WHAT Did You Just Say!?

Did you know that in San Franciso, there are 39% more DOGS than there are children! In Oregon, dogs outnumber three to one! And they now are wanting to LEGALLY change the term “pet owner” to “pet guardian” thus nullifying some of the decision-making rights of Americans and their furry friends. Sounds like a furied frenz if you ask me.  That’s not the tree we’ll be barking up today, but I did want to give you some puppy chow for thought.

Sensai

I usually believe the opposite of what people say. If someone tells me, “It’s fine, no problem!” They are secretly wishing ill-will upon me and thinking, “Die you-good-for-nothing-little-twat.” If someone tells me something, I most certainly think they mean the opposite. Like how my parents told me they would never get a dog. And then they got this crazy thing on the left. And they also told me they would NEVER let their dogs walk all over them, yet you can clearly see this one sitting at the dining room table. Thank goodness we didn’t have the governor over for tea that day.

Opposites day everyday. So don’t worry, I don’t expect you’re going to come back and take a walk with me when you say you will. I have no expectations that I will get a letter in the mail from you, a phone call, or that email you’ve been promising me for months. I most certainly wouldn’t get my hopes up that we are actually going to hang out.

Sadly, after a long, arduous history of people canceling on me, changing plans, being fake with me, or telling me what I need to do that in actuality is only in THEIR own best interest, I’ve stopped believing people. Even at times, my own family and friends words have fallen to the floor like lead weights, while simultaneously holding no weight.

Now, granted, this is not always people being dishonest. In fact, I don’t think people are aware of the fact that they are deceiving you, nor trying to be pathological liars. I think it is more about defense and survival: acting in ways in which you are sure to be able to come across as pleasing everyone or making everyone happy, even when you’re certainly unable to do so. It’s also projecting who we WANT to be to the world around us, rather than being who we are in the present moment. We lie to ourselves! About the past, the future, and the present. People lie about things they are guilty about too, like how late they stayed out, how much they drank, how many sit ups they “did” and how they quit eating gluten and animal products. I told myself that I was going to wash my car today, even though in the very back of my mind and in my gut, I knew I wouldn’t get to it until Saturday, and then I proceeded to tell someone else…just to make myself sound more productive. But. It never got done. Now, in reality, this is all for the better because my boyfriend is going to stick a bunch of dirty batteries and crap in there to haul to the junk yard. The repercussive feelings I feel having not completed a task I said I would, are inconsolable. I had to do 100 Hail Mary’s (in my case this means doing a load of laundry and folding it) to make up for my laziness.

sheets

This is one of the reasons I have started to NOT tell people projects that I am up to, or ideas that I have until after they are seen through to completion. I have had entirely too many failings, mishaps, and false alarms where I wore my heart on my sleeve, only to be left out in the cold with a wife beater. Not that I am crying over spilled milk.

I recently read a book, and continue to refer back to it on a regular basis, that has really reformed my way of viewing these situations, as it applies to my own responsibilities, as well as my responses to others.

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz is a book which takes religion out of spirituality and inserts practicality and logic. In a word, these are lessons and mantras which EVERYONE can live their lives to, for, and by, without feeling they are somehow cheating on their belief system. If we followed these four laws, life would truly be paradise.

Let’s just take a sneak peek by delving into the life-changing power of adhering to the First Agreement:

Be Impeccable With Your Word

What are words? Words are an expression of the emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and what-nots flying around inside of our cellular worlds. They are essentially the essence of putting these intangible elements into a voice which other people can identify. They are the building blocks of a person’s relationship with the outside world. Not speaking can also be a form of using your words, as often actions such as kisses, hugs, hitting someone, etc. could be an even stronger expression of what is inside than the English language could word vomit.

Imagine I took this literally. I was impeccable with my word. I let my inner truths, and beliefs be expressed and followed the Purple Brick Road, rather than the yellow one, like my heart so desired. Gosh, this seems like it requires vigilance, awareness, and great care taken to what I am doing and saying. Are my words lining up with my actions? Are my actions lining up with my beliefs?

It’s a real game changer. If you’re more interested in this topic, you should check out the book The Four Agreements. 

Need more enticing to get to that great read? Check out this website and what this man says on being impeccable with your word, I guarantee it’s much better than my words. 

flowers!

The Days Blur On.

Coffee Quitter’s Status Report Day 3: 

Blood Pressure: 92/59

Pulse: 61

Weight: 103.0

I had a headache for a majority of the day today and waking up felt like someone was taking a hammer and smashing my eyeballs into the wall as if they were nails with which to affix photographs, rather than useful optical devices. I made it to the gym and for a walk, out for a couple errands and I ate a lot more than I usually do. All healthy, but still probably like 20 more carrots than my usual allotment. I kept telling myself I needed the veggies to get through my melancholic funk. I’m like a horse in that way, just stick a carrot in front of me and it’s motivation for carrying the heavy, and rich pompous burdens of this world.

After the mowing, chowing, huffing, puffing, moaning and groaning, I went to the chiropractor to whom I confessed my sins while he un-subluxated my vertebrae. Then I drove to get my paycheck, drove to the bank only to find out the universe is pouring rain on me and I couldn’t deposit a post-dated check, so I gave two deserving, harder-working-than-myself individuals a massage. Did a load of laundry, planned my life for the next three weeks and made a cup of tea. All in a day’s work.

I thought I would never make it, after the third hour of the mallet pounding, I thought I would break down and hand my credit card over to Starbucks. But I made it. Piece of cake, rice cake that is. It’s 7pm and the cravings are gone, although I’ve eaten six times my body weight in sweet potatoes and olive oil, but I feel pretty good! I feel like I am going to be able to wake up refreshed and virtually toxin-chemical-poison free! Although I did take a swig of ant killer today, just to see what they were all up in arms about. Not as bad as one might think, tastes like Tang.

This would be a lot easier if I had my favorite Charlotte restaurant’s organic, raw, fruit and veggie juices….

Juices

Lady Friends

All my best ideas come to me while walking around the lake beside my house. This morning in fact, while walking, I saw a lady playing an accordion with a very large group of “followers” surrounding her singing. It dawned on me that this might be a hobby I should try to take up, especially as I am in the market for more friends and it looked like one of those instruments that is gonna be outta style if someone doesn’t bring it back ASAP. Another idea I got was to clean my apartment and scrub the floors. Then I decided a better idea would be to lolly gag, postpone the cleaning project until tomorrow and instead cut pretty pictures out of magazines to affix onto my “dreamboard”. For those of you who do not know what a dreamboard is. Click here. But come right back, or open in it in a new tab, or window, or whatever they call these internetted cyber space boxes now. Ok, so now my really brilliant idea that I got whilst wandering as I wondered and trotting to Boston and Lynn, across the yellow brick road, and through the woods to grandma’s house was, are you ready? Was to write a blog about the various types of FRIENDS that we have in our lives.

I keep tallys and lists of things. Lots of things. In a psychotically tallys and lists of things kind of way. Most people know this about me. I keep tallys of how many days this week I’ve had wheat, how many drinks I’ve had this year, how many kernels of popcorn I’ve had this century. I keep a checkmark by each day on my calendar that I work out, how many hours I worked at my job, how many jobs I’ve worked, how many people I’ve met at the jobs I’ve worked, which ones I still talk to, what classes I took in college, who I met in those classes, what the names of my professors were; I have all the papers from those classes in college, the notebooks in which I took notes, heck, I have all the papers and notebooks from high school! I have, somewhere though I would never say where it’s located, a written  list of how many people I’ve kissed, who I’ve dated, who I’ve just gone on dates with and not dated, including blind dates (so they couldn’t been lying to me about who they REALLY were), a list of books I’ve read, movies I’ve watched, an even longer list of books I need to read and movies I need to watch. The list goes on. Really it does. But I will stop there.

I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but today I made a list of who my closest friends are and what they are like. I got the idea from reading this article on Thought Catalog, a site I absolutely love for raunchy/otherwise insane topics that you are, for some reason, still dying to read about. Basically, this article talks about female friendships and how while, irreplaceable, they are categorized into groups which, are all various levels of us females being “fake” with each other.

Amber'sShower

Let’s face it girls, we often are. Aren’t we!? Why!? Jealousy? Competition? Weeding out the weak?
If you ladies are really friends, why are you hating on the other one when she gets a raise or when her life is going right?
It’s a fact we may never understand, and God bless you if you have the guts to attempt to figure it all out.
Hence the reason many lady friendships stay exactly as they are and we continue to walk tightropes and precarious lines with our mothers and best friends on a regular basis. I dunno, maybe if we knew the truth about each other, and we bared all instead of biting each other’s heads off behind each other’s backs…we would be a whole lot less into guys and way more into each other. That is not so evolutionarily convenient, now, is it?  Now, I’m going to give you my own version of the female friendship categories.

Co-Workers

I can have an absolutely great friendship with my co-workers! You see each other so often, around 40-60 hours a week, you battle through big storms together, and you likely get to know a lot about each other. It’s the perfect recipe for a deliciously, fresh friendship. Problems that can possibly occur with female co-workers include monetary differences, and jealousy surrounding that. What happens if one of you is not playing by the rules and the other is obligated to tell? Managerial situations where one person is of a higher standing? And then, there is the hanging out outside of work in which you reveal all your deep, dark secrets….unless you’re SURE nothing can go wrong. This is a general rule for the GENERAL public. Some people I know have GREAT co-worker friendships and have met some of their very best friends through work. For me, the co-worker-friend situation has usually been one to avoid. What happens when you have a deadline and your friend comes over to your desk for a quick chat? Situations in which you have to be perfectly, and often painfully honest often arise with your co-workers and it’s a whole lot less difficult when that person is simply a fellow professional. You should be amicable and honest with each other as co-workers, friendly, and chatty when the time is right. But, be, forewarned….being friends with your co-workers is a tough job!

Delete-Worthy Acquaintances

Ever been looking nonchalantly at your Facebook profile and realize that you have 649 friends? Is that just 49 too many? Perhaps it’s 600 too many. Do you even know all those people!? The Delete-Worthy Female Acquaintances are the ones that are well, delete-worthy. You can’t hold onto EVERY friendship throughout all the years. Every roommate you ever had, every girl you ever went through Freshman Orientation with, it gets to be overwhelming. A tally I have attempted to keep, only to shred the paper into 1,000,000,000 pieces in vain! Now it’s a lot easier, “Oh, I have no idea who this person is, oh that’s right I met her at some camp, retreat, yoga, silent getaway and we never even talked…” DELETE.

Randomly-Aged Friends

julieme

This is one of my favorite categories! Growing up, I was always better friends with my friend’s moms than with my friends. I wanted to talk politics, job searches, salaries, and what was their grocery list. How’s their relationship with their husband going? How have they maintained their girlish physique over the years, and please give me a detailed autobiography of everything in your life up to this point. Even to this day, my friend’s ages do not fall within my current demographic. One of my very good friends is 67 and sometimes I can talk to her more easily than people my own age. If you get friends like this, I recommend highly that you hang onto them. Sometimes you’re able to be MORE open with them because you know they are living their own lives and not directly involved in yours. Just be sure to filter your advice through a negativity filter, and don’t let any notions they’ve come to throughout the years be your end-all-be-all when it comes to your outlook.

 

Best Friends

My very best friends, the ones I am closest to and feel like family with, have come to me in a variety of ways. Some I took baths with when I was a kid, because my mom and I lived with them. Others I met when I first began to attend school, at the HIGH SCHOOL 45 minutes away from my house, a small few I met in college, and others still I met because of common interests as I began to shape and mold myself into the person that I truly am. Even with those relatable scenarios, I still picked some up here and there, as I found them loitering on the wayside. I have a lot of friends I would consider my “BEST” friends, mostly because I just adore people and secondly because I have a hard time keeping a friend if we cannot be straight-forward and honest with one another. Survival of the fittest. My best friends fall into a variety of categories, and all break out of these boxes the instant I put them in them: Bodybuilders, models, dancers, bartenders, yogis, masseuses, working mothers, former drug addicts, former convicts, missionaries, social workers, pastor’s wives, entrepreneurs, ah yes, and art teachers! A girl can NEVER have too many REAL friends. That, I firmly believe. I just wish I could be with them all and see them on a regular basis…sigh.

AnnaMe

Clients

I’m about to start studying massage full-time in school and they say that clients shouldn’t be your friends. I’m not sure about this one. I know you can’t be your client’s friends if you’re a therapist, or their social worker. But can’t doctors, dentists, plastic surgeons, massage therapists be friends with their clients? Or friends first, then clients? I’m unsure about this one. I know what the “right” answer is…but it seems skewed. I’ve have my friends as clients in other positions I’ve worked and it has been just smashing. They are often my biggest supporters and fans in a new venture!

Siblings

I wish I had sisters. I could educate you more on this side of the coin if I did. The end.

 

So remember the two rules of friendship:

1. Honesty.

2. Just because you’re friends on Facebook or Instagram, does not mean you’re officially “FRIENDS”

Now it’s time for your loyal blog host to go make some phone calls, I am getting a little nostalgic and teary-eyed. And if anyone is looking for a cool, hip, compassionate, part-time / full-time friend, I’m always hiring.

Tuesday Museday

Have you ever Googled the words “Coffee Poison”. You should do it! Wow. You’ll Learn About Some Messed Up Stuff.Com.Org.Gov #WeirdThingsHappenEveryday @Crazyness.edu

CoffeeWithFriends

FYI, all the hash tags, @’s, and .’s meant nothing just then. I just get carried away with ensuring that the ever-neglected top of my keyboard does feel so left out.

I usually love Tuesdays. I start my day off with breakfast (a weird buckwheat pancake-like thing that no human being besides myself would ever find desireable), a ridiculously strong cup of coffee, and maybe some carrots. I doddle around on the internet and in my house, vacuum a little here, scrub a little there. I workout all morning, take a walk around the lake, get any errands done that I need to do, eat a hearty and ever-so-nutritious salad for lunch, give my eyebrows a good pluck or two. Then I shower up, put on my Tuesday best and head into work around 2pm, work until 7pm. Then I trot, trot, trot downtown to play Trivia at Napper Tandy’s with my boyfriend and his ex-roommate (tragic breakup, which I won’t make you privy to the details of. Again, a joke, they are still really good friends and I am the one that split their cohabitation apart).

I usually stop to get a coffee on my way to work so as to keep myself agile, alert and awake for the most sleep-inducing hours of the afternoon (2pm-4pm). This Tuesday however, is a little different. My bosses are out of town on a beach trip until the end of the day, so I am responsible for opening and closing the store. Considering I didn’t even open my EYES until 7am, even after pounding my pillow at 9pm on the dot, there was just no way I was about to attempt another workday without the use of coffee. It’s brutal to attempt to withdraw from something when you’re stuck in 1,000 sq. feet. I can’t imagine how they do it in jail cells with things that are truly addictive, and not simply in their heads like my addiction to caffeine. Starting a detox/quitting something is also not a smart idea when you have to actually function. So my new resolve is to ween myself off slowly and allow myself the week to feel the pain and anguish of headaches and withdrawal. Conveniently, I have Wednesday-Sunday for this to take place. I have no where to be, no one to see, and nothing to do for five days straight. Which is how long I believe it will take for me to be completely freed of this addiction.

We’ve already purged all of the coffee out of our house, and so I had to physically pick one up on my way to work. I’ve calculated that by quitting coffee I will save an average of 20-30 bucks a month! That is almost $240 a year! Another perk! My mother quit coffee now and did so fantastically, although now she has figured out a way to allow it back into her life; I don’t think it gives her nearly as many problems as it gives me. To each her own.

tea

Now, initially upon creating this blog, I was going to attempt an experiment where I would drink COKE or Diet Coke for several days, just to see what happened to my body so I could write about it. I have a pretty “clean” system so it would’ve made for a fun time. After this morning, I am no longer going to attempt such a murderous feat. After just eliminating coffee for ONE day, and then re-introducing it to my blood stream today, the effects were quite noticeable and noteworthy.

I instantly felt more creative, more positive, more friendly and chipper, less-than-ravenously-hungry, and I had more energy than a bull on steroids, in a china shop. The energy was lying just beneath my skin, pelting through my blood vessels like a hail storm. It was all I could do not to accomplish EVERYTHING. And I nearly did. I wrote a letter, wrote two blogs, emptied all the trashes and cardboard to the dumpster, vacuumed, washed all the headboards of the beds in the mattress store, swept up the outside corridor, connected with more people on LinkedIn, studied all of the first 17 presidents, finished a brochure that I was working on, edited everything I’ve ever written, had a meeting with my bosses and co-worker, followed by a lovely chat with same said co-worker, and ah yes fine-tuned my resume! All in about an hour and a half. Ok, so that was my activity for the day. But still.

In giving in this morning, which I actually feel like may have been necessary considering I have a nine hour day AND then Trivia tonight… I’ve  strengthened my resolve to put this pattern aside. It was good to notice the feelings that came up and see that I like this energetic, creative, hyper side of myself, BUT I do not want to rely on something to make me feel or act a certain way. I want to come face to face with who I truly am, own her, and be her. All the time. Less ups and downs. Spikes and falls.

So was Day 2 a failure or a success? I think more so, the latter.

I also found this great chart showing what our body needs MORE of in order to combat various cravings. I’m glad salad is my favorite food:

To Diminish Cravings For Have More Have Less Substitute
Sugar (cakes, cookies, pastries, candy, ice cream) Whole grains, baked yams, squash, apples, dates, cooked fruit Meat, salt, dairy products Frozen bananas (for ice cream), desserts sweetened with barley malt, rice syrup, maple syrup
Alcohol Complex carbohydrates, vegetables, corn, leafy bitter greens Fats, salt, miso, soy sauce, animal protein Nonalcoholic beer, fruit juices
Coffee Vegetables, salad Meat, sugar, flour, grain, salt Grain coffee
Salt Seaweed, black beans, vegetables Sweets, fats, alcohol, meat, grain Natural soy sauce, miso (small amounts), herbs and spices
Milk Products Leafy greens, whole grains, beans, fish Sugar, baked goods, fruit, meat Tofu (small amounts), nut milk
Fats and Sweets Protein: beans, fish, chicken, eggs Grain, fruit, salad Try to eliminate from diet

The last little slurp for today, a short anecdote:

I was walking out behind where I work to put up the sign, as well as discard some cardboard boxes in the dumpster. There was a man out back, wearing faded camo pants, a mesh baseball cap (like the John Deere ones but a knock-off, no-name brand), and a tatty grey sweatshirt. He had in his hand a soda and I jokingly said, “Too bad it’s too early for a beer, eh?” This was at 9:38AM. Then he replies, in a very incoherent way, which made me realize he, like most people are not listening to a word I say, “I just needed somethin’ a get uh ma goin’ thas’ mornin’.” Then I look and realize it’s a Budweiser, not a Coke. #FiveO’ClockSomewhere

 

5 Daze Sobre

 

“…Yesterday I asked Maman if I could drink some tea. My grandmother drinks black tea at breakfast, flavored with bergamot. Even though I don’t find it particularly good, it seems less aggressive than coffee, which is a nasty person’s drink.” –Muriel Burberry (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)

 

I’m a firm believer that everyone should have a vice to call their very own. However, I don’t think that vice should have your head in a vice-like grip when you decide to finally be done with it, and let go. I also do not find it admirable to have any less than three, but also no more than five vices. After an in-depth self-analysis, self-administered blood tests, and a brief, well-skilled self-execution of the Heimlich maneuver, the diagnosis is that I have not one, but SEVERAL vices. This simply will not do. I am sure there are more than five and therefore I must work to eliminate them ALL! Here is one I’m working on this week –it’s called “Project 5 Days Sober” and it’s a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual addiction I am attempting to free myself of: caffeine, namely in the form of coffee. coffee

Disclaimer: I do not necessarily think that coffee is a particularly bad or poisonous substance. I do however think that for everything in life, there are pros and cons, there are people that can handle the cons and people that simply, cannot. Therefore, I will be, for the next five days, providing a personal story and tale of my withdrawal journey, as well as highlighting some of the negatives and positives of this delicious drink which America runs on 24/7.

I literally came out of the womb drinking coffee…and most likely, like every normal baby, screaming. My mother drank coffee while pregnant with me  (which explains my rail-thin girlish figure and high-speed metabolism) and I began suckling the stuff as soon as I became of age to do so. My entire family (except my dad) starts their day off with a powerful cup of caffeine courage. I don’t remember having too much caffeine throughout my childhood, I wasn’t allowed soda when I was a kid, and we were too broke for tea, but I always saw my mother drinking it and by the time I entered high school and was able to drive myself to get my own personal cup o’joe in the morning, I was hooked. The same friend that taught me the precarious technique of shaving one’s legs, also taught me the joy and happiness found in a cappuccino from BrewBakers in Keene, NH. My first experience with the thrill that came with a brush with the enemy. There are some patterns I am now piecing together, but previously had gone unnoticed:

  • I was always a hyper kid, and didn’t need coffee in the first place so when I had it people thought I was on Speed and even asked me what drugs I did.
  • I’ve never paid attention (prior to more recently) to the time of day that I drank the stuff, and in college I would sip it all day through causing me incredible problems with insomnia, shaking, and feeling very strange and jittery at any given time of day
  • Every time I have been on a road trip, dizzy and feeling like I was on drugs and going to die at any given moment, involved a rapid intake of a caffeinated beverage
  • I can’t drink my coffee black, I must add some sort of creamer. Enter, a host of other problems.

Ask any of my college roommates, coffee is what literally got me through each day, and the countless cups of it that have poured through my veins brought me from a gloomy, depressed college student to one that could fake the emotions she needed to in order to get by. Everywhere I have lived, I can tell you the best places to get a cup. The best service, the best price, and the ones that open before 8am. But, I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to tell you how coffee has ruined my life.

coffee2Anyone who has spent longer than one day in my presence knows that I am not exactly the most…er….balanced individual. I’m well versed in the fact that I am actually insane. I have mood swings worse than any lady going through menopause and while I might be offering you consolation and a head massage one minute, it’s possible that I will bite your head off in the next. I have difficulty staying positive day in and day out, and my sleeping patterns have always swung to either side of the pendulum. Well, it’s time I believe to put these negative characteristics by the wayside, now that I am looking to be a little more steady, advance further in life, and settle down, in a manner of speaking. When I want to write, be funny and witty, wake up my brain to work all day, feel happy, find the perks in life, or decide that I am going to do an all day workout marathon, I simply chug a cup of coffee and let the effects slowly drizzle throughout my blood stream. The beautiful cup of perfectly brewed coffee melting into my mouth and awakening my spirit, my mind, and every blood cell. Coffee understands me. It gets me. It doesn’t judge me. We have a connection.

Then the crash, and the jitters, and the feeling like I need to run 35 miles ASAP or I will burst! I have all these ideas and can’t sit still enough to do them all! I want to be everyone, everywhere, wonder woman, but all the while I can’t leave my  house because my heart is pounding and I have to pee every five minutes for the next two hours! And I start using exclamation points like they will be eliminated from the English keyboard this year! I add the phrase to my resume, “I can also type 90 words a minute”!!!!!

If I drink coffee after two in the afternoon, the night will inevitably involve running laps around the lake, or requiring some sedative to help me tone it down. I tell myself it’s good for me, like it is for everyone else: it helps prevent Alzheimer’s, people who drink coffee are more creative, more alert, have less diabetes, eat less, better athletes…not to mention, it makes your pee smell like coffee which is totally awesome!

But there are some people who can just simply not handle it’s effects. Caffeine, by any other name is a drug, a “mildly addictive stimulant” and it’s important to monitor how much you’re letting yourself have, lest the associated RISKS outweigh the fun. Tremors, irritability, insomnia, increased cholesterol (for French Press or non-filtered versions), increased blood pressure, increased risk of osteoporosis, dehydration. Everything in moderation, I know it’s true, but for some people moderation means ZERO. Or maybe once a week, tops, from the little free coffee sample cart at Trader Joe’s.

So it begins, I started my coffee quitting on a Monday. A terrible day to stop drinking the very stimulant that gets you through the workday. I was cranky, and tired to say the least and I wanted to sucker punch at least ten people throughout the day. I didn’t recognize my face in the mirror, and I had a pounding headache that lasted the entire day. Every bone, muscle and joint in my body felt like I was the grandmother of ten. Despite this fact though, I managed to make it through the day sans-poison, and I even walk-ran around the lake after dinner, at which time I was hoping to burn off all of my mortal desires.

A successful day one, although I would NEVER recommend to anyone either of the following two actions:
1. Quitting caffeine unless it’s absolutely necessary (ie. pending death, pregnancy, or inability to access it for an extended length of time)
2. Quitting caffeine on a day you have to work and interact with other human beings.

Tune in tomorrow for the next update where I share my mental breakdown, observation of results, and fresh resolve/ie. game plan.

 

TP or not TP. That is the Question.

On Sunday, every ounce of my body fluids were strewn across North Carolina’s highway 85. With that grotesque vision in your mind, allow me to explain. We drove from Charlotte to Raleigh on 85 North, at just under 85 miles per hour. The rush and non-attention to speed was due to the fact that being in the car made me more nauseous than a seasick sailor on a surfboard. So nauseous, that every five to ten exits, I requested a pit stop just so I could walk around, breathe in the sunlight and bask in the dankly humid smell of some rest stop bathroom. Most of the time, I only felt as though I was going to throw up, without anything actually working it’s way to the surface. And then I peed every chance I could so that there would be no liquids in my body, lest an emergency arose in which liquid evacuation became immediately nessecary. Are you following me here?

The evening before, Saturday, we threw a surprise party for my father’s 50th birthday combo Father’s day. Many of his co-workers, friends, family members, and church members were there and the bash was a big success. However, the pre-bash was a big suc-stress! I worked myself into a tizzy shopping, planning, preparing food for an army, the masses, and sloughs of people while simultaneously employing the help of my boyfriend, my brother, and his girlfriend and thus feeling the need to micro manage the entire operation and bark out order. They nicknamed me the Gestapo, but at least the party went off without a hitch. Well, besides the fact that the element of surprise didn’t exist whatsoever. But, other than that, a total accomplishment!

partyprepe

The drive home on the other hand, was not so pleasant and fun. Partly because there weren’t people milling about chatting happily and laughing in the car with us. And partly because there wasn’t a nice fire pit, tons of delicious snacks, and awesome kids running around. Mostly, it was not as delightful because it was a summation of repercussions incurred through bad food, too much chatting, not enough sleep, one too many glasses of wine, and an entirely empty stomach leading into the whole sha-bang.

Now, if I feel like my body is thrown off, and perhaps ever so slightly hungover (not that I even know what a hangover feels like) the best way, I’ve learned to bring it back into equilibrium is to drink a lot of water and expel said water as often as possible. This re-calibrates me by restoring the alkaline-acid balance which so delicately works to  keep my body optimally functioning every single day. This is what I was attempting to do every time I bleated, “Pull over whenever you can, please,” from the passenger seat that sunny Sunday.

TPDream

While enduring this long, and arduous journey, I got a hands-on experience (no pun intended) with various types of toilet paper. I’m no TP snob, and I don’t wanna be an ass, by my personal preference has always been SCOTT. This goes back to the kind my mother purchased throughout my childhood and brings back memories of my youth. Or at least, the periods of my youth spent in the bathroom, which became more frequent after I stopped peeing my pants everyday, and used the grownup potty. I feel Scott has a lot to offer us, an all-American brand, economy sizes, with 1,000 sheets, a large surface area, and a seemingly everlasting (and inexpensive) roll. It’s like the Everlasting Gobstopper for your bum. Since Saturday, I have taken a poll amongst my female friends, former co-workers, and relatives, and found Scott to be the number one choice (even for number two :-)). This includes the opinion of my boss, who is widely acclaimed for her savviness and practicality.

Scott

My boyfriend on the other hand, and several other men I’ve asked (including my boss’ husband) prefers something slightly more Charmin’. Get this, you know the commercials with the giant bears taking poops and getting REALLY carried away with the toilet paper? That’s the brand I’m talking about. Charmin’ Ultra Soft claims you can use less, and that you’ll essentially never want to leave your bathroom. But what is the fun in that? No wonder men are in there so long!! They’re having an affair with the soft, overpriced toilet paper! Many Charmin’ users point their finger at other brands with scorn, and rashly (again, no pun intended) declare our brands to be “sandpaper”, “causing unnecessary harm”, and “wasteful because we have to use more”. Little do they realize, their brand offers you a mere four rolls at almost 2x the cost of six long-lasting ones!  And for that price, I’ll take sandpaper any day.

Charmin

Despite the disagreement on which toilet paper is more crappy, we manage to settle our differences, as I recommend most couples should, by purchasing “to each his own” or “His and Hers” separate toilet paper. When guests ask to use the restroom, I pre-screen their experience by handing them a simple questionnaire, ensuring that they will have the best time of their LIFE in there, by asking which type of toilet paper they prefer: a thick mass that hold clogging-potential with every flush, or a sure-fire, easy-come easy-go toilet paper that leaves you no fear of becoming emotionally attached to it. I then carefully mark each guest’s answer in a book and will later use it for research purposes. Oh. P.S. Does Charmin’ offer TP from recycled materials? I think not.

The next item I feel I need to bring up is which way the roll of toilet paper is DESIGNED to hang from the roll. I had a roommate in college who insisted that it must not touch the wall, lest it come in contact with any germs which might be attached to the wall. I personally thought there were enough germs probably already ON the roll itself, and if the wall was an issue it was a small one. However, when I remembered, I usually humored her since she was excellent at empathizing with my own OCD tendencies. But since we’re baring all, which do you prefer? In my opinion, it does not matter all that much. Unless you’re in a public restroom and the roll has been affixed in such a dilapidated manner than one cannot do more than pull it down, one. Single. Tiny. Square at a time. This behavior is just sheerly unacceptable and all the soft, expensive, charming toilet papers in all the land couldn’t make up for the frustration one feels in this situation. The only other time it matters is if you’ve used all the toilet paper at someone else’s house, and you now are faced with the daunting task of replacing it; my tactic here, just holler from the bathroom and ask which way they prefer it. Saves you the embarrassment down the road of being ridiculed for not knowing how to do it, and facing the risk of never being invited back again.

Or just do what I do, I leave it empty for the next sorry soul to deal with.

Tree of LIfe

Conditions Normal Ideally Unreal

Everything is always fine and dandy in life, peaceful, smooth, fun, and easy….until I start to struggle with what I’m always struggling with. Feeling let down because I have this uncontrollable desire to have every aspect of my life be absolutely perfect in every way possible at all moments of existence. When something comes along that reminds me that this is not happening, it’s crippling.

I know many circumstances are beyond our control and therefore things can never be “perfect”. The things within my control, however, THOSE I can perfect. You can never have a routine that is flawless, your cell phone will never work 100% of the time, your car check engine light will never be off forever, never have a bank account that does not require diving into even though it’s only 4 feet deep and the sign clearly says, “No Diving.” Things will not be perfect, so long as you have any of the following: a job, health, a relationship, a family, kids, bowel movements, breath, hair, a face, and a body. At least not all at once. Or can you?

I have always been a believer that life can turn out perfectly. That my every breath can feel crystal clear and refreshing while I’m dancing amongst the moon and stars with my heart pounding to the beat of the Universe’s drum. I suppose that makes me optimistic?

However, I also believe that the Universe is single-handedly looking to destroy me, and only me, and has been plotting my slow and painful demise since I was born considering that perfection is what I aspire to and yet, cannot seem to attain. So maybe I am really a pessimist?

I also find the most simple and unremarkable things amazing and awe-inspiring. I can be enlightened, laugh, and my imagination can soar up higher than the moon itself within seconds…. maybe that again brings me back to being an optimist?

Hmmmm, then again, immediately after finding something great and spectacular, my emotions can plummet further and deeper than the Titanic wreckage. Besides the fact that I am surrounded by all this loot and antique jewelry down here with a sunken ship, I still manage to find everything stupid, out to get me; everyone on the road becomes a horrible driver, every raindrop squelches the bounce in my step, and the life is sucked out of my eyes, turning them grey, hollow, and uninviting holes in my head. My future becomes black and pitiful, and the tear quota that I had stocked up for the upcoming ten years comes gushing out all at once for my organic pillow to soak up.

Like most people, I suppose I am a bit of country and a bit of rock and roll. A little optimism laced with depressive, negative undertones. A clear, healthy, farm fresh meal topped off with a shot of scotch, neat, and some ice cream.  

Because classification as optimist vs. pessimist are not only ages old, they are also brash and bold statements, painfully and assuredly defining an individual and placing them into a box of thoughts that should never swagger nor sway, I decided to consider two other possibilities on the spectrum of positivity. Even these other two trains of thought are loosely woven and flexible in definition. As with many things in life, it’s fun to consider and ponder. 

I call this project: Project Outlook. Not to be confused with Microsoft Outlook. That was all thanks to my good friend, Bill Gates.

The Idealist.

The idealist is not necessarily an optimist, nor a pessimist, their world exists in the realm of wishing things to be the very best that they can, and thoroughly believing that this can be so. By telling their brains that reality is created entirely up there in that noggin’, they can actually make bad situations better, OR alternatively they have the power to make a good situation, miserable.

When you’re an idealist, you think big, dream big, act big, and YOU control your own universe. That means, when you’re not thinking big, dreaming big, and acting big….YOU suck.

On the positive side, the idealist values principles, ideals, values, and goals over what may be for society, or others, a tangible reality. This can be a really handy trait when looking for the best in others. An idealist usually sees the best in everyone, while simultaneously finding their imperfections and picking them to shreds, and can always find reasons to be loving, kind, supportive, empathetic, and generous with their fellow human beings. I like this view!

The repercussion, or drawback (if you will), of this thinking is a little, or a lot, of personal blame, guilt, suffering, etc, etc if you are not in line with how you believe you should be living your life. Also with the principle of idealism comes the responsibility to search and find what the “key” is for you and how to constantly be working your way towards a better YOU.

Check out where Idealists do all their uniting: http://www.idealist.org/. This website perpetuates the idea that people are of good nature would opt to volunteer, be honest, and provide connections to one another for jobs, internships, community service, events, etc. I actually just posted this website because it’s really interesting and I found it while Googling “Idealism”.

Idealists are so sure that there are good things on the horizons for everyone and they are banking on that very thing happening. In an idealist’s world, the best is always yet to come.

EmandMomSilly

The Optimist

This is your Captain Princess Pollyanna, reporting with a chipper attitude and smile. These are the people that crash their car, drown their cellphones, use up all their AAA towing privileges, and get fired from their job all in the same day yet still manage to whip out lines like, “Today is a fabulous day! Isn’t the sky beautiful!?” I like optimists, I really do, except sometimes they make me feel so BAD about myself. Because while I just need a moment to whine and complain and see how terrible my situation is, all they see is daisies, roses and butterflies. On the other hand, I am jealous of these folks, it’s almost as though optimists never had any wool over their eyes to begin with. I’m not sure if they were born with this or if it was Maybelline, but they most certainly embody the adage, “Ignorance is Bliss.” Or are they truly ignorant? Perhaps I’m missing something and life really is so grand. Optimists see life through rose-colored glasses and it looks perfectly wonderful to them. They find it their personal mission to help others around them find this rose-glasses-giving optician as well. Too bad my eye insurance doesn’t cover lenses. When the going gets tough, the optimist keeps on glowing.

I think one of the keys to successful optimism is DISTRACTION. This is the ability to completely refocus your mind, on something completely different than the negative situation at hand. That is, when there is no positivity to be seen in your current happenings. Which, for an optimist is a rare occurrence in the first place.

The Pessimist

I know what you’re thinking. By now, you’re thinking that this is what I, the author, am. Am I right? Is that what you were thinking? Or were you thinking about the jelly donut you’re going to snag from your company’s snack table since it’s “Donut Thursday” right after you read this blog? Ya, well that is a terrible idea, you’re probably going to get diabetes, or get looked at smugly by your healthy co-worker when you walk by her desk, or spill jelly on your white collared shirt and then your wife will know you ate jelly donuts and you won’t get any smooches or lovin’ for a week. So, why don’t you just go ahead and sit back down in your cubicle and swivel chair and keep reading, and working, and whittling away at your boring, dead end job. I’m not a pessimist. But, from first hand experience and intense observation of this species, I can tell you all about them.

You know when you suggest a great idea and it’s shot down instantly making you wish you’d kept your mouth shut? Pessimist. You know when you mention that someone did something out of the kindness of their heart and the person you’re confiding in tells you they are doing it because they are trying to get something from you or out of you? Pessimist. You know when you share a funny story about your kids and the friend you’re telling responds, “God, I’m glad I don’t have kids, pain in the butt how you have to pay for them for the rest of their lives.” Pessimist.

The pessimist tends to see the worst of everything and everyone. They tend to believe that evil and/or negativity are the outweighing forces in the world. Out of everything that could possibly happen, the likelihood that something good will happen is quite slim. Perhaps even null and void. I often find myself in situations where I am working with pessimists, and on occasion, they end up dragging me by the hair and down the stairs by slashing my ideas in the throat and burying them in a six foot grave somewhere along with my tractor and favorite country pop song album. I must say, I don’t dislike these people, I don’t dislike anyone so I don’t mean to bash them, it’s just really hard for me (the ever wavering idealist) to resist being sucked in by their depressive ways and creating a rain cloud of disappointment over my head that I will never succeed at anything in life. Pessimists make me want to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich and take my ideas and shove them deep in my gullet. I understand that their mindset is their mindset, and I don’t blame them nor do I think there is anything they can truly do about it.

I love them all the same; I know they have a reason to be this way. I just wish they wouldn’t try to convert me to their viewpoint, and would kindly respect MINE. Because, by now, I am at home with the idea that everyone could possibly someday just peace, love, and happiness hug it out over a calorie-free Snickers bar with clear skin and no dandruff.

Last but not least…

The Realist

This is my favorite of the four. Because, well, let’s get real, they are real. Unfortunately, when I’m on Cloud Nine, and the realist tells me there isn’t going to be a Cloud Nine after it starts to rain this afternoon at 2pm, I get really sad. A realist depends on theories working, on tangibility, on facts and data and solid proven information. Idealists focus on the bettering of each one’s self for one’s self. If you run a red light because you were flying through it at 45 mph and the flash camera caught you and sent you a ticket in the mail, you are responsible and you pay it. It’s not because the universe hates you, it’s not that karma is out to get you. It’s not going to get better, until you get better. So, suck it up, and do the right thing. Always. Remember your Grandma? She was the realist of the family. Look at things in the best way that you can, and learn from your mistakes. Have faith, have hope, invite reason and well-drawn conclusions into your life. Just be the best you, and don’t expect anyone to be the best you for you. That’s real life, kiddies. We’re grownups now. It seems a bit cold at times, but it’s really not. It’s really about, well, being really really real.

I wish I could be a realist in many ways. Unfortunately, it’s just so hard to snap out of some ponies and balloons reality that might someday be constitutional pillars of my own life and being real means I will have to do some serious work if I want to get to where I want to be.

Now, the question remains… on the spectrum of perspectives…who is right? Whose view of the world is accurate?
They can’t all be right, can they? They can’t all be wrong either?
Perhaps reality is simply whatever you make of it. Ha, there, that makes ME right!!! Doesn’t it?