Monday, April 27, 2009

The Wagon

A couple of weeks ago I was kicked off the diet wagon. I've been hanging on by my fingertips, with my body being dragged behind it, accepting the road burn because I am nothing if not stubborn. However, this weekend someone stepped on my fingers and forced me to let go and the wagon spun off around the corner and I didn't have the energy to catch it.

So here I sit on the curb waiting for it to come back around. The wait has made me contemplate how wrong I was. I will beg forgiveness and hope they let me back on.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thank You, David

I miss him already. David (my therapist) and I had our last appoinment today. I was blinded sided because I thought we would have one more before he left.

He was pretty impressed with me today. I told him I went in to my boss and asked to be included if there was another round of layoffs. Now, I know what you're thinking; You're asking to be layed off?...Well, yes...You see, I've finally come to terms with one of my main aniexty problems. I hate my job. This isn't to say I hate the place I work for or that I have an asshole for a boss. I don't. In fact, I thrived there. I'm a star. They've always been kind and supportive. I will never forget the look on my bosses face when I asked him to lay me off. Now, this doesn't mean he will. In fact, he told me he didn't want to. And as David pointed out, I have to be prepared for my next move if they do not, in fact, lay me off. Am I going to continue to let life happen to me or am I going to take control?...which is my entire problem.

All my life, I've just let life happen and hope for the best. I've been an outstanding employee. I've worked hard and did everything that was asked of me and more, but after 14 years I've had enough. My body as had enough and has been telling me so for the last year in the way of panic attacks, stomach problems etc... I've been afraid of quitting and starting over. And now in light of my 40th birthday coming up in August, I'm having some mid-life issues. I don't like to go to work, I don't want to be there, but at the same time I've worked really hard for the money I have invested in this company for my retirement. However, the other day it just struck me. You're 40, not 60..You will be here for another 25 years before you retire. Can you stay here for another 25 years? The answer is no. I would rather work until I was 75 and do what I enjoyed doing then spend my time hunched in a cubicle and waiting..waiting...Waiting for what? There is no saying I'm even going to make it until I'm 65!!!

So now I know I have to leave. I need to be an example to my kids who have only heard me complain about my job. I need them to see someone working hard (no matter what the age) to make themselves happy. So they know happiness isn't something you're deserving of but something you bring upon yourself. I need to do this for me, to prove to myself that I can. I need to take control of my life and stop leaving it up to chance. But, I'm incredibly scared.

Thanks David, you're a star and I will always remember your quiet, nondirectional guidance and patience..just sitting there in your starched shirts and sweater vests waiting for this crazy woman to come to her senses and recognize the real issues. You're a blessing. All the best!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Own Oz

I’m at a crossroads. I’ve been here for a good while, just sitting here, waiting for something or someone to come along. If they finally do come, I’m not sure if I want them to stop and pick me up or just want them to slow down long enough to point me in the right direction.

The most famous crossroads I can think of was of course, The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy, after following the yellow brick road for a while comes to two roads, crossed and doesn’t know what direction to take. Thankfully, after some time standing there alone and uncertain, she meets the Scarecrow and together they choose a path. They don’t know if it’s the right one, but they choose it together and head out unaware of what the future holds.

I can identify with Dorothy. I’ve been waiting for a sign or just someone to kick me in my ass to get me moving. I know what I want to do. I actually know what I have to do to accomplish it, but to do it means having to make a decision, a sacrifice; I have to pick a road and no one can help me make the decision but me. In a sense, I feel more like the scarecrow most days, except for the fact that I do indeed have a brain. But, at the end of most days my body is drained, tired and lifeless much like I’ve always imagined his body to be.

If I want to write, I have to write. It’s simple, but, isn’t so easy after a long day of work in my death trap (cubicle) doing something I'm totally bored out of my mind with but, is as stressful as an assignment from Donald Trump (which I could do, by the way). After work is filled with parental duties (none of which I want to give up) and then, finally, I have time and I think about writing every night, I do…But, then my body starts to channel the scarecrow and all I can think about is watching some mindless television for a half an hour and then hitting the sheets.

My mind is exhausted. I think all day. Something I don’t have in common with the Scarecrow. At work I think about, well, work and home and the kids and my marriage and my future…about the cost of getting the front steps fixed, how my house needs cleaned, the rash on my son’s face, how we need a vacation but can't possibly afford one. I think about how I want to write, how I need to write if I ever expect to get published. I think about taking a course and then I think about how much work it’s going to be and if I can’t find the time to blog, when exactly am I going to find the time to finish weekly assignments? I wonder if my age is a factor, if I should have stuck with it years ago when I started this craziness. Too late to worry about that now, I tell myself and then I start my NEW practice of thinking positive and I start all over again. It’s a self destructive process because I think so much about things I get totally overwhelmed and in return, get nothing accomplished.

I guess I want what everyone wants. I want a guarantee. I want to be certain if I put the time in, I will achieve my goals. I want someone to lay it out for me. Let me see how the movie ends before the premiere. I want to know if I should sacrifice right now or should I just enjoy what I have, because I have a great deal of wonderful things in my life.

Unfortunately, just like Dorothy and the Scarecrow, there is no telling what would have happened if they went the other way. Chances are the witch would have still found them and they would have had to battle her and her funky monkeys…BUT,
if they’d gone the other road, they might not have met the Tin man or the Lion and made great friendships during their journey to reach the wizard.

Whatever road I take, I know I will be okay, but do I take the easy way, stay the course, work until retirement and in the end enjoy my life just the same or do I take a chance, make time to write, sacrifice my free time (whatever that is), a clean house and possibly the security of a good job all in the name of chasing a dream?

I’ve already determined I don’t need a brain and there is no question I have the heart. I guess what I’m lacking is the courage, which in the end is everything. I am a Leo so it figures I'd follow the Lion. So that’s it then, I’m afraid of failure. All I need is a little courage and most definitely, the little red shoes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A conversation between a Mother & 5 year old son

Son: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Playing Chess."
PAUSE
Me: "Do you know what Chess is?"
Son: "What do you think I am, a weiner?"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I'm Finished!

This Friday was the last day of my Sans Alcohol Experiment. In other words, for Lent I gave up alcohol...well, not exactly for Lent because if that were the case the experiment would have ended today, but I said from the beginning Good Friday was the day and considering I'm not exactly religious, I got to make up the rules.

I've been having a really tough time lately losing this annoying 10-12 lbs I've gained over the last year. It not like I don't exercise because I do, I just wasn't going at it as much as I use to...maybe three, sometimes four times a week..mostly running. And if I'm being honest, I hadn't exactly been cutting back the food...but, I don't stuff my face either...So, when I sat down and really looked at the last year trying to figure out what had changed, I came to the conclusion that I was drinking more then I use to. Instead of a couple drinks on a Friday/Saturday night and the occasional night out with friends, I was now opening wine in the middle of the week. Just a glass while I made dinner. Then, another with supper. Soon, I was having a couple of drinks Fri/Sat/Sun. Then a couple became three, four and sometimes five. Not every night, but still. Naturally this was my problem with shedding the lbs, but it was also a bad trend that I had to shake.

I have quite a bit of alcoholics in my family. Neither one of my parents, however, close enough that let's just say they left their impression on me. This being said, depression & anxiety also run in my family...both of which I've suffered over the last couple of years...so turning to alcohol as a crutch was, of course, following the course of others I know.

This isn't to say that I'm an alcoholic. I'm not. But, I did use it as a stress reliever this past year, instead of just social settings. So by swearing off alcohol for Lent, I took back the reigns. I used Lent as an excuse for anyone who asked..believe me there are a lot of people in social settings who ask why you're not drinking.

It wasn't hard. Even tested in the worst circumstances; family dinners, bars with old friends I haven't seen in years, dinner parties, I never cheated. I worked out five-six times a week because I could. I wasn't tired on Saturday or Sunday mornings. I felt better overall.

So Good Friday I waited until 5pm and open my bottle of wine. The first sip was weird, but it's amazing how you can jump right back on the bike. A few hours later the bottle was empty and I felt defeated. Not because I drank it, but because I can never give myself praise for too long before I find a reason to cut myself up.

Last night (Saturday) we had dinner guests and yet again the wine was flowing. I told myself I was allowed two..I drank four..and today I'm tired and lack energy. I haven't worked out for two days and I'm so bloated my fingers are like sausages.

I learned a lot more about myself then whether or not I could lose weight if I stopped drinking...which by the way was a measly four lbs...I know now when things get heated, when I have a bad day or when a panic attack occurs, I have the strength to get through it myself. I also learned I have to go back to the way things were when alcohol wasn't a "part" of my life, but just an occasional visitor.

I'm giving myself a break this weekend. It was like I just graduated and needed to celebrate. I would say my new rules start tomorrow, but the truth is I'm going on a much needed four day trip with two girlfriends to Banff on Wednesday...I'm going to forget my problems and aniexties and try to have a good time. I'm Bob, from the movie "What About Bob?"..I'm taking a vacation from my problems. My friends will have to tie me to the ski lift the way they did to Bob on the boat in the movie...lol.

When I get back, new rules come into affect and I now know I can follow them. I'm chalking up the past couple of days to "training" for Banff...

Next year I'm going to have to give up French Fries...Is there a twelve step program for that?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tragedy Is Not My Destiny

I'm an anxious person. Hence, the panic attacks which preceded my therapy sessions. Without knowing it, I consistantly plant negative thoughts in my head whenever things are going right for me...depressing, isn't it? It seems I can't allow myself to enjoy the good things without worrying when the "Happy" will expire...like it's on loan and I have to pay the price for trying to keep it....like I have a "Happy" bookie and I can't pay up.

I could go on and explain the ins and outs of "why" I'm like this...but, to anyone else it's just boring, plus extrememly non-productive on my part. The short story is, things have happened in my life and to those around me that have made me feel there's a pattern to life. Tragedy always follows happy. It's now becoming clear to me (after much work..with much to go) that I can be happy without paying a price.

I don't have to sit around and wait for the other shoe to drop...so to speak. And anyway, who says there is another shoe? We've all seen a lone shoe on the side of the road...were they dropped? Are they the result of someone's negativity? That being said, if a shoe has to drop, nothing says it has to be a steel toed work boot, right? It could, in fact, be a flip flop...not the huge, thick wedge ones, but a cheap plastic one from Walmart...one that doesn't hurt if you happen to be standing directly under it, just one that makes you stop for a second and wonder where it came from.