Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Inevitable Gratitude Post. No Barfing.

Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself
and know that everything in this life has a purpose.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.

~ Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross

Yeah. What she said.

As I deal with my current "blessings" I wish countless others on you, my friends. Not the "learning experience" kind I'm going through, but the kind that bring you true joy and happiness.

My current gratitude list:

  • My daughters - significant of all things hopeful in my life

  • My Sue - my angel

  • My dogs - my familiars - the source of all unconditional love

  • My friends - thank you for being here

  • My health

  • My education and qualifications and certifications, aka all the framed docs on "The Ego Wall" (thank gawd I got that done)

  • Forgiveness, in general

  • Colorful paperclips

  • My Krusty the Klown pen that screams supportive happy thoughts at about 20 gazillion db (thanks Cornelius)

  • Elvis Presley, Katy Perry, Brandy Carlile, Mozart, Pavarotti, Journey, The Who, ACDC, Seether, Miranda Lambert, Pink, the chicks and everything else I've cranked up to deal

  • My magic 8 ball - for all those big life decisions

From the bottom of my heart...Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Internal Joy, aka the Positive Mental Attitude

Typically, extraordinarily happy people make me fantasize about performing violent acts. I'm talking about the kind with one emotion, crazy happy, bubble headed dorks who are just always...happy. The kind that are borderline insane, and they always have a ridiculous smile on their faces.

You just know they're not really that happy, all the damn time. There has to be some psychosis there, just under the surface.

Lately, as I don my "management mask" for work, I've had the fake happy. The kind you have to portray to your coworkers and subordinates when you're supposed to pretend like everything's okay, because attitude is everything and there's no "I" in "team" and every other crappy team building slogan you've ever been forced to memorize. You know...the McCain kind of smile. The kind that looks like it just has to hurt. The kind of smile that makes a little crackle noise, because it took every muscle in your face straining at full capacity to make it happen. It has somewhat resembled the psycho happy, just not as ridiculous.

This weekend I became fully aware of internal joy. Not mine (yet), but someone elses. I've known this woman - we'll call her Monica - for years, and always been aware of her positive attitude, but observing her Saturday drove it all home.

I volunteered to proctor a certification exam this weekend. I'd done it in shorter stints before, and if you've never proctored a four and a half hour exam before I can describe it to you pretty easily: Four and one half hours of the equivalent to watching paint dry or grass grow. Part of the duties of the proctor include watching examinees to ensure that they don't attempt any mischief. (I added the duties to seem less stalkerish - I don't just stare at people.) I suffer from ADHD, so by the time it was over I was ready to run around the parking lot a few times and take the building down block by block, but I digress...

Monica took the exam this weekend. Monica is always positive, supportive and nurturing. She very rarely complains, and she always tries to find the good in any situation. She's what I aspire to be in the emotional health spectrum.

I watched her take the exam this weekend, and do you know that during times of such concentration and frustration, computing accounting equations, she still smiled and had a calm and peaceful demeanor? Her calculator stopped working mid-exam, and she STILL maintained that inner peace.

In the recent past, I described my current work situation to her, and she helped me to see how the huge positives outweighed the one negative by quoting one of Covey's messages in Seven Habits.

I want to be that. I want to be wise and serene and peaceful. I want my current situations to have less of a negative impact on my behavior and demeanor than they do now. I don't want to be Snatchy McGrouchypants, and I'm tired of allowing others' actions dictate my mood.

Is that a superpower, or is that Prozac? Can someone fill me in?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Forever the optimist...

Y'all know how I roll. I try to find the good in every situation or experience (shaddap. I do try to, I'm just not always successful).

So the current hell I find myself in has some wonderful points:

1) I no longer am hiding anything from the people closest to me. Well almost all of those people, anyway.

There is no longer a giant stinky glowing laughing skeleton in my closet, and that big monkey on my back?

2) I have discovered who I can (and cannot) count on when hell arrives on my doorstep and makes itself comfy.

I had an e-mail from my beautiful wonderful sister-in-law (brother's wife) that
made me cry happy tears last night. The best line in that e-mail that I'll remember for the rest of my life..."...and you are OUR family". That's just a smidge of the support that's been pouring in from people that I know (now) that care about me. Its nice to have that reaffirmed, I just wish it didn't take a crisis to remember that people love me. I should just know and I'm the stupid one for not knowing.

3) I can find pleasure in simple things.

Like the way my lil dog snuggles up next to me, lays his head in my lap and looks at me as if to say "its all good mama". Or the incredible kindness and helpfulness that comes from my oldest. Or the way my youngest gives the best neck hugs, or her crazy laugh. Or that end of the day purge ritual with Sue that just makes everything okay. Or just how amazingly blue the sky is today...

4.) I now understand that the only thing constant is this world is change, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

One simply must not take anything at all in this world for granted. When you become attached to something is exactly the point in time when the universe decides you need to become detached from it. So my job is not secure. No one's is right now. This is my opportunity. I could find something with more security that provides more professional growth. Companies are always going to need people to count their money. Until we switch back to bartering, I think I'm good. I have been at the rock bottom - on welfare, on food stamps, starving - and I've made it out. I can do this. I can handle it. Change is good.

Change is good.

5.) I know now that settling is for wusses.

I deserve every happiness. I deserve to be cherished and loved enough to be told the truth. I deserve to be with someone that wants to be with me. I deserve companionship and honesty and love. I don't have to put anyone (except my kids) before my own personal comfort and well-being unless I choose to.

6.) I know that everything's going to be fine.

I came out of my last two hells (1994 and 2002) stronger, better, happier and more confident. This is the dawn of a new era. A housecleaning, so to speak. I'll be stronger, better, happier and more confident on the other side. Best of all, I'm finally being true to myself. Its a good feeling.

Doesn't mean I'm not scared to death, though.

7.) My kids are more mature than I ever realized.

They're also happiest when I'm happy too. I was scared and hesitating and it was totally unnecessary. They never cease to amaze me. They are hands-down the two best humans on this earth. Its unconditional love, and it never waivers. They're awesome.

8.) There's two catalysts out there responsible for the biggest changes in my life.

One, I'd like to strangle and/or flying bitch slap (when a regular one just won't do) for a complete lack of judgement and otherwise selfish behavior. The other I thank the gods for every single day. The single brightest light happiest ending best story ever, and it makes everything else worth while. Thank you Cornelius for being that light at the end of my very dim tunnel.

9.) I have met the COOLEST people during this process.

Those who have been there/done that, those who have opened their hearts and shared their stories with me, and those who have just quietly supported me by just their presence. (dang that sounded Obama-ish). There are a bunch of bloggers out there that I read religiously just because I can look at their lives now and go "that'll be me in a couple of years". I do it mostly anonymously, because otherwise I'd seem a little...cyberstalker-like. They're all in my favorites list. There are countless others, and they do NOT include Joe the Plumber.

So here's my preemptive and premature thankfulness entry. There will be more. I'm trying to find something to be grateful for every single day.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Strange how just when you get comfy, the universe pulls the rug out from underneath you, shakes it violently to get all the sand and crap out of it, turns it upside down and puts it back.

Everything in my life, every aspect of my life, is going through some sort of adjustment right now. My job isn't so secure anymore. My marriage is kaput, and I've recognized it and am making the proper adjustments (with a little nudging from my cheerleaders). My oldest is in her senior year of high school and getting ready to do the college education thing. My youngest has started junior high - ack the tween thing. Let it be done! - and adjusting just fine. I'm looking for a new place, and starting everything over.

The crazy thing is that the longer I'm involved in this change thing, the better things become. I'm excited about having my own place, where I can walk around scratchin myself. I'm excited about going through all of our mountains of crap and getting rid of useless junk. I'm excited about where my oldest is going and all the things she'll get to do and see. I'm excited (and scared!) for my youngest, but its so awesome watching her grow and learn.

I've mourned the loss of what we had here in worksville, and I'm ready to see what's around the corner. I hope to Elvis I get to stay here. I love it here and I love what I do and I love the people I work with. But, I might not get to stay here, and ... know what? That's just fine too. I've done graduated and I've got years of experience behind me and letters behind my name. I've got friends and colleagues and I know how to network. I will have the opportunity to teach others how to do what I do. I'll be fine. We'll be fine.

I've mourned the death of my marriage as well. 13 years is a long damn time to be together. As 0ur family physician put it so delicately... "Kris, there's a fine line between loyalty and stupidity. You're a saint." Yanno, not so much. I've got so much life to live and so much love to give. I grew tired of my relationship checkbook always being overdrawn. I'm just tired. The only thing worse than being lied to (more times than I care to think about or remember) is the knowledge that you were never (in that person's eyes) worth the truth. Enough said. I will always and forever love him, as he's the father of my baby and been a father to my other baby, but I'm tired of living a lie. I'm no saint. I'm no angel. I'm not perfect. I'm not a lot of things. I tried for almost 20 years to be someone I'm not, and its destroying me. Its time to be me. Take it or leave it. I'm through making apologies for who I am.

Fate, as accidental as it was, has led me to happiness. I can see it. Its within my reach. In this case, the grass really is greener. This is what I've been waiting for. Its as if I'm sitting here, fascinated, watching the pieces of the puzzle that's my life fall into place. I don't even really have to do very much. The Master Plan is coming to fruition, and I just have to make sure I'm listening and paying attention. If I get the cues right, everything will be as it should be.

My mom once told me that her 30's were the best time of her life. That's when you start making decisions for yourself without trying to please everyone else in the process. That's when your confidence kicks in and gives you the gumption you lacked before. I'm finally doing things that are best for me, and it feels freakin wonderful. I'm not scared as much of what others will think or what's best for them. Its about my kids (first, always, no matter what) and me. What's best for us right now? What will bring us joy and happiness?

Sometimes this means separating from poisonous people, even if we still love them very much. Sometimes this means ignoring what's best for others and doing what's best for us. Its doing the little things that bring smiles and positivity. We don't have to go anywhere or do anything. We can be us, and that's okay.

I watched The Holiday this weekend. Chick flick, I know, shaddap. There's a scene in the movie where one of the characters is describing this horrible heartbreak she's suffering, and the man she's eating dinner with says something to the effect of...Iris, in the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you're behaving like the best friend.

From now on, I'm the leading lady in my own life. Holy crap this feels awesome.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Death of AOL

Its just sad. I know, I haven't written or posted since - what was it December? - but still. AOL J-Land died years ago with the advent of those stupid banner ads - any ordinary idiot could have predicted THAT - but now to bayonet the wounded to make sure we're dead...its just sad.

Who would have known that AOL would stop listening to the consumer and die a slow and painful death? Who could have predicted that a series of drastically horrible business decisions would mean the demise of the internet giant? It seems that if they'd just listened to their customers, they'd still be around. Weren't we all begging them to stop sending countless random CDs out to the masses? Those things cost zillions I'm sure, and we used them for carpentry and art projects and to make tables stop wobbling. Then...the banner ads. Chasing the remainder of their loyal customer base out in the name of corporate greed, without even considering how the consumers would react.

I remember logging on the first time in 2000 and thinking AOL was the SHIZNIT. I spent hours IMing my friends and learning about chatrooms...making my own first personal homepage and then this - the purge. A place where I can come and exercise the writing muscle, keep in touch with my friends, make new ones ... all while doing something I love - writing. Its just kind of sad that the door is closing on that era forever. There are memorial journals of those who have since passed that will be lost to us always (AOL refuses to transition them because you have to opt in, and that's hard if you're no longer with us), and those of us who have chosen not to blog anymore, thus saying a quiet farewell.

I hope we all decide to keep writing and purging and communicating on some other format and I hope I find you all as well. Maybe everyone will make the smooth transition, and my friends will go look for me. In return, I promise to try to blog more often.

My new address:

Look me up, subscribe, whatever. Let's not lose each other forever. Feel free to e-mail me and send me your new addy.

As one door closes...another door is opening and my little world is changing.
I'll give more specifics shortly.

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