Wednesday, December 29, 2010

10% of nothing is still nothing

I'm really, really, really bummed today. I heard some very upsetting news. I read somewhere that the fact that we only use 10% of our brains is a myth. A myth! Supposedly as in NOT TRUE. Which really upsets me because my whole life I have believed that if I could just tap into that other 90% of my brain I could totally master telekinesis. I've lain in bed staring at the light switch willing it to move just because I want it to. I've concentrated REALLY hard. I even wiggled my eyebrows. I figured it would just take time. I'm in my 40's now, I figured this has got to be the year I start using that other 90%, because pretty soon I'm going to swing in the opposite direction on my downward spiral into senility. Then, when I am old, bald and drooling there will only be maybe 2% brain function left. So obviously, this is the year.

But then, I heard the news. It's a myth, a hoax. I'm checking snopes, because obviously we can't be using our full brain power. If we were, cars would fly and not need fuel, we would only have to work from home and then only 2 hours a day. My robot Rosie would be vacuuming my house as we speak and there would be peace on earth and joy to man and all would be well in this world. Because everyone would have super-brains, so they would be smart and smart people invent stuff, and win Nobel Peace prizes and they don't cause wars or kill people - well except, obviously Evil Geniuses, but this isn't about Lex Luther, it's about my heart break!

I'm going to go practice moving things with my mind now.

Who are you?

I posted on my facebook page yesterday asking people to take a minute and tell me what they do for a living. I was amused and amazed with the responses I got back. I expected things like, "nurse", "administrator", "stay-at-home-mom". I was intrigued to see instead posts like this one from Ally: I am a mommy to 4 year old twins, a Christian, a fiancé (hehehe), a partner, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a poet, a writer, a singer, a reader, a constant student...and to earn a paycheck, I am an HR Employee Relations Manager currently working in the fitness industry.

Or the one from Bonnie: A mom! and a banking consultant, or these:
Alicia - Mommy of 5, and in my spare time, Captain's Secretary.
Jeanna - Wife, mom of 2 (son who is 25 and daughter 15), nurse who works as a director of quality management and a wanna be chef.

Coco - Mom, wife, chef, seamstress, nurse, milking cow. Hahaha I think I'm funny. :)
and Tracy - Mom of 3.. partner of 1. Teacher of 20!!!

These made me laugh (yes, Coco you are funny) but then I stopped and really thought about how incredibly cool it is that people are able to think of themselves in so many different ways. How what we do is not the definition of who we are.

For so many years if someone asked me what I did, I would say, "I'm a graphic designer" now I might answer "marketing director". But I really am more than that. I'm a friend, a photographer, a dork, a lover, a blogger, a facebook addict, an aunt, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a daughter.

I'm a democrat who leans right sometimes, I'm a wanna-be existentialist, I'm a Mormon. I'm a pack-rat who wishes she was a minimalist. I'm an artist with no talent for art, a singer who can't sing, a dancer with no rhythm. I'm a lesbian who forgets it's not "normal", so I get confused by the stares sometimes.

I'm a snappy dresser, I'm a health addict, I'm a fat person who wants to be skinny, I'm a terrible liar. I'm depressed, I'm bi-polar and I have PTSD and ADD. I'm hard to live with. I'm blessed to have someone who loves me despite it all. I'm a victim, I'm a survivor. I'm obsessive, I'm dismissive, I'm complicated and I'm simple. I really am just me. Who are you?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's it all about?

I got asked what this blog is about. It stumped me. "uhh, it's about me and things. I don't know, stuff." I actually created it like a year ago with the lofty ambition to write about my past and how it is affecting my future. Hence the name Then and Now. I thought I might have something to say, I was worried I might forget some things so I should write them down. I didn't really expect anyone to read it. Then I got busy, I started my photography business and it had it own blog and facebook page that I spend a lot of time on. So I let this one linger.

I'm not the best writer (shhhh don't tell my boss, I play one at work). Or maybe I just hold myself up to higher standards considering two of my best friends are copywriters. Hmmm, is that a prepositional phrase? Are my participles dangling? What would Jocelyn do? So I hesitated to write.

I also don't like to be pressured to write. When you do it for a living it's like OK, 1,2,3 GO, BE CREATIVE. And that makes me anything but creative. I also didn't like the idea of having to write something everyday. Some days I have nothing to say. Other days I have lots to say.

But then I made a new friend, her name is Missy and she has a blog which you can check out here and I started reading it and realized, wow, she's just talking about stuff. Her stuff. And I decided I had some things to say. So here's my blog, about stuff. And umm, stuff.

I think I'm still asleep

Sara woke me up this morning with a rushed "get up, we're late, get up, get up". I could barely open my eyes. But, it's still dark outside, I don't understand. I think my nightly medication was taken too late and she woke me too early, too fast. I feel drunk, or stoned, or something. I stumbled into the bathroom to get ready, thankful I had showered right before bed the night before. I tripped 3 times trying to get into my pants, I swear the legs kept moving, I tossed gel on my hair, I think it was gel. It might have been leave in conditioner, or hand lotion - I really don't know. I couldn't find my shoes. I made it into the kitchen to make our lunches and morning to-go coffees. I started the coffee and started pulling lunchmeat, hummus and assorted other items out of the fridge and laying them on the counter. Never noticing I hadn't put anything in the coffee maker to catch the coffee pouring out. Sheesh. Now coffee is all over the counter, all over the food I just sat on the counter. I grabbed a cup, shoved it under the stream and started mopping up coffee. At which point I decided to pick up the coffee maker to wipe underneath it. I knocked it over. Of course. Now I had even more coffee spilled down the side of the dishwasher, on the floor, all over the counter. I grabbed another towel and started over. The whole time barely conscious.

Then I just calmly went about making lunches. Sara likes ham, she didn't like the turkey, don't forget to use her "special" mustard, put cheese on hers. Grab some turkey and hummus for yourself and some flat bread. Ok, Clif bar in each lunch bag in case we need to skip a meal, Sara gets a coconut bar for dessert, oh look coffee is finally done, there's Sara pouring it in her cup. I mumble something incoherent about spilling coffee. She just shakes her head and asks me "did you make my lunch too?" I just look at her like "duh". She sticks her head in her lunch bag, pulls the Clif bar out, puts it on the counter and sticks an apple in there. I reach around her while her back is turned and put it back in, just in case.

"Come on we're really late" she says, walking out the door. She grabs my keys, my wallet, my glasses and hands them to me. We get to the car and I realize I'm still in my socks. "Honey, where's my brown Vans?" I slur out. "In the car, babe." She reaches in and hands them to me to put on. We get in and she reminds me to plug my iPhone in the charger cuz she noticed it's almost dead. We pull out and head off to work.

This is our morning routine. I take care of her, she takes care of me. We co-exist in this little world we made up during the past 13 years. We get frustrated and we argue and bicker, who doesn't? But we laugh, we love and we nurture. We take care of each other. I like this little world we live in. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Little Gold Turtle

Christmas stresses me out. Every year. I'm always broke, it comes too soon and I don't know what to get Sara so I wait until the last minute to get anything. One year I was doing the stressing thing as usual, I got her some presents and I was just online shopping around and I saw this silly little gold turtle pendant that reminded me of when we were in Maui, so as a "nothing" gift I got it for her, feeling kinda stupid when I did. I'm not sure if that was 2 or 3 years ago. But I bet neither I nor Sara could tell you what her "main" present was. She cherishes that silly little turtle like it's a family heirloom. This year she told me she doesn't care if she gets anything else, but that little turtle is in her purse and needs the clasp fixed. That's what she asked for. Christmas isn't about the amount you spend, I guess it's about the love you give the present with? 

Holidays are hard

Had a mini-breakdown yesterday. I'm fine. My wife stayed home with me, dried my tears and dragged me out of the bathroom to face the world. Christmas is a joyful time, but for me it is also a sorrowful time. It's a time when I get to be thankful for everything I have, but it's also a time I mourn for those I've lost.

I've been through a lot this year, more than I ever thought I could take. Somehow I did. I didn't do it alone. I had family, friends and my wife who each stood by me, picked me up when I fell, gave me a shoulder to cry on and shoved me in the right direction when I needed it. I cherish each of them. I'm thankful I made it through. But most of all I'm thankful for them.

As the new year approaches I don't know what's in store for us. The Christmas present I really wanted I didn't get - kids. The prospect isn't as hopeful as we thought. The kids I was closest to are out of reach. So I keep the door to the kids room closed and I don't go in unless I have to. That stupid Scooby Doo bedspread mocks me now.

I lost my dad in March. It was one of the hardest days in my life. Three days. Three days will forever haunt me - the day my grandma died, the day my grandpa died and the day my dad died. And on that day I felt so truly alone. I realized at that moment that I no longer had parents. It is one of the most difficult things in life. To realize that you no longer have that parental safety net. I'm thankful for my aunts, uncle and step-mom who have stepped up to help me by filling in that role.

So today I find myself tearing up for no apparent reason and I know it's OK. I'm emotional. If you know me, you know that's just who I am. I love hard. No holds barred, no holding back. When I love, I'm all in. Friends, family, spouse, maybe someday children. Doesn't matter - I love, I laugh, I hurt. It's all me.