Frame of Mind


Today’s Music: Vampire Weekend – Holiday

I’ve been posting very little lately. I’d like to put up a couple a week, plus the Friday Foolishness, but lately I just haven’t had the time.
The company I work for was bought, then bought again. At some point before the end of the calendar year, we’ll be moving from our offices to theirs (downtown to midtown).
I’ve gone through this before – the last company I worked for was also bought several times, with all the attendant layoffs, confusion and identity crises that go with it.
I’m not worried about getting laid off. For one thing, I show up and do my job without playing office politics. For another, I work on computers, and I’m not bad at it. There are jobs available (in New York) in my field, even if it does mean working for a financial company (not my first choice, but hey, gotta eat).

My personal life has also been a bit one-tracked lately. A relative is in the hospital with a serious issue. Stable now, although it was a bit touch and go for a while. She’s doing better now, but every day after work, I trek all the way from the southern tip of Manhattan to the northern end to visit for a while. Then my girl and I go home. (Yeah, The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe comes with me every day. Just further evidence of her wonderfulissitude.)
Weekends are for sleeping, chores (I’m looking at you, ironing board), cooking a couple of meals so we have what to bring for lunch, and more hospital visits.

It’s tiring. Exhausting really, both physically and mentally. A long day, riding crowded trains, worrying about someone else’s health and well being, as well as the usual stresses – what small fires will need to be put out at the office, riding crowded trains, trying to be supportive and encouraging to those that need at it.
A grueling schedule.

Enough to make me forget who I am.

So in my web wanderings, I saw a new post from a site I look forward to new posts from. And spent a few minutes looking at the pictures.

We’ve all heard the phrase “go to your happy place”. Many of us snarkier folk have used that phrase sarcastically or mockingly. I have as well.
But there’s truth in that phrase.

I’ve written before about my own talismans. Lately, they keep me grounded and remind me of potential and what can be.Their reassuring weight gets me through the day.
But the pictures on that site reminded me of something I love – myh own happy place.
For me, the image of a palm tree brings with it the feel of warm sun, the smell of salt air, the sound of lapping waves and the rustling of a cool ocean breeze.
And it brings peace.

The memory is alone is enough…for me…to slow…down…

And that pause is enough to get me to take a deep breath and change my frame of mind to a more settled and relaxed one, where I can actually process what’s going on and deal with it.
If it were winter, I’d wear my boat shoes and a Hawaiian shirt to get there.
But since it’s hot and muggy in NYC, this is an excellent way instead.
And nothing i have to explain to anyone either…

So, if, in your travels today, you see a guy with a half smile on his face, his eyes focused on something way way in the distance, don’t be concerned.
I’m just gonna hang out there a few more minutes, and then I’ll be back.

And in a much better frame of mind too.

I think I feel good about that.

Thanks so much for the pics, LizzieC! I’d forgotten how pretty the palms are.

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116 responses to “Frame of Mind

  1. Hey Guap, sorry to hear of so much troubles in your path. I hope your relative gets better soon and your trekking days to the hospital will soon be over. It Is exhausting but remember to take care and take those ‘happy place’ breaks when you can. Take care and be well. Xo

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  2. Did that last summer with Lori’s mother so have complete empathy. I fill my head with music and memories if places and also dream about what’s to come when I’m in one of those funks. It’ll get better. It always does.

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  3. Is wonderfulissitude a real word? Hmmm.

    Hope your relative starts feeling better, and that things die down for you at work. I haven’t worked outside the home in so long I forget how stressful it can be. Actually, I occasionally get stressed just hearing my husband talk about work; he also works in finance.

    Blogging is great for letting it out there as well as sheer procrastination, but don’t let it stress you out if you’re not able to post as often. Your readers will still be here. 🙂

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    • I have often been known to make up words to describe my girl, L&L. She has been known (occasionally) to approve of them.

      And you’re right – just yelling it out on a post here is a big help already. Sometimes just being able to give a concrete name to what the bother is is a help.

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  4. Guap, I love this post so much. Getting to one’s happy place is harder to do than we give it credit for. It’s difficult to tune out all the excess noise and just be content for a moment or two. I hope things get easier for you soon.

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  5. This sounds like quite the heap you are shoveling through. It’s a bonus that you have the most wonderful girl in the world.

    Hoping things slow down for you soon, Guap. And you’re family member is in my continued thoughts. You’re a good egg!

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    • Having TMWGITU makes it all bearable, Mel.
      Thanks! And with the ‘sphere to hang out in, I’m pretty sure I can manage to avoid being Humty-Dumptified.

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  6. You are most welcome my friend. and that in turn has made my day. Thanks,for, the reminder that it doesnt have to be complicated. Keep Rockin and I am totally digging the word, wonderfullissisness…i think there are too many ississ but the scroll wouldnt let me check… 😛 you are a rock…solid like ya know in a good way… I think for many people… No rock is an islamd and they still need happy places…maybe moreso then the most.

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    • Ooh, ooh – its like the happy version of karma! 😉
      There can never too much ississ, LizzieC!
      And i think we all need happy places we can duck out to from time to time…

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  7. Yeah, palm trees and beaches tend to be my happy place, too, probably because I’m stuck in Ohio. Hope things normalize for you soon.

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    • I’ve been known to go to the Botanical Gardens in winter just to hang out by the palms, Carrie.
      And thanks! Normal would be a nice change of pace…

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  8. Aw, it’s difficult when in the middle of trying times to regain perspective. Everything can seem so unfun and burdensome. It sounds like you have some good coping devices and people in place to help replenish what is sucked away by stress and worry and being present for an ill relative. My happy place is in the studio and I’m lucky–it’s spread-aroundable! So… let me know if you’d like a brand new latte cup, on the house! (That’s how I share my happiness & maybe bring other people a little every time they hold. Best thing about pottery…. )

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  9. Me thinks it’s time for that Executive meeting in the tropics!

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  10. whiteladyinthehood

    Guapo, your talismans post was so honest and sweet. You are a heck of a good guy! I wish you all the best and hope things work out just they way you need for them to.

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  11. Guap, glad you found a little something to smile at. And in fact, I’ve had a tough day today and you made me smile, too. So thanks.

    As someone who has been on the receiving end of those hospital visits, know that they really do mean the world to us patients. Sometimes a noisy crowded hospital is the loneliest place on the planet. And then you see a smile that you love and realize that it is worth the fight.

    I hope your relative gets well soon.

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  12. A gripping life

    Hey Guapo, I’m feeling a lot of love here for you. I sense that you need to recharge those batteries, you know, the ones you use to make all of us laugh, encourage us, support us, and brighten our days…? Yeah, those batteries. Do what you have to do to find your happy place, deep cleansing breaths, meditate, stare at a palm tree, etc.
    So sorry to hear about your relative. Hopefully things turn around in a positive direction, soon. You can always turn to your blogging family for extra support. We all think the world of you. : )
    Sending good vibes your way…..
    Lisa

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  13. TMWGITU sounds like she’s eleventeen different kinds of awesome. I’m sorry you’ve had a rough time, Guap. You’re both troopers. I know the type of trek you speak of—I had a similar one last summer when Mr. Weebles had chemo. From home, to hospital, to work, back up to hospital, then back to work, then back to hospital, then home. It’s physically and emotionally draining, and I hope you’re hanging in there okay.

    Your happy place sounds mighty fine. Have a few tropical drinks for me while you’re there, and I’ll have a few for you when I’m in mine.

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    • Thank you, Madame Weebles. You’re absolutely right – draining is the perfect word. We’re hanging in okay, even better after the comments I’ve gotten here today. The sphere is wonderful place!
      And I’ll raise a glass to you on the next round…

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  14. free penny press

    Oh wow you do have a stressful schedule.. yes, go to that happy place (which looks like my backyard..yup, I’m down here in north of Cuba-land).. relax, and blog if & when you want.. we’ll always be here !!
    Mai-Tai ?

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  15. I know what to get you for Christmas now… it’s so delightfully wonderful… I’ll get you a pair of sunglasses with palm trees taped on the inside… might be hard to see where you’re going, but hey, you’ll already be there.

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  16. Guap, I have twice been through the process of another company buying the one that I’m working for — no fun. You have my empathy. I’m very sorry to hear about your relative as well. I hope she recovers swiftly. I know she must appreciate you venturing up to see her so often. I doubly empathize with you on this count. I really don’t know if there is anything more difficult than having someone you care about go through serious health problems. I’ll be thinking about you and your girl and your family. Hang in there, and don’t feel guilty if you need to take a break from posting. We’ll all wait!

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    • Mostly it’s the frustration, GnF. Nothing to do really but show up, make jokes and smile. While that’s important, all the concrete stuff is done by doctors, nurses and the patient. Everyone else is just a bystander.
      Thank you for your thoughts!

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  17. Hard to know where to begin…..your trips to the hospital……you are giving this person the medicine they need the most….knowing that they are loved….
    You and your girl are doing something SO important….these are
    The moments in life where you show your true character..what you’re REALLY made of..my hat is off to you both.
    Take that trip to the happy land of the palm tree anytime you can and remember that there are a whole lot of “crazy coconuts” cheering you on.

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    • Thank you Zannyro! It’s my girl that inspires me most to do stuff like this, and makes it easier to get through.
      I wonder, is “gaggle” the word one would use for a bunch of coconuts? Or “pod”?
      Not sure “school” would be appropriate.
      Maybe…

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  18. So sorry to hear about your relative; I pray that all is well. Take time to do you!! We’ll be waiting 🙂

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    • Thanks Nicole. I’m actually surprised at how therapeutic the blogging is, especially the Friday posts. It’s nice to have something unrelated and fun to focus on.

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  19. Have I told you this before? My lovely yet capricious daughter who thinks at her age (probably your age, too…whatever age that is…really, El G. any age will do) she knows more than I do (imagine that?) says to me when I have the dark, dull days of life that swallows the breath out of me…she says to me with love in her eyes and wisdom in her voice:
    “Chin up, Little Buckeroo.”
    Never fails to make me smile.
    Consider it said to El G and El Princess G Twenty-Toes….
    With love in her eyes and wisdom in her voice….
    It’s just JOTS.

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    • That made me smile to, Jots. Thank you.
      And from the little I know of you, you are meany things. All of them wonderful, none of them as simple as “just”.

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  20. Take some time off to take care of those who need you most, doing so will ease your own worries. I am in a summer state of mind– or is it a NY State of mind as Billy Joel would say. Give yourself permission to relax, I am; we’ll be here when you return.

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  21. Keep on treckin’ Guap. Sometimes focusing on putting one foot in front of the other to get ever closer to those palm trees is all you can and need to do. Thanks for the pics, it’s Winter here… hang on, I think a see a dude in a loud Hawaiian shirt coming around the corner.

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  22. Life can be exhausting sometimes, that’s true. You think of palm trees, I listen to Pearl Jam. At least there is always something good about being alive, even when in the midst of pain. ❤

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  23. I’ve never really known what is going on in your life, but now I do (a bit). I feel really sorry for the person in the hospital, I hope she gets well soon and that this was nothing but a bad memory. Your girl sounds like a really awesome girl (don’t forget to tell her 😉 ) and you sound like a really nice guy who has to deal with stupid stress now. Luckily you have this happy place, I believe this kind of brain escapes are very important for one’s mental health…
    And hopefully, all of us bloggers can offer you some nice distraction too!

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  24. Sorry to hear about your relative Guap – hope things resolve themselves. Good choice of music too! Best wishes.

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  25. Edward Hotspur

    A picture and a soundtrack and I’m there…

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  26. Wow, that does sound like a lot. I’d been wondering about what burdens you were shouldering. When someone you love is in a health crisis, that’s a huge — it’s so exhausting on every level: physically, emotionally, mentally. It warmed me that your sweetie is with you on visits to the hospital. Work, that’s another big thing too. You have a good attitude. Maybe I will try the talisman thing or escape through pictures, I love the idea. 🙂

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  27. I’m sure just writing this was a relief in itself. Meanwhile, hang in there … and strength to your relative to recover!

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  28. I’m so sorry to hear a member of your family is having such a tough time. I know that can be really difficult and gut renching. I’m glad that you stumbled on the photo of the palm tree to remind you about your happy place and to help with the stress. I’m glad you have “The most wonderful girl in the universe” by your side. I enjoyed reading about your rings. I hope you can have time soon for some R and R. :+)

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    • Now if only I had TMWGITU on one side and a palm tree on the other, Starla…
      Thank you. If all is going well, we’re going to run away for a week soon to recharge .

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      • It took my a moment but I just got it TMWGITU! :+) Cute Well I hope you guys can get away soon. I know how life can pile up a bunch of stressful events all at once.

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  29. Remember Guapo….if you’re not first good to yourself, you can’t really be good to others. So, be selfish! I’m sure nothing would put a bigger smile on the face of both your girl and your relative than seeing a happy, energized, and totally psyched Guapo.

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  30. So sorry to hear about your relative. I hope all is better very soon. AND on of top of that all the big job changes — that cannot be easy. Why is it that when it rains it pours? A happy place really does help. My happy place is at home (with the water running and the vacuum cleaner on) and all the ordinary things that keep me grounded in times of stress. I’m glad you have a wonderful girl who supports and is there for you. She’s Aces! And so are you! 😀

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    • Thank you Linda! I’d bring a vacuum to my happy place, but I’d need a pretty big bag to suck up all that sand. but the ocean is pretty good running water!

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  31. Jennifer Worrell

    Thinking of you and sending happy thoughts of peace and palms:) Everything will be okay!

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  32. From one snark to another, here here for happy spots. I find more than a few at Lizzie’s. Much heart to you and TMWGITU. I have been in a similar position lately and can feel your pain from here. If you need to scream, I am at the other end of the inbox. ❤
    Red.

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  33. Sending hugs, light and love via the internet for an awesome guy who’s always dishing out support and kind words to others.

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  34. I am sorry to hear of your relative in the hospital… I am way behind on reading so hopefully she is doing better now. So cool you have a girl that has wonderfulissitude… 🙂 Hold on tight to her. ♥

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  35. So sorry to hear that your are mired in the muck, Guap. The nightly hospital visits can really take it out of you, and work mess never helps. Sending light and healing your way and to your family.
    Take two minutes when you need that happy place and go to donothingfortwominutes.com it is a lovely beach scene with waves and seagull noises in the background. It will relax you instantly.
    You are good people, Guap, and you have lots of good people put here for you. I am happy to be one of them!
    Love, light, healing, peace, sunshine, and mohawks,
    Amy

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  36. Be well, and find those good things inwardly if not outward. Even in this crowded city, you can find a quiet, almost abandoned side street filled with old stores. Just that one block walk could help you get away!

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  37. Pingback: POTD: A Tree For El Guapo « …things I LOVE!

  38. Hey, sorry things are tough at the moment. I’ve been on both sides of that, the Visitor and the Visitee (is that a word?). I know how important being the Visitor was to me and how draining it was. Later I found out how much it meant to me to have someone who truly cared for me come and see me 🙂 I’m so glad you have your lovely partner to support you too xx

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  39. In case you don’t see it, I’ve just posted a song on my blog that I think you’d like. Ben Howard is a 25 year old British musician who has not long released his first album. It’s lovely chilled out music with some interesting guitar playing 🙂

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  40. Glad you enjoyed donothingfortwominutes.com I stumbled onto it and may never be the same. Wish the waves moved, but the sound, the photo, and the challenge really seem to work for me.
    Hang in there, my friend.
    Never underestimate the healing powers of soup. Seriously. That’s how I survived my nightly hospital visit time. You’d be amazed. When I “grow up” I’m thinking I’ll open a soup restaurant because it helped so much.
    Funny mohawk pictures of your dorky friends can provide lpa brief respite, too. Let me know if you need more!
    Hugs, light, and healing,
    Amy

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  41. Pingback: Friday Foolishness – Podium Edition | Guapola

  42. I hope your relative recovers soon!

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  43. Great song, BTdubs. And I’m so sorry to hear about your relative. Just went through the touch-and-go thing with a friend, and it’s a bummer.

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    • Thanks, J2. It’s funny, everyone seems to have their own story. Makes me feel good to get so much fupport from people that know exactly what I’m going through.
      And damn cool people too!

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  44. I am sending positive vibes your way! **********************

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  45. I got here late–a combination of influenza and a new work project have kept me a little off-balance.

    First for the non-serious stuff: Good for you and your Hanson props. A lot of guys would be afraid to admit to liking little-girl music.
    I KID! I KID! I don’t know much about Hanson beyond Mmm-Bop!, but when that came out years ago, a friend of mine, who is a very accomplished, classically trained guitar-player and self-supporting musician told me in all seriousness that they were very talented musicians. That’s one plus. Number two is that they’re still at it. I’m not one of those people who laugh at “One Hit Wonders” (well, I laugh at some of them, like ‘Nilla Ice), many of whom are talented musicians or have dedicated followings (I understand that in terms of Top-10 hits the Grateful Dead is technically a one-hit wonder), and I have mad respect for a dude who loves what he’s doing and doesn’t want to get a real job. GO HANSON!

    On to the more serious stuff. I see a lot of people have already commented, and probably better than I, but I’ll throw my two cents in as well. It sounds like a bit of a rocky patch, but you’ve definitely got your head in the right place. First, regarding your work–it sounds like you’re pretty integral, and even if it doesn’t work out, like you said, your skills bring you options. And I’d like to add this: it’s pretty damn hard to starve to death in America, regardless of how bad things have gotten.

    I know a bit about the sacrifices we sometimes have to make when a loved one is ailing. I’m so glad that your aunt (I think it was aunt) is getting better. I’ve only been to Manhattan twice, and I can’t imagine traversing that godforsaken island once a year, let alone every day. But my mom once had an extended stay in a hospital 180 miles away,

    Your doing a great thing for your aunt, but I’ll bet you already know that. What you might NOT know is what a great thing you’re doing for yourself. When my mom was sick, I had to drive to San Jose a lot–sometimes I’d stay overnight, sometimes I’d drive back to work the next day (my boss at the time was a beautiful human being). Eventually we brought my mom back down here so she could be with us at the end. It was hard doing all that stuff–really, really hard, but after my mom was gone, man, I can’t TELL you how glad I was. I mean, it was HUGE. It didn’t make me miss her any less (hell, I STILL miss her). But just knowing that I was there and ready to bear responsibility the one time this woman–who had never once failed me in all my life–really needed me; man, I kid you not when I tell you that thought keeps me warm at night.

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    • First time I heard that song, I was in shock it was Hanson, Smak. I actually think it’s pretty good penance for mmm bop.
      Thanks, you’re absiolutely right. Despite the hardshipfor me, it’s nothing like what she’s going through. And I can tell by her expression that she’s glad my girl and I are there every night.

      And I’m sincerely glad you did that for your mom and have the memories of that time together.

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  46. I hope your relative is well on the road to recovery now. Loved Alex’s POTD – great pics of beautiful palms.

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  47. Nothing is more tiring or stressful than trekking to a hospital day after day to visit someone you love. You are trying hard to be upbeat for them & entertain them because they have been stuck in a boring hospital bed for 24 hours since you last saw them, all the while you’d like to pull up the bed next to them & just sleep. You’re wonderful for doing this & your girl is super precious for supporting you in this.
    BTW – I knew we shared a small piece of our souls – my sanctuary/quiet place is under a palm tree on a sugar sand beach with the aquamarine water just steps away. This is where I go in my mind when I am super stressed or having trouble falling asleep (insommnia is a curse!).

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Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

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