Pages

Follow by Email

Monday, October 8, 2012

Unemployment

Well, I'm entering my second week of unemployment.  My apartment has never been cleaner.  My dogs have never been walked so many times.  I swear last time I went to grab the leashes, Mickey looked at me as if he was begging me to let him just stay inside this hour.  On the bright side, I think they're enjoying being out of their cages.  So....yay, unemployment.

Seriously though.  I'm looking for health insurance, and it's either pay over $600 a month to keep the coverage I had through work or $250 to get it though another carrier.  Neither is an appealing option considering I have no paycheck coming in, but I can't afford my prescriptions without it.  Aaaah, America.  You can say what you want about whoever you want whenever you want, but you'll go bankrupt paying for health care.  Oh well, better than living elsewhere. 

I still have no computer at home because people decided they wanted to help themselves to my stuff on vacation so, I'm here at the library.  I don't really even have much to say in this post.  I don't think writing about how I scrubbed my toilets last week is going to help.  On the plus side, I did qualify for unemployment.  So, at least that will help out while I'm job hunting.  Hopefully those background checks for teaching come back fast so I can get back in the game before I lose my mind and start believing my dogs are actually carrying on a conversation with me.

Oh, those background checks.  Being a good girl doesn't pay off in today's society.  Idiots out there have to be horrible, horrible people that make it necessary for schools to do background checks on applicants no matter how squeaky clean they appear.  It's not fair to me that I have to wait a month to find out I'm not a criminal when I already know that.  Oh well, life's not fair I guess.  I'm just bitter because if it wasn't for those background checks getting messed up the first time, I'd already be a bonifide substitute teacher instead of sitting here writing about it.

I get to go to Walmart in a few minutes.  We need soda at home.  Well, not need, but I want it and we're out so I'm getting it.  When will the fun end?????

I've decided I can work on a few things while I'm unemployed.....

First, I will work out every day, beginning today.  I swear.
Second, I will get Dave to teach me how to drive a stick shift.
Third, I will finish the crochet projects I've got hanging out there unfinished.
Fourth, I will write more in the blog.

See, I've got goals.  I've got dreams.  I've got to get off this computer.  Seriously, the girl across from me keeps giggling uncontrollably, and I'm not completely sure I want to stick around to find out why.  Anyhoo.....I'll try to be more fascinating next time.  I'm going to go try to figure out my next step with claiming the unemployment they say I'm eligible for.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lucky Charm

Well, hello!!!!  It's been a while I know.  Let's see, what has happened in all the time that has passed since I've written?  Well, I've moved.  Yep, you heard that right, I moved.  I'm no longer an attic dweller.  Does that mean I have to change the name of this blog?  I mean, technically, I'm an apartment dweller now, but I digress.  That is a musing for a different post.  Today I'm catching you up on all the goings on in my life.  It's a whirlwind that will leave you saying, um, seriously, is it really possible to have that much bad luck all at once.  I assure you my friends, I'm not making any of this up.  Let's carry on, shall we?

Where do I begin?  Well, I moved out of the attic.  That's great news!  I'm living Boyfriend, and we couldn't be happier.  Well, I assume he couldn't be happier.  He tells me he's happy.  Anyhoo, I was temporarily in Lexington until the lease was up on his apartment there.  Now we're in beautiful Georgetown.  We have been since June.  Things were going so well, that it seemed like we were hogging up all the good luck.  Well, it seemed that way for like two weeks anyway.  Those were a great two weeks. 

The first bout of bad luck was the washer/dryer incident.  We bought a new High Efficiency Washer and dryer.  These things are great.  They've got so many options, it's like playing a game every time I do the laundry.  Things are good with them now, but our relationship started out a bit rocky.  Boyfriend took off one day to supervise the delivery and installation.  Everything was done in a decent amount of time, and we did laundry that night.  A lot of laundry.  We'd been without a washer/dryer for like two weeks, there was plenty of laundry to do.  The next day, Boyfriend got a call from our property manager explaining that she had authorized maintenance to enter our apartment because there was water leaking into the apartment below.  Turns out, those super special delivery men didn't hook up the washer correctly.  Good thing the apartment below was vacant.  Oh, and the maintenance man informed us that he watched the delivery men drop our dryer.  That's great.  Hope it's not broken.  Well, I demanded (and got) a brand new dryer.  After all, I paid for a brand new dryer, not a might be broken, but we don't know dryer.  They offered to send someone out to check the dryer, but, that wasn't good enough for me.  I didn't want to play the game where someone says it's fine but three weeks from then I'm stuck with a washer full of wet clothes because the dryer doesn't work.  So, they delivered my new dryer a week later....I had to take off work at that point.  They were supposed to fix the washer too because let's face it, nobody wants me to try and fix that washer myself.  Well, with all the screwing around this company was doing, we ended up getting Boyfriend's dad to fix the washer.  It works great!

Once things from that had settled down, we were in clean laundry heaven.  Things were going great.  Until.....my little dog broke her leg.  Did I tell you I have two dogs now?  My bad, it's been a while since I've written.  Two dogs-Mickey and Minnie.  They were playing together on the couch and fell off.  Mickey (15 lbs) landed on Minnie (6 lbs).  So, I got to take Minnie to the e-vet at 8:00 at night and sit there while they x-ray and give pain meds and I can hear the money flying out of my wallet.  I love this little dog so the money is secondary, but still, I know a bill is coming my way, and it's not small.  Well, about midnight they finally tell me to come on back because Minnie is awake (they had to sedate her to get x-rays).  Both bones in her leg are broken through and there is a hairline fracture on one of her legs.  They can't get them to set right, and she'll be crippled if we don't do surgery (I think that's when my wallet started crying).  So, surgery it was.....three days before we left for Myrtle Beach.  Let me say, Boyfriend's mom is a saint because she didn't back out of watching the dogs even though one needed more attention now.  Oh, I forgot to mention that Minnie's leg got broken the very day Mickey was allowed back to full activity after he hurt his leg jumping around.  Anyway, vacation was still a go.  We dropped the dogs off with Boyfriend's mom and gave her instructions for my little hurt pup.

We needed a vacation at this point.  Moving is stressful, plus, all this with the washer/dryer and dogs.  Besides, who doesn't want to spend a week at the beach?  It was so relaxing.  After the first day I was an interesting shade of red.  I tell ya, no matter how much sunscreen I use......anyway, the burn was the least of my worries.  Boyfriend was sick.  He didn't leave the hotel room for the most part of two days.  Monday and Tuesday were a haze of puking for him.  By Wednesday he was feeling better, and it was great to have him back out having fun with us.  No, I didn't camp out in the hotel room with him the whole time.  I made sure he had what he needed, but he didn't want me hanging around being bored.  So, I went out with my family, it's what he wanted.  Anyway, Wednesday was a great night of dinner and Putt-Putt golfing.  All that fun exhausted us.  We were ready for bed by the time we headed back to the hotel.  Well, we didn't get to go straight to sleep.  Why?  Well, because our room was robbed.  They took our computers, his GPS, and my restless leg medicine.  Awesome.  We got to spend more of the evening with the lovely officers of the Myrtle Beach Police Department.  At least we had our money on us.  Well, the rest of vacation was relatively uneventful.  We did have fun, but I'm still without a computer.  I'm writing this from the Scott county library :)  Hopefully we get results from the renters insurance soon.

So, how could things get much worse?  Well, after vacation I seemed to be able to catch any virus that came my way.  Plus, as of last week, I'm unemployed.  Cuts had to be made.  Of course, over the years I've managed to get myself into credit card debt that is threatening to smother me, so this is the perfect time for unemployment.  I know the debt is my fault, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. 

I knew about a month ahead of time that I was losing my job, and I was trying to get everything all set up, but of course everything fell apart last minute.  Considering that I got my degree to be an Elementary School teacher, I decided to get on some lists to be a sub in some school systems until a regular teaching job came up.  I got my fingerprints done to complete a background check nearly a full month before I was going to be unemployed.  The lady told me it would take a little over a week to get the results back, then I'd be good to go.  Three weeks later, I found out the FBI rejected my prints and I had to do them all over again.  Awesome again.  So, instead of moving from my job straight to subbing.  I'm sitting in a little halfway point called unemployment.  I'm four days in.  Unemployment is not for me.  I need to be doing something.  Besides, that debt I was talking about loves a person without a paycheck. 

I was starting to get upset and depressed about everything trying to kill my happiness.  You know what they say, laughter is the best medicine.  Well, I get my daily dose from Ellen.  I also picked up her book from the library to read.  She makes some good points in there about being ourselves, and letting that make us happy.  I tell ya what, Ellen, if you're on the Internet and accidentally trip into this blog, let me tell you.  Thank you.  You've allowed me to put all the bad luck on hold for an hour a day.  I honestly don't think you will ever know what you do for people.  Just when I wanted to give up and cry because things seem to go all wrong, you dance.  Or you do something nice for someone.  Or you have on adorable children and funny guests.  Thank you, just for being you.  I've got so much more to say to you, Ellen, but my session on the library computer is about to time out.  Just know you are an inspiration, and an escape for me when things get too tough. 

Now, you want to hear about the hole that Mickey tore in the carpet while I was gone yesterday.  Yep, bye-bye pet deposit.....oh man.....when will good luck find me again?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Legacy

As I was standing guard at the House Right triple doors at theater tonight, I overheard two of my fellow ushers discussing some rings they were wearing.  They were talking about how it was their mother's or grandmother's, or sisters, or.....well, you get the idea.  Suffice it to say these ladies are not spring chickens.  It's no secret that ushering is one of the things local retirees love to do.  Get my point?  The jewelry was old, and passed down from family....a legacy if you will.

Their conversation got me thinking about how I tend to hold onto things.  I'm not a hoarder, but I have a hard time of letting go of things.  Much of what you find in my possession carries a memory of some sort, and I want to hang onto it for as long as I can.  Part of me is afraid that if I no longer have this token of the memory, that the memory will be gone as well.  Before I was born, both my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather were gone.  I never got to meet them.  Never got to make memories with them.  

Is it possible to miss someone you never met?  For me, the answer is yes.  I want to be able to close my eyes and remember what they looked like when they smiled at me.  I want to be able to remember stories they told me or games we played.  Instead I have a handful of vague stories, a few photos, and the knowledge that they died from illness.  It seems that nothing was passed from my grandmother to my mother.  The same is true about things passed from my grandfather to my father.  I wish there was something I could pick up and touch.  I long to feel close to them.  To ask them questions.  To hear their voices.

I've had a passion about tracing my family history for as long as I can remember.  I try to get my great-aunt to tell me as many stories as I can squeeze out of her.  I have some of her things from when she lived in the apartment.  Things she didn't want to take to the retirement home with her.  I know after she's gone I can take these things out and feel close to her again.  I drink in the knowledge she has about my family.  Sometimes I feel like because I missed out on knowing my grandmother, I'm missing that link to where I came from.  That's why I pour over as much of ancestry.com as I can (even though I can't justify spending money on a membership quite yet).  

There is far less information from my father's side of the family.  Our family history is muddy and hard to trace.  Still, I wish there was something I could do to figure out how to bridge the gap from where I came from to who I am.  

Two grandparents.  Two missing pieces of a puzzle that tugs at my heart.  I want my future children and grandchildren to have pieces of me left to hang onto.  Something to show them who I am and maybe give them insight into where they came from.  Maybe they'll see that I liked pink just like they did.  Maybe that crocheted afghan I made still smells a little like me, and for a moment they can imagine that they're curled on my lap listening to me tell stories.

While I sometimes joke that I wish I had a rich uncle to leave me a fortune, the fortune I really want is something that money can never buy.  Memories, tokens of a time long gone, pieces of a legacy of which I am just one part.    

Monday, February 27, 2012

Again

It happened again.  I was driving home from Boyfriend's this morning when I heard about a school shooting in Ohio.  It's heartbreaking.  This time four students were injured while one was killed.  The shooter is in custody, but the damage is done.  

The families of the victims certainly deserve prayers for peace during this difficult time.  The world lost a young boy today.  He was just a teenager entering the prime of his life, and his future was stolen by violence.  Four other young lives were changed forever.  I do not know the extent of the other injuries.  I only hope that those victims are able to recover, and live the lives they are meant to live.  It's not just physical trauma that makes a victim.  I'm sure every student in that school has been scarred in some way.  Their security was ripped away with no warning.  A school they have to attend every day is no longer the place of safety that it should be.  Every child should be able to walk into a school building without fear.  

What happened today is not fair.  It makes me so angry that this type of violence at school is becoming less shocking, but no less devastating.  You hear it all the time.....yeah, he was bullied, yeah he threatened, we just never thought he was the type of person who would hurt anyone.  Was there bullying?  I don't know.  According to one news report, the shooter had been bullied, but I can't confirm it for sure.  Did he threaten?  Again, reports say he did, but I don't know.  Is it an excuse?  No.

It makes me sad that someone can get to a point where they think that violence is the answer.  What did that boy go through to make him take a gun to school?  What makes someone so cold that they can look at their classmates and pull a trigger with the intent to hurt or kill?  That boy was a child too.  In many ways he is his own victim.  He drastically changed his own future by committing this horrific at of violence.  He should be held accountable for what he's done, and we as a nation should try to learn how he got to this place.  Maybe this boy is part of a puzzle that desperately needs to be solved.  These kids need to be saved.  By saving those at risk, how many more lives might be spared?

Bullying is such a problem these days.  It comes from so many different directions, that victims of bullying have a hard time getting away from the cruel attacks of their peers.  To those of you out there right now who are victims of bullying, don't give up.  Hold your chin high.  You are not the problem.  I know it's hard, and it seems like there's no end in sight, but please, don't give up.  "It gets better" has been repeated so many times, that I wonder if kids really hear it anymore.  I hope so, because it does get better.  Hold onto that light inside of you.  You know how special you are even if you think nobody else does.  I guarantee someone sees it.  Someone knows.  Talk to someone....anyone.  Get it out in a way that helps instead of hurts.  If you see a student getting bullied, say something.  Don't sit back and let it happen.  Be a part of the solution.  If you hear a threat of violence, tell someone.  It's too risky to assume that the threat isn't serious.

I wish kids weren't so cruel to one another.  I wish we lived in that perfect world where everyone got along.  We don't.  We probably never will, but maybe, if we watch closely, we can change this place for the better one kid at a time.  

I was a sophomore in high school when the tragedy took place in Littleton, Co.  Even hundreds of miles away, my school felt the fear.  We looked at our classmates and wondered if there was a ticking time bomb among us.  The day we ended up going into lockdown due to a threat was by far the scariest day of my life.  I thought it was happening at my school.  I didn't want to go back.  Luckily, nothing actually happened, but that fear is so real you can almost reach out and touch it.  Over a decade later, and students are still facing school violence.  Today it was Ohio.  I always pray that this time will be the last, but I know in my heart that it will happen again.  It makes me sad, and I feel so helpless.  

I pray for everyone affected by today's tragedy.  I look at the kids in my life and watch them.  I hope that they would feel comfortable coming to me if they felt like they had nobody else to turn to.  I just want them to be happy.  I don't want them to have their innocence taken away by violence.  I want them to feel like they live in a perfect world where people don't hurt other people.  Instead, they are far too aware that this world is anything but perfect.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Fearless

I was recently ushering an event at the Aronoff Center.  It was part of the Smart Talk series and featured Arianna Huffington.  All I knew about her was that she was the founder of the Huffington Post, and she had basically liberal political views.  I had signed up for the event thinking it was a short event to log some hours, and I'd always wondered how interesting the Smart talk series could be.  I was skeptical about this one mostly because I tend to lean to the conservative side a lot of the time, and I wondered if all she said would just rub me the wrong way.

I'm happy to say, I need not have worried.  She was amazing.  Not only is she incredibly smart, and a fantastic speaker, but she's real.  You didn't feel like you were listening to a celebrity talk.  She really seemed interested in getting her message out, and empowering the women in the audience.  I may have been the usher in the back, but I felt like I could have been the only one in the room.

She spoke about having the support of a "tribe".  My tribe may be small, but it's mine, and I'd be lost without them.  She's right, things are so much easier when you have that tribe to talk things though with.  The support of my tribe means the world to me, especially when I contemplate doing something I may not normally do.  If you don't have a tribe, find one.  Maybe it's just you and a close friend, maybe they're friends you meet only virtually through a common interest online.  Your tribe is your support system.  You don't need to have a secret handshake or password, just a mutual respect and support for one another.  If you jump off a cliff, they're your parachute.  Now, don't actually go jumping off a cliff to see if your friends can catch you.....it's a metaphor.

She also talked about "her annoying roommate".  As you're picturing someone whom she may have met in college that made her life miserable, let me explain.  She's talking about that voice in your head that tells you you're not good enough.  We all have that voice in our heads that criticizes us far more than any other person would.  It's that voice that tells us we can't do anything right.  We don't know what we're doing.  We're doomed to fail.  That voice is depressing......and far too many times, that voice allows us to limit ourselves.  That voice stops us from chasing our dreams because we don't think they're possible.  That voice tries to make us small.  Her words inspired me to try to shut out my own "annoying roommate".  I want to see what I can do if I believe in myself as much as I sometimes try to doubt myself.

Finally, she talked about goals.  We all have those lists that we want to accomplish.  She reminded us that there's no shame to crossing something off the list that hasn't actually been accomplished.  It's not a failure, it's a declaration that that item is finished.  Time to move on.  She showed me that failure isn't something that should be feared.  Whether we want it to or not, whether we're ready for it or not, it will show up.  It will rear its ugly head and make us feel bad about ourselves.  However instead of being beaten down by a failure, we should use it as a stepping stone.  It's just one more step on the way to success.  Failure only stops us if we let it, and I won't let it for me.  Not anymore.

I want to increase readership for this blog.  I'm going to give it a shot.  Maybe some people will be annoyed by it.  Maybe some will ask me why.  It's just something I want to do.  Reach out to people and connect with them.  So, maybe I should try to be fearless like she seems to be.  Let's see how far this girl can go.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winds of Change

The only thing that is constant is that things are always changing.  Don't ask me who said that, I do not know.  It was just in my head, but it's so true.  Time has never once stood still, so that in itself is change.  Seconds ticking by, days turning to weeks.  Nothing is the same as it was.  

It's not just time or our surroundings.  We change too.  We grow, and become different people.  Sometimes we change before we even realize it's happening.  Things grow in our hearts so quietly that we don't even know they're growing until they bloom.

That's happening with me.  I've made an important decision that will have a big impact on my life.  I'm moving.  I'll be with Boyfriend, of course, but it's more than that.  I think I've just outgrown where I am.  I really want to move.  I don't want to get out of the state or anything.  I'm definitely a girl who loves her home state, but I think it's time for a change of scenery.....a change of pace.  

Through my job I can take classes at our state capitol.  I've always loved it down there, and could very easily picture myself working there.  That little seed of thought was planted with my very first class down there.  It grew quietly until recent events in my life made it blossom into a full grown need.  First, I met Boyfriend and fell in love.  His work is in a city near the capitol, so that's where he's been.  Second, the constant threat of layoffs here is getting to be a drag.  I'm always confident that Bossman will do everything he can to keep us employed, but my heart is telling me that my time here may be running short.  This other city is calling my name and drawing me in.  

So, I'm applying for jobs...Jobs that will keep me employed with my state.  If things work out I will be employed a little more south than I am now.  I'll not only be out of the attic, but I'll be out of my parents' house for the very first time.  I'll be out of the city where I grew up for the first time besides those vacations I take every year.  It's new and exciting, and terrifying all at once.  What a rush.

I have no illusions that it will be easy.  I know in this economy it's not like I can walk into an office down there and say, "here I am, hire me".  It's been a while since I've gone through the hiring process.  I've never left my comfort zone.  This is me finally feeling all grown up.  It's going to be a wild ride, but a fun one.  I'm taking a leap of faith that I can only hope I'm ready for.

I won't be far from my family.  It's really important to me to still be close enough to be with them because we're so close knit.  If you had asked me a year ago if this was even a possibility I would have told you that you might as well ask me to live on the moon.  My head couldn't grasp that idea.  However, I think my heart was already planning, scheming, and preparing me to move on.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Case of the Mondays

Fridays and I usually get along pretty well.  I get to see Boyfriend.  I have the next two days off work.  I get to sleep in on those two days.  Yep, I love me some Friday.  Last Friday, however, was not so nice to me.  It slapped me once, then slapped me twice and set me out in the cold.  The weekend could not have come at a better time.  I needed a break.

I got some bad news.  Two bits of bad news actually.  The first is that I may be looking at layoffs in my office in the next few months.  So, yeah, bummer.  The other bit of bad news isn't mine to share.  It's sucky, but it's not detrimental to anyone's health or anything.  It just, well, sucks.  

I cried.....a lot on Friday.  Crying just seems to be how I process things when they get to be too much.  I'm a crier and I'm darn good at it.  I just hate it when it happens at work.  It's not so great having one of the customer service people looking like scary blotchy girl, but that was me.  It felt like everything in my stable world was slowly crumbling one little bit at a time.  I kept waiting for more bad news to jump up and start chipping away at what was left of that once solid foundation.  I kept waiting to fall.

After I pulled my shit together at work, the rest of the afternoon was a haze.  I knew I still needed to do some crying to work all the kinks out, but I was determined not to do it at work.  I held everything together right up until I walked into Boyfriend's apartment.  He asked how I was doing, and I burst into tears.  Poor guy.  I'm sure that's not what he had in mind to start the weekend.  He was great though.  He kept telling me it was all going to be OK.  He told me that he'd never let anything happen to me....that he'd take care of me.  He said all the right things, and he made me believe them.

Saturday was a much better day.  I started to look at the bad news and decide that I wasn't going to let it tear me up.  I was going to take that bad news, flip it around some, twist it, and beat it until it became good news.  I can look at it as a brand new opportunity.  New beginnings perhaps.  I don't know what's going to happen in the next few months, but I know I'll land on my feet.  Exciting things are going to happen for me, I refuse to give up the driver's seat.  I'm in charge of my life, and it's going to stay that way.

Monday's here and I overslept.  That happens when you don't turn on your alarm clock.  I don't feel like I'm falling down a deep, dark well....maybe that extra sleep did me good.  Don't get me wrong....I don't see a time where Monday and I are best buds, but this Monday is much better than last Friday.  Maybe today, a case of the Mondays is a good thing.  Life's what I make it.  I'm going to make it good.  So, bring it on world.  I'm ready for ya.

Friday, February 10, 2012

About Anxiety, Part 2

Panic attacks were not new to me, but after that visit to the ER in high school they had a name.  Panic.  Yep, that was about right.  Anxiety, why yes, I'm feeling quite anxious actually.  The relief that came with finally knowing what to call this monster faded quickly.  Yes, I now knew what it was, but I had no idea what to do about it.  I didn't ask.

Granted, it was great knowing that in the midst of a panic attack I wasn't going to die.  However, in the midst of a panic attack, I felt like I was dying anyway.  I felt like if it was panic or anxiety I should be able to control it.  You know, mind over matter.  I was wrong, way wrong.  You cannot control a panic attack.  Sure, sometimes they might be caused by that raging storm threatening to throw the trees across the street.  Sometimes though, they're caused because I'm conscious.  No reason, just panic.  Breathe in a paper bag?  Right, I love feeling like I'm suffocating.  Keep telling myself that it's just a panic attack.  There is no such thing as just a panic attack.

I can sit here now and tell you that a panic attack is just my brain being tricked by chemicals telling it we're about to fall off the edge of a cliff.  I KNOW it's all about chemistry.  Knowing that doesn't change the way I feel when it's happening.  Rational Attic Dweller is totally gone in those moments where my life is taken over by the anxiety.  I knew there was medicine out there that could help.  I was still in high school though, I didn't want to be that girl that had to be on medicine to be "normal".  Leave it to a teenage brain to go and figure that it's better to be the girl who freaks out for no apparent reason than the girl on "crazy pills".

So, at fourteen I found out what the problem was.  I was twenty-seven by the time I finally found myself in such a desperate state that I went to the doctor again.  My biggest fear was that he was going to look at me and tell me I was making it all up.  I was afraid that all those years of thinking I knew what was bothering me were going to evaporate in one doctor's visit.  As I was sitting there waiting for him, I actually thought about leaving.  I had to physically force myself to stay in the chair in that exam room.  That wait did nothing to help with my anxiety.  Finally, in came the doctor.  He asked what was wrong, and I melted.  I became a puddle of tears and fears.  I had a panic attack right there in the doctor's office.  That's certainly one way to make sure he knew exactly what I was talking about.

He handed me a tissue, put his hand on my back, and told me it was going to be OK.  For the first time, I actually believed it was.  He told me I wasn't crazy.  I was normal.  I just had chemicals in my brain trying to convince me otherwise.  Yes, there's a pill for it.  In fact there are several we could try.  He told me not to let anyone else's opinions of people on medication to drive my own decision to get help.  I saw a light at the end of the tunnel that day.  All my feelings of darkness and hopelessness began to evaporate.  I had hope that maybe, just maybe, anxiety didn't have to rule my life.

You know what, the doc was right.  We had to play with the dosage a little, but we finally got to a point where I'm in the driver's seat, not the panic attacks.  They're not gone completely.  The pill is not a magic miracle cure.  They just don't come nearly as often.  Many times when they try to interrupt my day I can feel them fade out before they can become a problem.  Some sneak through.  Sometimes I have a panic attack.  Now though, instead of a world of grays and blacks, I live in full technicolor.  I feel normal.  I feel free. I feel like I am a regular human being.  I'm finally getting to know who I am.

The first time there was a severe storm and I didn't dissolve into a great big, anxiety ridden mess, I cried anyway.  They were happy tears.  I wish now I wouldn't have waited so long to take the medicine.  I might have gotten to know the real Attic Dweller in high school.  Instead, I'm just now able to know who I really am.  I go and try new things.  I laugh through haunted houses.  I sit on the porch during a thunderstorm.  OK, sometimes I sit on the porch during a thunderstorm.  I'm still scared of the storms.  It's an actual honest to goodness fear of storms.  That's OK.  I can live with that.  I can live with feeling scared, just as long as I'm not always consumed by it.  I can feel.  That's most important.  Now that that fog of constant anxiety has lifted, I can feel.

This is where I beg.  Medication only has a stigma if we let it.  Don't let how someone else might perceive you hold you back.  Modern medicine has provided us with a way to break free.  If you need it, take it.  It's much better on this side.  Trust me.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

About Anxiety Part 1

I knew I was dying.  I couldn't breath, I was in pain, my chest felt like it was going to explode, and I was on the verge of passing out.  I was crying uncontrollably, and shaking so bad I couldn't go for help.  How long could I survive like this?  Would someone find me in time to help me?  Was I going to spend my last moments alone in pain, trying to escape from a dark room that was threatening to swallow me whole?  No.  I survived.  Of course I did, it would be creepy to be writing this blog from "The Great Beyond".  I had a panic attack.  It wasn't the first, and wouldn't be the last.  Every panic attack was just as terrifying as the one before.  Actually, each one got more terrifying because in the midst of it all I'd convince myself that this attack was the one that would be too much to survive.  It's a dark world to live in.  It's a world where any single moment could be the one that sent me into a spiral of fear and anxiety.  It was unpredictable and awful, and I waited far to long to do anything about it.

I have been having panic attacks since elementary school.  The very first one I remember came on a day when we were having snack time recess.  I was sitting on the floor with a group of girls from my class playing a game. One of my classmates said, "when you hear a train it means a tornado is coming".  That thought was awful to me.  So, I argued back, "no way!"  Brilliant response, I know.  My classmate held firm, "Yep, that's what trains are for, that's why the come around, to tell us when tornadoes are coming."  I was shocked.  My babysitter lived up the street from railroad tracks.  I knew at some point I'd hear a train every day.  I was scared to death.  Of course, as kids can do sometimes, my classmate had her facts about the relationship between trains and tornadoes confused.  I didn't consider that I had heard trains many many times, and had never seen a tornado.  In my mind, it was now a fact that if I heard a train there was going to be a tornado..  Later that day I heard that train and froze in my tracks.  I was terrified.  I felt sick.  I couldn't breathe, or move even.  It was horrible.  I was seven.  

Dealing with panic attacks at that age isn't easy. I was the girl in school to missed a lot and cried a lot.  If I knew we were having a fire or tornado drill, I'd miss school that day.  I knew rationally that the drills didn't mean that there was a fire or tornado.  If there is one thing that does not describe panic attacks, it's rational. They don't need a reason.  The trigger doesn't even have to make sense.  They are like snowballs rolling down a hill.  They takeoff, get bigger and bigger, and overwhelm you in an instant.  If I hadn't been such a good student my parents probably would have thought I just wanted a day off school.  They would ask if I had a test or an assignment that I was trying to get out of.  I was never trying to get out of anything.  I loved school.  I just couldn't face it some days.  My parents were very familiar with the voice of the school secretary calling them at work.  I can't even tell you how many times they had to come and get me in the middle of the day.  I can tell you that out of all those times, only a handful were due to actual illness.  The rest were panic attacks.    

What was happening to me never made sense, until I was a freshman in high school.  It was near Christmas and I was just getting over a virus.  It was Sunday night and I was allowed to sleep in the living room since I had been sick.  I was going back to school on Monday, but was allowed to stay up and watch Touched by an Angel.  That week's episode was about a young girl who got sick, but they found out it wasn't just a virus, it was a heart condition and she died.  That episode affected me so much that I began to worry that my virus was something more serious.  That thought was supported by the fact that once again my chest was tight and I couldn't breathe.  I went into my mom's room and laid in bed with her.  I was fourteen years old and she was patting my back telling me it was ok.  

It was my idea to go to the hospital that night.  I thought I was going to die and I wanted the doctors to fix what was wrong so I could live.  They took X-rays, did an EKG, and diagnosed the issue as a panic attack. Finally, it had a name.  I knew it was right.  All those times growing up when I felt just like I had that night had a name....a reason.  They were real, not just the imagination of a scared kid.  That diagnosis from the ER doctor was just a single, small step in a journey to get help.  It was a journey that took years.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Paged

I'm going to try something different.  Well, different for me anyway.  I've known that I want to write about some of my crafts and other different topics other than my random musings on life.  I also know that not everyone wants to hear about my crafts or my weight loss issues, etc.  So, I've added nifty little tabs to the top of the blog.  I'll write about more specific things under those tabs.  Crafts go under crafty.  So, if you were worried about Attic Dweller turning this vehicle around and heading down the craft road, rest assured.  Crafts are just a passenger along for the ride.  There is some fun stuff that will end up there, so you may want to look anyway; you may be surprised.  

Occasionally I'll feel the need to review something I've seen or read.  Using your powerful skills of deduction should lead you to figure out you can find that under the reviews tab.  I'm always working on my weight and overall health, and sometimes I need to talk it out.  If you're in the same boat or would like to take it upon yourself to help keep me in line, you can go to On The Scales.  Finally, I've got a lot of little stories, and maybe even some larger ones I've written or am writing.  I am a writer after all.  That's how this whole party got started.  I dream of being a published author who can go into a store and pick up a book written by me.  Until that time comes, I'm publishing here.

There is nothing on any of the pages yet except for On The Scale.  I'm getting to them though, and of course you can come straight here to hear random thoughts that pop in my head and beg to be written down.  Now, don't you feel all informed.  I know, not one of my most fascinating posts, but I needed to point out those pages.  That's right folks, you've all been paged!  I'm sure something will happen today that will provide material for a fun post to add later.  My life is exciting that way.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just Because She Can

Breaking news:  please be on the lookout for an older gentleman dressed in white.  He was last seen in our area approximately a year ago, and not returned since.  Authorities now fear he may have been kidnapped by a rival and could be trapped in an unknown location.  He goes by the name Old Man Winter.  If you see him please contact Mother Nature.....she's the one that seems to have misplaced him.

It's February first.  January flew by, not that anyone noticed it was January.  I mean, seriously, after that whole Happy New Year thing, January was pretty hard to detect.  Apparently the "weather gods" got confused about what they were supposed to be throwing our way.  Don't get me wrong, there have been a few days where my teeth were chattering while I was outside.  I have seen a little snow on my car once or twice, but it was gone so fast, I could have been hallucinating.  Maybe my brain was just showing me what I assumed I should be seeing this time of year.

Oh, snow has threatened to dump inches on us, but it fizzled out before it could even give us a dusting.  Believe me, I'm not complaining at all.  I wish every winter was like this.  I'm no fan of snow.  It's pretty, but geeze, it's a nuisance.  Don't need it, don't want it.  We've been near sixty degrees two days in a row.  Much as I'm enjoying it, I should not be able to walk outside with no coat at the beginning of February.

Has winter organized its elements into a union and gone on a strike against the seasons?  Maybe Winter got mouthy and got itself fired.  Maybe Spring did such a good job last year, Mother Nature gave it a promotion to six months instead of three.  All I know is that if this keeps up, poor little Puxatony Phil is going to be out of a job.

The joke in this area is that if you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes, it'll change.  It's true.  Yesterday the sun was shining, and it was so nice, right up until it randomly started pouring rain.  So, this fits.  I never expect anything in regards to the weather around here because I will inevitably be disappointed.  I feel for our weather people sometimes.  No matter how much of a sure thing a storm system looks like.  Even if it's right on the horizon and we can see the lightening from here, it's still not a guarantee.  It might take a detour and head to Louisville instead.  No predictability.

So, when I go on and on about how nice it is to be enjoying this "spring like" weather, I know that at any minute Mother Nature could get cranky and send us a Hurricane.  Forget that there's no Ocean in hundreds of miles.  Mother Nature don't give a shit!  She plays by the rules of the Honey Badger.  She's bad-ass like that.  I'm going to pull out my sunglasses, toss my coat in the backseat and enjoy the pretty, warm day.  Heaven knows what I'll get tomorrow.

......and just when I get used to this kinder, gentler version of Mother Nature who is taking it easy on us this winter, she'll dump three feet of snow on us in July.....just because she can.     

Monday, January 30, 2012

Roger

I'm a bowling alley baby.  My parents were both bowlers, and my dad was even the night manager at the bowling alley when I was really little.  Yep, from a young age, the sound of bowling balls speeding towards the wooden pins was familiar.  The crashes of the pins as the ball plowed through them was just background noise.  I knew the bowlers, the cooks, and the bartenders.  I knew which of the arcade games was most likely to be working.  I knew that when I got tired, a few chairs put together made a good bed, and a few coats served nicely as a pillow and blanket.  The bowling alley sounds were a lullaby as I napped in the crowded building.

I also knew how to get treats just for being cute.  It was known that if the owner was there when I showed up, I'd get a dollar, just for being on the planet.  Then there was the bartender.  Without fail he was at his post behind the bar making sure that the bowlers were provided with their snacks and alcohol.  Being far too young to drink didn't stop me from being a frequent visitor to that bar.  My sister and I would hop up on the bar stools, spin them around a few time, then give the bartender our best little girl smiles.  All we'd have to say was, "Hi Roger" and we were rewarded with a pretzel rod.  Roger would always give them to us like it was a big secret while telling us not to tell our parents.  We'd giggle and run off with our prizes as little girls are apt to do.  Sometimes we were not the little angels we liked to think we were.  We'd be running too much or having an argument with each other and be forced to sit.  It was torture watching all the excitement going on while we just had to sit there.  On occasions like that, Roger would sneak over with a special treat.  A cherry coke.  The real kind with cherry syrup mixed with fountain coke.  He'd put a few cherries in it and make sure one sank to the bottom so we'd have that special surprise at the end.  

Those days when I was so little, I knew him as the silly bartender who always knew how to make me laugh.  Those nights at the bowling alley he could be my own personal clown.  My sisters and I didn't know that our dad had known him since high school.  That knowledge came later when our days at the alley were fewer.  Growing up allowed me to begin to see that people can be woven into my life in many different ways.  The bowling alley was how I met him, but he became an even more frequent figure in my life when he married a friend of our family.  She kept us after school while our parents worked, and he'd be there.  He used to take long walks every day.  Some days while I was there, he'd invite me along.  Those walks were not little strolls through the neighborhood.  Sometimes they felt like treks through the entire county.  He didn't even look tired afterwards, but I sure needed a nap.

Eventually, we moved in right across the street.  The day we were moving in, we were greeted with a sign taped across the front door that said, "Welcome to the Neighborhood".  It was his idea.  He was glad to have us there.  As neighbors do, he would greet me if he saw me out.  A simple, "hello" was not a Roger greeting at all.  He'd yell, "DUH".  I don't remember why, but it didn't matter.  When I heard that I knew Roger was out and about.  That one word meant, "hey there, how are you, hope you're having a good day".  Of course I always answered back with the same greeting.  That one word may have been a short conversation, but it didn't matter.  It was all anyone needed to have a proper conversation with Roger.

He was always so tan.  He'd either spend his summer days laying out by his pool or taking his walks.  Some summers I would wonder if he bothered having shirts at all.  In the evenings he would sit in his front yard with his dogs and just take in the evening or chat with the neighbors.  

He was a practical joker.  My family and I never knew what we were going to find on our front porch (candles, wind chimes, a fake bird).  Or maybe our windshield wipers would be turned up for no reason.  For good measure, why not put a fake severed hand on the windshield on Halloween.  Actually, I'm not sure if I should blame Roger or his son for that one, but even if it was Jason, it was Roger's DNA that caused it.  I still have that severed hand in my car.  Then, of course on Christmas mom would send him a card from the family, and he'd send us one.  His card was always the same card we sent him with our names crossed out and his, Ryan, and Jason's written in. 

He loved to have fun.  It was becoming tradition to meet Roger outside when we were leaving for vacation.....at two in the morning.  He'd be getting out of a cab because he was certainly in no condition to drive home.  He'd always ask us why we were out with this look on his face that just couldn't comprehend why anyone sober would be awake at that hour.  Then he tell us that he hoped he could remember where he left his car in the morning.  I never quite knew if he was joking or if he had just had a really good night that night.

More recently he hadn't been taking those famous walks.  He was having back problems, and had had surgery.  He was getting around with a walker.  You always knew where he had been parked because he'd just leave the walker sitting there.  You never knew where you were going to find that thing.  The neighbor's little dog would attack it.  It was just sort of understood that if you found it, you put it in his front yard.  Although sometimes we wondered if we might just be better off leaving it where it was.  This year he sent a toy over for my sister's new baby, and he even gave us a Christmas card that wasn't recycled this year.  You never really knew what to expect from him.

He was such a big personality that just filled the room with laughter.  You were just happy to be talking to Roger, and he was always happy to be talking to you.  That's why losing him a few weeks ago is so hard to take.  It was so sudden.  Nobody saw it coming.  He was the energizer bunny that just kept going and going.  It never occurred to me that he'd be gone so soon.  Maybe Heaven needed a practical joker.  Perhaps God needed someone to take a walk with.  When I heard that he passed, I was sort of shocked at how hard it hit.  Of course any death is sad, but I never quite expected to hurt quite so much losing someone not related to me.  That was Roger though.  He was in your life, and he just found a way to be in your heart.  I can't imagine how devastated his sons are.

It won't be the same with him not sitting out in his front yard this summer.  It's already strange just seeing his walker sitting immobile on the front porch.  Of course, Roger will never be gone.  His sons look just like him, and have been known to act like him too.  I'll miss him, and it will be a while before I stop expecting to hear him yell "DUH" from somewhere across the street.  

Roger, you will never be forgotten.  If there's a bar in heaven, pull up a stool, spin around on it a little, then have a pretzel rod and a cherry coke on me.  

On the Scale


I went to the doctor a few days ago.  As usual before I went into the exam room, they had me step on the dreaded scale.  I've avoided saying the number here on the blog.  This girl is not happy with the number and didn't want to share.  However, it's time to cut the crap.  So, here it goes.  200.  That's the weight from the doctor.  Now, when I stepped on my scale at home the weight was 196, but that was without shoes, my coat, oh, my purse.  Yeah, the nurse didn't give me enough time to set my little handbag down either.  Oh well.  At this point is there really much difference between 196 and 200.  It's still too much.  I don't want to end up with diabetes because of my weight.  My knees tell me every day that dropping a few pounds would make them quite happy.  Heck, I'm not going to lie, buying smaller clothes wouldn't be too bad either.  So, here I go.  I'm going to post my weight every week along with a goal for that week.  We'll see how it goes.  I mentioned on my home page that I've been inspired by a coworker.  It can be done, and I'm going to do it.  I'm not so good at holding myself accountable to just me when it comes to my health, so I hold myself accountable to you.  My goal in the next week is two pounds.  I'll go off the 196 since that's from the scale I'll be using.  So, hopefully next week I'll be a happy girl writing about how I knocked goal number one out of the park.  Only time will tell.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Creeper

It begins almost like an idea.  A fleeting feeling that is almost like a passing thought.  Before I can register what might be happening the moment is gone, and I go on with my day.  A bit later it happens again.  Yet, again, it goes mostly unnoticed.  This fast disappearing feeling is just the start, and I won't recognize it for what it is until it's too late.

The next thing I notice are the lights.  They're somewhat small, almost like glitter falling around me.  I turn my head to watch it fall, but it disappears as I look it's way.  Next comes the assault.  The army takes aim at me, and begins their strike.  First a blow to the left side, then a blow to the right.  It comes from all angles until it settles at one point of my head and stays there.  The pain growing as the time passes.  I took the medicine, but it's not working.  I'm falling asleep.  Falling, falling, falling.

Waking up brings me to a point that is no better than the one I left.  The light attacks my eyes and sends fresh pain shooting through my head.  It seems like my entire body is fighting me.  I can't think straight, can't keep my eyes open, yet keeping them closed does not keep the pain away.  The sounds around me are harsh.  What should be my cat's soft steps are massive strikes on a drum nearly as big as the earth itself.  I fear my ears will bleed.  The pressure is tremendous.  Why isn't the medicine working?  Why?

The pain is so intense.  I feel like I'm defending myself against an invader I cannot see.....an invader I have no weapons to fight.  I can't do anything to stop it.  It grows like a living creature inside my head.  An angry beast trying to pick me apart from the inside out.  My head can no longer contain the chaos within.  It tries to escape through my ears, but the popping doesn't release the enemy.  It spreads down my neck into my shoulders.

I can't move any part of my body.  If I even contemplate shifting, my body protests.  Screams coming from within every muscle.  My eyes see through tunnels.  The flashing lights in the periphery only aggravate my sensitive vision. My stomach is boiling.  It churns like a sea on the verge of a storm.  I am sick.  My head screams in agony from the pressure of being sick.

The pain escalates.  I don't know how much more my head can take.  I don't know how much more I can take.  I feel like I'm losing my mind.  I fear I'm dying.  I want to scream.  I cry.  The tears burn like lave flowing out of my sore eyes.  My ears are ringing.  I can't hear well, I can't see.  I feel like I'm slipping away.  I'm dizzy.  I'm passing out.

Passing out is a welcome comfort.  As I wake up once more the pain is easing.  Either the medicine or my body have finally begun to gain the upper hand in this fight.  I feel groggy and sore.  I still don't want to move.  I hesitate to breathe deeply for fear that I might awaken the monster again.  Breathe.  Relax.  Breathe.

I know in my mind this monster is a migraine.  It's an evil that I face yet cannot eradicate.  I know I'm not dying while I'm suffering, but still, the fear is there.  Perhaps my doctor will be the knight the slays the dragon.  Relief has to be close at hand.  I'm missing work.  Missing my life laying in bed trying to just feel human again.  Each time it erupts I wonder will this be an hour, a day, two?  I wait for the day where I can count more than a week between migraines.  I wait for the day where even though the monster may always be present, hopefully it will lie sleeping.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Motivation

So, 2012 is the year of the goals.  I don't want to set too many goals and be looking at myself on December 31 thinking what a failure I am, so I'm shooting for 3.  As I accomplish one goal, I'm going to try and add another. Always having something to strive for will be my motivation.

So, goal #1---Get healthy.  There are a number of factors that will go into the new healthy me.  Losing weight, eating better, getting in shape, remembering how happy I am every day, and giving up soda are the five biggest factors that I feel will contribute to my success.

I'm not going to reveal my weight with a number.  I will say however, that if I get on the Wii Fit, my little Mii gets plumper and doesn't look happy with me at all.  So, I know that I need to get down to a healthier weight.  It's not good for anyone to carry the extra weight around.  It puts stress on the body you get to live in.  So, my plan is to consult with my doctor about a healthy goal weight for me, and ask for advice on how to get there.  I would jump off into just another diet, but in keeping with my Get Healthy goal, I feel my doctor should be involved in there somewhere.  I'm not putting a time frame on which I should lose the weight just yet.  I'll leave that up for me and the good doctor to decide in a few weeks when I go.

Eating better is just a good idea.  Making sure my body gets to have a balanced, nutritional diet is going to go a long way in making me healthier.  All those food groups are put right out there as a guide to those of us who aren't nutrition experts.  I should probably pay attention to those food groups a little more often.  My lunch today of Taco Bell was yummy, but probably not the best for me.  Besides, all those good foods I'm supposed to eat will help my body work like the well oiled machine it is intended to be.  I might even start to have more pep in my step once I get the crap out of my system.  Oh, the possibilities......

OK, so getting in shape is probably common sense following the first two factors in my Get Healthy goal.  Diet and exercise will help me lose weight.  It's like these three factors are all holding hands and singing Kumbaya.  It's magical, it's fantastic, it's exercise!!   See, what I'm doing here, I'm trying to muster as much enthusiasm into typing the word as I can.  Maybe then my brain will start thinking exercise sounds like fun.  It's not that I'm lazy.  I'm not.  I love to be busy.  I love doing things.  There's just something about that word exercise that makes me cringe.  I need to come up with a new word for it.  Something that sounds like more fun.  Until then, I'm just going to have to suck it up and get my rear on the treadmill.  I look forward to the warmer weather so that I can be outside maybe riding bikes, rollerblading, walking, and swimming.  I could always put those little weights in my room to use.  My bf has offered to work out with me, he's a former Marine, I should probably be scared by that offer.  Anyhoo, the getting in shape will make me feel better, and my body will of course be healthier.....assuming I don't injure myself in the process.

Remembering how happy I am every day is going to be the gas that powers me.  Changing my lifestyle to a more healthier one may perhaps try my patience at times.  I need to remind myself how much I have in my life to be grateful for.  How the past year was the happiest of my life, and how I intend to carry that happiness all the way to 2012 and beyond.  I'll remind myself how much better I'll feel once I'm healthier.  I'll be happy when I have more energy.  I will find something to be happy about even on those days when I'm wishing those veggies on my plate were big ole' candy bars.  Optimism makes me feel so much lighter in spirit than pessimism anyway.

Now, that last factor....giving up soda.  I drink Coca-Cola everyday.  More than once a day.  Some days it's all I drink.  There's a whole world out there of juices and milk, and flavored waters out there that just get ignored by my Coke loving self.  I drink way to much soda, so, alas, I think we must part ways.  It is going to suck.  I love Coke.  I crave Coke.  I can see this being the most difficult part of my Get Healthy goal.  However, people can give up smoking, I can give up Coke.  It's going to have to be cold turkey.  It's honestly the part of this goal that I worry about the most.  I'm ditching the Coke starting Monday, so I better enjoy this weekend I suppose.  Maybe one day after I've gotten my bad dietary (and drinking) habits under control I'll be able to enjoy a Coke every once in a while.  Maybe.  We'll see.

There you have it.  Goal #1 in all its glory.  Hold me accountable.  I've seen a coworker shrink before my eyes because he was able to put his mind to losing weight, so I know it can be done.  I just need to stay motivated, stay focused, and stay positive.  Wish me luck!  Until next time.....go get some happy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snowzilla

Apparently my area is about to experience a fierce monster like no other we've ever faced before.  The news has been warning his approach for days now.  When he gets here, our world as we know it will cease to exist.  HE.  IS.  SNOWZILLA!!!  That's right folks, by tomorrow morning the tri-state area will be blanketed by a snowstorm that will bring us an unbelievable amount of snow.  We might get as much as an INCH!!  Maybe two depending on where the storm goes.  Oh the horror.  Did you hear me people, an INCH!  That not a dusting.  By tomorrow morning I might not be able to see the ground.  I don't know how I'm going to be able to go on with my life after this devastation.

Seriously, there is a town in Alaska where it has snowed every day since mid-December.  They have over twenty feet of snow.  Houses are buried, snow is halfway up trees.  There is no road into the town and the ports they use are unusable right now.  They are begging people to send in sturdy snow shovels.  They are handling it, yet when our forecast calls for an inch or two people go into full on panic mode.

Look, I know that roads get crappy when it snows....even just a little.  During a heavy snowstorm conditions can be bad.  I'm not all woo-hoo, let's go crazy out there.  Common sense goes a long way though.  Drive slow, keep your distance, turn on those lights.  Those are all things you have to do when the weather throws a snowball at you.

Things you do not have to do include stocking up water, bread, cookies, batteries, green eggs, ham, ketchup, mustard, frozen dinner, or whatever.  With an inch of snow, the grocery store will still be open, you will have to go to work.  Time will not be standing still because little ole Kentucky got a tiny bit of snow.

As I'm typing this I hear the wind howling outside.  It sounds like it's trying to huff, and puff, and blow my house down.  I'm going to go outside tomorrow and probably find out that the howling wind froze my door shut.  I may hear that the roads are icy and slushy, and yet, I do not think the white death is upon us.  I'm lucky that I don't mind driving in the snow.  I can't say I don't have some white knuckle moments, but most times, I'm good with it.  So, I don't mind going out when so many others seem to be stressed to the breaking point at the thought of getting behind the wheel.  If you are one of those people, by all means, don't drive in it.  No point in freaking yourself out.  I wouldn't drive if I was afraid.

I've noticed that with my local favorite TV channel they have been trying to stress that this is not the mother of all snowstorms.  However, people seem to hear, "The End Is Near".  I shouldn't be surprised, first "major" snow this season.  Like this every year.  It is what it is, but it never changes, and never gets any less annoying.  Oh well, I suppose if panicking is what it takes to make people be careful, then I should be grateful for it.  I'll work on that.  Be careful, be safe, be warm.  Until next time readers....go find yourself some happy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Serenity

There is a difference between "love" and "like".  That difference is subtle or blindingly obvious, depending on who you ask.  To me, love is instinct.  It's a deep feeling that is almost a reflex to something or someone who is so much a part of you, that you can hardly bear it when that thing or person is absent from your life.  Like, however, is more of an opinion.  You like something or someone that has appealing qualities that please your senses.  If something about that person or thing changes, so can your opinion.  Perhaps you will like it or them less, or in extreme cases, not at all.  Like is more of a surface feeling.

In many cases "like" and "love" go hand in hand.  You begin with like....it can take root and grow into love.  It is hard to find love for someone or something if that initial feeling of like isn't there.  However, once love has taken root it is possible for like to fade.  This leaves you with that feeling of love where you want that thing or person in your life.....but at the same time, you need just a little distance to remind yourself why that love is there to begin with.  Think of the web of people in your life.  Narrow that web down to the people who you can truly say you love.  Now think of the last time you didn't feel like talking to them because they had done something to annoy you.  You still love them, but you just don't feel the like too much right at that moment.  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  I love my job.  I do.  I'm one of those lucky people who works in an environment that is generally fun and positive.  There are opportunities to expand my knowledge of the issues that arise in the office.  I feel safe here, and I know that at the end of the day, my office is a family, dysfunctional though it may be at times.  Today, however, I'm having trouble liking my job.  I won't bore you with the specifics, but let's just say that there's a project that the office is working on that is basically turning into a zombie that's come to eat our brains.  It involves a computer program, and my head will explode if I try to figure out the specifics of exactly what's broken with this new program, but suffice it to say, broke is bad.  I understand the thought process behind this project.  It will allow for more in depth information about properties to be available to the public.  When completed correctly, this project could be great.  Apparently the road to greatness is full of giant sinkholes.

We are stalled.  Plus the work we've done so far probably needs to be repeated.  If you could see the stack of papers of work we've done so far, you'll cry with me.  It's certainly not the first project in the history of all offices to face a setback.  It's OK, we'll figure out our next steps and move on with it.  It's just hard being right in the middle of it all and not knowing what comes tomorrow.  Some people panic, some get angry, and others just assume the worst is going to come and wait for that giant meteor to land right in the middle of customer service.  I fall in the latter group.  It looks like a pretty shooting star, then, wham, you're toast.

So, all of you out there in Blog Land.  I hope the projects you begin today go smoothly, and your jobs treat you well.  I'm very thankful to have a job to complain about.  I know I'm lucky.  On days like today I like to remember the Serenity Prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and to do your will (or you may know the last line as "and the wisdom to know the difference")" Either way, it helps to remember to slow down, take a breath, and be calm.  If nothing else, no matter what's going wrong in your life remember, this too shall pass.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Holidays.......

......and by holidays I mean Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  I have not written since Memorial Day.  Bad Blogger!  Bad, bad blogger! 

With all those months to think about, I should have no trouble coming up with a post.  The trouble for me will be to keep it reasonably short.  I'm a talker....or, well, typer. 

I'm still an attic dweller in that I still basically live in my parents attic.  Gee, putting it like that makes me sound like a real winner, but hey, you can't beat rent free, meals included.  However, I do not spend nearly as much time in that attic as I used to.  OK, part of my time spent out of the attic is sleeping on the couch because it's the middle of winter and there's no heat up there.  Do you have any idea how cold an attic can get in the winter.  I do.  Cold.  Really cold.  More comfortable to sleep on the couch cold.  However, a good majority of my time away from the attic is spent with my boyfriend.  That is not a typo folks, he's mine :)  I'm not going to go into a mushy post about how I'm happier than I've ever been and a large part of it is because of Boyfriend coming into my life.  Nope, not going there, my sisters will puke if I do.

There are two other men who have come into my life since my last post too.  Don't worry.  This Attic Dweller hasn't gone out and become a player.  The other two men are Little Cousin, and Nephew.  .  Little Cousin was born in July and Nephew was born right before Christmas.    A cousin and a nephew.  Not a bad way to put a smile on my face.  I love those little guys more than you can imagine.  They are lights in my life and I simply cannot get enough of them. 

I have found that I have quite a natural talent for crochet of all things.  I'm a crocheting fool.  Recently, I even got my first paying order, so....BONUS!  Getting paid for a hobby I love....yep, makes me happy.  I might look into drumming up more business for "Kimmy Crochet" as I've nicknamed myself.  I'll have to put up some pictures soon of some of my creations.  Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into one big crafting blog.  However, I cannot guarantee it will be completely craft free.

Friend got engaged, married, and is expecting her first child at the end of April.  I'm still recovering from that whirlwind, but it's a whirlwind I don't mind blowing me over.  So much good news.  Becca finds out whether they are having a boy or a girl next Thursday.  I'd hazard a guess, but I guessed both Little Cousin and Nephew were girls so, I clearly suck at that guessing game.  Another new baby in my life.  More smiling.  I tell ya, I've been smiling so much lately my cheeks hurt.  I may just explode and shoot rays of sunshine everywhere.

I'm not saying everything is all unicorns and rainbows.  I just can't think of a single bad thing to include right now.  I wouldn't want to let any negativity creep into all the positive in this post anyway.  Take that negativity!!

Well, a new year, can equal new beginnings.  I'm stealing an idea of a friend of mine and creating goals for myself rather than making resolutions (thanks Rob!).  Short term, or even long term goals are far less daunting than one big resolution made on New Year's Day.  We're almost a week in to the new year and I haven't had the time to think about those goals, but I do know that blogging more is going to be one of them.  Now that I've almost finished this post, I realize how much I've missed it.  Time to step it up!  I'll write more as I come up with my goals for this year, but if you want to get an idea of what the heck I'm talking about, take a look at Rob's blog:  The Pumpkin Society. Not only does he give his goals and honest updates about how he's doing, but he'll review games, books, comics, movies...you name it, he'll tell ya about it.  It's a great blog to follow!

Well, dear readers, I suppose it's about time I end this for now.  I will visit you again next week!  Until then, go find yourself some happy!