Are you and your spouse/partner more alike than not? What things set your personalities apart?

BozoBoy and I are alike on a lot of things. Our value system is in-sync, as are our thoughts on parenthood (although we have yet to test these theories) and even our politics are inline with each others. BUT we are so very different in other ways. For example, I am an *Extrovert, he is an introvert. I am neurotic he is laid-back and relaxed. I am more of a neat-freak, everything in it’s place kinda gal, he is ‘a let the piles rule guy’.

But with all our differences its still the important things that matter and we seem to be steppin to the same beat.

How do you fair?

*Notice I used Extrovert with a capital E, because I really am extroverted.

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.

Sticky Situation

So, I seem to be in a bit of a pickle. There is a long back story which I won’t get into now but at work we are in the midst of ‘selecting’ a new mid-level manager for our team. There is someone on our team who has applied for the job as well as 2 outside candidates that were advanced to group interviews with the team. I have known the inside candidate for almost 5 years, I consider him a friend but not a close friend. I feel that given his age he acts too much like a little boy than a grown man.

I had spoken with him amount the position a few times before and as much as I would like to be 100% supportive I have my doubts. I expressed some of these to him but not all my concerns. I had 2 reasons for this. 1. I thought I would have found a new job by the time all this BS rolled around and could have cowardly skipped out. 2. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and not sure he would have really listened and heard me.

Today, we conducted the group interviews. The other 2 candidates were just better in my opinion. I don’t know them from Adam but they carried themselves well, were well spoken and projected a level of experience and leadership that internal-boy lacked.

Tomorrow we have our team debrief, less the candidates involved…I suspect several of the team will go with him because it’s easier, keeps the status quo or he’s their buddy. I plan to bring up 3 pivotal points which I believe he is deficient in:
1. Leadership Experience
2. Demonstrated Initiative
3. Customer-Focused Attitude

Now 1 and 3 I think can be learned and developed but 2…he has had opportunities to demonstrate initiative but hasn’t on numerous occasions. This is problematic and I think systematic of the deficiencies he shows as a leader and the way he goes about handling our customers (most of whom are internal). Also, I am a bit tainted by the comments he made to me in confidence that he thinks he deserves the job and is entitled to it. The manager we have now is Wonderful!

Dilemma: Should I call him and tell him my take or just leave it until the meeting tomorrow and tell him after. I suspect that someone will leak it and there is more than a realistic chance he will get it based on other’s comments and majority and so on. I have conveyed some of this to him but today helped solidify the issues for me. How would you go about handling this prickly situation?

1 thing I should add is that this person is a mental and physical drain on me…I am not necessarily concerned about the repercussions this may have on the friendship. I am concerned that if I have to stay longer than planned will I have a good manager.

Holiday Gift Idea #1

You probably know REI for rugged outdoor clothing and equipment but at the holidays they always come up with interesting gift ideas. Here are 2 of my favorite ideas:

Rukshuk Rock Game – $25. I liked this because it is a different take on a stacking game. I have some friends in mind who love these types of games for their children.

REI-Rukshuk Game

Camelbak 32oz Bottle – $12. I love this bottle! I own one (did I mention that blue is my favorite color?) and have never had it leak and believe me I have tried. There is also a smaller, more stylish version that holds 22oz and is $8.
REI-Camelback 32oz Bottle $12

Introducing Cairo

Here is one of my kitty clan. She is notorious for running off for 2 or 3 hours,¬† climbing on you at 3 a.m. to get a little extra love and warming her bum or other bits on the vents. She will only go on the vents during winter. If the a/c is on she jumps up with claws extended to get away from the cool blowing air. I like this picture of her because it is all attitude, which she struts around with daily…

Heating Pad

Holiday Gift Ideas

I plan to spend the next month giving fun gift ideas just in time for the holidays. Typically, I try to have my shopping finished by December 5th. I just like to get everything sorted out, ordered and in the house. It helps that I do 90% of my shopping online.

If you shop online consider navigating to the online store via iGive.com. You can select an organization or school where a certain percentage of the amount spent is donated to your selected charity.

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

Songs(s) of the Day

I got an iPhone! It was a gift and I love it. I am not a big gadget girl but I know what I like and what I don’t. I love Apple products and although I wasn’t looking for a new phone this is great. Love the fact that I can have an all in one, phone, PDA and iPod and the neat scroll and zoom features are a bonus.

Now at when I’m in the office and not in meetings I spend my time listening to music (at home I do the same thing but I directly access a hard drive, which has tons to choose from). At the moment, I am a little limited by the selection available because our music is on an older apple computer (which doesn’t register the iPhone) and we are working on migrating it to a newer machine(count 6 days/80 GB if we go over the network so we are investigating other options)…

Anyways I thought I would start posting music I am listening to on any given day. I like just about all kinds of music, I am not into what I like to characterize as extremes, e.g., I don’t have much country (does Lyle Lovett count?) or heavy metal (ok so I have a few cd’s, like Collective Soul but I will blame these on BozoBoy) or rap (again BozoBoy takes the brunt). I especially like world music (~5000 songs) and Christmas songs (~700 ). I like folk, bluegrass, pop, reggae, rock, alternative, classical, jazz and R&B. I am first to admit I don’t keep up on the latest music though. I spend about 15 minutes 2x a week listening to the radio and that is my only exposure. I got an iTunes gift card and and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find artists that I might like and that are new and fresh.

This week here are some artists I have been listening too…
Beyonce -Irreplaceable
India.Arie – Heart of the Matter/Private Party
Gipsy Kings
Africa (Putumayo Presents)
Asian Groove
Marc Cohen
Sarah McLachlan – Wintersong

Random Acts of Kindness

Monaco FLowers

To go along with my inspired attitude I have decided to try and complete 1 daily random act of kindness. Not sure how I will fair but I am going to do my best. I started this week as a test and out of 5 days I committed 3 ‘kind’ acts. I am loosely defining what an act of kindness could be. Below are some kind acts I perpetrated:
– Stopped behind car in front enough to allow traffic to enter/exit gas station on neighborhood road. (Was rewarded when the kids in the car in front yelled out the window my car’s name ((I have a personalized plate) too cute.)
– Bought lunch for a couple of friends.
– Brought in heart-shaped banana bread muffins to work.

I count acts while driving, since I do not feel it is my obligation to let folks in, stop and wait behind you while you drop off someone, etc…but I will try to minimize these because I think I can do better. If you have any creative ideas that are spontaneous and would work online, send them on. I work from home 2-3 days a week and there are times where I don’t get out of the house all day. I want to come up with things I can do that are different and don’t always require me to give money. For example, I asked a friend to critique my revised resume and I plan to give them a gift certificate for a massage. I know they are unsuspecting and I got the idea by asking their spouse, so I will count that but I want them to be a bit spontaneous.

Why am I keeping track?
1. It makes me feel good to do something for someone else and I want to be reminded of that emotion. I sometimes forget that I am a good person, this will help me remember.
2. It gets back to my mantra to do more/help more. I want to build this in so it becomes a part of my daily habits to the extent that I notice when I don’t do it.

Do you commit random acts of kindness?

Death Convos

The other day BozoBoy was in to get a physical and was referred to a cardiologist as a follow-up. Everything turned out fine but we wound up talking about if something happened to one of us. This was not our first conversation on this topic but as the time passes it seems to get harder and harder to have…the thoughts just are enough to bring tears to the eyes. A friend of ours wife passed away in the spring after battling with cancer for 2 years. It was a long, difficult situation for him, his daughter and their extended family. I bring him up because BozoBoy said he just didn’t know how he would go on if anything happened to me, it was very sweet and although I felt great I certainly would want him to find happiness and love again. But I bring up this friend because he is now engaged. Now although I think it was rather quick, what do I know. I hope he is happy.I suppose we never know how we are going to react, we can attempt to predict but until confronted with it you just never know.

We also spoke about the importance that we understand each others wishes. I am confident that BozoBoy knows that I would not want to be kept alive artificially and more importantly I want to be cremated. Just as I know his final wishes. But nowadays I don’t think this is good enough, you need to have a will. This conversation extends beyond just your spouse too. You should let your family know what your wishes are even if they disapprove. My mom has heard me say my wishes before but I am not sure she has actually registered them…and I have no clue what hers are. I often feel that we are on a skating rink but she is swirling around making figure eights and I am trapped on the edges holding onto the wall. Now that things seem to be settling down for her, I will make it a point in the next week to ask her, maybe even get her to do a will.

Do you have a living will?
For those interested I found a great book on DIY wills. It is a good place to start.