Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week...what is it again?

I'm doing this post today instead of tomorrow because it doesn't really look like I'm going to have time to do it tomorrow. Nor does it really look like anything much will be changing before tomorrow.

My week has been largely uneventful. Not that we haven't been busy, it's just not anything spectacular. We went out and made sales calls, unfortunately not getting the predicted landslide of contracts that we were expecting this week. We finally borrowed a copy of Kung Fu Panda for Dearest to watch. We had dinner at our Jewish friends' house (and his wife made the first dish with salmon that I've ever been able to eat without wanting to gag). We babysat their adorable kids while they went to an awards dinner for his work - which did two things for me: 1) I'm not struggling as much with the desire to have children. Screaming, teething, sleepy babies will do that. 2) my house is clean. Well, the portion people who walk in will see is, anyway. It hasn't been in a few weeks though, so that's nice.

Our goal this week is to get a "pipeline" going. For those who may not know, in terms of business a pipeline just refers to a set of new incoming business. We're working on closing the deal with his former customers (much to the chagrin of his former boss, who called to issue a verbal cease and desist the other day...which we will not be complying with). Now the challenge is to find new people, people we've never met before, who think that what we've got at the price we're giving it away for is a good idea.

All in all, it's been an alright week. Our emotional nerve endings are frayed, between the old boss trying to pretend he has something to threaten us with (can't scare someone who has nothing left to lose) and the financial situation at the moment. We've been at each other's throats more than once. But as I work on getting myself into a routine that ensures I'll have read my bible, journaled a little, and had a cup of coffee and a shower before I even begin to deal with my ADD husband...I think we'll do better. Part of the reason we've fought the way we have recently is just that the situation has me emotionally drained and somewhat impatient and for the sake of his health he's gone off his stimulants...just as I'm getting on them. Go figure, right?

Fortunately, blessedly, we do have a little bit of help from people around us. My sister in law has volunteered to grab food for us when she goes to the food bank, which will help a lot with getting bills paid. Our upstairs neighbor has agreed to just take care of one of the utility bills while we take care of the other one, and our landlord/mentor is being really gracious with us - which is especially nice since a large majority of our monthly financial commitments lie with payment, rent payment, etc.

I am going to look for a job again, something I'd stopped doing in hopes that my full concentration in our new business venture would accelerate our profitability. But, crops don't grow overnight even if you feed them all night long, so I'm going to see if I can snag something part time or temporary to make life a little more relaxing overall until 5&16 takes off more. Fortunately, the community center is a very short walk from our house and needs summer workers.

In all of this, one of the things that has helped me hang on the most is hope for the future. Though I don't focus as much on the more grandiose things as I used to, I do focus on "better." I look forward to being able to have dinner parties in our home, to affording real date nights, to having just that little bit of extra so we can go out on a whim. I look forward to the little things, and I trust that God will bring all good things to us, and that's getting me through.

This coming week there is much to do. I need to read my book, something I didn't do last week. I need to re-evaluate my goals, and I need to get my schedule and commitments straightened out. I'm looking forward to my book, this one is "It's Your Time" by Joel Osteen and from the introduction, it's going to be good.

So here's to this week, may yours be good. And unless something riles me up again (like the planned parenthood bit) I'll talk to you again next Monday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stimulants (ramble?)

stimulantsplural of stim·u·lant (Noun)

  1. A substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body.
  2. Something that increases activity, interest, or enthusiasm in a specified field.

I like my stimulants. Although I don't like the way that copy/pasting that definition messed up my formatting...

Anyway, I like my stimulants. I usually take them in the form of coffee or sugar, but occasionally I need a little bit more. That's where the amphetamines come in. 

You see, I have a twinge of ADD. It's just a twinge, but it's enough of a twinge to make me a scatterbrained nut and almost completely unmotivated to do anything I don't feel strongly about. I also struggle with depression in varying severity. 

With a carefully balanced diet, enough sleep, and enough positive experiences in my day, I can usually keep the depression low enough that a few learned mental behaviors (like affirmations) will keep me going. But those don't help the ADD. No matter how much I sit down and tell myself "Focus, Laura, this is important" somehow or another I end up staring out the window, working on my blanket, thinking up story elements, or perusing tumblr. This is especially true in the morning. My brain just doesn't like to switch over from sleeping/cuddling mode into working mode. And coffee just doesn't help enough.

So I use amphetamines in the mornings...when I remember. Just 10mg of a certain medication and all of a sudden; click, click, brain is online, fully functioning, and running FAST. Point me in a direction and I am gone as of ten seconds ago fast. 

Amphetamines are basically speed. For people who don't need them, amphetamines will do the same thing as speed. They get hyper, disoriented, and sometimes a bit jumpy. It's like they've downed three pots of coffee. Sometimes, they just sit there and jitter.

But for those of us who need them, amphetamines are like glasses for the brain. Everything comes into focus, falls into place, and is ready for action to begin immediately. If you've ever watched the movie Limitless, you know what I'm talking about. Cleaning the house, writing, studying, anything becomes almost exactly like what happened in that movie. 

Except that I don't get awesome kung fu powers from having watched all those martial arts movies as a kid.

But, I also don't develop a life-threatening dependency. Win some, lose some.

With my stimulants, I am what I expect myself to be. Maybe not quite organized, but it's in my head. I know what comes next, exactly how to execute what comes next, and I have the gumption to actually do it. Left in the house alone after taking one of my pills, I will clean the entire thing in an hour or less, no matter how messy it is. If I'd had these in school, I probably would have passed Trig. 

In any case, I find that there are only two real difficulties I encounter because of/in relation to these meds:

1) Sometimes, I know what all has to be done and it doesn't quite fall neatly into place. Then I'm left standing in the middle of the room or pacing a bit frantically and getting frustrated because there's so much movement and no progress. I don't know where to start, what to do first, everything clamors for priority and I simply can't sort it all out. I'm not sure what causes this, but in these times I'm grateful for my husband. I can go to him and say "I just don't know where to start" and he'll start me off on something. 

2) Sometimes, when on my morning dose of meds, I come up with fantastic game plans and goals and ideas that I absolutely know how to implement and have absolute confidence that I can implement it. Then, six hours later, the meds wear off - and if I'm not careful, my blood sugar crashes - and either I forget all of it or every one of those plans, goals, and ideas intimidates the bejeebus out of me. 

For example, I started this post with my amphetamines in my system, I had everything lined up, knew exactly what I was going to say, and then the planned parenthood post interrupted me, and then we went to grab coffee and had an hour long conversation with a random stranger, and now I'm starting to come down (though not crashing, thanks to my banana snack) and I can't remember a darned word of it. I'm winging this one. 

I was discussing the issue with my wonderful darling husband and he made the rather frustrating comment that I just need to get better at list-making. 

I hate lists. Loathe them. In my experience, a list may help but at the end of the day you have all these things on the list that just didn't have time to get done and it sucks. 

But, as usual, he's right. If I could take the focus of the stimulants and  the way that I innately know what comes next and how to execute it, and put that on paper, I'd be a heck of a lot better off when the meds wear off than I usually am. 

Not that I can't just take another pill, but there's some weird thing in my head that makes me really not want to. 

So, recognizing that this is a growth point for me - and a necessary one - I'm now endeavoring to get better at lists. And schedules. And actually sticking to things. That chore chart on my refrigerator lasted a total of four days before I began to alternately forget and ignore it. 

So with a reluctant but determined "hi-ho" I'm now going to go make my schedule for tomorrow...and include a list-making time on it.

Why I'm so adamant about Planned Parenthood

I decided to break off and make this a blog post instead of continuing to flood the comments section of that poor advocate's status.

Let me take the soapbox for a minute, and tell you why I'm so adamant about Planned Parenthood.

Reason #1:

When I first started using Planned Parenthood I was getting out of a severely emotionally and physically abusive relationship - and I had a little bit of Stockholm going on. In my session with the fully licensed nurse practitioner, I explained this. She not only had a great deal of sympathy and nonjudgmental concern for me, she offered to refer me to a counselor who took cases like mine on a pretty decent sliding scale. A Christian counselor, no less, because I had mentioned to her that I grew up in a Christian home as brief explanation for the depth of shame I felt about having been in the relationship in the first place. She also recommended that I not get a pap-smear and cervical exam that day, because their technician for the day was male and though there would be a female presence in the room with him at the time of the exam, it would probably make me uncomfortable and I could just come back another day.

She did her best to educate me about the resources available, including the various church-based groups in the area who work to help victims of abuse get back on their feet. The fact that I declined these services made little difference, the impact was the same. She was trying her best to help me.

Reason #2:

When I first started using Planned Parenthood I was starting a polygamous relationship (by the way, bad idea) and she also offered me a list of resources to study about that choice and it's most likely emotional repercussions so that I would be aware of what I was setting myself up for - especially with my recent background - before getting too involved.

Reason #3:

When I started using Planned Parenthood I was working a minimum wage job at Jack in the Box, I had a $500/month rent payment plus an agreement with my ride to work to help pay for gas, eating ramen and ravioli on a regular basis was costing me at least $25/weekly and I certainly did not have $500 for the run of STD tests I needed or $250 for the doctor's visit or even $25/monthly for the birth control pills. When I explained this to the RNA at the counter and asked how she could help me, she jumped at the chance and went digging through their various files until she found a form for a government program geared toward women in my age group and financial situation. I was able to have the full run of tests done, the doctor's visit, and a full two years of free birth control because she found me that form.

Now, addressing the points of post that I commented on, in no particular order:

  • It is true that the only MD or "real" doctor of any sort in a Planned Parenthood office is the one performing the abortions. However, the Nurse Practitioners (NLP) on staff are wonderful. When at my husband's Nurse Practitioner (who works under the banner of UW Medical Centers/ UW Physicians - one of the best groups of physicians in the country) to work out his post-surgery medications and try to figure out why recovery was going so badly, I asked her what the differences between a RN, LNP, and a doctor were. Her explanation was longwinded and - to be honest - I don't remember most of it because I didn't fully understand most of it. But she summed it up for me as this: Nurse Practitioners are almost Doctors. If they want to, they can go back to school for another 4 years or so and become a doctor. But they are cheaper to employ, and they often decide to become nurse practitioners because they want to help people sooner.

    In case any of you missed that, this means that the reason that Planned Parenthood's staff is mostly Nurse Practitioners is because they're cheaper to employ - which enables them to not charge the outrageous prices of a normal clinic with doctors.
  • When you walk into a planned parenthood office and actually look at the literature, it's at least 50% safe-sex and abstinence focused. This includes information about the various forms of birth control methods (pill, IUD, etc), the "plan B" pill (which I personally am against), condoms, spermicides, making sure you and your partner are tested and have been found to be free of STDs, and just not having sex in the first place. The other 50% is comprised mostly of pamphlets from various organizations through churches and the government who advocate other, non-abortion choices. Choices like open or closed adoption, partial- or co-parenting (a system where the mother works with a couple who already has kids to raise her child so the burden isn't entirely on her and she doesn't feel alone), and temporary foster care. At least 75% of all the literature I've ever seen in a Planned Parenthood office is anti-abortion.

    After that, you're left with a small fraction of the literature, we'll call it 25%. That fraction is comprised of information about government assistance programs, information about counseling, a few random medical studies (pamphlets that say things like "are you depressed? University of Washington is conducting a study...), information about planned parenthood and how various pieces of legislature will affect them, and - in an almost extreme minority - information about abortions.
  • Planned Parenthood is more discreet than other clinics are because they realize they may be dealing with someone who doesn't want anyone else to know she's been there. Every time they take your information for a situation where they may call you, they ask if it's all right to say "planned parenthood" or if there's something else you'd prefer they say on an answering machine or to someone other than you.
  • The people in Planned Parenthood are compassionate. They have conversations with you, try to ease any nervousness you might feel, and watch for body language cues that may indicate you're uncomfortable with a subject or procedure. In my experience they have always welcomed and patiently answered any questions or doubts I had regardless of how busy they were.
  • Oh yes. We are so mean-spirited. I mean, how dare we want women to receive better health care from another provider. Let's look at the facts. There are 700 PP centers in this country that provide extremely limited gynecological care. There are over 7000 Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide comprehensive health care. Now, which one would you choose?? 

    I, and many girls in my situation, would choose the one I can afford. True, Planned Parenthood is a government-subsidized program that cannot offer the absolute best care available. True, you would probably get a higher level of care at a gynecologist's office. However, I can't afford it. And neither can any of the women who walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic. The "federally qualified health centers" are still more expensive than Planned Parenthood and are often less compassionate, less accessible, and sometimes downright frightening in the lack of empathy and bedside manner in the doctors and nurses.
  • "Yet, after so much public outcry in favor of Planned Parenthood, we still have protesters standing outside harassing clients that are coming for lifesaving care like breast and cervical cancer screenings!" --We are not harassing. We are offering CHOICES to women going into your centers. I mean, they are pro-CHOICE, right? Also, they are not doing any breast care!! Oh my gosh, could they please stop with this lie?? PP is a level one breast cancer center. That means you will not get any sort of diagnostic or treatment of breast abnormalities at their clinics. You are only allowed to receive a manual breast exam from their know, the same kind you can do in the shower...or the same kind that can be done by ANY physician in this country

    There are various points in this one that I will address.

    Firstly, in my experience the protesters do border on harassment with their tactics. I have seen them attempt to publicly shame and humiliate girls walking into the clinics. I have seen them physically stand in the only drive-way into the small clinic parking lot to prevent cars from entering, thus also blocking traffic and causing various safety hazards to themselves and many around them. I have seen them shout "whore" at women trying to enter the clinic, and shove papers at people. Papers with images that are - quite frankly - disturbing in their attempts to "raise awareness" about abortion. I have seen all of these things from "pro life" protesters - and the ones who have the name of a church on their shirts are often the worst.

    Secondly, Planned Parenthood *is* a level-one breast care center. That does mean that you get a manual exam from an RNP. This is helpful because many, like me, occasionally think they've felt something in their own manual exam and need a second opinion. They also refer patients to specialists who charge on a sliding scale if needed, and educate them about the options if they (the patients) do find an obvious abnormality in the future. Because they are only a level one breast care center, they can't give you diagnostics. This is true. However, they can say "You need to go see so-and-so about this" and to someone who has limited resources and can't just be tossing money at potentially unnecessary doctor's visits, that does a world of good.

    The third point is that of the RNP versus the MD...I already addressed this one.
  •  For 40 days straight, anti-choice protesters are once again gathered outside our health centers in an effort to deter clients from receiving the compassionate care they deserve." --Really, compassionate care?? Or coerced care??? I would say coerced 

    Nothing is ever coerced. That would be illegal, and each and every RNP would lose his or her ability to practice medicine. While one or another RNP may emphasize one or another choice based on personal preference, it's always made clear that it is the choice of the patient and there are many, many options.

    Something that those bashing Planned Parenthood need to consider before saying a word is the vast numbers of women and girls in this country who can't afford insurance or even a doctor's visit.

    For example, I am currently unemployed and for six months have been unable to find work. My husband recently lost his job of 14 years - a job that was just barely keeping us alive in the first place. We are starting a company, and that is going very well, but it isn't an immediate cash cow. It has to grow first. In the meantime, we get just a few hundred dollars a week from Unemployment, with which we need to pay a rent payment in the thousands, an electric/heating bill in the hundreds, credit card bills and medical bills from when he was unable to work in the tens of thousands, a phone bill in the hundreds, and other utility bills in the hundreds - all of these things necessary for us to survive and start our business. 

    Without the ability to go to Planned Parenthood, and be educated on how to use the programs available to us so that we don't have to pay hundreds for clinic visits, prescriptions, and birth control, we wouldn't be able to afford birth control. If this were the case, one of two things would happen:

    1) We would severely decrease the amount of sex we have. Studies across the world show that when this happens, you've started down the road for divorce.

    2) We would end up having at least one, possibly two or three children we could not afford. We would end up on welfare, food stamps, subsidized medical care for the children, and still barely able to give them a decent life. This would be irresponsible of us, would drain the resources that come out of taxpayer dollars (which those against planned parenthood are griping about), and would set our children up to either continue the cycle or end up involved in drugs, gangs, and crime. 

    Considering the options, I am extremely grateful that in our time of need, there is an institution in place. It may not be the best healthcare in the world, but nobody expects it to be. It serves a need. So unless you want to personally start paying for all of the doctor's visits, prescriptions, STD tests, birth control, education, and referrals that Planned parenthood offers *thousands* of women who need should probably consider backing off a little.

    As a note, I am personally against abortion. I think it's an amoral decision and is one of the worst things you can do to yourself emotionally. I think it is wrong that a woman should be able to choose to murder someone just because that someone's life starts off by interrupting hers. However, I will not ask for abortions to be illegal because I know that if they were made illegal we'd simply have more cases of women hurting themselves by trying to self-administer (I.E. the coat hanger method, intentionally falling down flights of stairs, ingesting harmful substances to force a miscarriage, etc). I believe that instead, women should be educated and encouraged. Educated on what the choice they're making really means, and encouraged that they *are* strong enough, that they *can* handle at least birthing the baby, that they *are not* alone, and that they *have no reason to be ashamed*. 

    Unfortunately, that is the exact opposite of what I have seen from the majority of pro-life groups.

    I am adamant in my support of Planned Parenthood because I can see past my own personal beliefs to recognize the great good they are doing for the people in our country. People I care about, because they are all important to God; and whether they walk into Planned Parenthood or not, whether they have an abortion or not, doesn't change that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I feel a change coming on

Setting goals has never been my forte, and neither has reaching them. I don't know if it's something I didn't learn because I'm thickheaded or because nobody ever knew how to teach it to me, but regardless of the why the fact is that it's just not something I do well. Yesterday, I came to a realization: There's not much I do well.

Somewhere along the lines I developed a quitting habit. When things got hard, when I wasn't the best, when I got my feelings hurt, I just quit. I taught myself that avoidance was better than facing your problems, challenges, fears, and uncertainties head-on and letting the process make you better.

No more.

I was listening to a lecture CD by Greg and Laurie Duncan, two of my heroes. I admire Laurie especially, because while all the other Diamond ladies are thin and pretty good at the balance thing, Laurie is about my size. She talks like I do, sometimes stumbling over words and sometimes getting more zealous than some people can handle. She talks about the things that inspire me, about travelling around the world with her kids, about planning her daughter's wedding and unofficially adopting her kids' friends. She talks about the food from around the world and the life she leads, and it sounds exactly like what I want.

Okay, maybe not exactly, but pretty darn close. Despite the fact that she's probably old enough to be a young grandmother to me, I really feel like I connect to her. I think, once we're at the Diamond level, she and I will be great friends.

But what catches me in this CD, every time I listen to it, is something that Greg says about his wife. As he's introducing her, he talks about how she handles the things she doesn't know. She goes at it, and she keeps going and going and learning and learning until she's mastered it. She doesn't shrink from her challenges or allow herself to feel inadequate when she doesn't know something. And that woman radiates confidence.

Today I realized that I spend way too much time distracting myself from just how much of a failure I feel I am. I spend hours upon hours accomplishing nothing just because I don't feel like I can do anything perfectly. I obsess over things I want with the assumption that I'll never have them because I'm afraid of the work it will take.

After taking a good, hard, honest look at myself...I really don't like what I see. And I'm the only one to blame for it. My dad tried to teach me to work hard and earn what I wanted, my mom tried to teach me that calm perseverance is the best way, but I've instead elected to spend my entire adult life thus far (all three-ish years of it) running from my problems and hiding behind people who I thought would let me be a kid forever.

I know I can't do that anymore. It's...a disturbing realization to say the least.

So I feel a change coming on. I've decided to start taking responsibility for my own self, for my own part in our success, and for my own decisions. I know it's going to be hard, and that scares me, but I have to stop running.

As Jeff Olson points out in the Slight Edge, a decision is only a decision until you put action to it. If three frogs are sitting on a log and one decides to jump off, there are still three frogs there until one of them actually does something.

In the words of Paul Tsika: "Why sit we here 'till we die?"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 7

Boy oh boy has week 7 been long! We've been out making sales calls this week, enjoying pizza and ice cream occasionally to help relieve the stress of being out all day making sales calls. From the looks of it, this week is going to be more of the same and then it will start paying off this week/next week.

And that, really, is all I have to report. My brain is way fried.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Letting go - a ramble about me

I’ve only dated three guys in my short life, and I married the last one. But I’m having a hard time letting go. The first one, well, let’s just say there were so many mistakes in that relationship that I’m tempted to say the entire relationship was a mistake. Despite the massive mistakes made, I still talk to him. At least, I try to. We try the whole being friends thing but we’re both mostly closed off from each other now and he gets melancholy and I get nostalgic and then we both end up depressed and it’s stupid. I still have a hard time letting go, though. I still want to know that he’s thinking about me. I’m not sure why, and it doesn’t make sense. But that’s the way it is. However, I’m getting better, not talking to him as much, forgetting about him more often. 
The second one I just can’t seem to shake. That relationship was terrible, abusive in many ways, and it pretty much destroyed me. Then, when I had nothing left to give and no strength left to hold up under his onslaught any longer, he just left. Or rather, he broke off what I thought was a devoted and committed relationship and kicked me out of his house in a city I didn’t know on the opposite side of the country from anything familiar. I was 18.
Because of how much he hurt me, because the whole thing was so devastating to me and recovery was such a hard and long process, I just can’t accept the fact that he moved on. I moved on, too. I’m in a happy, healthy marriage. I love my husband more than I can even express. Despite that, I still hope to run into my ex, to show him that I’m doing better. I still hope that he hurts when he thinks about me, that he regrets some part of what he did to me, that he admits any fault at all. I still watch the profile he has to see if he ever mentions me. I just can’t seem to move on. I can’t seem to accept that he did such a huge number on me and I was just…what, a notch on the bedpost?
Then there’s my husband’s ex. If either of us has a right to be angry and bitter in that situation, it’s her. I moved in as a roommate and in a matter of days became the mistress. Within three months I’d completely won him and their divorce was being filed. Place blame where you will, you don’t know the whole situation and even if you did it wouldn't change the fact that what I did was wrong and it's only because of the ultimate outcome that I'm sure I wouldn't change it if I could. It makes no sense for me to be as angry at her as I am. I want, desperately, to see her crash and burn. 
Not only is this not Christian of me, but I don’t understand it. After all, I won. She’s the one who lost, whose entire life was turned upside down. So why do I get red-hot angry every time I see her? Why do I catch myself thinking of ways I can tear her down? Why do I often feel as though I’m the one who was slighted?
I don’t move on so well. I obsess over whether people remember me, how I affected them. I crave the knowledge that someone’s life is drastically impacted by me, and that they will never be able to forget me. 
Fortunately, I have mentors in my life who are teaching me to turn that impulse toward a good cause. Impact people in a positive way. I can get incredibly creative when my mind is let loose to roam in it’s natural, vengeance and destruction seeking pattern. They’re teaching me to use that creativity to build up and affirm instead. I’m glad for the change, and for the support. I just wish I understood why I am the way I am. 
Why can’t I forget…anyone?
I even remember people that my parents have forgotten, people who were only in our lives for a short time. I may not remember names or recognize faces if I ever see them again. But I remember them. I remember the impressions I had of them. I remember certain details about conversation or setting. I simply don't forget people. Years and years after the last time I talked to a certain stranger in passing I'll probably remember that person and wonder where they are now, what they're doing, what their story is.
I forget things like my husband's birthdate, the fact that his system doesn't handle garlic well, or the name of a friend's favorite pet. But I remember that one girl in fourth grade who was in our class for two days, how pretty she was, how lonely she seemed; and I wonder where she is now and how her life has turned out. I remember that random kid on the playground, and how nice he seemed, and that he lived nearby but wouldn't tell me where. I remember our next-door neighbors when we lived in the apartments and that their house always seemed to be dark except for in the kitchen. I remember these people that - considering how unlikely it is I'll ever see them again - don't really matter in my life, but I can't remember important things, like an appointment next week or what I need to get from the grocery store. 
Dearest says that people study psychology for one of two reasons. To figure out what's wrong with them, or to figure out what's wrong with everybody else. I don't study psychology, because as fascinating as it is to me, there are things about myself that I want to know...and there's a distinct possibility that nobody understands it any more than I do. Like my penchant for grudges. Or my seeming inability to forget a person. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Week 6

Week 6 has come and gone and was significantly better than the other weeks have been. We got our business up and going this week, and I've gotten a lot of special treatment. Dearest really is working hard to make sure that I know I'm loved and  I probably don't deserve all of it but I soak it up anyway.

In week 6 I finished Les Giblin's book, How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People. It's a really good read and one I'd recommend to anyone and everyone. Les Giblin focuses not on a gimmick or an 'ought to,' but instead on how people really are. He talks about how the best way to get what you want from someone is to give them what they want in exchange, and how what people want more than anything is to feel important. Help someone feel more confident, more important and worthwhile, and you'll have an instant friend who is likely to grant you any favor you ask. He emphasizes that flattery isn't what he's talking about. Rather, a sincere heartfelt compliment about something that isn't obvious (for example, don't compliment a well-known expert welder on his welding).

Aside from that, it's been a busy week full of things that in retrospect don't seem all that important. Yesterday, in just one afternoon of talking to potential clients for our new IT business, we earned $500 and have several follow-up appointments set throughout the week. We're excited, and good things are happening.

Also, I got the ice cream I was griping about not getting. And he promised not to watch techie movies with me anymore.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

crazy me (rant)

So Valentines day is one of those not a big deal but totally a huge deal things for me. I'm not going to be devastated that he's not getting me a card or planning some super sweet romantic date or something like that, but I'm bummed to the point of borderline depression about it? This makes no freaking sense, and is one of the reasons I occasionally hate being a girl.

At first, my logical mind recognized that I would want, and probably emotionally need, to do something special for Valentines day. We fought through it last year, and this year everything is so mucked up I figured I'd really just need that something extra to help me not go into some practically inexplicable three week crying stint. So, I told him that. He asked me what I wanted to do and my emotional response was: Dude, this part is supposed to be your job. But we agreed early on that he's just not the date planner. So I told him ice cream and a movie. Date night, but with ice cream instead of a dinner with the potential to screw with his digestive system, right?

Well, then we were in the area of an amazing ice cream place last week and he suggested we do the ice cream part that day and the movie part later, and I can never turn down ice cream, so I agreed. Except, shortly after finishing the ice cream I realized that a movie with no dinner and no ice cream is just a movie and there weren't any in theaters that I want to see right now.

We went through another five "I think I want to do this instead" talks before I decided on pizza (and ice cream!) at home, watching something with him. I was sure I could get him to watch a chick flick with me. And if not, at least I enjoy the shows we normally watch via netflix.

Then the other night I was craving pizza and the meat for the chili hadn't thawed, so I figured we'd to pizza and ice cream that night instead of valentine's and it would all be good. And it was, except there was no ice cream and we watched some lame movie about computer hackers in the late 80s/early 90s - which he kept pointing out the flaws of. I'm never watching a movie that has something to do with computers with him again. And the whole thing was totally not emotionally what I wanted it to be.

So now here I am, with Valentines day on Tuesday and no plans left and no money to spare and feeling bummed. It's not because it's valentines day, exactly. At least my logical mind doesn't think so. My emotions are whacked. But my logical mind is sure that I just was really hoping the romantically-themed holiday would bring me something special and other than what we've been going through since he lost his job. And it isn't going to. The things we've done "for valentines day" were complete disappointments and I don't even fully understand why.

And in all of this, there are only a few things I really know.
1) he really is too awesome to have to put up with this because
2) I'm just plain nuts. And
3) I really want a super big helping of ice cream and a chick flick.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why we have such a good marriage (ramble?)

"After 26 years you still can't remember that I prefer thin crust pizza. It really makes me feel like I'm just not important." ~Lynette from Desperate Housewives

Me: "Olives?"
Him: "What?"
Me: "You got olives on the pizza?"
Him: "I wasn't thinking olives. I was thinking, 'combination sausage and pepperoni, she'll like that better than plain pepperoni."
Me: "Oh. I guess I can pick the olives off, thanks for the thought."

(us at the grocery store today)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 5

Here we are, at the beginning of week 6. Huzzah, we made it!

Week 5 has been a whole lot of waiting. We waited for unemployment to be approved and then for the check to be in our mailbox. We wait for things to happen or not, phone calls to come or not, an idea to strike...or not.

Fortunately, it's also been a fairly good week. Once we got the check we finally did some grocery shopping - mostly because I'm unexpectedly embarrassed to go into a food bank and we figured out that if we were careful we could afford it. This led to a cooking venture - which seems to happen every time I lose my husband in the grocery store. This time he came back to me with the ingredients for chili.

The package didn't say we needed canned kidney beans, so he grabbed a bag of dry beans. I thought it was a little odd that you could possibly put dry kidney beans into chili and have edible chili five minutes later. But, who am I to question the package, right? An hour later, when the beans still weren't chewable, I called everyone who might know anything about chili in my contact list. Thank God for moms because mine was the only one who answered the phone (lol). A little more than three hours after that we had an appropriately textured and very, very, very spicy chili. I didn't even think to not dump the entire packet of cayenne pepper into the pot.

The good news, though, is that my husband has been thoroughly enjoying that chili for several days. It's turned out to be a very economical choice and will probably become a staple of our diet until things are off the ground again.

As unfortunate as this whole process has been - what with him losing his job, and now his former employer screwing with his unemployment qualification - and all the uncertainty that has come with it; good things have also come. My faith and relationship with God is strengthening, I'm starting to get more out of my bible and the sermons than I used to. We're meeting loads of new people and finding out that though his boss and "best friend" of 14 years is a pile of dog turds with no sense of loyalty or integrity, Dearest does have many other people who firmly believe in him and want to support him in whatever choice he makes next. We're starting a company in  the IT field that I don't fully understand yet - which is a good sign. And we're getting more involved in our community.

So, despite the troubles that have drained my brain power and made it almost impossible for me to even blog well for the time being, good is happening.

Here's to week 6