I’m Fine

I saw a picture and post about a tattoo a few months ago.  Below, I’ve shared the picture. (Please note, I am not aware of the original poster, but do offer them the credit.) “I’m Fine” is a casual phrase we all use to move conversation along and often rely on those two words to reflect the attention elsewhere.  A young woman, suffering from chronic depression, inked her body with these words.  But there is a twist, to her it reads “I’m Fine”, to others it reads “Save me”.  Think on that for a minute.

Continuing the journey of letting go reminded me of that post and tattoo I saved in my phone.  It struck me simply because I believe we all suffer from a form of depression, but for some, it lingers and consumes us.  When I embarked on the journey of placing worth in people, time, and self, I had no idea that I would also be addressing deep hidden truths that led me to respond with “I’m Fine” more often, than not.

You see, getting rid of all those things that distracted me pushed me to examine the intangibles in my life.  I would love to report that, after ridding myself of electronics, negative media outlets, etc., I kept walking and never looked back.  But that wouldn’t be the truth.  The truth is that it continues to be a struggle even today.  To clear up any misconception, I am not advising you enter your home and junk everything, that is what I needed to do to start appreciating life and opportunity.

After that initial unloading in my mid-twenties, I struggled with consumption and distraction well into my thirties.  For a time, I would gain and accumulate, only to lose it due to stupidity, ignorance, life choices, or a mixture of all three plus seven more reasons.  The idea of what my priorities were became a wavering mindset and often fell to the waste side when tempted by new technology and expensive toys that I had to have.   

I taught my kids to use their money on experience, not things that don’t last.  Or purchase something that will be with you for years and will serve a valuable purpose other than a distraction from living.  If I only I led by example.  Around the age of 35 I experienced a year of profound loss and destruction.  While the details are private, what I will say is the life I knew changed in an instant.  Twelve months of death, sadness, financial loss, family struggle, and court battles led to a period that will mark the beginning of living this life.

I lost everything.  Everything that meant something and everything that simply just took up space.  In the end, everything was just another word.  Pictures, items that belonged to my late mother, electronics, files, records, furniture, collectibles, if you look around and see something, chances are it can be counted in my “everything”.  Devastation really doesn’t begin to explain the emotions that processed through my heart and mind.

As I sat wondering what I would do, I was reminded of the struggle I began a decade earlier to put worth in people and time.  So, I began to separate myself from the things I had no chance of recouping.  Instead, I focused on the people in my life.  Those that were around me, those that were far away, and those that I hadn’t even encountered yet.  For me, letting go translated into gaining everything.

Sitting here in my kitchen I look around and see stuff.  Most that know me are fully aware that I love Amazon and should probably be a key spokesperson for them.  But things have a different place in my life now.  People come first.  Experience comes first.  LIFE comes first.  Letting go carries so much more than walking to the trash with things I haven’t touched in years.  Letting go became a point in time.  Things stopped replacing my feelings and words began to reflect my true self at any given moment.

This journey hasn’t been easy and along the way I’ve learned valuable truths about myself, my past, and how I can live a transparent life.  What are my distractions?  Am I giving the people in my life the time they deserve?  Am I creating tasks to avoid a situation?  Am I “fine”? 

What is your distraction?  Are you really “fine” or do you need some saving too?

Save Me, San Francisco

There are several smells that I find to be an assault to my nature. Olives, along with their slimy existence, stink. They also take up an entire section of my local grocer. Why? Because apparently some people like them. I’ve also learned that some of those people are my friends. That is a situation that may need some remedy.

Other smells? Oh . . . let’s see.

Hard working man. Now there is a smell that doesn’t bother me one bit. If he, or she (if that’s your life) walks in after a day of manual labor and being awesome and smells like sweat and accomplishment, hold the door for them and give them some love. That is a smell that rarely gets old.

Salmon. Yup, it gets its own sentence. Purely because it shouldn’t be anywhere near other words that I associate with my native language. I can’t stand it! Not only does it taste nasty, it is one of the worst smelling fish when it is being prepared.

There is only one other smell that truly gets on my nerves and has, on occasion, led me to desperate measures: teenage feet. There are not words yet formed to describe the absolute hell I lived in while my older loves were still living at home. I have never smelled anything so foul, assaulting, stagnate, or permeating in my life. To give it a reference, allow me to share an occurrence of the levels to which feet can cause delirium.

My love, Ari, counting her “piggies”.  She inherited the stinky feet curse from her lovable mama.

We lived in a town home. My ex-husband, our daughters (16 and 9), and our son (15). Many days came and went without us knowing exactly who was walking around with “Frito” feet, so I just blamed everyone. One morning it was everywhere. I sat in my chair, it smelled like feet. I laid on the couch, it smelled like feet. I stood in the kitchen, IT SMELLED LIKE FEET!!!! I went to the bathroom, and oh my word, it smelled like FEET!

Enough was enough. Insanity kicked in and I was on the verge of being homicidal if I didn’t cure this nastiness soon and very soon, or I would be going to see the king! I rounded up the natives and we had to find the culprit. I knew that ground zero was the garage. But this particular foot smell had an extra spin on it. As I contemplated how to extract it, I honed in on the fact that the special seasoning to this one was most certainly a dead animal. It probably suffocated due to attempted bedding in a shoe or something.

Off to the garage we went. We moved everything. And just so you know, I’m a junior level hoarder. We emptied the loft, the freezer, every kid toy, tub, drawer, and vehicle out of the garage. I should also mention this was at 8am on a Saturday (hehehe). As we neared the end of this little adventure, my older daughter said “Mom, its my shoes”. My reply was simply a rebuff because this had gone beyond the usual foot smell. No way this was a shoe that I encountered on every other day. Oh no, this smell was EXTRAordinary. It had been sauced, baked, mummified, twice baked, drenched in vinegar, and then sat out in the Vegas sun for about 48 hours. Then and only then would one of the kid’s shoes be even remotely as devastating to my senses as the current situation.

Well, after everything had been cleaned and moved out, the only thing that remained was the shoe pile. Low and behold . . . the smell led me straight to the jungle. The cooked booty and petrified funk that was this putrid stench was in, around, or near the forbidden shoe stack. My daughter was right. She had somehow managed to elevate her stink game and had prepared for us a nice dish of rot disguised as a shoe that wasn’t even a month old. Needless to say, those shoes received the stamp of disapproval and were banished to the dumpster 200 yards away and in my opinion, that wasn’t nearly far enough.

Have you ever been in jail? I have. There is moment in which you realize there is nothing you can do but wait it out. The uncomfortable feeling becomes your friend and you just make do. Well, that is the same feeling I have become accustomed to when I am faced with a smell that permeates every square inch of my life. A person’s breath, its like being in a cell. I can’t escape it! And of course, feet . . . I am a prisoner in my own home with this one. That is why I created the “process”. It has never failed to give at least two days of relief and it’s required of anyone that has, on occasion, assaulted me with their foot smell. Take note, this recipe, and required actions, will help!

  • First . . . wash all bedding, pillows, blankets, etc. that have come in contact with the feet.
  • Second . . . strap the person down.
  • Third . . . get a basin, fill it with hot water.
  • Fourth . . . mix in “man” body wash, I prefer Axe or Irish Spring, Dawn dish soap, and Listerine.
  • Fifth . . . insert the animals, ahem, feet and soak them for 5 minutes.
  • Sixth . . . grab a foot scrub that has exfoliating dirt in it. Scrub the living hell out of the feet! I use a Dead Sea Salt scrub. Make sure you get between the towels and up to the ankle.
  • Seventh . . . Rinse in the soaking water and then scrub the feet again with the water mixture.
  • Eighth . . . Towel dry and apply a moisturizing lotion.

This process should leave you with a pleasant, unassaulting, life experience for at least 2-3 days. If there is still a lingering problem, do this daily as there may be layers of funk you have yet to address.

Happy feeting and thanks for stopping in and listening to one of the many situations I deal with daily.