Monday, October 20, 2014

Laptop: The Discomfort Buffer

Watching The Walking Dead...
Chebbar [talking]
Me: What did he say?
Chebbar [repeats himself]
Me: No, what did he say?
Chebbar [repeats character]
...more watching...
Me: What did she say?
Chebbar: If you stopped multitasking and watched the show, you wouldn't miss anything...
Me: I didn't miss something happening; I missed what she said because it's too quiet.
Chebbar [raises volume]
Me: Thank you.

As much as I love this show, after a season off, I forgot how violent it is. I'm not a fan of violence, even when it's "just a show," because I get invested in the characters (and because I'm a tad sensitive and violence has always been a trigger for me).

I realized I use my laptop as a buffer (probably in more ways than just violent TV shows... ). The weight of it in my lap is like a security blanket. The monitor easily distracts me and creates something of a visual barrier.

I like security blanket buffers. *nods*

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thumbs Up Thursday v. 1

Sunday Sound-Off has come and gone. I need a *reason* to dust off the old blog during the week, and doing this on a Sunday just leaves me... blah. Besides, who reads blogs on a Sunday?

Going with Thumbs Up Thursday because I "thumbs up" the posts I like (then share) with Stumble Upon. Also? Alliteration.

Thumbs upped:
  1. I totally want to print the infographic and post it at work. The biggest mistake you're making in the bathroom from HuffPost Healthy Living.
  2. With the 365 Feminist Selfie project heading toward the 300's, this post may come in handy: tips for taking self portraits in your bathroom (heh, sensing a trend?) by Vivienne McMaster.
  3. Mind Body Green shares 10 small changes for health, balance, and peace (I think I need to try #9).
  4. " should be AT LEAST as nice to your spouse as you would a stranger..." I'm ashamed to admit that I'm guilty of this because Chebbar is my "safe" person - I know he won't leave me if I'm not nice. 13 simple tricks to a long and happy marriage relationship by HuffPost Weddings.
  5. This is amazing: I'm a bitch and proud of it.

Appreciated it:
  1. 10! Days! Off!
  2. Interesting opportunities
  3. Amazing fall weather
  4. Finishing a book in one sitting
  5. Walking in the rain
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Monday, October 13, 2014

There's No Perfection in Potatoes

As she stood over the sink peeling potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner, she idly wondered if that was the right way to do it - do people peel potatoes into the sink? It made the most sense to her: contain all the mess in one relatively easy to clean space.

Flashback to the kitchen with the gaudy 60's wallpaper and magnificently clashing carpet when she was 15, leaning awkwardly over the tiny garbage can, trying to peel a potato.

"You're STILL not done with that potato? What's WRONG with you? [laughter] You'd think you've never seen a potato peeler before!" her mother crowed.

"That's because I've never peeled potatoes before," she grumbled under her breath. The potato was slippery and unwieldy. She gripped the old fashioned metal peeler tighter, wincing as it bit into her palm, the blade spinning uselessly as it skipped off the potato. She did her best to block out the noise of her mother digging at her, something about book smarts not amounting to anything if you're too useless to peel a potato.

Just as quickly she was back in her own kitchen thousands of miles away both literally and figuratively, but once that old voice started, it was hard to shut up. "Am I getting enough of the peel off? Am I taking too much off? That pot's too big, but that one's too small. Which one should I use," she fretted.

The dog with wriggling butt brought her back to the present, nosing along the floor, looking up at her with a smile (no, really: her dog smiles).

She realized she was already on the fourth and final potato. Sure, the peeler skipped here and there, but potatoes aren't perfectly smooth. It also helped that she had a peeler a little more skookum than that crappy one her mom had (hell, even her mom didn't use that one anymore having upgraded to something automatic or electric or both) and no one standing over her shoulder snickering at how useless she is.

"See," she thought, smiling to herself, "you can do 'hard' things."

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Does keeping in touch ever feel like too much?

I love my people. My tribe. My safe space. My turn-to-for-support-encouragement-and-acceptance spot. I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am to be blessed with so many kind souls I know I can count on to be there for me regardless of how long it's been since we last touched base.

Therein lies the rub.

Because I'm an introvert who has to be *on* all day at work (which, in case you didn't know, is exhausting beyond measure) who also leans toward the moody hermit side, the thought of continuing that on-ness after work (after I wash the dishes, make dinner, pack lunches, tidy up, feed the dog, and have a shower) or on the weekends sometimes makes me want to cry (and I no longer have the luxury of a job that allows me to keep up with Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and blogs during the work day). It's overwhelming. It's suffocating. It actually can make me feel like I'm on the verge of a panic attack, which will likely make my friends, my people, my tribe feel guilty or - worse - offended.

It's not that YOU are work. YOU are not mentally and emotionally taxing. The thought of checking in to hear how life's been treating YOU isn't exhausting: it's the actual action/motion/doing.

It's not just friends, either; my family is included in this, too. It bugs me that I'm not in closer/more regular contact with my family, but it also bugs me that I won't hear from them (well, my siblings, mostly - not my mom, although that's navel gazing for another day) unless they need something. It bugs me that I have to initiate contact with them all. the. time. It bugs me that they seem to forget I exist unless I'm jumping up and down in front of them waving my arms to and fro. It also bugs me that, after years of being the "other mother," I always second-guess myself before sending that "just checking in!" text less they think I'm being weird/dorky/overbearing. 

And it's SUCH a double-edged sword. I know the moments I feel most like hiding, crawling inside myself, and barricading myself away from people are the exact moments when I need to push myself, to challenge myself to put ME aside and focus on someone else for awhile - to connect outside of the messy, cluttered, noisy interior of my brain. I know that as tempting as s l o w l y withdrawing from everyone and everything seems (because people forget about you, y'know; or, at the very least, they're put off by the fact that you don't even try to make an effort anymore, and they give up), I'd eventually be miserable without the opportunity to crawl outside of my head and lay my focus on someone else for awhile.

I know that as much as I want to shut out the world, to ignore everyone (and be ignored, to a degree), to just be alone with myself, this is the fastest way to damage those connections that are vitally important to me; while I may not cause irreparable damage, I will crack the relationships and weaken them.

Sometimes I just feel like I need to disconnect and turn off. For how long? I don't know. To end all contact with everyone? Maybe. But how? I have no clue, which is also part of the problem. 

Perhaps it has to do with those who don't think to check in on me; I'm seeking attention from the wrong people and ending up disappointed when they can't be bothered to reach out until they want something from me or they need me. I've always been bad at being drawn to this type of dysfunctional relationship. Or perhaps it has to do with the desire to be needed: I don't feel useful or worthy unless/until I'm needed. And yet, I tend to bristle when that neediness toes the line of too much; however, I'm the one that encourages the dysfunction by always being there UNTIL it's too much.

I've felt like I've been on the precipice of something major - figuring out who I am and getting to know myself - a shift that would transform a lot of things about me, for awhile now, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm feeling itchy and tight and stretched too thin, waiting to tear through into something... new, different, changed. Not necessarily better, just not as is.

I don't know. I'm rambling. Trying to expel all the words in an attempt to force them into some kind of logical order so they'll make sense. (Ha) Pin It

Monday, September 1, 2014

Possibly Unpopular Opinion #31

#31: Instagram is the place to share a handful of really cool vacation pictures. Not every. single. one. of your vacation pictures. That's what Facebook is for. I don't want to scroll through 43 of your Sesameland pictures before seeing anyone else in my feed. Please stop.

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