Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: only me

Oh, hello! Come in. Have some tea. And I finally filled the candy dish again, so have at it.

I’m pretty sure that I have stated on here before that I SUCK at managing money. (I would go back and put a link to a previous post, but I’m too lazy. So, you can either look back, or just take my word for it. I suck.)

I have a few theories as to why it is that I suck at it so much, but I won’t go into those here. Suffice it to say, if I have cash in my wallet (or tossed in the bottom of the suitcase I call a purse), I will spend it. On what? It doesn’t matter. Anything. Everything. I wouldn’t even be able to tell you what 2 days later. It’s really pathetic.

About a year ago, I cut up my credit cards. It was traumatic and scary and hard and horrible and the best thing I have done for myself in a long time. (I still had balances, mind, but at least I could no longer ADD to those balances. Just go with it.) Honestly, if I had to do it again, I would. But I would keep one card. Because it is really hard to live in this world with no plastic.

What that little exercise in self-control has taught me is that if I don’t have the $ in my checking account, I can’t buy it. Whatever “it” is – food, entertainment, whatever. I am not always successful at sticking to that rule, and the amount of money I have actually given to my bank in the form of overdraft fees is staggering, but I am learning and getting better at it as I go.

So, why this story of woe on a Friday morning? Well, last week, I think it was Wednesday, I discovered that, yet again, I was overdrawn. And I had $1 in my wallet. Literally, one dollar. Oh. My. Goat. What was I going to do?? I couldn’t buy a coffee, or lunch, or stamps, or groceries. I had 10 days before I got paid again. Have I mentioned how much I suck at money? S.U.C.K.

With no choice, I had to eat whatever I had in the cupboard/fridge/freezer. I had to resort to the free coffee at work (with that powdered creamer crap) (which, BTW, GROSS) or nothing at all. There were no snacks, no nips to the cafe downstairs for a muffin or scone or salad. So much for my new goal of eating more healthful foods and cutting down on carbs and starches. I lived with a hunger headache and a rumbly tum. I dug deep into the bottom of my suitcase purse for spare change for an emergency Hershey bar yesterday.

But I made it. Today, I was able to walk into the grocery store across the street to get something for breakfast and know that I had the cash to pay for it. It was exciting. But, do you know what? I didn’t want most of it. I had a new perspective on the overwhelming number of options. I still have to go grocery shopping tonight, to stock up on food, and to replenish my larder, but I think my choices will be much more carefully made.

There were some good things to come out of this inadvertent experiment:

  • I was finally able to clear out all the stuff in my freezer/cupboards that I had purchased, but didn’t feel like eating. You know the stuff. Pasta, rice, popcorn, whatever leftovers you may have frozen to “have later”.  CLEAN START!
  • I lost 9 pounds. That, right there, should tell you something. Clearly, I was eating too much.
  • I learned that I really didn’t have to eat if I was bored/sad/depressed/stressed/happy. I could really only eat 3 meals a day. No snacking. And? I DIDN’T DIE. I didn’t (couldn’t) use food to mask those feelings. I ate when I was really hungry (read: dizzy and headachey), and that was it.
  • I learned that I didn’t need to eat so much. I had to eat smaller portions in order to make the food last longer.
  • I learned that powdered coffee creamer? Just as gross as I remembered.
  • I learned that I don’t *have* to have dessert. But I just wanna.
  • I learned that I really can live, and do it maybe not well, but sufficiently, without spending every last cent. It’s okay to NOT go to the drug store and buy magazines or whatever. Or to turn on the Kindle and download the 36 books that I have seen recommended lately that I now want to read. I can read the books I already have (that I haven’t read before) and discover “Oh, yeah! That’s why I bought that!”
  • Oh, yeah, and I’m all set with carbs and starches for a while. Thanks.

So, I know this post started out about money and ended up about food. But, I found that the lack of one really impacts the other. This past 10 days has been hard and while I wouldn’t recommend anyone letting themselves get into the position I did, I would recommend trying to not spend money for a week on those little things that seem to so easily add up. And also, go through your stores of prepackaged foodstuffs and use that stuff up. Start over without all that stuff that really isn’t good for you. Maybe it would be better to just toss it, or to just NOT buy it in the first place, but you know what I mean.

And that cup of Chibani yogurt this morning? SO. FREAKING. GOOD!!!!! (If you haven’t tried this stuff? Holy crap. The best Greek yogurt out there, IMO. Seriously.) And it filled me up. I never thought I could be satisfied with just a yogurt, but I am. (If someone put a plate of bacon and eggs in front of my, I wouldn’t say no, mind. But I’m comfortable with just the yogurt for now.) This may be the start of something big for me. *fingers crossed*

Oh, and that dollar in my wallet? Yep. I still have it.


Oh, hello! Come in and have coffee and a sticky bun.

Sorry for the title. I may have been channeling Brigit Jones…

I say that this is more for the single folks than for people who have a partner, but perhaps it’s just because that is the perspective from which I am writing. IDK. You can judge for yourself.

Most of the time, I consider myself self-sufficient. I guess I have to be, since there isn’t anyone there to do “it” for me. I am responsible for my bills, for my house, and the maintenance of that house, my cats and their upkeep, and on and on. And most of the time, I am fine with that. I have to be, of course, but it really is true.

Then there are other times… I get sick to death of cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, shovelling the snow, doing laundry, etc. But, in my case, there is no one there to pick up the slack for me. This is where the smug marrieds have an advantage. They can look at their partner and ask/beg/nag for help, and there is a probability that the partner will do it, even if it’s not done the way they would want.

But, here is where I feel I need to clarify. I *know* that being part of a couple does not mean that each member of the pair is not self-sufficient. They are (usually).

I’m not saying this very well. But in my usual mode of just putting things out there without spending too much time picking nits, here it is.

My theory is that it is harder for singletons to ask for help than it is for the smug marrieds. And why do I think that? Because I live it. Every. Damn. Day. My feeling is that when I ask someone for help, it becomes another item on their “To Do” list. The people I could ask for help have their own lives and problems and chores and bills. And while that is also true of coupledom, at least the person you might ask for help ALSO has a vested interest in your happiness. They aren’t solely responsible for it, of course, but they see you every day and want what you want. Hopefully.

So, when is it okay to ask for help? I’ve never been clear on when it is appropriate. There have been times in the winter, when I’m out moving snow, that I have just said F*CK IT, and flagged down a passing truck with a plow and begged them to clear my driveway. But then, I am throwing money at them, so it is win-win.

Overall, I suck at asking for help. I get frustrated, then overwhelmed, then turn into a sobbing mess, and come out the other side a little bruised, but moving forward anyway. I could maybe avoid all that by asking for help sooner, but how do I ask without it being an imposition? Without becoming a nuisance? Without appearing weak? Without feeling indebted?

What do *you* do? Do you ask for help? How did you learn to do it or is it something that comes naturally?

Help!


Oh, hello! Come on in and have some iced tea.

There’s something wrong with me. Mentally. I’m convinced of it. Someone here at the Gas ‘n Sip just invited me to his child’s first birthday party. I almost started crying.

This is strange for many reasons.

  • Crying? Really?
  • I don’t enjoy children, typically.
  • I don’t enjoy socializing with circus work folks, typically.
  • Crying? Really?

Thank goat I decided to take this Friday and Monday off. Evidently, I need a nap. Or, you know, a smack in the head.


Oh, hello! Come on in. Have some tortellini. Grated cheese is on the side.

I am afraid

Why am I so afraid?

Afraid of so much –

Of success

Of failure

Of trying.

What is there to fear?

If I try, I will learn.

If I fail, I will learn.

If I succeed, I will rejoice.

But it all seems so scary.

The familiar is comfortable.

Growing is an unknown.

Stretching may hurt.

Watching others try

Make me envious.

Of their courage

Of their strength

Of their fearlessness.

Irony:

I want to get

neamhfhaitíosach

as a tattoo.

It means “fearless”

In Gaelic.

But I haven’t because

I am afraid

I can’t live up to the sentiment.

What happened to me

To make me fear being happy.

I don’t want to not be happy.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore.

I want to actually live.

I am afraid.


Oh, hello! Come in and have a coffee and a pastry. It is free pastry day at Starbucks, so I stocked up. YAY!

Dear Depression and Anxiety,

Go away.

I know I shouldn’t be so rude, but you have more than over stayed your welcome in my life. It’s time you move on to greener pastures; to someone who can welcome you with open arms and love you the way you deserve to be loved.

I would say here “It’s not you, it’s me”, but I can’t. It *is* you. You take up too much of my time and thoughts and energy. I am ready to embrace new, happier thoughts; new, healthier energy. I cannot do that until you get out.

Depression, you have been with me the longest. You have been an omnipresent cloud sitting right behind me for as long as I can remember. You have forced me to take pills to keep you from enveloping me completely. I don’t want to take pills any more. I don’t have a problem with “happy pills” per se, but when the very thought of “Did I remember to take my meds today?” awakens Anxiety, your partner in crime, I know it’s time to look at my dependence on them. Depression, because of you, I have taken on other peoples’ problems as my own. I have internalized so much more ICK than should be humanly possible to bear. You have encouraged me to sit out of my own life and miss out on too many fun things. I don’t want to miss out anymore. You need to find a new playmate.

Anxiety, what can I say to you? You show up at the most inopportune times, causing panic attacks and uncontrollable sobbing. I’m not entirely convinced you don’t also invite your friends, Self-Doubt and Self-Loathing, over quite frequently as well. I don’t want you, or your friends, around any more. I *know* I am a strong person. I *know* I am a capable person. And while my life, right now, may not be all butterflies and rainbows, I’m okay with that. It is the challenges that make us better and create new opportunities. I *know* that my life is great and getting greater. And I know that while your cousin, Nerves, might show up occasionally for a cocktail, that’s okay. He knows when to go. He doesn’t wait to be told.

So, old friends, it is time for you to go. I’d like to say it has been fun, but let’s be honest. It hasn’t been. You’re presence has caused weight gain, and tooth erosion from grinding my teeth. You’ve caused loss of friends and loss of opportunity. And it ends now. So, to quote the great Angela Bassett from the movie Waiting to Exhale: “Get your shit. Get your shit and GET OUT!!” (I love her!!) Your lease has been terminated. Your bags have been packed. And your taxi is waiting.

Best of luck to you.

MaM

P.S. Please tell Loneliness that he’s on notice and I’ll be talking to him soon. kthxbai.


Oh, hello! Come in. Have a coffee and a girl scout cookie.

Girls, let me ask you something. How much attention do you pay to your bras? After a recent medical appointment, I noticed that the bra I had on was, in a word, disgusting. I don’t know how I let it get so bad, but I was a little horrified. So I did what any smart girl would do – I bought a new one.

Well, let me tell you what. I wore my new bewb-hammock today and I was completely distracted by my own boobies!! Oh. Em. Gee. I couldn’t stop staring! Evidently, my old bra allowed the girls to sag and hang down like something you would see in a retirement home. On an old lady. Who is over 100. And nearly dead.

The girls’ new home lifts them up high and proud and happy. It’s quite something. Has this ever happened for you? Should I just get over my spectacular bewbs?

*****

So, do you know those people who barge through life with complete disregard for others? They stand in the hallway at work, talking loudly, and blocking your way? Or they stop, with their cart, in the middle of the aisle of the grocery store, and walk away? I wasn’t raised that way, and it irritates me to no end when people act that way.

Last weekend, I did an experiment and tried to act that way while I did my errands.

I couldn’t do it for more than an hour. I felt like such an asshole. I don’t know how people can live their lives with such a sense of entitlement; as if everyone owes them something.

*****

Spring starts tomorrow. The weather here has been spectacular this week. I’ve turned the heat off and had a window open during the day. It’s good to get rid of the winter mustiness and get some fresh air moving. I know I will be turning the heat on again before too long, but in the meantime? I’m going to enjoy this while I can.

*****

That’s all for now. To recap, “they’re real and they’re spectacular”, being rude is not my thing, and temps in the high 50s make me happy.


Oh, hello! Come on in. You are just in time for lunch. We’re having mini-pizzas today. And root-beer.

In my never-ending quest to become a better human (as opposed to a better chinchilla, I guess) I have read a lot of “how-to” books. I am neither proud, nor ashamed, to admit that fact. It just is. Perhaps by seeing what worked for someone else, I might get ideas about how best to accomplish this feat. I know that there is no quick-fix to reach nirvana, and no one path works for everyone, but perhaps some combination of everyone’s ideas will help me.

One message that seems to be consistent throughout everything I have seen is to “put it out there”. Which I take to mean that what you put out into the universe as what you want, is what you will get. So if I put out there that I will be an asshat to everyone around me, everyone will be an asshat TO me in return. Or, if I want a million dollars, I put it out there, and I will get it. Somehow.  Either way I’m not sure how valid this theory is, but I thought I would give it a try.

(The other thing that prompted this post is that I am reading, yet again, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love in preparation for her newest book Committed. I love her writing and find her to be very soothing. And despite the fact that they are making a movie of her EPL book, and have effectively ruined it by casting Julia Roberts as the lead, I still love the book. )

So, I am going to put some of my less personal wants out there and see what happens. There are some, not listed here, that are just too personal, too intimate, that I will put out there in another manner. (In other words, MYOB. Although, since I started this, it’s not really MYOB since I’m making it your business. But – – I’m all confused now. Never mind.)

  • I want to learn to speak French. I think it is a lovely language, and would love to be able to speak it.
  • I want to have enough money so that I don’t have to worry, constantly, about it. I don’t need 300 million dollars (but I wouldn’t say no to it!) but, enough to be comfortable and worry free would be delightful.
  • I want a new job. I want to have a job that excites me, that fulfills me, that I can feel like I am making a difference in this world. It would be creative and challenging and allow me to continue to learn and grow as a person. I am convinced that jobs like this exist. And I’m going to find one.
  • I want to be fit and healthy. I want some form of exercise to be a part of my every day life. I want it to be a matter of course, rather than a matter of note.
  • I want to limit the food I eat to that which is fresh, healthy, and as close to its original state as possible. Limiting processed food will allow me to reach goal #4 above, and provided goal #2 above comes to fruition I can do this.
  • I want a string of pearls.
  • I want to be a writer.

That’s the start of my list. I think this is vastly different from my bucket list and yet both lists are important.

So, there it is Universe! I want these things. I don’t care how I get them – I’ll leave that up to you – but I *do* want them. So, bring it on. And, the sooner the better. kthxbai.


Oh, hello! Come in and have tea. And toast. With cinnamon-sugar.

Yesterday’s post was my 100th post on this blog. I didn’t notice it until after I hit publish.

I think I started this blog last June, not having any idea what I was doing, but knowing that I wanted to be writing. Something.  I thought I would be one of those funny bloggers, but it hasn’t turned out that way, I think. Some of my posts have some humor in them, but most are more serious or introspective or sad. I do know that if you had asked me last June, I would have thought – 100 posts?!? Are you crazy? I don’t have that much to blather on about. (Well, some of the people who know me IRL would say that I should have had 100 posts by August of last year, but still…)

I read/subscribe to a bunch of blogs myself. I envy their wit and humor and eloquence and depth, but while I love their writing, I don’t know how to write any other way. The way I write is the way I am – I tend to just put stuff out there and let the chips fall. I would rather be “real” than sugar coat stuff. (And, for clarification, I don’t believe the people whose blogs I follow are being fake; just in general life, I get frustrated with people who spend all their time carefully choosing their words so as to not offend people. The bloggers I follow all tend to do the same as I do.)

One thing that gets me though is the frequency with which I see, in other blogs, mentions of the number of drafts, and how much time is spent editing and re-reading. THAT is when I wonder if I am doing something wrong. I wonder if I should have more drafts. Or if I should take a long time, rereading and word-smithing. I do neither now. Maybe my readership would be better if I did. Maybe not.

There have been a bunch of blogs that I’ve seen lately where they talk about how many visitors they have daily, or how many hits they have, or they compare themselves to other bloggers. I think I do that to a point – I check to see what my “counter” is up to, but for the most part, I don’t dwell on it. (I do love to see the counter thing go up; I squee a little every time. ) In actuality, I would guess I have about 10 people who regularly stop by. But that’s okay. I love that *anyone* stops by. A huge THANK YOU to you if you are reading this.

So, about 10 months in, and 100 posts later, onward. I hope to keep improving and to keep you coming back. And I hope the days where I post something to go into the “don’t even bother to read this” category become few and far between.

Thank you again. Here’s to 100 more.


Oh, hello! Come in and have some yogurt.

I’ve had a couple of days off. I love not working. I would love to get paid for not working.

*****

So, recently, I hired someone to fix my resume. I have known for a long time that my resume sucks. I have never known how to write a good one. There really should be a class in high school or college that teaches people how to write resumes.

Turns out, the man I hired is a “Certified Resume Writer”. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I’ve had to go back through my past employment and describe in detail where I worked and what I did there. For the past 15 years. OMG. I don’t even remember the names of some of the companies. I did the best I could. I hope he can help. Then I will be able to get a job that will allow me to shine.

*****

I recently decided to get serious about changing my life. I’ve mentioned that before here. In light of that, I have started another blog to document my weight loss. I think that by documenting it, I will be held better accountable. Don’t bother looking for it. I’m not linking to it here, and I’ll never mention it again here.

*****

My nephew is a basketball player. He is a sophomore in HS. And he plays for the varsity team. He is the only one. Well, there is another sophomore on the team, but he doesn’t play. My nephew plays quite a bit. Of course, I am extremely biased, but he is really good. He needs to bulk up a little bit but next year? He’ll be really dominant. He wants to play for Duke. I hope he does.

*****

As much as I love the twins, sometimes they drive me crazy!! I have been trying to write, but they keep walking all over me trying to nap. Most of the time I love it, but sometimes? OY!


Oh, hello! Come on in. Help yourself to some coffee. And sugar cookies.

I am my own worst enemy. I constantly self-sabotage and despite the best of intentions, my diet/job search/laundry/house cleaning goes by the wayside. I’m not sure why that is, and I know the best way to find out is to do a lot of self-exploration, but I can’t even bring myself to do that. I’ve tried meditation, but I cannot sit still for very long and quieting my mind is like herding kittens.

But despite several false starts, I am still plodding forward, in my quest to be better. At least it seems that the span of time between bursts of motivation seems to be getting smaller. I have finally gotten really serious about my job search. I have sent my resumé to a career advisor to get help with it. (My resumé sucks! I know it does. But I’ve never known how to make it better.) They will look at what I now am sending out, and when they stop laughing, they will tell me how to make it better and help me with the rewrite. (YAY!) I’ve decided that commuting farther than my current 6 miles won’t be such a bad thing. I’ve decided that I need to be confident in my abilities and to stop minimizing my capabilities. I know more than I give myself credit for, and I need to own that.

Another area that I’ve decided to stop whining about is house cleaning. I hate house cleaning. I’ve thought I would love to have a cleaning service come in to clean for me. Then I think, OMG, my house is TINY! There is no reason to have someone come in to do it for me. When I get started, it really takes about an hour to clean it because most of the time, it’s just tidying. So, instead of whining about it, I’m going to just shut up and clean it. And it will mean that I don’t have to spend a couple hundred dollars a month for someone to do what I am totally capable of doing myself.

My health. Recently, I ordered up something that is supposed to help me with my activity levels by motivating me to do a little bit more every day. I won’t endorse or disparage it here yet since I just started with it. But if it helps me a little bit, I think it will be worth it. I don’t want to be super-model thin, or tri-athlete fit, but I do want to be healthy. I think that is the important thing now. I view this as a step in the right direction.

So why did I pick the title of the post I did? I will no longer think of my faltering steps as failures. Not meeting my goal on the first try will not completely derail me, no matter what area of my life it is. If I don’t get the “dream job” the first time? There is something better coming. If I leave my cereal bowl in the sink in the morning? Big whoop. I’ll wash it that evening. And if I am tired at the end of the day, and want to lie down on the couch watching NCIS reruns (for the 83rd time) then that’s okay too. None of this makes me a bad person. It just makes me fallible and fabulous. In the grand scheme of things, faltering steps make me who I am.

And just like the little engine, I WILL get to the top. The top of whatever I decide to tackle. I am a work in progress, and I will never be complete. Each step is another brush stroke toward greatness.