Monday, June 26, 2017

Rant: YouNow

Ok, this is WAY off topic for this blog, but bear with me. I need to rant about something. WHAT IN THE ENTIRE FK IS YOUNOW? I feel as though it's a copout for YouTubers so they don't have to make real videos. 99% of them are watching the YouTuber read comments and respond to them. They often don't even say what the comment is. They thank people for "bars" whatever those are, and then try to say "thank you" in different languages. It's totally cringy. I mean it's not DONKAH SHAY or merSEE, And "de nada" is you're welcome or it was nothing. Stupid uninformed people. At least do some research if you're going to try to speak other languages. I feel like I'm watching someone just sitting in their house hanging out with their friends doing nothing. Some have long pauses where the person doesn't even speak. I don't get it. I'd rather watch a real vlog on YouTube where the person has put together thoughtful content and has something meaningful to say. I even enjoy watching people vlog their ordinary days. It's like a window into their lives. YouNow is a long drawn out non-conversation that has nothing to say. But what do I know? I'm just a blogger with barely any content that's worth reading.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Do You Ever Feel Like a Fraud?

Sometimes I feel like a fraud. I mean, I do my job fairly well and I come across as someone who's got it all together and knows what she's doing. But sometimes I stop, look around, a think "omg, I'm really not doing all I could and what I am doing isn't what people think it is". Maybe it's my own insecurity or maybe I could try harder. I think the crux of the matter is that most people only see the outside of me. They don't see inside where I live every day in my perfectionist world. My almost OCD world. My anxious world. They don't see it because I've become a master (mistress?) at hiding it--at least in public. It's a lot of work to hide your real self. It's exhausting, in fact. 

But I know from experience that we shouldn't give up and we are our own worst critics. I've done more than I ever dreamed I would do so I must be doing *something* right. I think. Sigh.

Is it just me or do other people feel like they're a fraud too? I don't know. But if you're reading this, please tell me your story.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Eye opening epiphany (sort of)

Recently I realized I had no earthly idea how much I really eat. I thought since I was eating (mostly) healthy foods and exercising regularly, that I should be losing weight. It wasn't the case. The scale has not budged for a year. Very frustrating. I started doing something I always knew was a good idea but never really bothered to do. It kind of tags along with meal prep. It's dividing large bags/boxes of things into portions that I put into containers be it zip locks or plastic tupperware type things. For instance, I had a giant bag of popcorn. I could easily have eaten the entire thing (and probably have on many occasions). However, this time I looked at how many servings there were in the bag. Sixteen. SIXTEEN! OMG.... and each serving was 140 calories. Ummm...yikes. I looked at the size of the bag, befuddled at how it could possibly be sixteen servings. They must mean to eat one kernel or something. So I did an experiment. I took a measuring cup and put the portions into zip locks. Sure enough, it was 16 bags. They took up my entire counter space. (ok, I have a tiny kitchen but still). When I looked at it that way, I realized that was A LOT of popcorn. Suddenly it gave me perspective. And I only ate one serving and was fine with it. I have since done it with cereal and some other munchies I tend to get into when I shouldn't. Nothing too terrible but too much and it's akin to eating a bag of chips. The cruz of the matter is that when you portion out the entire box or bag or whatever it is, you can see it's so much more than you really thought. And you are less apt to eat it all in one sitting. I'm hoping this helps me. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The grass is always greener

As I peer over the proverbial fence of life, it seems more often than not, the grass is greener on the other side. I see other people's accomplishments and suddenly mine seem pale in comparison and sometimes not even remotely worthy. I see other people's lives on facebook, instagram, and other social media and they're richer, thinner, more successful. The thing is these are snippets of people's lives--not the REAL life. Perhaps people peer over their fences and my life seems all sparkles and glitter to them. One never knows. It's not something anyone would admit. I know my life is good and I have much for which to be grateful. I guess we all need a reminder every now and then. And maybe we should stop peering over fences and looking around our own yard to see the beauty that's here.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Off topic: YouTubers who respond to "hate" comments

Why do YouTubers (or anyone on social media) respond to "hate" comments? They must spend hours upon hours to
screen-shot the comments not to mention poring through comments to find the "best" ones. I can't understand why anyone would waste their energy on that--especially those who promote spreading love and positivity. Seems hypocritical to me. But I don't know them and I'm not a YouTuber so maybe I just don't get it. I recently watched 2 videos in which the people ranted about or actually read comments which they showed on their videos (as if people couldn't see them already?). It disturbs me because both of these people claim to be positive and loving. 

I've been called names, been threatened, and been made to feel small so much that I no longer comment. I'm almost scared to watch anymore. I still have my favorite channels, most of which include cleaning and organizing tips and mental health.

I'll leave this quote here as a reminder to myself and others that forgiveness is healthy. You don't have to forget, but forgiving will free your soul more than you know.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Meal Prep

Does anyone out there meal prep? By meal prep, I mean make food and put in it single portion containers for ready to heat up meals. I've found this to be particularly helpful because if it's already made, I will eat it. I hate cooking but this way I only have to cook once and I eat 3 or even 4 times depending on what I've made. This week I made rice and added black beans, onions, corn, and some shredded cheese. I'll top it with salsa or perhaps some crushed tortilla chips. On the side, I have broccoli and carrots. Voila---3 lunches and or dinners fully prepared with REAL food. I vary my meals each week and since I don't make enough for more than 3-4 meals, I of course, have to figure out what to eat for the rest of the day. That said, it helps SO MUCH. Sometimes I wonder if I could make meals for an entire week this way. Of course that brings out the OCD side of me that doesn't want to eat food that's more than 3 days old. Don't ask.

I've added this to my routines and usuallyI do it on Sundays. Today I did it and it's Saturday. I must say I paused before making the meal thinking it means it will all be a day older than I really want it to be. I think in reality it means, I'll just have to fend for myself sooner in the week. Sometimes I need to get over myself and realize things will all work out. I'm not good at that.

I was also hoping meal prepping would help me on my way to losing some unwanted weight. Being "of a certain age" means losing weight isn't always easy but gaining it sure is! *Unfair* I exercise daily (also routine) and I try to make good choices for my food. I sometimes fail at that, but at least I make an effort. 

We shall see if this addition to my routine makes a difference. Time will tell.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When Your World is Interrupted

I feel guilty for writing this. I have a deep seated fear someone will find this blog entry and think it's about them. It's not. Not really. Having people stay with me is difficult. Not because they're here, but because they have stuff. Lots of stuff. And I have nowhere for them to put it. So my world gets turned upside down because try as they might to consolidate their belongings, they are still in my line of sight. There's nothing to be done about it. It's not their fault and it's not mine. It's the fact that I have a small dwelling not really suited for overnight guests--especially not for more than one night.

I have a need--a compulsion to clean every day. I need that routine of keeping things in order. It's hard to do when another person is in my space. They make messes (and I don't mean on purpose) but it seems there's double the dirt when it's more than just me here. I get the heebie jeebies when I have to share a bathroom. Yes, I'm crazy. I know the guests are clean but somehow I feel as though I need to bleach out the bathroom every time someone else uses it. Like they have cooties or something. I know--I'm ridiculous and weird. 

Once my guest leaves, I immediately start my cleaning frenzy--everything and everywhere must be cleaned up and straightened out. Even if it wasn't used or is already cleaned. I hate that I am this way, but I just am. I guess it's ok because I never tell my guests they turn my world upside down. I enjoy having them here and feel honored when they actually want to stay with me despite my small living quarters. So I'm conflicted. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Flex Hours and working at home

For the past 2 years, my main job affords me flex hours and I work at home. I've learned a lot from this. I am more relaxed when I know I just have to get the work done and there's no time frame during which I need to do it. I can work during my best, most productive working hours and not only am I happier, but the work is of much higher quality than it might be if I were forced to do it within a specific time frame or on days when I'm not feeling up to par. Yes, I have other jobs outside of the home, and yes, I do have to do part of my main job outside of the home as well. But all in all, I am more productive and feeling more successful.  

In addition to feeling and being more productive, my apartment is cleaner, neater, and more organized. I never have to spend hours cleaning because I've been out all week and only home to sleep. I can multi-task as well. For instance, I can do my laundry while working on a project. I can have a phone meeting while driving to meet a friend. I can also work anywhere--bonus if there's a wifi connection, but I can get work done in a coffee shop, a library, or even while visiting friends and family out of state. 

I am very lucky to have a job such as this one. It's very fitting for my circadian rhythms which make me a night owl and not a morning person. It challenges my Type A personality sometimes because my schedule is never the same twice in a row and can change at a moment's notice. I've learned that those are small prices to pay for the life I have now. By no means, do I live a perfect life, but I'm much happier than I was while teaching 20+ classes a week, having evening commitments, and just trying to keep my head above water. 

I am grateful. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Courage. I sometimes have to muster up the courage to say things. I have a difficult conversation coming soon and I've finally decided I can do this. I might cry, but nobody will die and it will all be fine in the end. I think. It is with great trepidation that I need to tell someone that I can no longer help in the way I've been helping for so many years. I know I will be letter that person down as well as the group of people this decision affects. I'm torn but I'm also tattered. Sometimes it's good to take care of ourselves and although we feel we are disappointing others, it's better in the long run because we can recharge our batteries and come back refreshed later on. This is me trying to convince myself it's all going to be ok. Sigh.
I hate letting people down--or even feeling like I'm letting people down. Most of all, I hate letting myself down and in this particular situation, I feel that no matter what I do, I'm letting myself down. If I continue, I let myself down by doing too much. If I stop, I let myself down because I feel like a failure. Why can't it just be easy? Why am I so sensitive? Ack.

I will have courage. I will do this. I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

It's good to have plans

It's good to have plans. A friend of mine said that and it stuck. Although it started out as somewhat of a joke, it became my mantra. I'm a planner. I plan everything from what time I need to get up in order to exercise, shower, dress, do my hair and makeup, caffeinate myself appropriately so I don't get arrested...or worse(!!!), and get out the door on time or early to when I'm going grocery shopping and doing laundry. I like having a plan for every day and every moment. It keeps me grounded and keeps me motivated. I do admit, however, that sometimes a long list can be overwhelming. I try to break it down into smaller parts so as well as prioritize the tasks in case I can't get everything done. If there's something I can put off until tomorrow without having a complete meltdown (I told you I was Type A), then I'll do it. 

In addition to having a calendar with my plans for each day, I am a list-maker. I like to make my lists in order of priority and also sometimes even with exact times of day. For instance my morning routine looks something like this:

6:15 get up
6:20-7:20 exercise
7:20-8:00 shower, dress, hair, & makeup
8:00-8:05 make bed and straighten up room.
8:05-8:45 coffee, breakfast, check email, social media
9:00 leave for work (the 15 minutes before are spent gathering everything I need to bring with me and finding my shoes. Yes, finding my shoes is a big thing. Even for me.)

If it's a work at home day, I would include my cleaning routine for that day right after breakfast. Also included is washing all dishes and putting them away. 

On Thursdays I do laundry. I usually work at home that day, so in it goes in the morning while I'm doing my cleaning routine and starting my work. If I have to work outside the home on Thursday, I do laundry Wednesday afternoon or evening after work. I give myself credit for being that flexible. Ahem.
All laundry is washed, dried, folded, and put away immediately.

On Friday, I go grocery shopping. This usually happens after I've completed my cleaning routine for the day. Fridays are also often a work at home day so this affords me flexibility.

That's the skeleton of how I keep my life running (sort of) smoothly. Perhaps I can go into more detail in the next installment. Until then, dear readers (if there are any!), enjoy whatever you're doing, wherever you are.
Have a very purple day!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saying Goodbye

When someone dies, there's a hole in the place in your life where they used to be. It never goes away and it never gets easier. It gets different. Recently, a new hole came into my life. 
I feel as though I'm too young to have lost as many people as I have. Over the last several years, holes have formed where people in my life once stood. It's a weird feeling--inexplicable to say the least. Unsettling, unnerving, and deeply saddening would be a few ways to describe this awful void.
Today I officially say goodbye. I'm trying to think of how to say goodbye without it's feeling like it's forever...only it is. The curtain is closed, then removed to reveal a hole. A hole of nothingness. 
Over and out.
Caidil gu la laddie...sleep the dark away.
Rest in peace, my good friend. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

I Shall Keep Singing (Credit: Emily Dickinson)

I shall keep singing. For a while, I thought I wouldn't. I thought my time was up, the glory was over, and the time had come to hang up my choir outfit and turn in the music. 
This is exactly how I felt at the end of the chorus season. I was burned out, bummed out, and just ready to call it a 20 year ride. But suddenly, as I was standing on stage with my fellow singers, looking out into the larger than usual audience, I remembered why I do this. There is nothing in the world so satisfying and emotionally wonderful as singing in a choir. The music we make is not possible to make on my own. Also, I realized in that moment (yes, as I was singing) that it's more than the music. It's the people who create it with me. It was at that moment, I realized, that while I may need the summer to recharge my batteries, the thought of leaving all of this behind caused tears to well up in my eyes. I'm looking forward to singing in the Fall with my beloved chorus. Sometimes we all need moments like that.

I shall keep singing!
Birds will pass me
On their way to Yellower Climes—
Each—with a Robin's expectation—
I—with my Redbreast—
And my Rhymes—

Late—when I take my place in summer—
But—I shall bring a fuller tune—
Vespers—are sweeter than Matins—Signor—
Morning—only the seed of Noon—

             -Emily Dickinson

I've always loved this poem for many reasons. I discovered it first when a composer set it to music as a tribute to our late artistic director who lost her battle with breast cancer. She never wanted us to stop singing--not even when she could no longer conduct. She believed in the hope of morning and she loved yellow. Even though the taste of evening better suited me, she taught me to love and hope even in the early morning hours.

Years later, after a rough time, this poem means something more. I stand a little taller, stronger, and more confident that, yes, I SHALL KEEP SINGING. It's a beautiful thing and it fills me with joy I can't find anywhere else. I've cried tears of despair but now I cry tears of joy. Tears that let me know singing is vital to my very existence. And not just singing--but singing in a choir. 

And that is why I continue this journey of song with 49 or so of my friends walking with me and hoping with me for a better world--at least in our corner.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trials and tribulations

I started this blog as a way to express my Type A personality and love for routines in a world where things are often chaotic and not to my taste. I've drifted into another realm, but when I think more about it, it's really the same thing. I feel upside down and out of control and I crave that feeling of security found in routines, knowing what to expect, and always feeling prepared. Lately, my emotions confound me. I am surprised at my reactions and responses to what are usually small annoyances. Suddenly, I feel my blood boiling and I explode with words I hardly ever speak aloud. I am unable to regulate my emotions and my interactions with people are unexpected--often way out of character for me. It's as though my insides have come out--everything I think inside comes flying out at the world. Very unsettling.

I am working hard to remedy this and by doing so, have become acutely aware of my words. I choose them carefully both in speech and ESPECIALLY in writing where people can't see my face or hear my voice. Email has become something to fear. Will I say it wrong? Will someone interpret something that isn't there? Should I use a different word? Put a smiley face so they know I'm happy? The anxiety it causes is too much. I retreat back into myself where it's safe. Sort of. Except that I'm afraid. Very afraid. The highs are high and the lows are lower than ever. I see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a long journey from here and I have to be patient--not something I'm particularly good at.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

When You're Not Invited

Despite my best efforts, when it comes to being on the A-list for events, I don't usually make the cut. I see happy pictures on social media of people I thought were my friends having a great time at one place or another. I see people who I didn't even know were friends of the host(ess) and I start to wonder if I'm oblivious to the fact that I am persona non grata. I thought I had wonderful friends and people liked me. I was wrong. I need new friends but when you're "of a certain age" it's not so easy. Everyone has their group of people. Everyone has their tribe. And they don't need a newcomer. Sigh. I guess I could repair the friendships I thought I had, but it's hard to repair what you didn't know was broken. 

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will ALWAYS hurt me. 

Left out.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I don't know you anymore/upside down & inside out

I wander through life and hope not to stumble or fall. Lately, I've stumbled more than I've fallen, but I only now realize how many times I fell over the last few months. I don't know why I'm writing this because I wouldn't want anyone to know. I guess I'm banking on the fact that nobody reads this idle chatter so I have nothing to worry about.

Days are long and nights are longer. I struggle to keep up with the simplest routines but I force myself to keep whatever I can in the realm of "normal". I just want to feel human again. And I don't want anyone to know I ever wasn't.

There's so much good in my life and I just have to remember it. I try to write it down every week so I can look back and see through all the craziness, that there were good moments. I have good people in my life, good things--love my jobs and singing. I'min love with a married man....but we won't go there. I never said that.

I need to sign off.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Something different

Sometimes it's good to explore something different. I'm not big on change, but variety can be good. Sometimes. I'm avoiding the topic at hand right now because it's a difficult one. For the last few months, I've been on a wild ride of mood swings, anxiety attacks, and feeling out of control. We all know that I thrive on routines and control. I hate surprises and not knowing what's coming. This is precisely how my life has been --filled with surprises and I never know what's coming. It's uncomfortable and scary. I find myself saying things before I know what they are. Words fly out of my mouth or onto my computer to land on some hapless person who may or may not deserve them. After a lot of destructive thoughts and intense anger, I reached out for help. I realized that this type of anxiety wasn't the "normal" "general" anxiety I always have, but something deeper, darker, and almost unstoppable. I can't live like this. Finding myself using alcohol to relax or numb the pain was a frequent occurrence. Staring at a bottle of pills and wondering if taking all of them would make me feel better and I'd fall into a puddle of tears wondering how I had gotten to this place. I'd been here before and I thought I climbed out. But here I was right there and it was all too familiar. I know I've hurt people in the past few months--or maybe longer. EEEK. I know I've seemed "off" and people have noticed I'm not myself anymore. I don't know whether to be sorry, scared, or embarrassed. Or all of the above. I'm out of solutions. I am hoping the help I've received will work. It will take time so I have to be patient--not something I'm terribly good at. I have to trust that there is an end to this awful feeling--this heaviness in my heart. I have to know that I CAN beat this. I don't have to cry every day wondering how I can survive when I'm dying inside.
The old saying is "better living through chemistry" and I know it to be true because I've lived it for years. Now we're adding something to the potion. Hopefully it works wonders.
That's all. And yes, this entry is blue. I feel a little less purple than usual.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lessons learned

Lessons learned (in no particular order)

1. What you tell one person, you're telling the whole world. If you don't want everyone to know, stay silent.

2. Email sucks.

3. People can be mean.

4. Committees should be no more than 3-4 people. 

4a. Committees suck.

5. Karma's not a bitch, it's a mirror (source unknown)

6. So many people are fake AF.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Where does the time go?

Ok, last time I wrote was over a month ago and I was determined to do better. Oh well. I feel I have reached the end of my list of things I need to say to the world. The rest is better kept to myself or just divulged to those few who understand.

It's a challenge to be me. I am still wandering through this crazy world with my type A, slightly OCD personality that never quite fits the mold society tries to set for me. This past month has been particularly challenging in that arena. One small victory was discovering I was right to set a type A deadline on a project. The victory, however, is moot as there is nothing to be done but gloat inside that people should have listened to me. But they didn't and they never will. Not on this project. So maybe they'll see in the end, that planning ahead was not just being nit picky and overly cautious, it was for a reason. Just maybe they'll see. Probably not. Committees suck.

And that's my blog for today. Maybe I'll be moved to write more sooner rather than later. Dating but not really dating a married man...but that's another story.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Long time no write

I'm in disbelief that almost a month has passed and I haven't written a single word! It's not what I intended but it's what happened. I will try to be more diligent in posting content to this blog. Perhaps I can learn from myself and schedule it as part of my (ahem) ROUTINE so it becomes habit and not a chore to be pushed aside or forgotten. 

It's mid February and my trip around the sun is almost complete. I will try to forget turning another year older, but the mirror doesn't lie and my age is showing. I need to fight this battle a bit harder and at least conquer the things about which I DO have control. My weight has skyrocketed for reasons I won't go into here. I hate knowing I went from almost underweight to obese in the space of about 15 years. I worked so hard to get to my goal weight and swore I'd never be fat again. And yet here I am. Sigh.

Anxiety abounds and routines, though they save me from a lot of things, don't have the power to erase the feeling of failure that washes over me every time I assess myself and my life. I have an index card that reminds me that I've been here before and I survived. So I have to believe it's true. I will conquer this and I will feel better. Rose colored glasses firmly in place.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Planning really works

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Planning really works. It just does. It seems like a daunting task when you start, but once you're in a routine (yay for routines!) it's easy. I just looked at a pile of dishes needing to be put away. I spent more time fretting over doing it than it actually took to do the task. I have overhauled my routines and my planning over the last year--I've described it in some of my earlier posts if you're interested--and it has changed my life. I clean much more efficiently and things that used to take hours and drive me crazy as they piled up in front of my ever increasing anxiety ridden eyes, only take minutes to complete. And it's all because of planning. 

I am actually very proud of myself for achieving this goal of being able to say I clean my house efficiently by breaking down into small parts so I never have to say "I have to clean my entire house today". And nothing gets a chance to get totally foul when it's cleaned on a regular basis.
There are a few other (ok, more than a few!) things for which I need to use this same method, but progress has been made. Let's see how much I can accomplish this year!

2017, we're going to get even MORE organized! Bring it on!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The End

Tomorrow marks the end of an era. Tomorrow marks the end of America as I've always known it--the place where dreams are possible, diversity is celebrated, and where it's ok to love who you love. Clearly, I was wrong about this country. I don't recognize it anymore. I hear voices I've never heard and they scream hateful things about people who are different. And by different, I mean not white and Christian. Never in my life have I felt so empty as I feel knowing that we are going to be in the hands of a monster. 

People say stay and fight like hell. I want to run. People say make your voice heard. I can't find my voice. I'm disappointed, sad, scared, and disgusted. I'm ashamed and I feel defeated. Maybe I should have seen it coming. Maybe this IS what America always was but the colors were never allowed to shine through because somehow, good people made them fade for a while. But there is no more fading, and while there are good people, there just aren't enough. We've been defeated. America is dying. Maybe it's dead already.

I hope against hope that this nightmare will end and we'll all escape unscathed. But I fear the worst. I fear torture, alienation, and the wrath of a dictator so power hungry, he cannot tell the difference between the twitter click and the bomb click. 

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst--and I can't even fathom what the worst is going to be.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Where does the Inspiration Come From?

Sometimes I sit down to write and nothing come out. Yet, in the dead of night when I should be sleeping, my brain runs wild with ideas and worries and thoughts of everything from from what to wear the next day to how I'm going to survive the next 4 years. I want to write more and write meaningful, thought provoking content, but I'm not sure I do much more than ramble. I guess it's ok, though. It's not like anyone's reading it!

The days have been dreary and cold lately--very unlike the place where I live. I find myself feeling less motivated, less interested, and more sluggish. Could be the weather, could be me, could be a combination of wanting to throw in the towel and say this country sucks and I'm tired of all the asshat twatwad fkturds. And the orange cheeto.

Where do you get your inspiration? What moves you so much that words come flowing out like a river?

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year, New Start

Just like so many others, I am looking at a new year and thinking about new beginnings, fresh starts, and reaching new goals. I attempt to approach this with a bit of reality and a bit of cautious optimism. 
Here are some of my goals for 2017:

1. Be kinder to myself and others
2. Be more patient with myself and others
3. Focus on health
4. Spend more time with friends
5. Get and stay organized
6. Save more money
7. Sing more
8. Delete toxic people/things from my life

I'm sure I could keep going, but 8 things seems quite lofty so I'll keep it here. I hope I can keep at least ONE of these resolutions. I look back on past years and wonder how all of those promises I made to myself got lost in such a short time. How easily I make promises to myself and how easily I can forget them or make excuses for not keeping them. I want to change. I want this year to be different. I want to be true to myself and not do things because I think it will please others, but because I want to better myself.

Here's to a great 2017.