Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bad Penny

I had to laugh.  After work on Tuesday, I was trudging from the shuttle to my car.  I'd parked in a new overflow lot due to some construction issues at work.  I moved over to the side to let a silver truck go by me.  Instead, it stops and the window rolls down.  Yep, you guessed it, Professor X.
I laughed and told him he was like a bad penny, always turning up.  We chatted for a few minutes until another vehicle coming up behind him cut short the convo.  Nice man.  With the ball in his court, if he wants to play.

Still a couple of rough days left in the work year and I will be glad to put this year behind me.  I am looking forward to what 2015 brings.  I am excited about my new year's intention and also excited about being able to change the way I do things.  In the past, I tend to pick a path and stick with it, no matter what.  I hope to be quicker to change my mind, to change my path if something isn't working.  Like stopping in the middle of an email train and just picking up the phone.  Just because I started something one way doesn't mean I have to finish it that way.  I have more than one chance to get something right.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Change.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Up Close And Personal

I followed up with an email yesterday asking if he was trying to discreetly trying to point out that I had toilet paper stuck to my tire.  I got a quick, nice response with no opening to further continue the conversation.  So that is that.  No harm, no foul.  Dignity still intact. 

Moving on to 2015.  Each year I try to set an intention and this year mine is Up Close And Personal.  I want my communications to be as personal as possible.  Don't send a text when I can send an email.  Don't send an email when I can make a phone call.  Don't make a phone call when I can get up and have a face-to-face conversation (this one is mostly for work).  I find, especially at work, that I'm tied to my desk and only accessible via email - and this has hurt me.  I'm perceived as difficult, mainly because I tend to be very terse.  I am far less so in person, so it behooves me to make these situations work for me, as much as possible.  Digital communication is no friend to me.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Get up close and personal.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Out of the Blue: Part Two

Work has been kicking my ass fourteen ways from Sunday.  I finally submitted a set of reports to the feds on Thursday that I've been working on for months.  Now I get to sit back and see what kind of "grade" I get on them or whether I bring the auditors raining down upon us.  I've been working stupid hours over the past couple of weeks, 4am somedays until nearly 9pm others.

So late one night last week, I went out to catch the shuttle to go to my car.  It's just me and the bus driver and we start to leave the bus stop.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone wave and start to run, so I told the bus driver to stop.  When the unknown-to-me passenger got on the bus he thanked the driver profusely for waiting for him.  And I, feeling a little smarty, piped up and said something about being the one to save his bacon, that the driver wanted to leave him and I had to pay him 5 bucks to stop (all not true).  And then we began to talk.  We introduced ourselves, he's a professor.  We talked through the bus ride to the parking lot and then we got off the bus, we walked to my car, stood there and talked some more.  Nothing other than some laughing and talking, but my brain was firing up like a Christmas tree.

So the next day, I made the bold (for me, anyway) decision to reach out.  I sent him a short email, telling him it was nice to meet him (which it was, but honestly it was more about me being glad to have those buttons pushed  - I wondered if they had left me) and reminding him to get his grades turned in on time (part of the jokey conversation from the night before).  So there, I did it.  I made myself the tiniest bit vulnerable.  Put myself out there just a little bit.  Huge step for me.  And within four minutes, I got a reply.  Nice and funny.  But without an easy, without-being-obvious way to continue the correspondence, so I just decided to be proud of myself for doing what I did and let it go at that.  

On Friday morning, I was at the gym with Valerie and she asks me what I was doing on Sunday night and did I want to go to the concert.  Yea, that one.  With the band in the picture.  Holy Shit!  Gift from heaven.  One of my favorite bands.  She wouldn't let me pay her for the ticket, so I said I would treat us to dinner and drive over, etc.

So Sunday evening, I've donned my leather and lace and I was driving over to Dallas, talking like we do.  And she started talking about wanting to date again after the first of the year - doing the online dating thing, etc and we are talking about the pros and cons (mostly the cons) of doing that.  And I said:  "The only man I've been remotely attracted to is Professor X."  And I swear to you, less than one minute later, Valerie looks up and says "That guy in the car next to you is pointing over here.  Do you know him?"  I don't want to make eye contact at 70 miles an hour with someone who is pointing at me, so I just took a sideways glance and didn't recognize the car and just kept driving.  The black car sped on ahead and could see the outline of the driver AND a company parking sticker.  It then moved ahead of me in my lane.  And I shouted that's him!  That's Professor X.  Valerie was freaking out!  So I sped up, changed lanes and came up on his driver's side and he's all waving and smiling and rolling down the window - but I can't do much other than throw our school sign, smile, wave and move on.  But the whole thing left me just abuzz.  Holy Shit.  But I think I will be reaching out to him.  TODAY!

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Gifts show up when you least expect them.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Out of the Blue

chart from
It started when I was fourth grade and lasted pretty much through high school, although it lessened somewhat as we got older and our schools got progressively larger.  My fear of her, her friends,  her older sisters and cousins made my life miserable for a long time.

Last night, while knocking about on FB, I came across an "other" inbox and in it, there was a message.  It had been there for two months.  I almost deleted it, as I didn't recognize the name, nor the blonde in the thumbnail icon.   I thought it was spam but I opened it to find an apology, along with a chatty letter, wishing me a long and happy life. She also shared a few memories (good ones) from our time as school kids together and she said that she never forgot that I sent her a note of sympathy when her mom died suddenly a month after we graduated from high school.  I can't say that I remember doing it, but she did.  Her didn't have the feel of an "amends" letter ala 12-step, so I don't know what was going on, really.  I'm still rather floored.

The damned funny thing was that I was just thinking about her and the bullying last week.  Pebbles and I were having a discussion about raising resilient, well-adjusted children and the subject of feeling like one didn't belong came up.

Forty-four years.  Forty-four.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  You never know what each day will bring.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lost and Found

Friday:  Lost the ability to fix cornbread and beans.  Inspired by Friday Night Meatballs, I committed to a once-a-month Friday night gathering for six months.  I decided that I'd do cornbread and pinto beans.  Apparently, I have lost the ability to produce either with much flavor.  Next time, I'm changing the menu so that my food will be better and it will be easier to clear the table to play some cards. I enjoy playing cards but haven't done so for years!  

 Found:  my ability to play cards.  Found may not be quite accurate - I had to look up how to play Hearts on the internet.  I'm working my way back into pinochle!  

Saturday:  Lost my fitbit.    Got up and got ready to go to the gym, but remembered my fitbit battery was low, so I needed to recharge it. Cuz if I am going to the gym, I am going to get CREDIT for it! So I decided to grab my laptop from the nightstand and just surf a bit while the fitbit charged. All of a sudden I hear crash and the power strip fell off the nightstand, taking the fitbit and the fitbit charger with it. 
So I go to pick it up, but the fitbit device has separated from the charger and I can't find it anywhere. I look under the bed. I check under the nightstand. I go get the flashlight and look again. I see dustbunnies from the neolithic period. So I get a dustrag - if I'm crawling around on my hands and knees looking at the baseboards, I might as well be productive while doing it. I was all CSI - looking and peering into every nook and cranny, but no sign of the fitbit. I even looked on top of (and cleaned) the ceiling fan blades. Nada. I thought maybe it had gotten caught up in my unmade (hush up) bed linen, so I strip the bed and change the sheets. Nothing. Then I decided I need to apply physics to this equation. If the charger served as a catapult, what was the maximum arc and range of the fitbit, given e=mc squared and X=the speed of the train leaving Cleveland.
That, of course, didn't work, but I did stop and think enough to remember that I hadn't heard it hit the ground, that the "tink" must have been muffled by something soft - it had to have landed on the rug. So I got down and looked under the bed (for the eleventybillionth time), but from a different angle and finally spotted it. Because my area rug is patterned, there was an optical illusion going on under the bed that hid the stupid thing in a "valley".
The bad news is that I'm too tired to go to the gym. The good news is that my room is spotless.

-from a post on FB  Update:  Took off the charged fitbit to wash dishes.  Went to the gym.  Forgot fitbit at home.

Late Saturday night:  Found -  a full trap.  The house next to me is empty due to death and  the remaining heirs can't/won't decide to sell it.  In the mean time, a family of feral cats have taken up residence.  So a neighbor and I have been setting traps to catch them, spay/neuter and release.  I'd baited my trap on Saturday before going to a family birthday party. I arrived home about 11:30pm, got into my jammies, brushed my teeth and went to bed.  Just before falling asleep (it was 12:15, I looked), I realized that I hadn't checked the trap and it was raining and near freezing temperature. Nothing, feral or not deserved to be left out in that weather. My plan was to move the cat, cage and all into the garage to stay out of the cold.  I grabbed my flashlight and headed out in the cold sleet.  I could see that I'd caught a cat - only a cat with a very long nose.  Holy crap, it was a possum!  Crammed into a small cat cage!  Do you know how hard it is to convince a possum to get out of a cage? I opened the cage.  Nothing.  I shook the cage.  Nothing.  I picked up the cage.  Nada.  "Oh, look, it's Roxie in the backyard with a possum purse!"  Do you know you can't shake them out?  They have grippy little toes!  Nope, you just have to wait them out.  

Sunday:  Lost - my car keys.  Sunday morning was my first at my volunteer gig.  I finished up my four hour shift at noon and was trying to decide how to spend the rest of my day.  I hadn't had breakfast, so I was hungry.  I hadn't been to the gym, so I was in need of exercise and I needed to go to the grocery store.  Knowing myself like I do (especially these days), I knew that if I went home, I wouldn't likely get back out to the gym.  I needed to go to the gym first.  But I also knew that I was really hungry.  So the plan was that I would go to the grocery store, buy my groceries and get one of my treat/health bars to eat.  And I would go directly to the gym, it being cold enough that my groceries could just stay in the car.  Great plan!  So I go into the store and gather my groceries and as I'm getting my energy bar, I see they are having a fabulous sale on them - Two BOXES for 10.00!  Again, knowing myself like I do, I know that it is not a good idea of me to have two boxes of these things within easy reach.  That's a recipe for disaster and gastrointestinal distress.  But I'm hit with this brilliant, BRILLIANT inspiration.  I'll buy them and I'll stash them in my GYM LOCKER!  How's that for turning one's weaknesses into a strength?  I'll reward myself for going to the gym for the next ten trips! I'm practically giddy with excitement - a way to actually motivate myself to go to the gym at lunchtime again.  I get out to my car, which I'd left unlocked because that's what I do, and I cannot find the keys with the ignition fob.  Note, I didn't have my purse because I'd been at my volunteer gig that morning and just stuck my wallet and house key set and my car key set  in my bag.  I go back in the store and look around.  Nothing.  I go back to my car and go through each of the grocery bags.  Nothing.  I take everything out of my messenger bag.  Nothing.  I go through the grocery bags again, carefully taking everything out and then putting it back in the bag.  As I finished each bag search, I set it in the back seat.  When I'd searched and searched, I went back in the store for another search, even talking with the store manager and leaving my number in case anyone turned them in.  Luckily for me, I do have a spare set of car keys at home.  Now comes the task of scrolling through my phone and finding someone to come to the store and pick me up.  I call the first close person.  No answer.  I call another friend and explain my sad tale of woe.  She's on her way home and can come and get me in five minutes.  So I sit and wait.  Well, shit.  Might as well have a treat/energy bar.  As I turn around to get the bag out of the back seat, out of the corner of my eye - I spot my keys UNDER THE PASSENGER SEAT!  I don't know how/why/when they got there, but I immediately called and cancelled the SOS.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  May all that is lost be found.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Harnessing The Energy

My energy level may be at an all-time low.  I just don't want to do much of anything these days.  Or at least, by the time the end of the work day comes, I don't want to do much more than go home, curl up and watch some British telly on Netflix.  I'm not particularly sad, either.  Just don't want to do anything.  And while I've suffered from depression in the past, this doesn't feel like that.  If I don't do something right after work, then I won't do it.  If I go home first, all is lost.  So I'm trying to figure out how to break this cycle and use the energy that I do have to propel myself forward.  

I know that energy begats energy, but I struggle to have the energy for that first begat!  I have been trying to push myself to get in some exercise, knowing that it will help.  Eventually.  On Wednesday morning, I just said "to hell with it" and went out and walked in the early morning rain.  I just wish there were more things I could do at that hour of the morning.  There's only so much Open 24-hour shopping that a person can do.

And I finally stepped back on the scales after avoiding them for five weeks.  Imagine my surprise when I was a half pound less than the last time I weighed.  I felt like I've been living with my head in a bag of Halloween candy and my ass in a bucket of Blue Bell.  

Update Sunday:  Home from a good weekend riding trip.  Gorgeous countryside.  But still amazed at my ability to go from 60 to zero in point three seconds.  But as in all things, this too shall pass.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Use your energy wisely.  


Monday, November 3, 2014

Churning It Up

When I said that Pebbles was broody, I didn't mean unhappy, I meant she wants children and she wants them NOW!  And she and Slater have decided to try to start a family sometime soon.  So her questions and enthusiasm about motherhood met with my ambivalence.  Not about them having children - they will be awesome - but about my experience.  And I need to quickly process through my "stuff" so that I don't project my experiences and feelings onto her.

She's looking to me as the voice of experience and one of the main things that I told her was that her experience will be vastly different from mine.  She's worried that her offspring will be the same kind of difficult child that she was.  And she was.  Or should I say we were.  But with the benefit of hindsight, I suspect that a good deal of that was just her reflecting the state of my life at the time.  No reason to think that Pebbles' mothering experience has to be anything like mine.  Thank goodness.

So in some ways, if this all pans out, I might get an opportunity for a "do-over" - to have the willingness and the luxury of being fully present.  To grandparent the way I wish I had been able to parent. We shall see.  It's been an interesting couple of weeks.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Churning, if done right, can produce some wonderful results.