perspective

This morning I paced the floor. I felt anxious and stressed. Only 8 1/2 months to go. But who’s counting?

He overslept. Things were going so well the whole two days since school started, until today that is. He left at the time he should’ve been at school which is problematic since we moved further away. He had over a half an hour drive before picking up two friends on the way.

My son will be the death of me. If I disappear from the bloggosphere someday, you’ll know why.

Being late stresses me out. But since I am not one to be late, I am stressed out vicariously through my kids.

It put me in a really negative and anxious mood. I know I shouldn’t let my kid’s tardiness affect my day. But it is hard to just let it go sometimes.

Then I opened up Facebook this morning and saw a memory from a race I ran several years back with Lisa and her teen daughter that recently passed away in a car accident. We all placed in the small town race and were showing off our medals. Lisa’s daughter won’t be going to school today. She won’t be graduating, going to college, having a family…any of that. Maybe if she overslept she would still be alive, instead of falling asleep behind the wheel.

It really puts things into perspective.

Will my son’s tardiness be something that I will think about next year? It is incredibly frustrating today. Sometimes I need the little reminders to be thankful for the days we have together. I only have a few months left with him under my roof.

I’m trying to let go and not let his mistakes ruin my day.

 

Fortune cookie wisdom #9

The sky seems small if it is looked at from the bottom of the well.

Well, that’s deep!

Life is a matter of perspective.

Where did you start?

Do you see things as they really are?

Do you see things like I do?

Was your view obstructed by the wall of the well that surrounds you?

Do you live in murky waters that make the blue sky seem gray?

Even the clearest of waters can distort and refract our reflection.

Maybe the well is dry but you can only see the things around you with tunnel vision.

Does the sky matter? Or are you only concerned with what you are surrounded by?

What do I see when I look down at you? Only a poor reflection of myself?

I shouldn’t judge your views if you see things from a different angle.

I wonder…How did you get inside the well in the first place?

Were you born that way?

Did something push you over the edge?

Did you fall into it unexpectedly?

Are you trying to hide from your demons behind the cool dark walls?

Were you seeking satiation and got trapped in the drink?

What if you need help?

If you are at the bottom of a well, perhaps you have bigger concerns than the size of the sky.

It’s too bad, the sky it a beautiful baby blue today without a cloud.

 

Boot thief

I am going to take the kids to see my mother-in-law this weekend.

The last time I visited, she accused me of stealing her boots. She said that someone, possibly my daughters or I, took her boots and left a pair that looked just like hers behind.

I really didn’t know what to say. Why would I steal my dying mother-in-law’s boots?

I admit, my relationship with my mother-in-law Martha has been rocky at times.

I am structured and overly responsible. Martha is spontaneous and irresponsible. She is usually late and she only does what she feels like doing. If she doesn’t feel like doing something, she won’t do it. She might cancel out last minute after she made a commitment. She usually has good intentions.

She once cancelled out of going to her grandchildren’s birthday party because it was going to be too hot outside and we were having the party outdoors. Or it might rain or might snow. Or she spent all her money at the casino and didn’t have enough for gas. Or she had to work. Or she was sick. Or the hot water heater stopped working and she couldn’t shower. Or the car broke down. Or she needed to go shopping instead. All of these excuses have been used.

Some of my biggest pet peeves are when people don’t do what they say they are going to do or when they cancel out last minute without a good reason.

Most of the time, I didn’t argue. The handful of times that I did over the past 20 some years angered Martha enough not to talk to me for years. Martha is always right. It was never her fault. It’s not worth arguing. I just nod my head and smile if I disagree. It is not worth having my children not have their grandma in their lives over.

I am a peaceful person that avoids conflict, but is never at peace. I am the one that is upset. I am the one that is hurt.

I have learned over time to lower my expectations. I am not upset that she accused me of stealing her boots. Martha is a difficult person. Paul and I talk about the things that bother us so it doesn’t fester into something bigger.

Really, what does Martha care if I am upset??

She is the biggest owner of rose colored glasses that I know. She is happy. She talks of all the things she is going to do when she kicks this terminal cancer. She is happy while she is getting chemo. She thinks she is getting better. She has always lived in her dream world of lies. She is happy. She is happy. She is happy..

I am a realist and I am completely miserable.

Some have called me a pessimist and I would argue. But I would admit I am not an optimist. I want to have both feet on the ground. I want to know the facts. I want to know the truth. I see the world as it really is and sometimes that bothers me.

Is such honesty worth it? Try as I might, I can’t seem to change.

 

17. What I wish I was great at…

Day 17: What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

I wish I was a great painter, but instead I enjoy painting beautiful pictures with my camera.

I wish I was a great at drawing. If I could draw, I could use a pencil to create something magnificent. Instead, I loop and swirl my pencil to create insightful words.

I wish I was good at gardening. I could plant the soil, water it, pluck out the weeds, and watch it grow. Then I would harvest the fruits of my labor. Instead, I work at fostering the growth of my relationships with those around me in a similar way.

I wish I was a great dancer. I could be flexible and graceful. But then I probably wouldn’t be a runner, something I love but probably wouldn’t have tried if I could dance.

I wish I was great at remodeling old houses. I could take what is broken and fix it. Although, I am enough of a fixer upper to last myself a lifetime of improvements. 

These are just a few things I wish I was great at…But there isn’t enough time in the day to be good at everything…So I’ll be happy with the gifts I have been given.

14. Five strengths

Day 14: Describe 5 strengths you have.

1. I am extremely self-disciplined.

I used to get frustrated when others around me would exhibit a total lack of self-control by eating or drinking too much, spending money that they don’t have, or by saying things that they shouldn’t have said. I have little compassion for messes people get themselves into. I used to be judgmental, but found that these people are only hurting themselves.

Through this, I found that I have a rare gift. I have the ability to control myself and have strong self -discipline. That topped with an innate inability to relax, I have been able to push myself to do things I never could’ve imagined were possible. I’ve learned that I have inspired more people through my example instead of through my judgment of them. In essence, I think I have managed to turn a weakness into a strength.

2. I have a strong work ethic.

I will work hard until the job is done, without break if necessary. I am efficient with excellent time management skills. I can’t sit still and have learned to use this energy to be very industrious.  I will focus on the details of the task and break it down to manageable parts. I will give it everything and be very thorough. I won’t stop until the job is done up to my standards. I love the challenge.

3. I am very organized.

I live my life by rules, structure, and organization. I have the ability to analyze details, mull over things, and come up with some pretty good plans. I am great at problem solving scheduling conflicts. I have no time for spontaneity. My schedule is very routine and I like it that way. If something works, I stick with it. I am also very good at planning non-routine events, such as vacations. I am a walking calendar. If I plan something, I will take every detail into consideration and cater it specifically towards what others would enjoy. That makes me happy.

4. I am loyal.

If you are able to earn my trust, I will be your most loyal companion. If I tell you that I am going to do something, nothing will stop me from doing it. I would be willing to move mountains for you. I may not be your shoulder to cry on, but I will listen to you and keep your secrets. I will nudge you to get back on your feet again. I will protect you. I will fight for you. Even though you may not want this, I will try to fix your problems. I stay calm and collected in stressful situations. I am able to put my feelings on the shelf and make good decisions. I will tell you the blatant truth if you ask. Forget the small talk, let’s get into a deep conversation. I am eccentric. I love adventures. If you come up with an idea, I will be up for anything if my schedule allows. I have a great sense of humor and love to make people laugh.

5. I am independent.

I am not afraid to do things by myself. I would be willing to run a marathon with no one that I know beside me and no one to cheer me on. I don’t care what others think of me. I have no desire to be popular. I wear the kind of clothes that I like. I am not susceptible to peer pressure. I have no desire to be like everyone else. I refuse to be bossed around or controlled. Don’t tell me what to do. I will stand up for myself, those I love, and the principles that I think are right if I am forced to. I am not afraid to say ‘no’. I am not afraid of facing my fears. There is a lot of freedom in living this way.

1. List 20 random facts about yourself

Ok, not only will these be random facts, some of them are downright weird…

1. I am left handed.

2. My blood type is AB. Not only do I have the rarest blood type, but I am the universal receiver baby! That means I don’t have to feel guilty about my fear of needles.

3. My personality type is ISTJ. Everyone in my house has a different personality, however we are all ‘T’s’ meaning that we are all thinkers versus feelers. Which also means that our house is full of debate versus drama. Lol.

4. I have incredibly good hearing. This has given me a natural ear for music. It also means that I wake up when a pin drops at my neighbor’s house.

5. I have the rare ability to voluntarily control my tensor tympani muscle. This means that with concentration I can close my ears off to sound without covering them. This has been a great gift when I can’t handle the sound of people loudly chewing.

6. I am a texture person, not a taste person, when it comes to food. I can’t stand eating onions, mushrooms, cooked green beans, shrimp, or chewy meat because of the texture. But, maybe, if you put these items in a blender I would like them.

7. I am a first born.

8. I ran in two marathons.

9. I have a Bachelor’s degree in something totally unrelated to what I’m doing now.

10. I have been with the same person exactly half of my life.

11. I have been married for 19 years. We have also been business partners for half that amount of time.

12. I found my first gray hair at 27.

13. I have 3 teenage children.

14. I love doing laundry, but hate dusting.

15. I read the whole Bible cover to cover.

16. I am double jointed and can touch my thumb to my arm.

17. I have 3 brothers, but no nephews.

18. I have 2 nieces, but no sisters.

19. I have a black thumb.

20. I like to clean.

Wow, that was a little harder than I thought it would be! 

Please comment if we have anything in common…..

 I’m thinking if we have zero in common, you have already moved on to another post…

1 to 5, casual reader…

5 to 10, follower maybe getting emails every time I post…

10 to 15, new best friend….

15 to 20, when can you move in??…..

20 or more….Wait, is that humanly possible?? Twins separated at birth?? Nope, that negates number 7 then…Lol..

Thanks for reading (putting up with me)! 

Rain in the desert

  

The conference is almost over. 

Today it is raining in the desert. It has been raining all day. When we got here it was dry and over a hundred degrees. Today it is in the 70’s and humid. I heard someone say that the locals said it was a miracle. The one of five days a year that it rains around here. To me, it reminds me of home. 

It has taken awhile to get used to the time change. We have been staying up late and getting up early.

We have already had problems at home. Arabella got into an argument with grandma over chores…chores that I said needed to be done but didn’t say who needed to do them..chores that I usually do..chores that no one seems to want to do like cleaning the cat box and taking out the garbage. 

We have had problems at work too while we were gone. Our phone lines and Internet were down most of the morning. Customers were frustrated. 

I can’t wait for the day when getting away is worry free. Can’t anyone else handle these petty annoyances? Apparently not when it is your kids and your name is on the door of your business. 

I wish it was sunny and warm so I can enjoy the pool. But then I think of how dry the land is here. The mountains seem to consist of rock piles and dead trees. The grass is dust. The hotel must pay a steep price for the vegetation we take for granted at home. 

Maybe miracles don’t always come in the way that we expect. It is all about perspective. 

I can’t imagine the dry, dusty, desolate, desperate thirst for water….

All I can think about is that when I go to the desert it rains and when I sign up for a race it is always hot and humid… What can I say?? Sometimes life is strange..

Can’t anything in my life be normal? I suppose then I wouldn’t have anything to write about. 

But maybe I should’ve packed a pair of pants….hmmm. 

Still laboring

   

On Labor Day we had our summer staff party. We didn’t have ideal sailing weather heading towards our destination. We had to motor against the wind into the waves. I forgot to tell everyone to bring a rain jacket, not because of rain but from the waves splashing against the boat. We did get a little wet. But it was a warm day, so all was forgiven.

Thankfully everyone felt comfortable sailing on rough waters. We did think about rescheduling but there was a schedule conflict on the rain date. We had a nice lunch and wandered around town. Quite a few places were closed on Monday, not just because it was a Monday but because it was a holiday Monday. There was a tattoo parlor open. Anybody up for tattooing themselves with the company logo?? I guess not.

 

Sometimes in the sailboat, I feel like a big fish when I look at all the other little fishing boats in the water. Then a big cargo ship drifts into town which makes me feel like a minnow in deep water. It’s all about perspective sometime. This is our sailboat with half of the cargo ship. Wow, now that is big time!

The sail back was nice. The wind pushed us back home. One of our employees got to experience her first sunset on a boat. 

We laughed and didn’t talk too much about work. Paul prompted me to tell everyone the sailboat name I came up with a couple of weeks ago. Here goes….. BOW MOVEMENTS… Terrible name, I know, but it always cracks a few laughs.

Our sales guy said that since I am so creative maybe I should do all of the writing for our website updates…

Wait….What??

Still laboring…

Cha cha changes

  

I just got a hair cut. Seven inches of golden tresses fell to the floor. They were swept up and thrown away. Gone.

My life is changing. I have no control. I just turned another year older. My daughter will be an adult this week.

I still have control over some things, like my hair. I haven’t had my hair this short for over a decade. What was I waiting for?

I took half a day off on Friday to get my hair done. After the hair cut, I felt stressed because things were out of control at work while I was gone. In the matter of two hours, I had 5 voicemail messages and my email was blowing up with problems at work. Big time Tetris. I find it harder and harder to take any time off because I end up paying for it later.

Then I ran into someone that I know. She said she was not doing well because her husband lost his job. That really put things into perspective for me. I have a job. We can pay our bills. This business is going to pay off big time. I just have to make sure the stress doesn’t kill me first.

We had our daughter’s graduation party this weekend. I spent the rest of the afternoon on Friday running errands for the party and preparing food. The party itself went great. The event was rather uneventful which was really good. We had enough food and drinks. The weather was great. It wasn’t too hot or too cold. It didn’t rain. Really, what more could we ask for?? I admit, I had a lot of anxiety beforehand. This was the first party that I planned with so many people attending. Seriously, what was I worried about? Everything turned out.  

We had the party up north at the family cabin. Everyone pulled through to prepare and help clean up which I really appreciated. So many family and friends offered to bring food. 

Alex brought up his new girlfriend to meet the family. Now that he has his license he can drive the old moped that is up there. He gladly drove to the gas station for ice and whatever was needed. I am afraid though that he drove it too fast. He wants to get a motorcycle someday. Oh, that kid is going to be the death of me yet!

Angel had a great party. I am sad that she grew up so fast. She was so much fun to raise. Next month she is leaving to start her own life. I feel happy and sad at the same time. So many aspects of my life are changing. I don’t have control over time. But I do have control over my hair. Well, most of the time anyway.

Give me a ring

Do you remember when we used to know telephone numbers?

It struck me the other day that we don’t while I was talking to a client on the phone. I asked her for the best way to contact her. She didn’t remember her cell phone number. She had to look it up on her phone. I thought that was kind of ridiculous.

Then I remembered that I didn’t know the cell numbers of my own children. Okay, I do know one because that number used to be mine.

But I do remember the phone numbers of my long deceased relatives. I will never forget them, but I don’t know the numbers of my own kids.

After my grandma passed away, I was tempted to call her number. I couldn’t seem to get it out of my mind that the number she had for my whole life was gone. She is gone. But I don’t know how to call my daughter.

What has happened to society? Does not having to memorize numbers make our lives that much easier?? It didn’t seem that way for the boater that we rescued last summer. He was stuck out hours from shore without even having a phone. After we found him and offered warm clothes and a beer, we gave him a cell phone to call for help. It took him a very long time before he could find a number to call because he was without his contacts. He ended up having to google a website to get the number of someone that he knew. I found that to be wonderfully sad.

Life is so much easier now that we don’t have to remember numbers. Well, as long as we don’t forget our phone. No worries, I can’t seem to live without my phone either. It’s not just my phone. It’s my camera, work portal, book, encyclopedia, doctor, map, news, friend, and my life. It is at my side more than my husband. I gaze at it for hours. It mesmerizes me.

But sometimes for a few short minutes, I long to be free from its hold. I want to go back to simpler days. Back to the rotary phone that was tethered by a cord. Ok, maybe not that far back! How about the first car bag phone? That was the phone that blew out my fuse on my first car every time I plugged it into the lighter. Or how about my first flip phone that I kept because it still has the last pictures of my grandma on it? The old land line that occasionally rang at midnight with no one there? Okay, maybe those days weren’t that great after all!

Now that I have my phone, I can’t fathom living without it. I wonder how many nights girls wasted sitting next to the phone?? Those days are gone. I can’t say I miss it, however sometimes I fantasize about being totally inaccessible. I don’t want to worry about work problems over the weekend. Some days I just want to unplug and commune with nature. Enjoy the silence. Old fashioned boredom. 

Maybe I should put that on my bucket list…