am faced with each moment on a cellular level – Me.

After all, stew is a meal in itself!