Author Archive for Jill the Pill

Time is Precious.

So, there were a few topics I wanted to talk about this month, but April kind of flew by, and was met with some rather awful stories in the news, which made me realize those other things just needn’t be written about right now. So, while plenty can be said about bullying (it’s been a hot topic on the ‘net as of late), not to mention other random topics I feel passionate about, right now, let’s just remind ourselves how precious life is. One never knows what’s around the corner, certainly not in this world of ours. I’ll keep this short, I promise. 😉

I want to share something that a certain favorite actor wrote to me many moons ago (one of many bits of correspondence we’ve shared over the years), and has stuck with me all these years, especially when bad things happen and I can use a reminder to keep life in check:

Time is precious; 
Use yours to live a good life,
And take care of yourself.

-S.M.

Simple, short, and sweet. Just like life. If we don’t stop and take care of ourselves, find the best way to use our time, and look out for each other every once in awhile, it may not be until something bad happens before we take the time to appreciate what we have. Ours is the only life we have full control of at any given time, after all. Let each day be a gift, and use those gifts to make your world the best it can be. Give the world, yourself and those you care about a nice hug every once in awhile, and they will give back, and then some. Time may not be on our side, years pass by in what feels like only a minute, but make it count. 🙂

P.S. – Thank you for the kind words and encouragement over the years, Steven; I appreciate them more than I can ever say. My best to you always, too. 😀

3/3/13 – World Dyscalculia Day

Yay, it’s World Dyscalculia Day!

Uhhhhh…WHAT?

So, I started to touch on the topic of Dyscalculia in my last post, and I intend to further break it down into a series of posts over time, but this is a good time to summarize it, on the very day set aside each year for Dyscalculia awareness (always 3/3; how fitting for it to be a lovely fraction).

There is SO MUCH I want to say about it, but seriously, it can’t be summed up in a short post, and writing a novel will only bore people in a sea of new knowledge (tl;dr ;)), given how few actually know what it is. There are a lot of people out there who have this and only wish they could turn to someone who gets it, or knew more about it themselves, or wish to find a community of fellow “sufferers” where they’ll fit in and can relate to.

What is Dyscalculia exactly? It’s a learning disorder involving numbers, but not just numbers. Rather than write a painfully long description when other sites explain it very well, head over to the Dyscalculia Forum site and read up for a good breakdown (I’ll wait…). This does not mean we’re stupid and/or lazy, or aren’t trying hard enough to understand things like handling money, reading a map or organizing a space, or that we’re just choosing not to do something because we don’t like/feel like it, we actually lack the ability to grasp these concepts; our brains simply cannot make heads or tails of it (pun intended). It’s like any other form of dyslexia – you can try to learn, practice for hours, and no matter how much you put into it, your brain will never retain the information, or very little of it, and scrambles it around furiously without ever actually understanding it. Ooh, and the resulting brain pain. 😛

Learning and Growing.

I have found, since walking away from the old job, that I have learned and grown so much in my thirty-something years, and truly I was at a point in time where I got as far as I was going to without taking flight on my own to seek my true calling in life. The “old” me, the insecure one of years ago who had little confidence in herself, would never thought this possible. Thanks to good friends, supportive parents, and just plain looking inside myself to realize my potential, that little frightened bird has made it. However, for those following along here, please don’t tell me I should just let go, move on, and walk away from something when I’ve committed myself a great deal to at least trying to do my part, with a load of feelings and thoughts that go with it, when I’ve been doing the best I can, take it or leave it. It’s just not that simple – these experiences, feelings and thoughts are a large part of what has built me up to who I am today. Hear me out for a little background on my life, why don’t you?

There are a few situations I have had to go through in the past to realize sometimes you have to “just keep swimming” and not look back when something has helped you grow, but only held you back for whatever reasons after a time; sometimes it’s not agreeing or meshing with people and situations that have become dysfunctional, futile or feed negativity into an environment while you try to keep your eyes on the prize, whatever it may be. You become broken inside, discouraged, losing heart, losing focus. For so many reasons it can happen, and not just at any one time or place in your life. There will be people who misconstrue your words, don’t listen to your advice (or that of others), rush to keep you quiet, cut you out of the picture or threaten and intimidate you for daring to speak up, and in that, seemingly refusing to validate your feelings and input. And there are those who do not see things eye-to-eye with you, or simply aren’t in an ideal place themselves, whatever it may be, and in dealing with this realization sometimes you have to leave behind or cut out those parts that aren’t healthy in order to remain strong yourself.  You can’t change other people, after all; you can try to affect change, but we’re not designed to fix other people’s problems, only work on ourselves and do the best we can to make our existence the best it can be.  But for all the parts that make it difficult, realizing this is a sign of growth, especially when you muster the courage to break through the haze and see you are still that same person you used to be, still full of hope and potential, still wanting everything you always have, only now you’re stronger, braver, more prepared for the journey ahead. 

Month One, Complete.

Well, how quickly the time flies, the end of January already? That means my first month in this new adventure of being self-employed is wrapping up. 2012 ended with feelings of guilt and a bit of anxiety, 2013 starting with the next phase of sorts: emptiness. The first couple of weeks I felt so empty, that vessel-full of frustration and futility suddenly giving way to a new, fresh slate. It was weird…I just felt nothing for a time, it’s like a mourning process, I guess: guilt, anxiety, emptiness, and now acceptance and the slow adjustment of my new life. I don’t regret it, though, because I am seeing life has put me where I need to be when I need to be, and I’m keeping busy with projects. Motivation comes in waves, inspiration pops up at rather interesting times, and coffee has become a dear friend, which leads to burning a lot of midnight oil these days. I do need to work on that, trying to keep a normal person’s sleeping schedule. I’ve had to kick my ass a bit, tell myself to “snap out of it” and get into this new groove, but as the weeks have passed, it’s getting easier.

The Guilt of Walking Away.

I have absolutely no regrets about moving forward in my life (see the last couple of posts or so), but I still have this guilt, as if I should feel bad about leaving a job I’ve been at for over a decade. As if it were always going to be the job I had with no intention of trying new things or following my heart or something. How silly is that? Yet, it’s still like this divorce of sorts, but more a liberation than a divorce…it’s divorcing a life I have known and admittedly not always found to be ideal or positive or life-affirming. That isn’t to say I regret the entire experience, rather it has helped me over time realize just what I need and want from my life.

Everyone goes through these things, I guess I just let my feelings get too much in the way, read too much into what people will do or say or watch me walk away with ill will and a “good riddance,” from their lips. I have done nothing to warrant such things, and nobody actually has (at this point), but still, it’s like you’re letting people down just for wanting something different than them in life, and you feel like you have to apologize for leaving or qualify your decision with a long explanation. Some people will always try to spin it to make you look bad or tell people you’re crazy or your feelings are invalid, or maybe they simply don’t believe/want to believe in you, etc.; sadly, I know of a few and to say their behavior disappoints me isn’t enough. (And not worth my energy, frankly.)

Letting Go and Moving On.

So, a major step in my future plans happened this week: I submitted my Letter of Resignation at my current job, which happens to be the family business. I am starting 2013 anew with a new venture: my own business. *GASP* Why? How can someone just walk away from their family? Well, it’s not walking away forever, it’s not disloyalty, I will still be related to many of those with whom I’ve worked for over a decade now, but it’s time. I have spent too much time setting my own interests and needs aside to please others, and I realize it’ll never be enough and only burns a person out.

How selfish of me, right? How dare I decide I want to do something else with my life. Most people seem to be supportive, while others seem quick to judge me and everything I’ve ever done, as if they knew me all that well, as if I’ve never done anything for them or contributed anything of worth to the business. At least, that’s how I see it. (Maybe I’m wrong, but this is not the place to delve into further thoughts that benefit nobody.) I suppose it’s to be expected, people don’t think you’ll walk away from something that may very well be a lifetime commitment to them. It’s not like I am unwilling to be supportive or never plan to do anything for my family’s business again; quite on the contrary. But for me, my life is meant to be so much more than it is now, and in order to move forward, I have to let go, to free myself so I can achieve everything I have set out to do from here. They will be fine without me if they’re willing to stay the course, so I hope to see things continue into the future, for everyone’s benefit.

To My Friends and Acquaintances Due East…

Hey, friends (and acquaintances), and all those dealing with Hurricane Sandy right now. How’s it going? Yes, I know, it’s a bit uneasy out there right now. Please be safe, and know that the rest of the world is ready to help if you need us, even if we can only offer positive thoughts right now.

I send out a giant virtual hug with comforting thoughts of kittens (or your preferred cute, cuddly animal), chocolate and rainbows!

To those of us not directly affected by Sandy, remember, chances are someone you know will be dealing with this in some way, and in a major way, at that. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 to pledge your help now (it’s applied to your phone bill). Check up on friends and loved ones, or have them do so when they can (by social media, text, or whatever is at the ready). We may need to be patient, but let’s lend a hand, because if we were in their situation, we’d appreciate the thoughts and support, too. 🙂

This is no small storm that people are going to be forgetting anytime soon, so while this may all sound cheesy and simplistic, I’m trying to get my thoughts across as best I can given the situation.

We are here for you, guys! Take care!

With Love from the West Coast, and the Rest of the World. 

Leaps of Faith (Whee!)

Oh hey there, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Well (deep subject), I’m still juggling a whole bunch of stuff at the moment: helping put on an auction (see my previous post about Gloria’s Angels), plus the big screenplay rewrite (we’re on track to be done by year’s end, with casting to begin in early 2013), and just plain working at the ol’ jobby job. Plus, I have been mulling over and finally decided to take the plunge and strike out on my own, full-time, by starting my own freelance design/copywriting business. I’ve been dabbling in design more as a hobby with little projects here and there, and using my skills on the job for many years, but I want to give it my full focus now, while continuing to follow my various creative pursuits. Never a dull moment; I can’t imagine just doing any one thing forever; I’m a free spirit who wants to embrace as much as I can while I still can. It’s requiring a lot of leaps of faith, but I am at a point where I feel I can trust my abilities and believe in myself, knowing I will land on my feet.

Gloria’s Angels 2012 Dinner and Auction Gala!

Gloria's Angels Logo

Gloria’s Angels – Lifting Burdens, Building Communities, Caring for Loved Ones

This is a cause that is very near and dear to me, so I want to spread the word here. On Saturday, November 3, 2012, the 5th annual Gloria’s Angels “Angels Among Us” Dinner and Auction Gala will be held at the DoubleTree Hilton in SeaTac, Washington (near the Sea-Tac Airport). This year’s very fitting theme is “Hollywood Walk of Fame.” Anyone who knew Gloria knows she aspired to be a Hollywood star one day, so this is sure to be a great event with the kind of glam and glitz Gloria loved.

Who is Gloria? What is Gloria’s Angels? 

Gloria’s Angels was formed in honor and memory of Gloria Strauss, a brave young lady who fought neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, for four years, and passed away at age eleven in September of 2007. During her journey with her illness, family, friends, and even complete strangers rallied behind and followed her through a series of articles originally published in the Seattle Times by columnist Jerry Brewer. You can read the full series here: A Prayer for Gloria. These touching articles earned Jerry a 2008 Pulitzer Prize nomination.

To briefly describe what Gloria’s Angels does: they work with families taking care of a loved one dealing with a life-threatening illness or situation, all for free. They seek to ease those burdens by forming teams that surround each family to help with basic needs at home (and beyond) so the families can focus on caring for their family member(s). This can’t be done without the generosity of the community through donations, events like the “Angels Among Us” auction and from volunteers.

What Can I Do?

If you would like to know more about the Gala, perhaps to donate, attend, volunteer, or just read more about what Gloria’s Angels does and how they might be able to help someone you know, please visit their site: GloriasAngels.org.

If you’d also like to read the book Jerry wrote about his journey with Gloria and how it has impacted his life, I highly recommend the book “Gloria’s Miracle.” Come prepared with a box of tissues.

Thanks for reading, and please spread the word! -Jill 🙂

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