Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bore, Bored, Boring...

I've always said, to myself mostly, that if you're bored, it's your own fault.  I tend to believe this but lately I've questioned this conventional wisdom.  Is being bored a function of my own inadequacies or is it something put upon me by an apathetic society? Or, is being bored just part of the human condition?

I fill my time with a lot of activity, most of it super awesome, some of it a time filler. I recently learned to sew and this was fulfilling for awhile, now it just seems sad to be sitting at home on a Friday night with my sewing machine. I combat this sad feeling by making stuff for others. Everything I sew, I give away. Somehow this makes it better, but clearly not all better.

I mentioned being bored out of my mind to a friend yesterday and he asked me if it was that I was truly bored or was I just tired of doing stuff by myself, with no one to share it with? Now there's a question for ya.  As an only child, I've been able to hang by myself my whole life without problem. I love traveling alone, going to movies alone, riding and running alone, living alone, etc.  But lately, while I still enjoy doing things by myself, I just haven't gotten that fulfilled feeling I've become accustomed to. I can't control having someone to share my life with (I suppose I could buy someone's affection but I'm broke and I think it's illegal anyway?) so I need to change my attitude about this bored feeling I've been carrying around.

I also get really tired of all the navel gazing. When you do everything by yourself, you spend a lot of time thinking about...yourself. I'm fucking bored with me. I want to think about someone else for a change.

Maybe being bored is just a prelude to something fantastic? Today, I'm going to choose to bend that bored feeling into something else. Not sure what yet, but I'll figure it out. Maybe on that bike ride that I'm doing later today...alone.



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Examination

Reflect, re-evaluate, re-examine, re-do, reject, renounce, reduce, renegotiate, rejoice. Today I'm feeling all of the above. How cliche, it's a new year and I join the millions that are trying to figure out the point of it all. I tried to not do too much of it this year but was forced to last week.

This time of year, in addition to all of the navel-gazing, I also get all of my health exams out of the way.  Teeth, eyes, boobs and the undercarriage. It's an exercise in self-flagellation.  All of these appointments fall either on or right around my birthday too, providing numerous opportunities for self-examination.

This year, I had my annual boob smoosh a couple of days before my 45th birthday. It was a routine, normal exam and off I went to work.  A week went by and when I returned from possibly the worst flying experience I've ever had, after a wonderful trip to Chicago, there was a letter in the mail from the boob smooshers.  I opened the letter, skimmed it and did a double take. I apparently needed to schedule another exam because there was something odd on the films.  I immediately knew that it was just my caffeine boob. I've had this fibrous cyst thing going on since my early-thirties and caffeine can make it worse.  With my relatively recent need for caffeine every morning, I was sure that the cysts were angry with my coffee intake.

I talked to Cheryl that night and she said she knew of so many women that had gotten the same letter and it was probably some sort of insurance thing and I shouldn't worry about it. Intellectually, I wasn't worried about it but there was a small voice deep inside that was worried.  I spent the next week and a half quieting that small voice with intellectual discussions about caffeine boob, knowing that if it was something, I would deal with it.

To make a short story shorter, I had my follow-up exam earlier this week and all is well. It was caffeine boob after all.  What I will tell you is that while sitting and waiting for the radiologist to read the new films of my left breast, I was hyper-conscience of the elevator music playing, the fresh laundry smell of the not-so-fancy robe I was wearing, my pleasure in reading the months-old copies of O Magazine and the above 50 degree temperature and beautiful blue sky outside the comfortable yet sterile environment. It was like I wouldn't be able to experience these things again if the radiologist came back with bad news and I wanted to soak in and remember the whole of the experience.  

In the grand scheme this episode was not that big of a deal but it was certainly another moment to be reminded that illuminating one of life's minor threats gives one pause, or should. Reflecting on the import of the seemingly small details that make up a life is always a good time to re-examine, renounce and re-do whatever one can to fully live, in and out of every moment.


Monday, December 31, 2012

Rejection

Let's just say, I've been rejected quite a bit over the past (nearly) 45 years.  The first thing that comes to mind is probably romantic rejection, right?  While, yes, that's happened a few times and was especially awesome when I summoned up the courage to do the asking out only to find out the guy I liked, liked guys; I've certainly been rejected more in my day-to-day life.

Everyone always says that rejection builds character. Rejection gives you a thick skin, people say. I must have the skin of a turtle. Of course, turtles have a shell so that must be what I have. No wonder I never get asked out. People say that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. I've kissed - well, we'll just move on.

As a professional fundraiser, or as my dad fondly says, professional beggar, I hear rejection on a daily basis. "No, I don't want to give you any money."  "I'm sorry but I can't give you anything this year."  "We really like you but my budget is gone for the year, how about this chotskie no one else would buy, for your silent auction?"  To be fair, I do hear quite a few yeses but, of course, hearing no rings louder.

One of my best rejection stories is about how I got fired from a hotel front desk job - on my birthday -  over the phone. Even though I totally deserved to get canned, did it have to be on my birthday? Couldn't she have looked at my file or something and maybe picked a different day? I actually don't remember what birthday it was - 22 or 23, I think. So, I was old enough to drink it off which I'm sure I did, which is why I can't remember what birthday it was.

The latest story in the seemingly long thread of rejection tales is when I got canned from the mall earlier this month.  I had taken this job for some extra cash to pay down my debt. A seemingly easy gig with decent hours that I had no qualms about handling.  My only concern was figuring out time to get to the gym in between all the gift card selling and my regular job.

The week after Thanksgiving I walked in to said mall job and heard my 'boss' summon me into his office.  He didn't really summon me; he said my name to which I stopped at his office door. Now keep in mind, this was the second conversation with my 'boss' I'd had since hiring on in September. I stood at his office door and he awkwardly looked at me and I realized he actually wanted me to enter his office and have a seat.  What a goofball.  Anyway, I sit and he tells me 'that it's just not working out' and that I needed to turn in my key and leave, right then.  The movie "Office Space" came to mind and I thought about a red Streamline stapler and a dark basement. I said, "Seriously?"  He proceeded to tell me that he was going to pay me for that night but I needed to go.  What the fuck?  At this point, I got a little angry. Okay, a lot angry.  I asked him why and all he could muster was that I had left the gift card drawer unlocked and that this didn't mean I was a bad person or anything.

In the nine shifts that I had worked at this silly job, I had made about three seemingly egregious errors. I had left the drawer unlocked - once. I had messed up an entry into the gift card software - once. And on my first day, I had given away, unbeknownst to me, the wrong, poorly labeled door prize to someone. Clearly, all horrible, fireable offenses.  As I left the building, I immediately thought about what a horrible person I must be. I had just helped raise $55K at a Turkey Trot fundraiser but couldn't quite handle running a credit card machine or selling tickets to see Santa.

After a couple of days of feeling like a total loser, I went back to my normal headspace of 'everything happens for a reason' and I got over it. I didn't, however, get over what an incompetent 'boss' I had at that job.  If an employee is screwing up so badly don't you think they deserve the courtesy of knowing how they're messing up?  It appears that the full-time gal that gave me my 20-minute training has also been axed.  Clearly, something else was up and I got caught in the crossfire. Or, I'm just a loser that can't handle a credit card machine.

On to 2013, I say!  2012, on many levels, was not a good year for many, many people.  So much heartbreak and pain, death and destruction.  Even though I, personally, was not touched by the numerous tragedies that took place this year, I think everyone is peripherally affected. Tragedy on the level we saw this year seeps into a person's soul. I've cried at my desk way too many times this year as I read about the latest killing spree or gang rape or car accident.

I don't have a traditional New Year's Resolution today, just the sense that I'm going to try a little harder to be less judgmental, more loving and to tell the people I care about that they mean something to me, for what it's worth. I'm going to try to be more mindful of this moment because as I heard someone say last night, 'this' moment is all there is.

Happy New Year!




Friday, November 30, 2012

Another Lifestyle Center Friday Night

This Lifestyle Center Friday night doesn't include dancing to a local Journey cover band like last year's experience.  This Lifestyle Center Friday night, let's call it LCFN for short, is being spent working at the mall office to help pay off my root canal bill from this summer.  Right now, dancing to "Don't Stop Believing" sounds much more fulfilling.

This part-time gig isn't so bad, truly.  I sit here and sell gift cards to the masses - no masses yet but I'm hopeful. Instead, I've answered some odd questions like the one last night from a fella holding a small child who asked me if we had a diaper dispenser machine. Do they even make those?  Seriously?

Most of the time I chat with the security guard, check my Facebook, LinkedIn, work email, Yahoo account (where tonight I deleted 804 sent emails dating back to 2005) and my gmail. I move on from there to check into Huffington Post and E! online. After exhausting all of that, last night I got excited when I remembered that I could browse through my Pinterest too! That lasted about 10 minutes and then I started to knit.  So, basically I'm being paid to stay up-to-date on NPR, the latest DIY project, slow-cooker recipes and to knit.

Tonight, I got excited when I realized I could write a blog post to feel productive!  This after dealing with a highly pissed off dude who came in to pick up a gift card that wasn't here. The gift card was for the woman with him who didn't utter a word during the entire interaction. Very odd and disturbing. Again reminding me of how dealing with the public can sometimes be a total pain in the ass. What is it about the service industry that says, "Hey, I'm here to help you but I'd really enjoy it if you talked down to me and treated me like crap." Anywho, after flipping him off in my mind, I'm going back to Pinterest and my knitting. And thinking about how nice it will be to pay off my new tooth!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Random Musings
(because I feel the need to write but have nothing noteworthy to write about)

I always feel like I've got nothing going on, nothing exciting, nothing to talk about and nowhere to go.  I talk with Cheryl and I find myself saying, "I got nothing" repeatedly. She says it too and I find that we're both totally lying when we say it!

I've always said, "If you're bored, it's your fault." While I do spend a bit of time bemoaning my singledom every now and then, most of the time I find that I have no time to do all that I want to do. I think if I were coupled it would be annoying figuring out when to spend time with said fella. As my married friends remind me, it's not always that great being married either.  I guess you pick your poison, huh?

The highlights of the last month or so:
I saw Rise Against and Gaslight Anthem in Denver and Rise Against was incredible - political, loud, smart, amazing.  I also saw the Afghan Whigs on their reunion tour 3 days before one of my biggest events at work and don't regret it one bit.  I definitely should've been sleeping and working more that week but I had to take time out to see Greg Dulli again. As an added bonus, my friend Ken, who I met in college and worked at a record store with, was at the show with his beautiful lady-friend after recently moving to this great state.

I started reading "Anna Karenina" so find myself turning down NPR so I don't hear about the movie that's coming out. All the reviewers assume everyone knows the whole story.  I went to such a small school that NONE of the classics were required reading. I've read them all as an adult and there are many more on the list. So many books, so little time.

I've learned to use my sewing machine and have made numerous pillows and am now one of those women at JoAnn Fabrics on a Saturday night.  I would much rather spend time sewing than out on the town. I don't know what that says about me but I have a lot of pillows to show for my time. If you're a friend of mine, expect one for Christmas.

I finally caught up with a couple of friends last weekend that I haven't seen in what seems like months and it was so nice to just sit, eat and catch up with them.  My isolation needs keep me separate, sometimes for longer than is healthy.

November 6th came and went and a collective sigh was heard amongst those of us voting for Obama.  I cried tears of joy and relief watching the returns, and a drunkie Diane Sawyer, on election night.  My parents are here for the Thanksgiving holiday and my desperate hope is that politics do not come up anywhere in conversation.  I've refrained from putting my Obama sticker on my car and have put away any remnants of the election in my house.  I'm trying to adhere to the Jefferson quote: "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosphy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." If Kid Rock and Sean Penn can do it, so can I.

I've seen a couple of great movies, and a few not so great, yeah, you, "Magic Mike."  "Argo" was incredible and my fantasy love affair with Ben Affleck continues (even though I do like Matt Damon better). Especially now since Mr. Affleck is developing a screenplay to direct "The Stand."  Yesterday, I saw "The Sessions" with Helen Hunt and John Hawkes. There were three people in the theatre with all of the others full of Twi-hards.  I'm no prude but this movie was a bit of a challenge to watch. It's based on an article written by Mark O'Brien, a disabled poet who, as a virgin in his late thirties, hired a sex surrogate to remedy his situation.  This movie, while uncomfortable at times, is so worth seeing.  The acting is incredibly brave, a marvel, really.  It reinforces the fact that humans have a lot of sexual hangups that keep us from experiencing true intimacy and love, in all forms.


Well, that's it. See, "I got nothing," ain't true. Now onto the next thing!




Sunday, October 7, 2012

Random Synchronicity

After a couple of weeks of discombobulation, nothing major, just a general feeling of malaise, I once again feel centered. (I really hate that phrase because, truly one is never off-center if you believe everything is happening the way its designed. Sorry, I digress.)

I have a big event at work in about a month and have found myself waking up at 4 a.m. the past few nights worrying that it won't come together.  On Monday and Tuesday of this past week I watched "Half the Sky" on PBS and afterward felt that I clearly don't do enough to justify my existence on this planet. On Wednesday, along with most of the country, I watched the Presidential Debate and afterward felt, not hopeful, but disappointed. And I've taken on a new part-time job and am worried that it will bite into my relatively lax lifestyle.

I have a couple of mantras that I've clung to for years that have served me well but, like everyone, I get sidetracked and forget them when I get overwhelmed with life.  The first one is 'Everything happens for a reason.' Trite, to some, but to me those five words have gotten me through some difficult times.  The second is 'Whatever needs to happen will happen.' This second mantra I put into play while at United Way when I felt responsible for the $4 million dollars a year we raised at that time along with every campaign, every event and generally a little too much to be honest.  This second mantra serves me well as an event planner responsible for a nice chunk of fundraising but also for every donor's experience at any of our events.

Here in my beautiful town the temperature got down low enough this week for me to justify turning on my furnace.  I had forgotten that at the end of winter this spring I came home to a 90 degree house as the furnace had kicked on and stayed on all day while I was away.  So this week when I turned it on and it stayed on I immediately went to the worst case scenario where I'd need a new furnace costing thousands of dollars or at the very minimum I'd need to call a tech to have it looked at which would cost a couple hundred dollars.  As you know, I've recently started my Total Money Makeover and don't quite have my $1000 emergency fund established so was totally worried about having to put whatever this furnace repair would cost on my credit card.

On Friday, I got home from work and immediately headed out for a run in the wonderfully cold air.  As I was running I realized that my furnace is probably fine. It kicks on and off and I had it inspected last year.  It came to me that the problem is probably the thermostat!  This device looks to be as old as my house, about 35 years or so.  So yesterday I went a purchased a new thermostat, for $26, and will install it today.  It really think this is the issue - have total confidence in this in fact.

After that run my general malaise disappeared.  Certainly, the run itself is therapeutic, but more importantly my mind was quiet for about an hour and I could see more clearly.  The gala will come together just fine and no matter what I do with my life, I'm doing enough. Whichever man becomes our next President, life will go on and the new gig is purposeful and short term. I can do anything for a month and my naps can wait for 30 days.

Today at church Lynn talked about peace of mind. Truly, when you have peace of mind, everything seems to fall into place.

btw - if you haven't seen "Half the Sky" please put it on our list. Incredible. Sad. Transformative. Important.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's been a weird year, for me, for a lot of people. Some good weird, some bad but in the end, or today at least, I'm feeling optimistic and healthy. I'm sitting at my favorite Fort Collins coffee shop listening to the Silversun Pickups and basically enjoying life.

Recently, I felt like the pieces of some giant puzzle have fallen into place.  I have a sense of calm that's palpable. This week I read a book about getting your financial shit together and I realized that I've just been playing around with this determination to eliminate my debt. I've riddled off excuses as to why I have it in the first place and being single sits at the top of the list. That's a silly excuse. Getting rid of this debt will be a challenge but I feel like I have the tools to do it now.  I estimate it will take me two years to get rid of it ALL, once and for all.  I've also realized that writing about it can be kind of dull. 'Ooooh - I made a payment on my credit card today - how exciting!'  Instead, I think I'll write about whatever I feel like.  There are no rules to this thing and really, it's just for me anyway, so who cares, right?

So, today's topic is music.  I'm dismayed that my local NPR station changed it's schedule and I can't listen to World Cafe at noon and 7pm anymore.  Quite the bummer.  World Cafe is where I hear a lot of new tunes and now instead of just hearing them come out of my computer at work or on the radio while I cook dinner, I have to go in search of said new tunes.

I have a coworker that's in her early 60's and she still enjoys cranking out the tunes while driving. She listens to classic rock mostly and I bought her the latest Tedeschi Trucks record from last year, which she loves. She told me the other day, after driving me somewhere, that she thinks she needs to start listening to music more appropriate for her age group.

What is appropriate for my age group, I wonder? I thought about this the other day while driving home singing along loudly to the Gaslight Anthem.  How foolish does one look, at 44, singing along to a rock record?  After thinking about it for like, a second, I realized I could care less about what is appropriate. Who determines 'appropriate' anyway?  I hope that when I'm in my 60's I'm still listening to whatever appeals to me at the time and not trying to adhere to some societal appropriate playlist.

This all makes me think of something my ex-boyfriend did many years ago when we were in our early 30's. He had bought this new-to-him old Subaru which apparently didn't have good enough speakers in which to crank out his record of choice at that time in his life - Kid Rock's Bawitdaba.  He took the speakers out of the house and hooked them up in the back of this Subaru wagon and drove around with the windows down and Kid Rock blaring.  I was so embarrassed at the time but I would congratulate his crafty nature if it happened now.

And, I'm super excited about seeing Rise Against and The Gaslight Anthem next week in Denver. I know I won't be the oldest one there and really, who cares anyway?  I still rock out with the best of them!