Category: rambling

So for this year …

Long time, no post! Life has been hectic since … well, Christmas? Witness the Christmas cards still sitting on my desk, waiting to be mailed.Oh yes, really. I’ll get to that later though …

I spent a lot of time thinking after I wrote my post about being youer than you. I’ve felt for a few years – mainly at work, somewhat at home – that I’m not really being me. It’s not an uncommon thing, I think, for newer wives and mothers to feel that way. I mean, it feels like every few years you go through an adjustment and maturity process that makes you do that questioning of self anyway. That’s why we have so many great coming-of-age and finding-yourself novels, movies, etc. I went from established single woman to fiancee, wife, and mother in two years. Then we added two more kids, I changed jobs in the middle of that, and I work in an area where some forms of blazing personal expression that makes you stand out (purple hair, nose ring, visible tattoos) isn’t totally cool on the job. (My perception, anyway.) So somewhere along the way I felt like a lot of “me” got shackled, forgotten, grown out of, or otherwise left along the roadside because there wasn’t time, energy, or benefit to my career.

It just ended up making me sad. Sad and frustrated. And kind of angry. I’m done with that. I’m done with forgetting who I am at heart in favor of meeting someone else’s expectations that I haven’t totally bought into.

That doesn’t mean that I’m rejecting these wonderful roles and jobs that I have now — on the contrary! I want to go back to being the Me who got into them in the first place.

Be Me

Be Me

I want to have fun.

I want to be creative. I want to knit and scrapbook and write and make things with my kids. (And try to not freak at the mess.)

I want to laugh at things that I like, even if they’re silly and frivolous. I like Disney princesses, and I like young adult fiction, and I like cartoon movies.

I want to wear my Tinkerbell or Christmas socks any time of year, any day of the week, and not worry about someone thinking they’re not “executive” enough.

I want to keep my focus and priority on my family and friends, not on my job. If that means I never go beyond where I am now, so be it.

I want to help more. There are so many people I know who are going through tough things, and I want to help however I can. I’ll start running with Charity Miles, look for ways to support friends, and keep buying one extra bag of groceries for the food pantry whenever I can.  I’m trying to figure out how to host a virtual 5K/10K for a friend’s infant son who needs a kidney transplant.

I want to be more of the me that God intended me to be, and less of the me that I was letting my circumstances make me. I think I’ll need to start small because my brain can’t handle much more than that. 🙂

Colossians 3:17

Grinch List

Last week was “Grinch Week” in Holidailies world. I didn’t think I’d have a lot to say for each separate day, plus I’m trying to grow my niceness factor and quit being so crabby.

(I don’t think it’s working yet.)

Instead, I give you … MY GRINCH LIST.

  • Holiday pet peeves. Everyone’s got at least one. What’s yours?
    Elf on the Shelf, which conveniently answers another question this week. I hate the smug little stalker. I want my kids to behave because they’re well-behaved children, not because some creepy elf is hanging around and scaring them. Looks like a ventriloquist dummy dressed up for the holidays.
  • What beloved holiday movie / TV show /play just leaves you cold?
    It’s a Wonderful Life. One year, back in the day before only one network had the license or whatever to air it, it was on EVERY DAY. We were made to watch at least part of it every time it was on. I don’t care how good or classic it is, I can’t stand it.
    Also The Christmas Story. I don’t get it.
  • Kids these days! 

    (alternative title – “Back in *my* day…)
    With their iPresents and undead dolls with the weird make-up … we had plastic women with unrealistic measurements promoting insane body image issues and WE LIKED IT.

  • Tell us about that traditional holiday food you just can’t stand.
    Pumpkin pie … I will just say that the texture leaves a lot to be desired, and the taste doesn’t make up for it.
  • What currently popular meme / trend do you just not get?
    Chevrons. Washed-out professional photography. The “ermagherd” thing. Weird animals caps-locking their angst at me.
  • What holiday tradition do you wish would please just go away?
    “12 Days of” everything. Really? It’s not creative, original, or accurate. New Christmas marketing gimmick, please.

Get off my lawn, you rotten kids!

I need the music

Yesterday I had one of the painful experiences at work that I usually inflict on other people: going through feedback from peers and managers.

I’d taken a self-assessment, and the same questions were answered about me by peers on teams with me and by my managers. The very knowledgeable consultant who went through the responses with me also looked at another assessment I’d taken. (The Birkman, if you’re a nerdy development type.)

So the feedback itself wasn’t all that bad, it’s just the painful process of confronting how far your external habits fall from your internal perspective of what you do. There were also some pretty large indicators that I have existed and worked in a stressed-out way for far too long, and it’s coming across loud and clear and not in a nice way. Ick. So I have something to work on.

One of the most interesting things for me, though, was the consultant’s perspective and interpretation of the “Areas of Interest” in that Birkman assessment. These 10 categories (Artistic, Clerical, Musical, Literary, Social Services, Mechanical, Numerical, Outdoor, Persuasive, and Scientific) have nothing to do with talent, but seem to express my need for behaving in a certain way or interest in certain things.

My top area of interest? Like, 99 out of 100 points? Music.

As the consultant said, “This is what you need for healing. You need music, whether it’s listening or performing, to make your soul whole, particularly if you’re in this stressed place so much.”

What do I have almost none of in my life right now? Music.

The only music I tend to have right now are the songs I listen to while running.

So today, while I am trying to get through a ton of work and re-group from weeks on end of stress and manic behavior, I am drowning myself in music. Christmas, classical, “hipster Christmas music” (kill me now) … whatever I can soak in.

* * *

Another thing I’ve started doing for soul-healing and stress-relieving is acknowledging that there are simply some things in my life that I don’t like. I have been a people-pleaser my entire life, trying to be fair and not project favoritism. I’ll eat that cookie, even if I don’t like it, because YOU made it. I’ll listen to that song and try not to have a favorite, because it may cause conflict if we don’t like the same thing. I’ll try to be friends with everyone, even if I don’t like them, because that’s what good girls do.

So now I’m trying to acknowledge when I genuinely just DON’T LIKE or REALLY PREFER something or someone. It’s not a license or excuse to be rude or crabby (darn) … it’s a relief valve so I can acknowledge my true feelings and go on with the best way to behave while not being stressed.

I don’t like snickerdoodles or oatmeal raisin cookies at all.

I love chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies.

I don’t like this or that person.

I will be kind to them because someone I love loves them or because they simply deserve respect as a human being.

I don’t like The Little Drummer Boy.

love Silent Night.

I don’t like Mariah Carey’s version at all, but I’ve listened to this version three times today.

Heal your soul a bit, if you like:

My Friday Five (Senses)

Full disclosure: I am GRUMPY. Cranky, irritated, and crabby.

Back in the day, one of my favorite journallers used to do a Friday Five – five questions, posted on your journal / blog / whatever we had. This isn’t quite the same, but I’ve noticed lots of “Friday Fives” so why not this one.

Feeling: COLD. Yesterday morning it was 73F when I went for my run. This morning it was 40F, and that’s where the temperature has hovered all day. So I am curled up in my cozy pajama pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt, trying to not let the cold grump me even more.

Seeing: My Fair Wedding. I know, I know. It’s not exactly helping the grump factor. It’s like my junk food, though. Speaking of …

Eating: Doritos, mint M&Ms, plain M&Ms. I need to check the calendar.

Hearing: Silence, other than the television. A sleeping baby, sleeping preschooler, and sleeping kindergartner. I’m pretty sure the latter has the beginnings of strep, which is perfect timing since we’re about to start a weekend that was supposed to be filled with many things to do. Also, the husband has had last week’s stomach virus today. I know how that felt, and it was miserable. I hope they both feel better soon … and they don’t spread their germs.

Smelling: I’m in the mood for some level of cozy, home-y scents, so I’ve turned on my Snowman scented wax warmer. (My one holiday decoration so far.) Black raspberry vanilla, as chosen by the preschooler.

(GRUMP.)

Note to self.
Note to self.
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