Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To do ...

To do ... on an educational standpoint:
- study spanish (and actually speak it to someone)
- take a silversmith class
- take classes to become a master gardener

To do ... when J wins a small lottery prize:
('cause if he wins a BIG prize you know my list would involve lakefront property in addition to these items)
- install upper cabinets in the new laundry room
- decide on garage door style for the barn -- it's been 5 years, for pete's sake
- build a deck off the living room so we have a place to relax and read in the sun

To do ... this spring:
(Shhhh! Don't tell J, since this involves muscle, not money -- and when I say "muscle" I don't mean my muscles)
- divide hosta and daylilies
- build new plant bed in the area facing the house
- dig out bed in front of the garage (too much mulch build-up)
- remove sand from walkout in backyard (again)
- install pavers at walkout to prevent the sand from flowing back
- liberate the raspberry bushes from the back yard to a sunny spot

To do ... this week:
- try to stop clenching my jaw all day at work
- let it all roll off my back
- submit my reciepts for flex-spending
- make an eye dr. appt.
- enjoy friends at lunch on Thursday and Friday

Monday, February 22, 2010

Know balance?

I saw a commercial that said "know balance" and then "know harmony" and then... I don't know what else because I got distracted by the idea of balance. And, of course, because I got distracted I don't remember what the commercial was for, but that's beside the point, right? The point was "know balance."

I don't feel like I know balance right now. I'm stressed. I'm requiring copious amounts of sweets (and will soon require larger pants if I keep this up). Beyond my expanding bum I'm experiencing other physical symptoms of stress too -- which is never a good sign. I remember being this stressed out only a handful of times, and those times were when life-changing things were happening in my life. Is this a precursor to something? Is this stress telling me something?

You know what? I'm not listening. Really, right now I just can't take any more, and I don't want to deal with introspection. I've had enough. I just want to gel like jell-o for a while and not have to deal with it all.

Can I do that?

This is called "Nice but unstable."
I can identify with that.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Color Quiz truth?

I took a color quiz that they blogged about earlier in the week on YoungHouseLove.com -- and then I made J take it too (actually he wanted to). It's interesting. You select the colors from a selection based on what you like the most and what you like the least. Somehow it uses your selects to determine what occupational category suits you. I took it twice, just to see if my results would change. Apparently either way you slice it I'm an "Organizer," and I think it was pretty accurate -- eerily, actually -- but I have to admit I have no idea how my color choices would relate in any way to a suitable occupational category. Here's the skinny ...

"Organizer" Keywords:
Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate
(Um, yeah. No doubt about any of that. But it doesn't mention crappy speller. I'm that too)

"Organizer" Careers:
Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.

OMGoodness do those sound boring as all get-out, or what? Yawn, yawn, yawn! About the only ones that are even remotely appealing are ... well, actually none of them are appealing. Huh, I wonder what that says about me. The keywords all fit me, but the jobs are so, SO unappealing to me.

Hmmmmm. Anyway ...

My second best career category changed from "Persuade" (the first time I took it) to "Creator". They both seem to be a stretch, but Persuade seemed a somewhat better fit for me:

- Witty: on a good day

- Competitive: only when playing games (or should I say especially when playing games?)

- Sociable: Um, no! Totally no

- Talkative: only with friends

- Ambitious: Um, no

- Argumentative: I have to admit, I can be argumentative

- Aggressive: occassionally, but prefer to see it as being "forceful and frank"

But then they ruined "Persuade" for me by explaining that "type" as: These enterprising types sell, persuade, and lead others. Positions of leadership, power, and status are usually their ultimate goal. Persuasive people like to take financial and interpersonal risks and to participate in competitive activities. They enjoy working with others inside organizations to accomplish goals and achieve economic success.

And that doesn't sound like me at all. (Or am I just fooling myself by refusing to see that the description fits me? Nah.)

Creator popped the second time and that seems to me to be a REAL stretch you know, like doing-the-splits-without-warming-up kind of a stretch -- painful even to fathom):

- Nonconforming: um, no -- I'm a process girl. Goody two-shoes. No tats, oddly place piercings, or rebellion here.

- Impulsive: occassionally, but only when shopping, and THEN only at the Pottery Barn outlet and it's a piece of furniture I just have to have

- Expressive: only when IRATE, unless you consider getting red in the face "expressive" but really, I can't help that. I'd be more expressive if I had the talent to raise just one eyebrow like my friend Sonja. That's cool, and I'm envious of that skill.

- Romantic: can you hear me laughing? No freaking way.

- Intuitive: mildly

- Sensitive: eh? Heck no.

- Emotional: I cry when watching come commercials. Does that count?

It worked out about the same for J (the primary pick was spot-on, and the secondary one was iffy at best). If you want to try it go to CareerBuilder.com’s “Color Career Counselor” quiz. Let me know if it worked for you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Too small

You must learn one thing.

The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds

except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the

sweet confinement of your aloneness

to learn anything or anyone

that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kicked in the butt, and Kicked off

Yesterday -- Boy, what a day of highs and lows. Or rather, lows and highs.

photo from Kung Fu Panda

The butt-kicking "low" kicked off the day. We found out about more "restructuring" of our department (be sure you're visualizing me making air quotes with my hands, 'cause that's how it's intended). Another "Restructuring," a mere year and two weeks after the last one that our department experienced. Really, we just celebrated the one year anniversary (with cake) when my liberated 'Lunch Bunch' friends met us for lunch last week.

More people let go. More people reassigned. Low, low, low point. I wasn't equipped for that, and I believe I'm sublimating, even now. I was so happy to get outta' there and head to the "high" of the day -- our Relay For Life of Lowell kickoff rally.Relay For Life of Lowell Kick-off Rally! Go Relay!
We kicked the butt of the predicted snowstorm yesterday and had a great Relay For Life of Lowell Kick-off in spite of the forecast of 6-12 inches of snow (imagine that, snow in February... in Michigan, ha ha). It snowed, all day, but the great-dumping-of-snow held off until the midnight hours. Yippee!

The Kick-off went really well. We did Relay expo with theme tents related to the differnt elements of Relay: a survivor tent, two fundraising tents, a luminaria tent, a silent auction, and a coloring tent. We had displays and handouts at each area to give potential or new teams ideas -- and J took pics (but I still have to download them). It went well in spite of the weather. The jazz band played, we had some great speakers, and we all got motivated for another year of raising funds for the American Cancer Society. We had great turn-out and got a lot of teams signed up to participate. By this morning we had 8 teams signed up online and had filled another spot on the Relay Planning Committee. Woo-Hoo!

We'll be "Celebrating More Birthdays" at Relay this year -- won't you join us? Go to our website http://relayforlife.org/lowellmi to join our team (Team Postal Connections -- woop-woop!), make a donation to our team (or to me in particular), form a new team, register to attend our Survivor Celebration, or get information about sponsoring our event. We'd LOVE to have see you there on June 11-12! Go Relay!

P.S. Did I mention my SISTER outbid me on the two silent auction items I really wanted? Rude! :)

Time to remodel?

I was reading a bunch of blog entries from bloggers that went to the Blissdom blog conference in Nashville recently. One of the blogs I came across as I hop scotched my way across the web was remodelingthislife.com. I haven't even read the blog or the post yet -- but when it splashed across the home page the name of the blog struck me. "Remodeling this life."

Boy do I feel like I need to do that. Remodel. This. Life.

Today I reverted to the condition I was in a year ago -- crying in the car on the way home from work; needing help turning off my brain at night; clenching my jaw so that my teeth hurt (resulting in a constant headache); needing help sleeping; consuming vast amounts of Diet Coke; eating sweets like there's no tomorrow. Slap that happy face on it and continue on. (Just don't dry your pants in the dryer, 'cause they're getting snug on account of all the junk food and chocolate you're inhaling.)

Amy Powers, a blogger whose site visit frequently, recently said, "If things appear okay on the outside, then things are okay. Even if everything inside is about to topple over." I can identify with that. Lately I'm having a harder time doing the whole keep on, keeping on thing, and my happy(ish) facade is fraying at the edges. Again.

Seriously? I'm back here again? Until yesterday I thought I was doing OK. Making progress in... well, in what exactly? Making progress in not crying all the time? Making progress in not needing a sleep aid every night? Making progress in not feeling like I was going to heave a melt-down in my cube every day? Making progress in WHAT? Really what? Am I making progress, or am I just sweeping my dissatisfaction under the run and ignoring it?

Am I putting my hands over my ears and shouting "I can't HEAR you," to myself as I rock back and forth in a dark corner? Hello, self? Are you listening? Please note that I'm not any happier in my cube now than I was a year ago. I'm not any more satisfied with the direction of my life. I'm not happy choosing to spend 40 hours a week in a cube with no view. (And yes, as I'm bemoaning all this, I do realize that it's a choice I make to stay. A conscious decision. I choose it because we've got bills to pay in our living-on-credit life. Once again, my choice. So suck it up, you whiner.)

So, I'm making progress in what exactly? Right now I can't name a thing.

It was just (barely) over a year since a bunch of my co-workers got the axe. This experience in "right-sizing" was something that capped off a few crappy years and disillusionment with my job in general, and while things hadn't improved at work in these last 12 months, I thought I was doing OK. As I said to my boss, we're all "settling into the misery."

I'm sure she said something constructive in response, but what stuck with me was how wrong it was in general. The idea that we should be 1) settle into the misery, and 2) be OK with that because it pays the bills. Being settled in misery is not what I want to spend the majority of my time awake doing. And then came Monday.

On Monday at our department meeting we found out that there was another round of job cuts and "restructuring" effective immediately. More co-workers are now former co-workers. Other co-workers got the shaft. Oh the stress. It's terrible, but I choose to be there. That's something I have to accept: I choose to stay. That's not to say I'm choosing the stress, or to be stressed out -- but that seems to be something that I can't control (Lord knows I'm strung a bit tightly, and I'm sure that's not helping at all, right?). I choose it. I own it, and really, I'd like to continue owning my house... so I choose it.

Dang, I'm making crappy choices. Being the grown up bites. :) So back to remodeling -- I think it's time to draft my remodeling plans for this life. (Picture me deep in thought now, I'm working on it).

photo courtesy of hellofelix.com

Blue skies!