Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Anger I Had Thought Long Gone

Today my past and my present collided. In a seemingly innocuous request a co-worker asked me to look at a book and determine whether or not it would produce better results to scan the cover or take a photograph of the cover and then scan it. Knowing our VERY limited photography resources, I told her to scan the cover but to make sure and use some kind of de-screening option otherwise she would pick up the moiré / rosette pattern but asked to see the book anyway.

As she handed it to me I freaked out. I just started babbling incoherently. You see, my previous place of employment has published a book about its history, and somehow a copy of it made its way into the hands of my present company. As I realized that today I would have to confront better-left-untouched emotional baggage a slow burning started in the pit of my stomach. I was suddenly very hot, I was flushed, my pulse began to increase and I began to feel slightly dizzy. Now normally these are all signs that my body is about to feel really amazing however today it was quite the opposite. And, as my mind likes to go zig-zagging ‘round the world, it’s a subject I would like to give some thought.

Fight or Flight

It’s an interesting phenomenon. When face-to-face with an uncomfortable situation we have two choices: fight or flight. For most of my life I must confess to choosing flight only to then spend hours ruminating on how I could have fought. When it came to family I mostly chose “flight” because it was easier to get out of the uncomfortable situation by simply agreeing and moving on. Were I to have chosen “fight” it would inevitably have led to a discussion (read: lecture on what’s wrong with society and its decaying moral values—my family is more conservative than I) and a rather long one at that. With most everything else I chose flight because I had such little self-esteem. I simply didn’t have the faith in myself that I needed to fight. It was easier and less exhausting to simply feign apathy. I have spent a lot of my life in a state of depression and had no one to turn to and nowhere to turn for support. And as anyone who’s ever dealt with depression knows while in the its grip every simple and mundane task becomes overwhelming, time-consuming, and subsequently exhausting.

My depression is the tide. It comes on slowly, appearing to be tame, just inching up on me while I am standing at the water enjoying the sunset. I watch as the orb of gold fades, melting into the horizon and I think how soft the shoreline looks bathed in a red glow. The ocean’s tranquil blue-green hue deepens to indigo. I dig in, marveling at how child-like I feel with squishy sand between my toes and water beginning to creep up past my ankles. I walk out a little further.

I await the arrival of an inky sky splattered with marvelous bits of light as if an artist has dipped his brush into the last bit of the sun before it sets and with a flick of his wrist scatters a touch of its brightness into the night. I begin to feel the undertow and the grit swirling around my calves. I pay it no heed as I am enjoying the salty air and the wind in my face. I am still. I am quiet. I am serene.

When I have had my fill and feel ready at last to rejoin the world I find the water is well past my knees and I have drifted further than I intended. I turn to leave but the current is much stronger than my struggles forward. I eye the shoreline, searching for help. I discover a half-life to my now insignificant steps. The water is above my waist and try as I might, I realize I will never reach the shore so instead I give in to the sway, the ebb and flow of the liquid darkness surrounding me—thus my flight, my surrender.

It is only recently that I have begun to fight for only recently have I truly discovered that I am worth fighting for.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

In My Dreams—Close But No Cigar!

My dreams are usually pretty messed up.

Of course I have the usual dreams where I have forgotten to go to class all semester and suddenly it’s time for the final exam and I am unprepared.

Sometimes, though, I wonder if it’s my creative side taking free license with all the images, ideas and thoughts my brain has stored—kind of like a collage. It says, let’s take your second-grade teacher, the check-out guy in the grocery store last night, and put them at the table with your parents, who are actually Margaret Thatcher and Gary Coleman. And let’s have your cat, who, upon opening his mouth sounds like James Earl Jones, be serving you dinner. Yeah. I like that.

There was the time I dreamed about my purple espadrilles getting lost on the highway. Long story short: there was a hole in the bottom of the car and my shoes fell off my feet. At this point instead of stopping immediately I thought it would be a good idea to drive on another say, 60 miles to look for them. I started locally by stopping people on the street corner to ask if they had seen my shoes.

I photocopied flyers—Missing: two purple espadrilles size 7.5—with their picture and stapled them to lampposts. Then I appeared on the 6 o’clock news making a plea and begging for their return. Ultimately after their appearance on the back of milk cartons all across the United States I received a ransom note with a small piece of the purple cording attached. They were being held hostage for $200, and tickets to see Rick Springfield with Corey Hart as the opening act. (I guess I was lost in the 80s) It was time for back up—now the police and the FBI were involved.

I was to bring the money and tickets to the food court at the mall and my shoes would be returned. The big day had arrived and everything was arranged according to the note but as soon as we put the money and tickets in the designated spot…. I woke up.

For the most part all my dreams are left unfulfilled.

There’s the “coolest guy in school” who while in casual conversation begins the sentence…. If you don’t already have a date for the Prom, I’d like to…. and I wake up! There’s the Price Is Right Showcase Showdown where I have placed my bid and Bob Barker is about to announce … “and the actual retail price is…” I wake up. There’s the one where Communication Arts magazine calls me up and says “Your print work has been brought to our attention and we’d like to feature you in…” I wake up. And, of course, one of my favorites the “I saw you in your car, with the windows rolled down singing your heart out to the radio and I was so entranced by your voice I want to offer you a recording contract with…” I wake up.

And last, but not least, there’s the dream where I’m having the most amazing first date ever recorded in history. We have that spark, that amazing chemistry, and can’t help but wonder “that spot on his neck, right under his ear—if I were to lick it—would it be salty?” Where we’ve been suggestively teasing each other all night with the lightest of touches and prolonged, intimate eye contact. Finally, we’re alone. “God but I want to bite his earlobe and then suck on it a while.” He looks at me, I at him, and as we’re about to attack…. I wake up. Ugh! Sigh!

You know, in all my life I don’t think my mind has ever seen a dream to its fruition. I wonder what Freud would have to say about that?

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Listening to YES –The Very Best of Yes in particular Leave It!

Boring/Tedious/Monotonous day at work but this CD is definitely making it go by a lot faster. I have not written a lot lately because I am kind of in a funk. I need some inspiration and my brain is tired. It seems to happen after having several debilitating migraines. My brain just says "I need some recovery time. Why don't we catch some eye candy in the form of The Transporter or XXX."

I may buy The Brotherhood of the Wolf tonight. If you haven't seen it I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s French with English subtitles but WELL worth it. It’s just an amazing movie. Go read's review.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Today I turn 31.

I can't believe it was ten years ago that I turned 21. I don't feel any different! I remember standing in line at the Ghetto HEB to cash a check; I even remember what I was wearing. I had on a bluejean dress with red boots and a red scarf. (It was Texas you know!) I got to the front of the line and when I looked down at my check it was number 1021 written on 10-21 and I was turning 21.

Nothing in my life has ever lined up that perfectly since that day.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

I hear the secrets that you keep.....

Sunday is FOOTBALL day in my house. Today, Hub has fallen asleep during the game and he talks in his sleep. Sometimes, the most fun conversations we have are ones we have while he is asleep. So, while passing through from the bedroom into the computer room I heard the following... "Holding, Number 73, Offence."

Should I wake him or just let him sleep?
Losing the Past

Hubby and I spent last evening at a 192nd General Hospital Army reuniion from WWII. His Grandfather was the 'host" this year. We arrived around 6:30 for a small banquet to honor the men and their wives, most of whom were army nurses.They were stationed in England and last night's entertainment was stories and songs from the old days. Hubby said there were at least a third less people there this time from one of their former reunions just a few years ago. It's really sad to think of how the "history" of our nation is dying out with each passing day. I hope we never forget or take for granted what these men fought for. I'ts amazing how trauma can bond people. I wonder if that "shared trauma" isn't part of what was the "glue" of a lot of those marriages all of which have lasted over 40 to 50 years. Have you ever shared that type of experience with someone? Did it bond you to that person?

Most of Hubbby's family (maternal) was there. We saw his cousin and his new fiance; he's 27 and she's 39 but she looks younger. I wish them the best and a lifetime of happiness but I worry there may be a bumpy road ahead. It was really good to see his family; I have grown to love them all as if they were my own. Family-time is very important to me and I don't get to see mine very often being that they live 1000 miles away. All of Hubby's famliy can be here within 2 hours so I consider that close. I miss the camradarie that comes with shared experiences but after a year plus of marriage I feel I am beginning to fit in more.

Well, it's Sunday and just one day away from the BIG day. I suppose it's really not that big a deal.... just 24 hours (well, less at this point) but I am still apprehensive. I DON'T WANT TO GET ANY OLDER!!!! Can't we just choose what age to stop aging? I would just stop at say somewhere between 35 and 40 and that would be the end of it then turning 31 wouldn't be a big deal. I suppose the birthday anxiety is a little less than it was just a few weeks ago... I guess it's just that I've accepted the fact that I have to get older. UGH!

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Update: As of 10pm EST I am still running a fever--100.6 to be exact. I'm going to bed.
The Flu or Something Like It & Amazing Husbands

Yesterday morning I started feeling a little odd. I began sneezing a lot and my throat had that little tickle. You know that feeling you get when your body is trying to tell you that something just isn't right—something's out of sorts. By two in the afternoon I could definitely tell I was coming down with something and so I left around 4:15 to go home. I stopped off at the grocery store and bought some Echinacea capsules, Echinacea tea fortified with lots of Zinc, some orange juice and some chicken soup. I took my temperature when I got home and I was running 99.0 which is high for me as my body temp generally runs 97.6 degrees rather than everyone else’s 98.6.

I took some aspirin, made some tea and set out to work on a freelance project. I figured I could get two-to-three hours in before I turned in for the night. Well, by 6:30 I was getting hotter and had a temp of 100.2 so I called the client told them I was sick and that I would have to get the work to them later. I got the blankets out of the closet and tried to rest on the couch. I am a very hot-natured person and I had on the heat, a sweatshirt, socks, shorts, and was wrapped up in two blankets. I was still cold. I had the chills. I was exhausted and by 7:00 I was at 100.8.

By 7:30, at 101.2, I needed comfort and sympathy so even though it took every ounce of energy I had, I walked from the den into the bedroom to try and get hubby up. (He works from 11pm to 11am and so he doesn't get up ‘til 9:30pm). He wouldn't wake up and I knew how exhausted he was so I thought I would let him sleep some more. By 8:00 I was at 101.7 and this time I did manage to wake him up enough for him to follow me out to the couch where he sat at one end and I had my head at the other. I was restless and couldn't sleep but by just his presence I was able to calm down enough to fall asleep on the couch. Hubby slept too.

At 9:45 we both were awakened and my temp was at 102.0. Hubby called his boss and told him I was sick and that he was going to work from home. Then he went to the grocery store for Sprite, Thera-flu (the nastiest tasting stuff in the world!) and some Edy’s Strawberry Whole Fruit bars. They are AWESOME and felt cool on my throat. I had no appetite but knew I would dehydrate if I didn’t get some fluids into me. Hubby was the greatest! He took care of me and checked on me throughout the night. My fever finally broke around 2am. I slept in this morning but made it to work by noon because I had two very important meetings today. I feel better now but my throat still hurts and it’s quite red. Hopefully that will be as bad as it gets.

Thank you Baby for taking such good care of me. I love you.

Friday, October 11, 2002

The Small Stuff

I am one of those people who have a slightly obsessive need for my house to be clean, orderly, picked-up and spotless. Why? It’s not like I have an ever changing array of people parading through it; 90 percent of the time it’s just me, hubby, Tipsy and Gabe (four-legged children). It’s just I feel better about myself when everything is in order. I don’t judge others by how clean their house but I always expect them to judge me.

While hubby was away on vacation I gave the whole apartment a thorough cleaning. I got out the little Swiffer Sweeper and got the dust bunnies off the ceiling, baseboards, walls, and etc. I dusted every piece of furniture and oiled all the wood. I bleached the tile and grout in the bathrooms and completely re-organized his closet. (Mine stays organized year-round) Well, while he was away the house stayed completely clean. When he returned it got a little messed up again and last night I was stressing over it and yelled at my husband because he left all his bags from his vacation in the kitchen by the laundry room. I’m sorry.

My brother is coming into town tonight and staying through Monday. I am so excited about his visit I want everything to be perfect! Growing up whenever we had company Mother would clean, then go through the house with Patchouli spray, light candles and the house always felt homey. Whenever I came home from college it was the same way. She had always made my favorite foods (Spinach-Artichoke Dip!) as if everything was prepared just for me. So, whenever I have company I want it to look as if House Beautiful were coming to do a photo shoot. I absolutely love to entertain.

Yes, I am neurotically obsessive about some things, my house is one of them. It’s just that I have this notion I cannot get out of my head: how clean my house is reflects on my character as a person therefore if my house is a mess then I am a bad person. So, I ask you, how does one combat the minutia the inability to focus on the big picture for getting lost in the details?

Again, my dichotomy is showing for I am not a “details” person in all things. At work I am a big-picture person. I modify the flow of things. I make sure everything is understandable both visually and verbally. If you give me a concept, like a recipe, I can see a finished product in my head. I can get you from start to finish even though I may not have every step along the way mapped out. Hmm, maybe that’s it. I can see the finished product (a spotless home) in my head and I cannot reconcile my mental picture with the reality of laundry that needs to be folded, carpet that needs to be vacuumed, dishes that need to be washed, and the dust on the television screen.

Maybe I am just stressed about my brother’s visit. We have not spent ANY quality time together since I left Texas and on November 1, that will be three years. I calculated in my head that we have spent maybe 16 hours together since last Christmas minus the time in January with all the family at Pappa’s funeral. I really miss him. We are six years apart and we were not close until later in life.

All the time I was in college, I missed his “growing up.” When he went to college we were about an hour and 15 minutes apart and when he would get stressed out at school he would come to my apartment and just vege for the weekend. Personality-wise we are almost total opposites. I take after Dad, he takes after Mom thus sometimes we fight. It’s just that since I don’t get to see him very often I don’t want to fight at all this weekend. I want everything to be nice and pleasant.

I guess I think if my house is spotless and homey everything else will fall into place. I know, faulty reasoning. But hey, I never said I was perfect. So now I am telling myself “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Just the fact that he is coming to visit is all that matters.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Hubby’s Home!

This weekend was awesome. I got to see my love on Friday night for the first time in nine days. He has a TON more vacation than I do and so Hubby and his Dad had gone to their family beach house for their semi-annual fishing trip. They caught over 50 pounds of shrimp, a ton of Spanish Mackerel, some King.

Hubby looked great! He had been outside and on the water the whole time and had acquired a nice golden tan. His beard was all grown out and his hair a little lighter for all his time in the sun—I teased him that he looked like Grizzly Adams. All in all it was a nice quiet weekend. We spent a lot of time cuddled up together on the couch just talking, teasing, tickling, and being near each other. It’s amazing how much you can miss someone’s touch when you are separated for a long time. I guess it is true… absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sigh.

A Small Reprieve from Impending Birthday Anxiety—I got carded!

Last night I stopped at a convenience store to buy that new low-carb beer, Michelob Ultra. I am a relative neophyte in the consumption of alcohol, particularly beer, so when I heard this one was pretty light I thought I would give it a try. (I liked it by the way.) So, I get my beer and a Sprite and head for the front. I plop my drinks down on the counter, hand over the credit card and the most blessed thing happened. “Mam, I am going to need to see your ID.” I looked up in absolute surprise and with a silly little smile said, “Really?” “Yes, I need to see some identification.” I about kissed him I was so damn excited! See, two weeks from today I turn 31 and have been really stressed about it too. He practically made my whole month!

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Well, it's been over a week since I last posted. I have been extremely busy and not really had time to formulate my thoughts on certain issues. So rather than just post junk I thought I would wait until I actually had something to say. Hopefully, I'll get around to it soon.