Sunday, November 28, 2010
The road to recovery is long and I'm not there yet, but I have finally returned to the land of the living. I'm finally feeling steady enough to go for walks, take showers standing up, help out around the house and even drive. Restrictions were lifted as of this past Thursday, but I still wasn't ready to do many things. I think I just needed to get the pain pills out of my system. They did NOT make me feel good. They masked the pain for a while, but the side effects made me feel dizzy and sick to my stomach. Now I am taking Aleve for the pain and while I'm still in a good bit of pain, it is so nice to not feel like I'm going to vomit or faint at any given moment.
I return to work tomorrow so I must drive back to Spokane tonight. It's bittersweet. I've never had someone take such amazing care of me. I'm going to miss seeing Ken every day and being there when he gets off work. I really enjoy living alone, but it is sometimes too quiet and too lonely. On the other hand, I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine, being able to go out and do things and see friends. I've felt like I've been under house arrest or in quarantine for much of the last 2+ weeks. I hope I don't have too much to catch up on at work. There shouldn't be much because I wrote extensive notes and delegated all the daily tasks to others in the office. I just have this sneaky suspicion that I'll have to fix a lot of mistakes and do things that everyone else forgot about (or chose not to do). On top of that, I'll be training a new employee. I hired an accounting tech who starts my first day back. Should be interesting.
I feel so lucky to have Ken in my life. I know we'll return to our schedule of seeing each other a few days a week (weather permitting), but I just feel a little sad and miss him already. Two years ago today was our very first date and it's been a wonderful two years. I couldn't ask for a better man!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Some say to "just lose weight." I am 5'10" and have been as heavy as 195 lbs and as light as 137 lbs. My breast size has never changed.
Some say to "build stronger back/neck/shoulder muscles" to alleviate the pain. I'm not body builder and I do admit that my upper body strength isn't anything to brag about, but I am healthy. I run, I lift weights, I stretch and the pain is ever-present.
I've gone to the chiropractor for 14 years and my "problem areas" are consistently the same year after year.
I know that they have recently made some changes to bra sizing, probably to make smaller breasted women feel better. In fact, I have a friend I've known since high school who has always been a solid B. She has not changed in appearance, weight or anything else, but now she buys a D cup. I have always fit into the DD - F range and now my bras are GG cup. I still have some older bras DDD that fit just fine, but even the "expert" who did my sizing in March and my surgeon both confirmed that bra sizing has changed.
At any rate, they are big. And although I am a curvy girl and tall and I've always been told I am well-proportioned, I want smaller breasts. I have to wear two bras when I run because I can't find a reasonably priced specialty sports bra in my size. I have grooves in the shoulders and chronic back and neck pain. Because of these health related issues, my insurance has approved the surgery.
That being said, I'm very anxious. I've never had major surgery and the only time I've been under general anesthesia was when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I had my pre-op appointments and hospital registration this past Tuesday. They asked if I had a last will and testament or a power of attorney. They asked if I want to be resuscitated and what next of kin would be authorized to make decisions about my life, death or health in the event I am not able to do so. I know these are standard questions, but it just hit me how real and how serious this is. I'm a little scared.
I'm also nervous for more emotional reasons. I feel as if I'll be having an amputation. These girls have been part of me for so long and although they've been a burden, they are still part of me. I asked my boyfriend the other day if he thinks I'll be disproportionate and he said yes!!! I know he's just being honest, but it really concerned me that maybe he wont think I'm sexy or that maybe I'll look really funny. Currently I am an hourglass and I'm afraid I'm going to be a pear. My butt is another thing that doesn't change no matter how much I exercise. Baby got back! They don't do "butt reductions" and liposuction is not an option. I'm also worried that they'll heal funny or be uneven or that the headlights will point in opposite directions (which is better than pointing down, I suppose). I'm worried that they'll take too much and leave me completely flat or take too little and it wont make a difference in the pain and will have been a waste of time and money.
I know the anxiety is normal. I just keep reminding myself that everyone I know who has had this surgery over the past 20 years has said their only regret is that they didn't get it done sooner. These are women of all different height/weight/proportions and body types. One gal who had hers done about 12 years ago said they turned out mangled. The surgeon did a horrible job and she didn't heal right. Even she said she'd do it all over again! When I think rationally, I know I wont regret it. The downside is that the surgery is painful and recovery will be kind of hard. I'll have drainage tubes in for 4 or 5 days and wont be able to sleep on my side for 2+ weeks or my stomach for 6 weeks. I wont be able to do any exercise for 6 weeks. On the bright side, a breast lift is part of the procedure so my ever-increasingly saggy girls will be perky once again! I get two weeks off work and I'm not allowed to do so much as lift a gallon of milk. They said no cooking, house cleaning, driving (sad), work of ANY sort for two weeks. I'll be forced to relax. Finally.
I just have to keep my eyes on the goal and all the reasons I really want to have the surgery. Back and neck pain will decrease considerably. Exercising will be easier. My golf swing will improve. Men (and some women) will realize that I actually have eyes and a face when they are talking to me. No more black eyes from running or horseback riding. No more downward facing dog boobs. No more $80 bras. I'll be able to shop at Victoria's Secret. I'll be able to find sports bras at every day locations and prices. I'll be able to wear those camisoles with build in bras without feeling like my boobs are being cut in half or spilling out the top. I'll be able to wear button-up shirts. I wont look pregnant in sweatshirts or have to buy larger sizes to fit over the boobs. And did I mention that my back and neck pain will decrease considerably?
My girlfriends are ALL very supportive. My guy friends think it's like slapping God in the face. Ken has known from day one that I planned to get a reduction. He is supportive, but I can see his anxiety and concerns every time we talk about it. I let my ex-husband talk me out of getting the surgery when I was married and vowed to never do that again. The surgery is set for Thursday, November 11th at 7:30 am. I'll be under for approximately 4 hours. So - wish me luck and pray for me, if you will.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I was slightly annoyed at not being able to immediately answer the question and put it out of my mind. During my shower and get-ready ritual, that annoyance escalated to frustration. I posed the question on Facebook and immediately got a number of responses from mothers listing their children or motherhood as the accomplishment they are most proud of. While motherhood is an amazing thing, it is not what I was looking for. Almost anyone can become a parent. Much fewer should be allowed to raise children, but those who do it well and lovingly are certainly to be commended. Other answers included surviving cancer, buying a home, getting and keeping a good job which allowed them to provide good lives for their children, finishing school, passing exams, following Christ, etc. All accomplishments to be proud of indeed! A few of them turned the question back to me. I finally settled on the most obvious answer for the time. I chose the 50-state trip that I took right after my divorce, stating that I gained courage, confidence and faith and completely transformed myself during that journey of healing. I am a very different person because of that experience. I further responded that I'm not happy with that answer and am still pondering the question.
Later that morning, my boyfriend sent me an email in response to that facebook post. He brought up a couple of good points. He indicated that he felt I should be proud of the 50-state trip and I am. It did take dedication and perseverance. Many days I doubted the wisdom of the trip and I often felt like giving up, but my desire to achieve my goal kept me going even though it wasn't the wisest choice I've made from a financial or career standpoint. I'm glad I did it. The other point he made was the influence we have on others or the input we've had on their lives. He said, "Maybe our greatest accomplishments are not ones we are even aware of."
We all come into contact with many people on a daily basis. Some of those people are impacted by our words, our actions and even our non-verbal communications (body language, facial expressions, etc.). It doesn't matter if you are a politician, a pastor, a teacher, a supervisor, a parent, a doctor, a mechanic or a transient. YOU have an impact on someone else. Is that impact something to be proud of?
While, he is right, I'm still feeling unsettled about the question and my inability to feel comfortable with an answer...
Monday, October 4, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Two or three days later, this same lady approached me and said she needed to apologize for something. I couldn't for the life of me think of anything she had to apologize for, but then she explained it was about what she said when we were talking the other day. Still, no clue. She smiled and said, "When I was talking about my new neighbors, I judged them before meeting them. I don't know anything about them except that they are religious and I had no place to pass judgment. They might be wonderful people."
I told her I hadn't given it a second thought but that I understood the spur of the moment judgments. We often make them because of experiences we've had with people with similar belief systems. I told her that I grew up in pentecostal and non-denominational churches and that I am a Christian and love God, but that I, too, have a hard time with other religious people because I automatically expect them to judge me and that I've even lost Christian "friends" because I enjoy wine. She then explained that she grew up Catholic and was very active in her church through high school and knows that just because someone is religious or believes in God, doesn't mean that they are intolerant, judgmental, holier-than-thou assholes. She genuinely felt bad for her knee-jerk reaction to the new neighbors.
This conversation got me thinking. First, I felt respect for this woman. I don't know many people who would have gone back and apologized for their unfounded judgments. Second, I felt ashamed of myself. How many times I have made similar discriminations? Countless!
We "Christians" are often the worst of the bunch when it comes to judging others. We are taught right and wrong, sin and righteousness, but there are certain sins or lifestyles that seem to be weighted differently than others. We are taught to love and pray for others, but we often lose sight of that and instead, we point fingers and look down our noses at people who struggle with certain sins. We publicly lash out at murderers, rapists, thieves. molestors, alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals and democrats. But the church is full of gluttons, liars, cheaters, sloths, covetous people, porn addicts, idol worshipers, domestic abusers and republicans. God didn't list every sin with a rating telling us which is worse. A sin is a sin. Plain and simple. Sin separates us from God. Whether it's lying or murdering, cheating on a spouse or telling a "little white lie" in an interview. We love on those people who are struggling with their food addictions, but we lambaste those who do whatever necessary to feed their meth addiction. We cover up the sexual abuse and addictions in the church while we rebuke homosexuals for their "sexual perversion" when they aren't hurting anyone else with their lifestyle choice.
As much as I pride myself on not judging others, I do. I think it is human nature. We all make assumptions based on outward appearances. Fat. Skinny. Gay. Straight. Rich. Poor. Old. Young. Attractive. Ugly. Color. Ethnicity. Deformed. Disabled. Homeless. Religious. Pierced. Tattooed. Hair style. Facial expression. We form opinions about many people before they've opened their mouth to say a single word. I try to keep my thoughts in check. I pray that God would give me His eyes. I want to see people as He does. I strive to be compassionate and put myself in other people's place. I remind myself of times when I've been unfairly and incorrectly assessed, referenced in a negative light, or even simply misunderstood.
We are called first and foremost to LOVE!!!!! Love the Lord. Love our neighbors. Love ourselves. Love our families. Love our enemies. So why do we spend so much time and energy hating, condemning, criticizing and judging?
Love. Compassion. Charity. That's what it's all about people!
Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." We are instructed not to judge. By doing so, we are sinning and that makes us just as bad as the people we are condemning.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Early last week I noticed that everyone in my office had a "private appointment" in their Outlook calendar and my boss had called my employee into her office and shut the door. That NEVER happens. I knew something was up. I had remembered seeing emails come through asking for "Employee of the Quarter" nominations a while back, but I had deleted them and couldn't find anything that referenced the date. The more I thought about it, the more I poked around. I mentioned my suspicions to Ken and he was clearly unhappy that I couldn't just let it go and be surprised by whatever the "secret" was. On Tuesday, my boss sent me an appointment to attend the commissioners meeting with her since the taxes were to be discussed. I knew that she was attending a meeting that morning with the commissioners regarding the tax so something didn't seem right. I pulled up the meeting agendas and sure enough - the 2:00 meeting started with the public service awards and I didn't see the taxes listed anywhere.
I called Ken on my lunch break and was actually very upset. For one, I knew he was in on the secret and I wanted to know how they got in touch with him. I don't keep his number anywhere in my office and the thought of them snooping in my personal belongings really lit me up. Aside from that, I was dealing some emotional issues that day. I had pretty much figured out the surprise and I really didn't think I deserved to be nominated for Employee of the Quarter. I was afraid that one of my bosses had nominated me and I was transported back to the days of my youth where I was frequently called a teacher's pet, the spoiled one, the favorite child, etc. As it is, I feel there is a disconnect between myself and most of the people in my department. I've even had a couple people in the office "unfriend" me on facebook, one of whom later told me he thought I was a mole or spy and reported his online activity to management. (Of course I'd never do that - work is work and home life/networking sites/blogs are personal business.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm always pleased when someone acknowledges my hard work and being nominated for an award is very flattering. But I believe that awards should be deserved, not given out based on ones popularity. I did not, do not deserve this award. There are people in my department whose stellar performance may mean the difference between life and death. Those are the people that deserve the awards and public recognition. I tried to explain my position to Ken on the phone and he seemed to get angry with me. I couldn't make him understand how I felt.
Sure enough, when I walked into the commissioners meeting that afternoon, there was Ken. He had been invited and rearranged his work schedule to be able to drive over and show up in support of me. Moments later, the rest of my office and some of the supervisors from the Center walked in too. The meeting was called to order and the first item on the agenda was the award ceremony. They read the name of four nominees who all went up to the front, shook hands with the commissioners, accepted a certificate and posed for a picture. Then the HR guy started reading excerpts from the nomination letter for me. Some of it wasn't even true. I was given credit for things I have no control over. There were several things in the letter that I had forgotten I did or things that didn't seem so weighted in my mind, but there it was. I was nominated for and received the Employee of the Quarter (Q2) for Spokane County. I am now in the running for Employee of the Year. I received a certificate and a $100 gift card to Safeway and the office had a celebration for me afterward. An email with my picture went out to ALL COUNTY and I received "congratulation" emails from many people.
I felt like a fraud. I found some consolation in the fact that it wasn't my supervisors who had nominated me. It was a coworker and he didn't intentionally lie about anything. He thought I was responsible for the one task that I'm not and he got a few other things slightly wrong. He is aware of the volunteer work I do for Union Gospel Mission, Blessings Under the Bridge and that I've participated in several other ministry or charity events because I often solicit help/donations/sponsorships/etc. He divulged that information as answer to the question about how the nominee represents or serves the community. Someone gave me a copy of the actual nomination letter and I was deeply touched. I don't do the things I do for credit. I show up to work, do my job to the best of my ability and go home. I goof off sometimes and am not always on task. I get the job done and I take pride in my work, but I wouldn't say I go the extra mile on a consistent basis. I'm no different than most. I am selfish, complain from time to time, project my bad attitude and wear my bad days on my sleeve. I still feel that the award was undeserved, but I accepted it as gracefully as I could. I got some crap about it from people who think I'm a suck-up or a brown-noser and just tried to let it roll off my back. Some were joking, I know. Others... not so much.
I am flattered and grateful to know that I am appreciated and I know that in the big scheme of things, this isn't that big of a deal. I just feel so undeserving and I just wish someone more deserving was recognized instead.
And as far as Ken goes - I'm lucky to have him. He is so supportive of me and I love that about him. He also did a pretty darn good job of keeping this a secret from me. I'm not happy about that because, again, I do not like secrets. But he impressed my bosses and coworker who nominated me. I'm just glad I could tell something was up with him. I know when he is lying so he knows better than to flat out lie, but I think this "keeping secrets" thing was hard on him. That's a good thing. :)
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I'm getting a lot of crap for my injury so far. I've been told I'm immature, stupid and crazy to even think about jumping off a bridge. I had one woman tell her son about my injury to disuade him from ever trying such a stunt. Then she was upset when he told her that was on his "bucket list." I want to know where everyone's sense of adventure went? No, I'm not a teenager anymore. I'm not a kid. I'm a grown woman who, in their minds, should "know better." Ha! Well the thing is, I really am afraid of heights and afraid of drowning. I also love an adrenaline rush and have a strong belief that we must look our fears in the face - and hopefully have a good time doing it. Yeah, I hurt myself this time. But if I hadn't, it would have been awesome! In fact, it was great anyway. I didn't feel the pain until about half hour later. And I had a blast. If I had it to do over again, knowing the outcome, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
I refuse to let fear control my life. I refuse to let it take the joy of adventure away. I refuse to sit on the sidelines of life and envy those who are out there living, playing and having a great time. Risks are meant to be taken. Adventures are meant to be had. Life is meant to be LIVED!
Sometimes I digress. I allow fear to creep in and hold me back - in love, in relationships, in my career, in every aspect of life. But I hate that girl. I've been the scared girl my whole life and I like the adventurous me a whole heck of a lot more. I feel like I've lost her, especially lately, but I think she's had enough of being stifled. Time to start taking more risks, go confidently in the direction of my dreams and live the life I've imagined.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
My mom and my 5 youngest siblings are back in Juneau now and there may be a chance we get to see them. Mom will probably be too caught up in her own drama to care much, but she's never liked any of her children's love interests. Besides, her opinion means nothing to me at this point. And the little ones will love him simply because he's tall. :)
Truth is, I'm very anxious about this trip. In the past, I've experienced anxiety when returning "home" for a visit, but the source of that anxiety was always the possibility of running into the ex and/or his wife. Now, they live in Arizona so the chances of them being up there the same week I am is highly unlikely. I can't really place the source of my anxiety. Maybe it is bringing Ken up there to meet everyone. I've been more excited about that than nervous, but maybe that is the source. It's not that I'm nervous they wont like him. I'm sure they will. Their biggest beef with Alan was that because he was quiet, they interpreted his lack of communication and demeanor to mean that he thought he was better than them. I don't think that was the case, but he was horrible at small talk and maybe he was a bit judgemental at their behaviors. They drink, smoke, get high, party all the time and argue about God and religion in the same breath they cuss someone out. They are a loud, colorful and disrespectful bunch. I think Ken knows enough of the sort that he can handle hangin' with them for a week.
Maybe the source of my anxiety is simply my relationship with Ken. There have been a lot of hints about the future. I've been content to just float for a while, taking it a day at a time. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love. I didn't think we'd make it long after he moved to Moses Lake, but thanks to a lot of effort on both our parts, we're still together. Learning to take life as it comes and live one day at a time without stressing about the future took me a long time. Now with thoughts of "the future" ever present, I'm nervous. What if I take him to meet the family and we break up soon after? It would have all been for nothing. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of breaking up with him. I love him. But I am not blind or stupid. I know how difficult I can be to deal with. I'm a yo-yo. One day I feel like we are very close and the next something happens and I feel we are miles away. I know relationships are like that, but it seems the yo-yo-ing is getting more frequent. This period of our growth is very uncomfortable. I wouldn't blame him if he gave up and walked away.
I read a quote the other day. It said something like, "Love is not looking at one another; rather it is looking together in the same direction." That has been eating at me. I'm not entirely sure Ken and I are looking in the same direction and that scares me. So maybe it isn't the trip to Juneau that is making me nervous, but rather, the big unknown tomorrow.
Well, I'm sure I'll figure it out as I go along. Always do. I guess I should probably start packing. We have to drive to Seattle when he gets off work this afternoon and our flight leaves for Juneau tonight. Forecast calls for rain all week, but I really hope the clouds will part and the sun will shine, illuminating the vast, breath-taking beauty of Alaska!
Friday, June 18, 2010
I held a little baby in my arms today, just over 4 hours old. I LOVE babies! I haven't changed my mind... I don't want one of my own, but holding a precious little life in my arms is an experience that will never grow old. Watching their facial expressions as they sleep, admiring the adorable little button nose and the perfectly shaped tiny red lips, the soft skin, the barely noticeable eyebrows... Hearing the deep breaths and little baby noises... They are so perfect, so innocent, so trusting. It's really too bad that we don't stay that way. This life has a way of contaminating us. It was nice to revel in the presence of perfection for a short while today.
I went to a volunteer orientation at the Union Gospel Mission the other day. I've been serving there for about 5 years now, but the recently started requiring that all volunteers go through this "class." It was interesting to learn the history of the place, but the thing that stuck out to me is the story of the kitchen manager. A childhood filled with abuse, an adolescence riddled with drugs, and adulthood full of unhealthy relationships, prison, divorce, anger and loss. He found hope though. There is a light in his eyes. Everyone has a story. I love volunteering there because it is one of those places where even in the midst of so much darkness, I see love, vulnerability and hope. I see beauty.
Friday, May 28, 2010
I got to thinking about what he said. I don’t like the idea of being tied down or held back from something I want to do or experience. I don’t like the idea of losing my freedom and independence or having to rely on someone. I don’t like having to take someone else’s opinion or feelings into consideration. I don’t want to have to answer to someone and I certainly don’t like my actions having an affect on another person. This is a small part of the reason I don’t want children. I want to be able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it and deal with the consequences (good or bad) on my own. I know how selfish all of this sounds and although not all of my intentions are self-serving, I won’t argue the point.
That being said, I remember the years of random drives, spontaneous road trips and adventures that I was blessed to be able to go on, and feeling so sad, empty and lonely. As much as I loved my freedom and solitude, I longed for someone to share experiences with. While I don’t go on nearly as many “adventures” these days, those that I do go on, I have someone to share them with and I cherish each of those moments and memories.
My life has been rather tumultuous lately with family drama up to my eyeballs, work issue, health concerns, financial struggles, etc. It’s like being right in the middle of a relentless storm. Through all of it, Ken has stood there by my side. He has borne the burden of my frustrations, vent sessions, tears, insecurities, fears and anger. He has remained calm when I am agitated, unruffled in the midst of my own personal turbulence. He has been steadfast and solid. He has been my anchor in this storm.
Maybe an anchor is not such a bad thing. Maybe it is just what I’ve needed. Maybe it has saved me from being carried out to sea. Maybe it has saved my life.
One of my favorite songs in troubled times is “The Anchor Holds” by Ray Boltz. The chorus says:
The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm
The song is referring to God as the anchor and I certainly don’t want to take anything away from that truth, but it holds true for Ken too. I know he’s human and he has and will fail me, but I love him and I'm eternally grateful that he has been my anchor. I just need to find balance in my life!
"A faithful companion is a sure anchor." ~Motto
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I tried to think of the last exciting adventurous or inspring thing I've done and I'm drawing a blank. Don't get me wrong, I've had a lot of crazy wonderful experiences in my life and I don't mean to invalidate those adventures, but I feel like a has-been. How long can I live off the road trip of a lifetime where I was able to visit all 50 states? Or my two sky-diving experiences? Or my years of restless wandering and impromptu trips?
And when was the last time I did anything selfless or worthy of respect? I've been so caught up in the little details of my own life, my family drama and the struggles of my long-distance relationship that I really haven't been a very good friend to those I love. My eyes have been on myself... not others.
A lot has changed in my life over the last two years. I'm thankful for a decent job with good benefits, but it barely pays the bills and doesn't afford me the luxury of being spontaneous or adventurous very often. I still have a seemingly insurmountable mountain of debt and I'm trying to be the responsible one and focus on getting that taken care of. I am blessed with a wonderful, solid, steadfast man in my life. Our relationship has encouraged growth and has broken down walls I thought were impenetrable. But I'm so afraid of losing my identity, independence and freedom. I'm feeling restless and I have to fight the urge to sell everything I own and hit the road again...
I'm just tired of feeling like a fake and a has-been. I'm ready to start living life to the fullest again, but I am having a hard time finding the balance between living a responsible life and a fun, carefree and adventurous life.
Here I'm getting a birthday squeeze!
And here are a few of the people that showed up (minus Lisa and Amanda).
And Lisa and I both had to sit on the pianos while they serenaded us...
A good time was had by all.
Friday morning, Ken and I hit the road in search of a place to camp for the weekend and we found the perfect spot at Albeni Cove in Oldtown, Idaho (about 5 minutes outside of Newport, WA). It was just the two of us and although it was cold and windy, we stayed dry.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
On the brighter side of life, this coming Friday is my birthday. I've always loved my birthday. It is my favorite day of the year. Today, my bosses brought in a cake and some cards and a gift. It was very sweet of them! I'm looking forward to this weekend. I took Friday off so Thursday I'm going to meet up with a few friends for dinner and then we're going out for some Dueling Piano entertainment at Gibliano Brothers Piano Bar. I'm really excited for a low-key evening with good friends! Friday, Ken and I are heading out to go camping. I'm not exactly sure where yet. We had a lot of suggestions and never having been to any of them, it's really difficult to know which suggestion to take. Most of the sites we've looked at online are first come, first served. So, we'll probably just head out Friday morning and see what we can find. The weather forecast isn't looking so great, but rain or shine, it's going to be a great weekend. I love camping! We've let everyone know they are welcome to join us, but I have a feeling it'll be just the two of us... which is fine by me. :)
In other news, I've been getting back into the habit of working out. The first week, I worked out 5 days, which included 15+ miles of running, 9+ miles of biking and two days each of lower and upper body workouts with weights. Lost a big fat ZERO pounds. Week two, worked out 4 days and "golfed" two days. (By golf, I mean, I went to a 9 hole, 3 par course for beginners). I'm two days into week three and I'm two for two. 4 miles running/walking and 9+ miles biking, plus weights, core strengthening and the dreaded lunges. I'm also trying to eat healthier and significantly reduce empty calories. I still haven't seen any weight loss, but I'm hoping that changes soon.
I get to go to Juneau in less than two months. I'm so excited to see my family and for them to meet Ken. Part of me is sad that my mother and little siblings wont be there, but I'm trying to just get in the mindset that Ken will likely never meet them... at least not for several years. But at least he'll get to meet the rest of the family and some friends too. It seems like a lifetime ago that I lived there and although I swore when I left that I would never miss that "God-forsaken town," I find that I really do miss it. A visit will be good... should cure me of that for a while. :)
And on that note, I'm signing off. Time for bed.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Today is different. In the past 3+ months, I've spoken to my mother once for about 5 or 10 minutes. I don't have her phone number or an address where I can send something. She has made it perfectly clear that she doesn't want to be a part of my life right now and that hurts more than if anyone else I know walked out of my life. I didn't even know where she was until a couple of weeks ago! While I now know she is living with my uncle, I don't have his phone number or address and although I could find that information out, I don't know that she'd even talk to me.
Last year on Mother's Day, I wrote a blog about my mom. I hope and pray this is just one of those temporary lapse in judgment or one of those times of poor choices from which she will rise. I miss her more than words can express. She was my confidant, my advisor, my best friend... my mom. While we didn't always see eye to eye, our relationship was priceless to me. It grieves me that she was able to walk away from that. I feel abandoned. I think that what hurts the most is that all of my other brothers and sisters have heard from her. Not often, but at least since she moved to Texas. Why she chooses to avoid contact with me is beyond me.
So, in case you are out there somewhere, reading this, Mom... I miss you. I'm praying for you. I love you. Happy Mother's Day.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The video surveillance showed several people walk by the injured man. Some simply glanced his way and kept walking. Others stopped and gawked, then walked on. Finally, a man rolled him over, noticed the pool of blood under him and hurried away. Eventually, authorities arrived, but it was too late. The man was dead.
A few locals were interviewed and expressed disgust and disappointment that no one DID anything. "What has happened to humanity?" they asked. Many people saw him lying there and just walked on by. No one even attempted to help him.
This man, this "Good Samaritan" chose to "get involved" instead of just looking the other way when he saw the woman being attacked. Maybe he even saved her life! But where was a Good Samaritan when he needed one?
We've all heard the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. Basically, a gang of thieves and murderers beat the crap out of a traveling Jewish man, stole all he had and left him for dead. A priest, a teacher of religion and a Levite all saw the man, but passed by on the other side of the road. Then a Samaritan came along and helped him, regardless of the fact that Jews and Samaritans were enemies. I recently heard it said that the thing that separated him from the other men who passed by was not his courage or bravery, but his perspective. The other men were more worried about what could potentially happen to them if they risked stopping to help. The Samaritan was more concerned with what could potentially happen to the victim if he DIDN'T stop.
I'm sure those people in New York assumed this was just some drunk homeless man, passed out on the street. Heck, living downtown, I see that from time to time myself, but the thing is, even that deserves at least a call to 911.
We live in a "Live and Let Live" culture. We are raised to mind our own business and not get involved in the affairs of others. We put our own needs and concerns above others and we live in fear of what could happen if we get involved.
How many times are we faced with opportunities to help others, to be the hero? How many times do we simply keep driving when we see someone hitch-hiking or a car stranded on the side of the road, out of fuel, with a flat tire or in need of a jump? We are in a hurry so we don't stop. We assume someone better qualified to help will stop, so we keep going. Or we are afraid that by stopping, we are putting ourselves in harm's way. I mean, you just never know what kind of psychopath is pretending to need assistance, but is actually just waiting for an opportunity to kidnap, rape or kill! In reality though, the person in need is just like you and me, just down on their luck.
I hope we all think twice before just passing by someone who needs our help. What if it was me? What if it was you or someone you loved? Wouldn't you want someone to stop and help?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Work has been a little rough lately. Dealing with personnel issues, a payroll audit and some directives that I've had to respectfully disagree with has taken all my energy. I'll be happy when summer comes because even when work life sucks in the summer, I still have a few hours of glorious heat and sunshine to enjoy!
Today hit 80 degrees. I spent my 30 minute lunch break in my car with the moon roof open and the sun beating down on my face. I loved every second of it.
Monday, April 19, 2010
My, how things have changed! I spent a little over an hour nursing the same beer, sitting by an old guy I used to know. Every time I see him, he talks about the Philippines because he knows I lived there for a short time as a child and he was stationed there for a few years. And every time I see him, he reminds me that we share a birthday, although he was born 36 years before me. It was good to see him and Chuck, but I felt out of place, uncomfortable and flooded with memories of a lifetime ago.
Yes, it has only been a few short years in reality, but the girl that I was back then - lost, alone, hurting, desperate for a sense of of worth - I barely remember her. Chuck commented several times on how uncomfortable I seemed to be. All I could think of was how lucky I am to have gotten out. I could have easily turned into one of those girls at the bar, sitting on the same stool night after night, month after month, year after year.
I was rescued though... and although I missed that lifestyle, that place, those people for a long time, I have no desire to go back. I don't see anything wrong with enjoying a few drinks or going out and having a good time on ocassion. That isn't what I'm talking about. I still drink when I feel like it, but I'm at a different place now. I don't need to be out all the time, socializing, running away from my pain and loneliness. I don't need to drink to feel happy or at least numb. I am so thankful that God, through other people and circumstances, lifted me out of that pit I was in. I don't ever want to go back to the person I was.
God truly has blessed this broken road...
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Know that I love you and I pray for you every day. I feel completely powerless and have no idea what to do to help you in your current situation... because I don't even know for sure where you are. But I hope that deep down, you know that your family loves you more than life itself and we would do ANYTHING for you.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Several men in my past have made similar comments. They've explained that by hanging around me, they are inspired to better themselves or to be better versions of themselves. Some of them went so far as to give up certain vices; some started volunteering or donating to charity organizations; some started going to church, living their faith and seeking a deeper relationship with God. Most of them began making positive changes in their lives. The first time I heard such a statement, I was deeply flattered and thought it was the best compliment I could have been paid. However, over time, the positive changes most of them made, have been reversed. They were temporary. Maybe they were inspired at that time and truly desired a lifestyle change. Maybe they were trying to impress me and change into the person they thought I wanted them to be. But regardless of their intentions, their long term actions did not support their statement.
I've heard a similar statement a few times in my present relationship. I know that he genuinely believes what he is saying. He has even made one significant change that I am aware of, but he is still very much the person I met in the beginning. Are there things about him I wish were different? YES! But I love him for WHO he is, in spite of what I consider to be his flaws. Lord knows I have more than my fair share!
If I'm with a man, I am with him because I like the man he is, not because I like the man he has the potential to be. Sure, I hope to be a good influence on all of the people I surround myself with, just as I hope they are good influences on me. I will encourage them, I will tell them when I am proud of them and I will communicate when they hurt me with their actions or life choices. But I do not choose to be with someone so that I can potentially help fix him or change him into something that he is not.
Precious few people in my life have ever made me want to strive to be a better woman (in fact, a few of them had the complete opposite affect on me). On the flip side of that statement, I do know that I am a better person for having known certain people. I make my own choices though, regardless of who is in my life. I choose to live my life to the best of my ability. I want the man in my life to encourage me, to see my potential and push me to set goals and reach them, but love me for who I am today. When I do something that hurts or bothers him in any way, I want him to communicate that to me. I want to better myself, but I want to do so FOR ME... to enrich my own life, subsequently enriching the lives of everyone who is or ever will be in my life, but NOT because I seek approval from a man.
All of that being said, these types of statements now grate on my nerves. I'm at the point where I don't want to know that someone thinks that. I want them to make healthy choices and positive changes because THEY want to better themselves, not because they want to impress me or because they think that is what I want. If someone changes FOR someone else, it's only a matter of time, before they fall back into their old ways - leading to even further disappointment. Actions speak louder than words. Don't tell me that I make you want to be a better man. Just choose to be a better man! When my guy chooses to make positive changes, I am there to support and encourage him, but only time will tell if there has been a genuine transformation.
I know that as relationships evolve, there are adjustments, compromises and a meshing together of two personalities. People become like who they associate with and ideally they change for the better. I'm just at the point where I don't want to HEAR it, I want to SEE it.
I am fortunate to have a good man. And I love him just as he is.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
As a woman and as a Christian with what some call "old fashioned" values, I want the man I marry to be a leader. I believe God has called men to be the spiritual leader of their family - to lead by example, in faith and in love. If I ever get married again, it is very important to me to have a man who will take my hand join me in my journey toward Christ. I want someone who will be strong when I am not; who will pray with me and seek God with me and who will encourage me in my walk with God. And if I do have children some day (heaven forbid), I want a man who will be a Godly father and lead his kids in the way of the ONE true God.
In the absence of a man's desire to follow Christ or step up to his role of the spiritual leader of a family, the woman often tries to take on that responsibility. I have been there myself! I don't believe that is what God intended. Yes, each one is responsible for his or her own actions and their own relationship with God, but it is truly the man's role to be the leader.
I do feel that I am a pretty strong woman. Regardless of the choices of whoever is in my life, I know that I am accountable to God for my actions and I try to hold myself to a particular standard. I'm FAR from perfect, but I do love God and I do have a personal realationship with Him. Like any relationship, sometimes I get lazy, take Him for granted and stray from the path, but I always return to him. It's lonely to feel like I'm on this journey alone sometimes, but I hope I never allow the lack of spiritual leadership in my life to be an excuse to stop following Christ on my own.
I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
But on the inside I can hear her saying...
"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams what about us?
Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone"
(Lyrics from Lead Me by Sanctus Real)
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
So instead of mourning what I lost on this day six years ago, I choose to celebrate the freedom that I gained. Freedom and I have been together for six years today. Happy Anniversary to me!
I've also been working at Spokane 911 for a year today. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but I'm grateful to HAVE a job because being unemployed was incredibly stressful!
Monday, March 22, 2010
1. I HATE the way flour feels on my skin. It makes my skin crawl and my joints ache! And just THINKING about it makes my hands hurt.
2. I can't share dairy products with anyone! Ice cream, cheese, milk, yogurt, etc... I just can't do it. Not even with my boyfriend who I can swap spit with any other time of day. But when milk is involved, it just grosses me out. Milk leaves this mucus-like film in your mouth and when that is shared, it just seems to get thicker and nastier and .... well, I'm going to vomit if I don't stop so enough said!
3. I like to have everything in odd numbers. If I grab a handful of nuts or candies, I must have an odd number. I don't like even numbers.
4. I have to eat yogurt with a plastic spoon. If I use silverware, it seems to give the yogurt a metallic taste.
5. My phone has a little blue star that flashes to let me know if I have any text, picture, voice messages or emails. I hate seeing it flash so I always have to clear it out.
6. I only like to eat with small spoons and big forks.
7. Papers on my desk drive me crazy! I have an inbox for a reason, people!!!
8. I "edit" everything I read and hear. If people only knew how much I was critiquing their grammar, punctuation and spelling, they'd probably never let me read anything or even speak to me.
9. There is a right way to load the dishwasher and if it isn't done right, I have to take everything out and re-do it.
10. My boyfriend pointed out to me a while back that when I eat, I eat one thing at a time. If we are having steak, mashed potatoes, salad and rolls, I finish all of one thing before I start on another.
11. I MUST have a straw in my drink, even my water, if I am at a restaurant or if I'm drinking something with ice. Partly because my teeth are temperature sensative and partly because I don't trust that the glasses are clean and I don't want someone else's lip jizz all over my mouth!
12. I LOVE IRONING! I used to iron everything I wore every day... except undies of course. Shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, work clothes... I also use to iron my curtains and my sheets if I had let them sit in the dryer too long and they wrinkled. I sold my iron and ironing board and broke myself of my addiction in 2004, but when I go to a hotel or when I house-sit, I iron everything I can.
13. I think one of the grossest things ever is when I breathe in someone else's breath. If I yawn and someone's breath gets in my mouth, it makes me want to vomit. If I ever had to have mouth-to-mouth, I'd probably revive only to gag to death!
I know there are more, but that's all for now, folks!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Okay, so I've never had a real bra-fitting before so I was a little intimidated being stuffed in a dressing room with this cute little early-20's, A-cup, 95 lb., brunette barbie doll. She was super nice though and very professional. She asked me what size I normally wear so I told her a 36/38 DD/DDD. After bringing in a fit-bra and me not even coming close to being able to squeeze the girls in, she politely excused herself to go find a bigger size. The next one she brought in fit almost perfectly and she said "I wont even tell you what size this is unless you want me to." I assumed it would be a little bigger than what I was currently wearing so I guessed an "F." How she didn't bust up laughing in my face, I'll never know. She looked at me and said, "No, you are an H. H for Hottie!" I almost cried. After bringing in several H cups and all of them being too big for me, I found a little consolation in the fact that I am actually a G cup. That little rise above dispair ended after trying on 8 or 10 bras and realizing that the cheapest one was almost $70! The whole experience was heart-breaking and just confirmed my decision to bite the bullet and get a breast reduction. If all goes as planned, I'll be getting the surgery this fall! A 36/G is just way too big. Although different stores and different brands have different sizing scales, I was unhappy even with the DD/DDD size that I thought I was.
The day got a little better at my hash run. If you know me well, you already know what that is and no, it has nothing to do with "hash" or any illegal substances. It was nice to let loose a little bit, but as I was running, two punk kids saw me and yelled, "hit that mexican asphalt, b!tc#!" Okay, I don't really know what that means, but seriously, where are the manners and simple respect for others? To call a complete stranger a "b!tc#" when she is just minding her own business and not bothering anyone... I still consider myself a youngster (31 here), but kids these days never cease to amaze me with their rudeness, vulgarity and lack of common decency. If you ask me, it has a lot to do with the lack of discipline they receive(d). My dad would have bent me over his knee and whooped my ass until it bled if I was ever rude like that. And then, he'd make me apologize no matter how humiliated I was, regardless of how old I was!
I half-hoped I would see Ken today. I knew his friend would bail on him -- he always does. That is one thing Ken and I have in common; a lot of flaky friends. Don't get me wrong, we've got good, reliable friends too, but we get stood up by others OFTEN. Anyways, I knew the dude would bail so I half-expected him to drive over here since I can't drive over to Moses Lake because I have plans in the morning... but he decided to stay home. I'm sad, disappointed, but that's what I get for getting my hopes up based on assumptions.
Had dinner tonight with Amanda and Sophia... I love those girls. I don't love Chili's, but it was good to spend some time with them. They are always good for laughs and smiles!
And on that note, I'm signing off.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Today we flew to Seattle, took the ferry to Bainbridge Island and one of the bosses dropped me at the hotel while she went to meetings I didn't need to attend. If I had known I wasn't required at any meetings today, I would have worn jeans instead of the cute dress, leggings and heels. What a waste of a cute outfit. Anyway, she was supposed to be done by 6:45, but her meeting when long and she ended up having to attend a Chapter Dinner so I'm on my own without wheels. My options are: smoky casino, smoky bar, smoky restaurant or my comfy non-smoking hotel room, free internet access & tv (but no room service). So here I am...
Speaking of comfort, one thing I love about hotels is being able to set the temperature at MY comfort level without regard to what it's going to do to my electric bill. Hello 75 degrees! And I love turning on the country music television channels and leaving them on ALL NIGHT LONG...
I'm regretting eating that nasty Reuben sandwich for lunch. Now I'm not in the mood for dinner and they were advertising a pretty yummy looking 4-course dinner for $18! Hopefully I wake up early enough for the continental breakfast.
I am indescribably angry with my mother right now. And for those who were wondering why my family updates are public posts, I'm at the point that I don't really care who reads it... maybe someone somewhere will have some ideas or options I haven't thought of yet. At any rate, I don't really know what to do with my anger at this point.
Trying to book our Juneau travel for July. Time for my man to meet my family (what's left of it) and see where I spent my Jr. High, High School and Married years. Even with a $50 companion pass, it's gonna cost over $600 just for airfare. Hopefully we'll be able to find a place to stay and a car to borrow so we don't have to pay for hotel and rental. With all of my siblings' families growing, there are no extra rooms to be found.
This long distance relationship thing is taking its toll on me. Yeah, I know we only live an hour and a half away, but it's getting old. Not to mention the fact that it seems to increase my insecurities. I love Ken... I think he's worth it... Let's just hope I don't fall back into the old "sabotage mode" again.
Almost every day I think of at least two really good blog topics and have something to say, but by the time I get home, I'm done in. I miss being able to express myself.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a breast reduction later this year. Probably in the fall...
I'm weary. (and not just because my boobs are weighing me down!)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Ken knows I love the Oregon Coast so he found a vacation rental in Depoe Bay and booked 4 nights. I have been excited, but the family issues have dampened that a bit. I know I need some time to just relax without the work stresses and family stresses. I drove to Moses Lake Friday night after work. Saturday, we left around noon and drove to Lake Oswego and stayed the night there. Then Sunday we drove the rest of the way to Depoe Bay.
This Valentine's Day was the best I've ever had in my life. We decided to stay in and watched the sunset from the hot tub. Later we cooked pork chops and ate dinner by the fireplace. We exchanged cards and I gave him a new little point-and-shoot camera since his is old and just doesn't take very good pictures. He loved it!
Yesterday we decided to drive down the coast a bit and stopped several places along the way. We visited the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, drove through the historic bay part of Newport, walked on the beach at Ona Beach State Park, and had a late lunch in Waldport. On the drive back to Depoe Bay, we stopped so I could taste a few wines at the Flying Dutchman Winery. We arrived back in Depoe Bay right as the rain started, but decided to walk around downtown and visit a few of the shops and another winery.
It was a great day, full of laughter and easy conversation. I was exhausted by the time we got back. I fell asleep watching the waves.
We both need this to be a time of relaxation and restoration. It's been a hard few months for us doing the long distance thing, both of us dealing with more work stresses lately and me dealing with my family drama.
I've been awake for a few hours and it's been very cloudy and gray. Ken just woke up and I'm seeing a few patches of blue sky. I think we'll cook a big breakfast, but nothing past that is planned.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
One of my favorite quotes is: "I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself." ~Jack London. Like I told a woman today who ultimately decided to "unfriend" me on facebook, if you are offended by me, my entries or the way I live my life in general, feel free to "unfriend" me. It wont hurt my feelings one bit. I need people in my corner who encourage me without judging me, who stand by me through all the ugliness that comes along with being human and who LOVE me in spite of my imperfections. If you are not capable of this type of friendship, I understand and I wish you the best.
Here is my all-time favorite poem. Enjoy.
When I say "I am a Christian"
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not shouting, "I've been saved!"
I'm whispering, "I get lost! That's why I chose this way"
When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't speak with human pride
I'm confessing that I stumble-needing God to be my guide
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong
I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt
When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't think I know it all
I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible but God believes I'm worth it
When I say, "I am a Christian," I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name
When I say, "I am a Christian," I do not wish to judge
I have no authority--I only know I'm loved
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I will no longer fear and dread your bad juju!
I will live you to the fullest and without regret!
I will choose to be happy and grateful for what I have today,
Instead of mourning what you have taken from me.
I will control this day and my destiny!
You have no power over me anymore!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I'm in Moses Lake for the weekend. I'll likely be spending most weekends here. I'm drinking a cup of coffee and writing and it feels good to just relax for a bit. I'm meeting Ken for lunch at Firefly around noon and I brought some work with me that I really should be working on. I have to write a telephone etiquette policy for my office. One would think that 50 and 60 somethings would have enough common sense to know how to answer the phone, transfer a call and take a message. Especially 50/60 somethings who have spent most of their adult life working in professional offices. One would think that common sense would stop someone from transferring a solicitor/telemarketer into the 911 Emergency call center supervisor. Did she really think that the supervisor had nothing better to do? Or transferring a call to someone's voice mail when they are sitting there in the office waiting for that particular call, instead of announcing the call and giving the director the option to take the call or tranfer to voice mail. Ugh!
While I'm at it, maybe I should also write up a Common Sense Training, a Respecting Personal Space Policy and a How Obtuse Can You Be quiz. And maybe even a tip sheet on What Not To Do When the Supervisor is Around (Or EVER), which would include falling asleep at your desk, facebooking or shopping online, bad-mouthing coworkers and superiors, etc.
I truly wish common sense was something that could be taught.
On a different note, THANK GOD FOR TYLENOL PM!!!