July 2012 Monthly Quote

Here it is the last day of the month, and getting around to the monthly quote.

Be Bold, Free

and Truthful.

– Brenda Ueland –

I could explain it away that I have no energy around it. It hasn’t inspired any thought or subject to contemplate for 31 days (or 19 since I only see it at work).

I feel as though the summer is moving so quickly. July started out famously here in the PNW, then it got chilly. I want my warm afternoons and more time on the deck! In two weeks my baby goes to her first sleep away camp. For a week. I’m excited for the time to be childless and a couple. Also a bit weepy that this is the next phase of her growing up. Maybe next summer she can go spend a week on the east coast with grandparent(s).

I’ve been focused on actually doing things this summer and not get sucked into the comfort of home. So far we have gone to a concert at the zoo, attended the Bainbridge Bluegrass festival and are going to a movie at Marymoor tomorrow night. We still have more movies and concerts planned. I also want to venture to a farmer’s market outside my home base (out on the Peninsula perhaps?)

I want to enjoy my summer. It’s such a nice time here in the Seattle-area.

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June 2012 Monthly Quote

Don’t be

pushed

by your

problems,

be led

by your

dreams

— Proverb

I have been looking at that every day for nearly a month now. Today, this morning, my brain flipped it over to not be pushed by my dreams but led by my problems. What sort of mental challenge is that? I could rattle off all sorts of things to deal with, my brain feels full. Yet when I actually sit down to write down the things I perceive to be in my way (let’s be clear here, my To-Do list) I’m drawing a blank.

I have said to Norman a few times that we need a wife. Someone to do those errands and extra chores that make me nutty and feel like a drag. I already pay to get my house cleaned and my lawn mowed. My therapist is encouraging me to expand my list to things like the dry cleaners, fixing burnt out lights, and uh…um…see, this is where I get stuck.

Although, quite honestly, some of it is control. Like the laundry – that has to be done a certain way. And truth be told, I like doing the laundry. Folding in relaxing, particularly while watching Cupcake Wars on Sunday night. So laundry, outside of towels and sheets, won’t likely make the list.  So if I spend a few minutes brainstorming…grocery shopping (maybe, Norman really enjoys this), post office, dry cleaner, “essentials” list, replace light bulbs, paint the walls, organize the cupboards (including getting rid of crap), … then there are the items that may be a bit more difficult, wash the dishes (requires daily visit), make doctor appointments (privacy concerns) – gah! I need some clean space to work on this, visualization or something.

Do you pay anyone to do stuff for you? Is there something you would love to pay someone to do, but don’t, to suggest and get me going?

I’m signing off now, and going to the gym. That is one thing I don’t want to outsource, the gym.

Most days anyway

May 2012 Monthly Quote

Life

begins

at

the

end

of

your

comfort

zone

– Neale Donald Walsch –

Today that is feeling a bit hard to swallow. The last few weeks I’ve been working on scrubbing my space, clearing paths and making progress. More so in my personal life as my work life is an hour-by-hour hodge podge of Groundhog’s Day scenario (on the bright side, it is sliding off my back more easily than it has in quite awhile)

Today I feel heavy. Maybe it’s the lack of enthusiasm I have for my job right now. Where I spend most of my waking hours? I’m burnt out on this project, I’m burnt out with the Groundhog’s Day world that this project has morphed into. I’m ready for something new. People know I’m ready for something new. When I go have talks about something New, it helps to re-energize me and move forward. I think I’ll go put some time on my calendar to take a step every day – whether it’s reading the job board, having a coffee or lunch, or researching an area of the business that interests me. It’s time to move forward.

For now though, at 2pm on this Friday afternoon, I’m shutting down and heading to Seattle. I think I’ll go do some shopping or something before my haircut. Then it’s book club. I always enjoy book club. I imagine I’ll be laughing a lot tonight and that will help re-energize me too!

That reminds me, in January my New Year’s resolution was to allow myself Grace. I think this is a perfectly example to embrace that Grace and run with it. Or stroll. Whatever feels comfortable you know?

55 Hours To Singapore, The Afterward

This post has been a long time coming. To blame it on the auction is a cop out. I’m still struggling a bit with this trip (Part 1 and Part 2) that is now 4+ months in my past. I’ve talked about it in therapy. I’ve shared it with friends. On some level it is still haunting me, still allowing it to have control over me. Looks like I have another thing to talk about this week with my therapist…

All through my time in Singapore, and the multiple times I told the story, I was actually laughing. It shocked me. I thought it would be a year (at least) before I could tell the story without my heart racing. Nope – all seems A-OK in the mental front.

The same happened when I came home. I remember going to dinner with one girlfriend and telling her the whole thing. She encouraged me to document this, to get it all down and commit it to my blog (Thanks DN!) She even said how some of it sounds so far-fetched, how could it be real? She was laughing at parts, I was laughing, but you know what? Honestly? On some level it was an out-of-body experience (red flag I ignored). I remember sitting in that restaurant feeling numb. As if the experience wasn’t even mine and somehow I became the Story Teller of a Tall Tale.

Remember that was still early November.

Thanksgiving comes and goes. I was dreading the holidays and “all” the work that has to get done (decorating, shopping, baking, merriment, etc etc etc) I just had this overwhelming heaviness. Which honestly isn’t that much different than a normal holiday for me, this one was more extreme.

Then my birthday came. I love my birthday. I love acting like a Princess and being showered with love and gifts. This year – I had no interest whatsoever. Norman and I tend to pick a “gift” or “experience” as a present to each other. This year I wanted an experience. But I couldn’t say what that was. I was dragging my feet. Norman wanted to make reservations and plans and baby sitters. I just couldn’t make up my mind, I felt paralyzed. Eventually I decided on a restaurant and plans were locked. I enjoyed the meal and time with Norman. I still felt a sense of emptiness.

Christmas was even more difficult. I barely got presents purchased and under the tree. I got to the shipping store by the skin of my teeth for items to arrive for Christmas to relatives out of state. I remember one afternoon looking up at the mantle which gets covered in decorations and picture frames and just wanting to shove it all off onto the floor. Erasing any visual of the holiday or what should be a happy time. I didn’t care what was destroyed – the thought of the destruction made me feel a little better, like I was taping into my anger.

My “New Year’s Cards” were mailed in late-February. I honestly still have 4 gifts in my extra room that haven’t been sent. It’s now mid-March, what do I do with that?! I hid a lot of my depression in auction planning. It was easy to explain away the stress that way.

I had two intense therapy sessions and talked through how this wasn’t a natural or expected occurrence. I was laughingly referring to it as my “PTSD moment”. I then was provided with a different perspective that I am not “disordered”, I am a normal human being processing an incredibly stressful and scary situation. I needed to deal with the reality of what I went through. That feeling scared would be natural. That beating myself up for surrendering my passport – well – I just had to let that go. What was I expected to do? Resist and create a whole other situation? I got the passport back, I’m home and safe and amongst people that love me. I should not be living in the past. So why is it so hard for me to let go?

It is interesting now that the auction is over. I’ve started exploring parts of my life I’ve been missing for the last 2 months. Coming back to this post and updating it with what has been happening or what I’ve been feeling has helped me realized I stuffed this down and ignored it since January. A friend asked me two weeks ago what my next Thing was once the auction was over. After a brief pause and thought of Nothing! I answered training for the Rock & Roll Half I’m doing in June and putting more focus in the next steps of my career. As I’m writing this, I think I also need to add some space for working through my trip. Figuring out how to forgive myself. Allowing a whole lot of Grace around me as I go through it.

This made a whole lot more sense when I started this post in January, it is the quote from that month:

May every

Sunrise

hold more

Promise,

and every

Sunset

hold more

Peace.

–Blessing–

Perhaps I should tape that on my wall, mirror, desk and dashboard. A constant reminder that things can only get better.

I just need to get out of my own way.

March 2012 Monthly Quote

It’s been quite the year so far. If you see me regularly, you have probably heard me say “After the auction” way too frequently. Our PTA Fundraising auction is next Friday night.  Let’s just say it’s been a journey and leave it at that.

There are two posts I want to come back to at some point.

When I can breathe.

After the auction.

Today, I flipped my calendar. That Universe! That funny, quirky, knows-exactly-what-I-need universe that serves up the right message at the right time. Excuse me. That I attract to me…

Relax. Breathe in deep.

Hold it. Let it out.

Loosen your shoulders.

Smile. Close your eyes.

You’ll be surprised at

how many voices you’ll

hear, whispering sweet

encouragement into

your ear.

–Mike Dooley

I am so tightly wound these days I am nearly crying when I close my eyes. Norman is on a project that has him traveling weekly. That is a different kind of crazy for everyone living in the house.

The Kidlet is growing in ways that make my heart melt and my anxiety flare. She has told me a few times how she is almost a “tween”, given me Glam lessons and has started wearing clip on earrings since I refuse to let her pierce hers until she can ride her damn bike! Or turn 10. She is as stubborn as I am. So I guess I know what her 10th birthday present will be (she’s 8 now).

Kate-the-cat has been having some health issues and it’s stressing us all out. She goes back to the vet tomorrow and we are hoping for good news.

In the meantime, I’m going to shut down my computer now. Get in the car, go to a Y-family event, maybe some more work and then sleep.  Tomorrow I see my trainer, have a board meeting, taking the day off from my Paid Job to spend the day on my Volunteer Job.

I should find a few options to breathe deep and close my eyes.

And then keep doing it

Even After The Auction.

November 2011 Monthly Quote

Damn! I didn’t do August, September or October monthly quote?!  What the hell have I been doing?  Oh yeah – my job plus covering a backfill, planning a PTA fundraising auction, traveling to Europe and Asia (more to come on that later) and being sick for 4 weeks straight.  All that can slow a girl’s blog down huh?

So! November quote….

peace.

it does not mean to be in a place

where there is no noise, trouble

or hard work. it means to be in

the midst of those things and still

be calm in your heart.

(unknown)

OK – talk about the universe speaking to me… I honestly had not really read the quote and absorbed it until right now when I typed it out.  After having written that first paragraph. Guess I’m not much at peace these days.

And honestly, no, I am not at peace. Last weekend I put up the holiday decorations. We typically do the tree closer to my birthday. It actually depressed me to put everything out. I have not had that experience before. Norman has been asking about What I want to do on my birthday and I’m avoiding the topic. Which is also unlike me since it is the one time a year I really honestly act like a Princess, eat at least two cupcakes on my birthday and not feel guilty about it.

So – gotta get out of my funk so I can enjoy the coming weeks. Tomorrow is December, let’s see what the monthly quote is then – perhaps – inspiration!

July 2011 Monthly Quote

It’s been quite a while.  Quite!  I was thinking a few weeks ago (yes, that long) that I haven’t been keeping up with the new year’s resolutions.  Is this really news?  I supposed not, but this year I wanted to get back to writing notes, on all the stationary collecting in my desk.  I think the hand written letters are an art form that needs to be kept up in the world.  It meant so much to me growing up to have a pen pal.  So exciting to get notes with pictures or little tokens of love and friendship.  Recently, a college friend from Jersey was looking for a pen pal for her daughter.  I got her connected with someone out here is Washington.  I truly  hope the girls become friends and have that same love of letter writing and quirky local fare to send to each other. 

Live by

the Trinity

of what

is True,

Good, and

Beautiful

Alexandra Stoddard

It’s been a trying 2 weeks for me.  My ass has been kicked around by multiple illnesses.  Last week I had a fever for two days, slept most of that off.  A sore throat that turned out to be strep.  Another little health scare that has turned out to not be as serious as I had thought.  And now I have a head cold.  Frick.  Of course, going to 3 concerts this past week has not helped in my healing.  I think it’s why I have a head cold right now.

It certainly is a reminder to take care of myself.  More than working out or eating right.  I need to figure out how to not be so stressed out most of the time, or perhaps the more accurate way to describe it is not to be so forward focused on what needs to get done.  I haven’t been a manager for 5 1/2 years since I left my old job.  Learning to delegate was one of the more challenging aspects for me.  I’m not really in a role to delegate – but I’m not talking about work, I’m talking about home.

Mostly for the kid.  A few weeks ago she and I cleaned her room.  There was an expectation that she keep it up, within reason, as we promised to update her room.  The baby colors and artwork has served its purpose.  Now she is 8 and ready to move into her tween phase (goddess help us!).  She got a new stereo this week, a real one with actual speakers and docking station for her iTouch.  When it was set up this week I got all nostalgic for my first stereo.  Music has played such an important part of my life, although she won’t be laying on the floor looking at the LP sleeve and learning all the lyrics – it has been great to watch her this past week steal away to her room at night and listen to all sorts of music.  Norman gave her some Bowie, although I haven’t heard that coming out of the speakers yet.  I have heard Storm Large and a mix-CD she got at a birthday party 2 years ago.  And last night – she asked me for Black Eyed Peas!!  There is hope for her yet!  Granted, not sure the Peas are 8-yr old appropriate, but we are getting somewhere.

Anyway – my point is – as parents we need to be better about holding her to household chores.  Like – my goodness put your clean clothes away on Sunday!  Not Friday!  And put them away properly please, don’t just shove them in a drawer.  Oh, and make your bed, empty the dishwasher, feed the cat and water the plants.  That is not too much to ask of an 8-yr old.

I’ve been beating myself up about slacking on that, that I need to be better to hold her accountable.  She’s starting 3rd grade in the fall and needs to start contributing.  Some girlfriends and I were talking recently that kids don’t seem to be as afraid of their parents as when we grew up.  I don’t mean in an abusive way.  I mean that if we didn’t behave or do what expected – that there are consequences.  Like being grounded or TV taken away (in today’s world is that grounded, no Xbox or cell phones?!)  The one that got me every single time was having my stereo taken away.  If my offense was serious enough, I would lose my stereo for a week.  It killed me, I really got the point of what I had done wrong.  I learned my lesson.  I tried to do better.  I need to find that kind of meaningful thing for A – what is going to help teach the lesson so she tries to do better the next time.

I think, to start, we should make a chore chart this weekend.  And a promise statement about what is expected in the house, and any consequences if not upheld.  Yep…think I should go talk to Norman about that…

So – here’s to healing and taking the next steps for positive mental health!