Monthly Archives: February 2011

Love & Loathe – Week of 02/20

Loathe:

* Taxes. I’m bemoaning and missing the “once upon a time” when our taxes were so easy that I could do them myself in an afternoon and get a hefty refund for the effort. Hopefully, likely not next year, but the year after, our taxes will be that way again. Accountants are wonderful, and well worth it when taxes are complicated, but the pocketbook and my attitude pay the price.

* When a 4 month old waterproof watch decides it’s not going to be waterproof anymore. I was lap swimming the other night (what else is new), checked my watch to see when I could change to a different stroke and saw a bubble of water inside the plastic. Water in electronic devices=never good.

Love:

* Popcorn and milk. A friend of mine says she likes popcorn and a can of soda, has to be soda for her. I get that, but for me that’s just OK. Or popcorn and hot cocoa… that’s OK, too. But when it gets right down to it, and I’m serious about it, it’s popcorn and a glass of really cold milk that does it for me.

* Having a cat on my lap. Or two. The more the merrier!

* Only two weeks until I get to see my mom. Hooray for mom visits!

* My bosses are back in the office tomorrow (for a day or two). Yay! I’ll be super busy, but so happy to see them.

* My SportCount. As a result of my waterproof watch dying, I recalled that I had one of these SportCount things. I had one of the original models back in 2007, but after a couple months it developed a defective button. Their customer service guy mailed me a new model, but the new model didn’t have a “pause” button on it. At that time, I wasn’t able to lap swim without stopping to catch my breath. Now, I can swim nonstop for hours on end (seriously), and so the new model is perfect for me. So happy!

* Competent vendors. We have our new back yard fence installed now and I just think it’s the most wonderful thing. Also, these vendors actually did the work without damaging anything back there or, you know, injuring themselves. Remarkable.

One Last Thing:

My mom likes to tell stories about when I was a little girl, one of the foremost traits I exhibited was an uncanny knack for planning ahead. I would make my own lunches the night before. I would pick my clothes out for the next day the night before. I still do those things, in case you were wondering, I’m just that kind of person, I guess.

But the specific story my mom likes to tell as an example of this, is how one night, mid-winter in Oklahoma, I wanted a piece of toast, so I went and opened the door and headed to get the bread. “Why’d you open the door? It’s cold out there.” She said to me. I, in my 5 year old wisdom replied, “I’m going to make some toast.” As it happened, our toaster would always burn the toast, no matter what setting you put it on, it burned the bread. Of course, after the toast was burnt, the door to the trailer would get opened to air the place out. She then realized I had linked the two, and by opening the door ahead of time, I was planning ahead for the inevitable.

Lately it seems that I’m going through a phase where, no matter what I’m doing or how careful I am, I always manage to slice my finger. In fact, one day last week, I cut myself one night and then the next day, I “paper cut” the same place with a file folder. As I wrapped a tissue around it, I thought, you know something? When I go to cut things, I should just put the band-aid on before I do it. Maybe spare myself a cut?

So tell me, how do these people do this without ending up with a bunch of cuts on their hands?

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Filed under I own a Home, Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building

Overcoming Fear, a pondering.

(Written in July of 2006, but never published.)

I’ve always thought that fear is a bad thing. That it’s an ugly thing and should be hidden and suppressed. But, I’ve learned that fear is a feeling and, as with any feeling, to suppress it often makes it the only thing you can think about. It’s interesting, though, how as human beings we find ways to work around our handicaps and still manage to get done what we need to in order to move forward.

Last year, even before I’d set a date for our wedding, I nonchalantly went off with Grace and bought my wedding dress… “just in case.” Or how with the trip to Ireland, I booked the trip and then, in order to prepare for it, I bought a few guidebooks… “just to look at.”

The other thing about fear is that’s it’s oftentimes generalized, BUT it can be a guide to determine with specificity the root of the fear. Then, and only then, can measures be taken to face that fear. You can’t face down the universe, but you can take one fear at a time and learn to know it and, by knowing it, one can either live with it or put it down.

In the last five years, I’ve faced a lot of things I never thought I’d face, made a lot of decisions I never thought I’d make. But, at the time, when I looked at my life and the level of happiness I had versus the level of happiness I knew I could have, I realized changes needed to be made.

I remember shortly after I married Tony and he moved in, I was sitting in his office/spare bedroom with him and I looked at his childhood lamp. It was placed in the corner of that room, next to the closet doors. A feeling of surreality surrounded me. It was as if I was looking down a rabbit hole and it was very far away. I simply couldn’t believe that I was living in this house, in this city, with these pets, with this man, with these things on the walls, that I’d had major surgery just a couple years before, the situation with my brother, everything was just… unreal.

I left the room, walked down the hallway, down the stairs and curled into a ball on the landing of the stairs. It was just… just too much. The human brain is not meant to comprehend so many things at one time.

Tony joined me on the landing of the stairs shortly after I left. I attempted to articulate what was going through my mind, but mostly it was just tears. He is very good at interpreting tears… to the underlying message that I was feeling overwhelmed.

***Today, February 20, 2011***
I’ve come quite a ways since then… wow, four and a half years. I’ve faced down many of the fears I had then and I process things a lot better these days. But new fears, bigger fears already had their bags packed and were ready at a moments notice to move in and replace those that had moved out.

So, when in the throes of working through fear and anxiety, I try to remember these points:

Fears are usually worse when you’re worrying about them than when you experience them. (Example: Ever dread a Monday morning meeting, and then after you attend it, it really wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be?)

I may not think or feel certain goals are attainable, but if the desire is there, it’s already within my reach.

The hardest part is making the decision to face it; then I’m just along for the ride.

Sometimes, no matter how hard it gets or how many panic attacks I have, I just need to ride it out and stay committed to my decision. Even if I feel trapped. Even if I feel as if I can’t do it. No matter what.

A problem has never been solved by worrying over it. Nor will I be the first to do so.

Sometimes you have to do something REALLY BIG, out of this world crazy to put the fear in perspective.

***
Everyone faces fear, things that overwhelm you. Things that you can’t seem to get through. What thoughts do you hold onto when processing?

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Love & Loathe – Week of 02/13

Loathe:

* Several things, but nothing I’m at liberty to share. Look at me, being all vague and ambiguous.

* Creating picture heavy blog posts. They’re a lot of work! *mops brow* (I came back to the top of this post to add this point, by the way.)

Love:

*Jack jammies. Tony bought me these crazy jammies for Valentine’s Day, and I just love them. Plus, i got a huge laugh yesterday morning when our little bird saw them for the first time. She totally freaked out and flew across the room. This morning she did better, but was still giving them the long neck with feathers down, and keeping a wary eye on them.
So excited to get them, I tried them on for the first time under my work dress!

Yoda giving them the long neck, wary eye treatment this morning. Hilarious!

* Homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies, with dried cherries in them. Quite delicious, if I say so myself. I’d made the chocolate chocolate chip recipe before, and knew it was a good one. The dried cherries were an inspirational addition. These cookies are so good, I could easily eat about 10 of them and not feel ashamed at all. If you gave me a weird look, I’d hand you one and go, “You try just eating one…” I suppose the addition of cherries allows me to call them “Black Forest Cookies,” doesn’t it?

* Yawning pictures of cats… and seeing my boys back together again. I can’t believe it took a month before Tug accepted Snug back as his buddy. Next time, buddy, you’re going to the vet, too, even if it means I have to pay a day’s boarding fee.

* Facing a three day weekend. I plan on doing absolutely nothing for at least one of those days. Like, maybe even not taking a shower! Gosh, that sounds appealing to me.

* Going to IgLots! We didn’t find any Igloos, in case you were wondering.

* Everyone in our community is getting a new vinyl fence in their back yard, courtesy of the HOA. This is something we have desperately needed (due to termite damage) for the entire 5 1/2 years I’ve lived here. While it’s a big deal, because I had to move all my plants (again) and my back yard is in total disarray and chaos (again), I’m so grateful for this. So grateful, in fact, that I’m giving the fence vendors some of those delicious cookies I baked.
The old fence. Notice how it zig zags?

* I solved the 360° Rubik’s puzzle. Have you seen these? It’s a bit of a double entendre trying to describe how it’s solved. I’m brave. I’ll forge ahead with it and tell you that it involves many balls, sliding parts that go in circles to line up the holes to get the balls in their holder, and then to keep them there you have to slide another part to lock them in. Also, it involves much patience.

One Last Thing:

I wheeled into the parking lot at work last week and saw two ladies who work on the 1st floor of our building wielding saran wrap like a weapon in the parking lot. They were giggling and jabbering at each other like a pair of teenagers at a sleepover.

I smiled at them as I walked past, hoping they wouldn’t touch my car with that stuff, and hurried up to my home on the 2nd floor of the building. I settled in and a bit later went and peered out the window and gasped in surprise at what I saw.

Whoa.

My co-worker and I went outside a bit later and took some pictures. Several of the people from the 1st floor company were outside, too, and we were told that “a practical joke had been played on a practical joker.”

Later, the saran wrap was in a big wad in front of the car, and by the end of the day it was overflowing the trash can. Gotta say, that was quite the practical joke!

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Love & Loathe – Week of 02/06

Loathe:

*Weird mystery sickness. On Monday, I developed a cough. But it doesn’t seem to affect my lungs when I’m swimming. Maybe it’s a backwards cold? Like it’s starting in my lungs and moving up to my throat, nose and ears. That’s what it seems to be doing. So we’ll just call it the weird backwards cold.

* I’ve been in an anxiety type of funk the last month or so. I’ve constantly felt as if I’m battling anxiety attacks. Being in constant battle against that sets me on edge, which then makes me feel stressed out. But this past weekend, everything just kind of leveled out for me. Hormones, most likely.

* The worst enormous-bumps-under-the-skin acne I’ve had in years. I’m pretty good at disguising them with makeup, at least I think I am. I must be. Because last night I washed my face and Tony looked over at me after he brushed his teeth and said in a horrified, yet fascinated voice, “What’s that?” He leaned in closer and peered at it. I replied, “A really bad pimple.” He goes, “Wow, that’s huge.” I replied, “You’re not making me feel better about it.” He goes, “But it looks like you ran into a wall or something.” Me, “Do you really want to go down this path when I’m hormonal already, AS EVIDENCED BY MY FACE?” The man is usually pretty tactful, but like I said, it’s really bad acne.

Love:

* Snug and Tug. Their love affair has returned to normal, mostly. Despite that, Snug has continued his recently established routine of a late night love session with me. I love, love, love this. It’s so sweet.

* The CEO of my work offered to bring me a Starbucks this morning. There is so much I’m not saying here because I could turn this into a post all by itself. So I’ll just say, even though I declined (I bring my coffee from home), I’m taking it as a compliment.

* We had mountain time last weekend. Rented movies, popcorn, hot chocolate, extra sleep… you know how much I love our time in the mountains. *grin*

* I took the time to change out all the CDs in my 12 disc CD changer in my car’s trunk. It took maybe 5 minutes to do, and then I asked myself why I hadn’t done it sooner. Now I have “new” tunes to listen to and I added some worship CDs to the mix. I’m hoping they improve my attitude as I sit in traffic, and don’t make me feel like a hypocrite; you know, praising God for his marvelous works while cursing his creations for their stupidity?

* Flavored licorice. Twizzler’s newest – Hershey’s chocolate and cinnamon fire. Be still my heart! Pay no mind to the nearly empty bags.

* Aloe vera juice. Introduced to me by my friend, Grace. Curse you Thank you, Grace, for sharing your delicious addictions discoveries.

One Last Thing:

The pool at our gym has been closed by the health department for an indeterminate amount of time due to “chemical imbalances.” If you know me, you know how big of a deal this is to me, because I swim every single day. I have a routine! Or, should I say, I had a routine.

Fortunately, there’s another branch of our gym not too far from us, but it’s really, really busy. Their pool is one swim lane smaller than our regular gym and it’s not unusual to have a line of four or five swimmers against the wall, all waiting to get in and get their laps in. It’s crazy!

I truly hope our regular gym’s pool gets fixed quickly! I feel like a mermaid out of water…

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Filed under Health/Endo, Love/Loathe, Mermaid Envy, Money Hump Building

Love & Loathe — Week of 01/30

Loathe:

* Confrontations, setting boundaries and picking my battles. Some people seem to handle these things so naturally and easily. For me, it’s definitely a learned behavior, and something over which I agonize, strategize and analyze… and am still learning, albeit clumsily at times.

* Double standards. If it’s illegal to drive in the bicycle lane, then it should be illegal for everyone, including police officers whose shift is ending.

* My dear husband has been sick this week. A lot of men tend to become big babies when sick — whining, complaining and wanting to be waited on hand and foot (no offense if that’s you). Not Tony. He just gets very, very quiet and sleeps a lot. Normally, he has such a big personality and so much happy energy, that it’s these times, even though he’s right there, I miss him so.

* Rough days at work. They really get me down. Today was one of them. Everyone I work with was under a lot of stress today, including me. Now I’m hoping/praying everything will be OK tomorrow, and the things I delegated at the end of the day go smoothly and don’t come back around to bite me in the rear. (sigh)

Love:

* The word “cozy.” For me, it evokes the imagery of fireplaces heaped high with wood, knit blankets pulled up against the cold, hot chocolate, a good book and a loving pet on your lap. You want to make me happy during the winter season? Just tell me to stay cozy and warm…

* The weather the past couple of weeks has felt like spring here. It’s so weirdly wonderful. All the magnolia trees and flowers are blooming, with highs in the mid-70’s°F, and mid-40’s°F at night. Some refreshing showers last Sunday… what exactly is this blizzard stuff of which you people speak?

* A good post-exercise stretch session. Some stretch sessions are better than others, so I decided to track this anomaly for a few months. Surprise, surprise — I’m suspicious that the tension in my muscles, and their ability to stretch out, are related to hormonal levels throughout my cycle.

* The painting of our home is complete. Not without some challenges — apparently one of their workers fell off our patio cover and had to go to the hospital. Yikes. Oddly, after all that, our home doesn’t look any different; still the same beige, except it’s NEW beige. Whatever. I’m glad it’s done… and done after the holiday season, when it should have been scheduled in the first place.

One Last Thing:

I spent my lunch hour with this fellow one day last week. I guess he felt safe because he was quiet, just hanging out there, walking around in the grass and looking at things.

Something about birds doing birdly things makes me happy inside. Perhaps it’s the seeming simplicity of their lives, and how they welcome the new day with happiness and joy — raucously singing their unique songs (or discordant cawing, as the case may be).

I guess I wish that for everyone, including me. The ability to grasp each day with joy as it comes to us, and sing (or croak) along with the radio or music in our lives, or at least smile at those we meet.

Can we learn from the birds?

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Filed under Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building