Gratitude week 65

  1. This past week has been pretty rough, but I made it through.
  2. I switched dentist appointments with my son because he had to work on the date his appointment was scheduled. I was supposed to go in Wednesday, but went in Friday. Thursday night I felt like I got something stuck in my molar but didn’t eat anything that could get stuck. I tried to get whatever it was out with no luck to find out at my appointment the next day that I cracked my tooth. So, now I need a crown. I have a ton of anxiety about this because in the past I have been known not to numb. I did feel my last crown and it is terrifying to me. But I am grateful I found out about the crack the day after it happened. I’m grateful that I will be trying some new things such as laughing gas to manage the pain. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve never used that before.
  3. I scheduled my first tattoo. I am terrified about this appointment too. I am not as terrified about the pain as much as how I will handle it. Will I cry, scream, or freak out at these appointments? Or will I act like a proper stoic introvert?
  4. I’m grateful it is still March because I dread the upcoming appointments in April. I will be very grateful when they are behind me.
  5. I’m grateful that I was able to get a lot of writing in this week.
  6. I’m grateful that my new custom made wedding ring is coming in the mail tomorrow. I literally wore out my last wedding band.
  7. I’m grateful that my daughter is starting to make some progress in the residential program.
  8. I think I am also stressed out because it is Easter next week and I don’t have any plans. I’m feeling down because my daughter is in the residential treatment program and my other two kids aren’t getting along. My mom is a big ball of anxiety. My dad is a pedophile and my brother will never come home again with his children if my dad is around. I haven’t seen one of my brothers since 2019. Family holidays are more painful than ever before. I am grateful that although we didn’t get together with the extended family for Christmas, it was probably one of the most enjoyable holidays since my grandma was alive. Everything was simple instead of busy and rushed. I have hope that maybe this Easter will be quiet, simple, and enjoyable. I’ll let you know how it goes…
  9. With everything that is going on, I am not really looking forward to April this coming week. But it is a step closer to my favorite season, summer. This morning we awoke to snow and cold windy temperatures. I’m grateful that the difficult seasons make the lighter ones more enjoyable.
  10. I’m grateful that one of our favorite restaurants just opened very close to our house. Paul took me out to eat there after church today. Yum!

Thinking about personality

One of the first things the residential facility wanted us to do as parents was to take a free 16 personalities personality test. I got the same results as I always do. There was also an extra personality subtype designated as an A or a T. The A is for Assertive. These are the kind of people that know what they want. The other type was T for Turbulent. These people tend to be a lot more indecisive. I don’t know about you, but I think being labeled turbulent has a rather negative connotation. But anyway, since I am not a T what do I care?

It was no surprise to me that I am an ISTJ-A. Yes, a confident introvert. My husband was under the misconception that all introverts lack confidence because they don’t speak up. Then he bought a book about introverts and learned what all introverts already know which is that a lot of introverts are not introverts because they lack confidence. For the most part I don’t really care what people think so why would I waste my time talking.

What did surprise me is that I am now more introverted and less of a thinker since last time I took the test. I used to be a strong TJ and now I am strongly IJ which is a little scary. Why am I less of a thinker and more introverted? Has the pandemic changed me? Do I seek out thinking less because I don’t know what to think or believe anymore since free thinking appears to be frowned upon in our society as of late? With the pandemic I am spending gobs more time alone and guess what? I kind of like it.

One thing is consistent for sure. I am still a strong J. My life is comprised of rules, structure, order, tasks, and routine. I’ll have you know that when I say rules, I mean MY rules. I hate being told what to do. But I am super anal with my rules. For example, it really bugs me when people leave lights on in rooms they are not in. My husband will shoot holes in my beliefs because he asks me how much electricity do I think it takes to run my hot tub. If I really cared, I would care about that more than if he left a light on or not. But like always, I totally dismiss his criticism because it does not align with my anal set of rules.

But let’s talk about my husband. He is an ENTJ-A a.k.a. the confident commander. He is all structure, tasks, leadership, and efficiency. Yikes! Between the two of us, we are probably the least sensitive parents out there. We are all honesty and truth. Sometimes the truth hurts. But neither one of us gets hurt easily. Instead we get angry and upset with each other if we are not on the same page. Thankfully most of the time we are.

One other thing that is strongly engrained in my personality type is avoiding of all conflict. This causes pain for me because my honesty and truth creates incongruency within me with my strong desire to avoid conflict. Sometimes in order to avoid conflict I am not honest with other people. I feel this way a lot with my mom. I want to be honest with her about some things but she is very sensitive and I know it will hurt her and cause conflict between us. I could be as peace loving as a hippie but even they would kick me out of their group because I am much too anxious and anal which apparently is not as fun as I thought it was.

My daughter Arabella took the personality test in residential and it was no surprise to me that she is an ENFP-T. What does this mean?? It means that her personality is the exact opposite of mine. To go even further, her personality mirrors mine in the percentages of each trait. She is as extroverted as I am introverted. I am an extreme J (96%), and she is an extreme P (98%). She is a social butterfly, spontaneous, carefree, fun loving, hates rules and structure, and is ready to go anywhere the wind blows her. I mean, how is that even fair? I need to parent a child that does not respond well to my personality style. It’s not much better with Paul.

We are all order, tasks, and structure. In her mind things start when she gets there. There is no having to be up at a certain time in her world. We are not very sensitive to her whims of emotion. If you have to be there at a certain time, you have to be there. I share a lot of personality traits with my oldest two children, but Arabella is alien to me. I am hoping that this knowledge will help us somehow bridge the chasm between us. How do you parent a free spirit when we as parents are all tasks and structure even the military would be envious of? I am hoping to find out.

I wish I knew a lot of these things sooner. Both Paul and I lacked healthy parenting role models. We did the best with what we were working with and from where we came from. Since I am all rules and structure, I have learned that not a lot of people are as anal as I am or are anal in the same ways. I have this mindfulness. Even though I think I have the right way, I can understand that other people do not follow this right way. What a shame, really. LOL!!

As a rule, I tend to put people in boxes. My best friend is spontaneous and carefree which is a great balance. However, sometimes I get irritated with her because while I spend a lot of time planning events she is very last minute and changes everything. Instead of getting annoyed, I put her in the spontaneous box. If this is a pattern of behavior for her it makes it easier for me to understand and deal with it if I understand that.

I also put my mom in an anxious/irrational box. When she acts in ways that are counterintuitive to reason I can understand without getting worked up. For instance, I had a really hard time with her not wanting to leave my dad after he broke the law. Instead he became the love of her life. This is not rational or sane. Instead of letting it drive me absolutely crazy, I put her in the irrational box. It helped me to deal with her better within the constraints of my personality. It became her rule and routine.

Well, I am done thinking for today.

Fortune cookie wisdom #5

You are careful and systematic in your business arrangements.

Boooorrrrriiinnnggg! I’m not sure why I kept this fortune cookie. It is true, I am careful and systematic in pretty much everything I do.

However, I don’t think I am very careful about what I say when it comes to blogging. I talk too much and that is something I am not known for doing. Look at me! I sit down almost every single day and talk about myself. No one cuts me off. No one is thinking about what they are going to say in response. I don’t have to worry about having to get a word in edgewise.

It got me to thinking…Is this blogging platform dominated by introverts that don’t talk a lot in real life??

Bear with me for exactly 286 seconds…

Here are some top characteristics I want in a friend that I also offer as a friend:

  • Honesty, I want friends to tell me the truth instead of saying things to make me feel better.
  • Introversion, I would rather not hang around with loud bossy people.
  • Integrity, I don’t want to have to worry about friends hitting on my husband.
  • Humor
  • Intellect, I need deep conversations not small talk.
  • Structure, I don’t do spontaneity.
  • Neurotic, totally sane people drive me crazy.
  • Eccentric/crazy
  • Adventurous
  • Justice, I want fairness…I want a clearly defined right or wrong. (I tend to see things as black or white/all or nothing).
  • Determination, I don’t want a friend that bows out when things get tough.
  • Motivation, I want a friend that strives to be better than they were yesterday.
  • Industrious, I can’t stand laziness. I can’t sit still.
  • Realistic
  • Reliable, just do what you say you are going to do.
  • Trustworthy

So, I pose this question to you…

Are most bloggers introverts? Do we think this is a good place to tell our story because people in real life don’t listen? Do introverts still have a need to speak up quietly? Why would I tell strangers more about my life than friends? Am I inadequate at having real life relationships? Why does it feel safer to talk here for the world to read versus talking to a close friend behind a closed door?

I really want to know…Do most bloggers have the above characteristics?? Or am I just attracting the people that have these characteristics because that is how I am??

What are your thoughts?? If you follow my blog, how many of these characteristics do we share? If you are just passing through, what about you??

Am I making a sweeping generalization that most bloggers, especially those that post in the personal genre, are introspective introverts like me?? Or do I just attract people like me??

I notice your personality shine through in every word you write…Why wouldn’t you notice mine?

I know I totally got off the fortune cookie topic today. Whoops!

Widows weekend at home

Is it sad that I would rather stay home and clean my house instead of going out with friends? Is something wrong with me? Or am I just getting old??

This is the traditional widows weekend in Wisconsin. Tomorrow is the opening day for deer hunting. Tonight is the night that the girls go out whether their husbands hunt or not.

Tonight I am staying home and cleaning my house.

Growing up I lived in isolation and most of the time I enjoyed that lifestyle. I grew up in a house filled with introverts.

Now I am surrounded by a family of extroverts. There are always people coming and going. My kids constantly ask if friends can come over for the weekend. It is busy, bustling, and loud.

Is it wrong to want silence??

The last couple of times out with friends, I was completely bored. I had to yell over the crappy music of an untalented band. People ran into me and spilled their drinks on me. I have a hard time dancing and having fun if the music sucks. I get hit on, grabbed, and groped by guys that I would have no interest in dating even if I was single.

Even the best of friends sober are annoying when they are drunk and the non-drinkers are a drag to hang out with.

Yesterday I ran into an old friend at the grocery store. I don’t know if she recognized me. I pretended that I didn’t know her. I was in a hurry and didn’t want to waste time talking about superficial things. I hate small talk.

If you are going to be my friend, you will be there in the good times and the bad times.

But frankly, I will probably push you away in the bad times because I don’t like to talk to anyone about my life. I am a very private person although you wouldn’t know it here. It seems safer talking to you folks, all complete strangers, that I have no chance of running into in real life.

Then during the good times, I will be upset that you weren’t there for me in the bad times even though I probably pushed you away.

It’s not that I have social anxiety or poor social skills. Sometimes I just want to be alone. Maybe I am not a good friend.

Dusting off my dancing shoes

Going out isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

I felt bored. I realized that small time bands in small towns suck. Just bringing live music in on the weekends creates a crowd. So I found myself in a bar that was packed beyond the capacity of 99. It was hard to get a drink. One of my companions drank too much and was telling me the same angry story over and over again an inch from my face. Loud angry words were spewed with spittle over the discordant clash of the band. My ears were ringing from the noise. I could feel the vibrations ripple through my hair down into my feet.

My companion talked louder and louder over the music, gesturing wildly almost hitting me while people bumped into me from behind and stepped on my feet. It was windy and cold outside but sweaty and dank inside. The smokers huddled outside the door bringing in a stream of cold steam and smoke as the the hordes of people came in.

I felt disconnected. My companion talked on and on and spilled her drink down my arm in an angry gesture. Some of my friends were dancing. Others were standing around bored like me. When was it time to leave?? Cori was planning on dancing all night. Then after the bar closed they were going out to eat. Her plan was to get home at 5 AM after being up for 24 hours straight. That Cori is a wild one. I had other plans.

The evening started out nice. We went to Cori’s house for a light dinner and games. I brought along the game Loaded Questions. It was fun until the question came up asking what was the worst thing you ever witnessed. Should I answer that honestly?? I did. I put down that the worst thing I witnessed was when my brother attacked my daughter. The guesser had no idea that was my answer.

They are or were some of my good friends and they know nothing about me.

I had a lot more fun Friday night with Cindy. We were going to go to a bar and grill. When we showed up the place was packed and a DJ was unloading his van. We decided to go to a hole in the wall in the middle of nowhere. The food wasn’t great. The drinks weren’t much better. There were only 10 people there. But we could have a conversation without screaming over crappy music.

I hate to say it, but sometimes I would rather just stay home. I can listen to the music I like. People don’t bump into me or spill drinks on me. My husband is a great cook. I can drink craft beer instead of unimaginative dribble. I can fall asleep when I’m tired. I don’t have to yell over loud bad bar music.

But every once in awhile, I have to be social and dust off my dancing shoes to get my required social time in for the year.. But to be honest, I had more fun wearing my running shoes yesterday and going for a 10 mile run than I did wearing my dancing shoes last night….

How messed up is that??!?

23. My top 5 hobbies

Day 23: List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

1. Writing 

I love writing because I am secretive, quiet, and pensive person. These thoughts demand release. I don’t like talking on the phone, small talk, or long periods of silence that I feel like I have to fill with meaningless conversation. I have to think about everything before I say it, then think about it some more. I have a need to tell people what is on my mind, but when I try to talk the words just don’t come out right away. Then I miss the opportunity. Or people talk over me.. So I share my thoughts with you. Most of these thoughts I don’t even share with my closest friends. They don’t even know about my blog. When I was a kid, I wrote fiction books, poetry, and in my diaries. Then I put it all away for 20 years! I love to write about my childhood, my life in general, and stories of eccentric people who inspire me. I am a peace loving person, so I will never speak much about politics, religion, or controversial issues. I won’t write about beauty products, movies, or contemporary culture because I have no interest in writing about that. I have been blessed to have lived an eventful life. It has given me more than enough to write about. I also love to read the interesting stories of people who do unique things or overcome struggles.

2. Running

I never thought I would love running. I never get sick of the same route because every run is different. What I love about running is pushing my mind when my body has different ideas. It has given me endurance, preseverance, strength, and it makes me feel tough especially on the days that a Netflix marathon seems more attractive. I don’t like sprinting and prefer to run great lengths. I love competition and racing, especially 10k’s and half marathons. Although I said I wouldn’t, I will probably run another marathon since I haven’t achieved my goal time yet. I also like badminton, swimming, cross country skiing, hiking, dancing, and biking. These other likes prompted me to do my first triathlon. I want to be very active even into old age and am setting the pace for that now. Running has been my first love and I don’t see myself falling out of love with the sport any time soon.

3. Photography

I love capturing the beauty that surrounds me. I love taking pictures of landscapes and people. I like candid shots and don’t care for posing. I have always wanted to take my kids senior pictures and decorate my house with beautiful canvases of my creation. I love my vacation pictures of The Grand Canyon, New York City, and Pigeon Island in St. Lucia, etc… Or the simple beauty of wildlife on the lake, sunsets on the bay, winter snow storms, summer rainbows, or autumn leaves. I want to capture that beauty forever and surround myself with it as a reminder of my days in the sun during the dark days.

4. Singing

I have always liked to sing, especially with my daughter who is going to college for vocal performance. I have been thinking of getting lessons, but decided to ask my daughter to teach me new things over her breaks from school instead. I love singing in musicals. There is something very special about dressing up in fancy costumes and being someone else for awhile. I love the challenge of difficult music. I also like to sing Christmas carols with my daughter in church, go out for karaoke, or sing while my husband plays guitar. It has been a dream to write and perform my own music or to sing in a band. I don’t particularly like singing in choirs or singing music that I don’t like though.  

5. Traveling

I love to go to new places and experience new cultures. I love thinking and planning. I like to do a lot of research beforehand about the area I am going to and the things I could do while I am there. I like to interact with the local people. I love taking a lot of off the wall pictures. I almost love the planning as much as the traveling itself. I would love to be a world traveler off the beaten path someday when I have the freedom. I want to go to the underwater hotel in Dubai. I want to see the pyramids. I want to visit the roads that my ancestors tread. I want to see the beauty of Iceland. I want to sail the Caribbean. I want to sit on the beach in Bora Bora. I want to see every part of this world. 

15. If I were an animal…

Day 15: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

If I were an animal, I would be a cat.

I have often heard from non cat lovers that cats are unteachable, temperamental, independent, and disobedient. But those of you who are cat lovers know that is simply not true. If a cat has a good master, a cat can be just as loyal as a dog. My cat is more obedient than my kids. He always comes when I call him, not just when it is time to eat. He misses me when I am gone. A cat chooses his master carefully.

I like to think that I am like a cat in this way. I am very independent, but have a strong loyalty to the select people I choose to trust.

My friend Cindy taught her cat to use the toilet. Sometimes he leaves the seat up and doesn’t flush. No different from her kids, I guess..

If I was a cat, I would be a fierce hunter. My family would get excited and shriek when I bring mice inside the house for supper…I know I would get sick of only drinking water and dried up old cat food, so I’d catch my own.

I would perch in high places and observe others. I wouldn’t have to talk, I just get to watch.

Other people could pick up my crap for me.

I could take more time to laze in the sun.

I would keep my coat shiny and clean. Someone else could brush my hair and vacuum up my clumps of fur.

I would be satisfied to spend my day curled up in your lap. I would purr to let you know how much I care.

I won’t have to worry about presidential elections, raising teenagers, or work.

I think it is time to take a two hour nap…

Oh wait, I’m not really a cat..

 

13. Five weaknesses

Day 13: Describe 5 weaknesses that you have.

1. I worry too much.

I can’t seem to relax and let go. I am overly responsible. I take on the weight of the world. I try to fix things I have no control over. I over think and under feel. I think about everything, all of the time. I am not carefree.

2. I am stoic.

Sometimes I have no response to very good or very bad news. It makes people feel like I don’t care about them. It seems to take me a lot longer than other people to process my feelings. I am stoic, calm, and collected in all situations even when I shouldn’t be. When I am very upset, instead of letting everything out, I push others away and get locked inside of my head.

3. I am a black and white detailed thinker with high expectations of myself and others.

There is no middle ground with me. I give 100% or nothing at all. When others do not live up to my expectations, I have the tendency to want to cut them out of my life completely. I have a really hard time with the word ‘acquaintance’. Are you with me or not? I get bogged down with the details. I can’t seem to see the big picture. I get plagued with indecisiveness and trapped in my rigid structure. I am not spontaneous. I am a rule follower, but I make the rules.

4. I lack compassion.

I am not going to be the one that cries with you. I won’t hug you or get into your personal space. I am very critical of every sob story I hear, especially if it could be used to exploit others in any way. I will search the details for evidence that something is off. I am cynical and distrustful of the people around me. It takes a long time to earn my trust.

5. I find fault in others, but don’t want to see my own shortcomings.

I am very stubborn and resistant to change. I want to do things my way even if your way is better. If you accuse me of doing something wrong, I will deny it. Then I will take the long detailed list of your shortcomings and throw it in your face. Because, let’s face it, you’re wrong and I’m right! I am not confrontational, but won’t hesitate to stand up for what I believe is right. Sometimes I value my structure, rules, and being right over my relationships with others.


Birthday blues

Tomorrow is my birthday.

What do I want? Something that can’t be bought in a store.

I want a day of peace and tranquility. Just one day that is problem free. I want an escape from my normal routine.

Every day is the same. I start a couple loads of laundry before heading off to work. I deal with problems at work. Then I deal with problems at home. Sometimes simultaneously. After I make supper, clean the kitchen, and fold laundry I finally get to go to bed. I wake up and do it all over again the next day. Although I enjoy working and keeping busy, sometimes adulting can be monotonous and the responsibility burdensome.

I have to work tomorrow. After work, the kids want to do something with me. All I want from them is peace. I don’t want to hear any fighting. Even when we play games, they constantly tease each other by calling names or saying that their siblings suck. They say that it is all in jest, but I don’t find it very funny.

Paul has play practice on my birthday. I should’ve known to lower my expectations when he got the lead part in the summer play. He doesn’t have time for me anymore. I was hoping that he would go up north with me last weekend. When we got together with theater friends last week, he spontaneously offered to take them sailing this past weekend. So he did that instead. Then he asked me to crew for his race last night, but I was replaced by his theater friends. I was okay with that because I only wanted to be a sub. However, he has been sailing with a much younger single woman (not alone) from the theater that thinks he’s hot. I guess I would care more if she was attractive. I was hoping to sail with Paul for almost a week for our anniversary, but we cut it back to a weekend for play practice. I am getting really sick of it already.

I feel left out. I didn’t know all of the inside jokes. I am just an introvert who wants to feel included, but doesn’t want to go. I feel like no one cares about me. The kids really don’t need me much anymore. Sometimes I don’t really care about me either. I almost got hit by a car this morning while I was out riding my bike. The lady almost went through a stop sign. She slammed on her brakes last minute when she saw me. I didn’t get angry like I usually do. I didn’t really care. Hey, I’m still here!

Although my best friend Lisa moved home almost two months ago, we have only seen each other twice. I don’t feel like running with her. I would rather be alone.

When I was a kid, my mom made a very big deal out of my birthday. It was the one day of the year that my life wasn’t all about my autistic brother. I think because of that I have high expectations of how that day should go. Every year it seems harder and harder to get excited. My birthday always signifies the middle of summer. It is going by so quickly this year. I don’t want summer to end and I don’t want to get any older!

Tomorrow I will be 21 (doubled). Gulp! Ready or not, here I come.

The shy lie

I am a complete and total liar. I will try to give you an honest explanation. I grew up in a house full of introverts with the exception of my youngest brother. Being an introvert, this was very pleasing to me. On the introversion scale of -10 being the most introverted and 10 being the most extroverted, as a youth I was at a -8. I didn’t start speaking in front of people until I was about 30. (There is hope for you). Then I got married and found myself in a house full of extroverts. This can drive the introvert in me a bit crazy at times always going somewhere always having people over. It did bring me out of my shell and I would say that on the introversion scale I am now about a -2 and so is my son. My husband and daughters are all rather extreme extroverts.

That being said, I had the unique experience of spending half of my life surrounded by introverts and the other half surrounded by extroverts. But I am a liar in an introverted way. If someone asks me if a dress makes them look fat and it does, the first thing I try to do is change the subject. If that doesn’t work, then I will indirectly answer the question by saying something related, but not the truth, like the dress is a good color on you. I want to scream out that the dress looks like crap on you but instead I sweetly say that it does not make you look fat. Instead, it looks good. Yes, it looks good. I lie when everything inside me screams to tell the truth. To make matters worse, I hate confrontation.

I think that blogging has given me an avenue to say what I really mean. Something I find difficult to do in everyday life. Since a majority of you don’t know me, what do you care? Everything within me is telling me that the truth should be told. I really don’t want to be silent anymore. I won’t sit silent and let others think I am an idiot, that I don’t have an opinion.

Yes, the dress makes you look fat! Okay, now can we change the subject?