malgrin: (Wee Me)
I got a text this morning from Nick - he got a job! He'll be working at the same company where his mom works. So, this is good in a number of ways. First - he has a job. Second - his mom will see him frequently (probably almost daily) this way. So, someone in the family will have continuous eyes on him.

GOOD NEWS.

It would be great if Karl could be next.

Gratitude

Feb. 10th, 2014 07:25 am
malgrin: (Wee Me)
I am grateful that - in spite of the snow - the weekend was as much of a success as we could have hoped for. I went with Pete for Family Weekend at Brittany's rehab. I am grateful for the experience on many levels, even though I'm pretty emotionally tired right now.

I am additionally grateful that we were able to GET there - considering the road conditions and weather.

I am grateful that we had a reason that we HAD to leave the house, because I was getting into a funk having been trapped inside for days on end. Driving around and seeing how stupid the snow is all over town lightened my mood considerably.

I am grateful that it is supposed to rain and be warmer today.

I am grateful for the period of time that we were without power on Saturday night. Pete and I had to write letters to Brittany, so I lit a whole cluster of candles on the dining room table. I also lit them throughout the house, focusing primarily on the bedroom and bathroom (and I kept those doors closed to conserve any heat that the candles generated). We wrote our letters by candle light. Then, we just went to bed. It was only about 7:30, but we extinguished the candles that were in the main living spaces. I made sure the only candles burning in the bathroom were jar candles. We took a few extra candles into the bedroom, piled on some extra blankets, grabbed the cat and put him on the bed with us and we hunkered down. The candles kept the room very cozy and warm. The cat purred on my lap while I read my book (on my previously-charged Kindle). It was actually very cozy and sort of blissful. When the power came back on, we decided to just continue with our candlelit night and wound up going to sleep very early.

Speaking of which, I am grateful for extra sleep. Since we couldn't really go anywhere - and considering the emotional drain of how we were spending our days - we went to bed by 9:30 each night. I'm actually very well rested.

I will be busy at work today. I am grateful for that too. So... here we go. Monday!

Progress

Sep. 16th, 2013 12:45 pm
malgrin: (Default)

Karl is taking his driving test right now. I feel like I am going to vomit. He isn't feeling nervous, which is good. I am now sitting where I can't see what is going on, which is helping. I should know the verdict within the next 20 minutes...if my stomach doesn't explode.

Hurt

Feb. 1st, 2013 02:46 pm
malgrin: (sad)
I'm struggling a bit today. The tensions surrounding my children are getting me down. Karl is stressed out because growing up sucks. And while I know that everyone has to do it - and that it sucks for a lot of people, it doesn't make it any easier to watch my child realize that childhood has slipped away and responsibility is breathing down his neck. He and I are very different people - and when I was his age going through what he's going through it was a pretty grand adventure. There were scary bits and hard bits, but for the most part, it was fun and exciting. I think that since home has always been a pretty safe and comfortable place for him, the real world and adulthood seem more scary than exciting. For me, of course, I'd have lived in just about any circumstances to avoid ever living with my step-father again. Karl doesn't have that sort of motivation.

Fortunately, he's made plans to hang out with some friends this weekend, which is really good. He spends way too much time locked away in his room - which I'm sure is the way he avoids ... everything. I expend as much energy as I can trying to drag him out - with chores, reminders to him that he should contact friends, mandatory job search outings, dinner, etc. But, he can't be my full time job, because I've already got one of those. I want so desperately for something to SPARK him... to make him excited about exploring the world and becoming independent. But, I can't control that.

Britt was denied a Pell Grant because - since I remarried - I make too much money for her to qualify. The thing is... I only "make too much money" on paper. In reality, I make exactly the same as before and have all the same expenses as before since Pete and I don't combine our finances (he has financial obligations to his own children). I found out today that she also doesn't have a student loan this year. She says they didn't offer her one, but that seems odd to me. I'm frustrated because if I had known this a year ago when she should have received her financial aid info - I could have done something about it. I could have helped her get a loan elsewhere or something. But - I was never informed. So, all year, her Dad has been paying a crazy amount for her tuition while I assumed he was paying his usual child-support amount. Now he's struggling to get by and I honestly don't know what will happen for her Spring term. She's freaking out because she thinks she'll have to drop out. I have re-checked all of my finances and I just don't have the extra resources to pay for her tuition - so I've been researching extra jobs, etc. I have a freaked out daughter, there is now tension between her father and I, and no one really has the ability to make money appear from the air. Her dad thinks he should claim her on his taxes, but according to what I read, the person the child "lives with" is who should be used for the FAFSA - and if we claim she "lives with" him - then I don't think she'd quality for in-state tuition anymore. Plus, I'd have needed to change my withholding a full year ago in order to not claim her this year. If I just suddenly don't claim her this year, I'll get slammed with taxes. Crap situation all around.

So... stress... and in my current frame of mind, it all spirals and I start thinking that I've failed at life because I didn't manage to save for the kids to go to college... and because I don't have any retirement and a thousand other things (things my dad would have counseled me to do differently, of course).

I was listening to an online radio show today and the song "Hurt" by NIN came on. I can still remember the first time I ever heard it. It was as if the stereo cast out a fishing line that hooked me and reeled me closer until I was standing with my ear practically pressed to the speakers. I had no idea who the song was by or what album it came from, so I researched it until I found out. It seems pretty cliché to identify with that song - but I did. A lot.

Operative word - DID.

It was a rough time in a life that had a few pretty rough times to its credit already. But NOW...in spite of all of the stress and the general feelings of depression the stress has caused, I am no longer the person who identified with that song. When I hear it - it seems familiar... as if it was a story that I saw in a movie once. It doesn't seem familiar as if I lived it anymore. That's something to be grateful for.

There are a million things I could have done differently that would have made this moment easier. Maybe. But - I don't hurt myself to see if I still feel. Not anymore. That's something.

We're all healthy. That's something else to be grateful for.
malgrin: (Wee Me)
I do so love it when I see instant results.

Yesterday, I was whining about my son and fretting about whether or not he'd ever get his butt in motion. And, like a gentle and loving benefactor, the Universe gave me two gifts.

First, my son's Associates of Arts degree (the actual pretty certificate) arrived in the mail. It was like a calligraphy-laden reminder that there HAS been progress... and that with Karl, it is often slower than it would be if it were me or Britta... but the progress still occurs. Then, at dinner, he told me that he had called the temp agency he registered with to let them know that he's still looking for work. He then said "And I did it on my own - like an adult."

That was what I needed. Evidence that I wasn't the one pushing the boulder up the hill all by myself. I know it is still quite a ways to the top, but there is at least SOME investment on his part.

All the same, I think I'm going to add to his chores. As it was pointed out in comments to my entry from yesterday, he's got it pretty "good" here. He already does most of the household chores as his way of "paying rent." I figured out about how many hours worth of effort would equal the cost of renting a room and I have him do that level of labor here. With the weather warming up, he's about to have a slew of yard work to do - which he doesn't really enjoy. He also has to clean the toilet and mop the floors and scoop the cat box, etc. I do have to say - he does all of it with very little complaint - which I appreciate. I think that even though he does have it good - he KNOWS he has it good. He doesn't walk around with an entitlement complex. I think I am also going to have him start preparing at least one meal per week. I can start off with something simple like spaghetti and then basically teach him to read and follow a recipe. It's a life skill that he's going to need anyway. If having to cook in addition to having to clean and do yard work doesn't motivate him to get a job, I don't know what will. Maybe homelessness - but I really don't want it to come to that. For now, I feel rejuvenated because of the gifts I received. Needless to say - I am grateful!

Now, I just need work to sort itself out in a similar way. At least - no matter what - it is Friday and I'll have a break from the desk to regain perspective. But, if today could be a day in which the accurate and complete data flows, you won't catch me complaining!

Also - yesterday afternoon - there was a break in the cloudy haze for a short while. I could see a patch of blue sky way out to the East (the first blue sky I've seen in weeks. Literally). The haze had thinned enough that I could see where the sun was positioned in the sky - even though it wasn't actually breaking all the way through. It was the closest thing to "sun" I've seen in a couple of weeks as well. So, I did what any normal person would do. I made Karl go outside with me (so he could see it too) and then I ran around in circles on my front lawn like an excited dog. It's rainy now - but rain isn't stagnant fog, so I'll take it. Plus, it was 45 degrees when I woke up this morning, which is warmer than it has been in an age. So, I'm going to stamp this with "Grateful."

Meh

Jan. 24th, 2013 11:25 am
malgrin: (sad cat)
I'm feeling overwhelmed today. I'm sure that hormones are to blame for the emotional aspect... everything else is just mundane stuff or "the chores of being alive." I'm just not handling it very well today.

My projects at work are sticky and hard to complete. As is often the case, this is primarily because I can't seem to get complete information no matter how I plead or cajole. For the most part, I'm used to it. But, I've been dealing with the same reports for weeks now and I still can't seem to make satisfactory headway because so-and-so didn't list the serial numbers on the data and so-and-so didn't take any photos of the test setup and so-and-so didn't give me a list of which tests were to be covered in the report. I feel like putting my head down on my desk and banging it there repeatedly.

On the personal front - I'm incredibly frustrated with my son. He needs to find a job. He needs to give his life some SHAPE. I know he is "trying"... but it is the same level of "trying" that one sees from a 7 year old told to go clean their room. Progress is almost impossible to detect. So - Mom has to be in the room supervising the entire time. He's 22 - nearly 23. I shouldn't have to be this "hands-on" with his life... but if I am not - then he just sits in his room all day. I give him chores. I send him links for jobs. I help him update his resume. I send him out with resumes to go job hunting. I feel like I'm in the position of having to micro-manage everything he does and I hate it. I'm exhausted. I honestly don't know what else to do. I don't like ultimatums and I don't want to throw him out (where would he go?). He's not a bad kid. He's not disrespectful. He's helpful when I ask him to be. It's just that he doesn't seem to have personal motivation of any sort (except revolving around his personal interests). I can't fabricate that for him. So - I push and push - hating it all the while, and fretting and worrying that he'll never get it together on his own.

Today - with the bio-chemical emotional cloud hanging over my head - I honestly just want to crawl in bed and cry out my frustration. Unfortunately - that won't accomplish anything except making my face puffy.

Soldiering on is my only real option. And.. whining about it in my journal (of course).
malgrin: (Wee Me)
I have a lot to process right now. We arrived home from our trip to California yesterday afternoon. It was a truly wonderful trip - primarily because I got to spend a lot of time with my Dad. I even had the chance to learn new things about him, which is always treasure to me.

He and Pete really seemed to get along. They talked about football. They talked about education and my Dad shared a lot of his experiences - particularly regarding various career avenues within the realm of education. It gave Pete a lot to think about. They also talked about genealogy and my Dad demonstrated Ancestry.com for Pete. It did me a lot of good to leave the room for a while and to return to find them in conversation about one thing or another.

We had a good time getting to know my Dad's new dog (Shady O'Grady Potato) as well. He's a good dog and he definitely keeps my Dad and Chantal on their toes.

We had a great time visiting with Sharon and Tom in Mammoth on our way down. It was a cheese-tastic night... they had so many lovely, yummy cheeses. We also had Mai Tais in the village and then wine and port back at the condo. I can't believe I woke up without a headache. It bordered on the miraculous. It was good to have concentrated face-time with them. They are incredibly gracious.

On New Year's Eve, we spent time with Chris and Jimmy - which was also great. We decided not to go to the big shin-dig. It was crowded and expensive. Instead, we hung out - went out to dinner - walked around downtown Orange. I think that was perfect. It enabled us to have more conversation and to really BE together.

Other than that, I spent some time with the Rasmussens and some time with my co-workers - but didn't try to see anyone else. I'd like to go back over the summer, if possible, and see other people that I miss very much. Right now, though, I feel a sort of imperative to spend as much time with my Dad as I can.

Now we're home - and I've got some spiritual things to process and I've got to De-Yule the house and put up Candlemas instead. Everything needs a good cleaning and I've got a lot of goals to begin working toward. I feel like the beginning of 2013 has been delayed by a week - but I'm chomping at the bit to get started. Thus, today is the day. :)
malgrin: (Wee Me)
I'm feeling a bit "blah" today. I haven't had a lot of energy since about Sunday afternoon. I think the fact that work was so slow yesterday is contributing. Even though I got other things done, there is a certain "dragging" energy to a slow day at work. It gets into my blood and turns it to cold syrup.

I had a nice chat with a good friend last night. That was good - and even mildly energizing. Then I found out that my son had a really rough day on his first day taking live calls at work. Actually, most of his day was fine, but he had one customer that was - quite simply - a complete bitch. She belittled him and was exceptionally rude. Karl isn't used to being treated badly by anyone. It really threw him. When he got home, neither Pete or I were here (we both had other obligations) so he just cried and petted the cat and then cried and took a shower. It broke my heart. It sucks to have to watch your child be introduced to some of the harsher aspects of growing up. I told him, though, that he should be thankful that he doesn't live with that woman and that he ISN'T that woman. He can always choose to be patient and kind with others... and that will always mean that he's having a more pleasant life experience than the people who constantly drag others down.

The good in all of this is that he's feeling motivated to make SURE he doesn't get stuck doing this sort of work for the rest of his life. I've been trying to explain the concept to him for awhile - but as is nearly ALWAYS the case in life - until you experience it, you can't really KNOW.

Now - he KNOWS.

All the same, it's hard to watch your child go through something like that. My inner-mamma-bear wanted to hunt that woman down and give her a sound thrashing. Not that it would solve anything... but all the same! Grrrr...

Fortunately - he's still got his job. It wasn't a situation where he was punished for one bad call. He said most of his calls were perfectly fine. So, I hope that he manages to have a day today with nice callers.

I'm still waiting on work to roll in. I'm going to find myself another productive project to fill the gap. I think I may go ahead and exercise at least a little bit on my lunch break to see if I can't get the cold syrup to turn back into blood. I'm still not feeling terribly well - but I just need to power through. I am never going to feel well if I don't get my blood moving.

I am grateful for the determination to keep on moving. It would be easy to just crawl under the covers today - feeling the way I do. However, I don't really have any room for that. I have felt this way many times before - and in the past I would use this sort of feeling as a vehicle for self-destruction. Fortunately, I've lost patience with that old behavior. I feel blah? Too bad. I'll just have to do something about it.
malgrin: (Wee Me)
Today, I am grateful for the weekend. Pete and I spent it together - we did some shopping, watched the Springfield holiday parade at the tattoo shop, had a nice meal, met up with friends at The Mohawk, checked out both Holiday Market and the Picadilly Flea Market. It was all at a very relaxed pace. There was no football to get in the way of anything (heh). We even had a little nap yesterday afternoon.

I'm especially grateful that we made the effort to spend this time together, because on Friday, we'll have Nick with us for the weekend and Britt will be home for the winter holiday. We won't really have any "just us" weekends for awhile. We have to take the time when we can get it in order to maintain balance.

I'm additionally grateful that Karl's training went well. Today, he's answering "live" calls. The rubber officially meets the road! He's feeling pretty confident. He had yesterday off, and I think he enjoyed having the down-time. He'll be able to appreciate his free time a bit more now.

I'm still brainstorming ways to help him become increasingly independent and help him get his life launched.

I got my meditating done this morning before even getting out of bed. The goal is to exercise on my lunch break - and if I can get my meditating done in the morning, it gives me extra time for that. Unfortunately, I'm in a bit of pain today - so I don't think exercising is going to happen. I still expect that it WILL begin this week, and I'm going to keep on meditating in the morning so that I have the space for exercise on my lunch break - but today, I think I'll fill that time with sewing. At least that will still be productive (and also satisfying).

Now I just need the work day to pick up speed. I'm all caught up, which is really weird.
malgrin: (Wee Me)
I am grateful that Karl started his job today! Hurray!!!! Forward motion! He didn't pass his driving test yesterday - and that was probably good for his ego. I don't think he was taking it very seriously... and now he's got a failure on the books as well as having to inconvenience himself on his day off next week. Learning experiences are good for the soul. Hopefully he'll have his permit by next week, though, and that will be more forward progress.

I am thinking that I'm going to get a sort of "life kit" together for each of the kids as part of Yule. I won't go too crazy. I already got Karl two different gadgets that help with opening jars and bottles to put in his stocking. What I'm thinking about doing for both of them, though, is getting an accordion file or maybe one of the Rubbermaid file boxes and then setting it up with a few pre-made folders - like "Important Papers" and "Job Search" and "Pay Stubs" and "Taxes" or something like that... they are both at the point where they really need to start handling their own paperwork. Yet, I doubt either of them would think to spend the money on something to help them with that. I remember when I was Karl's age, I asked for a file cabinet for Christmas. Ha. I was more motivated to be independent, though.

At any rate - forward progress is good stuff.

We had our last Tuesday class for the year the night before last. Pete and I attended Merry Meet yesterday to hear about the OTO - which was really interesting and sparked a lot of thought and conversation between Pete and I afterward. We managed to get to bed mostly on time, which is good. Tonight is the second-to-last class for the Thursday night class, although I have a couple of other obligations next week in regard to all of that. In between now and next week, I need to prepare a key for the test that they'll be receiving today. For the most part, I tend to know the answers off the top of my head, but lately, I've been trying to "do the homework" that we give out so that I know for SURE I have well-formulated and articulate answers to the questions that are being asked. It just helps me feel truly prepared. So, I want to do that with the test as well... and that's going to take a minute. Fortunately, we have a relatively slow weekend for once. Pete and I are going to go to Holiday Market together on one of the days. Next weekend, we'll have both Britta and Nick again - and then Britta will be here until she leaves for California. So, even though I won't have as much "going out in the evening" stuff to do - I'll still have obligations. It should be OK, though - especially since both Pete and Karl will be working, so it won't be as if the entire house is full of people all day long.

It isn't even December yet, and I already feel like I'm lagging behind for the holidays. But - I need to recognize that as the myth that it is and remain calm. Perhaps I'll decorate the house this weekend while there aren't extra people here trying to watch TV. I'd like to make a new Yule wreath. Maybe Britta would like to help with that when she gets home. Maybe I'll just do it myself.

Primarily, I resolve to remain grateful that I'm so abundant that I can even fret about things at this level. I am grateful for my family (even when they are all in the house at the same time). We are pretty darn fortunate, and I don't want to lose sight of that. Life is a little complicated - but that's primarily because we're all growing and changing. Next year, there will be a little baby toddling about under the Yule tree.

My mom has been on my mind... I've been wishing I had her here to talk to. The events of the past week have really shed new light on a lot of things that she would have some insight into. I often wish I had access to her as a guide. I'm very sad that by the time I really began to need that - she was already gone. I'll just have to wing it - which is what I suspect she was often doing, too.

Gratitude

Nov. 15th, 2012 09:23 am
malgrin: (Default)
Today, I am grateful for talking about Thanksgiving with my daughter. We had a little time toward the end of the afternoon to discuss cooking and what-not. I've been a little lack-luster about the whole thing. I'm not the most enthusiastic cook in the world. I get a lot of "don't really care" sorts of answers when I ask about potential menu items. Britt, however, was very enthusiastic with a concrete wish list for our holiday feast. It inspired me quite a bit and now I'm feeling a lot better about the whole thing. Plus, it really reminded me that I won't be doing the whole thing by myself.

There is something that feels very... gosh... ancient? Lineal? I don't know what the right word is - but it is definitely comforting and lovely - about planning a meal that you will cook with your daughter. We are in transition - passing away from "Mother and child" and into the years of "Mother and adult woman." It made my heart very happy.

I'm inspired enough that I even started taking down my Halloween decorations (about damned time - ha ha). I'm re-instating Fall until after Thanksgiving when I can start to think about Yule.

I would really like to have the "new" chairs for the dining room ready for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure I can make that happen, but we'll see. I need to clean them up and re-cover the seats. I don't know if I have that in me prior to the holiday or not. Alternately, I could clean them up and then just put something on the seats for the interim until I manage to figure out what fabric I want to use, etc. We shall see.

Actually, I'd really like to "deep clean" my house, too. Maybe I can get to that in December when I have fewer weekly commitments. Here's hoping.

At any rate, I'm feeling grateful and inspired (and feeling grateful for feeling inspired).

Gratitude

Nov. 11th, 2012 04:52 pm
malgrin: (Default)
Today - I am grateful for sleeping until 9 am. The weekend has NOT kicked my ass - even thought I was in the pit at Dropkick Murphys on Friday night and up late with the family on Saturday night. I will actually be starting the coming work week with some energy in me.

I am additionally grateful for my husband. He's been my husband for one year. Or - that will be true in a couple of hours at any rate. It's been a good year. It hasn't been a perfect year - which means we've both grown... and that's even better. We laugh together regularly. We talk about things that matter to us daily. We love each other constantly.

He is finally feeling better, and I'm grateful for that. We laid around until after 10 AM - just giggling and being dorks.

Then, we got the boys up (Karl and Nick) and went to lunch and then out to see Cloud Atlas... which we all liked, but are still processing.

We are truly making this work. Karl and Nick were talking about the next time they can kill zombies together as Nick walked out the door to go home. There is "brotherly" bonding going on. There are some things that I'm experiencing that are more than I ever thought to ask for.

Pete will be home soon from taking Nick home. I get to give him his anniversary present - which I sincerely hope he'll like.

Next weekend, we will continue the celebration by trekking up to Portland and staying in a plushy hotel and going to the Swashbuckler's Ball. Guess I'd better make sure my dress still fits.
malgrin: (Default)
Life is still good. Heh heh... but it is awfully busy. I think what's truly going on is that I'm extremely busy at work - which means I don't take the time to write as often. I try to avoid my office after working hours - which means that writing doesn't happen then, either.

But, today is Pete's birthday. He isn't terribly happy about turning 45 - but to me, it's only a number (which is good, since I'm next... ha ha). He went off to work this morning looking very snazzy in black shorts and his new Doc's and a crisp black shirt. I'm sure he'll realize that life isn't terribly different, even though he's a year older.

Rozaylia is at the birthing center and has been last night. Maisie has not yet made her appearance. I guess they are starting pitocin this morning. I hope that helps. My brain keeps saying "break her water!" but I don't know if they do that at birthing centers and I know there are other risks that can be associated with that. Just because it worked so well for me does not mean it would work well for someone else. At any rate, Maisie will arrive when she arrives. I am just sending out thoughts of a safe and joyful delivery. I hope Rozaylia was able to get some rest over night, but how likely is that? Poor thing.

We went and visited Brittany in her new apartment last night. She's got good taste and her house looks great. She's still getting things unpacked and such. She seems very relaxed and happy - which is good news. I'm super excited for her.

Tonight, we're going out to dinner for Pete's birthday. We don't have much else going on, but that's fine. We're both still catching up on sleep after our super late night on Sunday (it would have been easier to catch up if we'd gone to bed early on Monday night - but we didn't, because apparently, we aren't very smart sometimes).

Karl *tried* to start his pharmacy tech class last night, but no one was there. They added the Tuesday section - so we're wondering about the mix-up. He's going to call today and then show up again tonight. I'm sure it will get sorted.

Now it is time to immerse myself in another busy work day. I'm enjoying the pace - as long as it doesn't involve working late. It helps me remain ultra-focused during the day and my work days have been flying by. I really enjoy that. It helps keep my brain in happy places.

Into the fray!
malgrin: (Default)
Today, Nick will have his eye surgery. In fact - he was there at 7 AM today - and surgery should start by 8 AM. He had his pre-surgery meeting with the doctor yesterday - and it sounds like... if all goes well, this will be OVER today. If all does NOT go well, there may have to be one follow-up surgery. However, even in that case, the ultimate outcome should be good. Worst-case scenario - he will no longer need a corrective lens in the damaged eye to see, but may need reading glasses. I, of course, am holding out for the best-case scenario. One surgery. No complications. No corrective lenses at all. SMIB.

Later today - Brittany will have her first doctor appointment for her pregnancy and she will get to hear her baby's heartbeat. She is going to try to record it with her phone so she can let us hear, too. Very exciting.

Brittany's mother bought herself a sports car. It's her way of handling "grandmotherhood." I bought a read-aloud book. That's my way of handling "step-grandmotherhood."

All of my list items were completed yesterday. There are new items up there today. My office is cleaner than it has been in a good long while. I even dusted. Most of my filing is caught up. I have a few things that still need better spots and whatnot, but it's definitely progress. It's nicer to be in here now. I think that is part of why I've been making progress. I don't hate being out here as much, so I am willing to come out here after the work day is done and work on other projects.

I want to add some additional shelves in here - for book over-flow (and boy-oh-boy do I have book over-flow). I think what is most important is that every time I make some progress, I feel inspired to get more accomplished. Blah blah... it seems to be all I talk about right now.

I need to prep Britta's room for her return. She'll be here on Thursday night. (Adding that to the whiteboard list RIGHT NOW.) I think I need to take a vacation day before she goes back to school... help her get her stuff together... just spend some time with her. She'll be home and gone again so fast. If I think about it for very long, I get a bit melancholy.

I managed to pretty much finish one of the big, ugly projects at work yesterday. I handed it off for review last night and received comments this morning. The comments had nothing much to do with my actual work - so I'm a little astonished. The procedure I had to write was complex and the source material was a little bit hard for me to understand. I'm blown-away that there are so few changes. But - honestly - that remains to be seen. The customer still needs to look at it and I strongly suspect that one of the procedures ought to be reviewed by the person who actually conducts the test. We shall see. The most important thing to me is that the tedious, hard, unpleasant part is DONE. One more with similar "energy" to go and I might actually enjoy my job a little bit again.

Oh - and I think I want to re-teach myself to knit.
(Wouldn't want to get bored or something.)
malgrin: (Default)
Last weekend was one filled with inspiration on so many levels that it's mind-boggling. I was billing it as "Dreams Come True Weekend" because Saturday was the Mike Dooley seminar and Sunday was the SJ Tucker concert - both events were serendipitous surprises of the most delightful sort.

Mike Dooley was as inspiring as I expected him to be. Nothing he is saying is terribly "new" to me, but he gave me a few new ways of looking at concepts that should help me make them more effective in my life. Beyond that - it was simply an inspiring experience. The people I sat next to were inspiring and motivating. They've convinced me to move forward with the angled pixie skirts that I make (I was wearing one and not only received compliments - but they forced their e-mail addresses on me so I can notify them when I've got an Etsy shop up and running).

Since returning from the seminar, Pete and I have worked on music and I have been on information gathering spree regarding getting the Etsy shop going. Now it is simply a matter of maintaining the momentum.

The SJ Tucker concert was delightful. It was inspiring simply because she is a very creative and talented woman - and being in that energy (particularly up-close and personal) was just plain cool.

And again... it is a matter of maintaining the momentum.

In other news, my son not only passed his final Math class (pre-calculus), but he receive a B. The walls of Fool Haven are ringing with joy and merriment!!!! This should be the end of his Associates Degree... so now we have to make sure that his degree is conferred. Now he needs to find a job. He'll also be enrolling in the Pharmacy Tech program at his school, but that will only meet one night per week. Times, they are a-changin'.
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So - yeah - Ow. I ran lightly from bees, but I managed to work out my side muscles all the same. (One can't run from bees appropriately without twisting and flailing one's arms, after all.) I do believe they're my "obliques." I am going to allow myself one "Ow" right now - and then I'll shut up... because them-there are WAIST-WITTLIN' muscles. So, I'll take it. Yes, it hurts when I laugh... but I LOVE THE PAIN.

I sent some money to my Dad today. I still owe him money from when he helped me pay off my credit card after moving here and being fleeced by my ex-boyfriend. I stopped making payments about a year ago when my child support stopped - but now that I have refinanced the house, I can afford to start paying him off again. This makes me happy. I feel like I need to clear slates all over the place. I need to send some money to my step-father as well. Bleh... but it must be done. That will clear that slate altogether. A chapter closed. We'll just call it "simplification." It will be one less thing that I have to think about. EVER AGAIN.

I know that house expenses are going to change a bit with Britt moving back in soon - but I think most of it can be absorbed.

I didn't get a ton done in Britta's room yesterday, but I did get the bulk of her shelving unit cleaned off. Now all of the pirate stuff is on the bed. The difference is - it is all gathered in one place now, so I can see what I've got and pack it accordingly. Today, I'm renting the storage locker. The real push begins tomorrow. The Goodwill box is filling up nicely.

I had a real energy slump yesterday right when I got off work. I'm not entirely sure what that was about, but I had a little lie-down and my brain said "you were stressed out yesterday and this is what a huge influx of stress does to your body/energy level." Ok.

There is a very slim chance at this point that Karl will pass his math class (Happy Birthday!). I'm disheartened. He's disheartened, stressed, and disappointed with himself. He's found a class for summer - and he's talking to his prof today. So, no matter what, he should be done with the community college after the first summer session. I talked to him yesterday and he's still interested in being a pharmacy tech while he figures out what he *really* wants to do with his life. This made me happy. It is more schooling, but he'll have to work at the same time. I guess pharmacy techs make a modestly livable wage and the curriculum would take about a year or so. So - job and training, then real job, then moving toward independence. I can see how it would work - but it is definitely going to require his involvement and enthusiasm. I remain optimistic.

Twenty-two years ago - I was in the hospital awaiting his arrival. There is no chance whatsoever that I'd have predicted how he'd have turned out or how I'd have turned out or what adventures we'd have. But then, I was living by the seat of my pants at the time. In spite of his challenges, I'm grateful that I got the privilege of being his mother. I have met very few people who have his quick wit, his sharp and intelligent sense of humor, or his ability to synthesize and discuss complex concepts (especially socio-political concepts). He keeps me on my toes - and he has a genuinely good heart. He's polite even if he's oblivious most of the time. I just never knew how much being a parent would teach me.

I still only have one recommendation for a doctor. There are a couple more people who were on my list that I haven't yet heard back from - so I will choose and make an appointment early next week. The feeling of panic is beginning to subside... so I'm grateful for that.

I'm taking a moment right now to acknowledge how nuts-and-bolts my journal is lately. I remember back in the day when I used to wax eloquent on all sorts of emotional topics. I guess these days I'm emotionally stable and happy enough that I don't have time for that!

Gratitude

May. 31st, 2012 09:55 am
malgrin: (Default)
Last night, Brittany came over for dinner. Pete and I made our favorite/amazing low-fat white "lasagna" - except I made it into a pasta bake instead of lasagna. Very yummy - and she seemed to like it as well. We all had a little wine as well and I feel like I turned a corner in "getting to know her." I'm really grateful that she's been coming over more often lately. It's giving us a chance to find our comfort zone with one another. She's been coming over by herself, too... so that enables me to have real conversations with her. Last night was definitely our best gathering so far.

We watched a movie afterward, and that was also fun. She's going to come over again next week as well.

So... I am grateful for family times!!! Karl had dinner with us too - and there was general conversation. It was good and I'm looking forward to more, more, more. We'll blend up this family yet!
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Last night, I was slated to lead a discussion on "Grounding and Centering" at the local Merry Meet gathering. Usually about 5 - 8 people will show up for the Merry Meet, and I'll usually know over half of them. But last night? Oh no... last night there were closer to 20 people there, and I knew a quarter of them (if that).

All day I'd been telling myself that it would be easy... and casual... and nothing to worry about. When people kept pouring into the building however, I could feel my nerves start to unravel.

So, we did a (giant) round of introductions and then announcements... and then it was my turn. I think if I'd known that there would be so many people, I'd have prepared what I was going to talk about a little more carefully. I'd have made a better outline for myself, etc. But, I figured that if it was just a few people, we could have a pretty free-flowing discussion. In such a large group, EVERYONE gets nervous about talking. Several people were willing to speak up and share their thoughts and experiences, though, so I was quite grateful for that.

I wrapped the whole thing up by leading an actual guided grounding/centering. It certainly wasn't my best work, but a couple of people came up to me afterward to tell me that it was very effective to them and that they enjoyed it. So, that was nice to hear.

The thing is, it AMPED me up. Normally a grounding doesn't do that to me. I'm sure it wasn't the grounding on its own that was the culprit. After the discussion, I had conversations with a number of people I'd never met before - and that always "zings" me a bit. I'm sure my nerves had something to do with it as well.

At any rate, the end result was that I didn't sleep very well. I also had very strange dreams. I should have done some other sort of relaxation before I tried to go to sleep... but I didn't (duh). My stomach was also bothering me a little... (probably a combination of nerves and dinner). Needless to say, I'm dragging a bit today.

I am truly grateful for the conversations I got to have, though. I met some cool new people that I hope to see again. One is a student of runes - so that was cool. I encouraged him to teach a workshop or something like that. He doesn't feel ready right now - which I understand. I found out that one of our current Primer students wants to move forward - so that was also cool.

Today I need to put together more dinner ideas for the fast and start creating a shopping list. Britt should roll in sometime late this afternoon - so I'll get to see her for a little while before she heads off to Hannah's house for the rest of her break. Then, I teach class tonight. Phew.
malgrin: (Default)
Last night, we had all of Pete's kids here, plus A's girlfriend and B's boyfriend. We all had pizza and watched a movie. It was good to see everyone. I had a nice talk with A's girlfriend about complicated families. During the course of that, she said that they (she and A) always enjoy coming to our house. That was nice to hear. It is always good to have them all together at once - but boy this house is small!!

Before bed, I did some stretching - and so far, it seems to have helped my back. It's hard to know for sure because my back usually feels better in the morning after a night of sleeping on the amazing healing bed of wonder and joy. I'll know more this evening. But - no matter what - stretching is only going to help, so I'll keep it up.

Tonight I'm leading a discussion on "Grounding and Centering" at the Merry Meet. I've been pondering it for days. I'm nervous, but not terrorized. I sure have come a long way since I took that speech class in college. I'm grateful for that progress. Plus, it is good to contribute to the community... and now, I'll have done my bit and someone else can step in for next month.

Work has been just about brainless all week so far. We've been preparing for an audit, so I've mostly been cleaning up files. The days have been moving along, though, so I can't really complain.

Britt and her friends are heading back toward Oregon today. They are planning to stay overnight in Sacramento again - which is smart. They're getting an earlier start, too, which is also smart. I'm glad they'll be off the road before dark. Hopefully they'll do the same tomorrow (which I strongly suspect). I get a surprise bonus visit from Britt tomorrow. I didn't think I'd see her at all this break, but it turns out that she and one of her friends will be dropped off here for a bit tomorrow afternoon and then the friend's father is picking them up and taking them up near Portland for the rest of the break. So, I won't get much time, but I'll get a hug. That will be nice. It sounds like she's had a really good time with her friends.

Taking my vitamins is definitely helping my outlook. I don't feel so worn-out. It helps my overall attitude quite a bit.

I have a few more days to prepare for my "fast" (which doesn't seem like a real "fast" to me since there is still food involved). It's basically 3 weeks without processed foods (no preservatives and such), no refined white foods (like flour or white rice), no caffeine, no sugar, and no dairy. The whole thing - to me - is much less about losing weight and more about gaining mindfulness and discipline. I'll be meditating daily, journaling daily and exercising as well. I am feeling a real need to center myself in "larger" ways. My life is taking me over lately - between household responsibilities and community responsibilities... I am not sure quite where *I* am these days. So, I'm taking this time to reconnect with myself. In order to help keep my true purpose in mind - I'm not going to weigh myself as part of this endeavor. Danielle and I are going to go away for a weekend during the 3 weeks. It's the weekend that we'd have Nick here - and it will help me stay on track a lot if I'm not trying to feed a teenager. Plus, a huge part of this whole thing is spiritual reconnection - and so Danielle and I are going to make the weekend about that. We'll be doing some hiking and some meditating and probably shamanic journeying as well. Well, not probably... we WILL. I'm looking forward to this process quite a bit.

Well - I suppose April will be about "mindfulness."

May should be about "activity" or perhaps "strength and vitality." My next goal after April will be to strengthen my body. A successful fast will mean I order the Zumba DVDs. I haven't wanted to make the investment - I'm worried that they'd just sit in my CD binder along with all of the other exercise DVDs. However, if I can manage the mindfulness and discipline of April, I'll trust myself to actually use them.

And so it goes.
malgrin: (Default)
I just found out that my first husband's Aunt Esther passed away. She has been tremendously ill - and it was expected, but it puts me in a strange frame of mind.

Esther was from Denmark - and she was a very singular sort of woman. She had a huge impact on me - because she came to live with the Rasmussens while I was living there and while Karl was only a tiny baby. I was only 22 years old and so both Erik's mother and his aunt were very powerful influences in my life. Esther was incredibly strong and incredibly independent. She was very opinionated and also very out-spoken.

I always think about her when I sew. She always told me to put my pins in perpendicular to the seam... and I prefer to pin parallel to the seam. I understood her reasoning, but I have my own... and while I still pin my way - whenever I do, I think about her.

She is also the reason I love down comforters and heated floors.

So - I'm thinking of you, Esther. Thank you for being your incredibly singular self. At least some portion of my own strength can be credited to your influence. Give 'em hell in the afterlife.
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