Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Two stress relievers ...

I’ve come to understand that life is a very stressful occupation; you cannot give your two weeks when you get burned out and need a change of pace.  You cannot take a vacation from life.

As a result, it is a mission of mine to alleviate as much of the unnecessary stresses in life as possible.

I have my husband to help bear (and sometimes contribute to) the burden and stress of domesticated life ... but I don't have a partner at my paying job.**

Whenever I feel overwhelmed at my day job and want to strangle the sender of an insanely ridiculous e-mailed request, I breathe and look at my computer.  I have two “reality checks” taped right under my monitor which recenter my mind.  (And no, I don’t mean my two stinky-poos that I gave birth to!)  I am referring to a fortune  I received at the height of my postpartum depression and the Serenity Prayer.

The source of repose and relaxation is physically attached to one of the sources of my day-to-day frustration ... I feel it's rather poetic!

The Fortune:
No need to worry!  You will always have everything that you need.
These words hold so much comfort to me when I feel troubled … it’s as if I receive a big bear hug of peace when I need it.  I am not a believer in fortune cookies or any mystical mumbo-jumbo, but I do believe that I need to keep my eyes open to the messages given to me.  When I opened this fortune cookie, I was emotionally and physically experiencing the toughest journey of my life.  Reading these words helped to pull me from the darkness in my soul.  And I revisit this message at least once a day.  

The Serenity Prayer:
God Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
Most people know this as the prayer for those struggling with addiction ... but this prayer can benefit anyone who faces a challenge in their lives.  An easy translation to this prayer is: Give me the ability to know when to surrender and when to persevere.  For anyone that knows me, knows this prayer is very special to me and dear to my heart.  My family struggled (and still struggles) with addiction in many forms for many generations so I was born knowing this prayer.  I never took the time to understand it until I was in high school when I had a difficult journey to make and the prayer finally clicked.  Ever since then, I carry this prayer with me and lean on it for strength and courage whenever I feel weak.

My message is:
It is not good or healthy to live life full of stress ... no one deserves it.  If you find yourself struggling with stress, try to find the source either physically or metaphorically attach your "reality check" to that stress.  I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me over the years.

**P.S.  Don't confuse this as me saying I work with poopy people!  I love my co-workers but no one can do exactly what I do every single day. 

Why can't I sleep...

It's 4:17 AM and I can't sleep!

Below are some possible reasons of my restlessness:
1. I am going back to work after a three day weekend and my brain is already hard at work on my to-do list.
2. I have two very pregnant ladies in my life and am wondering how they are sleeping. Or are they possibly in labor?!
3. I had a cup of coffee after my 3:00 PM cut off time.
4. I'm hungry.
5. I have a small skin tag that magically appeared on my right eyelid.
6. I have to fly up north in a few days for work and don't know what outfits to pack.
7. I'm tired.
8. Cracks keep appearing on the walls. Is it time to call out the foundation guys??
9. I can't forget to call the lawn guy! Our yard needs some major TLC!
10. Will my carbon monoxide detector work if there's a leak?
11. I can't remember if I reserved a room at the hotel? If not, I hope the couches are comfortable in the lobby!

Ok. Enough ramblings. I am going to attempt a nap before my alarm goes off in an hour!

P.S. this is a self portrait as I was typing under my covers!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy VD (valentine's day) ...

My thoughts on Valentine's Day ...

Thought #1:
I've never fully understood the concept of Valentine's Day ... never ... really ... ever!
Why on God's green earth do you need a special day to say "I Love You"?!  If I waited for just one day a year to send my love, I would be up from midnight to midnight calling, texting and yelling my sentiments to anyone that would listen because I (pretty much) love every person I meet.

Thought #2:
As a kid, it was a day to realize how popular you were by the number of valentines you received.
As a teenager, it was a day to either wallow in self pity or make-out with your boyfriend.
As a young adult, it was a day to protest all things "romantic" while internally wallowing in self pity because you didn't have anyone to make-out with.
As a parent, it is a day to sneak candy from your kids when they aren't looking and make out with your husband in the bathroom while the offspring beat on the door yelling "WHATAYADOIN'?"

Thought #3:
I think Valentine's Day is the straw that breaks the camel's back for all of the "I'm Working Out Every Day" resolutioners because it seems like the gym starts to thin out shortly after 2/14. 
My theory is that perfectly amazing people start working out after the first of the year with the hopes of a killer body.  Shortly before Valentine's Day, they are tempted by the aisles of candy at the grocery store.  And their esteem takes a hit when they realize their body isn't super model perfect.  Mix in a "romantic" holiday and it is a recipe for a mental breakdown!

Thought #4:
I understand why the heart is the symbol for love and all things valentine-y ... but, c'mon!  The heart (in it's literal form) is ugly!  I think I am going to make shirts for my kids that look like this:

... well ... I've run out of time for thoughts as I have to go make my son's valentines for his school party tomorrow.  At least now each child has to bring enough valentines so each child in the class receives one.  Maybe this will help break the cycle in thought #2.

Monday, February 4, 2013

don't be a samantha ...

Days like this make me remember a magnet I had in my locker during my sophomore year of high school.  It was a cute little mouse with big ears and a little flower that read "I know God won't give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish He didn't trust me so much!"

I am a firm believer that all people I meet in life are here for a purpose and that I should try to learn something from all of my interactions.

That being said, I am faced with an unusually challenging character on a daily basis ... let's call her "Samantha". 
After 11 years in the corporate world, I have mountains of experience in dealing with bullies, wussies, chickens and tattle tales.
Samantha is a single, independent woman with a strong will and amazing sense of pride.  While I respect her independence, strong will and pride, I cannot appreciate her haughty, condescending and passive-aggressive attitude. 

I was face to face with an exceptionally painful conversation with Samantha recently and thank God this was over the phone so she couldn't see the clenched fists and steam coming out of my ears.  I had to mentally keep myself in check and force my yoga breathing throughout the conversation.  "Becky the B" almost came out and that is never a good thing!  After I hung up the phone, I was short of breath and had hives on my neck ... I am not kidding!  She stressed me out to the point of hives!  (I'm even feeling breathless as I mentally recount the conversation!)

When the conversation was over, I took stock and forced a positive light on things so I didn't feel like I wasted 30 minutes of oxygen. 

Some of the key learnings from Samantha are:
1.  Be Nice!
2.  Don't Lie!
3.  Have a Back-Bone
4.  Use Proper English!

But the most important lesson I learned from Samantha is "DON'T BE A SAMANTHA!"