Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby, Hold On*

Hey, it might never be the same
We might never live those days gone by
But we can try

I think I get stuck on “the way things were” or “the good old days” and you know what I’ve discovered? The way things were wasn’t necessarily that great. It’s just that those days were better than the more recent days. The grass IS always greener after all I guess.

Good morning
Let's kick the babies out of bed
How bout you and me instead hanging on
Not up and gone

Okay no babies… But for the record I would kick TheCat out of bed in favor of more snuggling time with you. You know how much I love to snuggle! And in my defense, I think part of the reason we feel so estranged from each other is because of the lack of intimacy in our relationship. You just can’t fake those kinds of feelings – no matter how much I wish I could.

(Baby, hold on)
Let's start this over
(Baby, hold on)
We're not much older now
(Baby, hold on)
If you still see what I see
Keep holding on
Hold on to me

Can we start over? Probably not. Too many years of history there. But we could act like we’re starting over, try a little harder to make each other smile, do little things to let the other know we care. I really believe its not too late for us – that this doesn’t have to be the end. I feel like we have our entire lives ahead of us and all we need to do is spend more time turning to each other for strength and comfort and less time filling that void with other people and things. Will you hold on to me?

Baby, it's good to see you smile again
I know we can't escape
So let's pretend
We're someplace else

No doubt things are hard right now. These definitely feel like burdens above and beyond what I can bear. Maybe we need to just forgive ourselves and each other for things that are ultimately out of our control. All marriages suffer strain… Let’s get away – you and me – even if its no farther than the backyard. Enjoy the moments as they come and save the stress for tomorrow. We can handle anything if we stand together.

It's a new day
Let's look at all we've got
It's everything we thought
We ever wanted
It's beautiful

Believe it or not, but this life that we’re living right now? This is exactly the life I thought I wanted a few years ago. What woman wouldn’t want to be married to her best friend? And how many years had I been working on you to move out of the Bay Area because the crowds and traffic and noise make me crazy? How much did I love our house when we first moved in? It felt like infinite possibilities – the whole world was at my doorstep!

How could I have known that all of these things would eventually make me miserable? When did they stop being beautiful and start being burdens?

(Baby, hold on)
Let's start this over
(Baby, hold on)
We're not much older now
(Baby, hold on)
If you still see what I see
Keep holding on
Hold on to me

But we still have each other. Maybe that’s what we need? To get back to basics and just have it be you and me against the world? Just like it used to be… Back when I would rather be with you than anyone else in the world – and you with me. Back when our house was constantly filled with love and laughter and friends and good times. Back before the silence and the anger and the hurt feelings and the tears. Lets move past all that - lets hold on to the one thing we know is right – each other.

I look across the room and catch you staring at me
And see the love we almost left behind
So lead me by the hand and let's make up
Let's make up for lost time

Do you love me? Do you still want to spend the rest of your life with me? Do I make you happy? The answer to all those questions for me is yes. But it is a cautious and quiet yes because I can’t tell how you feel. I am afraid to be rejected, to look across the room and see nothing (or worse) in your eyes. You have to make the first move here. I promise I’ll meet you half way, hell I’ll meet you 75% of the way. But the first step has to be yours. Take me by the hand?

(Baby, hold on)
Let's start this over
(Baby, hold on)
We're not much older
(Baby, hold on)
If you still see what I see
Keep holding on

Do you see what I see? Can we move past the past and concentrate on the future? Forgive and forget? I don’t know if it is possible, but it is definitely impossible without you on board also. We can start over, build our life together starting now, its not too late, we’re not too old.

Hey, it might never be the same
We might never live those days gone by
But we can try

*Dixie Chicks - Taking the Long Way - Baby Hold On

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thank GOD that it's Friday!

Y'all. Yesterday was THE most frustrating & crazy day! Yet somehow I managed to keep my sense of humor. Which is shocking as I haven't slept well in weeks* & am on the verge of a two-year-old still hissy fit pretty much constantly. In fact, said non-sleeping is the likely cause of yesterday's craziness.

First, I drove all the way in to work in the morning (an hour & a half) only to realize I had left my work laptop at home. %&$#! So then I drove all the way back home (another hour & a half) to get it. When I got there (having spent a whopping 3 hours in the car and accomplished exactly nothing) I thought I'd go in and make myself some soup for lunch before trekking back. While my soup was heating I thought I should log in to my email from home just to make sure there were no fires to put out. THEN I thought I should change out of my work slacks and into jeans in order to keep them relatively cat hair free since the cat, for whatever reason, LOVES to sleep in the office chair.

One thing led to another and I get carried away sending emails and working on stuff in my inbox that all of a sudden I realize its been well over an hour and I need to get back to the office! So I shut down my computer, lug it out to the car (I was NOT going to forget it a 2nd time) and start making my way over to Palo Alto (another hour and a half). When I get to the office I realize that a) I am still wearing jeans and flip flops since my slacks and heels are draped over the foot board to keep the cat hair off and b) the soup I was making myself for lunch was still sitting on the kitchen counter, totally untouched.


Oh, and those jeans I ended up wearing to my super stuffy and conservative office? Of course they weren't a cute, somewhat trendy pair... Oh no... These were my hole-y, frayed edges, only good for housework jeans. Super!

*Slept last night though - 7 whole blissful, uninterrupted hours! Thank the baby Jesus!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Good grief people - it has been 5 nights since my last solid, uninterrupted 6 hour stretch of sleep. Glorious sleep. I have managed in the last few mights to grab a moment or two of rest however I've also been having strange, complex dreams involving people I know, people I don't know, and once, interestingly enough, a person who I am pretty sure was an amalgamation of two different people. And y'all I remember these dreams, sometimes in their entirety! That can't be good.

But! At least I've managed to bypass the stage I was in a few days ago where I alternately wanted to cry incessantly or pitch a full on two-year-old style hissy fit. I might have even seriously considered homicide. It would have been completely deserved and I am pretty sure I could have gotten away with it except 1) I remembered just in time that the victim has a couple young kids and the idea of robbing them of their (cowardly, sniveling, annoying as hell) father brought me back to momentary sanity and 2) I like orange but I'm not necessarily sure head to toe orange would be a good look for me as I'm only 5'2" (on a good day, after yoga, when I've slept, and been to the chiropractor). Nothing says oompa loompa like an orange midget, I'm just saying.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Manipulative Advertising

*****Just so you know, if anyone is reading this, I'm feeling particularly rant-y today. Two nights of minimal sleep will do that to a girl.*****

Has anyone else noticed this fairly recent trend in advertising that is designed to make you feel absolutely terrible and then go out and support whatever product they are selling you? Its like radio ads or commercials with a side of guilt trip! WTF people?

In California there is this new radio ad that makes me so mad I have to switch stations every time it comes on lest it spark some road rage action on my part. Its basically this mom talking about how her sons were so happy and each loved their brother but then one gets into a car accident and dies so she has to go wake up the other one in the middle of the night to tell him that his much loved brother is dead. I believe the point of this commercial is to get parents to sign their kids up for a teen driving class but I really don't know because I can never seem to listen to the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, its tragic when a teenager dies, but I don't think we should be guilt tripping other parents into paying money for a class because they are freaked out their kid might die in an auto crash... Maybe its just me.

Oh! And that commercial for the ASPCA that features Sarah McLachlan singing "arms of the angels" and shows a bunch of sad/tortured puppy faces? Really? Animal cruelty is a big issue and while I agree there is a special place in hell for folks that abuse helpless animals I do not appreciate the ASPCA capitalizing on my tender heart strings with the aim of raising money. Maybe its a head in the sand thing? Nothing is worse than watching a football game at the bar with some friends only to have half the room crying when this commercial comes on. Also, TheBoy would REALLY appreciate never seeing this commercial again because every time it comes on I renew my push for a dog.

Or what about that new one for some big gas company that is supposedly your car talking about all the things it does for you and how you shouldn't "repay" its kindness with cheap supermarket or discount club gas? I'm sorry but just this morning I heard a story on the news about how oil and gas companies are continuing to post record profits, even while the rest of the nation is in a recession! Do they NEED more money? Enough to justify this kind of marketing? Because I could use a few extra dollars and so I put the cheap gas in my car and I don't feel guilty. I doubt my car wants to make me feel bad for using supermarket gas and not one with Techron or whatever gimmick they've got these days.

Maybe I'm just becoming cynical in my old age? I feel like every time I see a new commercial or hear a new spot on the radio I can totally see right through the message and I hate feeling manipulated! In fact, generally I feel like stamping my feet and doing the exact opposite of whatever the ad is trying to get me to do just out of spite!

Maybe I just need more sleep.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I think I've written here before (but am too lazy to go searching the archives for) about how I'm going through a bit of a crisis of faith. As the child of divorced parents I spent half my formative years attending sporadic Methodist services in the various places we lived with my mom and the other half completely engulfed in the male half of my genetic make-up's very southern, very Pentecostal church life. I can't imagine it being any more confusing than that... except perhaps if my mom had been atheist.

Picture me, aged somewhere in the middle school years, having gone to maybe three church services in the entire school year only to be shipped off to spend the summer with my father who went to church not only on Sunday mornings, but Sunday and Wednesday evenings as well. We spent most of our Saturdays at the church, or at some church member's home, or at a park having a picnic with yet more church people. I won't lie y'all I LOVED it. In fact, I would say that the social aspect of church is still the one thing I miss more than anything.

In Jr. High I went to a private Christian school and promptly joined the youth group of the church affiliated with my school. I remained a fairly active member through out high school despite increasingly feeling uncomfortable with the actions and ideals of the church and its members. I haven't regularly attended church services since I graduated High School and by "not regularly" I mean pretty much not at all. Suffice it to say that I've done quite a bit of growing up over the last 13 years or so and I've really struggled with the ideals and things I was told were right as a child and with the things that my grown-up self feel are right.

I've spent the last couple years studying other religions that interested me, not with the thought of converting to anything different but more to see if I could find a religion out there that I could feel at peace with. I've studied a little bit of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and even stuff like Rastafari. The combined effect being a little confusing but at the same time comforting. I love different aspects of each of these religions and there are so many similarities of message among them that I can strive towards in my own life.

I love the compassion of Buddhism - the thought that all life is precious and that through right action you can achieve peace. I love similar things about Hinduism and also that no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others. That directly goes against everything I ever learned in church about belief in Jesus being the only way to salvation. I like the Jewish idea that ones actions are more important in their relationship with God than their beliefs. I always struggled with the notion of confessing sins, being forgiven and then going right back out and committing those same sins all over again knowing you could just confess again and be right back at square one. I love the sheer optimism and positive message of Rastafari. But I have questions...

So... what if there is only the one God? That regardless of whether we call him God, Allah, Yahweh, Bhagwan or even Jah, we're all talking about, praying to and believing in the same higher power? And if that is true then really aren't all religions the same religion just with various cultural and regional beliefs, morals and social mores superimposed onto it? Meaning that in your religion something is considered wrong not necessarily because it IS wrong (I think we can all agree that some things are sins regardless of your belief, or not, in God) but because it is/was socially frowned upon?

And, bear with me here on this hypothetical ride, if we are all God's children (and most religions do have this theme of God being the father figure) then couldn't we argue that Jesus was the son of God in just the same way that I am a daughter of God? No doubt the man was a prophet and a teacher, and a magnificently charismatic one at that - with his message of love and acceptance and do no wrong. But why can there have been only one? And why would God chose to send a son to save only members of one religion (following the thought that all Gods are the same God so all religions are essentially the same)? Why aren't other religion's prophets respected in the same way and their teachings given equal weight?

I know there can inherently be no right or wrong answer to these questions... But it is interesting to think about and study. I just wish it wasn't such a taboo subject to discuss so that instead of having this constant stream of thought and questioning going on in my own head I could discuss it with others. But I've never witnessed a truly "friendly" intellectual discussion of religion that did not at some point result in hard feelings and insults for the ways in which individual beliefs differ. Maybe that is the ultimate goal of religion, to help all of us to learn to love each other for our differences and know that we can all co-exist harmoniously in the world God created for us, his children - ALL his children.

Okay - if anyone is still reading at this point and hasn't become so offended as to delete me from their reading list all together - I feel like I should clarify something. I DO believe in God. I have felt his presence and his love for me all my life. I see God in the beauty of nature when I'm outdoors, I see him in the actions of every day people and I see his influence in the way I live my life. I believe in doing good unto others and in love and in compassion. I thank God for many things, including the inspiration he gives to doctors and scientists and artists and all sorts of talented individuals who make this world a better place. I do NOT believe that God is concerned with the petty things modern religion makes important and I do NOT think that he would be overly pleased with all of the anger and violence in the world that is attributed to his name.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Catching up

OMG you guys - my last post was March 9th?!!?! So much for that New Year's Resolution about blogging more! Whoops.


So what have I been up to in the last 4 months?

A little bit of this:

Not enough of this:

Or this: WAY too much of this:

A little of this:

Craziness people, pure craziness.
**none of these photos are of me or anyone I know - thank you google images.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Running on empty, running blind*

~Today is a good day. I woke up this morning feeling more like "me" than I have in ages, maybe even years. I try not to ask to many questions when the good days come but just let myself go and enjoy them but this time I can't help but note the coincidence (or not) that I got to spend some quality time with some great friends and their two adorable kids last night. There is something about the way a two (and a half!) year old snuggles into your lap and then leans in for a kiss that melts your heart. And that new baby smell? Amazing! I may not want kids for myself but man if I don't love borrowing them for a bit. Instant peace of mind.

~Yesterday I got up, got dressed for work, had breakfast and drove all the way into my office (a good hour and a half drive), parked in the garage, walked in and sat down at my desk... only to realize that I had left my laptop at home! Y'all I almost pitched a full on hissy fit right there at my desk... You can imagine all the not-appropriate-for-work words that were running through my head. But! It all turned out okay in the end since I ended up working from home again yesterday I got to see Angie and family on their way into to town for the week. Silver lining? Making lemonade out of lemons? Maybe. I did make lemonade though... :D

~The funny thing about opening yourself up to learning things about life from your day to day experiences is that you tend to pay more attention to what is going on around you. On Sunday I was sitting in my favorite low-key sports bar in my hometown trying to convince one of the bartenders to put the Oscars on (no cable remember?). Eventually I wore him down but in the meantime I was watching the Celtics basketball game (desperate times - I do NOT love basketball) and trying not to look like I was obviously eavesdropping on the group of guys sitting a few bar stools down. Turns out that after a few beers boys are just as bad as girls at disecting their past relationships and giving each other advice on the opposite sex. It was HILARIOUS, yet informative! I only wish I had a girlfriend there to appreciate it with me.

~On the marriage front, I think I had a major break through about why I feel so hurt and angry all the time. Now I need to find a way to discuss it with TheBoy without causing a massive argument. Really I just feel better just having recognized a root issue as opposed to just reacting (and over-reacting) to my emotions which is not really helping the situation at all. Maybe I won't have to bring it up to him at all, maybe I'll feel better just recognizing the issue within myself. Maybe? This self help stuff isn't as easy as it sounded y'all.

*The title of this post has nothing to do whatsoever with the content of this post... I just heard this Jackson Browne song on the radio this morning during my commute and it is now stuck in my head on a constant replay loop.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Freak coincidence? Or the Universe is messing with me.

I love The Daily Om. Really. Its just a little piece of the interwebs that is all positive and nurturing and encouraging, which is rare I think in the mix of news sites and gossip pages and so on. I forget who turned me on to it... Maybe my sister-in-law Kari? Anywho, I get their daily horoscope emails every day and while I'm not generally excited about horoscopes, these emails tend to be more about things to think on during the day than winning lotto numbers if you know what I mean.

Today's e-mail (or rather yesterdays but it came in late last night so I read it this morning) had this to say:

Vulnerable Strength
You may crave a closer connection with others today. At the same time, you may feel nervous about opening up to others because you are uncertain as to how they will react. You should not let this dissuade you from baring your soul to the people you care about. If you want to create more intimacy in your relationships, you will need to be able to express your vulnerability. Your loved ones will likely be honored that you trusted them enough to let them witness your vulnerable side. You may find that your willingness to trust them allows them to place their trust in you also. If you can let others see you as you are today, stronger relationship bonds will be your reward.

Now. This is either a crazy coincidence or somewhere, someone is messing with me because I have had this EXACT ISSUE weighing on my mind and heart these last few days. I feel like I am almost desperate for the connection of a close friend but find myself sadly lacking in that department due to distance, geographical or emotional. I've always had a fairly large group of friends, not always the same friends mind you, but I generally tend to run in a pack. I am comfortable when I have a handfull of folks I can call at any given moment to share a story, a cocktail or weekend plans. Now I have none - and it is MY OWN DAMN FAULT!

The past two or three years have been extremely trying for me with the moving to a new town and the getting married and the quitting my job and then finding another one I loved and then having to leave and come back to my old job. I know that isn't an excuse. I KNOW it isn't. But I'm a fairly private person and I HATE people feeling sory for me. Its not like I am looking for answers or anything so I generally prefer to keep my private life, well... private. However, the last nine months or so (beginning I guess in July of last year) have been at best the hardest/saddest/scariest nine months of my life and at worst have made me really wonder whether any of this is worth it and if I even have the strength. Its been dark, dark times.

Owing to the fact that I like to keep my private stuff private (and in connection with factors otherwise innocuous) I really withdrew from my friends and family in order to deal with the issues at hand. I've avoided social situations, stopped phoning or emailing people, missed out on major events and... basically just been a really terrible friend. But the worst part is that its not that I've stopped caring about anyone or that I love them less or want to be in their lives any less. Its more that I don't know what to do when the conversation inevitably comes around to how I'm doing. I love hearing how YOU are doing but I don't want to talk about me. Does that make any sense?

Also, combine that with the fact that I have what could possibly be the world's worst poker face in existance and you have me with tears welling up in my eyes at any random moment. Remember when I said I hated people feeling sorry for me up there a few paragrpahs ago? Yeah. Too bad pity is the number one response when someone notices tears. So the only thing I could think to do was hide. And hide I did.


Okay, its not like things are all of a sudden magically BETTER or anything but I have developed a calmer, more positive outlook on my life and I'm really working on making the changes I can and letting the rest go. I'm trying. And I feel better most days - really. But how do you call up a friend you've been basically avoiding for the better part of a year and pretend that nothing is out of the ordinary? Or more important why would these people even take my call? I'd like to think that I would give someone the benefit of the doubt if the situation were reversed but would I really? Who knows. This is exactly the kind of thinking that paralyzes me into inactivity. I don't call because I'm afraid it'll be awkward since I haven't called. Catch-22.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Missing Facebook

You know what the worst part of giving up Facebook for Lent is? Its seeing no less than three (3!) perfectly fabulous, country-fried, straight out of the trailer park mullets this weekend at the Monster Truck Jam and not being able to snap blurry, dark photos with my camera phone and upload them to Facebook with witty (or snarky - fine) commentary to share! SO! HARD! Actually, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that giving up Facebook for Lent has been WAY harder than my other Lenten sacrifice, which was to give up eating meat on weekdays. It might even be harder than the year I gave up beer... Well, maybe.

The main reason I gave up FB for Lent was to give myself time away from that collossal time suck and focus more on the other things I want to be doing but can't seem to find time for. Sadly, even though I haven't logged in to FB in 13 days I haven't magically come up with tons of extra hours in my day. Some, to be sure, but not as much as I'd would have liked... Probably because I haven't given up playing sodoku on my phone or obsessively checking email.

BUT! I did finally read a book I've been wanting to read for ages (in fact, I've started re-reading it!) AND I finally started in on my project to read the bible (in its entirety) in a year. So I've made some use of my free, non-FB time anyway. I guess I just had visions of having all this extra time to exercise and read and study and write and blog... But just giving up FB isn't enough - I need to find some motivation too!

So we'll see whether or not this little experiment will work, I know I'm awfully sad to miss out on all the (apparently) cute and funny pictures people have been posting, and I miss seeing the little updates of friends and family that I don't get to see that often... But really, how much time can a grown woman with a full-time job, a heinous commute, a marriage that needs work, a part-time yoga study and a fairly healthy reading habit spend on social networking?!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grace Happens

The church I belonged to as a teen-ager at one time gave out bumper stickers with the simple phrase “Grace Happens” on them. I forget now what the occasion or event was that triggered this slogan, only that several people had them pasted not only on cars but on office doors, home windows and notebooks. I had mine stuck to the white dresser which occupied my childhood bedroom. Over the years that saying has come back, unbidden to my mind several times in various situations. It has become a bit of a mantra for me – “Grace Happens”.

In the last year or so I’ve been studying Buddhism as part of my yoga experience. It began with a desire to learn more about the sense of peace I feel from my yoga instructors and those who live the yoga lifestyle (and attempt to capture for myself). It has gone quite a bit further than that now, including an ultimate desire to share what I’ve learned with others and go deeper into my yoga practice as an instructor. But that’s all for “some day”, that mythical day we all seem to be waiting for when finances will be as such that I can afford not only the advanced study but also the decrease in my earnings.

It has been interesting to compare the ideals and beliefs of my Christian upbringing with those of Buddhism. Surprisingly (to me, perhaps not to you) they are quite similar, if you subtract most of the radical intolerance (which I do) as being more about various churches and religious organizations and less about being “Christian” in the original sense of the word. In fact, it has been comforting to me and has renewed my interest in studying my own religion again. It has given me back my faith (or at least my faith in faith), and for that I am exceedingly thankful.

One of the main things that yoga has taught me is that grace is more than balancing beautifully on one foot or transitioning from pose to pose effortlessly. Grace is the way we move through the world, interacting with our loved ones. Grace is the way we interact with those we DON’T particularly love also and how we act when there is no one to judge us. It's the way we accept the world as it appears before us, and acknowledge our power to step in and create change, or to sit calmly by and take what comes. It’s the ability to find happiness in the little things, to find beauty in our world no matter how dark and dreary it looks from the outside.

I am resurrecting my old mantra and am being mindful to practice grace as much as possible - remembering to breathe in, breathe out. It is harder than I thought it would be, but I feel a sense of happiness and serenity in it that has been missing from my life almost entirely in the past couple of years. I wish I still had that plain white bumper sticker with its bright blue lettering – Grace Happens.