Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An "Aha! Moment"

I am thankful...even for the small things.

I have discovered that my "empty nest" age bracket has brought both patience and thankfulness at levels I never experienced before. Not that I don't ever "lose it" anymore...or that I always remember to give thanks for all that I have...but I have found that I look at things through different eyes...and prioritize the importance of these things...or lack there of...in a new way.

Yesterday was an example of this...what one may call an "aha! moment" (thanks to Oprah we all know what an "aha! moment" is).

You know that I have been a bit stressed since the beginning of December with...holidays...graduation...decluttering...moving...unpacking...the "Money Pit"...contractors...you have heard it all! I have been a bit distracted...disgruntled...overwhelmed...by just about everything in my life. Thank goodness for my honey...he remains the one constant in my life...a calming influence...at times I am not sure how he puts up with me!

So yesterday I am putting away the groceries. I walk to the refrigerator with my arms loaded with strawberries and blueberries...which were on sale "buy one-get one". As I am placing them on the shelf I drop a box of blueberries. Now...do you have a visual??? The box flies open when it hits the ground and blueberries scatter everywhere...rolling under the refrigerator...into the hall...even under the door of the broom closet.

There was a time...not so long ago...that this mere happenstance would have put me into a tailspin complete with stomping feet and words I would not think to say today. But yesterday I merely dropped to my hands and knees and began to pick them up...not an easy task I might add...slippery little suckers!

I am just about done...just a few more to go...when I hit the container and....BAM!!!...they scatter all over the floor once more! Now, in my younger years I would have probably gone ballistic at this point...and along with the expletives and stomping of the feet...I would have killed each blueberry...only to cause myself more stress trying to clean it up later.

But yesterday I realized with clarity that it was my stupidity that caused me to be in this predicament. Wow!!...wisdom...maturity...this getting old thing isn't that bad.

So...I sat back on my heels...paused for a moment...and thanked the Lord that I was healthy and able to be on my hands and knees. In His plan for my life...this little task...as menial as it was...reassured me that I am growing in wisdom and maturity...and with His help will make it another 50+ years!

My "aha! moment". I hope that I experience many, many more!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Keeping on Task

I think I suffer from a disease...not really sure what it is called but I can describe the symptoms to you precisely. I have suffered from this disease for years...but my honey found out only recently that I was afflicted. Honestly, I think that many women suffer from this same disease...and may or may not realize it.

I find it extremely difficult to "keep on task". Now I have mentioned before that I am a very organized person. So when I see something out of place I have to fix it right then...not later...not when I have finished what I am currently doing...but immediately. "Middle age memory loss" coupled with the failure to "keep on task" disease makes for one very crazy day!!

I will begin by describing a typical day for me.

I wake at 5 am...that's probably part of the problem...make my honey some coffee for his commute, then sit down in the "Oprah chair", drink my coffee, and plan my day...usually with a mental list of what I want to accomplish.

Yesterday's #1 item was scrub the wood floors AGAIN. Now that the cardboard floors are gone I have been trying to keep the wood floors as clean as possible, but they have yet to look like the sample I saw in the flooring store OR the pretty colorful brochure that was handed to me. The never-ending construction dust has played a huge part in this...AND the muddy boots of the construction workers.

So I go to the nearly completed laundry room to retrieve a bucket and a terry cloth rag...then off to the kitchen sink cabinet for the floor cleaner...then back to the nearly completed laundry room for a towel to kneel on (I have no idea where my gardening kneepads are but they sure would have come in handy!). I begin to run water in the bucket...but alas the phone rings. I answer the phone, and after a few minute conversation I hang up. While I was on the phone I see some dust bunnies by the baseboard. I think...hmmmmm...better vacuum them up first. So I go to the closet in the kitchen to get the vacuum and I hear the water running into the bucket in the kitchen sink. I turn off the water and return to get out the vacuum. While vacuuming the floor I move the pictures of the kids that I have been meaning to hang on the wall...so when I finish the vacuuming, I get the nails and hammer, measuring tape and level, and begin to hang them. When finished I put the tools away and see the bucket waiting patiently in the sink. Oh, yeah...scrub the floor.

So I get on my hands and knees and begin the task of scrubbing. Now I have a large living room bordered with wood, a smaller living room, dining room, kitchen, hall and 1/2 bath all with wood floors. Not a small task I might add.

I complete the large living room floor and am half-way through the smaller living room when I get the idea to switch the rugs in the dining room and living room. So I begin to move the furniture off the rugs...I move the rugs...I see that there is more dirt to vacuum...I begin the vacuuming...I put the rugs back in there new rooms...I move the furniture back on to the rugs...I hang a picture in the dining room that was in my way...I move a small desk from the dining room into the smaller living room...I rearrange the furniture to see how it will look in the future after I purchase some bookshelves and a grand piano...I put the furniture back to how it will be until I purchase the bookshelves and grand piano. Oh, yeah...scrub the floor.

This scenario took place in just a fraction of my day. I continued with the "course of conduct" for several more hours before I FINALLY completed the floor scrubbing task. Exhausted, and with painful knees, I sat down in the "Oprah chair" to examine the result of my hard work. I get a really good reflection of light on the floor visible from the "Oprah chair"!

One positive side affect of the disease....I did manage to accomplish much more than I planned for at 5 am!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ziploc Bags

Way back in one of my earlier blogs I mentioned the fact that I LOVE ziploc bags! They are the best invention ever! I use them for everything!! I have ziplocs filled with nails...screws...rubber bands...odds and ends that I found on the floor after the 2 Guys from Texas were done moving us (I still haven't found out what all those things belong to!)...thumb tacks (does anyone even use them anymore??)...those little round felt things for the legs of chairs to protect your floors...picture hangers...and food items like nuts...tea bags...flour...sugar (all types)...you get the idea! I don't think I could live without these little bags...being the organizational "freak" that I am!

Ok...so let's go back to the search for the safe key. You remember...I put it someplace where my logical brain would find it when I was ready to open the safe. But everywhere I logically looked...NO KEY! It had been missing for 4 weeks...until just the other night!

My honey and I were discussing the lost key and how bazaar it was that I could not find it. He said "I'm missing the key to the motorcycle trailer, too" and I said "I packed them together with the safe key in the box that I carried with us in the car and have since emptied." Hmmmmmm. Clue....now where would I have put those keys?...someplace logical...someplace safe...someplace I would remember...hmmmmmm.

I had checked the big basket full of Lex's stuff to sort through (since before the move)...I checked the little basket full of Lex's stuff to sort through (since we moved...I'm running out of baskets...he better get sorting!!) Both of these places were logical places...both of these places I have searched several times before...but neither had produced the keys.

After my honey and I dug through some little boxes on the closet shelf, I sat down and began to sort through the big basket of Lex's stuff...once again. This time I took each item out and laid it on the bed. One by one...orderly... meticulously...one by one...it's a big basket! I had been looking for keys just tossed in the basket loose. But what is this?...a ziploc bag...I see something silver...KEYS!!! And to top it all off, there is a note inside the bag with the keys that says "Key for motorcycle trailer...Key for safe". My logical organized brain at work!

Now if I could just get the memory part of my brain to work life would be so much easier!!

So before I forget...I better write a note to buy some more ziploc bags at the store!! I just hope I don't misplace the note! My logical brain tells me to put it by my purse...which I will grab last before I go out the door.

Hmmmmm...where's my purse??!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Progesterone vs. Testosterone

I was with my honey on our weekly "Sunday after church shopping spree" at Walmart. We started this tradition in Alexandria, and seem to have continued it here in Bath. Some things never change.

This particular Sunday I was on a mission to buy a product that I needed badly. I wasn't sure if I could find it in Walmart, but it was worth a try. Nope, not here.

Just before we went to Walmart, we went to Sam's Club...located in the same complex...to return a book. My honey searched for the product for me while I stood in line. Nope, not here.

As we were leaving I scoped out the other stores in the complex looking for a health food store. The only store I saw that resembled a health food store was a GNC and wondered "aloud" if they might possibly have this product. I really doubted it, but it crossed my mind as a possibility to check out at another time.

Our next stop was Wegman's...a huge grocery store with tons of really cool stuff just across the street from Walmart. After walking up and down the aisles...it is really fun to do this here...really...Nope, not here.

I mentioned...maybe mumbled..."guess I'll have to go to the health food store". My honey heard "I want to go to GNC". So back across the street we headed and he pulled up and parked in front of GNC. Ladies, you know that women and men speak different languages, right??...coupled with hearing loss that comes from "tuning out" your wife (but, my honey does not have that trait anymore!) or being of the "emptynest" age...it is often difficult to communicate with your spouse. I was appreciative of the fact that he made the extra stop for me.

I entered the store and in my best female I need help voice I asked "do you carry progesterone cream?"

Standing behind the counter were two teenage males. They both looked at me oddly, and the one said "gesterone cream??" Clearly they had never been to a health class in school...do they still teach health?...if not here is an example of why they should!

So....already knowing the answer...I threw out my sweetest smile and repeated the question. "Nope, not here," came the answer from their cute little testosterone filled bodies. The reasons I needed the cream were beginning to show their signs.

So I will be on a continued search for a real health food store in hopes that I may find the cream...before my hot flashes come back with a vengeance!!...and certainly because I am surrounded on a daily basis by a house FULL of testosterone...the contractors...who have not learned the art of "hearing" when I speak. They "listen" to my voice and make eye contact (sometimes!) but they NEVER "hear" what I'm saying. Familiar?????


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Honest Statements

"I have to be honest. I love Jesus, but I drink a little".

Gladys, the octogenarian from Ellen DeGeneres' show, has gotten a lot of attention since her phone call aired. My son, Will, posted the clip on his Facebook page, and I could not stop laughing!! She seems to have a great sense of humor and a zest for life!

I love seniors...not only are they are filled with wisdom...but they say exactly what is on their minds because they have earned the freedom to do so! They are honest, and really do not care what others think about what they may have to say.

I want to be more like that...so...here are some honest statements about me.

I love dogs, but don't like the dog hair, smell, dirt, etc. They are fine in other people's houses, just not mine. I found out after years of loving many pets...breeding german shepherds...and owning a pet food/grooming shop...that I am alergic to them!

I love to get acrylic nails, but hate to have them taken off. I love the look of them, especially a good french manicure...if only they would last forever! I am jealous of women that always look freshly manicured...how do they endure the pain!

I love to eat well prepared food, but don't know when to stop. When I was younger I had great metabolism...but that soon left me...about the same time as the elasticity of my skin!

I love going to the beach, but don't particulary like the sand or the water. The sun...yes...the heat...yes...the smells...yes...the sounds...yes...the overall sense of tranquility...yes. The sand and water...not so much. Maybe I should just take a conch shell into a tanning bed and be done with it!

I love to shop, but get tired too quickly. Especially when it is with my kids. I now sit in one of those chairs...not the massage type... and wait patiently...or not...until it is time for the money.

I love to play golf, but don't give a hoot about the score. Golf is all about the outfits and social time with friends, right??? I own a full set of clubs, and about "fore" fabulous outfits! "Tee" time anyone?

I love to ride with my honey on the Harley, but my butt gets sore if the ride is too long. Have you ever heard of "Monkey Butt"? It does the trick...keeps your pants dry...and stops the "sticking to the seat" issue! Try it...it works!

I love flowers, but don't care to receive them "just because". I like a reason...an occasion...that way there is no question as to why I might be getting the flowers...like ...was I extra good???...or was he extra bad??? Of course, there is always an exception to every rule...I also love a good surprise!

And...in the words of Gladys...

I love Jesus, but I drink a little!!! You could on any occasion see me with a nice glass of wine...a rich dark beer...or a Grey Goose martini...DIRTY! And, I know that Jesus still loves me!

It is true that there are a few more out there just like Gladys and me.

Let's hear your honest statements.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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Wanna Come to my Party?

This morning I thought I would change my signature on my email, so I began looking at some of my favorite quotes that I've collected over the years. I have a group of quotes that I kept from Joyce Meyer's book "100 Ways to Simplify Your Life". I have read this book, and felt really good when I finished reading it, confident in the fact that I could accomplish "simplicity" using her guidelines! Ha!!!

I can work on clearing my mind of unwanted thoughts, changing behaviors that may cause stress, taking all my worries, concerns and fears and laying them at the Lord's feet. I CAN do all of that. But sometimes I choose to wallow in my worries, commiserate with my concerns and fret about my fears. I am in one of those times. What can I say...I am not perfected yet.

I am truly thankful for all the blessings in my life...my loving husband of 32 years, my great kids, my adorable grandbaby, a wonderful caring family, a group of friends that stretches across the country and an "almost" beautiful home. Here lies the core of my anxiety.

I know that in life's grand scheme of things my issue is of little significance. But here's the thing...my issue is in my face 24/7...so to me it is of huge significance!

I dislike CLUTTER. I am an orderly person by nature. I have spent the last 3 (almost 4!) weeks trying to organize a very cluttered and dusty home. The 2 Guys from Texas did what they were told and literally wheeled the hundreds of boxes in and dropped them in the center of every room. I have been shuffling these same boxes around for weeks now...and can not dig us out of the mess! At least not until the contractors move on, and I am not sure when that will be. I have been hearing "2 weeks" since we arrived. Wait...that's another similarity with the movie "Money Pit". LOL!!

Here is the quote that started all of this whining...
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish". John Quincy Adams (James 1:4)

I have been patient and persevered for what I think is a fair amount of time, but my obstacles have certainly not vanished. Where's the magical part?

So....now that I have organized a "Pity Party", I feel much better! I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to join me. I will keep on keepin' on until I have an organized home, a cleared mind, and a simplified life.

However, can anyone suggest a good vacation spot...someplace warm...someplace relaxing...and FREE...just in case I need to "run away" for a bit? Maybe I'll try one of those cyber vacations my friends Mary Lisa and Sarah go on!