Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creative De-stressing

It has been well established that I'm a worrier. With that we can safely say I tend to get overwhelmed. All of this is not helped by the fact that I am a perfectionist.

This past week, there were a few days which found me a little crazed. Not generally the whole day, but little spurts through the day and often right before bed time. Work is what appears to be the trigger and is what has been on my mind lately. Insomnia has kicked in and I have wished I had some sleeping pills to help me stay asleep. I have the kind of insomnia where I fall asleep hard for about an hour or two and then I am woken up by worry. I've written about it a number of times in the past and it's clear this is my stress sleep pattern.

This week I have almost dreaded each night as I fear it will be filled with frustrations of not being able to get back to sleep. I try getting water. Doing some stretches. Petting a cat. Changing sleeping locations (aka the Couch). The only thing that works is Eric rubbing my back, which means I have to wake him up to help me sleep. Seems a little selfish to me, so this is usually my last resort!

About mid-week I realized something interesting during my commute. I have quite a number of knitting projects to finish for the holidays so any spare moment I have is being used on them, so instead of driving or working on the train, I've been knitting. I found that the days which I knit, I can sleep no problem. And the nights where I haven't been able to sleep, which leaves me agitated in the morning, I am able to knit away the sleep deprived grouchiness and have a genuinely good day. This is making a very good case for making sure I take the train into work. Possibly an even better case then the whole environmental impact bit.

Maybe with all of this stress, and then de-stress knitting, I'll actually get all of my gifties completed before the weather warms up (unlike last year).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Missing the Big Picture

For a few years I was really into capturing my days via this blog and my camera. So I haven't been all that great with the blog, but I've been really crappy with the camera. Over there on the sidebar I have a link to my most recent photos on Flickr. Those same cute pictures of my friend's baby girl have been looking all cute and cuddly for over a year. The other day my Mother-in-Law asked me for the URL for my photo site, and I had to go look it up, because it's been THAT LONG! And I was sad to see the last photo uploaded was from Sept 2007. That cute cuddly little baby, ain't no baby anymore although she's still cute and cuddly.

But how does one update Flickr with over a years worth of photos? Well one answer is, you don't. You just start from now and move forward. But I do have well over 1.5 GB of photos which have been taken, but some I'd really like to get up on Flickr, and many with are not worthy. You know, taking 30 pictures of the same 2 brownies doesn't really count as a month of meaningful photos. Maybe 1 of those would be uploaded. And the rest? well I don't know. Disk space is cheaper these days, but do I really want to buy more disk space to store 30 photos of the same 2 brownies? probably not. But I do need to get them off of my camera's discs. Can't use it if I can't store them.

Then there comes a new development which is preventing me from doing much with the photos. My home desktop's hard drive died. Sure I can buy a new one, and reload everything on it and restore from backup, but really... this computer is old and was already showing signs of eminent death beyond the hard drive long before it finally passed. Sad to think that something purchased 8 years ago is considered old. But this is the life of a computer and 8 years is pretty darn old. It was my first and it served me well. and luckily I had seen the signs and backed up everything I cared about off of the ailing machine.

So before I can start using my camera again, I need to get a bunch of photos off of the camera or buy more memory for it (which I have plenty so that's dumb), and before I can get the photos off I need to figure out where to put them and to then sort through them and well... that all just takes time.

If you have any extra time, just let me know and I'll be right over to pick some up. Thanks!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bueller? Bueller?

Ok, so a little sad am I.

Back here, I mentioned how excited I was about this Back-Tack thing. A global crafty gift exchange set up by some nifty bloggers in Australia. Theme Given, Buddies Matched-up, Get your Crafty on, Exchange, and come out getting to know another blogger and being gifted some lovely crafty wares.

Well, I'm feeling a little bummed over here. We were assigned our partners over a week ago, which of course I emailed her that very day and I still haven't heard a word. Checked my SPAM folder and nothing. Checked her blog, and no entry since early September. Doubled checked that my info sent in the buddy email was correct, as was my Blog URL. Being the rule follower that I am, I made contact between assignment date and Oct 18th, but I'm not getting the same response.

I guess I could comment on her last blog post which is totally out of context, as maybe the email address provided was incorrect (which did not bounce back). I could send another email, but I'd rather not seem too eager or impatient (which clearly I am!). Maybe she has something going on which is keeping her from wanting to participate anymore. Sigh! I only have a few weeks to get my crafty on for the exchange which is to be shipped and received by the beginning of December, and well.. I have family gifts to prepare as well. And so I wait.

**UPDATE** Desperation does work! I got an email today. Now I have to figure out how to make up for my eagerness and sound cool and aloof again. Really, Mimi! I'm cool! I swear. (Damn, must cut out the desperate crap.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cutting Corners on a Lazy Saturday

Today started, what seemed to be, very early for me. I had gone to sleep sometime early this morning after what I would call a very grown-up evening at our friend's house filled with yummy food, friends and the reading and discussing of the propositions we are about to vote upon. After getting home, we headed up to bed where I read... and read... and even though Eric was long asleep, I even continued to read out loud. My throat was getting horse and scratchy but I continued to read aloud. At one point I coughed and Eric woke up and stumbled out of the room and returned with a glass of water... FOR ME! Sweet, sweet man. My eyes finally got heavy and I gave in to the sleep.

Only a few hours later I woke up ready to start the day. I quickly got up, put on comfy sweats and headed downstairs so as not to wake up Eric. I fed the cats so they'd hush up, and with the plan to go out for a brisk walk alone, I sat on the couch to put on my tennies. Instead, I found that I sat myself down with a book. What is wrong with me and all this reading business? I think I read for a good 4 hours before Eric called down to find out what I was doing. By this time I had a fuzzy blanket over me and at least one grey warm kitty pinning me down. I couldn't exactly disturb the sleeping kitty!

Around lunchish time, Eric looked through a coupon book and suggested we go to lunch. But alas, I was feeling icky and lazy with all the sitting and reading, so he took his coupon and returned with tasty vittles. Again, unlike me, I only ate half of my most favorite Vietnamese BBQ Pork and Vermicelli. Perhaps since I had fried an egg to throw on top of the noodles and one for Eric and his sandwich (ok and I also ate one before he got home because I didn't time my cooking to account for him standing outside on the phone with his mother for 20 minutes) I had actually consumed more then I thought. I suppose I was surprised I didn't clean my bowl since I love this dish from this restaurant and I still hold grand ties to the clean plate club, especially at lunchtime. (seriously, I get at least 3/4 of my daily calories out of lunch, unless Eric and I go out for dinner and then I get ...well... far too many calories, period).

Eric then turned his attention to saving monies (the $5 off lunch coupon wasn't enough), and he called and canceled the gym membership we haven't used for over 3 months, he logged on and put our Netflix account on hold, and then came the discussion of the Cable TV, Tivo, Internet, Landline phone and Cell phone accounts. This guy was on a mission and didn't care if I was paying much attention as I absent mindly answered my account security questions so he could reset my password on the accounts so he could log in. After I realized what was going on, I put down the book and decided to interact with my money saving husband.

One goes with the other. If the Cable goes, there's no point in Tivo... BUT I LOVE Tivo! But really, we could watch a lot of the shows via the good ol'Internets so there is a way around this $60+$14/month expense. Plus really? Do I HAVE to watch that much MTV and TLC and all the other crap? YES I DO, thank you very much! Ok, we'll consider this but Netflix is coming back if we drop the cable.

No option to let this go. But maybe I can see if my company will pay for part of it. I've heard they do, but I have been too um... ethical to find out since I don't HAVE to work from home, I just do, a lot.

We decided the landline wasn't THAT much money, but really we mostly use it when cell service is iffy, and to send/receive faxes (you know the up to 20 MAYBE a year). Plus I've had that phone number since I moved out and well... ok that's not a good reason. $300 annual savings... err.... let's think about it. It could cut down on all of the election and give me money calls!

We can change our family plan, which covers both Eric and I and both of our mother's phones, but going down to the next level of plan drops our minutes to almost half at only a $10 savings. I guess I COULD not use my iPhone ($35 extra per month for data and text... um... yea), but I LURV IT! And that would make the investment of the hardware a waste. Would a $10 savings really be worth having to actually tightly track our minutes? Especially if we also drop the landline. Eric never knows how much phone talking time he'll do each month with his business, so Ok, maybe the TV isn't that important.

So now, Eric has gone to the cafe to do some work, and I continue to sit on the couch, reading a little, internet researching a little, blog catching up a little and doing some holiday gift giving knitting (more corner cutting sorta, but not so much time cutting). Perhaps tomorrow I'll get in that brisk morning alone time walk. Or perhaps an evening walk would be just as lovely.

Friday, October 10, 2008

And Then The Stress Subsides

Today just FEELS like a very glorious Friday doesn't it? I mean, I already feel some of the stress of the week melting away, even though it's still in the AM around these parts and I still have at least 2-3 days worth of work to get done today. But for some reason I don't really care! I mean I care about my work and I'll be a busy bee today, but I'm not stressing over it. SWEET! (ask me if I still feel that way at 3pm and deadlines are looming)

With urging from loved ones, I finally sat down with my mortgage papers and I THINK we'll be ok as the whole ARM kicks in. The terms, which I didn't really pay THAT much attention to when I signed the papers, are actually ok. Not AWESOME, but depending on the economy, it will be ok for a little while. Yes I know I should have fully understood everything, but I was young(er), and fully thought I'd be out of here by the time this whole adjustable bit came into play. Funny how THAT didn't happen. We definitely need to adjust how we think about it and how we are handling it, but we knew we'd have to do that soon anyway. At least for now, I'm not freaking out about it as much as I was. Just needed to know a little more about what I as freaking out about, which helped me control the freak (out).

So I guess we'll finally have our merging of the finances talk soon. This newly married, independent, financially stable girl will need to learn to either let go of the control, or take on more or SHARE the responsibility. (which really is about the control thing too). Eric isn't bad with money, he's just not as obsessively organized about it like I am. Some adjusting will soon commence. (Internal monologue: Change is good. Change is good.)

I'm also already totally looking forward to Christmas this year which very much helps with the stress of today. Not the most mindful thing to do, but you know... vacations are fun to look forward to. We're planning on renting a cabin in New Hamshire with the in-laws. They live on the other coast, so we don't get to see them often. So a week or so of hang time, is very much being looked forward to. There will be snow, and fires in the fireplace, and this place has a great stocked kitchen so I'm already thinking of the meals we'll have there.

Its funny how my stress tends to ebb and flow, and at such quick rates of change. (Funny - crazy, weird and somewhat annoying). I'm just happy that today, it appears to be on the way of the ebb.

Happy Friday everyone!

Oh - and I got my BackTack4 buddy assignment today. Hi Mimi!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Why Now?

Um yea. It's after 1am and I have found myself steadily working away on something I struggled with all day. Why NOW am I suddenly able to focus on it? Ok, I'm obviously not totally focusing on it, because I'm now over here typing these thoughts but really this is my attempt at breaking my focus so I'll go to bed already!

Also, I just HAPPEN to glance at my company's stock price (which I generally try to avoid doing these days) and ouch! I guess I should pay more attention to the good ol'economy, but all the main street, wall street, Lehman Bros., Bail-Out talk pretty much has me averting my eyes and ears. I felt a panic attack coming on earlier today when a friend asked about my mortgage sitch, which tells me I should probably deal with it if it's getting to me that badly. I generally enjoy living in my bubble, but I guess I should pop it for a while to get things straightened out. But then I'm going right back in.

Speaking of panic attacks... I totally had one the other night, IN MY SLEEP! and then in my awake but sorta asleep state it continued. Whatever dream I was having I continued to think/dream about it even though I was awake and the panic continued along with it (and it wasn't at all about money, today was the first little panic around the monies). I got up and got a drink of water, used the bathroom, petted the cat, and the panic continued. After a few hours of doing all I knew to try. I eventually woke up Eric to rub my back because then I could at least take in a deep breathe with the hopes of getting at least another hour of sleep in before the damn alarm would go off for my early morning Monday meeting marathon. Lovely husband that he is, was very patient with me at 4am and helped me relax so I could sleep another hour. Amazing what touch can do.

and I do know why I'm awake right now. It's that darn Barq's Root Beer I had at dinner. I rarely drink soda and tend to stick to water, tea and milk, but after our run tonight I realized there was little more then a few cans of beans and tomatoes in our pantry and that was all the excuse I needed to jump in the car and head to a fast food joint (run and eat a burger... sweet!). I woke up rather cranky today and it got worse through the day and yea, after running with a sore half ass and the cranky mood, I totally went to Jack in the Box. There I got a too greasy meal which came with a drink, and no I didn't push that little button to get water, I got a soda. A, what I thought to be caffeine-free Root Beer soda, even though in the back of my mind I was remembering that Barq's is the only Root Beer with caffeine but I got it anyway. Damn! I could have had the favored Dr. Pepper and been just as wide awake. Why? Why?

I've clearly lost it or the caffeine is just working its magic, so regardless (I really want to type irregardless just to be funny and annoy people but I digress) I'm going to go up to bed now, and attempt to turn off my head and just accept that I didn't finish what I wanted/needed to do today and that once again time slipped away from me. Perhaps a moment of mindfull meditation will lull me into the calm I couldn't find earlier. Om.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Taming the Lazy

A few weeks ago I was inspired by Angie and J to get off my butt and to start doing something about my growing assets (clearly not the stock market kind of assets by the look of the DOW lately). Sure, as we age things change and it gets harder to get in shape, stay in shape and we have to pay a little more attention to what we eat and do. Working full-time with a killer commute doesn't freely give me a lot of time to be in the shape I'd like to be in. So I have to make the time and work it into my routine, which kind of goes against the lazy which encroaches on me when I'm at home.

Angie suggested I try the "Couch Potato to 5K" plan she used, and she recently completed her first 5K (and this woman has kids and an organic farm, so what's my excuse?). I had actually read this plan a few years ago but never got out there to do it.

J, I have always seen her to be a lovely, well balanced mother, wife and woman, who knows the importance of staying active. She works full-time, cooks for her family, reads, spend quality time with family and friends, and still takes the time to go on long walks and goes to yoga.

If these women, who have far more complicated lives then I, can take the initiative and the effort to get in shape, well then by golly I can do it too! Of course this means getting up early in the morning because it's dark by the time I get home, or would be dark half way through the run, and I'm a chicken like that. I'm not so good at the get up in the morning, but I'm trying.

Things are going well with this training to run thing, you know after a week. Eric is out running/walking with me and we're both already noticing it getting easier. Each time we go out I notice parts of my body being tight then loosening, and I'm just overall really mindful of my body (and the little pains which come and go).

Last weekend we threw in the hike we used to do everyday back when we were younger and were training for a Yosemite backpacking trip. We used to be able to do this hilly 3 mile hike in 45 minutes. This time it took us 75 minutes but we didn't try to push it, and we stood and watched a hawk and a bunch of baby cows for quite a while. I was just thrilled that I could get up the hills without huffing and puffing. Slow and steady was the motto.

The funny thing is, I felt only slightly sore after all of this. But one morning of bowling at a work party/offsite outing, and my left cheek is so SORE! Who knew bowling worked the body that much! I'm feeling pretty off balance, so maybe I should run tonight but only make left turns or do a lot of stair climbing with only my right leg. I guess if I were to take up bowling regularly (I can't afford it but you know if...) then I'd have a really hot half an ass!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hopefully the only politics related post (this week)

**uncensored because we've got to tell it the way it is**

I know this has already gone around, but seriously people..... register to vote, and then educate yourself on what you're going to vote on and then get to the freakin' polling place and do it!

I had forgotten that I needed to re-register since I changed my last name when I got married. Thankfully I still had a few weeks before the cut-off date in California. So any of you newly married folks who changed your name, make sure you register!