Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Me A Day

Wow, in reviewing my blog posts for the year, I really thought I'd have done more writing than, counting this, 35 posts. Yikes. I guess this is one more thing I need, and want, to work on for myself in the new year.

Recently I was reminded that I have a lot of free time. Only, I don't feel like I have any free time - so what gives? Upon contemplation, I realized that I fill my "free time" with obligations and errands and by the time they're completed, I'm usually tired and ready for bed. This leaves no time for things that I personally want to do, like hang out with friends, get a manicure, read a book, relax, or whatever it is that I find personally fulfilling. In an effort to change this up, I took two hours of "free time" today and didn't clean the house, do the dishes or laundry, and didn't take out the trash. Instead, I went and got a manicure and pedicure and even read a gossip magazine. 

During my "me" time, I found it hard to not think about  all the things that I felt like I should be doing, so that's what I am going to work on for 2017. Do more things for me, and less thinking about the "shoulds". The fact is, you can drive yourself nuts with the "what I should be doings" instead of enjoying life in any given moment. 

I thought back to when I started blogging in 2011 and my blog was about doing one thing every day that scared me, and now 5 years later I'm inspired to focus on blogging and posting about ways, each day, that I do something for me. A sort of "Me a Day" post. Who knows where this will lead, and I'm sure there will be other subject matter along the way, but I'm looking forward to the self imposed challenge! 

My Me a Day Moment for Today: Black Onyx Manicure, Koala Berry pedicure, and this post. I heart blogging. 

Cheers

It's year end. The holidays are over and everyone is looking forward to a new start in a fresh year. Their reasons differ. Some had a rough year, some have had a rough month. None the less, social media is once again peppered with a 50/50 spray of  "Fuck off 2016" and more positive, "New year, new me!" posts. And then there's me. Can't say I really know what to make of it all.

2016 was a year of big changes for me. I moved, had some health scares, changed up my job, changed my last name and perhaps most importantly (and challenging) is that I changed how I will (or won't) deal with negative people, despite their connections to me. Making mental changes and how you emotionally deal with people is a daily battle against what you've been conditioned to do your whole life, or at least it is for me. It's down right painful. But I choose to keep moving forward and deal with the pain of change, versus staying in an even more painful and ever worsening situation. 

Despite the painful stuff, I choose to focus on my big reasons to celebrate 2016. I celebrated my significant other with a fun and exciting Las Vegas wedding, including sharks and thrill rides. I get to relive childhood (the good and bad times!) through the eyes of a new parental role, I got to experience the thrills of historic Tombstone, ghosts and all and got CPDT-KA re-certified.

With all these changes, some things did fall by the way side for me in 2016, so I'm hoping to change that up in 2017. I want to keep mentally growing in 2017. So, does that mean I read more? Attend more seminars (on parenting, dog training, whatever fits my fancy?). Well, probably both (ok, I'll admit, I'm already signed up!). Taking more time for myself is definitely needed. I will have to continue to learn how to balance my new life, with things (people and habits) from my "old" life, mainly the gym and being active.

With that said, I'm excited to be a part of the Run 2017 group, The Rack Pack, where a team of 4 of us will tackle running/walking 2017 miles over the course of the year. I'm excited to plan travels and play dates with friends in the new year. These are things I already have put into motion. So, am I making new years resolutions? I can't say a definitive yes. Am I making constant tweaks and changes to my plans and my life in order to be happy in 2017? You bet. So what else is left to say in 2016?

Cheers to the new year. Cheers to whatever it is that makes you happy, and doing more of it. Or maybe, just cheers to finding what it is that makes you happy. Let 2017 be the year you're "closer to free". Free of the things that pain you, and free of the things that chain you to being anything less than happy.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Basics

More often than not I find myself starting posts and never completing them, searching for perfect subject matters and grammar. Today I'm remembering that not everything I post has to be profound or life-altering, so in the spirit of Keep It Simple Stupid...


I don't like...
Grey snow.
Salt on my pants.
Low pressure tires on cold days
Feeling like Ralph's kid brother all bundled up
Never ending emails
Stupid questions from people that get paid more than I do
Carb-heavy lunches that make me sleepy
Paying for two day mail that arrives in five




I do like...
Conversations with friendly strangers
The smell of warm Belgian waffles
Unexpected thank-yous 
Sunshine and bright days
Mentally positive friends
Starbucks gift cards
Compliments and free energy drinks




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nonsensical

I can hardly deal with social media these days with all the post election fall out that is going on. Some is genuine, intelligent concern. Some is all out ignorance and stupidity. While others seem to post false information just to fuel the fires on both sides of the campgrounds. On a positive spin, what a great way to help me spend less time on social media! So I guess it has that going for it... 

I went to The Exercise Coach yesterday and thought I was going to die. Okay, well maybe not die. But I seriously wanted to cry (seriously), and definitely wanted to puke after the session. Don't let anyone tell you that the 20 minutes you spend with this franchise is a waste. Ouch! The saddest realization of the session was that it was an evaluation in order to set a baseline and not even the full workout! I'm not sure how I'll survive the next session, but back I shall go. 


I am hoping that this (The Exercise Coach) and having recruited a new accountabilibuddy for the gym will help get, and keep, me on track with my fitness goals. 


In other random news and postings, I can't believe next weekend is Thanksgiving! I suppose I should get to the grocery store for the feast-ival supplies sooner than later, or my guests and I will end up in a scene like the one below... What are some of your favorite side-dishes? I got a request to make cornbread. I don't think I've ever had cornbread for a holiday dinner? But I'm looking forward to finding a yummy recipe for it and can't wait to make it. Why must carbs be sooooo good? 


I just saw the weekend forecast and it looks COLD! Now, the only thing I like about the cold is the potential for snow. And the only thing I like about snow is the potential for snowshoeing! Of course, this is what I hope for...


But the reality of what I see most of the winter season is  what's shown below... So grey, sloppy and gross! Well, here's to hoping for the best this winter and getting out to enjoy the snow, if there is any? (Ha, famous last words, right?)  


So yep, I realize this post is a little (okay, a lot) random and nonsensical, but quite frankly with election overload going on, I'm quite happy to write and post it. Happy Tuesday peoples!


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America

Note from author: If you're suffering from election fatigue, skip this read for today...


American voters who, as of yesterday morning, were proud to exercise their rights and take advantage of their freedoms are the same people spewing anti-government and throwing tantrums today. It's sad that there are so many poor losers and more so, that there are so many braggadocious, poor winners. America has forecasted Trump to fail the world without him even having stepped one foot into the White House, which I also find sad. What happened to beliefs such as not judging others? What happened to not saying anything at all if you have nothing nice to say? Hell, what happened to being a united nation? 

Instead of moving forward, I find people want to wallow in hatred, indulge in false media statements, make America miserable and, most of all, have someone else to blame for it. Trump is not the end of the world. Trump is a temporary status, just as we all are in this life. And to date, win or lose, he's changed nothing other than your emotions. Yes, disappointment and sadness are bound to come to us when there can only be one winner, but how you deal with those emotions is up to you. And that is what you cannot blame on Trump. 

I personally think, despite the differences I have with Trump (which are many), that he will take the job of leading the nation seriously. Just as Hillary would have. I believe he will surround himself with people smarter than he is to help run the country. Just as Hillary would have. I also believe that Congress will not let him (or Hillary had she prevailed to) "run a muck" drunk with power. Do we need to be reminded of how the Government works? 

I may not agree with the President-elect. I may not agree with his future actions. But I'm not going to sit here and pout as a pitiful winner or loser of this election. Instead, I will pick my battles as they (may or may not) arise. I have the right to protest. I have the right to petition. And most importantly in four years, I have the right to vote again.

If you are afraid of and fear Trump, as I think most of us do in some way, okay. But don't let the fear fuel you. Racism, bigotry and a womanizer is not who or what the people are behind. At least not the Trump supporters I know. While surely individual opinion and reasons for each party's admiration vary, the Trump supporters I know are personally weary of politicians and the immoral, non beneficial situations they've created. They want change. They want someone who is not tied to Washington's bedposts to run the country. They don't want the same tired politicians continuing to run the States into the ground. So when given a different option, in the form of a business man, they took it. The choice of winner is, in my opinion, a form of "damning The Man" and bucking the system. Right or wrong, they have been tossed so now, let the chips fall where they may.

In the meantime, I implore you to not throw away the ideal of the Land of Opportunity and all it affords you. America is the United States, so let's start acting like one. I shouldn't have to remind you of that, but in addition, respect other people's opinions and realize that whether you like it or not, we're all in this together. You have options. Many options. You can move to Canada as some have proclaimed. You can hate America for the next four years (which, you might as well move then), or you can pick yourself up by the boot straps, dust yourself off, and work towards a better America with me and the countless others whom did and did not support Trump. Be kind to one another. Volunteer. Petition. Help one another. Educate. Show love and compassion to all, not just some and consider...  


"At the end of the day, this is an opportunity to learn and grow and consider another world view. This is a wake-up call to get out of safe spaces, politically correct thinking, shatter echo chambers, and challenge yourself to consider the other side of the fence. This is an opportunity to reach out and truly learn to understand each other."  - Trent Lampinski


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Begrudgingly

I am not politically outspoken in life or on social media but that doesn't mean I don't pay attention to what is going on in the world around me. It is hard for me to get excited about this Presidential election when I deem neither candidate a suitable representative for me, and quite frankly, find both a down right embarrassment and threat to the United States of America. Despite that, I still exercise my constitutional right and vote for who I believe is the lessor of the two evils, despite party affiliation. But what happens when there is no lessor (in my opinion) and they are both evil? I still vote. And I hope. That is all I can do. 

I hope that the next four years go quickly (and smoothly). And I hope that in time, a future candidate who I can enthusiastically back and support will rise up for the next election.But in the mean time, I think the best way to look at this election is to not put all your trust in one person to change your life and existence. The President is not a god, nor life coach or counselor. The President cannot fix your life for you. Albeit that the President can invoke change in our country that we may/may not agree upon, but the fact is, usually those changes do not trickle down to our day to day well being. That may sound like a naive statement, but sadly it's the best I can hope for. Dear President, please try not to f*ck things up too badly, ok? 

So yes, despite my feelings about the current candidates, I did vote. It's my right, and yours. It should be exercised. However, I believe when doing so, I looked something like this while casting my ballot... 


Good luck America. 
We need it. 



Monday, November 7, 2016

Simple

To probably most people's delight, I am not posting daily, November "What I'm thankful for..." updates on social media. Albeit, I have plenty to be thankful for, but I can't believe the negative feedback I've received over the past years for simply being grateful. Having things to be thankful for is much different than having a "perfect life", which I've never claimed to have. Finding the positive "spin" on a shitty situation is an art form however, that some don't have, nor do they seemingly want to possess. Admittedly, it can be a fleeting art form for me some days, too.

My main reason for not committing myself to a daily, 30 day posting event however, is that I want to enjoy the things I'm thankful for, versus talk about them. I don't find myself with much free time these days, so living in the moment and appreciating it for what it is, is my main goal these days. Instead of talking or typing, 
I find myself taking lots of photos to capture memories in the making. Attached is probably my favorite weekend photo. 

Remember how much fun it was to be a kid and jump in the leaves? You didn't worry about getting dirty and you sure weren't concerned about raking or cleaning up the lawn afterwards. This is fun at it's finest. And more importantly, fun at it's simplest. 



                                          

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

The Hubs went to the store to buy me a styrofoam pumpkin so I could (try to) make something like this for Thanksgiving...



Unknowing what my pumpkin intentions were, he came home with this...  


I giggled upon seeing it, but freaking love it! 
Scary pumpkin face lights up and changes colors!

(Hubs gets 100 brownie points for this one!)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Borrowed

I'm borrowing today's post from an article I read on line. Below is an excerpt from it, regarding a parent/child relationship but I find it applicable to any relationship. The last line, which I have underlined, couldn't be sum up torturous relationships any better.
... "Only the children of narcissistic abusers know how easy it is to both see ourselves being manipulated and to still go on enduring it. If I didn't get in touch with her, wasn't I the monster she had always said I was? Well-meaning people told me it was my last chance to "make amends," and reminded me, as if I did not know, that death is forever. But I could feel in every part of my newly joyful soul that it wasn't possible to have a healthy relationship with my mother. What's more, I did not want a relationship with her.
I wondered, did that really make me cruel? Would I regret not inviting the woman who brought me into the world to the best day of my life? Was I such a monster for choosing my own well-being?
Unraveling all of the guilt of letting go of my mother took far longer than it should have. Instead of berating myself for not being a more perfect child, or a more loving, accepting, forgiving person, I should never have held so tightly to the belief that it was my duty to endure."

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Seriously?

Per usual operating procedure while attending an annual medical exam, I was instructed that, "The pink (gown) closes in front and (to) place the other over your lap". Yeah nurse-lady, I know the drill. I've done this routine more times than I care to remember or experience.

As she leaves me to my privacy I begin the race. It's an all out war to unfold and don the paper items, without tearing them, before the doctor enters the room. I pick up the gown and sure enough, it's like a roll of tape gone bad and stuck to itself. I can't seem to peel the tissue apart. The floor at my feet is beginning to look like a shredder over flowed as I attempt to open my paper dress for wearing. The shredding is quickly followed by a rip which now insures that any remaining dignity I had in trying to cover myself has just been tossed out the window.    

A few minutes more and I'm finally into my tree-made perforated patient garb and I throw the white, over sized paper-towel like sheet onto my lap. After this, I plop down on the exam table and wait. And wait some more. Soon, the panic sets in. My blood pressure is elevated, I'm nervous and worst of all, I'm sweating. The countdown to total paper-clothing-saturation has begun. I wonder just how long I can sit on my toilet-paper gown before the sweat enables it to become completely stuck to my a$$. I found out. It takes me about 15 minutes to sweat through a paper dress.

Yep. Fifteen minutes later I heard the simultaneous knock on the door and entrance of the doctor. We chit chat. She updates her files. And then I'm given the dreaded instructions to "scoot down" on the table. Damn. 

I try to lift myself off the paper dress but it's too late. As I "scoot" I can feel the fibers shredding like a slow-cooked chuck roast done to perfection. As I continue to roll my bottom down the table I envision a scene similar to that of a party cannon shooting New Year's Eve celebratory confetti everywhere. Lovely. "Oh well", I think to myself. This wet, kleenex-like wad of what was once a gown can't be the only instance my doctor has seen. And if it is, then hell, I'm glad she's not mentioning it. 

As I'm finally paroled from this miserable experience, I am instructed to get dressed. Now that I am upright, I see the paper-shrapnel everywhere. The gown. The table cover. The lap cover. None has survived intact. It's as if a bored kitten got a hold of a roll of toilet paper. I scoop up my "papers" and head towards the garbage can to throw the evidence of mass destruction away. As I leave the office, I smile thankful the next visit won't be for another year. Hopefully, the healthcare industry can improve their gown design by then. Here's hoping.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Opus

It's been a week and a half since my last post. I haven't put myself on any type of writing schedule so it's not like I'm "behind" in my goals or anything. Rather, I haven't had the energy or time to sit down and write. Much less, feel like I had anything of value to share. 

I could tell you that the past 10 days have been insane with running straight from work to doctors appointments, band performances and volunteering. I could type that my weekend was full of early morning appointments and family activities. I could share that any minimal "down time" in between these events was filled with laundry, cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping but I'm guessing most people have some variance of these responsibilities too, making them ordinary and not unique to me. 

So, as I review all the "stuff" that has happened, and all the things that got cancelled or rearranged in order to accommodate it, I am reminded of the movie, Mr. Holland's Opus. In one of the final scenes, Mr. Holland sings the song, "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon. I find the line below the most poignant...  


"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans..."


Speaking of Mr. Holland's Opus, below is an excerpt from a speech given in the movie which always makes me reevaluate what success really is. Referring to the life work of Mr. Holland, who has seemingly failed his goal of writing world famous music... 

     "...I have a feeling that he considers most of his life misspent... So it might be easy for him to consider himself a failure. But, he would be wrong because I think he's achieved a success far beyond riches and fame. There is not a life in this room that you have not touched, and each of us is a better person because of you..."

So is success the "big" stuff in life like getting the 6-figure paying job or being rich and famous? Or is success grown over time in the small stuff? Like the day to day actions that touch people, the day to day conversations, encouragement, and lessons taught and learned that change the people around you? Maybe it's both. Perhaps when referring to the definition of success we are all too often focused on looking for that big, shiny opus in life to notice all the sparkling gems of achievement already scattered at our feet. Here's to keeping your head up, and looking down every once in a while. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Little Things...

Today's been kinda "blah". It hasn't been a bad day, and I'm not in a bad mood or anything of the sort. It's just one of those semi-gloomy, Fall, can't seem to get motivated kind of days I suppose. Despite that, I'm choosing to focus on the little things today that made me smile...

A visit from a super cheery, out of town, co-worker...

Listening to my new I-tunes downloads, particularly Idina Menzel's new album, "Idina". If you don't know Idina, and let's face it most don't, she played Maureen in the Broadway play, "Rent", Elphaba in "Wicked", has been on the TV show, "Glee", and most recently saw fame as the singing voice of Elsa from the Disney movie, "Wicked"...

I ate three healthy meals today, with only two of them having food items that got stuck in the new holes in my head (wisdom teeth sockets)...

I'm blogging...

I did Yoga! And let me tell you, after having taken multiple months off from any type of decent workout, it was indeed a workout.  Yikes.

I received my Young Living oil products today! I have Lavender to diffuse at bedtime, and am trying a new energy blend to inhale. Here's to hoping it helps perk me up and makes for a better tomorrow!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

People

I have a "gift". People talk to me. Random, total strangers tell me their life stories. I don't do anything to invite these people to talk to me, they just do. I never know how to cut them off, even if I'm in a rush, so I just listen. I figure that if they need to talk to me (for whatever their reasons) they must not have anyone else to talk to. Or, who knows, maybe they just talk to everyone. Sometimes I walk away from these listening sessions in awe, and other times I just walk away dumbfounded scratching my head. Mainly it's the later of those two.

I seem to be on a streak these days. Over the past week my off-site customer told me all about the last ten years of her financial woes and work problems (for hours)...my dental hygienist told me about her divorce and dating life of the past 30 years and a recent cab driver I encountered spewed monk-like wisdom about marriage, love and life for the entire ride while inquiring all about my marital and life statuses.  

Today's story occurred while I was shopping for a few household items. Upon check out, the cashier asked me why I was buying cleaning items on a Saturday night because I should be out filling up my dance card instead. Feeling the need to somewhat defend my apparent pathetic-ness, I muttered a weak reply of something like, "I'm recovering from wisdom teeth removal and my head is killing me...". He quickly shared his own wisdom tooth story, stories of recovery, life, God, healing and well, I lost track of what else he said because all I really wanted to do was get in my car and cry out of frustration due to the nagging pain in my head. He eventually put his hands on mine and quoted the Bible in efforts to "put some healing" on me and said he appreciated me. I'm not sure as what? A customer? A fellow wisdom tooth removal recipient? A person who wold listen to him? 

Whatever the case, these experiences at least gave me something to focus on instead of my nagging headache, if only for a moment or two. Fingers crossed for a better feeling day tomorrow!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Wisdom

Back from a quick work trip in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania (that earned me kudos and a big thank you that went all the way up to our division Vice President!), and already moving on to the next thing...like getting my wisdom teeth removed. The procedure went well, and fast, but I had to be numbed with Novocaine twice and that needle was not fun. Especially when your DDS accidentally pokes your tongue with it. 

So far, I'm in almost no pain and hope it stays that way. I'm medicating with Advil and Amoxicillin for now, and hoping to stay away from the heavier drugs prescribed. There's some slight swelling, but it's not very noticeable. I have to go out for some "soft-food" groceries at some point, but for now my life looks like that of an old man's nightstand...


Wisdom in a Bag


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Glorious

Traveling for work has it's upsides at time, but over all it's not as glorious as it seems. Booking early morning flights that no normal human would book just in order to make it to your destination, in order to accommodate someone else, is just not a good thing. Up at 2 a.m. 4 a.m. Whatever hour before 6 a.m. It's just not acceptable unless you're a farmer. 

So, yeah. I get up earlier. Which means I'm hungry earlier. Which means my eating and umm... other body schedules are thrown off and it all makes for a very uncomfortable day of travel. Did I mention I get up earlier? Which means that I'm pretty much guaranteed to be tired all day in addition to feeling like I'm carrying a basketball in my stomach.

Sometimes in group travel there are perks like big (fun) dinners, or visiting somewhere you've never been. But on a day like today, it's the inside of a hotel for me. Cabs, planes, more lousy cab driving. Cabs that smell. Hotel beds that sink like you're in a taco. And best of all, a room with a view like this... 

Glorious



Friday, September 23, 2016

Lynnsanity

Last Saturday I got a text notification stating that a $19,000.00 transaction was declined on my debit card. I still haven't gotten to the bank to investigate it. I did shut the card down (again), but if the charge is from who/what I think it is the culprit added too many zeros to a processing fee of what should have been $190.00. Hopefully, I'll get to the bank this weekend for answers.

Although, this weekend I'm not sure how I'm accomplishing anything, much less getting to the bank. Things that are on my list? Kids stuff, friend stuff, pick up race stuff, run 5K, birthday party stuff, and oh yeah... breathe. I just don't know how to balance it all, deal with the logistics of distance and not let anyone down or feel guilty about how I spend my time. This on top of having to prep for more work travel next week is causing a lot of tension headaches and jaw pain. 

Oh, and did I mention I'm finally biting the bullet and getting two wisdom teeth removed? Yep, after putting it off for over 20+ years, the left side third molars have got to go. While there is no pain issue, the bottom molar has a lot of loose gum tissue around it (which is normal), but I cannot keep it clean despite any amount of brushing, rinsing and flossing. To avoid infection, the tooth has to be removed. And since you can't remove just one, the entire left side has to go. I'm really not looking forward to the surgery or the recovery period. 

Dealing with all this has left me with more roller coaster dreams (see Joker for reference). Only this time, I was trying to climb the track outside of any train car, and then somehow found myself magically in the train car of the ride as it went careening towards the ground. At least this time, I kept all hands and feet inside the ride.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pictures

My weekend involved... 


with a little celebrating of...



while Monday night included...



 This morning looked something like...


while my afternoon included...

  
 and a ...

 

Sadly, my tomorrow looks like...


so I'm hoping my night looks a little like...


capped off with...


Monday, September 19, 2016

Yep.


No doubt at times I question my being. Why am I here and why are things so difficult at times? But I'm always reminded of the quote shown above and believe I'm exactly where I need to be. 


I consider myself a pretty tough chick, but I pick my battles. I know in picking my battles, therefore choosing to back down from some issues, others see this as a weakness. I personally see it as keeping my emotional and mental energy reserves in tact. Sometimes, I'm worn out and backing down is all I can do to allow for self, mental perseverance. 

I think it's pretty well known of me and my character, that if I'm backing down, it's not over something critical. Perhaps to you, but not to me. And that's what matters most. I will fight when needed because I am strong enough to do so. But I am smart enough to know when I don't have to. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dogs

After a few months hiatus, I will be heading back to the dog training arena next week! I'm looking forward to getting my random pup fix on and hopefully, having some fun along the way like this goofy guy...



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blur

The past few weeks seem like a blur. I won't go into all the details here because there's too many of them, some good and some not so good (hey, that's life) but it's almost Friday and that's a good thing to focus on. 

I try to plan fun "date nights" for me and the Hubs to keep things fresh and fun. Of course, they always seem like a great idea while I'm booking the event, but when the day arrives, sometimes I'd just rather go plop on the couch and veg out. Despite feeling tired from a long day and week, and dealing with grey and gloomy weather, we both made it to Cook, Cork and Fork for Pasta Night.

Since we received a pasta maker as one of our wedding gifts, I thought it would be great to refresh my spaghetti skills, and for us to take a "How to Make Pasta" class together. Making fresh pasta is actually not a hard thing. Mix some dry ingredients together with an egg, let the dough sit, and then roll it out. Yep, it's pretty much that easy. Thank goodness.  I can use "easy" in my life! Besides the great taste, fresh pasta cooks within seconds. Yep, seconds, not minutes! Can't wait to get rollin'!


Last weekend we celebrated this guy's grandma's 93rd birthday! I love this photo of the two of them. He looks like a little kid playing ball (I mean, he kinda is!) and she looks so happy and adoring of her first grandchild. I can only hope that if I live to be 93, that I am still this mentally clear and physically mobile! She may be a bit slower, but she's damn fine for her age. Happy 93rd G.G. Angel! So glad I can be a part of the family and your celebration! 

Tuesday found me awake at 2 a.m because, knowing my alarm was going to go off at 2:30, my brain somehow had to wake me before it went off to prevent waking up my Other Half. I left for the airport by 3:30 and was Boston bound for work by 6. Thanks to United for bumping my window seat to a middle one, I got little to no sleep on the plane but, from what I hear, still kicked ass with my presentation.  

The best non-work related thing about the Boston trip was getting to see a game at the historic Fenway Park. I can't say I was into the game much as I'm neither a Red Sox or Orioles fan, but the nostalgia of the park and sharing it with some old-time fans that I befriended was well worth the trip. Watching David Ortiz (aka Big Papi) hit a double during what is to be his last season was pretty cool, but viewing the Green Monster was the highlight of the night! Knowing that under the paint and cement lays a wooden wall dating back to 1912 was just too cool. I may not be the biggest or best baseball fan, but I appreciate the nostalgia of the park and find these oldies a bit of long lost American romance from yesteryear. 

Boston also provided a brief viewing of the Old North Church and some other historical stops along the way of the Freedom Trail. I've never seen a city such as Boston and can see why it is so admired. It is a young and fun place, but drowning in visible history. I can't wait to go back and absorb more of what it has to offer. Only, one note to self, don't wear heels - ever. If you've never been to Boston, most of the streets and/or sidewalks are brick and not conducive to walking in anything other than flats lest ye be called out as a tourist immediately (which I was!). I topped off the trip with a crab meat omelet and bid adieu to the fair city. Hopefully the next trip will be all leisure and include a crab-roll (sorry Bostonians, I just can't stand lob-stah!).

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

WW

It's sad when moving between I-pad, I-phone and laptop, that I somehow forget and think that my laptop has become a touchscreen device. Oh how quickly one gets spoiled by immediate satisfaction...

Tonight I find myself banished to my bedroom to avoid the men invading my house for the NFL draft fantasy league enjoying some much needed downtime this evening. Although, I'm not really "down", I suppose. I'm catching up on texts, Netflix and blogging. Even with all this technology, I can still hear the manly banter overflowing up the stairs. And dare I admit? I actually like it. 

I enjoy having a house full of people and cooking/making snacks for them (but don't tell my husband that - aw, hell he already knows). But the fact is, I like entertaining. I like people enjoying my hospitality and making them feel welcome. I'm a closet case wanna-be Martha Stewart (okay, the version of her that doesn't go to jail and has better hair). Of course, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with like, 50+ left over cocktail meatballs after tonight, but that's a story for a different day. Now the leftover beer bread (damn carbs) I'd have no problem polishing off all by myself - but I digress.

Women do a lot of thankless things and far more of them in a day then men do. Now this is not to say my hubby doesn't thank me - he just thanked and called me Wonder Woman today so this isn't a "my husband done me wrong" post. I'm just thinking about life and the gender roles in general. And I'm not even arguing that they're wrong. I'm just comparing.  

Today, I got up, showered, took care of the dog I'm dog sitting, grabbed breakfast, dropped off dry cleaning, got gas and went to work. My husband got up and went to work. I left work, grabbed groceries, baked bread, made fresh guacamole, prepped snacks, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, kitchen and dining room, took care of the dog I'm dog-sitting, volunteered at the kids' school, took care of the dog I'm dog-sitting, came home and chatted with the men. My husband arrived home, changed clothes, and connected to the internet waiting for his friends to come over. While perhaps not the same items day to day, I see this type of "task disparity" as a reoccurring theme. And not just for me.

So do men not take on more tasks because they simply can't multi-task, or do they just not care about the details? Or, have they learned they simply don't have to deal with the mundane, day to day tasks because their woman will? I don't know the answer to those questions but I do believe in general, that men are the simpler (and probably the more happier) of the sexes. Men don't (tend to) complicate things with over thinking or over tasking themselves. A lesson most women, including this one, could do well to learn. But, even with that said, taking on less would actually leave me feeling a bit unfulfilled. I like being able to cross things off the task list and take a certain sense of accomplishment and pride in doing so. 

So here I am, debating (if even with just myself) why do women feel compelled to take on so much more than a man/most men? Control? Of course I like things a certain way, but as mentioned in my last post, there is no such thing as control. Just the illusion of it. So what gives? Again, another answer I don't know. I just know that in a day, if 100 things need to get done, I'm part of the team that has to help them get accomplished. If I take on the majority, I see that as strength and power. I see that as being "Wonder Woman" and that's a title I don't mind. I'd just like to be able to take a nap now and again. 

Joker

I was tired on Sunday, and exhausted on Monday. I couldn't wait to go to bed last night, but it was all for not. Despite turning in early (for me) I had trouble falling asleep, and then couldn't stay asleep, and then woke myself up having some pretty vivid dreams. 

My dreams ranged from waiting for a massage, watching someone get a really weird looking soup for lunch, being in some type of school setting, having a mere acquaintance (in real life) join me in my dream to tell me of her Facebook drama all to be topped off with me falling off a roller-coaster. That dream (or part of a dream) did me in. That dream insured I wasn't going back to bed. Thanks ya dickhead.

In the roller coaster dream I was heading up hill on the new "Joker" ride that is coming to Great America, Gurnee in 2017. I awoke in a panic and was literally kicking in bed (which, may have been what actually woke me up), because dream-land had showed me I was falling out of the ride. Nothing like waking up in a full panic. Now wide awake, I figured it was probably time to get up, so hey, I might as well start my day. It was 4am. I am not a farmer. I do not wake this early on purpose. I tried to go back to sleep but found myself then watching the clock every so often until it really was time to wake up. Two hours later I got in the shower.

What causes dreams like this? Dreams that appear to make no sense just baffle me. I've seen perhaps a 30 second clip of the Joker roller coaster ride twice. Twice. And here I am, dreaming about it? I wouldn't call myself a roller-coaster junkie, or even a theme-park enthusiast, so what gives? Looking for some logic I of course turn to the all-knowing Google machine.

According to dream dictionaries, falling off a roller coaster symbolizes that I "...have lost control of a difficult situation or that once pleasant situations in your waking life have become threatening.". Okay, now that I understand. There is no such thing as control. It's actually hurtful to know and understand that. Despite how "good" you are, you have no control over how someone treats you.  Whether it's personal or business, "they" will do whatever they want to fill their own needs with no regards to yours. Yep. I get it. I didn't need a damn freak-roller coaster dream and insomnia to get that. Who does?

Hoping tonight's dreams allow for sleep and are filled with nothing but fluffy kittens and magical rainbows. Although, maybe I should look that up in the dream-dictionary before wishing it upon myself! *whines* I need a nap!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sorry

I'm probably going to regret this. And hopefully I just ignore it. But I did it. I signed up for a Pinterest  account. All in hopes of getting a better view of the project below. Although by the visual, it's seems a simple concept and execution, I wanted details. Exact directions. Detailed know how. Yeah, there are none. Just the picture. Damn you Pinterest and your foolery! And like seriously, just how damn big is this map? Ugh.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fox 5K

"If you don't take the time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
Michael J. Fox
Being the optimist I am, I recently began reading Michael J. Fox's book, "Always Looking Up". I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the "Back to the Future" movie icon, but his words resonated with me. In his book he talks of his life and more so, how he's dealing with Parkinson's Disease (PD).

I don't currently, personally, know anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease but the fact is, I may in my lifetime. Parkinson's is one of many horrid diseases that seems to have no known cause and currently, has no known cure. While symptoms of Parkinson's can vary from person to person, common problems include involuntary body movements. Quite simply, the body is out of the victim's control at any given time. Without permission, the body can shake and tremor, freeze up, or even accelerate in running-like steps causing every day life and routine to come to a screeching halt. Imagine not being able to physically do the things you wish, being trapped in your own body. Imagine knowing there is no stopping the disease or onset of further symptoms. Imagine that physical decline is just the beginning, while knowing that cognitive impairment such as dementia can follow. This disease scares me.

I live my life to the best of my ability and cherish the freedom to move and be active. I am not restricted by disease, yet so many others are. So many other people can't do the things I take for granted every day. So, do I need to know someone who has PD in order to help out? Absolutely not. I don't want to wait until someone I know has this disease to be a part of the solution.With that said...

Everyone can help end Parkinson’s disease. An estimated five million people worldwide live with Parkinson's today. It is the second most common neurological disorder. In the United States, approximately 60,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. Again, there is no known cure. Together, we can change this.

On September 25th, I will be running the 5K portion of the Chicago Marathon/5K as a Team Fox member. That's me, doing my part. I need your help however, as I've been tasked to raise $300 to benefit Team Fox. Team Fox is the grassroots community fundraising program at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). MJFF accelerates high-impact science through smart risk taking and problem solving with a commitment to urgency and efficiency. I’m one of thousands of people around the globe who are turning their passions into Team Fox fundraisers to help them speed a cure for Parkinson’s. When you give today, 100 percent of Team Fox proceeds go straight to MJFF research programs.

Thank you for your consideration, donation and being a part of my team!
- Lynn

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Help

I've probably posted about my discomfort in asking others for help before, but hey, struggles don't go away over night, right? So here I am again. A little better, a little more advanced, because now the problem isn't so much asking for help, but rather, how does one deal with the disappointment when your request for help is (legitimately) turned down? It's disappointing and frustrating, but truly, no one is to blame. I recognize that. 

Still. What do you do as an ask-a-phobic who is trying to recover by mustering the nerve to request a favor, all for not? I dunno. I guess that's the next step in my recovery program yet to be tackled. I have faith I'll get there. But what do I do in the meantime? I still need help, and now I'm frustrated because I'm running out of options. I asked other people for help, so that's a step in the right direction - but they may decline as well. 

Okay, so you can understand a bit more, I made a commitment to someone and now it's being challenged due to a work request. While perhaps work might come first in most minds, I made the previous commitment months ago and will stand by it. That's just who I am. I have yet to go back to the first party and ask them if they can find an alternative person to help them because, while I am sure they'd understand, it's not their responsibility to find ME a replacement. Is that me having too much pride? Or just being an adult? I guess I just have to trust that however this situation pans out is exactly how it was meant to be but I can tell you, I really want the best of both worlds right now! Meet my commitment, find a replacement, and travel for work! Help!

Side note: Mrs. Doubtfire is blaring from the TV in the background. As I half type, half listen I can't help but immediately, and sadly, wonder... What if Robin Williams had asked for help? Could he have asked for help? Where was his genie? And why can't we all be each other's genies to grant wishes of hope and help? Go ahead. Rub and ask.    

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fox

Look at me! Ok, well you can't really look at me (unless you're a freak and staring in my windows) blogging from my antique laptop! I haven't used this laptop for well over a year, if not closer to 2 and let me be unlady-like and share it's age. If I am estimating correctly my laptop, which Chrome no longer supports, is roughly 13-14 years old! The best thing though is, it's like those people addicted to vintage typewriters to publish their prose from - it just feels natural (so no, I don't really have an interest in updating it). So yay for me and my old 'puter reunion. One positive thing to come out of today.

Speaking of, having found a double yolk in my egg this morning (I didn't cook, my favorite chef at work spoils me by catering to my specific breakfast sandwich requests) I thought it an omen of something fun and fortuitous to come. Turns out I was dead wrong. No, my day wasn't the worst it could ever be, but it ended with my boss in tears and me near tears due to work related stress. I refuse to rehash the details here because I don't want to relive it but it totally sucked. Ok - well I'll give a small abridged version here...

Others: There's a big fat problem!
Others...
Others...
Others...
Me: Ok, here's what I will do to fix it.
Others: (21 days later) What did you do? Why? Who told you that you could? That was wrong! That was a bad decision!
Me: At least I made a decision so poop on you and your finger pointing.


End Scene

Yeah, I wish it was as simple as stated above, but in reality, that is about the gist of the situation. Despite it, I am trying to look at the positives going on. The positives that I am trying to create for myself like...

I got accepted to participate as a Team Fox member in the upcoming Chicago Marathon/5K. Umm, yeah, I'm doing the 5K portion of that run, not the marathon. None the less, I'm excited to be a part of what I consider a worthwhile charity, Parkinson's research. Parkinson's scares me. Any physical debilitating disease scares me. I can't imagine and I pray I never have to experience a disease that leaves me mentally clear, yet trapped in a restrictive body. I am not here to debate what disease in existence is worse, because quite frankly, anything without a cure is horrible. I just happened to stumble upon reading Michael J. Fox's book, "Always Looking Up" and found a connection with his work. 

In addition to this event, I've reached out to two local entities for volunteer opportunities. I am not sure what, if anything, will pan out with these two options but I do hope for something! I miss volunteering but have struggled to find a fit. These two (my new, local park district and a school) are exciting prospects that I actually feel emotionally energetic about, versus drained at the thought of doing. 

So yeah...that's me. Working on some positive things. Blogging a bit. Finding motivation to train and get in the gym. Volunteer hopefuls. I'm working on always looking up, and leave you with this quote, which I like to direct towards life itself...
“If you don't take the time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” 

― Michael J. Fox  




Friday, August 19, 2016

Bus Fare

Someone recently mentioned they were riding the "struggle bus". I found it cute. Annoying. And pretty much dismissed the comment. But now I find myself riding my own struggle bus and all I can say is, how the eff did I get on, and how the eff do I get off?!

I am having such a hard time balancing things. Okay, balancing me. I thought after all the "big events" in my life had occurred, that life would get back to normal. I'd find a routine. I'd get back to doing the things that made me, me. I'm not talking let's build the Great Wall of China here. I'm talking about seemingly simple things, like working out, doing a 5K, and volunteering. But when I think of those things now, I feel exhausted. I feel too exhausted to plan any of those activities, and yet, mentally beat myself up because I'm not doing them. I struggle with spending my time with others (and thoroughly enjoying it) versus doing "me". How do I give up things that currently make me happy in order to do something that I find mentally exhausting, yet know will help me be a better me in the long run? Seriously, this is only shit women do to themselves in their own heads. Ugh.

So how do I win the battle against myself and my own thoughts? I'm writing it (my goals) here, if ever so vaguely, because they say that writing down your intentions improves the likelihood of following through on them. Of course, writing down my intentions also leaves me open to you reading this and then asking me how I'm doing on my goals. Which in turn will just be a painful reminder of goals not met if I've made no progress. So hey, how about you just not ask, okay? Just know that I've asked the bus driver to stop, I've pulled the cord, and if the bastard won't let me off the bus, I'll jump. Just wish me luck for a safe landing.