Wednesday, September 27, 2006

To Be or Not To Be

I had a fright this morning.

I've been less than 100% motivated 100% of the time when it comes to my weight loss. I tend to be gung ho, lose some weight then I kind of hang out there for a bit maintaining until I get the momentum to lose more. This past week I have not been in the mood for it AT ALL. I'm not interested in gaining either so I watched what I ate but I didn't make the effort to do what I needed to in order to lose more and I was fine with that. It's been a couple of months and 14 pounds. I probably just need a break.

Then last weekend Mr. T came home with one of my weaknesses - Pizza Hut pizza. Not just pizza mind you, it must be Pizza Hut to make me give in. I love pizza and I can eat all kinds but PH is temptation and I gave in to it Saturday as he and I watched movies and flirted all weekend. (Aside: For us, flirting looks like him copping feels when he thinks I'm not looking and me swatting him away. Men are perpetual schoolboys.)

Then I had a business meeting on Monday night where we ate dinner and I chose the best I could but I suspect there was still a lot of sodium in the food. Sodium is a sneaky SOB and unless you are looking for it, you just never know how much you are consuming. Way more than I'll bet you think you are. I haven't eaten canned food deliberately in over 6 years because of it. But I also ate a big fat brownie. Darn the weight loss right now. I know my body. I can't gain but so much, right?

I saw my weight go up about 4 ounces after the pizza and about 8 ounces after that dinner. Not unexpected. This morning I was a whole pound more than yesterday and yesterday I ate right all day. Now THAT was unexpected. The last time I had an unexplained weight gain, I was pregnant.

So I thought I'd better make sure. I accidentally missed 2 days in a row last month taking The Pill and didn't even notice it until the 3rd day but Husband's schedule tends to make it easy to track activity, if you know what I mean. So I thought I should be safe. But not too long ago I realized I missed 2 other days. What the heck is going on with me? And after this weekend? Yeah, I'd better make sure.

All morning I got the kids together and thought, "What if?" I mean we don't have our house yet and that's a bad thing. But then again it would light a fire under that man I married and that's a good thing. We're going on a cruise next August and that might get messed up, which is a bad thing. But if I were pregnant, I would have the baby in June and I'd probably be OK just in time to make it and that's a good thing. I haven't lost nearly enough weight to take on baby weight yet and that's a bad thing. But I could try to eat well and keep the weight gain to a minimum and in the end I'd really be done and when I finally reached my goal, I wouldn't have to worry about another baby anymore and that would be a great thing. But I haven't been at my job 2 years yet and that's a bad thing. But I'm also getting older and it would be good to get it done and that's an awesome thing.

The more I thought and looked at my kids and considered another one coming along - more daycare money going out, tiredness, moodiness, what would I wear? What if this time it was the twins no has had in a while? Yikes! - the more I realized that either way would be fine. After all, I've always been open to it.

Man, I hate paying for those stupid pregnancy tests because they aren't cheap but going to the doctor would cost me a $10 co-pay and I could get a cheap pregnancy test for about that much or less. And cheap would be fine because they all do the same thing and I wasn't worried in the least about it being wrong. When I am pregnant, I come on strong, you know? The test would know it before a drop hit the stick.

So I decided not to wonder all day, went to the drug store to get my prescription and oh by the way, can you ring up this pregnancy test please? As I walked up and down the aisles looking for the test, my heartbeat picked up, my insides churning with a mix of fear and excitement. Hmm. Excitement? Is that what I'm feeling? Why, yes! It would be kind of cool, after all, to get this over with and have my whole family and just get on with life.

Now where do they hide those stupid tests again? Let's see, the condoms area? Always a logical place and I think the Walgreens near home does it that way. Condoms, eye drops so you can see how to use the condom but no pregnancy test. OK, where else? Maybe where the feminine products are? But where are they? One aisle, another aisle, another aisle. Great day, what is this, an egg hunt? Oh wait, an egg hunt is what may have gotten me into this predicament in the first place. Wait! Baby products, makes sense, yes? Baby stuff, diapers, lubricants, ah, there you are! Cheap store brand please.

$11 and some change later - because I got my prescription - I practically skipped out of there with a little smile on my face. Funny how easy this gets with each baby. I stuffed it in my purse because I would be on a mission as soon as I got into work. Darn the etiquette. There was no way I was waiting until I got home. I would head straight to the ladies room and find out which direction my day would head in.

"You know, you COULD just need to go to the bathroom and that's where the pound came from."

"Yes, maybe. But can't be too safe with these things."

I told you I talk to myself a lot.

Ever take a pregnancy test? Bet you peek at the stick with one eye barely open, huh? Not this time. I watched from second one and like I said, if I were, it would show before it was completely done. I watched as the wetness slowly crawled up the stick, into the first window and creeped over to the other window - leaving a negative result behind it. I gave it some time, double checked the instructions and looked again. Yep. I'm in the clear.

"Whew!" and "Too bad" all in one.

So it is done. I can continue on as usual. And oddly enough, between the humongous girl at the grocery store check out yesterday afternoon who handled my salad and tuna like they were poison to her (We've got a little history. There's a story here for another time.) and the thought of gaining weight before I was really, really ready, I found my motivation again and hopefully it will last long enough to at least get me down to the next dress size.

Of course, the more I lose, the greater the pregnancy risk, but when you're happily married and God is allowing you to live a life of joy, how bad could that be, huh?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Dream Inferred

I had a dream last night and it took place in the house I lived in when we were living in Philadelphia. I've had a few dreams about the house over many years and the amateur psychologist in me has surmised that this is due to the fact that age 9 was a pivotal year for me.

My brother was born a couple of months before I turned 9 and that was also the year we moved from D.C. to Philadelphia; I left the world I had known since I was born and the friends I don't even remember meeting and the private school I loved to go to a big city (compared to the long block I could never leave on my own) and attend public school. That was when I met people who knew I wasn't from Philly because I spoke differently. That was when I met kids who taunted me because I spoke "proper". (That means I can use a 3-syllable word and a verb in the same sentence.) That was also where I lived the one and only time my father threatened to leave my mother for reasons I still don't know to this day but for some reason he changed his mind and they've seemed happy ever since.

So when Ihave dreams that take place inside that house - any room in that house - I know that it means something is going on inside me because I know houses represent your psyche and in my case, because it pops up fromtime to time, I am certain of that fact. Sometimes the rooms don't look like the rooms in the house I actually lived in but I can feel it it's the same place and I've practically come to the point where my dream self realizes its significance as well.

So this morning I awoke from a really brief dream where my sister-in-law was living there - in MY house and she shared a roomwith my mother-in-law - in MY house. And the resentment was apparent in my dream, My son was there but a younger version of him (I think I merged his and my daughter in this one). There is only 1 full bath in this house (though there was a half bath downstairs too) and I ran in to go taking Son with me. She got to the door right after I went in and called my name as if to say, "Hey! I've got to get ready for work!" And it felt like it was a routine I was disrupting but in this dream I felt my inside's saying, "Hey! It's MY house! You're the intruder. YOU wait." And when we came out, Son went to his room (my brother's room in real life) to get dressed and SIL followed him trying to brush his hair or something but I woke up.

I knew what it meant. I've been here too long. I really do feel intruded upon by her because she's one of the people who has a key and comes in any old time. It's not my house but I still hate it. She's also a questionable authority figure so I always listen discreetly when shes saying things around and to my children. She'll say things like, "Black people alwaysd have trouble with money." And she'll be including herself in that statement as if it excuses her inability to handle money at the age of FIFTY. (My husband is the youngest of 5 so I've got sibling-in-laws in there 50s.) It pisses me off. And her inability to tolerate my kids' high energy level gets on my nerves too. Yes, they bug the heck out of me too when they're bouncing all over the place and won't shut up for a moment, but they are MINE. You got a problem with them, you come to ME.

Anyway, it's clear I want out of here and I feel it's holding me back from being full organized to handle all the things that are important to me. Husband is trying, so I can't beat him up. I'm not willing to move into a place that will financially squeeze us mercilessly just to escape this house o' fun. But sweet Lord, how much longer!

A friend recently told me when it happens this will feel like a blip in time and I know it to be true. Kind of like when being in a roller-coaster relationship with my then-Boyfriend felt like endless torture because I wasn't willing to walk away - permanently - and now it seems like we've been married all our lives. I know it will happen. But when my dream self starts whining about it, it's time to make something happen.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

5 Weird Things About Me

Checked in and caught up with Yew Nork Babe today. She posted this meme on the 18th - OK. I give up. What DOES "meme" stand for anyway? - but I don't read everyone every day so this is good for me because it's the same week!

The task today is to share 5 weird things about myself with all the blogging world. Hmmm. You know, it's hard to think of weird things when they don't seem weird to me. Instead it's just weird that not everyone else is doing what I do. I suppose this should be easy since I'm living in my MIL's house and her ways are not my ways, but it's not coming to me easily. Probably because most of my weirdness has to do with things being in a certain order whereas most folk could not care less. Still, I'm sure there must be something else about me. Gotta think:

1 - I don't like open doors in the house. That is closet doors. Bedroom doors can be open - and SHOULD be, where the kids are concerned - no problem. But all closet doors should be shut ALLLLL the way ALLLLL the time. Mr. T has a habit of closing the bathrooom door all the way to the jamb but NOT all the way until it is shut. What's up with that? Why does he torture me this way? It's a habit now for me to stick my arm in and shut the door all the way as I pass the bathroom on the way to my room where all the closet doors are shut, thank you very much. Could be a Boogie Man/too many Stephan King stories thing. I don't know.

2 - I race myself all the time and I don't know why. If I have 1 hour to get dressed and get out the house and I know it will take me that hour to do it, I still must wash a load of clothes (because after all, the machine can be working at the same time I am getting dressed) and set dishes in the water to soak (because after all, the lazy dishes can be making it easier for me to wash them later and no, I don't like the wastefulness of dishwashers especially since I am growing two human dishwashers as we speak) and turn on the computer to do one quick email (because after all, email can be traveling in cyberspace while I'm putting my shoes on) and make up my son's bed the right way as I pass his room (because after all, he sleeps on a pullout at the moment in Nana's spare room and it always looks like a circus tent has set up camp in his bed as he drapes the sheet over the arms of the sofas, which drives me mad) and oh, gotta put the veggies on to steam too (because after all, they really don't take THAT long to cook) and as I walk out the door...darn it! It's just 10 dishes, after all. Surely I can wash them right quick? Now that I think of it, I could be just more "compulsive" than "weird" but before I find out, let me just close the blinds the right way, not the backward way everyone else in the house shuts them because after all, they look weird any other way.

3 - I don't like normal sized things to be 50 times their size. They freak me out. OK, this one is legitimately weird. I'd love to take a hot-air balloon ride one day but those huge, colorful balloons are trippy! They look like they ran into rainbows on the way up but see, rainbows belong in the sky, not down here with me. And oh yes, I DO hate normal sized balloons too. At least when they go POP! (And oh yes, again, rainbows can be trippy too if you get a brightly colored one with the full arc but I've only seen one really vibrant one in my lifetime - and in Connecticut, no less!) But those gigantic, humongo balloons? I'm shivering. But I can probably take it if it's all one color or just color in general. Just please don't put a huge face on it too! Agh!!! I don't even like to see really, really, REALLY big American flags waving about. Can you imagine getting wrapped up in one of those?

Here's a story for ya: When I was little and stayed with my grandparents in Georgia for the 3-month summer vacation kids used to get from school (at least in D.C. we did), they used to work in tobacco fields for a couple of white people. One house in particular, if I needed to go to the bathroom, I would go in the people's house (come to find out they were actually distant relatives of ours some kind of way, which I think is why they took to me the way they did) and I had to pass this enormous velvet painting of Jesus with a staff in a field surrounded by sheep. (No, this picture is NOTHING like that one.) The background was a dark blue. Now, going to the bathroom, I didn't see it - but I could FEEL it - because my back would be to it as I passed the wall it hung on. But coming back? I had to take deep breaths every time because I had to pass it to get out the house. Jesus was boring a hole in my head coming AND going! Plus, I was in the country on top of it and in the country, Jesus is always on His way back any minute now with storm clouds following and things you just did not want to live to see wiping things out before He fully arrived. (I grew up Pentecostal. Does that explain things for you? I'm Baptist now.) Anyway, I was little then and I could have made that painting my bed with room for me to stretch out and add another one of me. Oh, and yes, there was another way around that painting. If I had dipped around to the dining room, I could circle out to the front door, but Velvet Jesus was hanging out in the dining room too! At least I couldn't see Him there unless I deliberately went in so I avoided it because He had a red background in that painting. It really felt like Judgement Day then but darn it, I wasn't ready to go!

Gasp! That reminds me! (Man, I was not expecting to write this much! I must be really traumatized.) My father was not a churchgoer for all the typical excuses - "I can pray at home," "hyprocrites in the church" - You've heard it all before, I'm sure. But my church (my mother's really) was too long for me. As a kid, I just wanted to stay home and read comics in the Sunday paper. So one Sunday my father decided to go to a church he found that was close to home. It was Baptist (no, that's not why I am Baptist now) and the service was shorter and my mother said I could opt to go with him instead of hearing for 3 hours about why I'm going to hell if I don't speak in tongues. OK, she didn't say THAT part but may as well. So I happily went with him and what did they have in the church? A HUGE, I mean crazy large stained-glass window with the enormous face of black Jesus. (Never went back, but then again, neither did my father.) Thank God He was in the back and our backs were to Him. But my church today? We don't do pictures. It's sorta akin to idol worship since no one has an accurate view of Him anyway and no picture is necessary to worship His spirit. Let's just wait until we really see Him, can we? And I'll bet He'll be gentlemanly enough not to come at me like a giant. Thank you, Jesus.

OK, two more weird things about me. I promise to be brief. I've subjected you to my trauma long enough.

4 - I sometimes have full conversations with other people to myself before I actually talk to them. I like to try to guess as many scenarios as I can so I can be as prepared as possible for difficult situations. And if I didn't like the way it went, I'll have the conversation again in my head with me being thise amazingly witty person I can never seem to be on demand. There. I admitted it. I talk to myself because I'm the only one who understands me. Right, Monica? Right!

5 - Are some of my food habits weird? I tell you. I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel on this one! I like eggs and rice together. Is that weird? Is that a Southern thing, maybe? I fix oatmeal with milk, not water. If you're going to use water, why bother? But no, I don't do grits with milk. That should be water. If you're going to use milk, eat of Cream of Wheat or oatmeal, for goodness sake. I like my food room temp, not hot or cold unless it's supposed to be cold.

Well, that was harder than I thought it would be. I could have mentioned my dislike of clowns, but I did that on Theresa's blog already. And I could have mentioned my need to have things balanced but I think the compulsive stuff covered that. But if you still need to know, I can tell you that my 3rd child will be conceived in the month of September so I can have him - yes, him - in June and his birthday will be the 6th or 16th of the month. Why? Because I am regular and have C-sections so I can pick the day. But mainly because Mr. T's birthday is Jan. 4th and Son's is March 14th. The 1st and 3rd months of the year. Notice the 4? Just happened that way. And Daughter's is Oct 28th and mine is Dec. 18th, the 10th and 12th months of the year. Her 8 in her date was intentional. (The 18th wasn't available and the 8th was too early.) See, I like even numbers, not odd ones. (Hey! That can be a weird thing too, huh?) and with father and son covering the first 3 months of the year and mother and daughter covering the last 3 months of the year, I figure son number 2 can be right smack in the middle with an even number but not the SAME number as the others. Notice, my daughter is bookended by males as well. So you see, that is my definition of true balance.

How's that for weird?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What's In Your iPod?

OK. I don't own an iPod. I have no reason to walk around plugged in because that would make me vulnerable and I think that is stupid. At home, I can just put a CD in my computer or pull up Pandora. At work, I can just play a CD, iTunes or, once again, Pandora.

Mr. T and I went to see Idlewild when it first came out back in August and I loved the music but I debated about getting the soundtrack because I felt like the music I liked in the movie wouldn't be on the CD and it seems I was right. Two of the songs they performed in character I didn't see on the soundtrack but if anyone reads this and knows better, please correct me. I'd love to get those songs if they can be found. I do love Outkast - when they've together. For this, my 50th post, I did manage to download this one song because I love the beat (I wonder which HBC - Historically Black College - marching band will play it first.) and the video is wild and guess what? YouTube had it! So I thought I'd share it here with you guys (and stash it away somewhere safe for my future pleasure).

And by the way, concerning my eyes as mentioned in the previous post, it's still not clear (pun intended) if I need glasses or not but my eyes were jacked up for sure. The eye doc gave me something with a steroid in it. They were that bad but it's better already. I just have to wait two weeks to go back and see if my vision problems were a result of that or, as the doc said, "Well, you're getting older..." Yeah, yeah. Tell it to my 21-year-old mind.

Anyway, enjoy the vid, tell me what you're listening to these days, and talk at ya'll later!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Allergies or Glasses?

I'm still here - and so are my anniversary flowers, though one set is on life support right now. The poor buds are drooping like someone told them they were no longer beautiful. The other flowers will probably be as depressed by the end of the week.

I haven't been blogging because I haven't been feeling all that great. Had a cold last week that made me want to do nothing but sleep. I had to force myself to eat because I don't want to get off my weight loss track but I didn't eat everything I should. Oh well. Still lost weight. Hopefully, it won't turn around and bite me in the butt later when I go back to eating 100% of what I should.

For over a month and half now, my eyes have been bothering me big time. I assumed allergies since it was August and they were itchy, but too itchy for too long. So I went to the doctor and she gave me something that made it a lot less itchy but I was still supporting the makers of Visine all by myself plus I began not being able to open my eyes in the mornings. Literally I had to pry them open using my fingers. Fun. So I went to the clinic one Sunday afternoon and she gave me something else that took away the need to use my fingers to pry open my eyelids but there is still a little effort needed to open them. Plus I can hear myself blink sometimes and I'm teary all the time. VERY annoying.

So my hairdresser is a friend of mine and she joked me all Saturday telling me I'd need glasses. I told her what I had experienced asking her if it was possible to go from perfect vision to squinting overnight. And this after about 13 years using computers regularly - though I admit not nearly as much as I have been this past year or so. She said she had been in a meeting at work one day, looked up at something written on the board and couldn't see it. She had been experiencing everything I am now, including the glued eyelids. She found out she needed glasses. God forbid.

I just hate the thought of putting out money for something like this right now. Mr. T. and I just decided last night that we'd shoot for a balcony room on the cruise we're taking next year. Not the one he was planning for us but his nephew's wedding invite arrived last week and where will it take place? On a cruise! Change of plans! (Aside: Do you think Nephew's note told us where we were going? Nope. And he didn't know when asked! We figured it out ourselves online. Ocho Rios - already went to Jamaica for honeymoon - and Grand Cayman - new place. OK, we'll go.) So since the kids will be with my family and we were going to take a cruise anyway (and since it's on the same boat we were on for the only other cruise we've taken in life so far) we figured let's just get a room with a real view this time and that runs about $1,300 PER PERSON. And we don't plan to share. So this means we need to start saving NOW. There is just no room in my budget for glasses.

Now, my children's Godmother saw us in church yesterday and she had on her shades, telling me her eyes have been bothering her. I explained what was happening to me and she's been going through it too! Praise God! A chance I'm OK! She already went to the eye doctor and they confirmed it's allergies for her. I do hope I get the same diagnosis. But in the meanwhile, I have to look at the screen or a piece of paper and take a moment to see if there is a clearer way to see it, after I wipe away the tears, of course. My head is even hurting a little right now and I get headaches so rarely that I take nothing for them when they hit.

It may seem vain but I just hate the thought of glasses. The way I run around, I'd drop them or step on them or my daughter would steal them and hide them from me and how do you find your glasses without your glasses? I'm looking forward to going to the eye doctor tomorrow if only to bring this nonsense to an end. I go regularly - I do ALL my medical stuff regularly. Why die from something you could have prevented? - so I'm not afraid they'll say something drastic. But what if I have to wear glasses? I can't abide the thought of sticking something in my eye so I can't even think contacts as a way to avoid having one more object on my person at all times.

All this conjures images of old The Twilight Zone. You know the episode. The one with Burgess Meredith. The old man loved to read all the time. He goes into a bank vault - where he works - for a lunch break and some poetry and comes out to find out that he has survived the A Bomb. Now he has all the time in the world - oh yes! That was the name of it, I think - to read and a library full of books and oops! He drops and steps on his eyeglasses rendering himself blind as a bat AND alone in the world. OK, may be a bit dramatic, but what pressure!

Excuse me. I'm going to whine now: I have enough to contend with with my skin issues, God. Don't you agree? And even though I am losing weight - for the second time - I am real with myself and I know weight will be a lifeling battle for me. I have accepted these things. One of the few things I had was my vision and yes, it's vanity, but I always get compliments on my eyes from men and women. Glasses would hide that! I made it to 35 with no eye problems. Don't take it away from me now!

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bloomin' Tuesday

So myterious Mr. T must have had a desire to be different. More roses - with lilies this time - showed up at work today. (They obviously aren't blossoming yet so this picture will have to be replaced tomorrow.) He didn't send a card this time. Boy is HE confident! I think, because there are 6 roses in it, it's supposed to represent Son or the number of years we've been parents. Have to find out. In the meanwhile, enjoy some puns a friend sent me and Happy Tuesday!

    1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

    2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"

    3. Two Inuit sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

    4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

    5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

    6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "We can't have chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

    7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

    8. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was
    unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

    9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him ...(Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good)..... A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

    10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memory of the Stolen Lives

Number of flags I saw coming in to work today - 27. Here's another one I saw on my way to church yesterday. As long as the current generations live, I know we will never forget. But I wonder, will we still stop to remember when our children's children grow up to rule the world?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Happy Anniversary To Us All

18 roses. One for each of the years we've known each other PLUS one for each of the years we've been married. He's always been different. :-D

Well, it's five years today. Five years since Husband and I have been married and to celebrate, I will give you all a present - I will give you his first initial and use that from now on - Mr. T. No, not the gold-chain wearing actor turned minister. My own, slighty less bulky version whom I sometimes call Teddy Bear because that's what he reminds me of, a 6' 3" Teddy bear. And no, his real name isn't Teddy. That's just a coincidence.

So Mr. T and I have been married for five years and in case that somehow feels familiar, yes, we were married 3 days before the famous and infamous 9/11. We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon. It was about 8 a.m. when I got up that lovely island morning and he was already downstairs at the gym. I turned on the TV and thought I was seeing things. A weird morning movie perhaps? I literally did that rub-my-eyes-shake-my-head-and-blink thing and saw I was indeed watching the news. I was stunned and immediately I thought of our 1 1/2-year-old son who was with my parents in Georgia far away from the havoc - thank God. But things were shutting down and some people were supposed to be flying out but couldn't. Minor chaos ensued.

Mr. T came through the door to tell me what happened, his eyes wide in amazement, and I told him I had seen the astounding video. We were - selfishly - glad that we still had days left on our honeymoon and wouldn't have to get caught up in the immediate madness trying to figure out how to get back to our mainland. May as well take advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet. But first, we paced around the pay phones downstairs that were very busy that day and got through to my parents just to touch bases. Everyone was fine and we knew Son would be too no matter how long we might be stuck. No one would be coming in or going out so we wouldn't have to worry about losing our hotel room, if it came to that.

We carried on with our vacation, listening to the Jamaican drivers who truly sympathized and eavesdropping on the conversations of stranded Americans. It was and still is amazing how easily we acknowledged each other at that time - despite our varying regions and states of origin - when terrorism was striking in our homeland. Despite history, we were all truly proud to be Americans that week.

So five years later Mr. T. and I can never forget how long we've been married because all of America is keeping count for us. Frankly I think all the years we had before we married - 7 of them - should count in that anniversary total too but that's OK. There's something about our being linked to this event. I really don't know what it is. After 7 years of struggle and working to build the foundation we eventually settled ourselves on, while those towers were shaken to their very foundations 3 days later....well, just goes to show how fragile things really are. But Mr. T and I have God, a greater foundation than man can ever build so I'm not worried about any act of outside terrorism trying to tear us down. That would take the work of our own hands and I, for one, am no fool. (Hopefully, Mr. T isn't either.)

Five years later, we've got a second child and maybe - finally - the possibility of our first home on the horizon. We've got jobs we love and use our talents regularly. We're happy. I suppose the families of the 9/11 victims may not feel as contented. This is not an anniversary they were wishing for. But hopefully, as in a marriage, we as Americans have used this horrible act of evil to strengthen our resolve to work together and stay together. I certainly feel that bond tightening every anniversary as flags are flown in business courtyards and posted on bridges over the highway in honor of all those lost lives. My heart swells every time I see that and I'm so proud of us all for not letting evil tear us down.

So where were YOU on that fateful day?

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Rambling Post

It's about 8 p.m. EST and I had to work from home today because Daughter doesn't start preschool until next Tuesday and Husband had to work. It's a wonderful 3-day weekend that I got an early start on, so it's one of those moments when it feels like you've got all the time in the world and you're wondering what item off your daily to-do list to tackle. Me? I want to write. Not blog really, even though that's what I'm doing, but I have a new children's story idea to work on and an old one to finish up and a magazine article to revise so I can submit it somewhere and an ICL lesson to finish that I am now officially late sending in.

Maybe I'm procrastinating. It is dark in here because hubby is sleeping and the kids are still in the other room liquifying their brains with cartoons. (Anything goes on a Friday night.) So I'm in a thinking mood. I find myself thinking about time management and doing all the things that prompted me to start this blog in the first place. See, in a month one of my 2 business groups will feature a guy talking to us about time management. I'm stubborn. I don't want to hear "Carry a calendar" because I barely like carrying a purse. I don't want to hear "Schedule everything" because I don't like schedules, only "timing suggestions.' I don't want to hear, "Turn off the T.V." because I LOVE to watch certain shows. That's right. I admit it. My name is Monica and I'm addicted to Nip/Tuck, The Apprentice (when it's on), Gilmore Girls, CSI and Big Love, to name a few. I can also watch just about anything on TLC and HGTV and Bravo is my version of romance novels. The solution is TiVo and I'm almost at the point where I don't even want to wait until I get a house now. I'll just do it here and take it with me whenever we leave. I don't have to watch a show when it's on - hard to do with business meetings and children needing baths - but I want to be able to watch anytime I'm ready.

So as I prepare for this meeting, we have to write out a Have To Do List and a Want To Do list. I can list so many things on my Have To list but when I think of my Wants, I'm coming up short. Honestly it's not because I don't know how to put my desires first. It's more like it's because my Have To list is full of things I want to do - my job, my writing, taking care of my kids, my business. My Want To list so far is reading for fun (don't do enough of that); going to movies WHILE THEY ARE STILL IN THE THEATER; dating my hubby more regularly and staying better connected to my friends in and out of state. All important, but two of them have a lot to do with the availability of others anyway so they aren't 100% in my control.

So this leads me back to my original concern when this blog was born - how the heck do I successfully and consistently do everything I want to do, which is my have-to list?

1-I have to devote time to God (He's coming up short right now in favor of sleep) so let's say I get up an hour early. (Wishful thinking, I know.) After that, I get 3 people ready for the day.
2-I have to work so that's about 9:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Fri.
3-Running errands before home - 6-7:30 p.m. OR monthly biz meetings to 9 p.m.
4-Otherwise, home cooking for the sake of losing weight to about 8 p.m. or a little after.
5-And while I do that, bathe kids/help with school work/prepare for next day to 8 p.m.
6-Eat and feed greedy Daughter until about 9.
7-Too tired to move so hold Daughter until she falls asleep - until 11 if I'm beat, might get away at 10 if she falls out.
8-10 to 11 - whatever I can do in my moment of silence OR 11 p.m. Husband gets up for work and I hop on computer for business stuff or writing or catching up on email. Bed by 2 a.m. if I am getting something done. 11:30 if I am not.
9- On some Saturdays, hair at 8:30 a.m. until about 1 p.m or else sleep late and get up about 9.
10 - housework/errands if I absolutely must until about 2 p.m and feeding kids in there somewhere.
Then I have the rest of Saturday! Sometimes. So why aren't I more productive? Sometimes I am. I go with whatever is pressing most times - business stuff, writing, reorganizing the little space I have so I don't go insane.
11- Sundays? Well, this is not a sabbath day for me because it feels like I work, so for me Saturdays are a sabbath which is why I do what I want then. (Aside: Not a religious thing. I just believe everyone should observe the Sabbath but I don't believe it is the same day for everyone. After all, preachers work on Sundays.) So I'm up no later than 8 a.m. cooking breakfast, washing dishes, washing clothes, washing children, going to church, going grocery shopping afterward, fixing dinner, preparing for next day and by now, it's 7 p.m. and time to put away all that laundry and tuck the big kid in bed. Don't tell me Sunday isn't a work day!

Yep, I'm rambling a little bit but as much as I hate schedules, I do need a vague one. Certain days I do certain things and that's as close as I'll come to scheduling. I dare you to try to make me pinpoint a time! But even that is hard because I basically need to do a little of everything EVERY day. Maybe I'm a rebel. Maybe it's a Saggitarian thing (we're supposedly adventurous and a little stubborn but we love to help people.)

You know, now that I think about it, it does help to be on a weight loss plan and have counselors to be accountable to - makes me do it. And to have a critique group - makes me write regularly. And to have a financial advisor - keeps me focused on the goal knowing someone is going to call me on it if I stray too far. And having a business partner keeps me working on the biz. A husband keeps me thinking about the home and the needs of my family. Maybe I need someone to help me account for my time too. I don't know what that makes me but if I'm getting things done, who cares.

I don't know. I'll write all this stuff down and figure it out eventually. It took me a long time - YEARS - to get into a financial spending plan and like it. I'm sure I'll figure out a spending time plan and like that too because I'll finally feel like I'm getting it all done and feeling somewhat balanced.

Just please don't throw one more ball into the mix. I don't think my life could handle it!