Sunrise over the Caribbean, where my husband and I honeymooned

Friday, February 26, 2010


Last night we watched an Ellen Degeneres comedy routine. The one about procrastination where she focuses on the busy lifestyles and conveniences of today. Too funny. She spoke about Disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder and how we've become too busy to even say the whole name so we abbreviated them to OCD and ADD. She came up with an abbreviation of her own called TBD..... TOO BUSY DISORDER. This cracked me up. Everything she said was so true! And of course she put a humorous spin to the fast paced crazy lifestyles we seem to all be living! But in between all the humor lied the absolute truth. We need to slow down, take time to smell the roses so to speak. She made me laugh when she talked about yoga and how we have come to the point where we are paying for silence! We're so busy busy busy all the time and craving to be just be still and quiet, yet in those quiet moments, we're still going full speed ahead on the inside. Ellen spoke of an experience in yoga when the instructor told her to clear her mind. So she is still and quiet and trying to meditate when what pops into her head?....
"Mama keeps it bright, bright like the sunshine, mama's got the magic of Clorox Two!"
Hilarious. I laughed so hard I couldn't breath! I have tried meditation many times and it has been a rare occasion when I was able to completely clear my mind. I think Ellen got it right. I have TBD. My son reminded me of this when I was rushing him out of the house this morning to get to school because I had to hit the bank on the way because I couldn't do it later because I had groceries to get and bills to pay and this and that to do. My son said to me "Mom, remember what Ellen said last night. Ya know, that disorder you have?" HA! So at least for today, I'm going to get my TBD in check and relax a little. I do have some things that need to get done, but in between errands I am going to try and be present. I'm going to notice the beauty around me. It's snowing outside. I'm going to take some deep breaths and think about everything that is wonderful in my life. I am going to be still and appreciative. And if I procrastinate a little and don't get everything on the to-do list done, there is always tomorrow. Thanks Ellen
see a few clips here:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jaw dropping start of a "Just Say No" discussion

Prompted by something he saw on television last night, my soon to be 11 year old said that he thinks marijuana should be legalized. Within a few seconds, a hundred thoughts were going through my head. I have learned that a shocked, jaw dropping response on my part creates discomfort for him and inhibits open communication for our future. So keeping in mind that I want my son to be able to talk to me about anything, I quickly maintained my composure and asked "Why do you think that?" To which he replied "Because it helps people who are suffering from terminal illness." I was instantly reminded of a close friend of mine who I watched suffer through cancer that ultimately took her life. Smoking marijuana was the only thing that provided some relief from the pain and from the side effects of chemo. Do I tell my son about this? Do I tell a 10 year old that on some level I agree with him? I decide to ask more questions starting with, "What did they teach you about marijuana in DARE?" Lucky for me, my son just graduated from the DARE program a couple of months ago. He proceeded to tell me everything he learned including that marijuana could be a gateway drug and lead to the experimentation with stronger drugs like cocaine and heroin. I felt a little sick to my stomach when considering my son's curiosity and how it won't be long before he is a teenager and has to make the choice to say no. At least I hope with all my heart that he chooses to say no. I tried really hard to listen to him and wait for the right moment to put my two cents in. I felt proud of him as he spoke. He said, "Alcohol is legal and I think it could be like one of the worst drugs out there. It's legal but like, it doesn't help anyone who is sick like marijuana does. It kinda doesn't make sense Mom. And the DARE teacher told us that like one of the biggest addictions in America is prescription pills." Wow. I am impressed with the DARE program. As he talked I decided to take this wonderful opportunity to provide some of my own feelings on the subject of drug use. I told my son that the day would come when he would have to make a choice. We talked about peer pressure and curiosity. I told him what my expectations were and that I understand how hard it is to be kid sometimes. I assured him that I am a good listener and even though I'm his mom, I will listen without judgment when he wants to talk about the pressures of growing up. We talked about the dangers of drug use and I told him my sincere hope is that he won't try marijuana no matter how strong the temptation may be. Right now, he assures me with a promise to say no to drugs. I told him I think he is wise beyond his years and that I was confident he would make good choices in his life. At the end of the conversation I felt confident enough in my son's understanding to tell him the story of my friend. My friend with cancer who used marijuana to ease her pain. Ultimately, I didn't feel comfortable enough to agree or disagree with a 10 year old and his position on the subject of legalizing marijuana, but I did let him know that his opinions were valuable.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dream symbolism

Could my crazy dream last night be symbolic of my life in some way?
Before I tell you the details of my dream, maybe I should lay out the foundation of my current situation. If you read my post about Lent, you already know that CHANGE is in the forecast for me. I wasn't specific yet in what changes I am actually making but I figure if I am going to be honest with myself, I can probably start by putting it out there to my readers (all three of you, ha!)
To start, I have made a decision to quit smoking. If you are in my close circle of friends, you will know that I have quit a hundred times only to start again. I have had some good quits under my belt; once for two years even! I have come to realize that what brings me back most of time is drinking! I'm a social drinker, have been most of my adult life. But as I get older, it's getting old. And it isn't helping my desire to live a healthy life style. With that being said, I am at this moment, 4 days smoke free. I really want it to stick this time so to ensure my success, I have decided to cut out the alcohol too, for a good long while. It will be good for me in more ways than I could ever list here. But for starters, it will help me to be more disciplined in healthy eating and exercising. I love to exercise yet find myself making excuses to be lazy, like being hungover for instance?
So my quest for healthier living has led me to a place of constant self evaluation. I don't think I am obsessed, but I do think I think too much! And what I think about, I dream about! I've always done that. My dreams are reflections on what is going on in my life and especially what is going on in my head. My dreams don't reflect my life exactly but the symbolism in them sometimes astounds me!
Like last nights dream. I was in a gym. The gym was full of really old equipment..I mean like really old. Rusty. In my dream I wasn't thrilled about being there. I got on a treadmill for like 2 minutes when I noticed a refrigerator across the way. A woman opened the door and it was full of cans of beer! In real life I prefer bottles so not quite sure why my brain chose cans. Anyway, I hopped off the treadmill in an instant and headed for the fridge. I grabbed myself a beer and then headed to the free weights. Put my beer in a holder that was probably meant for a water bottle and proceeded to do a very minimal amount of bicep curls, like 3 to be exact. That made me tired so I chugged my beer and headed to the community fridge for another one. I reluctantly headed to a rusty row machine, took a few big chugs off the beer can and placed it on the floor next to me. Row, row, rowed the machine three times which made me very thirsty so I finished my beverage, got off the machine and made my way back to the fridge. In route, I ran into a couple of friends standing at the reception desk drinking beers of their own and having a cheerful conversation. I decided then that my work out was over and my happy hour was about to begin! Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the gathering smokers outside. Bet you never saw that at any gym! Just as I began to feel quitters anxiety, I was awoken by my alarm clock. Thank God, because I think I would have smoked!
Now I don't know if you see the symbolism in this dream like I do, so let me just spell out my interpretation. For starters, the old exercise equipment. The irony is just screaming out at me! It is symbolic of my excuses and my many failed attempts at keeping up with a healthy lifestyle. The excuses are getting old and tired just like the machines. And then there's the beer and cigarettes. 'Nuff said.
Although I do know there is such a thing as withdrawal dreams and I am probably looking too deeply into it, I just can't help but to try and analyze it. And after doing so I have realized that if nothing else, this dream helped me have a light bulb moment!
My ultimate goal in life is to follow my dreams! If my dreams are a result of my thoughts, I better work on changing the way I think!
P.S. I still can't figure out the symbolism of beer in a can.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

People Watching

Over the weekend my husband and I went to Chili's for lunch. We were tired from celebrating my birthday the night before, so conversation was minimal. A comfortable silence that led to my intensive people watching. As I looked out the window I noticed a lone man approaching the door of Chili's. I could tell that he could see his own reflection in the glass window of the door as he studied his hair-do and made an adjustment to his comb over. I instantly assumed he was there to meet someone for the first time. Or at least hoping he was and even more, hoping they would sit near us. To my delight, the man and his date were seated diagonally across from us, right in my peripheral sight! Just as I suspected, a blind date. I've been on enough of them in the past to recognize the signs! Their menu's sat lonely on the table as they made small talk. My husband and I opened our menu's before the server even took our drink orders. Their server asked them 4 times if they needed a few more minutes before ordering. He finally recommended a bowl of chips and salsa to which they accepted, but then the chips sat there for ten minutes before one of them got up the nerve to crunch on one! It made me snicker to study the restaurant and the dynamics of the couples there. Jason and I are newlyweds and were completely content with small talk and even a little quiet as we ate. The elderly couple a few tables away were completely content eating in complete silence with very few words exchanged. I noticed the young couple with a new baby. Their eyes were focused on the baby and it was apparent that their goal was to be able to complete a meal without a meltdown. the entire place was interesting and each table had a story to tell, but my interest remained with the blind date. I don't think she liked him. He talked a lot about himself. "I" this and "I" that. Too many "I"'s coming from this man and too many "mmm, hmmm"'s and "Oh really's?" coming from her. Her lack of interest in him grew more apparent as her interest in the nacho chips grew more and more. "She doesn't like him." I say to my husband who responded, "who doesn't like who?" I tell him about my perception of what is going on at the other table. He asks "Do you think they know you are staring at them?" I tell him "Her back is to me and I can only see his face and he is too involved in himself to notice anything else!"
It finally comes time for them to look at their menu's. He's talking the entire time! I think it's about virtual video games! Oh Lord, have mercy on this poor girl. I know what she is thinking...."Get me out of here." She is studying the menu intently, not looking up once as her date babbles on and on. Never once did he ask her a question about herself. She stopped asking questions about him too, after she realized he'd bore her death. He thinks the date is going well. My husband is trying to get my attention. "Hello? I'm right here." He says. Oops, I'm completely ignoring my husband as I'm gaining insight and focusing on these two strangers lives. I just found it very entertaining and quite honestly thought it would make a great blog topic! A title came to my mind in an instant, "A guide for men and how NOT to act on a blind date."
OK, so now it's time for them to order. OH MY GOD! He ordered first! Didn't even give his date the courtesy. I wondered if men have been scared by woman's liberation. I wondered if he thought it would be an insult to let the lady order first, but quickly realized that this man just didn't have a clue. Simple as that. He proceeds to embarrass himself by asking a hundred questions about the menu, telling the waiter an exaggerated story about how he practices healthy eating habits and ordering his dressing on the side! I'm laughing now, as quietly as I can as my husband rolls his eyes. I continue to watch and confirm that she is SO not interested in a relationship with this man as she orders the greasiest most fattening burger on the menu! I can't help but recognize the irony in their choices seeing that SHE was the one with a fit body! "you go girl" I think. She wants to drown her boredom in the comfort of a burger! I'm impressed with her.
I am reminded of a date I had once that was just like this, and unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to sit through a whole meal. I excused myself to the bathroom where I called a friend to rescue me! Literally had her call me with an "emergency" so I could bolt! So I gave this girl credit for sticking it out with yet another guy who had no clue! I started to become a little bored knowing that I would never really know the end to this story and realized I didn't really care. What I really cared about is how lucky I was to be done with all the blind dates gone bad. I was grateful to be sitting in comfortable silence with the man at my table, my wonderful husband who is interested in what I have to say and who still lets me order first. When my husband finally said to me "Would you like me to ask them if they have room at their table for one more?" I concluded that the story at my table was more interesting.

Friday, February 19, 2010

36 Years Young

Today is my birthday. I have been alive for 36 years. People ask if I feel old. My instant response is no but when I think about it, in some ways I do. Like I see the effects of age on my body. My knees hurt sometimes. I have tension in my neck. I'm starting to buy bras and shoes for their comfort level rather than style. My hangovers last like 4 days. Sleeping in is 8 am and a late night is 11. So yes, my body is aging. But my mind and my spirit still feel young. Very young lately in fact. My curiosity is still that of a little kid and I still crave adventure. I love my 30's because I feel some sense of clarity. I was confused in my 20's and lacked self esteem. Not so now. I like the woman I am, I can't get enough of me! Ha! Kidding aside, I am getting to know me better and have gained the insight to know that if I don't like something about myself or I don't like my circumstances, I have the power to make changes. And if the changes aren't immediate, like transforming my body into a bikini powerhouse, then I don't really give a shit. I'll wear my tankini instead. But I'm not going to hide myself from the world. I am however, going to buy some wrinkle cream.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The simple Man

The simple man has simple needs. His language is simple. The simple man has simple ideas. He has simple goals. He lives simply, not to any extreme. He finds joy in simple pleasures. He likes to go fishing and camping. He likes to ride on big machines. His friends are simple, just like him. He dresses simply most of the time. Simple entertainment makes him content. The simple man is simple in every way except one....his ability to LOVE. There is nothing simple about it! When it comes to love, he does it with intention and with a full heart. He knows how to love, passionately. He is a genius in love. He calms me, thrills me and his kisses take my breath away. His smile.....simple but beautiful. he simply wants to make me happy and to me, he is simply amazing.

Some thoughts on Lent

In the car this morning I was listening to my local country station. They were talking about Lent and asking people to call in with what they were giving up. Things like gossip, swearing, junk food and shopping. I grew up with a Christian background and in my early 20's I was dating a devout Catholic. So I do have some sort of idea of what Lent is about. For a long time I thought the idea of Lent was a joke. Someone gives up chocolate for 40 days and this renews their faith and makes them a better person in the long run? The alcoholic gives up booze for 40 days and that excuses him of his wrong doings for the rest of the year? It seemed ridiculous to me. Just another man made way of justifying our wrong doings. But in my recent days of soul searching, I think I have come to a different understanding about this whole Lent thing. This morning while I listened to people talk about what they were giving up for Lent, I felt inspired instead of annoyed. Being that I am more spiritual than religious, I am able to wrap my mind around the concept of Lent if I look at it as spiritual discipline; Feeding of the soul through change, reflection and success. Each of us has our own thoughts, our own beliefs and our own struggles. But isn't it true that by reaching deep within ourselves and recognizing what it is that we need to give up to make our spirit smile again is worth the discipline it will take to get there? Whether you are religious or not, it takes a strong spirit to accomplish something. So I am choosing to see Lent this year as a time of reflection and accomplishment. Quite recently I have decided to make some changes in my life. I will be celebrating my 36th birthday tomorrow and my goal is to give myself the gift of CHANGE. I have a strong desire to turn some bad habits into good ones. Am I giving anything up? Yes I am. Am I gaining anything from my sacrifice? Most certainly. My decision to make these changes came before I even considered that Lent was right around the corner. Will I say that "I'm giving it up for Lent?" Probably not. But I will say this, I am always inspired by those who make sacrifices for the good of themselves. But today I am especially inspired by the many voices on the radio this morning who were speaking directly to me (even though they didn't know it) about their personal struggles. Because we all know, what you decide to give up for Lent is going to be something you're struggling with. I wish everyone who is working through a struggle or breaking a habit peace in your journey. I have read that it takes 30 days to break a habit. Lent lasts 40..... 40 days that quite possibly could last forever.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tween in the Tre-Howse

In my house, there lives a tween. Tween, the word that has been developed to describe a kid who is no longer a young child nor an adolescent teen. They fall through the cracks, somewhere in be-'tween.' I have been doing research on raising a child for almost 11 years now. We all know that being a mother means being an expert in research. My research has led me to a place of complete confusion and I have discovered that I basically know nothing. But what I do know is that having a tween in the house is challenging to say the least. There are days when my son pushes my buttons to the very max; days when it takes everything in me not to take my disciplinary measures back to the "old school." "Go in the yard and pick out your whipping stick boy!" But instead I use new school techniques like using my words (sometimes quite loudly) and providing consequences. (how many times can I take away his psp)? As challenging as my tween can be, having the opportunity to watch him evolve into his own person is amazing. Sure, he's pushing my buttons and challenging his limits, but at the same time he is coming into his own. There are moments when he does something and all I want to do is laugh. And sometimes I do. We laugh together. But there are those times when, as a parent you have to hold back the laughter for the time being and dream of the time when your tween turns adult and you can share the story with them on a lighter note. One such story of ours started recently with a call from the principal. "I'd like to meet with you regarding a situation involving your son and the school computer." Tweens and computers, a whole new dynamic in the modern child raising challenges. (note to self: Tweens and computers: Subject for another post another day). Turns out, the school had key stroke monitoring of the book report website the kids were using. Unbeknown to my son who decided to type in a swear word to impress his buddies. A bad swear. The swear that starts with the letter F. Now mind you, I do not approve of the use of this language by a ten year old nor do I ever use the F word myself (yeah right). But boys will be boys and I know the boys are attempting to use fowl language whenever they can. The fact that my son typed it on the computer brings a whole new meaning to the word and to the NO TOLERANCE policies adopted by schools these days. BUT, in my son's defense, he typed the word, thus key stroke evidence, then gave it a little thought and ultimately, within minutes, made the very good decision to delete the word so it was never officially published. No other children saw it for which I am very grateful. Anyway, the point of this babbling is to get to the funny part. It is the morning of Dooms appointment with the principal. I am in the bathroom blow drying my hair when my son the tween comes to the door and says, "Mom, what should I wear today?" Strange question coming from a kid who is only just beginning to care a tweeny bit about fashion. "I don't care what you wear, just put some clothes on." I say. "Okay Mom." a few minutes go by and he returns. As I am taking a sip of my coffee, he appears in the doorway with a big smile and black long sleeve t-shirt on with these words printed on the front: "WASN'T ME!" Resisting my urge to spit my coffee all over the bathroom and burst out laughing I said "Cute Tyler. Go change."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My first blog, take ONE

I can't be the only woman struggling on the inside, can I? I drove to work this morning wondering how it can be that at the age of 36 (this coming Friday) I am not living up to my potential. Do I know what my potential really is? I have always dreamed of being a writer. Yet I don't write. I have health goals that I don't achieve. My friends see me as this positive and content woman with so much going for her. And they are right, sometimes. For the most part, I am happy. I have a son who is almost 11 years old who has filled my life with joy. I recently married a man I consider to be the man of my dreams. We own a humble home where the sound of laughter often fills the halls. I have a relationship that some might envy. I have a group of friends that rate amongst the best women in the entire universe. My job, well, it's a job. A cake job actually. Flexible with some perks. I've been a secretary for 7 1/2 years. My boss is cool, my best friend works a cubicle away, the benefits and pay are pretty ok and they tailor to my schedule. Can't beat that right? Life is good, but I want more. ALWAYS wanting more! Not more stuff, but more purpose. I want to be a writer. Yet I don't write. Except once a year, I write the toast for the annual girlie Christmas party and make fun of all my friends. It's always a hit, because I'm a good writer. Always thinking about writing throughout the rest of the year, but never do it. Took a creative writing class through the adult education program in my town and wrote for a whole 9 weeks! Loved every minute of it. The teacher said when asked the question, "What do you need to do to be a good writer?" her answer was, "Write." Makes sense doesn't it? This is the same woman who said to me after I read a short story I wrote out loud to the class, "If your writing was for sale, I'd buy it." Is there a better compliment than that? Not for me there isn't. Yet I continue to mock my potential by letting it lay dormant and by not doing what I love most. This here is my first blog EVER! It is taking everything in me not to hit delete on this whole entire post for fear of someone actually reading it! In my mind I was going to write about my many failed attempts at quitting smoking, sticking to a diet plan or chilling out on the michelob lights. But instead I write about my inadequate desire to write. Weird. I am always analyzing myself and my life and my struggles. I thrive a lot on guilt and I think I may have a fear of success. Maybe through my little personal blog, if I can keep up with it, I will discover some reasoning and maybe some clarity.