The Best Medicine

Fish BoyBy now, we all know laughter carries strong, powerful juju.  It stimulates the pleasure center of the brain, reduces mental tension, and increases energy.  Since laughter stimulates both sides of the brain, it stirs creativity, problem-solving, and helps us focus.

A good guffaw can be especially helpful for those who suffer from mental illness and some brain-related illnesses.  Physiologically, laughter impacts the limbic system, which are parts of the brain effected by depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia.  Proponents of laughter as therapy claim that choosing to laugh helps to break the cycle of psychological negativity.  It doesn’t change our outer circumstances, but helps us become more flexible in viewing them differently.

For me, a good laugh, one that gets me braying like a donkey, is like brain Draino.  I can feel the crust and emotional hairballs blasted out by a rip-roaring belly laugh.  And cackling with someone else only adds to the mental benefit.  It’s a way to connect.  I feel closer, safer, more attracted to the people who enjoy the same kind of humor I do. (I get you, and we’re hilarious!).

One of the highlights of my week is watching TV at my friends’ house where we egg each other on until I either snort my Mountain Dew or lose urine (Hey, every medicine has side effects).  When I go home, I almost always feel better than when I got there.

Some days it’s hard to summon a chuckle.  That’s when I rely on the Pinterest board I created for such an emergency.  I fill it with little videos and memes that guarantee me a laugh.  A good dose of Braying Like A Donkey can turn a bad day around.  And isn’t that what drugs are for?

Here’s a little sample from my medicine chest.

Follow Your Wild Self

Follow Your Wild Self

Just a pretty while I work my way through this year’s case of bronchitis.  It’s not so bad.  I’m eating what I want (lots of Häagenn Dazs bars) and shuffling from bed to chair either watching episodes of Call the Midwife, or cruising Pinterest, or sleeping.  The weather is fine, so the windows are open and the boys enjoy the sniffs as well as burrowing under the covers with me.  Maybe it won’t take until October to de-crap my lungs this time.  Wild hope.

The Rain, The Park, and Other Things

I was just enjoying Nancy Carvers Pinterest board on the ’60s and remembered one of my favorite songs.  Rainy Saturdays in my room, listening to the radio and reading Tiger Beat.

Oo, and this one!

Sinking into the Day

handmade greeting cards, collage art, RumiLost Days.  Bad Days.  I used to have all kinds of names for days like today.  Symptomatic.  Hard.  Dead.

It’s a day when all plans and lists get set aside, all hopes for how the day might be spent suspended.  It’s a day when the rapid cycling pulls me under into the darker waters.  Drowning can occur.

But not today.

Today, as I schlumped home from the Y, brain fog closed off any line of sight to the shoreline.  I was left adrift with the nattering and fussing it grinds out on days like today.  The fibromyalgia that comes with depression deposited rusty spurs in every joint.  I could hear my muscles creaking.

Okay, my brighter mind conceded, let’s just sink into the day.

At home, I ate breakfast, watched an episode of Fringe, took Advil, then went to bed.  If I’m exhausted and aching, this part of my mind reasoned, then rest.  I slept for hours—deep sleep punctuated by cats.    Up in the early afternoon, I set about making soup with whatever I had left in my pantry and fridge—a little of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grains and Beans Soup Mix, a can of corn, two little sweet potatoes, garlic, and half a bag of spinach.  I didn’t have any vegetable broth left, so surrendered my vegan status for the day and threw in a couple of chicken bouillon cubes.  Parsley, Garam Marsala, salt and pepper rounded it out.

While  my soup simmered, I spent the afternoon on Pinterest, looking at dreamy and beautiful images.  I went to the pinners I follow who gather their boards together with style and grace, then wandered off to experience some of their favorites.   Sinking into the beauty, sinking into the art, I let the images and words hold me like a raft on the dark waters.  I brought a bowl of soup back to my computer and sank deeper into the rhythm of the gentle pictures and soft colors, spooning a bite of sweet potato, a mingling of spice and savory.

Now, the day is almost done.  Henry is buzzing his little cat-snores behind me in the big chair.  The sun comes through the western windows, throwing squares of light on the floor for Emmet’s bath.  It’s quiet here.  No drowning.  Just sinking into what the day brought and resting there.

My Cyber Life

handmade greeting card, collage artThese days, what with my Zero Money Initiative in place, I spend most of my time at home on my computer.  And I’m finding a whole new life there.  It’s Pinterest, really, that’s sucked me into this Ether World.  I’ve found dozens of Pinners who share my interests.  And since my taste wanders all over the place, there’s a lot to keep me enthralled.

There are the nerdy fan-folk—the Tolkein aficionados, the Trekkers, the Joss Whedonites.  I’m in Nerd Heaven, wandering through all the rare photos, video clips, jokes and articles about my TV shows and movies.  There are the science puns, and inside jokes, and cross-over weirdness that combines Star trek with Firefly and Sherlock Holmes.  My geekiness runs rampant.

Battle Cry, The Hobbit, Thorin OakenshieldThen there are the serious armies of movie star fans.  Any male actor, living or dead, generates a plethora of appreciation (Female stars get plenty of attention, too, just not so many shirtless photos or comments about fainting).  Here, I have found my obsessive/compulsive, delusional tribe—women all over the globe tipping the scale from fan to stalker.  I breathe a little easier knowing I’m far from the craziest end of the spectrum here.  I’m actually rather refined and discriminating in my male appreciation.  Tasteful, even.  Ahem.

sheep, IrelandI can explore my love of Ireland and dream about going there by connecting with Pinners who are either from Ireland or who have shared their vacation photos.  I can listen to the music, meet infamous sons and daughters of the Eire, and learn the country’s history.  All the beautiful sites, the people, the festivals—they let me taste of the Emerald Isle while I scheme about how to get there.

endangered species, animalsThen, there are all the boards devoted to nature—weird and gorgeous wild animals; amazing forests, rock formations, fauna and flora.  There are Pinners gathering information on preservation, animal abuse, conservation, and every aspect of green living.  I’m constantly amazed, shocked, inspired and delighted by all these lovers of the world.  I can indulge in my love of elephants and skunks.  And there’s no end to the folks who love cats—great and small.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, TV, Joss WhedonMy cyber and material worlds are starting to mix, now.  I’m spending more time at the library searching for things I saw on Pinterest—books on visiting Ireland and England, movies like “War Horse” that I thought I’d never watch (but found out Tom Hiddleston/Loki  and  Benedict Cumberbatch/Sherlock Holmes are in it).  I picked up the first season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to watch some early Joss Whedon, and checked out a great mystery novel by Tana French on a Pinner’s recommendation.

I’ve heard Pinterest described as a horder’s dream come true.  A person can collect all their favorite stuff without taking up any space (or creating those scary towers of books, papers and clutter every proper psycho-killer’s home requires).  But, for me it’s gone beyond that.  Yes, I like to create my boards with a certain amount of flair and artistry, but I look forward to learning something new, digging deeper into a topic, sharing a funny video that I hope will make others cry and lose urine like I did.  It’s a new way of interacting, a new kind of community-making.

And it makes me happy.  That’s something to stick a pin in and hang on the wall.

Strange, New Worlds

Spock, Princess Leia

Thanks to my marketing guru, Robert, I’ve started a Pinterest board.  Since I’m not a social networking-kinda gal, I’m not quite sure what the hub-bub is.  But, Kana has talked about her board, which is amazing, so I took the plunge.

I had a bad day yesterday, bipolar-wise, and putting this site together was a healthy distraction.  Not that I didn’t eat crap, too, or hide in my apartment, but it could have been worse.

It seems like Pinterest is where you can go to dream and throw up those dreams for the Universe to see.  Sort of like affirmations or a Vision Board.  I like that.  The internet certainly gives a person tons more images to choose from than magazines, though I like the process of cutting out the words and pictures and laying them out.

But I’m hip to try this new way of dreaming.

Gosh, someday I may even take another crack at Facebook!

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