Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wise Words for Tough Times

First, I must apologize if you came here to read a quote from the man on the mountain - it's just me. I just wrote an email to someone I know who is having a tough time and it turned into such the pep talk that I felt I needed to scrub it and post it - it falls under the rant category of Cynde rants and raves for sure, for sure....

Here goes:

I know it’s really hard but try not to fall apart – when you start to think about the bigger picture and feel yourself starting to crumble remember that no one is about to foreclose on our homes and if and go to a different school/camp over the summer and/or next year it will not be the end of the universe. Just like it wasn’t the end of the universe when didn’t get into to and now I don’t have to pay tuition for him, oh AND we all love Elementary, oh AND I’ve made several really lovely friends through my contact with ….

You are doing the right stuff – exercise helps vastly with depression and you are keeping your body strong! Reaching out when you are feeling iffy – definitely it’s hard to sink into depression when you are around people…or, at a minimum, in touch with people. I know you’re angry with but his situation right now is all the proof you need that YOU cannot fall to pieces such that you’re unable to hold that household together….you’re a good example for him as well because you are doing all the right stuff to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling this roller coaster every day you should touch base with because maybe you need a strong dose of something right now – it’s scary out there but believe it or not you are in a VASTLY greater spot than most people – believe it – people are getting evicted from rentals because they can’t pay the rent and are living in county provided motel rooms with their kids - cooking dinner in the bathroom and stowing all their gear in garbage bags. I know it feels horrible but you will come through this just fine – you are doing all the right things – when you fall to pieces about losing the house or divorcing you, you sound like a lunatic though – that is NOT going to happen. Things are going to get better – last economic forecast I heard about was 2nd half of 2010. This is a distance race not a sprint – stop panicking every day about the big picture – just do the best you can every day and if you can’t be effective on the phone then

p.s. God will take care of you and yours – I believe with all my heart that your generosity to anyone and everyone in the past will come back to you but you need to calm down with the paranoia…

p.p.s. you are not a bad mother – if kids are acting naughty and ungrateful and God forbid, disrespectful, then they need to be handled accordingly. Knowing that they are loved no matter what but that you command, deserve, require, their respect is what’s important. Buying them things when they’re pissed at us or we feel guilty about something will not do our kids any favors – it will teach them that bad behavior is rewarded – that they deserve something each and every time they feel wronged whether they actually are or they aren’t – and that you are a doormat. Especially right now – it’s the perfect time to teach them about waiting for the things that they want, that there is no such thing as immediate gratification (no need to go into the masturbation exception at this early stage in their lives), and most importantly the value of things – what they receive from us has value, and mostly our work goes into obtaining those things of value, and that is not unlimited – if we lose our jobs or get sick and cannot work there are no more new things coming in the door and even if that doesn’t happen now is a time when others are losing their jobs, entire companies are shutting down and even if we have the money it’s not a time to be frivolous. There’s a tremendous lesson to be learned (by us and our whole society) about experience times tougher than we could ever imagine.

Must go get dressed for my important job downtown working on matters of national security….don’t laugh – when this stupid vetting process is over with I will be keeping our borders safe from infidels who come here to do us harm! You’ll see! ok, maybe not - but the desktop publishing edits and formatting I'm doing right now will make someone very very happy today!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Random Things

Lately there have been a ton of notes going around on Facebook asking for 25 random facts or asking specific questions - all in the name of putting your stuff out there for your friends to get to know you better. I don't know why but I love that stuff. I guess I do really love people deep down or maybe I just like to find out more about their individual foibles because then I don't feel like I'm the only strange one....hmmm.

Today I've got a lot of random stuff going on in my head so here it is -
I've been enjoying the peace of taking the bus to the metro station (I know I know the f'ing bus but it does have its good points) so much that I haven't even been taking along a book to read. Shocking because I can devour a book like nobody's business but I just haven't been taking a Robert Ludlum or a J.D. Robb or anything else. But i might go buy a book today while I'm in DC.

People know I'm from the northeast because I alternately call DC "the city" and that is something that people in the NE use to refer to NYC. The city is the city so I call DC the city....what can I say?

I'm headed to the office even though I have a ton of work that I could be doing from home. It's a ton of work but none of it is chargeable to the client and in my business it's all about being billable so going into the office keeps me under everyone's nose in the event that a scrap of billable work surfaces that I could keep busy with while I'm waiting for my "public trust" vetting to go through and the funding to come through so I can actually get to work at my next client. Matters of national security as I've mentioned before...not really but I like saying that, ok?

Jeff has a plan to start work on finishing the basement. We're starting with building storage closets/cupboards to stow the various plastic bins of mostly holiday decorations but there will be space for other - such as pantry items (minimal since we have a huge pantry), maybe cleaning supplies (minimal since I keep those in the kitchen and all of the bathrooms so they're handy for my drive-by cleaning) and misc. From there I'm not sure what the plan is but hopefully it will involve some drywall in places. The project is starting out with an experiment building a small cabinet for his hobby stuff. That's been under construction since the weekend and so far so good with the new drill that allows holes on the diagonal for this nifty new construction he's discovered that doesn't involve needing a circular saw. Why he's holding back on getting that I am not sure since every other project in the last 13 years has involved purchasing a power tool.

That's all for now - I think I'll go play mahjong solitaire to whittle away the rest of the time I'm on the bus.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

An Idle Mind...

So yesterday when I was hibernating/vegging out, the kids were under minimal supervision and just playing all day, hanging out, no fighting - thank goodness, but mainly doing what they wanted. Well when I finally surfaced I noticed that in addition to eating all of the Valentine candy Jax had brought home from school and watching Spongebob all day Jackson had taken the scissors to the pants of his long underwear - new from Christmas that he's worn once under his clothes to play in the snow but mainly likes to play ninja in them because they're navy blue....yes - cut holes in the pants....I know this because when I ask him about it he looks off in the distance and ignores me. That's his signal for yes I did it and I know I'm not supposed to so I'm pretending I don't hear you, la, la, la. Then Dad chimes in that he'd written ON his new desk. That did it so I handed him some rubber gloves and some cleaning supplies and told him to march upstairs and get the marker off the desk or the desk was coming out of his room, buh bye. A little while later I thought I might be hearing some strange music or the cries of mourning doves - turns out it was him upstairs moaning and crying because I was so mean to him and he was now "very sad". Hmmmm, very sad. I had to explain that my reaction was mild compared to how angry I was that he'd destroyed new clothing and marked up a new piece of furniture and that if he cut, wrote in, glued anything to, pierced, or otherwise damaged any property he was really in for it. I'm not 100% sure I got my point across because he is under the false impression that he can do "anything he wants." I don't think my explaining that he might be surprised to know that not even his dad or I can do "anything we want." Examples being the fact that I was sitting there listening to him tell me how mean I am when I'd rather be doing something else - like eating dinner out ALONE with my Valentine vs. ungrateful kid...and the fact that I am not off work for President's Day but would prefer to be home with the rest of the family. He misses the point by telling me surely I'm wrong because it's President's Day and I must really be off.....A work in progress my little man!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tune in tomorrow for "An Idle Mind is the Devil's Workshop"

will write tomorrow because right now I'm busy trying to figure out the best punishment for my kid....

Oh Scrap!

Last night was a scrapbooking night at the neighbor's house. People slay me when they ask how it is that I have time to scrapbook. I MAKE time because it is a hobby that satisfies a number of needs in my life: "me" time, creative outlet, a place for the photos of my kids that I love to take, an occasional night out with the girls that doesn't involve spending a lot on a dinner and drinks out...shall I go on...I think I shall because having a one stop place to get all of that also SAVES me big bucks going to the shrink. That would be $130/hour - I think I get a far better return from the scrapbooking, don't you?

This week was a very special week because our refrigerator died. How did we know it was dying? Not the puddle of water on the floor, no, no, no...that's not how we roll. Instead we noticed a strange antiseptic sort of smell in the area of the refrigerator that got worse as the day wore on while the food in the freezer started to un-freeze. We were not messing with that shit calling a fridge it was. But that's not the end of the story. The story continues with having to move the food from the old into the new and in the process discard anything that was so obviously stinking of whatever that smell was that we knew we couldn't eat it. Then came the quandry over whether it all just had to go or if anything was salvagable. First, I wiped down everything in the fridge because it seemed the odor had settled on things. That helped. Fresh box of baking soda to absorb more odor - absolutely could not hurt a thing. Thankfully the new refrigerator has a separate aparatus that does the freezer and the air doesn't mix, because the freezer stuff also carried the odor. More fun. I donned rubber gloves, emptied the entire freezer, actually washed my food (racoon thoughts running through my head), dried my food, sniffed everything again, decided to unpackage the things that were in boxes but also wrapped in side. Boxes smelled, wiped down the contents, sniffed again - seems ok - into a ziploc bag, next! This is getting boring right? Imagine having to do it! Some things didn't make the cut and out they went. Things seem to be smelling back to normal in there. The new fridge is really nice - water, ice (crushed and cubed) in the door, lower freezer compartment, upper is side-by-side. It's a nice fridge.

So now to fill it back up again - which brings me to thank God for Safeway grocery delivery. This is something that I honestly don't mind doing - the grocery shopping that is - especially since I'm not one to plan out weeks of menus, etc. to go shopping. However, for $0, I can have my groceries delivered - ok, so I had to be some of the stuff on special to get free delivery but so what - it's not worth $11 of my time to have the stuff delivered? Last time I checked my hourly rate (at work) is somewhere in the neighborhood of over $450....I think my time at home is vastly more valuable than that and so the $11 becomes a drop in the bucket (or the soup pot - your choice). I can honestly give up the satisfaction of squeezing my own melons and pawing through all of the nearly identical packages of Perdue chicen breast filets myself to have my groceries delivered by a nice man who is not allowed to take tips but can accept a nice cold drink, thank you very much! If something is not to my liking I merely pick up the phone, call customer service, and receive a credit for the item. It's a beautiful thing. If you haven't tried it - well all I can say is that I'm guessing you fall into the category of those who don't like to get massages and other stuff like that....I'm just saying.....

ok, I will wrap up by describing my romantic Valentine's Day - I was feeling a little punky all day so I basically laid around and napped the day away. I sound like a lazy slob saying that right after the grocery thing, no? But the thing is that I'm thinking like a bear here - virtually hibernating because in a month or so we'll be getting ready for Easter, soccer and baseball will be starting up, I'll be busier at work, the flower beds will need a good Spring cleaning along with the roses that need pruning, I'm enjoying some guilt-free down time. The pizza should be arriving shortly and we'll watch a movie with the kids. I just love being home!