Carefree

I guess I just don’t really look around when I go down the feminine products aisle. I just go there to get my routine stuff, so I was taken aback when I was at the pharmacy and looked around to see these. I’ve never seen them before and I tried not to read anything into their proximity to several Durex boxes.

Carefree

Morning Routine

On good mornings here is how I start my day:
– iPod gently awakens me at 5:30
– Spend 30-60 minutes on treadmill
– Take a long, hot shower
– Dress and do my hair
– Prepare lunch
– Breaka
– Out the door by 8:10

The t.v. is on and at any given time it is tuned into Morning Joe on MSNBC, Mike and Mike on ESPN or the Today Show on NBC. I’m not a big news watcher but I enjoy the format of Morning Joe, the interviews and the chemistry between him and one of the other co-hosts (Mika). Mike and Mike is just funny sports guys chatting.

Inspired by a True Story – Part 1

The glass doors slide open and head outside, dragging my blue Samsonite suitcase behind me. Fuel fumes, burning oil and freshly laid mulch, flood the air and I nearly gag. I grasp the door handle to reveal well-worn tan seats. The cabbie’s head jerks to see if I need assistance with my bags. I smile and nod nonverbally indicating that ‘I’ve got it.’ Neither heavy nor light, the suitcase is unwieldy as I drag it into the car. As I slide across the leather seat, I tell the driver where I need to go. We pull away from the terminal and I see the sun cascading across the rim of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. The sky is brilliant, white cotton balls abound surrounded by a translucent blue sea. Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the world, located on a parcel of land twice the size of Manhattan. The road to and from the airport gives the impression that we are miles from a city or suburb with the treeless plains laid out in front of us. I love this airport, especially the trains that take you to and from your terminal, and the beautiful mountains that preside over your arrival or departure.

The driver begins navigating the familiar path and I settle into my seat with these images dancing in head. A quick flash to the front window and the center mirror quickly destroys any thought I might have of making the trip in quiet. The driver is dressed in a simple cotton shirt, with dark olive khakis. His skin is the color of dark red clay and his hair is silky black, but so short I can see his scalp. With his left arm folded long the open window and his right draped across the steering wheel, he asks me whether I am visiting. I nod.

“Have you been here before?” he says as his face gazes into the mirror.

“Yes, I use to live here?”

“Where are you from?”

“Washington, D.C.” At this he turns his head to make eye contact with me and then quickly returns his attention to the road. Still trying to ascertain what my looks refuse to divulge. “Is that where you were born?” his tone is more perplexed and he is not quite confident in his query.

“No, in Ohio.”

“O.” I have never played chess, but the pauses that come between this question and the next always give me the impression of strategic planning for the next move. “Where are your parents from?”

A chuckle almost leaps from my throat and a broad smile creases my face. Fortunately, I keep my composure. It is always fascinating to see the various ways the questions are introduced, the desire, need to know ‘What the HELL are you?’ I have been asked so many times that I feel like hanging a shingle around my neck, it has to be easier? “They are from the Midwest too.“

And before I have a moment to pause he asks, “So, what is your background? Ethnically?” The questions linger on the interrogator’s lips. It has taken many years for me to come to accept this brutish intrusion. I would never think to ask someone “what they are?’ upon first introductions, let alone in even less formal settings. But I am use to it now, and at my most creative I work my magic, I invent.

(For more background read: The Impostor post.)

Rude People

I have a cold starting and so I head over to CVS. As I am waiting in line a queue of 4 people forms behind me. Only 1 lane is open. The cashier runs out of cash and calls to the back for the manager to come up. The male specimen at the end of the line shouts, “DAMN, they only got 1 register open. These people sure aren’t overworking themselves.” I get to the counter and he has the NERVE to come up and reaches down to get some candy from in front of the counter. But he is entering my 18 meters and I’m about to introduce him to my knee. I start getting twitchy like that when you get too close to my neither regions.  I give him the look of death he steps back to the end of the line.

Here is what I didn’t say to you because I am polite but “DUMB A**, say excuse me and I will be happy to move! Or just wait your damn turn until they get to you. I know that it would have been nice to have more people at the register but come’on you too old to not have the simple manners down.”

I have become one of those people that if I hold the door for you and you don’t say thank you…I will let you know.

Green Computers, somebody is studying this?

When I glanced at this report I was disappointed that Apple fell towards the bottom. I love Apple products.
Some of my Apple goodies
I started contemplating how information like this may or may not influence my shopping decisions. For the most part, I would say they haven’t had much impact. I try to develop my own opinions about a retailer. I make decisions based on my own needs. My criteria usually depends on if I like what I am getting, they have good quality products, and are reasonably priced.

So, if I am not an easily influenced consumer, what does this say about me? All the other “good environmental” things I do, are they still valuable or worth it? Gosh I hope so. I will still do them. But asking me to apply pressure by choosing to opt-out of patronizing certain businesses…I am not sure I am yet that committed to the cause. These types of issues just don’t seem as black and white and clear cut as that.

Shower Therapy

I love taking showers. I love baths more but a nice hot shower in the morning is generally all I can squeeze in. I use that shower time for real mental therapy…I decide what I am going to wear*, what things around the house I need to do before I leave and prioritizing what has to get done at the office. I think up things I want to blog about, sometimes write entire short stories in my head or simply imagine I have a new day to start over and do things better than yesterday. That is time well spent even if my butt starts aching from the stool I’m sitting on. Much better than washing dishes when I all I can think about is how I hate washing dishes.

What typically mundane act have you reinvented for your own personal mind therapy?

*I have bad clothes days where I will try on every possible outfit combination and nothing looks good. Fortunately, these days seem less and less frequent but they still  exist.

3 Questions

1. What was the first thing you remember wanting to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a singer…I did sing in high school but that was a long time ago, now all the singing I do is in the shower or at my desk. My senior year in H.S. I was convinced that I wanted to be a marine biologist (sharing a birthday with Jacques Cousteau does that). I gave that up after my first year of college, chemistry kicked my butt.

2. What is one thing (a skill or talent) you secretly imagine learning?
– I would love to have formal singing lessons.
– Would love to learn to sail, if it wasn’t for that darn sea sickness. I also think it would be pretty cool to kick someone’s a** with couth.
– Piano. I play no instruments and I have always had an affinity towards the piano.

3. What is something you believe you will do in your lifetime?
– Skydive
– Run a marathon, (can barley run 2 miles now).
– Travel to Asia and Africa
– Write a novel

Self-ReDiscovery

I have been back to my daily routine for about 3 weeks now. The vacation details are fading into the recesses of my mind. I came back with so much more than mementos or memories. I came back refreshed, renewed and ready to embrace all that I have and all that I hope and dream will be. I have rediscovered myself!

Before I left I was at the end of my teether. I suppose not taking a vacation for a year and working someplace you despise can do that. I was a overworked and was looking for a job and that had gotten me a bit down as nothing seemed to be happening for me. I had been weighed down by the humdrum of daily life, the frustrations of dealing with ignorance and the constant need to be perfectionistic in all that I did.

When I came home people remarked more about my energy level and my smile, which I always thought was one of my greatest features, and that’s when it hit me: I realized that I use to be the annoying person who was perky most mornings (especially Monday’s), smiling and laughing everyday, often for no reason at all. I use to be a truly happy, empowered and charismatic person.

I am not sure where or when I misplaced that piece of myself…what made me bury it but I don’t ever want to lose it again. People at work think I came back on narcotics. And I want to shout this is the true me! My outlook is so positive everyday now. But I am not deluding myself, I know I will have ‘bad’ days but I plan on making an effort to keep my eye on the positives.

I am getting better about not sweating the small stuff the same way I use to. I don’t spend days working on a spreadsheet when I can just as easily convey the information in an email. I keep in focus those things that matter most. I haven’t felt this inspired, engaged in ‘me’ or open to all possibilities in a few years and boy does it feel good.

So, I ask you, are you happy? Have you taken a self inventory or done something to snap yourself out of your rut?

Second Act

It has been SO long, but what can I say! My crazy mind (a.k.a ANAL RETENTIVE, perfectionist wannabe) has been getting in my way. Every time I think of something or blogging it becomes something more than it should. It should be fun and relaxing, not work or a “to do” task. But since it is has been on my mind lately I was thinking of giving it another go. I have been inspired by others in blogland and have an itch to write.

Much has happened in the last year or so that I have missed having an outlet. So, the site is under-going a revamp and I hope it doesn’t stay this f’d up for long…(no guarantee though, one of my bathrooms has been half-painted (with the blue tape still up) for the last year). Now having said that I will not be around for another month. No vacation for 1 year + postponed 10th anniversary celebration = 4-week trip to Europe (London->Nice->Rome->Florence->Venice->Zurich->Paris)!

When I return I will share interesting tales of my trip, grad school, new job prospects, hubby, and mom living with us for the last year. I’ve missed you, I hope we can kindle/rekindle our friendship.