Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Profound Moment

Every now and then I ponder the ultimate question: What is our purpose as humans? Or more specifically, what is my purpose here on this earth, in this life?

To get even more specific, I’ve been pondering a lot what is my purpose now and what has been my purpose of the places I am for the last 8 years. What has been the point and what have I learned?

All I can say is the last 8 years have been full of problems, heart ache, challenges, and personal struggle. Not a single one of these 8 years has been a happy year. I can’t look back on a single one and say, wow, now (insert some year 2000 in here) was a good/great year.

I’m really struggling with 2010/2011. It’s not the things that arise in life that are the problems, my biggest problem is the struggle within. It’s been a REALLY bad year. I’ve spent the last year struggling with my self worth, ego, and temper. I’m dealing with a lot of outside influences that have left very deep and emotional bruises on my ego and self worth which makes my temper flair very easily. I’m struggling every day to remind myself to stay calm and to try to let things bounce off instead of sting. Unfortunately, most days I loose the battle and let it eat me up inside.

Every day I remind myself that this too shall pass and that for every little hurt, injustice, sting, there is a life lesson to learn, a bigger picture to fulfill, and eventually one day it will make sense and have been worth the fight.

In all the personal struggles, there are the rays of light that do make a day worth it all. I have 3 such little lights that I have accumulated through these last 8 years, all 3 have come into my life within the last year. In thinking about it, this last year has been the hardest of the 8 and every single light has appeared when I’ve been most in need.

The 3 little lights are my work friends, actually more like my work sisters. Once lives in California, one in New Jersey, and the last in my home state. We’ve never met, and none are friends of the others (well, I did introduce CA & NJ to each other over email, but I’m not sure if that friendship ever progressed). Every day I think of these 3 little lights and I talk to each at least once a week. They are each like the North Star to me. When I feel lost, they ground me. When I’m upset, they comfort me. When I just need to vent, they have all the time in the world and ears as big as an elephant.

CA, she is my sister from another mister. I swear our personalities were separated at birth. CA, she can make me laugh and smile every time even though all I want to do is cry. NJ, is my inspiration. She is the most positive, upbeat, and inspirational person I’ve ever met. On days when I think I can’t make it through, she is there to inspire me to continue. Home State is a sweet as pumpkin pie. She’s like the sunshine, she’s so cheery. Just talking to her is like bringing out the sun in my day. These 3 girls know how to round out my day when things are tough.

Now, don’t get your panties in a wad, I’m not forgetting about my husband. My husband is my best friend in the world. But there are some things you just can not talk to your husband about. For that matter, there are just some things you can’t talk to a guy about. Face it girls, there are just some things that boys don’t get and it’s useless trying to share with them.

I feel truly blessed to have found these 3 girls. I also realize what a part of this struggle has been for. It was to bring me to the place and time where I was supposed to meet each of these individuals. Friendships that I will cherish and not let go of over the years.

Each path in our life is a new journey. It’s a new lesson to learn, a new challenge to overcome. Life is a lesson, a path we have chosen to follow, to learn from, to experience. Sometimes it’s days like these where I wonder why I have chosen such a difficult path and where it’s going to lead. Will it eventually lead to happiness? I can only hope. I also promise myself that if this path truly does lead to eventual happiness, I will not ever forget all the struggles I’ve gone through to be able to truly appreciate the happiness.

And maybe that’s my life lesson, to know, understand, and appreciate happiness. I had a very difficult childhood. Probably a mundane experience to most people, but I suffered through 9 years of school being bullied and then another 4 years afterwards being compared to my sister (yes, as a younger sister, it really stings when your teachers compare you’re talents, your intelligence, your skills to your sisters when you’ve always known you and she are different and will never posses the same set of talents/skills/intelligence and would wish everyone could get that through their heads). After leaving High School, College was the happiest 4 years of my life (thus far). I crave and envy the time I spent there and want it all over again. But did I every truly appreciate my happiness? I can’t honestly say I ever did.

So here I am, hoping, wishing, praying, craving another, different and better step in my life. I feel I’ve paid this unknown debt and learned many very valuable lessons in the process. And maybe that’s the other problem. Instead of accepting and learning from life, I spend too much time wishing for a better future. Unfortunately, these aren’t questions I can readily answer. Only time will teach me what I need to learn. What I do know is I will never forget the value of the good things in my life.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Success at Failure

I’ve been wanting to blog since yesterday morning. By the time I had a moment to get around to it, I was entirely too pissed off to write anything. And I really have something profound to me to write about. But I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get it across without the outside influence of my current mood. I just need a reminder that someday, this too shall pass and it will make me stronger for learning to bear it.

The Self Saboteur Recognized.

I had a good conversation with my MIL and my SIL on Friday. We all seem to have our life problems and sometimes it’s really nice to just air those problems. Funnily enough, we all seem to share some similar life obstacles.

My SIL mentioned a phrase the struck a chord with me. She talked about how she has been self sabotaging things in her life. It finally donned on me, that I do the exact same thing.

I admit it, I am a self sabatager. (hey, I just made up a new word!!). I set myself up so that I know I’m going to fail or set myself up to not even try so I can’t fail.

Easiest and most trivial example is I’m a nail biter. I’ve been for 30 years (slight exaggeration but I couldn’t tell you how young I was when I started biting my nails). I constantly tell myself why try to stop, I’m going to eventually go back to biting my nails so there is no point in trying to stop. See, the self sabotage began early. Why do I think I can’t stop biting my nails? Because if I do have a moment of weakness I think well of course it was going to happen. I constantly believe that relapsing is okay because it was inevitable. In reality I don’t want to accept the fact that I had a moment of weakness and that a life long habit can be hard to break. It’s going to take time and patience to kick the habit.

Yup, I know, a trivial life example, but it fits so many other things I’ve done in life.

Since I’m not into airing all my dirty laundry on the internet, I will elect not to share any more examples.

But I am learning to see the signs of lapsing into that self sabotage. I deal with it every day.

The latest sabotage potential is running. I could easily see myself just slowly quitting it. Why? Because it’s damn bloody hard at the moment. Giving up would be much easier…

I refuse to give up this time. Refuse. I can not let myself give up. I need this. I need something to cling to, to finally prove to myself that I can succeed at what I put my mind to. Of course running is hard right now. I haven’t run in 13 years. 13 YEARS!! I have to learn to give myself time to develop the correct muscles and stamina again to be able to run. So my plan is to stick to a routine and it may be the only solution to continuing to achieve my goal. And I’m going to have to struggle at it every day. My ultimate goal is to feel good in the body I have (even if I never meet my ultimate weight goal). To like what I look like in the mirror. To know I’ve done something good for myself both physically and mentally.

What I need to learn and to remember is that I’m not always going to succeed at everything I try. There are things I’m going to attempt to do and no matter what I will not succeed. What I need to know is that I’m going to learn very valuable lessons from these journeys that will ultimately change me into a better person.

** I managed to blog without being angry. I guess it can be good to have something else to focus on! A small life lesson learned. **

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Some Thoughts on Literature

I’ve have once again taken up the hobby of reading. It was something that I’ve always enjoyed (relatively speaking, since when I was young and didn’t quite know how to work through my learning disability, I HATED reading). I notice that every now and then my attention wanes and I forget to read something new, so I get bored. Lately I’ve had LOTS of something new to read courtesy of my sister from another mister in CA. She is a voracious reader and has turned me onto a few new book series/authors. I won’t claim I read many intellectual pieces, and I have been know to read quite a few trashy romance novels, but I tend to read what interest me regardless of the genre.

The BBC top 100 novels you should read list has been going around on the social networks and it has come to my attention that I should like to read most if not all of those books on that list. So I took to compiling the last few years of BBC book lists into an all encompassing reading list for myself, and it’s time I started to work my way through those book. Yup, I’m about to start embracing some of the classics! The thing is about the classics, I actually really enjoy reading them. (okay, I have a small confession to make, I don’t actually read, read all of the books, I tend to listen to a lot of audio books while at work (during the mundane, tedious, mind numbing paperwork that ensues every day). But listening to someone else read you a book counts to me and offers quite a bit of education and entertainment). The only problem I see with audio books is that some of the narrators are such a snooze to listen too (and no, authors do NOT make good narrators, in fact, I think they make some of the WORST narrators). When the snooze fest happens, I take to actually reading the book.

I don’t want to say my taste in literature is simple, but sometimes it is. I read a book and either enjoy it, or don’t. I either am entertained enough to read through a book, or am not entertained enough and quit reading (I’ll generally give a book about 100 pages before I give it up as a lost cause). I do rarely find a book so tedious that I can’t finish it but on occasion it does happen. I don’t read into a book (if you understand my meaning). I don’t read a book and tear it apart. I don’t analyze and scrutinize every little detail of a character and decipher what they are doing and why they are doing it. I don’t debate the stupid details. This is probably why I wouldn’t do well in a book group. If I was, it would go something like this.

Book Group: Did you like the book?
Me: Yes, very much so.
Book Group: So why did you like it?
Me: Because it was good. (nuff said).

Yup, it looks like I’m a simple person.

So here is what I’ve learned in the last couple of years re-discovering my new/old hobby:

1) I enjoy reading the classics, although some books intimidate me, like Gone With The Wind. Understanding that some classics do intimidate me, I still fully intend on reading them.

2) Switching between the written modern English language and the written 1800’s English language can sometimes be an exercise in the bizarre.

3) I enjoy trashy romance novels, especially of the paranormal variety. Vampires, Fairies, Witches, Ware-animals etc, will always hold a soft spot in my heart. I like the mythical and the magical.

4) Young adult books are great reads if read in the correct context, ie: you realize you’re reading a book specifically written for young adults.

5) Exploring other books and series from one of your favorite authors can lead you to a whole different reading genre you never thought you’d enjoy.

6) Historical fiction: A history hater’s best friend. I hate history. It’s dull and boring. Give me a historical fiction book and I’ll learn to love history. (Which makes no sense as to why Gone With The Wind intimidates me. Maybe it’s because I’ve never had any love for the Civil war era. But someday soon I will explore that intimidation and hopefully get over it!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Flashback (not to be confused with Flash Dance)

While driving in the car last week heading home from the grocery store after seeing the first signs of frozen turkeys, I had a great Thanksgiving Day flash back from the yesteryear. When my sister and I were kids we used to spend every Thanksgiving with our Dad’s side of the family while spending Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family. For Thanksgiving we’d do a city swap. One year it would be in Portland to celebrate with our Great Uncle and his family the next year they’d come up and we’d celebrate Thanksgiving at our Grandparents house.

This tradition went on for years. I got to experience giblet gravy every other year (something I hope never to repeat ever again… blech), LONG car rides, and lots and lots of over eating. As a kid, this was probably the most boring event in childhood experiences ever. We did get to see our cousins, but there were only 4 of us. Being the youngest pretty much guaranteed me to be ignored for most of the day and made the day extra boring. Not to mention having to sit at the “kids” table all the time. And by “kids” table I mean the little table off to the side. It was a lottery drawing every year to see who had to sit at the “kids” table. Guess who got picked almost every year without any other kids there? (Is my bitterness showing yet?)

Where is this story leading, you might ask? I’m just about to get to the point. About 20 years ago (give or take a few years, my childhood memory is a bit fuzzy from time to time) the last family Thanksgiving came to a screeching halt. (Insert huge smile here. I know what the punch line is and it makes me smile every time). The last Thanksgiving get together was held at my grandparents place. Their old house wasn’t very big so for sure we had to separate tables. One in the dining room, the other table in the living room. The 2 rooms were separated by walls and the kitchen. This time the kids table was an actual kids table! We got to sit out in the living room. I think it was a cleaver ploy of my Grandparents doing. Then they didn’t have to listen to us all complain if we didn’t like the food this year…

As we sat down to eat, a very interesting thing happened. One by one, our plates started arriving in front of our noses. One by one, we all got a very confused look on our faces. My grandfather apparently had begun to hold a grudge against the thanksgiving traveling tradition. This year was his retaliation against the family and tradition. On our plates that year there was no turkey and no gravy.


What did we get that year for Dinner? Stuffed pork chops.

Thus ended the Portland/Seattle Thanksgiving tradition!

I always knew Grandpa was a crafty man. It’s taken me 20 years to really appreciate how crafty he was!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Family Events *shudder*

So this weekend there will be a large family event going on at my parents place. We are celebrating everyone and their dog's birthday this weekend. What can I say, we're a family full of Aries. (that in of itself should make you all shudder and run screaming from our family events!!). We'll, we can only blame it on our parents for it!

Anyhoo, back to my story. So, there will be a rather large event going on this weekend. We're celebrating 6, maybe 7 birthday's (not sure if the littlest girl sprout/niece's birthday will be celebrated at this event or not, but that's beyond the point). I love my family. I love family gatherings. You get a chance to see family you don't see on a regular basis. I finally get to meet my newest nephew!!! Family gatherings can be lots of fun...

Can be... I'm a titch bit worried about this family gathering. Why?!? Because I'm introducing my future parents-in-law to some of the close and extended family. They've never met anyone other than my parents. I'm not worried about the in-law's. They can more than hold their own. What I am worried about is all the different personalities we bring to this pot luck of people. Welcome to my world, a world of very strong personalities. That's what you get for having a family full of Aries (and a lawyer) ;o) We are very opinionated, loud, and possibly obnoxious.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gag and Barf Day

Well folks, it's about that time of year again. Gag and Barf day is swiftly approaching. For all you non-mind readers, that would be Valentine's Day. Blech...

I'm not a bitter person. I've had a "Valentine" for the last 6 years, and will for the rest of my life. But I still DESPISE Valentine's Day. Why?!? Because it's a STUPID holiday. Why... why, on only one day a year am I supposed to celebrate love, filled with crappy chocolates, stupid cards, and wilted flowers? Pointless!!! Absolutely pointless.

Everyday should be about love, not just 1 day a year. And WHY is the holiday about love with a significant other?!? I love my family. I love my friends. Why isn't the holiday about them too?

Thank you commercialism for making me loath Valentine's Day. I think for the holiday this year, I'll stay home once again and make dinner for my boys, like I do most days.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Engagement

As requested by Not the Queen (aka my sister) she asked me to blog about my engagement. I suppose it’s a natural progression from how we met, to the engagement, to well, the wedding (eventually).

So as promised, here’s the story of the engagement.

I first need to preface this story with everyone and their dog knew Corey was going to propose to me in Disneyworld, except myself and my sister (thank you mom and dad for letting me get to tell her!). I mean everyone, my parents, Corey’s parents, his sister & brother, his step siblings and their spouses, the girls he works with, even our travel agent. I’m still miffed that our travel agent knew… But such is life.

Anyway, back to the story.

About a year and a half ago, Corey and I began planning our latest trip to Disneyworld. We started planning shortly after our first trip since we had an amazing time! This trip, we decided to invite people along thinking it would increase the fun (yes and no). So after all the planning and cajoling, we managed to get my parents and Corey’s parents, sister and brother, to agree to go with us. All the rest of our invitees backed out of the vacation for a variety of reasons.

We planned, schemed, worried, fretted, reserved, argued, revised, and finally made it there all in one piece! Few… So we played in the park the day we arrived having as much fun as you can with pouring Florida rain, dashing from store to store, ride to ride, hoping you don’t drown on the way. And no I’m not talking about the daily summer showers where after 10 minutes of rain it’s dry and warm again, I’m talking about the daily summer showers where it just continues to pour non-stop. Welcome to Disneyworld…

We made the best of what we had. That evening, Corey and I had dinner reservations at Ohana at the Polynesian resort (the resort we had stayed at the first time we went to Disneyworld). The food was tasty. It was almost like a buffet. They start you out with salad, then deliver bowls of sweet “buffalo” wings, pot stickers, veggies of some variety, and noodles. The wait staff then brings around with, what I can only describe as, meat shish kabobs and portions you off some of the pork, beef, chicken and shrimp. It’s all you can eat and the food was terrific. They even brought each table a set of dipping sauces that were scrumptious. After dinner, they served a bread pudding with “burnt” banana caramel sauce. Ohhhhhhhh, so heavenly. I stuffed myself silly, but the food was mmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm, good.

We finished up dinner with time to spare. Every night the magic kingdom has a fire works show. You can see the show from the 3 lagoon hotels (the Contemporary, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian). The beaches in front of the Hotel are the perfect place for viewing the fireworks. They even pump the music through the outdoor speakers in time to the fireworks so you can get the whole effect. So we wondered around the property. I thought it would have been a good idea to view the fireworks from our hotel (the Grand Floridian) thinking we could take my parents, but Corey convinced me that we should stay at the Polynesian with a little trouble (hey, I had no idea what was going on). We started out at the dock, and then decided to wander to the beach since the dock was crowded and it had stopped raining for a few moments. We wandered through the beach area, but there were no seats available, so Corey “suggested” we wonder further along the property. We hadn’t done a whole lot of wandering of the property last time we were there since there were obviously more important things to do like go on all the rides. So we wandered past the beach to a place they have called Sunset Point. Sunset point is this little point on the beach where there’s a circular cut of land that kind of juts out into the water, ringed by palm trees. So we wandered our way out there just in time for the fireworks to start. There’s this great view where the castle is framed by 2 palm trees and you get a fantastic view of all the fireworks.

So we were standing there, watching the fireworks (mind you, we had the point to ourselves) and Corey starts poking me in the back (not unusual) halfway through the show. I turned around to poke him back and he disappeared. As I turned around to find him, there he was, down on one knee, fireworks all around, holding out the ring box (thankfully not upside down. He was a little worried about that) and then he asked me. It was so sweet and uber romantic. Obviously I said yes.