The Crazy Crew

The Crazy Crew

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why do we hold so tight?

I have been wondering the last couple of days why we hold so tight to things that may be ok but could be incredibly wrong. So many of us seem to think that the tighter we hold onto something the better it will get . . . unfortunately what tends to happen is we squeeze what little happiness, joy and life there is left in it out and the process leaves us feeling worse than before. Now we are left still squeezing something even though we squeezed it to death. It just lays there flat and lifeless and we wonder why.

I am guilty of this in so many situations. I have done this in a marriage, with a boyfriend, at two jobs, and with countless bad habits including the way I have dealt with money. Holding on too tight when the right thing for far too long was to just stop and change direction. I once heard a quote and I have no idea who said it but it goes something like this, “When you find yourself beating your head against a brick wall . . . stop.”

Why do we do this? It certainly doesn’t make us feel good or bring out the best in us. I think there are different reasons for different people and we can even change our reasons depending on circumstance. Fear of failure, the pain of letting go, fear of the unknown, and even the work it takes to move forward and do something different all keep us from making a change. Now, I am not saying that everything that gets uncomfortable in our life requires us to simply let go and not hold on. There are certainly times and situations when we should all hold on and give it our all. How else could we possibly determine when something is good enough to continue working on and when something is just on the other side of crappy and should be let to fly away into our past clearing out our present and opening up our future.

Big changes like what I recently took on are not for everyone but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make some little changes. Say no to something you hate doing but feel you have to . . . you don’t. If you hate your job, look everyday for a new one. Be active in finding the change you need so that you don’t have to hold so tight to things that don’t want to hold back . . . it is exhausting and it eats you up inside. I used job as an example because it is something that I used to “get through” 40 hours a week. That is a lot of time spent not living my best life. This applies to everything you do. Try something new, give someone a chance, and do not resign yourself to the life you are now living if it isn’t what you want. We all deserve better . . . we deserve contentment, happiness, and joy. We all deserve do overs! It was true in kickball and it is true in life. Pencils come with erasers, mistakes can be undone, and we can release our grip on the insanity in our lives.

Every day we make choices and for years, I, like so many of us, chose complacency. I just kept doing the same thing day in and day out and yet I kept expecting some different results. Now that was just crazy . . . this is in part what led to what I am calling my mid-life crisis. The more I do without and the more I analyze the years that brought me to where I am today the happier I become. I am more broke than I have been since my daughter was a toddler and I was a single mom. Overall I am more satisfied with the entirety of my life than I have been since as long as I can remember, and this feeling is priceless!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It all hurts!!

Exercise sucks! Do not let the crazies who partake in these satanic rituals of running, jumping, and climbing trees fool you. Every year or two I get some crazy thought in my head and think, “Oh, I should really get some activity in my life. It would be super good for me, maybe even fun.” I think this happens after someone slips some type of work out roofie in my drink and I become completely insane thus signing up for a gym, exercise classes and even tap dancing once. I come out of this drugged coma shortly after the first session has ended wondering what the hell happened and why I feel so terrible . . . like I have been violated!

My most recent moment of insanity had me sign up (with my two carpool buddies) for two, not one, but count them one . . . two beat me to hell all while listening to fun music classes through the local community center. The first one is called Butts and Gutts and as an science experiment of how quick a person can wish for death perhaps, we signed up for a Boot Camp too. Did I mention these two doses of hour-long hell happen back to back??? So, every Tuesday I bend, twist, lift, lunge, balance, run, plank, squat for about 20 minutes. About that time my mind goes numb as my limbs turn to Jell-O and I spend the other 100 minutes looking like an idiot as I try not to fall off the ball, drop the sand bag, or hit anyone with my heavy bar, likely drooling on myself in my coma like state.

Afterwards I go home, eat something, shower and fall into bed knowing that the next day it will hurt . . . it will all hurt. The only thing good about it is I know it is 7 whole days before I will do it again . . . there are 9 weeks left and I am telling you now, the end can’t come fast enough.

Quick FYI: If any of you think after nine more weeks, I will have found a new appreciation for this type of activity I would say you are quite mistaken. Let’s make a quick list . . . Things I will never find an appreciation for no matter what . . . tomatoes, dog fighting, grey hair, squash (the vegetables), my second ex-husband, paying taxes and exercise, there are likely more but you get the idea.

I would write more but my . . . well, everything hurts.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I hate my monitor . . .

If there is one thing, I know for sure it is that I hate moving. I don’t hate the idea of being/going somewhere new. I am not afraid I will not fit in because frankly, I am the “fun one” most places I go and am a quite likeable person. It isn’t even the time or cost that comes with it. For me the loathing of moving comes from the physical process of having to pack up my stuff and move it somewhere else because I tell you what . . . I have a crap ton of stuff. This goes for my house and my desk at work. Having set the stage you can guess how happy I was this week to be moving desks at work. I moved approximately 30 feet. Three cubes down from where I was already sitting. Lucky for me I have been here for less than 5 months and never even brought all my desk stuff from Idaho to my new desk. Therefore, I had to only move a half crap-ton of stuff 30 feet. Oh goodie!

When it came time to start the move I had to lead off. I was headed to an empty desk so it only made sense that my stuff could go there and then the person moving to my desk could begin after I was moved and a round robin of crazy moving madness commenced. What we do not move are our computers and equipment. A Special Forces unit comes to take care of this much-classified stealthy process. The equipment is actually chained and locked to the desks allowing for no funny business or unauthorized equipment tampering. Now, this being my first big desk move here at my new job I was unaware of the process so when the tech ninjas showed up and I was on my way out for the day I made my first mistake . . . I asked a question! These ninjas are all knowing and all powerful over hard drives, monitors, keyboards, mice and phones so when I questioned them they took offense.

I asked if our monitors would be going to our new desks with us. They stared at me as if I had asked them to eat my cube neighbor . . . alive. The ninja master then came closer and said, “The monitors stay.” Oh, no . . . here comes mistake number two, I pointed out the obvious, followed by another question. “Well,” I say timidly, “I was only wondering because the desk I am moving to has no equipment and I was curious if at my new desk I would have the larger monitor.”

I must interject here that I ask this for a very specific reason. I am blind. Not like eye patch, glass eye, can’t get a driver’s license blind but blind in that if the screen is too small I have to stick my face right up to the damn thing in order to actually read my work.

Ok, so back to the story. I ask about the larger monitor and the ninja master looks at his ninja posse disgusted with my question and says, “You get what you get.” I think, ok maybe they have the option and possibly, if they understood about my blindness they would take pity on me and give me a larger monitor. WRONG! Mistake number three, ninjas want no explanations. One of the posse ninjas in the special forces of all that is IT and holy says, “We will back fill with whatever we have so you just get what you get.” This conversation is going nowhere and I should have left work about 15 minutes ago, so I give up and leave, figuring maybe, just maybe when I come in tomorrow by some miracle there will be a big monitor for me.

Morning comes and when I arrive at my desk what do you suppose I find . . . did you say large monitor? Well if you did you are wrong my friend. I found on my desk a small monitor and a ninja pubic hair . . . no lie. How does that even happen???? From now on I will not piss off the ninjas.

Dear small Monitor,

I hate you!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saying Goodbye . . .

Today I dropped my daughter off at the airport. She is heading back to her real life (well as real life as college dorm living ever can be) after 3 weeks of sleeping in and hanging out. Winter Break the college kids call it . . . to me it was my Alex time. It was a strange situation, as she wasn’t really “coming home.” What she considered home was back in Idaho where we lived when she packed up to head to college back in August 2009.

I welcomed her to Phoenix (new home . . . for the holidays) on December 17, 2009. Since the airport is so close to my work, her first adventure was to ride home that day in the carpool with the gals and me. We (Alex, Lester, and I) then spent the next three weeks laughing, eating her favorite foods, getting icees, celebrating Christmas, going to the Fiesta Bowl, playing Wii and board games, watching Christmas movies and taking an occasional moment to lovingly Ka-Pow! one another.

These were three weeks that went by far too fast. The minute I unloaded her bags onto the airport curb I was reminded of the weight of sadness when it lies on your heart. It was the feeling I felt in August when I drove away from her dorm building, tears engraving themselves onto my face, knowing it would be December before I would see her again. Now the feeling has embedded once again. I expect it will stay heavy for some time and then start to ease up into a dullness that I can bear until I get my next dose of Alex time. I hope the plan will remain that she will return to Phoenix for the summer.

I have only had tears off and on today and not as terribly as I did in August so I am improving. I know she is growing up and I must learn to let go as I have years of this to come . . . I just never learned to say goodbye to my daughter. I never had to . . . she was always with me, just away for a few days at most. Alex had always been the one constant in my life for 18 years; the one thing I knew was always there and made sense when the majority of my life never has.

It is her time. She is off creating new paths, I am so much older, not so much wiser, and it is time to create new paths for me as a mom with an adult daughter. It is a scary process for me, I won’t lie. For three weeks while she was here with me in Phoenix, I pretended I could avoid that process . . . pretend it would stay this way and she would always be here when I got home from work, that we could laugh and cuddle up on my bed, me pretending she is little, maybe her pretending too. . . just for a little while.

Unfortunately come 9 a.m. this morning I left her in the Skycap line at the airport I struggled with letting go again. I had to say Goodbye. I didn’t want to, but I did. Tonight I am taking a little comfort knowing that before she left (me knowing today would hurt my heart) she helped me to set up Skype on my computer so we can see each other via web cams while we talk online. We have already texted and I am sure we will be in touch by phone. I wonder how moms from the past did this without all the technology, how painful it must have been for them. See . . . I am already looking on the bright side of things. Well, I am trying anyway.

So, until I see her again I will work on planning how to pack the most joy and laughter into whatever time I can get, maybe a spring break, maybe the whole summer, and hope that the refill of love I received in the last 3 weeks from my daughter lasts until Southwest Airlines delivers her back to me!

To all of you out there with children that have not left for the real world yet . . . go find them right now, hug them, play a game with them, cuddle if they will let you. It is all over far too fast. Eighteen years is not enough . . . trust me, goodbye gets here faster than you think.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Too Pooped to Post!

Today was my first official grading of assignments day. 2 classes, 38 students, lots of papers!!! I am sick of the computer today so officially calling this a too pooped to post any more day! See you all later . . . my bed/couch/floor are calling me. We will see which one I get to first!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Here I am, almost at the end of day 2 of our new year, still working on my resolutions. I have reviewed last year’s list o’ resolutions and I actually accomplished two, I think . . . out of 16-ish. One I accomplished by working toward it all year. The second one happened when I ran out of money right at the end of the year, but I am still taking credit as accomplishing a resolution. Now, the one that I have accomplished due to my due diligence all year was reading 24 books. I had finished school the previous November so figured two books a month would be no problem. I actually came in at 25 books so I felt good! I had finally completed one New Year’s resolution!! Yippie!! The second one was to do away with smoking for good. No more beer and socializing smokes . . . at nearly $8 a pack, and being a lousy smoker anyway, this was a habit that had to go. Therefore, 6 days before the year ended the smoking ceased and resolution #2 was realized. Ta-da! This still left 14 very important things on a list of life changes I wanted to make that weren’t even touched. Not Ta-da.

For years and years I have made lists of resolutions that were basically the same, lose weight, exercise, eat better, don’t smoke, be more patient with my family, eat out less, save more money, budget, reduce debt, and all the great things that I really wish I would have done year after year. I never accomplished any of them. (Exhausting just to read them.) However, 2009 I accomplished two so now I am really serious about what goes on the 2010 list. I am on a “resolutions do come true” roll. What if 2010 is the year I actually accomplish three of 16? I want these suckers to be good. My resolutions are like eggs hanging around in the uterus of the world waiting and hoping that sometime, over the 365 days of 2010, some crazy “resolution sperm” will fertilize a few and we can make some magic! What will be on the list? I have a feeling there will be one that has been on every other year’s list . . . be thinner. This is the one I really want to happen . . . this is one that is going to take a lot of work . . . and this folks is probably the one you will hear me complaining about. The resolution that causes me to swear (due to lack of food and sore muscles), and in the end the one I will pray that the strongest resolution sperm swimmer gets to first so I can be sexy earlier in the year!

Now what will my 15 other resolutions for 2010 be?

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day Math

Daughter + Husband + Gift Cards = Mall

Welcome to a New Year! Today we went to the mall. It was Christmas gift card shopping day! The husband and the daughter each had some gift cards that they had received on Christmas and we decided they had been cooped up in the house for too many consecutive days so off we went. With the gift cards, and some Pac-loot Alex had received from my boss she ended up with double the amount to spend at Pac-Sun (a teenager type store with clothes that are super cute but wouldn’t even fit around my arm.) While gift cards are incredibly fun to get and spend, they do pose a bit of a problem for people of limited cash who cannot “go over” that amount . . . well, at least not by much. This means that the shopping takes much longer than a normal shopping trip with a teenager . . . so we were there awhile.

I was without gift cards for myself, or the size needed to fit into anything so I was the holder of the things “we may get.” I would figure out the amounts of each item based on the sale price, the additional discounts, and how that worked with our Pac-loot and gift card amounts. The key was we had $50 and two $25 Pac-loots. Pac-loot is where you spend $50 and get $25 off so it is like a 50% off coupon. I think today is the closest I have ever come to using those Algebra classes they insist you have in order to have a college degree. We were deciding if we buy X flannel shirts and Y pants would that equal us being able to also acquire T-shirts squared? In the end, the equation worked out almost perfect. We only had to make a minor adjustment quickly, right at the end with a + headband multi-pack which all = $6.43 cash owed. Whew . . . what a workout.

Thank heaven that Lester’s shopping was much easier. JC Penny gift cards and he spent less than the amount, with no tricky coupon things. He picks up a couple things puts some back down and heads to the register. Man shopping is so much quicker! After our shopping excursion, we were hungry and headed home, had dinner, and settled in for the night.
Boredom + Yarn = Scarf

Alex and I in a quest for more fun, on a tight budget, decided to dig through moving boxes the other night to find all my crochet/knitting stuff. I had decided I needed a blue and orange scarf for the Fiesta Bowl on Monday so I got out my crochet stuff tonight and found some Bronco colored yarn and went to town. It is not like riding a bike . . . I hadn’t crocheted since before I started back to college in 2004. This is a skill that did not come right back. I have now fumbled my way through however and have about 1/3 of a scarf that will not win any prize at a state fair but will do for showing my support of the BSU Broncos at the bowl game on Monday. Originally back in 2002 I went to crochet class (my daughter went to class too) so that when I am old, if I go blind, then I would have an activity to do.

I am not a fan of boredom and normally have many activities going on at once. Currently I blog, write in a journal, crochet, teach classes, read, and keep thinking I need to use my sewing machine, scrapbook, and get to exercising. My goal is to do as many things as possible . . . try everything and see what I enjoy. I never know what I will learn in 2010 that will turn out to be my next habit, obsession, or hobby but I am excited to find out. If you have any suggestions, that can fit in amongst my already crazy busy life be sure to let me know . . . I am always open to suggestions! Just keep in mind for now I am broke so anything that can be crafted out of recyclables would be best.