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June 26, 2007

The power of ... luck?

I saw an episode of 20/20 recently which focused on luck and whether it was a real thing. Part of the interview focused on the characteristics of people considered lucky because of events that had unfolded in their lives. In general, they said statistics show that people who believe they are lucky actually are luckier than most. It's just a matter of positive thinking, they said. It helps you create opportunities for yourself and can even help you find or discover money.

They showed a tape where money had been left lying in a parking lot, and how it was the people who consider themselves lucky and who are open to possibilities (positive thinking!) who saw the money lying there and got it.

I know, right? It's a pretty awesome thing. By using my brain, I can score some cold, hard cash.

So I decided I'd start some positive thinking and create some monetary opportunities for myself. I'm amazed to say that the system works! In the three weeks since I've seen the episode, I've found 5 cents in pennies on the ground in random parking lots. FIVE CENTS. in pennies. on the ground.

Three of them were on heads.

Perhaps I'm not thinking hard enough. Or being open enough. In fact, in regard to positive thinking, my results show that I may be downright uptight and not open to anything. However, positive thinking leads me to believe that I should keep trying. Because I know I'm a lucky person.

May 22, 2007

Feeling grateful

Yesterday, I had a few moments of thought about how fortunate I am in my life to have so much. I generally forget what being blessed is about and need to remember that more often. I am so very fortunate to have the life that I have, despite its imperfections and shortcomings. i have laughter. I have love. I have family. I have opportunity.

I love my life. I'm glad I remembered not to forget that.

May 17, 2007

The me that you know, she had some second thoughts

I have an unusual habit. I read mommy blogs quite a bit, yet the only thing I have in common with most of the women who write these blogs is that we're all mothers. My children are mostly grown. Theirs are mostly under the age of 5. My son will be 24 and my daughter will be 17 this year - memories of breastfeeding and diapers faded from view a long time ago. I guess I admire who these women are. Perhaps it isn't so weird for me to observe their shared lives, as they now are me, once.

These days I find myself looking forward to the next phase of my life. I want some of what I gave up in my 20s. I missed that decade of freedom that is a rite of passage for most. I traded it for motherhood and getting married to a man who wasn't meant to be my forever. Now that I've found a relationship that works for me and a man who nurtures who I am, I'm ready to become more of the women I envision myself to be. This is an awesome gift.

I am becoming. My life is being redefined every minute that I move towards the person who I've often thought about... that person who gave up a scholarship to college and instead opted for marriage and a family... that person who followed her dreams of becoming a writer... that woman who found a stronger calling with technology and the internet... that person who still wonders a lot about what tomorrow holds for her and what she'll become.

In September, I turn 40. This fall, I am going back to school because I want to experience more of what this world has to offer me. I will take more risks and push myself to grow. I will listen and trust my intuition. I will remember that I am a creator and that anything is possible for my life and for me.

Edge pieces, completed. Now it's time to work on the middle of the puzzle.

August 24, 2006

Shifting Energies

I'm whining a lot this week, so parden me if I make my first entry in this blog in recent months full of me whining.

Where have I been, you ask? Well, in actuality, just really tired of blogging for the sake of blogging. I don't want a blog, I want something different. And I don't know what I want to do on the web yet, but I do have some ideas. I'm just not ready to implement. My website bores me currently. I miss the old days.

I have the blahs. I'm working hard to get out of this and get my butt in gear again and start moving on something... anything. For now, I'll have some additional chocolate.

While I was gone, I travelled to California. My favorite part was when I drove down CA-1 through the Big Sur region. OMG, it was fucking incredible and I want to go back. I also did a lot of other fun things, including becoming embarassed when my mother asked Howie Mandel if he would indulge my desire to rub his head. No deal! He walked off without answering. I've now had a brief tour of several cities in CA and want to go back and see more... this time without my mother and sister. I continue to have the feeling that I was born into the wrong family and in the wrong part of the country. Pictures up soon from CA. And maybe some video!

Speaking of which, I bought a mini DV cam and I've been playing with video. I've just had the blahs so much that I haven't really gotten into the whole editing stuff. I know, I suck. And because I suck, I can get away with ending this entry and moving on with my day ... time to go whore on my RSS feed reader.

Energies will be shifting back this way soon. Peace.

April 05, 2006

The weight is worth it

About a month ago, I added working out with weights to my workout routine. I decided that I would do weights three times a week at the fitness center on campus, resistance training at Curves three times a week and walk when I could fit it into my schedule. I'm still figuring out the cardio portion, and I think I may rejoin the campus aerobics class on Monday and Wednesday nights and use the cardio machines at the fitness center as an alternative. Perhaps then I'll have the perfect schedule that is easily achievable.

I started thinking about weights around the first of March. We have a range of dumbbells at the house, and I mentioned to Jon that I wanted to start looking on Craigslist for a weight bench to buy so that I could have all the essentials for working out at home. I started peeking to see what was out there, but I realized all too quickly that I didn't want to spend a lot of money on said bench.

And then the funniest thing happened: I was driving to Curves one day with my daughter, and while taking my usual shortcut through a nearby neighborhood, I spotted a weight bench sitting on the edge of the lot. I decided that if the bench was still there on my drive home that I would pick it up. Here is video of me driving back through and spotting the bench again:

It was destiny! So I picked it up, brought it home and cleaned it up. It's now sitting in our office/workout room/spare room upstairs. I haven't even used it yet - no need at this point with the fitness center being open and all, but it will come in handy when the fitness center schedule changes and I can no longer find convenient times to workout (this is the biggest issue of having a free fitness center on campus - you can only go when there are no classes and the schedule changes all the time). Thing is, though - I took this as a sign that I was on the right track and that weight training is what I needed to do.

So I've been at it for roughly three weeks now. It would be four weeks now, but last week I was vacationing in Miami and didn't do ANYTHING related to working out unless you count me walking through the airport terminal carrying heavy luggage as exercise. But now, I am already starting to see some changes in my muscle tone.

In addition, this week Jon and I are attempting to pack lunch and eat healthier in general, and doing this has me feeling positive and energetic and quite excited about the changes I'm starting to see. Food is always the hardest part for me, and while it's just as cheap for me to eat across the street at the campus dining hall ($4 for whatever I want - a great deal), I have an extremely difficult time wtih portion control. So bringing my lunch and some healthy snacks will certainly be a positive change for me. Now I just have to keep it up.

My hope is that this combination is what will work for me. I believe I will see results faster and that are better for me than gauging my success by the number that pops up when I step onto the scale. And maybe then I won't lose my motivation to continue eating right and doing what I need to do to get fit. If anything, I'm proud of myself for sticking with my workouts. My New Year's resolution is intact, and my will remains strong. Go me!

Oddly enough, one of the other factors that has really helped me stay on track is buying new clothes. I am not one for shopping and splurging a lot of money on new clothes and shoes, so my wardrobe has been monotonous and boring for many years. I've started to change the way I look at clothing, and I understand now that if I feel good in what I am wearing - regardless of the size - that I will want to continue feeling that way. I'm exploring my more confident side, and wearing things that make me feel this way is a positive step for me. My old mentality was that I would buy this type of clothing when I lost weight/was thinner/smaller/etc. It starts now.

This is an aha! moment for me. I feel the progress being made!

January 05, 2006

Resolutions

I've made a few resolutions this year, only after having succeeded at last year's resolution not to steal anymore Outback steak knives. Yes, I made it through an entire year... many, many meals... without pilfering even ONE of those prized possessions. Aren't you proud of me? As it is, we have enough for twelve place settings. But anyway... this year's resolutions are fairly straightforward and to the point:

  • Read a book a month - Since the birth of the internet, it seems my desire to read books has dwindled and my surfing of webpages has increased. I feel like my brain is turning to goo. I'm sure at least part of it is, anyway. So if I can manage to read something other than a webpage, I'd be really proud of myself. The Reader's Digest that I read in the bathroom doesn't count.
  • Move more, eat less - Gone are the days of wanting to lose weight. Now I just want to feel better. So far, I'm doing well on this resolution. I've walked 30 mins a day since Jan. 1 and have resumed my workouts at Curves. Now I'm just waiting for the good sleep patterns to kick in and I'm set.
  • Travel somewhere alone - I've decided that I enjoy taking small trips by myself. I have no idea what I'm going to do this year. Last year it was Las Vegas. This year... ? Maybe San Francisco... maybe a jaunt to Charleston, SC. Maybe to the beach to visit my father.

See? Those are simple. And I'm already on target. Just 360 more days to go.

November 17, 2005

You've got to put in the hours

Quite often I'm bothered by the sentiments of a lot of my female friends who are married or have long term boyfriends. Not one of them seems to enjoy having sex, or at least that's what I gather from their ongoing discussions about their partner's shortcomings and inability to make them even want to be sexual. The reasons vary, but it seems obvious to me that none of them really likes their partner enough to want to be intimate with them in that way, and when they "try" they don't get out of it what they expect. They work hard to avoid the moment when they are asked if they are going to put out, and really seem not to understand why their partner doesn't understand their perspective on having sex.

I've been in their shoes. I dealt with those very same feelings, so I know how it feels to desperately want intimate moments to feel worth it and satisfying both physically and mentally. I can remember many moments in my previoumarriage when I just cried because I felt so empty inside. It's because I wasn't connected, and I lacked the compatibility with my spouse even to want to put in the effort. It's hard admitting that, but it's the truth.

I wanted something different for myself this time around. I worked hard and continue to work hard at my relationship with Jon. I really do like him, and there are many things about him that turn me on and make me feel like I've won a prize or something. My friends seem to think something is wrong with me, because I regularly spend time with Jon and have lunch dates with him, and I often toss in my two cents at the end of their rantings about sex and their men and say, "I enjoy sex with my husband." I sometimes follow that with the briefest of explanations, "I really like him."

I'm not trying to be superior. I'm just stating the facts. I have nothing to offer in discussions that revolve around sex being repulsive. However, I really do empathize with them and want them to be as happy as I am in my relationship. I hear what they are saying, and I understand that it's a vicious cycle if you stop working through issues and are upset constantly because your partner isn't living up to your expectations (and that's really what the issue is... those damned expectations). I guess I just have very little tolerance for people who complain about this type of thing but don't seem willing to put in the amount of work it takes to make their relationship better. Don't you deserve to be happy in your relationship? I ask them this all the time.

It's not about your partner, it's about YOU. It's all about communication, the ability to say how you feel and ask for what you need, and being willing to put in the hours to make your own happiness. There is no Prince Charming, my friends.

November 03, 2005

Moralists have no place in an art gallery.

I couldn't sleep last night, so I went downstairs and watched a movie called The Shape of Things. It's about this graduate student who is an artist, and she is working on her thesis presentation. She meets this guy, an awkward and shy student, and they start what appears to be a relationship. During the course of the movie, you see him start to change as the relationship progresses, and issues with old friends of his creep up. In the end, she requests that in order to keep her around he needs to dump his old friends. He agrees.

And then it's time for her thesis presentation, entitled, "She loves me not." She talks about how did a human sculpture and picked her subject randomly, using only manipulation to sculpt her subject. She says she took the past 18 weeks of her life and spent time with her subject, making suggestions to him of things about him she thinks would help him - emphasizing that she never demanded anything - and much to her surprise, her subject starts to evolve and change. She reveals a photo of him in the first days of their relationship, and ultimately reveals a photo of him at the present time, and it is evident how much he has changed both mentally and physically. She speaks of how she was even able to get him to agree to get rid of friends, all at the hand of suggestion and how easy it was to get him to do the things she wanted without once saying the words, "You must . . . "

Naturally, he's upset at this turn of events, and he storms out of the room where she is presenting her "art." He later asks her if any of their relationship was real, and she slowly shakes her head and tells him no.

The movie pretty much ended with that, and I was left sitting there at 1:15 a.m. pondering the whole concept of sculpting another person with nothing but mere manipulation. It could happen, I thought. What an interesting concept for a movie.

I went back upstairs shortly thereafter, but I still wasn't able to sleep. Thoughts were creeping in and out of my head, and I finally woke Jon up and convinced him to hug me and give me some lovin'. That was nice, but it took another hour before I fell asleep. I have no idea what my problem was, but I suspect strongly that hormones are playing a big part of it.

I took my time getting ready for work this morning, debating the entire drive in whether to actually drive to work or just keep driving. Tori accompanied me on the stereo, so I drifted into some relaxed place and decided I could come into work and fuck off for an entire day rather than do anything productive. That way if something presented itself and I really didn't want to do it, I could still feign illness and leave early. Otherwise I get credit for showing up and don't have to burn eight hours of sick leave.

I'm feeling out of sorts for the past couple of days, another by product of increased hormone production in my body. I signed up for NaNoWriMo and decided to go forth and try to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. I did it on encouragement from my mother-in-law and an inherent desire to write a book, but to be perfectly honest about it I have the will but lack the motivation. I have submitted 857 words, but my "novel" has no discernable plot, characters or anything else. What the fuck is wrong with me? It's like I'm just sort of passing through this life without really getting involved in it, yet somehow that's okay with me (even though it upsets me).

I'm getting to the point in my life where I'm going to have to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. There's always been this goal of my kids growing up and moving out and then life can begin. Yet here I am less than four years away from that and I'm starting to wonder what the hell I'll do with myself alone in a house with my husband and cats. Why haven't I done more with my life and expanded my interests and made better friends and started being Diane? It's like I have no clue who Diane is anymore. She used to be an angsty unhappy housewife with a great desire to share and express and interact with the world outside of her unhappiness. Now, the unhappiness has been replaced with a great deal of happiness and fulfillment (thank you, Jonathan), and the only thing that is missing is a game plan for the next chapter.

It's an odd place. It's been an odd place to be ever since I got here. There's a line in a Nirvana song (the name escapes me currently and I'm too lazy to look it up) that says, "I miss the comfort in being sad," and oh how I understand that sentiment. It was easy being the old Diane. My angst and my sadness was very familiar and easy to tap into and use as a catalyst for a lot of creative expression. Hell, even talking about it now feels easy and comforting, like I know just the words to use and just the thing to say to describe it. Happiness is a great thing, but I know now that it doesn't necessarily mean contentment, at least not in the context of my life.

I have no idea who I am. I see myself first and foremost as a creative individual, yet I wouldn't call myself an artist. But I should! But I'm scared to do that. I would love to be a writer again, but only in the aspect of it being a creative way to express myself with words - the artist sense of being a writer is what appeals to me. I want people to feel my words and I want to make people feel what I write about. I would love to be a photographer - there have been so many momentsI have captured over the years with a photograph. I want to play on canvas, I want to learn to sew and create great things. The list could go on and on forever.

Yet I sit and think about all of this and never move forward. I'm starting to believe that it's my upbringing and society in general that I'm fearful of challenging. I'm certainly not conservative like many in my family. But at the same time, I am. I admire people who are themselves at all costs and don't care what others think or feel about them. I want to be like that. But at the same time, I don't. I feel judged by my actions all the time, judged by the moralists that I seemingly surround myself with. What the fuck am I doing? Setting myself up for failure?

It's just one of those weeks, I guess.

I miss the internet. I miss my audience. I miss being a bit of an undercover exhibitionist. I like it when people watch what I do. It gives me a thrill just to say that, you know.

[This post brought to you by Diane's hormones.]

July 12, 2005

Diane, The Bitch

I have been surrounded by a fog of hormones for the past four months that have clouded my vision and made me want to scream to anyone around me, "WHAT'S YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM?" Because the thing about this hormonal cloud is that it provides me with the false illusion that it's everyone else and not me. Like, how the hell did everyone else get so stupid all of a sudden?

Morons.

Lucky for me and my marriage and my friendships that it's dissipating and should be a distant memory in the not too distant future. Without going into specifics, let's just say that because of a choice that I willingly made that I disrupted the even flow of my life. And now, thankfully, I have removed the obstacle which has prevented me from being my usual self - you know, the person who actually enjoys interacting with others.

I now bring you back to my regularly scheduled programming, already in progress. Thanks for tuning in.

March 15, 2005

Darkened Days

The days of March have always impacted me in a negative way, and so there are dates throughout the month that have significant meaning to me and my life. Today is one of those days, and while I won't go into the details of exactly what today represents, I will say that I try not to focus too much on the negative so I don't give it any additional energy. It has enough already, you know?

I've always been optimistic about March getting better, but yesterday two things happened that have moved me internally a little and have made me feel increased compassion and sympathy towards other people because their days were darkened, too.

My friend Joe lost his mother after sitting by her side and watching her health decline for months. I realize how this must impact his life and how it will change him, and I know that facing that type of things isn't ever easy. My heart goes out to him.

My longtime friend Todd and his wife Jackie lost a very special part of their lives yesterday, too. Their cat Opie died after a battle with kidney failure. Opie was the topic of many emails I've exchanged with Todd over the years since first meeting him online in the late 90's. He put together an incredible website that documented Opie's life as well as his and Jackie's lives. The site reveals just a tiny portion of how wonderful these people are and how much they loved their cat. I felt like I knew him, but I never did meet Opie personally. Nevertheless, I feel his loss and my heart also goes out to my friends. Pets add a dimension to our lives that is like none other.

I'm still optimistic that March can be a month that doesn't feel plagued with sadness and spent in remembrance of events that weren't all that pleasant. After all, I'm sure it has had it's positive moments over my years and finding those moments and recognizing them as such is a great way to brighten my outlook.

March 04, 2005

Aches and Pains

I slipped up the other day and told Jon that my inner voice is not a nice voice, that it tells me that I'm not a beautiful person and that I'm fat and don't have it together. This was on the way home from working out and being measured for the March workout campaign at Curves. Let's just say that Girl Scout cookies are representing all over my midsection. Lucky for me, Jon said he still thinks I'm beautiful and assured me of such (since when have I listened to him, though?).

For the past day and a half, I've had a random shooting pain in my left temple that HURTS when it makes itself known. I increased my amount of water intake today, took some decongestants and hoped for the best.

Today wasn't a good day, though. Shit hit the fan all over again and I cried off and on enough that my eyes were tired in addition to experiencing the sharp shooting pains.

After I got home, I realized that I needed something else for my head, perhaps some sinus medication or something. That was when Jon called and mentioned he was stopping by the store on the way home and asked if I needed anything. AT LAST I knew some relief was on the way.

HOWEVER, that was earlier, and it's much later now. I have taken the sinus meds, but the pain is STILL randomly occuring. Grrr. Water therapy it is for now. I think maybe I have the onset of a sinus infection or something. Can I hold out until Monday for the doctor?

My inner voice has been going strong today, filling my head with doubts and questions and making me wonder if I'll ever be happy. I know I need to work on this and try to change this dialogue to something more positive, but DAMMIT MY HEAD HURTS and wow has this been a crappy day.

February 28, 2005

Taking Time

I took today off work to do a few things for myself, including working out and cleaning up stacks of papers that have accumulated over the past month or so. The muscles have now been worked and the stacks sorted through and I've even watched today's Oprah that I recorded. I also pulled out a bag of frozen turkey from Thanksgiving and made a casserole. Aren't I just Betty Crocker?

I'm not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. The environment there lately has really sucked ass, and even being self-involved and trying my best to avoid any interaction with most of the coworkers isn't enough to avoid the ill effects of that place on my psyche. I'm really questioning whether a job change is needed. Bleh.

It's time for spring already. Time for a fresh flowers and breezes that smell promising. I'm ready for the sunshine.

Up next on my agenda: portion control!

February 14, 2005

Happy VD!

I'm feeling a bit guilty because I'm not a big Valentine's Day person - I tend to view it as a commercially generated occasion. Because of this perspective, I don't get into it much and tend to forget that I probably should get some special people in my life at least a little something.

I did manage to pick up a card for Jonathan last week and gave that to him this morning. I asked, even, if he would be my Valentine and he asked me to be his. So I have a Valentine now. Marriage isn't a guarantee of having a Valentine, but it sure is nice when it works out that way. You put the work into the relationship and what you get out of it is Valentine status. Jon and I just happen to believe that it should be more of a year-round thing and that we should always remind each other that there is love around. So that's how we practice it.

Unfortunately, in all my rationalizing about the day and trying to determine why it's not any more special than any other day, I realized that I probably should have at least gotten something for Casey and perhaps my coworker friends (mainly, the group of girls I hang around). And I didn't. But there is time for Casey! And I will create and make her something special. Times have been tough lately for my relationship with my daughter, generally, and I feel like it's very important to show her that I care about her and love her. And I'll ask if she'll be my Valentine, too.

See? I do care. And I'll follow through. I'm just not always thinking about these things ahead of time.

February 01, 2005

Diane Has Left The Building

I took a big leap yesterday and booked a flight to Las Vegas in June. I'm going solo this go-round. My parents went to Vegas last week, and it was their plan to return from that trip and immediately book another one for April. I asked if I could tag along since I have this unwavering desire to travel and just go somewhere, ANYWHERE, and Jon has made it pretty clear that he isn't one for travelling much, especially not to Vegas where it's just a pit to dump your money (hell, that's half the fun to me!). So my parents said sure, we'll set that all up when we return.

Well, they returned and their plans had changed. They decided they wanted to do Vegas again next January because of the weather being so incredibly pleasant and not at all like the previous July when we all went and it was miserably hot. But April?! Come on, April can't be that bad. But their minds were made up.

So last week I found myself in a bit of a funk about the whole lack of vacationing or travelling. I really just am ready to see things, go places, do something different than the daily grind. I need a change of scenery. Jon encouraged me to travel alone if I couldn't find someone to go, and I mulled over that idea most of the weekend. I realized that I was a bit fearful of taking a trip that far away from home alone, but hell, a lot of people do it and why the hell am I so fearful anyway? I think I also had to work past the "but you're my husband and you're SUPPOSED to go with me" thing. (Damn those SUPPOSED TOs - they will fuck you every time!) So I had some internal dialogue to realign and had to get to the place where I wasn't so pissed off about him not wanting to go. I mean, come on, I AM A FUN PERSON!

So anyway...

As it turns out, yesterday I received an email from Independent Air about a fare sale they were having. I checked the rates to Las Vegas, and lo and behold the roundtrip fare was cheap! I double-checked with Jon to make sure he'd be able to watch Casey if necessary and he said he would. So I booked the trip. I'm elated! I'm also very pleased at myself for taking this step towards independence, towards doing my own thing and not being so wrapped up in the supposed tos. All of this is very odd for me considering the fact that I'm married and just now trying this. But my life up to this point hasn't afforded the opportunity for me to just run off and do whatever I want - I've always been very grounded by my responsibilities as a parent and wife and have been tied tight to the supposed tos. But now that Casey is a bit older and Travis is out of the house entirely, and now that I have a husband who fully supports my need to up and go, I can do some of the things I've always wanted.

I can only imagine what's in store for the future! In the meantime, I'm saving my pennies so I can dump them off in Nevada in April. Woohoo!

January 22, 2005

1, 2, ahhhhh . . . freak out!

and that's what i did last night. i was driving home from durham after dropping casey off at my mother's house for the weekend... driving towards home after a long evening of taking care of miscellaneous chores...driving back alone... finally alone. and then it happened.

i screamed. i cried. i shook my fists at the sky. i know that sounds weird, but i actually shook my fists. i talked out loud to the universe about how shitty everything in my life seems lately. i talked about jonathan and his not knowing what the hell he wants from me or with me these days. i talked about my ungrateful, selfish and bitchy teenage daughter who has no idea how fucking miserable i feel when i'm around her lately. i talked about how i don't have any close girlfriends to share this experience with because on some fundamental levels i just don't connect with the girls at work who i'm closest to on a daily basis.

i screamed that i'm just sick of it all. i screamed that it wasn't fucking fair to have so much crap to deal with at once, that i was tired of it and didn't want to do it anymore... that i needed a fucking break from everything and everyone. with pay.

i screamed that i had lost my way, that i wasn't connected, wasn't expressing myself like i once did. i screamed that i was fucking brilliant in my own way and that i missed knowing that and feeling that. what the hell have i let myself become, i wondered.

i sobbed. i talked. i whined.

it felt good to let it out. i felt like i was bursting at the seams. it was a good, therapeutic cry that had been building up for months. jonathan called me about ten minutes into my core dump. i couldn't stop myself from crying and i didn't really feel like talking about it with him at that point. so i told him i would be home shortly and i let myself enjoy the last ten minutes of my drive just finishing up the remnants of my personal rant.

so that, in a nutshell, is how i'm doing.

how are you?

January 11, 2005

Passing Energies

I've had weird energy lately. All these things are happening in my life, seemingly all at once and immediate. I feel this terrific stress in my chest, and on the other hand i feel an excited anticipation.

1. There are issues going on with my daughter that I'm too private to bring up on this website, but they are big and scary and my heart aches. I'm working on solutions and trying to figure out some coping mechanisms in the meantime. I'm guardedly optimistic (but scared shitless!).

2. Jon and I ordered two of the JUST ANNOUNCED TODAY (!!) macminis. We figured one of these would make a perfect desktop computer for Casey and provide us with a level of protection we prefer to have on our home network, and the second one we would be ours to whore around with. My god, we're such whores when it comes to tech gear. SUCH WHORES! All our base are belong to Apple!

3. I have been feeling highly inadequate lately in all aspects of my life except for work. Which is odd because usually it's the other way around. Personal relationships are hard work. And dammit, I have fat thighs and I have to do an extraordinary amount of work to get them trimmed down, least of which is close my fucking mouth at the table. But I've regularly exercising for about a year now, and I still notice that when I'm slack about it, the thighs from hell start reappearing.

4. There is also this weird prickly energy thing going on with Jon. He's been so wonderful to me and with me and for me lately that I know that the prickly energy is me and my stress and that I'm the one wreaking havoc on the relationship lately. I love him so much that I sometimes just look over at the outline of his face when we're lying in the bed with the lights out and I think to myself, "I want to love him MORE." That really is a good thing. Jon is such a different person than most people I know, but deep down he's a good guy with such a big heart. And I'm glad I know that about him.

......

I am feeling some guilt about #2. Okay, I'm feeling more than some guilt about #2, but I'm learning to be okay with it. A little whoring isn't awful, right?

Is it January 22nd yet?

January 06, 2005

Googling For Help

I'd like to consider myself a modern parent, in touch with technology and the trends among the youth of today. I'd like to think that I know enough to have my 14-year-old daughter talk to me and bond with me in a good mother-daughter sort of way. I don't.

It seems communication has broken down between us and her actions lately have been anything but encouraging. I'm officially distraught, and I've been talking to everyone and doing my own bit of research to help me help her help herself. It's perplexing.

Last night I bought a new book, Laying Down the Law. I'm slowly reading through it. I spent this morning looking for answers on Google, typing in combinations that include the words 'teenager' and 'troubled' and 'help' and 'treatment' and 'parenting'. I made a call to the referral line for the behavioral health division of our insurance provider and got a list of therapists specializing in adolescents.

I'm pushing forward with this and fighting for my daughter's future. It's a damning chore, but this is what parents do.. especially modern mothers like me.

December 16, 2004

Old Ben Lucas

Because of my lack of sleep Tuesday night, and because of my ongoing battle with the mucous (speaking of mucous, everytime I type that word - EVERYTIME - I have to look it up to make sure I spelled it right), I took the afternoon off to nap and relax and feel better.

So what did I do? I came home and sorted through stacks of papers, organized bills and important papers and dusted! The dust bunnies have been removed!

I did actually get some sleep, however. I fell unconscious around 9 p.m. and only woke up briefly when Jon came to bed. I slept soundly until 6:30 or so. There's something really crappy about the morning alarm clock going off. But I got up, took a hot shower (it really helps clear the sinuses) and got ready. I was at work by 7:45 after taking Casey to school, sausage and egg biscuit in hand (I never eat the biscuit part, just the sausage and egg part).

The goal today is to stay at work until 5 p.m., because I would so rather be at home doing my own thing. But it is also very slack at work these days, so I have time to putz around all I want. And it's much easier to track how much water I'm drinking while here.

Gotta love the holidays for some reason.

December 10, 2004

Gut Feeling

There are times when my body speaks to me and alerts me that something is amiss and things aren't right. It's a feeling a get, sometimes a rather intense feeling, and I start to immediately pay attention and listen to what it's saying.

As of late, my body has been telling me to STOP SPENDING. Everytime I think of what I have left to do, my stomach turns and I realize why. I only have a few more gifts to buy, so I need to get those done and put the wallet away for a few months. It'll take me a couple of months to pay off holiday debt, and I don't want it to take even longer.

A couple of weeks ago, Jon and I bought ourselves Sharp Zaurus "Personal Mobile Tools". Essentially, it's a big Linux-embedded PDA, but the fucker is big enough that it has to be called a TOOL. Gotta love that geek factor. It measures a little over 6x3 inches and has wireless connectivity to the net and slots for Compact Flash or Secure Digital card expandability. That was a selling feature, as was the price at the time. Sharp has discontinued selling the model in the U.S., so this is the end of the line. It's ok, though. We love the open source features of this thing and plan to be using them for years to come.

While that is the bulk of our Christmas to each other, that is one big chunk of the holiday spending right there.

But as things go, I found out yesterday that I need four new tires for my car. Not a big surprise, mind you, but the timing is horrible. Whatever, I have to get the tires. So there's another chunk of money.

And then there was the bill for the anesthesiologist from my surgery back in July.

The other chunks (LOTS OF CHUNKS!) belongs to my kids and both of our families.

SAVE MODE: ENABLED (ok, soon)

I hate it when I start to feel uncomfortable, but at least I'm smart enough now to know that it simply means it's time to STOP.

December 06, 2004

What Do I Need?

It's a cloudy, drizzly Monday morning. The cantaloupe container I brought to work spilled open in the bag it was in. Now my banana is sticky on the outside from cantaloupe juice, as are my string cheese and roast beef. Gotta love sticky packaging.

Today is one of those days where I find that I'm more introspective than usual. There's a normal ebb and flow in relationships, and like many others, I've figured out that I like it better when it flows. When things are ebbing, I feel like a completely different person, unable to get my bearings quickly enough before I feel the effects of the change.

So the questions I'm pondering today are What do I need? What is it that goes missing when Jon withdraws and focuses his energy elsewhere? Why is it that I feel it so deeply and take it like a personal attack? I logically know its nothing of the sort.

I'd probably feel better if the Christmas tree were up. I may put it up tonight so I can be ready for decorating it with Casey tomorrow night.

Casey has her first home basketball game this afternoon, and I'm looking forward to seeing her play. I remember well when I played and was nervous about every minute I was on the court. I don't miss those days, but I do miss how good it felt to do something positive with my time with a group of girls. I hope she gets a lot of the same out of it.

I drank wine last night. I feel a little heavyish today, and I keep staring at my two empty water bottles hoping they will magically replenish their supply. They haven't, so I must take care of that at once.

I need sunshine. I need strength.

I need flow.

March 26, 1999

stream of consciousness

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i finally let my mind go and decided to write. just sit down here and write and get all this crap off my head for once and for all. i don't know why i want to write something that i can actually share with other people. maybe i like telling stories. maybe i like taking my life and putting it on display for the world to see. but what i know more than anything is that i love to have words depict me, my life, my surroundings, my world. there's nothing quite like the gift of being able to share like this... there's nothing like just saying what needs to be said... there's nothing quite like the feeling of exhiliration that follows a long raging stream of words flowing from mind. i simply can't explain it if you don't get it at this point. the thing is, lately i've not been able to share myself the way i've wanted. i've been in conflict with myself, my life, my everything. all i feel inside is pure rage. i'm screaming but no one can hear me. he tells me he respects me, tells me he loves me for me and not for what i can do for him. and then he takes off his clothes, exposes himself to me in that way and encourages me to do the same. and no, it's not my fault. i realize that immediately. it's his fault... he brought me here, he seduced me with his words, his mind, his life... so the fact that i'm standing naked before him only wanting to give him my heart but instead giving him my soul... well, it's perfectly understandable, isn't it? because i didn't ask for this life. i didn't ask for the decisions i made to turn out this way. how could i have known? how could i not have? i torture myself these days with what ifs and questions about what could have been. i look at the pieces of my life spread out before me and shiver with the realization that THIS is exactly what i asked for. be careful, she used to tell me. you might get what you ask for. and i did, i guess. i can rationalize every decision i've ever made. it was done for him, for her, for them, for you... but never for me. no, never for me. the times when i thought that i could make my own happiness by giving you myself... well, i never realized that i gave you everything. and it's sad when i look at the dusty pieces of my soul spread across the floor... and it's even worse when i realize that i'm the only one who cares and i really don't give a shit either. ashes to ashes, i say. i'll do this again. but how do you stop living the way you've learned to live and how do you move on and pretend that the mistakes you've just made haven't adversely affected everyone in your entire life? no one wants to hear the shit, girl. no one really cares about the scars underneath the shirt you wear. no one really wants to know what's going on with you. so you sing... you sing your song and dance your dance and before you know it you're fired up over the internalized fears you've kept to yourself all these years. you dance because you realize that the music is absolutely beautiful, but it's only later when you discover that no one else can hear what you're listening to. you can't find it if you didn't bring here in the first place. he told me that and i looked him over just once. how could he possibly know? how could this self-righteous pig have any fucking clue about what's going on with me better than i know? the truth is that he does and he is always throwing things like that at me... ready for me to juggle the idea of something new and something different. and in turn, this only makes me want to do the same old thing and give myself to him. but no. HELL NO. you scream, you stammer... you strut... you can't do this to me, you tell him. you can't ask me to forgive my past when it symbolizes the present. and you watch and wait for him to explain this one... but you already know the answer and you've known it all along. you can't find it here if you didn't bring it yourself, and it's only been six months since you've been looking anyway. and no, it's not there. you can stop looking now. pick up your bag and walk on, silly girl. keep walking, keep moving. no loitering allowed. and it's best that you pick up yourself as you move, for you can move a bit quicker that way. stop dragging yourself around that way, stop focusing on all the half-empty glasses and just realize that you've got a lot going for you. so the lipstick gets applied very carefully and you have to make sure that everything is just fucking perfect because its the only possible way that they will ever accept you. the lipstick has to be perfect, the look on your face just right and if you move to the right a little bit and just say cheese then maybe everyone will come running and ask you for your autograph, because you're capable of that. she always told you it was possible... why didn't you believe her? did you know something she didn't? or did that god-awful censor speak to you again and tell you that you weren't worth it? picture perfect in white, angelic, hair golden and teeth showing. smile, look pretty, tilt your head just right... and before you know it you're painting your toe nails, piercing your ears and trying to look seductive with a cherry blow pop in your mouth. it never did work, and you always were offended at the anticipated responses anyway. so why did you do it? why encourage the behavior that you wind up hating in the end? because it's the way things work. you always end up hating in the end the things that attracted you in the first place. it wasn't a flower blooming, it was a weed rooting itself and spreading thick into your life. and now, it has consumed you and you are left feeling hate and anger and anguish and a myriad of other emotions that are too painful to identify and work with. so you run, faster and faster, until you find yourself in the company of someone or something familiar. and it begins again. so cry little girl... cry loudly and let those tears roll straight down your face, off your chin and drop onto the floor where you'll step on them as you get up and walk across the room to open the door. you're forever letting someone in and forever finding that they didn't bring it here, either. inside! you scream. inside! now! recess is over. it's time for today's lesson.

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