March 30, 2009

Why Can't They?

I've been frustrated by a number of small things lately, as follows:

Why can't they make 'shoe liners' such as those worn with high heels that actually don't show, instead of only claiming to not show?

Why can't they switch me from 5 8-hour days to 4 10-hour days, so I can have more personal time?

Further, why can't I just work my 40 hours when I want to, instead of having to conform to any particular schedule?

Why can't they make the glue come off with the calendar page in tear-away desk calendars, so you aren't left with overhanging glue, which, when torn off, does not leave a clean line?

Why can't people just be nice, even online? Anonymity is not an excuse or incentive for vile behavior.

Why can't they make a flat-iron that actually straightens my hair?

Why can't people understand that stay-at-home moms are doing a job?

Why can't people accept that 'gender-specific' roles are always going to exist? "God created them, male and female He made them....And He said 'It is good.'"

Why can't they create a houseplant that is easy to take care of?

And while we're at it: Why can't they make world peace happen?

March 24, 2009


I am so proud of myself. I'm back on my diet. :) It's been rough going the past couple of months, but I'm determined to beat my emotional eating and learn to deal with enjoy exercising. I know I need to do this for myself, and it's getting easier and easier to read my emotional triggers for what they are.

A big part of this for me will be learning to not stress over things I have no control over, like the number of hours in the day. I also need to recognize those situations I stress about that should actually be a comfort and a release from stress, like spending time with Michael. I think I'm beginning to see myself more clearly than I have in the past, and I'm trying to shift from excuses and blame to truth and support.

When they say losing weight is a life-style change, they aren't kidding, but it's not just about the food you eat and your activity level. If you're an emotional eater, have been overweight for your whole life or a long time, or have a low level of self-esteem, it's an outlook and attitude change as well. You might be able to lose some weight for other people, or so you can look great at this wedding or that social event, but eventually you will stop losing weight because you're not doing it just for yourself. And that doesn't mean beating yourself up about it because you know you're unhealthy or look fat. It means that you have to recognize that you are worth all the time you spend measuring ingredients or portion sizes, fitting exercise into your day, and buying the healthy foods you need and the new clothes you have to buy when you lose weight. Very simply, you are worth it! That is where I have been struggling. I don't think anyone specifically thinks the words "I'm not worthy of this" or "I don't deserve this", but when we try to lose weight or change our lives for anyone or anything but ourselves, we are putting ourselves in last place. For some things, that's exactly where we need to be: humility and servitude help us carry out God's will, and without them we would never have peace in anything. When it comes to doing something that requires a life change, however, we must learn to put ourselves first in that thing. We can recognize the benefits to everyone else, but we must understand that the primary beneficiary is 'you', the person doing the changing. And you must be okay with that. If you are not, if your main reason for making a change in your life is someone or something else, then it will not stick.

So, my reason for doing all of this is me. And I know I will continue to struggle with that. If I didn't, I would fear for my soul. But I know I have to do this, because I need it for my life. Like any wife or mother, I must learn to recognize that crucial point where the benefits of putting yourself last no longer outweight the benefits doing something for yourself, and the benefits of doing something for myself, in fact, reach far beyond me and impact everyone around me in a positive way. It's a tightrope I've heard many women talk about, I just never expected it could be so difficult.

March 10, 2009

Our First Anniversary

On Sunday, I recalled how one year ago, Michael and I said our vows, promising ourselves to the other forever, come what may. We walked down the aisle, arm in arm, smiling, with our family and friends around us, and the day seemed so wonderful. Our reception, our first dance, everything was like a fairy tale. Then it came time for our cake, which ended up in my face, courtesy of my new husband. Everything wasn't so perfect anymore.

I feel like marriage itself is very much like that. Everything is going along just peachy, and then something happens and before you know it you're hurt and angry and wondering why in the world you let this person into your life.

Over the past year, Michael and I have discussed our hopes and dreams for our future, ending the marriage, having kids, building a house, and how much we hate each other sometimes. We've had some definite low points, but I knew we could get through it, if only we tried hard enough. This past year has meant a lot to me, because I feel like every year we're together it cements the relationship, and now we've made it through a year of marriage. That's something to celebrate.

Celebrate we did. We went to Gatlinburg, TN, and Helen, GA. It was just a short weekend trip, but I thought it would be fun. We hadn't gone anywhere since the honeymoon, and we both needed a vacation, even if it was just a little one. Once again, everything was wonderful.

He wanted his gift on Friday night, and I didn't see the harm. So I gave it to him, and he said "Only a card?" But I just nodded and said "Yep, just what's in the envelope." So he opened it, read the card and what I wrote, said thank you, and was just about to close it when he noticed what was stuck to the last part of the card. Tickets. To Talladega Superspeedway for the Aaron's 499. I thought he would be so excited and happy, because he's never been to Talladega, and they are good seasts, but he just looked at them and said "Oh, that's nice, thank you." So we talked about the tickets for awhile, decided that I wouldn't go because my nephew is due around that time and I want to go to see him. We talked about some other things, and then he gave me my gift.

"Well, I didn't get you anything, so you can just pick you out something, ok?" Yep, that's what I got for my anniversary...just a whole bunch of cake in my face. Now, I'm doing The Love Dare from the movie "Fireproof", and that day's dare was to react to difficult situations calmly and lovingly, so that's what I felt I had to do. I had also suspected that he didn't get me anything, because I helped him pack both his suitcase and the car, and there was nothing there, and he's not good at hiding things, so I wasn't totally blind-sighted. If I had been I doubt I could have just said 'ok' and left it at that.

Last night, however, I was on a different dare and I mentioned it again, but I did it calmly. And he said 'oh, I'll get you something.' I felt so loved.

So, here's my question: should I leave it like it is, because I know anything I buy is going to be too expensive from his perspective, and not what I wanted anyway because what I wanted was his consideration. Or, should I buy something, regardless of the expense (as long as we can afford it), to try to make him understand where I'm coming from?

March 4, 2009

Friends at Work

I have come to the conclusion that making friends at work, and especially trying to be friendly with your supervisors, is a huge mistake. I have attempted to be an easy-going, 'real' person who can be and is very professional at the times I need to be. Apparently this isn't what my supervisors are looking for, despite the 'family atmosphere' they try to achieve and maintain, and tout so much. I just received an email from my immediate supervisor regarding, among other things, my attitude. Apparently I can't tell when I'm supposed to switch from person mode to professional robot mode, or when I'm supposed to be which for which supervisor, or how to tailor my comments to their individual personalities, moods and daily issues. So, I'm not going to try anymore. I'll just be the professional robot at all times, lick their boots like a good little slave, and try not to think about work AT ALL the rest of the time (despite the fact that many of the things they praise me for are things I think about while I'm away from the office). If that's what they want, that's what they'll get, but I hope they realize that all of my company loyalty is now gone, because I think there are some places I could work and be myself without having to worry about offending one of my supervisors just because I have a better idea, or one that would work as well but is easier to implement; I also imagine that I might receive pay more appropriate to the work I do. As soon as I get a job opportunity at one, I'm gone.

March 3, 2009

Why are men so dense?

My darling husband can be a complete idiot at times. This can come in the form of questions that answer themselves, statements that shouldn't be stated, ideas that should never leave his mind and questions like this gem he came up with this morning:

"So, do we get each other gifts for our anniversary, or what? I mean, I wouldn't know what to do."

Our anniversary is in 5 days. I have already gotten him a gift, thought about the presentation, what we're going to do on Sunday, and how and when to plan for the use of the gift (NASCAR tickets for Talladega). Now, 5 days before, he wants to know if we are supposed to get each other gifts. Why is it that he can't think ahead? I've already thought about gifts for his birthday, Christmas, next Valentine's Day, and our next anniversary. I haven't gone so far as to purchase anything, but I've thought about what I might get him. He has known from the day we set our wedding date about 2 years ago, that we would have our first anniversary on March 8, 2009. He should also realize that our second anniversary will be March 8, 2010. See how that works? It's the same date every year: March 8. It comes a little less than a month after Valentine's Day, so that would be a good time to start thinking about what to buy, or to agree to make each other something, or to just take a weekend away, or not buy each other anything but just spend time together. Not my husband though, he wants to be able to cobble something together less than a week ahead of time.

He also wants to go away this weekend. I could have watched for good hotel deals, etc, but now I'm stuck with what I can put together in this short amount of time. And I'll have to figure it out, because I've asked him several times since he mentioned going away this weekend where he wants to go, and he doesn't know. That's all he'll say. With other guys, that might indicate that he had all the plans already made, and he was just trying to give me fair warning so I'd have time to pack, etc. But I know Michael better than that. If he had something planned, he wouldn't be able to keep it secret. And, honestly, I know why he wants to go away this weekend: his niece is having a birthday party and he doesn't want to go. I understand that, she's going to be 4, and being around a bunch of 4-year-olds with adults who act about that age is not my idea of a good time. But still, we need to know where we're going so we can make hotel reservations.

And, finally, he wants to know what he should get me. Again. Everytime a gift-giving holiday or occasion comes up, he wants to know what he should get me. I spend hours thinking about what to get him, finding the best deal (he appreciates that) and making sure it's something he'll love. I don't always hit the mark, but I spend a lot of time trying. He just wants a list, and then he'll go out and buy something from the list. What's more, he wants a long list, so he has a lot to choose from and I won't know what I'm getting. And to add insult to injury, he won't make me a list. No matter how much I ask, he will not write down what he wants. I get one of two answers (and most often it's the first): "I don't know what I want" or "[Insert requested items]" and I have to write them down. Then, it comes to giving the gift, and I've chosen something on his list, but it turns out he doesn't want that anymore. He doesn't get mad, and he appreciates it, but you can see that it was something he changed his mind about, or he didn't realize exactly what he was asking for, or he wasn't explicit enough in his description of the item, so what I got him isn't really what he wanted.

Now, this isn't all bad. I do usually end up getting what I wanted, and Michael has excellent taste in fine jewelry. The problem here isn't the things I do or don't get. My problem with all of this is that he doesn't think about [what to get] me. I could deal with bad gifts and horrible presentation, if he would just put some thought into it. I think I would actually appreciate that more, because I would know that at some point in his day, he took time to think about me and only me, and what I would like to have that I would never buy for myself. When they say it's the thought that counts, they really mean it. He could get me a coffee mug and I would appreciate it deeply if I knew it was because he heard me say that I hate my current one and he found out why and bought me something better. All I want is a little thought, even if it is just for gift-giving, and never any other time.