Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sarcasm is my superpower

I wish my superpower was invisibility.  Then I wouldn't have to worry about my weight or my wrinkles or my roots growing out.  And people wouldn't ask me questions or bother me while I was working.  I could be home and no one would ask me to do anything for them, because they couldn't see me reading my book or playing on the computer or listening to music.  I think those things are "doing something" in contrast to the thoughts of my husband and son.

I wish my superpower was super-speed.  Then I could get all the chores done around the house super-fast.  I could get the laundry done, folded, ironed and put away.  I could get the grocery shopping done so fast.  I could cook, serve and clean-up all the meals at the speed of light.  I could vacuum and dust and mop the floor with lightning speed.  I would have time to read my book or blog or work on ebay stuff.

I wish my superpower was flying.  Then I could go to the mall or to the city.  I could leave my little stripmall suburb and go to an art gallery or a museum and not have to stay in a hotel.  I could go to another part of the country for vacation without having to go through the TSA security and take my shoes off and buy new shampoo and lotion when I get to my destination.  I would be able to take my eyebrow tweezers with me.  I could visit my mom and dad and not feel I had to make it a 4-day weekend.

I wish my superpower was a soundproof forcefield.  Then I could go to the grocery store or big box store or the library or a restaurant or ANYWHERE without having to hear everyone's phone conversations.  I could be alone with my thoughts while I was in the dentist office waiting for my appointment instead of listening to Loudmouth Suzie on the phone with her girlfriend or Businessman Joey closing the deal.

I wish my superpower was super-strength.  Then I would feel powerful.  I would know I was stronger than those perky size 6's at the gym.  I would feel invincible at the office.  I would be able to open the pickle jar without asking my husband.  I wouldn't have to wait for someone to help me move the couch or table to vacuum or mop up the messes.

I wish my superpower was mind reading.  Then I would be able to understand what in the world makes people do and say the things they do and say.  I would know what in the world my husband is talking about.  I would know what my boss wants me to do.  I would know why my "friend" has blocked me on facebook.  I would know WHAT THE HECK my son is THINKING.

Unfortunately, my superpower is sarcasm.  And sometimes people don't get it.  Sometimes they think I'm being mean.  Come on people, get a sense of humor, for pete's sake.  No really, sarcasm is a lousy superpower.  I'm ready to find my kryptonite and and lose this power.  I think I want the superpower that allows me to say something kind at an appropriate time.  Or, if I can't do that, say nothing at all and smile politely.

Image from

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Streaming sunshine beams

Slushy splashes on black shoes

Where are my flip flops?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I've been taking the medication, tamoxifen, for a month now.  So far, all I can say is "yuk."  The simple understanding of how this medication works is that it blocks any and all estrogen receptors in my body.  By doing this it essentially rids my body of the effects of estrogen.  So, hot flashes, night sweats, super dry skin, crabbiness, dry eyes, and all the other fun things associated with the end of womanhood.  The reason I'm taking tamoxifen is because I score very high on the Gail model of risk and have a high risk for breast cancer.  Now, I don't have breast cancer.  I'm following doctors recommendations and trying this.

Some days I feel HORRIBLE.  It feels like my skin is too tight for my body and I don't want anything to touch my skin.  I don't want my clothes on and I don't want them off.  I don't have a better way to describe this feeling.  I feel itchy, but my skin is so sensitive I can't stand touching it.  Oh well, enough of that.  The other really crappy thing is the night sweats.  I'm TIRED!  This condition makes it very hard for me to sleep through the night.  And, after I wake up, I'm freezing because I'm sweaty and I can't fall back asleep because I'm SOOOO cold.  And, of course, the dreaded hot flashes.  We can call them all the cute names out there:  power surges, personal summers, heat waves.  These SUCK!!  There is nothing worse than being in a meeting with all your coworkers and find yourself drenched in sweat.  Lovely.

I've been thinking about my latest issues at the office.  I think some of it is related to this medication.  Really, my boss hasn't changed.  He's always been a non-confrontational, unsupportive, poor manager.  I, on the other hand, was a woman with estrogen in her body.  Now, we know, estrogen helps us as women to be the nurturers.  We need to be nurturers to be mothers.  I no longer have this nurturing hormone coursing through my body.  And, the fact that I'm an ISTJ doesn't make me the warm, caring person I used to be.  And, my office is in an old building has lousy heat and air conditioning.  My office sits directly over the main boiling water pipe that heats the building.  My office is almost as hot as the sun.  At the same time, I'm enjoying my own personal summer.  Booyah!!

I talked to my doctor and told her about the way this med is making me feel.  We've decided to stay on this medication another month, and to take half the dosage I was on last month.  We will see how it goes.

If anyone out there has any experience, hope or strength to share, it is welcome.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

There is nothing like a couple warm days to make me want to clean the entire house from top to bottom.  I want to get rid of EVERYTHING.  I want clear counter tops and dresser tops.  I want the floors to be clear of every last unneeded object.  I get this feeling, this NEED to clear out the junk, right in my bones.  Where does this feeling come from?  I asked my husband if he felt it too.  He said, "no I don't."  A couple days ago I had the carpets in my upstairs rooms cleaned.  I had to pick up everything from the floor.  Of course, I stashed it all.  In the bathroom.  In the closet.  On the bed.  Anywhere I could find.  Now I'm trying to get rid of all that STUFF.  I don't want to put it back in the piles previously scattered about the rooms.  I have a name for this.  I call it Pile-itis.  It is the disease of stacking stuff upon stuff.  I know I'm not the only sufferer of this dreaded disease.  I know, also, this disease is hereditary.  It is a dominant gene trait.  I know I inherited this disease from my father.  If there was a flat surface in the home of my childhood, my father piled stuff on it.  If there was a design on the floor of our basement, I couldn't tell you what it was.  My father had every square inch of that floorspace COVERED with piles of stuff.  And, don't you dare touch any of it, because he knew just what was in each pile and he needed that stuff.

Jeff Lewis kitchen
Now, as I write this, I am afraid you may think I'm talking about hoarding.  Like the show on A&E, Hoarders.  I'm not talking about ANYTHING on that level.  And, although my desire is to be free of "stuff" like the guy on the Bravo show, Flipping Out.  I don't think I'll ever reach that level either.  Although, I LOVE the look of the empty counters and tables.  So, neither my father, nor I have reached clinical levels of hoarding or compulsion.

Another thing about this condition (I don't think I should call it a disease anymore, because, I'm starting to worry myself and have second thoughts about the whole thing.  I don't have any pictures to prove this, but REALLY, I'm not a hoarder.  Really.) is that it is controllable.  I think the most important thing in controlling this condition is to NOT marry (or cohabit) with someone equally afflicted.  This can cause a problem that very well may involve having a television show come to your house.  Seriously.

I just have a BURNING desire to go home and clean up piles of stuff.  It doesn't happen often, but it does seem to happen at this time of the year.  I also have a BURNING desire to have my husband clean all the crap (See how my stuff is stuff and his stuff is crap.  How did that happen?) out of the garage.  I just hate seeing that stuff as I get in my car every morning.  I really don't like it.  Kind of hate it, but not enough to nag him about this.  Remember, I'm a dissertation widow.   He just writes and works and writes and works.

The one good thing about this urge to clean is that it doesn't seem to last too long.  It seems to last about a month.  And, if the weather turns cold, maybe not that long.  So, strike while the iron is hot.  Clean clean and clean.  This too shall pass.

Btw, in May I HAVE to wash all the windows.  Crazy, huh?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Be happy or stick gum in my hair?

I'm making up my mind to be happy.  This is harder than it sounds.  I was reading the blogs from some of the Positive People on the right side of my blog and I got a little perspective.  I don't want to be a debbie downer.  I want to be a positive person.  What would a positive person do?  For one thing, they wouldn't wallow in their anger.  There is a quote from the Vivi character in the movie Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.  She says, "...You know how I am, I take a problem and chew on it until all the flavor's gone, then I stick it in my hair..."  I don't want to do that.

I want to move in a positive direction.  And lo and behold, my work is offering two classes on communication.  I signed up for both of them.  And lo and behold again, my work is offering a class in communication for management and upper management (my boss) is REQUIRED to take it.  Fingers crossed, we will all learn something.

I'm still going to have the conversation.  I will be respectful.  I will be calm.  I will be forthcoming.  

And I decided to BREATHE today.  For 5 minutes I just breathed.  Quietly... deeply... yoga-like.  Ahhh...  I can't give myself away anymore.  Perspective...  boundaries...  peace...

No gum stuck in my hair.

Now I want to watch this movie.  I LOVE Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock.  I really love this whole cast.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm a secretary

I tried to write a haiku today and there was nothing.  I'm not going to search for some sad way to say how rain and the crappy way I've been feeling lately are related.  I'm not going to pour my self-pity into 17 syllables and think my anger will drop from my shoulders like a too-warm sweater.  It just won't work for me that way.  I'm struggling in a situation of needing to get something from someone.  I need to be validated.  I need to be told it wasn't my fault.  I'm not going to get this from the person I need to get it from.  I've gotten the validation from coworkers, husband, friends and even a therapist.  It's just not as satisfying as getting it from the person that "wronged"  me.  And I keep going back to the thing that makes me mad.  "You've got to push them to do better, happygirl."  This is something I don't have the authority to do.  "Use my authority, happygirl."  You never back me up.  You ask me to make meetings to discuss the issues with the appropriate people, I schedule the meetings, then, JUST when the meeting date draws near you tell me to cancel.  Subject dropped.  No resolution.  No confrontation.

NO CONFRONTATION, on your part.

But, you're happy to ask me to do your confronting for you.  I'm saying NO in my head.  I've even said NO out loud to you.  But, you know my nature is to be confrontational.  You know it is not difficult for me as it is for you.  This is a part of my personality I'm trying to change.  You don't know that.  You don't care about changes I'm looking to make in my life.  You just want me to be the tool you don't have in your personal toolbox.  You know the economy is tough.  You know jobs are hard to find.  You will use me until I break.  Then you will replace me.  In the nine years we've worked together, haven't I earned some respect?  I know "work is work" and "all in eight", but I would like to enjoy the eight hours each day I am away from the home I love.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Ok, it's WAYYYYY past new year's eve and why am I talking about resolutions?  I posted a blog about Tips for a Happier and Healthier Frame of Mind.  How have I incorporated this into my life?  Well, I'm exercising, I'm focusing on the positive and I'm decluttering my environment.  That's a start.  What do I want to say about changes in my life?  Exercise is a tough change.  It is way easier to sit on the couch than it is to get on the treadmill.  I'm trying.  I'm at the gym 3 to 4 days a week.  I want to be there more, but that's where I am now. I'm getting items on eBay every week.  I'm not making the kind of $$ I'd hoped to make, but I'm still making the effort.  This is a dilemma to me.  Should I put these items on eBay or just bring them to the thrift store?  Struggle.  Focusing on the positive... I've got a secret for you...I HATE my job.  My boss is a poor manager.  I struggle with complying with the requirements of my job and the way my boss tries to use me as a tool to get more productivity out of company employees than they provide on their own.  I AM NOT HIS TOOL.  I think I will talk to him about this tomorrow.  Oh well, maybe tomorrow is my last day.  We will see.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Heart You

Happy Valentines Day.  I have to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Valentines Day.  I bought my husband a card, but usually we give each other the same card every year.  We save the card and just keep giving it over and over and over.  I know that sounds kind of stupid, but it's just something we do.  I don't want him to give me roses because they never seem to open and blossom like I think they should.  Their closed blooms always seem to droop and I feel like I've failed at being able to keep cut flowers "alive."  Also, my favorite flower to have in a vase are tulips.  He never seems to be able to find tulips on Valentines Day.  I don't want him to give me candy, because, well... you know, the whole pants thing.  So, this year he gave me music.  He gave me 10 love songs to walk on the treadmill to.  What a GREAT gift.  (actually, I suggested it and picked out the songs), but he helped me download them.  I didn't get him anything.  I made his favorite dinner tonight, spaghetti and meatballs and a salad.  I made a surprise of strawberries and chocolate pudding parfait.  This actually tastes much better than it sounds.

I think it's nice there is a day set aside to celebrate love.  I think it's GREAT my husband and I don't need a special day to celebrate our love.  He makes me feel special and pretty everyday.  I try to make him feel smart and strong everyday.  And then we just laugh and look in the mirror and we know just who we are and we are happy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This week I'm going to be focusing on my new obsession.  I'm going to be obsessing on the goals I have for ME.  These are  personal goals.  They can't be goals I have for others or goals I share with others.  Me, mine, nobody else.  I can't depend on anyone else to achieve these goals.  I can't blame anyone else if I don't achieve these goals.  They are mine.

Why obsession?  I've been encouraged to set personal goals and obsess over them.  Make them the thing that is constantly pricking at my thoughts.  Make my goals the thing that keeps coming to my mind.  I need to write them down and post them places I cannot help but see them.  This scares me a little bit.  I know if I do this other people will see them, too.  This leaves me open to the possibility of others holding me accountable to my goals.  Would this be good or bad?  I don't know.  Right now, it just feels scary. 

Now, what are my goals?  I'm sure this list is not complete, but I have to start somewhere.  Ha ha, I'm feeling a little scared to type them here.  Funny.
  1. Develop a positive attitude and demeanor - this involves smiling more, connecting with people, giving positive reinforcement, looking for the up-side of situations.
  2. Take better care of my body - don't shame myself, eat healthy foods in the correct amounts, exercise it, care for it. 
I start with just these two.  Seems fairly simple.  I should be able to obsess over two things.  I'm not going to worry about results.  I'm just going to obsess on the process.  Just obsess on the goals and what I have to do to achieve them.  It's written down now, so it's a plan. 

Not just an idea in my head. 

A real plan.

Haiku for February

Bright steel blue clear sky

Calm air mocks spring, still freezing
Hail February

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I did the thing I didn't want to do

Yep, I did it.  I bought bigger clothes.  I really didn't want to do this.  I was hoping to diet and exercise my way back into my clothes.  I didn't do it.  They were too tight and I was miserable.  I was getting to the point of not wanting to go out of my house because my clothes were too tight.  This is humiliating to me.

I want to stay positive about this.  How???  I'm really going to have to do some thinking about this.  How can I put a positive spin on this huge fiasco?  Think, think, think.  (Do I sound like Winnie the Pooh?  'cause I could really use some bread and honey right about now.)

Now I can eat more.

This is the very thing I DON'T want to do.  This is the very thing I'm afraid I WILL do because I'm wearing bigger clothes. 

I can still exercise.

I can still use portion control.

I can go out and be among the people.  Now I have clothes that allow me to go out.  Maybe now that I know people can see me again I will have more motivation to diet and exercise.

I certainly feel exposed right now.  This feeling is a bit uncomfortable, but, really, anyone that is not blind can see me and knows my problem.  So, there it is.

On the positive side.  I'm way more comfortable in the bigger pants.  REALLY!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Were does the weekend go?

I know I'm not alone in this thinking.  I am exhausted and it's Sunday night.  I'm getting ready to go to a party to watch the Superbowl.  I'm looking forward to it.  I know it will be a GREAT time.  My team isn't playing, so...  It's fun to be with friends and enjoy a good night out and all the trappings that go along with the evening.

But, I'm tired.  I haven't finished the laundry yet.  I made the snacks I needed to make for the party.  I just finished listing the items I wanted to list on eBay.  I mean I JUST finished.  And now I'm squeezing in a post on my blog.  I'm not doing a good job at any of my "home" jobs this weekend.  Maybe I'm getting old.  Maybe I'm just lazy.  Maybe I waste too much time.  But, I feel like I've been working my butt off all weekend.

It would be fun to find some time to learn how to take and upload photos to this blog.  I'd like to make it prettier.  I'd love to write about some of the deeper thoughts I think during my days.  Instead, you get a little whine.  Maybe you have some cheese in your house.  You can enjoy that while you peruse this submission.  *sigh*

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Connecting with people

This week I'm focusing on how I connect with people.  I think I usually connect with most people quite well.  I think I'm a pretty good listener and I think I'm pretty empathetic to people.

That being said, I have also been told that I can be curt.  This curtness can be perceived as unfriendliness.  I need to work on this.  Fortunately I am blessed to have a good friend willing to walk with me in this process.  She is encouraging to speak in a warmer, friendlier, more positive manner.  

This is going to be challenging for me.  I've been thinking long and hard about WHY this would be a challenge.  I'm a nice person.  I don't want to hurt people's feelings.  I believe I AM friendly.  However, I am an introvert.  Being around people or talking to people for a extended period of time, sucks the life right out of me.  It exhausts me.  I draw energy from time spent in the quiet, even solitude.  Another personality quirk of mine is that I NEED order in my space.  Disorder is very distracting to me.  I can't concentrate in disorder. 

So, what have I learned to improve the way I connect with people.  Well, I learned one huge thing.  And I'm going to share it with you, dear reader.  Sometimes a person like me, an introvert, needs a phrase to use in situations that can be difficult.  For example, when someone says something to me that I may perceive as condescending, I have a tendency to respond in a curt manner.  Now I have a phrase I can use to put a positive spin on the conversation.  I can say "WOW, that's a GREAT suggestion (or question, or idea)."  I have learned that people hear this as validation of their comment or suggestion.  This surprised me, because I don't hear this comment quite the same way.  My boss says this and I find it patronizing, but there you have it. 

I'm going to work very hard at this.  My intention is to use this phrase at least once every day.  I want this to become a natural part of my everyday banter.  Oh yeah, and I put a post-it with a smiley face and the word SMILE underneath it on my computer screen.  My old post-it said Don't Cuss.  I think I'm moving in the correct direction.


Country-wide storms rage

White-out, power-out, frozen still

Take some time to, breath