Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lists Lists and More Lists

There are a couple of things most people who know me well know about me.

1. I have a very strange need to collect pens.
2. I have that same very strange need to collect journaling notebooks. (They're so many pretty ones).
3. I am the queen of lists.

The two of those strange needs together go well. Like peanut butter and jelly. Or Abbot and Costello. Or Rif and Raf. you get the picture. So it should be of no surprise that I'm stepping into the ring of a new challenge for September.

The 30 Days of Lists challenge.
Now, it's not exactly what you think it is. Its not actually making a list every day for 30 days. Instead its a list of topics to write about for 30 days.

I like lists.

I like to write.

It seems like a good fit. So, starting Sept 1st I'm going to "try" to keep with it for 30 days. Should be interesting.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Happy Friday...

I'm taking today off to go see the Terracotta Warriors with the Braspir's. Seattle SIL, Janet, asked me months ago and I poo poo'd it and said something along the lines of, "Blech. Boring." Then as I witnessed some amazing photos and read the history on them I was bummed I passed it over.

Fast forward a month or two when Mrs. Braspir asked if I wanted to go...needless to say I jumped at the chance. I'm looking forward to some down time with people I love.

This has been an extraordinarily hard week for me. I wish I could explain how and why Mom has been on the top of my mind and making me very sad. Didn't seem like anything that should have triggered the grief, but then we all know that anything can trigger it.

Then Wednesday happened. I got a raise. Yay. Except it was WAY smaller than I was 1) expecting and 2) think I deserve. It disappointed me and, frankly, broke my heart a little and made me feel like the value I have with the company is less than I thought, or they said. Now, I am VERY thankful for the raise. Don't get me wrong, but it didn't even equal my previous raise (2 years ago) when I was doing half as much as I am now.

And all I wanted to do is call Mom. She'd listen. She'd complain with me. She'd be as upset as I was.

But I couldn't. And I had a heck of a time keeping the tears from coming...

A friend posted this and it hit home ...with a vengeance

"Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a chiled. But here's my two cents. 

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to ‘not matter.’ I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it.

Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph.

Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out.

But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself.

And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”

So yah...that pretty much says it all.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this song stuck in their noggin with the solar eclipse in just a couple of days.

This is a total solar eclipse and they say most people may only see one in their lifetime. I'm 100% convinced this will be my second.

I have a vague memory of creating a box to view the eclipse in elementary school - I think 4th grade.  Folks have been posting the DIY for these boxes and it tossed me back to this memory. I had to ask some elementary friends because I can't determine if it is a memory or do I think it's a memory. This happens a lot.

Work update. Still busy. Still overworked. Still love my job. We're trying, desperately, to find PMs to replace the one's that have moved on.

The world is in another state of crazy. There was a white supremeist broohaha in Charlottesville that turned violent and resulted in some deaths. Then that sparked a whole new broohaha around the nation. The hatred out there is getting depressing.

I did read on FB recently a post about if the average American talked to their neighbor they'd realize the crazy in the world isn't nearly as much as you hear on the news. I suppose that's true. Maybe I'll talk to my neighbors.

Mom's been on my mind a lot lately. She's always "on my mind", but recently she's been in the forefront. I miss her so much that sometimes I can barely breathe. She was such an integral part of my life and to have that removed there are days I just don't know what to do. I don't cry, or sob, or wail, too often. Sometimes just a single tear will fall, but most of the time I just force myself to not cry. Which I'm sure will come back to haunt me some day.

The Seahawks started playing last night and I could almost hear her screaming from heaven. I wanted, so badly, to call her and talk to her about the crazy stuff in the game - truthfully I wanted to call and talk to her about Bennett sitting during the National Anthem. She used to get so irritated when that happened.

So to sum up...life is about the same as always.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

July went by in like 5 minutes

Hard to believe July 4th was the last time I wrote. When I say time is flying, I really mean time is warp-speeding by. We're in  August people!

Let's see what has happened since July 4th.

I worked.

I worked some more...

Oh and I worked...

Its gotten crazy again. I lost two PMs at a time we are slammed. Q3 and Q4 are our busies times and it's proving to be the same this year. Thank God I still love my job.

I'm learning to have tough conversations though. I've had some conflicts on the team I've had to resolve and it's no fun. It's gotten easier though. I learned to just talk about facts and not emotions.

The next problem I have to face is getting management to listen to me. Baby steps.

Since I last wrote, I bought a new Mustang. Meet Wroamin'.

I love this car. I went in to test drive and was looking for a new Mustang with some of the new navigation features. What I ended up with is this beast of a 310 HP car.  It's FAST...and smooth all built in one.

I'm naming it Wroamin' cuz mom used to call us the Wroamin' Wraspirs. So this is my nod to her. She would LOVE this car...I could almost hear her saying "Hot damn."

Today, Blueberry and I took Wroamin' on the first official Wroad trip (see what  I did there?) We headed up north to have lunch with a friend and his wife. We stopped at this fantastic little Mexican hole in the wall called Mariposa Taqueria in Edison, Wa. Oh lord....it was so damn good. So authentic. I'd drive all that way for a taco any day. After we followed friend P and his wife S through some of the back roads of that area. He sure knew the back roads and it was beautiful!

And this car...loves the wroad. I can't wait to go out again...