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.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

She Could Use A Little Mercy

Just when I thought it was safe to go to Dallas!  Ha!  Life is funny that way.  Thursday would have been my 34th wedding anniversary.  Yeah, I know.  How did I get that old?  I don't think about him much in relation to me - when he comes to mind, it's mostly about him being Pebbles' father.  My part in that Lifetime Movie generally goes unobserved.  At all costs.  Shut that door.  Lock it.  Seal it with cling wrap.  Wear two layers of protective clothing.  Whatever. Divert.  Distract.  Avoid feelings at all costs.

Except Pebbles is broody right now and wants to talk about all of it. The meeting. The marriage.  The pregnancy.  The early days.  The divorce. She called me up early Monday morning (last), said she had the day off and wanted me to take a vacay day and come over.  My schedule was flexible enough to accommodate, so off I went.

 Longtime readers know my propensity to purge items, to get rid of, to donate, to, leave nothing with emotional power around to disturb the cling wrap.  Well, Pebbles drug out these photo albums and scrap books and there it all was.  Stuff I'd forgotten.  People I'd forgotten.  Disasters I'd forgotten.  I have no idea how or where she'd been saving it, but she had and there it was.  FEELINGS with a capital FUCK.

It was emotional for me to see pictures of me at that time.  To answer questions. I mean she knows the broad strokes, the major players, but she was asking more meaningful questions about her past.   In many ways, I had a NOT.WITHOUT.MY.DAUGHTER view of our life.  Like I had her, he left, so I picked her up and she and I trudged over the mountains to another life.  Another world.  And because he essentially dropped out of the picture, I didn't have to synthesize my past and my present.  I just avoided. And kept trudging. I realized that I feel/felt a lot of shame about my younger self, about my decisions, and his.  About bringing the Baggage Handler to this Crazy Train.  That I should have known more, done more.  Been more.   At the time, I blamed him completely.  Then at some point, I accepted responsibility for all of it and harnessed myself with a yoke of regret/shame/labels that I've carried for a long, long time.

Then yesterday, I read something somewhere about "your larger self giving your smaller self a big squeeze".  And I was reminded again - that 20 year old was doing the best she could.  She didn't have any skills.  She didn't know any better. She couldn't predict the future.  She didn't have the ability.  So now, I'm going back to get her.  To walk with her.  To bring her to join us in the present.  To just feel and process all the feelings, without shame, without blame.  Accepting my part, and only my part, in it and letting the rest go.  I've learned the lessons but this isn't the time to go all "look how far we've come", to put a flowing cape on it and to forget it. No, now's the time to come to real terms with all of it.  We could use a little mercy now.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Don't Deserve This....

I've been thinking about this internal judgement that I sometimes get caught up in.  I will hold myself back from doing something fun, something that I want to do because I haven't "earned" it.  Or even worse, somehow don't deserve it.  

Weekends are the worst.  I'll wake up and think of something that I want to do but will talk myself out of whatever because I need to mow the lawn, for example.  Nope, can't have fun because the lawn needs mowing.  And I really, really, really don't want to mow the lawn.  And can't seem to talk myself into developing the gumption to mow the lawn.  So, instead, I piss away the day doing stupid crap to avoid mowing the lawn (watching Netflix, screwing around on the internet, name your mindless activity) to avoid mowing the lawn, which kept me from doing what I really wanted to do in the first place. So now, I've wasted the day and the lawn isn't mowed.  Now I've got two things to feel bad about.  So what I've been thinking and asking myself is "What would happen if I just did what I wanted?  What if I just opted for fun?"  There is a good chance that the energy from doing the fun thing could propel me into doing the not-fun thing.

Opting for the wants instead of the shoulds will be an interesting experiment.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Keep your shoulds small.


Monday, October 13, 2014


And there it is.  While I could see the writing on the wall re:  boss' retirement, I wasn't sure what it really mean.  And so I asked him and he told me.  As nicely as possible.  That I was the stronger leader, the more innovative and the stronger problem-solver, the powers that be were going in the other direction.  It's what I've always thought would happen.  I knew there was one person in the higher up food chain that wouldn't choose me.  So why put myself through the dress rehearsal for the next year?

So this weekend has been about coming to terms with what I knew the outcome would be, but I did want it to be more a decision that it was, ya know?  I didn't necessarily want the job, but I wanted them to want me.  Ah, well.  So it goes.  While none of this is "official", it is what will happen and now I get to do a couple of things.  Feel the loss of my boss, whom I have the utmost respect for and to think about how it will be when my co-worker becomes my boss.

After talking with my boss on Friday afternnon, I found myself making all sorts of notes on how to restructure/re-organize/re-position the rest of the office to deal with this new reality.  I was making charts and graphs and notes and then it finally hit me.  I didn't get that job.  It's not my job and responsibility to "make this work".  Again, I didn't get that job- it's not my role to show "them" that they made the "wrong" decision.  If what needs to be done becomes a collaborative decision-making process, then I can certainly introduce my thoughts, but this isn't mine to manage.  My role in this is to be, well, whatever my new role is to be.  And to do it without any "I'm taking my toys and going home".  My co-worker didn't do this to me.  No one actually did anything to me.  None of this is personal.  This pinches because this was me looking for some external validation.  This pinches because this was me viewing this as a rejection, and we all know how well I deal with that :-).

So I had a bit of a cry over it on Saturday morning - triggered by a Moroccan cook book and a memory of a great shared tagine.   And a bit of a cry was a good thing - I'd actually felt so emotionally stifled that a bit of a tear was cathartic.  And then I went out for a bike ride with my friends.  And got a new (crappy and expensive) haircut.  And then had dinner with another friend.

Woke up Sunday in a much better place, mood-wise and energy-wise.  Things work out.  They always do.  I just need to loosen up my grip on trying to steer.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Birthday Week Ends

Overall, it was a good week.  I took my mom, my aunt and my sister to the Arboretum for the morning.  It was all decked out in 65,000 pumpkins and gords of all shapes and sizes.  And of course, over run with darling children, getting their pictures made.  Too cute.

The unfortunate news was that my mom isn't doing well and this was a surprise to me, as I'd been told how great she was doing and how wonderful she was feeling, how good her test results were, etc.  When I call, she's always just coming back in from watering her flowers, etc.  So I wasn't expecting her to be able to only shuffle along from bench to bench, sitting to rest each time.  While I do see her regularly, she hadn't been required to move about.

Also had a food struggly weekend, too.  Or at least I did on Sunday.  Poor choices that made my feel physically worse today.  But I'm up, getting ready to go out to meet Valerie for our MWF morning walks, but I just heard the thunder rolling in.  I may pack it up and go to the gym instead for my exercise.  Everything is achy.

Well, now that sounds like a load of whiny rubbish!  For the things that I'm happy with and proud of:  I got my internet service working with fast speed and I should have done it ages ago.  I replaced my modem, wifi-router, moved some stuff around, made a bazillion calls to charter, but I got all my devices back online and working.  And in even bigger news, I replaced the bathtub spout!  The diverter had siezed up and while I could have soaked it and got it working for a while (it had been sticky since I moved in three years ago), I chose to replace it.  Again, these things are pretty easy, if you know HOW - know the secrets, the tools to use and the direction in which to wrap your teflon tape!  But I will take and claim any mechanical/wiring/programming victory that I can.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Take it as it comes.