28 March 2017

Just Try Not to be an Ass

Sweet baby jesus, I should have considered this 30-day list a little more closely before deciding to use it.  It feels like Negative Town up in here and I'm only on day three.

What are your three pet peeves?

I think I can only decide on two, really.  Both of them are encompassing many bad behaviors so I might be cheating at little.

Bad Etiquette - table manners, rudeness, effing gum chewing, not being aware of your impact on others around you.  (looking at you those people who stand in the middle of the aisle of the grocery stores)

Willful ignorance - in this day and age, there is no excuse not to have some level of knowledge.  My most recent examples are that horrifying How Bout Dah girl.  Or our friend who said "I just didn't know who to vote for this year."  Or a certain family member who blindly accepts others opinions as facts and does no research.

Let's flip this. Here's what I do to try not to trigger anyone's pet peeves:

I try to make a point of saying please, thank you, I'm sorry to everyone. 
I look cashiers in the eye and ask how their day is going.
I will hold the door open for you and bite back yelling "You're welcome, your highness" when you don't say thank you.
I try to remember service people's names and use them.  The water guy? Marshall.  The postman? Jeremy.  The delivery guy? Kyle.  
I will turn around in a store aisle if it's crowded.  I will skip making a choice and return to it if I'm holding up traffic. 
I comment to kids with glasses because I can relate.  "I like your glasses. All the cool kids wear glasses."
I make faces and wave at babies and toddlers.
I smile at old folks. 
I thank service members for their service.  Even the older gentlemen with the veteran hats.
I tell someone if they look great.  I've found "I love your shirt, you should wear that every day." works wonders.

Now, I'm certainly not Susy Mary Sunshine as the above list may make it seem.  I'm certain that I've done the frustrated deep sigh, the impatient throat clearing/cough, used "the tone."  I am human, I just try not to be an ass while doing it.  

27 March 2017

We Are Always Going to Be Annoying

"Write something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot."

Ugh, two entries in and I'm all "Can we skip this one?"  I'm back in high school, not wanting to do the writing assignment.

I'm sure the intent of the prompt is to think if something positive that someone would have said to you.  But I think that in being human, one would tend to think of negative things first.  Maybe I'm wrong but that's been my experience among humans.

Well, the first thing that popped into my mind is appropriate for the situation that I've found myself in currently.  I don't remember who said it though.  To be honest, I've probably heard it more than once, just phrased differently. So, para-phrased:

"Who you are, as a person, is always going to draw someone's ire."

I can be outspoken, not outgoing usually but outspoken.  A person rarely has to guess how I'm feeling about something.  I'm known to be blunt, in a direct way and hopefully not in a mean way.  I know a little about a lot of things and I've had a lot of life experiences that perhaps gives me a different perspective.  I live in boy world, where filters and feelings are rarely employed.

So, I'm no church mouse nor the super popular cheerleader.  I am certainly not everyone's cup of tea.  It also seems that if someone is insecure in their own person, I can be a nightmare.  Or I can be your best friend, or both, of that I am sure.  Sometimes it seems like  there is no middle ground. 

And maybe that statement applies to everyone.  Who we are is always going to annoy someone else. 

25 March 2017

10 Levels of Happiness

One of my planned tasks/coping techniques is a 30-day Writing Challenge.  I never make time for these and I always want to do them.  I'm squelching the OCD that disagrees with starting this on the 24th of the month and not the first.  So, here goes.

Topic #1: 10 Things that Make Me Happy and Why

Kevin...he's so patient with me.  I know I'm not a picnic to be married to.  It's been 27 years and sometimes it feels like it's been five minutes.  Plus, he's super fun to hang out with and easy to look at.

The kids...although they're not my children, they have become so.  I just can't describe the joy they have brought into our lives. As someone who has always known she can't have children, I didn't guess that my life with be this full of them.

Lucy...she's the happiest dog we've ever had.  She's a great snuggler when your life sucks, she's a good companion in the truck, and look at this face:

Coffee.  I know this seems frivolous and cliche.  But it's not just the need of it. It's the process, the ritual. It's purposefully doing something that I enjoy.

Television...see the above.  I was raised by the television so it is a source of comfort.  It's a companion.  

Reading...It doesn't matter if it's the interwebs, a magazine, or a book series.  My love of reading has been lifelong. 

Hamilton...I've not experienced music in the way that the Hamilton soundtrack has affected me.  Every time I listen to it, I seem to learn something that I hadn't caught before.

Gardening...this is a new one.  I haven't developed a love for it until recently.  Now I find I'm itching to go dig in the dirt, pull weeds, and care for the flower garden I've planted.  I'm even considering a kitchen garden, which makes the younger me laugh and laugh.

Photography...I enjoy randomly stopping to take photos.  I've gone places I probably shouldn't.  I've gotten soaking wet and cold.  I've learned to be in the moment.  I've documented moments for the family that I know will be beyond valuable in the years to come.

Soaking wet in January, I misjudged the timing of the waves. 
Writing...I mean, duh.  But it helps quiet my brain.  As someone who has three thoughts, song lyrics, and a to-do list simultaneously and constantly scrolling through her brain, writing helps slow the process.  It gives my imagination something to do.  It provides me a place to document memories that I know will fade in time.  It requires me to be still.

24 March 2017

Down the Rabbi Hole Again

I've started this post a few times. I've given it ten titles, many just using curse words.  "Nothing Gold Can Stay", "Won't Get Fooled Again",  "FML", "Starting Over", "An Early Spring Break", "Didn't See That Coming".   You probably get the idea.

I'm not working again.  Again.  In a zany twist that I didn't see coming and could not have predicted, I lost my job.  My dream job.  No warning, conducted like an assassination by strangers, and leaving a big scar in my psyche. 

It's been a week and I'm still a little shell-shocked.  I mean, seriously I did not see this coming.  One moment I was  working and the next, not so much.  The reasons given at the time didn't add up but now that time has passed, personal agendas, leadership changes, and budgets seem to be the cause. 

So, EFF.  Seriously.  (another possible title, that one)

There's no way not to take this personally.  There is no way not to internalize this.  There is no way not to feel angry and hurt. 

Here I am starting over again, again.  I've been here before but for vastly different reasons.  I've only held three real long-term jobs in my adulthood of twenty-cough years; one lasting nearly thirteen years, the other seven years and this was the one I was going to stay at forever. 

I get to decide once again, who I want to be when I grow up.  What do I want to do and where do I want to do it.  I really thought I had this figured out but apparently the Universe was bored and needed to mix things up. This is where my more metaphysical friends would nod knowingly and say "There's something else out there for you, this wasn't the right path."   While I know deep down that it's true, I still kind of want to yell curse words and stomp. 

A coping mechanism I'm trying to deploy is one of structure.  I'm keeping myself on the same schedule, as if I were still working.  I'm applying for all the jobs I'm qualified for, regardless of my interest in them.  I've given myself a timeline and schedule to keep, I'm not going to relax into the time-off like in the past.  I'm trying to focus on other things like completing projects and purposefully pursuing hobbies. 

I'm trying not to fall down the rabbit hole, because that would be incredibly easy.  Thus the structure plan and employing self care that I wouldn't regularly do.  But that rabbit hole has been enticing, for sure.

06 March 2017

Musical Trucks - A Love Story

Firstly, it's never going to stop snowing here. Like, ever.  I honestly don't remember the last day where there wasn't snow on the ground...December?  This is really unusual for the lovely Pacific Northwest and while it was fun for a while, I'd like to break up with it now.  It's not it, it's me.

This morning I'm driving a new truck.  I'm still having a bit of anxiety so the excitement level is a little low.  My beloved 4Runner was pronounced terminal by our mechanic a week ago.  I'm terribly sad about this and yes, I have an unnatural attachment to things.

I have always wanted a 4Runner and I absolutely love it.  The problem being is the body style that I love the mostest has the crappiest engine and isn't worth fixing.  Boo.  We've already fixed it once because we bought it for next-to-nothing so it was worth the investment.  Not so much this time though.

We started out looking for a newer 4Runner but I just don't like that body style and they were few & far between.  So, we were going to roadtrip to Idaho to a truck place and get one.  Because I'm fussy about my vehicles and Kevin is a saint.

Then, the next morning Kevin, in his Kevin-like way, found a Durango (Dodge version of the 4Runner) that he really liked.  I was tepidly considering getting a Dodge truck at the time so I was open to the idea.

But it was over on the coast.  Gah.  The guy was in a hurry to sell it so double-gah.  Kevin left work early and over we went.  It was a pretty cool truck so we jumped at the chance.  But, the seller is a soldier and on duty so we had to wait until Saturday morning to go get it. Nothing about this is seeming easy.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to almost six inches of snow on the ground again. We headed out, again, and I couldn't even get excited because the thought of driving a new truck in this snow was making me crazy.  It's not like I've had good luck in the snow.  (see previous post)

But we got over there just fine and the snow was just in the mountains so that was nice.  As we were leaving the coast, Kevin phoned his dad to ask him if it was still snowing.  "Oh, yes, it's dumping down here and it hasn't stopped!"

We got home and the roads were clear and it was almost sunny.  WTH.  I hovered between thanking sweet, tiny, baby jesus and punching an old man for being melodramatic.

I put my 4Runner on the craigslist for sale and Kevin's phone blew up.  There was someone who wanted to come look at it and was certain he wanted it.  I went to find the title and not so much.  I emptied the drawer and every file and no title.  What.the.actual.hell.is happening.

I never lose things.  I'm just not that girl. I have paperwork for a car that we don't even own anymore from 2004. I don't lose things, I keep them. So, I was thinking about it.  We got the truck in November 2011 then went on vacation then it was the holidays.  In Spring 2012 was when I broke my foot off my leg and was home for six months.  I realized that the title had never arrived.  GAH.  It's been five years!

So, we had to take the ad back down and wait until today to get a new one, with the idea it was going to take at least a few months and we would be stuck with this broken yard-art of a truck.  I drove past it this morning and felt a little guilty.  It's such a pretty truck and it's a crying shame that it's junk.

Our tax return went toward a new-to-me vehicle this year so hooray? It sure is pretty and I'll fall in love with it too, eventually.  Maybe after the old truck is gone and I don't feel so guilty.  I have issues, obviously.

Oh, and then Kevin's truck blew a head gasket yesterday.  Because of course it did. The irony in this situation is that he has been teasing me about being so attached to my truck. I told him he had karma patiently waiting for him because when it's time to sell that truck, it will be exactly the same.  And here we are.  But we'll probably fix his because it's fixable.  Lucky duck.

Snow was melting when I took this and now we have more