Balance

Be a Good Human.

May 22, 2014 · 3 comments

I had a moment in Target the other day.

Just one of those weird little moments where the universe reaches out and reminds you to get off your high horse and slow down, breathe, and be a tolerable human.

You ever get those?

Last Friday, one of our cats went missing.

I’d been a hot mess. As I should be. It put me on edge and drowning in worry and being frustrated that it was one of those “out of my hands” situations. I had all the worst thoughts (I’ve watched a lot of serial killer beginnings type shows, mmkay?) and it was eating me alive that all I could do was obsessively notify everyone on this half of the planet to be sure if they found him, they’d know to call me — but that I had zero control over whether someone WOULD find him or that zero harm had befallen him.

So my daily mission was endless flyers, endless emails to postings and shelters and rescues and vets, and endless papering of neighborhoods.

I was on such a mission on Monday. All I wanted in the world was to get home so we could assemble giant, laminated, BRING HIM HOME yard signs and then plaster the entire neighborhood with them. But I needed to get gas first. And then I needed to go to Target because we were out of tape for more signs. And I left work behind schedule.

Target was PACKED. My frustration rose. I popped into the only feasible line, the 10 Items or Less lane. There was only a mom and her teenage son in front of me and they were being handed their receipt. I WAS IN LUCK.

Except the cashier, a kid in his mid-20s whose lines I have avoided whenever possible because he will talk to each person for six hours and you will literally stand there for 5-10 minutes after someone gets their receipt, waiting for him to shut up long enough so that they can leave and you can buy your tampons and GTFO.

So he’s asking the kid about his big college plans and the kid is answering, and they’re yammering on, and it’s all I can do to not tap my foot and roll my eyes and sigh loudly and BE THAT PERSON that I never am. I am usually an angel. But CAN YOU HURRY THIS UP BECAUSE OMG MY CAT IS OUT IN THE BIG WORLD WITHOUT ME AND I HAVE SIGNS TO MAKE AND NO ONE CARES. When I hear the cashier say he’ll be moving to another city to attend classes at this one college, because they offer the “best classes for my autism.”

PUNCH to the Be-A-Human-Face.

So this kid, in all his awkward social glory and over-chatting weirdness, is autistic. And, likely, these elongated sort of one-sided weird interactions he has with people and all his stuttering stem from that.

And then I felt like an asshole. And my entire mood shifted to grateful, pleasant, understanding. Just this weird physical lightness and a mental reminder that we’re all human, we all talk too much, and that even without the autism, we should all just calm down a bit and let the little stuff slide.

So I put my stuff on the belt and he grins. I grin. And he goes, “How, how, how is your (makes lengthening motions with his hands and I have no idea where he is going with this), your TALL husband?”

Well knock me over.

He REMEMBERS me. AND Sean. Taken aback, I said Sean was good, and he grinned and nodded and followed it with, “I haven’t seen you guys in FOREVER!”

He rang up my tape, and we talked about his anxiety about his upcoming move to the college 4 hours away – it’s his first time away from home and his uncertainty was palatable — and I hoped the lady behind us would let it slide as well.

And then I told him he’d BE FINE, and wished him luck, and headed home feeling just a little bit better about everything.

(And in case you’re wondering, Runaway Cat is now home and grounded for life!)

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Remember that time, two years ago, when I was all … LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS I’M GONNA DO BEFORE I GET KNOCKED UP? Yeah, me neither. I pretty much wrote it and then maybe thought about it two more times.

For funsies, I thought I would revisit the list to see where I’ve ended up, though!

The Before Baby List

  1. Ditch any credit card debt completely. – This is one we actually did, much to our own disbelief and how counterproductive having an Amazon Prime account was. 😉 
  2. Get to a healthy weight – complete with healthy habits. – AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
  3. Get Gizmo to the point he comes when called and is generally not shut down by the presence of a small human. – You know, thanks to luring all the neighborhood kiddos over with promises of petting the other dogs, he’s pretty much at this point – again, to our own disbelief!
  4. Finish lingering home projects. – See response to # 2 above. We have finished many, but Pinterest has created many, many, MANY more.
  5. Save for pre-baby needs – Doneso!
  6. Save for pre-natal and delivery cost – Doneso! 
  7. Visit CA to see family, friends and Disneyland pre-parenthood.  – WE ACTUALLY DID THIS. I assumed this wouldn’t happen but it did earlier this month. 
  8. Visit WA for at least one last pre-baby lake adventure. – We did this in August 2013, go team us!
  9. Have a honeymoon do-over – you know, one where Sean doesn’t get the flu and spend it hurling all over, preferably where we need to use a passport. (est. $3,000) – Not really, unless you let me count the trip to Disneyland… which I do. 
  10. Develop and maintain better time management/organizational skills. – I bought several fancy planners I do not use and endless office supplies, does this count? 
  11. Boost savings – Yes.
  12. Set aside for maternity leave – Yes.
  13. Put more effort into discovering who I am and who I want to be – passions, hobbies, routines – and developing that person. – Um… sure, why not? Does obsessively watching the birds in my backyard count as a hobby?
  14. Expand my local support network – aka invest in friendships. – I’m going to totally do this… soon. Honest. #LifeOfAnIntrovert 
  15. Tuck away for first year of daycare costs – Yes.
  16. Finish my allergy immunotherapy  – NO. I was on year # 2 and doing fantastic when our allergist pulled out of my physician’s office and to continue, I’d have to shell out again for the testing at her new clinic and start alloveragain. I said screw it.
  17. Install Cat Fence In  – We own this. It is not installed.
  18. Better establish date night. – Kind of. If you let eating popcorn and discussing Game of Thrones like a religion count.
  19. Take a dance class with Sean. – Does “in the kitchen” count?
  20. Learn about, and better embrace, both our German & Italian heritages. – In progress, actually! 🙂 
  21. Make an effort to learn our DSLR. – OR sell it on eBay. 
  22. Take a gun safety course with Sean (I grew up shooting guns and yes we own one, but wow could we use a refresher). – Scheduled!
  23. Obtain an additional work certificate (i.e. project mgmt, resource development, etc). – I was going to do this but I took naps instead.

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Then Make it Small.

November 22, 2013 · 5 comments

Have you seen Man of Steel?

No? Go see it.

If you have, you’ll probably remember this scene that wasn’t that vital to the overall plot – yet some resonated with me on a level that is nearly embarrassing. SPOILER ALERT.

It’s the one where little Clark becomes completely overwhelmed and shuts himself into the hall closet at school. When his mother shows up to address the situation, Clark explains, “The world’s too big, Mom.” Her solution? “Then make it small.”

I’ve been feeling a giant desire to make life simpler lately. I yearn to live in a time that I’ve never even existed, before the interwebs and cellphones and this mass push to pay for more things and keep up with the Jones’ – but if we’re being honest, I equally have no desire to ditch my connectivity to the world and go live off the land somewhere in Nowhereville. Sorry, ya’ll, this girl has a smart phone addiction and would probably keel over and die without Google. 😉

But it has manifested in my remembering that this is the only life I get, so I better start building and living the one I want. None of that over-the-top LIVE WITH INTENT and BE AUTHENTIC buzzword stuff here, but just a general reminder that there’s little point wasting energy to maintain negative or flat relationships, put more energy in building positive ones that help me grow into the person I want to be, making time for hobbies that suit my general personality as an introvert without apology or concern for who I might offend with my anti-socialness, to stop spending so much time mentally at war with myself, so on and so forth.

To find ways to worry less – which, if you’ve met me and come face to face with my Over Planner Personality, might be impossible, LOL. I am very much so one of those “All Work and No Play” fools and I’m not even sure why. I don’t like work. I do, however, have a Gold Star Sticker mentality and love the kudos I get for it (and thus, Le Problem). Maybe I measure myself against my productivity, or I feel like I have to somehow make up for all the years I was set on “ALL PLAY” or something, who knows. Either way, I need to remember to HAVE. FUN. IN. LIFE. Because no surprise here, this is all I’ve got and I won’t get to be 30 again tomorrow (well, technically, I will – I’m 30 for 70 more days, but now you’re ruining my clever sentence THAT WAS SO DEEP, damnnit). You get the idea, here, kids. Carpe Diem and all that jazz.

I am slowly trying to just be. Find a calmness in a world of endless rules, ideas, and status quo. A world that pushes for us to do more, be more, have more, MOOOOAR. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

And, so perfectly timed, the lovely Kerri posted this blog post. My general theme of making my world smaller, so that I can in turn do more of what I want (and be bigger in the areas I actually appreciate), isn’t just blog related — but it is a shockingly fantastic post nonetheless and I uuuuuuurge you to read it.

 

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It’s okay…

May 25, 2013 · 0 comments

courtesy of kelseydavisdesign

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Well it’s been a day since I have last posted, no? 😉 What’s happened since, oh, January?

I turned thirty. To no one’s surprise, thirty feels an awful lot like the end of twenty-nine, except that I’m pretty darn excited about it. Not so excited that I want to race through growing older and high-five my forties just yet or anything, but in the sense that it feels like that decade where you can at least more convincingly pretend you know what you’re talking about. 😉

We celebrated one year of being Gizmo’s parents. I haven’t really updated on his progress much but he’s doing really well. Drum roll please…. We even eat out of a dog bowl that nobody is holding. Do you know how excited we were to not need to crouch and hold his bowl twice a day? Our knees are overjoyed! 😉 Granted, if anything in the house is amiss (was that chair there yesterday? is a book missing from that shelf?!), we sometimes find he decides it’s just too scary to do it, but I want to say that 99% of the time, the little dude eats all by his onesie.

One of my BFFs Rachel came to visit. We moved to Te-jas nearly five years ago, and outside of a single vacation together to WA in the Summer of 2008, I have not seen her (nor many of my good pals) since then… And there is something to be said about how much it warms your soul to have someone who knows your story, values your worth, understands your heart, and appreciates rainbow sprinkles on the same unhealthy level you do come and visit. Rachel is one of those folks who just falls into that “Good People” category, one of those just inherently GOOD folk, and her company revitalized me. That’s so cheesy – especially when all we did was spend the weekend watching Magic Mike and baking the world’s greatest sprinkle cake – but it’s true.

I had a low-key 30th Birthday party. It was actually why she flew out, and we decided to ham it up by making the little theme be PINK and SPRINKLES. (Did anyone else just hear Steel Magnolias? Her colors are pink and pink. My cuh-lahs are blush and bashful). We topped an all-sprinkle cake with glittery birthday numbers, made rainbow-dipped pink champagne flutes serve graham cracker-Oreo cookie-whipped cream-pudding, filled mason jars with frozen strawberries and raspberry lemonade, set out 1950’s striped paper straws  hung a bunch of giant pink paper lanterns around the house, and even went third-grade style and put up some streamers. Oh yeah, I said that, streamers. And then I got to introduce Rachel, The Good Person, to folks in my neighborhood whom also get grouped into that category. Merging CA Good People with TX Good People made me happy.

I’m working on my plan to make 2013 the Year of Compassion. There is a wonderful quote from Diane Von Furstenburg that says, “I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.” At the end of the day, when I’ve put in my 9-5 and ran my errands and walked my dogs and tucked myself in, the thing I will find most solace in is knowing that I’m a compassionate person. That I’m not only extending that compassion to other humans, but other animals and the planet itself — and that’s precisely the example I want to set for my future children. I plan to post more on this later, but we’re making those easily changed steps toward embracing a healthier, happier, more compassionate lifestyle. Right now, we’re slowly swapping out things like harsh household cleaners and beauty products with brands that are more ecologically friendly and don’t test on animals (I don’t want wrinkles… but I don’t need a beagle to be skinned and forced to live with a painful rash in a small cage for his entire life just for that sake). Bit by bit, we’ll get there, and be better for it.

What about you guys? How is your 2013 going so far?

 

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