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Sensory deprivation…

Or maybe propaganda deprivation would be a better term for how I’m feeling right now.  It’s going to be an interesting kind of day.

I know I should have probably taken a mental health day after the weird, not so great day yesterday.  Thank you other commuters and mechanical issues.  Then there was the issue of understanding how a pivotal person could not see why they need to do their job correctly.  But not my circus, not my monkeys, right?

After yesterday, there was this morning.  I’m still not sure what set me over the edge enough to type this.  Maybe it was the guy who was almost on my bumper to the point had I stopped, he would have had nowhere to go but into my trunk.  Or the person who was in such a rush that I had to pull over to the side of the road to let him pass, even though I was going 45/50 in a 35 (yes, I’m telling on myself).  Or maybe, just maybe, it was trying to get around people while trying to catch my transfer, then looking up to see advertisements freaking everywhere!

Let’s support DC Mothers and Babies, complete with picture of young, white woman on a sunny day holding her protruding stomach.  

Go back to school with [insert college name].  Complete in little to no time with a Bachelor’s in [fill in blank:  Business Administration, Business Management, Political Science, etc.], featuring an affluent, young, black woman in a pantsuit sitting behind a desk.

Want to go to a concert?  Here’s what’s coming up at [insert musical venue].

Check out this hashtag for information about George Washington, complete with animation and our nation’s colors.  

And on and on and on.

There are anthropomorphic squirrels asking you to define “ever” when applying for security clearance jobs, more schools, upcoming musicals, and even things to do around town locally.  And that’s just what I noticed this morning!

Does anyone else not see the issues with these?

Sigh.

Sometimes I wonder if the world is breaking or if it’s just me.  It’s difficult to just be alive right now without the “try this, do that, look this way, wear this” advertisements thrown in your face.  What happened to “be yourself”?  What happened to empowerment?  What happened to being a community?  What happened to having a sense of purpose without the influence of propaganda?  When did having boatloads of debt for a piece of freaking paper become a norm?  When did making yourself up trump not using it?  When did we start caring so much about what was on the outside?

Just some things to think about.

Listening to:  Nothing.

Reading:  A lot.

Quote of the day:   “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” ― Gilda Rander

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Starting Over

Today is my first day back in my old building.  I have to say it’s been interesting seeing people I haven’t seen in four months:  some friends and some colleagues, some who knew you had left out and others who didn’t.  It’s also nice being told to come back to where you just left from.

All in all it’s been a good day.  There’s not much to say, since this feeds back into the change blogs I’ve been finding myself typing lately.

Change isn’t bad.  Sometimes, it’s better; others, it’s worse.  But change is inevitable.  Change is part of life.  Change is… .

I don’t know what else to say about change.  Feelings change; people change; situations and worlds change.  Nothing is constant.

Today’s change was me.  I’m not the same person who left four months ago.  And I get to own that!  I get to be different, even with people who expected me to come back the same.  I get to be the change in a world and atmosphere that seems to be stagnant.

How awesome is that?

So today, I walked into a new job in an old agency.  I walked an old route that I’ve walked almost every work day for the last few years, but I’m not the same.

At least I hope not anymore.

Happy Monday.

Listening to: Amazon’s Top 50 Alternative Station

Reading: Day Shift by Charlene Harris and Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Quote of the Day:  “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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Cages

I was trying to figure out what to write about today so I started looking through my old posts from a couple years ago.  Sometimes when I’m not sure what to post I look through there for inspiration or a post I can just copy and paste.

Copy and pastes are normally reserved for quotes, which I normally read before I post to see if any of them still hold true.

There was one that seriously hit home today:

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Someone made a comment about perspective yesterday.  Something I may see as wrong is seen by someone else as fine.

Racial and gender issues are two things that come to mind right off bat for me.  It’s been years but I’ve actually had a young lady tell me that I would have more opportunities in life than she would because of the color of my skin.  I told her then it wasn’t true; I have more opportunities because I’m willing to chase them down.  Who was right though?  At the time, we both were.  Later, there were some other personality traits that came out from her end, but it shocked me when she said it.  It hurt actually; still does thinking back on it.  But she wasn’t wrong; neither was I.

If we had both applied for the same job and gotten the interview, I would have failed.  My personality is blunt; hers is coy.  She dresses for success; put me in a dress or a penguin suit and it’s very clear I’m awkward.  Agencies looking for stability would have picked her over me; I’ve moved around too much within the agency.  I take chances and always look for ways to learn more, do more.  Where I would have succeeded:  My references.

But cages…

Cages are words and comfort zones.  They are the metaphorical blankets and physical situations/people we surround ourselves with.  But who keeps us in those cages?  Who holds us captive?

Bet your immediate answer is “I do.”

My answer to you:  It’s not always you, but you do hold the key to the lock.  Fear for both the unknown and other people’s opinions keep you from using it though.

Think about it this way:

How much do you not do because you don’t know anything about it?  For me, the list is long but getting shorter.  How many times do you stop doing something because you think someone will have a negative opinion of you? Almost stopped doing something last weekend because of someone’s comments.  Said screw it and did it anyways, but it was something small.  What about the big stuff?

Interesting thoughts for a Friday.

Listening to:  Hamilton Soundtrack.  I needed some Lin-Manuel Miranda in my life today.

Reading:  Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Quote of the Day:  “Winning and losing is not an external game. It is an internal battle over telling yourself the truth vs. lies regarding why you haven’t stepped into the life you dreamed of.” ― Shannon L. Alder

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Stress and Anxiety

Imagined danger and nervousness.  Imagined danger and worry.  Imagined danger and fear.

That’s where my brain is at 3 something this morning.

Most of it comes down to money, honestly.  I’m on this trip and taking the trip to Portland this weekend is slightly anxiety-inducing.  How much do I need to bring with me?  What all am I going to get myself into while I’m there?  Do I have enough time off to head up there tonight or do I wait until super early tomorrow?  Do I drive all the way into the city or do I park somewhere and talk public transportation?  Do I spend the night or do this in a day?

That’s where my brain is this morning.  I’m worried the paperwork I did won’t go through the system.

On a good note:  I have to finish my paperwork and then submit it to school for in state tuition because I got financial aid for another year.  I have nine classes to go and my hopefully new position when I get back will help with some of the costs.

Sigh.  Happy Friday.

Listening to:  Ray and Ethan laughing at me typing.  “You’re killing your keys!”

Reading: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban and Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day:  “The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.” ― Albert Schweitzer

 

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February’s Monthly Goals

Well…um…damn.

I think the only things I finished was “Read 10 books,” “Start RTY 2018 mile challenge,” and “Record 10 vlogs.”

It’s been a really slow start to 2018, but we’re already a month in.  How does that happen?  Oh right:  Because I procrastinate!

Sigh.

Work has been great so far this year and after focusing on the books, sending one more kid off to boot camp, traveling to another’s graduation, dealing with the uncertainty of work (furloughed government employee), and just the general moodiness of S.A.D., I didn’t do much of anything this month.

But check-in anyways:

  • Miles reached: 1,231.74.  77.26 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight: 252.6 (I’ve been fluctuating)
  • Books read: 27 books.
  • Blog Posts: 4
  • Vlog Posts:  11

For February, I have a detail coming up so I will complete a few things I didn’t think I’d get to do, and work is paying for it.

  • Reach 200+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 10 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Travel cross county.
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Submit “Finding Home” to Kindle Scout.
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Visit California’s North Coast (Eureka, CA)
  • Complete HRC’s Nargle 9k

That’s it for now.  I’m looking at other things to add to my list while I’m away but we will see.

Happy Thursday!

Listening to:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Quote of the Day:  “The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.” ― Osho

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Explaining Personal Inclusion

Towards the end of the work day, I got seriously smacked with a truth stick, those lovely things that make you realize a truth about yourself you’ve either ignored or thought you had fixed.

Yup, another one…after a weekend of several whacks with other truth sticks.  I should have just climbed to the top of tree and done a free fall through the branches.  I’m emotionally hurt but not nearly as sore as the people I landed on (a.k.a., those people in my life beating me with said sticks) are.  I really hurt a lot of people and made myself look like the worst kind of jerk.

Today’s stick was something I had mentioned to my friend earlier.  It’s actually a complaint I’ve had about the people in my office; ever notice that the things that bother us about other people around us are flaws within ourselves?  It was really weird.

I suck at inclusion.

Now, inclusion is talked about on a big scale, from racial inclusion to cultural inclusion to even gender inclusion.  But no one ever seems to want to talk about the back side of inclusion:  What do we do to become included?  Why does now one ever feel comfortable enough to say, “Hey, I don’t feel included here?”  Feeling like that makes me want to say, “Screw this; I’m going home.”

That was the truth stick of the day.

I don’t think about making other people feel included, but when I don’t feel included, I shut down and then go off and do my own things.  So I can’t fault them for doing the same thing.  Who wants to be around people that don’t make them feel welcomed?  Sadly, often times, these feelings don’t ever get addressed until it’s too late.  One party has either walked away or both parties have gone separate ways.

Why does all this matter?  I got left out as a kid.  I was Rudolph.  Just can’t find the things the make my nose glow…at least to some people.

People who remind me, even subconsciously and unfairly, trigger those feelings.  They aren’t pleasant, and they leave me judging people before either of us know each other.  That, along with other factors, blew up in my face at the worst possible moment this weekend.  I screwed up because I had a hand in making someone else not feel included when I know that’s the worst feeling in the who world.

The point of this post though:  It’s the holiday season.  There are lonely, unincluded people out here.  At work, I’m one of them, at least on my staff.  There’s no quick fix for that, so not really bothering there.  But there might be a quick fix for someone in your family or your circle.  Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and have a conversation with them.  Let them know you miss them and that you are thinking about them.  That person in the office that everyone ignores…  Try starting a conversation with them and actively listening to them.  Send Holiday cards to people who may not get one this year just because you can.  Volunteer as a foster parent; there are so many kids out here who just want to know someone, somewhere cares.  This one is a bit longer term, but you never know; you may be their inspiration to do something amazing.  All it takes is a little love.

And some reindeer games!

Happy Holidays folks.

Listening to:  Ethan’s playlist while he does homework

Reading:  After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Quote of the day:  “The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” – Unknown

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Anniversaries

Anniversaries

Tomorrow is my one year anniversary from weightloss surgery.  I had the sleeve surgery.

My highest weight was 396.

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My surgery weight was 370.

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My current weight is, as of this morning, 254.6, even though I saw 249 on the 2nd.  Stress eating and not enough water and protein (aka junk food and carbs!) will do that to you.

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I haven’t seen 249 since I was 16.  I’m 30!

Non-scale victories:

  • No way would I have completed the three major races I did along with getting the 1086 miles I walked this year. That’s a feat in and of itself.
  • I can get into a Walmart size 20 pants. Before I couldn’t get into any pants and I was wearing one of their 5x shirts.  It was NOT baggy then.
  • Lane Bryant is the same: I can get into a 20/22 and an 18/20 shirt as long as it’s not clingy.
  • I put on a Torrid size 3 shirt; I didn’t think I’d see the day where that size shirt would be baggy.
  • I even dropped a shoe size!
  • TMI: I didn’t used to get my cycle.  Now, I’m every 45 days, like clockwork.

Choosing to have surgery was not easy.  The journey to get the numbers on scale to match what I feel I should be has not been easy at all and it’s still taking hard work.  But I’m almost to a “normal” size thanks to having the surgery done.

Now to find coffee!

Listening to:  Office chatter.

Reading:  between books right now.

Quote of the Day:  “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” — Jack Ma

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