This is where I go out on a limb and ponder a while.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Introvert Alert

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?  I am an introvert.  No, I'm not shy.  It's not the same as being an introvert.  Shyness is defined as:  "Easily frightened by strangers, distrustful, suspicious, bashful..." and I am none of those.  People who are introverts tend to be uncomfortable in large groups of people for the simple reason that it is just plain exhausting.  We draw our energy from solitude.  I can take being around a large group of people for short periods of time, but then I need to escape for some quiet time, or I will get very tired and cranky.  And I have no desire to be the center of attention - ever.

So imagine how I felt about having a big birthday bash for my 50th birthday coming up in a few weeks.


Yes, that is an upside-down smiley face.  My oldest daughter and my husband decided to have a birthday party for me because it is a big deal, right?  And they are so thoughtful to do so, aren't they?  I should have been thrilled, but I wasn't.  What was I thinking? I'll tell you what I was thinking:

1.  I was thinking about a house full of people.
2.  Me being the guest of honor.
3.  Not being able to sneak out for some quiet time for the whole day.
4.  People paying attention to me for at least some of the time - usually my husband gets all the attention, he's an extrovert and he loves it.

So I said "No."

For a few days, anyway.  But then I remembered my New Year's resolution and then decided to go ahead with it.

 "As long as there's champagne involved", I said.

I still haven't thought of something really exciting to do in order to celebrate turning 50, but having a party is a start.  I may even let someone take a picture of me...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

9/11 (E.'s Take)

For a while I've been considering writing a post about 9/11.  I hesitate to write about it because it's been overdone, it's very controversial, and I'm not an expert on the subject of history.  

But what I'm pondering here is the different perspective that someone like E. has on this historic event.  She was not quite one year old when 9/11 occurred.  She's part of the generation that will have no actual memories of the event.  I remember standing in the middle of my living room on a weekday morning, holding her in my arms while watching The Today Show in horror.  I was feeling thankful that I had her safely at home in my arms, yet at the same time worrying about my other children at school.  Many parents remember having the same concern about the safety of their school-age children at the time:  should we go pick them up from school and bring them home, or are they better off at school?  There was an almost overwhelming fear of  the unknown.  This country had never been attacked in such a way before, and suddenly none of us knew for certain that we were safe.

But E. had no clue, and up until today, has not experienced any real fear or lack of security.  She knows what happened that day over 10 years ago, but when I tell her about it, she shows a lack of detachment.  I can tell the horror of it really doesn't register with her.  And how can it, unless she really sees it?  Perhaps I'll have to rent or buy one of the videos that documents the incident moment-by-moment.  I haven't wanted her to see any of them up until now, because they are pretty raw and difficult to watch, even for an adult.  I guess it's natural to want to keep her world 'all Disney'.  But maybe it's something she should see.  When I was her age my Social Studies teacher made us watch a film about the holocaust.  The visions of those victims still haunt me to this day.  Perhaps that's the way it should be.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".  ~George Santayana

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Resolutions: Part 2

Remember my New Year's Resolution?  I'm going to be brave.  I'm going to be brave enough to try new things. Well, today I want to add on to my resolution.  Now, don't panic, I'm not raising the bar - this is a good one.  In fact, you may even want to try it out yourself:  I'm going to be brave enough to let go of things that I'm not good at.  Ok, you're thinking, big deal, anyone can do that.  Maybe so, but for a perfectionist/optimist, it's a nightmare.  Not only do I constantly put pressure on myself to be able to do all of the things my mother/Martha Stewart/my friends can do, but I think I have all the skills and time to do it just because "I think I can"!  My cup is always half full! :)  Not such a bad way to be, mind you, but it gets me in trouble.  A lot.  Because I have a craft room/office that is filled to the ceiling with half-finished projects because I have neither the time nor the skills to see them to fruition.

Today I am working in the kitchen.  Here is where I shine.  I'm a pretty darn good cook/baker, if I do say so myself.  It comes naturally to me and I love doing it.  By the middle of the afternoon I've baked an apple pie, and some vanilla cupcakes with coffee buttercream frosting, then cleaned and stuffed 2 ducks and put them in the oven for dinner.  As I'm cleaning up the kitchen, I look at what I have accomplished and it hits me that I've been kidding myself for a very long time.  There is no reason to try to do all of those crafts and sewing projects, just because they're cute and everyone else is doing them.  This is what I do best and it makes me happy.  And when I take a really good photo and see it pop up on my computer screen, it makes my heart sing.  So, what I need to do is be brave enough to go into that room and clear out all of that stuff and give it away to make room for...what?  Yikes, it's going to be a big job.

Over the Back Fence

Friendships have taken on a new dimension these days.  I think we have created a new definition of  'friends' out of necessity.  We are all so isolated.  At work we do everything on a computer, rather than face-to-face.  There are very few phone calls made, fewer meetings are necessary, (just send out mass memos or emails), and rather than walk over to someone's office to discuss something, you just shoot them an email.  If you are a work-at-home person, in the past you may have had coffee with your neighbor, or visited over the back fence on a daily basis, but chances are, if you're like me, there isn't another person who stays at home for miles around.  So your only option is to reach out to people online.   My husband (gently) teased me at first when I got hooked on facebook and blogging.  But when I explained it to him this way, it made sense to him and he understands why I do enjoy it so much.   But he still doesn't pay any attention to facebook, and he's never read my blog!   He says he has to spend way too much time on his computer at work doing WORK, so when he's at home, he doesn't want to have anything to do with it.

A new blogger friend, Jill, from talked about this on her blog this morning, and that's what got me to thinking and writing today.  Go check out her blog - it's wonderful, and so inspiring!  She mentioned that when a blogger friend shuts down a blog, it's just like losing a friend.  And it is sad.  The circle of friends you collect online is very real.  You get to know them through their stories and photos.  You can almost hear their voices through their written words.

Thanks, Jill, for kicking my brain into gear this morning!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

A new baby!  Is there anything more exciting than a new baby in the family?  Our newest grandson arrived last night.  Mother and baby are healthy and the delivery was fairly quick and uneventful. The little fellow looks just like his namesakes, which delights my husband and son, of course!   And I know in their minds they are already planning ahead to the day they can take him out hunting and fishing.  This afternoon I'm going to visit him.  And take massive amounts of photos.  Poor thing.  ;)   Might as well get used to that right away.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Stumbled

I stumbled, but picked myself up.  I thought I wanted a job, but thankfully realized it was a mistake before it was too late, whew!  I go through this about once every couple of years, usually during the January - March slump.  I get a little depressed maybe, or bored.  I want some excitement.  I want to get out of the house, have an excuse to dress up, meet some new people, try new things, socialize, whatever!  I lose sight of my goals, which are to take care of my health, my family, be good to the earth, and be available for spontaneous moments when they present themselves.  Yesterday, I saw how blessed I am to be able to work at home.  E. had a Knowledge Bowl competition at the school in a nearby town.  It started during the afternoon and lasted until dinnertime.  Would I have been able to get time off work?  Maybe, maybe not.  Fortunately I didn't have to worry about it.  My husband and I sat and watched her through each round and then took her out to dinner after.  It's a different sort of spectator sport (no cheering!), but interesting, kind of like being in the live audience at a game show, although we had to be totally quiet.

On the drive home I had time to think about what life would really be like day-to-day if I were to get a job:  What would E. do during the summer?  No more lazy days at the ranch.  No more spontaneous day trips with Dad.  I'd have to find someone to take care of her all summer and after school.  And sick days?  Perhaps Dad could take a day off and take care of her, but as much as he loves her, no one does it like Mom does;)  And what about all my lovable li'l critters!  Oh, forget it, I'm staying right where I am!  My thrift-shop jeans and sweatshirts are just fine, and before I know it, it will be spring again.  You know what I really think I need is a puppy...a Corgi puppy.  Man, I've got Corgi fever so bad!

E. and me.

       So, I just have to keep reminding myself of why I do what I do, I guess, and be very, very grateful.  I have a friend who goes through the same thing in the opposite way.  She, on occasion, thinks she wants to quit her job and stay at home.  But very quickly she realizes that she wouldn't last long at home before she would be missing the stimulation and satisfaction she gets from her job.  We all like to look over the fence once in a while, don't we?

Monday, January 9, 2012

How to Pay Your Bills

1.  Feed all of the animals.  No one can possibly work with furry little faces waiting to be fed :(

2.  Clean up the kitchen (can't work with the breakfast mess staring you in the face either).

3.   Have a lovely soak in the tub - my personal indulgence of choice. You can substitute something else here as long as it doesn't take more than an hour ;)  Maybe a manicure, or some online shopping?  It doesn't matter, the point is, you don't want to go into this task feeling deprived, do you?

(Sorry, no photos available on this one!)

4.    Make the bed and straighten up your room.  Everyone knows clutter is distracting.

5.    Light a scented candle.

Now you have no more excuses to procrastinate!  Make it as enjoyable as possible, I say.  And last, but not least, chocolate makes everything more pleasant!