Sunday, March 31, 2013

When Does It Stop?

Sometimes, when I am bored and nothing interests me on TV, I channel surf.  Nine times out of 10, I find myself sucked into some reality show.  I had been hooked on Real Housewives of New Jersey, then got tired of the drama.  At some point, I just wanted to slap all of them.  I would watch Real Housewives of Atlanta - same crap.

I got stuck on watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Saturday.  Overall - I do not consider any of these women "housewives."  Sure, they are married, but do they really do any of the work I remember my mom doing?  I am sure one could argue in some capacity that these women are, but I don't think so.

Two of the "housewives" were giving birthday parties for their daughters.  I think my mouth nearly fell out when I saw how much this one woman was spending on her 4 year old's party.  All of the other 25 little girls were getting diamond Barbie necklaces as party favors.  Small wonder these kids cannot appreciate anything.

I know there are times when I am a "shop-aholic", but good grief.  These women spend money like there is no tomorrow.  It was acceptable to pay between $15,000 to $20,000 on a birthday party.  I know how some women struggle to get enough money to have a party at Chuck E. Cheese, but this was just insane.

Next, there was the description of one "housewife's" work for the home.  Two nannies, a cook, and heaven only knows how many maids.  She had 3 kids and her husband had no patience for dealing with the kids, so he would walk away.  In the mean time, she let them get away with murder.  Hello?!  We consider this "parenting?"

I sat there and thought about those single parents and one income families that have to struggle to make ends meet.  None of them can afford to have someone else do all of the dirty work for them.  They have to do it on their own, but many of them work hard to make sure their children get what they need.  Sure, every parent wants to give the world for their children, but honestly, that cannot happen.  It builds no character.

I am an only child.  I got a lot of things for being an only child that other kids did not get, but I did not get everything I ever wanted.  I had to learn about working for it.  I think that is where I sort of screwed up in my own life.  I work hard for the money I get, then I do not think about what I want to spend that money on - what would give me the most joy or realization of what it is I need more.  Therefore, I make stupid mistakes.  I try hard, now, not to make those types of mistakes.  Still, I do not expect anyone to just give me anything.  When I get something for free, sometimes, I am hesitant about accepting it.  I want to know why I earned it.

Today's Message from God to me:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

your task is not to seek for love, but to seek and melt all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

God loves you with the very air you breathe, the very light that touches your skin, the very ground that supports you. Love is everywhere, - melt your barriers, and you will have love in abundance.

I am sure that there is a lot of truth in the above message for me.  I wonder why I am still alone after all of these years.  I know one problem is how I deal with work.  After last weekend, I am going to try harder to set concrete boundaries and if I do not answer the phone, I should not feel bad.  I have my life, too.  I have things I need to do for myself.  Others need to meet the challenge - I have done it for a long time.  I have to make these changes in order to live the life I really want.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Time to Quit Protecting Myself...

People point out that I do not like someone.  I thought about it.  The person is nice enough, but I do not always agree with how to go about certain things. 

The honest truth - I spend too much time trying to protect myself from someone else's mistakes.  I need to learn to let go.  Yes, if I do not agree with something, say as much, then let it go if the person wants to continue down that path.  If I have to clean up the mess after that, so be it.  It is what it is. 

Nutshell, I let that person control my life and that needs to stop.  It is a waste of energy and I can achieve a whole lot more by letting that go.  Let the chips fall where they may - that is how that works.

Today's Message From God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

family is not a name for a group of people, but the quality of relationships between them.

Relationships grounded in mutual love, trust, caring and forgiveness. In all the ups and all the downs of life. Look closely, - who is really your family, and who in truth are just strangers in for the ride?

Now, that is very profound and something to ponder...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Time to Put It in Reverse...

Today's Message:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you are to trust yourself.

If you do not, then you will forever be looking to others to prove your own merit to you, and you will never be satisfied. You will always be asking others what to do and at the same time resenting their help. Trust in yourself starts with being ok with the consequences of your decisions.

Interesting that I would get this message today.  For the past two days, I have been accused of not keeping someone in the loop and not forthcoming on information.  

Time for information overload - no matter how minor.

When Enough is Enough...

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you are not alone.

Our own fears and insecurities can make us feel that we are beyond help, beyond hope. Know that there is no place that far and that God is always with you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Music Makes Me Happy...

Hello Old Friend...

Last night, I cut all ties to work and left to make it to see Eric Clapton perform.  While riding the DART train to the AAC, I thought about how much I had grown up to his music.  My mom was such a huge fan of Eric Clapton.  Outside of the Rolling Stones, my mom would have loved to been at this show.

The WallFlowers were the opening act.  I remembered how much I liked them back in the '90s.  The band played "One Headlight".  It was great to hear them.

When Eric came out to perform, I thought about how much I liked him with a bit longer hair.  Not too short, but not long.  His set list last night was the following songs:

       Hello Old Friend
        (Clapton on acoustic)
        My Father's Eyes
        (Clapton on acoustic)
        Tell the Truth
        (Derek and the Dominos song)
        Gotta Get Over
        Black Cat Bone
        (Albert Collins cover)
        Got to Get Better in a Little While
        (Derek and the Dominos song)
        (Squeeze cover) (Paul Carrack on lead vocals)
        (Cream song)
        Driftin' Blues
        (Johnny Moore's Three Blazers cover) (Clapton on acoustic)
        Tears in Heaven
        (Clapton on acoustic)
        Lay Down Sally
        (Clapton on acoustic)
        Wonderful Tonight
        (Clapton on acoustic)
        (Derek and the Dominos song) (Clapton on acoustic)
        How Long
        (Ace cover) (Paul Carrack on lead vocals)
        Stones in My Passway
        (Robert Johnson cover)
        Love in Vain
        (Robert Johnson cover)
        (Robert Johnson cover)
        Little Queen of Spades
        (Robert Johnson cover)
        (J.J. Cale cover)
        Sunshine of Your Love
        (Cream song)
        High Time We Went
        (Joe Cocker cover) (Paul Carrack on lead vocals)

I purchased a tour book that celebrated Eric's 50 years of being in the music business.  I really have pretty much grown up with Eric over the years.  I knew most of the songs, but that is because he made it a point to play those songs that benefited him commercially as well as sliding in some blues covers here and there.  Overall, even though he is 67 years old, he sounds just as good, if not better than when he was younger.


I ended up downloading some more of Eric Clapton's catalog last night.  As I did so, I stumbled across some videos of 80's band, Madness.  I loved them with "One Step Beyond", "Our House", and "House of Fun."  The band itself was just a "fun" band that came up with some pretty catchy tunes.  I found an iTunes performance of the band done just a few months ago.  I was completely impressed.  The band, much older, still had the same great sound and fun, but were definitely showing a more grown up side.  Check out the "young" vs "older" videos - Have fun!

1979 - One Step Beyond
2012 - One Step Beyond

1982 - Our House
2012 - Our House

1982 - House of Fun
2012 - House of Fun

I liked this one:

1981 - Embarrassment
2012 - Embarrassment

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you do not see things as they are. You see them as you are.

When you look, you see reflections of your being. When you listen, you hear echoes of yourself. If you don't like something about what you see and hear, no point in smashing the mirror, change who you are becoming.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Message for Today...

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you attract not what you want, but who you are.

If you want to change something in your life, focus on the inner, and God will take care of the outer.

Busy and Crazy Day...

Ever since I woke up, I have been puttering around the apartment trying to clean and get a few things done.  I did have two hours wasted by work issues.  I hope that after the next two weeks, that will either slow down or someone else can deal with it.

I was still upset over my aunt being upset about my mom and such.  I hate that and it does bother me that family members would act like that.  You just wished that everyone would get along, but unfortunately, I have learned that most of the have some ax to grind.  Best course of action - just stay out of it.  You can't reason with them, so leave well enough alone.

I am beginning to feel that the dogs are taking out some resentment towards me on either simply not paying enough attention to them, having boarded them for a week last week, or both.  Chloe has gone in my bathroom, knocked down the waste basket, and shredded the contents.  I am both extremely angry and grossed out at the same time.  The funny thing - she has never done this - ever.  I have to think that, like a child, she is acting out because she is not getting the attention she needs.  Still, it does not make me happy and I have banned her from the bathroom.  I really do not have time for that sort of nonsense.

Today, I am cooking a roast beef for dinner.  I figure the leftovers will be a great help with this week's lunches and dinners.  I also made roasted chicken breasts.  I put the left over breasts in a container to heat up during the week.  I could also use one to cut up for a salad.

I did something last night that I had never done.  I put down a deposit for 2013-2014 season tickets for Dallas Stars Hockey.  I LOVE HOCKEY!!!  Just this once, I wanted to be able to have tickets for the season and make as many games as I could.  Getting season tickets has been something I have always wanted to do.  Now, I am going to make that happen.

Time to check on the roast - hoping that the internal temp is above 100 degrees.  If so, then dinner is on.  Otherwise, I will have to get something out and use the meat for tomorrow night.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Promises and Secrets...

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

to burn out the pain, just find a place filled with joy.

God created joy as a balm for pain. What are some places, who are some people filled with joy that you can rely on to ease your pain?

I started the day fairly well, I thought.  I got up early, got the dogs out, cleaned up, and met Random Cathy at Polished for a day of mani/pedi and lunch.  Not to put pressure on Cathy, but I love the positive vibes and such that exude from her.  Her blog has allowed me to think about how I am making mistakes in my own life and where I need to make positive strides. Not that she is saying that directly, but I find similarities.

I got home and the dogs really wanted me to get back in bed with them.  It seemed to make them happy, so after doing a bit of work, I took a nap.

A week or so ago, a cousin on my mother's side of the family reached out to me on Facebook to be a "friend."  I had to really consider what I was doing because the relationship between my mom and other members of her family were very strained.  I discussed it with my father and we both believed that this cousin really had nothing to do with the petty in-fighting that had been going on for years.  So, I friended him.

I posted stuff on Facebook about my mom passing away.  Honestly, one can look up her name and find where she had passed away via the funeral home.  My mom did not want the people with whom she had issues to know she had died.  My father and I did what she asked.

I called my aunt, mom's one sister that she remained in contact with up until she passed away, to check on her.  She is a lot like me.  We both get easily depressed.  As I was talking with her, she started in about how one of my other cousins came into the grocery store where she worked to go on about how mom had passed away and no one contacted them.  At that point, I could hear in my aunt's voice that she was determined to find out how that side of the family came to know about it.  All that could come rushing to my mind was the various posts about my mom on Facebook and my one cousin I had recently friended.

I could tell she was angry and upset.  She is angry and upset with my mom for leaving us here.  I explained to her that it was possibly from me where they got the information.  It was not intentionally stated to them, but then again, anyone really looking for mom would have seen that she had passed away on the internet.

So, for those of on mom's side of the family, yes, my mother passed away about 3 and half years ago.  She did not want you to know because as much as she reached out to you, you only took and never gave back in return.  You will never know the depths of her pain as she left this world.  Take time to think about how often you called her just to check on her and see how she was doing.  If you never did in all of this time, then you have no right to be upset.  Live with that and do not go trying to place blame on my aunt - go to the mirror and look at it.

For my cousin that friended me, you have a kind heart and I know that you have no agenda.  You believe at the end of the day, all that is left is family.  That is how it should be, but we all know that not all families are perfect.  Understand, these were my mom's wishes and we carried out as we knew how.

Not a day goes by without my thinking of my mom.  Often, I walk the dogs in the dark and silently cry.  Other times, I stand in the shower and just weep.  When times are rough, I do not have the comfort of my mom's voice or understanding to help me.  I pray that wherever she is, she is at peace and happy.

I had all of this pent up after my call with my aunt and needed to get it out of my system.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Who Am I Becoming?

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

to find out who you are becoming find stories that move your heart.

Just like a seed has an image of the tree in it, so does your heart have an image of who you are becoming. Look for stories in movies and books that resonate in your heart, and you will find glimpses of your possible futures. What is your favorite story?

I have so many favorite stories.  As a young girl, I enjoyed reading Caddie Woodlawn.  I cannot remember how many times I read that book over and over in elementary school.  There was another book I read with a couple of kids traveling across the country in the early 1800's.  Reading those books threw me back into the past.

As I got older, for some reason, Nazi Germany fascinated me.  I would read a lot of books about Hitler, the SS, and the Holocaust.  My fascination stemmed from how could one person engage so many people to do such horrors.  Diary of Anne Frank was so haunting and I think that is where my curiosity stemmed.  I felt so much sadness for this young girl who had been my age and suffered so much.

In high school, I think the book that probably should not have been introduced to a group of fresh-faced freshmen was The Outsiders.  The book is not without its own merit, but seeing how everyone got sucked into the storyline and began carving out the cliques was the start of something sad.  People who had been friends since elementary school began to split from their friendships due to someone being a "soc" vs "greaser."  

The Scarlet Letter.  I read it in high school.  I read it again in college, then based my term paper on the main character.  What we sacrifice for "love."

John Steinbeck books were another favorite of mine to read when I was in high school.  Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row were among the ones I loved to read.

I did less reading as I got older.  Sure, I read Silence of the Lambs, James Patterson novels, and even Fifty Shades of Grey.  I have to say, for the last book, if you remove the "sex", it is basically a "Cinderella" story.  I felt that the last book in the series actually built up more mystery that really kept me engaged.

With movies, I related to Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty In Pink.  The movies covered how teenagers like myself were growing up and communicating with one another.  How we handled the difficult situations.

I mentioned this the other day.  The two movies that touches me personally are Working Girl and Jumping Jack FlashWorking Girl - I was able to relate to Melanie Griffin's character in just trying to break into the corporate world.  Trying not to be the slug, but the "idea" person.  Taking an idea and trying to develop it and hoping to get the support of your management.  Reality is sometimes that happens and more often than not, it does not happen.

Jumping Jack Flash.  What can I say?  I always wanted to be the fun-loving computer geek that everyone loved, but there was no one for that person.  Heck - that is me to a point.  I do not necessarily get along with management because management does not always take me seriously.  I had a lot of toys and such on my desk just to make that I had a good attitude - it was fun to be there.  I do not have as many "toys" and my desk is much cleaner these days.  However, that person who does a lot for those around her is still there.

I bought Jack Kerouac paper back and audio books.  For whatever reason, I wanted to be a beatnik and loved going to Borders to just read and hang out.

In the romance area, my favorite movies have been When Harry Met Sally, French Kiss, and Must Love Dogs.  I will say, even though I love looking at Gerard Butler, P.S. I Love You makes me cry.  I love French Kiss the most because it would be so typical to have someone, then that person leaves you for someone else.  Go on this long goose chase with someone and realize, what was the point?  The person you really love is right there with you.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Making Some Progress...

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

kindness doesn't go unanswered.

Even though it seems like thanks and acknowledgments for good deeds are in short supply, God notices them. When you feel like giving up because gratitude eludes, remember that God is delighted in your efforts. Don't stop showing kindness because you feel unappreciated, the author of good things appreciates you very much.

Some days are better than others...

I need to take some vacation time and step away from work.  I have not had a break from work since mid-December.  Even at that time, it was not a break.  This time, I have assigned out work to another co-worker for the upcoming version.  I want other employees to engage him before coming to me.  Otherwise, he will not learn.

Since the clocks were supposed to spring forward today, I did not feel the lost hour until now.  Now, I wish I had that extra hour in order to get more things done.  I feel like this weekend has been wasted, yet again.  I did have to work during the day for testing efforts.  I did manage to get laundry and dishes done.  I still have a huge mound of towels and such to clean, but those do not require as much attention as the perma-press.  I have to be very careful with the perma-press to make sure no wrinkles, shrinkage, and such.  Major pain.  Towels and the like can stay in the dryer for longer periods of time because they just get folded. 

If I can get past this month, I am definitely taking a week off for myself.  I have been at it since my last time off back in mid-December.  That was not really time off, either.

My father's birthday is this month and I have absolutely NO clue what to get him.  Maybe I will just get him a gift card to Best Buy and call it good.  I might get him some after-shave - I know I have not done that in quite awhile.

Here's to being more productive in the upcoming week...

"Spring" Forward...

That term should take on a dual meaning.  Sure, you have to move your clocks forward one hour, but let's all "Spring" forward.  Get that "spring-y" step back into your routine.  Remember the resolutions made and went by the wayside, look at those and make a realistic goal to put more spark into your life.

Sure - technically, I lost an hour, but since I have been getting up so early the past few weeks, I really do not feel I lost anything.  What I do feel is I wish I had more time to do the things I would like to do.  That would be the same as for any other day.  That is something I need to tackle on my own. 

Last night, I got the dogs out for their walk and we all huddled into the bed around 8 PM last night.  I was watching the hockey game when the first clap of thunder made its announcement.  Luckily, even though both dogs were startled, I had them covered up with a cozy blanket.  That seemed to help with the heavy rain and such.  I ended up falling asleep around 10:30 pm last night.  We all slept until about 8:30 this morning.  I needed the extra sleep.

Considering everyone is hungry at this time, I am going to make some breakfast for the dogs and myself.  I have to do some grocery shopping, but only after I clear out the refrigerator.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Easily Losing Focus...

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

it's never too late to get back on track.

Never has anyone gone so far on the wrong path that they cannot return to the right one. Never has anyone become so wayward that they cannot benefit from the true light.

 I feel like my life has been turned upside down for the past week.  On last Friday afternoon, I was notified of an all week training and was told I was required to be there in person.  I have a small problem with that.  Actually, two small problems named Bo and Chloe.  

I hate to leave them at home for 8+ hours.  To me, that is not fair to them because they are smaller dogs and I live in an apartment.  So, it is rather difficult for them to get out and do their business without me.  So, I made arrangements to board them for the week at the vet's office starting this past Tuesday.  Monday, luckily enough, was just half day of training, so that helped.

I actually enjoy training courses.  I want to learn about new things and work out how best to implement the tools or functionality.  What I do not enjoy is the behavior of others that were in the room taking the training.  My manager came to Dallas on Tuesday and left on Thursday for the course.  While I am trying to pay attention to the instructor, my boss starts in about a production issue.  I had already spent time looking at the issue before the training course started that day and determined that the issue was either with the data or some process in the flow was not working properly.  I tried to politely explain what I had done, but I also tried to get across that I was trying to pay attention in class.  This discussion could be tabled for a break.  My manager just does not seem to get that.  It was a continual situation where he would start conversations and the poor instructor would have to raise his voice to be heard by others, which in turned caused the other conversation to get louder.  Every evening when I got home, I felt like I had been run over by a bus.

This was going to be my week to get out and walk.  That plan fell apart very quickly.  Every morning, I was up at 5 to 6 AM trying to get work sorted out before I went into work for the training course.  During the training course, I was expected to resolve issues because no one was picking them up.  Once class was over, there was still more work to be done, so I ended up having to pick up something to eat.  I would get home, eat and work until midnight.  Small wonder I was so exhausted last night.

I have all of these expectations on my plate and quite honestly, not sure how they will get accomplished when my manager does not convey proper information.  My co-workers have helped me understand that it is not just an issue with me, but he does it to all of them.  So, I do not see how this re-organization is going to correct his bad habits.  He is still not sharing information and there are things that need to be done, but no one knows the "plan."

This is what causes a lot of my stress.  Improper planning and saying that this is how this team is going to work.  Even chaos can be properly managed, but this is beyond me.

In the end, I have not always been checking my blood sugar this week, but I have made it a point to make sure I take my medication.  I have missed getting an insulin injection from time to time.  Most of those mistakes were due to my getting too caught up in rushing around to get things done.  I know that is a bad sign.

I have always been a pretty emotional person.  I cannot help it - it is just something that has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.  This week, my emotions have been running pretty high.  It has not taken much to make the water works start up.  I try to keep that in secluded places where others cannot see, but sometimes, it has been a harder task than usual.  There are so many things that I want for myself and I do not mean material items.  I feel bound to something I cannot break free.  Every time I finally get something, anything, going in the right direction, losing weight, getting blood sugar down, something else happens and just obliterates all of my hard work and determination.  It makes striving for the things I want for myself so much harder to achieve.  

I know nothing in life is ever easy.  However, I just wish I could get on the winning side of it for awhile.  I would love to be one of those wonderfully positive people who just by talking to them can make you see the light inside yourself or even be that person who others gravitate due to their positive spirit and nature.

In the meantime, I will just dust off the dirt on my worn out pants and try to pick myself up.

One last comment.  I find it amazing that when I push back on something, some people claim that I am not a "team player."  I love how that label gets thrown about when someone does not get what they want when they want it.  However, when they want someone to fix something, dig in a log file for an issue, or get something done quickly, they are on the phone to me.  Yeah - I am not a team player.  Go figure.