Friday, June 12, 2015

Poison Ivy

Living this mobile, tiny lifestyle brings with it some challenges. We are currently on the river, and so far this year, so good as far as flooding goes. By now, we've typically had to evacuate at least once and sometimes twice. The biggest challenge we have had to face this year are the number of mating dragonflies and poison ivy. Last year, daughter had it six times and I had it four. The cat climbs on the river bank to get whatever tasty morsel he is going to kill next, rubs through the poison ivy then rubs on us. It's a huge problem, and one we haven't been able to solve.

Work has been busy and nuts, but I think I'm going to have a little time to breathe, meditate and do some yoga over the next couple of days and boy am I ready. Hope you lovely readers are well.

Ms. Minimal

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Let's Get Caught Up!

Ms. Minimal went crazy and bought a 31' bumper pull. It's the taj-ma-camper, with lots of space, but ironically less storage than my 22' motor home. I've had to get rid of some stuff, buy some different stuff and figure out where the heck to put stuff. I hate stuff so this has all been very overwhelming. I'm planning another thrashing of stuff down the road.

Currently, I am tying up a lot of loose ends. A complicated relationship situation is getting streamlined and I think I'm ready. [Emphasis on THINK] I'm finishing up my involvement with the board of directors at the resort I stay at part of the year. I'm ready for that to be over, too. I can go back to enjoying myself now instead of fielding questions from fellow drunken campers and no more typing minutes! WOOHOO! 

My birthday is tomorrow. I will be 43 and as I ponder my life and look back on the myriad of choices I have made, I do not regret any of them. They have all led me to where I am and I am happy with this place. More changes are coming and more growth is surely to come as well. Sometimes growth is painful, but I know from experience that pushing through the pain only brings joy on the other side. That's true for so many things in life.

My daughter is flying back from Denver tonight. She went for 5 days and left with only a small backpack. It was a joy to watch her pare down the items she wanted to take, focusing on only the most important stuff. Then watching her leave for almost a week with only a small bag. Less baggage is always good, literally and figuratively. She will return with a new lease on life. Traveling alone as a woman is empowering. I've never done it for sheer pleasure, only for work, but I know all too well how inspiring it is. I cannot WAIT to pick her up this evening and hear about all of the people she met and experiences she had.

Oh, the places we will go....

Ms. Minimal

Thursday, March 5, 2015

New Rules of Engagement- Good Fences Make Good 'Neighbors'

I have become an observer of human behavior and after doing several experiments over the years with various people in different sectors of my life from close family member to boss to spiritual friend, I have decided to implement some basic rules of engagement for communication purposes.

On Unsolicited Input:

I have learned that most people are not looking for my input, so not to offer my opinion on any unsolicited topic.
If a topic is solicited for input, to proceed cautiously! It may feel like they are looking for my input, and they may think they want my input, but neither of those may be true.
To limit my input to only the immediate topic. Give input that leans toward the positive.
Don't start pontificating, because it never ends well.

On Cohabitation Relationships:

I have been as happy if not happier being alone than I was when I was in a cohabitation relationship.
I gave too much of myself to cohabitation relationships.
I don't have time in my life for a cohabitation relationship.

On Friendship and In General:

I have let go of many, many people in my life over the past year and am better because of it.
Always come from a loving place.
Always give more than I take.
Always leave something nicer than I found it when I am able.
Do everything in my power to avoid relying on others and try to be as self-sufficient as possible.
Be gracious and grateful always.
Don't take others for granted.
If there is a behavior you are not comfortable with in a relationship, they may change temporarily but they typically cannot sustain it if it goes against who they are at their core.
Trust your gut.
Trust your Goddess.

No- It's a word. 

I should become familiar with it and use it.
Guilt should not dictate what I do.
If I do not want to do something, it is ok to say no.

My New Communication Rules: 

1. Placate, placate, placate.
2. Smile, nod, listen, repeat, affirm. Smile, nod, listen, repeat, affirm.
3. Give nothing detailed or personal, they won't even notice.
4. If someone wants my honest opinion, they will ask for it.
5. If I'm not adding value, I'm just adding noise. Shhh....
6. If I recognize that someone genuinely wants to hear me, rules 1-5 are null and void.

Good fences make good neighbors.

Ms. Minimal

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Be Careful What You Ask For

Because you just might get it....

I don't know that I've ever experienced true heartache. The times that I've severed relationships in the past, I was ready for it and have always lead the charge. The tail end may have been dictated by the other party, but the frame work was always put in place by moi and everything had a natural flow to it.

It didn't work that way this time. I made a rash decision and shot myself in the foot. I'm experiencing true heartache. It is unbearable, but I sit with it and pray and hope that it gets better.

The light in me recognizes the light in you.

Ms. Minimal

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Letting Go

Last night, I let go of someone in my life.

My heart is very heavy today.

Everything about the situation was good and exactly what I needed but he doubted me on more than one occasion. I have been doubted by people my whole life and have decided that if you do not trust me, you can no longer be in my life. I've trusted people to a fault, and it has cost me dearly over the years. I like to think that my judgement is better now and I am better able to determine when someone is not trustworthy but input from some close to me would indicate otherwise. I'll continue to work on that, but today I mourn.

I mourn the loss of something that was fantastic while it lasted.
I mourn the feeling of being adored.
I mourn having an ear when I needed it.

I fucking mourn.

I realize that my posts here are no longer about minimizing things, but more so about not allowing people or things in my life that no longer serve me well.

I know that I am worth respect and trust today.

You no trusty?
You go bye bye.

Although painful, I'm ok being alone today.

Ms. Minimal

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I have been a sufferer of Fibromyalgia for ten years now. At one point, I almost had it beat and had way more good days than bad. Somewhere along the way, that shifted and I'm almost back to the level of debilitation that I had after I was initially struck with it. I think that I've moved away from the healthy habits that facilitated less pain. I started drinking soda regularly again, eating wheat, sugar, dairy and meat, and probably drinking way too much. Not alcoholic level drinking, just more than my body can comfortably handle.

We are headed to IL for the holidays and I will be in the car for 12 hours tomorrow. A road trip is not a good place to try to get your eating back on track, but I fear I have no choice. I need to start today. Start changing the way I eat again, getting back to the gentle but quick walks that I was taking with the dogs outside instead of the vigorous elliptical sessions I was putting myself through for 5 or 6 weeks. I don't think my body can handle that level of intensity. I pushed myself too far. I need to get back to gentle stretching, yoga, walking, meditating, drinking water and tea, kinder foods. 

I am responsible for the flare up that I am dealing with. I did it all to myself. I am the only one that can turn it around. I must do it to get my pain level down from a 8 to 10 to more of a 2 to 4, which is livable.  Pain is with me daily, but normally just a whisper. I don't mind the whisper anymore. I've kind of accepted it as part of who I am. 

Today, it's screams. Sheeting nerve pain over most areas of my skin, which makes clothing uncomfortable. Fatigue in my muscles to the point that I can't hold an arm up for more than a few seconds without shooting pain through the muscles, meaning folding my laundry is a slow process. And muscular pain from just putting my arm on a table or the way my leg sits on the chair or the way my feet sit on the floor. Holding a coffee cup is a two-handed job. I don't really ever talk about the details of what the pain is like, but putting it in writing somehow makes it less dark. It can't hide in the closet anymore. 

I want to scream. 

I have been in tears all day. 

Living this way is not a life. 

I'm moving into the third week of this and as time ticks on, thoughts get skewed. I am not at risk of doing anything stupid, because I can separate the thought from the action, but if I knew that the rest of my life would be spent like this, I don't know that I could do it. 

Many years ago, I stopped talking to other people that have fibromyalgia because they want to compare notes about how horrible it is instead of swapping ideas on how to feel better. At this point, I feel like I need to reach out to the community to find some support. I don't want to go back on medication though.. that was no life. I was a zombie. 

This blog isn't really tiny life related, but it's my life and right now I felt compelled to write about it. 

Ms. Minimal

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pontifications On Life

The last six months, I have been tucked away in a non-HOA section of one of the nation's wealthiest counties. This has given me an interesting glimpse into a world that I've not ever been a part of and is a stark contrast to where I was at the same time last year, in a muddy field on a remote, obscure piece of land.

There, I worried about my safety, both from the people in the area and the person that I opted to bring with me in the name of security. Here, I don't worry about my safety from anyone in the area or my gracious and loving hosts. There, I was secluded and spent much of my time very much alone. Here, I am always surrounded by happy people and animals. The tone is light and jovial most of the time, barring a family crisis, which happens frequently when you have five children. :) I had no idea!  I have learned so much about love and acceptance since I have been here. About true friends, that are as interested in my thoughts and ideas as I am in theirs. About family dynamics, a giving heart and what it is to truly be a selfless mother and wife. I have witnessed it, and it's amazing.

I'm happy to report that I am not suffering the same debilitating depression that I went through last year even though my life is much more complex than it was a year ago. I have found the balance that I needed a year ago. A balance of hard work, down time, me time,  etc.

I decided to end the two year relationship that I was in a few weeks ago. My primary focus in the coming year will be my career and my immediate family. I really owe it to myself to turn my financial life around and get a good footing in my chosen career.

I have allowed men to determine my path in life for far too long.

I have drawn solid line and will not be shaken.

Don't cross it and don't ask me to cross it and we will be fine.

Being alone has brought about time to ponder what being alone really is. I was in a two year relationship, but was not in physical proximity to my boyfriend the majority of the time, even when he could have been with me, he wasn't. When I was married, even though I lived in the same house with the men I was married to, we really spent very little communal time together and most of that time felt obligatory from their perspective. On holidays, I was slaving away over a meal that only 3 people would enjoy because we never had guests over (both husbands), while he played video games or napped. I always felt alone. When I am with someone, I feel that they aren't interested in me as much as they are interested in telling me everything that they did that day or random facts about whatever it is they are most interested in, hobbies, history, sports, nutrition, etc.

Most people, I find, are more concerned about sharing their point and perspective than learning about others. You can see it on their face as they drop into a story or a list of random facts. They love sharing the information, but do they even bother to notice or ask if the topic is something that is interesting to the listener?  I may be guilty of this at times and am going to really work on paying attention to the feedback in future conversations, but as it relates to relationships, I am not going to sit idly by for years and years listening to someone else tell me about how much they love their hobbies, while I am not giving myself time to pursue my own.

I wonder if I am really meant to be truly alone.

Wow, that line stopped me in my tracks.

This is the year that I anticipate getting my life in order and being in a position to buy a place to live. I still hope to maintain a spartan and small life. Gone are the days of the home with the $333/mo electric bill, that was not my dream. The life I choose to build will be based on relationships with wonderful people. My home will be a welcoming place where people feel comfortable and accepted. Where people can relax and put aside the strains of the outside world. I have a vision and now, I have a plan.

The coming year will require a lot of hard work, education, consistency, faith and focus but I am ready to take on that challenge.

I know I am never truly alone as I feel the protective presence around me always. My Goddess is with me, I have my immediate family and friends, and most importantly I am with me. That last one is big, because I've given myself up to others for too long.

I am present for myself today.

Everything else can be figured out.