Archive | January 2012

Add a little Sparkle

There are just some things in my life that it would be a shame to do without.  More importantly, there are some people that make my life better, just by being there.  And I generally make it a point to spend as much time with those people as possible, so that my life is as awesome as it can be.

Those are people like my Little, who is very busy, but always makes time to hang out with me.  And we always have a ton of fun when we’re together.  This afternoon, we got pedicures at a new nail salon that we both really loved, and then we had extra time to grab a quick dinner at Panera.  Because I don’t get to see her as often as I like, I always treasure the time we have together.

I don’t know what I’d do without Carlie, whose husband and children I also adore.  She and I have managed to get together on a weekly basis for at least the past year, though if I remember correctly, it started the summer after I graduated.  Whether we go out, or hang out at one of our homes, we always have a great time.  She’s the tiniest bit older and wiser than I am, so I often turn to her for advice on life’s little problems.

Even though we haven’t lived together in almost two years, I will always call Lydia V my “Roomie.”  We had our ups and downs through college, mostly because we lived together in the drama-central sorority house, but we really reconnected after graduation.  She and I have been doing our weekly phone calls for the past year, and I can honestly say that was one of the best decisions ever for our friendship.  Even though we are far apart, I still feel like she’s a very important part of my life.  We talk for hours about literally everything under the sun.

And I couldn’t write this without mentioning my ever-faithful running buddy, Lydia H.  We started running last January to train for a 5k, and we have kept it up ever since!  Okay, that’s not exactly true, because we have had the worst luck getting our schedules and overall health to line up.  However, I wouldn’t get to the gym nearly as often without her, and I always have a better time when we’re there together.  We also get together with our friends Evelyn and Melissa about once a month, and those outings are always a blast!

It’s so nice that I can count on my routine of fun events and people to make my life a little more sparkly.  Just like the blue nail polish on my toes, and the 596/600 points in my biology course right now, sometimes the little things make the biggest difference in overall happiness.

Today I Acted

I may not have gotten out of my pajamas on this lazy Sunday, but I did manage to get some things accomplished.

I closed a credit card account due to fraudulent charges.

I did a load of laundry AND a load of dishes.

I tidied my upstairs (though the “deep cleaning” is still ahead of me).

I studied for my tests this week.

And I wrote a check for my city taxes, to be mailed when I take the dog for a walk in a few minutes.

The rhythm of my life has certainly changed this month.  With the onset of classes, I have more places I need to be on more days of the week.  I am also finally getting back into the running habit, if you count Wednesday, Saturday, and plans to run tomorrow as a “habit” already.  There is also a lot of uncertainly in my family right now, and I’ve already gone to visit my grandparents once this month, with plans to go again this weekend.

I hosted 2 parties this month, which had the unexpected side-effect of making sure my house was cleaner than usual.  Now that that’s over, I was thinking of applying for a part-time job in the medical field, but until I know more about what my grandfather is going through, I don’t want to start anything else new.

It’s funny how you can have both an increase in routine and a decrease in stability at the same time.  Life is never short on curve-balls.

Can’t Make Me

When there is something I do not wish to do, I find that my typical approach is to find the most tedious and time-consuming way possible to do it, and then keep procrastinating until the only alternative is death, figuratively.  For instance, I started trying to study at 9pm tonight.  Three hours later, and I have only finished half of my outline and haven’t completed the associated assignment.  This is also why there are dirty clothes covering my bedroom floor, and dirty dishes from yesterday all over my kitchen.  Oh, and there are clean dishes from last week in the dishwasher.

This is why I often start blogs I only half-heartedly want to write and end up leaving them in perpetual “draft” form.  I can’t help but avoid things, because there is so much more interesting stuff out there to do like finding my old blog from 2003-2005, finally checking Pinterest to learn that I have over 70 followers, and reading half of the Adulting Blog.  Oh, and checking facebook as often as possible.

However, there are times that I am really efficient and great at getting things done.  I can’t quite determine what form of demarcation there is between efficiency and procrastination in my mood.  Perhaps there is a tipping point, beyond which procrastination simply cannot stand up against reason.  There is also certainly a tipping point where procrastinating becomes dull, and the only interesting left in the world is what I SHOULD have been doing for the past two hours.  I rarely reach that point, but it has happened on occasion.

Also, fun story, an “age analyzer” website thinks that 3 of my blogs were written by a person over 30.  Either I have always written like an adult, or that program is whack.

Edit: I did manage to finish the outline and assignment (still an A, though with a couple of stupid mistakes), because I told myself I wasn’t allowed to sleep until I did.  Also, I’ve decided unequivocally that from now on, Friday is my official Day Off from homework.  I might still study on weekends, but I will never, ever be caught doing homework on Friday.  Moving forward, this will also include working past midnight, as I did tonight.

I’m Sorry

This is a message that I want to release into the world, as I would release a feather into the wind.

I’m sorry, mom, for the way that I acted when I found out you were sick.  I’m sorry for questioning whether to come home, even though I did come home.  I’m sorry for thinking that my life out in California was preferable to being there for you when you needed me.  I’m sorry for not always treating you with the highest level of respect when you were struggling to survive.  I’m sorry for not understanding what you were going through, how scared you were, or how much your terminal illness made you regret all the things in life that you were going to miss.

I’m sorry for being always casually optimistic, rather than realistically empathetic.  I’m sorry for not reassuring you when you felt unsure.  I’m sorry for not taking advantage of every single second, and instead wasting time blocking out reality and feeling sorry for myself.  I’m sorry for all of the missed opportunities over my whole life, and any time that I acted as though I didn’t love you as much as I do.

I’m sorry that we only had 23 years together, instead of the 50 we deserved.  I’m sorry that even though you quit smoking for me, it was lung cancer that killed you.  I’m sorry we ever thought radiation was a good idea, because it caused you so much pain in the last months of your life.  I’m sorry that I kept trying make you eat and drink when your throat was effectively sunburned.  I was worried about you, but I didn’t understand what would make you feel better.

I’m sorry for every time I didn’t answer your phone calls over the years.  I’m particularly sorry for those 2 days you couldn’t reach me after your diagnosis.  I know it was unintentional on my part, but that doesn’t make it okay.  I’m sorry I was a frustrating daughter sometimes.  I’m sorry for not making life easier for you, when it was certainly within my power to do more than I did.

I’m sorry for being selfish.  I’m sorry for not always putting family first.  I’m sorry I sometimes valued my stuff more than spending time with you.  I’m sorry for being moody, misunderstood, and generally immature.  I’m sorry that it took your death to give me some of the perspective and the maturity I had previously lacked.

I’m sorry for being careless with my ambitions, my actions, and my time.  Over the years we had together, there is very little I regret more than all the time we didn’t spend together.  I’m sorry for not always listening to your advice.  I’m sorry for resting on my laurels and not being the best that I could be.  I’m sorry for ever settling, for thinking that something was “good enough” when it could have been great.

I’m sorry for all the sunrises and sunsets you’ll miss.  I’m sorry for all of the people you left here, because there were so many that loved you and that are worse off without you.  I’m sorry for the jokes you won’t hear and the movies you won’t see.  I’m sorry that for the rest of my life, I won’t get to share any of those experiences with you.

I’m sorry that I won’t always remember what you taught me.  I’m sorry that I won’t always act as you would have advised me to act.  I’m sorry that I’ll keep growing up, and one day start a family, and that you won’t be part of it.  I’m sorry that I may forget some of the stories you told, and not be able to tell them to my children.  I’m sorry that I’ll have to go through life without you.

I’m sorry that this year I’ve been broken, and unable to fully take care of myself.  And I’m almost sorry that I’m getting better, although that’s not fair to either of us.  I know that you’d want me to get better and be whole again, but it feels like by doing so, I’ll keep losing you.  I’ll never be quite whole again, but I know that I’ll learn to be okay in my new normal.

I’m sorry that each day that goes by means one more day has passed since the last time I got to tell you that I loved you.  I hope, somehow, you still know.

Writing About Life

There are many times in my life where I ask myself why I write…for whom do I write.  Writing in general seems to be for the purpose of being read, but who is my audience?  Since this blog may be viewed publicly, I am keenly aware that anyone in the whole world could read it, and I take precautions to leave out specific names and places.  Or, I only include them if it cannot be directly linked to me or the place that I am living right now.

But ultimately, I am writing a chronology of my own life, to be reread by future me.  Without writing about life, it would be more difficult to remember the events that transpired in my past.  However, there is a tradeoff, because I must take the time to do the recording and make the writing not only practical but interesting.

And there is certainly a bias, as has been pointed out my several friends who read this blog.  My personal bias is to write about positive things, but I also write about particularly negative things, if I can’t get them off my mind.  The result is that this blog chronicles the EXTREMES in my life, leaving out much of the middle-of-the-road, day-to-day events.  Certainly, these events may be considered “less interesting” by readers and myself.  However, what this blog does not do is accurately portray my life exactly as it is now.

As a result, when I go back and read this blog in the future, I will be predisposed to remember only the very good or very bad things that I took time to write about.  I am creating the rose-colored glasses that I will wear when looking back on my own past.  But I don’t know any other way to do it.  I try to have a positive attitude on life in general, so that comes across in my blogs.  If I choose not to write about the mediocre things, it’s just because I don’t necessarily want to highlight those memories.

That being said, this is some of the every-day stuff I’ve been doing recently.  On days when I don’t have scheduled events such as class or social gatherings, I tend to goof off.  In the best case scenario, I do a little work at my own pace, and also take breaks to catch up on TiVoed shows.

I also sleep in, but I do that as much as I possibly can on any given day, because I really believe in the power of sleep.  Because I can afford to, I refuse to give up the luxury of “enough” sleep, because I believe it is very important to overall health.  I may one day be at a point in my life where sleep is compromised for other priorities, and I certainly did not get enough sleep in college.  So right now, given that I can, I sleep to my heart’s content.

I start many little projects, some of which I finish in a timely manner, and many of which I never finish.  I plan social outings, check in on friends, and try to ignore the fact that I am neither dating nor anywhere close to dating.  It’s just not something I have access to right now, and I don’t wish to change my lifestyle just to potentially meet someone.  I suppose this will become more of a priority as I get older, but I will also continue to value my independence, so we will see how it all plays out.

Right now, I am rooted to my community.  I would like to adjust my attitude and lifestyle so that I have the ability to relocate if the opportunity becomes available or it becomes necessary.  I am uniquely settled, but also open to getting unsettled.

I’ll end this now.  I just wanted to keep up the habit of regular posting in 2012.  Next up is the habit of regular running.  Gotta get those endorphins!

Author’s Funniest Home Videos

A common theme of this blog is my ongoing reorganization project.  Nearly a year after I began the arduous task of downsizing the piles and boxes of clutter in my house, I have barely made noticeable progress upstairs.  The first floor of my house is nearly immaculate, with the exception of the closets, which are passable at best.  The upstairs, consisting of a loft (office), and master bed/bath is a disaster.  I’ve made a number of changes to the layout since I started, but to the outsider, it would undoubtedly still look like the habitat of an early-stage hoarder.  This is because my upstairs doubles functionally – if not intentionally – as my attic.   I have no “real” attic for storage purposes, and thank goodness, or else I would never have to face these objects that clutter my life.  Out of sight/out of mind is an act of complacency.  I am seeking to tackle all individual items, evaluate their importance, and decide that most are superfluous.

Among the touchiest of subjects is that of old photos and videos.  The photo project involves scanning each individual snapshot and saving it on my computer’s immense hard drive.  The video project has been more troublesome, because though I knew that it was possible to transfer VHS tapes to DVD format, I did not have the means.  As luck would have it, this weekend I stumbled across a box with a complete DVD/VHS machine; it even had the remote and the directions.  And thanks to my previous organization I was able to quickly locate a cord that would connect it to a TV.  Thanks again to my intuitive understanding of simple technology, and the “if all else fails, read the directions” method, I got the system up and running in under 20 minutes.  Then, it was necessary only to pick my first VHS to test.

In a strange coincidence, I decided to pop in a tape titled “Dad’s 70th Birthday.”  I assumed, since my mom had written most of these, that it was for my grandfather, and I would have been about 5.  Well, a few minutes into the film, it became clear that it was not my biological family at all!  Almost 3 years ago, my recently widowed grandfather married his recently widowed next-door-neighbor, Norma.  As a result of their union, the moved in together, and my mom, aunt Lynne and I helped them get rid of their excess from combining two apartments into one.  That’s the only way this video of that side of the newly formed family could have ended up in my collection.  So, I’m going to be sending that along to Lynne to enjoy.

The next tape was clearly labeled with my name and the year.  However, that says very little about what’s actually been recorded.  Each one I’ve done has been a smorgasbord of events and sound/recording quality.  I think my favorite clip so far is of 3-year-old-me singing some of my favorite toddler songs, and being generally silly.  Two-year-old-me is also pretty cute on Christmas morning, opening presents.  I also love all of the clips of me with my mom, of which there are surprisingly few, because she was usually behind the camera.

It’s difficult to put into words what these represent to me.  I haven’t watched any of them in at least 10 years.  And even though I know it’s me, it doesn’t feel like watching myself.  It honestly feels like more of a history of my mom in the 1990s, because she was the one who organized all of the things I was doing, dressing me, and prompting me to sing or answer questions.  I’m not as emotional watching them as I would have expected…  I’m more curious than anything.  And I’m extremely relieved that the process of copying them has gone so smoothly.  Not only is it saving space to have them on DVD, it’s preserving the memories.  Some of these VHS tapes are over 20 years old, and that material doesn’t last forever.

This recording project has been on my list for years – even before the general overhaul of the house got underway.  It feels so good to finally be making progress towards the completion of this goal.  And I think I’ll plan on having a little home movie showing for my friends and family… Figure out how to compile the “greatest hits” in iMovie somehow.  After all, if I can dream it, I can do it!  Now, must stop talking about doing it, and actually get started!

Poor Unfortunate Soul

Exactly 12 hours after my classes ended Monday, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling severely nauseated.  Throwing up is one of my least favorite ways to be sick, so I often fight it when I first suspect that it’s coming.  However, the only way I can make myself feel better is to get the food out of my stomach.

Since the middle of the night, I have thrown up every few hours.  The only things I’ve tried to eat are a banana, and a few saltines.  I’ve sipped on water, gatorade, and ginger ale, but none of it has stayed down.  I feel fine nibbling and sipping, but within an hour or two, my stomach gets its revenge.

This is probably the most violently sick I’ve been in years.  I’m not really able to move about without feeling light-headed.  And I’m so, so hungry.  The crazy thing about this is how quickly it came on.  I can’t help but wonder if it was something I ate yesterday, or a bug I picked up at the community college.

I think I’m going to have to go to the doctor tomorrow morning (if I’m still feeling bad) because I have classes tomorrow and I don’t know if I should go.  It’s good because I don’t have classes until 11, so I might feel better by then, but I’ll have time to go to the doctor before.

It really just feels so awful to be in this condition when I don’t know how to fix it.