Monday, December 24, 2007

Gratitude in the Highest



Today is Christmas Eve and I would like to dedicate this post to all of the wonderfully caring people who have read this blog for the short time it has existed and who have given me so much encouragement, support and kindness. You all have given me more happiness and joy than you realize. You have uplifted me during my darkest moments and I appreciate each and every one of you.



I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday season. I also hope that you have an uplifting and joyous New Year.



Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas: A Time of Joy or Stress?

Why does Christmas have to be so stressful? This time of the year is supposed to be a time where you spend with family and friends and be thankful for all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon you. Instead it is a mad rush buying presents, wrapping them, sending out cards, attending events, making a lot of food, and the stress can eat you alive. It's funny because next Sunday I have two family events to attend which means we'll be at one and then have to leave before it's over to get in the car and drive another 40 minutes to attend the next one. By the time I get home that night I'll be dead tired.



I'm a subcontractor at work which means I don't have one work Christmas party, but three! It sounds nice, but currently it feels like a chore.



The Christmas tree is up, thankfully! I still haven't had the time to post pictures. I will as soon as I can.



I feel that writing in this blog for now will be sketchy at best. I'm going to write as much as I can because it has been so good for me and I enjoy it a lot.



I am finally finished with this quarter at school. I ended up with a 98 on my research paper and a 96 for my research and writing class final grade along with a 98 in my UNIX class. Yay! My 4.0 GPA wasn't compromised! :)



I'm going to try and finish my Christmas cards tonight. I certainly hope and pray that I do. I also hope and pray that this time of year is joyful for you and not stressful. It makes you want the season to hurry up and be over, which is really sad and totally against what Christmas is supposed to be about.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Joy





The new postage stamp



The other night my daughter and I had a photo shoot. She wanted to take some pics to send to a friend named Joey. I say "friend" because it's not official, but any day now I know they will be an item. He told her on the phone that he wants to see her when he asks her out because he thinks it is better to ask in person than over the phone or internet. Very true...and very nice. I like it.







My God, I love this girl.



My daughter met this young gentleman on Thanksgiving weekend. She went to a family event and he was there like a star that had fallen from the sky ...completely unexpected. She was HIGHLY relieved to find out that he isn't family and they have been chattering on the phone and internet non-stop since. She has a private MySpace page where only the people that she invites can access her profile. I didn't want the profile to be public after hearing the horror stories in the news and initially assisted her in setting it up.







She picked out this t-shirt and it totally fits her personality and soul.



She constantly gets the laptop and runs to me to show me the new MySpace messages she receives from friends and Joey. It is wonderful that she does this because I can completely know what is going on in her life and with this boy. I can tell that he is a gentleman and I like what I see so far.



When I was her age I was ultra-secretive. If MySpace existed then I would have NEVER shown my parents ANY message. My daughter is completely unlike me in this regard and I am very thankful. I must have driven my parents nuts.









This is her expression when I said the name Joey....(such a googly-eyed girl) lol



She is my heart, my joy, my life, and my lovely daughter. I love her to bits.



Oh, and the tree isn't up yet...hopefully tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Once Again

No Christmas tree. I went home last night thinking that it would be set up and we could decorate it. The tree wasn't set up. It was still boxed away in the shed. The problem is that by the time I got home it was dark outside (it gets dark here around 5:30pm) and the shed doesn't have a light. I searched everywhere for a flashlight and of course I found two but both didn't work and of course I couldn't find any batteries.

I went outside anyway, unlocked the shed and finally located it behind a bunch of boxes. It was in a corner with extension cords piled on top of it and boxes all around it. I tried to pull it out anyway; however, it was so very heavy and there was no way I could do it on my own. Boxes need to be moved from around it in order to pull it out easier but since there are no lights in the shed and things are everywhere, I couldn't move boxes around blindly. I was peeved, locked the shed and headed inside to take a shower.

After taking a shower I saw the backyard light on and the shed door open. He must have gone out there and I hoped that he would have more luck. Twenty minutes later he came to me and asked if I had brought the tree in. I didn't know why he asked me that question since he was just out there, but I told him that there was no way I could do it by myself. I was hoping that he was able to do it and was asking me that question because the tree was inside the house. I went to the living room and no tree. I still don't know why he even asked me that question.

He made dinner. It was very good. I ate by myself in the bedroom. He watched TV and my daughter talked with a boy that she currently likes while eating. Not much of a family dinner, but it was better than having to sit around a table glowering at him and trying to act like everything was OK.

I was quite sad because he knows how important this is to me and I think he just doesn't want to do it. I think this is some type of passive/aggressive game he is playing. I could be completely incorrect. It's just how I feel. Now the whole mood of excitement I had doing this together as a family is gone. I'm just sad now.
Tonight I have an appointment and there is no way I'll be able to get the tree out of the shed and put up tonight.

I think tomorrow I will get to work early so that I can leave early and hopefully get home before it gets dark. I'll then drag it out of the shed, put it up and then my daughgter and I can decorate it. I am going to do my best to get my mood back and enjoy it with my daughter.

It's just that I had this vision of all of us doing it together as a family. Am I being too ideal? Do I have a right to be upset? See, I have realized that over time I question myself constantly when it comes to him and blame myself a lot. It erodes my self-confidence and I am just so tired of it all. Maybe it is my fault. I'm not really sure. Maybe my expectations are too high. I don't know.

This morning he drove me to work because he doesn't have his car back from my Dad. My Dad fixed an oil leak for him while he was gone. We didn't speak to each other the whole way. When we got there I thanked him for driving me and asked if he would pick me up at 4:30pm today for the appointment. He said yes. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and got out of the car. I really don't know what else to do. Would you have done that?

I'm glad to have the appointment tonight. At least nothing upsetting will be said or done during that time.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Plans Don't Always Work the Way You Want

Went to work Saturday. I was very happy because I took my toy poodle named HoneyBunny. She has recently been groomed and is just gorgeous. She has a little bobble in the top knot of her hair that is a dark green and dark red bow. She also is wearing her dark green sweater to match. I'll take pics when I can and post them. She laid on my lap the entire time and napped. I just loved it. That is one reason (out of many) why I would love to work for Google. You can take your dog to work every day there.

Saturday night I was able to visit other's blogs and post an entry of my own! Sunday I worked on my paper and was ready to put up the Christmas tree. It didn't happen.

I have been talking about putting up the tree for DAYS now. It was an event that I wanted my family and I to sip eggnog, listen to Christmas music and decorate together. My husband went to the store to get eggnog and I waited for him to get home. Thirty minutes later I receive a call from him. He got the eggnog; however, he wasn't on his way home! He decided to visit his sister. I was incredulous. I said, "You aren't coming home? I thought we were going to put the tree up." He said, "I'll be home later. What's the problem?"

Ummm...

I don't even need to go further.

He arrived home at 7:00pm. It was too late by then. I very nicely said, "I understand if you don't want to put the tree up if you don't feel like it. Please, next time just let me know and I won't be here waiting and thinking that is what we are going to do." He said, "I got home at 7:00! We could have put it up". I reminded him that the day before I told him I wanted to start decorating around 4:00pm to 5:00pm because it takes a while and I wanted it to be done by 7:00pm. A little later than that would have been fine, but I wanted to put a stake in the ground that we wouldn't go over so that we wouldn't be up all night decorating when we had work and school the next day.

He said, "I don't know what the big deal is. We could have done it."

Ummm...

I don't even need to go further.

He said that he will go ahead and get the tree ready. It is a fake tree with prelit lights. He said that he would set it up and we'll do it tonight when I get home from work. He reminded me that he's not from here and that he doesn't even get excited about holidays in his own country. I told him that if he did get excited and wanted to celebrate holidays in his country that it would be fine with me and fun. All he needs to do is say the word. He said he didn't want to. I told him that just because he doesn't celebrate in his own country doesn't mean that we shouldn't celebrate here. I reminded him that he is now with two people who celebrate Christmas and that we want him to be involved as well. I told him that it's not always about him.

He agreed.

Well, then. I guess we'll decorate tonight.

At least I hope so.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Blanket Has Lifted

It's a Saturday night and I'm laying in bed with a nice cup of hot Yorkshire tea with a little milk and sugar stirred in and eating a small cookie (or biscuit as they say in the UK) from France. While doing this I smell the aroma of a new perfume I received from my husband's brother wafting through the air. The perfume is from Paris and is aptly named "Paris" from Yves Saint Laurent. It smells completely divine. I love perfume so very much and was happy when opening my present. My husband's brother visited Morocco while my husband was there and gave him a few goodies to bring back to the States for my daughter and me.

After recently going through such a difficult time, you have no idea how tranquil, happy, and grateful that I feel. The blanket of depression has lifted completely today and it's no longer foggy. I feel lighter and more able to breathe. I am no longer swimming underwater. I've been getting better slowly and surely, but today is the first day in almost a month that I feel like myself again. I even put on makeup and did my hair. Before it was a complete chore to brush my teeth! I am so damn grateful.

I've worked the past four days almost 12 hours a day. Today I worked as well. I got through it, thank God.

Tonight I am able to catch up with my favorite blogs and for that I am thankful as well.

Tomorrow will be quite busy. I have to work on the final draft of my paper and hope to have it finished by tomorrow. The deadline was supposed to be tomorrow night at midnight, but was extended to Wednesday at midnight. I plan to get up in the morning and work on it. Afterwards we will be putting up and decorating the Christmas tree together. I plan to play Christmas songs and sip eggnog with my family while getting the tree ready. You have no idea how happy I am about this. Last Christmas was terrible. We didn't even put the tree up for the first time ever. I don't plan to make the same mistake again.

Last year our money situation was dire. We didn't buy any Christmas gifts for the first time. I was terribly depressed about it and cussed myself out every day. I was so depressed I didn't even want to put the tree up because it would remind me of our shortcomings and mess. I realized afterwards how terrible it was to do that. It completely showed how I was all caught up with the mass media idea of Christmas. I forgot about the spirit of Christmas and how the most important gift we had was each other.

This year we can barely afford anything and that is OK. I have set aside some money for my daughter and will really enjoy buying her presents. I will take special care in wrapping them and placing them under the tree. Why would I do that? Because I am so very thankful that I am able to get her something for Christmas. I am so very thankful to be able to watch the smile on her face as she opens her gifts. I am so very thankful that she is my daughter. I am so very blessed. I love her so much.

There is something I realized while writing this post and am about to cry. My daughter will be 15 in January. I have very few years left to enjoy her living with us. I cannot imagine my life without her.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Finally

I am back from the dead. The following are a few things that have been going on:

  • Depression
  • Trying to Get Up and Function like Brushing Teeth and Taking a Shower
  • Depression
  • Thanksgiving Holidays
  • Depression
  • Cleaning House
  • Depression
  • Washing Clothes
  • Depression
  • Taking my Daughter to Appointments
  • Depression
  • Working
  • Depression
  • Schoolwork
  • Depression
  • Working on my Final Draft
  • And did I mention Depression?
I received a 94 on the first draft of the research paper I am writing. I was pleased because I thought the grade would be abominable. The professor gave good constructive criticism and I have been working on finalizing it. The final draft is due a week from today.

Only two and a half weeks of school are left and I am so grateful. I hope to push through with A's. I don't want the 4.0 GPA to falter. Ugh, I put myself under too much pressure. I mean, who will really give a damn later if I have a 4.0 GPA or not other than myself? Absolutely NO ONE will EVER ask.

I don't look forward to next quarter starting in January. I will have to take Statistics...UGH UGH UGH!! God help me with this.

I haven't been online much at all. I am so far behind in blogging, reading other's blogs, commenting on other's blogs, responding to the kind people who have commented on my blog and catching up with e-mail. I opened my e-mail and wow'ed at the number of mails. Oh yes, and I need to visit BlogCatalog as well. Try BlogCatalog if you haven't already. It is very cool.

My depression has been debilitating. I am at work now and must catch up. I will be working late into the night each night this week as well as this weekend. I am at work now, actually. It's 7:05pm and I'm taking a small break. Thank God I can e-mail this to my blog so that it will post. If not, I don't know when I would be able to post.

Well, I am saying much ado about absolutely nothing. I can't express how I feel. I am getting better because I am at work. I am at least functioning. The heavy blanket is still wrapped tight, but at least I am able to breathe. I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful to everyone who reads this blog of meandering thoughts and also the wonderful people who have left such wonderful comments. Thinking about you all brings tears to my eyes. Isn't it ironic how we can pour out everything we are thinking or feeling to complete strangers in our blogs and receive the best feedback? I am not able to tell anyone in my "real" life. I do not have friends, anyway. I certainly don't tell my parents because they will become too concerned and will also judge. It isn't beneficial to anyone.

I just want to say "THANK YOU!!" again to everyone. As soon as I can I will reply to the wonderful comments people have left here.

As soon as I can I will also catch up with everyone else's blog! I cannot, CANNOT imagine how far behind I am with Linda's blog! :) She writes like crazy and it's GREAT stuff. Get over there if you haven't already.

By the way, my husband is home. He got home last night. It was very late when we got back from the airport (approximately 1:00am) and I had to work today so I have hardly seen him.

I guess that it's it. I just wanted whoever reads this to know that I haven't off'ed myself somewhere though I really did think about it for awhile. Don't worry, I won't do it. If I haven't done it already I don't see myself doing that in the future. I really want to get through this. I really want to live. I really want to look back at all of this and feel proud of myself for what I have accomplished and overcome. (My gawd…writing that makes me cry. Isn't that silly? I hate, abhor and detest depression!! Thank God no one is here at work now.)

I'll be blogging again soon…

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's Time to Fess Up

There is something I need to talk about. I never talk about this and I feel I must. I need to track it. So, I'm going to put a label for this post entitled "Sleeping" to find it easily.



This blog is for me. I realize that; however, I find myself not wanting to talk about everything Why? I really have no clue. It's like I have to keep up some type of persona even for myself. It truly is ridiculous and not helpful at all.



So...I need to fess up. It's time.



I've been severely depressed. To the point that I have been in bed sleeping for more than 18 hours at a time. It started like this: My daughter was sick Monday with a stomach virus. I stayed home with her. Tuesday she went back to school but needed to come home very early because she was still sick. I stayed home with her. I fretted the entire time about the money I wasn't earning while being home. I felt too guilty to leave her by herself while she was sick. I felt guilty for even worrying about money while she was sick.



I felt stuck. My husband is in Morocco. No one else was home to be with her. I needed to stay home. I wanted to stay home because I wanted to take care of her. It's just the factor of money that made anxiety flare like a bonfire.



Another reason why I fretted is because next week is Thanksgiving. We are off work next Thursday and Friday for the holiday. I don't get paid for holidays, therefore no money will be earned. Not getting paid for Monday and Tuesday along with next Thursday and Friday equals almost a week of work I won't get paid for.



That severely impedes my financial situation. Christmas is coming up soon as well. I won't get paid for two days during Christmas that the company takes off and also New Years Day. So, in a two-month time span I won't get paid for seven business days.



It gets worse though. I sabotaged myself...A LOT.



To make matters worse, I became so depressed by Wednesday I was in bed. I couldn't get up. My daughter went back to school. I slept. Thursday she felt bad again and stayed home. I was actually relieved because that was an excuse to stay home. Today she went back to school and I was in bed. So now it means I won't get paid for ten business days in a two-month span.



I have slept so much and I am so tired. My daughter is at my parents house for the weekend and I am alone which is best.



I just want to die. I don't want to wake up.



Don't worry - I'm not going to do myself in. I mean...sure, I think about it. I think everyone does at some point in their life. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm not. Because if I am it means I'm more abnormal than I would like to think.



I haven't eaten except for two slices of French bread with some hummus. I have had maybe one cup of water a day.



I'm not hungry.



I finally ate tonight. I can't eat much. My stomach got filled up very quickly.



Yesterday my daughter climbed in bed with me. We talked. She is more aware than I would ever think or want to realize. See, I told her that I had the virus that she had. I thought she believed me. I think she does to some degree, but somehow the conversation turned to depression. She told me that she had never seen someone with depression so badly. See, she has anger issues at times. She told me that she was happy she had anger issues like her father compared to depression issues like me. She said that at least with anger it would go away after a while. She said depression doesn't go away. She said it may get better, but it comes back.



It does come back.



I feel so inconsistent.



I can't depend on myself.



I feel like a horrible mother.



I don't want her to remember this.



I don't want her to remember how I laid in the bed sleeping for 18+ hours.



It reminds me of my Mom. She did this (and still does). I am repeating the cycle. It must end.



This has happened so many times before in the past two years. And my financial situation just gets worse. I am slowly dying.



Sometimes I think it would be so much better if I weren't here. My daughter wouldn't have to watch. She would be better off. I try so hard to be a great mom...a great wife...a great employee...a great student...a great person. And then I sabotage myself and show everyone including myself what a piece of shit I am. Then it makes it so much harder to work because I feel like I have to make up for the depression.



At this point I have so much to make up for that I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's too overwhelming.



This week my anger for my husband has been unreal. Since he has been gone I have been able to be away from the drama and the stress. I have been able to be a bit more objective because I'm not in the middle of the mess. I'm not walking on eggshells. It has been a relief. At the same time it has been maddening because I realize more and more what stress I go through with him. Doesn't he realize? Does he comprehend what it's like?



He hasn't been here to shout, scream and be insulting; however, I have been doing that for him in my mind. The inner dialogue in my mind keeps repeating what he has said to me in the past and it makes me more and more angry.



I have been in the pursuit of his happiness for seven years. I have wanted him to live his dream for seven years. I just want him to be happy!!!!!!



Does he want me to be happy?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Father of Mine

My Dad (who I call "Daddy") is actually my step-father. He is a wonderful man who married my Mom ("Momma"...yes I am 36-years old, but that is their names to me) when I was 10-years old. If it wasn't for him I would probably have a very different view of men.

My biological father is named Jim. I don't call him "Dad" or any variation. He was mostly out of my life over time, and the few times he was in, it was a psychotic mixture of love, fear, confusion, intimidation, and anger. Jim is highly intelligent and VERY charming. He is manic-depressive (bipolar) and has had issues with lies, drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence. He has the ability to make you feel like you are the most special being in the world and then two minutes later something snaps and he is punching you in the head. Being with him can be quite a surreal experience. He is gifted in playing mind games and can make the most sane person feel they are going crazy.

I'll never forget the last time I spoke with him he actually said, "Why do you keep trying to be my friend?". I am an only child and my daughter is his only grandchild and he doesn't even know her. The last time he saw her was when she was three years old and she is now 14.

I started writing this and now I don't know what to write. There are some things I wish that I could express. I think if I could it would help me. Over time I will try in this blog because really it's a journal and I want to face some things in order to let them go.

I guess what I am trying to express is that I don't understand Jim. I can still cry thinking about him at times. He is a piece of emotional baggage I carry around and I am truly tired of it. I would like to let the suitcase go.

I just don't understand why he didn't love me. I didn't understand it when I was younger, and I really don't understand now that I have a child of my own.

I'll never forget when I heard a song called "Father of Mine" from Everclear the first time. I was driving down the road and had to pull over because I was crying so hard.

I looked for the song and the lyrics are below. Other than substituting "she" for "he" or "girl" for "boy"...this song is exactly what happened to me. It is exactly how I feel. I couldn't write it better or express it better than how Everclear expressed it.

The video is attached as well so you can hear it if you would like.






Lyrics:

Father of mine
Tell me where have you been
You know I just closed my eyes
My whole world disappeared
Father of mine
Take me back to the day
When I was still your golden boy
Back before you went away

I remember blue skies
Walking the block
I loved it when you held me high
I loved to hear you talk
You would take me to the movie
You would take me to the beach
You would take me to a place inside
That is so hard to reach

Father of mine
Tell me where did you go
You had the world inside your hand
But you did not seem to know
Father of mine
Tell me what do you see
When you look back at your wasted life
And you dont see me

I was ten years old
Doing all that I could
It wasnt easy for me
To be a scared white boy
In a black neighborhood
Sometimes you would send me a birthday card
With a five dollar bill
I never understood you then
And I guess I never will

Daddy gave me a name
My dad he gave me a name
Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My daddy gave me a name

Daddy gave me a name
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My daddy gave me a name

Father of mine
Tell me where have you been
I just closed my eyes
And the world disappeared
Father of mine
Tell me how do you sleep
With the children you abandoned
And the wife I saw you beat

I will never be safe
I will never be sane
I will always be weird inside
I will always be lame
Now Im a grown man
With a child of my own
And I swear Im not going to let her know
All the pain I have known

Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My dad gave me a name
Then he walked away
My daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
Then he walked away
Then he walked away

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Looking for Holes

Let me start from the beginning...I've always wanted to sky dive since I was a child. I thought it would be exhilarating and beautiful and that I would gain a different perspective of the earth and life itself. I would never have been able to express that at a young age like I can now, but it was something that always attracted me.



I finally decided to just do it and found a place about an hour away. I talked with people there and realized that I wanted to do a tandem jump because you could jump from a higher altitude. I attended the tandem jump class and afterwards it started to rain. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to jump but the guys told me to not worry that it would only rain for a short time and we would go up.



They barbecued during the rain and I ate the best hot dog of my life. :)



The rain stopped and the sun started to poke through the clouds. The guys kept staring up at the sky "looking for holes", which were basically big holes in the clouds where it was clear enough to jump through.



The clouds dispersed and a huge hole appeared. They started the plane. The plane was very small and reminded me of a crop duster. People piled into the plane and I was in the back with the instructor. I didn't realize at the time that I was in the back because jumpers before me would be jumping at lower altitudes.



We went to about 3 or 4K altitude and they opened the door of the plane. That was a new experience! I had never been in a plane where they opened the door. The jumper at the front made the sign of the cross and jumped out.



We kept gaining altitude and they opened the door again. This jumper looked back and smiled and then crawled down to the wing of the plane. He hung onto the wing for a bit, smiled up at us and then let go with a wave.



After about two more jumpers it was my turn. We were 13,000 feet above the earth (the photo was taken at 12,800 feet - it's not my photo but one I found taken at this altitude). The door was open and I remember how cold the air was. It was much colder than on the ground. I looked out at the expanse of earth and sky and did not feel worried. If anything I felt very relaxed and very calm. For the first time of my life I think I felt at peace.



The instructor asked if I was ready and I said yes (it is very important to say "yes" or you won't get to jump). He was behind me and we rocked forward...then back...then forward and fell into the sky.



It was incredible. The earth and sky were beautiful. I felt like I was flying. I didn't feel a lurch in my stomach and I had no fear. We were falling at 180 mph and I had never felt more free in my life. I distinctly remember thinking to myself..."and you thought you were broken...you're not...you're whole".



It was a very memorable and spiritual experience. I no longer look up at the sky in the same way. I always look for the holes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pictures from Morocco

Wow, I haven't posted for a week! Things have been very busy lately and I don't even know where to begin.



I had mid-terms last week and got through them both with A's. I then had to start writing a first draft for my research paper and turned that in last night. I'm so happy to have it turned in finally. I never thought I would be able to complete it. Now I will have to make more tweaks to the paper and also wait for my professor to give some feedback to tweak it more. I just hope to finish this class with an A.



I have not had a chance AT ALL to read my favorite blogs and I will be doing that today. I can't wait! I've missed them all like old friends.



My husband is still in Morocco. The following are pictures either he or his brother e-mailed to me:





Standing in the Hassan Mosque





His brother at the mosque





With his grandparents





His Grandfather making Moroccan Mint Tea



I've talked with my husband several times and he is doing well. I can tell that it's been great for him to see his family and friends. It's been seven years since he saw them all! He says that he is ready to come back home. He won't be home until November 27.



I am curious what it will be like when he gets back home. He said that being back at home reminds him of why he left his country in the first place. He said that it has really made him think about a lot of things, which is a good thing. He said that when he gets back home he wants to concentrate more on his family and our health versus putting his work and art first. He has apologized many times for the way he has acted and that it will be different when he comes back home.



I hope that it will.



Between my daughter, work, homework, the house, clothes, etc, etc, a lot has been going on.



I really wish that I could go on vacation.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

$2.99 Well Spent

I am very proud of myself today. Even though I went to bed late last night I was able to get up early this morning. My daughter is not here this weekend because she is down in Florida and it is her responsibility to feed the cats, so I immediately fed them (three cats named Tom, Shuga and Q-Tip. Tom and Q-Tip live indoors while Shuga prefers outside), fed HoneyBunny, our toy poodle, the three goldfish whose names I forget (well, except for one named "Junior"), and Frida, our blue and gold macaw.



While I'm thinking about it, I'll post some pictures of them all. I don't have a picture of Tom, Shuga or the goldfish saved on this laptop, but the rest are below.



Here is a picture of HoneyBunny. I have posted her picture before:







Below is a picture of Q-Tip when we first got him at three weeks old. He was found in the middle of the road and I discovered him at a local animal shelter. He fit in the palm of my hand back then.







The next picture is Q-Tip at approximately three months old.







The next pictures are Q-Tip now at a year and a half.











The next picture is Frida, our blue and gold macaw. She is my husband's daughter.







Speaking of husband's and daughters, here is my husband (with his Mom who he is currently visiting right now in Morocco) and my daughter (who would want you to know that she no longer wears glasses, but contacts...she is just so pleased about that).











And here is one of me and another of my daughter and me (my favorite picture of us together):









After feeding everyone I organized around the house, took out the trash, cleaned the kitchen, took a shower and drove to work. I worked until 5:00pm and I cannot believe how much I accomplished there. I feel very happy about it all. In the grand scheme of things the accomplishments amount to a half-grain of sand, but I'm happy nonetheless. That is the sad part of how debilitating depression can be. You get to a point that even brushing your teeth feels like a success at times and it feels pretty silly.



Tonight I am laying in bed with HoneyBunny at my side, a wonderful cup of tea, and a little purchase I made today for $2.99 that completely smells heavenly and divine. It's incense made in India by a company named Maroma. The scent I bought is patchouli and I feel so very relaxed as I breathe it in. It is simply delicious and I think everyone who reads this needs to make a purchase. You won't regret it.



An insert was inside the incense package that really got me interested in the Maroma company. The paper insert itself smells so strongly of the incense that I'm going to put it in my drawer where I store my nightwear. The following is a few tidbits written in the insert:



Their Description of the Stick Incense

Bamboo sticks hand rolled into sandalwood powder bound with a natural gum resin. The finished sticks are then dipped into our own fragrances which have been blended with essential oils.



Commitment to People and the Environment

Our head offices and manufacturing facilities are located in India which is one of the most beautiful but densely populated countries in the world. As a consequence, we are particularly sensitive to environmental issues and are dedicated to helping reduce the degradation of our planet's natural resources. We are equally dedicated to the dignity and the quality of life for our employees who are all adults (minimum age is 18 years old) and mostly women from the surrounding villages. We have always strictly adhered to the International Fair Trade principles even before these principles and practices were widely publicized. The ingredients used in the fabrication of our products are recyclable and abundantly present in nature or they are taken from renewable resources. We use a minimum of energy resources to produce our products. We control and recycle our waste, and for the packaging we always choose material with little impact on the environment.


It sounds like a great company. I wish that I could visit and take a tour and watch how they make their products.



Seriously, another dream I have is one day after my daughter gets older and finds her way in life, I want to pack my bags and live in a ashram in India for a year. I really hope to do that one day. Maybe when I do I will visit Maroma and help them make some incense sticks!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Too Much To Do In Too Little Time

I don't know what is wrong with me. I can barely breathe. I think that it's anxiety; however, I don't know what I'm anxious about. I'm at work right now taking a small break. It's 7:52pm and I'll be here for quite a while. I've been here since 9:00am and am exhausted.

Today I have experienced emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, and disgust. In order to try and figure out why I'm feeling this way I will dissect each emotion and why I feel it:

Sadness
I thought that I would be relieved when my husband went to Morocco. We definitely needed a break from each other to think things through. I thought at first it would be a nice break and then I would start missing him. What I didn't expect is that I am already missing him. I feel lost without him. Life doesn't have as much sense to it now. I never expected to have that reaction.

Fear
I am afraid that when he returns home things will go back to the hell it was and I don't want that to happen. I really want things to get better in every way. It basically boils down to wanting him to be happy.

Anger
Today I attended a luncheon provided by my contract company. It was quite nice to be there and the food was great. The owner of my contact company is a personal friend who I respect, admire and love. She is a great woman. I've known her a little over five years. She asked how my husband was doing and the discussion invariably went to his art. She loves art and has many amazing pieces displayed in her home. She asked how he was doing in his business and I told her that he is no longer focusing on "making the hotdogs". She thought that his hotdogs were his art! I explained (once again) that what he has designed in homes is merely craft and a way to make money. I reminded her about his fine art and though I didn't show it, I became angry. I wasn't angry with her.

So, why was I angry?

Because I am SICK and TIRED of explaining his fine art to people. People don't seem to get it or remember it. I have firmly believed since I met him that he will be in art history books one day. I have never wavered in this belief. You may equate my thinking to him making a lot of money. It was never about the money. Riches and fame are two different things and they don't always go hand-in-hand. Though we are in dire straits financially I really don't care about him making millions with his art. What I care about is that he one day receives the recognition he deserves.

Disgust
I am a sub-contractor working on a four year project. Many employees I work with are highly arrogant and love to backstab. I refuse to personally associate with many and maintain a very professional relationship. I am sickened at times to see how they interact with each other. It reminds me of five-year old boys squabbling in a sandbox over a toy truck. People here are either on the offense or defense. There is no middle ground. Today I watched someone strut into our area asking why people were talking with each other like he was the CEO. The ironic thing is that if you walk down to his area he is consistently surfing the net.

The company is quite unethical and sometimes charges the client with work they did for another project. They lie a lot. Today I have reached my limit and am thoroughly disgusted. I really want to get out of here because my respect for them has dwindled to nothing.

My dream job is working in California for Google. In the past I have looked at their available positions and I plan to do that again soon.

Ugh...I better get back to work. Too much to do in too little time. I'll be here tomorrow as well, but still...

I also have mid-terms to work on, an outline to write and turn in for my research paper, grocery shopping, washing clothes and cleaning around the house. I hope I can get through this weekend.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Birthday, Work, Mid-Terms and Exits

I have not had a chance to blog at all! My husband left for Morocco yesterday and we spent a lot of time together prior to him leaving. He won't be back for a month!

It was my birthday this past Monday. I'm 36 (wow...four years until 40!).

It's mid-terms this week at my university and I have to create an outline for my research paper. UGH.

I worked until 10:00pm tonight and I'll have to do it again tomorrow. I also work Saturday. Sunday I am finishing schoolwork.

So...when I have a few minutes like right now before sacking out to sleep, I read some blogs; however, I haven't had the time to post in my own. By the way, I have been reading DeathSweeper's blog. OMG he is a great writer and I just love his blog. Hop over there if you want to read some wonderful posts from a very special person.

I'll try to post before Sunday, but we'll see.

Monday I have the root canal...YAY! (I never thought I would jump up and down in excitement about a root canal.)

Tuesday I will be home late.

Thursday I will be home late.

Maybe Wednesday I can post?

If not, I'll be back in the blogging business next weekend (11/10/07) and can finally catch up with everything going on...it's been a flurry of activities!

I didn't know that I was addicted to blogging until I didn't have time to do it. Egad...is there a "Bloggers Anonymous" group I can join? :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mindfulness

Today I read the following quote:

Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.
Leo Tolstoy: 1828-1910, Novelist and Philosopher

It made me stop and think. I need to change the way I see things. I am usually a very optimistic person; however, lately I have really been letting things (and people) get me down.

It's difficult during emotional times to conjure this quote in my mind and make myself look at the situation differently. I need to practice mindfulness more. I learned a lot about mindfulness in the hospital and it's something that I have not put into practice for a long time. I need to make decisions on how I am going to react. I need to remember that it's not the situation making me feel a certain way, but a decision I am making to feel that way.

It's very difficult, but I'm going to try to practice this more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Received Another Call Today

I received the following call at work today:

*ring*

Me: Hello..

Stranger: What is the name of your attorney?

Me: What?

Stranger: I need to know the name of the attorney representing you.

Me: Who is this?

Stranger: I am calling from *** to collect payment for a past due bill.

Me: First of all, this is my work and do not call me at my place of employment again.

Stranger: That is fine, ma'am. What is the name of your attorney?

Me: I do not have one yet. I will be signing with one very soon.

Stranger: So you don't have one?

Me: ...

Stranger: That is fine, we are going to sue you for the amount of $*** that you owe our company. Good luck.

*click*

She completely hung up on me. She never gave her name. She didn't leave her number.

I'm scared.

If I could claim bankruptcy right at this moment I would. I have to have these calls stopped. I can't afford the money I need to give to my attorney. I won't be able to afford it until I receive my tax refund. The early part of February is when I will receive it.

Will I be served with papers before February? February is four months away. If I am served with papers before then I will need to hire an attorney and I can't do it until February!

Also, when you are served with papers do they do it at your work? Will a policeman show up here and make me sign them? Do you get them through a certified letter in the mail? How does this happen? Were they trying to scare me and then they'll call again later hoping I'll have the money and drag it out more before getting an attorney after me?

I really cannot stand this. I never thought I would ever be in this situation. I never thought that I would be faced with bankruptcy and I certainly never thought I would be wanting to do it as soon as possible.

OMG...what has my life come to?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Did I Ever Mention The Hole In My Head?

I am very tired today. Last night I wasn't able to sleep very well and my husband and I ended up talking until around 3:45am (and when I say talking, I do mean only talking). We laughed a lot and it was really nice. We used to do this all the time years ago and he called those warm moments in the dark "slumber parties". We would be dragging around the next day dead on our feet, but we were happy.

I told him last night right before he went to sleep that I didn't care how tired I would be today because it was well worth it. He agreed.

This morning I had to be up at 6:00am to be at the dentist by 8:00am. I think that even after my husband fell asleep I slept very lightly because I was scared to miss my appointment. I was very happy to go to the dentist because I was finally going to get the crown that I needed for my tooth. I've never had a crown before and wasn't looking forward to the drilling, but I didn't care because the hole in my head would finally be fixed.

Months and months ago my dentist told me that I needed a crown. He warned me saying that if I waited to do it that it would start hurting and then I might need to have a root canal. I put it off because I didn't have the money. I got to the point where I couldn't put it off any longer because it hurt and became sensitive when eating and drinking hot/cold things. I still didn't have the money and was trying to figure out what to do. My Mom called me last week and asked if I had gotten my tooth fixed. I told her no and she said that she would send money to pay for half of it. I was so thankful. With her paying for half of it, I would be able to get it done. I could give the dentist the money she gave me to pay half of it now and then pay the other half when I went back to get the permanent crown. That would give me another month to save money for it.

When I arrived at the dentist they said that they wanted to take an x-ray of my tooth prior to working on it. After taking the x-ray the dentist said he couldn't do the crown today because he needed to refer me to another dentist to get an evaluation to see if I needed a root canal. He said that the root pulp of my tooth is damaged now and I may need one. It was so embarrassing, but I just looked at him and couldn't help crying. Tears started to fall and I tried to stop, but that made it worse and I cried more.

I couldn't believe that my dentist didn't do root canals and that he was going to refer me to someone else. Even though he warned me that this could happen, I was hoping so much that I wouldn't need a root canal in the first place! This will cost even more money.

The dentist they referred me to is on vacation this week. He is busy when he gets back next week and doesn't have an opening until November 6, which is two weeks away. That appointment is only an evaluation which means I will need to pay him $60 for the appointment to find out if I need it. If he says I do, I will then have to schedule another appointment to get it done. Who knows when that will happen. My tooth is hurting as I type this and I am sad to wait that long.

I cried in my car all the way to work because I don't know how I will come up with the money for the root canal. I didn't know this about root canals, but basically you get the root canal and then have to get a crown on top of it which means I still need to pay for the crown, but now there is an added cost for an evaluation and the root canal.

My Mom gave me $200. I am going to have to come up with at least $400 to $500 more.

I really don't know how I'm going to do this.

Monday, October 22, 2007

One Suitcase From My Emotional Baggage Is Gone

I had a very nice day yesterday. I finished my homework Saturday and didn't have to hurry up and get it done yesterday, which was nice. My daughter's grandparents flew in from Spain and she stayed the weekend with them and her Dad and his wife and son (his wife's son from a previous relationship).

Let me give a little background so there's no confusion.

After graduating high school YEARS ago I went to university. I was only attending the university for a year and decided to go into the Navy. (That was THE DUMBEST decision I could have made, by the way, but if I hadn't done it I wouldn't have my daughter, so I don't regret). While in the Navy I lived in Scotland for two years. While living there I met M (my daughter father) and we married. M was in the Royal Navy (British Navy) and was a submariner. He is from England. I was only 20 at the time and was SO in love. Actually, he was the first person I had ever felt deep feelings for (well, the deepest feelings I had ever experienced at the very young age of 20) and was completely smitten. While dating I found out that the base I worked at was going to be decommissioned and I would be stationed somewhere else. We couldn't stand the thought of never seeing each other again, so we married. If we were more mature at that time we would have realized that we could have still dated even if I moved. We weren't mature, though. :)

We were married in England when I was 20 years old and he was 22. While in Scotland I became pregnant and will never forget how I found out. I had missed my monthly and felt tired and worn out for weeks. M's mother told me that I must be pregnant. I didn't believe her. Finally, I went to a store to buy a pregnancy test. M was with me and we stopped at a McDonalds to take it because I couldn't wait to get back to the British Navy base. I asked the cashier for a cup and went into the bathroom to take the test. You knew if you were pregnant if the test result window displayed a pink plus sign (+). I sat very still in the McDonald's bathroom and stared until the result displayed. It didn't take long to show a pink + and the pink was more of a hot pink. I felt like the test was screaming at me with color letting me know I was pregnant.

I was shocked.

I couldn't believe it was that fast. I didn't know what to do. I left the bathroom and went to M. I couldn't talk. I just gave him the test so he could see the results for himself. He was overjoyed! I was numb. While walking outside to get back to the car it was raining (as it usually does in Scotland) and he actually picked me up so I wouldn't walk over a puddle while giving me a hug.

When I look back I feel very sorry for my parents. Just imagine…one week I call from Scotland to tell them that I'm getting married and then only a few months later I am telling them that I'm pregnant. They hadn't even met M yet!

I sincerely hope that my daughter makes better decisions than I did.

To make a very long story short, my base decommissioned, I was sent to the States, M's paperwork for his green card was still being worked on and he couldn't go with me. He got out of the Royal Navy and lived with his parents while waiting for his paperwork to go through. I found an apartment for us, moved in, got what we needed for it, and then became sick with toxemia. I kept going into labor and had to go to the Naval Hospital to get shots to stop the contractions even though I was six months pregnant. I swelled up with so much water I turned into a tomato and was immediately put on bed rest.

I was so depressed in the apartment alone. I was horribly sick and wanted M to be there. I was scared that he wouldn't be there for the birth, so I wrote my senator and explained my situation. Unbelievably, his staff contacted me and said they would get him to the States. In only two months they flew him over and I was thrilled. He was there for our daughter's birth, thankfully.

I decided not to reenlist when my time was up in the Navy and we moved to England. After living there for a year and a half we realized that the economy was not getting any better and it was very difficult to get good work, so we moved back to the States.

We were together for six more years. Things turned bad. I didn't want a divorce and kept working on the marriage. I come from a divorced family and didn't want that for my daughter. I thought it would be best if we stayed together no matter what. In all actuality, it would have been better if we divorced when she was only three because I don't think it would have hurt her so badly.

I'll never forget when he left. I was on the couch crying and he took off his wedding ring and put it on the table before walking out the door. Our daughter stood there very stoically and didn't cry one tear. She closed the door behind him and turned to look at me and said....

"Well, Momma...it's just you and me now."

She then went to the sink and got me some water and a paper towel and brought it to me. She wiped my tears and told me to drink the water because it would make my throat feel better and help me not to cry. She said that it was something that always worked for her. It was only four days after her sixth birthday.

I never thought I would marry again. I was happy to be with just my daughter...and then I met my current husband. I took it much slower with him and we dated for two years before marrying. We'll be married five years this December.

M remarried about two years after our divorce. I'll never forget when he told my daughter and me. We were amicable after the divorce and he would even ask advice about dating. He had met an older woman named T (she is 14 years older) and they had just started going out. Three months had gone by and he arrived on our doorstep to let us know they were getting married. I remember looking at him and asking..."Do you need to get married so soon? You just met each other!". He said that they had to get married and he couldn't wait. I said "Do you think three months is long enough?" And he said..."Well, it's better than us!" (By the way, M and I were engaged only one month after meeting. I told you that we weren't mature...). Then I said, "And look what happened!".

He got married and is still married today. He is now 38 years old while she is in her 50's. He complains to me at times that he is becoming a monk because she is a "nun" with her menopause. That is way too much information for me, but he has always been quite blunt. He's not very happy in his marriage and I sometimes think that he is waiting for our daughter to graduate so that he can move back to England. We shall see.

Back to my original story...yesterday.

His parents flew over from Spain to stay with M and his wife. They are from England, but retired and built a house in Spain. They float back and forth between the two countries. When I picked up my daughter yesterday M's mother went with us to spend some time together. She loves to shop so we went to the mall. We got a coffee from Starbucks (I haven't had a coffee in SO long and enjoyed it SO much) and chatted for a bit. Afterwards we looked around the shops and then I took her back to M's.

It was wonderful to spend time with her. I could tell my daughter was happy that we were having some "girl time" together because she didn't stop smiling for four hours. You see, after M's and my divorce, his family stopped speaking with me. When I did see them from time to time when they visited the States it was always very strained and felt so weird. I would call them in England and you could tell they didn't want to talk with me. I felt bad about this for years.

Yesterday was the first time since the divorce that things weren't strained and were completely natural. I could tell that she was happy to visit with me and we talked about a lot of things. At one point she said that my daughter was a credit to me and that I have done a wonderful job raising her. Sometime later she said, "I love you". I can't even begin to describe how that made me feel.

You see, I have always wanted a relationship with them even though M and I divorced. I think it's important to retain a good relationship - especially for my daughter. The fact is that I never divorced them. I was hurt for years that they didn't want to talk with me. I look back at it now and think that they just didn't know how to act. They felt uncomfortable. M's parents have been married 38 years. They married when she was 16 years old and pregnant with M. Not many people in their family have divorced and it is something foreign to them.

That is why yesterday was so very special to me. I think they feel comfortable now and I no longer have to feel bad about it. It's a really nice feeling.

They are leaving Wednesday to drive down to Florida. They are meeting M's sister, husband and kids at the airport when they fly in from England Thursday. Friday my daughter is going with M and his wife to Florida to spend the weekend. She is excited to spend time with her family and visit Disney. Her grandparents always go to Disney (almost once a year!) and she has been there so many times you would think she'd be bored to go. My daughter is leaving again with M to go down to Florida in three weeks, which is the last weekend his parents will be in the States before flying back home. It will be nice for her to spend time with her grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins.

Yesterday I felt that a load I've been carrying for years was lifted.

I am so grateful.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thank God the Blanket is Lifting

I'm feeling better today. The dark, heavy blanket of depression is lifting from my soul. I feel it physically. I don't know why it is lifting. I rejoice when it starts its ascent away from me.

When it descends or ascends I wrack my brain constantly on why. I try to figure out the trigger. I feel that I can prevent it from happening again if I know the trigger.

It is so strange because I can physically feel the depression before it takes its complete grip of me and when it is leaving me. I am so curious if others have experienced the same.

Thank God I am feeling better. In one sense I don't want to question why because I'm scared to tempt fate and bring it back again. However, I do question and no answer ensues.

Yesterday I worked 12.5 hours and today I plan to work 12. At least it didn't affect me financially this time. It's a lot of hard work catching up and I am completely tired of it all.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"I Don't Know What Your Problem Is"...Neither Do I

I'm at work today. Thank God is all I can say. I don't want to lose more days at work. I've missed too much as it is.

This morning it was HIGHLY difficult to get out of bed and come in. It took all of my willpower to do it. I felt so bad...so down...so YUCK. My husband kept telling me to get up. I finally did.

Before he left this morning he was picking on me and I was not very nice while saying "stop it". He looked at me and said "I don't know what your problem is". I just looked at him. I said "I don't feel well. Isn't it OK that I don't feel well sometimes?" He didn't say anything. I then said, "Don't you know me well enough by now to know what's wrong?" He said "No" and walked away.

He left the house.

I felt worse.

That is a bone of contention in this marriage. I don't understand why it's OK for him to not feel well, to rant and rave around the house when he is frustrated, angry, and mad; however, if I don't feel well, it seems to be not acceptable. It's like "What's wrong with you? Snap out of it!"

It makes him feel angry.

Why?

Sometimes I just wish he would come to me and give me a hug and say "I'm sorry that you don't feel well. I love you". Is that so difficult? Obviously it is.

The funny thing is that I feel worse because of the way he acts about it. I feel guiltier about having depression. I feel more abnormal. I feel that there is something I can and should do to "snap out of it", but I don't know what it is.

Sometimes I even feel that really I'm not depressed, I'm just lazy. I feel that it's all my fault and that really nothing is wrong with me. I feel like a terrible person.

I'm at work right now trying to work. It is very difficult. I'm very glad to be here. Anything is better than sleeping in the bed completely tired out because I'm so depressed. Anything is better than to see the look in my husband's face seeing me down like that.

My depression is what got us into the financial mess we are in. I am the breadwinner. I have paid the bills for the last five years while my husband tried to make his business work. Unfortunately for him it didn't work. We were still OK financially. But, I got sick...I was out of work...I was in the hospital for six weeks...No money meant I couldn't pay the bills, and on it went.

I've worked so hard my entire life for what? To feel this way and watch my life fall into shambles around me? I don't want this, who would want this?

The worst thing is that even when I feel sick I can't afford to be out of work. I have no right to be sick. That is what makes me angry is that I have no right to be sick neither financially or with my husband. He just gets so angry.

His anger compounds the problem and when I think I can drop no further, more space opens underneath me and the faster I fall. I still haven't figured out what happened to feel this way. I have wracked my brain and I just don't know.

It's funny because I was thinking last night that if you are diagnosed with a physical ailment such as diabetes, cancer, etc, and you have a day where you don't feel well, you can say "I don't feel well because I have diabetes, or I have cancer, etc". But it doesn't seem acceptable to say "I don't feel well because I have depression". If I experience a day where I mentally don't feel well I have to find some reason, some trigger. I think it could be possible that there isn't a trigger every time. I think it's possible that you can have a day when you aren't doing well.

I wish my husband would love me no matter what. I wish he would show his love to me in my darkest moments. I wish he accepted me. I wish he felt empathy towards me.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My husband just called me at work. He asked what is wrong and he listened. He really didn't know what to say. He listened to me and I appreciate that. It's embarrassing to tell him that I'm depressed because I know that he doesn't understand. I feel worthless when I tell him.

He said today that me talking about feeling depressed is like speaking another language that he doesn't know. He said it's like him speaking Arabic to me...I don't understand him. When I talk with him about depression, he doesn't understand me.

I understand that he doesn't understand. I get it. I don't expect him to understand. Sure, I wish that he understood, but he doesn't and that is OK. I only wish that he didn't react the way he does to it. I don't think he can change that.

He said it may be better if he lived in an apartment and we saw each other on the weekends. Maybe that would be better. I really don't know. All I do know is that it makes me sad to hear him say it. I know that he loves me or he wouldn't care enough to even call me at work to talk about it.

I just feel very lost and don't know what to do.

All I do know right now is that I must get work done. If I am at least successful in that, possibly that will help me to feel better.

I really don't know, but as always I will try.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's Happening Again...

Depression is wrapping it's tendrils around me again and I don't know why. It's difficult to talk or even write when I feel this bad. When depression hits it's like a very heavy blanket wrapping itself around my body and soul. I feel its heaviness physically. I feel horribly tired. I feel that my face is cement and I can't smile no matter what. I feel like my soul is bleeding and I can't stop the flow. I feel terribly lethargic and dead. I feel like I will never stop feeling this way. I hate this feeling and I want it to stop. I feel like it's my fault that I feel this way. I feel like no matter what I do to change my life it will never go away. I feel the older I get the worse it gets.

It is very scary.

Reading what I just wrote makes me feel like I can't even begin to express how I feel.

I didn't go to work today. For one I am very tired and two, I just can't concentrate feeling like this. My job demands concentration and it's not one of those jobs where you can just sit around for an hour here or there because every minute is counted. Everything is tracked by Microsoft Project and I have so many hours assigned to me for each task I am performing. Therefore, if I have 20 hours assigned to get a task done and I can't concentrate well or get it done, then it displays in black and white for everyone to see that I went over in my hours. It is then that people will start asking why I didn't get some task done in the time allotted.

Because of my personality I feel that I have to do a great job no matter what. Being a contractor makes me feel pressured in getting things done prior to when they are due. A combination of the two isn't really good because I pressure myself to work like a dog to get things done perfectly. I don't take breaks during work, and I eat lunch at my desk. That means that I work from the time I walk in the door until the time I leave except to go to the bathroom.

I'm always scared of losing my job because I'm a contractor. Not being at work doesn't help, though.

I have felt bad all week physically. Last week I felt that I had a UTI and went to the doctor last Friday night after work to discover that I have a bladder infection. I took antibiotics, but Monday and Tuesday it still hurt and I've felt like crap. Monday I missed work because I didn't feel well physically. Yesterday I went into work and now today I am missing work again. This time it's more because of feeling mentally sick versus feeling physically sick.

I hate this.

I just want to cry when I'm awake or sleep and never wake up.

My husband is at work right now which is a good thing. I'll be asleep by the time he gets home. He doesn't need to see me like this. He just gets upset and mad anyway about it, which isn't helpful to either of us. I feel guilty enough about it as it is.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Dad Loves Spam

My Dad LOVES to forward e-mail to everyone on his list. Sometimes I open my e-mail account and find 10 or 12 e-mails forwarded from him and that is in only ONE day. The next day can be the same amount or more and before you know it my inbox is chock-full and I get antsy wanting to clean it out.



In the past I always read everything he sent. Not reading the e-mails made me feel disrespectful towards him and I didn't like the feeling. I would keep the e-mails until I had time and that worked for a while; however, it got to a point once where I didn't have time to read the e-mails over a few days and had over 100 waiting for me to read. So, I deleted all of them. It was difficult and I felt terrible.



Even though I didn't want to disrespect him, I felt a little disrespected. Didn't he realize that I wasn't retired like him and didn't have the time to look at them all? Didn't he realize that the e-mails would clutter my inbox and make me feel like reading them was one more responsibility I had added to my day? In all actuality, I felt spammed.



One day I realized that I had NEVER received an e-mail from HIM. They were all forwarded from someone else! That is the same day I realized that it was OK if I didn't read them all.



Today I received several forwards from him and I had time to read them. In comparison to what he has sent in the past, I felt one was the "Cream of Spam". Reading the following made me think of everyone who reads my blog and leaves comments:
The Whale
If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, and a line tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her...a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.
They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them. Pushing gently around, she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.
The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.
May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.
And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.


That is what I feel towards everyone who takes the time to not only read my dribble, but also expends the effort in leaving a comment. Some of the comments have been so uplifting to me and I feel so grateful. I do feel very weighted down by what's going on in my life. I definitely feel tangled and gnarled and sometimes I feel that there is no possible way to stay afloat. Sometimes I want to drown. Reading your comments has helped me to feel free and I thank you.



This posting does not by any means come close to expressing what I'm trying to say. You see, I really have no one to talk to about the way I feel. I can't talk with my parents for various reasons (one is that they will be very judgmental of my husband and it doesn't help the situation). I haven't been able to talk with my husband about the way I feel because he is very stressed out with his job and our financial situation and every talk ends in a fight. I don't tell people I know what's going on either.



As I've previously posted, blogging has been so freeing for me. I feel a lot better getting this stuff out and on top of that there are actually people reading what I feel and commenting on it.



Thank you, thank you everyone. I hope that you can feel my gratitude.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Birthdays, Blog Addiction and Sunscreen

First off I want to sing Happy Birthday to John Finn:



Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday Dear John Finn!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to You!


Tonight instead of creating my own post I've been reading other blogs. It is so great to read other's ramblings and musings because not only do you get a different perspective, you also tend to forget your own problems.



One of my favorite songs came on tonight while reading blogs. Probably many of you have already heard it. Just in case, the lyrics are posted below along with a video of the song. I listen to this song at least once a day. Let me know what you think about it.








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Baz Luhrmann - Everybody Is Free (To Wear Sunscreen)
(Lyrics are below the video)

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Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '99...



Wear sunscreen.



If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.


I will dispense this advice now.



Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.



You are not as fat as you imagine.



Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.



Sing.



Don't be reckless with other peoples hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.



Floss.



Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.



Remember the compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.



Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.



Stretch.



Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year olds I know still don't.



Get plenty of calcium.



Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.



Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.



Dance even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.



Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.



Do NOT read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.



Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.



Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.



Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.



Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.



Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.



Travel.



Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.



Respect your elders.



Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.



Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.



Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth.



But trust me on the sunscreen...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

February Can't Get Here Fast Enough

I'm trying something new today. I'm not posting directly to my blog...I am actually sending it via e-mail. I don't know if it will work and I won't know until tonight when I get home and can check it.

I am very depressed today. I am at work on my lunch break. I just received a call from a creditor. How did they get my work number? I haven't given anyone my work number except for family and friends. I am sitting here eating my sandwich and am reflecting on my life.

I have worked so hard for the past 18 years of my life for what?

To have creditors calling my work demanding money? I have always been able to pay my bills until going into the hospital. Losing my job didn't help either. Prior to the hospital my credit score was 782! Now it's somewhere around 450 - 480.

I appreciate the kind posts from visitors saying to not file bankruptcy. The reality is that I don't have any choice. I've talked with quite a few financial advisors and they all say the same thing. The bankruptcy attorney that I met also said the same thing - I need to do it.

At home I keep my ringer off of my telephone or just unplug it. I can't stand the constant ringing of collectors. Today the creditor said that I need to pay something or "further action will be taken". What does this mean? What can they do? It's embarrassing and scary...and I don't know what to do.

I want to pay everything I owe. I truly do. I can't, though. I am a failure. I'm not saying that for any response. I'm not fishing for people to say "no, you're not!". I am merely stating fact. A failure is called at work by a creditor demanding money. A failure can't pay their bills. A failure can't even afford to pay a bankruptcy lawyer to start bankruptcy proceedings! I wish that I could start it now. I have to wait for tax refund time in February. I don't know if I can wait that long. The pressure is too great.

I am tired. Yesterday after work I went home and cleaned the bathrooms and dusted everywhere, vacuumed, washed and put away five loads of laundry, made dinner (fish and potatoes...it was shockingly good), did dishes, did homework, checked a few blogs, posted a small comment in my blog and went to bed.

My husband and I aren't speaking. I never see him anymore anyway because he is working so much and when we do see each other we can only last about five minutes before a fight breaks out.
I want to cry. It takes everything to not cry.

When will this all end? Why have things gotten to this point? Will it ever get better?

I just can't stand it right now...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So Much to Say that I am Quiet

I haven't had any time to get online. I've missed blogging...A LOT! I can tell even more now when I haven't had a chance to do it that it's been very therapeutic for me.

From work I can check my e-mail and I see that people have been posting comments to my blog and I thank you all. It's wonderful to read them at work and gives me a smile at random times. New visitors have been posting comments and I thank you, too!

This weekend (Friday) I will have a chance to not only compose myself, but also compose a new entry for my blog. I am also going to visit the new visitor's blog as well.

Until then, take care!

Monday, October 8, 2007

What Would You Do?

I have a bit of a conundrum...and I am curious what others would do...

My husband's brother lives in the center of Paris. He has lived there for years and has been quite successful. He is 12 years older than my husband and has a 17-year old son named Ben who visits us in the States for two weeks each summer.

His brother is very nice and we get along great. He is married to a French woman who I don't really know and am not very impressed with. I don't want to judge because I've only been around her once during a week-long vacation they took here with us years ago. She is very quiet and aloof and has an arrogant air. She never looked happy and wasn't very social. I thought that it may be she was shy; however, I also noticed that she didn't even talk to Ben. In fact, every time she looked at Ben, which was rare, she would look at him with disdain. I didn't like that. Ben is not one of those teenagers that drive you crazy. He is highly intelligent and mature and anyone would be blessed to have him as a son. I have begged him to live here with us as an exchange student for a year because he is just that good!

My husband's brother has been over to visit us several times. The last time it was without his wife and he looked more peaceful and at ease. He has been urging us to visit him in Paris and we would tell him that of course we will as soon as we can. That is the truth...I would love to visit him in Paris! Another truth is that it's quite expensive to get three tickets to fly there and you need more money than what is needed for airfare.

Ben recently stayed with us and when he got back home my husband's brother called again asking us to visit them. My husband said what he normally says to him, "Yes, of course. We will visit as soon as we can!" and this time his brother wouldn't let it go. The following is a bit from their conversation:

Brother: You always say that, but never visit. Why not?
Husband: Well....
Brother: If you want to visit you would have by now. I've asked for six years for all of you to stay with me and you don't. Do you not want to stay with me?
Husband: Of course not!! We would love to stay with you!
Brother: Then what's the problem?
Husband: Well.................
Brother: Do you have a problem with me?
Husband: Not at all...it's just....well....we really can't afford it. As soon as we can afford it we will be there, but we haven't been able to yet.
Brother: Oh! If that's the case, when do you want to go?
Husband: What?
Brother: Yes, what dates do you want to go? I am going to purchase the tickets. When can your wife get off work?
Husband: Thank you so much, but you don't need to do this.
Brother: Of course I'm doing it! I want you all to stay with me and I'm getting the tickets. Let your wife know and call me back with the dates so I can go ahead and get them.
Husband: Thank you so much...
Brother: You don't need to thank me. I have the money and it's not a bother at all.
Husband: We will need to pay you back, though!
Brother: You don't need to, but you can if you like. (My husband told me that his brother said this because he wanted him to feel better about it.)

The conversation continued a bit.....then they hang up andmy husband tells me the news (they were speaking in French and Arabic and I couldn't understand what they were talking about. He told me the entire conversation and I was shocked, needless to say).

My husband said that we really needed to take him up on his offer because if we don't go his brother will become angry and feel insulted. My husband says that we have no excuse not to go now and we must.

OK, let's be reminded about something: I went to a bankruptcy attorney! I am going to start with proceedings once I have money from our yearly tax refund and can pay the attorney. It just doesn't seem right to jet off to France when I'm going to be bankrupt!

What would you do? My husband insists that we must go and constantly asks me for dates. His brother has now called our house three times asking for dates because he is a planner and wants to get the tickets.

I feel BAD even if I wasn't going bankrupt! I feel bad that his brother is going to buy them and they will be expensive! Flying to France in the summer is not cheap.

Though his brother never talked about it, we knew that he was financially well off. Just because he is well off doesn't mean that he should buy these tickets!

Not only that, he wants us to stay with him for two weeks!

And all I can think about is if we do go, of course we will need to pay him back and I can't even imagine owing more than I do already and having one more thing to worry about that is needing to be paid.

The irony is that if I were him, I would do the same thing and not think twice about it. If I had the money and wanted family to visit and found out they couldn't because it was too expensive for them, I would have thought the same thing. The difference is that it's NOT me buying the tickets. It's his brother...and I just really feel bad about that.

 
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