Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

The first thought that crossed my mind this morning was, "WOO HOO it's my birthday." Followed closely by, "oh crap I'm 46."

I don't feel 46. I don't feel old at all in fact (though there are days). And I truly believe it is just a number. I hope I can carry that feeling with me as I age.

I returned from Tuscon without incident. Found the house was still intact and two demons that were very glad to see me. Lucy hopped right up on my lap, while I got the cold shoulder from Linus for an hour or so.  Eventually he caved and shared my lap too.

Christmas was good. We spent it with friends - who are really more like family. The MomUnit and I cooked a turkey with all the trimmings.  We realized we hadn't cooked that meal together for years. It's funny how roles switch though. I used to be the one directed by the I directed her....somewhat.

The MomUnit and I both came down with colds, her's was worse than mine. I felt like crap for about a day, but survived all the same.

Now it's the 29th and I'm preparing for a birthday celebration tonight. Can't wait to see all my friends!

I'll leave you with this photo. As I flew down to Tucson, I was greeted by Mount Rainier. Such a beautiful sight.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas to all...and to all a goodnight

This morning I woke up with the song, "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" in my noggin. No idea how it got there since I don't think I've heard Christmas music in the last day or so - see I'm quarantined in the MomUnit's house this week. Came down with a nasty cold...yay.

Anyhow, I started thinking how simple Christmas was as a kid.  With childlike wonder, all you did want for Christmas was your two front teeth. And heck, you might even be happy with box it came in.  Your Christmas list was simple, child like, and sure you weren't going to get coal in your stocking.

Then as you hit your teens your Christmas list changed a little to the latest trend. And yet at the same time you were stuck between being an adult and still wanting to hold on to that childlike Christmas feeling. That maybe, just maybe, there is a Santa Clause. You list was full of teenage things, lip gloss, most popular albums, maybe makeup, etc.

Then in your twenties, the frenzy of Christmas kinda begins. You're old enough now to buy gifts for everyone, and you're worried about finances and how you're ever going to manage.  Christmas becomes a beast that you aren't ready to wrestle.  Yet, you manage somehow. You become a bit more jaded about Christmas and start to wonder what it's all about.

In your thirties you're a bit more relaxed.  You still have that frenzied feeling, but you're more financially stable and thus aren't as worried about managing. You might even have Christmas dinner at your place. Gasp! You're fully aware at this point that Christmas is about capitalism and the shopping and that makes you just a bit more bah humbug-ish.

Then, miraculously, in your forties, you find what Christmas is all about. It's about family and friends. It's about giving back to the world. It's about spending time with people you love. It's about drinking and eating with such merriment that you can't imagine you ever had a bad feeling about this holiday. And ultimately you realize all you want is for your friends and family to be happy and healthy this holiday season.

So from my house to yours, in my forties, I wish you all a very merry Christmas. May this be a season full of happiness, laughter and much love.


I didn't get coal this year. I had reason to be concerned too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Guilt, Fear, and Making Bad Decisions

I think it's safe to say that we've all felt guilt, fear and we've all made bad decisions in our life.  I've come to a recent conclusion related to all three of these that I'd like to share with you. They're related, by a shoe string, but related all the same.

First things first...STOP FEELING GUILTY.

Unless you've done something horrible, stop beating yourself up over things.

I had a conversation yesterday with a friend about feeling guilty about not doing things around her house. Finally, after not sleeping because of the guilt and the strain it puts on her marriage, she and her husband decided to stop it all. They gave themselves permission to NOT feel guilty over not getting everything on their list done.

And who likes house projects anyhow?

What I realized while listening to her was how quickly I feel guilt over things that are really not that big of deal, and certainly aren't worth the effort to feel guilty over.

I'm talking, of course, about making bad food decisions. Or not getting to the gym like I promised myself. Or having that cookie at 2pm instead of an apple.  Or not getting a phone call to an old friend made. The truth is, I shouldn't beat myself up over these things. It takes away some of my soul I think. I spend more time spinning over these small things, that I can't move forward.

Thankfully, I can, and do, stop myself and just let it go (who of you just started singing the Frozen song?)

The problem with "letting it go" is sometimes that's followed by fear. What if "letting it go" means I'm going to die at an earlier age because I ate that cookie AND didn't get to the gym. 

And thus starts the gerbil wheel of worry. That's an entirely different blog though.

The other element here is the worry and guilt over making bad decisions. I have known people who have paralyzed themselves into making NO decision because of fear of making a bad decision.

Here's the thing, it's been my experience that the two things I need to make a decision over are never really bad options. I usually have to choose between relatively similar or good options, so why would I concern myself that I'd make a bad decision?

Granted, you should do your research. You should make sure you know all the pros/cons of each side, but if you're already at the "decision" point, then something got you there to make that choice, and that something most likely isn't bad.

I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of telling ourselves one choice is good and the other is bad. I've tortured myself during planning for vacations over which local would be the "right choice". When, at the end of the day, choosing between Rome or Istanbul- I mean really how could either of those locations be bad?

So here's my plan/goal, and maybe advice to you. Stop sweating the small stuff.

I'm happy I'm getting to the gym as much as I have been. Is it perfect? Nope. Not even close. Will it be? Maybe. I have to remind myself that adding exercise to my daily life isn't going to happen over night. Losing weight isn't always going to happen instantly. Slow and steady...stay the course. That's what I remind myself often. (My goal really should be to remind myself of that BEFORE I work myself up into a guilt ridden lather).

I need to remember that guilt has no home in my heart.  Fear should only be an emotion I feel when a bee buzzes by. And bad decisions, I've made a few...but I survived them and probably turned out better because of them.

So give yourself a break. Stop the cycle. Start giving yourself permission to exist ...

Friday, December 05, 2014

I'm killing every second 'til it sees my soul

I've got brethren here...turns out there are a number of people here who suffer from the Stuck Song Syndrome like me.  Now I know I belong here.

And by "here" I mean the new job. I kinda feel like it's a new boyfriend that I can't stop talking about, but I can't stop talking about it. I keep trying to find something wrong with it, and I come up empty every time.

Even our holiday party didn't allow for anything negative.

First off, everyone gets along in this company. Sure there are some quirky folks that I've been warned about. But by and large, everyone gets along. It's kinda unnerving. Either that or I've not looked under the hood well enough to see the truth. Yet, I'm choosing to believe that it is as great as it feels.

Right, so holiday party.

I've not been to a company holiday party since I left the other company that shall not be mentioned.  Yesterday, the entire company showed up (even the developer from Boston) to partake in the holiday cheer. The party was at this miniature golf place called Flatstick (which actually made me think of hockey and not golf). And in typical Seattle way, it's an indoor course. They have a hundred some odd beers on tap, and a golf course that was wicked tough. Our team cheated a bit and didn't count the water traps as a stroke...and we STILL lost.

There was the most amazing food catered by a local company that does mostly organic. And there was an ugly sweater contest. Even their ugly sweaters were fun. The winner of the contest, I wish I had a picture of it, wore a hamburger shirt. At first glance it looks like holly, then you look closer and you're like, "Is that a beef patty?"

This job is doing my soul good. I miss the $$ of contracting, I can't lie about that. But to love what I'm doing is totally worth it.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Book Club: I'll Drink to That

It's been a couple of months since I did a book report on a book club book (Gee, I wonder how many more times I could use the word "book" in that sentence). 

This month's pick was I'll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich.  It's the biography of Betty Halbreich. Who? You may ask yourself, cuz I sure did. She was, or is still, a legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman in NY. 

Are you still with me?

The book is essentially the story of her life. It's no rags to riches story. It's a riches to riches story.  It's about fashion, it's about helping others find themselves through clothing. 

None of which appeals to me. 

But what I've liked about book club so far is I've read some books I normally would never EVER pick up. Most I liked, some I have not. This one would fall into the "have not" column. 

For starters, I couldn't careless about fashion. I know a few name brands that everyone knows, but by and large know nothing about it, and really don't want (or need) to know more. 

The other disappointing thing about this book was she's not an overly interesting broad. Her life struggles of living on Park Ave are struggles I have a hard time understanding. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and she never really had it removed. 

I didn't finish the book. Mrs.Braspir and Seattle SIL both did and they said the last chapter really redeems the book. I wouldn't know, I didn't get past chapter 3 (oh and they're fairly long chapters). 

So if you're looking for something interesting to read, I wouldn't recommend this book.