Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: ponderings

Hello! I’m serving up pizza tonight. Eat up.

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Today marks the end of the first half of 2012. 

I want you to take a moment and think back to December 31, 2011, when you were reflecting on the year past. Think of what you hoped 2012 would bring for you. Think of the goals you set and the vision board you created. Are you there? Can you see it clearly?

Great.

Now. Fast forward to today. Take a moment to look at that vision board. Look at your list of goals and intentions. Have you met any of the goals you set? All of them? Is the vision you set for the year still relevant to where you are now? 

6 months doesn’t seem that long, but it’s enough time for your life to have had a few realignments. 

Perhaps it might behoove you, us, to review what we wanted and what we have accomplished and to see if these things line up. Or is it time to modify things? Re-evaluate? 

We all want to live our best lives. I’ve written here before that we should treat every day as the start of a new year. Sometimes we need to have milestones that remind us.

Is it time to update your goals?


“What other people think of you is none of your business.”*

“Do you really care what other people think?” *

“I can’t wear this; people will make fun of me!”*

 

We have all heard/used/said these statements at some point. Do you believe it to be true?

I do. I did before, but I really do now.

Why?

This past weekend, I got my hair cut. For the first time in more than 2 years. For me, this was a big deal.

About 3 months ago, I thought “UGH! My hair is getting too long.” So I pulled it back with a barette (down low) and cut 3″ off myself. (I don’t recommend it.)

Then, on Friday, I was combing my hair out, and I thought, “UGH! I can’t take this anymore. I’m too old to have hair this long.” (I’m not one of those who believes that once you turn 40, you need to cut your hair. It just seemed right for me.)

ANYhoo.

My friend recommended her salon, I called, and told them I had a hair-emergency. They fit me in on Saturday. Cut, color, highlights, the works.

I won’t bore you with the ridiculous amount of inane conversation I endured. I could feel my brain melting. It was scary, really.

Now, my hair is dark (dark chocolate-ish) and short. I estimate that she cut off about 8″. It is a big change. And I LOVE it!! It’s probably a shade or 2 darker than I’m happy with, but that’s okay. I will get used to that. But I love that it’s short, and light-feeling, and curly.

The point?

Of all the people I have seen today at work, and there are probably 600 people in this building, 3 have commented. 3.

Three.

And one of those knew I was getting it done.

The moral:

Wear what you want. Do what you want. As long as you are not harming others, NO ONE CARES. No one. They are just as wrapped up in themselves as you are in yourself. Think about all the time you spend thinking about yourself.

Scary right? There’s no time to think of anyone else. So no one else has time to think about you either.

So get over it. If I can change my hair by 8″ and go from red-ish to dark chocolate-brown, and have NO ONE notice? No one cares.

Be you and be happy.

 

*I know these quotes are not mine, but I can’t find a good reference as to who actual is credited with them. My apologies to you if they are yours. Let me know and I will give you credit.


“You shouldn’t go in there.”

“I should lose weight.”

“I should be able to do that.”

“You should be able to fit.”

You get the idea.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary that I keep on my desk at work (don’t judge) defines  “should” as:

past of SHALL; used as an auxilliary to express condition, obligation or propriety, probability, or futurity from a point of view in the past

I have developed a real hatred of this word, should.

Why “should” I do anything? Who is the supreme ruler of my life that dictates whether I “should” do this or that?

I don’t like to think of “shall” being sullied with an association with “should”. “Shall” is a perfectly lovely word – I shall go meet you for tea. I shall enjoy this meal without guilt. Yes, I shall have that walk with you.

“Should”, on the other hand, just sounds like judgement. Almost as if when you don’t do what you “should” you are a big failure.

“They should get married.”

“You should move to a bigger/smaller/less expensive house.”

“You shouldn’t have paid so much.”

Can we stop with “should”? Even “ought” seems to be a better option. It feels more affirming to me. “They ought to get married.”

See?

Since you are the only one who can decide your state of mind and level of joy, how about you stop “should-ing” on yourself. “I should get up and put that laundry away (because if I don’t, I’ll look like a lazy slob).”  Try to “ought” yourself instead. “I ought to get up and put that laundry away, (but I’m so cozy here in this bed/chair/embrace that I will savor this moment a while longer).”

See?

I’m going to stop letting outside influences “should” on me. They don’t know what’s best for me or what’s in my heart or why I am doing/moving/acting the way I am. Mostly, I’m happy. When I let “should” in, that’s when the doubts start. That’s when I question myself.

The next time someone tells me “You should….”, I will look them straight in the eye and ask “Why? Why should I?”

I might try to bring back “shall”, while I’m at it.

 


We all do it. We spend at least the last week of the year looking ahead to January 1. We plan how we will improve our diet, our exercise routine, our finances, our clutter filled homes. We vow to be kinder, happier, sweeter to everyone and ourselves. We look at the shiny new number after January 1, and think, “This is it! *This* is the year I will _____.”

Then, round about February, we find ourselves sliding back to what was – what was comfortable, familiar, safe. Many will feel a sense of defeat or shame or self-loathing. Oh, great. Something *else* I have failed at.

A few will turn things around and keep going, and actually stick to their resolutions. We look upon these few with awe. How did they do it?

I’m sure I’m not the first person to think about this, but what is it about the “New Year” that causes people to be all motivated to change/improve/grow?

So my question is this: why do we wait until the “New Year” (or Monday? Or next week?) to make changes? Isn’t every sunrise the start of a “new year”? Can’t we consider January 3, 2012 – January 2, 2013 a year?

I just blew your mind, didn’t I?

Get yourself together. I’ll wait.

Okay?

As I’ve mentioned, I have goals that I want to achieve this year. But, for some reason, it feels different to me. For example, in my S2M goal (I just made that up – Step 2 Million)(I know. Shut up.), I need to walk an average of 5,500 steps per day. I didn’t achieve that yesterday. Previously, t is very likely that I would have given up or maybe continued for a week and *then* given up. But today, it feels different. I know that even though I didn’t do it yesterday, I have a new 5,500 step goal for today. If I go over that, great! If not, I can start again tomorrow.

I’ve decided in my quest to “do better” this year, my goals are long-term. One bad day won’t derail me completely. I’m going to view every morning as a new beginning; shiny, bright, and full of potential.

It just occurred to me that children feel this way. Don’t they spring up out of bed crazy-early to start exploring and to make sure they don’t miss anything? (Also, to drive Mom and Dad bonkers.) When did I lose that child-like enthusiasm? More importantly, why?

So, here’s to you. May you wake everyday thinking “Happy New Year to me”.


For as long as I can remember, I have always felt like an outsider. One of those sad little wall-flower people, looking in through the window at the cool kids, hanging out, laughing and sharing inside jokes. It’s a cold and lonely place to be.

I remember being on the outside during high school. I was friends with some of the “in-crowd” but never fully accepted. Same thing happened in college. Again, at my jobs.

And OMG, don’t even get me started on the book clubs I have tried!

The common denominator in all of these situations? Me.

Maybe my insecurities have stopped me. Maybe my shyness. Maybe my self-esteem (or lack thereof).

But I know I have something to contribute. I *know* I do. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m creative. And yet, I still hover around the edges, hoping someone will smile or say hi or take me under their wing, and help me be more comfortable. Am I just having flashbacks to the mean girls in high school?

I recently joined a group, ever the optimist. They have been together for a good amount of time and are well established with each other. I joined because I support what they do for the community and people in need. But at times, I feel like I’m stepping into a rushing crowd with no idea what’s going on. So I either get out-of-the-way or I get trampled. And, there I am, on the sidelines again.

How do I get over this? Give me some tips, please! I have been thinking about leaving the group already (it’s been a few months now). They will go on and continue to do good things. And I will feel like I have failed. Again.

So I ask you: Does it ever get easier to fit in with an established group?

 


How do you know when your tastes have changed? How do you differentiate between a new interest or lack thereof and a mood swing?

I’m not one of those people who can say “I don’t watch TV” and look down my nose at others while I say it. I watch TV. And most of the time, I like it. I find it a good way to relax and to just chill out with something mindless. After 8+ hours at the Gas ‘n Sip, I just want to let someone else do the thinking for a while. And while I would love to come home and turn over all responsibility to someone else, I can’t do that. The Wonder Twins *insist* that since they don’t have opposable thumbs, they can’t *possibly* help out. What they can do? Look adorable and prance in front of me looking adorable. Le sigh.

I have a bunch of shows that I record regularly. The problem? Lately, I find myself less interested in the “standards”. I loved NCIS, L&O SVU, CSI, Burn Notice. But lately, I just cannot take the violence and blood and gore. The inane ability for the main characters to come across all the C4, explosives, guns, etc at *just* the second they need them? Or that OF COURSE there is a car, unlocked, with the keys in the ignition just there. It makes me seven kinds of stabby. Come on.

But, what is it? Is it because my tastes have change? Or is it because I am feeling the need to change EVERYTHING in my life? Should I make that commitment? Or should I change things more slowly so as to not freak out?

How do you know if you are changing or just being impetuous?


This morning, I was skulking around on the Interwebz, looking for new and lovely blogs to add to my readers. I have several now, but as my tastes change, as my interests change, as *I* change, the blogs I like change too.

Anyhoo, when I looked at the “suggested sites” that were listed on my reader, I noticed that there were several “bundles” available. A bundle is sort of a folder of blogs, grouped together by theme or category. Well, now, that is wonderful! So much easier for me!! There seems to be a bundle for every interest – news, sports, computers, gaming, writing – you name it. How cool is that?

Then I see a bundle called “Beauty”. Awesome!!

Only…no.

The blogs in this bundle included references to high-end clothing stores, expensive make-up brands, how to find the best shade lipstick, etc.  So, that means that only by making the packaging “pretty” can one be considered beautiful, right?

I am not so enlightened that I eschew make-up or nice clothes. I like how mascara makes my eye-lashes look. And I would be delighted to find that one perfect shade of lipstick. Maybe it’s societal pressure; maybe I’m just crazy vain.

However.

I don’t consider the wrapping an indicator of beauty. To me, beauty goes beyond me and what label is on my clothing. It goes to helping clean up the environment. Or to helping other people. Or smiling at someone. Or lending a hand/ear/shoulder to a friend in need. Or even saying “Good morning” on Twitter everyday without getting a response.

Beauty is teaching others how to live a more peaceful life, or to eliminate clutter, or to walk through this life gently, or making people laugh, by pointing out life’s absurdity.

Maybe this is a function of my getting older. Or more cynical. I know that I bought into advertisers’ ideas for fashion and beauty back in the day. How can a young person NOT succumb to the constant mental and visual barrage?

I like my idea of beauty better. I like to see a smile. Or to see the silver lining in a bad situation.

My idea of beauty doesn’t match up with Google Reader bundles. And maybe not yours either.

When  you think “beauty”, what comes to your mind?

(Also, if you have any recommendations for yummy blogs, please let me know.)


So, yeah.

You go to work everyday, dreading it.

While at work, you find yourself crying, at least once a week.

After 2 weeks vacation, you head back to work and the second day back, you wonder if you can call in sick without getting fired.

You know that continually bitching about the situation is not at all helpful, so you keep it all inside.

You have your resume out on the interwebs on every. single. job-related website you can find, but don’t have any bites yet.

You have applied for no less than 25 new positions, internally, and have heard ABSO-PHUCKING-LUTELY nothing on any of them. Yet they claim that they are Pro-Employee and help employees with career development. AND! If they treat actual employees this way, how do they treat potential employees?? (Go ahead and ponder. I’ll wait.)

You are well aware that the job market blows right now, so you should be thankful you even have a job.

You know that you are NOT what you do, but you are so desperately unhappy at your job that you don’t know which way to turn.

You know that changing jobs will not necessarily, nor magically, improve your happiness. But you want to try because staying here won’t help it either.

You know that you choose your happiness but you can’t find even that one thread to hang on to.

You aren’t suicidal, but your doctor thinks you might be.

Yeah. That.


How old are you?

Do you feel that age?

I don’t. I’m 44 and most of the time I don’t *feel* 44. Not that I really know what I’m *supposed* to feel like. But I usually feel younger, in the sense that I imagine I have so much more time to get where other 44 year olds are. Does that make any sense?

And granted, there are many times that I feel WAY older than 44.

I don’t know, but lately, I’ve been looking around at where others are in their lives, and think: I’m 44. Shouldn’t I be married? And in a job that I don’t hate? And with money in the bank? And booking at least 1 foreign trip a year? Shouldn’t I feel more settled?

I don’t know if this is a function of my recent “search” for peace, or if I am just restless, or if I am just in vacation-mode (2 weeks vacation after Friday! YAY!)

I think I am young in mind and attitude. I think I have a childlike naivete about some things. I still make rookie mistakes in life.

But is this normal? What is normal? What should 44 feel like?


We’ve all heard it. Heck, we’ve all said it:

“You choose your attitude.”

“What you put out comes back to you.”

“Thoughts become things.”

And on and on.

And d’you know what? MOST of the time, I really do believe that stuff. I really do.

Most of the time.

But how do you go back to that frame of reference when circumstances in life have left you feeling so tired, so beat up, so discouraged, so blue, that that frame of reference might just as well be on Pluto?

It’s no secret I have depression, controlled most days with happy yellow pills. I would love to not take them, or not have to take them, but for now, they are my best friends.

And because of my best friends, most days, I can be like Wonder Woman and her super-power wrist bands, fighting off anything yucky.

Lately, though, the batteries on my super-power wrist bands must be dead. I just can’t hear anything bad right now.

But, and here’s the thing, I HATE asking for help. Hate it. Hate. It. And I HATE venting/dumping/unburdening whatever it is I’m going through on people I love or who love me. I don’t want to burden them, or make my problems, their problems. Or worse, have them tell me their problems so that I know they know what I’m talking about? And then I’ll take on their problems too!! (My back just tensed even typing that!)

Okay, you’re thinking. Go talk to a stranger. Go to therapy. See a counsellor. I get that. I’ve done that. And I liked it. But actually finding a therapist with whom I am comfortable? Not so easy. The last one I went to made me feel I was in a principal’s office. Hard, straight-back chair, no pillows, no arm-rests, no tissues. She sat behind her desk and looked at me (in my mind) disapprovingly. And when I would curse? Oh, dear goat. You would think I just kicked her ferret.

Not good. So now I’m a little gun-shy, so to speak.  

I REALLY want to get back to believing those happy statements.

So, I’m dumping my woe into the interwebs, so that I can let it go. Sorry to be a debby-downer.