Monthly Archives: January 2008

hi there ;)

Hello Gentle Reader, welcome back.
It’s been a while since I last posted… and I’m glad to see you again.

Things were not going well, and then they started looking up. A lot up. And now we’re back to normal ‘things are looking good’. Which I can’t tell is 1) circumstances 2) winter weather or 3) combination of 1 & 2

Actually, there may be an opportunity to tweak my job (which will make me happy – I’m concerned about burn-out) but there’s a LOT of planning and logistics that need to be worked out… will keep you posted as things develop.

My father’s health continues to bounce up and down. One day he’s fine, another day he has a fever and is back in the hospital. I think he’s in a rehab facility now (glorified nursing home) and it’s just so hard on my mother. Honestly, it makes me *not* want to get married. If I could figure out a way to have my heart’s desire without my heart’s worst nightmare, I might consider it… but either way, it is what it is right now.

My house is a glorified mess. I know where things are, but it’s cluttered nonetheless. In the past month I’ve had lots of Energy and Umph to accomplish big tasks… but after that initial drive, my strong desire to accomplish Task A,B,C got up and left… therefore I have multiple tasks left undone… and I can finish them very easily – I think that’s why I’m procrastinating so. Mentioned this to my younger brother last night, and he understands perfectly. We consider this a Hereditary Condition, as he is afflicted as well :)

I fell asleep on the couch last night, woke up to a televangelist at 3am …turned him off, went back to sleep, and woke this morning with a beautifully stiff neck. Note to self: don’t fall asleep to televangelists – they have neck-stiffening tendencies.

Not sure what the day ahead will hold (especially since it’s nearly noon my time, and the day is already 1/2 way over) OH – here we go, this will help me:

1. call coworker and offer an apology for not being more inclusive in the initial planning stages of our “new work opportunity” (she was also invited to help create a new job model, and I’ve taken charge and run with the idea… leaving her behind. that’s not nice – and we work so well together… I’ve been selfish and looking out for my own wants/needs and have not been inclusive… therefore, an apology is in order) [edit: ended up doing it in person the next day – worked out well indeed]

2. Laundry (can’t wear current clean clothes to dinner tomorrow night, therefore a few loads of laundry is in order)

3. wrap presents for dinner tomorrow (my girlfriends and I are doing Christmas in January – actually, only 2 of the 4 of us are… we weren’t clear on if we Were or Were Not exchanging gifts… so 2 exchanged gifts *before* the holidays, and 2 of us will bring gifts *after* the holidays… small little tokens which, now, are incredibly out of season. Ah well)

4. wash dishes; put clean dishes away

5. cook – prepare slow cooker/crock pot for later this week

6. take a nap

…I believe I’ll start with #6 first… it’ll help me accomplish tasks 1 – 5 more efficiently :)

[edit: well, 3/6 ain’t bad… 50% accuracy… will try better next time]
:)
[edit #2: now it’s up to 5/6!]

blogging

my book club (well – not sure if i’m actually *in* the bookclub …i went to one meeting in October and had not yet read the book… but they still send me emails) anyway, my book club went to see a movie last night (the Kite Runner – they read it this past fall, but of course i hadn’t read it yet) and afterwards we stopped by a new gelato shop to discuss the book/movie/war/politics, etc.

eventually the conversation developed into who’s on Facebook (oregon trail game, scrabble) and of course who writes a blog. some were afraid of writing online. some thought it was too personal. some were delightful in sharing how much fun it was to blog (and she gave a few examples for non-bloggers). we discussed privacy online, etc. it was a very interesting discussion… i only know one of the women well, the others i look forward to becoming better acquainted. i enjoyed the discussion, asked thoughtful questions, gave some helpful feedback. and did not share i have this blog.

and that’s ok.

procrastination and perfectionists… a wee discussion

please comment … i’m interested in your thoughts.

also, i found a few links – one from U of Texas

and our good friend wikipedia

some sort of magazine from canada had this to say

and this isn’t really a quiz per say, but i thought it was interesting – below the 12 questions, it has helpful suggestions re: altering thought patterns, etc. …click the “click here” for more info :)

now i have a lot of things on my list of things to do today… i’ve been very productive in the past week… but i will admit that i’m completely wiped out, emotionally exhausted, and i don’t know if i can do it after all – which is a bummer because i actually have time now! i’m gonna go read more stuff on procrastination & perfectionism to get some inspiration… have a good day/night, wherever you are :)

progress again

There’s a reason I wanted to call in sick the other day… because I wasn’t feeling well… Took yesterday off and a few hours today – hopefully by this afternoon I’ll be back in the game. Thank goodness for paid sick leave :)

More progress in the unpacking and organizing (there was much to do).

Unpacked more boxes, have 3 bags of recycled paper (shredded – that was fun), and my office is starting to take shape. I actually have places to *put* things now!

There really is truth to the idea that perfectionists will procrastinate… and there is an emotional component to having and keeping clutter in one’s living space. I’m at the point now to be able to do what needs to be done – the proverbial Sorting Hat, if you will: Rubbish, Recycling, Put With Same.

a choice

Six months ago, I knew whom I was going to vote for.
Three months ago, I changed my mind to someone else.

And now, I’m undecided between the two. My head and my heart are at odds. I’d like the best of both worlds… and if I vote for one candidate, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t vote for the other one…

And what are the odds, should Barack or Hillary win the primary, one would pick the other as a running mate? Now THAT would be a great ticket!

(thanks bimble – this doesn’t help with my indecision… but it was fun to do nontheless – i guess ya’ll can tell i’m no Republican!)

72% Hillary Clinton
69% Joe Biden
69% Barack Obama
68% John Edwards
68% Chris Dodd
67% Bill Richardson
61% Rudy Giuliani
61% Dennis Kucinich
58% Mike Gravel
52% John McCain
48% Mitt Romney
39% Mike Huckabee
34% Fred Thompson
32% Tom Tancredo
21% Ron Paul

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

oops!

apparently if you use your lawnmower to mulch the leaves in your yard (the ones that fell very late due to unseasonably warm weather recently) …and if it’s a windy day… you might end up blowing a lot of your leaves onto your neighbors’ lawns (inadvertently, of course). you may have tried to re-rake the leaves, only to laugh at your futile efforts because it was so windy… surely comical to watch …hopefully the neighbors won’t vote me off the neighborhood island.

i successfully emptied more boxes today – at the moment there are 8 empty boxes in the basement, ready to be recycled.

am tempted to call in sick tomorrow – so i can stay home and continue this progress… although, that would just put me more behind for the rest of the week. …tempting tempting tempting…

bimble – we wanted to tell you this blog post was a collaborative effort…therefore we celebrate by using several voices. enjoy :]

*whoa*

HUGE progress in the “organization” and “unpacking” realm at rain’s house… she subscribes to the philosophy of bottom-up organizing… in other words, clean out the closet/desk/drawer/container before putting things away.

so the basement boxes are slowly but surely disappearing – and it’s easy! why has it taken her so long?! perhaps she just wasn’t ready yet :)

love this curvy year!

(past two posts written in 3rd person… hmmmmm – please drop a comment below with your ideas as to why… )

Don’t try this at home

Apparently if you go out to your car in the mid evening, when it’s at least 10 degrees below zero, to get something out of the trunk, you might encounter ice.

Now, you may also wonder where this ice came from, seeing as it hadn’t snowed, and there was no ice about 6 hours earlier when you got another something out of the trunk.

So you might think your wine bottle cracked and leaked… but then you realize that’s not the case.

Then you see just how odd the ice pattern is in your trunk – on the tops of things, down below, basically all around. Very confusing, the source is still unknown.

While deciding how to proceed, you might stumble onto the problem:
A leftover can of soda from your recent car journey has frozen and expanded to such an extent that it blew all over the contents of your trunk (and ripped its top clean off)

After thinking this was really cool for about 12 seconds, you might get right to work & take things out and dump off the ice before tomorrow’s melty temperatures…

[Note to self: unopened can of soda in freezing temperatures = ice explosion. Good to know]

2 0 0 8 . . .

I like how the new year has lots of curves in it… that 7 from last year was so full of angles… am looking forward to the non-angular, very cylindrical year of 2008. Happy New Year, everyone :)

My 865 mile drive to Baltimore, Maryland (just outside of Washington, DC) was uneventful just before Christmas – got there in record time, including 5 stops and a 20 minute nap… 13.5 hours! Got to spend a great deal of time with old friends, visited with my mom, brother, and father, and was able to take a step back from my life… did a bit of thinking while I was gone – will share some later.

The 865 mile from Baltimore, however, was a bit of an adventure… complete with 1 flat tire, lots and lots of road construction & detours & accidents/traffic jams which gave me at least a 2 hour journey delay, and nearly running out of gas in the middle of a rural state – called my emergency roadside assistance people via cell phone while I’m driving in the middle of nowhere on New Year’s Eve, hoping and doing a little bit of praying for a gas station… wondering how I’ll look back on this situation the next morning (laugh? cry? will i have even arrived home yet?!). I cried for about 8 seconds – definitely more than 5 seconds, but surely less than 10 seconds. Luckily they (the emergency roadside assistance people) told me to keep driving and they’d meet me where I stopped – the car was running on fumes… but at last there was hope on the horizon, and rain was able to fill up her gas tank with glee at the last moment. G-d is gracious, isn’t HE? I think I rang in the New Year literally turning lights on/off in my house, feeling thankful to be home, finally, after a very long day.

I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions (NYR), as NYR are often hollow (yet full of hope) but since they’re categorized as a NYR it’s rather easy to discard them, isn’t it? I find it better (for me) to make changes when they need to be made… resolve to change when the time is right, not when everyone else is doing it so why don’t I do it too? That being said, I had a great deal of time to think recently.

I used to sing… loved it. All through school, even college, I sang in a choir. It was part of me. …but there are only so many electives you can take in school… and we’ve gotta focus on studies & the future, eh? When I moved here 8 years ago, I joined the church choir – it was good, well respected, they worked on beautiful pieces… except the director was a tyrant, and he took much of the fun out of it – when I realized my joy was diminishing because of his temper, I quit the choir, citing work commitments, etc. as why I had to leave. It made me sad, but was the right decision. I listen to NPR (national public radio) in the car and at home – focuses on news & news programming. I’ve been making an extra effort to listen to music recently, too. Two years ago I realized how quietly music had escaped from my world, and I sought after joining another choir… however my efforts were not very fruitful. There are professional choirs, men’s choirs (which I cannot join) and women’s choirs (although they make lovely music, they lack beautiful male voices), and church choirs (which means I need to like the church to attend regularly, and I haven’t quite found a fit yet). I will once again be open and seek other opportunities to sing – I’ve not a solo voice – mine was made to sing with others. But it used to bring me such joy to participate in making beautiful sounds.

While visiting with friends and family over the holiday last week, I realized I have no history in my current city. No old friends, no “remember whens”, no history except that which I started 8 years ago. This is the longest I’ve ever lived in one town, and in some ways I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed… But at the same time, 8 years have passed and although I’ve grown in countless ways, I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be at 31. In some ways I feel very young and stupid, while in others I feel wise – and wistful about the past 8 years… the past 12 years, the past 14 years. I don’t want to waste any more time.

Why is it that I often feel so separate from people? Am I looking for something in the wrong place, perhaps? I do not know… I was on my own when I moved here, and worked very hard to reach out, meet people, make friends… and I realize I’m kind of in the same place as I was when I arrived in 2000.

So the question remains: what am I gonna do about it?

There are some barriers holding me back… I’m beginning to realize 1) these barriers exist and 2) I have the ability to release myself from them.

Having moved here as a young adult, knowing no one, making acquaintances at work, joining a church & choir, etc. I was open to meeting people a variety of different ways… and was around at the begging wave of “Internet dating” (creating a profile about myself, and viewing others’ profiles, contacting each other, and eventually meeting if there’s a connection). At that time it was still a bit taboo, but now it’s often how people are meeting. My brother actually met his wife online (although he didn’t want to share exactly *how* they met – she told us after they were engaged). Anyway, my point to this is: it’s all about your profile and your photograph. I’ve met some interesting people, had some unsavory experiences, but I’ve also learned a lot. I have not been meeting the right kind of people recently, which is why I’m taking a step back now. And I’m not going to join activity groups in hopes of meeting someone special… but do hope to expand my social circle.

When I arrived home from my long trip on New Years Eve, I was so glad to see my cute brick house on the long street… to step inside and see familiar rugs and furniture and candlesticks and bits of clutter… but here’s the thing: I don’t have to stay here forever. I can enjoy my house now, take good care of it, update and rehab parts of it… but it’s not necessarily my forever house.

I bought it with the hope of a heart’s promise: to fill it with a family. But that has taken something away from me, too – the fact that I’m nowhere near that now, I need to release myself from that expectation, enjoy where I am now, and take steps to have an ever more enriched life.

So – in the next few weeks I will take some measurements and get started on making updates and changes to my home. Because why not start now? Then I can enjoy it longer.

Within these 8 years, I started a new job & hated it (as most 1st year employees do), joined a church, lived on a very small budget, purchased a condo (flat), experienced joys of home ownership, became very involved in a church, gained a few friendships, gained confidence in my profession, twice presented at state conferences, broke up with my church and small group because I could no longer be a part of that organization, gained additional experience at work by moving to new areas within the same city (I go to wherever they’ve needed me), dated a handful of times (one of which was abusive – still wrapping my brain around how I could let myself get involved with that one), pulled back when my social circumstances were unsafe and became even more comfortable with being on my own… I’ve pulled myself out of debt (may go back into debt to pay for additional schooling… jury is still out on that one), made some good financial decisions these past few years, have gained a diverse professional experience, also while dealing with anxiety, depression, heavy medications, doctors (and one very bad doctor), weight loss, weight gain, and inertia.

But on the other hand, I’ve moved to a new city and survived. I’ve pulled myself up and become a skilled clinician – am respected by my colleagues, and my clients make progress. I’m a homeowner… Have maintained a positive relationship with my parents (while living so far away) and still have dear friends from college (who live on the east coast – just nowhere near me at the moment). I write thank you notes, enjoy learning new crafts (like crochet, making mosaics, painting, making jewelry, etc.), and live near a terrific bike trail.

Nothing is perfect. Things rarely turn out how we “plan” or envision them to be years from now.

So the question *still* remains: what am I gonna do about it?

(sigh)

Part of the reason I haven’t made definite plans to visit Europe (and Australia when I’m able!) yet is because of my weight. I don’t want people judging me as one of those “fat Americans” when we meet for the first time – I want to have a joyful trip, free from judgment (which, i guess, is defeatist since I’m an American… ha. Perhaps I’ll research a city in Canada and pretend to be from there instead – might make travels easier).

I gained over 50 pounds in less than a year when a (bad) doctor prescribed something for my depression/anxiety. He was supposed to monitor my weight – I thought it was me, all my fault, I wasn’t doing anything differently, but I must have done something wrong …very slowly… it was a very confusing time. I felt so bad about myself… After I realized how everything fit together, I fired him, got a much better doctor, and was weaned off of those bad drugs. I have about 70 pounds to lose… I recently lost about 20, but think I may have regained a few… so I still have work to do in this area of my life.

I’m drug free now – no more drug cocktails, no more sleeping aids, no more caffeine (maybe a bit), no more naps (well, sometimes)… and I’m much happier – much more present, much more myself. Thank goodness. Took long enough.

So – now here I am, most of my family and friends are on the east coast, I’ve got this beautiful home, I’m not satisfied with my job and am wondering how I can change it to make it a better fit for me (after talking to my boss there are very few options for me next year). I live a fairly solitary life, unless I work very hard.. I ‘ve cultivated a variety of relationships, but they’re more superficial, not “everyday” type of people (does that make sense?) so I can have what I need on a “sometimes” basis… but I don’t have friends for everyday wear. Am I ok with this? Does this work for me? I don’t know. Perhaps for the short term… but I’ve already put in so many years in this style – when will my time be up? When will I need more?

Again I’m am considering a transfer – a move. Back to the east coast. But am I seeking a geographic solution to this dilemma? Is that fair – to me? But people do it all the time – transfer. I’ve already done a few searches for jobs… and several sound interesting. My resume needs a bit of updating, but is mostly current. By this time next year I need to make a decision to move. And I need to know if I’ll be moving for myself? Or to chase something phantom? Or to relieve myself of the guilt re: taking care of my aging parents who currently live so far away?

But a lot of my thoughts come back to my weight – I have become more honest about how it has impacted me. Re: dating, job interviews, world travel. But I’m no shy wallflower, either. Can’t quite put my finger on it… but I wonder why I keep the weight on – am I protecting myself from something/someone? Is it a barrier? Is it a way to understand why people reject me off the bat – size – instead of them rejecting something about me personally…does that make it easier to handle rejection in some way?

I’ve been an ambassador before – in graduate school, all of my roommates were from other countries. I’ve been there, explained my country and culture ad nauseum… I don’t want to do that abroad with an additional stigma.

Everything kindof ties together and flows, doesn’t it? Told you I had a lot of time to think in the car. Tomorrow I’m seeing a doctor to ask if I could be experiencing some residual consequences from the single car accident I had in Dec 2003. What’s interesting is this: I’ll ask if all of the mental health issues (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, sleep issues, various frustration thresholds) that I’ve been treated with meds for (on which I gained significant weight) might all… actually… be residual effects of an old brain injury. Huh. No wonder I never *exactly* fit medical criteria for a certain diagnosis… because I didn’t actually have it. Perhaps my experience & reality was the result of something else entirely.

I have to say this, too – I know G-d has allowed me to experience some things in my lifetime so that I may encourage others. I know HE has had HIS hand on me from the beginning. I know HE is using me in ways I cannot understand. I know HE isn’t finished with me yet. …so I’m thankful for these experiences. But the question remains… what am I gonna do about it? What changes need to be made? I don’t want to sit back and let life happen – to be passive. I want to make sure I’m doing the best I can with what I have (and been given). I don’t want another 8 years to pass quickly, with little to show for it, my heart’s desires still unfulfilled. Perhaps there’s a stone still left unturned, which I hope to find in the future.