Monday, January 31, 2011

Super Storm 2011 (run in a circle and panic!!!)

So a truly huge, ridiculous, super snowstorm is allegedly coming this way by Wednesday. I always try to ignore all the hype for these super-storm events, because more often than not the huge storm either never materializes or passes the area by only dropping a few flakes. Here is the problem, I was stuck in the store with those "preparing". Today is my normal grocery day, my family will also be prepared for whatever happens. However, I was forced to be grouped with the "reactors" (I like to defy classification, but today I could not). The check out person assumed I was stocking up for "the storm". NO, I AM JUST FEEDING MY FAMILY THIS WEEK LIKE I DO EVERY WEEK. Did I say this to the clerk? No. I pretended I was super worried just like rest of the shoppers. I am not worried, at all. Yes, it can snow a foot or more and I still will not be worried. I will be shoveling a lot, but worry will not creep into my mind. My shoulders will be sore, my body may get cold, my iPod may need to be recharged, but no worries. I really do not get why people get super worked up and worried about snow, in the Midwest.

I get why people in the south get freaked by a snow storm. It would be confusing and hard to deal with if snow was not part of the normal winter routine. No shovels, no snow pants, no cupboard full of cocoa, no winter driving skills, all of those things would make for a bad, snowy times. However, we are Midwesterners. We are tough. We can get on with life, no matter what. So let us quit worrying and whining like babies. Whether it snows 6" or 16" it will be fine. We will take up our shovels, or fire up the snow blower and deal with it. In out own quiet and stoic Midwestern way. Remember, there is no whining in snow removal!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Trouble with Trouble

"If you could kick the person in the pants that has caused you the most trouble in life, you would not sit for a month" Theodore Roosevelt

I read this quote the other day, and I liked it so much I posted it as my Facebook status. If the amount of "likes" the quote received means anything, I think many others agree with Teddy's witty truism. Why is it we are often our own worst enemy? When does this start in life? And more importantly, when does this end? If I knew the answer to second question, well, my troubles would be over and I would fill you in as well. I am just that swell of a gal. Judging from watching my own kids, and using them as a general pattern for myself and others, I would say we start causing our own troubles about the same time we start rolling. That is right, when we start rolling. How many times do babies roll themselves under the couch or other piece of large furniture? Countless. How many times does that rolling baby just start fussing until someone comes and rescues them from their plight? Also countless. At some point the baby starts to figure out that she can roll in the other direction and get "unstuck". It takes a lot of getting stuck under furniture before the baby figures out a way to free herself.

The best I can figure we keep rolling through this life getting stuck under couches (okay, these are figurative couches) and sometimes it takes a long time to learn we need to roll in the other direction to free ourselves. Some people will stay trapped under their couch and plead and cry and cast blame for a long time before they find out they can solve their own problems. Some people never find out they can solve their own problems. These people are the saddest of all. Constantly looking to others for the solution and the rescue from all the couches in life. Certainly I am not advocating not asking for help, or seeking solid advice for many of life's major "couches". There is a special strength is knowing you need help beyond yourself. I am more focusing on the person who is overwhelmed by the minor things in life, makes mountains out of mole hills, and generally is the adult baby that can not roll the other way. In short, make trouble for themselves and then place the blame squarely everywhere else. I would like to fix these people, but I can not, so I try to avoid adult babies.

This leads to the question when does this "causing trouble for ourselves" end? My guess is probably at death. Life is just filled with troublesome situations, many of our own making. Perhaps there are a few people that are so highly evolved that life's problems do not bog them down. I do not know these people, but I bet they are not that much fun to talk to at a cocktail party. Most of us are stilled troubled by troubles, and just need to keep rolling, wiggling, squirming, to get out from under the couch. There is nothing wrong with having a life with troubles, as long as you realize that YOU are the cause of, and the solution to, most of the trouble in your life. Just keep rolling and don't forget to roll the other way when you get stuck.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Five for Friday

The problem with letting the business of daily life get in the way of writing a blog is now I have a lot of ideas to write about, but not the time to write the 5 or 6 posts that I wanted to write over the past week and a half. So I am going hit you with some musings from my crazy life. When I say crazy life, please do not think I would (or could) have it any other way. I love every twist and turn, the ups and the downs, the laughter and even the tears, without them how would ever build any character?

  1. Please do not be jealous when I tell you my alarm clock this morning was the sound of a dog vomiting. Seriously. First of all I am not stranger to the sound of horking animals, I have a cat. The dog is bigger, thus the sound is louder and the clean-up is larger. The dog has never vomited before, so I was pretty concerned about her health. After letting her out for "potty business", I was petting her and looking her over. Making sure she seemed okay. Then she bolted over to to her food dish. You see, the Greyhound does not do a casual doggy walk, she bolts around. After staring at her dish, then looking at me, then staring at the dish, then back at me (repeat about seven times), I realized she was fine. You can not keep that dog from her food. Happily I report she is fine. Sleeping comfortably, as is her normal daily routine.
  2. It is freakishly, awfully, wretchedly, miserably cold today. I have no use for temperatures in single digits, and even less use for negative zero temperatures. Sure, the snow is pretty, but lets keep it in the 20's so the snow can stay, but humans can walk around outside without having fingers, ears, or other body parts freezing off.
  3. I am coaching a reading team. Yes, a reading team. It is for The Battle of the Books at my daughter's school. I love to read. I have several books that I need to read that were Christmas and birthday gifts. I am excited about these books, but I can not read them now because I am kid literature. Now I really like kid literature. I have read the Harry Potter series, the Twilight "saga", and several other kid selections. However, now as a reading coach I need to know these kid books pretty well so I can quiz my team. So each night I look at my stack of grown up books longingly, and then pick up yet another kid book. I even read kids books when I am in waiting rooms at the dentist, orthodontist, and even at the hair salon. People ask, "What are you reading?". And lucky me, I get to recommend books for kids.
  4. Now for the public service announcement section of this post. Shingles is not just a disease for the over 50 population. That is an announcement for medical professionals as well. I, most unfortunately, spent the month of December with shingles, that was misdiagnosed, because I am "too young for that" (actual quote from my doctor). More painful than childbirth is how I rate it on the pain scale. The fun part is that it only effects one side of the body. So my left side felt horribly ravaged by nerve pain, while my right side was perfectly normal. It is almost funny now. That statement just proves that I am either very resilient or stone cold crazy. I am going with resilient.
  5. Award season makes me feel like I need to get out more. The Golden Globes and the Oscars make me realize I do not go to the movies enough. Actually, it makes me realize that when I do go to the movies I do not see "award worthy" cinema. Sure I may see something that could win in the animation category, but I can almost guarantee that I have not seen anything that is up for "the best picture" award. Sometimes, after the nominees are announced I may Netflix an "award worthy" film. Maybe, one or two, but generally I have no clue what most of the nominated films are about (and I do not care that much). Sadly, my favorite part of any award show is the "Best and Worst Dressed" recap that comes out the day after the event. Sometimes I wonder if some of the "stars" own mirrors, and sometimes hairbrushes (Helena Bonham-Carter).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still Here...

I promise to write an actual post tomorrow. I am taking a day off from volunteering and general silliness so I can do some of the things I love to do. Reading, writing, and shovelling. Okay, I do not love shovelling, but it is snowing in Michigan so I have a nature imposed exercise program during the winter months.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Keeping Up...

The Kardashians have nothing on my family. Try keeping up with us. Really, I often think I am running behind. The calendar and the lists keep me hopping. Do I think I am different from any other parent? Absolutely not. I am certain that many of us open the kids backpacks and feel dread at another note about an upcoming event, or even worse an event you missed, because the note was wadded up at the bottom of the backpack. Parenting is fraught with guilt. Guilt over missing something. Guilt over feeling apathetic about an event. Guilt over being tired because you have stayed up all night baking for a bake sale. Guilt over sending store bought items for a bake sale. Pretty much you can not win when spin the wheel of parental guilt. No matter what you land on, you will feel guilty. The strange thing about all of this guilt and self-flagellation is the kids do not really care most of time. How do I know this? I asked. My kids really do not care if I do everything at their schools. Sure they like to see me there now and then, but it does not ruin their lives when I can't do something. Here is what they like...getting picked up from school or driven to school once in a while. Both of them have shared that they like riding in the car with just me. Weird. However, knowing this helps erase some of the guilt over the other stuff. I can handle a pick-up or drop-off once a week. Maybe I need to keep up with my kids expectations instead of the PTA's expectations. My kids seem to have much more reasonable standards.

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

What's in a Word?

"Resolution", that is a word we here a lot, maybe too much this time of year. I hesitate to use the word "resolution" to describe the changes I am working to implement in my own life. It seems if you say, "My New Year's resolution is ___________", you almost set yourself up for failure. People expect you to stick with something until around Groundhog Day, or maybe just until MLK Day, then go back to the "old you". Even I have in the past said I prefer most of my friends a little chubby, tipsy, and happy, as opposed to thin, sober, and miserable. I say that in jest, mostly. However this year I have set some goals for myself that involve healthier eating, really just trying to stick to the Food Pyramid, cutting out the junky stuff. Really just doing what is sensible and avoiding the refined sugars. I am not resolved enough to give up fruit, nor do I even think cutting fruit out is a good idea. Hopefully calling this a "goal" will help me on the path to better health.

This realization that my diet needs to improve has led to a major break up in my life. The ending of a long and tumultuous relationship. I decided back in November that sugar was my Achilles heal, so I needed to dump it. However, deciding to breakup with sugar during the holidays seemed cruel. So sugar and I continued to see each other. I was becoming distant, a bit detached. I am sure sugar had an idea that this was going to happen, but perhaps sugar was in denial about how rocky our relationship had become. Sugar would show up at a lot of the places I frequented, parties, treat bags, coffee shops. I started giving sugar the cold shoulder more often, sure we had some "hook ups", a girl has needs. However, as of January 2nd sugar and Allie have broken up. No late night calls, no afternoon quickies, no sugar for me. I know that it won't be easy. Sugar is sweet and hangs out with out some of my closest friends, dark chocolate and red wine. However, I am going to have to let sugar have those friends in the break up. Isn't that how most break ups go, you have to split the friends. So I get fruit, and sugar gets dark chocolate & red wine. I am sure we can keep the split amicable. And thank goodness I take my coffee black.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year--1/1/11

Happy 2011! The new year has begun, well at least a few hours of it, and I am hoping it is full of good and exciting things. I am lucky because I am what is commonly known as "the new year's baby". Okay, really I am no more or less fortunate than anyone else. We all had to be born sometime and I picked January 1st. Once again, not that I really made a conscious decision about that either, but it is what it is. However, because of my January 1st birth date, no matter how long I live, anytime my identification is viewed or a form with blank for DOB is required, someone will say, "Oh. A new year's baby!". It gets old, but it is what I endure. My penance for ruining a New Year's Eve celebration many moons ago for my parents. My children laugh when store clerks check my ID when I make a credit card purchase, and the "new year's baby" comment comes up. They spend the next few minutes calling me "baby new year". I am sure it is fun calling your parent a baby, but I will never know. My mom was born in December, on a non-noteworthy day. My dad, could have been a "new year's baby"---he was less motivated and ended up with January 2nd birthday. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, he should have been more persistent.

Anyway, another year older and standing at the beginning of the new year, I wish you all good health, happiness, and wisdom in 2011.