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Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Story Behind This Time Tomorrow

I'm sure you've all noticed my new header. Superman encouraged me to use this piece of art I drew, and painted a few months ago as my header. I reluctantly agreed to tear it out of my art journal and scan it to see if I liked it. To my surprise, I did like it. I really, really liked it. The only thing missing was the cat, Opie Taylor, who sports the monkey pants on this blog. That sketch came about in under 15 minutes from start to finish. If all of life could be that easy...

Some of you noticed I put "This Time Tomorrow" back on as my blog title. What I'm not sure of is if I told you why I selected "This Time Tomorrow" as my blog title in the first place.

I've played a game with myself for as long as I can remember called this time tomorrow. It helps me get through upcoming things that are difficult, and keeps the ants in my pants from eating me alive when I'm anticipating something fun in my future that hasn't happened yet. Like the time I was asked to open for singer-song writer, Wayne Watson, in 1989 at a concert in Oxnard, CA, a Dove and Grammy award winner. I was so honored, and excited to be the opening singer for one of my favorite Christian singers, I could hardly breathe, eat, sleep or think. I played the game "This Time Tomorrow" with myself so I could survive the weeks waiting for the concert to arrive without popping into a kazillion peices.

Wayne Watson, me, and Scott Alan DJ at KDAR in Oxnard, CA
big smile, big shoulder pads & big hair... love the 80's

But enough about big hair, and stuff. Here's how the game goes....

If there was a test at school that I dreaded, I'd think about the day and time of the test, then I'd say to myself, "This time next Friday, I'll be taking the math test." This would give me the mental time--mental because I rarely, IF ever, cracked a book for a math test--to psych myself up for the test. It's like saying, "OK I have 6 more days to worry about that or not worry about it." But I'd always visualize myself in the situation whether it was 6 days away, or this time tomorrow. It gave me some time to feel it before I got there.

I once used the game to help me heal after having an abortion. I sank into a deep depression afterward because I felt I didn't have a choice in the matter. I wrote a story about my horrible ordeal with the "this time tomorrow" theme. In my short story I dread the upcoming scheduled event, and acknowledge my fear, and remorse, by counting down the days, hours, and minutes before the abortion by playing the game, "This time tomorrow".

I approach the trip to the clinic with a new inner strength because I realize I have an alternative choice. I begin to feel strong, and am willing to voice what "I want to do"--not what I felt someone else wanted me to do. At the last minute, I get up off the table, and walk away without having the abortion. My baby is safe, and so am I. I awaken later to discover I only dreamed I had walked away while I was under the anesthesia having the abortion. Somehow this comforts me because I know in my heart, and spirit, I would have done it differently had the choices been presented to me in another way. Writing about this with the theme of this time tomorrow as the story's base allowed me to heal, and in time, forgive myself. It's a mental game I use to get me through something I dread, or to remind me in 24 hours I can open the gifts under the Christmas tree.

"This time tomorrow I will be at the clinic sitting in the waiting room."

"This time tomorrow I'll be singing in front of thousands of people on the same stage with Wayne Watson."

"This time tomorrow I'll be boarding the plane to Italy."

"This time tomorrow I'll be getting a tooth pulled."

"This time tomorrow I'll be one day closer to being healed from PTSD."

When I decided to start blogging about having PTSD, I pondered a title. I knew writing had helped me in the past to heal from so many things, and suddenly "This Time Tomorrow" popped into my head. That theme had helped me heal before maybe it could now some 30 years later. I realized each day I work through this it brings me closer to this time tomorrow when I'll be totally healed, whole and helping others heal from PTSD, too.

Some of you will get this silly game I play, and some of you will shake your heads and mumble, "HUH?" Humor me--OK? I'm also the one who goes on AND on about monkey pants. Some of you get the concept of monkey pants, too, and some of you don't. Monkey pants are my unique way of reminding myself to keep an attitude of silliness, to keep laughing at myself, and remain childlike in the way I look at life. Silly is good. It helps my serious, fearful heart remember to lighten up. I need my monkey pants on so I will keep on keeping on. Simple as that.

Thank you, Dylan, for always being there with me, monkey pants on, and ready to face whatever this time tomorrow brings us. Thank you, Superman, for believing in me today or this time tomorrow or for as long as it takes for me to get well.

Thank you bloggy friends for putting up with all my monkey shines... Oh, and will you all please let Opie Taylor know the stripes and polka dots DO NOT make his butt look big. He wanted stars on his monkey pants.... I can fix that, too. This time tomorrow...


  1. This post is sooo totally weird! I noticed Woodstock Lily had disappeared off my dashboard, and TTT was back on. I reminisced about those old posts... the way you always ended with those words. And then I read this, and you wrote the words again, and I smiled. Welcome back TTT. I missed you!

  2. I love the new header and the colors woke me right up!
    I do that thing with my servers at work if they are having a tough time- we will get through this and survive. I love the This Time Tomorrow thinking. I have been through some similar situations and I made it through but at the time, it is best to look toward tomorrow.

  3. I love your new header, I guessed it was your work, its very happy and optimistic looking, perfect! Kath in England

  4. Lily...TTT is perhaps a nice way of saying someday. Just before my divorce...when my marriage came to a screeching halt and I went through my panic attacks...I never knew what they were, but I quickly learned what was to become full of fear. I couldn't sleep...everytime I closed my eyes, I would dream of them together. I couldn't eat for nearly 40 days. I wasted away to about 40 kg, my best guess because once the scale went under 90 lbs...I stopped weighing myself.

    Yet, I refused to go to any doctor to medicate my way out of hell. My friends would cry, and I would just say, someday I will be OK.

    I was lucky, I fought through it. During the day, I would to a private bathroom when a wave of fear would hit me...and look in the mirror and tell myself, "pull yourself together"...readjust my make up, paint my lips to make them smile...and go back to my office.

    People didn't know what had happened with my private life. Rumours about me dying were spreading through my workplace...and all I was dealing with was my husband's infidelity. 17 years was hard to let go of.

    So dear Lily, whatever it takes for you to takes. The valleys are there in our lives to learn from, to grow, and to realize that we are all in this journey together to have more compassion for each other in our incredible moments of weakness.

    Your work is beautiful...just as you are. I stopped living for a moment to learn how I can live again. To accept my imperfections and to learn how love is worth breathing.

    I loved your post Lily...shine on you brilliant diamond.

  5. LOVE the art!! i also have used the same "game" to help with nervousness. :)


  6. Loved the new header, but I think I said that yesterday...gotta' eat more blueberries. (they're supposed to improve memeory)

  7. I use the technique too, when something really awful happens. I used it to pull myself out of depression after a bereavement. First off I said "This time next year I won't feel so bad" (Yeah - I gave myself a year). And I kind of held on to it, like a light at the end of the tunnel. Later as I was getting back on my feet I'd have occasional bad days. Then I would say "Tomorrow is another day. It might not be this bad tomorrow".

    So I totally get your 'This time tomorrow'. You aren't mad - you are actually very sane!

  8. I really like the new header, and no the pants are fine and do not make his butt look big....LOL

    Sad story, Lille Diane and I can empathize.

  9. What a deep thought,
    what a great concept.

  10. Nice pictures. Very interesting.


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