New you

New Year, New You?

The New Year’s Resolution.  We’ve all thought about it.  We have even made it adamantly and ferociously, believing in it wholeheartedly. I sometimes wonder if it was invented to torture us, to perhaps remind us every year that we are mere mortals destined to fail.

Sure, we start out strong and gung ho, excited about the prospect of a new year and a new beginning.  Then we often end up right back where we started.   We console ourselves, of course, rationalizing that there really is a good reason for not following through on our declarations this year…after all, that membership to the gym is just too expensive…the new budget was unrealistic anyway and I was dreaming when I made it up.  My favorite excuse is that you can’t expect me to NEVER eat a cookie again can you?  Of course, when one cookie turns into four EVERY DAY, even I have to admit my excuse is flimsy.

SO, what’s your New Year’s Resolution this year?  Better yet, what excuses do you already have waiting in the wings of your mind to make you feel better if you fail?  I am not suggesting that failure is inevitable.  There are actually quite a few people who make resolutions and stick with them.  There are also many others who do not.

Post-Holiday Letdown?  Feeling Blue?

Post-Holiday Letdown? Feeling Blue?

Months of preparation.  Weeks of planning and shopping for that perfect gift. Days of decorating and preparing amazing meals and drinks.  The madness of last minute sales. The toys. The excitement.  Family. Friends. Parties.  Celebrating. It’s fun…it’s fantastic… it’s… OVER???

The end of celebrations with family and friends,  a fantastic roller coaster ride of joy, happiness and cheer can seem to come to a screeching halt on New Year’s Day.

The end of  holiday festivities can leave us with a serious case of post-holiday letdown.  We dread going back to the humdrum of everyday. All too soon it seems we are back to jobs and people we would rather not return to.  Even worse we feel guilty about feeling down.

Often, we are too embarrassed to talk about it or admit it even to ourselves. We present a radiant smile and upbeat personality, proclaiming that “everything’s great, everything’s okay!” But, inside we may feel deep loneliness and sadness.

There may be many reasons for feeling sad or blue.  Normal life experiences don’t stop because it’s the holidays.  Many have lost loved ones.  Others have been hurt by or parted ways with friends.  Families may be pulled apart because of divorce or military deployment .  A life threatening illness may have been diagnosed.

CEC

The New Urban Equestrian

Yes, kids of color are learning about the world of horses!  And with your help they will learn much more.   Please go to http://valleygives.razoo.com/story/Childrens-Equitation-Center

 

Your contribution will go directly the Children’s Equitation Center in Ashfield, MA, http://childrensequitationcenter.org/imagine.asp  Children’s Equitation Center, located at Lee Ella Farm, is a beautiful and wonderful place where children of color learn confidence in themselves by getting to know horses.

 

Children’s Equitation Center, a 501 C-3 organization, is part of a larger fundraiser being held on December 12, 2013 called Valley Gives, http://valleygives.razoo.com/giving_events/VG13/faqs.

 

This is the second annual event of a 24-hour celebration of generosity.  Western Massachusetts nonprofits collaborate with the goal of getting thousands of Valley residents and others throughout the United States to support their favorite nonprofits.

 

Thank you.  Now go make that contribution…and tell your friends about the new urban equestrian! Contributions made on December 12 may qualify Children’s Equitation Center for further donations.

 

 

 

 

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Every Woman’s Nightmare: “I was ‘Roofied’”

I have traveled the world, volunteered, taught children and adults.  I have met tens of thousands of people, broken bread and shared libations with the rich and the poor, strangers and friends.  I help people when I can, and in general, believe myself to be  a decent human being.  But, when it comes to rape culture and roofies, [1] NONE of that matters.

On Saturday, November 16, I met some friends at a local hang out.  The four of us had just come from a comedy show and were starting the second part of our night with good music and great drinks.  I was standing at the inside bar, alone, while they chatted outside in the beer garden, ordering my third cocktail in as many hours.

I wasn’t feeling drunk, in the least.  In fact, I was feeling very much alive having just returned from a whirlwind, life-changing trip to China the day before.  It was thrilling to be back.  The tatted, pierced DJ was spinning Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” and that indescribable NYC nostalgia washed over me as the bartender handed me my third cocktail.  Feeling compelled to share my excitement with the social media world, I set my drink down on the bar, right in front of me, to reach into my purse and grab my phone.

At 1:19am, I posted a picture on Instagram of the DJ doing the damn thing.

At 1:21am, I tweeted, “This Jameson is working, Jesus.”

At 1:28am, I started to type a text message that I never finished. “what’s wroweg nghoin; ;opijpik”

At 1:47am, I was being carried out of the bar, feet dragging.  Drooling.  Unable to lift my eyelids.  Mumbling incoherently.

Other than waking up first at 3:49 am, face down in the foyer of my brownstone (my landlord had it on camera) and then again shortly before 5 am, face down on my couch, I have very few memories of what happened during three hours of my life.  All I knew was that my head was THROBBING.   I had ringing in my ears and I was completely lucid.  This was NOT me drunk.  This was something else, altogether.

The panic and confusion that ensued was only compounded when I looked at my phone and saw the missed calls, missed texts and missed tweets from the people I had been with that night, and from folks who I had been expected to meet up with.  I had invited other friends to the bar we were at, and when they arrived, I was a no call, no show. The messages ranged from, “WTF happened to you,” to, “girl, you BETTER be okay.”  I wasn’t okay, at all.  I had been roofied.

After putting the pieces of my night together by answering text messages and describing my symptoms to my followers online, I figured it out.  One of you %#*!?*&^#!!! roofied me.  It all started to make sense.  My head. Oh, my HEAD.  It wouldn’t stop pounding.  The numbness I vaguely remember feeling start in my hands and feet. The wave of heat and nausea I felt right before I felt like I HAD to sit down or I’d fall down.  The inability to look up, or to lift my head.  All of this happened in under 25 minutes. This was not drunk.  This was sinister.  And, I was MAD.

My tweets must have seemed eerily familiar to some of my followers because I started getting replies like, “Go to a clinic or emergency room as soon as you can!” and, “I know this sounds funny, but you should pee in a cup and take it with you.” I couldn’t understand why I needed to do that, but I took a sample anyway.  And, I’m glad I did.

At just after 9 am on Sunday, I shuffled into the Urgent Care center with a container of urine in my hand, smeared eye makeup, a throbbing headache and streaming tears.

The attendant at the front desk must have seen this before because she stopped what she was doing and ushered me into a nearby exam room with an, “Oh, honey! Come with me, you’ll be okay.”  She took my sample from me, helped me take my coat off, and then said, “I hate to ask you to do this, but will you put this gown on so the doctor can examine you?”

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