Archive for the ‘Mundane’ Category

They Never Say

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

I’m doing this 30 Days of Truth thing. Today is day 12. You can see where it started here.

Day 12 — Something you never get compliments on.

Hmm. Probably something along the lines of, “Wow. Amy, you really know how to just let go & not overthink/plan things all the time!” After yesterday’s post, it’s probably no surprise to you that I’m a planner.

When Rob & I go away for a weekend, I research the hell out of everything: the local area, the hotel options, the restaurants available, where the nearest Starbucks is, things to do, etc. I make a list & I cross the items off as I go with just about everything I do. When it’s time to buy new electronics or an appliance, it takes me days to comparison shop and thoroughly learn all of the features, etc., before a decision is made.

I’d like to say that it’d be nice to make a rash decision once in a while, but, I really don’t feel like it would be nice. I think part of it is that I spent a good number of years making reckless decisions and paying for it later; it’s turned me off on the whole concept. So now I’ve swung in the opposite direction. There’s a balance in there somewhere, just waiting to be discovered.

Compliments, Oh I Get Compliments

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

I’m trying out this 30 Days of Truth thing. Today is day 11. You can see where it started here.

Day 11 — Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Hands down: my organizational skills. What’s funny is this is also something that can very easily be flipped into a major flaw. Just ask the people who live with me. :-) As with anything else in my life, I tend to go to extremes with this. I’m not sure if I necessarily have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, but I can definitely see a lot of myself in that classification. I can also see where this trait stems from two big character defects: perfectionism & control. Those two seem to go hand in hand for me a lot. Somewhere in my psyche, I believe that if I can organize every item I own and every piece of information that crosses my path, things will be okay. Everything will be in control, and somehow perfect. Intellectually, I know this is a fallacy. I know perfection is an illusion; there’s no such thing. Yet, I still strive and yearn for it on a lot of days. The other downside to having this asset is that I can use it against myself when I’m not being particularly organized. “You’re such a sham. You’re not really organized – you just pretend to be.” The voices in my head don’t tend to be very gentle most of the time, apparently. :-)

The truth is – I am organized. For the most part. I naturally tend towards neatness. I like things orderly. I get stressed out and have a very hard time concentrating when I’m surrounded by clutter. I feel peace when everything is in its place. That’s just who I am. Living with a husband and two teenage boys has really taught me a lot of tolerance and I’ve eased quite a bit in my fastidiousness over the years. My spices are no longer in alphabetical order, for example. However, I do dream about the day when the boys are gone and I can “have my house back”. Allspice, basil, cumin, and dill – I haven’t forgotten about you.

I’ve actually even proposed a barter with a massage therapist friend of mine who has a hard time staying organized. I would come to her house & help her get organized, room-by-room and with her paperwork and computer files, etc., and in return, she’d give me massages. I think in the end she wasn’t really ready to be organized as she didn’t take me up on the offer. It’s something I might consider doing as a side job, though – because I think I’m pretty good at it. Aside from walking into chaos & clutter at the start of each job, I think it’s something I’d really enjoy doing. Wonder how big of a market there is for something like this?

Didn’t Want to Let You Go

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I’m trying out this 30 Days of Truth thing. Today is day 9. You can see where it started here.

Day 09 — Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

There are a whole lot of people who I could write about here. I definitely drifted away from my hometown friends when Rob joined the Air Force and we moved to South Dakota. It was 1992 and things like the Internet, cell phones, and e-mail were a few years away from being mainstream. It’s amazing how much easier it is to stay in touch with people these days. Just thinking about Facebook alone makes me realize what a world of change we’ve experienced in less than 2 decades.

I left behind 3 or 4 good girlfriends in New Jersey when we moved out west. At first, I tried to stay in touch by writing letters. (Via the USPS – the horrors!) We talked on the phone every so often. I visited when I went back home. But all those gaps in time add up, especially at such a young age when change is constant. I changed. They changed. Our lives changed. The adage, “You can never go home again,” holds a lot of truth. No amount of nostalgia can make things go back to the way they used to be. Either a relationship survives the tests of time & change or it doesn’t. I also am a big believer that some people are not meant to be in our lives forever; they’re only there for a season – and that’s perfectly okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. No shame to be had about it.

Today I try to not live in the past too much. I used to pine away for how things used to be, or get upset that my high school best friend & I don’t click the way we used to. I’ve learned that it’s easier on me if I stay in the present and remain grateful for the friends I have today that I do click with, that get me at my core, that know & love me for who I really am. That wasn’t something I always had with friendships in the past. I wasn’t fully able to open myself up to be that vulnerable. I’m still a work in progress, but I know that I’m the best possible me I can be right now and that the friends I have in my life today are spectacularly perfect for me in this season. Things absolutely are as they should be.

Someone Who Made My Life Hell

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

I’m trying out this 30 Days of Truth thing. Today is day 8. You can see where it started here.

Day 08 — Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

The first person who comes to mind here is the guy I used to be engaged to. It seems somehow sacrilegious to post about him immediately after my love-strewn post about Rob, though. Or maybe it’s poetically perfect, so you know I haven’t always had the best man in the world. I don’t really feel like typing about the details of that relationship, though. Here’s the abbreviated version: high school sweethearts get engaged, boy joins Navy & becomes raging alcoholic & cheat, girl keeps taking boy back after being treated like shit and finding out about indiscretions, girl finally gets tired of it and moves on. There you have it.

I’ve had a couple of major instances where friends have really made my life hell & treated me like shit, but I’m not prepared to write about the details of those affairs, either. Aren’t I just so forthcoming today? Sorry!

One thing that’s changed for me over the years is my tolerance for people who don’t know how to treat me right. I’ve had a fair share of toxic friendships that I let linger for far too long. These days, I mostly am able to avoid those types of people & situations all together, or get out of them much sooner. I have better radar & tools for relating with people today. I can spot trouble coming from a mile away and instead of being drawn to it like a magnet, I’m much more likely to run in the other direction now. My life is saner & more peaceful as a result.

I’m sure there will be challenges to come in the future where this is concerned. Hurt people hurt people, after all. Hopefully I’ll continue on my path of least resistance, though, and be emotionally armed for whatever life brings.

Count Your Blessings

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

My mom used to say this to me all the time when I was growing up. “Count your blessings. You don’t realize how fortunate you are. There are starving children in Africa.”

Of course, these sentiments fell deaf on the ears of an ignorant, indulged middle-class white American girl. I honestly thought quite the opposite was true; I had to be one of the most unfortunate people in the world, didn’t I? I mean, my parents were strict and at times physically abusive, we didn’t have a lot of spare change lying around and I had to wear non-name-brand clothing a lot (gasp!). How could anyone have possibly had it worse than me? Okay. Maybe a few people could have possibly had it worse than me. But, not many – trust me!

My, how times and perspectives have changed. Today I count my blessings on a regular basis, and I still don’t think I’m grateful enough. I do frequently question the good fortune of my life, though. How is it that I was not only lucky enough to be born in America – arguably one of the greatest nations in the world – but also, born to parents who loved me unconditionally (albeit in their twisted way at times), born in modern times where I don’t have to worry about when my next bath will be, being persecuted for being a woman, or dying from the whooping cough? I’ve also never experienced racism or bigotry directed at me to a large extent because the color of my skin is white. About the only way I could have been more blessed is if I was born a male to an affluent family. Not that I consider the opposite sex better than my own, but being a female does mean I’m a minority and there are some drawbacks associated with it.

I think about the people in other nations – the women especially – who are suffering atrocities every single day: female genital mutilation, repeated rape, forced prostitution, arranged marriage, starvation – the list goes on. I could have very easily been born to a lifetime of such horror. But I wasn’t. And I need to recognize that fact on a regular basis, lest I find myself reverting to the thought processes I had as a child.

Yesterday we were given some startling and troubling news at work. The company is looking at cutting costs in a number of ways, some of which could have a negative financial impact on some employees. I understand this sucks. The whole damn economy in the US sucks right now. We’re living in precarious and unsettling times. Yet, we still remain fortunate, in my opinion.

The news yesterday was an announcement of some upcoming changes that will definitely be happening, as well as some changes they are only thinking about implementing. The company has a policy of being open with their employees, and I appreciate that, probably more than most given my history. You see, I worked for another company for 8 years whose policies resembled nothing of openness and candor. Everything was clandestine and hush-hush. If there were going to be layoffs, you heard about them as you were being escorted out the door, and those left behind were given shoddy explanations. This is why, even though the news yesterday wasn’t great, I’m still grateful. I appreciate the advance notice and the respect given to the employees here. As an employee, it increases my loyalty and faith in the company itself.

Not everyone has the benefit of walking in each others’ shoes, though, and I’m seeing evidence of that today. There’s a lot of bitterness and complaining going around. My viewpoint seems to be in the minority. I want to preach to certain people the same way my mom did to me as a young child. “You don’t know how good you have it. Count your blessings.” I won’t do that. But, it’s a good thing I have a blog. ;-)

Now go count your blessings. (And thank a veteran!)